MasterChef Australia

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MasterChef Australia
Created byFrank Roddam
Directed byRichard Franc
Presented bySarah Wilson[a]
Narrated by
Opening theme
  • Internationally: "Burning Up"
  • Australia:
    2009-22 -
    Hot n Cold
    2023- None [1]
Country of originAustralia
Original languageEnglish
No. of series15
No. of episodes981
Executive producers
  • David Forster[2]
  • Marty Benson
  • Adam Fergusson
Production locationsSydney (2009–12)
Melbourne (2013–present)
Running time30–120 minutes
Production companiesFremantleMedia Australia (2009–10)
Endemol Shine Australia (2011–)
Original networkNetwork 10
Original release27 April 2009 (2009-04-27) –
Celebrity MasterChef Australia
Junior MasterChef Australia
MasterChef Australia All-Stars
MasterChef Australia: The Professionals
Dessert Masters

MasterChef Australia is an Australian competitive cooking reality show based on the original British MasterChef. It is produced by Endemol Shine Australia and screens on Network 10. Restaurateur and chef Gary Mehigan, chef George Calombaris and food critic Matt Preston served as the show's main judges until 2019, when they were replaced by Series 4 winner and chef Andy Allen, food critic Melissa Leong, and restaurateur and chef Jock Zonfrillo.

The series has also spawned five spin-off series: Celebrity MasterChef Australia, which featured celebrity contestants,[3] Junior MasterChef Australia, which featured younger contestants,[4] MasterChef Australia All-Stars, which featured returning contestants from the first three series,[5] MasterChef Australia: The Professionals, which featured professional chefs as contestants,[6] and the upcoming Dessert Masters, which will feature professional pastry chefs.[7][8][9]


The original judges: (L to R) Gary Mehigan, Matt Preston, and George Calombaris

MasterChef Australia has a different format from that of the original British MasterChef and MasterChef Goes Large formats. Initial rounds consist of a large number of hopeful contestants from across Australia individually "auditioning" by presenting a food dish before the three judges in order to gain one of 50 semi-final places. Entrants must be over 18 years old and their main source of income cannot come from preparing and cooking fresh food in a professional environment.[10]

The semi-finalists then compete in several challenges that test their food knowledge and preparation skills. In series 1, the top 50 competed until 20 were left, with the final 20 progressing to the main stage of the show. From series 2 onwards, 24 contestants progress. The contestants will then be whittled down through a number of individual and team-based cooking challenges and weekly elimination rounds until a winning MasterChef is crowned. The winner plays for a prize that includes chef training from leading professional chefs, the chance to have their own cookbook published, and A$250,000 in cash.


MasterChef Australia airs five nights a week from Sunday to Thursday. Each night features a different episode format, however some episodes modify the format slightly. The typical episode formats are as follows:

Sunday is the Challenge night. From series 3, it can range from a variety of challenges, including a Mystery Box, where each contestant is given the same box of ingredients and are to create a dish using only those ingredients. The Judges then pick three dishes Based on Technique and Visual Appearance Alone and a winner chosen. There can also be an Invention Test, where contestants have to invent a dish relevant to a theme using a core ingredient. There can also be Off-Site Challenges and Team Challenges, which often involve cooking for large numbers of people. The top three contestants who made the best dishes are selected by the judges, from which a winner is chosen to compete in the Immunity Challenge. After this the bottom three are revealed, who will face off in an elimination challenge the next night. In the first two series, it would always consist of a Mystery Box, where the winner was able to choose the core ingredient for the Invention Test.

Monday episodes feature the Pressure Test. The bottom three from the previous night's challenge are given a recipe for a particular dish they are to emulate in an allocated time. Once completed they are taken in to the judges to be tasted, before all three contestants are seated in front of the judges for critiquing. The judges then eliminate the contestant out of the three that performed least adequately in the test.

Tuesday episodes feature the Immunity Challenge, where the winner of the Sunday challenge competes against a guest, which can vary from a chef, apprentice, or to a home cook in a cook off. The contestant is given the choice of two pantries of ingredients they can use, usually contrasting such as "Black" and "White". The contestant gets a head start to complete the dish before their opponent starts cooking and after the allotted time for both is finished, the dishes are presented to the judges for tasting and scoring out of ten. The judges are not aware which dish was made by which person, however. If the contestant's dish's score is equal to or higher than that of the guest, they are crowned the winner of the challenge. In the first series they are given a free pass to the finals week of the competition and can go home. From series 2 onwards, they receive a pin that allows them to save themselves from one future elimination.

