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Aug 8, 2011 08:51 AM

Masterchef Australia vs Masterchef US

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?

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  1. 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 for the soufflie challenge.

    3 Replies
    1. re: chris2269

      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

        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.

        1. re: chris2269

          this is why I've been binge watching MC A. It's still a game show, but what a difference from the US one. I love the fact that they bring in great chefs (Heston Blumenthal!) for master classes. I love that I don't see the backbiting and 'strategy'. It's still too weepy for me, but I can fast forward that. Way more interesting food, although I can't get over the Aussie obsession with beets. :)
          Here's the link I've been using:

    2. 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

        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

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

          1. re: HillJ

            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

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

              1. re: HillJ

                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

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

              2. re: chris2269

                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

            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

              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

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

                1. re: cacruden

                  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. 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

                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. 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

                  "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

                    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

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

                  3. 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

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

                      eta: just found,

                      okay I'm officially jealous as an American viewer.

                      1. re: Billy33

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