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MasterChef Australia's Family Memories Challenge Praised For Exploring 'Migrant Australian Experience'

Personal stories of contestants Khanh, Reynold, Poh and more truly hit home for many viewers.
'MasterChef Australia: Back To Win's Melissa Leong and Reynold Poernomo
Channel 10
'MasterChef Australia: Back To Win's Melissa Leong and Reynold Poernomo

Wednesday night’s episode of ‘MasterChef Australia: Back To Win’ was not only an emotional one for contestants, but struck a heartfelt chord with many viewers too.

The challenge involved each contestant receiving a surprise photo from their childhood, some even including family members in the shots. They were then asked to create a special dish that reminded them of their loved ones.

The stories were varied, but each tugging at the heart strings. Khanh Ong spoke about his family living in a refugee camp, Reynold Poernomo described his childhood hardly seeing his parents as they worked hard to support the family, and Poh Ling Yeow recalled fond memories with her father.

Many viewers shared their joy during the episode, praising the show for portraying touching stories that depict the migrant experience in Australia.

Khanh’s photo featured his two-year-old self with his parents on the day they were moving from Indonesia to Australia.

“I was born in a refugee camp. And that’s after we’ve got approved to migrate,” he said through tears. “I don’t remember much, but it kind of was like a massive change in our lifestyle and where we are now.”

'MasterChef Australia: Back To Win's Poh Ling Yeow and Khanh Ong
Channel 10
'MasterChef Australia: Back To Win's Poh Ling Yeow and Khanh Ong

When presenting her dish to the judges, Poh spoke about her dad, Steve.

“He was a muso when he was younger, and he always instilled in me to have that belief in myself,” she said.

Poh moved to Australia from Malaysia with her parents when she was aged nine.

“Growing up, um... ..I kind of felt a little bit invisible as a migrant kid, and always kind of dreamt that I would, um, make something of myself. And so everything is kind of hidden under that, under those noodles, and, um... you’ll see what it tastes like.”

Judge Melissa Leong, who is proud of her Singaporean Chinese heritage, responded by speaking about her own experience as the daughter of immigrants.

“You know, growing up in Australia as the child of migrant parents as well, you know, there was always a sentiment in the Chinese community about sort of, ‘Always let them underestimate you... and then exceed their expectations’,” Melissa told Poh.

The heartwarming episode comes after last week’s instant noodles challenge which was a special moment for Asian Australian viewers.

When Poh and Jess impressed the judges the most with their creative noodle dishes – taking them through to the next round – Twitter was quick to celebrate the win for both contestants and for Asian representation on TV. Read more about it here.

‘MasterChef Australia: Back To Win’ continues at 7:30pm on Channel 10.

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