YMMV / Master Chef

  • 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. 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 3 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).
    • US Season 5 Leslie, who is either a rude, immature bullying jerk who holds grudges for far too long, or a good guy with skills who's frustrated with constantly being picked on. He's such an extreme case, people tend to see him as either The Scrappy or an Ensemble Darkhorse!
    • US Season 5's Ahran used to be this until she and Leslie settled their differences and she mellowed out somewhat, although she's still despised by certain factions (and they still leave nasty comments on her Facebook page).
    • US Season 5, Cutter. Many saw him as arrogant and confrontational due to his various failures, with an unwillingness to learn and grow, while others saw him as a guy who, through those failures, has been turned into the judges' personal punching bag, likely in part due to him not taking the judges' criticism with his head down, instead stating his own opinion and wishing for more thorough feedback (as well as the instance of being quite vocal at his displeasure of the lack of teamwork with fellow contestant Dan Wu when they were paired up). The latter set of fans note that the judges treated him in a harsher way that they did any other contestant, with special mention going to Joe Bastianich, who seemed to delight in every possible opportunity to belittle and humiliate Cutter, at one point even trying to put words in Cutter's mouth.
      • Cutter did himself no favours when he posted photos of a hunting trip to his Facebook page featuring him posing proudly with a scimitar horned oryx (considered extinct in the wild) that he'd killed. When people voiced their concerns over the photos, he called them "trolls" and blocked them from his page.
    • The US judge Joe Bastianich. Some see him as knowledgeable, smart and having great one-liners and put-downs, others can't stand him and see him as obnoxiously arrogant and taking the "mean judge" role way too far, especially with throwing dishes into the garbage and talking to contestants like they're worthless and beneath him. Just look at some of the reviews for his book! He's disliked by fans of Ahran and Cutter in particular - he's baited both of them (Cutter in particular) into making controversial statements and then immediately after the episodes released long blog posts criticizing those contestants for said statements. For example, he coaxed Ahran into criticizing Courtney (for which she received a lot of hate), and then promptly took to his blog to say she didn't respect authority, and he "wanted to give her a lesson in decorum" before her "unbridled rage" got her kicked out of the competition. In the Cutter debacle, while judging Cutter's dish, Joe asked him if he was "living in a delusion" about his cooking, said he "sounded ignorant", and insinuated that Cutter had insulted Ramsay's palate (when Cutter asked for an explanation of why his dish was bad). When Cutter tried to explain that he didn't mean to insult anyone, Joe was rude, confrontational and made him look like an idiot. Cutter later gave an interview to explain himself, and reaffirmed that he had not intended in any way to insult the judges, unlike what Joe insisted. (Joe also threw Cutter's food into the trash while sneering at him multiple times. Granted, Cutter was nowhere near the best of season 5, but that's a bit much.) Joe even posted a blog saying that Cutter should never have made it to the top five, and implied that if he'd been there, Cutter would have been eliminated. In reply, Cutter wrote a post on his Facebook page calling Joe out, saying that Joe had only ever had nice things to say to Cutter off-camera, and that his comments were cowardly.
      • Another point of contention being the fact that he's the one judge in just about every version of Masterchef that is not an actual chef himself. Some fans don't mind this and state that as a successful restauranteur, he is well qualified to be a judge, whereas others figure that the fact he's not a chef makes him not as knowledgeable about food as actual chefs and that this hinders his judging capabilities. They point out examples such as his not knowing what mofongo is (one of the most well known dishes of Puerto Rican cuisine) and calling the contestant who prepared it, Bime, a faker, as well as his calling out Luca for using fish sauce in a risotto and how that is never to be done, when fish sauce has actually been utilized in risotto for ages. The latter example is especially strong for fans who believe Joe lacks sufficient knowledge to be a judge, considering it's an Italian dish, which is supposed to be Joe's specialty and what he is most knowledgeable about.
