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Masterchef Australia – The Split Episode Was A Failure

Masterchef Australia final this year scored 2.56 million viewers for the announcement of the winner,  however it was well down on last year’s finale.

The show that stops a nation appears to not do that any longer.

Also the first section of the final at 6.30pm scored 1.81 million, however this was just beaten by The Block.

Network Ten splitting the finale into two sections, to put The Renovators in between probably affected the ratings.

In fact I thought it was treating the fans with contempt. This was particularly the people with children who were unable to stay up to see the winner of the show.

The other problem with the split episode was that it was hard to maintain emotional involvement with the episode by the time the winner was announced I did not care.

It appears most people were not happy with this aspect of the final. See Daily Telegraph article on this issue.

The story that should have been coming out of last night was Kate Brack’s is the winner and how is this going to transform her life, however it is all about how Masterchef producers cocked it up again this season.

Come back later to the blog to see my assessment of the positive and negatives of season three.


1 Culinary Boner { 08.08.11 at 11:25 am }

They adopted a stunt that I’d normally associate with this cock-heads at Channel Nine. A big, big fail. No wonder I’m watching more and more foxtel and less free-to-air.

2 littlepetal { 08.08.11 at 11:57 am }

Serve them right that they couldn’t beat the rating for the final of Australia got Talent. I guessed right. I thought they will be lucky to get 3 million viewers.

3 Fides { 08.08.11 at 12:06 pm }

They were optimistic to think they’d hit 3 million. I recorded both MC eps, started watching the first at about 8pm and managed not to catch up. Even with fastforwarding the ads and whatever bits of Renovators got recorded, it felt like such a drag. I don’t think I could have been able to stand watching it in real time.

The entire snowman challenge, the final judging, the flashbacks, the whole thing took forever. I was tempted to FF the 2nd hour till the verdict, and I’ve never done that with MC before. And this was the final and with 2 people I liked.

4 Kaylen { 08.08.11 at 12:08 pm }

Wait, what’s Masterchef? I’ve forgotten… whoops!

Is it something Coles sell? The only thing I can think of is something about it being down, down…


5 Mrs T { 08.08.11 at 12:20 pm }

Agreed, they totally cocked it up. Viewers weren’t able to continue with the narrative. It was clearly a ploy to try and save their sinking ship which is the Renovators. I was happy to catch up on ABC’s Grand Designs in during the break and see a quality production for a change.
As the credits rolled at the end of the 2nd episode of Masterchef last night I breathed a sigh of relief. However there’s no point in saying I won’t watch it next year, because i know i will. So farewell until 2012!

6 brain dead dave { 08.08.11 at 12:35 pm }

Treating the viewers with contempt is right,RR.

Even at the death,Matt Moran was still boofishly braying the Ma$terchef mantra/lie that these are the two best amata cooks in Australia.

Why would I then believe that Rene Whoever is the “best chef in the world”?

Plenty of kids watch or have to watch Ma$terchef . Why drag the whole money grabbing Finale out like a Cagney death scene?

7 Joseph Skyrim { 08.08.11 at 1:02 pm }

I for one will actively be encouraging my household to stay off ch 10 altogether until the next season of MC (or if they manage to show say … Game of Thrones uncut <- good luck with that :P). So many other channels to choose from, we definitely don't need one that insults the viewers in this fashion.

8 Liana { 08.08.11 at 1:07 pm }

What a joke!!!When renovators came on I coudn’t be bothered waiting to watch the end of Masterchef as I knew when I woke up I would find out the winner..Ridiculous

9 Paul { 08.08.11 at 1:12 pm }

Thought Ten’s decision to split into two was stupid however its a bit tough to call MC’s ratings a failure.

Last night is still one of the top 20 rating shows (non sporting) of all time and it will most probably be in the top 3 for the year.

10 Fides { 08.08.11 at 1:19 pm }

But Ch 10 will think it is a success for Renovators won’t they? I read it scored around 1.27 million – its highest ratings ever.

Also, I reaad that Shine produced junior MC last year – that does not encourage me to want to watch MC proper next year, unless they’re finally honest with the viewers about how much help and time those kids actually get. I know I have a bee in my bonnet about this, so I hope the producers do they right thing with JMC this year and are upfront about what the kids can do. Let’s face it, those kids are still remarkable. Otherwise, I’m just going to think the adult MC is all an illusion.

