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How is MasterChef Season 12 different from previous seasons? Plot, contestants, judges, release date, and more about FOX’s show

MasterChef Season 12 judge and host Gordon Ramsay (Image via @masterchefonfox/Instagram)
MasterChef Season 12 judge and host Gordon Ramsay (Image via @masterchefonfox/Instagram)
Sushmita Sen

FOX’s MasterChef is all set to return with a brand new season this week, featuring Gordon Ramsay, Aarón Sánchez, and Joe Bastianich back on the judges’ panel.

The previous season (Legends) ended in September 2021 with Kelsey Murphy, a physical therapist, as the winner.

Season 12, titled MasterChef: Back to Win, promises to be different from the show’s former installments. Although the format will be similar, the changes have been brought in the contestants’ category.


MasterChef Season 12 welcomes former contestants

So far, the culinary show has welcomed a new group of participants every season. In season 12, it will consist of former contestants who couldn’t win their respective seasons. A total of 20 alums will participate to compete for the white apron in the premiere episode.

Out of 20, 18 will be those who have appeared in previous seasons, while the remaining two will be from Junior Edition who have now grown up to become adults.

Multiple preview clips have been shared on the official Instagram handle of the show. The first look video revealed the names of the contestants: Tommy (Season 6), Michael (Season 10), Derrick (Season 6), Shelly (Season 6), Brandi (Season 7), Bri (Season 10), Willie (Season 5), Fred (Season 10), Stephen (Season 6), Gabriel (Season 8), Samantha (Season 9), Alejandro (Season 11), Cate (Season 8), Amanda (Season 6), Christian (Season 5), Bowen (Season 9), Shanika (Season 9), and Emily (Season 9). From MasterChef Junior, it’s Dara (Season 1) and Shayne (Season 5).

Speaking about the change in the show’s new season, host/ judge Gordon Ramsay said in the clip:

“Season 12 is for me is the biggest, boldest and one of the most exciting, because it’s back to win.”

Judge Joe Bastianich stated:

“We know them. They didn’t win. They are hungry. They have eyes on the price. They’re all great cooks and the level is super high.”

Ramsay further said that the contestants are “hungry,” “feisty,” and “determined.”

At the end of the video, Ramsay called the season “most competitive” and “extraordinary.” The video also stated the names of guest judges/chefs — season 7 winner Shaun O’Neale, Season 3 winner Christine Ha (the first visually-impaired contestant in the franchise), and renowned chef Wolfgang Puck.

The champion will win the season 12 title and will be awarded a whopping prize money of $250,000.

Rob Wade, president of Alternative Entertainment and Specials at Fox Entertainment, first announced the renewal of the show in September last year. He said in a statement:

“MasterChef, Gordon, Aarón and Joe, and our fantastic partners at ESNA, have been vital to Fox’s DNA. Even in its eleventh season, this show continues to impress by sustaining Fox’s success on Wednesdays this Summer. We anticipate this momentum to continue next year when MasterChef returns for a much deserved Season 12."

When will Season 12 premiere?

The Primetime Emmy-winning show is all set to air the first episode of Season 12 on Wednesday, May 25 at 8.00 pm ET. The episode will be available on the network’s website after it premieres on the channel.

Those who don’t have the channel can opt for various live streaming services available online. Some of the best TV service providers include Fubo TV, Philo, Sling, DirecTV Stream, and YouTube TV.


Edited by Khushi Singh

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