When you first caught my eye seven years ago, you were SO hot. I’d curl up on the couch and spend my nights gazing at your saucy good looks and your enticing panel of judges: Matt Preston with his mesmerising presence and formidable cravat game, George the excitable, bouncy puppy, and that other guy.
But pretty soon I grew tired of all the back stories. I got bored of all the contestants sobbing into souffles and bleating on about their ‘journey’. The reverse cymbal began to grate on me as I watched recap after agonising recap. There were times, coming back from an ad break that I would cry out “I’ve already SEEN this bit you TWATS” but you couldn’t hear me. Probs because you’re a TV show.
So I haven’t been faithful to you these last few years. It wasn’t me — it was you.
You spun out of control, into celebrity versions, kid versions, male vs female gimmicks, and became less about the cooking part and more about the circus.
But something has happened this year. Have you changed? Or has the rest of reality TV? Because suddenly I’m back. And I’m eating you up like a tower of croquembouche for one.
All the original elements are still there (that reverse cymbal, that boom boom of suspense, a violin), but you’ve done away with gimmicks and backstories and just focused on what we’re there to see: ordinary people cooking extraordinary food.
Sure you had your pressure tests, your themes and challenges. There were moments of delight and agony and cheese toasties. But there is something missing: all the other crap that accompanies reality shows.