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MasterChef (Australia): Damper and Wallaby Stew?


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#1

katisha66

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Posted Apr 14, 2009 @ 6:53 AM

It seems this is starting up on April 29th to fill in the gap left by Biggest Loser and SYTYCDA. I've never watched any of the franchises, but I must admit the ads have got me intrigued. Any other possible viewers?
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#2

D291173

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Posted Apr 14, 2009 @ 7:00 AM

I'm seriously considering it, but if it's just Cook Idol or So You Think You Can Dauphinoise or Make Me a Soupermodel, I'm going to pass.

I think I just want to see people who are already good at what they do, doing what they're good at, but then look how that ended up with SYTYCD.
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#3

Andrew's Mommy

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Posted Apr 14, 2009 @ 7:01 AM

Strewth the ads are shitting me! But perhaps that's because they're on high rotation down here.

As are the Lie to Me ads and the show has been on hiatus for 3 weeks!

Not sure if I'll be on the bandwagon. It's just no Iron Chef.
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#4

cesca

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Posted Apr 14, 2009 @ 9:16 PM

I'm a big fan of the British version but when I read that they're changing the format to focus more on the competitors (read JOURNEY!!!) - I'm really scared.
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#5

katisha66

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Posted Apr 14, 2009 @ 9:28 PM

Perhaps you should be, cesca. I saw an ad on that track last night, of a competitor who's a vegetarian who was being forced to smell (or eat) a meat dish. There were tears. I smell a BL substitute coming up.
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#6

sleepingruby

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Posted Apr 15, 2009 @ 6:43 AM

I will certainly be giving this a go. I know absolutely nothing about the original and don't watch television enough these days to see many ads, so I'll be going in blind, which may not be a bad thing. Since I have managed to avoid even a snippet of The Biggest Loser (although I do miss reading the snark), have not been overly enthused by So You Think You Can Dance and will kind of miss watching Big Brother (pathetic, I know), I'm probably getting my hopes up way too high that this will satisfy my Oz reality TV needs. Still, I love a cooking show, and I'm still enough of a reality TV whore to be excited by that aspect of it, so I've got my finger's crossed it will at least keep me mildly entertained for a couple of months.
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#7

Emeraldfire

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Posted Apr 17, 2009 @ 5:34 AM

I love the UK version of Masterchef, and have never missed an episode of every season that they have shown on Lifestyle Food on Foxtel. Even to the extent of watching one of the seasons twice.

From what I have seen of the previews this seems to be a twisted version that combines elements of another UK cooking challenge show called Kitchen Criminals, where two teams of pathetic cooks are taught to cook by John Burton-Race and Angela (can't remember her name) and one cook is eliminated each week. (Judging from the appearances of one of the contestants in one preview where a rather long hair is pulled out of his dish)

I'll watch the first episode, rather than dismiss it out of hand, whether I will come back for the second one remains to be seen.
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#8

Reny Sue

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Posted Apr 20, 2009 @ 8:17 AM

I'm seriously considering it, but if it's just Cook Idol or So You Think You Can Dauphinoise o


Well consedering they're going to be COOKING FOR THEIR LIFE! then yes, its another version of the other three.
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#9

cousin oliver

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Posted Apr 20, 2009 @ 8:33 AM

Is this going to be on every day in the Fattest Loser timeslot?
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#10

Bobsbin

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Posted Apr 20, 2009 @ 10:44 PM

I saw the preview at the end of Loser last night, where they had to cut lots of onions. This show looks dreadful.

Is this going to be on every day in the Fattest Loser timeslot?


Yes, except Sundays it will be at 7.30, not 6.30.
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#11

Emeraldfire

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Posted Apr 21, 2009 @ 4:26 AM

The previews are getting worse and worse. How many fingers are going to be sacrificed in the search for the Masterchef? I can dice onions with a fair degree of success, but if the knife is too sharp... well the less my family know about my kitchen mishaps the better.

This sounds like a mishmash of so many cooking shows with very little resemblance to the Masterchef I know and love.

