Aside from seeing fan favourite Reece Hignell leave the competition, MasterChef offered up another emotional moment last night: Emelia Jackson tearfully talking about trying to "express who I am" to the judges and how she's an "exceptional cook".
The contestants each had to cook one course in a four-course meal for the judges and six guest chefs from the season, Matt Stone, Jo Barrett, Shannon Martinez, Peter Gunn, Darren Purchese and Kirsten Tibballs.
Talking to producers, Emelia explained: "To walk up a dish, surrounded by some of the best chefs in Australia, drop it in front of them and say, 'This is my best work,' you know, that's intimidating."
She said that cooking the fish dish was "probably my worst nightmare", which led her tom ake a simple dish that focused on flavour and a perfectly cooked piece of fish: crispy skin barramundi with fennel and a Japanese-inspired broth.
Her anxiety throughout the episode about cooking with fish stemmed from the Josh Niland fish Elimination, which saw Tracy Collins leave the competition. Then, Emelia was in the bottom three, thanks to an overcooked kingfish.
Jock Zonfrillo seemed to ask Emelia why she decided to cook fish — even though the fish course was randomly assigned to her at the start of the Elimination. "Big risk for you, doing fish. What led you down this path?"
"I just really wanted to prove myself," she replied. She teared up as she continued: "I've put up a lot of desserts, as you know. Desserts are really my passion piece. But I'm an exceptional cook. I'm just such a good cook, it is my passion.
"I, since the Josh Niland fish disaster, have intentionally stayed away from it, so I think I've done myself a little disservice in that regard. But I just have been so conscious of really trying to express to the three of you who I am, and I find it easiest to do that through pastry.
"I think if there's any time in MasterChef to step up, it's the one before Finals Week. I need to prove myself, and if I've done [the fish] a disservice then I don't deserve to win.
It was a beautiful moment seeing a woman boast about her skills, but also acknowledge her foibles and that she was trying to earn her place in the competition. We're so about seeing a woman back herself!
Overnight, Emelia shared a photo of herself cutting her fish, joking in her caption: "Just a girl, cutting a Barra wishing it was literally anything else."
Fans watching at home applauded Emelia for her self-belief, but couldn't help pointing out Jock's strange question about the fish: