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Masterchef Australia Twitter Fans Have Been Called Nasty – I Disagree

In a Courier Mail article yesterday Karen Brooks wrote that there was a lot of cyber hate on Twitter and Facebook directed at Masterchef Australia contestants.

She alleges Masterchef nice has been turned into Masterchef nasty on social networking sites, and some of these remarks were sexist, racist and homophobic.

As prolific tweeter I must be on a different stream as the majority of tweets I see are witty, and commenting mainly on what is being shown on the screen.

TV editors/producers have hours of footage of all contestants and they decide how they want to portray that person or that “character”.

I am sure Joanne does have an expression other then pursed lips but we rarely see it. I am sure Jonathan who apparently is called smugathon (which I think is quite witty) is laid back and fun kind of guy with a penchant for fart jokes but viewers are not getting that glimpse into his personality. By the way I am on team Jonathan because of his cocky attitude and the fact he does give the judges a bit of lip.

If the viewer only sees a certain dimension of the contestants personality how can they comment on something they have not seen.  In fact I would love to see sweet Marion have some sort of hissy fit about something just to dim the halo she is currently wearing. She must have had some meltdown over not being able to get the blender to work properly or some over cooked meat.

Chris Badenoch who was cast as last year’s grumpy bad boy, has said in interviews, that he did laugh and smile on camera but the producers just never showed any of this footage.

Social networks are not new to reality TV viewers. Savvy networks have set up official forums where fans can give their opinion on the show. The comments on these sites are no different from Twitter, ranging from sycophantic fandom, to scathing criticism.

In fact Bravo TV a US channel whose bread and butter is reality TV shows, has admitted to using research they get through social media channels to direct some of their plot lines.

Reality TV and the social media are a great symbiotic relationship, and it has been suggested that the increase in popularity of the reality TV genre in the past ten years can be contributed to the World Wide Web.

It has enabled to people to watch TV with hundred’s of like-minded individuals without leaving your lounge room and converse about it whilst wearing your pyjamas and ugg boots.

Fans have their favourites, and the ones they love to hate – that is reality TV. Some shows like So You Think You Can Dance, Australia’s Got Talent, and The X Factor all have a public voting element so difference of opinion is necessary and encouraged.

Also by showing scenes from the Masterchef house indicates the producers want to show the contestants as personalities not just competing amateur chefs, as they do in the UK version of the show.

In fact there has been debate and criticism about whether the casting of Season Two was based on cooking skills or actual personalities. Anyone remember Kate’s microwave white chicken dish? Or Callum’s hunk of beef wrapped in fresh pasta? Are they really in the top 24 amateur cooks in Australia?

Karen Brooks in the article takes tweeter @molksTVTalk to task for tweeting “Where’s the anger between the amatas? Too much love in that damn kitchen.”

@MolksTVTalk when clarifying his tweet to me said, “The key point of my comment was all we’re seeing from the contestants is love/support/encouragement. The times when they show their dislike for each other (i.e. Alvin/Jonathan early on) is some of the best bits of reality TV – we want to see REAL PEOPLE!”

And that is the point of reality TV. By real people the viewers what to see each person at their best and at their worst.

Reality TV participants should know when they are on a show they will be shown as a “character” and that the social media with people giving different views on them is part of what they sign up for.

I am sure at times this can be pretty difficult for them, but at the same time the savvier ones are using the same medium to connect with their fans and promote themselves and their product/skills to attempt to extend their allotted 15 minutes of fame.

Also it should be noted the majority of social media users know, the more extreme comments say more about the tweeter then the person they are tweeting about, and like the drunken bore at the Christmas party it is best to ignore and steer clear of them.

By the way you can follow me on twitter @realityraver


1 rusty { 06.17.10 at 11:42 am }

I sometimes wander through twitter – not much ( not the right “”age group””) – to see what’s trending and usually find it benign, but last night there was a lot of hate around for Joanne. Mindless, pointless hate, not even vaguely amusing or pointed. Just spewing their own garbage around.

I left quickly,

but it’s not dislike or hissy fits that I want to see so much on MC, but TENSION. Too may of the sessions are like slack underpants – you know where they are going to sag.

