MasterChef’s Reece defends co-star over ‘homophobic’ slur
MasterChef contestant Reece Hignell has defended competition rival Reynold Poernomo over homophobic comments he made on a bodybuilding blog.
Poernomo made the comments in 2014, saying gay people are "freaks" that should be "captured and put on an island".
He subsequently apologised and has been supported by his fellow MasterChef contestants, several of whom are gay, including Hignell.
"If you aren't able to develop as a person, how will equality ever happen," Hignell said.
"My personal belief is that if Reynold wasn't able to change his opinion over the last six years, then how are we going to change the world.
"I trust when Reynold says he is different now. I am friends with him and know him and I believe what he said when he apologised."
Hignell and Poernomo have made it to the top eight in the competition, this year titled MasterChef: Back To Win.
As with all contestants this year, both competed in previous seasons, Hignell just two years ago and Poernomo in 2014.
Hignell, 30, has been a quiet achiever throughout the competition and has really hit his stride this week, securing immunity for two weeks in row and making him exempt from elimination on Sunday night.
"I have been able to adapt into a new level of baking," he said, specialising in cakes. "Prior to the top 10 I was heavily focused on my cakes. Now I want to focus on some tarts and other things. I feel like you are seeing things from me people haven't seen yet."
That said, Hignell is by no means banking on a win.
"I doubt myself every day, I think that is my biggest weakness in the competition," he said.
Regardless of what happens and who is crowned this seasons MasterChef winner, Hignell is determined to get back to work on his Cake Boi business.
"I really like the word cake boi, it is a bit of a play on gay boy," he said, referring to 1995 cult classic film, Clueless.
Originally published as MasterChef's Reece defends co-star over 'homophobic' slur