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Australian 'MasterChef' 2012 auditions kick off in Sydney

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Masterchef Australia 2011: Hayden Quinn

© Network Ten

The search for next year's MasterChef Australia has begun.

The auditions to find contestants for the 2012 season of the Australian version of the cooking reality show kicked off in Sydney this week and production company Shine Australia revealed that it is under "pressure" to deliver another hit series after home makeover series The Renovators was not as successful as they expected.

Executive producer Margie Bashfield told the Herald Sun: "Of course there is pressure on us to deliver a show that performs.

"But that said, there is pressure on us every day regardless of anything else, because there is so much local content in the marketplace at the moment. So that pressure is not necessarily due to The Renovators - but of course it's there."

MasterChef 2011 contestant Hayden Quinn made a special appearance at the auditions and told the wannabe chefs what to expect if they are selected for the show.

"The main thing I learnt is that you have to be yourself," he said. "Cook from the heart and cook what you cook at home."

Shine's Junior MasterChef has achieved less than half the viewing figures of last year's season.

It also recently faced controversy after the father of one contestant alleged that it is "staged" and that the children taking part are given recipes weeks in advance rather than creating them on the spot.

This year's MasterChef was won by Kate Bracks, who has since said that she would love to open her own bed and breakfast rather than become a professional chef.

> Sarah Wilson: 'MasterChef has lost its allure'
> Aussie 'MasterChef' judge doesn't want "bully" Gordon Ramsay on show

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