'It's Old Fashioned But It's The Best': How 'MasterChef' Contestants Keep In Touch With Their Families

The top ten contestants reunited with their families after months of only communicating through some very old-fashioned channels.

In what seems unthinkable to most of us, contestants are asked to kiss their smartphones goodbye and leave behind their portals to the outside world at the beginning of the competition.

Fan favourite Tati Carlin explained to 10 daily that contestants are only able to speak to their loved ones via a shared house phone -- which happens to be a classic early 2000s form of communication.

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"The house phone is an old Nokia, a tiny old Nokia that has no internet on it and you can’t even take pictures!" Tati laughed. 

"And we’re like, ‘how do we unlock this phone?’" she joked, adding that some of the younger contestants "probably weren't even born when this phone came out". 

Photo: Network 10.

Tati explained that they were allowed to make ten-minute phone calls a few times a week, with longer chats allowed on Sundays.

"Ten minutes is really, really short," she told 10 daily. "By the time we talk about the competition and how things are going, we can’t tell them much, anyway," she said. 

Tati added that, often, after she chatted about 'MasterChef' life, her husband wouldn't get time to talk about what was going on with him.

"And I’d be like, ‘sorry, I have to cut the conversation, time’s up’ and he’d be like, ‘Ah, this is so annoying, I didn’t get to tell you anything!’"

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Photo: Network 10.

Everything that couldn't be said in the brief Nokia chats ended up being written down in letters, an art form that's long been lost to emails, texts, Facebook and FaceTime.

"It’s old fashioned but it’s the best," said Tati, explaining that she'd spend her weekends writing to her loved ones. 

"Receiving a letter, it’s what everyone dreams of every single day," she said, adding that sometimes she'd receive two or three letters a day from her family turned new pen pals. 

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But nothing beats seeing your loved ones face to face after months of pressure tests, immunity challenges and being yelled at constantly from the gantry.

Tati's reunion with her husband, Mark. Photo: Network 10.

"I was just, I don’t even know how to describe it, I didn’t expect to see my husband and my son and my two best friends," Tati said of the surprise reunion. 

"We didn’t even comprehend that this was going to be a family event, even though we’ve all watched the show for so many seasons, we just didn’t think about it for some reason," she explained. 

"It was really emotional for everyone, we couldn’t help but cry," said Tati. 

MasterChef Australia airs Sunday to Thursday nights at 7.30pm. Only On 10 And WIN Network. Missed an episode? Catch up on 10 Play or 10 All Access!