MasterChef fans suspicious about missing contestant: 'Disappeared without a trace'

Viewers have been left baffled after noticing one contestant has completely vanished.

MasterChef's Jean-Christophe Novelli / season 16 cast.
MasterChef fans have noticed one contestant has been missing from the past two episodes. Photos: Channel 10

First, there was the ‘Who is Sue?’ movement followed by questions about Steve and Lourdes’ absence during the second-chance cook, and now another mystery has rocked MasterChef Australia. Fans were left baffled during Thursday night’s episode when they realised that one of the top 11 contestants was nowhere to be seen.

Josh Perry, aka ‘Pezza’, was noticeably absent from the challenge and had no chance to win immunity. The 43-year-old butcher from Tasmania was also missing from Wednesday night’s elimination, which saw Sue Bazely leave the competition.

While Josh's glaring omission went unexplained by the judges, it certainly didn’t go unnoticed by fans on social media who questioned why he had suddenly vanished.

“It really does look like Pezza has disappeared without a trace. How weird that this isn't being addressed,” one person wrote.

“The real question isn’t who will win - it’s where is Pezza?” another added, while a third said, “Surely if Pezza isn't back for Sunday, they've got to say something”.

“Hey @masterchefau why haven't we been told where Pezza is? You can't ask us to emotionally invest in the contestants and then say nothing when someone isn't there for multiple episodes,” someone else shared.


Meanwhile, some viewers questioned how it was fair for Josh to continue in the competition when he didn’t participate in the recent elimination challenge.

“Where is Pezza? How does it work when you are supposed to be in an elimination cook off and you miss it completely?” one fan asked.

“So what happens now? Does Pezza get a free pass? Goes directly into the next elimination?” another remarked.

MasterChef's Josh Perry aka ‘Pezza’.
Josh Perry, aka ‘Pezza’, hasn’t competed since Tuesday night’s food service challenge. Photo: Channel 10

In a statement to Yahoo Lifestyle, a Network 10 spokesperson revealed that Josh had to sit out the past two episodes because he was ill.

“Josh Perry was unwell and absent from the MasterChef Australia kitchen for two challenges. As per competition protocol following a missed elimination challenge, Josh went straight into the next elimination challenge upon his return,” they said.


This certainly isn’t the first time a contestant has had to miss out on a challenge because of their health, with Lourdes Leschen unable to return for the redemption cook due to an operation.

“I had an important surgery that was unable to be missed,” she told Yahoo Lifestyle.

Meanwhile, Stephen Dennis told Yahoo Lifestyle that he decided not to return to the kitchen for the second-chance cook because he needed to take care of his mother Dahlas.

“My mother is in hospital and is very unwell,” he said. “My father passed away during Covid, so I need to support my mother and it would be unfair on my family to return to filming with this in mind.”

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