Cooking show has the X factor

Last updated 05:00 26/05/2013

Head to head: X Factor judges Melanie Blatt and Ruby Frost.

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It's the battle of the Kiwi reality TV shows - and it seems wannabe chefs are winning the ratings war.

Tv One's MasterChef and TV3's X Factor go head-to-head on Sunday night, and so far more people are watching the cooks than the would-be popstars.

In the month since X Factor first aired against MasterChef at the end of April, the TV One show has drawn between 50,000 and 125,000 more viewers than its rival.

Latest head-to-head Nielsen figures, from Sunday, May 12, saw MasterChef cooking up 578,000 viewers for its hour-long episode, compared to the 452,400 who tuned in for two hours of X Factor talent and tears. This was the biggest margin - 125,600 - between the two shows so far.

MasterChef's peak viewing audience so far this year was for its first show, which drew 624,000 viewers.

The biggest audience for X Factor so far was for its second show, on Monday, April 22, when it attracted 529,400 viewers. Its biggest Sunday audience so far was for its first show, on April 21, with 503,000 viewers.

Tonight on MasterChef the last three contestants will battle it out for a spot in next weekend's final. They must cook a six-course meal at award-winning Auckland restaurant The French Cafe for 10 of New Zealand's top chefs.

And on X Factor, the live shows continue, with the top 11 acts performing in front of the judges and a live audience. Monday night's show will reveal which act the public votes off.

Contestants on both shows are chasing big prizes. The MasterChef winner takes home more than $100,000 in prizes and a cookbook deal, while the X Factor victor will win prizes including a recording deal with Sony and a car.

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- Sunday Star Times

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