Every season of MasterChef brings new fan favorites, and Season 13 of MasterChef Australia is no exception.
In the first 8 weeks of the competition, fans quickly grew to Top 24 finalist, Brent Draper, but on Sunday, June 13, he announced his decision to withdraw from the competition. His announcement came as a surprise to viewers and his fellow contestants, but the home cook recently shared the real reason for his exit from the show. So why did Brent leave MasterChef?
Why did Brent Draper leave ‘MasterChef Australia’?
In Season 13, Episode 40 of MasterChef Australia, Brent Hunt revealed that he would be leaving the competition to focus on his mental health. He told judges, “I just need to go home, sort my mental health out.”
He added, “It’s affecting my cook, my sleep, just everything … I don’t want to [quit], but I think it’s the only thing. I think I’ve come to the point where that’s all that’s going to help me. Getting home, sorting myself out.”
While the judges seemed empathetic to Brent’s situation, fans were puzzled by his announcement. But shortly after his exit from the series, Brent took to Instagram to share details of his departure. Although Brent announced his exit in a June episode of MasterChef, his troubles began long before the show started filming several months ago.
Brent explained in an IGTV video, “It all sort of started [when] my mom got really sick before the filming of MasterChef. Then straight into quarantining. Quarantining, it’s not fun at all, I can tell you. I did it twice. Then I had a few health issues over Christmas. Ended up in emergency overnight.”
In an interview with Guardian Australia, Brent detailed the nights leading up to his departure from the show. He shared, “The last few weeks of my time in the competition, I was really struggling mentally and physically. I was struggling to sleep and having a lot of panic attacks during the night. It really started to show; even though I was trying my hardest to mask it, those around me knew I wasn’t OK.”
Now that he's back home with his loved ones, Brent maintains that taking a step back from the competition was the best decision.
Along with therapy, Brent says he’s committed to making the most of his time with his loved ones. He continued, “I’ve spent the last couple of months seeing a psychologist, my doctor, and doing the things I love that ground me like surfing, spending time with [wife] Shonleigh and [baby] Alfie, cooking and eating food with my mates.”
While Brent forfeited his spot in the competition, he encouraged his fellow teammates to fight until the end.
If you or someone you know needs help, use SAMHSA Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator to find support for mental health and substance use disorders in your area or call 1-800-662-4357 for 24-hour assistance.