MasterChef couple tried to cut out the cuddles

By Chris Schulz

Andrea Bathgate says she and fellow MasterChef contestant Matt Gilray are still good friends. Photo / Supplied
Andrea Bathgate says she and fellow MasterChef contestant Matt Gilray are still good friends. Photo / Supplied

A MasterChef contestant who hooked up with a fellow competitor tried to stop producers from screening footage of them making out.

Andrea Bathgate was eliminated from the hit TV One reality show last night after dishing up what the judges called an "inedible" dessert of chocolate tart and poached pears.

The Starship nurse found herself in the bottom two alongside Matt Gilray - the Christchurch butcher who she had begun a "showmance" with.

Earlier MasterChef episodes had shown the pair cuddling, but Bathgate said she didn't know the intimate scenes were being filmed and had tried to stop them from being aired on TV.

"Because we were just so comfortable with each other in the house, no one really minded so we just went with it," she told nzherald.co.nz. "There was no point hiding how we felt.

"The (cameraman) said he filmed us unexpectedly doing a few 'coupley' things and I said, 'You can't use that, you don't have my permission.

"He said, 'I can use whatever I want'."

Afterwards, Bathgate said she and Gilray "toned down" their blossoming romance when the cameras were rolling - but found it too tough so gave up.

"I guess you never know when the camera is on, and towards the end (we) didn't really care."

Bathgate, who is hoping to swap nursing for cooking by studying at Le Cordon Bleu in Wellington later this year, said being in the bottom two next to Gilray was "horrible".

"Having to stand there and then fight for our case, why we should stay in the competition, was horrible.

"I felt like just bursting into tears right there and then, but I was like, 'Nah I'm not going to give the judges the satisfaction of crying in front of them, I'm not going to be weak'."

Despite being picked on by the judges for being "distracted", Bathgate said her relationship with Gilray wasn't to blame for her elimination.

"If you watch other episodes they made a big deal out of it, saying Matt was distracted and I was distracted. I don't think it affected our cooking.

"The producers would have been loving it and it made great TV."

Gilray recently told the Herald on Sunday the pair had talked about their romance and said: "If it's meant to be it's meant to be."

"We talk pretty much every day. We text, email and Skype and we have caught up fairly often."

Bathgate was also cagey when asked if they were still dating.

"We're really good friends and we keep in touch a lot, and when we see each other it's really good."

* MasterChef screens on TV One every Tuesday night. nzherald.co.nz will interview every contestant as they are eliminated.

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