Junior MasterChef has been a wonderful surprise. Compared to the semi-tragedy that was Celebrity MasterChef in 2009, this iteration of the Channel 10 ratings juggernaut has been well framed, evenly paced and profiled some amazing children who can cook up a storm.
Over 5,000 children aged 8-12 auditioned to compete on the show, and then a Top 50 culled to Top 12 that we saw on air the past few weeks have shown Australia that the ‘cheflings’ have what it takes (on the whole) to compete with adults. Seriously, the quality & form of the dishes provided by the contestant kids has shown up many of the adult contestants over the last two years.
With the final only a week away, last night’s episode was the second last elimination bringing the 8 remaining kids down to 4. After the cooking challenges of Sunday night Siena & Sofia had already been fast-tracked through to the semi-finals, so this episode saw the other 6 “cooking for their lives” in a super challenge where they were released into the kitchen of Flying Fish in Sydney to deliver a dish each to a waiting throng of 40 patrons who judged the dishes accordingly – sealing the fate of the four to be eliminated. The dishes were standard menu offerings from the restaurant, & were assigned to them by the owner/chef Peter Kuruvita.
The kids looked great in chef whites. They acquitted themselves admirably in the kitchen, and delivered some spectacular looking dishes. No tears, no drama (other than seeing these little dynamos deliver the dishes with success), no worries. That’s been a hallmark of the series too – no tears, although there have reportedly been some. To show them is not fair on the kid(s) involved & not what the viewers are tuning in to see. The adult version can deliver that in spades and that’s OK. Thankfully we were not subjected to too much of the jaunty lean or patronising smile of Anna Gare, and enjoyed rather the proud smiles of Matt Preston & the Mums of the final 8 among the patrons. Gary & George ran the kitchen keeping everything on song for service.
I won’t spoil who won (you can find out for yourself if you’ve not seen it already). I will offer that the Top 4 totally deserving of their positions. Good luck for the finals next week, Cheflings!
Junior MasterChef finals – 7:30pm Sun 14/11 & Mon 15/11, Ch10.
Image/Video sources – Channel 10.