No stranger to competitions, Dami decided to enter the MasterChef kitchen to give cooking a crack, but unfortunately on Sunday night, a dessert challenge got the better of her, sending her home.
“I was really scared because dessert is definitely not my strength, so having to do that for an elimination was just so scary,” Dami told 10 play.
“I hadn't really made much dessert in my life. I normally make the dinner and my friends bring the dessert and that's how it's always done in my life. So I had to quickly do something that one of my friends who's a baker had taught me. I hadn't really practiced it, so I just did it and I was hoping it would work, but it didn’t.”
The biggest problem was that during the 60-minute challenge, time was not on her side, with the cake needing at least 30 minutes to cook and then extra time to prep and chill it in the blast freezer.
“It didn't have enough time to chill down before being served. It was really burning hot still when the judges were about to taste it and I just went, ‘Oh no, nobody wants to eat hot cheesecake.’ I think that was the biggest thing that went wrong,” Dami said.
When she got home from the competition, Dami tried cooking the Sweet Potato Basque Cheesecake and admitted that it was “so much better, so why can’t I do it on television? I could still be on the show!”
Ultimately, it all comes down to the intensity in the kitchen and like many before her, that was her downfall.
“I was not used to having that much pressure on me, because when I'm cooking normally, that's when I really relax and have fun and get away from all the stress from everything else, whereas on the show cooking became the stress.
“And especially when you have the judges walking around and looking at you. Like they give you this look and you're like ‘Oh no, I’ve done something wrong’. It's very intimidating, but it is what it is.”
Looking back on her experience with the two-round elimination challenge, she believes one thing which could’ve helped push her relay team over the line to dodge the second round was if she had been more assertive in the cook.
“I was so happy with the team, but I think being the last one, I wish I had been a little more assertive with my decisions because even though I felt like I could have like seasoned the rice a bit more and changed what the other guys had done earlier, I was a little unsure about myself.
“I didn’t just go with my gut feeling and so I actually feel bad that, you know, I felt like I let the team down. But it was a good lesson for me to do what I think is right… You've got to be the head chef and you can't let other people's opinions make your recipes because then nobody is in charge anymore if you're not in charge.”
When Dami was approached about the prospect of joining the show, she accepted for two main reasons.
“I love the show. It's such a well-made, beautiful and entertaining show. And I love my food, I love cooking and I thought, you know what, especially this year when so many of my live performances and my tour had been cancelled, it was really, really good timing.”
Her other reason was something very close to her heart: she had an opportunity to support a charity which she is already an ambassador for.
“My charity is Compassion and it's an organisation that lets you sponsor children living in poverty around the world and I've been sponsoring my first child since I was 17. I really love what they do with the children around the world and how it really empowers the whole community to help them look after their own children.”
Despite not winning the title or prize, Dami is proud of what she plated up in the kitchen and fond of all the memories she shared with her fellow celebrities.
“I'm really happy that I got to experience it and meet the amazing judges and the team behind it all and the contestants. You know, it was such a fun, eye opening and interesting experience being in that kitchen.”
But was MasterChef the hardest competition she has entered?
“Ah, well, it was a lot easier than not. Like, it was more fun than some of the other shows because I think for me, because I'm not a proper chef, even if I don't do so well, it's not the end of the world.
“Whereas, obviously, Eurovision can't really compare. For me, that's representing a country with more pressure, and I am meant to be good at music and singing and songwriting, so you kind of want to do well. Whereas with MasterChef it’s like ‘Oh bummer, I'll just do better, I’ll just try and cook better,” she laughed.