A group of three judges in the iconic TV series Masterchef Australia aired by Network 10 has decided not to continue the program with its current judges from next season due to the failure of ‘contractual negotiation’ between the parties. However, George Calombaris, Matt Preston and Gary Mehigan will be appearing in the final of the 11th season due to air on Tuesday night – this will be the last appearance of the trio in the show.
According to network chief executive Paul Anderson, the parties could not come to the agreement in spite of “months of negotiation”.
“Despite months of negotiation, 10 has not been able to reach a commercial agreement that was satisfactory to Matt, Gary and George,” said Paul.
The trio,reportedly, reached to the decision to quit the show after Network denied to grant 40% increment on the salaries of the judges demanded by the trio. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Calombaris, Mehigan and Preston were receiving salaries “well over $1 million” on the 10 Masterchef Australia series.
The announcement comes after George Calomabaris’s Melbourne based MAdE Establishment group’s acknowledgement to underpaying over $7.8 million to at least 515 employees between the years 2011 and 2017.
George was, as a result, fined to pay $200,000 as “contrition payment” for underpaying his employees by the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO).
Over 22,000 people have signed the petition demanding Network to withdraw George from the title of Maserchef Australia, despite of his making amendment.
Paul thanking the group of judges “for their contribution over the past 11 years” also said that it “can’t wait to introduce another group — and the next generation of exceptional judges — in season 12 of MasterChef Australia next year.”
Adam Liaw, Season two winner; Poh Ling Yeow, runner-up of season 1; Justine Schofield, Australian cook, author and TV presenter; Kylie Kwong, Australian television chef, presenter; Elizabeth Chong, celebrity chef are some the suggested names floating online to be in the panel of judges in the upcoming season 12 of the Ten cooking show.
The next panel of judges is expected to be a good opportunity to break the long following all-white, all-male judging panel, adding some diversity.