MasterChef Australia’s Harry Tomlinson Explains the Story Behind Her Name

Network Ten

Harry Tomlinson has caused quite the stir in the MasterChef Australia kitchen this season. 

She quickly made a name for herself in the very first episode when she became the first ‘Fan’ to win one of three immunity pins.

Despite going up against former MasterChef ‘Favourites’ who came onto the show with a wealth of experience, Tomlinson really held her own by blowing the judges away with her burnt cabbage dish. 

However, life hasn’t always been so kind to Tomlinson. In episode five, the aspiring chef revealed that she “had a really rough time” while she was in school, so much so that it pushed her to change her first name from Caitlin to Harry.

“I was bullied pretty heavily,” Tomlinson shared. “I was filled with self-doubt, insecurities, body image issues and it made me completely retreat as a person.”

She went on to admit that this “was just so not who [she] ever wanted to be” and chose to start fresh by changing her name. 

“I decided to do something really significant by changing my name from Caitlin to Harry,” she said. ​​“Once I became Harry, all of my self-doubt disappeared and it’s given me a lot of strength and a lot of power to kind of back myself and understand that I’m worthy of doing things like applying for MasterChef.”

Tomlinson served the judges braised lentils with spiced pumpkin — the same dish she shared with her best friend the night she decided to change her name, which she said was “a really, really big night”.

As she explained to judge Melissa Leong why the dish was so important to her, Tomlinson’s eyes began to well up with tears. 

“It was a really big night for me,” she reiterated, “and it was the beginning of why I’m here.”

According to Tomlinson, the name change brought a lot of positive changes to her life.

“This meal was the vehicle for the conversation that changed everything,” she said.

Even though Tomlinson had an immunity pin, she decided not to play it. The move proved to be risky, and while she lived to see another day, the judges weren’t particularly impressed by her plate of food.

Jock Zonfrillo said that the dish “nearly put [him] to sleep” and that it had “many, many flaws”. Andy Allen agreed, saying the meal was both under-seasoned and undercooked.

In the end, it was fellow Fan Chris Tran who was the first contestant to head home, after he accidentally burnt his crispy noodles.

Want more MasterChef Australia: Fans & Favourites? Read all of our stories here.

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