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FOX's MASTERCHEF Season 4 Premieres Tonight
Award-winning chef Gordon Ramsay, restaurateur Joe Bastianich and acclaimed chef Graham Elliot return for Season Four of the culinary SMASH hit MASTERCHEF with a two-hour season premiere tonight, May 22 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.More hopefuls than ever before auditioned at MASTERCHEF's open casting calls in Boston, MA; Chicago, IL; Cleveland, OH; Dallas, TX; Los Angeles, CA; Miami, FL; Minneapolis, MN; Nashville, TN; New York, NY; Portland, OR; and San Diego, CA to prove they have what it takes to make a mark on the culinary world. Only one hopeful will join Season Three winner Christine Ha, the first-ever blind contestant; Season Two winner Jennifer Behm; and Season One winner Whitney Miller in the elite group of MASTERCHEF titleholders. The best home cooks in America were flown to Los Angeles to present their signature dishes to the judges and the chance to compete for the coveted title of MASTERCHEF, a cookbook deal and the $250,000 grand prize. This season will feature contestants representing 26 states from all walks of life- including an archaeologist, a high school gym teacher, a former pro-football player, a biochemist, a student, a firefighter, a paralegal and a delivery driver - all with the hopes of turning their culinary dreams into reality. In the premiere episode, the hopefuls will prepare their signature dishes and present them to the distinguished MASTERCHEF judging panel: Ramsay (Gordon Ramsay Steak, Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill), Bastianich (Del Posto, Osteria Mozza) and Elliot (Graham Elliot, g.e.b.). The judges will taste for flavor, creativity and presentation. In order to earn a coveTEd White apron and move to the next round, the home cooks must have an immense passion for food and be determined to win. Above all, they must convince the judges - who will taste for flavor, creativity and presentation - that they have the potential to out-cook all their rivals. The auditions continue Wednesday, May 29 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT), as the judges winnow down the competition by granting white aprons to the best home cooks. Only 40 hopefuls will move onto the next round and compete in an intense lamb challenge. By the end of the episode, only the top home cooks who impress the judges will advance to the MASTERCHEF kitchen and compete to become America's next MASTERCHEF. MASTERCHEF is produced by Shine America and One Potato Two Potato, and is based on a format created by Franc Roddam and Shine. Shine International handles distribution for the MASTERCHEF format. Elisabeth Murdoch, Eden Gaha, Paul Franklin, Robin Ashbrook, Gordon Ramsay, Adeline Ramage Rooney, Patricia Llewellyn and Ben Adler serve as executive producers. "Like" MASTERCHEF on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MasterChef. Follow the series on Twitter @MASTERCHEFonFOX and join the discussion at #masterchef. About One Potato Two Potato: One Potato Two Potato (OPTP) was co-founded by Gordon Ramsay and Optomen Television in 2008 to exclusively create and produce worldwide content for Ramsay ventures across all media, including television, digital and publishing. Renowned for award-winning original programming, the company produces high-quality TV shows on both sides of the Atlantic, including the smash-hit HOTEL HELL, which was the highest-rated new network show of summer 2012 (OPTP is now in pre-production on Season Two); and four seasons of MASTERCHEF, all for FOX; "Food Court Wars" for Food Network; massive U.K. hit "Gordon Ramsay Behind Bars" and "Gordon's Great Escape" for Channel 4; and "My Kitchen" for UKTV's Good Food Channel. Ramsay's groundbreaking Channel 4 series, "Cookalong Live," aired as a special on FOX and has since become a successful format around the world. OPTP is also currently in development on several exciting unscripted and scripted projects, within and beyond the food genre, for network, cable and digital platforms in the U.S., U.K. and Australia. OPTP distributes its hugely popular TV programming and formats to more than 200 territories via Optomen International. The company became part of the All3Media group in 2010. Find out more about One Potato Two Potato at www.onepotatotwopotato.tv. About Shine America: Shine America is a world leader in producing and distributing compelling scripted and unscripted television and digital content. Shine America is known for popular and award-winning original series, including "The Biggest Loser" and "The Face"; as well as adaptations of Shine Group formats, such as MASTERCHEF and "Minute to Win It"; and scripted series, including "The Office" and the upcoming FX drama "The Bridge." Shine America has development deals with some of the top producers in television, including Nigel Lythgoe (Nigel Lythgoe Productions) and its own unscripted format label in Ardaban, led by the creators of the hit Food Network series, "Chopped." Shine Latino, a new division of Shine America, is producing and distributing original Spanish-language content to the U.S. and Latin American marketplaces. The global Shine 360? division builds brands through the leveraging of its intellectual property and by creating integrated marketing opportunities for advertisers. The company has also developed more than 20 groundbreaking original online series on MSN, Yahoo!, Youtube premium channels and other platforms, many produced in partnership with global brands such as Walmart, Toyota, Kraft Foods, Subway and Microsoft. Through Shine Group's distribution arm, Shine International, Shine America distributes its extensive library of programming and formats to more than 150 countries. Visit www.shineamerica.com for further information.