These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
YMMV: Master Chef
Acceptable Targets: According to Krissi, vegetarians, as she plainly decrees that she hates Bri simply because she doesn't want a vegetarian as team captain. Bri was not pleased, and even the other contestants who had underestimated her due to her vegetarianism in the past viewed it as another example of Krissi's Jerk Ass behavior.
Adaptation Displacement: Anyone remember the original original UK series? Billing itself as "the grand prix of amateur chefs", the show then was similar in principle to the remake where three chefs cooking in colour coded "kitchens" would serve three courses of their devising. Hosted by Lloyd Grossman (who lended it a very fancy upmarket feel), it was significantly more sedate than the current version to the point it could be called an adaptation In Name Only. The show pre-dated most Reality Show genre clichés being firmly in the 90s and was a lot more straightforward with chefs being judged entirely on food quality without the need of viewer emotional manipulation or celebrity personalities, a simpler time if you like. The sad thing is it's near impossible to find episodes and it has led to a version of Sequel Displacement for those entirely unfamiliar with it, so much so that none of the examples for this show refer to it besides this one.
Base Breaker: US Season Three's Monti Carlo was this to a certain extent, as fans generally either saw her as a brilliant underdog or as not deserving of a place in the competition (fans of Ryan and Tali especially tended to take the latter position).
Creator's Pet: US Season 1 winner Whitney Miller has been accused of being this, as despite her constant, major screw-ups in the elimination challenges, the judges constantly talked about how awesome and amazing she was, and the only time she ever actually faced elimination was when the decision was out of their hands, and professional food critics were deciding on the bottom two for that challenge. Alejandra from Season 2 appeared to be going the same way, though her serving raw pork to the judges in her last episode was evidently too big a screw-up for her to recover from.
Season 3's Josh was also seen as one. The judges constantly praised his food knowledge even if he didn't have one of the best dishes in challenges, and he was brought back despite a dish that just, at least to viewers, did not compare to others. The judges continued to sing praises about his knowledge, despite his landing in the bottom quite constanty since he was brought back, and strong contenders Monti, Frank and Becky got eliminated over him, getting him to the final 2.
A segment of the fandom saw season four's Luca as this to Joe Bastianich, who despite his reputation as the show's "nasty" judge actually tended to be more lenient toward Luca than Gordon or Graham were. In this case however, Luca really Took a Level in Badass in the second half of the season, going a long way to addressing the criticisms made of him earlier.
Some fans also saw Alexander from Master Chef Junior as one. The judges would always praise him perhaps just a tad more than any other child, would at times put him on the top even if his dishes had a mistake (such as the kale chips he made alongside his burgers, which Gordon said should have been baked rather than fried), and while his dish before the finals was good, it can be said it was much simpler than Jack and Dara's more technically complicated dishes which also impressed the judges. It's also believed by fans that the decision of him winning in the end was also in part by being a Creator's Pet, when noticing Gordon making a case for why Dara deserved to win based on her entire finale course, but ultimately Alexander won.
Elimination Houdini: Tali from the US season 3. He made only one dish the judges really liked (his strawberry shortcake), whereas the rest of his dishes have ranged from average to downright terrible, and he's been in the bottom two a total of three times. It's all made worse by the fact that he has quite a big ego, thinks his food is amazing and the judges just don't understand him. However, he finally got eliminated in the Top 9 (though he still talked of how the judges couldn't "see the genius").
David Martinez also from US season 3. So much so that when eight previously-eliminated contestants were competing to return to the competition, virtually all of them said that he did not deserve to still be in the running.
Josh from US season 3 eventually became this after he was brought back, landing constantly in the bottom but still managing to stay.
An especially shocking moment was when he and Monti were both up for elimination, and the judges sent Monti home, despite Josh having every advantage in the challenge (he had been given a basket with all the required ingredients while the others had to decipher for themselves what was needed from a taste test), and also chose to add ingredients to Graham's recipe in the belief that he could make it better. Needless to say, many viewers were shocked when Monti was given the boot instead.