2 saffronlie { 06.17.10 at 11:56 am }

Haters are always gonna hate. I have been surprised by some of the vitriolic comments left on this blog, when the comments seem to come from the personal prejudices of the comment-writer and don’t seem to have any basis in the show. But hate websites have been around a long time, and it seems to be human nature to gossip and bitch about celebrities and famous people. I guess reality TV blurs the lines where we discuss ‘ordinary’ people as if they were celebrities, but the chances of a reality TV star Googling themselves are much higher than the likelihood of Brad Pitt Googling himself. I think if you put yourself up for a reality TV show, you do have to be prepared for the possibility that strangers will discuss you and judge you.

3 Paul { 06.17.10 at 12:45 pm }

I think there is a difference between mischevious gossip/banter which most on this blog indulge in and the mindless hate that you see a hell of a lot on twitter and facebook regarding Masterchef. I steer clear of both now.

As you said, it says more about the tweeter/ facebook person than it does the person themselves.

I find it quite sad actually that people have this need to vent so much hate on a person they don’t even know.

I do feel sorry for the family of reality show contestants. They would be understandably proud of their son/daughters etc achievements and it must be quite hurtful for them to read so much nasty stuff.

4 Jenny { 06.17.10 at 1:01 pm }

Yes agree with you totally Reality Raver. In regards, to the tweets about Joanne, people who don’t watch Masterchef regulalry have to understand that she was involved in some things in past episodes of the show that portrayed her as a “backstabber” to her other team members. Particularly when she did not own up to helping out with a dish that the judges disliked and she let another team member take the blame (I can’t remember the exact details). I think from then on tweeters declared their dislike for this act and Joanne. She also tends to avoid responsibility and avoids any actual cooking in team tasks, which tweeters also declared their dislike of. All I think tweeters are doing are reacting emotionally to Joanne’s behaviour/character and tweeting about it. The tweeters are trying to be honest in their reactions. This does not mean that I condone really nasty tweets about Joanne – no one deserves that.
To be fair I think Joanne is trying hard to be a better team member. Although I did laugh last night when she took all the credit for the red team winning when it was Adam’s quail dish that probably won it for them.
I hope Joanne doesn’t take the tweets to heart – after all they are just strangers reacting to a show on twitter. In fact twitter isn’t the only medium where people make comments about reality tv contestants – they also do it on blogs like here! I think anyone in the public eye should avoid the internet at all costs if they can’t handle what people say about them. How are you going to police human behaviour? People are always going to have opinions about people in the public eye. As long as comments are fair and are not abusive towards the person.

5 CG { 06.17.10 at 1:49 pm }

Paul said above: “I think there is a difference between mischevious gossip/banter which most on this blog indulge in and the mindless hate that you see a hell of a lot on twitter and facebook regarding Masterchef. I steer clear of both now.”

You are so virtuous, Paul. Saintly, really.

But if you don’t engage in gossip and banter “which most on this blog (RR) indulge in”, then why do you visit and post on Reality Raving so frequently?

Stop pretending you are so much better than the rest of us. It is getting really tedious.

6 Paul { 06.17.10 at 2:07 pm }

*head in hands wondering when this person will ever stop*

7 sourkraut { 06.17.10 at 2:51 pm }

Easy solution
Use this Gummints proposed powers to part censor the internett to wipe out this site and to disband twitter and to cease all access to facebook except to exponents of Braille

8 Airwalk { 06.17.10 at 3:05 pm }

I will join in and echo(agree with) CGs comments so you can keep your head in hands longer(as a matter of face I think it is us wishing YOU would stop)
… I believe the editors perpetuate the haters RR refers to…
Regards the show it is unfortunate that viewers buy in to what the producers/editors have largely created for the viewers-portraying contestants in a light or deliberately editing to exagerate personalites so viewers who invest time in the show develop opinions which become overly passionate(thus some become haters/nasty) I think this blog is mostly humorous observations/opinions and feel a lot are frustrated from what the show could be. (yes I didn’t like Jon early when he was crying every five seconds and he was ‘being’ evil but now Jo is the evil one so have warmed to Jon. Also don’t like Aaron and think Adam may be able to cook now the editors are actually showing him a bit…and don’t llike Aaron now his comments have almost become a narrator for the shoq… so I get sucked into this game too)
And I get annoyed that ‘certain’ people visit this blog whose comments to me read like they are judging and telling ‘people’ how stupid they are – and I get annoyed that I get annoyed.
Thanks again for the blog RR…been the highlight of MC for me both seasons.
And now the real Top Chef has started (1st ep today)….yay!!!! MC did a botch up job of stealing the airline food challenge.

