On the surface Fox's televised cooking competition show MasterChef may look like just another chance to see talented and popular chefs compete for top billing and some cash. However, where MasterChef differs from the many other cooking shows in that it gives home chefs the opportunity to showcase their talents and compete to become the next MasterChef.

The show follows the same format as most other reality shows. There are 3 judges Gordon Ramsey, Joe Bastianich and Graham Elliott. Most will immediately recognize Gordon Ramsey as the famous "tell em' how you really feel" chef from Hell's Kitchen.

The show starts with 2 or 3 episodes that showcase selected auditions. When the auditions are completed, there are generally 100 contestants left. The next show sees the contestants compete for the 16 top slots. The top 16 home cooks are quickly identified and then the show takes off from there. Every week the chefs compete and 1-2 are kicked off of the show.

There are generally 3 rounds. The first round is a mystery box challenge where all of the chefs have identical ingredients that they have to cook with. The top chef in this round has an advantage going into the next round. The top 2 chefs from this round are selected as team captains for the elimination round. During the team challenge/elimination round 1-2 chefs are sent home.


*If you like to cook, you will get some great ideas on new meals to cook
*There is an abundance of energy and a sense of urgency that keeps you on the edge of your seat.


*The judges do most of the testing and as a result you almost wonder if they are just selecting the people that they want to advance or go home. It's a little different when you are watching a reality show competition where the audience votes or at least everyone can get a sample of the product (singing, dancing, skating, etc). With food, something could taste dreadful but the television audience will never know the difference.

All in all, MasterChef is a great addition to your culinary television lineup. Currently in it's third season, it comes on Fox on Monday nights and can also be found on Fox OnDemand.

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