Spoiler: Both Network TEN and FremantleMedia Australia are refusing to confirm or deny a story in today’s Herald Sun which claims a contestant has been kicked off MasterChef Australia.
The report claims Mat Beyer, 24, has been sent packing amid speculation he used a smartphone during his time on the show.
Under the show’s Big Brother-style rules, contestants are denied access to phones, computers, television, newspapers and family to avoid them gaining information and an advantage over their rivals. Using a phone such as an iPhone would enable a contestant to access recipes. The Herald Sun suggests he may have been using one for up to six weeks, but at this stage Beyer is denied the chance to defend himself.
Beyer is believed to have been booted off just days before a trip to New York, with a previous evictee invited back to the fold.
But it creates headaches for the show given it is filmed weeks ahead of it airing. TEN’s silence (which in media circles usually means there is some truth to it), is most likely to avoid hinting at the length of Beyer’s stay in the show, especially where it would impact on him in upcoming elimination challenges. But it also isn’t a great look for Producers.
Yet it will undoubtedly provide the show with great drama when it all unravels on screen, and based on what we know thus far, it sounds like the show has done the right thing to remain fair to all.
This will be the second time this year a contestant has been replaced, following one of the Top 24 declining at the last minute due to work commitments.
Last year both TEN and FremantleMedia were faced with a similar dilemma when a Biggest Loser contestant was facing police charges shortly before the season debut. It resulted in frantic re-editing and several lost storylines.