Get­ting the recipe right

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Cover Story -

MASTERCHEF Aus­tralia judges Matt Pre­ston, Ge­orge Calom­baris and Gary Me­hi­gan have vowed to stamp out the bitch­i­ness and blub­ber­ing that plagued last year’s sea­son of the hit se­ries.

This year, they say, will be back to ba­sics.

Last year, con­tes­tants in­clud­ing Jonathan ‘‘ The Ter­mi­na­tor’’ Dad­dia (IT con­sul­tant) and Claire Winton Burn (lawyer) fell out of favour with the judges and view­ers for their per­ceived ar­ro­gance and re­peated cry­ing.

There won’t be any re­peat per­for­mances. This year’s MasterChef con­tes­tants come from a wider range of oc­cu­pa­tions and in­clude a life­guard and a fighter pilot.

Four­teen Vic­to­ri­ans have made the top 50 for the third se­ries of the rat­ings jug­ger­naut. New South Wales and Queens­land will each plate up 12 con­tes­tants, South Aus­tralia will have seven and West­ern Aus­tralia five.

In a ma­jor twist, there will be no sec­ond chance this year. Elim­i­nated com­peti­tors won’t be al­lowed back on the show.

‘‘ We de­cided to re­move things that don’t feel right,’’ Pre­ston says. ‘‘ Hope­fully, it will feel more nat­u­ral.’’

Pre­ston makes no bones about the fact that he, Calom­baris and Me­hi­gan didn’t en­joy the sec­ond se­ries of MasterChef.

The trio’s dis­plea­sure wasn’t just with some of the con­tes­tants— it was also aimed at them­selves.

‘‘ In se­ries two we were all overly dra­matic,’’ Pre­ston says. ‘‘ We were all ‘ per­form­ing’ for the first half (of the se­ries), and as soon as we saw what it was like on the TV, we went, ‘ Oh my God, that is so ridicu­lous, so overblown’.’’

Last sea­son’s Coun­try Women’s As­so­ci­a­tion chal­lenge was an em­bar­rass­ment. Many of the con­tes­tants couldn’t even bake a sim­ple sponge, scone or fruit cake. ‘‘ We’ve be­come bet­ter at

pick­ing con-

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