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Guest Post: Matt Thinks Hayden Winning Immunity Means He Has The Stats On His Side To Make Top 12

How much of a lift does winning an immunity pin mean to a Masterchef Australia contestant? Matt the strategos thinks it is an huge advantage and he is a shoe in to make it Top 12.

Over to you Matt:

Why Masterchef’s Hayden is now a Final 12 favourite

 Hayden’s immunity win last night was massive.

What he’s done is all but guarantee his place in the final 12.

 Here’s why.

 In Masterchef, you only have to play immunity if (a) your team loses and (b) you are picked for elimination. At 24 a side, this means that (assuming a baseline cooking standard) you only have a 12.5% chance of having to use your immunity pin in the first elimination.

 In fact, statistically you won’t be forced to use your immunity until you’re at 18 contestants. And once that happens, and you’re back in the game, for the next three rounds you have between a 33% and 42% chance of being up for elimination. I say three rounds, because again, adding those statistics up, by the time there’s 14 left you are again statistically certain to be up for elimination.

 And even if you’re up for elimination, you still have two other muppets standing beside you who are just as likely to lose – so a one-in-three chance of surviving.

 Of course, we have to recognise that this is just the pure math, and doesn’t take into account meltdowns like Marion giving up her immunity last season.

 It also assumes everyone is cooking to the same standard, which they’re not. Having won immunity (meaning you’ve aced two challenges in a row), you’d have to say Hayden’s a better chef than a reasonable sample of the contestants, so he’s – both from a statistical and culinary perspective, all but a lock on the final 12.

 Two gripes from last night’s episode.

 I’d argue that in some respects a Masterchef immunity is much more powerful than the immunity idol in Survivor. Indeed, in many ways, holding an immunity idol in Survivor – or just the mere suspicion that you do – will see you become a target. As I’ve argued above, Hayden’s win means we’ll probably be seeing a silly white hat in the final 12.

 So why make it that much easier to win? No disrespect to Alex the Apprentice, but he’s not a top chef. If he was, his name would be on the door. The standard of last year’s celebrity chefs was so high that winning immunity took a herculean effort.

 Now, it’s simply follow the recipe and hope the apprentice doesn’t.

 I suspect we’re seeing apprentices because some of the top chefs don’t want to be like poor old Frank Camorra, who probably saw patronage drop off after he got his head handed to him by Marion. Man up, I say. It’s great advertising for your restaurant, and the chances of you losing to a Masterchef contestant – based on the number of wins in the last few seasons, are only about one in eight.

 The other gripe has bugged me through all three series. Why, when someone is battling for immunity, do other contestants stand around and give advice from above?

 We’ve established that immunity is powerful – so why help someone get it? By all means stand around and cheer, but don’t give advice on cooking.

 Rule Two of my Masterchef Rules states “Winning isn’t everything”. For you to “win” a week, all you have to do is have someone else lose. Immunity means that at least one person you may be relying on to lose is safe on at least one occasion.

 Everyone has the same chance as Hayden to be up for elimination – that is, with 18 contestants left you are a statistical certainty. But if you’re up against Hayden in an immunity challenge, then all of a sudden you’ve gone from a 33% chance of elimination to 50%.

 I know Adam wrote the lovely message to the house about how he’s made some of his best friends on the show, but Adam is the one with the $100K and the cookbook deal, so he’s got the right to feel all magnanimous. But until you’re covered in glitter on the final night, everyone else is competition, not a friend.


1 Shelsta78 { 05.11.11 at 1:25 pm }

Matt – Agree – the Peanut Gallery is THE MOST annoying thing about these immunity challenges – why on earth you would help someone who’s your competitor I have no idea – I’d be more inclined to help the apprentice.

BTW – RR – do we have confirmation that all these challenges will involve the apprentice for this season or was it only this first one?

2 Chunks { 05.11.11 at 1:39 pm }

“We’ve established that immunity is powerful – so why help someone get it? ”

It’s the nature of Aussies to do that. If you watched the godawful disaster that was Australian Survival, you would have seen it in action. Whereas the American version is full of greedy people clawing each other’s eyes out to get to that million, the nature of Australia is quite different, and everyone spent most of the time trying not to upset or offend their fellow contestants – which makes for a nice country but boring viewing.

” So why make it that much easier to win? ”

Because they want Hayden there in the final to keep those girls who don’t care about cooking in the ratings.

