MasterChef Australia will launch on Monday April 27th, on a purpose-built kitchen with 22 large stainless-steel work counters, 20 ovens and hobs, a restaurant, bar, coffee lounge and a well-stocked pantry. Located in Alexandria, Sydney, it took 37 workmen two weeks to construct.
“There is simply nothing more exciting than watching people chase their dream,” the TEN programmer David Mott tells The Australian.
“This is positive upscale TV, upscaling the original show into something, well, really upscale…”
There’s a lot riding on this one. Set to replace that waning Big Brother, the show will spearhead TEN’s mid-year push before the return of Australian Idol. Like BB, it will air from Sunday to Friday.
Each week there will be two eliminations: one decided on by the contestants, the other by the judges. MasterChef‘s three-person judging panel is made up of two chefs and restaurateurs, Gary Mehigan and George Calombaris, and food critic Matt Preston. Hosting the series is Sarah Wilson, a former magazine editor and a food professional.
Shooting is well under way following a nationwide audition tour in which more than 7500 passionate contenders for FremantleMedia.
The final 50 were flown to Sydney to compete against each other in a series of makeshift culinary challenges in old railway sheds near inner-city Redfern as the producers searched for original characters to fill what would be more than 100 hours of prime-time television.
“The first day we walked on there were seven or eight cameras, like a monstrously big movie,” says Preston.
“We stripped out the just-want-to-be-on-telly types really quickly; they’re the ones that have no food knowledge.”
The structure of the localised MasterChef, he suggests, is carefully designed for maximum drama, more so than the British original (airing on LifeStyle Food channel).
“Our show has more back story, more personal connections, more passion, and the challenges are more demanding,” Mott says.
“Great TV is about storytelling; audiences want to be taken on spiritual journeys, watching as the onion of character is peeled before their eyes.”
Source: The Australian