Reality TV goes head-to-head with cooking, Legos and singing

Reserve your seats on the couch, friends.

Easter Monday has arrived and it’s time to put politics and federal elections aside and concentrate on reality television, as three competing free-to-air commercial networks go head-to-head with their best entertainment shows of the year.

Network Ten serving the 14th series MasterChef Australia: Fans & FavoritesNetwork Nine has a fourth series Lego Masters, and Seven has an 11th season Voice.

There is a cooking event with previous contestants and winners MasterChefwith a group of 12 fans who have been recruited into the kitchen, and a “tingling show” of amateur singers for Voice coaches Keith Urban, Rita Ora, Guy Sebastian and Jessica Mauboy.

Australian television lover and Lego fanatic, Gold Logie winner Hamish Blake, returns in his legendary Evel Knievel suit to host and watch as eight contestants build an insanely difficult pirate ship, bridge and rocket to impress the master.

Each network has spent big bucks on pre-campaigns, enticing their fan base using dramatic moments cut to music, emotional stories about adversity and the desire to win big prizes, and famous jury faces that we have respect and trust.

Let’s break down how each show will play out in what is now the biggest ranking war of the year.

MasterChef Australia: Fans & Favorites: Monday 19.30 at 10 and 10 Play (on request)

Ten has the right recipe this year.

They have brought in 12 winners and contestants known as the ‘Favourites’ who all know how to cook, including first season winner Julie Goodwin, Minoli De Silva from season 13 and Alvin Quah from season two.

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And then there are the ‘Fans’, who come from non-cooking backgrounds including dentistry, teaching, finance, firefighting and TikTok.

That equals a lot of heat in the kitchen this year, a great equalizer, with a huge 24 cooks.

Brisbane TikTok influencer Montana Hughes has eight million views on just one TikTok video; professional firefighter Daniel Lamble learns how to cook on YouTube, and barista and coffee roaster Harry Tomlinson considers his creativity in the kitchen a necessity, having to cook delicious yet affordable meals for his housemates.

When New Daily recently asked judge Andy Allen if this year’s draft was a fair fight, he replied: “I was really surprised. But for me it’s the best season we’ve ever had because there’s a new format that we’re doing that works.

“There were times when the faves swept the fans floor, but it didn’t take long for the equaliser.”

With a big smile on his face and superb Malaysian flavours, former contestant Alvin Quah is back for the season, and it’s been a long time between dishes in the kitchen.

When he poured his sauce over his peeled prawns in a recent promo for the show, Quah, who describes himself as “weird and friendly” admits he was a little confused because MasterChef judges Melissa Leong, Allen and Jock Zonfrillo watch.

Jock asked: “Are you expecting Gary, Matt and George? [the three previous long-term judges left in 2019].”

Laughing, Quah quips Mel: “George, you’ve changed”.

Quah tell TND he will exclusively use lots of chili, pork and eggplant, taking inspiration from his mother and aunt, and thinking of previous runner-up Poh Ling Yeow for his “energy and passion” in a bid to take home the grand prize of $250,000.

Voice: Monday to Wednesday 7pm at Seven

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In rival Seven, the promotional campaign for Voice tells us that we are going to hear songs that will “move Australia”.

There were tears, passion, lots of hugs and prayers, and there’s no better way to pack a punch on a first night than with a teenager with an emotional backstory.

Remember Hiccups Kid Ethan Hall? The 13-year-old who hiccuped while singing the Australian national anthem at a baseball game in 2015, and later became a viral sensation?

Six years and 3.6 million views later, Ethan is performing the classic hymn Jesus Pie by Sarah Brightman and hope it doesn’t sound “dirty”.

His amazing show floor superstars coach Urban, Ora, Sebastian, and Mauboy.

Urban hugged the young teen and described his performance as “amazing”, while Mauboy said “you made my day.”

Then there’s Melbourne teacher Lachie Gill who has to choose between singing and playing AFL: “As soon as I could walk, I had a foot in my hand. I was one step away from my dream of playing footy at the highest level, but the music was starting to take over.”

The winner ended up taking home $100,000 and a record deal.

lego master back with some confusing constructs.

lego master: Monday to Wednesday 19:30 on Nine and 9Now

Hamish Blake is excited to watch the 16 best Lego makers in the country compete for the Lego Master title.

Blake rides a minibike in a white suit and an Evel Knievel helmet to kick off the show’s promo.

We then wonder what will happen next when the group is tasked with building a Lego stuntman and sending him flying through hoops.

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There’s also an outdoor challenge called High Wire, in which contestants try to build and push a model across a razor-high wire stretched six meters above the ground.

And the biggest challenge from Season 1, The Bridge, is back with an awesome twist.

So how was the level of this show last year?

With an increase in subscriptions to streaming services and BVOD (broadcast video on demand) in 2021, OzTam’s ranking shows MasterChef viewership fell to a series average of 724,000 across the five mainland cities, down 26 percent from 2020 figures.

lego master performed well throughout the year, and ranked No.1 with over a million viewers for the final in November.

But that doesn’t directly contradict the redefinition MasterChef or Voice.

Nine’s head of content, Adrian Swift, is sure it will attract a large audience this year, especially if Blake gets on board.

“Few people on Australian television bring viewers with them,” he told TVTonight on April 12.

“Hamish Blake is one of them. Simple like that.”

And Voice? Rejuvenated after the format was released by Nine in 2020, it attracted over a million viewers for 14 episodes.

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