'Moved on': Former judge Gary Mehigan breaks silence on new MasterChef

Kristine Tarbert
Senior Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer

The latest season of MasterChef has been kicking goals so far - a hit with fans, and doing well in the ratings - and now former judge Gary Mehigan broken his silence after leaving the show last year.

Gary was a judge on the show alongside Matt Preston and George Calombaris for ten years when the shock announcement came in 2019 that Channel Ten would be bringing in a new lineup for 2020 made up of Andy Allen, Melissa Leong, and Jock Zonfrillo.

But while leaving the show behind was difficult, Gary has said he is proud to have left behind such a “legacy”.

Gary Mehigan was a judge on MasterChef for ten years. Photo: Getty

“We have passed the baton and moved on, but it will always be an important part of who we are,” he told the Daily Mail.

“It has been an honour to have set the standard and played our part in creating positive, feel-good, family viewing.”

Although the chef admits he hasn’t seen an episode of the new season, he has no doubt it will be “great television”.

“I'll be honest, I haven't watched the new MasterChef, but then again I never watched MasterChef when I was in it. I was there after all,” he added.

The new season of MasterChef Australia: Back to Win features returning contestants. Photo: Channel Ten

George Calombaris praises new MasterChef debut

Garry’s comments come after fellow ex-judge George Calombaris took his followers by surprise online after praising the new MasterChef, following its debut two weeks ago.

“OMG. Massive result last night on MC12 launch night,” George wrote, sharing a photo of the contestants from this year's season.

“Congrats to @channel10au @endemolshineau, all the awesome crew, the contestants and the new judges. Well done! GC xxxx.”

Hayden Quinn, who appeared in season three of the show originally, wrote, "What a night mate! Haha I needed a hug! Thanks for all the support."

Khanh Ong from season 10 added, "Love you to pieces."

New MasterChef season a hit with fans

The new season of MasterChef features returning contestants and is titled MasterChef Australia: Back to Win. And it seems to be winning over audiences.

One fan took to Twitter, calling Andy, Melissa and Jock “the perfect fit”.

“I'm thoroughly enjoying the new judges on #MasterChefAU. They fell into their roles so effortlessly. It's as though they've always been there. Kind, supportive, engaging, practical, knowledgeable, funny — the perfect fit,” they wrote.

New judges Andy Allen, Melissa Leong, and Jock Zonfrillo. Photo: Channel Ten

Another added, “I've already forgotten about those old judges.”

But it hasn’t all be perfect praise with some viewers slamming MasterChef for giving a particular fan favourite more attention than anyone else.

Some on Facebook have branded the new season of the show "The Poh Show".

Others were left reeling from a revelation about how the beloved cooking show films its tasting sequences.

It turns out when the judges tuck into a morsel of scrumptious looking grub, it is almost guaranteed to have been sitting there for at least an hour or two. So they are usually plated up cold, and the judges just have to grin and bear it.

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