9 Hear Mum Roar { 06.17.10 at 3:09 pm }

I just think they must have some idea what they are signing up for in the beginning. And I think with the internet and all this social media, it’s the toughest audience ever, and participants maybe need to become more aware of that

10 Airwalk { 06.17.10 at 3:21 pm }

BT a reminder of the spoiler thread…
And does anyone know what the elephant turd is (ith Geo quenelles on top) that they are tasting tonight-oh I do hate these taste tests, pathetic)

11 ericg { 06.17.10 at 3:54 pm }

I now join in with CG and Airwalk.

Paul, maybe you are still naive in all this blogging, tweeting and facebooking era. They are the modern tools to ‘voice out’ or one would claim the exercise of our unconstituted Freedom of Speech.

The Reality TV has been set in a way that viewers would either fall for those in it, or hate those in it. Twitte-ville and Facebook do consist of both hate and/or love comments. So, why should Karen Brooks be one sided in her article – targeting “haters”?

I have had no time to go through her Tweets (and I couldn’t be bothered) but I doubt that she has never written any negative comment before about a particular person, or show on the TV.

We are after all humans. Period.

12 Sooty { 06.17.10 at 4:06 pm }


I believe Paul meant – as he wrote – that he steered clear of Twitter and Facebook – not of humourous banter etc here.

Airwalk –

You know what I wish would stop? This ugly scapegoating of someone who ‘we’ have agreed is the designated target for regular bootings, vilification, and bizarre accusations that usally reveal more about the speaker’s own projections of disowned self and disowned anger etc.

Anyone remember the Holocaust?

But, hey, we’re all humans – so let’s put the boot in Paul, okay?

13 Chris Owens { 06.17.10 at 4:12 pm }

I don’t think it is really hate for Joanne, or for anyone else for that matter. The participants are no more real than characters on a sitcom and the twitter community can (or most can) understand this.
Moreover, #masterchef is essentially a confined and limited forum easily avoided. It is not the same as someone writing in a daily newspaper. If you don’t like it, don’t get involved. And most of the comments aren’t that nasty, and certainly hardly any are racists or homophobic or sexist. Those that are tend to get ignored.
Finally, the viewing audience is as much a part of the show as the contestants and it is there interaction which makes the show what it is. The contestants can feel free to get on twitter and bag the shit out of me if they want. Just follow @Chrisd_Owens and let me have it.

14 MolksTVTalk { 06.17.10 at 4:25 pm }

+++++1 to what Chris said, including follow me & tell me what you think. 😉


15 Airwalk { 06.17.10 at 4:32 pm }

Sooty-I don’t get it? (your point that is)

16 Paul { 06.17.10 at 4:32 pm }

Hardly naive. Maybe its just the nasty comments that stand out for me and I gloss over the nice ones. I have to be honest and say that I personally notice the hateful ones more.

Must admit though I have never noticed any racist or homophobic rants.


17 Wurstsemmel { 06.17.10 at 6:09 pm }

# Airwalk….And does anyone know what the elephant turd is?

I thought it was a Dundee cake but if it is has quenelles, then probably not.

18 Injera { 06.17.10 at 6:23 pm }

I have my Twitter stream up when I’m watching Masterchef and it’s all lighthearted, fun commentary. However I don’t keep the Masterchef hashtag on screen (i.e. commentary from everyone chatting about the show) – I’m only seeing what the people I follow say about Masterchef. That could easily account for me missing nasty stuff. I certainly wouldn’t rule out that there are people out there – on Twitter and Facebook – being miserable so, like Paul, I avoid those spaces.

I’m certainly no hater of Twitter (although I’m not fond of FB), so I take Chris’ advice and avoid what I think I won’t like, or what I think won’t add value to my viewing experience.

