Although tasting food may look easy, losing the sense of sight really impacted their ability to identify the one-inch cubes of food in front of them, and a truffle ultimately sent home Aussie actor, Matt Le Nevez.
“It was nerve-wracking because normally, you know how certain things taste but once you put on the clock and you're blindfolded and everyone's staring at you, it’s hard,” Matt told 10 play.
“I'm still cranky about it to be to be honest, jokingly obviously. I didn't grow up eating truffle and I didn't grow up knowing what a truffle feels like or any of that stuff… then when the next person got pineapple and someone after got cucumber, I was filthy – I was so upset that the judge’s thought truffle was easier to distinguish than a pineapple.”
But everything was not lost to the truffle, with round two giving Matt the opportunity to win his place in the competition, but he was going up against Tilly and Dilruk.
“I was really nervous about Tilly because she's such a great chef. But one of the things that happens on MasterChef is you start to realise that you want to have the experience as much as you’re just trying to survive.”
Matt wanted to try cooking something he had never tried before and Tilly had the same idea, with both of them choosing duck to hero their dishes.
“The amazing thing about MasterChef is when you are cooking, the judges come and help. I wanted to learn as much as I could about cooking the duck, because I've never cooked a duck before in my life,” Matt said.
“I thought I might have a chance to survive, I thought it might come down and Dilruk and I because I knew Tilly would be okay because she's an incredible chef, but then I kind of expected the news when it came.”
Throughout his life, Matt has been a long time “fan of the show” and loves everything it stands for and celebrates.
“I never had any desire to be on reality television at all, but to me, MasterChef isn't that, it's a show that highlights and exemplifies cooking and I really wanted a chance to learn from the judges and the experience and try and become a better cook, because families revolve around the kitchen and I want my family to have the greatest experience they can in the kitchen.
“When I was filming Offspring, some of the old judges came on as guests and now, I had a chance to watch the new judges and I just think they're fantastic. I think the show stands alone in the reality television space, so I was really honored to be able to come on and do it.”
While there was so much to enjoy while he was in the MasterChef kitchen, Matt revealed that the most difficult part of competing was dealing with the anxiety and learning to be in the moment and appreciate it.
“I suddenly realised there are 10 contestants, one person is going to win it but you don't want to be one of the other nine that go out on the Titanic, stressed out and not enjoying yourself. To me, that was what it was about, trying to enjoy myself, have a good time and learn as much as I could to see how far I could go.”
Matt chose to support the charity People Stories, which his friend set up in Cambodia to support reginal remote Cambodian children get access to education.
“Cambodia’s obviously had a pretty rough time. I've travelled to Cambodia a couple of times in the past and it's a beautiful country and to me, it was one of the first countries that I visited after I became an adult.
“Basically, we try and give scholarships to rural children so they can access school, because kids just don't get the opportunity to go to school and if they do, they tend to drop out. So, we're trying to keep kids in school to break the poverty cycle, especially for young girls.”
Matt shared that he didn’t think he’d make it as far as he did, believing he “might be one of the first people kicked out, so, to get that far, it was exhilarating and then it was really upsetting because I would have loved to continue on and learn more and still spend time with the judges.”
Although his MasterChef journey has come to an end, he was very appreciative of the memories he created.
“I'd like to thank the judges for all their support. Obviously, I'd like to congratulate all the other contestants, not just the ones that are still existing, but everyone for giving their heart and soul and I want to thank all of them for being such great friends.
And then the audience, there's a reason why the show is special and different… it’s uplifting reality television, audiences don’t want reality television that just gets down in the mud and shames people. They also want reality television that makes them feel good, so it was a really nice experience to be a part of and I hope that we can all learn to come together at everyone's kitchen and try and cook some nice food.”