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With this year’s season of MasterChef including both new competitors and returning contestants, it’s no surprise that the ‘fans’ were often left starstruck by the ‘favourites’ during filming.
Ali Stoner, who was eliminated from the show on Sunday night, tells Yahoo Lifestyle that it was “like a dream come true” getting to meet and compete against season seven winner Billie McKay.
“I told her I was a big fan, it was a bit embarrassing,” she laughs.
“Something came up on Facebook a little while ago, a post from like seven years ago where I commented on Matt Preston’s photo: ‘I love Billie! She’s my favourite!’ When I saw it again I was like, ‘Oh my god, I was a total fangirl’.
“I loved getting to know her, she’s such a nice person. And it was lovely being able to cook with her in a couple of service challenges as well. It was pretty full-on.”
Ali went on to predict that Billie, who walked away from the show in 2015 with $250,000, a new car, a monthly column with Delicious magazine and a job working for Heston Blumenthal in the UK, will also take out this season’s crown.
“I've always said from the very beginning that my favourite Billie will be the winner, especially now having worked with her and met her,” she gushes.
“She’s a silent assassin, just quietly going about her business being an absolute gun. She just works very hard as well, so I wouldn’t be surprised if she was going to be the first person to take out the double win.”
‘Quite a unique experience’
Speaking about her own time in the MasterChef kitchen, Ali admits she’s “pretty devastated” that it ended much quicker than she had hoped.
“When I look back I really loved my experience and I think that's why I was so upset to leave because I just wasn't ready,” she says.
“I'm really glad that I actually did have some really fine moments in there, like having the dish of the day and winning immunity. I knew that I could do it and I was really proud of those moments. Overall, I'm just so glad that I did it and put myself out there for it. It’s quite a unique experience, nothing like anything I've done before.”
She adds that being a super-fan of the series, she was surprised by how long the filming days were.
“In the beginning when there were 24 contestants the tasting takes hours and hours and hours,” she says.
“And you have to stand there while everyone's dish gets tasted and the dishes get photographed and there’s a big long chat and all the judges give you some feedback. Doing that for 24 contestants can take about eight hours.”
As for what’s next, Ali says she’s looking forward to her post-MasterChef journey and seeing what happens.
“This has started me off in a new kind of direction and a new adventure and I’ve got lots of opportunities coming up in the next few months,” she details.
“I'm really excited to burst into the food industry and I just want to take the time to enjoy the journey and not concentrate too much on the destination, because I have a feeling the destination will become clearer once I jump in.”
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