SAME METHOD, NEW RECIPE
Can these 18 celebrities take the heat or will they be forced out of the kitchen? Guy Davis inspects the ingredients for Ten’s upcoming Celebrity MasterChef.
Ten has been teasing us over the past couple of weeks, revealing ever so gradually the identities of the personalities taking part in Celebrity MasterChef, the star-studded spin-off of the phenomenally successful MasterChef Australia.
But now the word is out, and the 18 celebrities who’ll be slaving over a hot stove for our viewing pleasure have been named. And, true to form for this kind of program, it’s a decidedly diverse bunch of participants.
The 18-strong line-up has its share of Ten stars, including Biggest Loser trainer Michelle Bridges, Talkin’ ’ Bout Your Generation Gen-Y comedian Josh Thomas and Video Hits host Faustina “ Fuzzy” Agolley.
But Celebrity MasterChef has also brought together notable names from the world of sport, including AFL footballer Ryan O’Keefe, record-breaking Olympic swimmer Eamon Sullivan and Aussie batsman Simon Katich.
Peter FitzSimons, formerly a rugby player but perhaps better known these days as a columnist, broadcaster and author, has also signed on for the show, as have veteran journalist George Negus and news anchor Indira Naidoo.
The music industry is represented by singer-songwriter Alex Lloyd and INXS saxophonist Kirk Pengilly.
And rounding out the line-up are Underbelly star Simon Westaway, fashion designer and Australia’s Next Top Model judge Alex Perry, Miss Universe contestant Rachael Finch ( who initially denied she was taking part), Hi-5 founding member Kathleen de Leon, comedian Peter Rowsthorn, broadcaster Wendy Harmer and Queensland premier Anna Bligh.
( There’s already been a small degree of controversy attached to Celebrity MasterChef, with actor Steve Bisley dropping out of the program in the wake of an assault charge. According to various media reports, however, Bisley’s departure was linked to a prior work commitment.)
“ We’re really fl attered that this esteemed and well-known group of celebrities want to be a part of Celebrity MasterChef,” said George Calombaris, who along with Gary Mehigan and Matt Preston is one of the show’s three judges.
“ I’m keen to see how good they are in the kitchen and how they’ll cope with Gary and I standing over them questioning their every move. It will be a fun show and we’re having a blast shooting it at the moment.”
Indeed, fi lming on Celebrity MasterChef is currently under way in Sydney, with the 18 contestants divided into groups of three to compete in heats that will give them a single chance to display their worth.
Facing two challenges already familiar to viewers of MasterChef Australia, the celebs will have to perform under the gaze of the judges, with only one making it through the next phase of the competition.
The six celebrities who make it through to the semi-fi nals will then face further culinary challenges as they attempt to secure a spot in the Celebrity MasterChef grand fi nal.
Given the amazing success of MasterChef Australia, it’s only natural that a spin-off like this one would be fast-tracked.
But will viewers’ taste buds be tempted by an all-star line-up after so much enjoyment was had watching the everyday likes of Julie, Poh and Chris whip up delicious dishes? All will be revealed when Celebrity MasterChef makes its debut at the end of the month.
Tried and tested method: Gary Mehigan, Matt Preston and George Calombaris, the judges of the incredibly successful MasterChef Australia, return to present the new series of Celebrity MasterChef, which will see television personalities ( right, from top) Michelle Bridges, Kathleen de Leon, Faustina “ Fuzzy” Agolley, Alex Perry and Josh Thomas among the 18 contestants.