Boiling point on MasterChef

Producers of MasterChef will meet with TEN to discuss changes for 2012 amid concerns about over-exposure.

Producers of MasterChef, Shine Australia, will meet with TEN execs to discuss changes to 2012 amid concerns about over-exposure.

The Sunday Telegraph reports executive producer Margaret Bashfield said the show’s future may not necessarily be in its current format. The changes are believed to raise the question of reducing the number of episodes.

“We have put together all our ideas of what we think the series should be… I can’t tell you at the moment if it will be different in that regard,” she said.

Season three ran to 14 weeks – 2 weeks longer than its debut season.

This year’s show came in for some heavy criticism, following uneven Immunity challenges, not enough Mystery Boxes, Dalai Lama stunts, accidental Spoilers, unnecessary lockdowns for contestants -and that unbelievable splitting of the Finale.

It wasn’t helped by the audience feeling that The Renovators hijacked a format it cherished.

In hindsight it may have been better to hold off Junior MasterChef altogether and rest the brand. But by that stage the train was already in motion.

The show is TEN’s biggest tentpole and their most lucrative revenue-earner. There will be enormous pressure to strip it once again. TEN managed to reduce the amount of hours for The Biggest Loser without losing the viewers, so it can be done.

But TEN is reportedly keen to broadcast another full season with programming chief David Mott stating “current plans” would see the next series stick to 85 episodes, across six nights a week.

Matt Preston recently told TV Tonight, “We need to work on the Immunity Challenges and make them better. We need to make sure that our perception of the contestants is the way you see them on screen.

“Hopefully it will be re-energised by having a different selection of contestants and that’s always a great joy. So much depends on what the raw material is like. Having Shine looking in different places I think we’ll get some good people.”

If they do strip MasterChef once again, they have to send out the right smoke signals to the audience that say ‘Ok. We heard you. We’ve fixed our mistakes.’

38 Responses

  1. My wife and I from WA (Washington State, US) think this is the best food show on TV. It is so nice to see polite people cooking in a competition. We get so tired of the over dramatic ego-driven crap that US TV produces. Of course I have to use nefarious means to get the shows here, but it is worth it. Thank you TEN!

  2. Come on you Aussies!!! How longer can you let the untalented foursome who present this grotesque version of the Masterchef franchise to get away with it.
    They arr only legends in their own egos.The rest of the world have no interest in their own self importance.The Grotesque George and the smarmy Mat are cringesome with the other two not far behind. The contestants are incidental and whether they can cook is not as imprtant as being “eye candy” for the Judges. To get into the final five you have to be able to produce a cup cake and a glass of milk to represent a part of New York(what a Joke).Produce a lump of chocolate with a few decorations(with the help of George) at the United Nations and follow that up withe the worst BLT in the Qatnas lounge in Sydney and you can get to the final five.I am amazed these guys havent done Masterclasses for Rick Stein,Marco Pierre White,Heston and Nigella to show them what they arte missing.This is one hell of an advert for the wonders cf Australian cooking to send around the world. The antics of grusesome George at the mining camp to sink the red team followed by Gary doing the same at the Sydney eco restaurant just shows how up themselves they are. Joy of Joys how great to see that Matt come unstuck cin New York whenn after being orgasmic over the milk shake and just about to slaughter Billys dish to be slapped down by the New York Celebrity Chef applauding his efforts as being a true representation of New York fusion. Perhaps in the new series he will use his cravats as yashmaks to hide his antics when using a fork and “tasting”

  3. Well, I’ve already commented on the link of an earlier report and I do agree with most of what’s been said on here. Even as a UK viewer, the amount of episodes and the way they have been edited have spoilt season three beyond measure.
    The quite obvious bias towards in favour of Alana, Ellie and Dani, especially in the later stages, have been annoying and have spoilt the show. Just why has Dani been given the bulk of the soundbite inserts to make comments. Even when it’s been to do with other contestants.
    The judges have fallen for the tears way too many times and they have never shown the same sympathy to any upset male contestants that they have to their “favoured” female ones.
    The Dali Lama episode was cringeworthy and unnecessary. As are the episodes where meals have been made for friends and family members of the judges.
    By far and away the worst examples of unfairness and incorrect elimination decisions have involved Jay and Hayden. Jay’s was so unfair that it basically screwed up the rest of the competition. Hayden’s was down to additional pressure, and some have said bullying, by Gary during the elimination challenge where, instead, he offered nothing but support for Kate. (At least that’s what the UK edit made it look like) But, in both cases and especially Hayden’s, he left like a true gent and thanked everyone. And, Like Michael, he was consistently polite, respectful and focussed.
    Best way to improve the show? Keep the three main judges/presenters. Restrain any blatant or perceived favouritism, make the challenges fairer, treat all contestants the same and don’t go for the sympathy where tears are concerned and it any tear-filled contestant feel that they’ve had enough, let them go. Reduce the amount of episode and scale back the masterclass episodes. And, above all, have some form of method of stating the rules (such as the one that saw Matt leave the contest this year) in either a verbal or screen side bar way so that viewers can see the guidelines, too.

