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Masterchef Australia – Daniel Aulsebrook Claims Favouritism Occurs On Show

Ok Daniel tell us something we don’t know of course the producers and judges have favourites. In fact as Injera’s latest blog post it suggests that this is very much the case with Gary Mehigan’s comment “We need to make sure we keep the right people in this competition”!

Daniel Aulsebrook has said to Adelaide Now the makers of the show, as well as judges Matt Preston, George Calombaris and Gary Mehigan, have favourites.

He said:

“Alvin is like the dream child and I am sure Fiona is very popular (with the judges) too,” Aulsebrook says.

“I felt mine (schnitzel) looked the best and I was fairly confident, as were the (other) contestants watching, that I had it in the bag.

“I wasn’t there for the (judges) tasting so I don’t know what the story is.”

Aulsebrook says Quah and Inglis, along with South Australian student Marion Grasby, are the apples of the judges’ eyes.

“The impression a few of us get is that they (the show’s producers and the judges) do have their favourites,” Aulsebrook says.

“Some of those favourites are a step up on the others (better cooks) and it is justified, but then there are a few other favourites that aren’t necessarily the best cooks in the competition but they go down well with the producers and the judges.”

Channel Ten obviously said it was all bollocks:

“The decision to eliminate Daniel was based purely on his cooking which in last night’s show was simply not up to scratch,” a Ten spokesperson says.

“He had no idea what meat he was using, his schnitzel was over cooked but his decision to use mayonnaise from the jar for his coleslaw sealed his fate.”

I am sure Daniel’s theory that they have favourites has been confirmed by the fact he got very limited screen time on the show.


1 ericg { 05.18.10 at 12:43 pm }

Thanks, RR. So, according to Aulsebrook, the picks of this season would be Marion and Alvin. Should I then change my pick for the winner of MasterChef 2010?

Aulsebrook’s interview with Adelaide Now would have breached the confidentiality agreement between him and the producers of this reality show. Hm… Legal complexity!

It is about time the producers do something as time goes by, bit by bit of hidden facts of this show are revealed – have a special episode of “Behind the Scene with the 3 Stooges”, perhaps?

Re-plating, extra time, favouritism, … What’s next?

2 Muru { 05.18.10 at 1:39 pm }

Well, let’s think about it. Alvin and Marion are made for TV. Daniel is not; he’s just…bland, and isn’t that fantastic of a cook. Even if the judges and producers play favourites – and I don’t doubt that they do – it’s for good reason.

And Daniel actually did get a lot of airtime in the past week and a half because he kept landing himself in elimination challenges. So, to say that he got no or little airtime is plain wrong.

Really, this only confirmed what I already knew. It doesn’t come as a surprise. Yes, the credibility of the show will take a nose dive (again) after this, but I don’t think many people should be that surprised. We already knew George plays favourites with the ladies from last season, and I’m sure Gary and Matt have their preferences too.

The MasterChef PR team needs to do something soon though. They can’t ignore all this negative publicity forever.

3 Mac { 05.18.10 at 1:56 pm }

He simply is not a good cook. Don’t remember any stand out dishes from him beside those crappy sausage rolls he made.

4 sourkraut { 05.18.10 at 2:16 pm }

Rubbish I dont believe a word of it!
MC would never do that just ask Chris B!

5 Paul { 05.18.10 at 2:22 pm }

What dish did Daniel make in the entire season that entitled him to be considered amongst the better cooks ?

He didn’t even know what meat he had picked out. And the schnitzel itself looked horrible.

Alvin is a good cook and at least got the meat right. Fiona is a bit ‘meh’ and I’m sure she will go sooner or later. She probably did enough to get through last night.

Its a bit ridiculous to suggest that Alvin is a favourite. Last year we had people up in arms because they chose a housewife (presumably because they think the audience is made up of brain dead simpletons and thats who they will like) and now all of a sudden the audience has become that sophisticated that they are willing to embrace a gay, Asian male as a fan favourite.


Enough with the conspiracy theories.

6 Wurstsemmel { 05.18.10 at 2:29 pm }

Looks are all well and good but if you don’t even know what you’re serving up…….

In terms of screen time, I would think Daniel has had more air time than Alvin of late. Alvin hasn’t been featured much at all recently until hitting the elimination round.

I personally thought Fiona should have gone on the basis of last night but then I haven’t really seen much of quality that Daniel has plated up.

Time to suck it up, Daniel.

