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Season Five Of "MasterChef" Fires Up Monday, May 26, On FOX

Host and award-winning chef Gordon Ramsay, restaurateur Joe Bastianich and acclaimed chef Graham Elliot return for Season Five of the culinary smash hit MASTERCHEF, premiering Monday, May 26 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.

More hopefuls than ever before auditioned at MASTERCHEF’s open casting calls in Chicago, IL; Columbus, OH; Denver, CO; Houston, TX; Kansas City, MO; Los Angeles, CA; New Orleans, LA; New York, NY; Orlando, FL; Philadelphia, PA; and Phoenix, AZ to prove they have what it takes to make a mark on the culinary world. Only one talented home cook will join Season Four winner Luca Manfe; 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.

This season will feature 30 contestants representing 14 states from all walks of life – including an advertising executive, a petroleum landman, a stay-at-home-dad, an admissions counselor, a high school student and a church music director – all with the hopes of turning their culinary dreams into reality.

Below are the hometowns, names and professions of the Top 30 Home Cooks who participated in the MASTERCHEF auditions:

State/Hometown Name Profession

Alabama   
  Birmingham Elise Mayfield e-Learning Administrator

Arizona   
  Phoenix Natanya Spears Construction Coordinator

California   
  Irvine Gordon Houston Law Student Graduate
  Los Angeles Daniel McGuffey Video Game Designer
  Malibu Leslie Gilliams Stay-at-Home-Dad
  Palo Alto Ahran Cho High School Student
  Tarzana Amy Pezeshkifar Graduate Student
  Yorba Linda Ruth Schreber Sanchez Stay-at-Home Mom

Florida   
  Orlando Francis Biondi Server
          
Idaho   
  Star Chandis Siwek Dietician Intern

Illinois   
  Chicago Rickie Perez Food Truck Manager

Kentucky    
  Lexington Dan Wu Unemployed
  Pikeville Corey Charles Winery Manager

Louisiana   
  Mandeville Astrid Lavenia Food Sales
  New Orleans Christian Green Sales Representative
  Thibidaux Michael Williams Student

Michigan   
  Detroit Stephani Syfax-Shepherd Server

New York   
  Brooklyn Elizabeth Cauvel Advertising Executive
  New York City Francis Legge Music Video Director
  Queens Jaimee Vitolo Bakery Assistant
  Yonkers Christine Silverstein Investment Director

Ohio
  Columbus Whitney Bray Call Center Representative
  Wilmington Tyler Viars Hunting Sales Manager
  Youngstown Kira Novak Medical Recruiter

Pennsylvania    
  Meadville Gavin Edmondson Admissions Counselor
  Philadelphia Courtney Lapresi Aerial Dancer

Texas   
  Beaumont Cutter Brewer Petroleum Landman
  Houston Willie Mike Church Music Director
  San Angelo Victoria Scroggins Bartender

Wisconsin   
  Muskego Jordan Kaminski College Student
          

In the premiere episode, 30 of the best home cooks in America will travel to Los Angeles to present their signature dishes to the distinguished judging panel: Ramsay (Gordon Ramsay Steak, Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill, Gordon Ramsay BurGR), Bastianich (Del Posto, Osteria Mozza) and Elliot (Graham Elliot Bistro). 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 out-cook their rivals.

Once the Top Finalists are revealed, they will be put through their paces in a series of challenges designed to test their palates, food knowledge, passion and culinary skills. This season, the contestants will work in teams to prepare a hearty meal for more than 500 hungry servicemen and women on an army base, create an unforgettable three-course meal for a summer wedding, visit a local diner to prepare American classics, cook a romantic dinner for 14 couples, serve game-day favorites for hungry football fans and take command of a legendary Hollywood restaurant. With each new challenge, the pressure will mount as the Top Finalists compete for the coveted title of MASTERCHEF, a cookbook deal and the $250,000 grand prize.

MASTERCHEF is produced by Shine America and One Potato Two Potato and is based on the 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 with #masterchef.

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