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Masterchef Australia vs Masterchef US

cresyd Aug 8, 2011 08:51 AM

I'm late and a bit backwards in discovering Masterchef, so I just finished the first US season and have now taken up watching the Australian season 3. What my question stems from, is that in the Australian version it's clear that there are clear challenges with recipes and challenges without. Now in the realm of "I've only made pasta once" or "I'm really not a baker" - this makes lots of sense to me for amateur cooks.

However in the American version - there is no mention of recipes, and particularly for the pasta/baking challenges (especially the souffle) - I find it a bit baffling. It ends up feeling a bit like contestants have had to commit the Joy of Cooking to memory. So the question is - does the American version provide the contestants recipes for some challenges and not others but just not tell the viewers?

  1. iL Divo Feb 12, 2014 08:56 AM

    I didn't see the end of masterchef last season so no clue who won. how can I watch masterchef Australia.?

    4 Replies
    1. re: iL Divo
      mramage Feb 12, 2014 11:08 AM

      Two methods - !) using BitTorrents - just google 'masterchef australia S05E01' and you will see a list. 2) If you are familiar with newsgroups which is my preferred method, all episodes are available under alt.multimedia.teevee. I am not aware of any video services in the US or Canada that will show it.

      1. re: mramage
        iL Divo Feb 12, 2014 12:27 PM

        no idea what that means but I'll have to check it out

        1. re: iL Divo
          HillJ Feb 12, 2014 12:30 PM

          You download each episode. Here's the link: http://www.bittorrent.com/ once you are a registered member you get access to the shows listed.

        2. re: mramage
          HillJ Feb 12, 2014 12:34 PM

          FWIW, I watch it here:

          Without d/ling the entire season, I just stream the show. This video crowd is from all over the world contributing to the database of shows and Couch Tuner http://www.couchtuner.eu/tv-streaming/ is another one with a similar database and no registration is required to view from either of these sites.

      2. dave_c Aug 28, 2012 09:27 AM

        From what I remember of Masterchef US Season 1, Gordon mentioned the contestants were given standard recipes to work with on some challenges. Also, is some of the shots you can see the recipes semi-hidden at the contestant's stations. However, with subsequent seasons, no mention of recipes and no recipes are seen at the stations. I'm guessing the producers want to give the impression that the contestants are truly knowledgeable cooks, which I call BS on them.

        However, I can make pasta and a souffle without looking at a recipe... I still call BS. :-)

        1. k
          keepquiet Aug 27, 2012 05:08 PM

          I've watched both the USA and Australia masterchef (all the seasons). I much much prefer the Aussie one. It feels more honest and more about the cooking. With the USA one, the contestants kinda cook in fear of being blasted by Ramsay or Joe.
          Gary and Greg (aussie judges) are mentors + judges. They do not scream and shout or ridicule the contestants ( which I feel happens on the USA version). Plus, there are the masterclasses episodes, where the judges and accomplished chefs teach the contestants and home viewers new recipes and techniques. I actually learn quite abit from the master classes.

          Also, I see much more growth in cooking abilities of contestants in the Aussie one. And it's cool to see contestants apply stuff taught during masterclasses. Aside from the experience, I wonder if the USA contestants saw improvements in their cooking. Take Whitney from the 1st season, from beginning to end, its pretty one note. I don't see evolvement for improments to take cooking above a brilliant homecook level...

          2 Replies
          1. re: keepquiet
            piccola Aug 27, 2012 06:50 PM

            I always skip the masterclasses -- I don't particularly like learn-to-cook shows -- but I like that they're transparent about how the contestants acquire all these new skills. Otherwise, some of the challenges would be all but impossible and the show would basically just humiliate, rather than educate, the participants.

            1. re: keepquiet
              Sutatsar Feb 12, 2014 04:33 AM

              I totally agree with you, I just have been watching us and aus version, I love the aus version, the production of the show is so good and you can see how they became a better cooking in every challenges every week it is more reasonable I found from USA version kinda fake some stage I also enjoy watching their master class all the judges and contestants I prefer to watch masterchef australia

            2. k
              KristiBee Aug 26, 2012 08:16 AM

              I watched the first season of Masterchef US. I didn't enjoy all of the negativity that seems to be the norm for anything with Gordon Ramsey. However, decided to give it another chance and made it through half of the second season. I haven't seen a single episode since. Masterchef AU was into the second season when my son found it. We starting downloading and watching the first season together, and we LOVED it!! I have seen every episode of every season, and I am ahead of him now on watching. lol He has yet to finish season 4 or watch the All-Stars. Workus interferus. lol The difference in the quality of the show is remarkable. On the Aussie version, you actually LEARN along with the contestants. The Master classes are super! The respect that is shown to the contestants from the judges, and between the contestants themselves is what I enjoy, and respect the most. It's such a pleasure to see, and makes the show more enjoyable. Night and day in comparison to the US version. We love you down under!! *grin* You keep cookin, and we'll keep watchin! Peace!

