MasterChef launches with a dash of cheeky humour

m1 005“Humour” is the word for the 2013 season of MasterChef Australia, which held its launch at the Melbourne showgrounds last night.

Former contestants joined with new faces, TEN execs, network stars and media in a splash of colour and cuisine. The new Melbourne-based kitchen resembled a country fair with themed stalls, mirroring the show’s themed weeks: Italian week, Kids week, Barossa week and more.

Many TEN faces commented on the sense of humour that had been added to this year’s season, including in the Boys v Girls promo, which reflects the first 2-week challenge of the series.

m1 003TEN Executive General Manager Russel Howcroft told the crowd since joining the network both he and CEO Hamish McLennan had sought to apply their advertising skill to television.

“I really hope you’ve all enjoyed the Boys v Girls ad. I think they’ve been seriously good. Why not, y’know? A little bit of humour! A couple of cliches, a couple of stereotypes…. we’ve managed to push all those things,” he joked.

“There’s even been stories in The Huffington Post in the US about those great ads. One of the things those ads have done is get people talking about MasterChef series 5.

“But maybe what we’ve done with Boys v Girls is make people think that’s what the whole show is about. So I just want to make sure you guys realise that’s not the case.”

Hamish McLennan told guests TEN was building its brand from within.

“We’ve got the Winter Olympics next year, we’ve got the Commonwealth Games, we’ve got great programming like Offspring, hopefully we’ll have some news on cricket -can’t tale about cricket but we want a chunk of that. It’s all going very well, and I think the staff are feeling very confident about the future as I am too,” he said.

m1 001Gary Mehigan said of Masterchef, “It’s real Reality -at it’s heart, what MasterChef has become famous for. Real people, real food and we have loved making the show.

“It’s fun, it’s tongue-in-cheek and beautifully Australian because it’s self deprecating and we are eternal optimists.”

A new, trim George Calombaris added, “There’s been about 80 odd contestants since (Seasons) 1-5 and out of those 80 contestants, 75 of them are in the industry.”

He rattled off a number of names who were all working in the industry.

“Julie (Goodwin) from Series 1, if you combined our three books, she’s doubled her sales around the world. This show is real, it ain’t fake, and we’re so, so proud of it.”

In attendance were former MasterChef contestants included Andy Allen, Alice Zaslavsky, Tregan Borg, Kate Bracks, Hayden Quinn, Dani Venn, Justine Schofield, Chris Badenoch and Julia Jenkins.

They were joined by Beverley McGarvey (who had just flown in from LA screenings), Lisa Fitzpatrick, Mark Fennessy, Margie Bashfield, Neil Shoebridge, Paula Lucarelli, Charlie Pickering, Dave Hughes, Anthony ‘Lehmo’ Lehmann, Alicia Gardiner, Chrissie Swan, Alan Fletcher, Eve Morey, Kate Kendall, Kip Gamblin, James Mason, Rebekah Elmaloglou, Taylor Glockner, Saskia Hampele, Sandra Sully, Hamish Macdonald, Angela Bishop, Mike Larkan, Stirling Mortlock, Natalie Hunter, Carolyn Creswell and Dr. Chris Brown.

m1 002MasterChef launches at 7:30pm Sunday with Masterclass now filmed in front of an audience to air on Thursday nights from June 13.


  1. “It’s fun, it’s tongue-in-cheek and beautifully Australian because it’s self deprecating and we are eternal optimists.”

    Who is Gary kidding?! This is everything that Masterchef has never been.

    It’s always taken itself sooooo seriously and been up its own a###.

    By the way Russel – when you stuff up an advertising campaign – the default thing to say is at least ‘people are talking’.

    Yeah sure – you spent all that money on a bad ad to purposefully get people saying it was bad.

    You’re as cliched as you’re ad and the show mate…

  2. Did they explain how someone could possibly be a “1950s housewife” in 2013?

    And the headline in the Huffington Post? “Masterchef Australia Ad Achieves New Low in Sexism”.

  3. It’s a bit worrying when the execs have to tell what the show is about, because the promos aren’t representing the show properly….

  4. I was hopeful this could be a decent series, but I must be the only one who thought the boys vs. girls angle, and the “game on moles” line from one of the contestants in the commercials, make this look like they are channeling MKR trash. I hope they aren’t, not that ill be watching religiously anyway, but I’ll still give them a chance.

  5. Gary Mehigan also made comments about the show tackling some of the darker issues in the food world, such as palm oil and truth about free range eggs. If they take a leaf out of Gordon Ramsay’s book with his show The F Word, this angle could be really good.
    The F Word was easily Ramsay’s best program, it had a magazine format with all kinds of interesting segments interspersed with the cooking challenges and made the show fresh and very watchable. I have been hoping someone would pick up on this format here in Australia and I’m keen to see if MCA go down this path.

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