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Posts Tagged ‘Masterchef Australia’

Bruce behaved himself last night, despite Fran’s fears he might succumb to fame haggery. She should have known better. After all, it was her who clasped her hands over her face in that gobsmacked manner when she spied smiley Gary Bourgignon at Taste Melbourne recently, not he, so why should an unexpected invite to spend the evening in the company of Masterchef Chris be any different. What’s more, in their own ways, Bruce and Chris have the same mission at heart: converting Aussies from the horrors of Carlton Draught to the wonders of good beer. And, when you’ve shared the Albert Hall stage with Wayne Coyne, there’s little to get starstruck about.

And so it transpired, Bruce the model of good manners while several other attendees at the Lort Smith Animal Hospital fundraiser posed for pics with fellow Mastercheffer Julia. He got to sample miniature versions of some of Chris’s dishes, with the salmon tartare, roast pig cheek with crackling, offal balls and duck neck sausages going down a treat. He won’t be hurrying back for bone marrow spring rolls, however.

Aside from supporting a good cause, eating new body parts and sampling some of the Courthouse Hotel‘s fine range of Victorian craft beers, he got to see firsthand what Chris does when he’s not on TV or appearing in tabloid gossip column – the Beer Masons Beer Appreciation Society. The raffle’s first prize was a Beer Masons’ pack – a mixture of great beers from all over the world with a guide on how to enjoy them and become a true beer lover – and what a beautiful thing it was. It’s a great thing they’re doing and hopefully will help swell the growing tide of appreciation for proper beer rather than “yellow fizzy stuff” in Australia. After all, what better to wash down a mouthful of trotter than a gobful of exquisite ale?

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Somebody. Please! Just... turn... it... off......

Somebody. Please! Just... turn... it... off......

As acknowledged weeks ago, Bruce and Fran held out little hope of Masterchef Australia replacing the hefty hole left by Biggest Loser. The main issue then was the levels of arrogance displayed by the three male hosts. In the ensuing weeks, the pain of watching them has been intensified by Channel Ten’s presentation – essentially an inability to allow a sentence to end without pausing for

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dramatic effect then foisting Real Stock ads on us.

It’s started to impinge on everyday life. Before adding milk to his coffee in the morning Bruce has to open the door of the fridge, look inside pensively, then grab one of the free ad rags stuffed into his picket fence and spend three minutes flicking through it before finally deciding that, yes, he will put the milk into his coffee. Fran, on the other hand, has started talking to herself. It begins with the morning alarm clock:

“Now Fran, it’s 6.15am, that was your first alarm call. It means that later on this morning you are going to have to get up and go to school,” she says, before depressing the snooze button and adding: “You now have five minutes to go. That’s five minutes to go.” At which point, Bruce has to restrain himself from turning over and smashing her annoying, bald little head with his fist.*

Sadly, the program has become to them what COPS was in the early 1990s to Bill Hicks: the sore tooth that you can’t stop touching. Every time Mini-Me appears with his snear and yells some inane encouragement (yesterday to declare that the reputation of Australia itself rested on their ability to make dim sum) or Jabba the Hutt does another impersonation of the over-indulged eight-year-old posh kid trying to please mummy before morphing into a lecherous version of the lizards in Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas‘ acid-tripping bar scene, Bruce begins yelling while Fran starts writhing uncomfortably on the sofa next to him like a smack addict convinced there’s something under her skin.

YET THEY WATCH IT EVERY BLOODY NIGHT!

At least Police Chief Wiggum appears to have settled into his role, revealing a pleasant, encouraging nature and a willingness to leave the scripted, excruciatingly pointless, tension-building links to his co-hosts.

According to a TV column by Debbie Schipp in yesterday’s Herald Sun the Twittersphere is awash with people commenting on the show. Who can blame the Twits? After all, if you’re full enough of your own self-importance to believe people need to know your every thought (says the blogger – oh the delicious irony…), then why not emit your shrieks of despair and anger in 140 characters or less: “GET YOUR FACE OUT OF THAT PLATE, YOU BALD SLOB!” perhaps or “WHEN’S PRESTON’S LIZARD TONGUE GOING TO FLICK OUT AND GRAB THAT SPARE SPRING ROLL?”, even “SOMEONE PLEASE COME AND PLUNGE A STEAK (sic) THROUGH MY HEART”.

But hold on – apparently that’s not what they’re saying. Oh no, there’s a group of people discussing Preston’s cravats; one columnist apparently would like to marry him. She should talk to Fran, who’s taken to watching it with a sick bowl close at hand for the moments when he attempts to smile and/or slurp up an extra piece of food.

That said, who didn’t smile when Simple Sam won last night’s dim sum challenge, hey? And, according to my watch it’s only 275 minutes until tonight’s eliminator. Gives me plenty of time to poke this sore tooth. Ow…

[* She’s not bald]

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Not since Robbie Coltrane first appeared on British screens as Fitz in Cracker has Bruce sat down to watch a television series in its entirety. Prior to that it was Twin Peaks. 24 has passed him by, as have The Sopranos, Desperate Housewives, Lost and all their ilk (although he did squeeze in four instalments of Australia’s Greatest Athlete).

Under much pressure and insistence from friends that the first series was awesome – and out of a mild interest in Australia’s criminal past – he made an effort with Underbelly – A Tale of Two Cities but after a promising start found interest waning quicker than that miscast blonde bint could get her wappers out.

Biggest Loser on the other hand had it all. Well, it had huge people getting semi-naked on a regular basis, constant reminders that Bruce wasn’t exactly a model of health, a couple of likeable characters, lots of unnecessary, tear-stained breakdowns and, best of all, regular reruns of the time Cameron fell off the running machine. While not an avid viewer by any means, Bruce did check in regularly for the weigh-ins and even took part in a final night party of sorts (involving, naturally, a mountain of pizza).

Throughout the final weeks, every ad break trailed the forthcoming Masterchef, which posed the question: “Could this fill the huge gulf left by Biggest Loser?”

Another contestant bites the dust

Another contestant bites the dust

Sadly, after checking in to this evening’s episode, in which the penultimate 50 was cut to 20, it would seem the answer is a resounding “NO”. Admittedly, it featured no cooking, only a parade of people waiting to be patronised by a panel who dared to chide more than one for arrogance. Pot. Kettle.

Perhaps some lovable rogue will present him or herself from the morass to distract from the presenters and redeem the show (although there is something undeniably hypnotic about the sway of Matt Preston’s amazing throat-gunt – perhaps an animated version could be sold as merchandise by Channel Ten to help send troublesome children to sleep). However, it seems there will be far less fun to be had watching the travails of a score of ambitious cooks trying to produce fantastic food than a group of people whose only ambition in life thitherto appearing on TV was to eat a fantastic amount of food.

EDIT: For more recent thoughts on the show, click here

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