Benita Orwell is 57 from Queensland, and she’s fighting for her place on MasterChef Australia. It seems not everyone is not on her side.
She started making a crab broth in the first challenge of tonight’s episode. The judges recommended she change tack half way through, which she did but they still weren’t impressed.
“We know you can cook, but you’re in trouble,” judges George Calombaris, Gary Mehigan and Matt Preston told her during the tasting.
Now, she’s in a mystery challenge against four other people working under pressure to keep her place in the competition.
Listen to Laura Brodnik and Tiffany Dunk explain why Masterchef is so special this year on The Binge.
The public’s reaction to her efforts – seen on Twitter, it’s always Twitter – has been brutal.
Calling her a “grandmother” and complaining she’s “had too much air time”, the reaction of the trolls has been all too telling of the way we look at and treat middle-aged women on television.
Particularly middle-aged women who are giving something a go. She's hoping her time in MasterChef will launch a career hosting regular ladies’ lunches in her hometown of Brisbane.
"You're never too old to follow your dreams," the 57-year-old told the camera earlier in tonight's episode.
How awfully sad, and how desperately predictable, that the rest of Australia doesn't agree.
No offence Benita, but you should probably stick to making your grandchildren lunch boxes... #MasterChefAU
— uruwill (@gywang12) May 4, 2017
Benita has never made earl grey ice-cream?? What a fkn noob. #masterchefau
— Claire (@clairesvoyant) May 4, 2017
How come Benita even got on the show? One valuable place wasted #masterchefau
— JayJay (@LexinAus) May 4, 2017
I thought she was going to make fairy bread with tea leaf sprinkles... #MasterChefAU
— sachbrush (@sachbrush) May 4, 2017
She's getting so much air time and I barely know the others urgh get off #masterchefau
— ????????????????-???????????????????? (@urghreally) May 4, 2017
Does Benita work at Subway? Wraps, a sandwich #MasterChefAU
— Bec Pobjie (@BecPobjie) May 4, 2017