‘MasterChef Australia’: How Much Do the Contestants Make While On the Show?

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If you’ve ever tuned in to MasterChef Australia and wondered “how much are these people being paid while they compete on the show?”, you’re not alone.

We’re always interested to know all the behind the scenes details of reality television shows, like where MasterChef Australia is filmed, and how much the judges actually eat. Today, we’ve been doing some digging to find out just how much MasterChef Australia pays its contestants.

As it turns out, the answer is: not much.

How Much Does MasterChef Pay Contestants?

We did some digging, and according to reports, Network Ten generally pays contestants a little more than the legal minimum wage to appear on the competition reality series. This means that if contestants are leaving their careers (and family, and friends, and home) to pursue their dreams, it’s possible they’re also taking a pay cut to do so.

In 2011, contestants were reported to only receive $500 a week, according to news.com.au.

The Sydney Morning Herald has reported that in 2013, the competing chefs received an allowance of $630 per week.

What’s unclear, however, is whether the salary for MasterChef Australia 2023 contestants has risen at all in the years since 2013. As of 2022, Australia’s minimum wage is $21.38 per hour, or $812.60 per 38 hour week. This is before tax.

In the past, former MasterChef Australia contestant Billy Law said that he didn’t really feel the effects of the pay cut while filming the show. However, once he was out of the competition, reality soon hit.

“That’s when… it’s then the time to start looking for jobs and to start making money again,” he said.

One of the main benefits of competing in a high profile show like MasterChef Australia is, of course, the exposure, which helps contestants’ secure high paying work opportunities in the industry after their time on the series.

Aside from the $250,000 prize money the winner receives, many contestants go on to build successful careers in the food industry, publishing cookbooks, hosting television shows and Good Food and Wine events, and even open their own cooking schools and restaurants.

MasterChef Australia airs at 7.30pm, Sunday – Thursdays, only on 10 and 10 Play on Demand. Miss an episode? Catch up on 10 Play.

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