4m watch Julie win Masterchef

A record-smashing peak audience of more than 4.1m tuned in to see the winner of Sunday night’s final of Masterchef.  

More than 70% of people watching TV at the time tuned in to Ten for the verdict, which saw Julie Goodwin beat Poh Ling Yeow to the title.

The audience is unlikely to be beaten this year.

The earlier show of the evening, where the two finalists completed three challenges, pulled in a massive average audience of 3.3m, with a peak of 3.9m, according to preliminary metro ratings from OzTam.

But the announcement of the winner surpassed that, with an average audience of 3.7m and a peak audience of 4.1m.

Ten’s share of Sunday viewing was larger than Nine and Seven’s combined.

Sunday’s metro viewing share: Ten 41.3%; Seven 21.7%; Nine 17.6%; ABC 11.6%; SBS 7.8%.

The strength of Masterchef in its final week also helped Ten to a rare weekly ratings win, last week.  Ten’s weekly primetime share was 26.4% to Seven’s 24.8% and Nine 24.5%.

Sunday’s top TV shows:

  1. Masterchef – Winner Ten 3.7m
  2. Masterchef – Final Ten 3.3m
  3. Seven News Seven 1.7m
  4. Merlin Ten 1.5m
  5. Nine News Nine 1.5m
  6. Random Acts of Kindness Nine 1.2m
  7. Glee Ten 1.2m
  8. Dancing with the Stars Seven 1.2m
  9. 60 Minutes Nine 0.9m
  10. Castle Seven 0.9m

(Seven’s schedule included AFL coverage in Adelaide)


  1. Paddy Douneen
    20 Jul 09
    10:35 am

  2. Tim,

    I take it back….4m plus just goes to show what a phenomenon Masterchef has been. I’m still puzzled how someone can go from amateur puddle pie maker to master chocolatier in a week though…..and as to not knowing the difference between a shallot and an onion on the end of your fork….well! The expression on Chris’s face at the end kind of summed it up really.

    Can’t wait for Celebrity Masterchef and season two of Masterchef next year. Must practice my knife skills over summer………

  3. Sully
    20 Jul 09
    10:49 am

  4. A great piece of production.

    Very well done by Fremantle and Ten. A bench mark for the genre and you simply can’t argue with the numbers.

    I bet Aria will be serving quite a few chocolate desserts this week

  5. Smitty
    20 Jul 09
    11:15 am

  6. Agreed. The production qualities were fantastic

  7. Great Strategy
    20 Jul 09
    11:30 am

  8. What an excellent result for a wholesome show for once!
    4 million is just phenomenal!

  9. Anonymous
    20 Jul 09
    11:39 am

  10. I’m staying anonymous because It’s Monday and my brain can’t handle the backlash.
    Look, I’ve been sitting on this key, VITAL piece of insider information for the last few weeks regarding the phenomenon around ten’s masterchef ratings extravaganza, and it basically goes like this. There is simply nothing else decent to watch on at the same time. When I’m hungover and alone on a Sunday night, I want something comforting playing in the background. Not Peter Harvey’s ‘life is too serious to be fun’ style of vocals droning on in the background. Not some cop/forensics show. Real people that remind me of things like Mum’s cooking. I’ve never watched Masterchef because it’s a good show, I watch it because of the atmosphere it fills my loungeroom with while I’ve got my back to the TV on my computer. There really honestly was nothing better to listen to on at the time.

  11. Dave
    20 Jul 09
    11:54 am

  12. Here’s the article that News published incorrectly reporting the show result:

    Poh wins MasterChef Australia

    * By Erin McWhirter, TV Editor
    * From: The Daily Telegraph
    * July 19, 2009 8:57PM

    MasterChef winner

    Winning recipe … Poh Ling Yeow n on MasterChef Australia Source: The Daily Telegraph

    AUSTRALIA’S culinary experts backed her and Poh Ling Yeow delivered, becoming the first contestant to win MasterChef Australia last night.

    It was a case of third time lucky for the Adelaide artist who initially didn’t make it past the first audition, was asked back, eliminated from the top 20 and returned one last time to claim victory over mother-of-three Julie Goodwin in the reality TV cooking contest.

