MasterChef: back to victory fans were shocked by the winner of the show’s twelfth season.
The Fox cooking show aired its grand finale on Wednesday, but some viewers were already convinced they knew the winner ahead of the episode.
Michael Silverstein, Christian Green and Dara Yu were the last chefs standing in the Chef final, after judges Aarón Sánchez, Gordon Ramsay and Joe Bastianich reduced the roster, which initially consisted of 20 returning players Chef competitors from previous seasons.
This cast included two former Junior Master Chef competitors who returned to compete as adults, including Yu.
Yu, who appeared in Season 1 of Junior Master Chefwas crowned winner of MasterChef: back to victorybeating his compatriots Silverstein and Green.
The chef wowed the judges with his crispy-skinned red snapper, Chinese-style ribs and his superb vanilla floating island dessert, a meringue-based dish floating on custard.
While viewers were thrilled for Yu, they were somewhat surprised after they were sure that Silverstein was the winner, due to an ad apparently hinting that he was the season 12 champion.
Food delivery service Grubhub released a series of ads in August to support the partnership with Chef. One of the advertisements, which aired on August 31 Chef episode, showed Silverstein alongside three other former contestants who all won their respective seasons.
Kelsey Murphy, Season 11 winner Dorian Hunter, who won Season 10, and Season 9 champion Gerron Hurt all appeared in the ad alongside Silverstein, leading fans to believe the involvement de Silverstein alluded to this future victory.
Following Yu’s victory in the Chef finale on September 14, surprised fans took to Reddit to say they had been “played” by Grubhub.
Reddit user Metal_Eevee joked, “Note to self: don’t use grubhub to pretend like this,” as Ripwitch posted, “That GrubHub ad played us lol.”
“Grubhub trolled us all! Congratulations Dara! This win is definitely deserved,” added DangerousDarius, while Spideraxe30 said, “GRUBHUB AD WAS A FALSE FLAG.”
Another user, hunnid-bandz, also commented asking, “Ayo, did grubhub play us all?”
Yu, 21, is the youngest person to win the MasterChef: back to victory Title. She walked away with a grand prize of $250,000.
Revealing what she plans to do with her earnings, Yu told TVInsider, “I think especially at my age, it’s important to be financially responsible. I’ve basically been a student all my life. I want to be able to have this money for the rest of my life.
“I really want to put a lot of that into investments, projects and business ideas that I have. I also think I have to celebrate, take a trip and travel. I also like cars. Maybe a vintage car? We’ll see.”