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MasterChef New Zealand


Finalist number two discusses their chance of winning MasterChef NZ

MasterChef New Zealand on TVNZ Ondemand

16 weeks, 16 tough challenges and now there are just two people left standing.
Ana Schwarz and Chelsea Winter will be fighting it out in the kitchen for the MasterChef New Zealand 2012 title.

We caught up with Chelsea to see how the nerves are ahead of the grand final, Tuesday at 7.30pm on TV ONE.

You've been carrying a big secret about how far you got in the competition. What's been the hardest part of knowing?
My friends and family are pretty good, they know not to push for answers as it's not fair and they won't get them, anyway! Some of the craftier folk try to trick you (unsuccessfully), and some people bowl straight up and ask 'Hey, did you win?' That always cracks me up. Subtle as a brick!

Did you ever think you'd get as far as the final?
No! To begin with, I just didn't think I would have enough experience to be a real contender.  As the competition went on, however, I learned a great deal, I studied and up-skilled and became more confident. I moved around the kitchen faster.  My thought processes were clearer and I became more efficient. I slowly began to realise that maybe there was a real opportunity here for me...if I didn't blow out!

We saw in the challenges throughout the series that you ended up in the bottom two a couple of times.  What was that like?
It's human nature to feel terrible when you fail at something and even worse when three people you really idolise are slamming your efforts. It's 10 times worse when you're in a MasterChef pressure-cooker living and breathing the competition 24/7! All your normal emotions are heightened. But in those awful situations, I only had myself to blame and I knew I deserved to be there at the bottom.

How did it feel when Tony left, leaving just you and Ana?
It was a strange feeling. Suddenly, there were just two of us sifting around in the big old house and it was so quiet. It took us a while to come to terms with the fact that the whole incredible journey was almost over - and one of us was going to win it. Surreal.  I am terrified of facing Ana in the final, but I am also happy it was her there with me - we are pretty close and really good mates.

What do you think of your opposition, Ana?
She is an amazing woman. In real life, she is a very different to what you see on television.  As well as being an incredibly talented and intuitive cook, she is a great soul, kind and lots of fun. We had a blast together and there was never any animosity or competitiveness - which sounds bizarre, but it's true. We both wanted the overall win badly, but it didn't affect our friendship.