Masterchef Australia has started and everything is alright with the world. But how do they get it so right and why do I find that Masterchef South Africa is such a flop?
Here's my thoughts:
1) The Judges.
Gary, George and Matt versus Benny, Pete and Andrew. There is really no contest.
Every time Andrew lifts a food-laden item of cutlery to his mouth, he has to stare with such perverted intensity at the contestant that I have to look away.
Pete Goffe-Wood is a legend but he looks bored with the other judges, as though he is babysitting them.
Benny, well, he mainly copies everything that the above says.
Great, you've got a sponsor.
Not great when that sponsor is dried herbs and spices.
Are you honestly telling me that the best chefs in South Africa don't use fresh herbs?
We're almost pioneers in fresh, seasonal cooking and Robertson goes against that in every way.
What's more, the contestants got to go Ethiopia and, I quote, "there are so many amazing spices around", but wait, we'll be using Robertson's herbs and spices that we flew up here.
3) The number of contestants/episodes.
Masterchef Australia starts with a top 24 and plays almost every day of the week. You can't help but get addicted, even if the contestants cry an obscene amount.
Masterchef SA barely inspires me to press the record button.
4) The cooking.
Amateur could not be a more accurate description. And yet, when they try something "gastronomically scientific", it's just a bunch of fancy techniques with no real flavour appeal. There must be a balance.
5) The winner.
Do you even remember who won? It's honestly like they have just fallen off the face of the planet.
Don't even ask me about last year's winner - did they even achieve anything?. Fortunately for Kamani, she happens to be from Cape Town and we have a habit of standing by with elation, those who win anything. She will do well, I hope.
The sad/happy truth is that the guest chefs get more exposure and are more memorable than the contestants. So really the whole show dynamic should shift: The Real Masterchefs of SA.... set to air next year.....??
Anyone else got any thoughts?