“I love Melissa. She is a bright beacon of light on the show. She is someone we didn’t even know we needed on Australian TV till we got her,” Khanh told HuffPost Australia. “We understood why she is needed.”
He said Melissa is not only “unapologetic and strong” and someone who “doesn’t back down” from what she believes in, but also “champions positivity”.
“She’s not about scandal, she’s about championing positivity and I appreciate that and I admire her so much for it.”
This year’s season of ‘MasterChef Australia’ has showcased a diversity of cultures and food, and Melissa’s Singaporean-Chinese heritage has helped play a part in that, according to contestant Brendan Pang.
“I would say I connected quite well with Melissa given her background and her love of very similar foods to food that I love the most,” said the Mauritian-Chinese contestant, who was known for his delicious dumplings on the show.
“I think in the past five years there’s been a lot of diversity on the show. In my season two years ago, there was a big Asian representation. I think with the addition of Mel as the new judge, it’s been awesome and she’s really helped emphasise that.”
Many viewers have shared similar sentiments on social media:
‘MasterChef Australia: Back To Win’ continues at 7:30pm on Channel 10.