You know you’ve been watching too much Master Chef when…

You get home from work and start rushing to get the dinner on and you suddenly imagine George Columbaris at your elbow. “How are you going there? You’ve got TWENTY MORE MINUTES! Those SPUDS SHOULD BE PEELED by now!!!”

You find yourself thinking “Which Masterchef contestant would I be?” (Just because I identify with her in some ways, her cooking choices are not like mine at all. “Aussie”? “Baked dinner”? erp!)

You say “You eediot! Not that way!” at the TV.

Your twelve-year-old starts insisting on helping with the dinner (Can I say W00t!), and comes out with stuff like, “The onions are caramelising nicely while the sausage has taken on a whole new dimension of flavour.”

You yell “Booooo!” whenever Hat Man Chris “Boris” Badenough appears

You’re watching a cookie-cutter Fremantle Media reality show with a cast of characters who are holed up in a house and one is voted off each week, crying and the word “journey” mandatory – in other words, a massive yawning cliche – and although you’re feeling a bit dirty, you can’t look away.

Who else has been watching Masterchef? What are your impressions? Triumphs, disasters, heroes, villains? Has it changed any kitchen routines in your household? Anyone suddenly taken to wearing cravats?

29 comments ↓

#1 Zoe on 22.06.09 at 8:29 am

Total addict. It seems to be a great disappointment to those who were familiar with the UK version, but hey, I used to watch Big Brother (a long time ago now, promise.)

Anyway, some more tragic signs:

  • You rush through reading the kids’ stories so you only miss the very beginning (super repetitive) bits of Masterchef
  • You wake up on Saturday morning and think “Yay, Saturday!” closely followed by “Oh no! It’s No Masterchef day!”
  • You feel sad because you usually watch it on tape so you miss out on joining in chocolatesuze’s live Masterchat channel (login when the show is on to join in; you only need to enter a nickname, not a password)
  • When your partner is making dinner, you warn them that they really need to be taking it to the next level at this stage of things.
  • You’ve taken to crouching 6 inches away from your dinner plate so you can make your salad look like it’s a cascading fall of autumn leaves, yeah?

And I quite like Chris. He can’t help it if he’s the only strategic thinker there. Agree though that Poh’s contribution to the wedding catering included staying up all night to pipe shit on a cake, and that should have been enough to keep her there. Also I was just fascinated every time she opened her mouth by how enormous it is.

(And doesn’t that link to Chris saying Poh should get over it show us that he’s Out Of The Competition? Only other contestants to have commented have been eliminated – an unfortunate term for a culinary challenge.)

#2 Zoe on 22.06.09 at 8:32 am

Oh, and Matt’s Cravat is on twitter, along with a few others from the show:

Sarah Wilson
Linda Kowalski
Brent Parker-Jones

#3 Kirsty on 22.06.09 at 9:51 am

I’ve been watching Masterchef quite religiously. I sit in front on the TV with one eye on the Twitter conversation–which rarely gets beyond the single entendre level of commentary. I’m often trying to prepare dinner at the same time, which is the only reason I’m grateful for those repetitive bits after each ad break–I get to chop another half onion before absolutely having to be back in front of the TV.

I’ve never seen the English version, but my sister explained it all to me and I’m thinking the differences in format might be down to the difference in budgets and the level of risk that Ch10 were prepared to take with an untested show. It’s unlikely that they wanted to commit to the level of investment that the UK rounds approach would have required. Or it could just be a licensing thing.

My favorite shows have been the chef masterclasses run by Gary and George; the mystery box and innovation challenges; and the celebrity chef challenge. I’m not so much into the night where the losing team from the team challenges has to vote out someone. I suspect because that’s the most ‘reality tv’ aspect of the show–all those cliches that Helen mentions.

That said, I do get surprised when people expect Masterchef to be something other than TV, but that’s probably the pedantic TV PhD researcher in me.

I’m surprised too by the intensity of the dislike for some contestants. Especially when it’s due to their physical characteristics ie the amount they sweat in the kitchen, their teeth etc. (I really do need to stop reading the Twitter commentary) But again I’ve always been a bit of a petal about those aspects of fan behaviour that relish the shallow, bitchy approach.

