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Masterchef’s Magic Ingredient

17 May

How good is this series of Masterchef? I must admit to feeling wary when watching the first few episodes, fearing the show would (as so many do) become a victim of its own success. So often successful shows lose the plot, feeling each series has to become more extreme than the previous. Not so with Masterchef. It’s largely as good as ever, with a few minor but important tweaks, such as the iron-clad guarantee that there will be no second chances for the contestants – once you’re out, you’re out – no ifs, no buts. BUT – there are a few perplexing questions about Masterchef – which – after watching in excess of 100 episodes, I still can’t quite figure out the answers. Here’s a few of them.

1) Why is there always a motor-scooter parked outside the Masterchef kitchen?

2) Why is the pavement outside the Masterchef kitchen always wet, even though the sun is shining?
3) Why does George bounce up and down on the spot when he talks?
4) How does Matt Preston get away with wearing white pants?
5) Why does Matt Preston perform facial contortions when he’s tasting the food?
6) How do you get to be in the top 24 amateur cooks in the country – but never have heard of a Bomb Alaska?
7) When George says ‘Boom Boom, shake the room’ why doesn’t he pronounce the ‘boom’ and ‘room’ so they rhyme?
8) Why do they clean up the kitchen before judging, thereby meaning the food is stone-cold when it’s served?
9) Do any contestants ever finish a challenge ahead of time, sit back and relax?
10) Why the ridiculous over-use of scripted puns by the judges? Like in the rabbit challenge the other night – if a judge said ‘hop to it’ one more time, I would have thrown something at the TV.
11) Has any viewer actually ever cooked anything that they’ve seen made on Masterchef?
12) Why does George eat like he’s never seen food before? He’s a chef – so why does he eat like he was raised with wolves?
13) What is the magic ingredient that makes us (the audience) watch a group of contestants bake bread (by machine) for a full hour? Why do we (the audience) care so much if Billy/Alex/Ellie’s meringue is smooth/grainy/glossy/over-whipped/not whipped enough? On paper, it sounds about as interesting as watching grass grow. This is the greatest mystery of Masterchef. It’s a cooking show – but it’s also much, much more.