MasterChef’s Melissa Leong finally reveals why she was absent from The Project’s star-studded tribute to Jock Zonfrillo
Melissa Leong has explained that the grieving process is a quiet one for her, after she was criticized for not taking part in a special tribute to late co-star Jock Zonfrillo.
The MasterChef Australia star writes in her column for this week’s issue Stellar magazine that there is no wrong way to grieve.
“We all deal with loss differently, and we should honor that,” said the 41-year-old.
“Some people need to talk to process emotions, while others take longer to find the words, if they can at all,” she continued.
“Some people need to be with people, while others need alone time to stare at a wall, incessantly clean, or sleep.
Melissa Leong (center) has explained that the grieving process is a quiet one for her, after she was criticized for not taking part in a special tribute to late co-star Jock Zonfrillo (left)
“There’s no right or wrong way to be in these moments, only what’s true for you.”
Melissa raised concerns after she failed to participate in The Sunday Project’s touching tribute to Jock following the MasterChef Australia star’s shocking death at the age of 46.
Jock’s fellow judge Andy Allen and celebrity chefs Gordon Ramsay, Marco Pierre White and Curtis Stone all shared their memories in the heartbreaking special.
Notably missing was Jock’s co-star Leong, who did not appear on the program.
MasterChef fans posted to Twitter wondering why Melissa was absent, with several speculating that she was too sad to participate.
The MasterChef Australia star writes in her column for this week’s issue of Stellar Magazine that there’s no wrong way to grieve
“Is it weird that Melissa isn’t part of this?” one person asked on Twitter, as several others responded.
‘It’s a bit, yes…’ one agreed, but others thought otherwise.
‘No? Everyone grieves differently. It may be too early for her to speak/open up. I hope she’s okay,” said one.
Another wrote, “Andy had it hard enough as it is. I think Melissa just can’t do it. Everyone grieves differently, and people only talk about that grief when they are (or never) ready for it.’
Someone else said, “Not at all. If you’re not in the space to do it, you can’t do it,” while another agreed, “I don’t think she could. She was shattered.
“Maybe she’s still processing it and it would be too much for her,” said yet another.
Zonfrillo was found dead by police at around 2am on May 1 at a hotel in inner north Melbourne, the same day Channel Ten was set to premiere the fifteenth season of MasterChef.
Earlier this month, Melissa pulled out of a scheduled event at the Sydney Opera House following the death of her co-host Jock.
Leong was supposed to do a live Q&A with American cookbook author Alison Roman, but it was announced that she would no longer be attending.
“Following the sad news of the passing of her colleague and friend Jock Zonfrillo, Melissa Leong will no longer be able to speak to Alison Roman on Tuesday, May 9,” a Sydney Opera House spokesperson said in an email to ticket holders.
Leong was replaced by MasterChef Australia season two winner Adam Liaw.
Zonfrillo was found dead by police at approximately 2am on 1 May at a hotel in inner north Melbourne, the same day Channel Ten was due to premiere the fifteenth season of MasterChef Australia.
Learn more in this week’s issue of Stellar Magazine