Herald Sun - Switched On - - ON THE BOX - / HOLLY BYRNES

Nine’s The Voice has held off a ma­raud­ing MasterChef Aus­tralia to win their first re­al­ity TV rat­ings battle on Mon­day night.

While Seven’s news won the night, The Voice drew early blood with its sec­ond week of blind au­di­tions, av­er­ag­ing 1.169 mil­lion view­ers (five-city metro); with MasterChef mak­ing the top five, with 1.060m on its sea­son re­turn.

In a strong sign for Chan­nel 10, the cook­ing se­ries posted its best launch since 2015 – up five per cent on last year’s fig­ures.

Open­ing the ninth sea­son, MasterChef took the num­ber one spot in key de­mo­graph­ics, in­clud­ing 25-54s and un­der 55s.

Ten’s pro­gram­ming boss, Bev­er­ley McGar­vey cel­e­brated the re­sult, telling Switched On: “we are de­lighted with how Aus­tralians have re­sponded to the new sea­son of MasterChef. This year’s con­tes­tants are re­mark­able, the food they pro­duce is ex­tra­or­di­nary and Gary, Ge­orge and Matt do a won­der­ful job of guid­ing and men­tor­ing the con­tes­tants. MasterChef is an im­por­tant show for Ten and we can­not wait to bring the rest of the new sea­son to view­ers.”

In tonight’s episode, con­tes­tants get their fi­nal chance to qual­ify for the top 24, when punk pas­try princess Anna Polyviou (be­low) sets them a “fire­cracker” dessert.

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