From Olympians to comedians, actors and the daughter of an international celebrity – the next instalment of MasterChef will certainly spice things up a bit.
Announced today, the Celebrity MasterChef cast will comprise 10 familiar faces who will be showcasing their home cooking skills to battle it out for the top prize.
And some of them may surprise you.
Gold Logie winner Rebecca Gibney joins Offspring actor Matt Le Nevez, renowned fashion designer Collette Dinnigan, swimming legend Ian Thorpe and singer Dami Im.
Radio personality Chrissie Swan will also star, along with comedian Dilruk Jayasinha, professional football player Archie Thompson and AFL champion Nick Riewoldt.
Perhaps most surprisingly, the daughter of internationally renowned chef Gordon Ramsay, 19-year-old Tilly Ramsay, rounds out the cast. We feel she has a slight advantage, with a multi-Michelin starred chef in the family.
Judges Melissa Leong, Andy Allen and Jock Zonfrillo will return to the helm to discover which celebrity has the most talent in the kitchen outside of their sparkling career.
Channel 10 first announced that a season of Celebrity MasterChef was on the way last month, prompting wild fan speculation about who could feature in the kitchen.
Today’s announcement comes after comedian Tommy Little “let slip” that he had signed on to the show last month.
Little was chatting to Fifi, Fev & Nick on Fox FM when he was seemingly “duped” by Brendan Fevola.
The former AFL star told Tommy that he had signed on to Celebrity MasterChef in a bid to get Tommy to admit that he was also a contestant.
“We announced that this morning at 7 o’clock, and I’ll be on it, and the only reason I did it is because I saw your name on there,” Fev told Tommy. “So we’ll be going head to head brother.”
A hesitant Tommy replied: “I’ve been told I’m not allowed to talk about it yet. Did you really announce it this morning?”
“Yeah,” Fev said.
“Obviously I’m going to win if I’m up against you,” Tommy told Fev, before once again asking, “Are we actually allowed to talk about it yet because I was told I’m not allowed to talk about it?”
It was then that co-host Fifi Box jumped in and revealed to Tommy that he had been hoodwinked.
“Tommy, he’s joking, he’s not on it, he didn’t make an announcement,” Fifi said. “He’s tricked you.”
It turned out to be a red herring, with the Project star nowhere to be seen on the cast announcement today.
Current MasterChef season
The current season of MasterChef has suffered a ratings drop compared with last year’s hugely popular Back To Win season.
Industry website TV Tonight reported that only 670,000 Australians tuned into the premiere across the five metro capitals. Nearly double that number – 1.228 million viewers – tuned into last year’s season premiere, amid much fanfare about the all-new judging panel and the all-star cast of returning contestants.
Viewership hovered around the one million mark for much of last year’s season, before 1.523 million people watched Emilia Jackson take out the win last July.
Still, the season hasn’t been without its shocking and heartwarming moments, with this week bringing an emotional series first.
Contestant suddenly quits after brutal ordeal
In what’s been labelled ‘the most pivotal moment in MasterChef history’, viewers were incredibly moved by Sunday night’s episode which saw affable tradie Brent Draper leave the competition over concerns for his mental health.
Judges Jock Zonfrillo, Andy Allen and Melissa Leong were all in tears as they announced Draper would be leaving the show, effective immediately, for “personal reasons”.
And in a candid video posted to social media after the show aired, the impressive home explained exactly what those reasons were – saying that he battled mounting anxiety, panic attacks and dark thoughts during filming, all exacerbated by two separate stints in mandatory quarantine.
Speaking to news.com.au on Monday, the 31-year-old said raising his hand to leave the competition was just the first step in a tough journey he’s beyond proud to have embarked on, describing the darkness he felt when he arrived home.
“I legitimately thought that I had a liver disease or something. My brain had tricked me into thinking that I was dying,” he said.
Since the episode and Draper’s Instagram video follow-up, the response from fans has been overwhelming with praise for his courage.
MasterChef Australia continues tonight from 7.30pm on Channel 10
Originally published as Celeb MasterChef cast finally revealed