MasterChef Australia series 3 contestant Shannon Smyth.
MasterChef Australia series 3 contestant Shannon Smyth. Supplied by Network Ten.

Three times unlucky for Shannon

THREE times was not lucky for Gold Coast cook Shannon Smyth.

The 26-year-old was the tenth contestant eliminated from MasterChef last night after losing a three-round pressure test.

Despite improving in each round, which saw the contestants whipping up dishes in just 15 minutes with a limited number of ingredients, Smyth’s French toast with grilled figs, orange syrup and candied pistachios narrowly lost to Craig Young’s prawns in Thai chilli sauce.

“In the end, all that was wanting was a couple of tablespoons of water in some syrup,” she said of her over-thickened syrup.

“As much as it’s awful to go home when you cooked a good dish, it’s a lot easier to swallow (than going home on a bad dish).”

Smyth said she leaned on elimination survivor Kumar Pereira for support after shouldering much of the burden for the red team’s loss in the ‘waste not, want not’ challenge for her failed dessert.

“I had a good chat with Kumar,” she said

“He’s got this really Zen kind of attitude, like Yoda. For me he was the best person to talk to, to psych myself up going into these things.”

Smyth was tight lipped about Mat Beyer’s eviction from the show after he was reportedly caught with a smart phone.

“I won’t speculate on that,” she said.

She did confirm contestants were allowed one phone call a week to family.

MasterChef producers have yet to comment on the incident, but Beyer’s eviction is not expected to be seen on air for another month.

The former receptionist has been working at a cupcake shop and starts her apprenticeship at Absynthe restaurant in Surfers Paradise next week.

“Absynthe will be incredibly challenging and high pressure,” she said.

“They’re pretty confident in giving me a long leash as an apprentice. I went in for some work experience, and as long I remember the dish I’m able to do the whole dish. But I’m sure there’s a few sacks of potatoes to peel as well (laughs).”

Smyth hopes web designer Billy Law makes it to the grand final.

“I am the most ravenous team Billy fan,” she said.

“He’s amazing, an absolute little genius. We call the downstairs kitchen in the house Billy’s laboratory. He’s always in there and always practising. He does not stop cooking. If he’s not cooking then he’s reading about cooking.

“He’s made it pretty well known he is there to win.”

Tonight, the final 14 contestants attend a MasterClass with Gary Mehigan and George Calombaris to learn how to make the traditional British pudding Spotted Dick with custard.

Then, three lucky contestants will attend a private MasterClass with Sydney chef James Privett.

MasterChef Australia airs Sundays through Fridays at 7.30pm on Ten.

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