    Using her cultural connection of her upbringing in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur and the traditional influences her parents Christina and Steven have taught her over the years, Ling Yeow was stunned with the verdict but happy to embrace it.

    “This is really a surreal feeling,” the 35-year-old, who hails from Norwood in South Australia told The Daily Telegraph.

    “New ground is forged when you take risks and I’ve taken a few during this competition which have paid off.

    Start of sidebar. Skip to end of sidebar.

    End of sidebar. Return to start of sidebar.

    “Trying new things and throwing yourself in the deep end is what it’s all been about. I feel like a deer in headlights.

    “I have a cultural background to draw on, a whole spectrum of ingredients that most people in the competition aren’t familiar with. It’s been an intense bit amazing journey.”

    In one of Australia’s most-anticipated and spectacular TV cooking showdowns the finalists showcased their culinary skills in a three-round challenge in front of their former top 20 MasterChef Australia opponents and judges Gary Mehigan, Matt Preston and George Calombaris.

    Celebrity chef Curtis Stone also attended the final which included the finalists identifying ingredients in a beef bourguignon dish, cooking an entire chicken and perfecting Matt Moran’s signature dish, a chocolate tart with chocolate half pipe and macaroons accompanied by a chocolate sorbet.

    Celebrating the triumph with her parents, her eldest brother Casper and his four children, as well friends and relatives in SA, Ling Yeow said learning to adjust to a new culture when her family migrated to Australia when she was nine gave her the ammunition she’s need to succeed in many parts of her life.

    “When we first migrated here there really weren’t that many immigrants around, not many Asians, so we did stick out a bit,” she says.

    “I guess that’s what my food and art is about. It’s about me constantly trying to reconcile these two cultures I am a part of and finding a sense of belonging in both. I really reflect that in my food and art.”

    Raised in a strict Christian home, Ling Yeow says her parents converting to Mormonism when she was a teenager has made her determined to stick to her guns and do what she wants, not others.

    “I grew up in a strict home and mum and dad wouldn’t let me go out as a teenager, so I was a bit of a square peg,” Ling Yeow says.

    “Then when I was 16 we converted to the Church Of Jesus Christ For Later Day Saints, known as the Mormons and so we went from a culturally traditional home to this quite strict Christian religion so I had a sheltered upbringing.

    “I basically went overseas when I was about 19 and that’s when the world opened up to me. I had to leave mum for a little bit and just explore it myself. It was the best thing I ever did.”

    After pocking the $100,000 cash prize and a cookbook deal Ling Yeow says she’s excited about launching her book Food From Mars.

    With a heavy Asian influence, the MasterChef winner believes Australians have been waiting for a cookbook which explores her roots.

    “I think Australia is at a stage in our food history where we are willing to be adventurous now,” Ling Yeow said.

    “That’s why I put fairly exotic ingredients into the competition because I think the public is ready to try exotic food.

    “It’s part of my story of who I am as a migrant and food has played a very important part in terms of me identifying with my culture because I’ve lost touch with lots of other aspects of it like language and values. That’s happened because I grew up here.”

    However, for Ling Yeow her immediate focus is on returning to her painting after neglecting it for four months.

    The established artist is yet to finish all her pieces for an exhibition of her works at the Hill Smith Gallery in Adelaide in November.

    The reality TV contestant says it’s been tough juggling the demands of MasterChef Australia with her love of art.

    “I’ve been getting some really amazing offers due to MasterChef, which I can’t talk about, but it’s been really hard to balance it all,” Ling Yeow said.

    “So I am trying to process the recognition from the show, but I still really need to paint and it’s something I miss and couldn’t do in the house.

    “I’ve been trying to multi-task but it’s been difficult. When I am at home I can just put it down, but I’ve been really restricted in that sense while being on the show so I’ve got this build up of ideas in my head that I have to get out.”

    Disappointed but humble, Goodwin praised her feisty opponent for her success.

    “Poh’s a very deserving winner,” she said. “I’m proud of her, she’s a good friend and I wish her every success in the world.”

