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MasterChef Tassie-bound for “spectacular” week

It's oyster harvests & truffle hunting in Tasmania, and then a MasterChef Finale with alternate endings already in the can.

Next week MasterChef Australia hits the road as six finalists visit Tasmania for ‘Finals Week.’

Contestants will have the opportunity to harvest their own oysters and compete in a 4 course service challenge.

“It was really wonderful to get out of the classroom, so to speak, and be in the wilds of Tasmania and just to be able to celebrate incredible producers,” says judge Melissa Leong.

“Tasmania is such a wonderful privilege. Being on Freycinet Marine Farm and shucking oysters at a white wedding cross table is a pretty spectacular thing to do. Spending time in distilleries, truffle hunting and all of the rest of it -it’s pretty spectacular stuff.”

The Final is locked on Tuesday July 12 when one cook will win the 2022 trophy and a $250,000 prize.

Leong confirms this year producers have filmed alternate endings, a shift from recent finals completed during lockdown conditions.

“I’ve never done an alternate ending. This is the first one,” she explains.

“It’s a tough one because one person knows that they didn’t win, and nobody knows until it goes to air. But that’s also wonderful because there’s a bit of surprise involved in that for everybody. Save for Dave Forster, our EP, and Marty Benson (EndemolShine Director of Content) and the three of us there are very few other people that actually know the truth. And we will not be saying anything until we go to air!”

Leong confirmed in judging scores were altered for the purpose of filming, but wouldn’t confirm if the first ending filmed is the real one -a common practice as it captures the more authentic reactions.

“That makes sense, but we’ll have to wait and see!”

Meanwhile, how do judges cope with heavy eating days when there are multiple courses or as many as 24 contestants with dishes waiting to be tasted?

“It’s pretty tough. Now that it’s the third year of doing it, I know what works for me and I know how to get through it. In former years I would also do -off camera- breakfast and lunch or snacks in between. But I generally on heavy-eating days when we have to taste a lot of food, I might have something very small in the morning just to get my stomach going. But I generally will just eat on camera, and that’s my food for the day,” she continued.

“Jock is a literal, bottomless pit. I have never seen him full in the entire time I’ve known him. He is insatiable. He, in fact loses weight if he doesn’t constantly eat. So that’s obviously a terrible issue for him!

“Whereas Andy and I are a little bit more on the balance-and-exercise front, Jock is literally built for this job!”

7:30pm Sunday – Thursday on 10.

2 Responses

  1. Are the alternate endings just about bookmakers? Otherwise, I just can’t see the point. By this stage, viewers are watching just as much to see the contestants they’ve come to love and the way it all plays out as to find out who the actual winner is.
    It is an extremely cruel and unnecessary practice for the contestants.

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