Looks like, reality shows are the bread and butter for any television channel. Knowingly or unknowingly, fortunately or unfortunately, the most gala fashioned and hyped television programs giving more TRP for the television channels are the reality shows. One such programme is “Master Chef”, conducted by different countries.
As a food maniac, I am a die-hard fan of this reality show.
Master Chef reality show caters to the audience aging from 12.There is no upper age limit for the participation. The contestants participate in the competition for various reasons ranging from the sheer love for food, to accomplish a food dream, a professional learning of cooking of food, to make culinary skills a source of earning etc.,
I am a staunch follower of Master Chef Seasons India, US & Australia. An individual participating in these reality shows spends almost 3 – 6 months of his or her life. Hence it is imperative that the time spent by the contestants and the judges is worthwhile. Hysterically, all the three versions of master chef have one thing in common; which is the drama. Master Chef India seems to be topping the ranking with respect to unnecessary TRP influenced emotional drama.
As the seasons pass by, I gauge a clear cut difference between the Master Chef episodes of India, US & Australia; in terms of standard and quality of the show as a whole, knowledge shared and gained between the judges and contestants, standard of the challenges given to the contestants and the quality of the feedback given to the participants.
It is disheartening to state that the master chef US, which is the trend setter of this series globally, does not provide challenging atmospheres for the participants. The same old fashioned style of mystery box and invention test, and occasionally a field team challenge, is all what master chef US offers to the contestants. On the other end, the journey of the master chef Australia or India, nurtures the participants to handle real time field pressures of the food industry, by designing restaurant quality challenges and teaching new techniques of cooking by conducting master class under the guidance of renowned food artists of the world.
There is a marked difference between the standard of the quality of the contenders and judges in all these three countries. While it’s true that these judges are highly rated professionals in their domains, but on camera, the attitude of some of the judges of some countries does not command respect.
For example, a recent episode of the master chef US which I viewed was horrendously humiliating. The contestant had presented an under-cooked and salty dish. The judges could not taste the dish. It is acceptable that the contestant had performed badly. But the reaction from one of the judges was even more disrespectful for the food as such. One of the judges had thrown the plate into the dustbin. As a viewer and food lover, the judge’s reaction earned an instant disrespect from me. I was ridiculed by the fact that, how a food professional could throw away the food. The judge could have taught the contestant how to better the food rather than reacting in such a demeaning fashion. Feedback should make the contender stronger and not make them feel guilty and low.
On the contrary, I had seen an episode of master chef Australia, where the same kind of mistake was made by the participant. The judges communicated the feedback in a very constructive way, stating “All chefs has a bad day in the kitchen”. With respect to master chef India, I don’t remember seeing any such act of disgrace till date.
Though master chef US has its own positives’, the only thing that comes to mind when recollecting about it, is the brutal abuse of the participants amongst each other. The participants abuse each other irrespective of the fact that they are in television reality show. There is no dignity and self-respect on the show. On the contrary to this, in master chef Australia and India, no such acts of indifference or abuse is seen or felt anywhere in any corner of the game.
To me, master chef Australia will always remain the highest and most elated ranking, as it trails the holistic approach of learning for both the judges and participants besides the motives of reality show. Following this, the Indian Master Chef version also attains the objectives are learning and grooming the participants to fulfill their food dreams. I would not recommend watching master chef US, as the viewers do not gain any knowledge and feels like a sheer waste of time.
Three cheers to reality shows like master chef Australia, which takes the one step beyond from the objectives of conducting the reality show and gives a complete exposure for the participants and viewers; and gives an insight into the pros and cons of this ever booming food industry.