      • Actually, this troper can confirm (being an Italian - read: born, raised and currently living in Italy) that fish sauce is not a risotto ingredient. The closest thing, fumetto di pesce, is just a very reduced fish stock, while the "fish sauce" featured on Masterchef is a Vietnamese fermented sauce that has nothing to do with Italian cuisine.
    • US Season 5 winner Courtney. Oh boy. She's either a talented, determined and beautiful young lady who got by on her own merits, or a fake, cocky, arrogant young woman with a bad attitude and mediocre cooking skills who received blatant favouritism for the judges and only won because Joe had a crush on her (there are allegations from a few different people - including a production assistant - that Courtney and Joe had an affair during her time on the show (which supposedly also contributed to his leaving the show) but these are unproven and should be taken with a large amount of salt).
    • Chilean winner Daniela. While she was always nice and likeable, many saw her winning over Ignacio as a symbol of the strong class discrimination present in Chilean society. Her relatively poor performance in the challenge for a direct spot in the finale and the fact that she was eliminated in one of the first episodes were the main arguments against her. In her defense, her performance in the final challenge was highly praised .
    • With Season 6 of the US Version viewers either think of Tommy as an incompetent screw-up who has no business being on the show, while others view him as one of the more colorful personalities on the show who just needs more time to hit his stride with the right dishes. (His Sweet Corn Panna Cotta received high praise from the judges, showing signs of real talent.)
    • Viewers of US Season 6 are similarly divided about Stephen, who to them is either charmingly eccentric and intense, or creepy and psychotic. (Most can agree that his record of consistently winning challenges speaks for itself, however.)
    • Katrina from US Season 6 is starting to develop a broken base of her own. Either she's one of the nicer, more gentle, and softer underdogs of the competition, or a whiny emotional wreck who frequently needs too much hand-holding from the judges. (Critics have also alleged favoritism between her and Gordon in challenges.)
    • Georgia from Australia's season 7 has a divisive base for similar reasons. Some fans love her for being a really talented and well-rounded cook, others see her as a drama queen who gets too much attention/favoritism from the judges, and being constantly being shoehorned in the scenes, when viewers would rather see other contestants.
    • Brazil's Junior has Eduardo. Some people see him as a very confident and competent contestant. Others see him as an arrogant prick.
  • 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. He finally got eliminated in the Top 9.
    • 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.
    • Cutter from US Season 5. He was in the bottom two/three ten times before being eliminated in fourth, while chefs like Francis B. and Kira were eliminated despite Kira having only ever won challenges and Francis B. being widely acknowledged as one of the better chefs in the competition. In episode nine, Ramsay told him that he was a disappointment to the Masterchef kitchen for constantly being so bad, and it was pure luck that Elise was worse than him.
    • Elise would also rank here with multiple failures, including barely skating by the first episode, baking pies (which were supposed to be her specialty) that didn't rank highly. She seemed more lucky than anything though, as she has either been on the winning team or been spared from elimination/pressure tests. She was finally eliminated in episode nine after suffering a borderline mental breakdown, then being unable to make pasta.
    • Leslie is also worthy of a mention. He was a decent to excellent chef in individual challenges, but whether through bad luck or inability to work with others properly, was in six pressure tests, surviving all of them. For comparison, the most pressure tests any chef prior to Leslie had managed to survive was the previously mentioned Krissi, who was eliminated on her 5th pressure test.
    • Of the ten episodes of the Chilean version, Annelore has been up for elimination in six. Karla joked that she has a pact with the devil or Hitler.
    • Rose from Australia's Season 7 is considered one of the weakest cooks in the entire competition, have not made a single memorable dish, and has almost consistently placed in the bottom 3 during Invention tests. However, she always manage to survive the elimination challenges since some other contestants would somehow perform worse than her when the pressure gets way into their heads. She eventually got eliminated, after reaching the top 10 and surviving a total of 7 pressure tests (4 individual, 3 team) before getting eliminated on her 8th (and 5th individual pressure test).
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • 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 US MasterChef Junior Season 1, 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.
      • Season two of the Junior version has three of them. The quiet and kind 12 year old Sean, the highly energetic 9 year old Oona, and the always positive 8 year old Abby. All three are beloved by fans for their personalities and raw talent.
