MasterChef is my idea of hell. It’s not the cameras, it’s not the pressure, it’s not even the fear of everyone discovering how middle class I really am. No, what does it for me is the thought of having five seconds left to complete a challenge that could really change my life, five seconds to finish approximately a thousand tasks at once, all the while being asked to stop and have a chat with two men desperate to tell me how likely I am to mess it all up. To me, it seems to be the case that MasterChef’s two judges, John Torrode and Greg Wallace, are the only flaw in a format that’s somehow managed to charm countless Britons over the years, and this year’s season certainly proves that.
Undeniably, there are a lot of elements to like about the show: it has becoming increasingly diverse, and now helps to indicate how to cook with more budget-friendly ingredients. The challenges are always varied, with the producers seeming less afraid to experiment with the format, guaranteeing a fun hour or so of television.
Refreshingly, it’s reality TV that does not set out to make people cry, or to look stupid – it’s just about celebrating people who have a skill they often do not get to show, something that brings them joy. Perhaps best of all, it is the rare television contest that has real impact – almost every winner of MasterChef has been a success in their chosen field, which is more than can be said for the majority of other reality television shows. As aforementioned, what seems to let MasterChef down is its judges. If you watch its spin-off, MasterChef: The Professionals, you see contestants judged by two successful chefs Monica Galetti and the multi-Michelin star winning Marcus Wareing – two significantly more knowledgeable and deserving individuals who seem noticeably more excited to be part of the show. In contrast, Torrode and Wallace – both of whom have been judging this show for upwards of ten years, appear tired and grumpy episode after episode. It is obvious that they are bored of their role in the show. I would advise that recruiting some new judges would undoubtedly spice up an otherwise nationally adored show. Give Torrode and Wallace a break and bring in some fresh judges who are more deserving of their position. Even a small change such as this could go a long way in reestablishing the show as a favourite of the nation.
Image from Richard Gillin via Wikimedia Commmons