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Melissa Leong of MasterChef says it is a “great privilege” to be the first female judge

Melissa Leong of MasterChef says it is a ‘great privilege’ to be the first female judge on the cooking show – because she praises the program for its diversity

She is a judge on MasterChef Australia alongside Andy Allen and Jock Zonfrillo.

And on Sunday, fan favorite Melissa Leong said it was a “great privilege” to have been the first female judge at the cooking show.

In an interview with News Corp Australiasaid the 38-year-old chief: “I think if you become the first female judge ever, wear it with pride, [and] wear it with confidence. ‘

New Role: MasterChef's Melissa Leong (pictured) Says Being the First Female Judge at the Sunday Cooking Show is a `` great privilege ''

New Role: MasterChef’s Melissa Leong (pictured) Says Being the First Female Judge at the Sunday Cooking Show is a “ great privilege ”

“It is a great privilege to play this role,” she continued.

Melissa also praised the cooking show for its diversity, saying it represents ‘modern Australia in the kitchen’.

She said: ‘MasterChef has always been an incredibly diverse place, when it comes to casting participants we’ve seen so many faces representing modern Australia in that kitchen.

Judges: Melissa is co-judge on MasterChef Australia alongside Andy Allen (right) and Jock Zonfrillo (left)

Judges: Melissa is co-judge on MasterChef Australia alongside Andy Allen (right) and Jock Zonfrillo (left)

Judges: Melissa is co-judge on MasterChef Australia alongside Andy Allen (right) and Jock Zonfrillo (left)

The celebrity food critic also said, “It is a great honor to sit on the jury and be a person of color because I represent myself and then represent people who don’t hold their faces.”

Melissa and co-stars Andy Allen and Jock Zonfrillo replaced experienced judges George Calombaris, Gary Mehigan and Matt Preston on MasterChef in April.

The former trio had hosted MasterChef for 11 years before being dumped by Channel 10 in July 2019 following reports of a payment dispute.

It is over! George Calombaris (center), Gary Mehigan (left) and Matt Preston (right) previously hosted MasterChef for 11 years before being dumped by Channel 10 in July 2019 after payment dispute reports

It is over! George Calombaris (center), Gary Mehigan (left) and Matt Preston (right) previously hosted MasterChef for 11 years before being dumped by Channel 10 in July 2019 after payment dispute reports

It is over! George Calombaris (center), Gary Mehigan (left) and Matt Preston (right) previously hosted MasterChef for 11 years before being dumped by Channel 10 in July 2019 after payment dispute reports

Melissa said last month The Weekend Australian she is “very humiliated” by the show’s success.

According to the publication, the average live-to-air and catch-up audience is 1,105,000 viewers – a 45 percent increase over last year.

The Singaporean heritage food writer and TV personality said, “Reviews aren’t really within our control … (but) it’s great to feel it resonating with viewers in Australia and abroad.”

Fan favorite: Last month, Melissa told The Weekend Australian that she was 'very humiliated' by the show's success

Fan favorite: Last month, Melissa told The Weekend Australian that she was 'very humiliated' by the show's success

Fan favorite: Last month, Melissa told The Weekend Australian that she was ‘very humiliated’ by the show’s success

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