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Masterchef Australia - is anyone else watching it?


Senior Member
Jun 11, 2006
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Tonight's finale for Masterchef Australia is supposed to be one of the most-watched programs in Australia ever. They even had to reschedule a national election debate for fear people would not watch if it was broadcast as the same time as Masterchef. The two finalists are Adam Liaw - a 31 year old short Asian guy and former lawyer - and Callum Hann - a 20 year old student/engineering dropout:
Red-hot cook-off has nation on knife-edge Scott Ellis, Tim Barlass, Mia Burns and Jared Lynch July 25, 2010 - 3:00AM It's the most watched television program in Australia, a social phenomenon which has seen the nation's two most powerful politicians upstaged by two young men from Adelaide. Tonight, after 14 weeks of watching 50 contestants steam, fry, bake and cry their way through a series of elimination challenges, up to 5 million Australians are expected to tune in to the MasterChef finale. The only leaders' debate scheduled for the federal election campaign has been brought forward by one hour and shortened by 30 minutes to avoid a clash with the ratings-busting show. And why? Because the contest of ideas between Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott means less to many Australians than the cook-off between Adam Liaw, 31, and Callum Hann, 20. ''One of us is going to come out of the final a winner and one of us is going to come out a winner with a book deal and a hundred grand,'' Hann told The Sun-Herald. ''There is no loser from this point on.'' Certainly not at Network Ten or production house Fremantle Media. ''We went into the series thinking it would have the classic 'J-curve' where a show starts with a high number as people came to see who the contestants were and what we were doing, then after a few weeks it would dip and gradually build again,'' said MasterChef executive producer Margie Bashfield. ''I don't think anyone comprehended there would be no dip.'' The second series of MasterChef defied the trend, starting high - with a premiere audience of 1.69 million around Australia - and continued to grow. Up until last Thursday, the average audience was 2.4 million. Last year's final - won by mother-of-three Julie Goodwin over Poh Ling Yeow - attracted a peak audience of 4.2 million viewers, including regional areas. Dr Sue Turnbull, media lecturer at La Trobe University and pop culture analyst, said of tonight's final: ''It might even go bigger. It's quite possible that the country will stop [tonight].'' This would make the show the most watched non-sporting event in Australian television history. ''Julia Gillard and Tony Abbot have already given up the battle against Callum and Adam. They already know they've been eliminated for lack of interest,'' Dr Turnbull said. ''Maybe we should be touting Adam for prime minister.'' Media analyst Steve Allen, of Fusion Strategy, said in ''simpler times'', when viewers had a choice of just two television channels, it was possible for a show to attract 5 million viewers. But with four free-to-air networks and many more pay-TV channels, he said achieving that number today was unprecedented. ''MasterChef is certainly unique. It has been able to maintain a strong following with about eight hours of airtime a week. It's extraordinary,'' he said. Margie Bashfield is amazed. ''I ask myself every day: 'Is it possible for a show to do this?''' she said. ''It's an incredible commitment for an audience to watch our program six nights a week and you do wonder is there a limit to how many people will make that commitment?'' One of the show's three judges, chef George Calombaris, said the finale would be ''bittersweet - bitter because it's over, sweet because anyone who said that it wasn't going to succeed, that it wasn't going to be as good as series one, well they can eat my humble pie now. And I'm happy to cook it for them''. Fellow judge and food writer Matt Preston said: ''It is a bit weird when you get messages from friends in the UK who have heard, even there, that the federal election debate was moved so it wouldn't clash with us. But really, would you put the debate up against a State of Origin match?'' Hann is the underdog in many minds. But as the show's youngest competitor, he has a legion of fans cheering him on. ''What I've noticed from the people coming up to me is there are a lot of kids who are really into the show. They watch it religiously every night and they're getting into cooking and they're talking and thinking about food … that is fantastic,'' he said. As for tonight: ''I just hope Adam and I can keep our nerves under control.'' Liaw is favoured to take the title. He left his job as a media lawyer with Walt Disney Japan to become the family's first chef. His mother Joyce said: ''The other children remember that Adam could make simple [two-minute noodles] into a work of art by adding all sorts of things to it. He loves his wasabi and tends to fill my fridge with strange and unfamiliar ingredients.'' Liaw said: ''Win or lose, the hard work starts once we get out of the competition. People look at the show at home and they see us cook this dish or that dish, but they don't see how seriously we take it. The emotion is there because this is everything to us.''
I've been following the program by watching recorded episodes posted online but would really love to find a way to watch it live... are there any streaming sites anyone knows of?

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