Wednesday features a Team Challenge. The contestants are split into teams, and are given a task, and a set amount of time to complete the challenge. Tasks have included presenting a three course meal to a celebrity guest, running a restaurant for an evening or catering an event such as a birthday party or wedding. Once completed and judged the teams are given the results, which can be determined by which team the judges think did the best, or receiving the most votes or making the most money by the people the teams had to cook for, with members of the losing team facing an elimination the next night. The winning team safe from elimination receives a reward (for example lunch at a top restaurant).

Thursday is another Elimination. The two worst performing contestants from the losing team in the team challenge compete against each other in a head-to-head challenge to determine who will be eliminated. The loser of the challenge is then eliminated. On some occasions, all members of the losing team will be selected to compete as individuals in the elimination challenge. In the first series, a different elimination process was used. The contestants from the losing team were to vote for a contestant that they each feel did not perform to their best and may have cost them the challenge. After voting the team is called in together to announce the results of the vote, with the contestant with the most votes being eliminated from the competition. If the previous challenge was an individual challenge, the bottom two contestants competed in a head-to-head taste test where one contestant at a time named one ingredient of a particular dish or sauce, and the first person to name an incorrect ingredient is eliminated. MasterClass airs on Thursday following the elimination show and is generally limited to themed weeks. Here, judges George, Gary and Matt run a masterclass for the remaining contestants, which usually call back to some of the challenges from the previous week. For example, they may revisit the Mystery Box challenge and demonstrate some other dishes that could have been made or redo one of the contestants' dishes to give tips on how it could have been improved.

Back To Win Episodes[edit]

For series 12, the weekly format was modified to air a Team Challenge on Mondays, Pressure Tests on Tuesdays, Mystery Box on Wednesdays, Immunity Challenge on Thursdays and an All-In Elimination Challenge on Sundays. While an Immunity Pin was offered in the first challenge of the series, the Pins (as a regular weekly feature) were replaced with "Weekly Immunity", granting a contestant safety from the week's All-In Elimination, which involved all contestants except for one immune contestant. Immunity Challenges no longer involved competing against well-known chefs (hence there being no need for a mentor), and instead involved one or two challenge rounds which contestants progressed through to win Immunity. This format is also used in series 13.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia, the format for Series 12 was changed again, to a three-day format from mid-June, in which the winners of the Mystery Box on Monday participated in the Immunity Challenge on Tuesday. The winner of the challenge was immune from Sunday's All-In Elimination. Pressure Tests and Team Challenges were discarded and only one contestant was eliminated each week.

Hosts and judges[edit]

Main series[edit]

Timeline of hosts, judges and other personnel
Starring Series
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
Gary Mehigan Judge Host & Judge
George Calombaris Judge Host & Judge
Matt Preston Judge Host & Judge
Sarah Wilson Host
Matt Moran Guest Judge Judge Guest Mentor
Jock Zonfrillo Guest Judge Host & Judge
Melissa Leong Host & Judge
Andy Allen Contestant Host & Judge
Curtis Stone Guest Judge Guest Judge
Adriano Zumbo Guest Judge Guest Judge Guest Judge
Heston Blumenthal Guest Judge Guest Judge
Darren Purchese Guest Judge Guest Judge
Shannon Bennett Guest Judge Guest Mentor Guest Judge Guest Mentor
Maggie Beer Guest Judge Guest Judge
Peter Gilmore Guest Judge Guest Judge Guest Judge
Kylie Kwong Guest Judge Guest Judge Guest Mentor
Nigella Lawson Guest Judge Guest Judge Guest Judge Guest Judge
Marco Pierre White Guest Judge Guest Judge Guest Judge
Massimo Bottura Guest Judge Guest Judge Guest Judge Guest Judge
Jamie Oliver Guest Judge Guest Judge
Kirsten Tibballs Guest Judge Guest Judge Guest Judge
Martin Benn Guest Judge Guest Judge
Poh Ling Yeow Contestant Guest Judge Guest Mentor Guest Judge Guest Judge
Callum Hann Contestant Guest Chef Contestant Guest Judge
Billie McKay Contestant Guest Judge Guest Mentor Contestant
Reynold Poernomo Contestant Guest Judge Guest Chef Contestant Guest Judge
Yotam Ottolenghi Guest Judge Guest Judge Guest Judge
Clare Smyth Guest Judge Guest Judge Guest Judge
Matt Sinclair Contestant Guest Judge Guest Chef Guest Mentor Guest Chef
Gordon Ramsay Guest Judge Guest Judge

