Loki's History-Making Decision Cost Him The MasterChef Title
The face-palm heard round the world.
For the first time in MasterChef history a contestant has been eliminated ... while still wearing their immunity pin.
"At the end of the day," Loki Madireddi told ten daily, "it is what it is".
Heading into the pressure test Loki had the opportunity to play his pin, giving him immunity from the elimination. He decided to back himself telling the judges, "It's not about the pin or winning or losing, it's about believing in myself".
That's when it all took a turn.
Recreating Matt Abe's roast chicken, summer vegetables and consommé of green herbs, the contestants were attempting a dish from the first Aussie chef to ever hold three Michelin stars. The pressure was on.
Initially, Loki stumbled breaking down the chicken but still felt confident he could catch up with his fellow chefs. Cutting himself during the cook put him behind even further, and finally spilling his consommé was just hurdle for the fan-favourite.
Watching Loki struggle through the challenge most people had the exact same thought.
"Being a team challenge," Loki told ten daily, "everybody played a part. I played a part in the challenge so I couldn't use the pin. I needed to back myself."
Loki's positive attitude shone through the competition, making him loved by both the fans and other contestants.
"It was never a competition for me," he said, "it was about enjoying cooking".
"I wanted to be true to myself and connect to people -- and that's what happened. I get messages from kids who have started cooking, they didn't know what Dosa was, and now they want it in their lunchbox."
He may be the first contestant ever in MasterChef history to be eliminated while still wearing his immunity pin, but even that couldn't knock the smile off his face describing his elimination as a "standout moment".
It's a shock but you get to enjoy ... life is not only about enjoying the best moments, it's about enjoying and understanding the bad, too."
"I'm still learning from people from different parts of the world showing their love. It's amazing, I never thought I could make this mark for people."
The 34-year-old was encouraged to audition for the competition by his son Indryaan who, along with his wife, was "very proud" of Loki's performance in the kitchen.
After the competition Loki completed an internship with Gaggan in Bangkok where he was inspired to continue working in the food industry.
"Not specifically the restaurant industry but I'd like to open a retreat, to have people learn Indian techniques for cooking. I want a retreat for kids where they can grow their food from a vegetable garden and know the cycle of food -- where it comes from and what they're eating."
Loki's also planning on launching his own website next month, "So people can take from that whatever they need", and hopes to continue to inspire those around him.
As he left the devastated remaining contestants he continued to shine bright with the most gorgeous optimism.
"This is just the beginning," he said leaving the MasterChef kitchen, "be true to yourselves, love each other ... sell food with love".
One thing's for sure, Loki and his pin won't be forgotten any time soon.