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Masterchef Australia – Interview With Michael Todd – “Standard Of Cooking The Same As Other Seasons”

Michael Todd looked like he was poised to be one of the great reality TV villains or at least one of the polarising characters of season five of Masterchef but serving raw chicken saw him be the second person eliminated from the show.

Here he talks the chicken, his concept for a reality TV show, and how this season’s contestants are no worse then previous seasons.

He did have a point that it was the first two weeks and nerves were still there. To be fair to all of the other seasons had the top fifty to settle their nerves and get used to the cameras.

Reality Ravings: The producers must have been peeved that you served up raw chicken because you certainly gave great reality TV. Do you think because your dish was so undercooked they had to punt you?

Michael Todd: There was no coming back from that. If they had said Michael you stay and  only because your salad was great I would say there would have been a lot of questions asked.

RR: Clarissa’s lamb looked pretty raw as well but she managed to stay safe.

MT: You can get away with it when it is lamb but when chicken’s not done, chicken’s not done.

RR: What happened with the chicken? Have you not cooked a chicken in an oven before? Where did it all go pear-shaped for you?

MT: That dish I always do over charcoal at home. I can cook chicken by conventional means like pans and ovens. The intensity of heat you get from charcoal is far greater then what you can get out of any domestic oven or pan. I just did not time it well enough.

RR: The food is served cold why didn’t you just chuck it in earlier and then not worry about bringing it out on the 2 and half hour mark? You did seem to have plenty of time.

MT: You can overdo chicken as well as you can under. I did think during the rest period there would be enough latent heat to keep it going. I thought there would just enough energy in this left to get me over the line. But did not happen.

RR: What have you thought about the editing of the show so far. Do you think you have been fairly edited?

MT: I’ll tell you the truth I have been back in Adelaide for the best part of two and a half months and have been absolutely flat out. The week the show went to air was the first week of the The Great Gatsby at The Regal. [Ed. Note: Michael owns and runs The Regal Cinema in Adelaide]. We were booked solid everynight for the whole week. I saw the premiere and I saw a little bit of Monday night. Did not see Tuesday or Wednesday, I saw Masterclass and I saw my elimination episode. I had to sit down and make time to watch it. From what everyone has told me the story they have built of me of the footage they have got of me has been favourable. Basically said “it is Mick, you can tell it is you, that you’re not putting it on and we are seeing a real person”.

RR: You were presented as kind off the narrator of the series. You got a lot of air time compared to Xavier who was eliminated last night with you. As a viewer sitting at home we are pretty disappointed  about the level of cooking we are seeing on the show this year. In your time on the show was the cooking that bad or are they just showing us all the bad dishes?

MT: Very interesting question there. Let’s be honest in the five years that Masterchef has been on air we have seen the genesis of Facebook, Twitter and My Space and people are probably engaged with that social media then they ever have been and they are prepared to make comments. I don’t think the standard of cooking on my time on the show has been any different from what the last four seasons have been.  There are more people involved in social media to make comments.

RR: Do you think the negative gets more people talking online?

MT: Well the negative gets people talking but they can express themselves in a way they have not been able to for the past four seasons.

RR: Right…Is the cooking as bad as we are seeing it on the show? We have been watching it for two weeks and there have not been a lot of culinary highlights.

MT: There has been some good moments on the show. Just remember this we are only two weeks into it and there is still probably a lot of nerves associated with being a part of Masterchef and most of the tasks. If you look back at season one and two and even to a certain extent season three in the early days people had clangers.

RR: Absolutely, even in the later days they had clangers.

MT: I am not the first person to serve up undercooked chicken.

RR: I agree with that. How did you audition? Did you only see the judges on the first day of filming or did you meet them beforehand?

MT: That was my first encounter with the judges. I did audition in Melbourne with the production team where I had to cook and cooked confidently when I was there.

RR: What was your audition dish?

MT: In fact I did two in an hour. I did a twice baked blue cheese souffle with a garden salad and some of my own made pickled quince along with a barra a spicy tomato sauce with clams.

RR: Was being on a reality show different from what you expected?

