As if The Masked Singer Australia couldn’t get any more bonkers, disgraced celebrity chef and former MasterChef judge George Calombaris was revealed to be underneath the Duster mask on the show’s second episode but unlike previous unmaskings, this wasn’t a welcome revelation.

You might remember that in 2018 George was found to have underpaid staff at his restaurants by nearly $8 million and he and his Made Establishment company copped a $200,000 fine from the Fair Work Ombudsman as a result!

And if you did happen to forget, fans of The Masked Singer were quick to jump online after the reveal to remind everyone of the chef’s disgraces, with one viewer tweeting that they “hope George didn’t get paid for this appearance… bit of a double standard otherwise”.

After the wages blunder, George also found himself dumped by several sponsors including Tourism WA, plus found himself banished from the MasterChef kitchen after Network Ten dropped him as a judge too after calls for the chef to be removed from his television role.

Two years earlier, the 42-year-old was charged with assault after he allegedly shoved a 19-year-old man at an A-League football grand final in Sydney following a heated back and forth with fellow punters. In 2018, George won his appeal to have the charges overturned after the judge agreed that while the incident was proven to have happened thanks to video footage, “the blow was not very forceful”.

George’s controversial casting on The Masked Singer Australia and subsequent return to TV comes a little too soon for many viewers’ likings, with one telling the disgraced chef to “try Reputation Rehab on the ABC” instead of the primetime favourite, while another expressed Channel 10 shouldn’t be giving him a platform for redemption.

Similarly, and perhaps most heartbreakingly, one Twitter user called out the television network for casting someone with little regard for hospitality workers, “especially during NSW and VIC lockdowns”.

George AKA Duster was the second Masked Singer to be unmasked on the ratings juggernaut, with his shaky performance of Ray Charles’ Shake Your Tailfeather falling flat up against Baby’s rendition of Bad To The Bone. During the inaugural episode of season three, former British footballer and actor Vinnie Jones was found to be the gravelly-voiced Volcano.

Curious to see who will be revealed next? Watch The Masked Singer Australia 2021 on Channel 10 and 10Play.

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