Food & Wine
Shocking secrets from behind the scenes of a MasterChef taping
A MasterChef audience member has dropped the bomb by revealing some of the show’s most well-kept secrets.
On Monday night’s episode, Judge Andy Allen told the contestants the day’s team challenge involved whether they were able to cook in front of a screaming audience.
The season’s favourite Poh Ling Yeow described the entire experience as “overwhelming” and fans seemed to agree as they took to social media to reveal that they were switching stations.
One person on Twitter wrote: “Okay, I’ve got a headache. Switching to Sam Neill on Australia Story.”
"Combination of loud drum music, loud Andy rev ups and screaming crowds is totes overwhelming the cooking aspect. I'll sign off tonight and catch you all on the next episode,” another person added.
But Donna De La Rue, a mum from Melbourne said that “not everything is as it appears” after she attended the taping of the show. She called it an “unpleasant experience to be honest”.
Speaking with Yahoo Lifestyle, Donna revealed that things started off rocky as the production crew apologised to members of the audience upon arrival because the air-conditioning wasn’t working, and it was a 36-degree day.
She said the audience wasn’t told about what was happening during the taping.
"We weren't really told anything, we were revved up by an MC which was fun, we were all very excited and, of course, at that stage we didn't know anything – we didn't know the judges or the contestants."
"We were given hand signals to say 'Ooh' and 'Aah' and clapping and cheering and 'Aww' if something went bad, which we did for quite a few hours and other than that we couldn't hear anything that was going on. Nothing. You couldn't hear unless someone screamed out '30 minutes left' or something. That's about all you could hear, you couldn't hear any of the interaction between the judges and the contestants."
She further went on about how they could barely see what was happening from where they were sitting.
"We had Hayden in front of us and I think we knew he was cooking fish and you could smell the hibachi, that was awesome, so that experience was really good,” she said.
"We were really looking forward to [Monday] night because we were like, 'Now we can finally find out what everyone actually cooked', because we had no idea.
"But yeah, it was really disappointing that there was no audio in the whole thing, even though everyone was mic'd up, we couldn't hear a thing. And I get that it probably would have echoed if it had, I get that's why, but we didn't hear anything."
Donna then revealed the most interesting part of the day came as a huge surprise to her and her daughter.
"Every single one of those contestants had a cooking helper. Every single one of them,” the mum claimed.
"There were people running around in black T-shirts everywhere, there were people telling them whether it needed more spice etc.”
She claimed Laura had an issue with her deep fat fryer and someone was telling her how to control the temperature on it.
"Every single one of [the contestants] had a food coach, every single one of them," she claimed.
Donna added that the one other thing that "genuinely" surprised her was that the time limit was real, and people couldn't go over time if they wanted, but there were also some people that finished "way earlier".
"Poh finished really, really early, she probably stood around for 15 minutes and did nothing and then when they started to do the countdown she fussed around a little bit, but none of them were right on the buzzer for the countdown, that was all crap."
She also revealed that as soon as the contestants stopped cooking, their creations were either refrigerated or kept warm while they waited an hour to get tasted.
Another time-consuming aspect of the show was that the cameras had to constantly stop and start so the judges can fix themselves up.
"Andy probably spilled food on his T-shirt four times so we had to wait for him to go and get changed and then come back again," she said.
One of the most disappointing parts of the day, Donna revealed, was the fact they were never introduced to the judges or contestants.
"We were really disappointed because we weren't introduced to the judges, we didn't know who they were, we also weren't introduced to the contestants."
She also said that many members of the audience chose to leave around six or seven o’clock before filming had finished due to the heat.
"We knew that when they were doing the filming there wouldn't be much that they could use from our audience because I think at the end there was probably ten of us left. So, it was really interesting,” she said.
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