Andre, Chris, Julie and Sam got the shock of their lives as Justine, Poh and Tom returned to MasterChef Australia.
In deliberating this decision the judges felt there were some stand out cases of Top 20 contestants who had stumbled at a crucial hurdle but had enough substance and skill to warrant a second chance in the competition. Determined to raise the bar, Gary, George and Matt’s primary aim is to ensure that Australia’s first Masterchef really will be the best amateur cook.
Julie was thrilled to see them come back but other reactions were mixed. “That’s such an exciting moment – I’m over the moon to see them,” said Julie.
“We’re all really happy to see them but I’m wondering what the hell’s going on,” confessed Chris. “My reaction is mixed. I’m a little disappointed. Its one step forward and three steps back. I’m not feeling threatened though. I’ve beaten them before and I’ll beat them again.”
The three returning contestants each had something to say.
Poh (artist from Adelaide) said: “I was absolutely thrilled to be invited back and am flattered that the judges selected me as someone who had more potential but went out too soon. I left because I took too many“
Tom (former solicitor from Queensland): “I feel honoured that my cooking skills have been recognised and that I’m good enough to come back into the competition so I need to prove to the judges that this decision”
Justine (former sales exec from New South Wales): “I hope I have what it takes to be the first Masterchef. I have a clear direction of how I am going to use this to my advantage. I love everyone here but I know I am here for myself. I’m serious about this now. I know you don’t get a third chance.”
On explaining the decision, George Calombaris said: “We believe they deserve a second chance. They are talented enough to be in this competition and talented enough to possibly be Australia’s first Masterchef. Imagine how proud our eventual winner will be at the finale knowing that they have proven beyond any doubt that they deserve the title of Australia’s first MasterChef.”
The seven contestants went straight into a challenge to cook lunch for 200 hungry sailors in the tiny galley of HMAS Kanimbla. With elimination on the cards, stakes were high. Each contestant had to make a dish of their choosing and the sailors voted on their favourite. Justine came out on top and Sam and Tom found themselves in the bottom two facing elimination on Thursday night.
Justine said: “It is a good feeling to know I’m back here, not scraping through but doing good things.”