MasterChef Australia: Insider reveals behind-the-scenes secrets that would surprise fans: 'Nothing is added or changed'

EXCLUSIVE: A TV insider has exposed some fun secrets behind the beloved cooking show.

The MasterChef judges (L to R) - Jean-Christophe Novelli, Sofia Levin, Poh Ling Yeow, and Andy Allen. Credit: Channel Ten
The MasterChef judges (L to R) - Jean-Christophe Novelli, Sofia Levin, Poh Ling Yeow, and Andy Allen. Credit: Channel Ten

MasterChef Australia has undergone a fair few changes over the years, the most notable being the changing lineup of judges. This year, following the exit of Melissa Leong and the shock passing of Jock Zonfrillo, the judges consist of Andy Allen, Poh Ling Yeow, Sophia Levin and Jean-Christophe Novelli.

Andy, who won the competition in season four, is the only returning judge having joined Jock and Melissa in taking over from George Calombaris, Gary Mehigan and Matt Preston who hosted the series from its inception in 2009 until 2019.

Over the years, fans have asked many questions about the production of the cooking competition - from how long it takes to shoot to whether or not the food is actually hot when the judges taste it.

Recently, fans have also been wondering about the decision to no longer use Katy Perry's 'Hot n Cold' as the theme song, with one fan asking what had happened to it in a Facebook group dedicated to the show.

"What happened to the Katy Perry theme song Hot and Cold that always played in the opening credits????," the fan wrote.

"Time for a change maybe," someone replied. "Did like it though."

MasterChef Australia fans are missing one detail in particular this season. Credit: Channel Ten
Some MasterChef Australia fans are missing Katy Perry this season. Credit: Channel Ten

"New year, new presenters, new concept," another suggested.

Other fans speculated that the recent news of cutbacks at Channel Ten was the reason behind the change with one person writing, "Too expensive to pay the royalties."

"It costs every time they use it so they ditched it," another added.

Here are some of the other most asked questions about MasterChef Australia, answered.


"One of the most frequently asked questions about Masterchef Australia is the way in which the food is served for the judges and how they can possibly eat all the food at its perfect temperature," an insider exclusively revealed to Yahoo Lifestyle.

"It is actually impossible to try all the food piping hot and therefore the judges taste each contestant's food while they are cooking," they continued. "That is when Jean-Christophe, Poh, Andy and Sofia are required to document their outcomes."

According to the insider, the judges are asked "not to discuss their final thoughts with each other until the participants are in front of them so that it feels more natural when they share their opinions on each dish."

Our insider also revealed that the actual plated versions of the dishes are judged "much later than audiences would expect" and that the food is, indeed, quite cold by the time it's critiqued (keeping in mind the judges' decisions have been made well before that part of filming.)

"Each contestant will usually get 20 minutes to make sure all the judges have been able to express their opinions," the insider said adding, "It's a long process, especially at the start where there are 20+ participants."

The insider also tells Yahoo Lifestyle that producers take a fair amount of time filming the contestants' dishes, with the food often being touched up to make the reveals more exciting.

"It can depend on the narratives that will play out for the participants," the insider explains. "Nothing is added or changed that will affect the outcomes. There is no added benefit to styling the food or making it look better for cutaways."

The contestants are required to dress themselves and need to wear block colours. No brands are allowed to be shown due to licensing issues so that is why you'll notice the contestants wearing a lot of greys, browns, reds and mustards.

Team Burgundy have won the chance to compete for immunity after winning the service challenge. Credit: Channel Ten
The contestants are required to dress in solid colours and have no brand logos on their clothes. Credit: Channel Ten

"Back in the day contestants used to try and get brand endorsements before filming began - which always caused a headache for the networks," the insider says. "In the end, it makes sense for everyone to wear very neutral colours. After all, it is about the food and not the clothing."

It might surprise some fans that the shoot for Masterchef Australia is the longest of all the reality TV series filmed in Australia. "It can go up to 16 weeks and the filming averages 9-12 hours a day," according to our source.

"The commitment is huge and while the show seems quite fast-paced there is quite a bit of TV magic required in putting this show together," they said. "With 200 crew it is hard to keep the producers out of frame. The entire crew is required to wear black and the series takes months in the editing room where we edit out all the times the crew is caught on camera."

It takes longer than you think to film MasterChef. Credit: Channel Ten
It takes longer than you think to film MasterChef. Credit: Channel Ten

Another big question that fans often want to know is where the contestants live while they are filming the series.


"Everyone is paired up - usually with people from their home state," one participant reveals. "You share small living quarters and become quite close to your assigned buddy."

They continue, "One of the most exciting things about this show is the bond you have with everyone. Specialised groceries are delivered every day and some of the best cooking happens off-camera.

"You quickly work out what you're up against as we all take turns cooking for one another."

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