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Masterchef Australia – Interview With Deb – “I Was Never Going To Win That Challenge”

Masterchef Australia contestant Deb Sederlan was sent packing from Italy and the show on Thursday night after the former vegetarian had to cook a pig on the spit, something that was way out of her comfort zone.

In an interview we discussed her isolation on the Masterchef set, whether Pici should have failed, who she thinks will win and how luck does come into the show.

RR: To me you were a bit of an enigma I could never quite get a handle on you. Sometimes I would be thinking fabulous what a great lady, and other times I would be thinking what is going on. How hard for you was it filming for that length of time and in relation to your age, that you were going through menopause and also  you were not used to being around that many people all the time what sort of strain and stress was that for you?

Debra Sederlan (DS): It was definitely something I had to adapt to but I was also aware that this was the situation. But sometimes it is not until you are in that situation you don’t really know how you are going to manage it or how you are going to adapt or the survival skills you are going to need to pull out of the bag. It was challenging I learnt a lot about myself and having lived on my own for quite a lot I knew that would be one of my struggles. I kept myself pretty quite and to myself and that was my way of me finding some quiet space within a lot of the noise that was going on. We were in lockdown – so it is not like popping out for five minutes to grabbed a coffee and have a little break. It was quite intense.

RR: That has been discussed on this blog how it would be harder for the older people in the house. How was it keeping your energy up month on month?

DS: A lot of people are comfortable on their own and the fact I am comfortable on my own and chose to stay within that space some people don’t like it. Because it is not something they can do and it connected with how I was managing my energy as well. I got up really early in mornings before anybody was up and did some yoga and often I just sat on the balcony and had a cup of tea in the quiet and that really helped and I would go off to my room at 9.30pm-10.00pm while everyone was still up watching TV and chatting and for the same reason. It was a rest space, even though I was not sleepy it was just a way of resting and being quiet. It was a bit like a full time meditation.

RR: We saw the team challenges and it seemed as it went on that you were more isolated or not given the responsibilities or the dud jobs – Was that editing correct?

DS: It is pretty spot on actually. Yes it happened even more than it showed, because it happened quite regularly. By the last lot of challenges I was involved in it is quite obvious. There is a lot of things you don’t see that are not shown on television because of the editing and it was even obvious to the judges as they kept on asking the questions “Why have you got Deb doing this?”, “Why aren’t you getting Deb to cook this?”, and “Why don’t you check with Deb this is her cuisine?”. At every challenge there certainly was a point of isolation.

RR: Why did that occur? Was it because you kept to yourself in the house? Or you weren’t seen as a team player?

DS: I think sometimes it is human nature when people tend to be on the outside of the group perhaps there is not as much trust there. Because if someone is not a part of a group you can’t control them and you don’t know much about them. I think it is a really human thing. There were friendships within the house which is fabulous and I think that was great. Maybe people didn’t know how to manage me or how to handle me I really don’t know. It is a good question to ask all the other contestants as well.

RR: Do you think there is strategy in play?

DS: Absolutely from the start there was incredible naivety around the fact that if you were buddies with someone that this was going to protect you from being eliminated. As the competition moved on and all of sudden every week someone went and did not matter if they were your best friend in the house, if they were in an elimination and they were gone. That reality really kicked in probably about half way through for a lot of contestants.

RR: Did they then get their game face on?

DS: They got their game face on there is a certain amount of protection from aligning yourself with someone for instances where you need support you are going to get their support.

RR: Onto the challenge last night that saw you being eliminated. Did you think that whoever scored the pig was going to be the one that went?

DS: I knew that if I got the pig I would really struggle and I knew that the universe was going to dish it up to me.

RR: Was there strategy occurring?

DS: There could have been a strategy in play – you might have to ask them. I was kind of surprised that the pig was left. I thought one of the boys might have chosen that as they said they had done it heaps and they were really familiar with it and it was a cruisey challenge.  Maybe it was a strategy. I don’t know I wasn’t a very good strategist.

RR: There are conspiracy theorist running on my blog on how your Pici didn’t look that much different from others people’s Pici.

DS: And it wasn’t! I just don’t think I was going to win that challenge no matter what my pici was like.

RR: Why do you think Alice did not play the immunity pin?

DS: Alice has a lot of integrity as a person and as a school teacher she was thinking about setting the example of the children that she worked with. She thought that if she gave in her pin she would be seen by her students as not backing herself. I really understand why Alice did not give in her pin. I thought it was a pretty admirable thing she did for herself.

Also if she had used the pin they would have dropped the dessert. The challenge would have been quite different as we would not have had the dessert in that challenge if Alice had given in her pin.

RR: Who do you think will have the cooking skills to win?

DS: I think it is a combination of cooking skills align with an incredibly calm nerve, and the person who has the calmness nerves in the competition is Andy. Having worked with him and knowing how much he has learnt he really is the most relaxed and level headed guy and a really great attitude to life as a young person.

RR: In Masterchef how much luck is involved?

DS: There is some luck some involved. Your lucky if you get in a winning team and don’t have to an elimination and through the whole show there are probably have been contestants who have thought phew I am in a winning team I don’t have to go to an elimination.

RR: What’s next for you? You’ve started a blog?

DS: My started a blog is Deb Said So at [Ed’s note: this appears to be wrong if anyone has it please put it in comment section]. It is interesting as I only realised the power of social media  and the blog is all about setting something up so I can connect with all the people that have supported me and thanked them for the support they have given me now I can actually thank people. Also I am looking for a way of keeping connected with people who have supported me. I will continue to share what I do with food. I needed a springboard. Long term I still want my retreat, but the reality it that is millions of dollars. I need to get a business package together for that and I will need to look for investors. In the short term I am going to work with food and I have some really great food product ideas, so everything feeds into my long term goal so when people walk into my retreat it feels like Deb’s place it feels. I like things really natural. A lot of my clothes are natural, I support organics, a simple and relaxed approach to life. Creating a space where they can reconnect with themselves and other people, share stories, eat some really good food and even come into the kitchen and help me cook it.

RR: Would you go on another reality TV show, and if so which one?

DS: The answer is no.

RR: Why not?

Well actually I would, something like Survivor.


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