Chloe Carroll: My son doesn’t want me to win!
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When devoted mum-of-two Chloe told her little ones she would be leaving them to pursue her culinary dreams, her son's final words shocked her.
"He said, 'I don't want you to win,'" Chloe reveals.
Why? He told her he'd miss her too much! "It's been hard being away from my family, but I'm doing this for them. I want to be able to open a cooking school and get families involved."
Samira Damirova: Maggie Beer taught me English!
When Samira moved from Azerbaijan to Australia, she couldn't speak a word of English.
But after watching Maggie Beer's show The Cook And The Chef, she slowly picked it up.
"Her show inspired me to start cooking and now here I am in the top 12!"
Sashi Cheliah: My kids made me apply for the show!
"They always told me how much they loved my cooking," says the father-of-two.
"So they were the ones who encouraged me to apply."
After sending in his application, Sashi began fine-tuning his skills by watching YouTube tutorials.
Ben Borsht: My life’s at sea
He's known in the kitchen as the king of the sea and that's where Ben's heart belongs.
"I've been eating seafood for as long as I can remember. My parents owned a boat," he says, adding he plans to start a charter boat company so he can take groups out fishing.
"I can't wait to teach people how to catch and cook!"
Reece Hignell: I want a contestant to make my wedding cake!
Reece can't wait to propose to his boyfriend, and who better to make their wedding cake than the queen of sweets herself, Jess!
"She's incredible at cakes, and she stays up all night making them. I'd love it if she could make mine," he says.
Gina Ottaway: I almost didn’t make the cut
Constantly second-guessing her talent, things came crashing down when Gina was diagnosed with a frozen shoulder.
But two weeks before filming, it healed and she sent in her application.
Khahn Ong: Pirates nearly killed me
"I was born into an Indonesian refugee camp and lived there until I was two. When we were on a refugee boat, pirates shot at us and the engine broke down. It was a complete disaster," Khahn recalls.
Sarah Clare: Kristen is my secret ally!
As the competition numbers dwindle, the number of spare beds has started to outnumber the contestants. But this hasn't stopped Sarah and Kristen from sharing the same bunk bed.
"Kristen sleeps directly beneath me and we certainly aren't moving! She's amazing, an incredible cook, but more importantly an incredible friend."
Jess Liemantara: I love doing pressure tests!
Most contestants tremble at the thought of being faced with the infamous MasterChef pressure test, but not this year's dessert queen Jess!
"I've known since I was nine years old after watching Peter Gilmore's snow egg pressure test I wanted to have a go at one," the youngest contestant in the competition says.
Kristen Sheffield: I struggle living with strangers!
She's used to living with just her husband Mark, so it's little wonder Kristen took some time adjusting to sleeping in the MasterChef house.
"I was so used to quiet and calmness, so I had to get my head around living with 20 or so people I didn't know."
Hoda Kobeissi: I never follow recipes
She's been very open about her amazing 55kg weight loss, but there's one thing we don't know about the cooking queen – Hoda never measures her ingredients!
"I grew up cooking with mum, so I picked up most of her techniques. She used to cook by feel, so I do it, too."
Brendan Pang: My mum cooked for Prince Charles!
It's every chef's dream to cook for the British royals. And for Brendan and his mum Dany, it became a reality in 2015.
"Mum was working in retail when she told me she wanted to quit her job and take up baking full-time," Brendan explains. The next thing she knew, Dany was being asked by Prince Charles to bake him a birthday cake!
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