Last night professional chef and merchant of casual up-dos, Rhys Badcock of Byron Bay, was anointed the first winner of MasterChef: The Professionals, edging out fellow finalists Sarah and Rhett, whose back stories were nowhere near as compelling as Rhys’s ‘troubled youth’ scenario. Rhys took home $200,000, with the runners up each scoring $10,000, and judges Matt Preston and Marco Pierre White left in a state of employment limbo after the series failed to make a significant dent in the ratings.
The finale episode peaked at 1.06 million viewers, ranking 7th among the not-particularly-narrow demographic comprising people of the 16 to 39s age bracket, and 8th for the 18 to 49s bracket. How those brackets are compartmentalized, nobody really knows. These average numbers (especially compared to the 5.2 million viewers who tuned in to the 2010 finale) are an indication of the growing incidence of MasterChef Fatigue among Australian television watchers, coupled with the increasing popularity of Seven’s trainwreck-friendly cooking show My Kitchen Rules.
With these dwindling numbers could Rhys be the last person to hoist the MasterChef trophy (until the show is inevitably revived in 7-8 years, Big Brother style)?