After an intense season that saw 12 returning contestants compete against 12 home cooks, the winner of MasterChef Fans & Favourites has finally been announced.
Billie McKay, who won season seven back in 2015, made history during Sunday night’s episode when she beat out season six star Sarah Todd and became the first person to win the cooking competition twice.
The two favourites competed across two rounds in the nail-biting grand finale, with the first task being a “brief challenge” where they had to cook a dish that was both sweet and savoury in 75 minutes.
Sarah was praised for her sticky chicken wingettes, with the judges calling her dish “very brave” and labelling the finished result as “a very well-balanced plate of food”.
Meanwhile, Billie’s cumin panna cotta with rosemary and rhubarb was labelled “delicious” but had a “major fail” - it hadn’t fully set.
Following round one, Sarah was in first place with 26 points out of a potential 30 while Billie had 21 points.
The second round introduced culinary icon, Heston Blumenthal, back into the MasterChef kitchen, who gave Sarah and Billie five hours and 15 minutes to recreate his taffety tart in an epic pressure test.
Coincidentally, the British chef also served as a guest judge for Billie’s finale seven years ago and offered her a job at his restaurant The Fat Duck following her win, which she accepted.
When it came time to serve up their versions of the dish, judge Jock Zonfrillo said that Sarah’s recreation was “just as good” as Heston’s.
Melissa Leong also said it was an “extraordinary effort”, however, Andy Allen noticed that there were a few flaws in the ice cream and pastry.
Billie’s dish was universally praised by the judges, leaving Melissa to say that her mind was “blown” because every element was “present and correct”.
Sarah was awarded a total of 30 out of 40 points in the final round, giving her a total of 56 out of 70. However, Billie scored a perfect score from Melissa and received 37 points, boosting her grand total to 58 out of 70.
‘What a legend!’
Following the episode, fans quickly took to social media to celebrate Billie’s history-making win.
“Billie is the ultimate MasterChef! Winning it twice in a row, what a legend!” one person wrote.
“Congratulations Billie! Heartily deserved,” another added, while a third tweeted, “The only person to face the gauntlet of the MasterChef kitchen twice and never get eliminated!”
A number of social media users also pointed out the striking detail that Billie became MasterChef’s first two-time winner on the same night that Reggie Bird became the first person to win Big Brother Australia twice.
“Reggie from BB and Billie from MasterChef both being crowned two-time winners in one night. That's quite extraordinary and unreal,” one viewer remarked.
“Australian reality TV deja vu tonight,” someone else shared, while a different user said, “AWESOME and historic night on Australian TV for strong courageous women”.
“Well done to both ladies for making history,” a fourth wrote.
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