Everything about Masterchef Canada, eh?

MasterChef Canada Season 5 finalists revealed in advance of April 3 premiere on CTV

From a media release:

CTV unveiled today the Top 21 MASTERCHEF CANADA finalists competing for a chance to capture the life-changing title of Canada’s next MasterChef. In a MASTERCHEF CANADA first, this season the esteemed judges pay a surprise personal visit to 21 of the best home cooks across the country, who in turn set off to the MASTERCHEF CANADA Kitchen in Toronto to prepare a dish for the judges. The networks hit series fires up Season 5 on Tuesday, April 3 at 9 p.m. ET / 8 p.m. MT on CTV and CTV GO.

Distinguished Canadian judges Michael Bonacini (O&B restaurant empire), Alvin Leung (Bo Innovation in Hong Kong), and Claudio Aprile (Copetin Restaurant & Bar) mark their joyous return to the MASTERCHEF CANADA Kitchen anticipating tastes of the tantalizing dishes prepared by the Top 21. The home cooks set out to wow the judges in a chance to prove they have the culinary chops to earn a coveted white apron, and a chance to compete for the MASTERCHEF CANADA title and $100,000 cash prize.

Season 5’s Top 21 home cooks vying for the MASTERCHEF CANADA title are:

  • Reem Ahmed, Biomedical Engineer from Toronto, Ont.
  • Oyakhire Airende, Operations Analyst from Calgary, Alta.
  • Eugene Cheng, Financial Advisor and Rowing Coach from Vancouver, B.C.
  • Kaegan Donnelly, Software Sales from Vancouver, B.C.
  • Claudia Escudero, Customer Service Representative from Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Qué.
  • Felix Fudge, Sanitization Specialist from Halifax, N.S.
  • Michael Griffiths, Mathematician from Richmond Hill, Ont.
  • Andy Hay, Small Business Owner from Dartmouth, N.S.
  • Jen Jenkins, Stay-at-Home Mom from Dawson Creek, B.C.
  • Nikita Kaisar, Human Resources Management Graduate from Toronto, Ont.
  • Layla Kelly, Musician from Halifax, N.S.
  • Marissa Leon-John, Tech Support Manager from DollarddesOrmeaux, Qué.
  • Peter Maltais, Truck Driver from Kitchener, Ont.
  • Dawn O’Hara, Stay-at-Home Mom from Calgary, Alta.
  • Sienna Potter, Customer Service Representative from Yarmouth, N.S.
  • Jonathan Rahim, Real Estate Agent from Winnipeg, Man.
  • Nadia Rehman, Account Executive from Markham, Ont.
  • Mike Schroeder, Autism Support Worker from Kentville, N.S.
  • Melissa Skowron, Facilities Coordinator from Calgary, Alta.
  • Beccy Stables, Tile Setter Assistant from Sherwood Park, Alta.
  • Michael Varga, Firefighter from Vancouver, B.C.

In each episode, the home cooks are pushed to the limit in a series of Mystery Box Challenges, Team Challenges, and Pressure Tests, with the three judges providing direction and feedback throughout the process. Each task is designed to test and hone the home cooks’ skill, knowledge, passion, and creativity. At the conclusion of each episode at least one person is eliminated until there are only two home cooks left vying for the life-changing MASTERCHEF CANADA title.

Fans are invited to visit CTV.ca/MasterChefCanada throughout the season for exclusive content, including background on this season’s finalists and the MASTERCHEF CANADA judges, as well as interviews, recipes, and more. CTV.ca also offers viewers behind-the-scenes glimpses of this season’s challenges, culinary creations, triumphs, and upsets.

Leading up to the Season 5 premiere, viewers across the country can satisfy their MASTERCHEF CANADA cravings by tuning to the series’ previous seasons, now streaming on CraveTV™.

Following the finale of Season 5 on CTV, the current season of MASTERCHEF CANADA will be available in its entirety on CraveTV, and is also slated to air on Gusto this summer (check local listings).

The MASTERCHEF format and finished programmes are represented internationally by Endemol Shine Group, and is based on a format originally created by Franc Roddam.

MASTERCHEF CANADA is produced by Proper Television in association with CTV. Proper’s Co-President Cathie James is the Executive Producer and Showrunner and Co-President Lesia Capone is Executive Producer.




Bell Media announces MasterChef Canada return; The Detail and Corner Gas Animated debuts

If you were watching the Super Bowl on NBC—or skipped watching the game altogether—you missed a trio of big announcements made during the game broadcast on CTV.

Bell Media revealed the return date of MasterChef Canada and the debut dates for cop drama The Detail and the animated version of Corner Gas called, simply, Corner Gas Animated.

MasterChef Canada
The fifth serving of MasterChef Canada kicks off on Tuesday, April 3 at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. MT, with the return of stalwart judges Michael Bonacini, Claudio Aprile and Alvin Leung. Casting for Season 5 took place last summer followed by production on the top-secret 12 episodes. Edmonton’s Trevor Connie took home the Season 4 title, beating out Vancouver’s Thea VanHerwaarden in the finale.

