The three judges Matt Preston, Gary Mehigan and George Calombaris of the hit television show MasterChef Australia have left the show, leaving the fans in state of shock.
Calombaris, Preston and Mehigan are gone after reportedly demanding a 40 per cent increase on their $1 million per season salaries. “Despite months of negotiation, Channel Ten has not been able to reach commercial agreement that was satisfactory to Matt, Gary and George," the network's CEO Paul Anderson said in a statement.
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After 11 sensational seasons, we bid a fond farewell to our judges – Matt Preston, Gary Mehigan and George Calombaris. For more than a decade, #MasterChefAU has celebrated Australian food and made the culinary dreams of everyday home cooks come true. We thank Matt, George and Gary for being a part of this remarkable MasterChef legacy!
On the other hand, Mehigan says the judges' decision to leave the show was never about the money and never will be about the money. “It was time to move on, have more free time to explore our own creativity. It was never about the money and never will be about the money. We couldn't agree on the term of the new contract for 2020. Something we felt very strongly about," he said.
The announcement of the three judges leaving the show was made just before the finale of the 11th season on Tuesday. Channel Ten's long-running cooking competition is now looking for new set of judges. Ratings have been down significantly on previous successful years and news.com.au is told that Ten was nervous.