Speaking to The Latch over the phone following her pressure test elimination, Woon recalled what it was like.
“I was bricking it, really, especially in the beginning,” Woon said.
Calling the Favourites “such lovely human beings”, Woon said that “they all have such a presence around them”, and that it was a “such a great experience” to be able to get to know them on a personal level as they went through the competition.
“I got to meet some of my food heroes, I got to watch them up close and personal,” she said. “Sure, it was intimidating, and I had butterflies in my stomach half the time, but it was also just an incredible experience to watch them cook, to learn from them and to just talk to them.”
She laughed. “It was kind of like sitting next to a guy in high school that you kind of like, but then trying to impress and not mess up, but then you kind of get flustered and mess up, but you want to be really cool!”
It wasn’t just the Favourites that Woon was able to learn from over the course of her time on the show, though.
“On and off camera, as well, I learned so much from the Fans and the Favourites,” Woon said. “My door was literally always open, there was always a shoe in the doorway so that people could just come in, and we’d have a chat, there were wine nights, there were a few karaoke nights, that was a bit wild.”
For the duration of the show, Woon was roommates with fellow Fan Ali Stoner, who she “learned a lot from”.
“I also had Dan [Lamble] and Matt [Landmark] as my neighbours as well, and so I would always go into their room to see what they were doing, and they would always come into mine to see what I was doing,” she said. “We’d just constantly cook and try each other’s food… you just trade secrets and it’s a lot of fun behind the scenes.”
In fact, Woon said, the entire set up was a bit like Friends, with contestants constantly wandering into one another’s rooms, with Woon and Stoner having “the party room”.
“We hosted all the dinners, all the farewells, everyone would end up leaving their stash of wine with us, and all the snacks,” Woon said, adding: “It was just the place where everyone congregated naturally”.
“It was just the room to be in and I’m forever grateful for those memories,” she said, adding that she’d made “lifelong friends” along the way.
MasterChef Australia: Fans and Favourites airs at 7.30pm Sunday – Thursdays, only on 10 and 10 Play on Demand.
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