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Masterchef Australia – Top Fifty Names Released And Other Changes Revealed

Masterchef Australia this year are starting the show a bit differently they will launch straight into the top 50, with five being eliminated on the first episode, tomorrow night.

Other changes are also occurring which will iron out some of the format weaknesses last year.

In an article by Scott Ellis TV Editor of the Sun-Herald (@blahblahellis) Matt Preston tells him:

“When you’ve had a successful show, everyone always says, ‘Don’t touch it. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix,” he says. “But I think we all came in with the attitude that there were things we didn’t feel sat right in the first series so we’ve addressed those areas.”

That includes contestants voting each other out, contestants coming back into the competition once voted out (“without them earning it,” Preston says), contestants disappearing from the competition once they beat a celebrity chef and a few other key areas.

“Things like that will hopefully make it a better and more transparent show,” he says.

I think the changes will really improve the show, as savvier contestant’s this year would be forming alliances to try and vote out the stronger cooks. Also it ended up being a disadvantage for Julia Jenkins when she beat Pete Evans and was fast tracked to the final week and really into obscurity compared to the other contestants.

The Sunday Telegraph came with a special Masterchef Australia mag where they released the names of the contestants. And of course they could not resist putting in a photo of George Columbaris staring at a female contestant’s rack. Joanne Zalm 37 from NSW was the contestant who was getting this attention. Joanne who appears to be a bit like Sandra from the top 20 last year with her passion for feeding her children wholesome, healthy food.

But hopefully Joanne’s husband won’t be hitting the forums like Sandra’s did last year (I am not sure what he was saying), but Sandra did not turn up to the Masterchef Australia finale.

If you know any of the contestants email ( me and tell me how you think they will go.

The list is here:

  • Skye Craig – 35 – Art Director – Qld
  • Carrie Johnson – 34 – HR Consultant – NSW
  • Alvin Quah – 35 – Scientific Affairs Manager – NSW
  • Amanda Cummins – 51 – Teacher – TAS
  • Clair Winton Burn – 31 – Lawyer – Vic
  • Claud Barone – 48 – Town Planner – SA
  • Sharnne Rawson – 21 – Law Student – QLD
  • Callum Hann – 20 – Student – SA
  • Dom Corrigan – 46 – Charity CEO – NSW
  • Bel Erarslan – 22 – Student – NSW
  • Anthony Howell – 29 – Airline Pilot – NSW
  • Sarah Carmichael – 30 – Police Officer – Vic
  • Courtney Roulston – 29 – Bar Manager – NSW
  • Henry Cheung – 27 – Doctor – NSW
  • Michelle Lewis – 27 – Forensic Clinician – Vic
  • Daniel Aulsebrook – 31 – Recently unemployed – Vic
  • Greg Scott – 26 – Media Sales – NSW
  • Aaron Harvie -37 – Band Manager – NSW
  • Joanne Zalm- 37 – Mother – NSW
  • Jason Durward – 30 – Painter and Decorater – 30
  • Jo O’Brien – 26 – Civil Engineer – SA
  • Matthew Caldicott – 21 – Accountant – NSW (Any relation to Helen Caldicott?)
  • Mark Smith – 27 – Student – Vic
  • Kate Zahner – 28 – Mother -QLD
  • Tony Larkman – 48 – QLD – Grain Trader
  • Kate Nugara – 30 – Teacher – Teacher
  • Jonathan Daddia – 33 – Consultant – NSW
  • Marion Grasby – 27 – Student – SA
  • Nicki Tsonis – 24 – Property Valuer – SA
  • Irmgard Kastner – 67 – Vic
  • Jake Bujayer – 29 – Cement Renderer – NSW
  • Lacey Noakes – 27 – Doctor – SA
  • Jimmy Seerval – 31 – Food Ingredient Researcher (I wonder what is involved with that)- NSW
  • Devon Headland – 30 – Builder – QLD
  • Stuart Pritchard – 44 – WA – Chemical Engineer
  • Kim McGinnis – 24 – Executive Assistant – WA
  • Katie Pepper – 26 – Registered Nurse – Vic
  • Philip Vakos – 27 – Auditor – TAS
  • Peter Kritikides – 29 – Lawyer – Vic
  • Graeme Macdonald – 49 – Doctor – Qld
  • Adam Liaw – 31 – Media Lawyer – SA
  • Adele Fragnito – 49 – Hairdresser – SA
  • Justin Moran – 36 – Businessman – VIC
  • Jennifer Anne – 29 – Public Servant – Vic
  • Jackie Neill – 51 – Empty Nester – NSW
  • Jason McCloy – Game Boat Fisherman – Vic
  • Andrea Harding – 42 – Owns an advertising agency – SA
  • Richard Gunner – 37 – Cattle and Sheep Farmer – SA
  • Siobahn Halse – 31 – Personal Assistant – 31

Masterchef Australia start 19 April on Channel Ten at 7.30pm, but you already knew that didn’t you.


1 CG { 04.18.10 at 11:20 am }

Ha! Sounds like many of the changes are the things we picked up and bitched about here on RR last year. Love the change that contestants won’t be allowed to come back in to the competition “without earning it”… who is that a reference to from last year…the Im-Poh-Ster???

The list of contestants is diverse in terms of occupations and ages. But what the hell is an “empty nester” (I know what it is!)….a mother I can understand is a full-time occupation but what does an “empty nester” do?

May have to go out and buy the Sunday paper now to have a look.

