Participatory Revolutions

I have been waiting for smell-o-vision. Wouldn’t it enhance the way that we consume reality cooking shows if we could actually smell and taste the food that is being prepared. Unlike the reality singing shows where we get the sensory experience at home, the only way that we can understand the quality of the food is to listen to other people give their critique . . . Until now.

Restaurant Revolution

Australia has just about made it through another season of the incredibly popular reality television franchise MasterChef. Well, with the entrée out of the way, two new reality cooking shows are on their way to our screens with some unique participatory elements.

The latest two reality cooking shows, The Hot Plate and Restaurant Revolution, involve real restaurants that are currently serving customers. The Hot Plate features six restaurants battling to stay out of elimination each week while Restaurant Revolution involves several teams around Australia starting their own restaurants out of containers in iconic locals.

The reality singing shows have always had one over the cooking shows because, while you may not be sitting in the arena, audiences can experience the whole performance. This is something which is desperately missing from the reality cooking franchises. MasterChef and My Kitchen Rules both involve several contestants competing to cook increasingly impressive food that audiences would love to taste . . . but never will. (Unless they become an incredible success and move into the catering or restaurant business).

However these new two shows are changing this. Audiences will be able to get off their couches and experience the dining experiences first hand tasting dishes that they have seen their favourite contestants whip up on the television. And this takes the audience involvement to a whole new level. Audiences can properly vote for contestants who actually gave them a good dining experience and will be more invested in the show due to their own personal experience with that contestant.

Thanks to the internet, we now have the expectation of interacting with our entertainment. But it doesn’t involve huge changes in the way that entertainment currently operates . . . All it takes is opening those front doors and inviting the audience in for dinner!