Anyway, I love Masterchef. Thanks, Helen, for the opportunity to rant…

#4 Tim on 22.06.09 at 10:28 am

I’ve watched maybe 5 series of the English version and at first thought the Oz version was worse, but I’ve changed my mind. From a cooking pov, the local one is heaps better and I wouldn’t be surprised if they make some changes to the UK version bc of it.

Poh was robbed: the piping should’ve kept her there; she shouldn’t even have been in contention for elimination. Sam is on borrowed time, his success the first day in Honk Kong notwithstanding

Haven’t forgiven Chris for the raw chicken episode for which he escaped all sanction. I also can’t help but feel the two boofy chef judges just feel more comfortable with the idea of another boofy male winning and react accordingly.

Final comment: can’t help but feel that the two away working in pro kitchens (Julia and Lucas) will just wipe the floor with everyone else once they rejoin the competition. Julia in particular.

#5 Injera on 22.06.09 at 10:30 am

Oh, Masterchef! At first, you broke my heart, being so far from the televisual almost-perfection that is Masterchef. Now, I love you as the perfect reality TV show (at least, this season). You are unlike Idol, where most candidates – after the initial auditions, at least – sing better than me; unlike So You Think You Can Dance, where all auditioners dance better than me. Unlike both of these in that, even now that we’re down to the final five/seven (depending on who’s forgotten about Julia and Lucas), I can confidently criticise a lot of what the contestants get up to in the kitchen. Of course, next season you might recruit a group of people who can cook, and then it’ll be back to The Amazing Race for me…

#6 dogpossum on 22.06.09 at 10:32 am

Reading other people’s Masterchef tweets is the only thing in a year that’s made wish I owned a TV antenna and could watch ‘live’ TV.

#7 Sue on 22.06.09 at 11:00 am

Totally love it. I scream ‘TOAD” everytime Matt Preston comes on because he reminds of toad from wind in the willows.

You can’t compare Masterchef UK with Masterchef Oz – it is a completely different show. It seems to have struck a chord with a lot of people. Never having been one for reality tv, big brother bleh!, I have found myself really enjoying it!

I find myself at the gym or walking the dog thinking about what I would have done with those mystery box ingredients or the invention tests.

#8 librarygirl on 22.06.09 at 2:07 pm

We are all Masterchef addicts here (myself, husband, 11 y.o. boy and 15 y.o. girl). Love the way they are all so passionate about food rather than back stabbing/sabotaging as in other reality programs. Love
actually learning new stuff about cooking myself. Only criticism is that I think ALL the judges’ taste tests should be blind ones so they can’t keep saving their favourites.

#9 Zoe on 22.06.09 at 2:17 pm

It’s the zeitgeist thing – Crikey’s now getting in there with a Matt Preston tribute video. (And the realityraving site has regular episode write-u[s.)

#10 our man in Canberra on 22.06.09 at 4:12 pm

Also somewhat addicted at casa Notional. My blog partner is nursing a strong dislike of poor old Matt Preston. When he appeared wearing a cravat in certain shade of blue, she turned to me a said “fail whale”.

Nasty but fast (I’m reserving my evil looks for Chris).

#11 Dr Sister Outlaw on 22.06.09 at 4:43 pm

My now ex-moistie is very keen on Masterchef and has learned muchly about cooking from it, which is not something he knew a lot about before. Myself, I do not watch as I mostly forget and watch news/7.30 Report, and because I get home so late … but I have enjoyed the bits I’ve watched so far. Like Julie going nuts, then getting her shit together just in time. Every time. Like hating the woman with the accent who wants to be God’s gift to mothers all over whilst looking like she spends far too much time on herself.

I also like the dude with the hat.

#12 Cristy on 22.06.09 at 8:46 pm

I have never seen it and have started to regret that over the last two weeks as I keep hearing people rave about it. But me thinks that it is too late to tune in now…

Maybe next season.

