via press release:






Top Finalists Revealed Wednesday, May 29


Award-winning chef Gordon Ramsay, restaurateur Joe Bastianich and acclaimed chef Graham Elliot return for Season Four of the culinary smash hit MASTERCHEF with a two-hour season premiere on Wednesday, May 22 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.


More hopefuls than ever before auditioned at MASTERCHEF’s open casting calls in Boston, MA; Chicago, IL; Cleveland, OH; Dallas, TX; Los Angeles, CA; Miami, FL; Minneapolis, MN; Nashville, TN; New York, NY; Portland, OR; and San Diego, CA to prove they have what it takes to make a mark on the culinary world. Only one hopeful will join 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. The best home cooks in America were flown to Los Angeles to present their signature dishes to the judges and the chance to compete for the coveted title of MASTERCHEF, a cookbook deal and the $250,000 grand prize. This season will feature contestants representing 26 states from all walks of life– including an archaeologist, a high school gym teacher, a former pro-football player, a biochemist, a student, a firefighter, a paralegal and a delivery driver – all with the hopes of turning their culinary dreams into reality.


In the premiere episode, the hopefuls will prepare their signature dishes and present them to the distinguished MASTERCHEF judging panel: Ramsay (Gordon Ramsay Steak, Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill), Bastianich (Del Posto, Osteria Mozza) and Elliot (Graham Elliot, g.e.b.). 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 win. Above all, they must convince the judges – who will taste for flavor, creativity and presentation – that they have the potential to out-cook all their rivals.


The auditions continue Wednesday, May 29 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT), as the judges winnow down the competition by granting white aprons to the best home cooks. Only 40 hopefuls will move onto the next round and compete in an intense lamb challenge. By the end of the episode, only the top home cooks who impress the judges will advance to the MASTERCHEF kitchen and compete to become America’s next MASTERCHEF.


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


State/Hometown Name Profession
Birmingham Ilona Barrett Architect
Tuscaloosa Sasha Foxx Singer/Chanteuse
Banning Rebecca O’Connor Animal Trainer
Chula Vista Gabriella Arjona Loan Officer
Jorge Cristo Food Runner
Escondido Mark Oberle Software Engineer
La Jolla Eli Moeller Financial Advisor
Los Angeles Zuleika Hasbrouck Cosmetics Company Owner
Palm Springs Christopher Simon Food Server
San Diego Lynn Chyi IT Systems Administrator
Natasha Crnjac Stay-At-Home Mom
Christine Kim Bakery Assistant
Rudy Reyes Archaeologist
Howard Simpson Bar Back
Ayla Skye CEO of Health Company
Savannah Sturges Special Ed. Teacher
San Francisco Paulina Farro Flight Attendant
Andrew Keller Construction Project Manager
San Jose Elden McFeron Patent Engineer
Solvang Blake Fowler Ostrich Farmer
Stockton Chan Heu Graduate Student
Topanga Henrik Jakobsson Music Composer
Van Nuys Nancy Nester Singer
West Covina Laloni Harris Cashier
Westminster Alex Kemp Student
New Canaan Shawnee Knight Stay-At-Home Mom
Stamford Doug Miriello Bar Back
Tallahassee Erin Burnside Flavor Scientist
Americus Eddie Jackson Personal Trainer
Marietta Andrea Plichta Acupuncturist/Herbalist
Social Circle Jessie Lysiak Yacht Stewardess
Laie Kalaokahaku “Kevin” Miller Fashion Retailer
Boise Carl Wippert Data Entry Specialist
Aurora Rim Zivalich U.S. Army National Guard Soldier
Chicago Thao “Duckie” Huynh Nail Technician
Reina Martinez Bikini Waxer
Kevin Tindell Pastor
Long Grove Maya Parekh Attorney
Peoria Heights Julie Gibson Personal Assistant
Wauconda Jeremy Lewis A/C Salesman
Cambridge Malcolm Green Unemployed
Paul Yuan Math Student
Lawrence Dawn Hunt Small Business Owner
Lincoln Abby Wolf Farmer
Marlboro Jonny Blanchard Carpenter
Taunton Bime Cruz Health Care Professional/Boxing Coach
Detroit Dahlia Abrams Unemployed
Anoka Country James Blesi Motorcycle Mechanic
Bloomington Liyah Sangathit Debt Collector
Minneapolis Marie Porter Writer
Jordan Roots Delivery Driver
St. Paul Nick Garcia Day Laborer
Vadnais Heights Joan Webb Government Accountant Clerk
Columbus Seonkyoung Longest Housewife
Reno Rachel Jessee Fire Performer
New Jersey
Jersey City Kristine Kennedy Insurance Underwriter
Verona Joelle DeNotaris Student
New York
Astoria Luca Manfe Restaurant Manager
Brooklyn Wanda Allende-Ortiz Retired Teacher
Bronx Mike Bernardi Construction Manager
Kathy Prieto Office Assistant
Ithaca Brian Baum IT Consultant
New York Adriana Guillen College Admissions Representative
Queens Chris Ciccone ER Nursing Assistant
Staten Island Damian Stapelkamp Wrestler
Washington Heights Mitchell Watson Former Pro-Basketball Player
Westhampton Beach Bill Ciraco Wall Street Trader
North Carolina
Raleigh Shaun Jay Magician
Wilkesboro Steven Smith Welder
Akron Tori Cunningham High School Student
Cleveland Mark Famiano Firefighter
Dean Karadimas Web Designer
James Ladd Retail Manager
Cuyahoga Falls Jenn Thomas-Pallotta Front-Of-House Manager
Kettering Sheena Hetzel Armored Truck Messenger
Strongsville George Mastrosavas Real Estate Investor
Jennifer Thornton Olive Oil Specialist
Estacada Bethy Rossos High School P.E. Teacher
Portland Monica Watson Model
Blue Bell Grace Chen Biochemist
Doylestown Bri Kozior Theatre Assistant
Philadelphia Krissi Biasiello Paralegal
State College Seymira Salamy Kinesiology Student
South Carolina
Fort Mill Carrie Peterson Airline Pilot
Irving Matthew Orsini Auditor
Terrell Brian Kohler Stay-At-Home Dad
Victoria James Nelson Retail Sales
Chattanooga Beth Kirby Writer/Photographer
Nashville Nanci Filipelli Sportscaster/Model
Ogden Alexandra Jones Stay-At-Home Mom
Blacksburg Dennis Hong Robot Scientist and Professor
Virgin Islands
St. Croix Olga George News Assignment Editor
Seattle Zach Wilson Digital Phone Specialist
Dousman Steve Schafer Construction Worker
Milwaukee Kevin Radanovich Carpenter