              4 Replies
              1. re: KristiBee
                chris2269 Aug 26, 2012 10:03 AM

                Agree. If you haven't already track down Masterchef AU where are they now special. Really cool.

                1. re: KristiBee
                  cresyd Aug 26, 2012 12:25 PM

                  Why I like the Australian version so much is that the trajectory of the chefs feels really natural. Most of the contestants come in with a strength, and then become more rounded out. There are too many challenges in the American season that either seem too difficult too soon - or completely unlikely that they were conducted without any recipe.

                  However, while I am a complete fan of MC Australia vs MC US - I recently heard Becky, a contestant from this summer's MasterChef US, on a fairly "not too serious" food podcast (Dining with Doug and Karen) - and she came off sounding like a cook that has a lot more to offer than is portrayed on the show.

                  1. re: cresyd
                    chris2269 Aug 26, 2012 12:32 PM

                    I will have to check that out that's Doug Benson's pod cast on nerdist right? I liked Becky from the US version...and there are a few other contestants I enjoy its more of the production that turns me off.

                    1. re: chris2269
                      cresyd Aug 26, 2012 10:48 PM

                      I haven't liked Becky at all on MasterChef - but then I don't really like any of the contestants. Something I blame entirely on production. That being said hearing her on the podcast (and yes, it's the Doug Benson food podcast on Nerdist) - she had some interesting food ideas and came off as really pleasant. On that podcast, a chef/cook makes a bunch of food that the comedians eat - and while none of them are going to become Top Chef judges - they clearly enjoyed her food.

                      I also think because Doug spent time on "career reality TV" (Last Comic Standing), he comes from a pretty symapthetic place on what reality TV is like. His basic thoughts on it are that seeing yourself on reality TV is like seeing yourself drunk - it's all "you" but it's a fairly over animated version of yourself.

                2. c
                  cacruden May 6, 2012 08:47 PM

                  Masterchef Australia just broadcast the first episode of season 4 last night. I believe they run 6 days a week for a few months.

                  1. c
                    cacruden May 4, 2012 02:16 AM

                    Additional series I found I liked from down under were:
                    - Poh's Kitchen - one of the contestants from season 1 has a cooking show I like.
                    - Luke Nguyen's Vietnam - a chef from one of the premier vietnamese restaurant who appeared on the show a few times - did a two series set of touring south to north in vietnam which is a combination culinary tour and cooking show.

                    14 Replies
                    1. re: cacruden
                      mramage May 4, 2012 10:20 AM

                      I got to say I actually like My Kitchen Rules over MCA just for the challenges being more realistic for a home cook. Now if MCA goes back to its original ways as they have indicated, perhaps I will change my mind.

                      1. re: cacruden
                        PhilD May 4, 2012 08:12 PM

                        Cacruden - also check out the series "Food Safari" especially the one focussed on France. I find it one of the best Aus shows for really good insights.

                        At first I thought MC Aus was an improvement on MC UK (I gave up on MC US very early). But I now find the UK series does a better job of selecting on talent rather than personality. I feel the tests in the UK are more realistic to test true cooking ability and creativity. The MC Aus ones tend to be too structured.

                        1. re: PhilD
                          cacruden May 5, 2012 10:13 AM

                          I will look at food safari thanks. I have looked around for MC UK on torrents and most of them are not being actively seeded - I prefer downloading the epos ides since I find online watching to be a little halting at times due to being half-way around the world from the server that hosts them. I found MC AUS second season to be the strongest talent (feeling - not sure), I enjoyed the first season contestants, 3rd season I think they had too much money and too many gimmicks. Wish they would not ever use taste tests for eliminations - just don't think it is a fitting way to know someone out of the competition - so hopefully that will not be used in Season 4. I enjoyed the masterclasses that MC AUS has. Personally I really don't like any show where the producers or the people are poorly showcased or act poor. I prefer the contestants fight to win, not to push others down.

