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"I considered walking away." Everything we know about MasterChef's frontrunner Emelia Jackson.

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For several weeks now, Emelia Jackson has proven herself to be a dark horse in the MasterChef kitchen.

Earlier this season, she wowed judges when she recreated Kirsten Tibballs’ watermelon meljito during a pressure test. 

While the challenge frazzled contestants Brendan Pang, Simon Toohey and Khanh Ong, all eyes were on Emelia, who kept her cool throughout the cook, and served up what was essentially a mirror image of the intricate dessert.

"I can’t fault any of it – she should be congratulated," chef Kirsten Tibballs said after tasting Emelia’s dish.

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I made dis. #masterchefau

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All of us watching on from home were just as impressed. 


Not only did Emelia receive an immunity pin that night, but her victory also got her a step closer to winning the competition. 

Now in the final five, the queen of sweets is currently competing against remaining contestants Reynold Poernomo, Callum Hann, Reece Hignell, and Laura Sharrad for a shot at the MasterChef title. 

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What a TOP 5! 🥰🥰🥰 #masterchefau

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One of her competitors, Laura, is actually a long-time friend who she first met in primary school. 

"Emelia's mum taught me at primary school," Laura told TV Week last month. 


"I'm five years younger than Mils, but my first memory of her is in the school playground."

Despite the $250,000 prize money on the line, the pair agreed they won't let the competition ruin their friendship. 

"I think it's so important to have a friend like Laura in the competition," Emelia told the publication. 

"This competition will never come between us," Laura added.

Looking back, Emelia has come a long way since we first met her on season six. 

During her first time in the MasterChef kitchen, the then 24-year-old struggled to cope with the immense pressure of the competition. She even thought about leaving.

"I was going into challenges and choking," she told back in 2014.

"Being constantly judged is hard to adjust to, and I really struggled. I couldn’t handle some of the feedback I was getting," she added.

"It reached a point where I wondered why I was putting myself through the stress."

So she set herself a deadline of six weeks, after which she’d leave the show if things didn’t improve.

"I considered walking away but gave it a go. Thankfully, I was in love with it by week three."


Unfortunately, the Melbourne marketing assistant ended up placing third, after being eliminated on a whipped chocolate ganache challenge.

But she didn’t walk away entirely empty-handed.

Brent Owens, who ended up winning the season, gave Emelia $50,000 of his $250,000 prize money, after the pair made a pact that whoever won the competition would give the other a cut.

After leaving the MasterChef kitchen, Emelia went on to open her own cake business.

She now spends her days running cooking classes and baking wedding, engagement and birthday cakes at Emelia Jackson Cake Designs.


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Another successful class at @gourmet_living – next class is first Wednesday of May! #cake

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It’s been a passion of hers since she was young.

"Ever since I can remember, I’ve baked. As a little girl, I was always in the kitchen making an enormous mess and loving every minute of it," she writes on her website. 

"I was always the girl supplying birthday cake for my friends’ parties, bringing desserts to dinner parties and rolling around in sugar to my heart’s content."

Outside of the kitchen, Emelia lives a relatively private life.

Although little is known about Emelia’s relationship, she has shared a number of photos with her rumoured partner on Instagram.


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Bye bye San Francisco.. see ya soon Yosemite / yogi bear.

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In February, Emelia announced she was back to claim the MasterChef title.


"Super excited to finally be able to announce WHY I’m not taking on too many cake orders this year! I’m BACKKKKKKKKKK," she wrote on Instagram.

And it looks like she's in for a good shot. 

Earlier this season, eliminated contestant Courtney Roulston named Emelia as the most likely to win. 

"If I was to pick a dark horse, I reckon Emelia Jackson," she told

She's also been tipped as this season's winner by both TAB and Sportsbet, who have had a near-perfect record of picking the winner in the past.

According to TAB, Emilia is the favourite to win with odds of $1.27, Reynold Poernomo is tipped for second place at $3.75, and Laura Sharrad is expected to come in third at $5.50

Sportsbet differs slightly with Emelia expected to win with odds of $1.39, Laura for runner-up at $4.50, and Reynold coming in third at $5.50.

With less than two weeks to go until the season finale, fans are hoping Emelia can walk away with the MasterChef crown. 

This article was originally published on May 28, 2020, and was updated on July 9, 2020.

Feature Image: Instagram @emelia_jackson/Channel Ten. 

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