19 Airwalk { 06.17.10 at 6:30 pm }

Thanks Wurstsemmel :) will have to look that one up…never heard of it…all these years as a chef omg how incompetant of me :) They looked like quenelles(although a half arsed pisstake on my part of Geos affection for anything quenelled)

20 Pinto { 06.17.10 at 6:34 pm }

I think Karen has missed the point. Twitter has the potential to add to experience of watching reality tv. And when it doesn’t then unfollow or delete your hashtag and watch it solo. That is my experience. I unfollowed Molk for quwhen’s while his wit is ascerbic and cutting. And funny. When in the name of humour he tweeted the question “did he
(aaron) just call him (adam) gook or dude?”. I unfollowed him. To me,
not funny. Suggesting someone is racist with no evidence to get the laugh is not quite my thing. Took me less then 10 seconds to unfollow. No harm done. I wish him well – he is clever and through his tweets it is clear he has aspirations in some kind of public commentary. I hope he gets there. The moral Karen: use your free will to look away when you don’t like what you are seeing.

21 MolksTVTalk { 06.17.10 at 10:01 pm }

Loving this thread.

Pinto – I was legitimately asking what Aaron called Adam. In that instance, not a joke. I was concerned he’d said something that had slipped through the edit. Good on you for sticking to your principles, though. :) I wouldn’t take it either.

22 Airwalk { 06.17.10 at 11:04 pm }

RR Can you please add Irmgard to the poll? I want her back

23 sourkraut { 06.18.10 at 12:46 am }

Hoc natura est insitum et quem timueris hunc semper oderis!

24 CG { 06.18.10 at 2:09 am }

Sooty: read Paul’s original post – he says very clearly: “I stay clear of both now” meaning both Facebook/Twitter AND “gossip/banter which most on this blog (meaning Reality Ravings) indulge in”. If he wasn’t criticising this board and its members he wouldn’t have used the adjective “mindless”. Couldn’t be clearer. Paul is above all of us and comes here frequently to tell us so!

25 Airwalk { 06.18.10 at 3:10 am }

It’s an innate thing to always hate the one we’ve learnt to fear…wtf does this refer to?

26 Airwalk { 06.18.10 at 5:18 am }

Neil Perry tweeted: Matt from MC was the best thing about his team by far. Here is a tip he will achieve more in the next 10 years in food than the others left! about 7 hours ago via web

27 Tim { 06.18.10 at 10:03 am }

Smugathon is hysterical :-)
I suppose people have seen the ‘i hate…’ pages for some MC contestants on social networking sites? Maybe this is what Karen was referring to? I stumbled onto one by accident and a majority of comments out there in cyberland aren’t terrible, but I am seen some racist, homophobic and generally awful comments out there.

28 Paul { 06.18.10 at 10:22 am }

You really need to learn to read correctly.

Note there is a comma after my original post relating to this blog – then I clearly define facebook and twitter as two separate entities (which they are) hence when I say I steer clear of both, I am referring to facebook and twitter.

And frankly who gives a F**K what sites I visit anyway……

Honestly you and airwalk both need to move on. The way you both stalk me over the most trivial of matters is starting to get disturbing.

And the only reason I’ve bother responding on this occasion is because you’ve had a tanty at another poster over something I’ve said so felt the need to clarify. Other than that, I’m frankly sick of arguing with both of you on this site as;

1. Its boring because your arguments are generally nonsensical and idiotic.
2. Its not fair on other readers on this site.

My father once said to me when I was younger.
“Never argue with idiots. They will bring you down to their level and then just beat you with experience.”

I think in regards to both yourself and airwalk, I will now be following this advice….

29 CG { 06.18.10 at 11:24 am }

Paul, you’re full of it. This is not the first time you have put down posters on this board for various crimes: positing harmless conspiracy theories, pointing about flaws and inconsistencies in the judging and challenges, etc. Coming back now to defend yourself based on punctuation is comical.

30 Paul { 06.18.10 at 11:43 am }

*Must not interact with stalker*
*Must not interact with stalker*
*Must not interact with stalker*

31 Airwalk { 06.18.10 at 1:53 pm }

CG I think Paul is flattering himself(stalkers not)-it was us and others on this great blog who made a point of not reading Pauls post as they insulted other peoples intelligence-I most certainly do not stalk anyone in real life or on blogs. I only reply to CGs posts as I do try to not even bother to read Pauls posts.
Kind of ironic these interactions are on this thread.
And have to call Jesse James and borrow that hat of his.

