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Posts from — March 2015

Masterchef Australia – Ratings Are Not A Big Deal When You Are Not Rating!

Masterchef Australia is kicking off soon, probably around mid-April, and the judges are being trotted out for publicity and of course they are being asked about My Kitchen Rules.

And of course the issue of ratings was raised. But George Colombaris told the SMH that ratings don’t really matter it was about quality. Tell the television executives that George…

The article states:

Why does My Kitchen Rules have twice the audience of MasterChef?

“What do you gauge success as?” Calombaris says. “The success of that show is in its ratings, but – you know what? – there are fast-food chains out there that do more covers than I do in my restaurants. Does it make them any better?

“You know about the amazing cooks this show has produced who are doing massive things in the food world. We think about Marian, Poh, Julie, Hayden – people who are actively in food as we speak. They’re not fly-by-nighters. They’re not just, `Oooh, I’m on TV’, and then bang, they’re gone. If you just want to be on TV, I don’t care how good you can cook. You’re not part of MasterChef.

“There have been close to 80 contestants and I reckon 70 of them are in the industry now. You don’t need to win. You just need to have a dream and an idea and a goal. That’s what the show does. It gives you this springboard and platform to get out there and get among it.”

How does Calombaris respond to the criticism that the producers of MasterChef (and My Kitchen Rules) manipulate viewers by editing the footage into a soap opera, exaggerating the emotions of the contestants, and amplifying the experience with melodramatic music?

“All I know is I was there and I didn’t need music to make me get very emotional. The emotion I get when I’m on set 14 hours a day and pushing these contestants and seeing the emotion that it brings out in them, there is nothing more real. I wish we could have a 24-hour MasterChef channel, where you could see the whole day pan out. It makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up, if I had some.

MasterChef is built on a certain integrity and belief. That’s why I’m part of the show. It’s a show that resonates not only for Aussies, but through all cultures, cuisines and religions. The Australian version is seen in 140 countries, dubbed in all sorts of languages.”

Calombaris is comfortable with the job of pushing the contestants to their physical and intellectual limits. “You know why? Because there’s $250,000 at the end of this. There are cars and book deals. There’s a lot riding on it. We need to make the right decision.

“We will gauge how good they are as cooks at the beginning and, as we go along, if we think we can push them further, we will. We push them because we want to see them achieve. We want them ready and armoured up to face reality.

“[If] you deal with customers, staff, you’ve got to have a thick skin, you’ve got to be an octopus, you’ve got tot be a doctor, a teacher, a chemist, a psychologist, but that’s why I love it.”

And of course he said this year the contestants are the best ever.

Masterchef Australia starting on TEN soon.

Thanks Rosie for sending it in.

March 30, 2015   45 Comments

Guest Post: Survivor Recap – A Challenge Thrown And A Blindside

Rosie is back with the latest recap. Thanks Rosie and over to you:

And now it’s Week 6 already! Who will go home tonight? The name of the episode is Odd Woman Out, which may or may not be ominous for one of the gels. Let’s wait and see, shall we?

We start on the Red tribe, with Shirin being a bit upset that her only friend, Max, has now gone. Carolyn and Hali aren’t exactly reassuring when they tell her that he was really annoying and that she is too. Shirin thinks this could either be her personality (gee, ya think?), or that it’s like her high school days, when she grew up as a poor little rich girl but was never quite as beautiful or as thin as the other girls. *insert biggest eye roll in the world here*