                          1. re: PhilD
                            pj26 May 9, 2012 07:36 AM

                            I much preferred the UK series this year to what they have had in the past, they have tended to follow more of the Aus/NZ format than in the past few years, with better and more varied challenges, and being less reliant on being proficient in classical French cookery and more open to ethnic influences. Greg Wallace is still a bit of a knob though.

                            Although overall, I think the Aus and NZ formats are better for the viewer to 'learn' from with regard to cooking techniques etc. The editing on the UK sometimes just focuses on the outcome or the drama to get there.

                            1. re: pj26
                              cacruden May 9, 2012 11:15 AM

                              It is funny watching the 4th year of Masterchef and hearing one of the prospective 50 contestants say "I have never filleted a fish, don't know how to cook a fish". I have to ask myself - what the heck!!! You should have watched the first 3 years and figured on several weaknesses that come up over and over again -- and actually practiced doing it.... They do NOT deserve to go into the top 24 :o

                              1. re: cacruden
                                PhilD May 9, 2012 03:34 PM

                                Remember for MC Aus selection is not on cooking ability but on making "good" TV drama.....it wouldn't appeal to most of the demographic unless the audience coud relate.

                              2. re: pj26
                                cacruden May 19, 2012 12:48 AM

                                Just started watching season 8 (current year) Masterchef UK after finding it on thebox.bz and I have to say - it is not that bad but I still prefer Masterchef Australia. I find less of the personality of the contestants being allowed to be seen, of course it might just be the way the English are. The judges for the post part are not offensive as they can be on some American shows :p The selection process seems to be better (already pushed in a restaurant environment before being selected to the final list), but they narrow the list down too quickly for an amateur competition. You have to give the contestants a chance to grow in their abilities before putting increasing the odds of being knocked off. The Aus starts with 24, knocking 1 off per ilimination challenge... which means that early they have a much greater percentage challenge of surviving and it gives them the ability to excel. It allows the contestants time to develop (not to mention it allows viewers more time to become attached/invested in their favourites).

                                1. re: cacruden
                                  PhilD May 19, 2012 01:14 AM

                                  I have only just seen S6 (2010) as BBC World is so bad (and no doubt they will repeat this for 12 months) and I thought the opposite. With MC Aus I felt I saw very little cooking skill through all the rounds a d the early rounds were quite simple and/or do structured it is tricky to assess ability to cook or ability to copy and follow instructions. In MC UK the skills demonstrated seem higher especially towards the end when they need to deliver multiple courses of their choice.

                                  I do understand later series eliminated faster i.e before they always chose one of the three even if none could cook, in the new format if they are all bad they all go. Please correct me if wrong. It used to frustrate me when they put forward useless cooks to simply make up numbers.

                                  1. re: PhilD
                                    cacruden May 19, 2012 01:47 AM

                                    The first two or three episodes were to reduce the shortlisted contestants down to 12, first day there were 5 that where given aprons. The next day they selected 3 - after eliminating more (second day not as good competitively). I am not sure if that meant more shortlisted competitors were given chances on day 3 or not. You then had 12, and the first day the competition was to eliminate 2 people.... so you went from 12 to 10 people. Yes, I believe the competitors were superior - the narrowing down to the starting list of 12 was a better test..... that part I thought they did better. IMHO, this is an amateur competition though - you want promising people - but you also have to understand that they are amateurs -- without training - which means part of the journey should be the chance to develop those promising skills ... and that is where I think the competition lacks. If they were all professionals, then not being forgiving is understandable since they should already be skilled professionals. 3 months with the first week eliminating 1 out of 24 means there is a 4ish% percentage chance of being eliminated at the starting line. 2 out of 12 on the first real day - is close to 20%. An average competitor in the Aus competition has a chance to excel, in the UK one - sorry - forget it .... you might excel but we are going to give you no chance :p

                                    I would not say the bottom people on the 24 is useless cooks, I mean if they were useless cooks then your telling me that pretty well any non-professional is useless. They are amateurs, home cooks - not people use to cooking under pressure and not use to cooking in large volumes.... So if the Aus show adapted the selection process from the UK -- it would be better.

