This is a story on a subject that has been troubling for months now, and it is incredibly sad to report today. “MasterChef” season 3 contestant Josh Marks, who came in second place in the competition to Christina Ha after being eliminated and working his way back into the competition, passed away on Friday night in what appears to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. He was 26 years old, and his body was found in the South Side of Chicago, where he has been staying as of late.
Marks had made headlines recently for some run-ins with local authorities, and he had previously been very open in discussing that he suffered from bipolar disorder. He had worked with at least one suicide prevention organization prior to his death.
Before we get to sharing some reactions, we want to take a moment to acknowledge that Josh is a guy that we not only watched throughout season 3, and we even identified with to a large degree thanks to his story. He was a 7’2” guy who found his own way in life despite his struggles, and everyone telling him that it was really “basketball player or bust” for him. We spoke to him for around 10-15 minutes at the time that the show was airing (you can read the interview here), and he was kind, friendly, and funny as he talked about some of what the competition was like. He also said that his dream was to open a cooking school in Mississippi where couples could come in and, rather than spend a lot of money on a date out to dinner, learn to make something together and expand their horizons. It was a noble goal to use what he learned to try and help others in a place where food culture is not entirely widespread.
We wanted to share some of the reactions are from some personalities associated with the show.
Christina Ha – “Our thoughts and prayers go out to @mc3josh’s family. Thank you for respecting the privacy of his friends and family during this time.”
Gordon Ramsay – “Just heard the devastating news about Josh Marks. My thoughts are with his family & friends at this tragic time.”
Graham Elliot – “My heart goes out to the family of #MasterChef finalist Josh Marks, who passed away today. Please send thoughts/prayers their way!”
This news is terribly sad since we know the sort of promise that he had, and our thoughts go out to his friends and family during this devastating time.