Masterchef

MasterChef Australia's Jess opens up about handling the haters online

'It's really hard.'

She's just 19 and the youngest of this year's MasterChef Australia contestants, but Melbourne waitress Jess Liemantara has had to deal with some of the harshest criticism on social media.

"It's really hard not to look at the haters, and it does put you down," she admits. "But you have support from the MasterChef family who say, 'Don't look at it.' It's really gut-wrenching.

"But being on the show is such a great opportunity. You have to forget about what other people say."

Jess was caught up in controversy last month when judge Matt Preston tasted her fried sandwich before she'd finished making it.

Some viewers labelled it "cheating", but Jess explains that's what the judges do.

"I didn't really think he was breaking the rules," she says.

"For the judges to really know which dishes to taste, they have to taste each individual element. They taste bits and pieces to then say, 'Oh, are you sure about that?'"

"You have days where you think, 'I don't deserve to be here,'" she says.

But she adds the other contestants have treated her like a sister.

"They've taught me so much and made me mature in a way too."

Jess isn't the only contestant to speak out against online bullying, with Chloe Carroll revealing she's struggled with the negative comments she's received on social media since the show aired.

Online trolls have made comments about her job as a nutritionist, saying it contradicts her desire to be a chef.

"They're surprised I've been making desserts and things that haven't been particularly healthy," Chloe says.

"I like to think of myself as resilient– I bounce back and persevere through difficult situations. That's exactly what I plan to do."