Creme De La Creme contestant cyberbullied for mistake made on baking contest
Contestant Ean Cheong shared that the bullying escalated after the latest episode. Comments also flooded the Instagram accounts of judges Fann Wong and Jeanette Aw.
Creme De La Creme contestant Ean Cheong found himself to be the target of cyberbullying after the latest episode of the Mediacorp baking competition aired on Jun 23 on Channel 8.
It all began when the four semi-finalists – Cheong, Angie Lim, Shawn Pang and Yeo Min – were tasked to replicate judge and dessert maestro Janice Wong's strawberry tart.
In the midst of his hustle, Cheong mistakenly used Lim’s mousse base for his tart.
Cheong apologised, and both he and Lim agreed to use each other’s mousse – even though the judges allowed them to remake the component.
As it turned out, Lim’s tart caused her to be eliminated from the competition as the mousse base – made by Cheong – was found to contain pieces of cling wrap by veteran actresses and judges Fann Wong and Jeanette Aw.
During the episode, Wong commented that "with the cling wrap, it was a foregone conclusion".
Aw agreed that "it was a blunder that should never have been made. It shouldn't have happened".
Guest judge Then Chui Foong said that the presence of cling wrap can crop up when the mousse is not spread evenly on the cling wrap and removed after freezing.
Although Lim did not blame Cheong for the elimination, viewers felt differently about the judges’ decision.
Those who took to social media to air their displeasure felt that it was unfair to Lim, especially when the judges acknowledged the mix-up.
Comments flooded Channel 8's as well as the actresses' Instagram accounts, with many decrying their decisions.
Cheong was also targeted in the online vitriol, making him upload a now-deleted three-part Instagram post, in which he said he would return his trophy and certificate "as the most undeserving finalist in many people's eyes”.
“I’m sorry if the outcome of the decision did not turn out the way many of you wished for,” he wrote, revealing that from the show's very first episode, he had been receiving negative comments such as "shameless".
He added at the end that he didn't sign up for the competition for the title or trophy, but for "the knowledge of doing more pastry".
Wong issued a statement on the incident through Mediacorp: "The two contestants mutually agreed to continue with the competition using each other's mousse and we respected their decisions.
"I hope the contestants do not get too affected by the comments. The competition is just a learning experience and not the end of the journey. There's still a long road ahead for everyone."
In a separate statement, fellow judge Aw asked viewers to be kind with their words. "I am still in contact with the contestants. It’s been rough and you can’t imagine how careless words have impacted and hurt them. Let’s be more aware, more sensitive, and more kind. Thank you".
Citing Sigmund Freud, Aw added: "Words have a magical power. They can either bring the greatest happiness or the deepest despair".
Earlier on, Aw had announced in an Instagram Story that she would be deleting some comments. "My platform isn't used to abuse another," she wrote.
Meanwhile, a Mediacorp spokesperson said: “We do not condone cyberbullying”.
On the subject of the mousse mix-up, the spokesperson clarified that "coloured labels were used to identify all the contestants’ trays".
“When contestants Ean and Angie took the wrong trays of mousse, they were given the option to prepare their mousse again, but they mutually agreed to continue with using each other’s mousse. Hence, the competition proceeded and the judges’ decisions are final," said the spokesperson.
Cheong appeared to have put the incident behind him. "I’m not gonna mentioned what really happened behind since the competition had already over but I can only say “I’m Really Sorry @little_indulgences!
"As much as we trusted each other during the competition, I will learn to move on and learn from incident but I will never forget that I owe her this time round".