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MasterChef Season 12 contestants’ list: Tommy Walton, Michael Silverstein and other alums to return to FOX’s show

Tommy Walton, Dara Yu, and Michael Silverstein (Images via masterchef.fandom and foodforyu/Instagram)
Tommy Walton, Dara Yu, and Michael Silverstein (Images via masterchef.fandom and foodforyu/Instagram)
Bhavya Kamra

The new season of MasterChef is almost here, and we are ready with our aprons to try out new recipes from the show. Season 12 of MasterChef, which releases this Wednesday, will be bringing back some of the fan-favorite contestants in the kitchen and is now titled MasterChef: Back to Win.

18 contestants of different seasons of MasterChef and two cooks that were a part of the MasterChef Junior edition have now come back to compete for staggering prize money of $250,000.

The contestants are Alejandro Valdivia, Willie Mike, Bowen Li, Brandi Mudd, Bri Baker, Cate Meade, Derrick Peltz, Fred Chang, Gabriel Lewis, Michael Silverstein, Samantha Daily, Shanika Patterson, Christian Green, Emily Hallock, Shelly Flash, Stephen Lee, Tommy Walton, and Amanda Saab.

After competing in the MasterChef Junior edition, Dara Yu and Shayne Wells are returning to the show.


About MasterChef Season 12 contestants

MasterChef Season 12 brings forward the past season's runner-up and contestants to claim the winning trophy.


Tommy Walton

Tommy Walton got the 7th rank in Season 6 of the show after losing the team pressure test challenge in Week 15. Many others saw his behavior as 'arrogant,' and he did not perform well on team tasks during the season.

Tommy is currently the brand ambassador for Daelmans and is a fashion designer. He has also appeared on many local TV stations as a cook.


Michael Silverstein

Michael was a contestant in Season 10 of the show and was not at the bottom of any challenge until Week 6 when he was eliminated. Since then, he has written and published a new book, New Keto Cooking: Fresh Ideas for Delicious Low-Carb Meals at Home, and uploaded many new recipes, including Keto dishes, on his website. He is also a real estate flipper.


Shanika Patterson

A mentee of Joe Bastianich, Shanika was a contestant in Season 9 of the show. Hailing from Miami, Shanika is an event promoter and the founder of SNR Foods. She is a 2022 graduate from The Culinary Institute of America.


Dara Yu

Dara Yu was 12 when she appeared on Junior Season 1 in 2014. Hailing from Los Angeles, California, she was the first runner-up on the show. Known as Dara the Bow Girl, Dara recently graduated from the Culinary Institute of America and is about to launch her brand called dinewithdara.


Alejandro Valdivia

Alejandro Valdivia, professionally an animal trainer, appeared on the 11th season of the show and is back soon to claim the trophy.


Amanda Saab

25-year-old Amanda, a season 6 contestant on the show, is back in the kitchen. She is a social worker.


Bowen Li

Bowen Li was 9th during the 9th season of the show, having been mentored by Gordon Ramsay himself.


Brandi Mudd

Brandi was the 7th season runner-up of the show and now owns her own catering business after quitting teaching.


Bri Baker

Popularly known as the plating queen, Bri Baker appeared on Season 10 of the show. She comes from Texas and ranked 8th on MasterChef previously.


Cate Meade

Cate Meade ranked 4th on the cooking show's eighth season and is a nutritionist.


Christian Green

Christian Green appeared on the show in Season 5. Hailing from New Orleans, the chef is a sales representative.


Derrick Peltz

Derrick Peltz (now Derrick Fox after taking his wife's last name) has started his restaurant and offers private chef services. He ranked 2nd on the 6th season of the show.


Emily Hallock

Season 9 contestant Emily is known for being the chef that never fails a challenge. She ranked 10th on the season.


Fred Chang

Fred Chang is known for his famous desserts. He appeared on the 10th season of the show.


Gabriel Lewis

After graduating from Johnson & Wales University's Culinary School in 2019, Gabriel Lewis is now a private chef.


Samantha Daily

Samantha had faced a tough time in team challenges during the show's 9th season.


Shayne Wells

Shayne appeared in the 5th season of the show's junior edition. Shelly Flash is the co-owner of 2 Girls & a Cookshop.


Shelly Flash

Shelly Flash appeared on the 6th season of the show and ranked in 9th position. She hails from Brooklyn, New York.


Stephen Lee

Stephen Lee ranked 3rd in the show's 6th season. Stephen is from California


Willie Mike

Willie Mike owns his lunch service named Willie's Lunchroom. He is from Texas and appeared on the show's 5th season.


MasterChef: Back to Win will premiere on Fox on May 25 at 08:00 PM ET. Fans can also watch the episodes on the network's website after the show's TV premiere.


Edited by Sayati Das

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