                                    1. re: cacruden
                                      PhilD May 19, 2012 03:32 PM

                                      I think you underestimate the standard of lots of amateur cooks, I won't argue they are as strong as professional as they aren't but there are some pretty stellar cooks around.

                                      Also wise to remember the different production values of both shows. I think the UK is a simpler format focussed on the cooking, but the Aus series is a "big brother" type drama with the journey being part of the set-up to hook the audience....will Kylie from Tooowoomba conquer her fear of potatoes to conquer the French fry challenge, or will Jason (with the cocky smirk) ace it again. In the Aus version the contestants are chosen as much for their personality and their faults as they are for their strengths. Without the faults there Wouk be nothing to cry about, there woul be no drama, Kylie would not be able to triumph over adversity by cooking chips.

                                      Both shows are entertainment not really true competitions but I think the UK one still has cooking at its heart whilst the Aus one is more of a dram with a cooking theme.

                                      1. re: PhilD
                                        cacruden May 19, 2012 10:58 PM

                                        I don't underestimate amateur cooks - there are amateur cooks that produce superior food than many chefs. But it is completely different when going into a professional situation. A professional will be more likely to be able to handle the pressure of the competition. A professional will likely have a better gage of the limitations of time, and the ability to pull on a reservoir of experience to be able to use whatever is available to make a "special" meal out of it. And a professional will definitely be able to serve large numbers of people in a pressure situation than an amateur. So when an amateur will be less likely to be able to handle the immediate pressure and deliver the quality they would normally be able to do at home or small party. If your late, you open a bottle of wine and have a few glasses - you can't do that in a professional situation unless you want to go bankrupt. (Although I do remember being in a French restaurant in San Francisco where the French chef came out with his bottle of wine and started sharing it with us .... he was already completely toasted... but the food was still excellent....). A longer competition should allow those that may be great, but are unable to immediately handle the pressure to survive.

                                        The UK is only about the race - food good - stay - food not as good - leave.... no teaching moments (the difference between 80 episodes and a small run). Yes quality of the contestants is higher, but in the end what do you learn.... both are entertainment .... that is what TV is.

                                        Of course they could all adapt the standards and rules of the international culinary olympics - but a lot of amateurs would be out in no time (not only taste, but plating and lose of points for smudging your chef whites).

                                        1. re: cacruden
                                          PhilD May 20, 2012 01:18 AM

                                          But the UK one doesn't eliminate on the "catering" challenges it eliminates on the individual cooking. The Aus one eliminates on the back of the catering ones i.e the losing team from a challenge faces the elimination, and often that can be a non-cooking elimination.

                                          Agree amateurs won't perform like professionals and TV environment is not a perfect way to judge. But remember they are all amateurs so all the in the same boat. Aus does allow more time for them to develop and the cynic in me woud say more time to place products in the cooking demos.

                                          Have you read the SMH commentary - it I very good (spoiler alert it is the latest series): http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/m...

                                          1. re: PhilD
                                            cacruden May 20, 2012 02:03 AM

                                            Aus only eliminate on elimination challenge, which at the very end is cooking. They might narrow the list of those that have to cook to survive (if the whole team is sent for elimination) - for example.... Name that, make that, cook that (12, 6, 2 - and one goes out). They stopped eliminating on taste tests after season 2, the same time they stopped bringing people back that were "unlucky".

                                            1. re: PhilD
                                              cacruden May 22, 2012 06:42 AM

                                              I am warming up to the UK version after episode 11 in the latest season -- but they hit me in the soft spot... They went to northern Thailand for that episode :p They also started treating the contestants as humans (more personality shown through).... but maybe it is just that they are here in Thailand and treating the cuisine with the respect it deserves.

                            2. c
                              cacruden May 4, 2012 02:10 AM

                              Masterchef Australia Season 4 is just starting on May 6th (televising it). They made some mistakes in season 3 in some of the challenges (IMHO) and reverting back to some things that worked better in season 1 & 2. The very first season during the initial phases the one of the judges slapped (verbally) down one of the contestants for being catty - it is quite obvious that the producers will not accept poor behaviour. The US series is pretty pathetic in comparison.

                              1. a
                                Atochabsh Jan 3, 2012 12:33 PM

                                When does the next season start? Anyone know?

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: Atochabsh
                                  chris2269 May 3, 2012 09:41 AM

                                  May 6th. Masterchef NZ is also currently running.

