The mounting pressure of who will take out MasterChef this year looks to have taken its toll on the final six contestants in last night's tense elimination cook-off.
And unfortunately for physiotherapy student Kylie Millar, not even her knack for desserts could keep her in the competition with the 24-year-old bidding an emotional farewell to the MasterChef kitchen.
Although it wasn't the first time contestants had to cook for dozens of hungry guests, Millar said the most daunting part of the challenge was trying to replicate the quality dishes of celebrated chef Guillaume Brahimi's *high-calibre Sydney Opera House restaurant, Guillaume at Bennelong.
"I wasn't daunted by the (guest) numbers, to tell you the truth," she said. "We've cooked for 500 people at the Hindu wedding or 600 or so later on and they were rustic-style challenges whereas I suppose with this one, everything had to be sort of perfect on the plate … it was a little bit difficult trying to replicate that 60 times. So because it was of that calibre of restaurant, that was probably the most daunting thing."
Despite Millar taking on a dish within her dessert forte - parfait - unfortunately for the Victorian cook, it was a disastrous result with the egg and cream mixture found to be over-whipped.
"At the end I was really disappointed, I wasn't proud of how I had gone with the challenge," Millar said. "I think that if I had've gone with a dish that I was proud of I wouldn't have been as disappointed, but to go out on that sort of note, that's why I was so teary."
But she also admits that the looming finale added to the pressure of the challenge.
"It probably was the pressure of the (finale) and I should have just smacked myself a little bit," she said. "I'd never done (parfait) before but I had done similar elements so it wasn't too foreign to me. It was the heat of the moment that got to me, I suppose."
Though she has already thrown in her university studies to pursue her food dream - she is now doing work experience at Melbourne's Burch & Purchese Sweet Studio - Millar said it took her some time to come to grips with her elimination.
"I was absolutely gutted at the time and it took me a couple of days to get over it," she said. "But I got back into the kitchen as soon as I was eliminated and sort of got the ball rolling."
On who she hoped would take out MasterChef this year, Millar said she was barracking for either of the boys, Andy Allen or Ben Milbourne *.
The group has now been whittled down to the top five but this week will see two more consecutive eliminations before the top three are unveiled for Wednesday's finale.