So I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned this before, but I am a huge fan of MasterChef contestant Kumar! I think, out of all the contestants this show has ever had, I would want him on this show regardless of his cooking based purely on his personality. Nevertheless, Kumar has at times shown what a wonderful cook he is, especially in times of elimination, but at times he has failed to deliver.
On this basis, he would divide opinion in the cooking regard. But contestants like Kumar could be a godsend for the show. His inconsistent delivery of outstanding dishes would paint him as some sort of wildcard amongst the pack and should Network Ten ever decide to air the judging of any of his dishes on the show, fans would wonder, moreso than for any other contestant, whether he has done a good job.
As it happens, for the past five or six challenges that determine the contestants who must face off in elimination or vie for immunity, Kumar hasn’t been shown at all! Very briefly he was shown on Sunday night running to collect lamb on Matt Moran’s family farm. I thought to myself, does this mean Kumar’s in trouble?
Why would I think that? Well, many of you would know by now, if you are avid watchers of MasterChef, why I would think that a contestant who is getting more airtime than usual (for Kumar, any airtime is more airtime than the usual zero) may just be a contestant in the bottom three.
I think, for my very first blog detailing the events of the Sunday Night Challenge, I pointed out that Seamus was for some reason getting a lot of camera attention considering he had hardly shone in the episodes preceding that one. I made the same observation on Monday Night when he faced off in elimination and what do you know; Seamus is eliminated.
Since that Sunday Night Challenge, I have frequently based my predictions on who will do poorly by the amount of airtime the contestants were getting. For me, this was good, because blogging a show and trying to collect all the details of the progress of 20 odd contestants would have been a nightmare otherwise. Also, as a fan of Kumar’s, I would often get a bit excited that Kumar wasn’t in the limelight and therefore had a heightened chance of not being picked to go to elimination. Sure, it meant he didn’t have the best dish in the kitchen, but he was safe.
Then it began to happen with Wednesday challenges! Even though with the teams split into two teams and working together, I would notice that some contestants would have a heck of a lot more air time than the others. While I can’t recount one particular incident where a contestant who was being centred on went home on Thursday, it does kind of give away what team is going to win the challenge (however, the past few weeks, producers have done well to cover this up).
But now we are down to the top 12 and yet again, Kumar is getting no airtime at all! And he’s not the only one! Contestants like Alana & Kate were also pushed to the sidelines as Danielle, Ellie, Peter, Billy & Michael got 99% of the total combined airtime! As it turns out, these five people were pivotal in the overall results of the show! In fact, their dishes were the only ones shown for tasting!
If you read my blogs, my biggest problem with the show on Sunday was that the actual announcement of the decisions relating to immunity and elimination was dragged out quite a bit! I think between the time the last plate had been tasted and the announcement of the results, 10 minutes had passed. This was due to overbanter from the judges; repetition of things we already know (like rewards, penalties etc.), poorly placed ad breaks and cutaways that SHOULD NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES BE SHOWN DURING JUDGING, TASTING OR RESULT ANNOUNCING!
Strip these useless elements away or trim them up a bit; get rid of some other annoying useless cutaways in the show or even extend the episode by ten minutes, you would have PLENTY of time to go through some dishes in the middle.
Sure, these dishes were pointless for the overall arch of the episode, but done properly, the inclusion of some ‘red herring dishes’ as I will call them, could throw audience members off of who may win and who may lose.
A lot of people in the past complained that the show didn’t eliminate contestants with enough reason or for good enough excuses and this is why I believe they are doing this. This is where the clever production values I know Shine holds come in handy. You can easily make the audience appreciate the judges overall decisions by cleverly showing all the contestant’s progress in challenges, but dragging out the key players airtime by a fraction each time they appear on screen. Overall, this will subconsciously let the audiences accept the final decision when it is made because although they don’t know it, they have seen just a little bit more of the falters or successes of the key players in the challenge.
If judges also judge fairly and are clear with their overall decision and the reasons for that decision, people will not care about this either!
Overall, favourites like Kumar, Mat (even though he’s soon to be ejected, he’s still an important contestant) and Kate are being shunned with other contestants hogging the limelight. Not only is this not fair, but it’s also a stupid move for people trying to make this show look less predictable.
I vote, MORE KUMAR!