When season 8 of MasterChef began, 40 chefs entered the competition hoping to make it to the Top 20. Over the course of two episodes, they went straight to work in the kitchen. Gordon Ramsay, Christina Tosi and Aaron Sanchez judged their dishes — and 20 were given a white apron and advanced to the next round.

Only one of these 20 contestants will win the $250,000 grand prize, along with a cookbook deal.

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Meet the Top 20 of MasterChef season 8:

Adam Wong

Hometown: Cambridge, MA

Occupation: Harvard Student

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Brien O’Brien

Hometown: Redding, CA

Occupation: Magazine Ad Sales

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Caitlin Jones

Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA

Occupation: Dancer

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Caitlin (Cate) Meade

Hometown: Chicago, IL

Occupation: Nutritionist

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Daniel Pontes-Macedo


Hometown: Medford, MA

Occupation: Substitute Teacher

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Dino Luciano Ignacio

Hometown: Bensonhurst, NY

Occupation: Dancer

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Eboni Henry

Hometown: Chicago, IL

Occupation: Addiction Counselor

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Gabriel Lewis

Hometown: Oklahoma City, OK

Occupation: Fast Food Server

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Heather Dombrosky

Hometown: Miami, FL

Occupation: Registered Nurse

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Jason Wang

Hometown: Newton, MA

Occupation: High School Music Teacher

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Jeff Philbin

Hometown: Tampa, FL

Occupation: Marketing Director

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Jennifer Williams

Hometown: Chalmette, LA

Occupation: Debt Collector

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Jenny Cavellier

Hometown: Cincinnati, OH

Occupation: Special Needs Therapist

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Mark Togni

Hometown: Portland, OR

Occupation: Stay-at-Home Dad

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Necco Ceresani

Hometown: Newberry, SC

Occupation: Marketing Manager

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Mike Newton

Hometown: Lipan, TX

Occupation: Ranch Owner

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Paige Jimenez

Hometown: Honolulu, HI

Occupation: Swimsuit Model

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Reba Billingsley

Hometown: Carthage, TX

Occupation: Stay-at-Home Mom

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Sam Reiff-Pasarew

Hometown: Washington, DC

Occupation: Creative Writing Teacher

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Yachecia Holston

Hometown: Detroit, MI

Occupation: Minister

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Who are your favorites so far? Do you have any early predictions? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

MasterChef airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on FOX. Want more news? Like our MasterChef Facebook page.

(Images courtesy of FOX)