MasterChef's latest victim says he was forced to change his shoes by the show's organisers, leading to a heavy fall that "dented my confidence".
Al Markham says he never recovered from tripping on his Crocs early on during last night's challenge.
He was eliminated after dishing up a lacklustre series of fast food dishes, including a pizza described by one judge as needing "a stomach pump".
The 62-year-old told nzherald.co.nz all contestants were asked to wear Crocs - a rubber sandal favoured by nurses - and he couldn't get used to them.
"We had to wear a particular sort of shoes that I didn't get on with," Markham said.
"I was scurrying out there with a tray full of stuff and boom, down I went. I just don't like them, they're uncomfortable. They're not my type of footwear at all.
"I'm strictly a work boot man."
The Lower Hutt truck driver said he had an ice pack on his right knee for the next two hours, and he failed to claw his way back into the challenge.
"I gave both knees a bit of a crack. I can't blame it on (the trip) but it certainly dented my confidence. That dent snowballed through the day."
He thought Ray McVinnie's comments about his triple meat pizza - the first time he had ever attempted making one himself - were over the top.
"Putting the knife in was fair enough, twisting it was too far. I didn't do a very good job of it. I think perhaps I overcooked it - it was not the best-looking.
"Mind you, I saw some other ugly-looking pizzas out there."
Markham said he also regretted cooking a steak sandwich instead of a beef burger - something he makes on a weekly basis at home.
But he'll have to perfect the pizza - his workmates have hassled him mercilessly over his pronunciation of the word "croissant" and he wants to keep them happy.
"I'm going to get so much grief I'm going to have to make it for the boys at work," he said.
* MasterChef New Zealand screens on TV One on Tuesday nights. nzherald.co.nz will interview every contestant as they are eliminated.