Monday’s episode of MasterChef was a big one. Not only was it the first episode to reflect social distancing due to the coronavirus pandemic, but judge Mellisa Leong was suddenly absent.
Judge Jock Zonfrillo told contestants that Leong would be ‘back on deck’ the next day and couldn’t join them, but it still left viewers speculating where the fan-favourite had disappeared to.
The episode is missing Melissa. Badly. #MasterchefAU
— The Washing Up (@thewashingup) May 25, 2020
— Fiza Zali (@fizawanders) May 25, 2020
BUT Is it masterchef WITHOUT mel though??!?!?! #MasterChefAU
— 🍁 (@nubby_han) May 25, 2020
As her absence happened to coincide when everyone was forced apart, many speculated she was off being tested or in isolation due to the coronavirus.
However, Leong has put the rumours to bed by explaining the situation in a lengthy Instagram post, which features a sweet image of her co-judges.
“For those of you wondering where I am in this landmark episode, I had sinusitis and took myself to the GP in order to do the safe, thorough and responsible thing to do in such uncertain times. I was cleared and returned the next day.”
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We’ve reached the point in our season where COVID rules come into play. As a food show, hygiene is always at the top of mind and practice, but now you’ll see social distancing, too. For those of you wondering where I am in this landmark episode, I had sinusitis and took myself to the GP in order to do the safe, thorough and responsible thing in such uncertain times. I was cleared and returned to set the next day. As a cast and crew, we take the health and safety of each other and our community seriously and feel fortunate to continue bringing you a season we’re thrilled you love. As a nation, we have worked hard to flatten the curve. We are still not through it completely, so we must continue to do the right thing and stick to the guidelines created to keep us all safe.
We’re glad to hear that everything was okay – and she took the precautions that were necessary!