New Masterchef show offers few surprises

LINDA BURGESS
Last updated 05:00 18/02/2013

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Two weeks into MasterChef New Zealand (TV One, 7.30 Sunday) and we have a line-up of the usual suspects. The crew from central casting have been at it again.

The rough diamond is – was – here in spades. Even before the first challenge he'd got drunk, stayed up till 5.30am, won huge amounts gambling. Plating up is a challenge because he's too blokey for that rubbishy pretty stuff, but ask him to chuck something he's recently slaughtered on to a barbie and no probs, mate. Going home? The programme's producers will be gutted.

The squealer. This reviewer can't stand them en masse in cafes. But individually they're fine. Episode 2 is by nature subdued. Though when four women go through to the top 16 together, time for a group hug, a group rush through door, and a group super-squeal. The weeper can appeal if it's weeping for joy, irritate enormously if it's self-pity. Wisely, the judges tend to deal early to the lachrymose.

The modest mum. Awww, come on ... you can do it! I wouldn't have dared try out but the kids said, Mum, you can do it!

Mr Arrogant. Why shouldn't he win? He's done well at everything else he's ever tried. The judges love to put him through the mouli.

Ms Haughty is more appealing. This year we have catwalk class cheekbones.

The ingenue. If they're under 20 or call themselves a student, or are guilelessly pretty, this is them.

The interestingly ethnic. Suitably, because of the mix that we New Zealanders are, MasterChef reflects this. The bar is set high though: who will ever be able to outdo Jax? But ... there is a strong contender.

The sycophant quickly learns to use "chef" in a way that makes it sound like "Your Worship". They are filmed laughing too keenly at anything barely resembling a joke from the judges.

The top restaurant chefs can be ordinary. The one who sounded like his next sentence would be: "We haf ways of making you talk" was just a little scary.

The judges. Fine, but could learn something from The Great British Bake Off.

The viewer: waddling to the fridge, the pantry. Every ad break.

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- The Dominion Post

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