MasterChef Junior is an American cooking competition involving children from the ages of 8–13 and airs on Fox. It premiered on Friday, September 27, 2013. It is based on the format of the U.K. series Junior MasterChef.
|Based on||Junior MasterChef|
|Written by||Robin Ashbrook|
|No. of seasons||7|
|No. of episodes||79|
|Production company(s)||One Potato Two Potato|
Endemol Shine North America
|Original release||September 27, 2013 –|
On March 5, 2014, MasterChef Junior was renewed for a third season before production on season two began. The second season premiered on November 4, 2014. The third season premiered on January 6, 2015. The fourth season premiered on November 6, 2015. The fifth season premiered on February 9, 2017. The sixth season premiered on March 2, 2018. On February 13, 2019, it was announced that the seventh season would premiere with a two-episode special on March 12, 2019, with the judges being Gordon Ramsay, Christina Tosi, and Aarón Sanchez.
- 1 Format
- 2 Series overview
- 3 Development
- 4 Season synopsis
- 5 Television ratings
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Any child between ages eight and thirteen can apply to become a contestant on the series by applying online or by going to an open casting call. The contestants are announced through a variety of methods over the years, sometimes via competitions, or sometimes the top contestants are simply announced.
As in its parent show MasterChef, the following challenges have all been regularly featured on the show:
- Skills Test: Cooks are challenged to perform a list of common cooking techniques or styles, or to replicate a particular cooking method of a dish (i.e. steaks done to an exact wellness). This type of test is also sometimes used as an Elimination Test.
- Mystery Box: Cooks are all given a box with the same ingredients and must use only those ingredients to create a dish within a fixed amount of time. The judges will select three dishes based on visual appearance and technique alone to taste, and from these three select one winner who usually gains an advantage of some type in the elimination test.
- Elimination Test: After the challenge is explained, judges evaluate all dishes based on taste and visual appeal. The judges nominate the worst dishes for elimination and criticize them before eliminating at least one contestant.
- Team Challenge: The cooks are split into teams by either team captains or the judges. They often occur in a restaurant takeover or pop-up restaurant taking the place of the staff of a particular restaurant. Diners taste both meals and vote for their favorite. The winning team advances, while the losing team will participate in the Pressure Test.
- Pressure Test: Another form of the Elimination Test, in which losing team members compete against each other to make a standard dish within a very limited amount of time that requires a great degree of cooking finesse. Each dish is judged on taste, visual appeal and technique, and the losing chef is eliminated.
Once the competition is reduced to either the final two or three competitors, the finalists will compete against each other in a three-course cook-off. All courses of the meal are judged and an overall winner is crowned. The winner of each season wins $100,000, the MasterChef Junior trophy. and the title of MasterChef Junior. Some seasons have also added other prizes.
|Season premiere||Season finale||Winner||Runner(s)-up|
|1||7||September 27, 2013||November 28, 2013||12||Alexander Weiss||Dara Yu||Gordon Ramsay||Graham Elliot||Joe Bastianich|
|2||November 4, 2014||December 16, 2014||16||Logan Guleff||Samuel Stromberg|
|3||8||January 6, 2015||February 24, 2015||19||Nathan Odom||Andrew Zappley|
|4||12||November 6, 2015||January 29, 2016||24||Addison Osta Smith||Avery Kyle||Christina Tosi|
|5||15||February 9, 2017||May 18, 2017||20||Jasmine Stewart||Justise Mayberry||Guest judges|
|6||March 2, 2018||May 18, 2018||24||Beni Cwiakala||Avery Meadows
& Quani Fields
|7||March 12, 2019||June 4, 2019||Che Spiotta||Ivy Angst
& Malia Brauer
|Title||Original air date||U.S. viewers (millions)|
|"An Extra Serving"||April 27, 2017||2.65|
|Gordon Ramsay recaps the events of the past five seasons; moments from past seasons, as well as never-before-seen bloopers, were shown; contestants from seasons 1–3 talked about the events in the years since they competed; Ramsay talks with the previous winners.|
|"The Road to the Finale"||May 15, 2018||1.74|
|Gordon Ramsay takes a look back at the events of season 6 along with some clips and bloopers, and shows some of the audition videos submitted for the show. The three finalists challenge Ramsay to cook their three favorite dishes in 30 minutes while they force him to switch from one dish to another. In the end, the kids playfully "eliminate" Ramsay.|
|"Celebrity Showdown"||November 22, 2018||5.31|
|This two-hour special is hosted by Gordon Ramsay and Aarón Sanchez and teams celebrities up with past contestants and other kids in competitions. The first battle is between Eric Stonestreet and season 5 contestant Shayne Wells against Terrence Howard and season 6 finalist Avery Meadows in a Mystery Box challenge where they have one hour to cook a meal featuring nuts. Terrance and Avery win the challenge. The second battle is between Alyson Hannigan and her nine-year-old daughter Saty against Lil Rel Howery and his nine-year-old daughter Brittni where the teams must replicate a party platter of appetizers in one hour, and it will be a tag team battle where the parents first cook for twenty minutes, the kids then cook for twenty minutes, and then they cook together for twenty minutes. Alyson and Saty win the challenge. The third battle is between Emmitt Smith and season 6 winner Beni Cwiakala against Jerry Rice and season 4 winner Addison Osta Smith where the teams must cook a meal for a group of military members, doctors, nurses, and first responders in 60 minutes. Aarón joins up with Emmett and Beni while Gordon joins up with Jerry and Addison, while the judges will be the diners themselves and Lidia Bastianich. Emmett, Beni and Aarón win this challenge. All winning celebrities received $25,000 for their favorite charity, while the other celebrities received $15,000 for their charity.|
|"The Road to the Finale (2019)"||May 28, 2019||1.94|
|Much like the Season 6 special, Gordon Ramsay takes a look back at the events of season 7 along with some clips and bloopers, and shows some of the audition videos submitted for the show. The three finalists get dedicated segments on their respective backgrounds, and Ramsay gets to dump cream and cocoa on them.|
Like its adult counterpart, at its inception MasterChef Junior was judged by Gordon Ramsay, Joe Bastianich and Graham Elliot. Bastianich did not return for the show's fourth season, being replaced by prominent pastry chef Christina Tosi. Elliot did not return for the show's fifth season, and a series of rotating guest judges served for the third judge. For the sixth season, Bastianich returned to his judging position. In the seventh season, Bastianich left again and was replaced by Aarón Sanchez, who was one of the guest judges in season 5 as well as a judge on the adult MasterChef.
