The actor, who was once rumoured to be anchoring the current season, dropped out of it around August this year, stating that he didn’t have the required dates. Also, his show, Khatron Ke Khiladi Torchaar, was ending too close to the culinary reality show’s opening. He had reasoned that he didn’t want anyone to associate him with two rival channels in a single year, within a gap of two months.
Later on, there were rumours that Farhan Akhtar and Kajol had been approached to anchor the show as well, but the actors turned it down for reasons best known to them. Eventually, Akshay was replaced in the second season of MasterChef India by Michelin-starred chef Vikas Khanna.
MasterChef India 2 ends on January 1, 2012 with Akshay Kumar as the celebrity guest-judge on the show. He is likely to announce the winner’s name and hand over the prize to him or her. Airing on Star Plus, the show is only two weeks away from the grand finale, which will have the remaining top chefs battle it out for the title of MasterChef.
Nitin Vaidya, business head, Hindi channels for Star Network, confirms the news and says, “It’s our pleasure that Akshay managed to take time out of his schedule for this show. We are working out a plan to ensure that we make it worth his time.”
The numbers for the show, that airs almost in the same slot as the previous season, have been between 1.5 and 2.5 across weeks, which is higher than the previous season. Buzz is that the channel plans to continue to ride high, with Akshay Kumar taking charge of the next season that should start next year.
Nitin adds, “This year has been extremely fruitful for the format and in turn, for us. The content has been loved and followed by many people across the country. We have no complains.”
Sanjeev Kapoor to throw a challenge?
Buzz is that Akshay Kumar will not be alone on the finale episode of the show. Celebrity chef Sanjeev Kapoor will be the other celebrity judge on the show that evening. He will throw the final challenge at the contestants. The details of the contest are still being worked around.