11 brain dead dave { 08.08.11 at 1:19 pm }

“All time” = roughly 60 yrs.

12 seepi { 08.08.11 at 1:28 pm }

The split show was ridiculous – I also barely cared who won by the end.

I also thought the snowman thingie was not a good choice for the finale – too small and white. I’m sure it tastes amazing, but it looks pretty insipid, and all that fiddling around doesn’t make for good telly.

I think they should have chosen some good highlights of Renovators and run those as long ads thru Msterchef, rather than cutting off the final halfway through, and then going to the building of a brick wall in a warehouse – harldy rivetting telly if you haven’t been watching the show and underestand about hte key challenge.

I do like renovators though, and hope it picks up a few viewers.

13 Moo { 08.08.11 at 1:37 pm }

Fides, the reason I don’t watch Junior Masterchef is that all of the kids are obviously pre-programmed with mouth-watering recipes that their bourgeois mothers drummed into their heads before appearing on television. That’s neither interesting nor amusing.

Anyway, I enjoy The Renovators so I didn’t really care about Channel 10 splitting the final into two segments, but I must admit I was nonchalant about the final result as well and that split may have played a big part in that.

14 Fedup { 08.08.11 at 1:39 pm }

What a shocker of an ending to a shocker of a series! Splitting the show – the emotional ‘how do you feel now’ comments – gave up counting how many of those quotes were asked. Master Chef 2011 was the most lack lustre, uninspiring show from start to finish. Only good thing that came out of it was Hayden, wish him all the best!

15 NT Kate { 08.08.11 at 1:50 pm }

I agree it was a bad not to say disastrous call – combined with the excessively long ad breaks and excruciating amount of puff, I lost interest and drifted in and out. They obviously traded ratings now for the hope of sustaining ratings with the Renovators, but I have my doubts whether the tactic will work.

And I think for many people it will just add to the sense that this season is the last this thing has in it for many. We kept watching because we had invested a bit and kept remembering we liked it previously – but will people do that again? I doubt it.

Personally, the break, combined with boring/silly nature of the challenges, the excessively long puff peices/how do you feel segments (which might be ok if they actually had any depths whatsoever but…!)plus the bits I did see – viz Dani telling Kate she’d forgotten a vital element and thus saving her from losing the comp plus coaching from the guest chef – just increased my outrage factor (this was the grand finale after all). I seriously doubt I’ll bother watching next year.

And my view is that the whole Renovators thing has been a bad call programming-wise from start to finish – they should have waited til much closer to the end of MC, or even given us a break to go into withdrawal, before getting it going in order to avoid reality tv overload. I can see why they tried it and will be interesting to see if any of the spillover from Sunday keep watching/deprived MC watchers switchover. Presumably it will get some bump, but, I suspect, not enough. Time will tell!

16 Fides { 08.08.11 at 1:59 pm }

Seepi – I like your idea about forcing us to watch Renovators in the ad breaks. They were already squeezing those long sneak peeks between 7pm and MC last week, so they would definitely have had a frustrated and captive audience if they just rolled out one long Renos episode in the ads. That’s genius!

Moo – yes those kids are just reproducing a grown ups recipe. What we are not told is that they are given a night to prepare, despite how “spontaneous” it looks, and can have the written recipe with them during the challenge. But I’ll shut up about that now because I ranted enough about that last year.

17 brain dead dave { 08.08.11 at 2:09 pm }

Ch 10 need to throw some lucre around and have an “I wake up with Today” style comp where they ring out and give you cash if you’re marooned on the couch watching Barry Dubois et al(that would be pronounced “du boys” in olde Australia)

ie-“I’m nailed to The Renovator$”

18 Culinary Boner { 08.08.11 at 2:13 pm }

The kids on Jnr MCA last year clearly had more access to truffles in their relatively short lives than I’ve had in my near half century. I rather go up against the most of this year’s adult contestants than the kidbots from MCA Jnr.

19 christina { 08.08.11 at 2:15 pm }

just wondering: does anyone else think that the motorbike belongs to Matt Preston?

20 Culinary Boner { 08.08.11 at 2:21 pm }

christina, good image.
I can see Matt stradling that pulsating beast and roaring off into the sunset…
Like a Fat Out of Hell…

21 brain dead dave { 08.08.11 at 2:30 pm }

“Uneasy Rider” starring -Matt Preston-

I’m trying to imagine Jowlsy doing the Steve McQueen escape ride and it’s not quite working.