Fox placed casting calls for participants in January 2013. Fox officially ordered the series (then under the name Junior MasterChef) on May 10, 2013. The name was later changed to MasterChef Junior. There were concerns that Ramsay's style of cursing at the contestants on his other competition shows (most notably Hell's Kitchen and the adult MasterChef) would carry over to MasterChef Junior. It did not. One contestant (named Gavin) said that Ramsay had only cursed twice during the production of the series and never at the contestants. In the final editing, he cursed once in front of (but not at) the contestants.
Season 1 (2013)Edit
The first season premiered on September 27, 2013, with chefs Gordon Ramsay, Graham Elliot and Joe Bastianich acting as the judges.
The winner of MasterChef Junior season 1 was Alexander Weiss, a thirteen-year-old from New York City.
Season 2 (2014)Edit
The second season premiered on November 4, 2014, with chefs Gordon Ramsay, Graham Elliot and Joe Bastianich again acting as the judges.
The winner of MasterChef Junior season 2 was Logan Guleff, an eleven-year-old from Memphis, Tennessee.
Season 3 (2015)Edit
The third season premiered on January 6, 2015, with chefs Gordon Ramsay, Graham Elliot and Joe Bastianich once again acting as the judges.
The winner of MasterChef Junior season 3 was Nathan Odom, a twelve-year-old from San Diego, California.
Season 4 (2015–16)Edit
The fourth season premiered on November 6, 2015, with chefs Gordon Ramsay, Graham Elliot and Christina Tosi acting as the judges.
The winner of MasterChef Junior season 4 was Addison Smith, a nine-year-old from River Forest, Illinois.
Season 5 (2017)Edit
The winner of MasterChef Junior season 5 was Jasmine Stewart, an eleven-year-old from Milton, Georgia. She is the first previously eliminated contestant to win the competition.
Season 6 (2018)Edit
The sixth season premiered on March 2, 2018, with returning chefs Gordon Ramsay and Christina Tosi acting as the judges, along with returning judge Joe Bastianich as the third judge.
The winner of MasterChef Junior season 6 was Beni Cwiakala, a nine-year-old from Chicago, Illinois.
Season 7 (2019)Edit
The seventh season premiered on March 12, 2019, with returning chefs Gordon Ramsay and Christina Tosi acting as the judges, along with returning judge Aarón Sanchez as the third judge.
The winner of MasterChef Junior season 7 was Che Spiotta, a twelve-year-old from Boiceville, New York.
Seasonal rankings (based on average total viewers per episode) of MasterChef Junior on Fox.
- Each US network TV season starts in late September and ends in late May, which coincides with the completion of May sweeps.
|Season||Timeslot (ET)||Number of Episodes||Premiere||Finale||TV Season||Season ranking||Season viewers|
|1||Friday 8:00 PM||7||September 27, 2013||4.29||November 8, 2013||4.14||2013–14||83||5.56|
|2||Tuesday 8:00 PM||November 4, 2014||5.09||December 16, 2014||5.66||2014–15||89||6.30|
|3||8||January 6, 2015||5.33||February 24, 2015||4.83|
|4||Friday 8:00 PM||12||November 6, 2015||4.16||January 29, 2016||4.75||2015–16||81||5.67|
|5||Thursday 8:00 PM||15||February 9, 2017||4.21||May 18, 2017||3.52||2016–17||97||4.57|
|6||Friday 8:00 PM||March 2, 2018||3.40||May 18, 2018||3.32||2017–18||114||4.33|
|7||Tuesday 8:00 PM||March 12, 2019||2.82||June 4, 2019||3.27||2018–19|
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