Yet again, the series has been praised for its commitment to diversity — a theme that has run through the series since the week one Mystery Box from judge Melissa Leong featured chicken feet.
The first part of the challenge was to “pimp” a packet of instant noodles in 15 minutes. To get ahead of the commentary, Melissa tweeted during the episode to explain why popular brand Indomie Mi Goreng weren’t available to the contestants — panic-buying: “it was the very early stages of Covid and y’all bulk bought them out of circulation”. Just another way COVID-19 has impacted MasterChef.
Poh Ling Yeow and Jess Liementara advanced to the second round thanks to their impressive instant noodles and created their best comfort food in 60 minutes — nasi lemak and Thai red duck curry respectively.
Melissa has been singled out this season as the most articulate and sensitive judge, drawing out contestants’ stories about their cultural experiences. She spoke on podcast We Are the Real Ones about how her casting has been received, sharing that people had commented to her, “Thank you for being you in this space, because I see a little bit of myself,” and “I’m really happy that my children get to see someone who looks like you on our screens.” It just shows how powerful diversity on our screens can be!
Here’s how people responded to the celebration of diversity on last night’s MasterChef: