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'MasterChef' cook Mario kicked off show, Jessie gets chance

AAP logoAAP 7/05/2015 Melissa Jenkins
Jessie Spiby has now joined the Top 24. © Network Ten Jessie Spiby has now joined the Top 24.

A contestant on MasterChef has been thrown off the show for breaking the rules after it was revealed he had worked as a cook.

Network Ten released a statement on Thursday confirming Mario had stepped down from the top 24 after informing producers he had been a paid cook five months within the last 15 years, ruling him ineligible for the competition.

"Both Shine Australia and Network Ten take the rules of the competition very seriously with regard to cooks being of an amateur status," a spokeswoman said in a statement.

"Mario understands and respects the rules and wishes the Top 24 contestants well for the competition."

Judge Gary Mehigan broke the news to the 23 remaining contestants, saying the guidelines regarding previous experience were very specific.

"Since the judges auditions, Mario has told us that he does not fulfil those guidelines," he said.

"Our job is to find Australia's best amateur cook so sadly Mario will not be joining us."

Mehigan announced the next in line for a top 24 spot, Jessie from South Australia, would be taking Mario's place.

Jessie marched through the kitchen doors and was met with a warm welcome from fellow contestants.

"I feel a little bit behind the eight ball but I'm sure I'm going to be OK," she said.

"We know you are a great cook so get your head in the right space, you're on board - we're behind you," Mehigan assured her.

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