Who is competing in the MasterChef semi-finals?

John Torode and Gregg Wallace have been hosting MasterChef for 20 years. (BBC)
John Torode and Gregg Wallace have been hosting MasterChef for 20 years. (BBC) (BBC/Shine TV)

It's the MasterChef semi-finals and the competition in the kitchen is heating up, so who is left battling it out for a place in finals week?

Eight contestants are left with the fires in their belly as they set their sights on possibly winning the reality TV cooking competition. Those contestants who impress will secure their place in finals week but only six of the remaining eight will be able to make the leap.

As the week kicks off in central London at the Fishmonger’s Hall, we take a look at the contestants competing in the semi-finals and hoping to master the recipe for success...

Circus performer Chris was a quarter-finalist in MasterChef 2023. (BBC)
Chris has made it to the MasterChef semi-finals. (BBC) (BBC/Shine TV)

Age: 44

From: Henley-On-Thames, Oxfordshire

Chris got to the quarter final when he first competed on MasterChef in series 19 last year. "I was super happy to have left with the title under my belt," he explained. "I wished I had gotten further that year, but I loved every second being in the MasterChef kitchen and meeting John and Gregg. It has always been my dream experience the world of TV."

Now the circus artist is back, Chris has a few tricks up his sleeve. He said: "I feel determined and focused and I'm going to really put myself on the plate this time. I want to draw on my theatre experience and elevate my presentation. I will be going all-out with rarely seen ingredients and new, bold dishes that demonstrate the chef I can be, and show MasterChef viewers something new."

Louise has made it to MasterChef semi-finals.
Louise has made it to MasterChef semi-finals. (BBC) (BBC /Shine TV)

Age: 43

From: Exmoor, West Somerset

Her friends have been begging her to do MasterChef for at least 15 years. This year, she decided to take the leap for a very special reason. She said: "The reason I applied this year was that I had just had my five year cancer-versary."

She added: "I was diagnosed when my daughter was 18 months old and our world imploded. My diagnosis and intense treatment took a long time to come to terms with and changed me.

"A positive change was to try to embrace all of life's opportunities fully; not to say ‘no’ to scary things or to allow the myriad nasty side effects that I live with each day to stop me from having adventures. And so, I had to apply, and I am enormously glad I did."

Tom is starring on MasterChef. (BBC)
Tom is starring on MasterChef. (BBC) ((BBC/Shine TV))

From: Carlisle

Age: 42

Tom finally decided to apply after years of dreaming about it. He said: "Every year I say to my wife ‘I’d love to be on that show.’ Last year I finally decided to put in an application thinking nothing would come of it - and look at me now!"

As a big fan, Tom counts himself lucky to have got this far in the process. He said: "Me and my family have watched MasterChef since the very beginning... The standard of cooking gets better each time and it’s amazing to see how many contestants have gone on to do such exciting things following their time on the show. I can only hope to be as lucky!"

Brin wants to put his skills to the test on MasterChef. (BBC)
Brin wants to put his skills to the test on MasterChef. (BBC) (BBC/Shine TV)

Age: 28

From: Bristol

The vet decided to take up the challenge in the kitchen because he wanted to test his ability. He said: "I wanted to see how good a cook I truly am. I was very nervous about the idea of going on the show but Anna, my fiancée, really pushed me to take part as she believed I’d be able to go far. Friends and family had also been pushing me to apply for the show for a while as they've seen what I can do in the kitchen."

Brin dreams of a future surrounded by food - whether that's cookery books or TV shows or opening a restaurant. He said: "I want to bring food to others and share my passion. I’m not sure in which direction that will be, but being part of the competition has lit a culinary fire in me and I want to make the most of it."

Cliodhna has burst onto our screens on MasterChef. (BBC)
Cliodhna has burst onto our screens on MasterChef. (BBC) (BBC/Shine TV)

Age: 25

From: Lancashire

Cliodhna also last appeared on MasterChef last year but she only walked away with an apron. "It was all going well until I had a disaster with my chocolate tart," she said.

Despite reaching semi-finals week this time round, the personal trainer said she has felt more pressure. She said: "This time I felt much more pressure! I wanted to exceed what I’d previously done, and prove to myself I am worthy of a place on MasterChef. I feel I have a lot more to give than last time."

A lot has changed in her life since she was on the show the first time round. "I am a lot happier," she explained. "I met my boyfriend a few months after the show aired and, fortunately, he loves food. He’s my biggest supporter and fan (after my mum!) I’ve become more confident in my cooking skills and experiment more with ingredients and techniques I wouldn’t have before."

Mary made it to the MasterChef semi-finals.
Mary made it to the MasterChef semi-finals. (BBC) (BBC/Shine TV)

Age: 60

From: Coventry

Mary has made it to the semi-finals week, having previously starred on MasterChef in 2018 and she left in Knockout Week. It's been six years since her first appearance but she hasn't made too many changes when it comes to the kitchen. She said: "I haven’t really experimented too much with new dishes in the kitchen since my last MasterChef experience as my life was so busy!"

But she's so happy to be back. "I think this experience has boosted my confidence and belief in myself and I would like to write a cookery book of my own. I’d also love to do some recipe development on a professional level one day," she said.

Abi is on MasterChef. (BBC)
Abi is on MasterChef. (BBC) (BBC/Shine TV)

Age: 21

From: Leeds

Abi was wondering what was next for her until she landed her place on MasterChef. She said: "A lot of my friends have gone off to university and I was wondering what was next for me. I love working for my dad and am proud of what we’ve done, but I also wanted to do something for me."

She added: "My mum has always pushed me to apply! I love cooking and I love food, and wanted a challenge and to see that I really can cook."

MasterChef's George is cooking up a storm. (BBC)
MasterChef's George is cooking up a storm. (BBC) (BBC/Shine TV)

Age: 31

From: Dorset

The doctor has headed into the heat of the MasterChef kitchen and his ambition is to write cookbooks. He said: "I entered MasterChef to try to challenge myself and push my cooking forward. I’ve always cooked at home, but really wanted to see what I could achieve if I put my heart and soul into it."

Having watched MasterChef since he was young, George is a huge fan of the show. He said: "MasterChef has helped to put food at the forefront of the people’s minds. It’s a classic show and has changed the landscape of TV cookery competitions. I also think it has encouraged people to cook more at home and really push their boundaries."

Watch MasterChef on BBC1 on Tuesday at 8pm or catch up on all the episodes on BBC iPlayer.

This article originally appeared on Yahoo TV UK at https://uk.news.yahoo.com/masterchef-semi-finals-144844515.html