MasterChef star pulled out of show after new judges revealed

Sarah Carty
Features & Style Editor

He was forced to apologise after homophobic comments he made in 2014 surfaced this week and now it’s been revealed that Reynold Poernomo actually pulled out of this year’s MasterChef when he discovered the original judges had been axed. 

“I said yes, then the judges got changed, and I said no, then I had to say yes again because I thought OK, this is actually an opportunity that doesn’t come around often,” he told news.com.au last week. 

Reynold Poernomo pulled out of MasterChef before it began filming. Photo: Channel 10

He went on to say that his ‘time is really valuable in the business’ and he was worried that he would put too much of a burden on his family being away filming for that long. 

However, he decided to accept the Back to Win offer and is now glad he did, after the new judges, Melissa Leong, Jock Zonfrillo and Andy Allen have made their mark. 

“I’m so glad I said yes because it’s really refreshing to see new faces,” he said.

In July last year, it was announced that beloved judges, Matt Preston, Gary Mehigan and George Calombaris would not be returning to the Channel 10 show.

Andy Allen, Melissa Leong and Jock Zonfrillo were announced as the new judges back in October. Photo: Channel 10

Then in October, Channel 10 revealed its surprising choice of new judges, Jock Zonfrillo, Melissa Leong and Andy Allen.

All three are no strangers to the small screen, with Andy even first finding fame on MasterChef, when he won season four back in 2012.

Reynold in hot water

Over the weekend, Reynold, who is a hot favourite to take out the trophy on this season’s MasterChef, found himself in hot water after homophobic comments he wrote on a bodybuilding site’s forum about gay people in 2014 were found, sending shockwaves through fans.

Daily Mail Australia reports that the comments appeared on a thread entitled: “First gay couple featured on the Disney Channel. Do you agree with them?”.

Matt Preston, Gary Mehigan and George Calombaris were axed from their judging roles last year. Photo: Channel 10

Reynold under the username ‘ReyRey’ described homosexuals as ‘freaks’ and called for them to be marooned on an island.

“I wish the world made a united decision where they will capture all gay people and put them on a remote island full of gays, that way straight [people] will be happy and the freaks can go on and f*** themselves,” He wrote.

In response to a forum entitled, “Is homosexuality a mental illness?” he wrote simply ‘Yes, end of thread’.

In a statement released through Channel 10, Reynold apologised for the comments and said he’s ‘truly sorry’ for any offence he might have caused. 

“I would like to offer my sincere and deepest apologies for the comments that I made in 2014,” he said in the statement. “I am ashamed of these comments and I regret them immensely.”

“At the time these comments were made, I was a very immature, close-minded and insular 20-year-old. I have grown and matured a lot in the last six years. I am not the person I was back then.”

“I have many friends and colleagues that are part of the LGBTQI+ community. I wholeheartedly support them and care deeply for them. I am truly sorry and apologise for any offence or hurt I caused.”

Got a story tip or just want to get in touch? Email us at lifestyle.tips@verizonmedia.com.