Khanh’s emotional sign off as he departs the MasterChef kitchen

Khanh Ong is the the latest contestant to leave the MasterChef kitchen after his Vietnamese quail dish failed to meet the judges expectations. His sign off and shout out to queer youth was an emotional departure.

Through out the show Khanh has regularly worn ‘you are loved‘ t-shirts that raise money for east-coast LGBT youth organisation Minus18, and as he left the kitchen for the last time he included the line in his final sign off.

“There was a space where they threw events that made you feel welcomed, and I feel like that’s really important to support something that really helped me when I was younger,” Khanh said of the Minus18 community in an interview with Ten Daily a few weeks ago.

Sunday nights episode saw Khanh, Laura, Amelia and Reynold fight for their survival in the cooking competition with a challenge that saw them tasked with creating a fine dining experience from around the world. While the other three contestants picked French cuisine, Khanh decided to upscale a dish from his Vietnamese background.

While Emelia impressed the judges with her choux pastry skills, and Reynold delivered a tasty fish dish, Laura and Khanh didn’t find as much love for their creations, both delivering different takes on quail. Ultimately the judges decided to end Khanh’s journey saying his dish failed to live up to the fine dining standard.

“It’s a sad day for me, bit I feel there’s a lot more people in the world going through so much more than what I’m feeling right now.” Khanh said in his departing statement. “I just want to say – you are loved, life gets better, you have your ups and your downs, kind of ride that, and it’s all going to work out.”

As the chef tried to hold back his tears, judge Melissa Leong reminded Khanh that he too was loved.

The chef posted a video to his YouTube channel sharing how much he had enjoyed being on the show, and said he was thankful to his fans for their support throughout the series.

Khanh first appeared on the Channel Ten show two years ago, this year saw the series get a revamp with three new judges, but to ensure their were lots of familiar faces on the franchise the series was an ‘all star’ set up with popular contestants returning for another bout in the MasterChef kitchen. The change of judges and returning contestants have made the show a ratings hit for Channel 10 reviving the flagging franchise.

Following Khanh’s departure only eight contestants remain in the competition; Poh Ling Yeow, Tessa Boersma, Reynold Poenormo, Reece Hignell, Callum Hann, Emelia Jackson, Laura Sharrad, and Western Australian Brendan Pang. Next up for Khanh is the release of his new cook book A Gay Guys Guide to Life, Love and Food.

MasterChef continues on Channel Ten on Monday night.

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