For the First Time Ever, The Judges Battle It Out on Season Nine of MASTERCHEF, Premiering 5/30

For the First Time Ever, The Judges Battle It Out on Season Nine of MASTERCHEF, Premiering 5/30

In a MASTERCHEF kitchen first, the judges will do battle when Season Nine of MASTERCHEF premieres Wednesday, May 30 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. For the first time ever, the judges - host and award-winning chef Gordon Ramsay, acclaimed chef Aarón Sánchez and renowned restaurateur Joe Bastianich - will choose their favorite home cooks and mentor them throughout the competition. Another all-new two-hour episode of MASTERCHEF airs Wednesday, June 6 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT). Then, the series makes its time period premiere on Wednesday, June 13 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT), followed by the series premiere of GORDON RAMSAY'S 24 HOURS TO HELL AND BACK (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT).

In the season premiere, the nation's best home cooks travel to Los Angeles to compete for a spot in the Top 24. That's when the twist kicks in: the judges each will have eight aprons to hand out to the home cooks whom they deem worthy - and they will then mentor those contestants throughout the competition. However, as in all prior seasons, only one home cook will claim the MASTERCHEF title and the $250,000 grand prize.

Hopefuls auditioned at MASTERCHEF's open casting calls in Chicago, IL; Atlanta, GA; Raleigh, NC; Phoenix, AZ; New York, NY; Miami, FL; Houston, TX; Philadelphia, PA; Las Vegas, NV; Nashville, TN; and Los Angeles, CA, to prove they have the culinary skills to be the next MASTERCHEF. Only one talented home cook will join MASTERCHEF winners Dino Luciano (Season Eight); Shaun O'Neale (Season Seven); Claudia Sandoval (Season Six); Courtney Lapresi (Season Five); Luca Manfe (Season Four); Christine Ha (Season Three), the first-ever blind contestant; Jennifer Behm (Season Two); and Whitney Miller (Season One) in the elite group of MASTERCHEF titleholders.

Below are the hometowns, names and professions of the Home Cooks who will participate in the MASTERCHEF Battle for a White Apron:

State/Hometown Name Profession

Alabama
Slapout Jessica Meuse Country Singer

Arizona
Peoria Darrick Krause Engineer

California
Los Angeles S.J. College Student Sal Maida Architect
San Francisco Imani Browning Server
Sylmar Cynthia Smith-Allen Bey Accounting Assistant

Cayman Islands
Nik Stewart Model

China
Tianjin Bowen Li Pilot

Florida
Miami Shanika Patterson Event Promoter Sid Hoeltzell Food Photographer
Opa-Locka Ashley Mincey Professional Grocery Shopper

Georgia
Atlanta Camerron Dangerfield Financial Analyst

Illinois
Chicago Farhan Momin Dental Student Julia Danno Sales Manager

Iowa
Iowa City Matt Houck Optometrist
West Des Moines Samantha Daily College Student

Kentucky
Louisville Gerron Hurt English Teacher

Louisiana
Shreveport Mark Myers Jr. Firefighter

Maine
Rockport Mark Ingraham Dishwasher

Maryland
Laurel Tye Hall Brown Associate Professor

Massachusetts
Orange Lindsay Haigh Trial Attorney

Michigan
Grand Rapids Alecia Winters Daycare Owner

Nevada
Las Vegas Jannie Lam Cocktail Server

New Jersey
Cherry Hill Stephanie Willis Bartender

New York
Brooklyn Maya Rose Lederer Personal Assistant
Mamaroneck Daniela Savone ESL Teacher
Westchester Frank Tufano Bartender

North Carolina
Clayton Hope McFarland Health Care Administrator
Four Oaks Jody Rhodes Hunting Guide
Raleigh Juni Cuevas Disability Analyst

South Carolina
Columbia Olusola Ogbomo Bus Driver

South AFRICA
Butterworth Markheavens Tshuma Retail Manager

Tennessee
Nashville Mark Medlin Business Owner

Texas
Austin Chera Lynn Little Realtor
Houston Cesar Cano High School Teacher Chelsea Sargent Sales Specialist Ralph Xavier Degala Senior Accountant Ryan Cortez Taylor Waltmon Drummer Sales Training Director
San Antonio Jason Beauchamp Business Owner
Orlando Velasquez Family & Criminal Law

