The MasterChef 2021 final is here! After a short delay, the episode will now air this week and will see one of the finalist crowned this year's star.
Hoping to impress judges John Torode and Gregg Wallace is Tom, Alexina, and Mike, who joined the MasterChef 2021 line-up earlier this year.
The trio managed to outcook 37 other contestants, and now they'll battle it out one last time as they face a Chef's Table challenge at Michel Roux Jr's acclaimed restaurant Le Gavroche.
So, when will the MasterChef final take place? And most importantly, who will win?
Here's everything you need to know about the MasterChef 2021 final.
When is MasterChef 2021 on?
The MasterChef 2021 final will now take place on Wednesday, April 14th at 8pm on BBC One.
The episode will see one of the contestants crowned as this year's champion, as Tom, Alexina and Mike produce the best three dishes of their lives, pushing their culinary boundaries to the limit.
The episode was originally scheduled to air on Friday, April 9th at 8:30pm, however, following the news that Prince Philip had died, the BBC opted not to screen the final as originally planned, with tribute programming to the Duke of Edinburgh airing in its place.
MasterChef 2021 release date
MasterChef 2021 started on Monday 1st March at 9pm on BBC One.
MasterChef 2021 contestants
The 2021 series started with a total of 40 contestants, but now only three remain: Tom, Alexina, and Mike.
Madeeha was the first out of the final five to be sent home, followed by Laura.
According to Gregg, this year's contestants could give some of the previous MasterChef winners a serious run for their money.
Speaking to RadioTimes.com ahead of the upcoming series, judge Gregg Wallace said this year's line-up is a particularly strong batch of contestants.
"What we realised, me and John, was that the standard was incredible even at the early stages," he said.
"What we suspect has happened is because so many people are working from home, we think they’ve had a lot more time to practice, because we couldn’t believe the standard of the cooks in the early rounds. We normally get a mixed bag. This time we were getting good cook off after good cook after good cook."
In reference to series one winner Thomasina Miers, he added: “I think it was Thomasina, our first ever winner, who said, ‘My god, nowadays, I wouldn’t even make it past a quarter final.’ I do think it’s because it’s been on for so long and whoever is signing up for the show must have watched the show so they’re fully aware of how high the standard is. So they’re putting in a lot of homework before they come on.”
And John Torode agreed, saying in a recent interview: "What I really enjoyed was the fact that the contestants had obviously spent so much time, whilst they were in the first lockdown, practicing and working at what they wanted to do, and becoming really good at it.
"And that meant we ate really, really well. There was only a few dodgy dishes along the way, which is really saying something for MasterChef; well, I say a few, probably more than a few."
He added: “There’s the odd bit of raw lamb and a bit of chicken here and there and a few odd concoctions. But otherwise it was a really, really great series.”
Who are the judges on MasterChef?
Long-running judges Gregg Wallace and John Torode returned to host series 17.
Wallace is best known for co-presenting Celebrity MasterChef, MasterChef: The Professionals and Saturday Kitchen, having originally started his food career as a greengrocer.
Torode is an Australian chef who regularly appears on This Morning and presents Celebrity MasterChef, John Torode's Australia and John and Lisa's Weekend Kitchen.
Who narrates MasterChef?
British actress India Fisher has narrated MasterChef since 2005, when the show was rebooted by BBC One.
Aside from MasterChef, Fisher has appeared in a number of audio dramas, including BBC Radio 4's Elephants to Catch Eels, Ghosts of Albion, Doctor Who, while on-screen, she's appeared in the series Dead Ringers and CBBC's The Dumping Ground.
Who are the critics on MasterChef?
Former champions Thomas Frake (2020), Ping Coombes (2014), Saliha Mahmoud Ahmed (2017) and Kenny Tutt (2018) will be stopping by the judge the contestants' cooking – as will professional food critic Grace Dent.
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How long does MasterChef run for?
This series of MasterChef is expected to air across six weeks, with season 17 consisting of 18 episodes.
The final is therefore expected to air on Friday 9th April 2021.
Who won MasterChef last year?
London-based 32-year-old Thomas Frake won MasterChef 2020, becoming the show's 16th winner.
Frake beat runner-ups David Rickett and Sandy Tang last year, securing the championship with monkfish scampi, followed by an ox main cheek and a salted caramel custard tart dessert.
Has MasterChef been affected by COVID-19?
The upcoming series of MasterChef was filmed during under coronavirus restrictions, which meant that contestants and judges weren't allowed to physically interact on set.
Nevertheless Gregg Wallace told us there wasn't much difference when it came to filming MasterChef 2021 in a pandemic.
He explained: “There’s not a great deal of difference,” Wallace tells me when we sit down for a virtual chat ahead of the new series. It doesn’t look a lot different in the studio because cooking does not offer the group activity anyway and they all have their own stations.”
He added: "We can’t do the big foreign trips, and usually there’re many outside locations. We can’t do that, but we can bring great chefs into the studio. The difference for me, isn’t so much a filming thing as a social thing. I couldn’t shake hands or put my arm around people that I’ve been working with for nearly 20 years so the camera guys you can’t pat them on the shoulder."
He recently told PA Media (via The Irish News) that there was one upside to making the show in a pandemic.
"One of the differences was really positive, that John and I got a dish each, rather than trying to elbow each other away for the choicest bits. That was a positive, " he gushed.
"Of course, the negative is we didn’t get to go travelling around the world," he added. "But the negative I found odd is that I couldn’t shake hands with people in the morning, or give people a hug, people that we’ve worked with for 20 years. There was no physical interaction. I found that a little strange."