Wednesday, August 11, 2010

MasterChef Australia vs MasterChef USA

I'm not sure if you all watch cooking shows, but me lovey! Top Chef is addictive and so is MasterChef Australia. I found out last week that a new show just aired, MasterChef USA, and I was able to catch a couple of episodes. Right off the bat the differences between the the US and Aussie versions are loud and clear - screaming in fact. For one, the main host is none other than the foul mouthed hard ass, Gordon Ramsey. This should give you a pretty good idea of the level of harsh.

When I first started watching MasterChef Australia one of the first things I noticed was how supportive and encouraging the contestants were with each other and the judges with the contestants as well. Instead of the bitchy bickering and backstabbing found in Top Chef, the Australian contestants were happy to be together and were competing alongside each other as opposed to against each other. The judges seemed like they wanted the contestants to succeed, which is weird and I've never seen it before in any cooking or competition show. It was a breath of fresh air. When someone left it was a sad experience, but at the same time, not the end of the line. It seems to me that overall they changed many people's lives and helped them to realize their dreams with or without the title of MasterChef. I'm positive many of them left the MasterChef kitchen inspired to continue pursuing their dream and not devastated and finished.

Not so much MasterChef USA. From what I can see so far, the ones that leave there will leave with their spirits crushed and possibly suicidal. I'm sure there are cultural differences to take into consideration, as well as what makes thrills the audience. America loves to see Gordon screaming obscenities and spit at lowly losers, throwing kitchen utensils, gagging on their food, and if permitted I'm sure there would be some slapping going on as well.

On the other hand, there is something to be said for his passion about food, and his honesty. When he really does believe in someone, when he sees potential and promise he doesn't measure efforts in making sure they are given the tools and opportunity they need/deserve in order to prove their worth. Having his support is very much like having Simon Cowell's - it's all you need. When all is said and done, the Paula's and Randy's are good for your self esteem and a comfy shoulder to cry on, but their opinion isn't worth as much as the Simon's - he hates everyone and only just likes the awesome ones.

We'll see how it goes, but so far I'm loving the Aussie one better. You never can tell though. On a related topic but different show - I was friggin' shocked that Kenny was kicked off on the last TopChef episode. I did not see that one coming and in my humble opinion, they made a big mistake. Amanda should have gone home for overcooking her meat. Overcooked meat is vile and a very good reason to send someone packing.


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Paula said...

I'm in the USA and just found the Masterchef Australia series on the internet recently...Started watching them and couldn't stop, I love them so much. I watched Masterchef US first. I "liked" the show (mainly because I'm just a huge fan of any cooking competition) but I thought Top Chef was better. Now, after seeing the Aussies in the kitchen, I am flabbergasted that we couldn't have something with as much dignity and style here in the US. You hit the nail on the head: It is thought by the Networks that sensational drama will earn viewers here in the US. Bravo to Masterchef Australia for showing that you don't have to have people clawing out each other's eyes to have good TV. Plus, those folks can flat out C-O-O-K. I cringe to compare the final dishes on the US version to the final dishes on the Australian version...Not even in the same league. I've really gotta take a trip to Australia someday.