Virginia
Fairfax Eric Clingan Criminal Defense Attorney

Wisconsin
Neenah Emily Hallock Food Research Analyst

MASTERCHEF is produced by Endemol Shine NORTH AMERICA and One Potato Two Potato, and is based on a format created by Franc Roddam and Endemol Shine. Robin Ashbrook, Elisabeth Murdoch, Georgie Hurford-Jones, Gordon Ramsay, Danny Schrader, Yasmin Shackleton, Patricia Llewellyn and Ben Adler serve as executive producers. "Like" MASTERCHEF on Facebook at facebook.com/Masterchef/. Follow the series on Twitter @MasterChefonFOX and join the discussion with #MasterChef. See photos and videos on Instagram @MasterchefonFOX. Follow the judges on Twitter: Gordon Ramsay - @gordonramsay; Aarón Sánchez - @Chef_Aaron; Joe Bastianich - @JBastianich.

ABOUT ENDEMOL SHINE NORTH AMERICA

Endemol Shine NORTH AMERICA delivers world-class content and compelling storytelling to multiple platforms in the U.S. and across the globe. Endemol Shine NORTH AMERICA is part of Endemol Shine Group, the global content creator, producer and distributor with a diverse portfolio of companies that are behind some of the most prominent hit television formats and series in the world. Its Endemol Shine Latino division oversees all Spanish and Portuguese-language operations across Latin America, including newly launched studio Endemol Shine Boomdog, which produces original content for both the U.S. Hispanic and Mexican markets. Subsidiary production companies include Authentic Entertainment, Truly Original and 51 Minds Entertainment. Endemol Shine Group's companies in NORTH AMERICA are behind such hit series as "Big Brother" (CBS), "Ink Master" (Spike), "Kingdom" (AT&T Audience Network), MASTERCHEF (FOX), MASTERCHEF JUNIOR (FOX), "Swamp People" (History), "The Real Housewives of Atlanta" (Bravo), "T.I. & Tiny: THE FAMILY Hustle" (VH1), "Steve Austin's Broken Skull Challenge" (CMT), "Page Six TV" (Syndicated), "Billion Dollar Buyer" (CNBC), "Fear Factor" (MTV), "Best.Cover.Ever." (YouTube), "I'm Dying Up Here" (Showtime), "Trading Spaces" (TLC) and upcoming "Deal or No Deal" (CNBC) and "Utopia" (Amazon).

ABOUT STUDIO RAMSAY

The next-generation multi-media production company STUDIO RAMSAY has a joint venture with All3Media to develop and produce both unscripted and scripted television shows, creating new formats and innovative programming that includes a scripted arm focused on food-related themes, and development of new talent on a global front. The catalogue of programs that Gordon Ramsay has worked on historically with All3Media via One Potato Two Potato, together with new original content he's currently developing, make for a unique and dynamic production and distribution partnership. Studio Ramsay's first production, THE F WORD WITH GORDON RAMSAY, premiered live this past summer in the U.S. on FOX. Its first daytime cooking series, CULINARY GENIUS, premiered in the spring on ITV in the U.K. and was Syndicated on FOX stations in the U.S. this summer, while his new documentary series, "Gordon on Cocaine," for ITV, premiered this fall. Seasons Three and Four of "Matilda And The Ramsay Bunch," starring Tilly Ramsay, for U.K. children's channel CBBC, are also produced by STUDIO RAMSAY. Renowned for highly successful and award-winning original programming, Emmy-nominated, multi-Michelin star chef Gordon Ramsay produces TV shows on both sides of the Atlantic seen by audiences worldwide, including his FOX shows, THE F WORD WITH GORDON RAMSAY, GORDON RAMSAY'S 24 HOURS TO HELL AND BACK, MASTERCHEF, MASTERCHEF JUNIOR, HELL'S KITCHEN and MASTERCHEF CELEBRITY SHOWDOWN, as well as Bravo's "Best New Restaurant" and Food Network's competition series "Food Court Wars." In the U.K., he's produced "Gordon Ramsay Behind Bars" and "Gordon Ramsay's Great Escape" for Channel 4; food BIOGRAPHY and nostalgia series "My Kitchen" for UKTV's Good Food Channel; two instructional cookery series, "Ultimate Home Cooking" and "Ultimate Cookery Course" for Channel 4; and "Matilda And The Ramsay Bunch," all under his One Potato Two Potato banner.

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