Kitchen Criminals
Eating with the Enemy
Top Chef
Hell's Kitchen

***sigh***
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#12

Reny Sue

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Posted Apr 21, 2009 @ 5:22 AM

Wait, someone cut their finger off in the preview?
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#13

TVJunkie

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Posted Apr 21, 2009 @ 5:51 AM

There was no finger cut off, but there was blood and bandages. The premise being if you can't cut an onion, you can't cook.

I love the UK Masterchef, and was hoping it would be the same show only an Aussie version. I'm getting more disappointed with each preview I see
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#14

Andrew's Mommy

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Posted Apr 21, 2009 @ 6:07 AM

So if I chop up my onions with a V Slicer then I'm a bad cook? Phooey.
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#15

D291173

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Posted Apr 21, 2009 @ 6:46 AM

So if I chop up my onions with a V Slicer then I'm a bad cook?

No, but you probably are far too sensible to be involved with this wreck.
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#16

Sydneyside

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Posted Apr 23, 2009 @ 8:27 AM

MrsSydneyside and I will show up to give this version a try, but the ads are just dreadful. The UK version (of which we have just seen the finale for 2009) is one of MrsSydneyside's favourite shows. I have a feeling we are going to be disappointed.

I'm trying to not do a postmortem before the patient's dead but just one thought based on the advertising thus far. I think a big part of the appeal of the UK version is that the contestants are very ordinary people from different walks of life who are keen on cooking and have varying degrees of skill. The ones have something a bit special make it through the heats and then get thrust into all manner of cooking experiences that they then have the chance to learn from and apply to the competition. It is most definitely not a show about freaks, tragic lives overcoming hardship, or deserving it more. The format is already easy to relate to because the contestants are diverse, and the people who do well in it are inspiring because they get to develop something they are passionate about. It doesn't need Channel Teen's brand of gibbonic editing to hammer anything home, I hope the monkeys are on break after The Biggest Loser.
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#17

Bobsbin

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Posted Apr 23, 2009 @ 9:39 PM

One of my friends made it through the first round of auditions, but did not progress. I suspect she was too normal to have an interesting reality TV "journeeeeeeeeeeeee". She did say that the show looked like fun. One of my husband's friends auditioned as a joke and made it very far. That doesn't give me confidence in the casting.
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#18

Emeraldfire

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Posted Apr 24, 2009 @ 5:38 AM

I'll be watching the UK finale on the Sunday morning mini marathon. I simply can't imagine the Australian version being anything like that.

The onion dicing challenge was done on Top Chef, or was it Hell's Kitchen? Anyhoo - yawn

I did think about auditioning, but when I started filling in the questionaire, I realised I couldn't honestly answer the questions that asked about my passion for cooking - because I don't have any - I'm a watcher not a doer. So I gave up. I hate to think they are going down the Kitchen Criminals path (where they worst at the auditions are chosen rather than the best) with the ambition of turning them into Masterchefs, which is what Kitchen Criminals did.
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#19

Phee

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Posted Apr 25, 2009 @ 10:31 AM

I haven't seen the original, which may be a good thing because it means I won't be instantly appalled by the Oz version.

There was another sneak peak the other day where they were at the fish markets and told they'd each have $50 (I think) to buy ingredients and get themselves back to the studio where they were to prepare two seafood dishes in a certain amount of time.

There's one pompous git I want to SLAP, just from the ads.
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#20

Emeraldfire

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Posted Apr 25, 2009 @ 11:05 PM

The TV guide in the Sunday paper has a cover story on Masterchef. It says the first few weeks of the show are the audition process were 7500 applicants are whittled down to a Top 50 and then a Top 20. Shades of Idol and Dance, (and Kitchen Criminals - but they were deliberately looking for the worst).

It says one of their first tests was being given $50, having to find their way to the fish markets, find their ingredients, and get back and then cook a three course feast for the judges.

I beginning to think the doofus I saw with the weird hat and the hair in his food in a preview ages ago was one of the audition failures. At least I hope so...

I'll give it a go tomorrow night, but not sure I will be able to sit through the train wreck the auditions will be.

