Junior MasterChef vs. X Factor smackdown

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Junior MasterChef Australia judge Anna Gare seems ready to take on The X Factor." link="/junior-masterchef-australia/show/78245/summary.html" target="_blank" loc="right">

Two of TV's biggest brands will go head to head in the fight for viewers.

Junior MasterChef Australia is about to take on The X Factor.

On Sunday, September 12, TEN will premiere its kiddie-version of its reality series juggernaut in a head-to-head battle with Seven's multimillion-dollar talent series.

It is shaping up as one of the biggest TV battles of the year.

After TEN saw the reaction its Junior MasterChef Australia promo netted when screening during the MasterChef Australia finale, it decide to bring the series forward. It was originally due to air after the 2010 Commonwealth Games, which run from October 3-14. Of course, it was also more than aware that its ratings share has slipped significantly since the series ended.



The promo (above) shows 50 kids aged 8-12 years old with amazing culinary skills, and just as much passion as their adult counterparts. More than 5000 of them applied to be on the show. Judge Matt Preston has already said some could hold their own in the adult series.

Joining George Calombaris and Gary Mehigan is TV chef Anna Gare, whose Quickies in the Kitchen and The Best of Australia has aired on pay TV.

"I'm thrilled and excited to be going onto such a hugely popular program. I've seen some of the junior kitchen superstars in action and there is some really amazing talent there! I can't wait to get started," she said.

Producers promise the show will be gentle on its diminutive cooks, only eliminating in groups so as to ease the pain.

The series is produced by Shine Australia, Elisabeth Murdoch's company, which recruited the CEOs from FremantleMedia Australia -- the company that established the MasterChef brand in Australia.

The threat to The X Factor is formidable.

The show's (second) debut in Australia didn't get off to a glitzy start. Plagued by behind-the-scenes problems with its host and marital woes for two of its judges, the show premiered to a sluggish 1.18 million viewers. That's behind the premiere of the format in 2005 (1.45m) and even Australian Idol's 2009 season premiere of 1.3m.


Harry Abu impresses during his audition on the premiere of The X Factor.

But the show has a lot more fireworks in store when it gets to the live shows, which is to be performed on a mammoth stage at Fox Studios, under new host Luke Jacobz (Home and Away).

Just one problem ... those kids who love to cook.