In an unexpected and surprising move, Network 10 have dropped the original Masterchef judges and have confirmed that the well-known trio will not be returning to the blockbuster cooking show next year.

Channel 10 have said that Matt Preston, Gary Mehigan and George Calombaris will no longer be part of Masterchef from next year.

This comes amidst a host of allegations against restaurant owner, George Calombaris, which revealed that the famous chef had underpaid staff at his Melbourne restaurants by more than $7.8 million.

The CEO of 10 Paul Anderson has said that despite months of negotiation, “10 has not been able to reach a commercial agreement that was satisfactory to Matt, Gary and George.”

“We would like to thank Gary, George and Matt for their contribution over the past 11 years,” he added.

“MasterChef Australia has always been about ordinary Australians doing extraordinary things for the love of food and we believe it is very important to continue that ethos.

“Australia is full of remarkable cooking talent and we can’t wait to introduce another group – and the next generation of exceptional judges – in season 12 of MasterChef Australia next year.”

Wage Dispute

Calombaris has was fined $200,000 by the Fair Work Ombudsman for underpayment of his employees.

While the chef and restauranteur has apologised for his actions, many people have been calling for him to be fired from Masterchef. There was even a petition, with over 22,000 signatures calling for his dismissal.

The celebrity chef was also dumped from a WA tourism campaign earlier this week.

Calombaris starred in Tourism WA’s advertising campaign “Create Your Own Gourmet Escape in WA”, which was due to run until September.

Tourism WA managing director Brodie Carr on Monday said the ads with Calombaris had been suspended.

“We’ve paused all of our work with George for now and we’re talking to his management about recouping some of our costs that we’ve paid him,” Mr Carr told 6PR radio.

Do you think Calombaris deserved to go? Will Masterchef survive without the three original judges? Tell us in the comments below.

In other news….


  • Can’t imagine the show will be as good in the future. Have watched MasterChef in a few other countries and the camaraderie just isn’t there and it falls flat. All other chefs have said that Australia had the best show – but that camaraderie doesn’t happen too often. Think it will flop.

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  • Not really of any interest to me.

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  • Won’t be the same but I must say I’m really over Masterchef on repeat. Will it ever end?

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  • Shame a show could of been very good but drama drama drama always kills it. Just like house rules and the block

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  • George definitely had to go and should definitely get more than a slap on the arm – but that is a whole another story! The show will survive and probably needs a shakeup.

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  • never seen this one! but we’ll hear soon…

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  • I haven’t watched since season 1.

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  • Hopefully new judges will change things and we get to see a better show. Might start watching again.

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  • I was very surprised with this announcement.

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  • I don’t really watch the show that often because I hated the way they bitched about others on the show. Hopefully with new judges will come with better attitudes. Still won’t get me to watch though

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  • I’ve never watched the show and don’t care.

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  • It will give the show a fresh look having new judges. I look forward to learning who will take over.

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  • I’m not fussed either way, George certainly deserves to go and it is disgraceful what he did.

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  • Yes, George deserved to go – the other two are making a big mistake in their loyalty to him i.m.o. New judges will bring a breath of fresh air to the show hopefully.

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  • I believe that the show needs new faces as sometime I feel that these judges are bit bias towards some contestants and favour them over others.

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