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Masterchef Contestant Adam Bowen Puts The Boot Into Producers

Maybe the reason Masterchef producers like to pick younger contestants is because they are more controllable after they leave the Masterchef Australia house.

As it appears Adam Bowen who left the show of his own accord is unleashing in post show interviews.

Here are some gems from him in an article in NINE MSN:

Former MasterChef contestant Adam Bowen has criticised the show’s producers for not caring enough about contestants and claims they are playing with contestants emotions for ratings.

Bowen — who shocked fans when he quit the show during last night’s elimination pressure test — also fears the show could have a lasting negative effect on some contestants who have put their lives on hold to compete.

“I don’t think the producers care enough about the contestants,” Bowen told ninemsn.

“They’re there to make a high rating show.”

The successful 31-year-old scuba dive business owner also hit out at producers for trying to break down contestants’ self-confidence.

“I found that difficult to see, the stress on people’s faces, I found that tough to see people question themselves when they’ve never questioned themselves in their lives,” he said.

“And that’s where the emotion comes from on MasterChef.”

“The little 14-year-old fat kid that I used to be, you know I thought I’d put that behind me … [but] MasterChef brought him back out,” he said.

“It’s a process that I found difficult being involved in, TV.”

Bowen said contestants were not given enough opportunity to prepare for cooking challenges and it was “like being a marathon runner and only being trained to walk”.

Having walked out on the show after realising he did not want to be a professional chef, Bowen told ninemsn he thought MasterChef was too important for some contestants who would be devastated if they didn’t win.

“I really think that people are putting their whole lives on the line. People in the top fifty quit their jobs,” he said.

“It puts a big void in peoples’ lives. It can and it will affect some people a lot longer than others.”

Bowen said he realised he no longer wanted to compete in MasterChef after the sustainability challenge, where each team had to cook for customers at Sydney’s pop-up restaurant The Green House, producing the least waste possible.

“I was doing the sustainability challenge and there was something Gary said to me and one of the celebrity chefs,” he said.

“I just realised why would I want to be owning a restaurant? I don’t have the personality to be a chef or just deal with the sort of chef’s personalities.”

Bowen said the stereotype of the angry, screaming chef was what put him off the industry as a teenager.

“I experienced chefs in the Hyatt when I was 17, 18, and didn’t really like the way they operated,” he said.

“My industry and the dive industry is all about building up peoples’ confidence. Customers come along in diving to be encouraged and supported.

“With some of the chefs you don’t really get that encouragement.”

He also said in the Courier Mail that the show broke up his relationship as he was only allowed a 10 minute phone call each week.




1 Gillian { 06.21.11 at 4:11 pm }

Adam sounds like a nice guy with a lot of integrity. I’ve worked in a small bar before and the chefs treated the waiting staff very badly. I’ve always thought chefs were very arrogant and rude and definitely would not want to work in that industry.

2 Culinary Boner { 06.21.11 at 4:19 pm }

While Adam makes fair amount of sense here, we are talking about reality TV (the lowest form of TV apart from the Footy Show, 70s variety shows, 90s game shows, oh, and that thing Ben Elton did for Nine) so some of his comments about participants being mind-f**ked for TV ‘value’ are a bit naïve imo.

3 HieroHero { 06.21.11 at 4:22 pm }

Adam’s comments may be true but how can he be surprised? When you enter into a reality television show that is the most likely outcome. Of course all the producers care about is creating entertaining television. If he genuinely wanted to be a Chef he shouldn’t have entered Masterchef.

4 smauge { 06.21.11 at 4:47 pm }

While I agree that Adam was naive in expecting otherwise, I do think the producers have lost their way a bit this series. It’s like It’s A Knockout with food. When was the last time you got inspired by something they’ve cooked year?

5 brain dead dave { 06.21.11 at 5:13 pm }

What did the naive twit expect? Reality TV is like the Coloseum of ancient Rome with just a few more bells,whistles and gratuitous product placements thrown in. It’s no secret that contestants lives get chewed up like Christians of yore.

He’s spent too much time underwater.

6 Emma { 06.21.11 at 5:15 pm }

Good on him, it’s all true of reality TV in general. I liked Adam anyway, but I like him even more now. He seems very honest and straightforward and I respect him for that.

7 littlepetal { 06.21.11 at 5:19 pm }

Maybe last series contestants have careers where they can get another jobs quite easily after they finish with MC. I remember last years we got many lawyers and other professions where they can find jobs quite easily.

This season the contestants are quite different. Just like Adam said – they are young and would really really want to be a chef or open a restaurant (not knowing that it is hard work to be a chef or own a restaurant)

Good on Adam to speak out.

