'My Heart Just Sank': Rue Mupedzi Eliminated After A Marathon Clare Smyth Pressure Test

After a massive five-hour pressure test set by one of her idols, Clare Smyth, it was Rue's time to farewell the MasterChef kitchen.

On Tuesday night, Rue, Malissa and Cath had to tackle Clare Smyth's Beef and Oyster, with five hours to make the dish and a further 15 minutes to plate up for the judges. It was an epic battle and all three chefs were pushed out of their comfort zone.

But Malissa's immunity pin was weighing on her mind and, with just seconds to go before the end of the challenge, she played her pin and went back up to the gantry leaving just Cath and Rue, both in their first pressure test of the season, battling it out.

"I'm not going to lie, I was really scared," Rue told 10 Play, "pressure tests are not a walk in the park, they're called pressure tests for a reason... I was very anxious but I was also trying to pep talk myself!"

A massive fan of Clare Smyth, Rue was thrilled to see her walk through the doors of the MasterChef kitchen, and even when she revealed the complex dish the chefs would be recreating she said she knew it would be really challenging.

"But you know what? It was hard but I still love her," she added, laughing. "If I left, I left with my head held high because I got to meet someone I really look up to and I got to make a Clare Smyth dish -- how many people can say that?"

With five hours on the clock, Rue said the first few hours flew by and she was feeling pretty calm. Then, exhaustion set in. "The last hour, you're just running on adrenaline," she said, agreeing that it was like running a marathon, "and I would never do a marathon".

"I was quite calm at the start of the challenge [but] towards the end I was really panicking. I realised there was still so much to do and such little time.

"At the end of the day, I was really proud that I got to do the whole recipe, it's a lot of steps, a lot of hours standing up," she continued. "I was just really proud of myself because had you told me I'd get through that recipe at the start of the day... I would never have believed that."

Both Rue and Cath's finished dishes were missing an element, but Cath's sauce was near-perfect, so Rue's time in the kitchen came to an end.

"My heart just sank to the bottom of my stomach. I don't remember what I said, I don't remember what the judges said, I just remember saying goodbye to people and walking out those doors like... oh my gosh, that's it. It's over.

"When you get further you just want a little bit more and a little bit more," Rue continued. "It's human nature to want a bit more for yourself and I would have absolutely wanted to go a bit further in the competition."

But making it all the way to the Top 7 without ever finding herself in a pressure test, Rue established herself as the dessert queen of the season. Plating up some technical and creative sweet dishes, Rue admitted that she has only been challenging herself with desserts for a few years.

"I started making macarons because someone said they were hard and I was like okay, I want to prove to you they're not hard. That's where my love for desserts came from," she explained.

"When I finally mastered macarons I decided I can give myself a challenge and I can achieve it. I just love the complexity that comes with desserts because it just means another challenge for me to conquer."

After starting her own dessert business, Rue received a message through TikTok urging her to apply for MasterChef.

"I was like, yeah okay that sounds like a scam," she said, laughing. "I had wanted to apply for a long time, I just thought I was not ready [but] that was the little bit of a nudge that I needed to put in an application.

"Getting into the MasterChef kitchen... every day felt like a dream. I was like okay... I'm going to wake up eventually. It just felt so surreal," Rue continued.

"I've watched MasterChef for years and years, I'm a crazy fan, and now I go from fan to contestant?"

Already living the dream, Rue went on to win one of the biggest challenges of the season when her BarbeRue sauce won the condiment challenge and was released in Coles across the country.

"That was the ultimate cherry on top of my whole journey," she said, "I'm still riding on this high where I'm like... this cannot be real! The amount of love I've received from the sauce... everyone's like, 'I don't even like barbecue sauce but this is the best thing I've ever tasted!'"

Although she initially felt like she wasn't ready to take on MasterChef, having made it as far as she did Rue said she surprised herself every day in the competition. "If anything, it's a lesson to anyone who wants to do anything that you don't have to be 100 percent ready, you get better as you go through something."

Having left the competition Rue had been focused on one thing, "Sleeping. I've been catching up on sleep," she joked with her signature laugh.

"I've been really thinking about where I want to go, what direction, and I've reached out to a few pastry and patisserie places just so I can do a bit of work experience and grow my skills to another level.

"I do know my path is pastry-related. When I will do that, time will tell."

MasterChef Australia airs Sunday - Thursday at 7.30 on 10 and 10 Play