Meanwhile at the Blue tribe, Dan tells the newbies to the tribe how he lost his Reg Grundies and now wears a nappy made from his shirt instead. Yeah, they’re fascinated, mate. Rodney is trying to form a new alliance with Joaquin. He tells him (J) that Mike never misses going to church, is celibate and teetotal. Joaquin is amazed. They agree that since they are both party boys that makes them instant best friends and they should work together.
Reward Challenge. The reward is a trip to a turtle sanctuary to watch the turtles migrate up the beach where they’ll lay their eggs. Then they (the winning tribe, not the turtles 😉 ) will get comfort food such as macaroni cheese, beef stew and hot chocolate. In this challenge the teams have to zoom up a tower – yes of course through obstacles, why would you even ask? – and chuck sandbags at targets via slingshot thingies. The first team to hit 6 targets wins. You’d think that this being a physical challenge, the winning team would be the (almost) all boyish Blues, but you’d be wrong, because the Reds win! Onya, Reds. Shirin hopes this will give her a chance to bond with her team. We see them enjoy their food and watch the turtles crawl up the beach and lay their eggs. The guide explains that Mama Turtle lays about 120 eggs at a time, with maybe 1 of them having a chance of survival. This makes genius Jenn realise she has a better chance of winning Survivor than these wee things do at life. Oh my Lord!
At the Blues camp, Joaquin chats to Sierra. J says Joe is strong so they should remove him before the merge. Sierra tells him that Rodney is a loose cannon. Between you and me and the gate post, I agree with her. But of course since Joaquin and Rodney are now besties, Sierra’s going to get nowhere with that tack. Rodney then joins them and asks Sierra if she’s still angry with him. She sensibly keeps her mouth shut. Rodney seems to think he can win this whole thing. Oh Christ, no, anyone but him! Rodney then tells Mike that he can influence Joaquin, and that they should throw a challenge to eliminate Joe. Oh please, does this mean things go wrong and we can get rid of Rodney? Mike tells us it rarely works to throw a challenge (Rosie nods vigorously), but since his alliance is with Kelly who is on the other tribe, he’ll go along with it.
Immunity Challenge. The challenge is one of those memory based ones where, after viewing a bunch of items in a particular order, one of the players then pulls a lever to remove the display of items from view. Things are even until it’s Mike versus Kelly. Mike doesn’t only blow the challenge, but tells Kelly he’s doing so, and then tells her what to put where! Mind you, even having done that, it takes her a while to beat him. So of course the Reds win, what with having said win handed to them beautifully gift wrapped and decorated with a large blue bow.
The Blues are ever so proud to have deliberately lost (the ones who are in the know, that is) the challenge. Mike admits privately that a little part of him died having to throw it. Sierra is enjoying finally being in a power position with just about everyone wanting her vote, as the usual scrambling and deliberating takes up their afternoon.
Tribal Council. Joe says he can see cracks in the majority alliance and Tyler says there is bad blood around Sierra. Rodney says things are different now that the tribes have changed but Sierra says it was the personal attacks that bothered her. And now they need her vote they are sucking up to her, but she doesn’t know who she can trust. It’s time to vote. We see Joaquin and Joe vote for each other. No idol is played. Jeff reads the votes: Joe, Joaquin, Joe, Joaquin, Joe, Joaquin and… Joaquin! Poor widdle Wodney is shocked! His head keeps swivelling around as if someone is going to have an “It was me!” sign above them. Most amusing. Sierra looks pretty happy, as does Mike. Joaquin tells us he was completely blindsided, but he takes it well. Heh. Love me a good blindside.
Next week: the merge! Should be interesting. I can’t promise it will be, just that it should.

March 27, 2015   18 Comments

The Amazing Race – Japan To Phuket

The Amazing Race left Japan and headed for Patong, with the blind date couples up the front of the pack. Interesting concept this season where the teams are either made up of dating couples or teams of “blind dates”, that is they have been put together for the race. It must be a new form of torture to be on the Amazing Race with a person you did not know. Can see this going pear shaped quickly.

The teams headed off from Nagano to Phuket, well nearly all as Jonathan (he is from New Kids On The Block) and Harley could not get tickets and landed in the morning when everyone else landed at night. Lucky for them the other teams had been put up in a hotel for the night.

In the morning after getting their clue at the upside down house they had the choice of detours the Wave Park or Tree Top Waiting.

The wave riding looked difficult but so did the tree waiting. I was surprised that not more couples did the wave ride as they all look quite fit.

Clue reading appears to be an issue with two teams taking off with their trays without reading the sign.

