The 30 competitors for season 5 of MasterChef have officially been announced, and the field appears to include a wide-variety of potential title-holders.
Representing 14 states across the U.S., the 30 selected contestants beat out scores of hopefuls who auditioned in Chicago, Ill., Columbus, Ohio, Denver, Colo., Houston, Texas, Kansas City, Mo., Los Angeles, Calif., New Orleans, La., New York, N.Y., Orlando, Fla., Philadelphia, Pa. and Phoenix, Ariz.
In the premiere episode, the 30 selected competitors head to Los Angeles to present their signature dishes to judges Gordon Ramsay, Graham Elliot and Joe Bastianich, who will then select certain ones to receive a coveted white apron and move onto the next round.
After the initial round, the contestants will undergo a series of tasks, including working in teams to prepare a hearty meal for more than 500 hungry servicemen and women on an army base, creating a three-course meal for a summer wedding, visiting a local diner to prepare American classics, cooking a romantic dinner for 14 couples, serving game-day favorites for hungry football fans and taking command of a legendary Hollywood restaurant.
Early artwork to promote the season also hinted at a possible Star Wars-themed challenge.
Each week, one competitor will be eliminated, until the final episode which will see one chef crowned with the title of MasterChef, and will win a cookbook deal and a $250,000 grand prize.
The competitors this season are as follows:
1. Elise Mayfield, e-Learning Administrator from Birmingham, Ala.
2. Natanya Spears, Construction Coordinator from Phoenix, Ariz.
3. Gordon Houston, Law Student Graduate from Irvine, Calif.
4. Daniel McGuffey, Video Game Designer from Los Angeles, Calif.
5. Leslie Gilliams, Stay-At-Home Dad from Malibu, Calif.
6. Ahran Cho, High School Student from Palo Alto, Calif.
7. Amy Pezeshkifar, Graduate Student from Tarzana, Calif
8. Ruth Schreber Sanchez, Stay-At-Home Mom from Yorba Linda, Calif.
9. Francis Biondi, Server from Orlando, Fla.
10. Chandis Siwek, Dietician Intern from Star, Idaho
11. Rickie Perez, Food Truck Manager from Chicago, Ill.
12. Dan Wu, Unemployed from Lexington, Ky.
13. Corey Charles, Winery Manager from Pikeville, Ky.
14. Astrid Lavenia, Food Sales from Mandeville, La.
15. Christian Green, Sales Representative from New Orleans, La.
16. Michael Williams, Student from Thibidaux, La.
17. Stephani Syfax-Shepherd, Server from Detroit, Mich.
18. Elizabeth Cauvel, Advertising Executive from Brooklyn, N.Y.
19. Francis Legge, Music Video Director from New York City, N.Y.
20. Jaimee Vitolo, Bakery Assistant from Queens, N.Y.
21. Christine Silverstein, Investment Director from Yonkers, N.Y.
22. Whitney Bray, Call Center Representative from Columbus, Ohio
23. Tyler Viars, Hunting Sales Manager from Wilmington, Ohio
24. Kira Novak, Medical Recruiter from Youngstown, Ohio
25. Gavin Edmondson, Admissions Counselor from Meadville, Pa.
26. Courtney Lapresi, Aerial Dancer from Philadelphia, Pa.
27. Cutter Brewer, Petroleum Landman from Beaumont, Texas
28. Willie Mike, Church Music Director from Houston, Texas
29. Victoria Scroggins, Bartender from San Angelo, Texas
30. Jordan Kaminski, College Student from Muskego, Wis.
MasterChef season 5 premieres Monday, May 26 at 8 p.m. on FOX.