Sarah Lane: Starring On ‘MasterChef Junior’ Killed The Magic Of Reality TV


When Sarah Lane appeared on Season 1 of “MasterChef Junior” again in 2014 — when she infamously shouted, “Whip it like a man!” on the third episode — she was solely 9 years outdated. Now 17 and gearing up for her senior 12 months of highschool, Lane remembers her time on the Fox present fondly. “All of us became very close over the filming of the season,” Lane tells Anna Rahmanan on this Voices in Food story. In addition to discussing the enjoyable instances on the present, Lane dives deep into the technicalities concerned in starring on a actuality program, the regrets she has (and people she doesn’t) and recommendation to would-be Food Network stars.

I had by no means achieved tv earlier than “MasterChef Junior.” I didn’t have an agent or a supervisor. Someone posted an open name on Facebook and the auditions had been fairly near the place I lived, and my mother [asked me if I wanted to go]. There had been a whole bunch of children on the audition.

At the time, my grandmother owned a restaurant in Pennsylvania and I might [sometimes] be a hostess there, so I knew in regards to the business and what working in it will entail.

Sarah Lane and Gordon Ramsay during the filming of Season 1 of "MasterChef Junior."

Sarah Lane and Gordon Ramsay through the filming of Season 1 of “MasterChef Junior.”

Honestly, I don’t have any regrets besides that when you go behind the scenes of a tv present and see how all the things is completed—how the manufacturing works, how they edit all the things — then it’s onerous [not to think of that when watching TV]. Whenever I watch “MasterChef,” I can virtually select who wins from the primary episode, and so [shooting the show] type of killed the magic a bit.

What individuals don’t know in regards to the present is the quantity of downtime that the children get. We’d go house round 4 or 5 p.m. day-after-day after which simply hang around on the lodge till the subsequent morning. Everyone on our season received very shut. We would spend plenty of time collectively.

I feel it’s attention-grabbing to see how everybody ended up doing various things: Sofia Hublitz is now one of many essential characters on “Ozark,” Dara Yu goes to the Culinary Institute of America and Alexander Weiss, who was the winner of our season, does one million totally different internships in eating places.

I feel the entire expertise was undoubtedly an attention-grabbing one. Dara Yu cried on the present and so they aired it and it was an enormous controversy, nevertheless it’s a actuality present and that’s what they need. They additionally edit elements of interviews. They have a plan for the way the season goes to go, so that they go away issues that make their plan work as a result of that’s how TV works. So generally, you make a casual remark about another person and so they’ll go away it in and that may result in [controversy].

“Whatever you say in front of the camera, the show has a right to air.”

In one episode, [contestant] Troy Glass was pissed off with me. In his interview, he was saying issues like, “Sarah is the worst and I don’t want her on my team.” They left that in. I don’t suppose it was their intention, however Troy ended up getting plenty of hate due to that remark and he needed to deactivate his Twitter account. I feel the crew tries to steer away from that now, however I feel because it was the primary season, they didn’t essentially know the way followers would react to sure issues.

But you must know that it’s nationwide tv, so lots of people are seeing what you might be saying. You need to be aware and notice that no matter you say in entrance of the digital camera, the present has a proper to air.

I feel the most effective factor that youngsters who need to be on the present can do is be their genuine selves. That is the way you get on the present. Lots of people suppose they should have a persona and be a personality as a result of that’s what individuals need to see, however the factor is, [the audience] really desires to see actual individuals on TV. They need to see you being your genuine self. That’s why I received plenty of followers after the present: When individuals met me in actual life, I used to be precisely the best way I used to be on the present and I didn’t need to create a persona that I needed to sustain with. That could possibly be very exhausting. It’s vital to appreciate that they need you and never a caricature of what you suppose that they need you to be.

It’s additionally vital to appreciate that when you check out for the present and don’t make it, it’s actually not the tip of the world. One of the issues that made my expertise so pleasant is that my mother and I all the time had a practical outlook on what the present could be and the way it was going to be a great expertise however I most likely wasn’t going to win.

This interview has been edited for readability and size.