#13 Dr Sister Outlaw on 23.06.09 at 12:57 pm

You know you’ve been watching too much masterchef when you are as excited about it as you are about the current parliamentary question time sessions …

#14 Suziwong66 on 23.06.09 at 4:22 pm

I’m totally addicted. I not only watch it, but record so i can watch again at my leisure LMAO..sad but true. I admit the show has reignited my once doused desired to make a croquembouch…aiming to achieve for my youngest daughter’s 17th b’day in Oct. I yell at Matt Cravatt..make mean jokes about his hair, cravatts and eating style when he appears on screen..I just can’t help but become one with the screen. Poh was robbed and Sam is on borrowed time. I love Chris’s confidence but at the same time do enjoy watching him stumble occassionally e.g. high tea dramas LOL I’m wondering if those constestant who have their auto entry into final are getting complacent without having the constant pressure of competition and time limits? time will tell. Every time George or Gary say ‘yeah’ i repeat it back to the screen! i’ve lost any sense of reality LOL I LOVE Master Chef…

#15 Zoe on 23.06.09 at 7:54 pm

Matt had a tie on tonight – a much better look, actually.

And I left the official masterchat twitter account off my earlier list – it’s @masterchefau. This was their indication you might have gone Too Far:

#16 Helen on 23.06.09 at 8:34 pm

C’mon – what was it??

(Loved the dim sum – I learned how to make shui jiaoze many moons ago from a chinese friend but have done stuff all since, that is, stuff all not stuffed all)

#17 mum2abc on 24.06.09 at 8:36 am

My 2 sons and I are addicted to this show – which is a wonderful thing for 2 young boys. However they constantly comment on flavours and textures now – but they both want to help in the kitchen. They have asked me to make the eclairs (good luck with that) and a croquenbach for a wedding cake in 20 years time…..The best way to watch this show is via Foxtel IQ – you fast forward all the boring repetitive bits….I do love George and Gary – they are a hoot! Matt I think always has nice things to say – Sarah – well I guess she is there for men to look at? They do make cooking look easy – I see myself there next year LOL! And when I watch 2 or 3 episodes in a row – I dream all night of food and cooking……LOVE – LOVE LOVE masterchef – thank you…

#18 Injera on 24.06.09 at 6:16 pm

You know that even your seven year old nephew is watching too much Masterchef when you are nervous about how he will critique your tapenade at a family dinner…

#19 dan on 25.06.09 at 7:09 pm

You know…when you watch enough of a show to learn the names and remember who you dislike and why.
To that end ima try to focus on behaviours not physical stuff. has that woman/winner done the pressure test every single week?

#20 Zoe on 26.06.09 at 8:03 am

Nearly – sometimes through stuffing up and freaking out, sometimes through someone else just being a bit better that week. Justine is really excellent, and I’m sad to see her go.

SAM MUST GO NOW! (He is the chinless blond one with pointy hair and huge choppers.)

#21 FDB on 29.06.09 at 12:37 pm

Sam must go a month ago more like.

Chris is a top aussie legend, and I’ll fight youse all.

He plans, he executes, he rarely gets in a flap, and he always looks sincere in congratulating the winner if not himself.

Last night it became clear they’re going to bring someone back – Poh one would think. Stupid idea, but I’d like to see her cook some more.

Chris and Julia for one and two.

#22 Zoe on 29.06.09 at 7:08 pm

Several back, apparently and

**SPOILER ALERT** someone spotted four contestants in fancy gear outside the ACP magazines officers in Park St Sydney. For whatever that’s worth ;) Here’s the link.

#23 mum2abc on 29.06.09 at 8:02 pm

spoiler alert*******

Tom identified himself in the Saturday Paper in QLD that he is back

#24 Dr Sister Outlaw on 30.06.09 at 4:37 pm

argh, no. Can never forgive him for thinking roquefort and tomato could work over steak

#25 FDB on 01.07.09 at 12:14 pm

The thlot pickens…

#26 Zoe on 01.07.09 at 9:54 pm

Ohhh, and don’t miss Kate’s twitter – http://twitter.com/KateRodrigues

Not the sharpest knife in the block.

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