In a first for MasterChef Australia, a contestant has chosen to leave, citing mental health issues. Brent Draper, known for dishes involving fried food and chocolate, quit of his own accord due to the pressure of the cooking reality show, as well as having to spend time away from his family, reports The Guardian.
In the middle of the episode, Draper reportedly confessed that he couldn't cook, adding that he could not shake off the stress and anxiety he was feeling. He was consoled by one of the judges, Jock Zonfrillo, who he later confided in and announced his decision to. Zonfrillo conveyed the news of Draper's exit to his fellow judges and the contestants, while commending his courage in asking for help. The judges and contestants were visibly upset at his exit.
The former boilermaker posted a video on his Instagram account, following his exit, to explain his reasons for doing so:
MasterChef Australia is currently in its 13th season, and features Melissa Leong, Jock Zonfrillo and Andy Allen as judges. The contestants came from varied cultural backgrounds. Depinder Chhibber, who is originally from Delhi and moved to Australia, and Kishwar Chowdhury, who traces her roots to Bangladesh, have made headlines for bringing dishes from the subcontinent to the reality show. This season's guest judges included Yotam Ottolenghi, Nigella Lawson and Massimo Bottura, among others.