MasterChef Australia

MasterChef Australia is starting a new era and the refresh may be just the ticket the show needed.

10 has taken a strategic path in this “Back to Win” chapter, by smartly inviting back favourite faces, ready to settle unfinished business.

I may not know Jock Zonfrillo and Melissa Leong, but I sure know Poh, Callum, Hayden and Reynold like it was only yesterday (newsflash it was 11 years for some!).

And I sure as hell know Gordon Ramsay who faces the hopeful 24 when they first step into the kitchen. Whoa. If Ramsay is giving this his stamp of approval it must be good, right? He cleverly introduces our 3 new judges, which also includes former winner Andy Allen.

There’s even a brief history lesson on how the MasterChef global juggernaut has evolved over two decades, including how the Australian series reset the format -yes Gary, George & Matt are featured. At least I don’t have to keep yelling at my TV anymore that “Boom Boom Shake The Room” is supposed to rhyme, George Calombaris!

Dapper chef Zonfrillo comes with his Scottish accent, writer Melissa Leong who has Singaporean background adds some long overdue female personality and Allen represents but one of the show’s success stories.

Amongst the contestants are those I love to watch and more than a few I barely remember (all made it to the Top 10 in their respective year but missed the title). Once again the show is brimming in diversity and a magnanimous spirit. Quick, somebody remind them this is a competition…

Episode 1 doesn’t just ask them to serve up a dish that best represents them. It wants their best finale-worthy dish. On offer is the season’s only Immunity pin. Say what?

With that this kitchen is smokin’ -literally- with dramatic music, the trademark running & yelling, Poh fan-girlin’ over Ramsay, Jess worried she is too young, and several of the contestants proving chummy with judges they know personally outside the competition. Hello, bias….?

Suffice to say their dishes are downright delectable. Episode 1 has never been so exemplary. Even Gordon Ramsay seems nice (language is at a minimum, and usually used in jest).

According to the press kit, a typical MasterChef week will consist of Elimination (Sunday), Service Challenge (Monday), Pressure Test (Tuesday), Mystery Box (Wednesday), Immunity Challenge (Thursday). Masterclasses also return. COVID-19 impacts will also hit mid-season and create unexpected drama.

Sure the judges may not match the erudite theatrics of Matt Preston, but of the new trio Allen is the early standout, pointing to the emotion food can trigger, but I would expect all to find their groove in no time.

Step away from your benches. MasterChef is back.

MasterChef Australia returns 7:30pm Monday on 10.


  1. Disagree re Allen being the early standout of the judges.
    IMO he is the weak link. The other two have been superb.

    The first week has been superb.

  2. Haven’t watched Masterchef for a few years as I thought it was tired. Apart from Matt Preston the judges annoyed me and it was just the same old for a few years. Really looking forward to seeing Gordon Ramsay. At the moment cooking at home is one of the highlights of the day so really looking forward to some inspiration of recipes to try. Like the menu pictures at McDonalds though, my attempts rarely look the same haha

  3. Wow, its been a while since I watched a series of MasterChef, but it was pretty much the only “reality” TV shows I ever liked… with the current state of things, I may just watch this series.

  4. With everyone at home these days and with cake mixes and cooking supplies selling out, i am tipping this show to be a mega hit this year. News services and cooking shows will be the winners out of the Covid-19 situation.

  5. Back in the early weeks of Year One, Matt was a little too pompous, George was cocky and Gary was stiff and struggled to fit in due to host Sarah stealing his spotlight (alas poor Sarah – decent host but they were right to ditch the role). It didn’t take long for all three to settle in, though. Andy, Melissa and Jock will likely take a little time to find their grooves, too. I’ll be along for the ride.

  6. For the first time in a long time – I will be watching this.

    I’ll be interested to see how the editing goes: with 24 contestants, and some big, well-known personalities in that 24, will the lessor-known’s get as much air time?

  7. carolemorrissey

    Well this is going to take getting used to. Why are they swapping everything around? Mystery Box should be Sunday & service challenge should be Wednesday. I look forward to seeing how they get around the corona virus when those eps air. It should make interesting viewing since the service challenge usually has the public as their customers.

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