    MasterChef Australia is expected to record a national average audience of more than 2.58 million, the figure of the highest-rating TV program this year in the debut of Underbelly: A Tale Of Two Cities.

    Auditions for the second series of MasterChef Australia will commence in November following the premiere of Celebrity MasterChef.

    Applications are set to double with more than 15,000 expected to audition for the hit program.

  13. Exileskip
    20 Jul 09
    2:11 pm

  14. Any show that gets you sitting with your family and has your 9 year old son declaring, “if I had to cook those ingredients, what I’d do is…….” is a total winner in my book.

  15. C K Cash
    20 Jul 09
    2:18 pm

  16. Meh…could not stand the show (UK Version on Foxtel is 100 times better without all the “reality TV” drama crap).

    Hope the next season fails and get’s poor ratings

  17. Anon2
    20 Jul 09
    2:33 pm

  18. Dear Anonymous,

    A TV show doesn’t pull 4m viewers (even 2m viewers) because there’s “nothing else to watch at the same time”. People just wouldn’t watch anything at all.

    The fact is, MasterChef became appointment viewing for Australians.

  19. C K Cash
    20 Jul 09
    2:44 pm

  20. Maybe Poh should have whipped “them out” for the win

    MasterChef Poh Ling Yeow’s poses nude for artist David Bromley


  21. Sully
    20 Jul 09
    3:16 pm

  22. Very interesting to see the on-line editor of The Daily Telegraph respond to their mistake of announcing the wrong winner (with interviews) on this very site. And credit to her for doing so.

    Despite it being a huge error, we are told it was technical in nature, which must mean that no human was involved and the mistake was in the machine…

  23. Stuart
    20 Jul 09
    3:18 pm

  24. The thing that disappointed me most about masterchef is that it places amateurs in the same class as fully qualified, professional chefs. The contestants on this show would never be able to keep up with the pace of hospitality and do not posses the skills required in a commercial kitchen.

    Yes, they can cook, but branding them ‘masterchef’ makes fun of the hard earned and respected position of chef.

  25. Angus
    20 Jul 09
    4:10 pm

  26. sorry to be a pain in the posterior but…..it should really be ‘mastercook’ not masterchef as the contestants have not been through the required years in a kitchen doing the menial and often repetitive tasks that one must do to earn the title (and respect) of chef.

  27. CK Cash
    20 Jul 09
    6:46 pm

  28. I saw the reports from ACA and TT just before…as previously stated, it’s a rubbish show and is a poor facsimile from the UK version and now it’s been shown that the final episode had dodgyness in regards to the ingredient test and that they changed an outcome between commercial breaks….well that shows how S H * T reality TV really is and 4 million people got sucked into believing that it was a proper outcome.

    It shows how many “drones” watch rubbish TV. Good work Network Ten for continuing to cloud the minds of Australians

  29. Mero
    21 Jul 09
    9:30 am

  30. @ CK Cash – couldnt of had said it better my self..
    These networks are like shepards yeilding off sheeps..it sickens me.

  31. Luke
    22 Jul 09
    11:32 am

  32. Christ, the holier-than-thou crap that comes with the criticism of this show says more about the critic than anything else.

    I’m glad Masterchef bashers are so firm about patting themselves on the back for not watching. Now if you could just manage to not talk while doing it, that’d be great.

  33. Mero
    22 Jul 09
    12:06 pm

  34. @Luke – thats a good sheep…keep following the Shepard.

  35. The Good Shepherd
    22 Jul 09
    12:07 pm

  36. Guys it’s spelt Shepherd not Shepard.

    Carry on.

  37. Mero
    22 Jul 09
    12:19 pm

  38. My bad, let me rephrase,

    “@Luke – thats a good sheep..keep following the sheperd”

  39. Snake Gallagher
    22 Jul 09
    12:20 pm

  40. How can any Australian viewer give any credibility to this nonsense? Am I the only person who saw a straight rip off in the final three contestants show? Did no-one see the supposed winner crap out with her 3 dishes? Did no-one see the guest judge change opinions after the fact because of the cook book plea? This is the biggest rip off I have ever seen with the exception of Big Brother. This was the only show I watched in the series and for obvious reasons – there was nothing else on that was worth watching and this rubbish topped it off. I wasn’t surprised at the pathetic and unworthy outcome in the final – it was to be expected after that rediculous rip-off, slapstick attempt at reality that occurred in that last 3 contestants play off and subsequently when they announced the “fixed” result of Poh winning and changed their minds in the commercial break. Get really real.