Krissi from US season 4. Despite her consistently bad attitude towards everyone (even the judges) and cooking performance throughout the season(including having lost in every single team challenge except for a tag-team one), she has inexplicably escaped elimination every time. The judges tend to seem far less critical about her failures than they are to other contestants and actually praise her "bloody good effort" despite flaws on her dishes, and she has also shown an inability to move away from her comfort zone, something other contestants are more willing to do. She was finally eliminated in 4th place, ending her run in a Pressure Test after she singlehandedly cost her team a challenge (which she, instead, blamed on her partner)largely because she stormed off.
The energetic, emotive, and well-dressed Luca was this even when he auditioned for and was cut from US Season 3, and it only escalated when he returned and was a contestant in Season 4, to the point where he may have the biggest fandom for any contestant that season.
Dara from the first MasterChef Junior season, who not only became the first (and to date, only) US contestant to make it to the final without ever once being put up for elimination, but didn't get a single bad comment about any of the dishes she made in the entire course of the season. By contrast that season's eventual winner, Alexander won more challenges overall, but also had a couple of absolutely disastrous dishes along the way.
Fan Dumb: Some fans of season 3's Josh can be seen as this in general, especially with their rage at Christine defeating him in the finals. Their arguments include saying that Christine only cooked Asian food through the whole competition (she did not cook only Asian food), and saying that her dishes in the final challenge were far too simple. They are very quick to ignore that the judges enjoyed the flavors of Christine's final dishes and Gordon Ramsay pointed out how she served her final dishes as a whole meal, while Josh didn't (his three dishes were all heavy), and they are also quick to ignore any of Josh's flaws both in the finals and the whole competition, such as his mistakes with the lobster and the pie in the final (grinding the lobster shell along with the meat and a rather soggy pie crust respectively), his several times in the bottom since his return to the competition, and insisting he did not deserve to be eliminated in the eggs pressure test despite the fact that he had only one good egg preparation out of four, while Becky and Monti had more good preparations than him.
Foregone Conclusion: Many fans saw Alexander's victory in Master Chef Junior since the first couple of episodes. While there is no denying how genuinely talented and deserving he is, many fans do think there was a certain degree of favoritism from the judges when it came to him.
Hate Dumb: It's generally not too good of an idea to get into an argument about which incarnation of the show is the best, especially if it's with a fan of the UK version (the original) or the Australian version (widely considered the hardest and most demanding).
For the American version, the fact that the first three winners were attractive females seems to cause watchers to claim that the show is biased in favor of women, and/or male viewers.
Tear Jerker: As hated as Krissi is, it did hurt to see her alone when everyone had a family member come visit. Her son couldn't come. Even Joe shed a few tears. Natasha, who has a rivalry with her, also expressed sympathy.
This was only furthered by the revelation that she had made racist comments and rape jokes on twitter in the past , and other more minor offenses such as conspiring and succeeding in getting Bime eliminated, constantly complaining about being picked last in team challenges and having to cook in pressure tests despite it being shown she doesn't work well with teams, and saying that a fellow contestant was "just like the girls she used to beat up in high school".
Walmart has also become this for US fans by the time of season four, as their Product Placement is so ubiquitous. It seems the judges have to remind the audience several times an episode where their "USDA premium cut choice steaks" or "fresh produce" come from, with several challenges even being framed in the context of "using these great ingredients from Walmart (gotten for under x dollars)", and their commercials will run during every single break.
Unfortunate Implications: Joe once criticized a contestant for making an Asian-inspired dish with wild mushrooms, which he claimed were more suited for a Euro-centric dish, which he described as being more "refined".
Joe also criticized a traditional dish from Puerto Rico by saying that it was "shrimp scampi, faked, with plantain thrown in there", which pissed off many Puerto Rican viewers.