I think it will be a real let down from the UK version, so I'll just keep reminding myself that it's Kitchen Criminals, not Masterchef at all, and wait until they reach the Top 50 round to take it seriously.

I was impressed with a couple of the final tasks in the UK series just finished - cooking for the staff at Buckingham Palace, and then cooking for the contestants at Burghley Horse Trials. Zara Phillips, the Queen's grand-daughter, was one of the riders they interviewed for her opinions on the food. The lengths to which that show goes to set up tasks for its contestants is impressive. A couple of seasons ago they cooked breakfast and for the captain's table on the QE2.
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#21

SilverSpoon

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Posted Apr 26, 2009 @ 12:53 AM

It looks crap. I'll give it a go, simply because I need some reality tv junk to fill the void to be left by The Biggest Loser and SYTYCD, but really, my expectations are quite low indeed. "Mean, humorless judges" meets "innocent, wide eyed and bushy tailed" contestants...I'm sure the majority of whom would never have given a 2nd thought to cooking until the audition ads started up, at which point they identified an alternative route to getting their mug on the tele.

Basically, a reality show, for the sake of having a reality show. I'm surprised the format actually worked elsewhere, however given the track record for Australian adaptations...
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#22

Andrew's Mommy

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Posted Apr 26, 2009 @ 1:19 AM

I have no idea who the dude with the scarf and the sneer who seems to be one of the judges is. But I've pegging him as Hanging Judge already.
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#23

Rachel72

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Posted Apr 26, 2009 @ 4:52 AM

One judge looks a bit like an overweight Severus Snape.

RTV-whore that I am, I will probably give this a go (in that I'll have it on in the background at least) ... but my heart sank when I heard "cook for your life" on one of the ads; I'm sure I heard a "JOURNEY!!!" on another one. I haven't seen the original either Phee, so at least we won't have our expectations raised unduly!
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#24

purist

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Posted Apr 26, 2009 @ 9:19 AM

I have no idea who the dude with the scarf and the sneer who seems to be one of the judges is. But I've pegging him as Hanging Judge already.

It's Matt Preston, food critic for The Age.

The cover story in this week's Green Guide (the Age's TV supplement) is called 'Finally, a palatable reality show' and it gives MasterChef a very positive spin. The author, Michael Lallo, visited the set during filming. I can't find the article online, so I'll transcribe a few quotes.

... don't be fooled by Preston's deliciously catty critiques. The renowned Age food critic and his fellow judges, former Fenix chef Gary Mehigan and George Calombaris of Press Club fame, were not hired to be vicious. And host Sarah Wilson, a former Cosmopolitan editor, is more mother hen than nasty cow. There are no Gordon Ramsay-style tantrums; just honest feedback and bucket loads of encouragement.

When the judges were choosing the top 50 finalists from more than 7500 applicants ... they tried to weed out those who seemed more interested in being a celebrity than a chef.

"A lot of contestants thought they would be good on TV," says Preston. "So we asked them, 'What are your recipes? What are the cooking shows that influenced you? What are your favourite cookbooks? What are you offering that is unique?' And invariably, the people who just wanted to be on TV couldn't answer those questions."

Of course, being handy in the kitchen is vital, but it won't be enough to win the game. The master chef must also exhibit "a keen palate" - the ability to know when things smell and taste good - and some solid career goals. Those who express a desire to "open, like, a restaurant or something" won't get very far.

[Preston says,] "We need uplifting TV in these times. And what could be more uplifting than good food?"


ETA: The article is finally up at the Age website: here.

Edited by purist, Apr 26, 2009 @ 10:45 AM.

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#25

Morrolan

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Posted Apr 26, 2009 @ 5:40 PM

I have no idea who the dude with the scarf and the sneer who seems to be one of the judges is. But I've pegging him as Hanging Judge already.

