Thursday, July 23, 2009

MasterChef Australia : Reality TV formula all networks should follow

Holy cheese and crackers! The season finale for MasterChef Australia was larger than Ben Hur. No really! It attracted 3.745 million viewers, making it the most watched TV non-sporting event since the advent of ratings.

Network Ten have a knack of making outstanding shows out of nowhere. Earlier in the year, Ten had lost Big Brother and Thank God You're Here. I remembered many media critics, especially Charles Waterstreet (columnist for Sun Herald) laughing at the concept of MasterChef. How do you judge taste? Viewers can't taste it he would state. Boy, weren't we all wrong.

The reason why MasterChef Australia is so successful lies simply on its format. Network Ten, along with Fremantle Media are geniuses when it comes to reality TV. MasterChef, like Australian Idol takes the viewers to the very beginning - where the judges are selecting the talented amateur chefs, from the appalling ones.

Overtime, the audience starts building a relationship with the contestants and we understand their background, likes and dislikes. No wonder why we were partial to certain contestants. Any Poh or Justine fans out there?

I believe one of the reasons why MasterChef was so successful was that viewers could easily relate to the contestants. Julie Goodwin, mother of three and a IT consultant - many people know a mother who's juggling family and a career. Justine Schofield, a former sales executive who was recently made redundant. In the current economic recession - we all know someone who's been made redundant from their job.

If other commercial TV networks are interested in creating a reality TV competition show, use Network Ten's format for details. Or else, it could end up like Nine's recent HOMEmade.

Even the website for MasterChef Australia is brilliant. The website is easy to navigate and recipes seen on the show are uploaded onto the website within milliseconds. No doubt new Chief Digital Media Officer, Nick Spooner was behind the widgets of the MasterChef website (Spooner was formerly the Chief Operating Officer of NineMSN).

MasterChef Australia will obviously commence next year. My only concern is, it wouldn't have the same innocence as it did this season. I've already checked out the website where applicants can apply for MasterChef Australia 2010 and the stuff needed to get onto the show include a digital photograph of yourself. Now, I don't know what the criteria was for this year's MasterChef competition, but the pre-requisite of a portrait of yourself is a sign that looks will be taken into consideration. If it is, I doubt it'll attract the massive viewing as it did this year.

What are your thoughts Petites? Am I too cynical?

Happy reading!


Corrine/Frock And Roll said...

I think you're spot on, lovely! I usually try and steer clear of reality TV, but I completely ate up (excuse the appalling pun) 'Masterchef'. I miss it already!

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