The Masked Singer Australia’s Vocal Coach On Why He Spent More Time Training MasterChef Star

The Masked Singer Australia is back on TV, and one of the best parts of the show is guessing which celebs are singing behind the whacky costumes.
More often than not, the mystery stars are people who don't have the most musical experience, and MasterChef Australia judge Matt Preston — who was revealed as the Gnome last night — is the latest example.
Image courtesy of Channel 10
Matt Preston on The Masked Singer
The show's vocal coach, Gary Pinto, recently lifted the lid on what it has been like coaching some of the famous names who have participated in the amusing reality show. British actor and former footballer Vinnie Jones was one of the hardest to train, while George Calombaris — who was a judge on MasterChef alongside Preston — worked conscientiously to hit the high notes when he hid under the Duster costume last year.
"George is a hard worker, and a very sweet fella," Pinto told Herald Sun earlier this month.
"I did more time with him than most singers. He’d always go, 'Come on, we need to rehearse more.' He put in more work than most of the singers."
Image courtesy of Channel 10
George Calombaris on The Masked Singer in 2021
Calombaris was the second celebrity to be revealed on The Masked Singer last year, while his former MasterChef co-star Matt Preston was eliminated in Episode 6 last night — though the twist is that his character, Gnome, was only introduced in that same episode.
Following his elimination, Preston was asked why he decided to go on the Channel 10 show, to which he said: "Because it's so totally wrong… I have no skill in dancing, no skill in singing. It's one of those moments where you just go, 'OK, I have to do this. I have to do this.'"
And so he did, getting fans talking about his amusing performance as well as his simultaneous TV appearance on rival network Channel 7's reality show, My Kitchen Rules (MKR), during the same time slot.
Preston joined MKR judge Manu Feildel for the start of the Group 2 contestants' home cooks, replacing earlier judge Nigella Lawson who had tasted Group 1's food.
"Don't show off; bring us the food you cook at home that your friends and family love," Preston said of his advice to the contestants. "Also, your instant restaurant is not a place for first-time experimentation. Minimise your risks."
Image courtesy of Channel 7
My Kitchen Rules judges Manu Feildel and Matt Preston
His MasterChef co-star, Gary Mehigan, will also be a guest MKR judge later this season alongside Colin Fassnidge and Curtis Stone.
Preston and Mehigan's involvement in MKR this year comes after they and Calombaris were replaced on the MasterChef judging panel by Jock Zonfrillo, Melissa Leong and Andy Allen in 2020.
The pair then went on to host Plate of Origin with Manu Feildel later that year, which was a Channel 7 cooking show that celebrated cuisine from all over the world.
My Kitchen Rules premiered last week just less than a month after rival cooking show MasterChef Australia ended its Fans & Favourites season.
Viewers were first introduced to the six teams that form Group 1 on MKR. They are Janelle & Monzir, Peter & Alice, Kate & Mary, Ashlee & Mat, Arrnott & Fuzz, and Steven & Frena. Last night we met the six teams of Group 2, which are: Che & David, Rosie & Hayley, Leanne & Milena, Matt & KT, Nicky & Jose, and Sophie & Katherine.
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