MasterChef Australia Season 12: New judge panel, returning winners, coronavirus rule book — all you need to know

MasterChef Australia is back with with a new judge panel, as the beloved trio Matt Preston, Gary Mehigan, and George Colamboris bid goodbye last season.

FP Staff April 21, 2020 14:48:15 IST
MasterChef Australia Season 12: New judge panel, returning winners, coronavirus rule book — all you need to know

Disney+ Hotstar, which launched recently in India, is bringing forth one of the most popular shows globally to its platform, MasterChef Australia.

However, for the first time since the show started in 2009, MasterChef beloved trio Matt Preston, Gary Mehigan, and George Colamboris will not judge the show. Network 10 had confirmed about the withdrawal after the decision to upgrade changes in the trio's contractual agreement proved unsuccessful.

With a new judge panel on its tow, and a shaken-up format, the latest season, MasterChef Australia: Back To Win, retains some of its familiarity. It will showcase a few familiar faces as 24 talented and passionate former contestants take to the kitchen floor for the biggest opportunity of their lives – to claim the trophy which eluded them once before.

Who are the new judges? Gordon Ramsay, the globally famous chef, known as much for his acerbic tongue as he is for his skills in the kitchen, is the star presence, and will act as a mentor for the contestants. A trio of new acclaimed judges are at the helm, such as Jock Zonfrillo, Andy Allen, and Melissa Leong will encourage, challenge, and push contestants to extend their repertoire and cook better. Leong is a food and travel writer. Zonfrillo is the owner and chef of the three-hatted modern Australian food Restaurant Orana and Bistro Blackwood, and has made appearances on several seasons of the show. Allen won the title of MasterChef in season four. Who are the contestants for this season? The 24 participants of MasterChef Season 12 are a mix of some of the runners-up that made it to the top 12 spots in all the previous 11 seasons. They include Poh Ling Yeoh (ranked 2nd in season 1), Hayden Quinn (ranked 6th in season 3), and Reynold Poernomo (ranked 4th in season 7) among many others.

Ramsay, who appeared on the inaugural show of the season, said, “You’ve all got amazing, glowing careers. You’ve put that on hold to pick up that trophy. That says something. That really does show the determination, guts and the level of hunger you hold.”

Are there any changes with regard to the coronavirus pandemic?

At a time when coronavirus-caused social distancing rules have brought several television productions to a halt, MasterChef Australia: Back To Win has continued filming. Hence, producers at Endemol Shine, said to Huffpost the show is adopting “social distancing measures," providing “additional hand sanitising stations,” and ensuring “no cutlery or plates will be shared."

(Click here to follow LIVE updates on coronavirus outbreak)

There will be no high-fives and hugs to congratulate participants. Cooking benches will be placed farther away, as contestants will maintain a distance of 1.5 metres.

Where can you watch the new MasterChef season?

You can stream the episodes of MasterChef Australia: Back to Win on Disney+Hostar.

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