However, Jock glossed over the reason for Ben’s absence, announcing to the remaining contestants, "You're probably wondering where Ben is. Due to a personal matter, Ben has had to leave the competition, and he will not be returning.”
Fans were quick to flock to Twitter to voice their confusion after the short announcement.
“Lol, Ben’s departure gets 10 seconds of air time... clearly something dodgy going on there! #MasterchefAU,’” one viewer wrote.
Another added: “So @masterchefau is just pretending Ben Ungermann never existed?”
Others seemed surprised at the how quickly the departure was announced, given his prominence in earlier episodes.
“They really cut Ben out just like that huh?” another fan penned.
Earlier this year, a spokesperson for production Endemol Shine confirmed Ben had been removed from the show after being arrested for an incident of a “personal nature”.
“We can confirm Ben Ungermann has left the MasterChef Australia competition. As this is a police matter, we will not be making further comment,” the spokesperson said at the time.
While the exact nature of the incident remains unclear, Ben later broke his silence on his departure from the show when responding to a question from a fan on Instagram.
The fan asked how Ben would be edited out from the show, with Ben replying, “That’s up to MasterChef Australia. Appreciate the support.”
Ben has since turned off comments on his Instagram profile following his mysterious departure.