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Final Three Home Cooks To Compete For "MasterChef" Title On Two-Hour Season Finale Wednesday, September 2016, On FOX

September 9, 2016 - Tonight, judges Gordon Ramsay, Graham Elliot and Christina Tosi announced the Top Three contestants on America’s No. 1 cooking competition series, MASTERCHEF: Stephen Lee, an urban gardener from Palm Springs, CA; Derrick Peltz, a drummer from Fort Myers, FL; and Claudia Sandoval, an events manager from La Mesa, CA. Nick Nappi, a dishwasher sales rep from San Mateo, CA, was eliminated from the competition.

In Part One of the two-hour Season Finale airing Wednesday, Sept. 16 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT), with a little help from a few other home cooks, the remaining three contestants will create dishes for 30 very important restaurant guests. The home cook with the most number of votes from the VIP guests will move on in the competition, while the remaining two home cooks will face the next pressure test, during which they must complete three classic MASTERCHEF dishes in a dramatic head-to-head culinary battle. The home cook with the best dishes will earn the last spot in the finale. 

In the final challenge, the Top Two home cooks will have one last chance to prove to the judges that they deserve the MASTERCHEF title by creating a three-course meal. After evaluating the final dishes, the judges will reveal America’s next MASTERCHEF, and the deserving home cook will walk away with a MASTERCHEF trophy, a book deal and the $250,000 grand prize.

Meet the Top Three MASTERCHEF Contestants:

STEPHEN LEE                                Age: 47    
Hometown: Palm Springs, CA         Occupation: Urban Gardener

Signature Dish: Pork Tenderloin and Couscous with Vegetables

DERRICK PELTZ                             Age: 28    
Hometown: Fort Myers, FL              Occupation: Drummer

Signature Dish: Pistachio Crusted Lamb Lollipops

CLAUDIA SANDOVAL                      Age: 31
Hometown: La Mesa, CA                 Occupation: Events Manager

Signature Dish: Camarones Barbones Al Mojo de Ajo over Mexican White Rice

Auditions for Season Seven of MASTERCHEF continue this fall, with open casting calls in Chicago and Louisville (Sept. 26); Jackson, MS, and New York City (Oct. 3); and Los Angeles (Oct. 10). Visit to pre-register and for the most up-to-date audition information.

MASTERCHEF is produced by Endemol Shine North America and One Potato Two Potato, and is based on a format created by Franc Roddam and Endemol Shine. Elisabeth Murdoch, Eden Gaha, Robin Ashbrook, Gordon Ramsay, Adeline Ramage Rooney, Patricia Llewellyn and Ben Adler serve as executive producers.  “Like” MASTERCHEF on Facebook at Follow the series on Twitter @MASTERCHEFonFOX and join the discussion with #masterchef. Follow the judges on Twitter: Gordon Ramsay - @gordonramsay; Graham Elliot - @grahamelliot; Christina Tosi - @christinatosi.

About One Potato Two Potato
Renowned for award-winning original programming, One Potato Two Potato produces high-quality TV shows on both sides of the Atlantic, including the smash-hit HOTEL HELL, the blockbuster MASTERCHEF and irresistible spin-off MASTERCHEF JUNIOR, all for FOX; new cable food series, “Best New Restaurant,” which premiered in January and competition series “Food Court Wars.” In the U.K., “Gordon Ramsay Behind Bars” and “Gordon Ramsay’s Great Escape,” for Channel 4; food biography and nostalgia series “My Kitchen,” for UKTV’s Good Food Channel; and “Matilda and the Ramsay Bunch,” starring Tilly Ramsay for U.K. children’s channel CBBC. OPTP has also produced two instructional cookery series featuring Gordon Ramsay, “Ultimate Home Cooking” and “Ultimate Cookery Course,” both of which have sold all over the globe.

About Endemol Shine North America
Endemol Shine North America delivers world-class content and compelling storytelling to multiple platforms in the U.S. and across the globe. Endemol Shine North America is part of Endemol Shine Group, the newly launched global content creator, producer and distributor with a diverse portfolio of companies in the U.S. that are behind some of the most prominent hit television formats and series in the world. Its Endemol Shine Latino division oversees all Spanish-language sales and development in both the U.S. and Mexico. And subsidiary production companies include Authentic Entertainment, Original Media, True Entertainment and 51 Minds Entertainment. In addition, Endemol Shine North America has a strategic partnership with Ryan Seacrest Productions.

Endemol Shine Group’s companies in North America are behind hit series, including “Below Deck” (Bravo), “Big Brother” (CBS), “The Biggest Loser” (NBC), BULLSEYE (FOX), “Fake Off (TruTV), “Hell on Wheels” (AMC), “Ink Master” (Spike), “It Takes a Church” (GSN), “Kingdom” (DirecTV), “Knife Fight” (Esquire),  MASTERCHEF (FOX), MASTERCHEF JUNIOR (FOX), “Restaurant Startup” (CNBC), “Swamp People” (History), “The Island” (NBC), “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” (Bravo), “Steve Harvey” (NBCU),”T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle” (VH1), “Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Challenge” (CMT), “Wipeout” (ABC) and many more.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: For episodic photos and more information on MASTERCHEF, please visit]


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