ENTERTAINMENT

Could these MasterChef judges be getting axed?

A plan is brewing to refresh the show AGAIN!
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When Network 10 execs announced that MasterChef Australia would return for its 16th season with four judges, eyebrows were raised.

“Few shows have that many, because it doesn’t allow much time for viewers to get to know each individual judge on-air,” an informed TV insider told New Idea at the time.

Despite returning favourite Andy Allen, and new judges Poh Ling Yeow, Sofia Levin, and Jean Christophe Novelli proving to be popular with fans, some have noticed that one of them has almost become a part-time player.

“I love Jean-Christophe, but I feel the contestants – as well as the other judges – don’t pay much attention to him,” one commented online.

Another chimed in to claim that “for some reason,” producers and editors seem to be “minimising” the French chef’s screen time.

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In 2024, the MasterChef judging line-up experienced a major shake-up. (Credit: Channel Ten)

Our TV insider agrees that fans have got a point.

“Jean-Christophe just seems to pop up to say ‘magnifique’ about a dish, then disappears. Poh and Andy especially seem to be the lead judges.”

While there is no official word as to how the network will structure the judging panel for next year, our source says it would be “a surprise” if MasterChef returned with four regular judges again.

“Following [judge] Jock Zonfrillo’s death last year, the show had to refresh the panel,” our insider says.

“Fans accepted the change but there’s nothing to say producers won’t switch things up and go for some new faces again.”

Daniel and Shannon Bennett
Shannon has been a frequent guest judge and mentor on MasterChef over the years. (Credit: Channel Ten)

One name being floated about is Shannon Bennett. The chef is a frequent guest on the show, and fans are calling for him to get a permanent gig.

“I think he would make a better judge than any of the current ones. I hope the panel will be reviewed at the end of this season,” one fan wrote in a popular MasterChef Facebook forum.

Whether that happens remains to be seen, but as our insider explains, “Producers will be taking notice of the fan feedback. One judge – or more- could well be facing the chopping block.”

Matt Preston Plat of Origin
Could Matt Preston be making a TV comeback? (Credit: Getty)

Are Matt Preston and Sofia Levin cooking up a new television series together?

Former MasterChef judge Matt Preston stepped out last week with current judge Sofia Levin – giving fans some food for thought as to why they might be meeting up!

“It was a bit surprising to see them together,” an onlooker told New Idea.

“They seemed to be deep in conversation though.”

Our TV insider thinks their meet-up could be more than just social.

“Matt is an incredibly popular TV talent – and so knowledgeable about food – as is Sofia,” they explain.

“They could well be pitching to work on their own show together, especially if next year’s MasterChef judging panel is yet to be finalised.”

Matt, 62, departed the show in 2019 after 11 seasons.

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