MasterChef's Jock Zonfrillo suffers medical emergency on set

Gillian Wolski
·Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
·3-min read

The brand new season of MasterChef has only just begun but already the reality TV juggernaut has been rocked with an on-set crisis.

Judge Jock Zonfrillo recently suffered what appears to be an allergic reaction to shellfish while filming a cooking challenge with this year's contestants.

MasterChef's Jock Zonfrillo has suffered a medical emergency on set of the new season. Photo: Channel 10.
MasterChef's Jock Zonfrillo has suffered a medical emergency on set of the new season. Photo: Channel 10.

"We were doing a challenge with crayfish the other day and I had to get [medical] treatment because of the shellfish overload," the 44-year-old told New Idea last week.

People who have a shellfish allergy develop symptoms soon after being exposed. Symptoms range from hives, swelling of the lip, tongue or throat and trouble breathing. As with other allergies, a shellfish allergy can be life-threatening and emergency medical treatment must be sought right away.

It's not clear how severe Jock's reaction was or how long it took him to recover, although he has since appeared in an Instagram Live Q&A with fans looking happy and healthy.

Channel 10 has been contacted for comment.

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Melissa Leong appeared to be almost close to tears as she gave an emotional speech to the newest MasterChef contestants. Photo: Ten

Melissa's teary message

MasterChef kicked off on Monday night with an emotional message from judge Melissa Leong.

Addressing how tough 2020 was for many people, Melissa said: "Last year, our world turned upside down. And although it was tough, it forced us all to reassess what is most important in our lives. 

"Last year may have been a time of change, but this year is a time of opportunity," she said to huge applause from the new contestants.

Speaking about the show's new social distancing measures that were put in place last year, she continued, "Now usually you’d be here surrounded by your family and friends, but sadly this year that’s not possible.

"So I would like to invite you to take a look around at each other because as of today, we welcome you to the MasterChef family.

"Support each other, celebrate each other’s successes, have each other’s backs when things are not so great. We want to see you grow and thrive and be the best that you can be. That’s what makes us so proud to be part of this family together."

Tweets about Melissa Leong
Viewers shared their love for Melissa on Twitter. Photo: Twitter

Viewers shared their love for Melissa on social media, with one user writing, "I could listen to Melissa talk all day."

"Melissa is the best thing on Australian TV," another added. "Just give her the Gold Logie now please. Heck give her a one-woman stage show and film too."

"Melissa is feeding us the supportive, uplifting, positive Mum-vibes Australia needs [right now]," someone else wrote.

Melissa Leong and husband Joe Jones
Melissa and husband Joe Jones were together for five months before they eloped in the US. Photo: Instagram/Melissa Leong

Personal heartbreak

Last year was a very tough one for Melissa; her life was changed after appearing on her first and wildly successful season of MasterChef, but she also saw the breakdown of her marriage.

The 38-year-old shared the heartbreaking news on Instagram in December, announcing she and husband Joe Jones had split up after four years together.

"It has brought us such happiness to walk together, but the time has come for Joe and I to part ways and walk on, apart," she wrote.

The pair married after only five months of dating with Melissa telling TV Week at the time: "When you know, you know."

On New Year's Eve last year, Melissa shared a reflective post about the year that was, writing: "2020 will always be the year my life changed irrevocably. It’s never all good, or all bad, what prevails is the work we put into ourselves and the people we love. "

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