Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers for the latest episode of MasterChef Australia. Watch the most recent episodes here.

One contestant was sent home and another returned to the MasterChef Australia kitchen this week when the elimination cook-off took a surprising turn. 

The challenge began with the red team from the previous night’s outdoor challenge coming home to cook for their place in the competition. 

Matt called their challenge ‘same, same but different’, with Gina, Ben, Sarah, Jess, Aldo and Chloe asked to use prawns to make a dish from a different world cuisine in only 45 minutes.

While Jess impressed the judges and was soon sent to safety, Aldo’s French-style prawns sent him to the bottom of the pack and what would usually be instant elimination. 

But Aldo had a second chance – along with every eliminated contestant from the season so far. 

There were hugs all round as all 12 eliminated cooks returned for a chance to cook their way back into the MasterChef kitchen. 

They were just asked to make their best dish, using all the new skills they’d acquired since they’d left the competition. 

Three cooks, Lisa, Brendan and Michelle, impressed the judges but it was Brendan’s “clever, sophisticated and delicious” lobster dish that won them over and won him a place back in the competition.

Memorably, Brendan was the contestant who cut his hand so badly in Nigella week that he had to go to the hospital and was exempt from the team challenge.

Unfortunately, we had to say arrivederci to Aldo

Since leaving the MasterChef Australia kitchen, Brendan has been working in restaurants to hone his skills – and it clearly did the trick!

“I don’t even know if this is real right now,” Brendan said when he was announced the winner.

“I worked so hard when I got out. For you guys to acknowledge that, yeah, it’s incredible.”

But it wasn’t all good news. 

Sadly, with Brendan winning the challenge, we had to say arrivederci to the competition’s ‘ray of sunshine’, Aldo.

We’ll remember him for his boundless enthusiasm and deep connection to his Italian Nonna. We’re sure she’s very proud of her grandson!

Watch the latest episodes of MasterChef Australia right here!