It’s gone to hell in the kitchen
HELL’S Kitchen Australia couldn’t break the one million viewer barrier on debut in another sign that Channel 7 is struggling to find a runaway hit.
The Marco Pierre White-hosted celebrity cooking show averaged 817,000 across the five capital cities on Sunday and was easily beaten by The Block.
It got an absolute grilling on social media. “F***ing rubbish”, “it’s an absolute bore” and “there goes 20 minutes I won’t get back” summed up many viewers’ reactions to the new reality show.
The Hell’s Kitchen launch was down 24% compared to last year’s Zumbo’s Just Desserts, which had the benefit of premiering straight after the Rio Olympics.
Seven has struggled to find a second cooking show to complement My Kitchen Rules. Conviction Kitchen and Restaurant Revolution, as well as Zumbo’s Just Desserts, never got past a first season.
Here’s what we reckon is wrong with Hell’s Kitchen:
Viewers don’t buy a nasty Marco Pierre White. It is easy to imagine Gordon Ramsay, who presents the US version of Hell’s Kitchen, as a hellfire host. But Aussies know Pierre White from his guest spots on MasterChef Australia and hosting MasterChef: The Professionals where he was firm but fair. It feels like he is playing a cartoon version of himself on Hell’s Kitchen.
The concept is a bit of a cheat. Sorry, did we just hear the narrator say that some of the food is pre-prepared by the show’s sous chefs? That’s not on.
The launch episode was slow. Discerning viewers would have switched off in the first 20 minutes, which is how long it took to get through the scenes of bewildered celebrities walking into the kitchen and saying hello to each other.
This isn’t exactly an A-grade bunch of celebrities. Seven has put a lot of its promotional grunt behind Sam Frost because it knows the former Bachelorette is the best of a bad bunch. And is everyone truly sick and tired of David Oldfield by now?
Nothing is at stake. On MasterChef Australia the winner gets $250,000. But the winner of Hell’s Kitchen gets a mere $50,000 for their favourite charity. That sort of figure just doesn’t cut it in 2017.
It is pretty obvious none of the celebrities can cook. Cook anything with eggs in 15 minutes. Sounds simple enough.
Not for this lot.
Marco Pierre White with Jess Fox and Sam Frost in a scene from Hell’s Kitchen.