7 rusty { 05.18.10 at 2:34 pm }

We don’t really know whether Daniel was one of the better cooks, or not. Afterall, we only see what the producers want us to see.

I remember in an earlier segment one of the others commented that they thought him one of the better cooks. The other contestants would obviously get quite a different perspective on each other to what we do.

And just because he couldn’t identify the pork, it doesn’t mean he can’t cook. It means he does’t know his meats. Alvin’s pork was almost raw, yet he’s called a “good cook”.

I’m not sure I would pick out pork correctly, cos I never, ever cook or eat it. but I ‘m still a bloody good cook.

8 sourkraut { 05.18.10 at 2:41 pm }

Do you work for channel 10 by any chance? No of course not

9 sourkraut { 05.18.10 at 2:44 pm }

What has Alvin’s sexual preference got to do with the price of fish?

10 sourkraut { 05.18.10 at 2:47 pm }

On the basis that you haven’t seen anything of quality Daniel served up, perhaps you would like to tell me anything of quality any of the contestants have served up since May2 when I was silly enough to start watching this tosh again. I have not seen anything yet, except perhaps the mushy peas?

11 Paul { 05.18.10 at 2:51 pm }

Its irrelevant as you won’t believe me but No – I do not work for Channel Ten.

I do however have a rational brain that I like to use.

Chris B did make it to the final 4 by the way. Not a bad effort I would have thought for someone the producers and judges apparantly didn’t care for.

His sexuality has everything to do with the conspiracy theorists. You all made a big hoo-ha last year about Julie suiting the right demographic and thats why she won. She was a dumpy housewife according to them. Now when the CT is turned against you you have a cry “But it’s got nothing to do with it.”

You can’t have it both ways.

12 Muru { 05.18.10 at 2:54 pm }

rusty – “I’m not sure I would pick out pork correctly, cos I never, ever cook or eat it. but I ‘m still a bloody good cook.”

If you say so.

I can’t tell apart pork from veal either, but that’s besides the point – I don’t cook. The point is that if they’re allegedly “the country’s best amateur chefs,” and they can’t tell apart pork from veal, what message does that give to the rest of the world about our apparent cooking “finesse”?

Also, if you say Daniel is a fine chef, explain those terrible sausage rolls he made. He failed at a schnitzel and failed at sausage rolls. I can see why the producers and the judges are playing favourites and don’t want to crown him MC. Yes, I’m sure the producers are influencing what they’re showing us, but come on; the random teenage girl down at your local pub can probably cook a schnitzel and sausage rolls better than he can.

13 TDK { 05.18.10 at 4:41 pm }

Daniel’s got mad chopping skills, but a bad palette.

14 Anonymous { 05.18.10 at 8:19 pm }


“the random teenage girl down at your local pub can probably cook a schnitzel and sausage rolls better than he can.”

But not as good as Alvins’s raw and untenderized pork?

I wasn’t claiming he was a good cook. I pointed out that the other contestants said this, if you read my post correctly. But I had forgotten about Daniel’s sausage rolls.

But if he is that bad, and he made it to the top 2o or whatever, what does that say about the level of the whole comp.?

15 Dave { 05.18.10 at 8:23 pm }

Not sure how rigged the show is in initial stages, but Daniel’s critique seems accurate, they do need to have people on the TV that will get the ratings and the MC brand can make money off later. This show makes people a lot of money.
And being ‘professionals’ one would hope the judges knew who could ‘cook’ and who can’t from very early on – so too the guest judges except maybe DH who just knows about making it look pretty (anyone tried to make anything from her cookbook?).
It makes sense that they and the producers have their favourites and they began working this out at the very beginning, like when they were choosing their 50 in November last year. However, i wonder if they also picked some easy elimination ‘amateur cooks’ in the interest of ‘fairness’.
At the end it will be a combination of skills and who they think they can make the most money from who wins.
What is interesting is Channel 10 are trying to pretend it’s not about ratings and making money. They must think us viewers are silly – though i should admit here i am no longer watching, reading this blog is far more entertaining and even better, has not got an endless stream of ads and product placement.

16 Tracey { 05.18.10 at 10:49 pm }

It sounds like Daniel has a big bunch of sour grapes

17 Nonnymouse { 05.18.10 at 10:52 pm }

The reason for Daniel’s limited screen time on the show is that he’s about as interesting a person as a pile of dogshit in the sun.

