MasterChef promises to fix Immunity challenges

By David Knox on April 22, 2012 / Filed Under News 27

This year’s MasterChef will seek to address criticisms that were levelled at the show last year.

“The two things we needed to fix were Sunday nights –because I think we lost a lot by losing the Mystery Box and the Invention Test, it was one of the great joys ‘What would I make?’ So that’s absolutely back,” Matt Preston told TV Tonight.

“And (the other is) Immunity. We never got it right, all of Series 2, all of Series 3. Hopefully we’ve got it right.”

Last year many viewers felt that Immunity challenges varied wildly in their fairness.

“Preston acknowledges that challenges which ranged from a top chef to a swimmer, created a sense of disparity.

“This year there is a big change,” he insists.

“Immunity will be fought with the contestant, who has won immunity, to be able to choose two contestants to cook with them. They’re always going to be working against the chef with two of their assistants.

“So it’s a much more consistent format of how it’s going to work.”

The show heard the audience criticism last year loud and clear.

“That’s the great thing about Twitter, Facebook and social media, is that you get really quick feedback on what’s working and in the next series you can address the things that didn’t ring true.”

George Calombaris says this season will be “a cracker.”

“This has been the hardest series for us because we’ve had to look back at what we’ve done good, and what we haven’t done good. It’s like any business,” he said.

“The most important thing is it’s back to basics, the raw integrity of the show. That is the contestant, the food and their dream. We’re just there to be the conduit, to lead them on the path, direct them, challenge them, protect them and look after them.

“There’s not those twists that we did in the past, like ‘Oh my God you’ve got to build the Eiffel Tower and you’ve got 20 minutes.’ As much as we give them difficult challenges we’re there to protect them and help them along the way.”

Matt Moran agrees this year the show is all about the food.

“The contestants are brilliant. There’s amazing food, amazing cultures. The pudding is in the dish. Is that what you say?” he asked.

“No, the proof is in the pudding!”

The show returns to TEN soon.


  1. The Moops April 23, 2012 at 1:03 pm -

    “….What we’ve done good”???????????? Way to go George, great grammar and correct English expression there – not.

    MC needs tons of work to bring it back to its glory days. Most crucial is casting of contestants, which they got totally wrong last year. Less emphasis on the obvious favourites, please. The immunity pin is probably never going to fly properly, I really don’t know how to do that fairly and equitably, so good luck to them trying to solve that particular problem. Mystery box and invention test must be brought back in their original form.

  2. JoeBloggs April 23, 2012 at 9:01 am -

    Matt Moran was added because the time constraints on the judges are too much that the load needed to be shared more as far as I am aware. They do have restaurants they are involved in you know.

  3. Butterfly Carnage April 23, 2012 at 8:04 am -

    MC is is tired. last year I watched through following the adverts and watched the odd episode if it looked interesting. The format is too contrived, manipulative and Producer driven. I don’t believe that the judging it entirely left to the Judges (their not TV people their Chefs); there’s too much riding on getting the narrative right ie: villan versus victim/sob story. That is the reality of Reality TV folks otherwise we’d just get a “live” feed. Matt Moran is not relatable; try a French Chef with a penchant for Velvet Jackets, “Down Campbell!”.

  4. catherine April 22, 2012 at 9:10 pm -

    I remember them saying the same thing last year that it would be back to basics and much simpler. Im not sure if they will ever get the immunity pin right.

    My frustration in the first few weeks is they make it so obvious who the top 3 are and who are the bottom by showing them on camera. I know there are a lot of contestants but they could do what they did in junior mc where 2 went up at a time.

    Im glad the mystery box is back on the sunday. On another note all the sneak peaks I have seen are the people that stuffed up. Try showing some previews where people have done well.

  5. ryaneco April 22, 2012 at 8:45 pm -

    I personally can’t wait for MC this year! I did not watch JMC and quickly ditched MKR so I’m feeling refreshed toward the genre.
    I totally agree with the comments about Matt Moran he is very arrogant and his personality is jarring on screen from time to time it could do without him.
    I did really miss the Sunday episodes last year it just felt odd with them messing with it, Sunday has to be mystery/invention test!

    I never had issues with the celeb immunity challenge I don’t see it as a crucial element to the show.

    Back to basics can only benefit the show I agree David there is enough good will
    For the brand for viewers to return! I hope….

  6. ryan April 22, 2012 at 8:24 pm -

    The only think i liked about last yr was the addition of more footage from the house the contestants live in cause it shows us more of who they are away from the mc kitchen.

  7. dan April 22, 2012 at 7:59 pm -

    Good to hear that they are listing to the people and that they have realized that putting one contestant up against a top chef and another up against a swimmer is unfair

    As for Matt Moran I agree he is arrogant maybe they should replace him with Maggie beer

  8. Kirk April 22, 2012 at 6:26 pm -

    I’m not so sure about their changes to the immunity challenges – having two other contestants working alongside you, knowing that if they do well grants their opponent immunity? Could allow for sabotage.

