Opinion
Author`s name Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

Masterchef Australia: Judge finds out he is axed by social media

Masterchef Australia: Judge finds out he is axed by social media

The channel hosting the popular Australian Masterchef, has managed to lose its main asset, the three judges which gave life and soul to the party

Matt Preston, along with Gary Mehigan and George Calombaris, constituted the panel of judges for eleven long years of sheer entertainment on Australian Masterchef, undeniably the best of all the Masterchef, and arguably all current cooking programs on television. But despite dedicating eleven years of their lives to the show, making it what it is, Matt Preston found out that his contract would not be renewed from the social media rather than a face-to-face, man-to-man talk.

So what? Well, so Network 10 has just shot itself in the foot by failing to agree on new terms for season 12 because far more than judges, Matt, Gary and George were the face of Australia, epitomising a multicultured society, showing empathy yet seriousness, coaching the contestants and telling them how to improve rather than humiliating them as in other shows, giving the viewers countless cooking tips over the years (I have taken hundreds of pages of notes as I watched the show over the last eleven years and my cooking has improved vastly as a direct result of watching it).

And more than that, they were a collective face of decency, good-naturedness, humility, yet wisdom, inspiring the contestants and consoling them when they got stressed; they were the face that Australia would like to show of itself.

And Matt Preston writes that he found out not in a face-to-face discussion, but via the social media as he was driving to a radio show. What a typical example of how low it gets. Preston, Mehigan and Calombaris did not just present Masterchef, they ARE Masterchef and as for axing them without telling them first, what a snide, underhanded, cowardly way of operating, what an imbecilic act of sheer stupidity, nastiness, spite, pig-headedness and shitfaced arrogance.

This is the world we live in. People don't bother answering their emails any more, people don't send birthday cards, they just download an e-card and send it with a click, people prefer to make a bank transfer rather than buy a present. People are depersonalized. People are not speaking to one another, they are texting; people are losing the art of eloquence and debate, instead they just grunt, at best. People are not cooking, they are buying frozen crap and throwing it into the microwave. People are not having family meals any more, each one sits in a different space in front of a different screen.

People are not enjoying nature, they are slumped in front of a screen. Children are not talking at the table, they are distracted with a tablet and a smartphone and the television at the same time.

People are losing people skills, society is becoming dehumanized. Soon we will be buying friendship from dial-a-friend and paying someone to sit beside us for an evening, soon people will be marrying robots and taking them to parks, holding their hands and telling them we love them so much, soon people will stop shopping altogether and get a home delivery once a week. Gone will be the marketplace, the home of the fishmonger, the greengrocer, the butcher, the baker, the home of countless conversations about food, about the local community, about life. Gone will be the assistant at the check-out, people will have to fend for themselves and do the job that the supermarket is supposed to do.

People are not buying newspapers and books, they are reading less and less, and more and more summarized texts online; gone is the communication, gone are the communication skills and no wonder than TEN, apparently, axes the best asset it has and in so doing destroys Australian Masterchef, the best show on TV for over a decade.

To Gary, Matt and George, thank you very much for your constant good-naturedness, your skills as cooks/food critics and presenters, thanks for representing the face of modern Australia, a multicultured society breathing and living the diversity of its many cultures, enjoying its synergies, bringing everyone together into a happy rainbow nation with common principles and values, in which different communities support each other and come together as one. This is Australian Masterchef, this is Gary, Matt and George and this is what they presented for eleven long and happy years.

So congratulations to Network Ten for showing us all a prize example of spinelessness, short-sightedness, sheer stupidity and miserly petty-mindedness. I am sure Network Ten will enjoy great success with what follows, for sure it will not deserve the name Australian Masterchef and hopefully Matt, Gary and George will pen together their own version for another channel.

Guys if you want some ideas, I am brimming with them and I'll give them to you for free.

Now I will say what happens next. The three judges will be replaced by ex-contestant Poh, Curtis Stone and Maggie Beer. Excellent people. Poh is mediatic and has become a great cook, Curtis Stone is a well-known chef, he's big and bulky and Maggie Beer is everyone's favourite grandma, so sweet you just want to give her a kiss and a hug. The problem is, Poh a Gary Mehigan is not, Maggie Beer, when presented with a dish of curried snail snot, raw lentils and a pickled egg, is so nice that she will say "well that is interesting isn't it?" and smile at the idiot who cooked it, so a Matt Preston she ain't and Curtis Stone looks great, cooks great and so on, but does he have the empathy and presence of George?

As with Top Gear, you can change the cast but you lose the show. I am looking forward to seeing Gary, Matt and George back on TV soon with their own show. I'll tune in. To Ten's MasterChef? Nah...

Photo: By Unknown - This image was released by the National Cancer Institute, an agency part of the National Institutes of Health, with the ID 2397 (image) (next)., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10531946

Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

Twitter: @TimothyBHinchey

timothy.hinchey@gmail.com

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Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey works in the area of teaching, consultancy, coaching, translation, revision of texts, copy-writing and journalism. Director and Chief Editor of the Portuguese version of Pravda.Ru since 2002, and now Co-Editor of the English version, he contributes regularly to several other publications in Portuguese and English. He has worked in the printed and online media, in daily, weekly, monthly and yearly magazines and newspapers. A firm believer in multilateralism as a political approach and multiculturalism as a means to bring people and peoples together, he is Official Media Partner of UN Women, fighting for gender equality and Media Partner with Humane Society International, promoting animal rights. His hobbies include sports, in which he takes a keen interest, traveling, networking to protect the rights of LGBTQI communities and victims of gender violence, and cataloging disappearing languages, cultures and traditions around the world. A keen cook, he enjoys trying out different cuisines and regards cooking and sharing as a means to understand cultures and bring people together.

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