MasterChef: The Professionals: Series 13 (partially found footage of unidentified contestant on BBC cooking show; 2020)

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What viewers saw at the start of Episode 7.

Status: Partially Found

MasterChef: The Professionals is a spin-off of the cooking competition MasterChef. Airing since 2008 by the BBC, this spin-off as the name implies features experienced chefs competing in a knockout format to earn the prestigious MasterChef title. Series 13 Episode 7 was broadcast on 24th November 2020 and saw chefs Burhan Ahmed and Guillaume Dunos qualify for the Quarter-Finals at Scott's expense. However, at the episode's beginning, a statement informed viewers that a fourth contestant had been edited out of the programme.


Series 13 Episode 7 would feature four competing chefs as part of the heats stage of MasterChef: The Professionals.[1][2][3] Among them included Burhan Ahmed, an experienced Chef de Partie; Guillaume Dunos, Chef Patron of the London-based La Ferme; and Scott, a chef at a Manchester bistro.[4][5][1] The episode was split into two challenges; a skills test, where the contestants must cook a set dish within a limited duration, and a signature dish, where they have an hour to prepare their own meal.[2][3] For the skills test, Ahmed and Dunos were tasked by Monica Galetti to produce her smoked trout recipe served with celeriac remoulade.[3] Meanwhile, Scott faced the challenge of replicating Marcus Wareing's Crêpes Suzette.[3][1][5] The three chefs then produced their signature dishes, to be judged by Galetti, Wareing, and Gregg Wallace.[3][1][2] Based on the performances from both tests, the judges put Ahmed and Dunos through to the Quarter-Finals, thus eliminating Scott.[3][1][5][4]

The episode is somewhat overshadowed by its opening statement, which informed viewers that the programme had been modified to remove a fourth contestant.[3][1][5] Upon receiving requests for comment, a spokesperson for the show confirmed the competitor had been removed due to "unforeseen circumstances", though refused to elaborate further.[1][5] The original and follow-up statements led to rampant speculation from MasterChef fans on the contestant's identity and why they were essentially expunged from the show's records.[6][7][8][1][3][5] It is believed the fourth contestant would have prepared a Crêpes Suzette alongside Scott.[1][3][5] Screenshots from viewers also showed apparent sightings of this chef cooking their signature dish, leading to the conclusion they were most likely male.[1][5] However, others claimed that a trailer for the episode featured a woman with brown hair, who was mysteriously edited out in a later version.[6] It is unclear whether their elimination was directly linked to the "unforeseen circumstances".[1][5] Regardless, seeing as Wallace announced that either Dunos or Scott was to be eliminated, it is presumed the fourth contestant exited before Scott did.[6]

Since then, several theories circulated surrounding the fourth contestant's disappearance.[3][6][7] The first concerned the possibility they were disqualified for violent or other unacceptable conduct before the signature dishes were judged.[3][6][7][8] Some viewers noted an especially stressful kitchen environment for that episode, leading them to ponder whether the fourth chef instigated it.[5] Others speculated the chef performed exceptionally poorly to the point where they and/or their employer threatened legal action should they remain in the final edit.[7][6] Another theory concerned the chef's background and whether they had a serious criminal record unbeknownst to the BBC at the time of recording.[3] But perhaps the most prevalent rumour was that the contestant was an employee of the shipping company Stena Line.[8][6] Allegedly, they had cooked a signature dish that was a protected Stena Line recipe.[8][6] As a result, the chef violated the organisation's non-disclosure agreement, additionally forcing the BBC to edit all footage of the contestant out on legal grounds.[8][6]

With the rumour mill in full swing, entertainment news site Deadline contacted a MasterChef spokeswoman requesting further details.[9] The spokeswoman responded that it was a private matter, which Deadline revealed actually concerned health matters.[9] Little else was discussed, making it unclear whether the expungement was done as a mark of respect for an ailing contestant, or because of COVID-19-related issues.[9][3] Notably, Series 13 was produced just after the first UK national lockdown was lifted, which mandated the show be filmed exclusively within 3 Mills Studios and conform to strict COVID-19 filming regulations.[10][11] Because of this, some allegations floated that the contestant's removal was down to COVID-19 protocol violations, including the failure to conduct a COVID-19 test.[3] Naturally, these rumours have not been confirmed nor denied by the BBC or MasterChef's producers, with its spokespeople refusing to expand upon their initial comments.[9][1][5]


Series 13 Episode 7 of MasterChef: The Professionals can be fully watched on BBC iPlayer. Only a few cameos of the fourth contestant are believed to dwell within the final cut, all during the cooking of the signature dishes.[1][5] Because of the extent the BBC went towards removing the chef from the show, it is extremely likely the noted health concerns were of an especially serious nature.[9][1][5] Thus, there is little chance of any additional relevant media leaking to the public, with the chef having also made no comments following the episode's airing.

See Also

External Links


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 Daily Mail reporting on the mysterious edited out fourth contestant, removed due to "unforeseen circumstances". Retrieved 12th Nov '23
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Manchester Evening News previewing MasterChef: The Professionals: Series 13. Retrieved 12th Nov '23
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 Ariadne Reviews recapping the episode and listing the main circulated theories surrounding the BBC editing out the fourth contestant. Retrieved 12th Nov '23
  4. 4.0 4.1 Reality Titbit summarising all 2020 competitors with the obvious exception of the fourth contestant. Retrieved 12th Nov '23
  5. 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 5.11 5.12 Yorkshire Post reporting on the edited out fourth contestant and theories that circulated around possible improper conduct. Retrieved 12th Nov '23
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 6.8 r/Masterchef discussing the possible reasons behind the editing out of the furth contestant, including the Stena Line allegation. Retrieved 12th Nov '23
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 r/CasualUK discussing the removal of the fourth contestant and a few theories surrounding their disappearance. Retrieved 12th Nov '23
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 The Dibb discussing the missing fourth contestant and the Stena Line allegation. Retrieved 12th Nov '23
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 Deadline reporting that the fourth contestant was removed from the programme because of health matters. Retrieved 12th Nov '23
  10. Deadline reporting on Series 13 being filmed in the midst of strict COVID-19 filming protocols. Retrieved 12th Nov '23
  11. Institute for Government providing the timeline of UK COVID-19 lockdowns from March 2020 to March 2021. Retrieved 12th Nov '23