A MasterChef contestant has broken her silence about a deeply awkward encounter with Chrissie Swan on The Project last month.
MasterChef Australia contestant Minoli De Silva has opened up about the incredibly awkward response she received on The Project when she revealed her breast cancer had returned.
In a interview last monthDe Silva explained that the same day she heard the devastating news, she received a call from Chef inviting him back on the show.
The project co-host Chrissie Swan, who asked De Silva to tell them about the day she got the call from Chef, then replied: “Wow, from the sublime to the ridiculous. I don’t know which is which.
There was silence from the panel and the camera cut to an uneasy De Silva, before another guest host changed the subject and asked about his victory in the cooking show’s jaffle challenge .
Reflecting on the moment after his elimination this week, De Silva said yahoo she was “a little surprised” and found it “odd” that no one asked her how she was doing, but understood that “things like that happen on live TV”.
“I like to watch The projectand there’s a sense of joking around you, so I just accepted it was just a slip,” De Silva said.
“Chrissie is a lot of fun, she’s very quick-witted. I think it just wasn’t her best moment when someone admits they’ve been through breast cancer and their response is to make a quick point .
“I could do it with my friends, but I think nationally it’s probably not the right message being sent.”
She also said The project the team had recognized their clumsy response.
“I’m so happy that I had the support of everyone watching and they could feel the discomfort and they spoke for me,” she said.
“And at the same time, I was talking to The project team later and they kind of figured out that their response wasn’t ideal. People make mistakes, everyone talks nonsense all the time, but unfortunately it was on live TV.
How the awkward moment happened
De Silva appeared on The project to promote the 14th season of MasterChef, Fans and Favorites, after winning a jaffle challenge.
Swan asked her to tell them about the day she got the call to come back. De Silva had finished 10th the previous season.
“That was probably the day I had the highest and the lowest and it felt so surreal,” De Silva said.
“In the morning I got a call from my doctor and he basically told me the breast cancer had come back from an ultrasound that happened a week ago and then I cried, just more tears that I can’t remember crying for a long time.
“Then Chef called me in the afternoon and said “we have some news that could be really shocking” and I obviously said nothing.
“They then told me that I had been lucky enough to come back to the Chef kitchen, which was amazing so I can’t explain how I felt that day but it was wild.”
Swan replied, “Wow, from the sublime to the ridiculous. I don’t know which is which.
De Silva’s cancer diagnosis was not mentioned again during the interview.
It was Swan’s second week replacing Carrie Bickmore while the TV personality is in the UK with her family.
Before starting the huge new gig, Swan had confessed that the role scared him very much in a candid Instagram post.
Viewers took to social media to report the clumsy gaffe.
Minoli De Silva’s cancer battle
Shortly before returning to Chef kitchen, the 35-year-old underwent a double mastectomy after a routine mammogram detected an abnormal-looking area that turned out to be DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ).
In a piece written for Mama MiaDe Silva explained that “due to the location of the cells, chemotherapy, radiation or lumpectomy were not an option.”
The chef wrote that she felt ‘overwhelmed, helpless, angry, sad and broken’ after being diagnosed, and when the unexpected second call that day came from Channel 10 producers, it was as if she was “on the receiving end of a tennis ball machine that mechanically ejects the ball for you to hit, except this one was faulty and ejects a ball every two seconds”.
De Silva was first diagnosed with stage 3A triple-positive breast cancer in 2017 and underwent a lumpectomy, six months of chemotherapy and six weeks of radiation therapy.
A side effect of treating the longtime foodie was losing her sense of taste.
Last year, in a interview with news.com.auDe Silva described how the experience inspired her to cook with heart and increased her passion for food as she rediscovered her palate and discovered new flavors.
De Silva was eliminated from Chef on Tuesday night’s episode.
She will now open her own restaurant, Ella by Minoli, in Darwin on June 1.
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