Following the judges’ decision to cut the competition in half during the season 1 premiere, here are the Top 12 contestants competing for the $100,000 grand prize on the first-ever MasterChef Junior, which airs Fridays at 8pm on FOX.

#24 Alexander

Age: 13
Hometown: New York, NY


#23 Alexander

Favorite Food: “A good burger. Simple but amazing when made to perfection!”

#22 Dara

Age: 12
Hometown: Culver City, CA

#21 Dara

Favorite Food: “Any type of meat, because it’s so versatile.”

#20 Gavin

Age: 10
Hometown: San Francisco, CA

#19 Gavin

Favorite Food: “Fruit. You can do so many things with it. You can make a puree, a compote, have it by itself or dry it. There are endless possibilities!”

#18 Jack

Age: 10
Hometown: East Rockaway, NJ

#17 Jack

Favorite Food: “Beef Wellington. It has everything that I love: prosciutto, beef and carbs.”

#16 Jewels

Age: 12
Hometown: Manalapan, NJ

#15 Jewels

Favorite Food: “Cucumbers, hands down. I love the crispy and clean taste. Plus, they are very hydrating!”

#14 Kaylen

Age: 11
Hometown: Culver City, CA

#13 Kaylen

Favorite Food: “Sushi! It comes in so many flavors and styles.”

#12 Molly

Age: 12
Hometown: Pasadena, CA

#11 Molly

Favorite Food: “Any type of dumpling! You get a lot of different flavors in every bite, and you can eat a lot of them!”

#10 Roen

Age: 12
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY

#9 Roen

Favorite Food: “I love sushi so much because of how fresh and cool it is. For me, it’s a food that is great in any weather, cold or warm.”

#8 Sarah

Age: 9
Hometown: Culver City, CA

#7 Sarah

Favorite Food: “Sushi, or gummy worms. I would say gummy worms, but I would need something healthy too … and I LOVE sushi!”

#6 Sofia

Age: 12
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY

#5 Sofia

Favorite Food: “Sushi — because that one speaks for itself!”

#4 Tommy

Age: 11
Hometown: Palos Verdes Estates, CA

#3 Tommy

Favorite Food: “I could eat Pasta Bolognese for the rest of my life!”

#2 Troy

Age: 12
Hometown: Thousand Oaks, CA

#1 Troy

Favorite Food: “Pasta is definitely my favorite food!”

Jeff Dodge

Staff Writer, BuddyTV

Jeff Dodge, a graduate of Western Washington University, has been a TV news editor for many years and has had the chance to interview multiple reality show stars, including Randy Jackson, Nick Cannon, Heidi Klum, Mel B and John Cena.