MT: It was everything I expected.

RR: Would you go on another reality show?

MT: Without a doubt.

RR: What one would you go on?

MT: Well I am actually thinking of getting a reality show of my own up after my experience on Masterchef.

RR: What sort of concept?

MT: The title of my show would be Masterchef: The Deadshits as that is how I felt last night.

RR: What would be the format?

MT: Collecting the worst performers over the last five seasons of Masterchef and getting them all together and maybe getting them coached to really be their best. You don’t make it into the top 22 if you have no skills at all as some of Facebookers etc have put.

RR: Who are the cooks in this series to watch out for?

MT: I ‘d call it the top four. I’ve got short odds on Verne and Rishi, and Lucy and Emma.

RR: Who are you going to miss now you have left the show?

MT: I’ll miss everyone.

RR: Were there any dynamics in the house. Was everyone getting on or was Clarissa getting on peoples nerves as they are presenting her?

MT: It was an interesting experience sharing that space with 22 people.

RR: Especially for someone like you who is used to being in command of your own domain. 

MT: There was some days I was wondering how long ago it was that some boys fell out of the trees. A lot of ribald laughter, having too much fun. Everything was funny.

RR: You never got your back story. Did you have one? Were you encouraged to have one? 

MT: Not that I am prepared to go on the record to talk about.

RR: So you didn’t tell the producers that? So you kept that private?

MT: Not as private as I could of.

RR: If you had stayed in their longer do you think they would have tried to have drawn it out of you?

MT: They could have tried their very hardest but it was never going to come up.

RR: Thanks for the interview and I was sad to see you go.

MT: I was sad to see me gone but I don’t think it will be the last you will see of me on Masterchef.

Masterchef Australia on TEN – Sunday to Thursday night at 7.30pm.



1 Arr { 06.14.13 at 3:20 pm }

Good interview.

How interesting that both Michael and Xavier answered the “Back Story” question almost identically. I’d guess they’re contractually obligated not to talk about it. I’m assuming we can look forward to New Idea covers like “Michael’s Struggle with ” and “Xavier’s Battle Against “.

2 Joseph Skyrim { 06.14.13 at 3:32 pm }

I like his MC idea. I’d probably watch that if it came together! :)

3 Andrea { 06.14.13 at 3:41 pm }

Is Michael coming back because he said that its not the last we see of him?
Does anyone remember an old show called “Family Affair”, as I think Michael looks a lot like a kid on there called Jody. It could be him all grown up.

4 Littlepetal { 06.14.13 at 3:58 pm }

Michael’s interview with throng:

Michael doesn’t hold back when saying that some contestants would be better underwear models than MasterChef contestants. Michael says “I think they got lost,thinking they were going in for Project Runway and slipped into MasterChef!” He thought some where there just for exposure while he was there to cook.

Why did you decide to enter MasterChef?

Michael – There was an extra casting call and they went to the restaurant over the road from my cinema, The Regal Theatre in Adelaide and asked them if they knew someone who could cook,
had the passion and personality to be on MasterChef. The restaurant, The Spice Kitchen recommended me! In 8 days I had auditioned and was in. The Spice Kitchen confirmed he was an awesome guy and talent and has more up his sleeve

5 Georgie { 06.14.13 at 4:03 pm }

Lol Littlepetal. Micael said “He thought some where there just for exposure while he was there to cook.” Tell the smoked chicken that!

6 Littlepetal { 06.14.13 at 4:05 pm }

Michael still believes he is a very good cook since he was invited to apply !!!!!

7 Rocky { 06.14.13 at 4:10 pm }

Interesting interview RR. We certainly thought we would be seeing a lot more of Michael merely because they had him edited in so much in the cutaways, which reminded us of the Dani days.

Unless they are asking these contestants to hold off on their best dishes, I have to say I have never seen any dishes as bad as Noelene’s stir fry, Kelty’s everything, forgot whose mozzarella foam and many others. Just real odd.

We used to watch the tastings and envy the judges not feel sorry for them.

8 Littlepetal { 06.14.13 at 4:28 pm }

So far the 3 eliminated contestants have no back stories and they are gonski.