    If I was the guy who ran third I would be suing the network and the judges for complicity in fraud. His ambition of the beer restaurant just didn’t fit in with the poncy, namby pamby effeminate concept that was obviously pre-ordained by the director and producers. Wasn’t the conspiracy so obvious that the average intellect would have detected it? Oh, therein lies the truth of it. Only sub average intellects could possibly have stayed with that show right through the series – these are not chefs, they are short order cooks at best. Wake up Australia, you have been suckered again.

  41. Mero
    22 Jul 09
    12:22 pm

  42. *Shepherd

  43. John Grono
    24 Jul 09
    10:49 pm

  44. I wonder what scintillatingly brilliant shows Mero and CK Cash have created. Put a sock in it until you come up with something positive that even has the faintest whiff of a good idea about it.

  45. CK Cash
    25 Jul 09
    10:12 pm

  46. John Grono..Thanks for your brilliance and wonderful insight…I wonder what the world would do without it..

  47. C K Cash
    28 Jul 09
    8:28 am

  48. Came across this today in B&T that Seven and Nine are looking at launching their own cooking show to compete with MasterChef Australia

    And so it begins…I think I will stop watching free to air and just stick with Foxtel…

    Maybe one of the other networks will make it more like MC UK and stick to the cooking and not the drama!…stop trying to be big brother with food.

    The Seven Network is set to launch a cooking program in direct competition with Ten’s MasterChef by the end of the year, a Seven executive revealed to B&T Today.
    While details of the foodrelated series are being kept under wraps, the Seven executive confirmed it will launch something competitive in the market that will present a challenge to Ten’s series one success.

    It is also believed that the Nine Network will also air a MasterChef competitor, though Peter Wiltshire, the network’s sales director, would not be drawn on
    whether the new series would be food related. In fact, he said that cooking shows were “nothing new” and that the success of MasterChef was ultimately to do
    with the drama of the show, not the cooking.

    While an onslaught of cooking programs might be feared by Ten, which is aiming for similar audience numbers for series two of MasterChef next year, and its celebrity version in October, David Mott, chief programming officer at Ten, remains unfazed
    by is rivals’ plans.

    “It’s not a fear for Ten but I would say that it’s a desperate fear for them,” he said.
    “It would be a very brave network to take on another food franchise and to spend that money. The risk is that people smell a me-too format, they smell a rat.”
    As well as its celebrity version to launch later this year , Ten is also evaluating whether to run a kids’ version or a professionals spin-off.

  49. John Grono
    28 Jul 09
    9:05 am

  50. So I will take that as ‘zero’ then CK.

    The insight is that everyone (and I mean everyone) is very quick to criticise programmes (and in the main rightly so as the stinkers go to air), but very few actually get out there and have the courage to pitch their ideas for better, freher, edgier shows to the networks. Independent television production is an extremely hard (but very rewarding) business. Have a crack at it! Put a concept on paper and pitch it to the networks. It’s much harder than making a 15″ or a 30″ which generally have the same budget as a 30 minute show!

    I’m serious CK … pitch some of your ideas. We need more producers of local content and less critics of local television.

  51. Mero
    28 Jul 09
    9:12 am

  52. Its not a matter of being critical, its simply an observation.
    Stinkers that are aired on FTA need critics otherwise Australian FTA television will just begin a slippery downward spiral to absolute crap which began with the release of the BB series.
    Reality tv needs a reality check, a complete overaul.
    Yes it gets ratings..but what’s that saying about the Australian viewing audience, are we really that persuasive?

  53. John Grono
    28 Jul 09
    9:23 am

  54. OK. So we agree on what stinks. But it doesn’t take a genius to point out how bad “Dance Your Ass Off” or “Perfect Couple” are, and it’s easy to take pot-shots at them. (And no, I have no idea why anyone would run “DYAO” as a prime-time show!)

