Reality TV

EXCLUSIVE: Secrets of the MasterChef Australia mansion

The MasterChef Australia contestants reveal what life is like when they’re not cooking for the judges
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There are five bedrooms in the MasterChef Australia mansion – three for the women and two for the men. But the rooms are anything but spacious, with the contestants revealing to TV WEEK they all sleep in bunk beds!

“I’m on the top bunk and, let me tell you, when you’ve had four children and need to go to the toilet in the middle of the night, it isn’t fun!” Steph, 45, laughs.

For Joe, having to share a room with Sandeep and Kyle is a challenge.

“Sandeep speaks Hindi in his sleep and Kyle farts more than anyone I know,” he reveals.

Derek, 26, adds, “Blake is a massive snorer. He’s on the bottom bunk and somehow the sound reverberates. I started with earplugs, but they weren’t strong enough, so I’ve moved to noise-cancelling headphones to drown out the old steam train!”

Kyle, Sandeep and Ben cook up a storm in the kitchen (Image: Supplied).

The contestants have no choice but to get used to their housemates’ quirky habits.

“Monica eats her milk and cereal separately,” Derek reveals. “She puts her milk in a glass, cereal in a bowl, and then takes a spoon of dry cereal and a swig of milk because she doesn’t like it soggy.”

Tati’s cleanliness is also a talking point among the contestants.

“Tati does so much cleaning in the house, it’s not funny,” Derek says. “She’s always sweeping the floors, cleaning the kitchen and washing tea towels.”

Say cheese! Joe and Tati smile for the camera (Image: Supplied).

The MasterChef mansion has a gym, and many of the contestants try to stay fit and active during their time in the competition.

“I try to hop on the treadmill every second or third day to keep active,” Joe, 22, reveals. “Although, I left my running shoes at home, so for a few weeks I had to run barefoot. I copped a bit of flak from the others for that!”

“Simon, Walleed and I started doing mini F45 workouts [high-intensity interval workouts that last 45 minutes] but we call them F30 instead – mostly because we’re all too lazy to go the full 45 minutes,” Derek adds of the group’s exercising.

Monica and Larissa let off some steam in the house gym (Image: Supplied).

The contestants take turns to cook dinner and, unsurprisingly, the meals they whip up in the kitchen are to die for.

“One night, the boys made this amazing seafood dish,” Steph says. “It was so decadent!”

She says the contestants often make an extra portion during their challenges, either to bring home or give to the crew.

“We’re blessed with the most amazing ingredients to cook and practise with,” Steph enthuses. “Nothing goes to waste. The food team packs up anything special we’ve cooked with so we can take it home.”

It’s Abbey and Larrisa’s turn to wash up! (Image: Supplied).

When they’re not busy filming, the contestants spend most of their time studying and reading cookbooks.

However, on the occasion they do get some down-time, Derek likes to read novels or watch sport on TV.

Steph adds with a laugh, “There are times when you just can’t read another cookbook!”

Movie nights are also common in the MasterChef mansion, and Ben, 24, says he likes to play cards with his housemates.

“We’ve set up some cricket in the basement and a handball court to keep ourselves busy,” he adds.

Leah brushes up on her studying ahead of the next challenge (Image: Supplied).

MasterChef Australia airs Monday to Thursday, and Sunday, 7.30pm, on Network 10.

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