    • Season 5 has several:
      • Francis Legge. He's cool, calm, and collected with amazing fashion sense (in episode 10, he wore a black blazer, purple shirt, and a freaking KILT). He can also cook like nobody's business.
      • Christine. Takes no crap from anyone, constantly helps her team win challenges and is one hell of a leader. Some fans say she reminds them of Chef Andi from Hell's Kitchen! Her case is especially noteworthy because she had not been featured much, but once she was given the spotlight, fans instantly took a great liking to her.
      • In an interesting turn of events, Ahran's elimination resulted in a massive outcry to bring her back, and she now has more likes on her Facebook page than any of the other chefs! Not bad considering how... divisive she was originally.
      • Elizabeth Cauvel. As she became one of the obvious frontrunners, fans started to pay more attention to her. It helped that she had a very obvious dislike of Courtney and often said things the viewers were thinking.
    • The Chilean version has Eliana. Most adorable grandma ever on TV.
    • Season 7 of the Australian version has Reynold, a young Indonesian-born lad who has repeatedly stunned the judges by the amazing quality of desserts he managed to produce. Fans love him for being the quiet and humble achiever. He's also very good-looking, as the judges themselves noted. His Facebook page has way more likes than the other contestants.
    • Also from Australia's 7th season is James Bell and Kha Nguyen. They've never been given a lot of focus, and were eliminated very early (being the second and third to get booted of the show, respectively), but their pages have over 3000 likes, which is more than a lot of other contestants who have stuck around for much longer.
    • US season 6 has Hetal, who is well liked for not just being nice and a hard worker, but also for her consistently good performances, even managing to perfectly replicate Gordon's beef wellington despite not being able to taste it due to being a vegetarian.
    • Brazilian Season 1 managed to give viewers many likeable contestants. The best received were:
      • Elisa, a young girl who had a bit of a slow start but managed to become a challenge winning juggernaut right to the top, becoming the season's champion.
      • Helena and Lucio, a married couple who got into the show. They were both shown as very nice people and their love and commitment to each other even in the competition was beautiful to watch. Both are also very competent cooks.
      • Flavio, The Chessmaster and one of the most technical cooks who appeared on the show.
    • Brasil Season 2 is ongoing, but some contestants are already well liked. Jiang, a young and perky Chinese lady who lives in Brazil managed to win everyone's hearts with her incredible charisma and awesome looking dishes. She sometimes has trouble forming and speaking sentences in Portuguese which is just adorable.
      • Similarly Carla has gathered a lot of sympathy from her fellow contestants due to her amiability and soft spoken but confident tone always expressing genuine concern towards people on team challenges. When she was eliminated, Lucas was crying.
      • Cristiano, a man from Bahia with a calm demeanor, but is also quite witty whenever someone gets under his skin also has quite a number of people who sympathizes with him.
    • From Brazil's Junior, almost every contestant has been very well received, but Aisha and Matheus stand out for their sheer cuteness. Daphne is well liked for her amazing focus for a 13 year old girl. Sofia has great technique and is funny to watch. Also, Valentina became a fan favorite due to support given to her because she was a victim of several pedophile comments on Twitter in her first appearance.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: In the third episode of Master Chef Junior's third season, Gordon and Graham, wearing old-age makeup are revealed to be in a mystery box, but Joe isn't. They say he didn't make it, and soon comes Joe right behind them in a motorscooter. This becomes a bit less funny as Joe left the show at the end of the season.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: Masterchef Australia has a lot of fans from UK and US who thinks that it is better than their own country's version of Masterchef. Probably because they managed to balance both the merit value of the winner and the contestant (which the US version lack in favor of loud personality), the entertainment value (lacking from the UK version) and every judges and contestants managed to be likable (which cannot be said for the US version). So, their popularity is based on the lack of No Such Thing as Bad Publicity.
