Wednesday, 22 January 2014

MasterChef Canada Episode 1 'White is the New Black' OR 'You Guys Don't Understand!!!'

It has begun. MasterChef has come to Canada, and along with it all the hopes and dreams of 'home chefs' across the country.

Of course, it starts in the usual manner. There is the typical montage of of applicants expressing those dreams. "I have the courage/vision/determination". "I'm doing this for my son/daughter/mother/grandmother" or "If I win, it will completely change my life/future".

But the problem is, this is Canada. The first episode moves way too quick. So quick they don't even bother to identify some of the applicants. Come on...these people took time out of their lives, and the showrunners couldn't even give them that 5 seconds of glory? How sad. Even some of the people who advanced and received their white aprons didn't even get a nod. Which is kind of curious. Were they not that good, but passable enough to fill the roster? Or maybe they were TOO good, and stood head and shoulders above the rest?

Here are the home chefs who advanced:

Tammara Behl. Calgary, Alberta.38 years old, Special Needs Teacher.
Marida Mohammed. Toronto, Ontario. Stay-at-home Mom.
Eric Chong. Oakville, Ontario. 21, Chemical Engineer.
Carly Tennant. Vancouver, B.C. Boutique Owner.
Kaila Klassen. West Kelowna, B.C. 24, Real Estate Agent.
Dale Kuda. Toronto, Ontario. 26, Self-Employed House Cleaner.
Dora Cote. Rocky Mountain House, Alberta. 37, Plumber.

Well, those were the ones that were identified during the episode. There were approximately 6 to 8 people who received a white apron, yet went nameless. Maybe we'll find out their names in the next episode, when the field is reduced in the first challenge. Or will they end up getting cut, doomed to anonymity forever?

(UPDATED Jan 27). I have attempted to identify those poor 'unnamed' contestants:

John Chung Yin Leun. Calgary, Alberta. Radio Operator
Sarah Nguyen. Oakville, Ontario. Stay-at-Home Mom.
Jordan Casey. Amherstview, Ontario. Financial Service Representative.
Pino Di Cerbo. Mississauga, Ontario. Stay-at-Home Dad.
Julie Miguel. Woodbridge, Ontario. Bankruptcy Analyst.
Ben Miner. Toronto, Ontario. Stand-up Comedian.

Of course, I could have missed one or two.

As for the celebrity judges, there has been a lot of criticism aimed at their comments. Especially Alvin Leung. "Too harsh", "nasty", "mean". Well, guess what? Get over it. First of all, this is a television show and the producers have to dramatize it. Second, the competition is not going to be a piece of cake. Sorry for the bad pun. Last, but not least, life in this career is not easy. If you want to survive in the industry, you have to buck up. Like baseball, there is no crying in the kitchen.

How many times have people, disgruntled with their direction in life, wished that they could quit their jobs and become a chef? It's almost become a cliche. The worst part of it is, it is almost always people who know absolutely nothing about the reality of that profession. MasterChef, basically, is built on that premise. That is why one of the most amusing parts of the episode was one applicant who, when turned down by the judges, declared "You guys don't understand!" The irony of it should have sent Bonacini, Aprile and Leung tumbling off their chairs in laughter.

The season looks promising. Apparently, team challenges the home chefs will be facing include cooking for the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Canadian Armed Forces. There will be a special guest judge...Joe Bastianich from the U.S. version. Nice. From the previews, we can also expect to see a lot of slipping, tripping, fumbling and crying. What fun.

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