Tele­vi­sion: Masterchef serves up sea­son five ...........

The judges won’t rest on their lau­rels in their new sea­son, writes

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - PLAY -

MASTERCHEF judge Ge­orge Calom­baris shares his ini­tials with the Gold Coast.

‘‘Per­haps I should be your Gold Coast ambassador,’’ he laughs. ‘‘I could be GC on the GC.’’

In fact, it wasn’t so long ago Calom­baris was spot­ted en­joy­ing din­ner out at Greek restau­rant He­lenika, at Nobby Beach.

He was with his fel­low MasterChef judges Gary Me­hi­gan and Matt Pre­ston. The trio tweeted from the restau­rant be­fore they made their exit.

Calom­baris won’t re­veal whether the trio were there in an of­fi­cial ca­pac­ity for the show, but teases un­mer­ci­fully.

‘‘You never know,’’ he laughs.

‘‘What do you think? Three MasterChef judges, all to­gether in a restau­rant on the Gold Coast. There’s got to be a very good chance it’s re­lated to film­ing. Now I’m sit­ting here and I’m look­ing at the show publi­cist. She’s sit­ting across the ta­ble from me ... and she’s shak­ing her head. No. So no. I can­not say any more about it.’’

Like ev­ery edi­tion of MasterChef which has come be­fore, se­ries five will come with a few tweaks to the for­mat.

‘‘Some say dif­fer­ent. I pre­fer the word bet­ter,’’ he says.

‘‘With ev­ery se­ries we’ve got to get bet­ter. We can’t just on our lau­rels, sit on what we’ve done.’’

He adds: ‘‘Bet­ter might not nec­es­sar­ily trans­late into big­ger au­di­ences, into higher rat­ings. I doubt we’ll ever again see num­bers like we did in se­ries two.’’

Calom­baris says the new se­ries will be punc­tu­ated by themes that launch with chal­lenges that pit boys against girls.

‘‘That lasts about a week and then we move on. There are a few things in the pipe­line. Kids’ week, Ital­ian week and the master­classes se­ries, filmed this year in front of a live au­di­ence which is go­ing to bring en­ergy and fun to it.’’

In be­tween, says Calom­baris, the show also hoped to make some ‘‘po­lit­i­cal state­ments in an elec­tion year’’.

‘‘ MasterChef has been the sort of show

MasterChef peo­ple talk about and we want to keep them talk­ing,’’ he says.

‘‘When the show started you couldn’t walk past a build­ing site with­out hear­ing big burly blokes talk­ing about cro­quem­bouch, or a kids’ play­ground where they weren’t giv­ing their par­ents the five more min­utes drill. We’ve put a bit of thought into the sorts of mes­sages we’ll send this time and some will be left of cen­tre and per­haps a bit con­tro­ver­sial. We want peo­ple to stop and think about what they eat and the way they eat it.’’

MasterChef Aus­tralia: Sun­day to Thurs­day, 7.30pm, Ten, Ten SC.

judges Matt Pre­ston, Ge­orge Calom­baris and Gary Me­hi­gan

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