With that being said, premieres for the show are the hardest to dive into out of any that you see over the run of the series, and one of the biggest challenges is a structural one. Doing these “battle for a white apron” episodes is great in the sense that you are bringing a little bit of an audition-show flair to the show. You get to meet a ton of different people, whether they be wedding singers, Harvard students, preachers, or even one guy who works at Chipotle and can clearly cook a whole lot more food than they give him a chance to make there. From a standpoint of showing all walks of life and a wide array of different food, these premieres do tend to win.
The issue with the format is more that there are SO many people that it’s hard to get to know anyone, and there’s a case to be made for just starting the show off with a top 20 or 24 and then going from there. The star of the premiere personality-wise is probably Reba, the swearing stay-at-home mom from Texas who seems as though she should’ve been on reality TV ages ago. She was around at the end of the episode, a sign that producers knew what they had with her and didn’t want to get her out of the way early.
As for the judges, Aaron Sanchez fits right in with Gordon Ramsay and Christina Tosi. The three of them do have a great balance and rapport, though they never have a whole lot of time to be off-the-cuff or silly. There’s a little more freedom to do that on the Junior version of the show than this one. The two shows are almost like different sides of the same coin — one is funny and lighthearted, but the other has a great deal of weight to it. The contestants feel more the thirst to win and be successful now, since their careers and their futures can change as a result of winning the show.
There is only so much that a MasterChef premiere can do in its current format. The best thing about it is the creativity of the various home cooks. The downside is that there are just so many of them, and there’s no real drama since they have to bounce around from one set of home cooks competing to the next. A handful of home cooks are through, so time will tell what happens from here. Premiere Grade: B.
Other news worth noting
If you missed it, you can head over here to see a new MasterChef interview featuring Sanchez talking about the season that’s coming. (Photo: Fox.)