                                  1. re: Atochabsh
                                    mramage May 3, 2012 10:59 AM

                                    This Sunday

                                  2. a
                                    Atochabsh Nov 27, 2011 03:35 PM

                                    I too love Masterchef Australia. For foodies it is so educational with the master classes and the web site's recipes. Its a shame that if you are not in AU you cannot use their web site to view the episodes. I love the commradrie of the Aussies without all the fighting and bickering of the US shows of the same type. I really didn't think I'd make it through Hell's Kitchen this past season.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Atochabsh
                                      piccola Nov 27, 2011 05:01 PM

                                      You can watch them on realitytvfan.org

                                    2. r
                                      ratbuddy Aug 20, 2011 08:10 PM

                                      Compare the USA and UK versions of Kitchen Nightmares. Pretty much the same thing going on there, USA seems to prefer drama to substance.

                                      1. b
                                        Billy33 Aug 20, 2011 07:55 PM

                                        If you want to see an amazing Masterchef series, try and catch Junior Masterchef Australia. These kids are mind-boggling. We are talking children here - aged 8-12 years, not older teenagers.

                                        Addendum: oops, I've just seen the thread for Junior Masterchef Aussie from last year. Sorry for the double-up.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: Billy33
                                          HillJ Aug 20, 2011 08:05 PM

                                          Where have I been, so late to the party...JUNIOR masterchefs? Fantastic!

                                          eta: just found, http://video.perthnow.com.au/15533168...

                                          okay I'm officially jealous as an American viewer.

                                          1. re: Billy33
                                            chris2269 Aug 20, 2011 08:24 PM

                                            Yeah; The two sisters from last series rocked. Rolling their own gnocchi and cooking recipes passed down through generations

                                          2. m
                                            mramage Aug 19, 2011 04:48 AM

                                            I didn't enjoy MC Aus as much this season as the first two seasons - the quality of the cooking was higher, but the personalities were a little bland. What blew me away is the quality of the guest chefs this year (not counting the local Australia talent) - Heston Blumenthal, David Chang, Thomas Keller, René Redzepi, Anthony Bourdain - just to name a few. They even had the Dalai Lama. What did MC US have - 3 judges from minor versions of other MC shows. Matt Preston turned them down. What is sad that the Australian champion only got $100,000 whereas the US champion got $250,000 for alot less work and time away from family.

                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: mramage
                                              chris2269 Aug 19, 2011 07:37 AM

                                              "I didn't enjoy MC Aus as much this season as the first two seasons - the quality of the cooking was higher, but the personalities were a little bland. What blew me away is the quality of the guest chefs this year "
                                              Agree once Hayden and Dani (sp) left I kinda lost interest. The UK version earlier this year was good and won by a talented American Tim Anderson.

                                              Like you said the judge line up was top notch.

                                              1. re: chris2269
                                                kpaxonite Aug 20, 2011 07:06 PM

                                                I wouldnt say the judge line up was top notch just the guest star/chef line up.

                                                I agree about Dani and Hayden...Kate was plain (personality and appearance) and Micheal's story about his dad just got damn annoying after the millionth time.

                                              2. re: mramage
                                                Jacksonm30354 May 4, 2012 09:03 PM

                                                In Australia, winnings from lotteries, game shows, etc are tax free, so that reduces the gap a bit.

                                              3. c
                                                cierah Aug 18, 2011 07:33 PM

                                                I gotta say I love the Austrialian version! I like how everyone is nice to each other. And it's pretty much the only cooking show that I actually get good ideas from. I basically write something down every episode - things to try, techniques, ect. I also really like the Masterclass.

                                                The american version isn't really about cooking - it's about being the 'cutthroat competiors' that apparently we all want to watch - I want to watch good, informational cooking shows not Big Brother, with cooking.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: cierah
                                                  piccola Aug 19, 2011 04:39 AM

                                                  I like the Aussie version -- except the Masterclass. For some reason, I just can't get into them. Although I like that they acknowlege the training they give contestants.

                                                2. HillJ Aug 13, 2011 05:59 AM

                                                  Until reading this post I wasn't aware of other Masterchef versions. While I'll *try* to ignore what this difference says about the typical American viewer, I'll be heading over to the Oz version now.


                                                  eta: Unfortunately, the videos don't play in my area. However, the shows recipe file is very interesting.

