MasterChef Australia’s Harry Tomlinson Opens Up About Why She Changed Her Name

Harry Tomlinson masterchef australia name change caitlin

Harry Tomlinson has been making a real splash in the MasterChef Australia kitchen this season. In the very first episode, she became the first fan to win a coveted Immunity Pin after she plated up her exquisite burnt cabbage dish.

It was during episode five, however, that we got to know a little more about Tomlinson’s story.

In an emotional scene, Tomlinson revealed that she “had a really rough time” when she was in school, so much so that it prompted 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.”

Tomlinson said that this “was just so not who [she] ever wanted to be”, so “a couple of years ago” she decided to start fresh.

“I decided to do something really significant by changing my name from Caitlin to Harry,” Tomlinson said, and according to the MasterChef Australia contestant, the name change prompted a slew of positive changes.

“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,” she shared.

The dish — braised lentils with spiced pumpkin — was the meal Tomlinson shared with her best friend the night she first opened up about the decision to change her name, which she recalled was “a really, really big night”. 

Overwhelmed by emotion, Tomlinson teared up while explaining the significance of the dish to judge Melissa Leong.

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

Tomlinson explained that the name change was actually the catalyst for a lot of changes she made within her life. “This meal was the vehicle for the conversation that changed everything,” she said.

In backing herself, Tomlinson made a risky move and decided not to play her Immunity Pin, despite the fact that the process of cooking the dish had been an “absolute shambles”.

It was a move that found her in the bottom, with judge Jock Zonfrillo saying that the dish “nearly put [him] to sleep” and that it had “many, many flaws”. Judge Andy Allen echoed the sentiment, saying that the dish was both under-seasoned and undercooked.

Despite landing in the bottom, Tomlinson survived elimination, after fellow Fan contestant Chris Tran failed to impress the judges after accidentally burning his crispy noodles.

Will Tomlinson be able to make it all the way to Finals Week? Only time will tell. Until then, MasterChef Australia airs at 7.30pm Sunday-Thursdays, only on 10 and 10 Play on Demand.

Want more MasterChef Australia? Read here.

Read more stories from The Latch and subscribe to our email newsletter.