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New Masterchef Goes X Factor


A new series of Masterchef – great, settle down in front of the telly with beans in a tomato jus, served with pain grillé, what could be better? Then the realisation that something is wrong… New kitchen, fine, we’ve read about that, but there’s something else. There’s been a meeting since the last series that went something like this -

“Make it more like X Factor


They’ve tried to liven it up when it didn’t need it. It looks like they’ve gone out looking for ‘characters’ – the American cooking Japanese food who is so happy to get through he can’t help asking “Can I, like, hug you guys?” “Er, no” “That’s the best apron I’ve ever had in my hands”. I ask you. We also had the (very likeable) carpenter who dreamed of being a chef all through his woodwork training – wait, how about Master Carpenter, with Gordon, Jamie et al making shelves? Bring it to the next meeting.

On the old Masterchef we used to get the contestants making a phone call once they were through – nice moment – now we get the family/partners/girlfriends/manfriends waiting in the wings. And the trolley – on the way in it looks like Mrs Overall from Acorn Antiques and on the way out it’s a modern day TV metaphor for the suitcase-on-wheels exit of The Apprentice.

The main problem, however, is the pure secondhand X Factor of the decision-making process.

First contestant – John says “Yes’”, Greg says “Whoa, this has to be a unanimous decision! Oh, ok, what he said, you’re in.”

Many of the subsequent ones – “I’m going to say ‘No’” – “I’m going to say (long, Chris Tarrant-style pause) – ‘Yes’”. Lines lifted straight from X Factor, and you expect Danni, Cheryl, Louis or whoever to come on and cast the deciding vote. Instead they have to come back and cook again.

Long pauses, then the verdict. The look between the two of them. The sentimental music as they cut to the waiting relatives. The negative hints leading up to a “…but I think you deserve a place”. The “You’ve done such a great job, but there were mistakes, you ran out of time, I think you’d agree you’ve let yourself down, and that’s why I’m afraid, with great regret, I’m going to have to say… You have a place”. Quelle surprise. It’s X Factor leftovers served in a stale cheese jus, it’s overdone Simon Cowell garnished with a 2 year-old salad.

It’s like a bad dream and I just want to wake up in the old Masterchef kitchen and hear Greg saying “I larrve the sweetness of the lamb”.

1 Comment

One Response to “New Masterchef Goes X Factor”

  1. chris burton says:

    all the new xfactor style masterchef needs is a 3rd judge maybe a celebrity chef oliver or ramsay or that annoying heston blumen thingy bob

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