Why 'MasterChef' Doesn't Need More Cliffhanger Endings

Why 'MasterChef' Doesn't Need More Cliffhanger Endings

Do you know why I like MasterChef? Because it's the same formula each season. A certain amount of wanna-be contestants try out. A certain amount make the cut. And then each week someone goes home until a winner is crowned. The challenges are the same. There are no live shows. There are no cliffhangers. 

For me it works. I like it. I watch it every week because I want to see who cooks what, and who eventually gets cut. I certainly don't think MasterChef needs more cliffhangers like the one in "Vegas Deluxe & Oyster Shucks." Tell me who goes home in every episode. Don't leave me hanging, because it's not going to make me want to tune in any more than I already do.

Change Isn't Always Good

Some changes in season 8 have been good. For example, the chance to do challenges over, like in the scrambled egg pressure test, was a good twist. It allowed the bottom six chefs to really listen to the critiques of the judges and apply it immediately to save themselves. Another example is how basic some of the challenges are. The grocery bag with 12 common ingredients on every shopper's list was probably as basic as a challenge can get on MasterChef. But using those ingredients to make a stunning dish to wow the judges was really the test, which turned out to be tough for some.

But this latest change of not revealing who will be going on is terrible in my opinion. Yachecia and Newton both had good and bad things about the oysters in their pressure test. In fact, in some parts of the dish Yachecia shined, and other parts of the dish Newton did well. If they had been a team, they probably would have nailed the dish. But now I have to wait a full week to find out who walks back into the MasterChef kitchen? Come on, MasterChef, you're better than that.

Doesn't Need More Suspense

Once both Yachecia and Newton stepped into the Nobu restaurant, I knew it was going to be a tough decision for the judges. So, I know why we have to wait a week. But the suspense on a cooking show is not the same as the suspense on, say,  Scandal or Game of Thrones. In fact, if we had found out who went home in "Vegas Deluxe," I would still watch week after week, because I still get to see who goes home.

I guess since MasterChef seems to be making changes this season to keep viewers on their toes, keeping us in suspense for this pressure test only seems natural. But I don't think there should be any more. In fact, there's enough suspense in every episode as sometimes we don't find out who wins a challenge until after a commercial break. That's enough suspense for me in a light-hearted Gordon Ramsay cooking show. If I'm looking for more suspense, I'll turn my attention to all the dramas on television right now.

Do Cliffhangers Work?

As I said, in this case, on MasterChef, all the cliffhanger did was annoy me. I think for any reality competition show, most viewers want to keep the suspense to the 60 or 120 minutes allotted each week. I like watching dancers on So You Think You Can Dance before America and the judges vote someone off. I like seeing Gordon yell on Hell's Kitchen before a chef goes home every week. And I sometimes like those singing competition shows, where, yes, every week someone goes home. Each week is still a cliffhanger in and of itself. That formula works for reality shows, at least in how I see it.

What do you think? Were you annoyed that you have to find out whether Yachecia or Newton goes home next week? Do you think weekly cliffhangers are good for a show like MasterChef? Or do you think cliffhangers should be left to dramas? Let us know in the comments below.

MasterChef airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on FOX.

(Image courtesy of FOX)


Tags: Masterchef

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