  9. MrsStepford April 22, 2012 at 6:11 pm -

    I think if they have improved the mystery box challenge it will make a much better show. I also agree Matt Moran is superfluous and far too arrogant. I think a lot of the problems last year had to do with so many spin offs (celebrity and the kids) it was getting too over exposed and the fact they pushed it too far over the top (the whole New York hype, the Dali Lama etc – it was embarrassing to watch) and they left them selves with little to top it. It was too much. I am really looking forward to it starting. I guess a couple of weeks left to go….. ps re being “male heavy” I think after all the flack Donna Hay got after her appearances I think it would be hard to find a woman willing to try it!

  10. David Knox April 22, 2012 at 4:39 pm -

    I agree it’s very male top-heavy, although Sarah Wilson was a host, whereas Matt Moran is a judge.

  11. alfagirl April 22, 2012 at 4:08 pm -

    Last year was disappointing and the finale a shambles. I will give it a chance. I’ll watch for 2 weeks and if I’m not feeling it then that it’ll be it.

  12. ryan April 22, 2012 at 4:06 pm -

    Matt moran should not be on the show! They got rid of sarah because they said they didnt need her but them they bring in another guy! We don’t need 4 guys on the show! They should have asked justine or some other woman to host with them

  13. Mac April 22, 2012 at 3:29 pm -

    Great news! As much as this show is a cash-cow juggernaut, I really feel those involved really care about making great TV with great people.

  14. David Knox April 22, 2012 at 2:56 pm -

    I think MC still has enough good will from the audience to at least sample a new season. It will be crucial to indicate those changes early on.

  15. JB April 22, 2012 at 2:52 pm -

    “That’s the great thing about Twitter, Facebook and social media, is that you get really quick feedback on what’s working and in the next series you can address the things that didn’t ring true.”

    They’re assuming people will be willing to come back for the next series though. For me, last series was a sham and annoyed me so much that i don’t think i’ll be back. They screwed with the format such as Mystery Box/Invention test, the immunity challanges were a farce, too many wanky challenges, the Dalai Lama being the final straw for me, and i can’t stand Matt Preston and George anymore.

    I think Masterchef will struggle in ratings this year. Will prob still be good by Ten standards, but not the juggernaut it was. And last season will prob be the reason why. So they can say they’ll fix the problems, but it’s too little too late.

  16. Guy April 22, 2012 at 2:49 pm -

    I’ll believe it when i see it. This show is all about those stupid judges and their ego’s not the contestants. Its what this show has become.

  17. Tas Dev April 22, 2012 at 2:02 pm -

    The loss of the regular Sunday routine was the worst thing about last year, so it’s great that it’s coming back.

    The contestants last year were too boring, so we’ll have to wait and see if that’s changed too.

  18. Chris N. April 22, 2012 at 12:30 pm -

    I think it’s awesome that they’ve actually taken viewer feedback into consideration. :D A couple of weeks ago, Matt Preston asked for feedback on his Facebook page and (to my surprise) all of the stuff they’ve addressed here was mentioned in said feedback. Good on ya, Masterchef!

    But hopefully this all actually materialises in the show and that they’re not just saying it.

  19. deedeedragons April 22, 2012 at 12:26 pm -

    The old grey mare ain’t what she used to be.
    I’ll still watch though.

  20. mistaken April 22, 2012 at 12:23 pm -

    Agreed Mason. I don’t know why Matt Moran had to be added to the mix. His arrogance is irritating and at times last year made me turn the channel.

    MC has to get back to basics – remember its about the cooking and keep the playfield fair.

    As for George’s grammar eeeeeek.

  21. simmo3 April 22, 2012 at 11:34 am -

    they would do well to make it more like the uk version, where all the focus is on the cooking.

  22. mason April 22, 2012 at 11:03 am -

    Matt Moran is too arrogant for my lounge room and I also felt really cheated last year so pretty sure I won’t worry.

  23. Jennome April 22, 2012 at 10:35 am -

    George could work on his grammar to begin with – “we’ve done good” ???

    I’m looking forward to Masterchef, however the bits that annoyed me in the past were the overseas shows where they really got away from what it’s all about. It’s a big distraction … not to mention one big promo for Disneyland (or wherever).

  24. Qubec April 22, 2012 at 10:23 am -

    While they’re at it perhaps they can tone down the arrogance that cooking is the most important thing in the world as well as the tween-girl-One-Direction-gushing they give to any chef that walks into the kitchen. Make it relatable and simple. Oh, and stop the judges from bouncing up and down the whole time. So distracting!

  25. davodavo6666 April 22, 2012 at 9:54 am -

    I will give it a go but the shows’ lost its mojo, MKR has exhausted my passion for cooking this year already. Hooked on The Block, The Voice and Celeb Apprentice so I doubt I could be bothered recording it for later. Big Brother will be the next much watch (to see what its like) show for me.

  26. Erik1981 April 22, 2012 at 9:41 am -

    Can’t wait for this Years Masterchef i hope it become really good and they cut out all the **** and make like the us/uk versions which is way ahead of Australian version

  27. ohdenny April 22, 2012 at 7:39 am -

    They say it’ll be all about the food. I hope so, and that drama is kept to a minimum.

    I’ve got a feeling MC won’t rate well at all.

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