This was one of the really really overdue posts I was going to write. I wish I had written up one in draft mode earlier but now that the show is over I think I've forgotten some of the things I had wanted to write but here goes anyway:
The highest rating non-sports tv show in Australia!
This year was the second year and second season. I started watching it last year not knowing what to expect. I had no idea I'd come to enjoy it so much! Fact 1: I LOVE reality tv shows but these days Fact 2: I hardly ever watch tv. However I became addicted to Masterchef.
Last year I was just coming out of a rough patch in my life and watching Masterchef every night (except Saturday nights) just made me so happy and excited. But most of all, because of Masterchef I actually started to find my OWN passion again. Watching these people who are SO passionate about something (in this case cooking), I felt, was a bit infectious. All these people who had given up their (mostly) successful careers and life to come on this show. I heard some days they were shooting 12-15 hours a day so it would have been absolutely exhausting!
It was because of this show that I started to think about myself and my life. I mean really think. I don't think it was Masterchef which caused me to start learning French but it may have influenced me subconsciously with all this yummy-sounding French food words!
Prior to watching MC I not only had no idea about cooking in general (always hated it!) but also no idea about French cooking. Now, after watching 2 seasons of the show (each about 4 months in length) I finally for the first time in my life appreciate food, ingredients, and cooking. Not to say that I will ever like cooking that much nor be that good at it, but I definitely appreciate the work that goes into a fine meal!
The hosts and the contestants
Why else did I like the show, and what made the show so special and popular? It was definitely the wonderfully picked hosts and contestants! I love the hosts. I have met both George Calombaris and Gary Mehigan twice, and Matt Preston once. They are great chefs of course but they are very good at talking at the camera and explaining things well. They are funny and entertaining to watch and get along great with each other! What more could you ask for?
The contestants are largely well picked and well liked. Like all other reality TV shows they had to choose the final 24 from thousands, and then whittle that down until there were 10, and then just 2. I think most people agreed that the 2 finalists - Adam Liaw and Callum Hann - were both extremely likeable guys, friendly, nice, not egotistical but most of all - extremely talented!
In the end Adam won and I was happy with that result.
Now onto Paris! I was sooooooooooo excited when I found out they were going to London and then to Paris. They met many big name chefs like Heston Blumenthal and Jamie Oliver in London and competed in an "Amazing Race" (another reality tv show for those that don't know) style challenge around Paris to first find the ingredients from various stores and markets then make their way (in teams of 2) to the banks of the Seine for the big cook off!
I was like a giddy little kid high on sweets. I simply ate up those Paris (and London) episodes. Apart from those trips they also went to Melbourne and Canberra and had lots of interesting cooking tasks like cooking for the army and for business class on Qantas.
Unfortunately by now I've forgotten a lot of things I wanted to say about the show... for me personally though, I can see what it was so popular. It appeals to both sexes, all ages and cultural backgrounds. And speaking of culture, the contestants well and truly showed the multicultural nature of the Australian population (as opposed to other tv shows like Big Brother which only had white contestants). It showed just how talented Australians are in the area of cooking. It showed that you can achieve anything if you put your mind to it!
During the final episode of Masterchef, it took out at least 5 of the top 10 trending topics on Twitter (#Masterchef, #Junior Masterchef, #Callum were some of the hashtags I remember) which is pretty amazing when you consider how small Australia's population is!
I'm sure I originally had a lot more to say but this post is already way overdue.
I admit I am/was a complete Masterchef addict.
I can't wait for the upcoming series: Junior Masterchef featuring amateur cooks who are only 8-12 years old!
Edited to add (24 Aug 2010): There will soon be a French version of Masterchef! Woohoo!