                                                  11 Replies
                                                  1. re: HillJ
                                                    chris2269 Aug 13, 2011 06:20 AM

                                                    There was another thread with a link on how you could watch it. I watch it via torrents from
                                                    I will try to dig up a link to the other option

                                                    1. re: chris2269
                                                      HillJ Aug 13, 2011 06:23 AM

                                                      thanks chris2269, if you could dig up the other option I would be grateful.

                                                      1. re: HillJ
                                                        chris2269 Aug 13, 2011 06:38 AM

                                                        Can't believe I found it...the link was in a thread called "Masterchef tonight"
                                                        I have not used this site but if your not comfortable using Torrents this looks like a good way to watch the show.

                                                        I just tried it and you will get some pop-ups and the buffering was kinda slow but I'm downloading something else at the same time so that may be the reason.

                                                        1. re: chris2269
                                                          HillJ Aug 13, 2011 08:15 AM

                                                          Looks like I have a couple of options to view the series now. Thanks, chris!

                                                          1. re: HillJ
                                                            mramage Aug 19, 2011 04:52 AM

                                                            The other option, if you know how to use them, is the newsgroups. You need a newsgroup reader and a subscription to a news provider like Giganews. The group alt.binaries.multimedia has every single episode without commercials and they were usually posted 1 hour after the show aired, which in North America was about 8am. There is no spam like you get with the torrents, and because you download them as a complete avi file, you can watch at your leisure. Retention on Giganews is almost 2 years, so you can just do a search for them and they should still be there.

                                                            1. re: mramage
                                                              HillJ Aug 19, 2011 05:34 AM

                                                              I appreciate it, mramage. I have enjoyed watching the first season.

                                                          2. re: chris2269
                                                            kpaxonite Aug 20, 2011 07:01 PM

                                                            if you are on firefox and have adblock plus pop ups wont be an issue (i get now on the site and I see no ads on CH either )
                                                            I find links to ovfile work best at the moment

                                                      2. re: HillJ
                                                        iL Divo May 6, 2012 07:38 PM

                                                        I love Masterchef. Watched the only two seasons I'm aware of and didn't know there were other countries doing it too.

                                                        1. re: iL Divo
                                                          iL Divo May 7, 2012 08:30 AM

                                                          actually that may be incorrect, is there a UK version? I think there is an Asian lady that won Masterchef or was that Top Chef? hummm, not remembering

                                                          1. re: iL Divo
                                                            cacruden May 7, 2012 09:54 AM

                                                            There are around 20 countries - but a minority in english :p The UK version was the original.

                                                            1. re: cacruden
                                                              PhilD May 7, 2012 02:46 PM

                                                              The UK goes back to 1990 but back then a very different format. I think the BBC sold or licensed the rights to Shine TV which is Elizabeth Murdoch's production company. From memory they then licensed this to Fremantle Media another Australian company that is most famous for Neigbours. The rights are now back with Shine and the show is niw licensed and produced in 30 plus countries including a French version which is really popular.

                                                        2. chris2269 Aug 9, 2011 10:51 AM

                                                          The editing on the American version is crap
                                                          .IMO the overseas versions of the show are so much better. At least in the Australian version in the Immunity challenges and some of the others it is made known they are working of recipes like you said.

                                                          Also I am sure you have noticed how both the contestants and judges treat each other it's so night and day.

                                                          I am sure they are provided with recipes ...like for the soufflie challenge.

                                                          2 Replies
                                                          1. re: chris2269
                                                            cresyd Aug 9, 2011 02:19 PM

                                                            Sigh - I think you are right but what I find so disappointing is that the viable assumption regarding the 'generic' American viewer - is that there is just clearly such a disconnect with any kind of cooking that it's a quick acceptance of what any 'awesome' home cook can be expected to achieve.

                                                            1. re: cresyd
                                                              chris2269 Aug 9, 2011 03:27 PM

                                                              I think a lot has to do with the production. I have every edition of MC Australia on my hard drive and its like 80 episodes V.S. ...I don't know 12 for the American series. The Australian series also does "Master classes" where they address the challenges and hurdles the contestants faced and give them pointers. Usually two get to go and spend time with a Chef and get personal training. I think the Australian, NZ, and UK versions work more to increase the skill of the contestants and educate the viewer in tern.. IMO our media bows to the lowest denominator as sad as that is.

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