What Is It Like to Be a Contestant on the TV Show MasterChef?

MasterChef is one of the most popular shows all over the world. But the experience of the contestants is no doubt not similar to the fans of the show. So, you might be wondering, “What is it like to be a contestant on the tv show MasterChef?” You will get your answer in the article.

Being a contestant on MasterChef is very stressful and tough. However, it is also a very fun and thrilling experience at times. Well, the challenges are not exactly as we see them on the TV. Moreover, you might find the balcony cheering very irritating at times as a contestant.

There are so many rules contestants of the show have to follow. So, in this article, I will discuss a few rules, as well as how it is like to be a contestant on the show from the perspective of different participants. I’ve also included some other information that you might find helpful.

Being A Contestant On MasterChef

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Well, it is a way different experience as a contestant when you are living the show than simply watching the show on TV. Now, let’s get into the details of what it is like to be a contestant on MasterChef:

  • You Have to Cook for the Crew

The MasterChef application process begins with an online form. After that, you will have to give an interview on the phone. Once you make it in their choice list, they will offer you to join an in-person interview.
At this stage, you will have to present a meal to satisfy the crew first as per the information of one of the famous contestants of MasterChef Sandy Tang. If your food is well appreciated, they will welcome you to the MasterChef kitchen.

  • You’ll be Under a lot of Pressure

Well, the chefs taste and criticize the food very seriously. Moreover, on-spot evaluation of every participant happens. That’s why there remains a lot of pressure on them while cooking the food.

According to Elise Mayfield, one of the former contestants of the show, you would have to deal with the pressures of cooking and impressing the producers at the same time. So, in addition to the anxiety of whether the judges will enjoy your food or not, you’ll have to cope with the pressure of portraying a personality that the producers will like.

  • Challenges Aren’t Always What They Appear to Be

The tasks are a rush, Alice, a renowned contestant of the show claimed. She further said that MasterChef will not negotiate on the period you are allotted. However, they do need some of the pictures from various cameras.

So, after completing cooking, participants have to step aside from the counter and the rules don’t allow them to touch their food. Then, they have to start pretending to fuss around their dishes for the next few minutes.

  • The Judges are Served Cold Meals

As per different MasterChef contestants, the judges have to eat cold dishes. Once you’ve finished cooking, they take the food and shoot it to make it appear fresh. After that, the food would go right into the refrigerator, and everyone would go for a lunch break.

Alice Zaslavsky also informed that after the end of a task, the judges come and eat the cuisine while it’s still hot. And, after calling someone’s name, the judges take a fork and consume a bite of the chilly food in front of the cameras. And, they give expressions as if they are tasting the food for the first time.

  • The First Night is Fun!

Elise Mayfield claimed the first night of MasterChef to be very exciting. She, in an interview with A.V. Club, said that the contestants get to know one another a little better on the first night. There generally is a timetable.
And, the first day consists of numerous introductions, as well as memorizing the deadline and schedule. Besides, Elsie described the night to be a bizarre grownup spring break.

  • It Annoys Most Contestants when People Cheer on the Balcony

You may have seen those clips where the candidates offer encouraging words and advice to somebody cooking in the MasterChef kitchen. Surprisingly, most people aren’t fond of it.
Sometimes the contestants would particularly glance up and yell at people to keep quiet a bunch of times, according to a previous contestant of the show.

  • The MasterChef Home is a Tough Place to Be in

The house of MasterChef is similar to Big Brother’s, except with more food and therefore less trickery, according to Alice Zaslavsky. She further compared the house with a summer camp in schools but with a group of people who are purposefully very opposite to you.

Moreover, she also said that things may get heated, particularly during group challenges, resulting in some hilarious situations.

5 Rules MasterChef Contestants Have to Follow

There are tons of rules you will have to follow if you want to contest in the famous TV show MasterChef. Here I’ve listed a few rules of the show for your convenience:

1. Age Requirement & Citizenship

Everyone who applies must be at least 18 years old. However, you still have the option to participate in MasterChef Junior if you are younger.
Besides, MasterChef has spawned sequels all over the world ever since its beginning. You must, however, be a permanent resident or legal citizen of the USA to participate in the American edition of the program.

2. They Don’t Allow Professional Chefs

Sorry, I have some bad news for you if you are a professional cook. You can’t take part in the competition if you are a chef by profession and make a living by preparing or cooking food.

3. You will Have to Go Through a Formal Psychological Evaluation

Each potential participant must speak with the psychologist of the production for a formal examination during the final audition round. However, it is unclear what they are seeking in the assessment since they don’t show the results.

4. You will Have to Visit a Private Investigator

In addition, contestants must meet with an investigator who will conduct a background investigation on them. One previous participant described the investigation meeting as intrusive.

5. You Must Sign NDAs

The producers oblige the competitors to sign non-disclosure agreements before formally starting the show. Thus, most of the backstage secrets of the show will stay hidden. If you don’t sign the agreement, you can’t take part in the show.

Tips for People Planning to Contest in MasterChef

It might be very hard to get used to the competitive environment of MasterChef when you’ve only cooked food as a hobby all your life. So, here are a few tips for people who are planning to contest in MasterChef:

  • Learn by listening: The entire show takes months to finish. In the meantime, you can learn a lot from the judges, other contestants, your mistakes, as well as the mistakes of other participants. Listen to the judges carefully and keep in mind all the advice and criticisms.


  • Create your own unique style: If you want to catch the attention of the judges, you must think outside the box to develop your cooking style. Having a sense of authenticity in the foods you cook will automatically make the dishes more attractive.


  • Understand the tastes of the judges: You start understanding their tastes and preferences when you prepare a meal for the judges daily and get their opinion on the foods. You’re ready to go once you’ve figured out what they want.


The experience of a contestant of MasterChef is both amusing and stressful. By now, you’ve got the answer to your question, “What is it like to be a contestant on the tv show MasterChef?” Always keep in mind that competing on a show is never about winning. It’s all about the journey and experience. Thanks for reading through. Best wishes!

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