Spin-off series[edit]

Timeline of hosts and judges
Starring Seasons
C1 J1 J2 A-S TP J3 C2 DM
Gary Mehigan Host & Judge
George Calombaris Host & Judge
Matt Preston Judge Host & Judge Host & Judge
Anna Gare Judge
Matt Moran Judge
Marco Pierre White Host & Judge
Jock Zonfrillo Host & Judge
Melissa Leong Host & Judge
Andy Allen Host & Judge
Amaury Guichon Host & Judge


Main series[edit]

Series Placement Contestant Age State Occupation Date
1 Winner Julie Goodwin 38 NSW Office manager 19 July 2009
Runner-up Poh Ling Yeow 35 SA Artist
Third Place Chris Badenoch 41 VIC Beer Merchant 16 July 2009
2 Winner Adam Liaw 31 SA Lawyer 25 July 2010
Runner-up Callum Hann 20 SA Student
Third Place Claire Winton Burn 31 VIC Lawyer 22 July 2010
3 Winner Kate Bracks 35 NSW Stay-at-home Mum 7 August 2011
Runner-up Michael Weldon 25 SA Film Projectionist
Third Place Alana Lowes 30 QLD Journalist 4 August 2011
4 Winner Andy Allen 24 NSW Electrician 25 July 2012
Runner-up Julia Taylor 26 QLD Legal Secretary
Third Place Audra Morrice 41 NSW Account Manager
5 Winner Emma Dean 35 VIC Town Planner 1 September 2013
Runner-up Lynton Tapp 25 NT Stockman
Third Place Samira El Khafir 28 VIC Stay-at-home mum
6 Winner Brent Owens 24 VIC Bobcat Driver 28 July 2014
Runner-up Laura Cassai[b] 18 SA Student
Third Place Emelia Jackson 24 VIC Marketing Coordinator 27 July 2014
7 Winner Billie McKay 24 NSW Restaurant Manager 27 July 2015
Runner-up Georgia Barnes 27 QLD Health Product Representative
Third Place Jessica Arnott 29 WA Food Sales Assistant 26 July 2015
8 Winner Elena Duggan 32 NSW Teacher 26 July 2016
Runner-up Matt Sinclair 27 QLD Coffee Roaster
Third Place Harry Foster 21 QLD Cocktail Bartender 25 July 2016
9 Winner Diana Chan 29 VIC Accountant 24 July 2017
Runner-up Ben Ungermann 32 QLD Retail Manager
Third Place Karlie Verkerk 26 NSW Copywriter 23 July 2017
10 Winner Sashi Cheliah 40 SA Prison Officer 31 July 2018
Runner-up Ben Borsht 31 QLD Builder
Third Place Khanh Ong 25 VIC DJ 30 July 2018
11 Winner Larissa Takchi 22 NSW Restaurant Manager 23 July 2019
Runner-up Tessa Boersma 27 QLD Criminal Statistician
Third Place Simon Toohey 32 VIC Cocktail Bartender
12 Winner Emelia Jackson 30 VIC Cake Designer & Chef 25 July 2020
Runner-up Laura Sharrad[c] 24 SA Chef & Restaurateur
Third Place Reynold Poernomo 26 NSW Chef & Restaurateur 19 July 2020
13 Winner Justin Narayan 27 WA Youth Pastor 13 July 2021
Runner-up Pete Campbell 36 NSW Tattoo Artist
Third Place Kishwar Chowdhury 38 VIC Printing Business Owner
14 Winner Billie McKay 31 NSW Stay-at-home Mum 12 July 2022
Runner-up Sarah Todd 34 VIC Chef & Restaurateur
Third Place Daniel Lamble 28 NT Firefighter 11 July 2022
15 Winner Brent Draper 32 QLD Digital content creator 16 July 2023
Runner-up Rhiannon Anderson 47 QLD Administration manager
Third Place Declan Cleary 24 NSW Carpenter 13 July 2023

