According to The Free Dictionary, the term “jumping the shark” is defined as when a television series begins to use gimmicks and unbelievable storylines in an attempt to maintain the ratings. And while MasterChef may not be quite to that point yet, if we’re being honest., it’s getting mighty close.
When MasterChef first arrived, it felt like a breath of fresh air. Here were home cooks, regular folks who just loved to cook and experiment with ingredients. Watching those first few seasons was an amazing change from all the hours of Iron Chef and Hell’s Kitchen that had taken over food television. With some practice, it felt like almost anyone could be a contestant on MasterChef.
Unfortunately, those days are now long gone. The trio of judges, who for the last few seasons has included Gordon Ramsay, Aarón Sánchez and everyone’s favorite dream killer Joe Bastianich have continually raised the bar to levels no real home cook can meet.
The fact Season 11 is being called MasterChef Legends is an obvious indication something is amiss. If there is any clearer sign that a food show has lost its way than its when the producers start dragging out the old guard and food wannabes to be guest judges. I mean, they brought on Paula Deen. Enough said.
MasterChef may have lost its way and might not be able to recover.
Then there is the long list of issues many people have with the show and how they present the contestants. We all know reality television is pretty far from reality but MasterChef is starting to feel more like The Bachelor than Chopped.
More from Food TV
- Kitchen Nightmares ended their return season on a whimper
- Holiday Baking Championship season 10 episodes 5 and 6: Double the holidays
- The Big Bake: Holiday season 4 episode 5: North Pole preschoolers
- Great British Baking Show season 14 finale: And the winner is…
- Next Level Chef Season 3 arrives on Fox on Jan. 28
As reported by Mashed, from iron clad nondisclosure agreements to contestants being told what to wear to the fact that the home cooks are given cooking lessons for ingredients they aren’t familiar with to make better television, MasterChef sounds like more fantasy thaen reality at this point.
Honestly, does anyone really think it should take three hours of television to hand out 15 white aprons? I hadn’t seen that much filler since the last time I made stuffed shells.
The point of MasterChef was always to celebrate the home cook. Someone who doesn’t have formal culinary training and cooks to feed their family or simply because they love food. But even that line is starting to blur. More and more of the contestants on MasterChef seem to have some formal training in cooking.
How exactly is that fair? How is someone who cooks for their four kids and on a budget supposed to compete with someone who has gone to culinary school but just decided not to become a chef? How is that even close to an even playing field?
It feels like the people behind MasterChef are trying way too hard to become a home cooks version of Top Chef. Even if that means that the contestants aren’t home cooks in the true sense of the word.
In my opinion MasterChef, a series I used to really enjoy, is now a shell of its former self. It’s more about being really pretentious and cooking meals no one in their right mind would realistically make for their family. I’ll likely finish watching Season 11 but after that, unless they can rediscover their focus and return to celebrating true home cooks, I may move on.
What do you think Guilty Eats Nation? Do you think MasterChef has jumped the shark? Or am I completely wrong in how I feel? Leave a comment below and let us know or join the conversation on our Twitter and Facebook pages.