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Masterchef Australia – You Can No Longer Be Fast Tracked Through To The Final Week

Last year on Season One of Masterchef Australia Julia Jenkins and Lucas Parson’s were fast tracked through to finals week of the show by ‘beating the celebrity chef”. Each week the challenge was to cook a signature dish of a well known chef, who would also be cooking it, and then the judges would blind taste it to score it. If the contestant won you left the competition and were sent straight to finals week, via some mentoring at some high profile restaurants.

Julia Jenkins beat Pete Evans very early on in the competition, and it ended up being her downfall. She was out of the public eye so could not garner a following, and also she missed on gaining the experience of cooking in high pressure situations.

This year the producer’s have tweaked the format and if you win the challenge the prize is immunity in the next round. As the executive producer Paul Franklin told TV Week – ” The prize will be the chance to save yourself from being eliminated in the next challenge.”

Other changes to the show are it will run for 13 weeks rather than 12, and that Friday night Masterclass show will be even bigger. In other good new the producer reveals “the contestants are so amazing this time around”.


1 someone has to say it { 01.18.10 at 11:06 pm }

fast-tracking didn’t help this little brat’s slight hint of ability one bit – BUT shagging a crook, philanderer & cheat got her well and truly nowhere.
the little julia gets her just-desserts (and she needed someone else to cook them)

2 Roberto { 01.19.10 at 2:22 am }

Ouch. Nasty

3 Injera { 01.19.10 at 1:26 pm }

The fast-track was a flawed idea from the start. The challenges didn’t seem equally difficult and some chefs were more helpful to their challengers than others were. Glad to see that it’s gone.

Hopefully there are other changes that will mean we don’t have to suffer the incompetence of another Sam for so long this time, too!

4 Wurstsemmel { 01.19.10 at 1:41 pm }

Ditto Injera. Never thought the fast-track was a good idea.

Looking forward to seeing this back.

5 sourkraut { 01.19.10 at 1:43 pm }

Or Andre and the chuck risotto…….
BUT why do we all want to see TOTAL competence. In a more sober moment i thought the show was more interesting when people STUFFED up (especially the imPOHster) as it shows them as being partially carbon-based humans. If you want utter competence just watch one of the jillions of cooking shows on TV, but DON”T include Jamie in that!

6 Injera { 01.19.10 at 1:47 pm }

Agree, Sourkraut – I don’t want to see total competence. You’re right that the most entertaining episodes were where contestants were battling with new techniques or ingredients (or just having meltdowns). Still, consistent incompetence – such as what we saw with Sam – is as boring as technical perfection.

Human frailty rocks (but sheer feebleness sucks).

7 sourkraut { 01.20.10 at 8:56 am }

I can’t argue with that!
Still many aspects of the show need improving to suck me in every night for 6 months again.
some changes reqd are:
need a/ or more than 1 female judge
need TRUE blind tasting of the dishes(not having contestants waddle out with their burnt offerings thus enabling the jedges to display their biasses)
need a screen system to cut out actresses from contestants
need more ethnic food to be part of the contest
need a better ethnic variety of contestants
need to stop the show being rigged!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
NO second chances for actresses or seductresses!
Need the jedges to STOP pushing raw food
need to take away the bias against ” a slab of meat”

8 CG { 01.20.10 at 2:11 pm }

Ha! Good points, Sourkraut. I’m sure MC producers / staff are reading this and hopefully they will be making some of these other changes for Season 2. Most important ones in my mind are (i) a female judge; (ii) truly blind tasting; and (iii) no second chances during auditions / seductresses. And the fact the Im-POH-ster went on to star on ABC will probably also result in changes to contestant contracts with Ch10/Fremantle. Ha!

9 Injera { 01.20.10 at 2:36 pm }

The truly blind taste testing is a fabulous idea. There is absolutely no reason for it not to happen.

Agree with both Sourkraut and CG on the need for at least one female judge. Would it hurt for them to take a leaf from Runway’s book and separate the mentor role from the judge role? Gary and George could be the instructor/mentors and Matt and some newbies could be the judges – that way it goes even further towards fairness.

I actually hope they continue with what seems to be a flexible contract system – it shows good faith on the part of the network that they want passionate, invested food people and have no need to restrict contestants’ pursuit of their dreams if they don’t win (and, speaking of “pursuing dreams”, I guess we all just have to accept that Julie’s dream was to spruik plastic crap and go on holidays…). They would, however, need to cast so that they weren’t just inundated with people willing to do anything – fake a food passion, perhaps? – just for their 15 minutes.

10 sourkraut { 01.21.10 at 3:07 pm }

your last para. isn’t that exactly what the imPOHstor did?
I know nor care nothing about chris B’s private life/shenanigans, but you can’t fault his passion for food and experimentation!

11 waiting for payment { 01.21.10 at 7:31 pm }

chris’s private life (or shocking business dealings) have left a whole lot of people out of pocket. It’s extremely insensitive of you to say you care nothing about it when you don’t understand the full impact that his lies and shortcuts have affected people, many people.
Please be careful what you say, there are many people waiting to talk to him and he knows EXACTLY what it’s about

12 sourkraut { 01.21.10 at 10:12 pm }

Waiting for payment
Sorry to hear he ripped you off.
My point is that I dont know of what he has done so i cant comment on it.
What i did see on a heavily edited tv show was that he had a real passion for cooking, unlike some of the pretenders who only seemed to want a chance to get on TV. Anyhoo, if it will make you happy i promise not to mention his name again!

13 salsateacher { 01.22.10 at 1:07 am }

We don’t seem to hear anything about Julia anymore (other than her love life zzzzzzz) Does anyone know what she is up to? Is she currently working in a restaurant? She showed great promise /talent from what I saw, and must have gained incredible experiance while working under Peter Evans. At such a young age, I hope she gets to take full advantage of the opportunities that this show would have opened up for her. There are still too many male dominated kitchens around, and a talented female is a bonus in any kitchen.

14 badnews { 01.22.10 at 7:41 am }

the sad truth is salsateacher there is nothing to know about Julia other than her love life. She is still seeing chris, with him 24/7 and has been working with him on his book and doing anything he wants her to do. She has lost confidence and has ruined her chances of anything much at all through her association with him. That’s what I’ve been told at least.

15 salsateacher { 01.22.10 at 10:21 am }

Badnews, Julia must be working somewhere as I can’t imagine that ‘working on Chris’s book’ would be paying the bills for both of them (or very satisfying). If this is true it is a shame, as I can’t imagine that she would get a great deal of satisfaction out of doing all the grunt work on someone elses cookbook when she had the ability to do her own and make a name for herself in her own right.

16 badnews { 01.22.10 at 1:18 pm }

It is a shame I agree salsateacher, but why else does a 40-something man choose a 20-something girl? She hasn’t lived yet and he fills her up with stories of success (when in truth from what I see above that is all rubbish) and makes her feel like she’s a woman and tells her that by helping recipe test etc etc that it will help her career too.
He then feels good ‘cos a young chick with long legs pashes him in public.
It’s the tragic timeless tale. She is even aware that he sleeps around and is ignoring it ‘cos she’s scared of losing ‘everything’ (whatever that is).
My source was reliable too, its all very sad