• Reynold Poernomo was eliminated on MasterChef last night. (Channel 10)Source: Channel 10
"Like so many other immigrant kids, Reynold has placed so much pressure to not only succeed for himself, but his family."
SBS staff writers

20 Jul 2020 - 1:17 PM  UPDATED 20 Jul 2020 - 1:19 PM

Last night's MasterChef final-three elimination delivered a gut-wrenching blow for some viewers, with fan-favourite Reynold Poernomo falling short of his Grand Final dream.

Poernomo burst into tears when he learned that he would not be progressing on to the final two, opening up about the challenges of life as part of a migrant family, running a business, and why MasterChef represented so much for him.

Earlier in the episode, Poernomo, along with grand finalists Emelia Jackson and Laura Sharrad, had been challenged to recreate guest chef Martin Benn's complicated toffee apple dessert in a three-hour, 45-minute Pressure Test, with an additional five minutes to plate up in front of the judges.

During the tasting, judge Jock Zonfrillo asked Poernomo: "Why do you want to win this?"

"I haven't had an easy life, as an immigrant," the popular chef responded, getting emotional.

"My mum and dad are both very hard workers. My brothers, as well. No matter how hard my family works, there's always something that kinda knocks us down."

He continued, explaining that even though his dessert chain KOI is much-loved and appears successful, they're struggling to stay afloat.

"I didn't come on here for the fame or anything like that," he added. "I came on here because I love to cook.

"Winning is not about the title. It's more about being able to give back to my family."

Judge Melissa Leong was visibly moved by the moment of vulnerability.

"There is the part of what it means to be a migrant kid - to not feel like you fit in, and to feel like you have to push against so much to get to where you are going," she said.

"I don't want you to forget the amount of people out there that will see you and see what's possible. Don't discount the hope that you give for everybody who is really pushing to realise a dream.

"It really has just been the most incredible thing to watch you up close and to really understand why you do what you do."

Viewers took to social media to share messages of love and support, with many sharing that Poernomo's story had resonated deeply.

"Like so many other immigrant kids, Reynold has placed so much pressure to not only succeed for himself, but his family," wrote Buzzfeed Australia producer Isha Bassi.

She added: "I hope he understands that coming third isn’t a failure - he made all of us, including his family, proud."

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