Look like Kelty is in the ammunity challenge.

I have noticed they have not shown the mothers crying for missing their kids. It will have to happen sooner or later.

9 Techhater { 06.14.13 at 4:34 pm }

RR another great interview. He doesn’t seem half as creepy in his interviews. Thanks again LittlePetal for the link.

Methinks something is afoot when he said we haven’t seen the last of him. Surely MC are not going to do a ComeBack Kitchen.

10 daisy { 06.14.13 at 4:40 pm }

Andrea@3 I thought EXACTLY the same thing; that Michael looks like the boy in Family Affair. I might google the show to see if they look alike as adults.

11 Andrea { 06.14.13 at 4:55 pm }

They do still look alike Daisy, I think Jody (Johnnie Whitaker ) is a drug counsellor now, he’s about 53.

12 Littlepetal { 06.14.13 at 4:59 pm }

I think every season the eliminated contestants have a second chance to come back into the MC Kitchen.

Didn’t Courtney and Jimmy, the curry man got eliminated but got back into MC and finished in the Top 5

13 daisy { 06.14.13 at 5:10 pm }

Yes Andrea, I have a feeling I have seen ‘Jody’ as an adult and recalled he did look like Michael. It is a very close resemblance.
I used to love that show.

14 Techhater { 06.14.13 at 5:16 pm }

Daisy and other interested parties. Don’t forget CelebRehab is on ABC2 tonight.

15 daisy { 06.14.13 at 5:20 pm }

Thanks TH. I thought I would give it a go. And thanks for reminding me it’s Friday and I need to record my Chinese matchmaking show on SBS at 8.30.

16 Littlepetal { 06.14.13 at 5:23 pm }

I watched the Chinese speed dating last week. Very funny show.

17 Andrea { 06.14.13 at 5:27 pm }

Might have a look at those two shows tonight.

18 Carole { 06.14.13 at 5:49 pm }

Thanks RR, interesting interview. Lets see if things do pick up as the show goes on.

19 daisy { 06.14.13 at 6:09 pm }

The girls on the Chinese show stay on from week to week unless they get a guy. I love their comments and questions… very blunt.

20 brain dead dave { 06.14.13 at 7:03 pm }

Michael: “I don’t think the standard of cooking on my time on the show has been any different from what the last four seasons have been.”

Makes one wonder then why George and Gary have come out in the media to remark on the relatively poor standard of cooking on offer this year on Ma$terchef.

21 LB { 06.14.13 at 7:24 pm }

Oooh, thanks for the reminder TH re CR – would have completely forgotten about it.

22 Morgan { 06.14.13 at 8:13 pm }

I’m sorry RR, but if he seriously thinks the cooking is no worse than past seasons then he is delusional. And we can’t even taste the dishes! Season 3’s cast was made of mostly mediocre cooks but most of them could cook circles around this year’s cast, IMO.

23 Izobel2 { 06.14.13 at 8:29 pm }

Nice work Techhater. I forgot about CR as well. All set.
Have finally set the Chinese show too Daisy :)

Great interview RR. Will show the husband when he gets home.
I wish Michael stuck around a bit longer.

24 Reality Raver { 06.14.13 at 8:44 pm }

Morgan – don’t apologise to me. I think Gary Mehigan has said they were not as good.However I do think they are focussing on the bad dishes.

25 brain dead dave { 06.14.13 at 8:56 pm }

Michael’s not the first to under cook chicken on Ma$terchef, he’s got a point there.

But he can take credit for serving chicken with human blood in it.

I think it’s the first time I’ve seen the crust on a Cottage Pie blow torched, as well.

26 Andrea { 06.14.13 at 9:33 pm }

Britain’s next Top Model is also starting now on channel eleven for those interested.

27 Izobel2 { 06.14.13 at 10:20 pm }

Hey Andrea, great minds – I put that on the other thread!
I hope it’s a new season. For some reason I enjoy the Top Model series, although I have no idea how they judge that show!

28 daisy { 06.14.13 at 10:20 pm }

Andrea, thanks so much for the info. I will set recorder immediately.

