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Masterchef US is like a severe accident: you want to look away, yet urge to watch it is bigger!
Masterchef is quite an installment! It has highly acclaimed chefs as hosts. It seems that they have the best of the best of props.
The issue is, that from year to year, it loses appeal (at least to me). And this has some more obvious and some more hidden reasons:
1) The TV format... I know, that cliffhangers are used to increase the suspense - but techniques like that are totally overused in Masterchef US. Every commercial break is after one of these cliffhangers. Supposedly suspense moments are repeated over and over again. Yes, Masterchef is a commercial program but does it need to be that obvious? It almost becomes one of those bad reality TV shows. It is so bad, that I have stopped to watch some seasons after a couple of episodes - despite the fact, that the content was quite good. 2) The "dictator: Gordon Ramsey" The show has Gordon Ramsey written all over it. The other main judges seem to be chosen to be as compatible as possible with him. What is more disturbing is the whole cooking - it is an amateur cooking show, but the participants are consistently asked to cook "Gordon Ramsey's dishes" (and at times dishes of the co- judges). Even in the semifinals, this repeated. Further - despite the fact that we never see, that the participants attend workshops (for sure they do), the cooking technique and cooking equipment seem to be extremely stipulated. Every sane chef who cooks on an event will use an instant-read thermometer to ensure, that steaks (...) are properly cooked. Not the Masterchef contestants. Oppose to previous installments it seems, that Masterchef is not looking for the overall best home-cook, but for the best conservative home-cook - and they seem to do everything in their power, that nobody is touching any contemporary technique or equipment. That is Gordon Ramsey, I guess... 3)The Drama. Yes - I understand, that you want to include drama into the show because it will have a bigger mass appeal. But it seems that the judges and the producers are adding artificial drama, just to make the show more gripping. This can be seen from the selection of the participants, over the selection of the competitions, to the reaction and outbursts of the judges.
... and this is just the tip of the iceberg.
It is unfortunate, that a successful and appealing TV format like that is so exploited, that it becomes annoying and unappealing, but the producers are exactly doing this. Please take Gordon Ramsey on a shorter leash and let him not dominate the whole competition. And let the show be produced and cut having people with an interest in cooking in mind - it isn't a stupid reality show. Get also some fresh blood as guest judges or maybe even replace those judges. I like Aaron Sanchez as the next cooking show fan, but putting him as the godfather of Mexican cuisine is pretty overstated. What is about Rick Bayless - who 100% proofed himself to be one of the spearheads of Mexican cuisine in the USA. Or what about Carlos Gaytán- who is the first Mexican chef who earned a Michelin star? Same applies for Christina Tossi. She really converts into a mini-me Gordon Ramsey - she is cool and good, but what about Dominique Ansel? Or another question - why not completely taking out the baking stuff and have another show which concentrates on baking (Masterbaker US?).
Cooking is such a widespread hobby or activity, and there is not one but many ways. However Masterchef US is not much interested to explore talent, but more into turning every contestant into an amateur- Gordon. That is sad, that is annoying and overall this will kill the show.
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