MasterChef’s Jess Reveals What We Didn’t See After Her Elimination
Even though Jess Hodge’s apple streusel cake was given the thumbs up by the three judges on MasterChef Australia 2021, a lack of cohesion and clarity sent her home.
As Jess walked off the set (after receiving the first hugs of the season post-pandemic from Melissa Leong, Jock Zonfrillo and Andy Allen), she was devastated and could barely look at her castmates, however, all was not as it seemed.
“I was speechless,” she told POPSUGAR Australia after her elimination. “When they said my name, I burst into tears and I actually couldn’t speak so that is probably why it was perceived that way. If I had tried to speak, no one would have been able to understand me. I just had to leave. I had all the cameras focused on me doing my ugly crying and no one needs to see that.”
While we didn’t see it on camera, the Sydney local did get to see the rest of the cast afterwards.
“I had a really lovely chance to see all of the other contestants straight after the elimination as well,” she revealed. “I had a really good send-off.”
After Jess walked through the arch of contestants, fans took to social media to debate whether Tommy Pham should have been sent home instead — afterall, it was perceived that he let their team down during the relay. However, when asked if she thought he should have gone home, she said: “Absolutely not!”
“Tommy’s a fantastic guy and one of my best mates in the competition,” Jess said, before adding, “At the end of the day it’s a team challenge and I was the one that made the decision to make an apple and parsnip purée and if that wasn’t communicated down the line, it wasn’t anyone’s fault. It’s the nature of the challenge and then it was my apple dish that got me eliminated.”
Described as “the toughest team challenge known to MasterChef,” (according to Leong), Jess did say that it was even more stressful than we could even imagine.
“I’ve watched since the beginning and that relay challenge every year is always one of the hardest challenges to watch, even from home, because it’s so painful,” she said. “But behind the scenes, we were not allowed to talk to our other teammates at all. As soon as I was nominated as the first cook as the captain of the team, I was separated from the other guys.”
Now that her MasterChef journey has come to an end, the mother-of-three-year-old twins is looking forward to much-needed family time.
“I definitely owe a lot to my partner Emily,” she said. “I wouldn’t have been able to go onto the show and she had a long time single parenting our three-year-old twins and I think she’s the one who needs a break now.”
She continued: “We recently bought a vintage caravan and we want to travel around Australia. We’ll see how far we go.”
Watch MasterChef Australia on Network Ten from 7.30pm, Sunday to Wednesday nights.