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Masterchef Australia – Are They Casting On Personality Not Cooking Skills?

On the blog Abstract GourmetΒ a debate about the auditions has erupted. There are allegations that the producers are casting on looks and personality and not cooking skills.

Adski said I was in exactly the same position as you and got through to the end of the day, only to be told they didn’t want me any further. Bit strange considering that I can cook, whereas a guy in my group confessed he couldn’t cook and when he did, got his food from dumpsters. He didn’t even have to go to the 2nd interview, they gave him a pass to go straight through to the cooking day! He was a great guy- but he got through on 100% personality and 0% cooking ability. If that’s what the show is based on, I’m not that upset that I didn’t get through.

and Sarah wrote:

My husband auditioned in Syd yesterday and his group all thought his meal was the best of the lot, but he didn’t get through to second auditions. One girl who did get a second audition admitted she didn’t even make her own dish – she bought a balmain bug already cooked?!?! But of course, she was pretty πŸ˜‰

6 comments

1 Culinary Boner { 01.30.09 at 4:28 pm }

The producers need to be careful here.

The reason why I like a show like Top Chef is that most of what is prepared I would eat or is at least interesting from a culinary perspective.

As I can cook, I find that I quickly lose interest with food shows that showcase mediocre food and cooking. The one exception to this is Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares where the well deserved penalty for dishing up crap (and also expecting people to pay for it) is to cop a ding-dong bollocking from Gordon.

If this show is going to try to reward the mediocre, then it’s likely to suffer the same fate as last year’s prizewinner for the reality tv dog of the year, My Kid is (not) A Star.

2 Injera { 01.30.09 at 6:26 pm }

I agree with Culinary Boner that the producers are on thin ice if these reports are accurate. They have an excellent brand in Masterchef – to fail, they will have to actively mess it up (of course, being Nine, this could well happen…).

I’m looking forward to it, but will have no hesitation in calling time of death early in the piece if it smells funny.

3 kim at allconsuming { 02.01.09 at 8:08 pm }

Hey there,

I got an audition. We were the last group to be seen – over 12 hours of waiting. Not sure how many from my group but I did.

Got to second audition – the top 50 in NSW – and cooked for the judges.

There were two who got through who me and a few others thought were weird choices but as I said all along – you don’t know what the producers/judges are looking for, what is their agenda. Perhaps they already have enough people in a certain demographic cooking particular types of dishes and don’t need any more.

I didn’t get through – I know what I did wrong – I didn’t cook the right type of dish. I needed to do something simple (like I did) but more complex, showing more technical skill.

It was awesome fun though – all the waiting (12 hours on Day 1, 11 on Day 2) around along with the cameras and the fact we’d got as far as we had meant it was the most surreal emotional ride of absolute boredom combined with pure total adrenalin.

4 reality raver { 02.02.09 at 11:48 am }

Kim I am very disappointed you did not get through it would have given me someone to cheer for. It sounds like there are a lot of talented home chefs out there.

Injera I think the show should be good, my only worry is if we will be fatigued by having it on 6 days a week. There is such a thing of having to much of a good thing.

Culinary Boner – I like a bit of entertainment with my cooking shows, eg Top chef Chicago rocked because of all the personalities and frictions on there. I am not going to be tasting what they eat so who cares as long as it looks interesting.

5 Emma { 02.02.09 at 9:37 pm }

In our audition nobody connected with the show even tasted the food we had prepared. Those auditioning tasted it. 3 of our group of 12 got through. A raw food advocate who was also a psychic, a young girl who worked in an adult store and a Chinese guy who owned his own IT company. These guys got in over some pretty accomplished cooks who had prepared quite technical dishes and I thought would be put through without doubt. It seems their lives and stories just weren’t crazy enough! It was insulting… Should have known better I guess.

6 Culinary Boner { 02.03.09 at 12:32 pm }

Emma,
Thanks for the insight into this show’s machinations. A raw food nazi who also thinks they are psychic?? Obviously they are trawling for nutjobs. Looking forward to the girl who works in the adult store dishing up food of phallic proportions. I wonder if the producers already know who their winner will be?