Junior Masterchef – Contestants Are Helped Alot
It has been revealed today that Junior Masterchef contestants in the Herald Sun are told what the challenges are in advance so they can practice to ensure the dishes they turn out are good and the viewers will then be amazed at these kids skills.
The father of a contestant turned whistleblower told the paper:
The young chefs know in advance what they will be cooking and can perfect dishes at home, it has been claimed.
Some contestants have crammed in professional cooking and acting lessons before the show started.
And dishes can sit on benches for two hours before being tasted and then judged, it is claimed.
The father of one contestant has admitted to hiring a private chef for three days a week over six weeks to teach his child, who was in the top 50, the recipe to success.
Production company Shine, also the brainchild of reality cooking juggernaut MasterChef, said contestants did “get some information about the challenges in advance” but not recipes.
But the father, who cannot be identified because he signed a confidentiality agreement, said while the contestants were talented, their skills were groomed prior to the food being cooked.
“The kids act all surprised but they have had the recipes for weeks.
“While everything looks spontaneous, the reality is these kids have cooked the dishes 50 times.
“It’s not reality it’s all staged.”
The contestant’s mother said parents also complained their children were feeling flattened after a gruelling day and a psychologist was brought in to “pump up” morale.
The Shine spokeswoman admitted that in certain challenges not all dishes were tasted because of time and that not all dishes were hot when judged.
“The judges allow for this when making their decisions,” she said.
It comes as figures show Junior MasterChef is off the menu, with its ratings sliding to a record low.
The second season began three weeks ago with ratings of 1.129 million viewers.
On Monday night it dropped to an audience of 741,000.
It appeared to be obvious the kids got a heads up on what the challenges were in advance, however I am surprised that they found out so far in advance and get the opportunity to practice them over and over.
Last year there were pictures (pics now removed but they were there I promise) taken where they had recipes stored underneath the bench tops to refer to. This was in a blog post titled Junior Masterchef how much smoke and mirrors should there be.
I don’t think anyone expects 10 year olds to be able to razzle out a perfect dish from a mystery box, or remember a recipe off the top of their head, however if they are getting weeks to practice a dish that is another thing entirely.
What do you think? What is the fair preparation time these kids should get?
The other issue of note is how the contestant’s mother complained about the gruelling nature of the shoot. To be fair to Shine Australia they do outline in their contract (see previous blog post here) that they are able to exploit your child. However this is the first complaint from a parent from either season about how draining shooting the show is.
Another point that needs to be raised is if they are not tasting all the dishes does that mean the judges are just tasting favourites so they have a better chance of winning points and being up the top of the leader board?
The complaint about the judges not tasting the dishes immediately is what occurs on proper Masterchef, I think they taste the dishes whilst they are cooking. I don’t have a problem with that.
I also suspect the child of these parents has been eliminated from the show…..