Wild MasterChef theory debunked as finale filming secrets revealed

EXCLUSIVE: A production insider spills on how the MasterChef finale is really filmed.

MasterChef judges Poh Ling Yeow and Sofia Levin.
MasterChef fans have begun sharing their theories online as to who they think will take out the title. Photos: Channel 10

With the finale of this year’s season of MasterChef Australia quickly approaching, fans have begun sharing their theories online as to who they think will take out the title and $250,000 cash prize. Betting odds also have certain people listed as frontrunners, which is often a telltale sign that the result has been ‘leaked’.

However, a production insider tells Yahoo Lifestyle that although the cast knows which two contestants make it to the grand final, they have no idea who wins. In fact, the season 16 champion will only find out they’ve won the day before the episode airs.

“Two endings were filmed in mid-January and the two contestants that make it to the finale have been waiting months to get the result. It’s anyone's guess at this stage,” the source tells us.

“Forget what you read on the bookies websites, they aren’t always as accurate as you would think. None of the cast know who takes out the competition and that’s kind of the way they keep the ending a secret.”


MasterChef Australia has reportedly filmed multiple endings since season one with Julie Goodwin and Poh Ling Yeow and according to our insider, there’s a method to the madness.

“There is a theory that the person who gets the first take on the day of filming is the winner,” they say. “That’s been the way it has worked in the past, but producers may have changed that process to throw everyone off - especially those who were permitted to stay in the kitchen during the filming of the two different endings.”

While one anonymous contestant tells Yahoo Lifestyle that their season only filmed one version of the finale, season 14 runner-up Sarah Todd confirmed in 2022 that the show recorded two different endings and she didn't know who had won until she watched the finale.

"We want the show to do well and we want to keep the excitement for everyone watching, so I understand why they do it. It’s best for everyone," she told Yahoo Lifestyle following the episode, adding with a laugh, "As much as I think I'm a very honest person, would I keep it a secret from my mum? Probably not".

MasterChef 2024 top 6.
The season 16 champion will only find out they’ve won the day before the episode airs. Photos: Channel 10

While it makes sense that shows like The Voice and Australian Idol can pre-record different endings because the result is based on a public vote, the process is a bit more difficult for MasterChef.

“The scores from the judges are omitted and filmed later, which reveals why the two cooks left don't even know who wins the competition,” our source explains.

“A lot of shows have moments where they remove the crowd or the contestants. The Masked Singer Australia is an example of a live audience being asked to leave before the masks come off and the audience's reactions are all taken from snippets during the crowd warm-ups.”


At the time of writing, only a handful of executives at Endemol Shine Australia and Network Ten know who the winner of MasterChef is. A source close to production confirms that there are no actual clues as to who wins the show and “there are some upsets yet to come”.

“Fan favourites do get booted before the grand finale,” they tease. “The last two weeks of the show are some of the best MasterChef episodes fans will ever see. The best parts of this season have yet to be screened.”

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