Spin-off series[edit]

Season Contestant Occupation Date Won
C1 Eamon Sullivan Olympic Swimmer 25 November 2009
J1 Isabella Bliss School Student 15 November 2010
J2 Greta Yaxley 23 November 2011
A-S Callum Hann Uni Student 12 August 2012
TP Rhys Badcock Cruise Liner Chef 17 March 2013
J3 Georgia Eris School Student 9 November 2020
C2 Nick Riewoldt AFL player 22 November 2021

Series synopsis[edit]

Series 1 (2009)[edit]

The first series of MasterChef Australia was broadcast between 27 April 2009 and 19 July 2009. Applications for contestants closed on 8 January 2009, with subsequent auditions held in Perth, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide and Sydney. Over 7000 people auditioned for the show.

The Top 50 portion of the series was filmed at the Australian Technology Park in Sydney. From the Top 20 onwards, filming was moved to a studio on Doody Street in Alexandria, Sydney.[11][12] The series one finale was filmed on 2 July 2009, two and a half weeks before its actual television broadcast.[13]

The winner was I.T. office manager Julie Goodwin, who defeated Poh Ling Yeow.

Series 2 (2010)[edit]

The second series of MasterChef Australia premiered on 19 April 2010, with the initial call for contestants held in mid-2009.

Other changes to series 2 include not showing the initial auditions, with the series beginning instead with the Top 50 which were filmed at a Redfern Train Works building in Sydney, and having a Top 24 instead of a Top 20.[14] Also, unlike series 1, the last 45 minutes of the finale were broadcast live.

The winner was 31-year-old lawyer Adam Liaw who defeated Callum Hann.

Series 3 (2011)[edit]

On 4 July 2010, Network Ten confirmed the return of MasterChef with new judge Matt Moran joining the original judges for series 3.[15]

The series premiere aired on 1 May 2011. It was watched by 1.511 million viewers.[16]

The winner was 36-year-old mother, Kate Bracks, who defeated Michael Weldon in the grand final.[17]

Series 4 (2012)[edit]

MasterChef Australia premiered Sunday 6 May on Network Ten. Regular judges, chefs George Calombaris and Gary Mehigan and food critic Matt Preston, returned for series 4.

Andy Allen defeated Julia Taylor.[18] Audra Morrice came in third place.

Series 5 (2013)[edit]

Network Ten confirmed in August 2012 that they have commissioned a fifth series for 2013. The program was filmed at the Melbourne Showgrounds in Ascot Vale, Victoria. Emma Dean won, with Lynton Tapp as the runner-up.

Series 5 featured a number of changes to the format including casting that focussed on contestant's personalities above cooking ability in response to the success of the Seven Network's rival cooking show My Kitchen Rules. The changes were not well received by both critics and audiences, and led to disappointing ratings compared to previous series.[19] As a result of the show's poor audience response Network Ten cancelled all spin-off versions of Masterchef Australia as well as live events such as Masterchef Live in order to focus on "a new, fresh version in 2014 that will appeal to the loyal MasterChef fans as well as new viewers" according to Ten's chief programming officer, Beverley McGarvey.[20][21]

Series 6 (2014)[edit]

Network Ten confirmed in August 2013 that they had recommissioned the show for another series, which aired in 2014. The program was once again filmed in Ascot Vale, Victoria at the Melbourne Showgrounds. In addition to the return of all three judges, Kylie Kwong was a guest mentor who appeared during the immunity challenges.[22] Heston Blumenthal and Marco Pierre White joined the show for a full week of challenges.[23]

Brent Owens was the winner, with Laura Cassai taking second place.

Series 7 (2015)[edit]

Shannon Bennett replaced Kwong as the regular in-house mentor for the immunity challenges. This series marked the return in stronger ratings for MasterChef Australia, with a series average of nearly 1.2 million metropolitan viewers. The finale (winner announced) was the highest rating non-sport TV event of 2015, with 2.2 million viewers (in metropolitan consolidated numbers).

It was won by Ballina restaurant manager Billie McKay. Georgia Barnes took second place.

Series 8 (2016)[edit]

The eighth series premiered on 1 May 2016.[24] It was won by Elena Duggan with Matt Sinclair as runner-up.

Series 9 (2017)[edit]

The ninth series began on 1 May 2017.[25] It was won by Diana Chan with Ben Ungermann as runner-up.