  • Internet Backdraft: Shortly after Australian contestant Reynold wowed the judges with a "perfect" dessert, there was quite an uproar about how the lad is "over-qualified" and should be "booted off the show", especially when it came to light that his older brother, Arnold, is a celebrity chef and is one of the judge in the Indonesian version of the series. But given how popular Reynold is, trying to bring up this issue will just raise the ire of his fans, especially since the Masterchef Australia team has since confirmed his eligibility to remain on the show.
  • Most Annoying Sound
    • US judge Joe Bastianich scraping his teeth on forks during tasting.
    • US Season 5 Courtney's forced breathy voice, as mentioned below.
    • Spain's Junior Season 2 had contestant Teresa, who would speak, cry and shriek in an extremely high pitched, ear-bleeding-inducing tone every single time she got frazzled or became desperate. Worth noting that she was frazzled and desperate a good 95% of the times she cooked.
  • The Power of Friendship: In one episode of the Australian version, a late-series elimination challenge was determined by having two of the contestants handling a dish each during a restaurant service, with whoever put in the poorest performance going home. The contestants in question were already friends, and when they both began to struggle early, immediately started to help each other out without a second thought. The judges said afterwards that what they had seen wasn't two contestants competing, but two chefs running a kitchen, and they performed so well together that neither of them were eliminated.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Season 5's rivals Ahran and Leslie, who had both managed to irk a large number of fans, won a lot of people over in episode 7, where Courtney paired them together to create a surf-and-turf dish, and they worked together perfectly, creating a well-received dish that resulted in the two of them sharing a hug. After they were declared safe, Ahran said she would gladly work with Leslie again.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Season 4's Krissi, so very much; The Bully, No Indoor Voice, Small Name, Big Ego, and Hair-Trigger Temper all rolled into one. This was only furthered by the revelation that she had 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".
    • Season five's Courtney. Always wore insanely expensive, sky-high Louboutins heels and (some feel) garish lipstick, and had a very entitled attitude. She also managed to almost ruin doughnuts, and many fans believed the only reason she wasn't eliminated was because the judges favored her (and her winning another challenge despite one of the elements of her dish being burnt seems to support that). In the episode with Luca and Alexander, she's acquired a new very forced breathy voice, which many found incredibly grating. They're also very suspicious about how she complained to have no money for college tuition, yet somehow had a new pair of Louboutins for every episode. Her father didn't help matters any when he started attacking people on the Masterchef Facebook page for disliking her, and she herself only dug deeper when she complained about having to do something she "wasn't proud of" to try to get through school - and people then discovered photos of her winning (or coming in second in) several "Best Overall Stripper of the Year" competitions while smiling and generally acting excited and happy. Someone discovered that Courtney is a personal friend of a former Masterchef winner, which sparked further accusations of competition fixing and after she won, there were several "Congrats, Masterchef has just lost another viewer!" comments. It wasn't helped any that her dessert was arguably worse than Elizabeth's (Elizabeth hadn't cooked her dessert completely and solved the problem by putting up only outside edges - where were properly cooked - while Courtney's dessert was remarked upon as being "possibly the messiest she's ever served"). Also, Elizabeth was the only chef to have never taken part in any pressure tests (unlike Courtney). In all fairness though, Elizabeth did not do the best job on her proteins. (She overcooked her Octopus and the lamb she served Joe was close to raw.)
      • Anna Kendrick tweeted about the infamous salted cherries dessert about a year later, prompting Courtney to petulantly reply "Hey, salted cherries were a thing."
    • Paula from the Chilean version is not very likable. And her obvious botox makes doesn't help. Annelore due to her Elimination Houdini status.
    • While they don't exactly hate her, Australian viewers of the 7th season would like to see Rose go away, as they feel that she lack both the talent and the ability to handle pressure to stay in the competition. Whenever she lands herself in elimination (which is quite frequent), commenters on Facebook would always wish her the worst, and get disappointed/outraged when other, more talented chefs did the worse performance and got eliminated instead of her.
