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[09/10/12 - 10:05 PM]
The Winner of "MasterChef" Is...
Plus: casting calls for season four begin Saturday, October 6 in San Diego.

[via press release from FOX]

CHRISTINE HA CROWNED "MASTERCHEF" WINNER

Season Four Open Casting Calls Begin in San Diego on October 6

Tonight, Season Three of MASTERCHEF came to an unforgettable conclusion as judges Gordon Ramsay, Joe Bastianich and Graham Elliot named Christine Ha the winner of FOX's hit home cooking competition series. Ha, 32, is a graduate student from Houston, TX, and the series' first-ever blind contestant. In addition to earning the MASTERCHEF title, Ha walked away with a cookbook deal and the $250,000 grand prize.

"Winning MASTERCHEF is the biggest accomplishment of my life," said Christine Ha. "It has taught me to believe in myself and trust my intuition. I am incredibly humbled to have shared this experience with all the other talented home cooks who tried out, especially those in the Top 18 who cooked alongside me for so many challenges."

"Christine has the most extraordinary palate, and she really elevated the competition by conceptualizing and executing the most stunning dishes," said judge and executive producer Gordon Ramsay. "Next season's competition has quite an act to follow!"

Ha became an instant fan favorite after her first audition, when she wowed the judges with her signature dish - catfish braised in a clay pot - and touched viewers both with her inspirational story and immense passion for cooking. Ha began to lose her vision in 1999 as a result of neuromyelitis optica (NMO), a rare autoimmune disorder. But she cooked her way through the auditions round and earned a coveted spot in the Top 18. Each week, she competed in a series of grueling challenges and intense elimination rounds, winning four Team Challenges and one Mystery Box Challenge, and ultimately advancing to the Final Two last week.

In tonight's sensational season finale episode, Ha competed head-to-head against Josh Marks, a U.S. Army Contract Specialist from Jackson, MS, who was eliminated earlier in the season and made a striking comeback. For the final challenge, Ha created a cohesive, Asian-Influenced three-course meal: an appetizer of Thai Papaya Salad with Crab and Mixed Vegetables; a main course of Braised Pork Belly with Rice, Crispy Kale and Maitake Mushrooms; and a refreshing Coconut Lime Sorbet Ginger Tuile for dessert. In the end, it was Ha's refreshing flavors and elevated comfort food that won over the judges and earned her the MASTERCHEF title.

"Entering the competition as a talented, yet somewhat uncertain home cook, it was Christine's fierce determination, exceptional palate and passion for food that led her to inspire the fans across the country and become America's next MASTERCHEF," noted judge Joe Bastianich.

"From her very first audition, Christine moved us with her ability to tell a story and connect with her roots through her distinct flavors," added judge Graham Elliot. "Christine grew leaps and bounds this season, and I couldn't be more proud that she is America's MASTERCHEF."

Nearly 30,000 hopefuls auditioned for Season Three, and MASTERCHEF will once again travel across the country and give talented home cooks the chance to prove they have what it takes to make their mark on the culinary world. Open casting calls for Season Four of MASTERCHEF will be held on the following dates:

Cities Dates
San Diego, CA Saturday, Oct. 6
Minneapolis, MN Saturday, Oct. 13
Nashville, TN Saturday, Oct. 13
Chicago, IL Saturday, Oct. 20
Miami, FL Saturday, Oct. 20
Dallas, TX Saturday, Oct. 27
Cleveland, OH Saturday, Oct. 27
Los Angeles, CA Saturday, Nov. 3
Boston, MA Saturday, Nov. 3
New York, NY Saturday, Nov. 10
Portland, OR Saturday, Nov. 10

Additional details, including venues and times, will be announced soon. Visit www.masterchefcasting.com for the most up-to-date audition information.

MASTERCHEF is produced by Shine America and One Potato Two Potato and is based on the format created by Franc Roddam and Shine. Shine International handles distribution for the MASTERCHEF format. Elisabeth Murdoch, Eden Gaha, Robin Ashbrook, Gordon Ramsay, Adeline Ramage Rooney, Patricia Llewellyn and Ben Adler serve as executive producers.

"Like" MASTERCHEF on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MasterChef. Follow the series on Twitter @MASTERCHEFonFOX and join the discussion at #masterchef.

About Shine America:

Shine America is a world leader in producing and distributing compelling scripted and unscripted television and digital content, building brands through the leveraging of its intellectual property and creating integrated marketing opportunities for advertisers. Shine America is known for popular and award-winning original series including "The Biggest Loser", "Tabatha Takes Over" and upcoming series "The Face"; adaptations of Shine Group formats MASTERCHEF, "Minute to Win It," "One Born Every Minute" and "Parental Control"; long-running scripted hits "The Office," "Ugly Betty" and "The Tudors"; and over 20 ground-breaking original online series on MSN, Yahoo!, YouTube premium channels and other platforms, many of these produced in partnership with global brands such as Walmart, Toyota, Kraft Foods, Subway and Microsoft. Through its distribution arm, Shine International, Shine America distributes its extensive library of programming and formats to more than 150 countries.

About One Potato Two Potato:

One Potato Two Potato was co-founded by Gordon Ramsay and Optomen Television in 2008 to exclusively create and produce worldwide content for Ramsay ventures across all media, including television, digital and publishing. Renowned for award-winning original programming, the company produces high-quality TV shows on both sides of the Atlantic, including the smash-hit HOTEL HELL, which is the highest-rated new network show of summer 2012; and MASTERCHEF, both for FOX; as well as massive U.K. hit "Gordon Ramsay Behind Bars" and "Gordon's Great Escape" for Channel 4.; and "My Kitchen," for UKTV's Good Food Channel. Ramsay's groundbreaking and hugely popular Channel 4 series, "Cookalong LIVE," aired as a special on FOX and has since become a successful format around the world. OPTP is also currently in development on several exciting unscripted and scripted projects, within and beyond the food genre, for network, cable and digital platforms in the U.S., U.K. and Australia. OPTP distributes its hugely popular TV programming and formats to more than 200 territories via Optomen International. The company became part of the All3Media group in 2010. Find out more about One Potato Two Potato at www.onepotatotwopotato.tv.





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· MASTERCHEF (FOX)









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