Melissa Leong on MasterChef
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Melissa Leong addresses rumours that she was fired from MasterChef Australia

"Negative tropes draped around women who achieve something is boring"

In light of the news that Melissa Leong won’t be returning to MasterChef Australia in 2024, she’s taken to Instagram to clarify that she wasn’t fired from the show.

Leong was a MasterChef Australia judge alongside Jock Zonfrillo and Andy Allen from 2020 to 2023. Zonfrillo sadly passed away the night before season 15 was scheduled to air.

It was announced that Allen will be returning for season 16, alongside new judges Poh Ling YeowJean-Christophe Novelli and Sofia Levin.

The new MasterChef judges for 2024
MasterChef. Nine.

There was speculation on social media that Leong was let go by the network, however, she’s challenged that narrative.

“I want to express my gratitude for the overwhelming support this past day, in sharing the news that I am shifting gears and making space in my life for a delicious new chapter,” she began the post.

“I get that there is going to be a bit of confusion and chaos about the ‘why’ of it all right now. I’m here and happy to clear that up, because negative tropes draped around women who achieve something is boring, and frankly we are all better than that,” she continued.

“This is a shift I embrace with joy. One that allows everyone involved, to expand. To put it plainly, I’m very fortunate to continue to be a key part of MasterChef Australia, yet have the space to evolve my career.”

Melissa Leong will be hosting the MasterChef spin-off Dessert Masters

While Leong isn’t returning to MasterChef Australia, she is hosting the show’s new spin-off Dessert Masters alongside Amaury Guichon.

“In effect, I get to have my cake and eat it too…and what could be better than that?!” She said in the Instagram post about the new gig.

Dessert Masters 2023 will see ten of Australia’s greatest pastry chefs, chocolate connoisseurs and baking experts battle it out for $100,000.

The new series premieres on Sunday, 12 November at 7:30pm on 10, and it has already been signed on for season two.

Amaury and Mel on Dessert Masters
Dessert Masters. Ten.

MasterChef Australia season 16 airs in 2024 on 10 and 10Play.

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