Series 10 (2018)[edit]

The tenth series began on 7 May 2018. It was won by Sashi Cheliah with Ben Borsht as runner-up.

Series 11 (2019)[edit]

The eleventh series premiered on 29 April 2019.[26] This series, former contestants Poh Ling Yeow, Billie McKay, and Matt Sinclair replaced Shannon Bennett as in-house mentors.[27] This is the final series to feature Gary Mehigan, George Calombaris and Matt Preston as the show's judges as broadcaster Ten failed to meet payrise demands set by the trio.[28]

It was won by Larissa Takchi with Tessa Boersma as runner-up and Simon Toohey came in third place.

Series 12 (2020)[edit]

The twelfth series, subtitled Back To Win, premiered on 13 April 2020.[29]

In October 2019, it was announced that Jock Zonfrillo, Melissa Leong and series four winner Andy Allen would replace Mehigan, Calombaris and Preston as series judges.[30][31] It was also announced that they would be joined by previous contestants who had returned to have another chance to win the title of "Masterchef" and the A$250,000 grand cash prize.[31]

It was won by Emelia Jackson with Laura Sharrad as runner-up.

Series 13 (2021)[edit]

The thirteenth series premiered on 19 April 2021.[32][33][34][35]

It was won by Justin Narayan with Pete Campbell as runner-up and Kishwar Chowdhury in third place. Only one ending was filmed where in some previous years two endings were filmed. This led to speculation that the winner had been leaked and influenced betting.[36]

Series 14 (2022)[edit]

The fourteenth series premiered on 18 April 2022.[37] Subtitled Fans & Favourites, the series saw 12 new contestants go up against 12 former and returning MasterChef contestants including past winners Julie Goodwin, Billie McKay and Sashi Cheliah. It was won by McKay with Sarah Todd as runner-up.

Series 15 (2023)[edit]

The fifteenth series, subtitled Secrets & Surprises, premiered on 7 May 2023.[38] This is the final series to feature judge Jock Zonfrillo following his death on 30 April 2023;[39] however, filming of the season was completed before his death.[40] It was won by Brent Draper, with Rhiannon Anderson as runner-up.

Spin-off editions[edit]

Celebrity MasterChef Australia[edit]

Celebrity MasterChef Australia, a spin-off featuring celebrities as contestants began production in early September 2009, and aired for ten weeks starting from 30 September 2009.[3] The celebrity version, which features a heats and semi-finals format similar to MasterChef Goes Large, is based around weekly episodes.[3][41] Presenter Sarah Wilson did not return to present the show.[42] Gary Mehigan, George Calombaris and Matt Preston returned as judges; Calombaris and Mehigan took Wilson's presenting role.[43]

On 25 May 2021, it was announced that a second edition of Celebrity MasterChef Australia had been commissioned, 12 years after the first edition had aired, it is set to air in late 2021.[44][45] Andy Allen, Melissa Leong, and Jock Zonfrillo undertook the role of judges in the new series.[46]

Junior MasterChef Australia[edit]

Production of a junior version of the show was initially suggested in October 2009.[4] The first series of the show, featuring 8- to 12-year-old contestants, was filmed after the second series of MasterChef Australia. Junior MasterChef Australia is produced by Shine Australia.[47]

MasterChef Australia All-Stars[edit]

Ten began broadcast of a special all-stars version of the show on 26 July 2012 that aired during the 2012 Summer Olympics. It featured a number of returning contestants from the first three series, including series 1 and 3 winners Julie Goodwin and Kate Bracks, who revisited past challenges in order to raise money for charity.[5] It was won by series 2 runner-up Callum Hann, who ultimately raised $20,000 for Cancer Council Australia.

MasterChef Australia: The Professionals[edit]

A spin-off based the original BBC MasterChef: The Professionals series began airing on 20 January 2013.[6] It featured 18 professional chefs competing against each other as opposed to amateur cooks. Matt Preston and chef Marco Pierre White hosted the spin-off.[48]

Dessert Masters[edit]

A new spin-off, Dessert Masters, was announced at Network Ten's upfronts presentation in October 2022. The series will see professional pastry chefs from around Australia compete in the MasterChef kitchen for a $100,000 prize.[7][8][9] Melissa Leong and international pastry chef Amaury Guichon will feature as judges.