    My point stands – create and pitch something better. Clearly you know what doesn’t work, so come up with something that will entertain, excite or enthrall an Australian audience. You could be the next Denton.

    Guys – I’m trying to be positive about this! Let’s be creative at least some of the time and not negative virtually most of the time.

  55. C K Cash
    28 Jul 09
    9:29 am

  56. I’ve submitted one idea to the Comedy Channel in Australia when they were doing a callout for people to come up with a concept they would produce…did not get chosen.

    There was another idea that I had wanted to float to the networks (free to air and Pay TV) but got beaten to the punch by a similar concept..

    I admit it’s hard to come up with an idea and get it looked at by a production company or network. The thing I find amusing about TV in general is that Australia either loves something or hate something that may rate well in the US or UK. Shows such as Curb your Enthusiasm, Arrested Development…etc do huge business but in Australia…we put it in the late night dumping ground..

    The thing that I was most disappointed about with MChef Aus was it was more about the drama and not the cooking. There has been plenty of critics in the media..etc who have said the same thing. It’s important to have some personaility and character with a contestant but if it’s a cooking show…make the primary focus about the cooking and food..stop trying to mush Big Brother, The Biggest Loser..and use the same lame premise or tricks in the various stages or scenes (even the music) and be a bit more original.

    The celebrity version that Ten is doing could either be good or crap (like Celeb BB)..the kids version sounds interesting (especially with Nine recently did the contest on ACA with the kids cooking). Nine and Seven can at least look at what Ten did and try to be a bit different..hopefully be more food and less drama.

    Remember that show on on Ten called Cooks (or something similar)…that was a drama show that had people as cooks but it was a dramatic program and not a food program. That was okay because it was not trying to be something else.

  57. Mero
    28 Jul 09
    9:31 am

  58. Yeah Grono boy has some essence to his arguement.
    But what though, I mean, what idea hasnt alrady been raped by copy cats..
    How about a series of the most irritating/hated celebs in a death camp..and week by week they are kicked off a cliff? Haha…who knows whats next but for our sake lets hope its good.

  59. John Grono
    28 Jul 09
    9:41 am

  60. CK – sorry to hear your ideas didn’t get up. And I couldn’t agree more with your comments re shows like ‘Arrested Development’. I recall Seinfeld first aired in the 10:30pm slot as well!

    Mero … oddly, the celeb death camp appeals to my warped sense of humour. My SMS bill should Kyle Sandilands be on the list would be HUGE!

    I think the opportunities (ideas-wise) are huge in Australia. What was the last good coemdy we produced? (If you say ‘Hey Dad’ you’re off to Execution Island !!) It was probably Kath and Kim (ABC roots there). What was the last good drama – before Underbelly? Packed To The Rafters is good family fare so I’ll tick that box (prior to that probably Seachange – ABC). Last good game show – Spicks and Specks I’d suggest (ABC again).

    I think the stumbling blocks are two-fold. First, the measly Australian content rules. 20 hours a year for kids TV production for example – measly is a compliment! The second is the budgets that are allocated to local production. Unless you make a co-production with other countries you simply won’t get even the best and bravest idea off the ground. I don’t have a solution to the second, but political will is the issue with the first!

    Anyway … enough of my ramblings.

    Just keep pitching good and fresh ideas. Someone will eventually green-light one – and the first is always the hardest.

  61. C K Cash
    28 Jul 09
    9:58 am

  62. I remember that when Seinfeld came out, it was not very well liked (me included) as we were not familiar with that style of comedy…but it took time and about mid 2nd season most people were getting on the bandwagon.

    The US were the same for a bit.

    Agree with you John that the local production budgets are pretty weak and most shows that are going to do anything well needs overseas help. I think in WA they have a lottery fund that is used for TV and Movie production…maybe the other states should consider similar?

    I heard something awhile back that Ten was looking at cutting back of the airing of the Simpons as it costs them something like $20k to show an repeat episode (I think my cost guess is a bit wrong)…I wonder how it works with syndicated shows and repeats normally?

