A blog about "nothing"!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

My latest "guilty pleasure"

We all have them, guilty pleasures that maybe we do or maybe we don't want to admit.  My husband laughs at me over this one, but I'm finding out that there are quite a few people who are admitting this one lately.  What is it??? The television show Masterchef Junior.

Masterchef Junior is based off the cooking show Masterchef, the difference being that all of the contestants are kids.  They have gone through an audition process of sorts, narrowed down to 24, and then before the airing of the first show, down to 16.  Each week they are presented with several different cooking challenges and at the end of show, several are eliminated. 

First off, I have to admit that I was a bit nervous since Gordon Ramsay is one of the hosts.  If you are even the least bit familiar with him, you know that he can be a bit intense, nasty and has a foul mouth.  Even with all of that, I am a big fan of his, and I usually prefer to watch the British versions of his shows as opposed to the American ones, they tend not to be as caustic, I really think that the producers of the American versions tend to push that over the top persona.  Not necessary IMHO, he's a talented chef with a great personality for TV.  And I was very pleased to see that we get NONE of that nasty side on this show.  He's joined by the two other judges from the original Masterchef, and both of them are also very pleasant.  It's nice to see a different side to this kind of television.

The real stars of the show though are the kids.  At first I couldn't quite grasp why I was so hooked on this show until I read an article on it at the NPR website.  They really pinned it down quite well-these kids are actually nice to each other!  There is none of the backstabbing, badmouthing behavior that seems to be so prevalent on the majority of reality television shows.  When one of them is having a bad time with something, the others seem genuinely concerned about their colleagues.  They all realize that while it is a competition, there is something else to it too, and they all seem to get along quite well.  They also seem to be very well balanced kids, none of that bratty Veruca Salt "I want it now" behavior. 

The other thing that blows my mind completely is the level of cooking ability these kids have.  The set up for the competitions is pretty much the same as most other cooking shows of this type, and these kids DO NOT disappoint.  Some of the stuff that they have made has left me completely speechless.  I wouldn't even try and make some of the things these kids have cooked even if I had a whole day to make it, and they are on a time limit!  Their knowledge of ingredients, technique and equipment is mind blowing.  This particular season the participants are aged 8  - 12, and they all seem to have an extensive knowledge of the kitchen.  The most recent episode had one of the girls decide to use truffle butter in her recipe.  She's 9.  When I was 9 I barely knew the difference between butter and margarine!

At the moment it would be difficult to pick out who the winner is going to be, these kids are really talented.  After last nights elimination we are down to 8.  I'm not going to say too much more about the eliminations in case you haven't seen the show, but I do believe we definitely have the top 8 competing.  Not that the other kids weren't good, but these ones just have that little bit of extra something that it takes. 

I will say that I'm super excited that my favorite of the group from the very beginning is still in it.  Abby is only 8, making her the youngest competitor from both seasons.  She's just cute as a button, says she has been cooking since she was 2 (wow!) and has the confidence to pull it off.  She reminds me of an American Girl doll come to life, maybe that's why I like her so much.

I didn't watch the first season of this, but once this one is over with, I probably will go back and see it.  In case you want to watch, the entire first season is currently available on HuluPlus and season 2 is partially available as well, episodes are posted for the free version approximately one week after airing.  Just be prepared to be completely amazed at the cooking skills of these kids. I know I am. 

Photo from the Masterchef Junior Website
Masterchef Junior Airs Tuesdays at 8:00PM on Fox, with a repeat airing on Fridays at 8:00PM in some markets.

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