There wasn’t a dry eye in the MasterChef kitchen as beloved season two star Callum Hann was booted from the competition on Tuesday – and over on Twitter, it seemed much the same among fans.
Viewers were heartbroken when this season’s Mr Nice Guy was sent packing, with many taking to social media to praise the humble star.
Former MasterChef winner Adam Liaw paid tribute to Callum on Twitter and joked that his nice guy persona is “all an act”.
“You all really need to know that @callumskitchen’s wholesome nice guy persona on #MasterChefAU is all an act. In reality he’s actually even nicer,” Liaw wrote.
Last night’s episode was another extremely emotional one. Cooking against close friend and fellow Adelaide chef, Laura Sharrad, Callum was teary throughout the episode as the weight of the challenge dawned on him.
The texture of his snapper ultimately let him down, and he was farewelled with a thoughtful send-off from Melissa Leong, who was full of praise for the fan favourite.
While the judges and contestants were clearly emotional as they said goodbye, strict social distancing measures meant no hugging — a solemn elbow tap the only option.
“The name Callum Hann is synonymous with this competition,” judge Melissa said.
“10 years ago you might have walked into this kitchen as a boy, but this time you’ve returned as a dad”
“Every time you walk through those doors, humility and integrity has always followed. We are so proud of you,” she added.
Callum was overcome with emotion following his cook against Laura, asking producers for a minute as he composed himself.
“It kinda just hit me there at the end of the cook,” he said once he’d finished, his eyes filling with tears.
“The last few nights months have been massive inside and outside the competition … I’m feeling really emotional because either Laura is sending me home or vice versa which really sucks.”
When he began his cook, he had commented that it was going to be a tough trot in the kitchen given he was up against his close friend.
“I can genuinely say this will be the hardest challenge for me for this season,” he said.
“Laura and I have worked together, we’ve been mates for six years, she’s a really deserving person to be in the semi-final as well. To feel like I’m either being eliminated or I’m gonna be eliminating a mate is really tough.”
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In a two-pronged challenge that saw Reynold sent to the safety of the gantry after round one with Emelia, who won Monday’s Gordon Ramsay Mystery Box, Callum and Laura were left battling it out for a spot in the semi final.
In the end, Callum’s mushy fish let him down, despite the flavours of his creation wowing the judges.
It certainly wasn’t an easy farewell, with Laura admitting she had “fangirled” over Callum when he came second to Adam Liaw in season 2.
“I never thought that we would be here together,” Laura said.
“We’ve worked together, we’ve hung out, we’re really good friends and it’s been really amazing to do it with someone who is as amazing as Callum. He’s so loving, so humble, so gracious.
“He’s an amazing dad. He should be really proud of himself.”
Fans were equally as devastated to see the star go, taking to Twitter to air their tears.
“I’m really excited to get back to Adelaide,” Callum told the camera.
“My beautiful wife, Crystal, has sacrificed a lot for me to be here for that, so, just excited to get home and give them both a cuddle and be there as much as I possibly can.”
Reynold Poernomo, Emelia Jackson and Laura Sharrad are heading into the semi-finals on Sunday, with
Australia’s leading bookmakers are all tipping Emelia to win MasterChef, with the cook having held the top spot as favourite for weeks.
MasterChef: Back to Win continues Sunday night from 7.30pm on Channel 10.