When 'MasterChef' Returns For Season 8, The Culinary Competition Should Be As Fierce As Ever

When Season 7 of MasterChef began in June, 40 of the best home cooks in America set out to wow host and judge Gordon Ramsay, judge Christina Tosi, and some of their fellow world-renowned chefs to take home the grand prize of $250,000, a cookbook deal, and the coveted title of MasterChef. Over the weeks, the contestants have dwindled down to just three (Brandi Mudd, David Williams, and Shaun O'Neale) competing for the top prize and the all-important bragging rights in Wednesday night's two-hour season finale. Though I'm as excited as the next person to find out who will win this installment of the FOX culinary competition, to be honest, I'm also already thinking about when MasterChef will return for Season 8.

Well, FOX has not yet formally announced the renewal of MasterChef, so thinking about this might, admittedly, be a little premature. However, the website dedicated to casting Season 8 of MasterChef has already been up and running, so it seems likely that we'll get another heaping helping of this culinary competition in no time.

That's obviously good news for any MasterChef fan, but I've also unfortunately got some not-so-great news. If you were hoping to audition for the next season of MasterChef, it appears that casting for Season 8 has already wrapped, according to the official Instagram profile for the show's casting.

If you were lucky enough to have been a part of the casting process for Season 8 of MasterChef, you would have seen that it's pretty much just like every new season's premiere episode with 40 contestants introducing themselves to Ramsay and the rest of the culinary world by presenting their signature dish in the hopes of landing a spot in the top 20 where the competition really heats up. Whether you attend an open casting call or submit a video, a MasterChef hopeful must present his or her signature dish as part of the application process, according to the show's casting website. Applicants are also evaluated on things like their personality because this is a TV show, after all.

Filming for Season 8 was set to begin sometime between August and November of this year, according to the show's casting website. With Season 8 of MasterChef still in its early stages of production, there's not much information available about what we can expect from the next installment of the culinary competition just yet. The FAQs section of the casting site states that the kind of cooks the show was looking for were "talented amateur cooks from all types of backgrounds and with a range of cooking styles, to audition for Season 8," which pretty much describes the types of contestants that have appeared on every season of MasterChef thus far. Other than having a passion for cooking, it's only clear that the contestants will be 18 years or older, be a citizen or legal permanent resident of the United States, do not currently and have never worked as professional chefs, and their main source of income does not come from prepping and cooking fresh food in a professional environment, as per the applicant restrictions found on the casting website.

Since there hasn't been an official announcement about MasterChef returning for Season 8 yet, that of course means the premiere date for this new installment hasn't been revealed, either. But series tend to debut their new seasons around the same time of year. So by that logic, if you look back at when news seasons of MasterChef have premiered in the past, it's clear to see that FOX likes to make it a part of the network's summer season, with the past seven seasons bowing in May, June, or July of their respective years, according to TV Guide. If there is indeed a Season 8 of MasterChef, it seems likely to expect it to premiere sometime in Summer 2017.

I'm excited to see which home cooks make the cut whenever the new season of MasterChef premieres. Hopefully, there will be a Season 9 so that all you MasterChef hopefuls out there can still vie for a future spot on the show, too.

Images: Greg Gayne/FOX; Giphy (2)