MAFS is done now, which means the air is clear for the return of the greatest and worst show ever put to TV screens: MasterChef Australia.

While we all had a hell of a lot of fun with last year’s all-star Back To Win series, the no-longer-rookie hosting panel of Andy AllenMelissa Leong, and Jock Zonfrillo are now set to contend with an entirely fresh cast for the very first time.

But while things are more or less back to normal as far as MasterChef competition is concerned, there’s still some lingering quirks of COVID that have affected production. Namely: it’s simply not feasible to fly in an internationally renowned food psycho halfway around the world for a coupla episodes of Kitchen Footy.

In normal times, you’d just parachute Heston Bluemangroup in from whatever cloud he floateth upon, he’d run roughshod over the cast for a week, and then he’d vibrate back off into the ether to cook up some more goose dreams or whatever the fuck. But in COVID times, that requires a 14-day quarantine period. And unless Channel 10 were keen to stump up Zac Efron-tier money and have them chill for a fortnight in a holistic brain retreat for rich kents, then creative solutions must be found.

And found they have been, apparently.

This year’s season of MasterChef Australia will still feature special guest chefs from around the world. It’s just that they’ll be appearing in the MasterChef kitchen via, well, hologram. More or less.

In an interview with News.com.au, show executive producer Marty Benson confirmed that the guest chefs will be appearing in-person via a special “vertical screen” that sorta makes it look like they’re really there.

With Nigella Lawson appearing on the show soon, Benson stated that “the vertical screens are incredible so it looks like Nigella is in the room with us. She’s live and constantly communicating with the judges and at the end of the cook she’s looking at all their dishes.”

Looks normal!

Lawson, Yotam Ottolenghi, and indeed the aforementioned Hessian Bulltesticles are all confirmed to appear on this season of MasterChef at some point during the run, and will assume the role of culinary Jor-El as their ghostly spectre floats menacingly in one spot.

MasterChef Australia premiers tonight at 7:30pm on Channel 10. Here we bloody well go again, friends.

Image: Channel 10