The Detail
Cop drama The Detail (above) bows Sunday, March 25 at 9 p.m. ET/MT, on CTV. Starring Shenae Grimes, Wendy Crewson, Angela Griffin, Ben Bass, David Cubitt and Al Mukadam, the 10-episode project centres on three fiercely talented female homicide investigators who work tirelessly to solve crimes while navigating the complicated demands of their personal lives.

Produced by Ilana Frank (Burden of Truth), The Detail was developed by co-showrunner and co-executive producer Ley Lukins alongside Adam Pettle. Executive producers are Ilana Frank, John Morayniss, and Linda Pope, with co-executive producers Jocelyn Hamilton, Sonia Hosko and Gregory Smith. The writer’s room includes Naledi Jackson, Sarah Goodman, Graeme Stewart, Katrina Saville, Joe Pernice and Matt Doyle. Directors on The Detail include Gregory Smith, Jordan Canning, Kelly Makin, Sara St. Onge, Grant Harvey, John Fawcett and James Genn.

Corner Gas Animated
Finally, Corner Gas Animated debuts Monday, April 2 at 8 p.m. ET/PT, on The Comedy Network. The 13 half-hour episodes will return to Dog River for more adventures with all of the original cast—Brent Butt, Fred Ewanuik, Tara Spencer-Nairn, Gabrielle Miller, Lorne Cardinal, Nancy Robertson and Corrine Koslo replacing the late Janet Wright—voicing the beloved characters.

“Fans of Corner Gas are going to see a similarity to the series and movie that they love,” co-executive producer Virginia Thompson told us back in December of 2016. “But we can expand the fantasy sequences and get into the characters’ heads and see what’s going on in there.” (Or, perhaps in the case of Hank, what isn’t going on in there.)

Which of the three Bell Media series will you be watching? Which are you most excited about? Let me know in the comments below. Keep track of Canadian TV debuts, returns and finales with our handy calendars.

Images courtesy of Bell Media.




Comments and queries for the week of January 12

Michael Bonacini’s Christmas at the Farm is one of the best cooking shows ever. Quiet, not drowning out with music and a good down-to-earth love of food. He should do a regular show. —Alice

We agree! Are you listening, Bell Media??

How do I find out the music being played during the Jan. 3 episode of Mary Kills People, especially when the couple, who wanted to be killed, were dancing on their balcony? Where does one find out the credits? Thank you. —Jan

We used our trusty Shazam app and discovered the song you’re talking about is “For Your Precious Love” by Otis Redding. It was really effective in that wonderfully sad, heartfelt scene between Betty and Victor Lisko. Fun fact: Betty Lisko is played by Karen Robinson, who can also be seen co-starring in Schitt’s Creek and Frankie Drake Mysteries, both on CBC.


Got a question or comment about Canadian TV? Email greg.david@tv-eh.com or via Twitter @tv_eh.




MasterChef Canada’s Michael Bonacini rings in the holidays with Christmas at the Farm

I’m a huge food TV fan, especially during the Christmas season. I’ve enjoyed holiday specials starring Michael Smith and Michael Stadtlander and Jamie Oliver churned out a series of them recently. There’s something comforting, for me at least, watching chefs at home making recipes that have become traditions for their families and giving me some ideas too. (I credit Oliver for two standards at my house on Christmas Day: roasted vegetables and a killer gravy.)

Now MasterChef Canada‘s Michael Bonacini has jumped into the mix with his own Gusto special Michael Bonacini’s Christmas at the Farm, airing Saturday at 10 p.m. ET on the specialty channel. The hour-long celebration ticks all the boxes for me: snow, a fireplace, decorations and amazing recipes. Add to that an amiable, charismatic host in Bonacini and Christmas at the Farm is a truly enjoyable project.

Filmed on his sprawling property outside of Toronto, Bonacini’s traditional plates includes food celebrating his Italian last name and his mother’s Welsh background. Potato and leek soup garnished with smoked salmon is the first to be made, a scrumptious-looking bowl of warmth that is super-easy to create in your own home. Soup is followed by cheddar and bacon scones, gnocchi, roasted leg of lamb, maple roasted root vegetables, slow-roasted breast of veal and molten chocolate lava cake. (Though Bonacini doesn’t give any measurements or directions in the episode, viewers can get the recipes via the Gusto website after broadcast.)

But what sells Christmas at the Farm and sets it apart from other cooking specials is Bonacini. MasterChef Canada viewers get just a taste of his cooking knowledge and personality on CTV’s popular cooking competition. Here Bonacini is allowed to relax, show off his knife skills, discuss how he came to be a chef in the first place and how growing up on a Welsh farm impacted on his life.

Michael Bonacini’s Christmas at the Farm airs Saturday at 10 p.m. ET on Gusto.

Image courtesy of Bell Media.