Normally the closest we get to thinking about MasterChef on Lifehacker is when talking about the entirely unrelated Mastercheap challenge from last year. However, the news that a contestant has been kicked off Channel Ten’s reality TV cookfest for using a smartphone makes us wonder just how realistic a total technology ban is.
Our ever-so-slightly-MasterChef-obsessed sibling site PopSugar reports that contestant Mat Beyer has been booted from the show after using a smartphone — something that is banned for all contestants since it could let them look up recipes and other information, as well as enabling them to contact family and friends whenever they like. (Total isolation is a major factor in most reality TV formats.) Due to advance filming, Beyer isn’t expected to disappear from our screens for a month or so.
TV shows can of course set whatever rules they like, and contestants who break them will inevitably face penalties. That said, not being able to make use of those kinds of resources is entirely unrealistic. No-one is going to be able to memorise everything about cooking; being able to check online (and spot relevant information) is arguably going to be a fairly relevant skill for anyone working with food in the future. Your thoughts?