MasterChef: Finale
September 16, 2014 9:25 AM - Season 5, Episode 18 - Subscribe

The final three is narrowed to two, and then a winner is crowned. The prize is $250,000, a cookbook deal, and the MasterChef trophy.
posted by cribcage (12 comments total)
Anyone else feel like the husband fainting near the end was totally fake?
posted by jbickers at 9:34 AM on September 16, 2014 [2 favorites]

I've enjoyed past seasons of this show, but this season made me feel like the entire thing was slap-you-in-the-face fake. It was pointless to root for/hate on anyone when it seemed the finale was predetermined from the start. Of course, it feels like that with every reality show competition now (looking at you, Project Runway).
posted by MsVader at 9:54 AM on September 16, 2014

I don't think the fainting was staged. With all the cameras in that room, I assume they'd have gotten a better angle. If I recall the shot, he was barely in the bottom-right corner and he was all bokeh-ed out. I also find it hard to believe someone would agree to that. Assume everything is staged: "It's the finale, and your wife loses. But we want you to feign passing out, and then we'll cut to your wife giggling about how Gordon came over to save the day." I don't know if that's the most emasculating thing I've seen on reality TV, but it definitely sucked. I felt bad for the guy.

The show seems fake in two respects. Fox has admitted contestants receive coaching on challenges. They could remove that, but they'd have to stop asking home chefs to prepare dishes they've never heard of. I've watched some home-cooking competitions on other networks, where they do this and contestants make spaghetti & meatballs and chocolate chip cookies, and I don't see that working for 18 episodes. And second, obviously Fox cheats with the eliminations, keeping around bad-cook-but-great-TV contestants longer than they should. But I don't feel like they do it egregiously, and I'm fine with it.

There's a certain honesty to it. Ultimately none of these are competitions; they're television shows. You aren't signing up for a chance to win $250,000 so much as to join a cast that will be sent home week by week. If Fox eliminated the prize money, people would still watch; if Fox eliminated the eliminations, nobody would watch. I'm fine with them manipulating it here and there. There's a line they can't cross—Cutter, for instance, is not the MasterChef—but there's plenty of gray.
posted by cribcage at 10:20 AM on September 16, 2014

if Fox eliminated the eliminations, nobody would watch.

Not disagreeing with you, but that's actually one of the things we love about the newish Rachel vs. Guy Kids Cook-Off, is that they don't do eliminations - instead, the kid that does the best at a challenge gets a star. Winner is the one with the most stars at the end.

(Yes, we watch a lot of cooking competition shows in our house ...)
posted by jbickers at 12:35 PM on September 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

jbickers, that sounds great. I'd watch it if it wasn't for Rachel and Guy. They're the two Food Network personalities that I loathe the most.
posted by MsVader at 12:39 PM on September 16, 2014

If you can, find a non-US MasterChef and try that. I enjoy the ozzie one and find the US one very meanspirited and not very interesting by comparison.
posted by joeyh at 1:33 PM on September 16, 2014

They've just started showing MasterChef Canada on Cooking Channel, FYI. Recorded it but haven't had a chance to watch it yet.
posted by jbickers at 1:59 PM on September 16, 2014

Aussie Masterchef is absolutely amazing, as is Masterchef NZ. The hosts are entertaining and supportive and there's a massive spirit of cameraderie and collaboration amongst the contestants. It's all about the food, not the hosts, unlike Masterchef US/UK/Canada.
posted by essexjan at 11:36 AM on September 17, 2014

Masterchef uk is also outstanding. They teach things on that show. Some of my favorite new recipes have come from it. Didn't know a Canadian version was showing. I'll set the TiVo for it.

I stopped watching whatever the other horrible show Ramsey does, the one with the line cooks. That's just horrible and mean and yuck.

And American masterchef is no doubt fake, but I'm still glad she who won, did so.
posted by dejah420 at 9:31 PM on September 19, 2014

Masterchef UK is a lot of show to watch. I think it's five 30 minute episodes per week? Much more serious than the US version. And very upfront about showing contestants how to make stuff and then expecting them to recreate it exactly.
posted by smackfu at 7:40 AM on September 21, 2014

That would be interesting to see. But yeah, it's a lot. I dig The Voice but I've lost steam through a few seasons because it's just a lot of singing. One year they ran it back-to-back with a good season of The X-Factor and it was just too much. I can't do 5+ hours of singing every week. I need variety in my dumb TV.
posted by cribcage at 9:15 AM on September 21, 2014

Ah, I stand corrected about UK...I've never seen MC UK, what I've seen is the Professional MasterChef UK. Which is amazing. It's where I learned to make a crepe souffle. A thing, which before the show, I did not know was a thing. :)
posted by dejah420 at 10:25 AM on September 25, 2014

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