So, You Want To Audition For MasterChef

Elizabeth Cauvel
7 min readDec 30, 2020

Five pieces of advice from a MasterChef finalist on how to get cast on the show.

A week after returning from my honeymoon, I took a cab from Brooklyn to a hotel in midtown Manhattan at six in the morning and stood outside in the autumn chill for four hours holding a whole ass lasagna.

I, along with a few thousand other hopefuls, was there to audition for MasterChef Season 5.

I learned a lot during the audition process–and, obviously, I made it on the show–and I have a few tips on how you can bring your A-game to casting and improve your chances of being considered.

An early-morning selfie from the audition line back in October 2013.

So, if you want to be ready to try out for Season 12, here’s how to slay the competition before you even step foot into the MasterChef kitchen.


TV is a visual medium. You don’t have to be super hot or even conventionally attractive to get cast, but it helps to look like you put in some effort. People are going to be looking at close-up shots of your face for an hour a week for four months. Show up looking like someone you’d want people to see.

If you’re considering wearing jeans and a neutral-colored t-shirt to the audition, don’t. Pull together ~an outfit.~ Give yourself a signature style. Remember that bright, saturated colors look best on TV, so leave your understated black button-down in the closet. Wear something that a stranger would compliment you in. I showed up in heels and a pencil skirt–and on the show, I was forever clad in heels and a pencil skirt; it’s not my favorite thing to wear in “real life,” but your outfit can help you stand out. It’s about character-building, not fashion.

The blue dress I wore to the camera test part of the audition, which became the dress I wore in press photos, and on the first episode of the show. I wore this damn dress for two weeks straight.

If you’re planning on rolling out of bed and showing up in yesterday’s messy bun and no makeup, don’t. Treat this like an interview for the strangest, most fun job you’ll ever have. Play up your eyes or your lips or your brows–or play it all up.

Enhance what’s unique about your look. Are you tall and willowy? Wear heels and double-down on the height…



Elizabeth Cauvel

I’m a west coast-based creative director at New York-based ad agency MRY, and the season 5 Masterchef runner-up. I love mayonnaise, yoga, cats, and pizza.