29 daisy { 06.14.13 at 10:27 pm }

Ha ha. With SYTY on 9 yr old grandson has taken up contmporary dance on loungecroom rug.

30 daisy { 06.14.13 at 10:30 pm }

Izobel, I love the next top model shows. It will be even more fun now.
Do we get a thread to chat on it?

31 Izobel2 { 06.14.13 at 10:45 pm }

No we don’t.. Raver doesn’t do Model shows!
Trust u to like them too! We must b twins I swear!
No one I know watches them so yay.
We just watched the footy so I have lots to catch up on over the weekend !

32 Reality Raver { 06.14.13 at 10:47 pm }

I can start a thread. I have taped b&i NTM but chances of me getting time to watch it is slim, but will set up a blog post so you guys can chit chat about it

33 daisy { 06.14.13 at 10:56 pm }

RR Thankyou. That would be fantastic. Yay.

34 daisy { 06.14.13 at 11:14 pm }

A line from a girl to the guy in the Chinese dating show: “Lose weight as soon as possible”. 12 yr old grandson is in hysterics.

35 daisy { 06.14.13 at 11:20 pm }

But he got a nice girl. So yay! :)

36 brain dead dave { 06.14.13 at 11:35 pm }

Yes. Though a heap of those girls turned their lights off when they saw him. Brutal.

37 daisy { 06.14.13 at 11:47 pm }

BDD It’s always brutal.

38 Izobel2 { 06.14.13 at 11:52 pm }

Thanks RR! We can use the same thread like the bachelor one that time.
Cool! Thanks for keeping the Ravings Community happy!

39 Eliza { 06.15.13 at 12:06 am }

I hope he is right and they are just nervous but somehow I don’t think so. The standard is definitely lower and yeah, Gary has said this in the media. No coincidence that the lack of back story contestants are first to go!! Interesting what he said in his other interview about contestants being there for exposure. Again, the producers picked them.

Liking the idea of a NTM thread. I am pretty excited for new aus top model next month. I knew a girl who was on the show years back, so I enjoy the characterisations they edit them with. I haven’t watched the US version for a while because I got a bit tired of how crazy angry some of the contestants were. Crazy!

40 daisy { 06.15.13 at 12:14 am }

I love seeing how they can make odd looking girls stunning in photo shoots.

41 Reality Raver { 06.15.13 at 12:15 am }

Isobel2 thanks for being a part of the ravings community

42 Eliza { 06.15.13 at 1:21 am }

Yes, Daisy, I do find that really intriguing. A lot of the time it’s the girls who look quite plain (or at times odd) at first that look the most stunning when done up and photographed.

43 Andrea { 06.15.13 at 8:50 am }

Yes, thank you RR re Britains Next Top Model, it would be good to discuss it here.
The first show was really good, Elle must think she’s really British, I wonder why she doesn’t do the Aussie version?
Its a shame our version is only on pay tv, at least the British version is on free to air so everyone can watch.
The advertising for it could be better though as I only noticed it by accident while browsing through the channel guide.

44 Anna { 06.15.13 at 2:10 pm }

Michael, is delusional!!!

He got his 15 seconds of fame, time to go back to running a movie cinema, and NOT opening a Tapas bar.

If he plans on opening one then it better be across the road from Hospital

45 daisy { 06.15.13 at 2:14 pm }

Ha ha Anna. He can make his tapas cottage pie.

46 Anna { 06.16.13 at 9:43 pm }

New week & MC jumped the shark!!

WT* was Jolwsy thinking when he selected that red suit?

WT* Moment number 2 comes tomorrow … They played ‘Votre Toast’ when contestants were fumbling in the dark

Mr arrogant is 50 now but still sounds great, his ego is a huge turn off

47 Masterchef Australia – A Killer Cake, A Meltdown And Two People Leaving? | reality ravings { 06.20.13 at 12:17 pm }

[…] two of you to retire from the challenge? I have no idea. All I do know is in the interview with Michael last week he told me this won’t be the last time we see him on Masterchef, and Clarissa is not doing interviews […]