Contestant cyberbullied by netizens over 'unfair judging' on Fann Wong and Jeanette Aw's show Creme de la Creme

The four contestants vying for a spot in the finals. From left: Ean, Shawn, Angie and Yeo Min
PHOTO: Instagram/eancheong_

The clock is ticking as four contestants hunch over their workstations trying to recreate a strawberry tart dessert by professional pastry chef Janice Wong.

This is the semi-finals and only three can advance to the next round for a chance to win the Mediacorp baking competition Creme de la Creme.

Mediacorp’s latest baking competition ‘Crème De La Crème’ is coming! Hosted by Fann Wong 范文芳 and Jeanette Aw, with...

Posted by MeWatch on Wednesday, May 5, 2021

It's not a complicated dessert per se, Wong said, but it tests many technical skills.

One of the judges announces that they have an hour and a half left, and the contestants are scrambling, picking up the pace as they try to complete the long list of steps they have remaining.

Suddenly, one of the contestants Angie — a frontrunner — yells out as she realises her fellow contestant Ean accidentally used her mousse base.

He apologises, but time is running out and Angie declares that she trusts in his skills and moves on using the one that Ean made.

Unfortunately, that decision proved to be her undoing as she is later eliminated from the competition.

Local veteran actresses Fann Wong and Jeanette Aw — who served as judges — found pieces of cling wrap in the mousse when they were tasting Angie's dessert. It is clearly a big no-no if you intend to work as a professional baker/chef.

During the confessional interviews, Fann, 50, said: "With the cling wrap, it was a foregone conclusion."

Jeanette, 41, agreed: "It was a blunder that should never have been made. It shouldn't have happened."

Unfortunately, the decision angered netizens who were vocal about their support for Angie. She had performed consistently throughout the series and they felt that she shouldn't have had to pay for Ean's mistake because it was his mousse and his own technical ineptitude that caused the cling wrap to stick to the mousse.

Guest judge and professional chef Then Chui Foong explained: "If there are folds in the cling wrap, and you don't spread the mousse evenly on it, and you don't pay attention when unwrapping it after freezing, this can happen."

Surprisingly, the judges acknowledged the mix-up when it occurred and Jeanette even said they were stumped as to how the judging was going to be done fairly.

However, if there was ever a separate deliberation, it wasn't shown. The judges also didn't seem to acknowledge that boo-boo when they decided to eliminate Angie.

Perhaps that was what caused many netizens to fight the perceived injustice on social media.

On the Instagram pages of Jeanette, Fann, and even Channel 8, netizens flooded their Creme de la Creme posts with comments about how Ean should be disqualified for the mistake and that Angie should not have been eliminated. They were visibly upset about what they perceived to be an unfair judgment, based on the strongly-worded comments.

PHOTO: Screengrabs from Instagram/faaiaiwong, Instagram/jeanetteaw, Instagram/ch8sg

While Angie didn't blame Ean, even on the show, it didn't stop him from being the target of cyberbullying. In a now-deleted Instagram post that he published yesterday (June 24), Ean wrote: "I'm sorry if the outcome of the decisions did not turn out the way many of you wished for."

PHOTO: Screengrab from Instagram/eancheong_

He explained that he signed up for the competition to further his horizons and learn new things and that he knew he was the "weakest" of the four contestants.

"But after today, I think I just made the worst decision of my life," he said.

Ean revealed that he received many nasty messages from netizens who called him "shameless" and "arrogant" (among other things) and accused him of being insincere in his apology and "playing dirty games behind the scenes".

PHOTO: Screengrab from Instagram/eancheong_

He added: "But do you guys really know what happened? Do you guys know I initially did not put my mousse with the ladies? Nobody knows, it just seems like I'm entirely at fault for this. But now that it's over, just take it that I'm the main source of the issue that did not let Angie go through to the next round. [sic]"

Ean also confessed that he has been "blaming myself for the mistakes I've done" and he has cried over it at night sometimes. He said that the top three received a trophy and a certificate but "as the most undeserving finalist in many people's eyes, I will be returning mine to Mediacorp".

"For those who have been supporting me, I really appreciate it. But I guess, it's time to take a break. Goodbye for now."

PHOTO: Screengrab from Instagram/eancheong_

When we reached out to Mediacorp for a comment, a spokesperson said: "On the mousse base incident, we would like to clarify 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."

That said, both Ean and Angie shared during the episode that they wouldn't be able to remake the base, with the former saying "it'd be a lot of trouble".

Mediacorp also did not comment on our questions regarding Ean's post and his claim that he "initially did not put my mousse with the ladies".

bryanlim@asiaone.com