With an ‘all-star’ line-up of previous winners and fan favourites, producers have apparently been run ragged by diva demands from many of this season’s cast.
Having had experience in reality TV, the contestants are pulling no punches when requesting special treatment from everything to hotel rooms, time off and their ‘edit’.
“They are old hands now,” says our spy. “Many of them know how the industry works so they have no problem in making demands around filming. And once they all got together and found out what others were getting, it just made it worse.”
Secret Love Child
One chef is said to have tried to hide a secret love child from producers, who had hand-picked the cast based on their apparently squeaky-clean reputations.
“No-one is really sure why it was never mentioned or why it was relevant but it came
as a shock to everyone and sent publicity scrambling to try and defuse explosive accusations,” confirms the spy.
In what is probably the biggest controversy to rock the show, contestant Ben Ungermann was arrested midway through filming the season.
“It was awful,” says the insider. “No-one could have imagined something like that would ever happen.”
News of Ben’s arrest over a personal matter was revealed last month, with a spokesperson for Endemol Shine telling the Herald Sun: “We can confirm Ben Ungermann has left the MasterChef Australia competition,” they said, adding: “As this is a police matter, we will not be making further comment.”
Following Ben’s arrest, it is understood the show’s editors were called into an emergency meeting with strict instructions: “Cut him out the best you can.”
When a fan asked Ben about how he will leave the show via Instagram, he commented: “That’s up to Masterchef Australia.”
The salaries of the returning MasterChef contestants have been also been leaked.
According to an insider, Poh Ling Yeow, who was runner-up in Season 1, will be paid $40,000 for her part, no matter how early she is kicked off the show, and Hayden Quinn, fan favourite from Series 3, will receive the same pay.
Meanwhile, the same can’t be said for the new judges, Jock Zonfrillo, Melissa Leong and Andy Allen.
“The combined contestant salaries outweigh the three combined judges’ salaries big time,” the source continues.
It is no secret that contestant Ben Milbourne and new judge Andy Allen are best mates.
So does he have an unfair advantage?
The chefs became close friends after competing on MasterChef’s fourth season in 2012. The producers are promoting their friendship as a harmless ‘bromance’, however, viewers are concerned about possible favouritism from Andy when he’s judging.
Over the past eight years the friends also hosted their own TV series, Andy and Ben Eat Australia, appeared at cooking events together and travelled extensively.
Reynold Is A Secret Model
There’s no denying his flair for all things sweet, but viewers might be surprised to find out that Reynold also has a secret career on the side as an Instagram model.
While pictures of his culinary creations dominate much of his account, Reynold has also taken to posting stylised, posed ‘model’ shots of himself for his nearly 400,000 followers.
Katy's Big Payday
After lengthy negotiations, the spy says Network Ten secured international superstar Katy Perry for $100,000 to be a guest judge on the show.
“She took a day out of her busy schedule to film MasterChef under a military-like veil of secrecy,” dishes our source.
“The judges and contestants couldn’t believe their eyes when pop superstar Katy strode into the MasterChef kitchen.”
She’s proved that being a chef doesn’t come without its risks.
Poh sent fans into a panic, however, by sharing a shocking photo to her Instagram account in September last year.
The selfie, which showed Poh sporting a badly swollen right eye, was accompanied by a caption telling the story behind the injury.
Laughing off her painful bee stings, she explained: “Copped a coupla doozies in the garden yesterday – one on the scalp and one next to me eye,” she wrote on Instagram.
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