07/05/2020 12:21 PM AEST | Updated 11/05/2020 5:23 PM AEST

MasterChef Australia Star Explains How Producers Make 'Engaging TV'

"If don’t do anything particularly great, or nothing goes wrong for you, then they’re not going to highlight you."

One of the contestants from this season’s ‘MasterChef Australia’ has highlighted it is not just a cooking competition, but “engaging TV”. 

Harry Foster, who was recently eliminated from the Channel 10 show, said he understood why some of his co-stars are getting more air time than others, and it comes down to drama, time constraints and “the way producing a television show works”. 

“What people need to understand is, let’s say for instance the first episode, it was shot over two days,” Harry told HuffPost Australia.

He said there were “12 hours of footage times by 10 cameras because there’s 10 different cameramen there”. 

Channel 10
'MasterChef Australia: Back To Win' judges Andy Allen and Jock Zonfrillo with contestant Reynold Poernomo

“That’s 120 hours of footage, and you need to condense that to 50 minutes of television. Obviously they can’t highlight everybody, they can’t feature everybody.” 

Harry explained producers are “not going to highlight” a contestant if nothing particularly dramatic or compelling occurs while they’re cooking.

“If you don’t have any screw-ups or you don’t do anything particularly that great or particularly that interesting, or nothing really goes wrong for you, then they’re not going to highlight you in the episode because they want to make engaging TV,” he said. 

Harry acknowledged this could’ve led to some confusion amongst viewers in recent weeks and that “because people don’t really understand the way producing a television show works, they can get quite worked up about it”. 

Some fans have recently complained on social media about certain contestants, such as Poh Ling Yeow or Reynold Poernomo, getting more air time than others.  

Derek Lau, who appeared on ‘MasterChef’ in 2019, said the producers’ editing makes sense because “the viewer also loves seeing highs and lows”. 

“It’s all part of the way the guys create the show by putting Reynold on, because he’s methodical, he creates amazing dishes and a viewer loves that,” he told HuffPost Australia.

On ‘MasterChef Australia: Back To Win’ this year, Andy Allen, Melissa Leong and Jock Zonfrillo have replaced former judges Gary Mehigan, George Calombaris and Matt Preston.

There are 24 previous contestants including Poh Ling Yeow, Hayden Quinn, Reynold Poernomo and Callum Hann who have returned to the series for another shot at victory.