Made-over Marion a hot favourite for Masterchef title
- From: Sunday Mail (SA)
- July 04, 2010
MASTERCHEF star judges Matt Preston, George Calombaris and Gary Mehigan will be back on Channel 10 next year for another helping.
In a major boost for the network, the Sunday Mail can reveal the three judges have signed with Ten for next year, with the network confirming the judges will be back.
The signings put an end to speculation Channel 7 was trying to poach the trio for a new show or to boost its show My Restaurant Rules.
"MasterChef is incredibly successful and we are not surprised by rumours of rival networks sniffing around; but be assured our judges are under contract to MasterChef," a Ten spokesperson said. "They and the show won't be going anywhere."
MasterChef itself will be on Channel 10 for at least another two years.
South Australian student Marion Grasby, 27, is the hot favourite to take the MasterChef crown, and has had to put up with favouritism claims on internet blogs.
"That's complete rubbish, whether they are talking about me or anybody else in the competition," she said.
"I don't see why the judges would go out on a limb for a TV show contestant like me or anybody else."
The former ABC journalist is one of three South Aussies vying for the MasterChef title, along with Barossa-bred Callum Hann, 20, and Adam Liaw, 30, originally from Glenalta.
Liaw, a lawyer in Japan for Walt Disney, hopes to fulfil a childhood dream and open a restaurant; while Hann, currently a kitchen hand at Tanunda's 1918 Bistro and Grill, is hoping to work as a chef.
Grasby hopes to launch a Thai food product range for supermarkets and to start a catering business in Adelaide with her mum.
All three contestants agree the reality experience has been tiring, though rewarding.
"I always knew it was going to be challenging but it's gone above and beyond what my expectations were," Hann, a former Nuriootpa High School student, said.
"I feel that the challenges this year have just been bigger and better. They've been even more stressful ... But they've been really fun, as well."
Liaw, who has found it tough being away from girlfriend Asami, 30, during the show, says the contest had been "about 1000 times more challenging" than he'd expected.
"The pressure is huge, the competition is huge," he said.
Grasby tipped 33-year-old Sydney contestant Jonathan Daddia to win, saying he had the best technique. The three SA contestants have also been ranked as being among the most-liked of this year's group.
Hann says they are all friends - but not simply because they are all Croweaters.
"It just so happens that Marion, Adam and I are all good friends - we certainly spend a lot of time together in the house," he said.
Ten will be hoping the show's live final - to be aired later this month - will match last year's, when 3.7 million viewers tuned in to see Julie Goodwin crowned the first Australian Masterchef.