Kem Cetinay’s brilliant run on Celebrity MasterChef comes to an end

An overly sweet chocolate coconut dessert thwarted Kem Cetinay’s progress on Celebrity MasterChef. The former Love Island winner turned television presenter had entered finals week on a confident run, but failed to impress the judges on Wednesday night and was eliminated.

One of 20 celebrities competing on this year’s show, Kem made it to the final five despite a dodgy start. The cookery novice initially struggled to recognise classic recipes and ingredients, but as his confidence grew, so too the quality of his dishes, many of them Turkish.

Glowing praise from the judges John Torode and Gregg Wallace, and leading food critics in the semi-finals propelled Kem to another level: “I could be working in a Michelin starred restaurant,” he told the cameras. Sadly it was not quite the fairy tale ending.

On the first of three programmes on finals week, both Kem and fellow contestant Joe Swash looked like they were heading for the chop. Neither did well in the first task: producing a pie based on a recipe by London’s King of Pies Calum Franklin, served to food experts at the Holborn Dining Rooms Pie Room.

The celebs then returned to the MasterChef kitchen to create a dessert inspired by their memories of sweet shops.

Kem’s choice was a deep fried chocolate and coconut bonbon, served with a coconut cream and pistachio paste, inside a filo pastry shell. The concept was fancy, but the delivery and taste were lacking.

John said the combination ‘didn’t quite work’, with Greg concurring, who also added that the dessert was too sweet:

“I love the chocolate with the sweet coconut,” he said. ‘But I need something that’s not sweet to put it into, and all I’ve got is the chocolate that is more sweet.”

After he was told he’d been eliminated, Kem said: “I feel a little bit gutted, but at the time I think to myself, “Wow Kem, you have come on!”

‘What a journey. I have improved so much. I can’t not be happy. I feel proud and I really, really enjoyed myself.”

Kem on his growing cooking skills after the semi-finals 

Kem’s exit left four to compete for the title of Celebrity MasterChef Champion: fellow Essex resident and reality TV star Megan McKenna, ex-England footballer Dion Dublin, Paralympian Kadeena Cox, and actor and TV presenter Joe Swash.

The final programme of the current series will be aired on Friday evening on BBC 1. All the episodes from this series are also available for a limited time on the BBC iPlayer.

As for Kem, if this clip below with fellow MasterChef contestant and professional dancer Johannes Radebe is anything to go by, who knows a stint on Strictly Come Dancing could follow…


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