MasterChef is arguably been the biggest reality cooking show of the 21st century.
But according to its star, Matt Preston, it was never meant to be.
‘Everyone told us it would be a disaster’: On Saturday, MasterChef star Matt Preston (pictured), 57, revealed the network believed the show would be a flop in its 2009 debut… as the show’s ratings continue to plummet
‘Everyone told us it would be a disaster,’ he said.
‘You know what we were going to be? The rebound boyfriends. Australians had a long relationship with Big Brother and Big Brother was going off.’
‘We saw ourselves as the sacrificial lamb before they would put on the real show that would succeed. But thankfully, because the climate around the world was ready for a slightly nicer type of show, MasterChef dropped into that slot,’ he added.
‘We saw ourselves as the sacrificial lamb’: Matt told the publication he thought MasterChef would have flopped as it went up against reality TV juggernaut Big Brother. Pictured: Matt (center), Gary Mehigan (left), 52, and George Calombaris (right), 40, in the debut series in 2009
In 2009, MasterChef delivered some of the network’s biggest ratings, with its final episode raking in a staggering 3.7 million viewers on July 19.
In turn, judges Matt, Gary Mehigan, 52, and George Calombaris, 40, were made household names overnight and the show’s first winner, Julie Goodwin, went onto to create several best-selling cook books.
Unfortunately, the show’s influence has seen a steady decline in its 11 seasons, with ratings dropping dramatically from its peak of 3.9 million viewers in the 2010 finale, to 1.3 million for the same episode in July 2018.
The ratings struggle has also continued into the current season, with fans most recently slamming the show as ‘boring’ and even ‘a complete waste of f***ing time’.
Ratings hit! The first series of MasterChef in 2009 struck ratings gold, pulling in 3.7 million viewers in its finale episode. Pictured: 2009 winner Julie Goodwin (left) and runner-up Poh Ling Yeow (right)
The ratings struggle has also continued into the current season, with fans most recently slamming the show on Twitter as ‘boring’ and even ‘a complete waste of f***ing time’
The backlash came after Tuesday night’s episode, which saw wanna-be chefs Abbey, Simon, Derek, Nicole and Anuskha take part in an immunity challenge and leaving many viewers less than impressed.
‘I often find the immunity challenges boring but this was a whole new level of yawn,’ tweeted one fan.
Others struggled to stay awake, with one viewer commenting: ‘If anyone suffers from insomnia, watching this episode is the perfect cure.’
MasterChef Australia airs 7.30pm, Sunday to Thursday, on Network 10
Low numbers: MasterChef has been struggling in the ratings and Tuesday night’s episode is unlikely to provide the bounce it so desperately needs. Pictured from left: judges Matt Preston, George Calombaris and Gary Mehigan