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Masterchef nailed in one episode what My Kitchen Rules couldn't do in a season.

The day after My Kitchen Rules (finally) came to an end, 1.06 million Australians tuned in to watch the premiere episode of Masterchef season nine.

But while they’re both competitive cooking shows, there was something Masterchef nailed in just one episode that MKR couldn’t manage in a season – positivity.

Listen: The one drastic difference between My Kitchen Rules and Masterchef. 

It’s something foodie lovers were evidently craving.

Three days to go before #MasterChefAU returns, 7.30pm Monday on TEN!

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“Just love this show, it makes me smile because it is so positive with so much talent it is awesome,” wrote Jan O’Donnell on the show’s Facebook page.

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“And this is why Masterchef is the superior cooking show. First cab off the rank and I’m already teary and cheering. The instant emotion is SO much better than on any other show,” added Jess Grima.

While My Kitchen Rules thrived on drama (real or manufactured) and nasty insults between teams, in a single episode we already saw more support from would-be contestants as they encouraged and celebrated their competitors.

The honorary fourth judge has made his decision… #MasterChefAU

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“So great how everyone on Masterchef supports each other never a bad word said, unlike MKR it’s all about the meanest things you can say about someone else,” wrote one viewer.

“Twenty minutes in and already it beats MKR. This is why Masterchef is king of cooking shows,” agreed Andrew Orr.

“Already more talent than an entire season of MKR,” added another.

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While it’s important to remember that Masterchef is a reality TV series – that is often largely unrealistic – it feels more authentic, more genuine and more entertaining than its counterparts.

It comes as a welcome change off the back of heavily produced shows like Married at First Sight and My Kitchen Rules.

It’s for this very same reason shows like First Dates and Gogglebox have also proven so popular, showing that you don’t need to make up drama or disasters to be entertaining.

The Masterchef judging trio of George Calombaris, Matt Preston and Gary Mehigan also seem to genuinely care about the contestants – and the impressive (and extensive) achievements of past winners like Adam Liaw and Poh Ling Yeoh among many others speaks volumes about their ongoing support as well as genuine talent.

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Another edge that doesn’t go unnoticed? The show doesn’t go on for decades because the contestants are all competing at the same time.

While there are obviously still ads (this is commercial telly after all) between the breaks you still feel like you’re getting your fill rather than just recaps, drawn out disasters and teasers of what’s to come.

Take the golden ball that was unveiled last night. It was heavily featured in the promos for the episode but rather than push it out to the last few minutes, its creator 19 year-old Michelle Lukman from Melbourne was one of the first to cook for the judges.

One word: WOW. Are you sure that’s not a Pressure Test dish, Michelle? ???? ???? #MasterChefAU

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While there has been some criticism of contestants seeking instant foodie careers through reality TV rather than the traditional hard slog of apprenticeships, the people on Masterchef – and their dreams – feel genuine.

There are no villains and no flirty flatmates – just highly talented food lovers cooking their hearts out. They’re the main course rather than the side dish. And we’re lapping it up.

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