Fans celebrated on Monday night as MasterChef returned to TV screens, with many most excited to see Melissa Leong, who appeared almost close to tears as she delivered an emotional speech to the new contestants.
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."
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.
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.
"We ask for your kindness and consideration for our privacy, we will not be making any further comment as our private lives have, and will always remain exactly that.
"We wish you peace at the end of such a challenging year for all."
The pair married after only five months of dating with Melissa telling TV Week: "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.
"Thank you so very much to everyone to gave me the dignity of truly hearing and seeing me, for witnessing me take a leap of faith with kindness, support and patience.
"It may be expected to reflect at this time of the year, but I don’t see how that’s a bad thing if it’s an opportunity to set intention for a better, brighter year ahead. I wish that for you, whoever you are and wherever you may be in your own story.
"If this year and the pandemic had taught us anything, it is that we truly are connected."
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