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[04/30/13 - 11:00 AM]
"MasterChef" Cooks Up Two-Hour Season Premiere Event Wednesday, May 22, on FOX
This season will feature contestants representing 26 states from all walks of life.

[via press release from FOX]

"MASTERCHEF" COOKS UP TWO-HOUR SEASON PREMIERE EVENT WEDNESDAY, MAY 22, ON FOX

NATIONWIDE SEARCH BRINGS BEST HOME COOKS TO LOS ANGELES TO COMPETE FOR THE "MASTERCHEF" TITLE

Top Finalists Revealed Wednesday, May 29

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 on Wednesday, 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.

Below are the hometowns, names and professions of the Top Home Cooks who participated in the MASTERCHEF auditions:

State/Hometown Name Profession

Alabama Birmingham Ilona Barrett Architect Tuscaloosa Sasha Foxx Singer/Chanteuse

California Banning Rebecca O'Connor Animal Trainer Chula Vista Gabriella Arjona Loan Officer Jorge Cristo Food Runner Escondido Mark Oberle Software Engineer La Jolla Eli Moeller Financial Advisor Los Angeles Zuleika Hasbrouck Cosmetics Company Owner Palm Springs Christopher Simon Food Server San Diego Lynn Chyi IT Systems Administrator Natasha Crnjac Stay-At-Home Mom Christine Kim Bakery Assistant Rudy Reyes Archaeologist Howard Simpson Bar Back Ayla Skye CEO of Health Company Savannah Sturges Special Ed. Teacher San Francisco Paulina Farro Flight Attendant Andrew Keller Construction Project Manager San Jose Elden McFeron Patent Engineer Solvang Blake Fowler Ostrich Farmer Stockton Chan Heu Graduate Student Topanga Henrik Jakobsson Music Composer Van Nuys Nancy Nester Singer West Covina Laloni Harris Cashier Westminster Alex Kemp Student

Connecticut New Canaan Shawnee Knight Stay-At-Home Mom Stamford Doug Miriello Bar Back

Florida Tallahassee Erin Burnside Flavor Scientist

Georgia Americus Eddie Jackson Personal Trainer Marietta Andrea Plichta Acupuncturist/Herbalist Social Circle Jessie Lysiak Yacht Stewardess

Hawaii Laie Kalaokahaku "Kevin" Miller Fashion Retailer

Idaho Boise Carl Wippert Data Entry Specialist

Illinois Aurora Rim Zivalich U.S. Army National Guard Soldier Chicago Thao "Duckie" Huynh Nail Technician Reina Martinez Bikini Waxer Kevin Tindell Pastor Long Grove Maya Parekh Attorney Peoria Heights Julie Gibson Personal Assistant Wauconda Jeremy Lewis A/C Salesman

Massachusetts Cambridge Malcolm Green Unemployed Paul Yuan Math Student Lawrence Dawn Hunt Small Business Owner Lincoln Abby Wolf Farmer Marlboro Jonny Blanchard Carpenter Taunton Bime Cruz Health Care Professional/Boxing Coach

Michigan Detroit Dahlia Abrams Unemployed

Minnesota Anoka Country James Blesi Motorcycle Mechanic Bloomington Liyah Sangathit Debt Collector Minneapolis Marie Porter Writer Jordan Roots Delivery Driver St. Paul Nick Garcia Day Laborer Vadnais Heights Joan Webb Government Accountant Clerk

Mississippi Columbus Seonkyoung Longest Housewife

Nevada Reno Rachel Jessee Fire Performer

New Jersey Jersey City Kristine Kennedy Insurance Underwriter Verona Joelle DeNotaris Student

New York Astoria Luca Manfe Restaurant Manager Brooklyn Wanda Allende-Ortiz Retired Teacher Bronx Mike Bernardi Construction Manager Kathy Prieto Office Assistant Ithaca Brian Baum IT Consultant New York Adriana Guillen College Admissions Representative Queens Chris Ciccone ER Nursing Assistant Staten Island Damian Stapelkamp Wrestler Washington Heights Mitchell Watson Former Pro-Basketball Player Westhampton Beach Bill Ciraco Wall Street Trader

North Carolina Raleigh Shaun Jay Magician Wilkesboro Steven Smith Welder

Ohio Akron Tori Cunningham High School Student Cleveland Mark Famiano Firefighter Dean Karadimas Web Designer James Ladd Retail Manager Cuyahoga Falls Jenn Thomas-Pallotta Front-Of-House Manager Kettering Sheena Hetzel Armored Truck Messenger Strongsville George Mastrosavas Real Estate Investor Jennifer Thornton Olive Oil Specialist

Oregon Estacada Bethy Rossos High School P.E. Teacher Portland Monica Watson Model

Pennsylvania Blue Bell Grace Chen Biochemist Doylestown Bri Kozior Theatre Assistant Philadelphia Krissi Biasiello Paralegal State College Seymira Salamy Kinesiology Student

South Carolina Fort Mill Carrie Peterson Airline Pilot

Texas Irving Matthew Orsini Auditor Terrell Brian Kohler Stay-At-Home Dad Victoria James Nelson Retail Sales

Tennessee Chattanooga Beth Kirby Writer/Photographer Nashville Nanci Filipelli Sportscaster/Model

Utah Ogden Alexandra Jones Stay-At-Home Mom

Virginia Blacksburg Dennis Hong Robot Scientist and Professor

Virgin Islands St. Croix Olga George News Assignment Editor

Washington Seattle Zach Wilson Digital Phone Specialist

Wisconsin Dousman Steve Schafer Construction Worker Milwaukee Kevin Radanovich Carpenter

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.





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· MASTERCHEF (FOX)









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