22 Culinary Boner { 08.08.11 at 2:45 pm }

BDD that image somehow had me thinking of Hogan’s Heroes and Sargeant Schultz, rather than The Great Escape
Maybe Matt could attach a side-car, don a golden glove and become Aunty Jack? But who’d be Thin Arthur? Is there anyone thin associated with MasterChef??

23 Izobel2 { 08.08.11 at 3:02 pm }

I read somewhere today that a few years back they split the Biggest Loser Finale to put brand new Masterchef Series 1 on in the middle. Guess they were going for that approach again. I didn’t mind as I tape everything so I never have to watch ads. Even my 4 year old says “oohhhh I HATE that song” when the Coles ‘down down’ ad comes on!

24 Jasmin { 08.08.11 at 4:36 pm }

BDD – ‘Sleazy Rider’ if it’s George’s bike 😉

25 brain dead dave { 08.08.11 at 4:42 pm }

Love the work,Boner and Jasmin

If it’s Gary’ s–“Cheezy Rider”

26 Jasmin { 08.08.11 at 4:56 pm }

Or, if the intended person is a little unfit – ‘Wheezy Rider’

27 Culinary Boner { 08.08.11 at 4:58 pm }

Speaking of bikes, sleazy and my dirty, dirty mind, let’s hope next year they don’t have a snedging controversy (a la that boofhead pollie who’s now been rehabilitated as WA’s Transport Minister).

I won’t point fingers, but perhaps during the off-season MCA producers should get in some workplace coaches on appropriate contact, especially with the BILFy contestants, before things get out of hand. Officials in either the NRL or AFL should have some contacts they can pass on.

28 Toby Tom { 08.08.11 at 5:08 pm }

Well glad Kate won. She definitely was the better chef amongst the two. She definitely seemed more relaxed, and even if she lost, she would be spending time with her kids. Michael wanted it more but his plating didn’t seem to have the finesse that she did, even though I thought the judges were pretty forgiving about her first dish.

BTW, found this:
Interview with Michael which gave more insight into his personality.

Actually I wanted a bit more of this, along with the cooking, and far less theatrics. The ‘bad things’ that turn out to be not that bad style which the producers used for 70+ eps got old fast.

29 Jo { 08.08.11 at 5:55 pm }

I was really disappointed with the split episode because as Culinary Boner said, it’s such a Channel Nine thing to do. I’ve always had a soft spot for Channel Ten – they never get the big shows and they never win the ratings, but they’ve always been low-key like that and I’ve always appreciated it. And now they’ve gone and done this and it really pissed me off.

I don’t really know how I was sucked into watching this season since I didn’t even watch the first two. I probably won’t be watching next year unless there’s a charmingly annoying MILF a la Rachel.

30 Wurstsemmel { 08.08.11 at 6:17 pm }

Just glad it’s going to be a Masterchef free zone again…please, RR?

31 Dmc { 08.08.11 at 7:06 pm }

Their goal was to match or build on last season’s ratings sonfrom that perspective they failed. I watched much less on the second half of this season and it seems others did too. It’s a disappointment because there is so much right or almost right with this show but there have been some bad decisions made this season. Here’s hoping they spruce it up for next year.

32 Paige { 08.08.11 at 7:12 pm }

I thought it was terrible to split the episodes. After faithfully watching (& scheduling dinner around) the 7:30 time slot for 14 weeks – I thought it was cheesy. I have wanted Kate to win ever since Hayden was eliminated – but after waiting around for an hour – I didn’t really care. But I will buy her cookbook and follow her if she has a blog. I have a big birthday coming up next year and hope to be able to do one of Kumar’s trips he mentioned. This has made me want to be a better home cook – but not sure I will invest the time / energy in another season. Maybe I’ll just spend the time perfecting my knife skills.

33 Susan { 08.08.11 at 8:32 pm }

Thanks Toby Tom – nice to hear from Michael as it was pretty Kate overload today – thats ok – I really wanted her to win but Michael certainly sounded like a down to earth guy in this interview. Far from what I perceived from watching the show.

And yes, I will probably buy Kate’s book – 1st MC one I have contemplated – as I think i can relate to her from a buyer persepctive.