8 brain dead dave { 06.21.11 at 5:33 pm }

I’m thinking of hare-brained dreams like last year’s “The Hearth”

That idea flew like an Emu.

9 davsimp { 06.21.11 at 6:58 pm }

At the end of the day it is Reality TV show, not a cheffing apprenticeship. That’s what TAFE is for. Good luck to anyone who auditions and gets on the show I say, but all the guidelines are mapped out before they sign their lives away. No surprises for me in Adam’s spiel at all.

And how many of them actually say they want to work as a chef in a restaurant?? BLOODY NONE as far as I know. I am dying for one of them when asked why they want to be here to say, “well I’ve written a couple of novels but they all got canned so I thought I would have a go at a cookbook because every other arse clown seems to be able to do it.”

10 Jojo { 06.21.11 at 7:30 pm }

He seems much more blunt and straight forward than was shown on his time on the show. I agree with those that have said that while he raises good points, it’s naive to be surprised that a TV show cares about TV ratings. Of course they’ll exploit the emotions of contestants – they’re not actors, they’re not models, what else would they have to show?

11 NT Kate { 06.21.11 at 8:53 pm }

While I agree that it is a little naive, I do think the show has gone too far this year. Challenges never seem to be long enough to give them a chance to cook a decent dish, never give them a chance to just cook – I guess the problem is that last year they relied on the judges in the judging to produce the drama, but went a little too far with that stik (viz Matt’s plate throwing episode) so decided this time around to push the contestants harder.

But in doing so they’ve lost sight of why we watched it in the first place. In Season 1, the judges genuinely did seem to care about the contestants, and want to help them show off their best and improve.

Now its just a cynical product placement/marketing exercize.

I don’t see a fourth season being a success…

12 Thomas { 06.22.11 at 12:15 am }

Well compared to Masterchef US where Joe practically overturned a contestant’s puree/soup deliberately and the judges appear to be competing to come up with the most inventive diss, Masterchef Australia has gone pretty light on the contestants.

I thought some of the challenges have more than enough time. Didn’t they have 3+ hours for the Greek dishes? Though I would have liked to see more episodes of them getting out of the kitchen. Team challenges have been far more interesting.

13 NT Kate { 06.22.11 at 10:36 am }

Actually they only had 90 minutes for the Greek challenge.

They had seventy five minutes to do a roast pork dinner.

Vincent Gadan’s recipe for a pork roast dinner up on the Masterchef website requires some prep, the pork to be seared in pan, then cooked for 65 minutes; that’s pretty much in line with every other roast pork recipe on the net.

So yes I do think these time lines are overly tight.

14 Culinary Boner { 06.22.11 at 11:33 am }

smauge, I liked “It’s a Knockout” but preferred it’s earlier incarnation when I was as a kid – “Almost Anything Goes”.

MCA this season is even less interesting than “It’s a Knockout” as its has no OTT pantomime to it. Why no custard pie throwing? Forget the Dalai Lama, let’s get the Tokyo Shock Boys on. They can light Matt the Fat’s farts to reach new heights of TV danger antics, with the risk of taking out the whole studio. George can eat live scorpions (in some skordalia, not too garlicky though) and Gary can create exploding yorkshire puds.

Back to reality. This week’s episode of Top Chef Allstars was a cracker with one of the expected stronger contestants – Jen (whose worked with Eric Ripert) – eliminated and chucking a major wobbly about the whole thing. No pantomime on Top Chef. Just strong cooks, with predominantly well-thought-out challenges, super judges (inc the luscious Padma) and intense contestant rivalry (tinged with respect).

15 auds { 06.22.11 at 2:00 pm }

I would be hopeless with those time constraints. Especially a roast in 70 mins?

I cook my roasts for hours on a very low heat after I have scorched them in the hottest oven possible for about 20 mins to seal the meat.

Depending on what type of meat I use minced garlic, seeded mustard and strawberry jam as a glaze. If using lamb I add some rosemary to the mix. yum yum

with 70 mins I wouldnt have enough time to prep everything and get it cooked nicely in time

16 Quitter { 06.22.11 at 8:41 pm }

The going gets tough, the not so tough get going

17 insider { 12.21.12 at 12:59 am }

As someone who has personal experience of Adam and the way he runs his business, I can assure you he is a great salesman and the whole spiel seen on tv was a carefully orchestrated plot to exit the
show in a seemingly ‘honourable’ fashion rather than be eliminated.
Adam actually tried to end his relationship before filming began as he thought he was going to be a star but left the young lass in his house as a cleaner.
Adam runs his business and treats his staff exactly the way he describes the chefs of his past and the producers of masterchef.
He really is a pathetic little man who will take any opportunity to get ahead no matter who he craps on.