To be honest, the earlier episodes of the 2009 series of Masterchef have been of variable quality – and variable interest! The first few weeks were, sadly, a bit predictable. Whilst they’ve tried to mix up the formula from earlier years, it’s resulted in a little too much of a production line feel:
- six down to three in the first round feels like an excuse. Last year they just started with three candidates, who were generally more able. I’m surprised – wouldn’t it cost more to get three more contestants than to do some more vetting beforehand? Or perhaps there was always this vetting and we never saw it on film – and this is just the credit crunch biting as we lose a three person innovation round?
- the judging has been a little predictable. It’s always two through, two out, debate the last two. Why not mix it up occasionally?
- Gregg and John, whilst incredibly knowledgeable about food, DO APPEAR TO SHOUT ALL THE TIME!
But there have been some truly memorable moments. As ever, these come both from the exceptionally good and the exceptionally bad:
- the man who grated butter, instead of cheese, by mistake. I think he was also the man who tasted one of the carrots to see if it was done, then put the other half back on the plate he presented to Gregg and John, complete with teethmarks.
- the Australian investment banker who wore very short shorts but cooked amazingly inventive dishes with ingredients you’d never have thought to put together.
- seeing Matt, Christopher and Chris in the semi-final, and seeing how well they’ve learnt during the series – sad to see Chris go before the final and Andy stay; not quite so keen on him.
I’ve thought that the 2 1/2 hours of TV a week was perhaps only worth 1 1/2 hours worth of watching. But as ever, the semi-final has got me all excited again, and I’m really looking forward to seeing the final this week!