MasterChef Australia fans have been left ‘weeping’ after Channel 10’s emotional tribute to Jock Zonfrillo following his final episode ever with the show.
The Glasgow-born star was found dead at 2am in Melbourne on May 1, the same day MasterChef season 15 was meant to air.
On Sunday night, in a nail-biting finale, Jock beamed from ear-to-ear as 32-year-old Brent Draper was crowned this year’s champion, beating 47-year-old Rhiannon Anderson and taking home a whopping $250,000.
Following the celebrations, Channel 10 cut to a heart-wrenching montage of some of Jock’s most memorable moments from the show, pulling at the heartstrings of Australians everywhere.
The tribute opened with Gordon Ramsay announcing Jock as one of the three new MasterChef judges in 2019, with the late chef saying he values ‘honesty’ above anything else in the kitchen.
Jock’s passion was evident to see from how he judged the dishes over the years, simply saying ‘wow, wow wow,” as Reynold presented his now famous golden snitch dessert to the judges.
“Food’s been my entire life,” Jock can be heard saying over the montage. “The most important thing to me is giving back in the kitchen.”
Behind-the-scenes clips showed Jock’s cheeky personality, goofing around with fellow judges Andy Allen and Melissa Leong between takes and giving the camera a little smirk here and there.
It ended with a message from Jock to the contestants, where he said: “For the last time, go home, make yourselves a cup of tea, put your feet up and be kind to each other, we’ll see you back here tomorrow”.
A photo of the whole crew then appeared on the screen, with the words 'Give it up for Jock Zonfrillo', his famous saying whenever anyone left the MasterChef kitchen.
Viewers were left in floods of tears, with one person writing: “Well the end was tough to watch, but beautiful. Far out Jock will be missed in every conceivable way. Gorgeous man gone too soon.”
“That was a beautiful tribute to Jock. Give it up for Jock Zonfrillo,” another person said.
Others said they were ‘left weeping’ while another said: “I’m a crying mess right now but I’m so glad they did that."
MasterChef fans left heartbroken
Last week, viewers were left particularly heartbroken last night after the late Scottish chef broke down in tears during an emotional segment on the show.
The four remaining contestants were delivered letters from their families right before they got their hands dirty in the kitchen - and there were tears all around.
Brent Draper struggled to read through his letter from home, where his son, Alfie, told him how much he missed him and his wife detailed how proud they are of him in how he’s dealt with his mental health battles in the past few years.
Jock, who had long spoken about his own struggles with anxiety, was visibly emotional, wiping away a tear and saying ‘wow’ at the impact the letter had on him.
Fans were left in tears after watching the moment, with one person writing: “Tonight broke me. When Brent was reading his letter and Jock was tearing up. All I could think of was Jock’s family. I bawled my eyes out.”
“I think reading their letters from home and Brent’s son also being called Alfie just made Jock miss his family who were all in Italy. He’d been home for months making MC while his family were not there with him. He made me teary last night,” another person wrote.
Another fan wrote: “Watching tonight's episode of MasterChef I couldn't hold back the tears.”
Others noted that it’s going to be difficult watching the finale this Sunday “knowing we won’t get to see him again”.
“This episode really hit it hard for me with the love and letters from their families, when I saw Jock tearing up, I lost it and started crying when I saw him, Realizing that soon he will be gone and he has no idea,” another person wrote.
Jock and Brent’s bond
Jock and Brent have a history of dealing with tough moments together, with Jock being a rock for Brent when he decided to step away from MasterChef in 2021 due to mental health reasons.
Addressing Brent on the show at the time, Jock said: "I know this hasn't been an easy decision to make, and we want you to know that every single person in this kitchen is so proud of you..."
At this point, Jock's voice broke as he struggled to maintain composure.
"By the way you cook, and for your courage in making this decision and holding your hand up and saying, 'You know what? I need to sort myself out'.
"The competition's going to be poorer without you."
Jock later revealed that he had gifted Brent with a pair of worry beads, an item the chef sold in order to raise money for Beyond Blue.
"I actually reckon for three weeks after I didn't go anywhere without them [worry beads], and they literally helped me relax and calm down so many times,” Brent told Woman’s Day this year.
Jock also opened up about his personal battles with his mental health revealing to the Sunday Herald Sun in 2021 how Brent’s decision to leave the show reminded him how far he had come in his own mental health journey.
“If it hadn’t been for food I would definitely be behind bars or in a pine box six foot under for sure,’’ he confessed.
The father of four, who had previously spoken about his recovery from being a drug addict, went on to describe how it took him a while to ‘sort out’ his mental health.
“It wasn’t until I left behind a couple of failed marriages and a breakdown in relationship, friends or otherwise,” he said.
“(I thought) something’s not right here and it’s me. By which time I’d lost a lot - friends and love and marriage and contact with kids. For a lot of people by then it’s too late. You’ve really got to get on top of it early.”
The Glasgow-born star was found dead at 2am in Melbourne on May 1, after police received a call requesting a “welfare check”.
Mental health support for yourself or a loved one can be found by calling Lifeline on 13 11 14, Mensline on 1300 789 978, or the Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800. Online support is available via Beyond Blue.
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