Thirty-six home cooks arrive with the intent of being placed in the Top 20, but the contestants must pass the audition rounds and impress the judges to earn the coveted apron; the contestants hope to earn a valuable "Judges' Pass."
Only eight aprons are left for the hopeful home cooks to earn so they can pass through the audition rounds, where they have less than 45 minutes to prepare their signature dish and leave the judges wanting for more before the Top 20 are chosen.
The Top 20 must quickly demonstrate their culinary expertise before they encounter their first mystery box challenge, where they must create a Ramsay-inspired dish, but only 18 home cooks can progress further in the competition.
In two teams of nine cooks, the Top 18 prepare for a 10th anniversary-themed pool party by preparing food for 100 important guests that include former "MasterChef" winners and contestants, but only one team can earn immunity.
The team who failed to impress the pool party guests are given only 45 minutes to completely break down a chicken and prepare it into a delectable dish, but one contestant will be forced to surrender their apron after the timer runs out.
Model Alessandra Ambrosio offers input for the Top 17's next mystery box challenge, which includes an additional twist that throws some cooks off balance, but only 15 home cooks can be chosen to continue on to the next round.
The remaining home cooks face another elimination challenge in which they have 60 minutes to closely replicate the dish du jour, tarte Tatin that must be prepared with silky crème anglaise sauce, or risk surrendering their apron and going home.
The finalists must execute a superior three-course meal for the judges. Only one will win the title of MasterChef, an opportunity to learn hands-on in each of the judges’ restaurants and the $250,000 grand prize.