He was voted best food critic in the world last year apparently. The Age article gives me hope that the show will be quite good.
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#26

Andrew's Mommy

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Posted Apr 26, 2009 @ 9:12 PM

However, would an Age journo write a review panning his colleague?
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#27

Emeraldfire

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Posted Apr 27, 2009 @ 5:44 AM

For those who have never seen the UK version, the episodes went like this:

6 wannabes have to cook one dish from a mystery bag of ingredients
3 are eliminated after that dish
The other 3 then go to a professional kitchen to cook one dish for the lunch crowd
Those 3 then cook two dishes of their own choosing
1 is chosen to be a quarter finalist
That happens for 4 epsiodes
On the 5th episode the 4 daily winners come back to cook a 3 course meal (I think it's 3, might only be two - how soon you forget)
Before then they have to identify different foods - different types of eggs, fish, meat etc, and then explain what being Masterchef means
1 is eliminated, and the remaining 3 get to cook their 3 course meal
One is chosen to go on to the semifinals.

After 6 weeks of that, there are 6 semifinalists, who then get whittled down to 4 and finally 3 after the end of the first week of finals.

The final 3 then go through this series of major challenges - cooking for a huge factory or school for lunch, cooking for a group of foodies, catering a major function, cooking for the army in an army camp, cooking for a group of top Michelin star chefs.

If the Australian one follows the same path, once they have selected their finalists, it will what major challenges they come up with.

The initial auditions are pretty meh so far. Anyone know how many weeks the show is going to run for? UK Masterchef is 8 weeks. It will be interesting to see how they whittle the 50 down to 20, and then what that 20 have to do. The onion chopping looks like it will sort the wheat from the chaff.
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#28

CTarnak

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Posted Apr 27, 2009 @ 5:50 AM

I can't cook, at all, and I purely watched this show because I was hungry and wanted to think about things I could eat. I thought they were much too hard on some of the dishes. That kangaroo wrapped in bacon near the end look so incredibly delicious. Meanwhile, if you cook a crab, you pretty much get straight in.

Also, don't you love it when people can succeed, not because they have skill, or produce a good result, but just because they want it sooooo much. "Oh, I just want it!" "Well, your dish is shit, but I really recognise that you want it!"

I can't believe the judge who asked the golfer "Do you need this? Don't you have enough money?" Since when is net worth a deciding factor in recruitment? If you earn some money, you just have to sit on the couch doing nothing the rest of your life? Did anyone ask him "I know you want to be a judge... but do you really need it?"

I thought that ropey chick was hilarious. "Well, I went on a kitchen tour (?), and I found myself crying in a kitchen. That's when I knew I needed to be a chef". Hah! The hell? I mean, it's not really a good rationale for choosing a career, is it? "Well, I was in a hospital, and I started crying. That's when I knew I had to be a doctor!"

Bono in the blue glasses drastically misjudged his audience. "I am like the bestest thing ever. I rarely make.... no, I never make a mistake". Well, you just made a mistake right then, so I'm not particularly inclined to believe you actually.

I liked the aisan chick who got two goes at it, because she seems pretty smooth and her food looks tasty, and I liked the guy who OD'd on Red Bulls, because I do that about 3 times a week, and can't control myself. I was having sympathy pains with the scattered, rapid-fire explaining.

I'll keep watching. But probably only when I'm hungry.
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#29

Morrolan

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Posted Apr 27, 2009 @ 6:10 AM

Bono in the blue glasses drastically misjudged his audience. "I am like the bestest thing ever. I rarely make.... no, I never make a mistake". Well, you just made a mistake right then, so I'm not particularly inclined to believe you actually.

What is it with dickheads like him. Who do they think is impressed by such over the top bravado.

I liked the aisan chick who got two goes at it, because she seems pretty smooth and her food looks tasty

No offence to her personally but she shouldn't have got a second chance. Who else was afforded that opportunity. Come back next year and try.

As for the format the UK format sounds much better. How can cooking be reduced to such an idol style audition. Having said that I did enjoy it and liked the judges.
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#30

Andrew's Mommy

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Posted Apr 27, 2009 @ 8:01 AM

Only caught snippets. Same frickin voiceover dude as TBL. And teh lack of comments? You're all either getting over Teh TBL Finarle, or bored out of your gourd.
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