The one-hour series premiere of MasterChef Australia attracted an average of 1.42 million viewers, making it the most watched show in its timeslot.[49] Ratings steadily grew throughout the first series, with the show dominating Australian ratings as it entered finals week, averaging around or above 2 million viewers an episode, and on daily rankings placing ahead of other high rating shows such as the Seven Network's Packed to the Rafters and Nine's Rugby League State of Origin broadcast.[50][51] Its success is despite initial belief from critics that the series would be a dud based on the performance of previous prime time cooking shows, as well as general cynicism against a new reality show format.[52][53]

The first series finale of MasterChef Australia attracted an average of 3,745,000 viewers, and peaked at 4.11 million viewers. This figure was for the last half-hour of the show, titled MasterChef Australia: The Winner Announced, while the first 90 minutes of the finale averaged 3,313,000 viewers. The figure also eclipsed the show's previous high, set on the last elimination episode, of 2.36 million viewers and also surpassed the previous high for a non-sporting event (Australian Idol's 2004 finale, which averaged in 3.35 million) since OzTAM ratings started in 2001. It is currently the 4th highest rating television program in Australia since 2001, behind the 2005 Australian Open final between Lleyton Hewitt and Marat Safin, and the 2003 Rugby World Cup Final. Ten's share for the night was 41.3%, almost 20% ahead of its nearest rival.[54] The first series finale was the most watched television program of 2009.[55]

The highly anticipated second series premiere of the show attracted 1.69 million viewers, peaking at 2.11 million nationwide.[56] In general, the second series rated higher on average compared to the first series, with weekday episodes seeing a 35% increase in viewers by the midpoint of the series.[57] The last half-hour of the second series final attracted 3,962,000 viewers and 3,542,000 during the rest of the final out rating the series 1 final to become the 3rd highest rating show of all time.

Based on the number of viewers and the nightly ratings, series 5 of Masterchef was considered the worst, with the finale being ranked the fifth most viewed television show that night, compared to every other series of Masterchef ranking #1. It is also the only series of the show to have under 1 million viewers of the finale, and it has received the lowest nightly rankings with several episodes below the top 20 in terms of most viewed shows. In total there were only half the number of viewers from series 4. As a result of the show's poor audience response Network Ten cancelled all spin-off versions of Masterchef Australia in order to focus on "a new, fresh version in 2014 that will appeal to the loyal MasterChef fans as well as new viewers" according to Ten's chief programming officer, Beverley McGarvey.[58][59]

Main series ratings[edit]

Series Premiere date Finale date Episodes Premiere
Rank Finale ratings
(Grand final)
Rank Finale ratings
(Winner announced)
Rank Series Average
1 27 April 2009 19 July 2009 72 1.428 #7 3.313 #2 3.745 #1 1.532
2 19 April 2010 25 July 2010 84 1.695 #1 3.542 #2 3.962 #1 1.761
3 1 May 2011 7 August 2011 86 1.569 #1 2.334 #2 2.740 #1 1.488
4 6 May 2012 25 July 2012 70 1.368 #4 1.888 #2 2.191 #1 1.132
5 2 June 2013 1 September 2013 65 1.100 #8 0.921 #8 1.057 #5 0.739
6 5 May 2014 28 July 2014 60 0.874 #10 1.654 #2 1.703 #1 1.001
7 5 May 2015 27 July 2015 62 1.231 #1 1.840 #2 2.133 #1 1.168
8 1 May 2016 26 July 2016 63 1.012 #4 1.711 #2 1.875 #1 1.108
9 1 May 2017 24 July 2017 1.060 #5 1.120 #3 1.303 #2 0.873
10 7 May 2018 31 July 2018 61 0.890 #7 1.126 #3 1.309 #1 0.848
11 29 April 2019 23 July 2019 0.715 #7 0.831 #7 0.992 #3 0.651
12 13 April 2020 20 July 2020 1.228 #3 1.261 #2 1.523 #1 0.980
13 19 April 2021 13 July 2021 0.670 #8 0.824 #6 0.931 #5 0.724
14 18 April 2022 12 July 2022 62 0.545 #9 0.755 #6 0.875 #3
15 7 May 2023 16 July 2023 50 0.761 #3 0.614 #5 0.698 #3
Overall average 981 1.141 #5 1.720 #3 1.959 #2 1.107