18 KC { 05.18.10 at 10:52 pm }

The funny thing is regardless of whether Dan is a good cook or not (the contestants think he is) its a lose lose situation for him. If he didn’t get out, people will complain about how boring he is or not even notice that he’s there and then be like WTF WHY ARE YOU HERE, and if he did get out (which he did), people don’t really feel that he’s missed.

19 sourkraut { 05.18.10 at 11:24 pm }

You need to crank up that ole rational brain. you still have not given a logical explanation of why either Courtney’s or Alvin’s sexual preference (Both of whom you specifically mention) has anything to do with their cooking ability
Oh by the way his schnitzel looked a lot better than the mighty MC demonstration schnitzel!

20 Reality Raver { 05.18.10 at 11:28 pm }

I suppose I am going off my corporate memory of Daniel as I had seen little of him prior to the birthday challenge, and have been away from about the. He had not got any coverage in the top 50 round and then there is was in the top 24.

I can identify veal instead of pork, just because schnitzel is about the one of five dishes I can actually cook. But I would have made his elementary mistake and grabbed the jar of mayo.

For contestants thinking of going on the show next year, practice your mayo making as well as your gnocchi and fresh pasta skills.

21 sourkraut { 05.18.10 at 11:53 pm }

To all the Daniel haters out there please name one dish that any of the other contestants have cooked since May 2 that qualifies as “great” Chris B could cook the arse off the lot of them !

22 Sooty { 05.19.10 at 9:16 am }

Daniel – why he got the boot:

Let’s see, he was there. He ate it. He put his face up close and eyeballed it. He smelt it. He peeled the crust off for a better look – and he still didn’t know what it was.

I’m at home watching my spotty-reception fat-back TV – and I haven’t eaten meat for twenty years – and I could see it wasn’t veal.

He overcooked the meat he thought might be maybe um turkey?

He chopped cabbage very impressively and then blobbed on store bought mayo. Even if he didn’t watch the show last year he was there when Kate was met with horror for using store bought mayo in her chicken ‘dish’.

His whole attitude was ‘That’ll do.’

He’s shown more of this – after saying he was definitely not going back into wine wholesale boring office work, he was going to get restaurant experience, be a kitchen hand or whatever – and then the little follow up blurb said he was back working in wine-wholesaling.

So gosh, with all that ‘passion for food’ (at least he didn’t say that like the rest of them)….

And yeah there are favourites, it’s human nature, and it’s a visual medium and we all warm to different people for different reasons – but being really really really keen to be there, trying very hard, having nervies as they cook they are trying so hard to focus and not stuff up, and occasionally cooking something really impressive, is more appealing than not seeming to care overly. And that greasy quiff didn’t help.

Chris B was a greasy hatwearing visually unappealing fellow but he tried hard, focussed, and didn’t – apart from the burnt bone marrow in alfoil (ah, that’ll do!) – drop his game.

Alvin: excellent chips (double fried); lousy chopping of coleslaw, but made own mayo; slightly undercooked one of the three schnitzels – but knew what he was cooking was pork and was supposed to be pork; made own crumbs for crust; got flustered and forgot the obvious – to pound the schnitzel. I thought he was a gonner. Has shown great promise previously etc

Fiona: wrong meat; packet crumbs, but identified thyme and used it; nice pounded wrong meat schintzels, made own mayo.

Daniel: wrong meat, no idea, but got it flat; didn’t identify thyme; burnt his wrong flat meat; plated nicely and it looked good apart from the blackened shnitzel areas; store bought mayo.

I don’t think he was dudded in being the one to go home. Maybe the neck tatt was the final straw!

23 Sooty { 05.19.10 at 9:22 am }

sorry that’s so long, must be my passion for food hehe

24 TDK { 05.19.10 at 9:26 am }

Sooty – LOL, well said.

25 sourkraut { 05.19.10 at 7:11 pm }

Still haven’t heard of anything that anyone so far has cooked that could be vaguely classed as great.
Sooty are you a greasyhatophobe? Unfair to mad hatters!
Alvin…Crap Mayo (homemade)
Crap raw unpounded schnitzels
Crap rough shredded cole slaw
Yeah that’s gotta be a winner he can cook chips. A TRUE Masterchef ho ho! Even the girl in the pub (to quote someone earlier in fact EVEN Pauline Hanson) can cook chips and NO for FUCK SAKE I DONT SUPPORT HER so dont come back with that red herring)