    • Australia's Season 7 also has John, who received a lot of hate from viewers for constantly screwing up team challenges due to his selfishness and apparent inability to consider his team mates when making outlandish decisions for them to uptake. The first instance of this could be observed in the Relay challenge, when he destroyed his team's "mussel broth with coconut and saffron" by adding in 10 or so ingredients to the dish to create something different. His failure to relay his new recipe caused a lot of confusion and stress for the other members coming after him, and his mistake brought the blue team into elimination, which costed team leader Jarrod his place in the competition. The second mess up happened during the Power Apron week, where he volunteered himself to be his team's captain and once again overcomplicates things by having his team try to serve six dishes and pressured Georgia to handle two of them. The ensuing chaos in the kitchen produced disastrous desserts, which once again brought his team an elimination that saw him leave the competition.
    • Brazil's season 1 gave us some contestants who were seem as arrogant and annoying, as they clearly feel anger when listening to the judges criticism and can't work in groups. Sandra and Marli are good examples. Also, there's Jamilly, who was The Scrappy both in and out universe.
    • Brazil's season 2 gave us Fernando and Aritana, who were NOT well received by general public. Both have problems taking criticism and on team challenges they were leaders both had similar problems managing the team and quickly losing their temper when someone did not follow or merely questioned any order they issued.
      • In Aritana's case, people disliked her because of her father, a wealthy businessman. The chefs knew him and people started thinking she was "protected" from elimination because of this.
    • In Brazil's Junior, Ivana has almost 0% of approval due to a similar situation that happened in season 2 (read above). Her case is actually even worst than Aritana's, as her father is the CEO of Google's Brazilian Branch and she's still in the game even after committing several mistakes, which were worse than other contestants who were eliminated. People also dislike her because she cries too much, but it's something to be expected from a 9 year old.
    • Canada's Season 3 had Sean, who single-handedly cost his team the victory in the very first team challenge. He constantly insisted on opening the smoker early to check on the ribs, despite team captain Matthew ordering him several times to not touch the smoker. eventually Sean blatantly disobeyed Matthew's orders and opened the smoker, which resulted in the ribs not being as tender as the other team's ribs, costing Matthew's team the victory. Sean's mistake and his refusal to accept responsibility for it firmly landed him here for many a viewer.
  • Seasonal Rot: US Season 4 is seen as this by some fans, being considered to the weakest season and quite a downfall from the well liked Season 3, mainly because of so many contestants being out of focus to the point where we barely got to know some of them at all, and the heavy focus and emphasis on drama and contestants with bad attitude (namely Krissi and also Natasha) rather than on the cooking itself.
    • The spin-off, Master Chef Junior, was seen as this even before it began, with fans feeling it would be a dumbed down version of the show because of the competitors being children, and also feeling that having Gordon Ramsay on it would mean the children would be yelled at. But eventually averted this, being well received by fans and critics alike thanks to the focus on good food and the culinary skills of the contestants, the fact that the judges are positive yet firm and never spoil the kids, and also because it strays away from the drama that has plagued the adult version since Season 4, with the children being kind, helpful and supportive towards each other.
    • US Season 5 went straight back to this, especially after the winner was revealed. Most of what can be said has been said above.
      • By now it has become a zig-zag, as the US Master Chef Junior 2 is now receiving high praise (with some news writers calling it the best reality competition on television), especially when compared to season 5 of the adult version.
  • Shocking Elimination:
    • Marion in the second season of the Australian version. Even her fellow competitors thought this in-universe.
    • The double elimination of Brandon and Babalwa in the SA version, followed by Guy in the next episode.
    • Tracy from US season 2; despite being acknowledged by many of the other contestants as the most talented cook from that year and never having a single bad comment for any of her dishes, she got booted at 6th after she made some comparatively minor mistakes in a pressure test. Since the judges offered to send her to culinary school and employ her at any of their restaurants, this has led to suspicions that either the judges thought she was over qualified for the largely publicity-based role that the winner gets and wanted to help her break into the culinary world for real, or that the producers just didn't like her.
