I have an obsession with Masterchef despite not being able to do more than basic recipes-I just love the overall drama of the series! I enjoy watching the kitchen disasters, pressure tests, invention tests, gorgeous dishes, the team challenges etc. I also enjoy how the different countries do their own versions.
For Masterchef New Zealand season 5 the format changed to a couples format-mother and son, mother and daughter, friends, partners, sisters etc. I actually really enjoyed this format because the couples would bicker through the cooking with each other and the team challenges had teams within a team which added more pressure and interest. There were several added elimination cook offs when the judges couldn't decide who to send home. Shelley and Trudie were really great fun to watch as they had meltdowns-they could have their own comedy cooking show! Wonderful to see George from Masterchef Australia coming over for a challenge again. A lot of great stuff in the series and my favourite pair won!
After season 5, the show was cancelled and picked up by a rival network. This meant new judges. I was really sad to see that Simon and Ray were gone as I loved them but Josh was still there. I actually liked Al and Mark as replacement judges so the changes didn't bother me. We were also back to single contestants battling for the title. This season we had the nicest contestant ever in Richard. On the fish challenge he picked the hardest fish (eel) so that the girls didn't get given it to cook. The guy is a complete gentleman and I was supporting him. In the individual challenges, he would help others around him constantly and he was a great team player. Other great things in this series included a resteraunt challenge with Marco Pierre White!
The one thing about this series is that there was no real standout contestant and I'm not convinced that the best cook won but I liked both of the finalists anyway. There wasn't really a contestant that I didn't like which makes a change! I was gutted to find out that the show has been cancelled again so it looks like there will be no more Masterchef New Zealand, which is a real shame.