[I’m sorry. I know i’m going on about it. I love this show though. I’ll try not to rant about it tomorrow. I really will. and Thursday. Shall i limit myself to one post a week on the subject?]

Tonight’s show, after the initial cookoff, when 6 are whittled down to 3, left the judges with a choice of a youngish welsh lady who rears her own pigs and grows her own food (you go, girl!), a social worker, Dennice, who is also a mom of 4 and in her 30s, I think? and a 22 year old, Ben (I think that was his name anyway).

Ben, from what he said, wanted to be a chef. He adores food. He wants this like no one else in the competition (they all do. Just once, i’d like to see someone say, “nah, just fancied a day out”). And while Dennice said much the same thing, I don’t know. I believe her more than I believe Ben – simply because of opportunity. I freely admit i don’t know anything about Ben and Dennice’s lives, and i could well be wrong in what i’m about to say, but Ben gives the impression of being either a student or someone who’s just finished at university. Even if he hasn’t, even if he left school at 16 and has worked ever since, at 22, he’s still young enough to apply for a student grant and go to college for a year to learn to be a chef the traditional route. If he’s just finished Uni, its even easier. Either way, at his age of life, its relatively easy for him (and others at that point) to make a life change, if thats what they really, truly want.

For Dennice, it’s that much harder. Yes, student loans/grants/whatchmacallits are available to the over 25s, but they don’t cover mortgages, child care, feeding your children and all the other kinds of sacrifices you’d have to make if she went back to college. For her, to make this kind of life change, Masterchef is probably about the only way that she *can* do it at this stage of her life without being a terribly selfish mother.

I have to question why someone like Ben is even on Masterchef, apart from the obvious aspect of competitiveness. but even then, if he’s really competitive in that sense.. he’d go to college, and then compete in the chef competitions that are out there. His story just doesn’t stack up.

It doesn’t really matter in the great scheme of things: in the end up, Dennice won, and i think the right person did win tonight. But looking at previous series, where John and Greg put someone very young (I think she was 18) through purely based on potential (and my unsettlement about Ben, i also felt about her: at 18, she’s definetly young enough to go to college to learn the traditional route), i worry that the same thing is going to happen again later in the series. I really hope it doesn’t. And i do think a higher age cutoff should be introduced.

I also think another competition should be introduced; for those, like the old Masterchef, who just want to cook great food. Who don’t necessarily want to work in a restaurant, who don’t want to cook huge amounts of food, who just want to take ONE plate of food, and make it the best plate they possibly can. Who don’t have to have the potential to be great chefs.. just great cooks. Hell, call it MasterCook, if you like. If they did that.. I’d apply….