‘MasterChef Australia: Back To Win’ contestant Harry Foster has defended new judge Melissa Leong after recent viewer backlash.

Addressing social media and press commentary that’s taken aim at her critiquing of food, behaviour on set and outfits on the show, Harry said “this could not be further from the truth”.

The most recently eliminated contestant told HuffPost Australia that the food writer was his favourite judge “by far”.

“She’s a queen, I love her,” he said. “She is energetic, passionate and really just vibrant.

MasterChef Australia: Back To Win judge Melissa Leong

“You can feel the energy. It’s sort of like, she glows in a sense,” he continued, explaining “it’s really refreshing to see that”. 

Melissa, Andy Allen and Jozk Zonfrillo replaced previous judges Gary Mehigan, George Calombaris and Matt Preston who had fronted the show for 11 years.

“It was really refreshing actually,” Harry said of working with the new trio during his time in the ‘MasterChef’ kitchen.

“I think with the old judges, they’re fantastic guys and they’re really, really good at what they do. However, I think it’s just really refreshing and exciting to have the new judges come on.

“They’re just really enthusiastic about the show and really passionate, and that really comes across.”

MasterChef Australia: Back To Win contestant Harry Foster and judge Melissa Leong

Melissa recently brushed off any criticism she’s received since stepping into the new role. 

“First and foremost, I take on this job knowing that I have the chops to do it well, otherwise I would not have been asked,” she told HuffPost Australia.

“I take my critical responsibility very seriously, and want to do a job I can stand by and be proud of.” 

The new judges all attracted mixed reactions on social media after their debut. It appears the key is to focus on the positives.

“The response has been overwhelmingly positive and we are so grateful for the opportunity to bring what we know to the MasterChef universe,” said Melissa. 

MasterChef Australia: Back To Win judges Andy Allen, Melissa Leong and Jock Zonfrillo

“Of course we are aware that sometimes change can be difficult to embrace, but we feel very welcomed by the MasterChef audience, which is a great feeling.” 

This season of the show is called ‘MasterChef: Back To Win’, with 24 previous contestants including Poh Ling Yeow, Hayden Quinn, Reynold Poernomo and Callum Hann returning to the series for another shot at victory.

‘MasterChef Australia: Back To Win’ continues at 7:30pm on Channel 10. 

Source: Huffington Post Australia Athena2 https://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/entry/masterchef-australia-melissa-leong_au_5ea8cfc1c5b6123a1763f724

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