Fewer people tuned in to watch the final of MasterChef this year, even though the series was the most successful since the show began.

Viewership figures for the popular reality cooking show, which has followed hot on the success of its international versions, reveal the 2011 season final to be the most popular of the three seasons.

This year's MasterChef was moved from its original Sunday night slot to Tuesday night, and while the average viewership figures were up this year on previous years, the viewership figures for the two-hour final were down.

This year 766,100 people tuned in to watch the final, won by Chelsea Winter but last year 856,200 watched the final which Nadia Lim eventually took out.


In 2010, 667,600 people tuned in to watch Brett McGregor win the first season's final.

Nielsen figures show that, on average, 586,400 viewers tuned in to watch the 2012 season, a 9 per cent increase on season two and 14 per cent increase on season one.

In 2011, the average was 539,400 viewers and in 2010, 513,400 viewers tuned in.

This year's series, which was hit by a "narking" scandal during the final-four cook-off, was tuned into at least once by 2.6 million viewers over the age of five.

After the 17-week competition featuring 16 contestants, only a handful of points separated Winter and her fellow finalist Ana Schwarz after the final four challenges.

Winter was involved in a "narking" scandal several weeks ago when she was dobbed in by fellow contestant Tony Price for swapping ingredients with Schwarz during a Singapore-based challenge.

The pair were disqualified from winning the challenge's prizes but were allowed to continue in the competition.