2 Reality Raver { 04.18.10 at 12:28 pm }

CG – Empty Nester is now a new ambition of mine, and hopefully will get to in the next 2 decades. I suppose going on a reality show is one way of keeping yourself occupied.

Actually the mag is pretty good, has a great article about behind the scenes.

3 Injera { 04.18.10 at 1:10 pm }

The group does have a reasonably diverse age range. The majority of occupations seem to be white-collar (do people still use that term?), but I’m guessing these are occupations that have greater scope for negotiating a stretch of time off without too many career penalties. Is Richard Gunner this guy: If so, I’m following him on Twitter (@Richard_Gunner) so am going to be hoping he does really well! That’s my coupla degrees of separation.

Was going to say that the top 50 culling is likely to be a bit dull, since there has already been a bit of leakage about contestants who pulled out, but won’t go into further detail here in case others have avoided these spoilers.

I wonder if the chemical engineer will be a molecular gastronomy fan! And whether the grain trader will have the advantage when it comes to identifying minestrone ingredients.

4 bella vita { 04.18.10 at 6:24 pm }

can’t wait for it to start!

There is one guy on it that works with a relo of mine. He has been gone from work for 4 months which makes us all think he got fairly far in the comp…returned this week and hasnt said a word!!

5 Injera { 04.18.10 at 7:13 pm }

Just had a look at the pics over at the Herald-Sun and am wondering if we should read anything into the pics that don’t seem to have been taken as part of the main photo shoot. Most are similar (top 20, perhaps?), but a few are action shots, a couple have entirely different locations and one is cropped from the group shot. Hmm…

6 gluten-free { 04.18.10 at 9:12 pm }

well at least they LOOK like a better calibre of contestant.
Let’s hope with all our might that they are.
It sounds like at least they can cook!
I might watch it this year for more than a few weeks (yes, finals weeks included) if that’s the case

7 Zoe { 04.18.10 at 10:17 pm }

Marion Grasby is @hedonistichostess (hasn’t tweeted for ages, long before this started up) and has a somewhat abandoned looking blog at

I don’t know her, but have bought wine from her partner’s business Secret Vines, and he emailed around this week.

8 Reality Raver { 04.18.10 at 10:24 pm }

Zoe – Well I like Marion already just by the title of her blog!

Injera – Yes that must be Richard Gunner is. LOL I must have been one of those persons who missed the spoiler. Or I have forgotten which is not beyond the realms of possibility.

9 CG { 04.18.10 at 11:32 pm }

Injera – thanks for the link to the SH piece. OK, so I whinged about “empty nester” as an occupation….but a pet peeve of mine is anyone describing themselves as a “businessman” WTF?? And is there a set of tattooed twins? What appears to be the same bloke is photographed twice but with different first names? Agree they’ve probably messed up and we can assume persons where they have used their CV shot and/or cropped from the group photo are not in the final group. I’m already disliking Skye Moonglow (the new Im-Poh-Ster?) and the young chick from Melbourne looks like last year’s food stylist Linda. Plenty of cute birds for George by the looks of it. Enough! Must resist comparisons to last year. Unfortunately I am going to be in the air during tomorrow night’s first show. Ch10’s internet coverage was pretty good last year so I’ll have to catch up after I land. Not sure I am ready for a 5/6-day per week commitment again?

10 Reality Raver { 04.19.10 at 12:45 am }

CG – if it is good it won’ be too hard to watch it, however if the contestant’s are bad it could get a bit dull. Happy and safe flying, clearly you are nowhere near volcano area at the moment.

11 Culinary Boner { 04.19.10 at 12:16 pm }

As Injera has said, there appears to be an absence of ‘blue-collar’ types in this list.

I guess that most tradies are so busy working and making a shitload,with demand for their services continuing to skyrocket, that they’d be mad to waste their time on shows like this.

Given I’ve been trying to find a reliable handyman – one with functioning limbs who will actually turn up when agreed – for the last 6 months, I actually scanned the list in hope that one may appear. Pity I don’t need a cement renderer.

12 Culinary Boner { 04.19.10 at 2:59 pm }

having just read this:-
i’ll take back what i said about the cement renderer

13 Bee { 04.19.10 at 6:19 pm }

Billy who writes a food blog I read just posted up his process of auditioning for MC

Quite interesting to see his take and it doesn’t paint the judges in a positive light IMHO. Playing with the food & throwing it on the floor.

He has left me curious about what the ordeal within the foodblogging community is though.

14 Jel { 04.22.10 at 1:14 pm }

They say that ‘you can’t polish a turd’ but Masterchef Australia is making a valiant attempt regardless. Edge of the seat viewing it is not. Full marks to the contestants though, for putting up with the three stooges and having to stand for hours on end, clapping and smiling on cue.

15 MasterChef Fan { 04.22.10 at 9:50 pm }

Marion was a boarder at Somerville House in South Brisbane. She was one year above me.

16 Anna Muscat { 07.03.10 at 4:57 pm }

Love the show. Think Marion is wonderful, and Callum is such a lovely boy. Before everyone blows the whistle on him, he is only 20, and has alot to learn. Caalum seems to have the passion for cooking, and i wish him all the very best. I have faith in Callum, and i know i will do well in this competition and beyond.
Keep up the good work Callum, my family and i love you.

17 Anna Muscat { 07.03.10 at 5:01 pm }

I made a mistake in my last entry. I typed i will do well.
I know Callum will do well in this competition and beyond.
Sorry, about the mistake. We love you Callum, and we are all rooting for you.

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