MasterChef 2020 was originally planned as new contestants not returning favourites.
But the switcheroo by 10 has paid off in droves, with its best ratings in years.
A callout went out for 2020 contestants in May 2019 with filming due for October.
But that was before Matt Preston, Gary Mehigan and George Calombaris were dumped as judges in late July.
Then-CEO Paul Anderson confirmed at the time, “Australia is full of remarkable cooking talent and we can’t wait to introduce another group – and the next generation of exceptional judges – in season 12 of MasterChef Australia next year.”
But a change of heart led to the Back to Win season, cleverly injecting familiarity alongside new judges Melissa Leong, Jock Zonfrillo & Andy Allen. Viewers have rewarded that decision handsomely.
It isn’t clear what happened to new contestants who applied for 2020, but hopefully they are in the mix for 2021, which is also calling for applications.
10 was contacted for comment.