‘MasterChef Australia’ judges open up about ‘My Kitchen Rules,’ 2017 contestants and more

By @ritwikroy1985 on
MasterChef Australia judges (2)
As “My Kitchen Rules” heads towards its grand finale on Sunday night 8 p.m. on Seven, “MasterChef Australia” judges have some friendly advice for Manu Feildel and Pete Evans, the “MKR” judges. Instagram/garymehigan

As “My Kitchen Rules” heads towards its grand finale on Sunday night 8 p.m. on Seven, “MasterChef Australia” judges have some friendly advice for Manu Feildel and Pete Evans, the “MKR” judges.

This season of “MKR” hasn’t really performed well. Ratings have simmered but never reached boiling point. “MasterChef Australia” will kick off a brand new season from Monday, 7.30 p.m. on Ten, and the show is keen to learn from the production mistakes “MKR” has made. Reputed English-Australian food journalist and “MasterChef” judge Matt Preston says that Evans and Feildel does not have much say on who competes, and that is a big mistake.

“For one year it was bonkers. There was no audition tour. We weren’t involved in picking the contestants. There was no top 50. We came in with a group of contestants picked by other people,” Preston told Herald Sun.

This is what happens on “MKR” year after year. George Calombaris, another “MasterChef Australia” judge said that he would never judge a show on “MKR,” even though Pete and Manu are friends to him. He also pointed out that “MasterChef” judges never allow contestants to bicker among each other. This has a negative impact on the quality of food prepared. If the contestants are supportive of each other, there is healthier competition and tastier food. This year’s “MasterChef” has contestants as young as 18.

Gary Mehigan explains that taking contestants as young as 18 means a generation that have grown up watching “MasterChef” and YouTube cooking tutorials. Moreover, people under 25 think differently. There have been tremendous changes in the food scene. It is always exciting to taste peculiar foods that at first seem unusual but end up being very tasty. With two of judges already in their 50s and the third at 38, generation gap frequently hits them. Mehigan added that once there was challenge based on thyme, rosemary, sage and parsley. Generation gap was pretty evident.

“We revealed the parsley and sage and asked what was next and one of the young contestants said ‘basil’. Another said ‘coriander’. When George said ‘no, thyme’ they all went ‘why?’ We knew then that we were talking to a different generation of foodies,” Mehigan revealed.

Those who have viewed the on-air promotions for “MasterChef” Season 9 have seen how standard of cooking reflects quality control of contestants. There are 24 potential winners this year and all of them are very serious. Whenever they are not cooking, they have their heads buried in cookbooks. Last year’s contestants took about three to four weeks to get in the groove. However, this year, "MasterChef Australia" contestants have been cooking up great stuff from the very beginning.

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