Hayley was cracking it at Blair about being a follower and not stopping and thinking rather then following the previous teams and she went on and on. But to be honest I felt her frustration as he did not listen to her, not sure how this blind date is working out for them.  They were sent back but ended up finishing it second after the truckers that are actually dating.

Matt and Ashley were not quite so lucky. Matt was asking her if she was ok with her tray as she was getting hooked up to fly  and he then knocked his own drink over. The look on her face priceless.

After the detour it was off to a night club where they had to dress up as lady boys and learn a dance. Was this appropriate challenge? Tyler did seem to enjoy the challenge a lot.

The truckers, Mike and Rochelle, arrived first at the pitstop and won a trip to Prague which they were pretty happy about as they did not look happy at all doing the dance.

Jonathan and Harley who had had a disaster with their flights and did not make it to Phuket until the following morning arrived last at the pitstop, but lucky for them it was a non elimination leg.

Next week Bangkok.

March 27, 2015   8 Comments

My Kitchen Rules – After A Strong Start Rob And Dave Say Goodbye

Rob and Dave who early in the competition looked like they could go the all way after their fabulous instant restaurant have been eliminated.

They were in the elimination battle against Jane and Emma in a three course cook off and to be fair all their dishes looked fantastic.

However the most entertaining part of the episode came from the peanut gallery. When Kat announced that Rob and Dave were doing Crayfish Ravioli that was a disaster dish from the WA’s couple instant restaurant. Kat turned to Shaz and Jac and asked what they had thought of the dish, with Shaz diplomatically saying she could say as she did not get much of the dish.

Rob and Dave’s entree of Open lobster Ravioli received better reviews with Colin saying the lobster is cooked well and Liz said that they have treated the lobster with respect. Clearly she had not seen it put into boiling water….

Rob and Dave continued with their seafood theme for main making Stuffed Blue Eye Trevalla with soft Polenta. The fish was over cooked. However Pete thought it had beautiful flavour and he preferred it to the girl’s pasta.

For dessert their Mini Pavlova’ with passionfruit curd looked amazing as well and received good reviews in fact the judges looked relieved to be eating decent food for once.

However Jane and Emma menu was delicious as well.

They made Green Papaya Salad with Salt and Pepper Prawns  for entree which Karen Martini thought it was superb. Manu would have liked more dressing because he is now an expert in Asian food.

Their main was Lamb Ragu with Fettucini which did not look that brilliant on the plate but apparently it was tasty. Manu did say he was not enjoying the pea puree but the pasta was cooked well.

And finally their dessert of Bomboloni aka some Italian Doughnuts was a big hit. This was surprising considering when they first started cooking them they were raw in inside.

So poor Rob and Dave even though they scored 45 points were eliminated. You did get the feeling they had been struggling for a few weeks in the competition with dishes not quite up the standards of the others.

March 26, 2015   72 Comments

Reality Tidbits – Wednesday Morning

Lara Bingle has had a baby boy, so now the speculation will move onto what she and her husband Sam Worthington have named it. (Source:

Natalie Bassingthwaite has replaced the Kill’s on the New Zealand’s version of The X Factor but she has been criticised for being to meek. (Source: Daily Telegraph)

Skye Wheatley from last year’s Big Brother went to Bangkok to get a boob job and here are the results. (Source: Daily Mail) Thanks Bron for sending it in.

Redfoo was the first contestant to be eliminated on the US version of Dancing With The Stars, which is a tad surprising considering he does have some rhythm . (Source: Daily Mail)

Australian Survivor contestant Joel Betts loses his appeal on his attempted murder sentence. (Source: SMH)

There is a reality show called Neighbours With Benefits about seining in the US. Ironically it is not the first swinging reality show as there was one set in Atlanta. (Source: Washington Post)

SEVEN is advertising Gordon Ramsay on The Costa Del Sol. It appears like a Spanish version of Kitchen Nightmares. Does this guy even cook anymore?


March 25, 2015   11 Comments