'Hard to watch': MasterChef fans devastated after favourite's 'cruel' elimination

Kristine Tarbert
Senior Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer

MasterChef fans were left reeling on Sunday night after fan favourite Jess Liemantara was sent home in less than ideal circumstances.

Despite impressing the judges with a chocolate, liquorice ice-cream, the ‘Sweet Queen’ was eliminated from the Back to Win series. But it was her emotional exit under the new social distancing rules that really left viewers devastated.

Jess was in tears after being told the news. Photo: Channel Ten

The rules didn’t allow any other contestants to hug Jess after judges told her she would be eliminated from the competition. Leaving Jess and the other cooks standing apart from each other in tears.

“All of the contestants standing apart crying individually and watching Jess leave is some sort of sick metaphor for 2020 tbh,” one fan wrote on Twitter.

“Jess crying by herself with nobody being able to hug her is a weirdly devastating portrait of this moment in history,” another agreed, with plenty of others dubbing the moment ‘hard to watch’ or even ‘cruel’.

Jess first appeared in Season 10 of MasterChef in 2019, making top 5 that season.

She said she was devastated to be leaving but still thankful.

“I am leaving sad, but I’m also leaving very thankful and grateful. I’ve done so much in my time and now, I feel like I’ve got more capabilities to go further in the industry and really make my dreams come true.”

MasterChef started to look very different for viewers last week as the coronavirus pandemic and social distancing rules started to apply to the series.

Things like group hugs and high fives were off the table, and contestants were spaced out to compete.

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