3 Paul { 05.11.11 at 1:42 pm }

You really need to get over this idea that girls are brain dead vessels who will only watch a television show if someone attractive is on. MC 1 for example rated its arse off and the finalists were Poh and Julie. And I wouldn’t exactly call Callum a sex symbol either from MC2.

As usual you’ve got your maths spot on.

4 davsimp { 05.11.11 at 1:43 pm }

Yep. The first thing I thought of when I heard the clowns yelling out about the cream is STFU, his immunity is only going to come back to bite YOU on the arse. The only concern I have about Hayden is he may peak too early. The finalists in last years series didn’t really come out until towards the end. Barely remember seeing many of them in first few weeks or so.

Wondering who the Evil Russell will be in this series. Bring out the villain already, I’m getting bored with these nice as pie twats.

5 Chunks { 05.11.11 at 1:58 pm }

Paul but the idea that I think all girls are brain dead vessels is amusing but you do understand marketing don’t you? Having spoken at great length to someone who was on one of the early Australian reality shows, I’m quite confident that these shows are manipulated to the nth degree to keep fan bases happy. But of course the best laid plans of mice and men gang aft aglay.

6 Ed { 05.11.11 at 2:03 pm }

What surprised me is how easy the challenge was against an apprentice without a recipe. With immunity being so valuable it should have been harder. Re Frank Comorra: I doubt he lost any patrons after losing. He has three packed restaurants that are impossible to get into on weekends.

7 Paul { 05.11.11 at 2:09 pm }

I went to MoVida the other week.

It was sensational and it was packed too.

8 davsimp { 05.11.11 at 2:12 pm }

Paul, you would be surprised at how many people do actually think Callum is a sex symbol.

9 Chunks { 05.11.11 at 2:24 pm }

Indeed davsimp. Beauty is in the eye of the Gen Y & Z beholders in Callum’s case.

Mmmm, Ortiz anchovy with smoked tomato sorbet at MoVida.

10 JaniceG { 05.11.11 at 2:53 pm }

I agree that using the apprentice and not the main chef *and* not providing him with a recipe definitely made this challenge easier than in previous seasons. I was surprised that they lowered the barrier for an immunity pin so much, and so early in the season.

I was also surprised at how much help Hayden got from Pavoni. I seem to recall in previous seasons that the chef would help the MC contestant when called upon or occasionally drop by but he was really hovering and stepping in seemingly without even being asked.

11 littlepetal { 05.11.11 at 3:11 pm }

I still think the first immunity challenge is a set up to give out the immunity pin. Previously, it was almost impossible to get one as you have to knock off some top chef. Now you only need to knock off apprentice and contestants get help from chef and not the apprentice. If the apprentice can do that than he is not an apprentice anymore !!!

Would be a laugh if in the later elimination challenge when those contestants in that challenge pull out their immunity pins (since everyone will get one) and no elimination!!!

12 Sooty { 05.11.11 at 3:17 pm }


I thought it was the old bags who are to blame for Julie winning?! You know, the old, eggless, useless, stupid, mumsy, fat old women. It’s either them, or the cougars, who are to blame for everything, I thought. Now it’s the young women?! Too funny. Even funnier seeing this conspiracy theory when the show was (given I view it started really on Monday with the top 24) effectively one day old. Not trying to enter into any argument here – we shall see – some long months down the track – who ends up winning this thing. But I doubt it will be the young women’s ‘fault’ if Goldilocks wins. He can cook, so far.

13 Chunks { 05.11.11 at 4:07 pm }

No viewer is to “blame” for decisions made by the people who make the show Sooty, I’m talking about marketing (and would never describe women in such a nasty way). Hayden may not win, and if he does it won’t be the “fault” of viewers, but the producers will endeavour to keep him there to the end and have been promoting him (and Alex) like crazy. It doesn’t matter if he wins as long as he lasts. Can you name a female contestant who has had half the air time those two have received – and one of them has been hopeless.

14 Sooty { 05.11.11 at 6:14 pm }

Hmmm… It’s early days, Chunks. Rachel with the red specs had more than a glance last week. I suspect there will be a lot of focus on Arena and Chelsea. Maybe tonight… I feel very happy and blessed when Alex is not front and centre all ep, and they have backed off on him the last two nights… Honestly I would have been happier if they brought the woman with the lucky cock back instead of him.

15 Shelsta78 { 05.11.11 at 9:39 pm }

1st opportunity did WWERD tonight. opportunity lost