Chris Schulz is the deputy head of entertainment for the New Zealand Herald.

'Tony did the right thing' - MasterChef victim defends 'nark'

Brenton Thornton is the latest competitor to be eliminated from MasterChef New Zealand.  Photo / TVNZ
Brenton Thornton is the latest competitor to be eliminated from MasterChef New Zealand. Photo / TVNZ

MasterChef's latest victim Brenton Thornton says the show's last remaining male contestant did the right thing when he dobbed in two females for cheating.

In one of the show's most controversial episodes, contestants Chelsea Winter and Ana Schwarz were filmed swapping fish sauce for lemon grass during a Singapore-based challenge - a move that was against the rules.

Fellow competitor Tony Price dobbed them in and the judges scolded the girls and awarded the challenge's reward - a flash meal out - to Brenton and Price.

In subsequent scenes, the girls claimed Tony was a "nark" and complained they would never have done the same thing.

But Brenton, who was eliminated at the end of last night's episode after struggling to flavour a roasted pigeon dish correctly, told that he backed Tony's decision.

"I firmly believe that Tony did the right thing. There was no clarification of what we could and couldn't do," Brenton said.

"A lot of people are calling him a 'nark', but there is $100,000 on the line and people need to put themselves in that position and really think if they would have done that."

Brenton said tension was high between Tony and the girls following the incident.

"We were staying pretty much near the top floor (of our hotel). It was the longest elevator ride up to our rooms. The tension was so thick, it was terrible.

"Chelsea got over it really quickly, she understood why Tony did it. Ana held a grudge for quite a bit, but they're all over it.

"I've just been stuck in the middle of it, trying to keep my head out of the firing line."

Brenton said he'd discussed the issue with Tony since last night's episode had aired.

"I caught up with him this morning about it. I feel for him, a lot of people are giving him a hard time. but if it came down to it, and people understood the pressure we were under, $100,000 could change your life.

"I stand by Tony and what he did, he's a good man. I'm sure people in sporting situations, they'd let people know if they felt cheated."

Last night's elimination had a happy ending for Brenton, who was immediately offered a 12-month apprenticeship with MasterChef judge Simon Gault.

He begins his apprenticeship on June 12, and Brenton said Simon's offer had rendered him speechless. He had no job or home to return to after his elimination after packing up his life to appear on MasterChef.

"I can't explain it. It's not something I ever expected to happen, but I'm very stoked that it did. "

* Did Tony do the right thing by dobbing in the girls? Post your comments below.

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