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'MasterChef Australia's Mat Beyer: 'I'm not a cheat'

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Masterchef Australia 2011: Mat Beyer

© Network Ten

Axed MasterChef Australia contestant Mat Beyer has gone on record to explain why he broke the show's rules.

Following weeks of speculation about reported rule-breaking, the 24-year-old was finally shown leaving the Channel Ten reality cooking show on Wednesday evening after smuggling a smartphone into the contestants' house. Participants are only allowed one ten-minute phone call per week under the rules of the show.

Beyer explained in his exit interview: "I had the phone there just to keep in touch with my girlfriend. There was a lot going on in my life at the time and I really wasn't coping very well with the limited contact.

"I didn't cheat; you can't cheat in the competition. You can't pull your phone out and say, 'I don't know how to do this, I'm just gonna Google it'. It's just not feasible; I never took the phone on set anyway."

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IT support technician Beyer further explained in a syndicated interview to the News Limited newspaper group that his mother Julie is listed as a missing person.

He said: "My mum is a missing person and when someone is a missing person for seven years, [they] can potentially be declared dead. An enquiry into her death was apparently started.

"I knew it was going to come up to Mother's Day and then her birthday. I was feeling a bit emotionally vulnerable and one ten-minute phone call a week wasn't really cutting it."

Enquiries made by the newspaper group show that Beyer's mother Julie has been missing since summer 2004.

Since leaving the show, Beyer has begun work on a cooking blog and is contemplating writing a good food guide about his native Melbourne.

MasterChef judge Matt Preston told the press that Beyer had not revealed this information to show bosses and that if he had, "of course" he would have been allowed extra time for phone calls.

He also stressed that rules are rules, adding: "Everyone in the house knows you can't have a phone. Mat had a phone, having a phone is not allowed, it's an elimination offence."

Billy Law, who was eliminated from the show earlier in the week, has been asked to return.

MasterChef airs Sundays to Fridays at 7.30pm on Channel Ten.

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