MASTERCHEF is produced by Shine America and One Potato Two Potato, and is based on a 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 Follow the series on Twitter @MASTERCHEFonFOX and join the discussion at #masterchef.


About One Potato Two Potato:

One Potato Two Potato (OPTP) was co-founded by Gordon Ramsay and Optomen Television in 2008 to exclusively create and produce worldwide content for Ramsay ventures across all media, including television, digital and publishing. Renowned for award-winning original programming, the company produces high-quality TV shows on both sides of the Atlantic, including the smash-hit HOTEL HELL, which was the highest-rated new network show of summer 2012 (OPTP is now in pre-production on Season Two); and four seasons of MASTERCHEF, all for FOX; “Food Court Wars” for Food Network; massive U.K. hit “Gordon Ramsay Behind Bars” and “Gordon’s Great Escape” for Channel 4; and “My Kitchen” for UKTV’s Good Food Channel. Ramsay’s groundbreaking Channel 4 series, “Cookalong Live,” aired as a special on FOX and has since become a successful format around the world. OPTP is also currently in development on several exciting unscripted and scripted projects, within and beyond the food genre, for network, cable and digital platforms in the U.S., U.K. and Australia. OPTP distributes its hugely popular TV programming and formats to more than 200 territories via Optomen International. The company became part of the All3Media group in 2010. Find out more about One Potato Two Potato at

About Shine America:

Shine America is a world leader in producing and distributing compelling scripted and unscripted television and digital content. Shine America is known for popular and award-winning original series, including “The Biggest Loser” and “The Face”; as well as adaptations of Shine Group formats, such as MASTERCHEF and “Minute to Win It”; and scripted series, including “The Office” and the upcoming FX drama “The Bridge.” Shine America has development deals with some of the top producers in television, including Nigel Lythgoe (Nigel Lythgoe Productions) and its own unscripted format label in Ardaban, led by the creators of the hit Food Network series, “Chopped.” Shine Latino, a new division of Shine America, is producing and distributing original Spanish-language content to the U.S. and Latin American marketplaces.


The global Shine 360? division builds brands through the leveraging of its intellectual property and by creating integrated marketing opportunities for advertisers. The company has also developed more than 20 groundbreaking original online series on MSN, Yahoo!, YouTube premium channels and other platforms, many produced in partnership with global brands such as Walmart, Toyota, Kraft Foods, Subway and Microsoft. Through Shine Group’s distribution arm, Shine International, Shine America distributes its extensive library of programming and formats to more than 150 countries. Visit for further information.

Posted by:TV By The Numbers

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