  4. I am from India.My whole family is watching this programme daily.It is a wonderful programme. I love Kate, she is very creative &emotionally stable person. I love all the judges too.

  5. I love MC, I believe MC would be enhanced if the judging was fairer, putting contestants in an enviroment where they have to keep up the pace of professional chefs isunfair when it results in an elimination round for the whole team, especially for the team members who did well for their team they should not have been included in the elimination round.
    I feel the judges work well together,the programme needs professionals in this competitive field, to replace George or any of the others would be a mistake, they work well with the contestants.To have a similiar format to the British MC is boring, I stopped watching he British version where it is more invention challenges and cooking rounds. there needs to be a balance of challenges to keep the programme interesting and inspiring.
    I love the master class it is informative as well as being entertaining, as a family we have benifited from the programme as the whole family have took it onboard and we are more creative in the kitchen.

  6. Allie and AS, to get rid of george and the masterclasses will make this show what every other crap food show is. To replace a real chef, with a home cook like donna hay would make it so uninspiring. And the masterclasses are part of what makes masterchef australia educating like no other food show. George and Gary are closer to a range of cooks who’s innovative and fresh, Donna Hay i.e just bakes the same fat cakes we’ve seen in tons of other shows. I rather watch junior masterchef than MKR or donna hay.

  7. I say Loose the current judges, they’ve had far too many speech and acting lessons and take themselves more seriously than they need to. Keep this fresh. Keep it real and most importantly loose the corporate smoose feel.

  8. You need to keep the beat the clock element for two reasons. It mimics the real-world pressure of cheffing they all purportedly want to get into and makes for better TV! What would you rather watch? A measured, laboured recipe come together well or a potential disaster as the seconds tick by. Personally, I love to see true personalities come out when their cake falls off the bench with 20 minutes to go. Admittedly the adult version this year contained way too many surprises (how many times did they swap pantry baskets or got contestants to change benches – wrong). The producers got greedy with crazy ideas to up the ante.

    Six nights a week is excessive and the Master Class Fridays were a waste of time. Sunday nights are perfect, plus maybe one other, Monday.
    Dare I use the term, but grass roots must be respected. Keep it simple, get good talent we can relate to (a Mix of ages etc) and it will therefore follow that it is more accessible.

  9. @AS, totally agree with you about the beat-the-clock aspect of the challenges. I understand that there has to be some sort of time limit, but for the love of all that is holy, make it realistic. I am so, so over contestants emoting about how under the pump they are, they are not going to finish, they’re freaking out, yadda, yadda. Here’s a concept – how about giving them enough time to produce good food. Revolutionary, I know, but it just might work.

    George has been doing my head in since the series began, I’d love to see him replaced. Donna Hay would be a great choice.

    A lot has been said about how underwhelming the contestants for Season Three were. They were largely uninspiring and bland. There were far too many group challenges and not enough individual challenges (invention test/mystery box) where the focus is put on each contestant. With the exception of the producers’ darlings, Hayden and Danni, we did not get a particularly good feel for them. Hopefully, lessons have been learnt from the avalanche of criticism series three received and those mistakes won’t be repeated.

  10. After last season i don’t think i’m willing to go back no matter what changes are made, that’s how much last season p*ssed me off.
    It used to be simple, one night for a mystery box, invention test, group challenge, immunity challenge, elimination night. You knew what night was what, last season was all over the place.
    I’m sick of the judges, especially Matt Preston. The show is now all about them.
    If the contestants are bad it means the food is bad, which means the show is bad. Last season there was no wow dish at all.
    And the challeneges got ridiculous and the Dalai Lama episode was the moment I switched off. The immunity challenges also were pathetic.

    So no Masterchef for me anymore. Can’t wait until MKR starts. That’s what i’ll be watching.

  11. First move they have to make is to get rid of George. His over the top antics and finishing every sentence with “yeah” does my head in.

    Replace him with Anna Gare or Donna Hay to balance out the judging panel.

    Next thing they have to do is make the challenges more about the cooks producing great dishes and less about them trying to beat the clock.

    Watching them panic about how little time they have left and sweating in their dishes does nothing for me. I just want to see them putting up spectacular food.

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