TV Insider: MKR needs a new recipe for success
MKR needs a shake (up) of more than just the sauce bottle.
The long-running food show bounced back slightly thanks to Monday night's popular episode, in which the teams competed for the chance to have their signature sauce bottled and sold in Coles supermarkets.
It was a rare chance for fans to get their hands on something other than a recipe and get a taste of the show's mouth-watering offerings in their own homes.
The sauce challenge featured guest judge Curtis Stone, but not even that golden haired TV food god could deliver a ratings win over Nine's Married At First Sight.
MKR was behind Married by almost the same number of metro viewers on Sunday night (170,000) as it was on Monday night (167,000) when Stone was on.
MKR has been outrated by Nine's revamped dating show for weeks now.
Both series ramp up the "drama'' to attract eyeballs, and MKR has been doing that for years, before Married was even on our screens.
But while Nine's new-look Married is like a steroid-injected version of the original, MKR hasn't changed much in the past three to four years.
The format is getting tired, and the contestants are as disposable as a takeaway container.
They're forgettable and replaceable. As little as a week after a team leaves the show it's hard to remember their names, unless they find a way to stay in the gossip mags or, rarely, actually pivot a food career off the back of the show.
And this year's crop in particular have been criticised for not being able to actually cook, surely one of the basic requirements of being on the show for more than two seconds.
There have been tweaks here or there - I'm personally a big fan of guest-turned-fully fledged judge Colin Fassnidge and the more he appears the better - but nothing revolutionary. And I'm not sure the upcoming super dinner parties will be the answer.
I'd love to see MKR focus on fewer teams who can all cook, perhaps an all-stars series, so we can see some proper competition.
But the falling ratings of Ten's revamped Biggest Loser franchise should serve as a warning - less drama and more practical information aren't necessarily a recipe for "reality'' TV success.