About Me
I'm a Melbourne boy, hailing from St Kilda with one ex, one current wife and four kids. Love the outdoors and making new discoveries. I cook a lot at home (cheers from wife) and do some preserving, mostly jams, pickles and fruit liqueurs. This is the diary of a cooking journey.

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Friday, May 08, 2009
Who's The Judge?
The first contestant has been knocked out of MasterChef Australia, good-bye Melissa.

So do you think those tough and super experienced judges, Matt Preston, George Calombaris and Gary Mehigan got it right?

Not a bit of it. In a pure Jerry Bruckheimer moment, it was the contestants who voted against one of their own.

So how would you feel if you went right through to claim the big prize? Probably elated for sure, but wouldn't there be a tiny nagging doubt that it wasn't industry professionals who judged you the creme de la creme, but you may have got the nod by using strategies straight from from a defunct television series and not superlative cooking skills?

Okay, perhaps I'm not the target audience, but this show has the look of a mongrel, spawned from the union of two shows, Survivor and Big Brother, whose collective times have passed.

Why can't they let the judges do what they're paid to do - judge?
  posted at 9:18 pm

At 1:11 am, Blogger thanh7580 said...

My thoughts are exactly the same as yours Neil. I felt so cheated when they announced that contestants will vote each other out. My thought also instantly turned to Survivor. I was thinking how the contestants now have to worry more about making alliances rather than cooking. So instead of helping each other, they'll be trying to sabotage each other.

I haven't watched Top Chef in the US, but from what I read, the judges vote for the evictee? It really should be the judges that vote out the masterchefs each week. I hope they change it and the judges vote.

At 4:41 am, Blogger Gigi said...

I'm a huge fan of Top Chef US and yes, the judges do do all the judging and dismissals; "Please pack your knives and go..." may be the saddest phrase ever uttered in television. This does sound less about cooking and more about whispered strategies and fleeting alliances, which I always thought tedious in the first place.

That said, I'd probably watch it. :D So, what are the judges there for?

Glad to see you back, Neil. I was beginning to be concerned.

(My word verification is colavi ~ sounds like a dish you've made; grilled perhaps, possibly served with polenta!" ;)

At 10:12 am, Blogger neil said...

Hi thanh, I was really disappointed too, it just feels so wrong that perhaps the best cook might not get through, that, what I'm watching for, to see the best cook.

Not sure it's going to be changed, this series is in the can already.

Hi gigi, I always felt sorry for those contestants dismissed that way too, what a lonely walk they had.

MasterChef is still a show worth watching, there's a lot to learn from it, mashed potatoes with how much butter?!!!

Thanks for your concern, I've simply switched jobs early this year and my new employer inconsiderately expects me to work; to use a pithy Australian colloquialism, I've been knackered. Switched computers about the same time to the dreaded Vista, though I'd have to say its been fixed up a bit since your early troubles.

At 6:14 pm, Anonymous Ellie @ Kitchen Wench said...

I hate to state the obvious, but this *is* the realm of 'reality' television that you're referring to. Also known as the cheapest form of television programming that can be made.

I've seen half an episode of the Aus series and I've not seen the UK series at all, but what I saw did not surprise me in the slightest. This sort of programming is put together using psychology and sociology to target the general public - they're not looking to make the best program possible, but a program that will hook the lowest common denominator and reel them in to view again and again...and the formula is only changed once it no longer works.

At 10:32 am, Anonymous Elliot said...

Hi Neil
Welcome back.
This is showbiz and not very good biz at that. We rarely ever look at these shows to learn anything about cooking.

At 10:37 pm, Blogger neil said...

Hi ellie, the only thing the Aussie and UK version have in common is the name. In the UK you go in and cook your dish and if it's good enough you go forward, selected by two judges, so at least a good cook has a chance. Just watched tonight's local show and this time the judges had the final say this time...

Hi elliot, you would have loved the master class on mashed potatoes, it was butter just held together with a little sieved potato!


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