Thirteen years ago, Julie Goodwin first stepped into the MasterChef Australia kitchen.
Bubbly, wholesome and warm, she managed to win the hearts of everyone around the country, and through her hard work and perseverance, she won the very first season of MasterChef Australia.
This year, fans of the show were delighted to see her back on screen for MasterChef Australia Fans and Favourites, where she attempted to do what has never been done before — win the competition a second time.
However, the decision to return didn’t come easy, and it wasn’t something she jumped on right away. Which is why she decided to consult her friend and season one runner-up Poh Ling Yeow.
“I contacted Poh. She’s a very, very good friend of mine, and we’ve had these parallel experiences ever since season one of MasterChef,” Goodwin told The Latch.
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“We’ve both been on I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here! we’ve both put out cookbooks and had cooking shows, and met wild people and done mad things. And I’ve been in contact with her a lot over the years, so I did touch base with Poh and asked, ‘what do you reckon?’”
Last night, Goodwin was eliminated from the competition after making it to the Top 5, and although she didn’t reach the very end, she still made it further than she had anticipated.
“So much has changed since I was in the competition, so I thought I was being invited back into wave hello!” she admitted.
Never one to shy away from speaking about her mental health struggles, Goodwin had her reservations when it came to competing the second time, but now, she has zero regrets.
“The universe serves things up to you, and I think if you keep knocking things back, the service stops, which is why I’m glad I jumped in with both boots on.”
When Goodwin returned to the MasterChef Australia kitchen, she was aware of how much things had changed since 2009. However, there were still plenty of things that caught her by surprise.
No, it wasn’t the different judges or the fact that the show is now filmed in Melbourne instead of Sydney, but rather the entire premise of series.
“I remember one of the things from season one that a lot of people have forgotten, and they never did it again is, if you lost a team challenge, you had to vote somebody out.
“So, there was a very different vibe back then, it was almost like Survivor where people had alliances, and you knew if you were in this particular team, you wouldn’t get voted out because your friends were on the team with you.
“So, it was very different in that way, and also back in season one, there was a lot of emphasis on contestants becoming chefs and opening restaurants. And now, you don’t have to have a food dream moving forward, you just have to really love food.”
Now that her time on MasterChef Australia is over, Goodwin is looking forward to letting her hair down. The cook is not entirely sure what’s up next, but she’s going to wait to find out patiently.
“I’ve been in this MasterChef limbo for a long time, so now I’m just going to breathe in as deep as I can and breathe out as deep as I can and see what happens.”
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