    • Mike in US Season 3. He had been in the middle throughout the whole competition, with that episode being his first time in the top three (for the first challenge) and the second time in the bottom (for the second challenge), having previously been in a bottom 4 but not having one of the worst dishes. Tanya's elimination in the same episode can be justified due to her having raw eggplant, raw flatbread and leaving a whole raw garlic clove in her dish, but Mike's is shocking when compared to David, who made a disaster of a dish that judge Joe Bastianich threw in the trash can, and also to Tali, who made a huge mess of his entire station and served a messy pizza caked in raw flour that Gordon Ramsay spat out after trying to taste, and somehow managed to evade being put in the bottom three (this despite having three previous appearances in the bottom two).
    • Monti from US Season 3. She makes it all the way to the top 5, consistently putting up good dishes and surprising the judges with more skills than she let on, and had only been on two pressure tests, both from team challenges, and she was one of the best performers on both those pressure tests. Her very first time in the bottom for an individual challenge, and she is eliminated over Josh, who has been eliminated before, was brought back, and has since been in the bottom three for 3 times in a row since returning. He also won the advantage in the Mystery Box and squandered it, landing him in the bottom two, yet the judges still chose to keep him over the more consistent Monti.
    • Can also count for Mike and especially Stacey during the episode where several contestants were brought back for a chance to return to the competition. The two who moved on for a chance to return were Josh and Ryan who made, respectively, a chocolate mousse and pomegranate sauce with a quite unappealing presentation, and a simple pork chop dish. On the other hand, Mike made a chocolate flan that looked beautiful and was flavorful (also counting that making a good flan in one hour is a nigh impossible task) and Stacey also made great looking and tasty ravioli and even managed to make her own homemade pasta and ricotta cheese, something that astonished the judges, but despite these great dishes, both were passed over. Even season 2 contestant Ben Starr wrote in his blog that he felt Mike and Stacey got robbed.
    • Played with when Lynn was eliminated in US Season 4. Though practically every other contestant acted as though it was this, as many had considered him a frontrunner, their surprise seems rather ridiculous as he had clearly performed the worst in that particular elimination test, with Gordon even saying that his dish was the worst he had tasted in all four years of MasterChef.
    • Vern and then Rishi in Australia Season 5. Vern's came halfway through the series despite being a clear favourite to win, and then Rishi bombs out after getting to Top 4 and being acknowledged as the biggest competition for everyone remaining.
    • Tammara and Kaila in the Canada version. They made it to the top 4 and were generally considered to be two of the strongest, if not the strongest competitors of the bunch, and were eliminated one after another for relatively minor mistakes on good dishes.
    • US Season 5 has had a few:
      • Astrid; not because she was an especially strong cook, but more because she got the most screentime of any contestant in the first episode, showed herself to be feisty and unafraid of what the judges had to say, and had what the judges agreed was easily the best dish in that episode's second challenge, causing many fans to predict that she would be a key player in that season. In the second episode she completely tanked in the first Mystery Box challenge and was eliminated halfway through the episode, with Courtney subsequently taking up the Alpha Bitch role that Astrid initially seemed to occupy.
      • Kira; in the donut challenge, she was eliminated over a problem with her dough that made her donuts a bit tough, and for not having enough filling, but her donuts were still edible. By contrast, Courtney ran out of yeast after messing up her first dough and found herself begging for more, and though a contestant kindly gave her more, she proceeded to completely wreck her donuts by confusing her ingredients, using salt instead of sugar, a basic yet enormous mistake that turned her donuts into an inedible salt bomb, but the judges still chose to keep her.
      • Francis B.; despite being considered one of the early frontrunners by both the judges and contestants, he was eliminated in episode 7 after failing to produce an acceptable plate of spring rolls. His were overly greasy and inconsistent, but Cutter, who had already been in danger of elimination twice (including the first mystery box challenge which saw the aforementioned Astrid go home), served spring rolls that seemed to be just as bad, due to being soft, overly sweet, and having virtually no dipping sauce (which the judges stressed as being important). Since Courtney was spared over Kira in episode 4 due to having shown more potential, some felt that the same should have happened for Francis B.
