MasterChef star Julie Goodwin opens up about her demise

“I lost my joy”: The MasterChef star held back tears as she revealed how bad things were during her 2020 meltdown.

Returning MasterChef contestant Julie Goodwin opened up about her mental health issues in Thursday’s episode of the show, admitting she wasn’t sure if she was ready to return for this season of Fans Vs Faves.

Goodwin has enjoyed a successful career since winning the first season MasterChef back in 2009 – but there’s also some well-documented downtime. In early 2020, he told fans the reason for his sudden five-week absence from his breakfast radio job, explaining that he had spent more than a month in a mental health facility seeking treatment for depression and anxiety.

Goodwin, who got fans gathered after the nervous first cook during Monday MasterChef season premiere, said that his post-victory run was a mix of “tremendous highs” along with “struggles too.”

“I had to take a serious assessment of my mental health and well-being… I had reached a point in my life where I had lost my joy. I had to give up my job on radio – I can’t do that anymore – and I really couldn’t set foot in my kitchen,” she said.

At one point, Goodwin thought he might be done with his cooking career forever – but he says there are lingering questions that lure him back for another season. MasterChef about 13 years after his first reality TV stint.

“I thought maybe I’ve done everything I have to do here, and I’ve accomplished everything I possibly could to achieve… so this for me is an opportunity to see if there’s another chapter. If there is more,” he said.

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There seems to be: later in the episode, Goodwin is overcome with emotion when the judges announce him as the winner of the first immunity challenge.

“When the phone call came to do this, I didn’t know if I could,” she told them in tears. “It’s been a tough few years, and I don’t know if I can ever get back into this environment. My experience last time was that I fell over and over again, and I think I reached the end because every time I fall I get back up.

“The phone call to come here was… the universe was saying ‘It’s time to bounce back.’

Goodwin said he felt encouraged by the early win in the competition: “To stand here and cook a dish and deem it worthy… maybe I’m not done yet. Maybe there’s more for me.”

MasterChef continues 7:30pm Sunday at Ten.

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