Spin-off series ratings[edit]

Series Premiere date Finale date Episodes Premiere
Rank Finale ratings
(Grand final)
Rank Finale ratings
(Winner announced)
Rank Series Average
Celebrity 1 30 September 2009 25 November 2009 10 1.363 #2 1.297 #1 1.187
Junior 1 12 September 2010 15 November 2010 17 2.202 #1 1.532 #2 1.853 #1 1.313
Junior 2 25 September 2011 23 November 2011 20 1.129 #5 0.934 #10 0.911 #12 0.844
All-Stars 25 July 2012 19 August 2012 19 1.256 #1 0.802 #11 1.050 #7 0.807
The Professionals 20 January 2013 17 March 2013 25 1.165 #3 0.980 #11 1.022 #9 0.886
Junior 3 11 October 2020 9 November 2020 13 0.524 #8 0.652 #12 0.881 #5 0.539
Celebrity 2 10 October 2021 (2021-10-10) 22 November 2021 (2021-11-22) 13 0.620 #6 0.700 #6 0.805 #5 0.558
Overall average 91 1.273 #3 1.109 #7 1.209 #7 1.007

Critical and popular reception[edit]

Despite success in ratings, the series initially received mixed reviews, with fans of the original British version describing the Australian show to be incomparable to that version in terms of quality, structure, judgement and skill of the contestant.[60] Other commentators have also criticised the show for using a competition format similar to other reality shows such as Australian Idol, The Biggest Loser and Project Runway Australia that focuses more on the elimination of contestants than the food and cooking itself.[61][62] Ten's programming chief David Mott admitted that using the new format was "a huge risk",[52] while FremantleMedia's Paul Franklin has asserted that "for a commercial audience we needed to pump it up and make it bigger, a little over the top, with more drama and storytelling and a sense of theatre".[13]

Despite these harsh views, it is still popular amongst many others who have praised the balance of entertainment, skill and overall presentation which is more fun-loving in its (Australian) attitude in comparison with the original British format. The show has been described as "an antidote for cynicism" and a reflection of multicultural Australia,[53] while the show's success has been attributed to audiences "uncomfortable with the win-at-all-cost mould of reality shows of old" and a shift in values in the face of the recent financial crisis.[63] As is noted in MasterChef Australia's premiere episode of series 4, since it premiered in 2009 (the first MasterChef series outside of the UK (est. 1990)), it has been such a success that France, Greece, Turkey, Portugal, New Zealand, India, Peru, Finland, Sweden, Italy, Germany, Denmark, Norway, the US and many other countries have all followed Australia's lead and formed their own series of the show in their respective countries; this in itself reveals the popularity of the Australian show from an international audience's perspective compared to that of the British version.

Cooking schools have reported an increase in enrolments due to the success of the series,[64] while kitchenware retailers and upmarket restaurants have also seen increased trade. Supermarkets and specialty food retailers have reported increased demand from the public for more unusual ingredients, such as quail, custard apple and squab, after such were featured on the program.[65] The success of the show led Ten to explore possible spin-offs such as the celebrity and junior versions, as well as one featuring professional chefs as contestants.[3] The success of the show has also led competing networks to commission their own competitive cooking programs, such as Seven's My Kitchen Rules and Nine's The Great Aussie Cook-Off after the first series of the Australian version,[66] with reports that both networks were planning more copycat shows to air in late 2010 and early 2011.

MasterChef Australia won the award for Most Popular Reality Program at the 2010 Logie Awards. In addition, Matt Preston won the Graham Kennedy Award for Most Outstanding New Talent for his work on the program.[67]


Allegations of vote rigging[edit]

Significant numbers of viewers have raised allegations that the voting on the series one finale of MasterChef was fraudulent after Julie Goodwin won the crown over Poh Ling Yeow. After the airing of the finale talkback radio became inundated with calls, both for and against the verdict, and the finale also became a top trending topic on social networking site Twitter, where many users said they felt "deflated" and "ripped off" by the final episode of the hit show.[68][69] Similar allegations were raised when contestants were eliminated throughout the series.[70]

Judge Matt Preston has denied that eliminations were rigged or the result of a popularity contest,[70] and asserted that Julie had won the title because she was the better cook on the night.[68] Goodwin herself has also asserted that her victory was not the result of rigging, insisting that the professional integrity of the three judges would be damaged if it were.[71]

