Get ready food lovers, MasterChefCanada is set to return for its third season. The show will test the skills and expertise of the talented home cooks who get ready to step out of their homes and into the spotlight of the MasterChefCanada Kitchen. The reality food series will return to CTV on Sunday, Feb. 14 at 7 p.m. as contestants compete to prepare signature dishes for judges Michael Bonacini, Alvin Leung and Claudio Aprile. Also at stake is a $100,000 cash prize and the title of Canada’s next MasterChef.
The premiere episode will follow national auditions as Canada’s most promising home cooks must prepare their signature dishes for the judges. In a new addition to this season, each home cook will require a ‘yes’ from the judges in order to receive an apron, making it harder than ever to get into the Top 14. MasterChefCanada executive producer Cathie James spoke exclusively with The TV Junkies about the upcoming season. The Proper Television Vice-President and Creative Director provided some insight into Season 3’s changes and why this year may be the show’s best yet.
The talent is better than ever
“Every season the home cooks that apply get better and better,” says James, before adding that “I think people who watch the show will really be blown away by the caliber of cooking because it’s higher than it’s ever been before.” She thinks the greater talent level will really surprise some viewers. “These are amateur cooks with no professional training. You’ll be astounded at what they are able to do,” previews James. “They might be your pharmacist, or your babysitter or your next door neighbor, but they are extraordinary. As someone who is not a good cook it’s very inspiring,” she says.
It’s about developing that talent
James said that unlike some other reality shows, MasterChef Canada is not “about exploiting people or showing them at their worst.” While she does admit they put contestants in “an incredibly pressured situation and character points arise from that,” that “at its core, MasterChef is about developing and celebrating real talent in the same way that a show like The Voice or Project Runway does.”
There’s a pressure to make each season different
Making each season of MasterChef different from that last is definitely “the hardest part of the job,” says James. Since it’s been done many times before and in many countries, there is “something in its DNA that really does make it work, if you can cast it properly and bring the right talent to the table,” she says. That being said, James did preview that the show’s producers do want “to keep refreshing it and you do have to keep finding challenges that are going to resonate with people and show these home cooks at their best and push them. You have to find the balance where you push them, but leave a margin so that some people, the best people, are really going to shine. You don’t want to see a challenge where everybody is just terrible or one where everybody is just ‘this is easy-peasy, this is great.’”
Different path to the Top 40
One major difference this season of MasterChef Canada is that the show “switched up the audition process a little bit,” says James. What’s that mean exactly? According to James, “there is a slightly different path to get from Top 40 to the Top 14.” She warns that “we’ve made it harder this year. You have to jump through a few more hoops before you can get in there. We’ve also utilized talent across the country to raise the bar.”
Are you excited for the return of MasterChef Canada? Sound off in the comments below! MasterChef Canada airs Sundays at 7 p.m. ET on CTV.
Editor in Chief Bridget Liszewski comes from a long line of TV Junkies who fostered her love of television from a very young age. She's channeled that passion into covering both US and Canadian television shows, and is thankful everyday for the invention of the DVR. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame, she loves college football and is a fan of sports in general. Bridget is always up for talking TV and you can follow her on twitter at @BridgetOnTV.