Perth social worker Brendan Pang, 24, tripped up the stairs during a café challenge that aired that night and suffered a deep gash to his right hand from a smashed olive oil bottle he was carrying.
“I ran back down in shock, and screamed for help,” he recalls to WHO, adding he was lucky not to have cut through any tendons or muscles. Taken to hospital, he received 13 stitches and was back in the contestant house that night with the support of his fellow contestants. "We all get along like family," he says, "Without the other contestants, I don't think I would have coped so well both physically and mentally."
When the accident occurred, though, “I didn’t really feel the pain whilst it was all happening because there was so much adrenaline rushing through my body,” he says.
“I was in shock at what had just happened given that in a kitchen environment, where there are so many other likely hazards such as knives and flames, this was just a freak accident and the worst injury I had ever sustained.”
Although one man down, his team pulled through to win the brunch challenge, and “I’m certain that if we had lost, I wouldn’t have been able to take part in the elimination challenge the next day and as a result would have been sent home,” he adds.
Recovering in the house, Brendan passed the time studying his recipes and cookbooks and returned to face tough taskmaster Gordon Ramsay, where he adapted his techniques to cook without his dominant hand and survived the mystery box and invention tests that aired May 27: “I’m so proud of how I did that day and glad that Gordon enjoyed my cooking.”
He recovered well enough to lead his red team to victory in the service challenge on May 30.
With his hand now healed, it took about a month to fully recover. Brendan says, “I’m left with a pretty cool scar to remind me of my crazy MasterChef memories.”
'MasterChef Australia' airs on Network Ten, Sundays–Thursdays at 7.30pm.
In this week’s episode of WHO magazine’s TV podcast, Binge List, Matthew Denby, Clare Rigden and Gavin Scott discuss and debate true-crime drama American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace, ABC series Mystery Road and Netflix food doco The Magic Pill. Plus, we ask To Binge Or Not To Binge The Good Fight and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and delve into Hidden Gem Dead Boss. Listen below, or on iTunes: http://po.st/syE3JF or OMNY: http://po.st/Bg4FlU