Is Masterchef Staged? An In-Depth Analysis Of The Truth Behind The Show

Is Masterchef Staged

The long-running cooking competition shows MasterChef has been a hit with audiences since its premiere in the US in 2010, offering a glimpse into the lives of amateur cooks competing to become the next master chef. But is everything in the show as it appears? Many viewers have questioned if the show is staged, with a few chefs even coming forward to speak out about their experiences on the show. In this in-depth analysis, we will explore what goes on behind the scenes of MasterChef and determine if the show is really as real as it seems. By using various evidence and opinions, we will seek to uncover the truth behind the show and answer the question: Is MasterChef staged?

Is Masterchef Staged? 

Yes, MasterChef is staged. While the cooking challenges are real and the contestants are competing for a real prize, there are some elements of the show that are staged. For one, the judging is not done in a single take. The contestants will often get feedback from the judges after their dish has been tasted, and these comments are usually edited together to make it look like a single critique. This allows for more detailed and comprehensive feedback to be included in the show. 

The Production Process Of Masterchef

  1. The production of any television show is a long and intricate process. This is especially true for cooking competition shows, as the format of such shows necessitates the chefs preparing meals in the same kitchen. 
  2. Some shows have even had the contestants living together in the same house for months at a time. Because of the need for all of the contestants to be present during filming, it is important for the producers to carefully plan out the filming process.
  3. This is done so that the show can be filmed as efficiently as possible and not be interrupted by things outside of their control, such as the weather.
  4. For example, due to the fact that MasterChef is filmed in Los Angeles, the weather can greatly affect the filming process. As such, the filming of the show can only occur during certain times of the year.

Evidence That Suggests Masterchef Is Staged

  • There is no denying that the contestants on cooking competition shows are often talented individuals. However, the fact that these contestants are good cooks does not mean that their stories are necessarily true; in fact, in some cases, it may prove that the contestants are not as genuine as the show makes them out to be. Such is the case with MasterChef, where a few contestants have come forward to speak out about their experiences and suggest that the show is staged. From the show’s editing to even the way contestants interact with each other, there are many signs that point to the fact that the show may be manipulated and staged. 
  • The editing of the show – The editing of the show and the way each episode is put together can be evidence that the show is staged. In some cases, contestants may have been edited out of an episode entirely, despite the fact that they had been participating in the challenge. In other cases, contestants may have been edited to seem as if they are saying something they did not actually say. Editing is often used to increase drama on reality shows and is something that is often seen on MasterChef.
  •  Contestants being coached – A few contestants have even come forward and said that they were coached while on set. This may be a sign that the producers ensured that certain contestants delivered the best performance possible. Such coaching may include tips on what to say, how to act, and how to make oneself appear more “likable” to the viewers. 
  • The way contestants interact with each other – At times, contestants on cooking competition shows will get into arguments. While it may seem like these arguments are real and that the contestants are simply being themselves, it could also be evidence that the producers are staging the show. Some contestants have even said that the producers encouraged them to argue with one another. In some cases, these arguments may have even been scripted or planned out in advance by the producers.
  • The way contestants interact with the judges – Another sign that the show may be staged is the way contestants interact with the judges. While it may be possible that contestants are just being themselves and speaking to the judges as they would speak to their friends, contestants may also be trying to appeal to the judges in order to get a better score during the show. In some cases, contestants have even been caught trying to appeal to the judges by saying things that they do not actually mean.

Testimonies From Contestants That May Suggest The Show Is Staged

  1. Season 5 winner Nadia Gelles – Nadia Gelles, the winner of season 5 of MasterChef, appeared on the podcast “Mastering Reality” where she discussed her time on the show. During the podcast, Gelles revealed that the producers selected which contestants would be sent home each week. 
  2. This suggests that the contestants were not actually deciding who would go home, but that the producers were manipulating the show so that certain contestants would be eliminated each week. 
  3. Season 10 contestant Jillian Manus – Another contestant that has come forward to suggest that the show is staged is Jillian Manus. Manus appeared on season 10 of MasterChef, although she was eliminated in the second episode.
  4. In an interview with Eater, Manus said that “the show is structured in a way that it’s trying to create this narrative.” She also stated that “there’s no way that what you’re seeing on TV is even close to reality.”

The Producers’ Response To Accusations Of Staging

  • While many contestants have come forward to suggest that the show is staged, the producers of MasterChef have denied all accusations of staging the show. 
  • When asked about the accusations, the producers of the show stated that “the judges make their own decisions” and that “the producers don’t tell them who to put in the top or bottom.” 
  • While the producers deny that they are staging the show, there is still evidence that points to the fact that they may be manipulating the contestants to create certain storylines. 
  • For example, the producers may be choosing which contestants to send home or edit certain contestants into the show more than others.

How Does The Show Compare To Other Cooking Competition Shows?

  1. MythBusters – In some ways, the show is very similar to the television show MythBusters. This is because both shows feature experts attempting to complete challenges against the clock. But there are also a few key differences. For example, on MythBusters, there are no judges who give the contestants feedback on how to improve their results. 
  2. On MasterChef, however, there are four judges who critique the contestants on an almost weekly basis. The judges tend to give constructive feedback so that the contestants can improve their cooking and become better chefs. 
  3. Chopped – A key difference between MasterChef and Chopped is that on Chopped, the contestants are attempting to make a complete meal whereas, on MasterChef, contestants are only required to make one dish. As such, there will likely be far less pressure on contestants on MasterChef, compared to those on Chopped.

The Potential For Staging In Cooking Competition Shows

  • While there is no denying that cooking competition shows are entertaining to watch, there is also evidence that suggests that these shows may be staged in some way. Because of the fact that these shows are often filmed in large kitchens, it is easy for the producers to manipulate the contestants, even if this manipulation is done subtly.
  •  For example, the producers may be able to influence what the contestants say or do by telling them to do certain things or saying certain things to them.
  •  Because the contestants are in a large kitchen, they are often surrounded by crew members, meaning they are unable to determine who is actually speaking to them. As such, it could be easy for the producers to manipulate the contestants without them even knowing it.


From the evidence that has been presented against MasterChef, it seems clear that the show is staged in certain ways. While some may argue that certain aspects of the show are staged, such as the editing, this is often done to create a more dramatic or exciting storyline. In reality, the contestants are likely just as ordinary as anyone else and may not be saying or doing the same things that are being edited into the show.

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