Welfare of former contestants[edit]

During their time playing MasterChef, the contestants are paid a retainer of $500 a week. This is slightly below the national Australian minimum wage of $589.30 and less than half the average wage of $1,291.34. However, contestants have their accommodation provided for the duration of their time in the competition, meaning they live rent-free. These facts were revealed in 2011 along with the knowledge that most contestants quit their jobs before entering the competition and faced seeking re-employment once eliminated from the show.[72]

Marco Pierre White[edit]

Following comments made by judge Matt Preston about Marco Pierre White's son's admitted $500,000 splurge of his father's money on drugs and prostitution,[73] White stopped making guest appearances on MasterChef Australia after the eighth series and joined the rival programme Hell's Kitchen Australia.[74] In 2016, whilst on The Kyle and Jackie O Show, Preston was asked about Marco Jr.'s time on Big Brother UK, which included his alleged on–air sex and the above admission to purchasing illicit drugs and sex workers. Preston said "I think it is that terrible thing when you have kids that go off the rails... the drugs might be a little bit of a worry". This sparked a series of profanity–filled social media attacks by Marco Jr. which he has since apologised for.[73][75] The senior White later said of Preston that "I will never forgive that man... with my hand on my mother’s grave I will get that man".[76] White eventually returned to the program in series 14, after Preston had left the show.[77]

International syndication[edit]

The networks in bold also broadcast their own version of MasterChef.

Country Network Dubbed or subtitled? Current broadcaster?
Afghanistan STAR World Subtitled in Dari No
Arab League Fox Series Subtitled in Arabic
STAR World
Belgium Vitaya Subtitled in Dutch Yes
Canada Casa Dubbed in French Yes
CTV Life (formerly Gusto)
Croatia Nova TV Subtitled No
Denmark TV3 Puls
Finland Jim
Greece Mega Channel
Star Channel
Hong Kong Lifetime Subtitled in Chinese
India Disney+ Hotstar Subtitled in English Yes[78]
Zee Zest Dubbed in Hindi Yes(S11 Repeat Telecast )
Indonesia B-Channel (now RTV) Subtitled No
Ireland Good Food
Israel Channel 2 Subtitled in Hebrew
Italy cielo (TV channel) Dubbed Yes
Sky Uno Dubbed Yes
Macau Lifetime Subtitled in Cantonese No
Malaysia Subtitled in Malay & Chinese Yes
New Zealand TVNZ 2 Yes (from series 12)[79]
Norway TLC / Dplay Subtitled Yes
Pakistan STAR World
Subtitled in English
Subtitled in Arabic
Poland TLC Polish lector Yes
Portugal SIC Mulher Subtitled Yes
Russia Телекафе Russian double voice-over
Singapore Lifetime Subtitled in Chinese Yes
MediaCorp Channel 5
South Africa M-Net Yes
Sri Lanka MAX TV Subtitled in English
Sweden TLC Subtitled
Taiwan STAR World No
The Netherlands NET 5 Yes
United Kingdom UKTV Play[80]
Vietnam VTV6 (Junior version) Subtitled in Vietnamese No

Print publications[edit]

Official MasterChef Cookbook Volume 1[edit]

The Official MasterChef Cookbook Volume 1 was published by Random House Australia in December 2009. It contains recipes from the series 1 Top 20 contestants and top Australian and international chefs: Martin Boetz, Donovan Cooke, Pete Evans, Manu Feildel, Guy Grossi, Alex Herbert, Matt Moran and Andrew Honeysett, Ben O'Donoghue, Adrian Richardson, Frank Shek, Emmanuel Stroobant and Adriano Zumbo. There are also behind-the-scenes stories and culinary tips and tricks.

MasterChef Magazine[edit]

MasterChef Magazine, a monthly spin-off publication adopting the series' brand, went on sale in May 2010. Following a high-profile launch, the magazine exceeded its initial sales target within a short period of time, selling 90,000 copies in three days.[82] The magazine was published by News Magazines, a subsidiary of News Limited.[83] After losing a third of its readers in one year, the magazine was closed in October 2012[84]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Wilson hosted series 1. Subsequent series are hosted by the judges.
  2. ^ Now Laura Sharrad
  3. ^ Formerly Laura Cassai


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External links[edit]