Food & Wine
Former Masterchef competitor Karyn Thomas avidly watches the latest series of the TV cooking competition, but says fans should be under no illusion - the show's main aim is entertainment.
"I can't watch it the same now that I've done the show. You know when things are edited, you know some things are just for entertainment,'' she said from her Nelson home.
"The bottom line is not about food, the bottom line is about ratings.'"
Since appearing on the first season of New Zealand Masterchef, the 24-year-old has had a busy two years.
She had her second son Darwin, now 18 months and younger brother to her eldest son Noah, 3. She has also got married.
Thomas, who took part on the show under her maiden name of Fisk, said she is writing a weekly blog on the show on the website Throng.
She said the Masterchef judges all wore earpieces and were directed by producers.
For example, the producers would watch competitors and tell them a certain competitor was doing this or that and to ask them about it, producers would even tell judges what to say.
Her favourite judge was Ray McVinnie, whom she described as really caring and aware the contestants were amateurs.
She thought the calibre of competitors in the current third season was higher than past years.
She was impressed by Charlene McGechan of Rotorua, who has a Fijian background, but said at the end of the day the winner would be someone that "made really good TV''.
Thomas said she was still regularly recognised in Nelson by people who had seen her on the show.
Most people were really nice but comments left on discussion boards and other social media websites during the show about her had hurt.
She drew flak for an episode where she killed a crayfish by boiling it alive in hot water.
People needed to understand that the person they saw on TV was often constructed by the way the show was edited.
The show was edited from hours of footage and producers could switch to a reaction shot of a competitor to something that was from much earlier and unrelated footage, she said.
"For the most part there is nothing real about reality shows.''
Thomas said in the last few weeks she had found her bliss making and decorating cakes. She had started a business Tempting Thomas' Cakes.
Her experience on Masterchef had been "unforgettable'', but she was uncertain whether she would do it again.
"It's a bit like being asked about school, there are great times but there times that really stink."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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