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Forgive me if this makes less sense than I usually do (cough syrup+allergy medicine does wonders for one's general state of consciousness) but I'm going to go off about Masterchef now.
I'll admit, hipster tendencies aside, that I was introduced to the franchise by Masterchef Australia (and not even the first season, the second!) and I loved that all throughout until the final episodes of season four. You started to notice the cracks in the format and the producers skill starting to appear. The excitement level was starting to remain at a constant instead of building up throughout the season and challenges became downright unfair (more on this later). Every episode was the most serious of the most spectacular season yet and it got boring quickly.
The judges also got some obvious writing cues, which is something that's always surprised me about reality TV shows. Why write in their chemistry when they obviously had it and utilized it well before you started handing them scripts?
Season five was just bad, the amateur chefs sucked, they started off with a "Girls V Boys" theme that was so sexist people who usually don't care about sexism noticed, theme weeks in general were a terrible idea because they limited what contestants could do and anybody with the slightest bit of promise aside from one was eliminated before we were halfway through. Then the last actual contender (Rishi) was eliminated in what was clearly a written setup (it was even the standard "whoever got the advantage earlier will lose as soon as they try to use it" plot that they'd used like in 30/70 episodes of the season).
Eventually, I started having a real problem with the "We'll only judge you on this week's performance" thing. I know that's what brings in new viewers but instead of doing a small introduction of the character in each episode like the U.K. version, they just judged everybody on what they put up that exact minute. It means lots of talented people have a great chance of getting eliminated because they screw up one thing (Season 3 had a guy who absolutely sucked at desserts but had basically gamed* the rest of the competition who was eliminated in the single dessert elimination they ever had aside from the Adriano Zumbo* challenge).
*See pun because game is meat! <_<
*I really like Adriano Zumbo but seriously he should never be on Masterchef ever again it's old now there are lots of desert specialists out there find some!
I thought Masterchef Australia: The Professionals would be better, but I actually missed season five while watching it. I don't like angry chef shows, and Marco Pierre White is not just an angry chef, he's a crazy chef. I felt sorry for everybody during service, from day 1 there was an emphasis on perfection so hammered in that it lost all meaning by the end. One elimination challenge involved one person working an entire kitchen to feed 120 people (it was always 120 people, even in the finale) and led to the elimination of one of the strongest chefs (Cameron) and I couldn't sit through the episode because it was unfair (even the contestants noted this). They'd actually done this before on normal Masterchef and then they didn't send anybody home because I'm assuming they realized this. Now I kind of wonder about that episode.
On top of this, I'm pretty sure one chef (Akuc) stayed for as long as she did because they wanted to show sad pictures of Somalia. She blew 3 reinvention tests and was only eliminated after the third, but she also revealed that reinvention tests were pointless because you can't reinvent a meal no matter how hard you try (much like, well, reinventing the wheel), so basically 1/3rds of the competition was contradictory, arbitrary and pointless when it came to actually judging the chef's abilities.
Then there was the finale, in which a third of the screen time was dedicated to making Marco's stupid terrine made of nothing but leeks and crab with no interesting anything (seriously only Marco Pierre White can make terrine boring). There were concrete bricks involved for some reason. I have no idea who approved this but they really need to re-examine how they do things. This was a problem throughout the entire season as well, the chefs had to cook dishes Marco preconceived for some reason instead of showing how inventive they could be considering iunno they're professional chefs.
I'm still looking forward to actually watching season six, but I'm not excited for it or anything. I'll watch it till it gets cancelled really.
Right now, I'm actually enjoying the British version of Masterchef... kind of. I still can't stand the main series version (really, I'm just easily bored while watching it) but Celebrity Masterchef and Masterchef: The Professionals are great.
I've also watched the Canadian version of Masterchef, in which I'm pretty sure the producers picked everybody who said they weren't there to make friends because it makes Canadians look like backstabbers and generally unpalatable people.
I'd like to end this post on a note that would connect all these topics together, but my entire post was about Masterchef and I'm really at a loss for how I'd do that anyways.