A former contestant of cooking reality show "MasterChef USA" has come out with allegations that the show that has Gordon Ramsay, Joe Bastianich and Graham Elliot as judges, is fake.
Ben Starr, a season 2 contestant, alleged on his blog that producers of the show follow a strict pattern to cook up hype and drama that's designed to keep audience hooked on to the show.
"MasterChef is entertainment," he wrote. "First and foremost. It is not real. It is not a competition. It is highly engineered fiction … designed to keep you watching from episode to episode. … There is NOTHING real about reality TV."
Starr also noted that the producers take a lot of liberty with editing, which results in several contestants being shown as villains. He calls this the "ugly side of reality TV." Reportedly, the comments that contestants make are often put together from different sound bytes recorded throughout the season. Starr said that it happened to him too, and on one occasion, what was shown on television was not something he said.
"They created it out of thin air," Starr wrote, adding that contestants are required to wear the same clothes everyday so as to streamline the editing process.
"This is so they can cut and paste ANY comment made in an interview and paste it anywhere in the entire season they like, taking it completely out of context and turning it into something else. …" he claimed. "What you see on your screen is NOT how things played out in real life. It is an elaborately constructed fiction."
Starr also claimed that contestants are subjected to deliberate stress so as to trigger a high emotional response to situations, which makes good television. They are reportedly prevented from communicating with family members, and on some occasions contestants are awakened in the middle of the night and asked to move to a different hotel.
"On seasons subsequent to mine, contestants were plied with alcohol to loosen their tongues and feel more confident saying things that personal decorum might otherwise prevent them from saying while sober."
"MasterChef" Season 6 is currently in the works.