On Saturday I travelled to the Margaret River region with Channel 7 and assorted media types and Perthonalities for the launch of Seven’s new reality cooking series My Kitchen Rules.
When this show was announced last year, I groaned. It sounded like a knee-jerk, copycat reaction to Ten’s hit Masterchef Australia. Worth noting I also doubted Masterchef would work when Ten announced it in 2008.
I’ll start by saying I am yet to see a full episode of MKR, which some including Reality Ravings have already called a cross between Seven’s previous hit series My Restaurant Rules and Come Dine With Me. Hopefully I’ll be seeing it early this week.
Having watched a lot of TV over the years, I was asked by other guests/media on more than one occasion the million dollar question – how I thought the show would go?
Again, not having seen a full episode, there are several factors to consider. First, the talent. Whether we like or dislike the contestants and how they behave and react under pressure is pretty important (I have an inkling there’s at least one person viewers are going to find irritating – it is after all, reality TV).
Then there are the judges; Peter Evans and Manu Feildel both have plenty of TV experience, Evans on Nine’s Fresh (he was also cooking for IGA at the Perth Royal Show last year) and Feildel on Ready, Steady Cook and Masterchef.
Yet some media didn’t seem to know who they were. Still, that’s not such a concern – how many TV viewers had heard of Matt Preston this time last year? It’s their advice and how they give it that will count (some are predicting Frenchman Feildel will win over female viewers).
Also worth considering – timeslot. MKR is being launched in double chunks, at 7.30pm Mondays and Tuesdays from Feb 1. Is that too much to swallow? Not when you consider Masterchef was stripped every night bar Saturday.
But what will MKR be up against? On Nine, the answer is all new Two and a Half Men/ Big Bang Theory and Survivor (for week one at least). On Ten, The Biggest Loser Couples and So You Think You Can Dance.
That’s tough competition and not everyone can come out a winner. On the positive side, there will be no other cooking shows on prime time commercial TV – with Masterchef not on air until The Biggest Loser concludes around May.
But if I had to pick a winner at the launch, WA contestants Marc and Natalie (the only married couple on the show) got the big thumbs up for their grilled lamb with Moroccan cous cous (maybe I am being parochial, maybe Sam Kekovich has me brainwashed and maybe it was Moroccan lamb, not cous cous).
I’m not sure if the side serves of potato salad and spinach salad with roasted sweet potato were also their handiwork but the results were delish.
Apologies that there are no photos of Gen and Tanja from Queensland’s prawns, they were on skewers and eaten too quickly.
*In my original post, I didn’t factor the food into how MKR would rate. Once I would have said accessible food we can easily make at home is the key – but the croquembouche challenge on Masterchef proved otherwise.
And let’s not forget where the launch was held – award-winning home/luxury retreat Incognito
Imagine waking up to this…