Masterchef Season 5 is the Worst of Reality Television

masterchef season 5

There are certain aspects that make a good reality show. A healthy dose of fabricated drama, quirky characters and a solid concept are all the ingredients that made American Idol the biggest smash on television in 2002. There is usually a villain (ex. Omarosa from The Apprentice) and a hero ( ex. Clay Aiken from American Idol).

I watch reality television because I need my brain rotting bullshit when I get off of work in the evening and I’m not always inclined to delve into True Detective. Reality TV is essentially there for people to ignore.

I have watched the past couple seasons of Masterchef because I enjoy Gordon Ramsay yelling about broken egg yolks and it was a “great” show about cooking. Last season saw Masterchef’s highest Neilsen ratings with the far superior Masterchef Junior surpassing those ratings as well.

With season 5 of Masterchef currently underway, it is clear that Fox is trying to capitalize on last season’s success by pulling back on the solid cooking concept and focusing more on the fabricated drama and characters. So now I will do the completely pointless exercise of exactly why Masterchef season 5 is the worst of reality television. 

Over-the-top Challenges

In season 4, the first team challenge entailed cooking for a bunch of elementary school children, which took a quite a bit of production but it was still fun and light-hearted. In this season the first team challenge took place on a military base where they literally blew up a Masterchef logo with a fucking tank. Two teams of 10 cooked for 500 servicemen while Gordon Ramsay yelled that they are “American Heroes!”

If they just dialed back on the insanity and focused on the cooking itself we wouldn’t need to “Michael Bay” the cooking competition.

The Characters

It is extremely obvious that the producers are hoping to create as much friction between the contestants this season. With an age range of 18-56, a smorgasbord of ethnicity and locales you can tell the producers are salivating at all head butting that’s going on this season. I won’t go into every character archetype but here are just a couple examples of the obvious pandering.

Leslie the Stay-At-Home Douchebag


Courtney the “Bitch” Sex Kitten


Daniel the One with Tattoos


Cutter the Texas Patriot


Jaimee a.k.a if Kristin Schaal Baked


The Outfits

Ok, I get that this is super shallow but for some reason the costumes their wearing this season are ridiculous. I feel like each contestant spends an hour every morning in deep hair and make up. Why is Leslie’s hair so unbelievably soft and fluffy?

The biggest outfits that piss me off is Big Willy. There is no way this guy brought a different pastel glasses, shirt and vest combo for every episode. He looks like an everlasting gobstopper.

big willy

The Judges

For some reason the judges have become unbearable this season. From the camera constantly focusing on Graham Elliot’s weight loss to Joe Bastianach being fed the meanest lines ever the judges are incredibly scripted this year. Gordon Ramsay is fine as he is the host for literally 12 different seasons.

Graham Elliot is a miserable actor and he chews the scenery like a brontosaurus in a field of kale. I don’t understand the need for rehearsed reaction shots when I’m sure their real reactions would work just fine. Also, I’d like to point out that Masterchef follows the American Idol judge structure to a tee.

Joe Bastianach is Simon Cowell, the angry guy who everyone wants to impress.

Graham Elliot is Randy Jackson, the nice guy who lost a bunch of weight halfway through the series.

Gordon Ramsay is Paula Abdul, the one with the most success in the field. He’s also very middle ground.

What Did We Learn?

Nothing, it’s a stupid reality show that I’m going to watch until the finale.