MasterChef wins, but trails 2010 finals week.

Does MasterChef have any hope of matching its record ratings of 2010 when it topped 3.9m? No.

Last night the show attracted 1.67m viewers and was the night’s top rating show.

That’s still an impressive figure in the new multichannel environment, but it doesn’t make up for the fact the show doesn’t have the same buzz as when we were choosing between Adam Liaw, Callum Hann and Claire Winton Burn. Such was the fascination with the 2010 finale it even forced Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott to reschedule a national election debate, for fear of being ignored.

Last year the equivalent episode was 2.46m when the Top 3 cooked for the Governor General. Every episode in the last full week, except the Friday Masterclass was, over 2.1m.

Since the arrival of ELEVEN, 7mate and GEM we also have more choices and shows topping the 2m mark is more rare. But you get the feeling it’s not the sole reason we’re tracking well behind 2010. The 2.85m reached by Australia’s Got Talent has now thrown down the gauntlet to MasterChef.

In Wednesday night results MasterChef nevertheless thumped Highway Patrol / World’s Deadliest Roads (1.06m / 818,000),  Top Design (590,000), 7.30 / The New Inventors (463,000 / 452,000), and Tropic Of Capricorn (186,000).

The Block won at 7pm with 1.23m over Home and Away (1.00m), ABC News (839,000) and The 7pm Project (722,000).

The Gruen Transfer returned with 1.07m, lifting above its Spicks and Specks lead in of 747,000. Elsewhere Criminal Minds averaged 949,000, followed by The Renovators (784,000), RPA (582,000), and Seduction In The City (131,000).

TEN also vhas big problems with The Defenders at just 297,000 at 9:30pm.

Seven won Wednesday night.

Week 32.


  1. Contestants weren’t as entertaining this year, with the judges also being inconsistent, and getting annoying too so it’s no surprise. I hope shine are able to make it good again and focus on food not drama.

  2. Well i hope once the block ends Nine does something permanent that does not involve using cheaper US Sitcom repeats as 7pm filler in the absence of an intelligent game show or quiz.I wonder How Home and Away would be doing now if Temptation hadn’t got the axe in 2009 and was still with us today instead of all this 2.5 men/Big Bang Theory/Block Nonsense they are up against these days.

  3. Dear Shine

    I am on my knees begging you with all my heart: please, please, please kill the recaps and reduce the talking to camera bits next year!

    I don’t understand the point of them, who do they benefit, what are they for? Surely there are not viewers out there who are so forgettful they need to be reminded about what happened one minute ago!

    And if you must persist with the recaps after every ad break can we maybe just have a 5 second recap, not a 2 minute one!

    Thank you
    Lots of love a loyal MC viewer

  4. @AS – yes if MC bombed as badly last year and did similar figures to now and 9 had The Block at 7pm giving a 1.3M lead in, then I believe Hey Hey on Wednesday (as it was this time last year) would’ve taken the MC juggernaut down

  5. @MuchoTB, excellent post and your analogy with Aus Idol is spot-on. I remember Season 3 of Idol, it was an absolute snorefest, as there were no memorable contestants. That was the season Kate D’Arauge won. Kate Who, I hear people saying. I maintain that casting series such as these well is absolutely critical to their acceptance by and success with the public. Seasons One and Two of MC had such memorable people as Chris Badenoch, Poh, Sandra and Aaron. Season Two had Joanne, Claire, Marion, Callum, all stand-outs we could care about. This season had zip memorable personalities or good cooks. Seven know how handle this issue well, their reality series are always so well cast.

  6. Simply put this year just hasn’t been ‘must see TV’

    The audience isn’t inspired as it seems the contestants aren’t either. From contestants leaving the competition after coming to the conclusion that it ‘wasn’t their dream to be there’ and too many young, inexperienced in basic knowledge cooks getting through to the top 24.

    The only ‘must see events’ this year has been Heston and probably tonight with the Ginger Bread House.

