MasterChef favourite Mindy Woods has been knocked out of the reality cooking series in a shocking finals elimination just a day out from tonight's grand finale.
The 30-year-old physiotherapist, who firmed up as a judges' favourite and was also tipped to win, will now not vie for the 2012 MasterChef title.
Instead it will be hotly contested by apprentice electrician Andy Allen, Brisbane cupcake queen Julia Taylor and Singapore-born mother of two Audra Morrice.
Speaking to AAA about her surprise exit, Woods said she felt strangely accepting of her elimination in last night's episode, which saw her team up with French chef Jacques Reymond to create a signature dish that could be served in a hatted restaurant.
"I think it will probably dawn on me afterwards that I was so close," she said. "But I walked out of there with the biggest smile on my face and I was so happy, it was just the most amazing experience. So I can't be sad about that." Despite serving up a string of impressive dishes throughout the competition and rarely being pulled up about her culinary approach, undercooked fish was her undoing.
"By the time I finally got (the fish) in the pan and tried to cook it, I was like 'Jacques, it's not going to cook' and he said, 'It should, it should'," she explained.
"I just knew at the end of it, when I felt the fish, that it hadn't cooked through. I think (Jacques) was more gutted than I was and felt a little bit responsible, but it wasn't his fault."
Woods admitted that she has kept mum about her homosexuality during the show.
"It's not really an important thing to me, it's not a lifestyle for me," she said.
"I want to be honest about who I am, but not as a warning to (people) or anything like that, it's just part of who I am as a person."
On who she thinks will take out tonight's finale, Woods thinks Allen will be the winner.
"I have this feeling in my tummy that the dark horse, Andy, is going to take it," she said. "He has honestly lifted his game, his food is so unbelievable. I think he finally gets what he loves about food."
The MasterChef finale airs at 7pm today on Ten.