32 sourkraut { 06.18.10 at 2:22 pm }

As you asked so politely here is my take on it.
If somone or some group either continually attacks ones beliefs, biasses, predjudii, racial grouping,or other pre-conceived notions it causes psychological stress which innately leads to fear which unfortunately leads to Hatred.
It is my belief that this is wot is driving the haters.
I AM NOT PUTTING MYSELF ON THE MORAL HIGH GROUND! I am guilty of this sort of thing too, in fact only one person ever was not, and he was also the son of God.
I believe Paul should be allowed to put up anything he wants even though I think much of it is misguided or incorrect. Likewise I have NO objection to CG requesting that he decease. I think debate is healthy and I don’t believe in censorship even though I utterly detest much of the PORN CRAP on the nett. Trouble is the most notorious dictators in the history all wanted censorship, and look where that led us .

33 Airwalk { 06.18.10 at 5:14 pm }

Thanks SK :) I am here for the humour and reading other peoples opinions(and occasionally voicing my own-mainly the theatrics of MC is making it become a parody of itself which of course does not mean any of us will stop watching it-well this season anyway)-I do not like haters nor do I like people being judgemental and do not wish to be accused of what I dislike(but will continue to agree with CG which is no way stalking or echoing the holocaust)…;) Loving the latin(the wtf query was not intended in a mean way :P)

34 sourkraut { 06.18.10 at 10:26 pm }

I didn’t think it was. I was just expanding my ego.
Certainly agree MC is a parody of itself, in fact its all becoming quite predictable, and so are the comments about it, MINE INCLUDED. As I said b4 (sigh there I go again) its a bit like staring in horrified fascination at a car wreck or some other awful thing one should not really look at but cant help doing it.

35 Airwalk { 06.19.10 at 3:39 am }

Exactly-I have either thought or written the exact the same thing before(that its like watchiing a car wreck)…after the plate dropping and the tedious taste tests and other predictable aspects I am well over it , much prefer watching the new series of Hells Kitchen(at least its honest in its over the ‘topness’) and the new Top Chef looks like it will be a good one with new judge Eric Ripert:and I always love their challenges. Will keep plodding on with MC but must admit don’t really watch it most nights now(record it but ff though most of it or surf net paying not much interest to it as currently working most nights. Ah well keep commenting…I think I have sensed your boredom in your comments for the past week or so…:)

36 Airwalk { 06.19.10 at 4:46 am }

CG/SK-thought this may interesting for all us conspiracy theorists ;P

37 duke nukem { 06.19.10 at 3:47 pm }

both viewers and contestants forget it’s not actually a cooking competition- it’s a reality TV show. The producers let the person who they believe to be most marketable win so they can cash in on cookbooks.

38 sourkraut { 06.19.10 at 3:53 pm }

Always the same things one can comment on. They never change. gets hard for even a sarcastic B such as i to come up with anything new.
Have not watched the link you supplied yet, but will soon thanks.
PS At least Paul’s comments are different and thus worthy of reading if only for a laugh at the other sides point of view

39 Airwalk { 06.19.10 at 4:49 pm }

Yeah expecting Paul to reply to duke nukem any minute now lecturing how the cokbook deal is only a miniscule part of the whole franchise blah blah blah…:) Yeah cast tv is my fav site for watching progs…the Penn and Teller series is a bit strange…

40 Joanne Zalm Has Facebook Site Specifically Hating Her | reality ravings { 06.22.10 at 10:43 am }

[…] wrote an article about my views on this topic supporting the social media here. […]

41 watcher { 09.06.10 at 8:34 pm }

I’m in NZ and watching MasterChef Australia kinda late…

I don’t get what’s wrong with what Paul (above) said? Is it wrong to say good things nowadays? What did he say that was wrong? (scratching my head) I initially went into this website wanting to read about Joanne, but I was bothered by the things I read here. Seems like there is no lack of encouragement to lowly thinking, and all stone-throwing at people who say nice things.

42 Reality Raver { 09.06.10 at 9:39 pm }

Watcher – thanks for visiting the blog, which episode are you up to in NZ? Just ignore the comments where they are having a go at each other, as otherwise there are some great inciteful comments

43 watcher { 09.07.10 at 2:12 pm }

Hi! We’re at episode 27, the two teams just finished cooking for two families.

I love Masterchef Oz, and I had meant to say what a nice article you wrote! (just got sidetracked, sorry)- reminds us that this is ‘Television’, and everything is drummed up to make drama. Thanks for reminding us of the powers-that-be behind the scenes :)