  7. The exact same thing happening to Masterchef happened to Aus Idol in its third season.

    Australian Idol had 2 million viewers every week in 2003 and 2004, leading up to the grand final at the Sydney Opera House. It would usually start pulling great figures after they got down to the top 10 contestants.

    Nonetheless in season 3 they had no standout performers like Anthony Callea, Guy Sebastian or Cosima De Vito. The top three were Lee Harding, and two girls named Kate and Emily, whom I doubt anyone remembers. The ratings fizzled in season three and dropped down to something like 1.5 million.

    In the fourth season there was a resurgence in figures thanks to great performers like Damien Leith and Jessica Mauboy. If Masterchef gets the casting right next year they could very well have a comeback season.

  8. Pretty much agree with everything said already. It’s got nothing to do with the multi channels the fault lies with the show. The previous two years i was glued to this series now i don’t really care and haven’t been watching in the last couple of weeks. Don’t even know if i will bother with the final. Think i’m over it.

  9. MC competes with all the multichannels, AGT only competes with 7Two since the vast majority of the audience is over 50.

    But the main reason is it simply isn’t as good as S1 or S2. Contestants aren’t as interesting or talented and the challenges aren’t as enjoyable to watch. Not to mention the Dani, Hayden and Ellie favouritism issue. New York was also by far the most boring overseas thing they’ve done as well, not sure how they screwed that up.

  10. They don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of getting 3.9M this year. I predict about 2.4M, tops. Inevitably, viewers do lose interest in a format and MC has definitely gone off the boil this year – boring, unmemorable contestants that viewers struggled to care about (the biggest problem); the beat-the-clock challenges have been silly, and they are fast getting old; immunity pin has lacked credibility; too much shock-and-awe and not enough real cooking; not one standout contestant; the downplaying of the invention test & the mystery box; perceived favouritism of certain contestants; only a certain number of contestants received any significant airtime resulting in too many flying under the radar. There’s a lot wrong with this season and that is reflected in the ratings.

  11. I actually think this years’ top 3 cooks are better quality than last year. I totally forgot about Claire!

    I look forward to the final on Sunday, hope Michael brings it home to SA again!

  12. IMHO :-))

    MasterChef Yr One…….Wow, new, exciting, adventuress etc

    MasterChef Yr Two……Well worth watching again, similar adventures to yr one, dragged on.

    MasterChef yr Three….long drawn out, loss of excitement factor, pretty boring adventures, far, far, far too much advertising and repeating of content by the judges Too much stuff going on instead of cooking. Really *Nice* final three and hard to pick the outright winner as in previous years.

    Lastly in IMHO not as entertaining as previous years.
    Best thing this year is the addition of Mat Moran…..

  13. Defenders actually started after 10pm last night coz MC was 90 minutes, then renovators for an hour. Still low though for a ‘primetime’ series.

  14. Yep agree with Anthony Mai. AGT can still get huge numbers despite multi channels. This season of Masterchef has just been terrible. Contestants have been poor which has meant the dishes served up have not been the same quality that we saw the first 2 seasons. I know I keep saying it, but there has not been one ‘wow’ dish. I think Masterchef has got full of itself too and feels it can do whatever it likes and people will watch. But they’ve realised now it’s not the case.

  15. Poor Daryl must be kicking himself, Hey Hey would’ve most likely taken the fight right up to MC.

    The contestant mix was very wrong this year, and they are constantly fiddling with the format is eroding viewership, I find Matt Moran isn’t fitting in this year at all and there was no rhyme nor reason why he was added.

    Lets hope it picks up steam next year, but I can’t see Sunday’s finale beating AGT’s which had a far superior production values and an engaging vibe throughout the series.

  16. Whoa. The numbers for The Defenders are shocking.

    I mean, I don’t watch it – doesn’t seem interesting. So I suppose I’m not the only one whom thinks like that? 😉

    But still. Is rather low.

  17. I don’t think multichannels is the issue. Season 3 of MasterChef just isn’t as good as the previous years. I’m not surprised that no episode this year has gone over 2 million. Australia’s Got Talent has done it, so it’s possible… People just aren’t as fond as MC as before.

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