Corner Café

July 15, 2009

All Hail! MasterChef Australia

Filed under: Miscellaneous & TV Shows — SeaDragon @ 9:57 pm
Macarons, nothing to do with this post but since macarons were featured in MasterChef Australia, so here’s mine.

So here we are, the top three has been decided tonight on MasterChef Australia: Chris, Julie and Poh.
I know, I’m going to deviate from my usual recipe post as this is momentous on Australian TV at the moment. Everybody is watching and talking about the show.
I’m torn! I can’t decide who I want to win… From the beginning, I’ve always thought that Chris is going to win as he seems to be the one most knowledgeable in terms of understanding food and steadfastly knowing what he wants to do. However through the series, Julie has become my firm favourite with her genuine personality and she is funny, and able to laugh at herself when things go wrong in the kitchen! And she seems to have controlled her nerve, her biggest downfall, as the series goes on.
Then there’s Poh, of our Malaysian heritage, who was described by the judges as Poh-llercoaster because of her erratic performances due to her penchant for risk taking. She has given us two unforgettable episodes, the ‘Croquembouche’ Pressure Test, and the ‘Wedding Catering’ challenge, the highest of high and lowest of low of her times in the MasterChef kitchen. The ‘Wedding’ episode led to her elimination but was luckily brought back to the show with the eliminated Justine and Tom, as the judges thought they deserved a second chance. Her despair with her failed first batch of the choux pastry for the croquembouche to her triumph at the end with the most successful croquembouche was the highlight of the series, in my opinion. Then of course the wedding cake that she decorated was just exquisite! And she started this final week with the most innovative deconstructed Chocolate Rhubarb Pie. Oh, I know it will be exciting to watch tomorrow’s episode when all three have to cook their signature three-course meal and the guest judge is renowned cookbook writer, Donna Hay. Then on to Sunday for the finale! Bring it on!
Who would have thought three months ago that MasterChef Australia would become the most successful hit show on Australian television this year! At the beginning I was hoping it would do well enough for it not to be axed before it ends, as network TV here tends to do if it doesn’t get the ratings they hope. But how wrong I was! The show debuted at a very respectable 1.4 million viewers in late April and now in the final week, had pulled in a staggering 2 million viewers each night, and the most watched show on TV each night. This is huge for a show that is slotted at 7pm each working weeknight! It even outrated the one-hour weekly primetime hit Australian drama, Packed to the Rafters! The ratings of 2 million viewers are usually reserved for special event TV like the Olympics and such! But a cooking reality show? They are now predicting it could crack the magic 3 million viewers this Sunday for its finale! What a great ending if that happens! (As a rough comparison to the USA, a ratings of 2 million in Australia is equivalent to a ratings of about 29 million in the US. If it tops 3 million for the finale would be equivalent to about 43 million in the US. And American Idol 2009 finale in the US this year drew 28.8 million viewers, so you can see how huge the ratings for MasterChef Australia is!)
Before it began, critics were predicting dire consequences for this new reality show, saying that reality shows are dead and MasterChef Australia was going to bomb in the ratings. Critics were also savaged in criticizing its new format which differed from its original UK series and predicted that it would not work. But Australian TV audiences took to this more exciting format and the rest is history! There is even news that the maker of the original MasterChef in UK is going to pitch the format in the US, using our version of MasterChef Australia as bait!



  1. the result tonight is rubbish. If you have a competition where the criteria is that you need to produce a 3 course meal and Donna Hay ( the queen of cook books ??) is brought in to judge it -how can Julie get through when she serves up dishes which are incomplete and, in respect of the cake, look like a shag on a rock ? what is going on here ? the ratings might improve with the ugly duckling story but is that what the competition is about ? if so then the last so many weeks have been a waste of all our time. Go Poh-at least she can cook .

    Comment by steven — July 16, 2009 @ 8:48 pm | Reply

    • I think Julie’s vision of her cookbook and even though she didn’t plate up properly, hers still tasted better than Chris even though he plated up his but failed in taste test.

      Comment by SeaDragon — July 16, 2009 @ 9:12 pm | Reply

  2. All I am saying is that for 3 nights in a row she has not delivered on the assigned task ( passion fruit puddle pie-give me a break !) and yet she survives ? granted she is passionate about cooking for her family ( good on her) but who is going to eat grainy flourless chocolate cake which comes with no sauce or cream ? maybe dry crackers would go with it so long as she smiles when she serves it ?

    Comment by steven — July 16, 2009 @ 9:35 pm | Reply

    • To be fair, not 3 nights in a row she was the only one who finished the Chocolate mousse cake in time the night before. But I get your point, as I do believe Chris is a better cook than Julie. Personally, if I had my way, I would have liked to see Tom and Justine cook off with Chris for the final three (and in a realistic time limit with prep time) as I think those three are the best by far. But hey, this is a reality show after all. If they seriously want to find the best cook, they could have just done a few episodes, have the top 20 all cook a few times and pick out the best cook from the lot and not having to go through this tedious (but so much fun to watch) elimination stuff for 72 episodes, right? Because we all get sucked in and tuned in week in and week out, lol…

      Comment by SeaDragon — July 17, 2009 @ 8:35 am | Reply

  3. Here in NZ we are just now watching the Masterchef Australia. I think the format of this Aussie show is aweful. Fancy having the contestants voting out the best. We have just lost Brent. Unbelievable. So far in the show he was really the only one showing potential. Gawd some of them should of been out after a couple of episodes. It is not Masterchef, but marely a Cook off, and who you can get rid of. I can’t believe that Julie won, and that Poh was second. I wouldn’t buy either of there cook books. Just please NZ, follow the UK version, then we might get the BEST Chef.

    Comment by Dianne — September 25, 2009 @ 9:19 am | Reply

    • Haha, then you better stopped watching as you will get all worked up with another contestant who kept evading elimination until almost to the end… Even with the UK version, none of the winners can be called a ‘chef’ too, as all of them are just cooks, so don’t get too hung up with the name ‘MasterChef’, it is just a name for a TV show, not REAL LIFE! I agreed that voting off by other contestants is not fair, but they are still tweaking the format, so hopefully this will be gone when the next series starts in 2010. Unfortunately from what I’ve read, the NZ version is following the Aussie version.

      Comment by SeaDragon — October 4, 2009 @ 10:39 am | Reply

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