  63. Mero
    28 Jul 09
    10:05 am

  64. What happened to the good old days.
    Wouldnt we all love to see the likes of “Hey Hey, its Saturday” back on the air.

  65. C K Cash
    28 Jul 09
    10:19 am

  66. Nine announced it yesterday on ACA that they are making 2 specials to start…that was due to support from 40,000+ people on facebook.

  67. Mero
    28 Jul 09
    10:26 am

  68. Power of the people!!!!!

  69. John Grono
    28 Jul 09
    10:57 am

  70. $20k for a Simpsons re-run seems a little steep, maybe that was first run … but it is an iconic programme, so nothing would surprise me!

    Each state has a “film fund” of sorts and there are various other funding bodies, but these tend to be funds for cinematic release rather than for the goggle-box. One of the problems has been that under various previous tax regimes, funding was seen as a huge tax dodge, and this was part of the reason that financial support dried up. There is currently a producers rebate being trialled and it seems to be working pretty well. The problem is that the producer doesn’t get the rebate until the end of the financial year that it is shown in. This generally means some form of bridging loan until the rebate arrives for six (or even seven) figure sums. I do prefer a rebate system (based on the payroll of the local hirings – to generate jobs) than a hand out which can be too easily wasted. The key is that this rebate needs to be seen as the producers funding – not funds that the broadcasters can access to reduce their production costs – otherwise there will be no independent producers left!

  71. C K Cash
    28 Jul 09
    11:29 am

  72. I found the info…

    “Ten was planning to axe The Simpsons from its line-up, or at least considering the move to save a reported $6 million a year.

    Each original episode of The Simpsons costs $25,000 or whatever the sum is. That equates to a series cost based on 22 episodes of about $550,000. You only pay the higher sum for the first run episode. A proportion of that cost is amortised against the revenue written for the first showing. Then a further amount is amortised against subsequent showings or repeats.”

  73. Mero
    28 Jul 09
    11:39 am

  74. Interesting, any idea on the amortization rate?

  75. John Grono
    28 Jul 09
    11:42 am

  76. Thanks CK. Pretty desperate for savings if The Simpsons was on the radar … or the contract price was too high. My undestanding is that the contracts are bundled up for multiple plays – maybe 3 runs of a movie or 7 runs of a series within a certain period of time. This would drive the contract price up.

  77. C K Cash
    28 Jul 09
    11:51 am

  78. Not sure Mero…
    JG..I think that Ten must make plenty of money out of advertising as they normally have fast food, drink and similar type products advertised in those slots and the new episodes they show on Wednesday usually rate over or just under 1 million viewers each week

  79. Anon
    28 Jul 09
    3:40 pm

  80. John – how do we do this?

  81. John Grono
    28 Jul 09
    3:54 pm

  82. Not sure what you mean Anon … how do we do what?

    The rebate is being trialled now – I think market forces will decide whether it is a success. My point was that if the broadcasters have a series that will cost (say) $5m to make, and the producers rebate was (say) $500k, I think it is unfair to expect the producers to put that in as “up front” funding so as to reduce the broadcaster investment (it gets paid after completion so in essence the producers would work for nothing until it arrives). Of course, a producer with funds may want to tip the $500k in and end up with 10% equity, but it should be their business decision and not a mandatory in order to get a series produced.

    Full Disclosure: while I am not an independent producer myself, my wife is, and I am a director of an independent production company – so obviously I would hold these views! I just hope you agree that they make sense as a way to ensure increased quality local content on our screens.

  83. Mero
    31 Jul 09
    4:59 pm

  84. I have a great idea for a new TV show guys –

    Each week Kyle Sandilands (Austereo/2Day Fm DJ) is taken from city to city across Oz for public beatings.

    Any takers?
    Do I smell a pilot coming along..?

  85. C K Cash
    10 Aug 09
    2:27 pm

  86. Ten has now put out the casting call for the 2nd season of MC Aus…they’ll get a big influx of entries I think.

    Julie has not got much fame after the hype of winning died down. Coles were going to do a series of promos based on her, but they have now opted to go with George (one of the judges) instead. Seems like the judges and Poh..etc have gotten more out of MC Aus than Julie so far?


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