MasterChef fans were left heartbroken last night as two fan favourites were separated after a nail-biting elimination.
Brendan Pang farewelled the reality show kitchen after failing to impress the judges with his Japanese noodles and lobster seafood broth with citrus and rocket oil dish.
It came just weeks after fans called for Brendan and fellow chef Reece Hignell to get their own spin-off show, saying their bromance this year was one of the best things about the series.
And last night, Reece’s sorrow at the departure of Brendan was plain to see, with the chef looking close to tears as he elbow bumped his best mate out of the kitchen.
Fans quickly took to their social media account to lament the loss of the duo.
“Omg Reece looked absolutely shattered... Brendan’s elimination has absolutely broken my heart,” one person said.
Another agreed saying: “I'm devastated for you both. I just wanted to give Brendan the biggest hug tonight”.
“Can’t believe this is happening. My heart is breaking for Reece and Brendan both. I’m gonna miss seeing this two interacting on my screen, absolutely smashing toxic masculinity and celebrating platonic friendships with every witty banter exchanged,” another person said.
Brendan took to his Instagram account after the episode aired to thanks everyone who made it an experience he will ‘treasure forever’.
“This year has been an emotional time in my life for so many reasons, but here’s one of me being a goose in my natural element at home. It was so good to be back on #MasterChefAU, but so good to be back home,” he wrote.
“I’m so glad to have returned to the MC kitchen with a clear sense of who I am - you said it @fooderati! - and the opportunity to share both who I am and the food I’m most excited about with you all. ”
Posting a boomerang video to his own Instagram, Reece said he was ‘completely devastated’ to see his friend leave the competition.
“I know all the amazing things you have going for you back home. Your new cookbook has me cooking Chinese every second night and @bumplingsperth is the hottest thing in Perth at the moment - cannot wait to come over and have my free dinners. So grateful we got to do MasterChef together again - now go kill it!!!! Slay sis,” he wrote.
Brendan previously opened up about their bromance, telling news.com.au that Reece was one of the first people he came out to.
“I’d always kind of looked up to Reece as a role model. When I was eliminated we spent a bit of time together before I left to come home and I just opened up to him,” he revealed.
Brendan said Reece’s reaction to his news was ‘like his reaction when Katy Perry walked in’, which if you watch the show, you’ll know Reece nearly lost it with excitement.
“He was surprised but he was happy. It was a really special moment and he’s like a brother to me now,” Brendan said.
The 26-year-old came out in an emotional Facebook post last year, which was liked by over 1,500 people online.
“My name is Brendan Pang and I’m 26 years old... but, for as long as I can remember and up until the age of 24 I struggled with my sense of identity. As a gay male, I had feelings of being “different” very early on, and as I navigated the bumpy road into adulthood, I went through some pretty dark times from feeling pressured to change who I was, to experiencing high levels of social anxiety - oh the list goes on,” he revealed. ⠀
“Thankfully, with the help of a strong and supportive network (my family and friends), I was able to not only survive the complexity of mental health, but thrive and become a stronger, happier, comfortable and proud ME.”⠀⠀⠀⠀