      • Christine; many chefs felt that Ahran's Red Team should have won the challenge anyways, and then that Christine showed far more potential and leadership capabilities than Leslie; Christine was eliminated due to her truffles looking perfect but being too bitter, while Leslie — who had been in the pressure test four times — had truffles that looked disgusting but apparently tasted decent. If anything, Christine seems to have been the victim of extremely bad luck, given that out of the six people who took part in that pressure test, she was the only one who produced truffles that actually tasted bad (nearly everyone else produced truffles that looked mediocre-to-bad but tasted decent, while Cutter of all people nailed both the taste and appearance).
    • US Master Chef Junior 2 sees Sean eliminated in the final six after the team he's in loses the challenge. Out of the whole team (himself, Samuel and Oona) he had been the most consistently strong young cook, and in that very same challenge, everything he cooked was properly done, whereas Samuel, who was saved over Sean, had served soggy fish.
      • The following episode sees the elimination of both Abby and Adaiah. On Abby's case, the salmon she cooked ended up rather overcooked, but taking everything into account, this had been her actual first negative review of anything she had cooked in the competition (her only other criticism before this being her shepherd's pie needing a bit more salt), whereas Adaiah's dish had everything perfectly prepared and was tasty, but it had a smell (not taste) of burnt garlic. Despite the fact that they had been the two most consistently strong young cooks in the final four, they were eliminated in favor of keeping Logan and Samuel, who had also made mistakes in this episode, with Logan serving raw vegetables and Samuel's salmon having some overcooked parts.
    • Australia's Season 7 had James eliminated in the second week after he failed the chocolate invention test (he admits that desserts and sweets were his weakness) and, in following the pressure test, neglects to taste the elements of his dish, and they were out of balance. Fans were disappointed to see him go, as he appeared to have shown more talent than the other two he was competing against: Jamie (whom fans pointed out had poor food hygiene and lacked finesse, as can be observed in the complete chaos he left his kitchen in) and Rose (who had repeatedly failed to produce an amazing dish even though she was cooking food she grew up with).
    • US Junior's season 4 had eight year old Kya's elimination in the Top 6. From the very beginning and despite being the youngest out of all the 24 contestants, Kya had proven herself as one of the strongest contestants, usually at the top of the pack, winning challenges and almost never making any mistakes while displaying skills and knowledge of food well beyond her years. In the Top 6 team challenge, Kya she made only one mistake, yet the team she was in lost mainly due to fellow contestant JJ becoming flustered and committing many mistakes (including spilling contents from a burning hot pan onto Gordon Ramsay's leg and foot). Ultimately Kya was eliminated alongside JJ, angering many fans, who felt that Kya deserved a chance to stay and make the next challenges be a Top 5 to go down to the Top 2 finale.
  • 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.
    • The cyber-bullying Ahran received was awful (people telling her to go kill herself, that she "needed to learn her place", etc). She recently gave an interview where she said that dealing with people on social media was harder than the actual competition for her! She still gets hate from time to time, but she's now the most-liked Masterchef contestant on Facebook.
    • A milder version with Courtney. After her win, she's been getting furious hatred from people on Facebook (posts on the official Masterchef page criticizing her have over a thousand likes) and Twitter, including people hoping she dies in an accident - cooking or otherwise - or uses the money to "fix her ugly beak".
  • They Copied It, So It Sucks: Australia's season 5 was not very well received, due to it's "themed" week format and it's greater emphasis on the contestant's personalities rather than cooking skills being labelled as a desperate attempt to copy the formula its more successful rival, My Kitchen Rules. It completely backfired, and Masterchef's ratings sank down instead.
  • The Woobie: Georgia from Australia's season 7 may qualify. She is a great cook, but had the terrible luck of being placed in not-so-good teams. She's been sent to elimination in almost every team challenge because the team she was in kept on performing the worst in the challenges. This hit its apex when John screwed over the entire blue team during Marco Week by attempting to change the dish they were preparing and completely ruining it, forcing Georgia to prepare a dish on her own in five minutes, forcing the team into elimination.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/MasterChef