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There’s a new sport in town – tweeting about the hit TV show Masterchef (on Australian television) while it’s being aired. OK tweeting about a TV show isn’t new, but the sheer volume of #masterchef tweets is crazy. It’s made the top 10 global trending topics every episode that it has been on (to my knowledge), and this is just the start of the season.
It certainly adds a new dimension to the show – phone or laptop nearby, monitoring hilarious and bitchy comments in real time while watching this hit reality show. There’s a few positive comments in there, but usually people are cracking jokes, bitching about the contestants that they hate or being infuriated by yet another contestant crying or quitting the competition! I can’t wait till they make TVs that integrate Twitter feeds into the the show – oh wait, they do, it’s a called a home theatre PC.
One of the judges – Matt Preston is a regular tweeter and usually gets in there and participates which really adds a new dimension to the conversation as well. The shows were obviously filmed weeks (or months) earlier, but it’s good that he’s sticking around and adding to the hype around the show as each episode airs.
The first season of the show already was a great example of how to use the internet to support the show itself – it had a great website with content such as recipes and videos from the show published not long after each episode went to air. This Twitter phenomenon hasn’t really been spurred on by the makers of the show as far as I can tell, it’s just a ‘grass roots’ thing that has happened by fans of the show getting online and getting their opinions out there. And it’s great to see something beat the Justin Bieber trend on Twitter.
It must be hard for some of the contestants to go and read what people are saying about them – they put themselves out there by revealing personal stories and people take the piss. I’m certainly guilty of it! The other issue is that sometimes the way an episode has been edited might inadvertently make someone look like more of a tool than they really are – I think we’ll all scream if we hear once more that Claire is a lawyer though!
The themes that appear to be emerging are:
- Plenty of discussion about what Matt Preston is wearing – his musk stick pants were divisive!
- We’re sick of contestants crying
- Alvin is a bit of a favourite – interchangeably called ManPoh or Gaysian. We’re sick of hearing about his mum though!
- People are tipping a surprise re-entry of Irgmard, the lovable widow who cooked lamb thinking it was pork
- Jake is a serial killer (harsh!)
So what do you think? What makes Masterchef so unique that people are so passionate about tweeting during the show? Is it because it’s a fast paced reality show, the demographic of the target audience or some other mysterious factor?