'Out of his depth': MasterChef fans turn on series favourite

Penny Burfitt
Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer

MasterChef is renowned for being a cut-throat competition in which you can be on top and in the fans’ good books one week, only to be facing elimination the next.

One star who has so far remained a constant favourite is Reece Hignell, whose sweetness isn’t only down to his famous desserts and has kept fans onside throughout the tumultuous season so far.

Reece has come under fire after plating up one too many tarts this season. Photo: Ten

Now in the final six, Reece is finally coming under the microscope of critical viewers who have turned on the star, accusing him of following Laura’s lead and sticking too closely to one type of dish – in his case desserts.

Where Laura has copped non-stop heat all season for producing a variety of pasta and, some argue, little else, Reece is now being slammed for keeping it way too sweet with continuous desserts week after week.

“Omg ..... how can Reece do another tart?” a fan wrote on a MasterChef Facebook group. “Can he ever cook a savoury dish!”

Reece's lemon tart may have impressed the judges, but it left many fans feeling sour. Photo: Ten

Last night Reece plated up his famous lemon tart, a recipe he’s been dying to serve all season.

However, that came undone when he made the rogue decision to pair it with saffron ice cream.

Now fans say the dessert king doesn’t have the range to go forward in the competition, with the original poster adding that the chef doesn’t measure up to ‘more rounded’ cooks on the show.

The would-be unpopular opinion unleashed a wave on contained criticism for the chef, many agreeing that the chef had relied far too heavily on tarts of late, further limiting his already dessert-heavy arsenal.

“There’s been a lot of tarts lately from him!” one woman agreed. “I like him but I think he’s out of his depth in comparison to others.”

“I’m sure his tarts are amazing but making it every other challenge just shows he doesn’t have a lot of other skills, and definitely not worthy of being the MasterChef,” another wrote.

“Totally agree at least Poh does try other dishes,” another wrote.

“Agreed,” one more wrote. “Reece is yet to show himself as a talented all-around chef. Over him and his tarts. Unfortunately, more skilled cooks have been eliminated.”

‘Why so much hate?’: Fans defend Reece

Reece has been a fan-favourite for most of the season. Photo: Ten

Others, on the other hand, couldn’t hide their exasperation at the seeming-endless criticism levelled at the contestants.

“First Poh then Laura now Reece,” one man wrote. “Can anyone be good enough?”

“Why so much hate with everyone?” another wondered.

Fan rally behind Reece

Reece’s sudden dip in popularity comes after he enjoyed a season full of support from fans.

The chef had many doing a double-take when he first returned for this season after a staggering 35kg weightloss rendered him almost unrecognisable.

Fans also mourned with him when his bestie Brenden was knocked out of the competition earlier this month, and have even started calling for the pair to do a spin-off show together.

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