Did Michael Silverstein Give The Real Scoop On The MasterChef Immunity Pin?

The 12th season of "MasterChef" wrapped up in September 2022 and contestant Michael Silverstein may have lifted the lid on one of the series' newer additions when he popped up on the MasterChef subreddit to give fans a little more insight into the workings of Season 12's "immunity pins."

This season was a little different for a couple of reasons, not least the fact that all 20 chefs were returning contestants, each one eager for another bite at the juicy MasterChef cherry, with the winner taking home $250,000, a state-of-the-art VIKING kitchen, and of course, the legendary title of MasterChef.

Now if chef Silverstein is ringing any bells, you may remember him from his 15th-place finish in Season 10, or indeed Mashed's exclusive interview with him in the lead-up to Season 12! Thankfully Silverstein can be delighted with his "MasterChef" return as this time around he made an immense improvement on his last outing, getting all the way to the runner-up spots along with Christian Green, who first competed in Season 5.

Michael Silverstein lifts the lid

The other little twist this season was the introduction of the so-called "immunity pins." Inspired by a similar feature in "MasterChef Australia," the basic idea is that a chef can win an immunity pin by having their dish chosen as the judges' favorite one week, which then grants them immunity from elimination the next week. 

Michael Silverstein weighed in on the chat among fans in the S12 E4 subreddit discussion, underlining the importance of winning an immunity pin, explaining that "there are sometimes extra twists or advantages added along with the pin. So it's pretty big to get the pin." So the power of the pins was not quite as straightforward as strictly granting immunity, it seems the contestants knew a little more than we did. But knowing just how important it was to win a pin, Silverstein did just that with his Vietnamese cuisine, which earned him the judges' favor and an immunity pin in Episode 11, "Mystery Box Challenge."

Winning hearts, minds, and taste buds

Michael Silverstein returned to the MasterChef subreddit to shine a little more light on the workings of the immunity pins. Without delving into too much detail, he said the benefits of winning a pin aren't always the same from week to week. Replying to a fan's question, he explained "sometimes the person who gets the pin gets an extra advantage the next episode, sometimes not. Sometimes you don't have to cook the next episode, sometimes you do." 

Unfortunately, Silverstein's "MasterChef" comeback came to an end with a nonetheless extremely impressive finish as one of two runners-up, losing out to overall winner Dara Yu. And it wasn't just the judges who were left with a good taste in their mouths as Silverstein continues to endear himself with fans, too. Taking to Reddit once more, he simultaneously praised fellow contestant Shanika Patterson while also dropping the nugget that Joe Bastianich corrects contestants who call him chef off-camera. So, with new "MasterChef" seasons upcoming, fans can begin to wonder if we'll see any more new twists, perhaps another immunity pin-like bonus, or who knows, maybe the third coming of Michael Silverstein? A fan can dream, can't they?