MasterChef is back for its 10th season and there are certain things we’ve come to expect from the Channel Ten cooking show.
Namely, insanely tricky challenges, awe-inspiring dishes and the judges warm and encouraging comments.
But apparently, the show we all love for its uplifting message that anyone can try their best and follow their cooking dreams was originally envisaged as quite a different piece of television.
Speaking to Carrie Bickmore on The Project ahead of the show’s first 2018 episode on Monday night, judges Matt Preston, Gary Mehigan and George Calombaris reflected on 10 years of tasting amateur cook’s dishes.
And when looking at a promotional photo from 2008 that showed them all looking “grumpy”, Matt explained why their serious faces now look so out-of-place.
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“When they [Channel Ten] started MasterChef, we were cast as being the trash, the judges,” he told Carrie.
“So all the original promos and publicity shots are us looking mean.”
He said those adapting the show for Australia “wanted car crash TV”.
You know, people flailing and failing as the judges yelled on à la Gordon Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares.
But that all changed with one simple action at the very start of the first season.
Alissa Warren speaks to ex-Masterchef contestant Poh Ling-Yeow about her time on the show. Post continues.
“The first contestant that came on was Julie Goodwin and I ended up hugging her and it changed the set of the show,” Matt said.
“We kind of rewrote that script [of mean judges] because we didn’t want to be those people.”
Julie Goodwin, a NSW mum-of-three, went on to win the first season after going into the finale as the underdog.
It further cemented MasterChef as the show where anything’s possible – and certainly not car crash television.
Watch MasterChef on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7.30pm.