This show has me puzzled; in theory, I shouldn’t like it, I should’ve been bored witless by it, yet I found myself most definitely erring on the side of enjoying it, which I really fought against…
The reason being, it’s so not anything new or even different. It follows the formula set down many moons ago by every cookery show ever, regardless of whether it features Z list celebs or ordinary Joe Public, they all do the same things, yet somehow, it was still compelling viewing.
Why? I’ve no idea but despite the over-familiar and over-used adjectives that were bandied about, such as “an explosion of taste” and “sweet yet sharp” type comments made by John Torode and Gregg Wallace and their infinitely predictable ‘back stage’ pseudo-arguments about who should go through, again, I found myself utterly absorbed.
I sat almost sweating when Jan Leeming’s pesto dish was heavily criticised by John and it got worse as both John and Gregg refused to enjoy her tuna dish with mushrooms and mango… she looked like she might be about to stab them to death, but at least everyone agreed that her plum fool was a success. Just as well they did or it may well have turned into Killer Kitchen.
I was equally enthralled to see how Michael Obiora might react when John, speaking of Michael’s dish of fish and pasta, cuttingly said, “This is MasterChef, not MasterDisaster.” Eeek… Put the spatula down and step away Sir. But actually, he took the criticism with relative equanimity and good humour, albeit that he was somewhat shocked, bless him. Perhaps he’s just so chuffed to be on telly again, nothing else matters.
He certainly was trying to make a ‘statement’ of some sort with his offering of green pancakes, but I’m not entirely sure what that statement was, except that he wanted to make food “more interesting” by the application of colour… erm, yeah, I’ll pass on the green pancakes thanks. And as was pointed out, “Chucking green around a banana is just wrong.” Couldn’t agree more. And Poor Michael really struggled in the second round too when he burnt his scallops. Ouch.
One of Rosie Boycott’s culinary coup de grâce last night was a pairing of partridge and pears while play-it-safe Jayne Middlemiss went for a dish of tuna and a singularly dull salad made up of tomatoes, quails eggs – so a bit of imagination there but not enough – and dressed with pecans and almonds… yawn. However, while John and Gregg both agreed her food was “scruffy” they also concurred that it was full of flavour.
Joe Swift and Joel Ross both up-cocked early on in their rounds; Joe’s tuna turned to “cardboard” and Joel didn’t produce the two separate dishes as laid down in his remit, however, John and Gregg waxed lyrical and lovin’ it about his battered fish and home made chips.
In the end, Jayne and Rosie both made it through to the quarter final but while an effervescent – although heavily blue plastered and bandaged Jayne – was deliriously excited to have made the grade, Rosie looked like she needed a really long sleep; I’m just not sure she has the energy to win, but we’ll see, and grudgingly, I’ll be watching.
I just hope they drop the annoying techno music and maybe occasionally show John and Gregg in one camera frame rather than the rather irritating format of shooting from one to the other for their comments.