It was in the year 1990 that the original Masterchef series hit the screens for viewers to enjoy. The first season of the cooking show was a hit, and the American version eventually made its way to television by 2010. In 2013, Masterchef Junior hit the screens, and kids took over the kitchens!
Fox took over the series, and by 2020 there are already eight seasons of the show filmed. The premise is that 24 boys and girls between 8 years old and 13 years old compete with their culinary skills. Here we tell you the details on what goes on behind the scenes!
The Kids Still Attend School
While some kids may think that being on a popular cookery show could be their ticket to stay away from school, they’re wrong! The kids cast in the culinary series aren’t out of school! The Masterchef Junior crew has put a plan together for the contestants to continue their education without disturbing the shoot. It can take weeks to film a season, and no school will allow for a child to be out of school for that long.
So classrooms are set up right next to the kitchens. This way, kids get to complete mandatory class assessments in between filming every day. The casting requirements may have kids at the Masterchef Junior kitchens for up to nine weeks. So there is a teacher available on set to help the kids with their school after the shoot.
Contestants’ Parents Are on Set as Well
Though it would make filming even more challenging, producers of Masterchef Junior have the contestants’ parents on the sets. This was because the producers thought it would place a lot of pressure on the child contestants if they were alone and away from their family. Imagine the hours of plane travel, shoot, and competing with strangers and the toll it could take on a child’s mental health!
It then actually became one of the casting requirements for a child to compete. Meaning, the child would qualify only if at least one of the parents can accompany the little one for the entire duration of the shoot. While the child was making a big-time commitment to the show, so does the parent. That’s because they will have to stay off from work for a few weeks. The inclusion of the parents does create a better atmosphere.
The Prize Money Is Outrageous
In the world of cooking shows, there is an excellent variety in the prizes and the value of prizes across the board. For example, The Great British Baking Show awards winner takes a trophy and a cake stand home. However, Masterchef awards winners a hefty $250K as the prize money! The prize money for winning MasterChef Junior is also a very handsome figure, standing at a grand $100K!
There’s a lot a contestant between the age of 8 to 13 can do with it! The catch is, the winner of the $100K gets the prize money in a check form. This means he/she can encash it only when they turn 18.
Gordon Ramsay Isn’t the Monster You Would Expect
Gordon Ramsay is famous for his blatant attitude, blunt critique, and his temper. Viewers have witnessed a lot of fire from Gordon Ramsay over the shows Hell’s Kitchen and even in MasterChef. However, that’s not the case with the MasterChef Junior, as Ramsay is a shocker!
Ramsay displays that he has a genuine caring side to him in MasterChef Junior. He provides the contestants with a lot of constructive feedback. He even hugs the kids if they’re having a long day! He loves joking, and the kids think he is fantastic!
The Kids Are More Careful Than the Adults!
A cooking show is about lots of food preparation and cooking, right? This means lots of sharp objects like scissors, knives, graters, hot stoves, and ovens. It might seem like a perfect recipe for disaster to see kids using these tools under pressure and time constraints. However, that’s far from the truth. Things are smooth on the MasterChef Junior. According to producers, the kids tend to injure themselves a lot less than the adult contestants on MasterChef! Besides, they have skilled medics on set at all times!
So the next time you are sitting back and enjoying an episode of MasterChef Junior, you’ll know a lot more about what’s going on! And that might make you enjoy the show a little more than you usually do. Happy viewing!