After watching a number of episodes from MasterChef USA and being totally blown away by the kids in Junior MasterChef Australia, I was relatively excited that they were going to have this somewhat close to home. For once, I was glad that I had cable and I was looking forward to watching it.
I didn’t catch the top 40 contestants but I started watching in earnest when they started with the top 24 contestants. After watching a few episodes, I have rather strong feelings about this show and they’re not what you can call as positive, mostly regarding the wardrobe of the judges. I’m convinced that the wardrobe/stylist person for this show hates their job because they seem to constantly dress the judges in some of the most fashionably questionable clothes ever, but that’s not the point of the show.
As with the other MasterChef shows, the challenges given to the contestants are not easy. With the different cooking styles of the contestants, they’re expected to make something delicious and looks nice. That got me thinking, how does one judge such dishes? Taste and beauty are subjective, differs from person to person. What is spicy to a person, may barely register to someone else (this I know very well).
In some points, I would think that MasterChef Malaysia is a little tougher when compared to the other non-Asian versions of the competition due to some of the ingredients used in the challenges, like snakehead (ikan haruan), shrimp paste (belacan) and even instant noodles, specifically curry flavoured Maggi (which is a sponsor). So how does one be creative with these ingredients when you’re given 2.5 minutes to grab other ingredients and then 20 minutes to an hour to prepare.
Would the judges accept the ingredients used in the traditional way? Like making sambal belacan and serving it with fritters, or other traditional Malay cuisines? Would they be marked down for that lack in creativity? Sometimes, I don’t know what the judges are looking for because they kept re-iterating that everyone didn’t understand the challenge and that everyone’s food sucked. So isn’t it their job to explain what the challenge is really about instead of just standing around?
It’s just too bad that the show’s done with their recording so no matter what the viewers say or comment about, it’s not going to change anything.