MasterChef airs Ben’s departure but mystery remains
Reality show MasterChef has finally addressed the mysterious ousting of contestant Ben Ungermann, again citing personal reasons as the impetus for his departure.
Judge Jock Zonfrillo addressed fellow contestants at the top of tonight's episode of the Channel 10 show.
"Before we get to today's challenge, we've got some news," Zonfrillo said. "You're probably wondering where Ben is. Due to a personal matter, Ben has had to leave the competition and he will not be returning."
Production company Endemol Shine was forced to confirm Ungermann's removal from the competition but has refused to disclose the nature of his personal reasons for leaving.
"We can confirm Ben Ungermann has left the MasterChef Australia competition," an Endemol Shine statement read. "As this is a police matter, we will not be making further comment."
Ungermann continued to feature on episodes after news of his departure broke and has only just been addressed tonight, with the Queenslander no longer seen on screen.
With filming wrapped weeks ago, Confidential understands Ungermann left the competition about three months ago, when production had only just started.
Confidential's investigations into any "police matter" reveal Ungermann does not have any upcoming court dates in Victoria, NSW or his home state of Queensland.
His only past court date was in 2017 in Brisbane when he was convicted on a low-range drink driving charge.
Confidential last month contacted Ungermann's long-time manager and friend, known only as Shadz, who refused to comment.
Sources close to Ungermann said he was disappointed with how the issue has been managed.
Last month he made a comment on Instagram advising his fans: "Don't believe everything you read guys".
He also thanked fans for their support on social media.
Ungermann has been one of the bigger personalities on the current series, which has seen famous faces from previous seasons return for another crack at the competition.
He placed runner-up on season nine of MasterChef and has seen success personally and professionally since he last appeared on the show, with his invitation to return to the all-star season the cherry on top.
On a personal front, he recently celebrated his one-year anniversary with South African television and radio personality Leigh-Anne Williams, who visited Ungermann in Melbourne in February.
Before that, the pair holidayed in Indonesia together.
Originally published as MasterChef airs Ben's departure but mystery remains