Caution: Spoilers ahead! If you don’t want to know what happens in the My Kitchen Rules scandal, stop reading now!
It was billed as “the most explosive My Kitchen Rules ever seen”, the moment two contestants went too far and were kicked out. But did the MKR scandal live up to the hype?
The opening credits had barely stopped rolling on Wednesday’s long-awaited episode when we were treated to resident villain Sonya yelling at her competitors: “You’re all disrespectful a—-holes!”
And believe it or not, things actually go downhill from there.
The series is supposed to be about cooking, but Wednesday’s episode was hard to tear your eyes from not because of the dishes served, but because of the behaviour of two contestants, Sydney friends Sonya and Hadil.
On Wednesday night’s episode, after days of sniping away at sisters Jess and Emma, things came to a head with a stream of bullying and abuse that led to them being asked to leave the show by hosts Manu Feildel and Pete Evans.
The friends have since come out on Instagram and said while they “don’t deny” saying what they said, they were “manipulated” and “edited” to make their behaviour seem out of the blue.
“We fell right into the hands of producers and the manipulated drama,” they wrote.
“Yes, we said those words and they truly don’t reflect our values and who we’ve grown up to be. Channel Seven should show the public the raw footage of what really happened.”
Here are just a few highlights (or perhaps lowlights) from the pair:
- “The fact that they [Jess and Emma] are sitting here is an insult to anyone that can cook.”
- “Listen, I’ve got a really good doctor you could go to that could fix your ugly face.”
- “They’re so dumb. They don’t know a thing about food.”
- “We look natural, you look … all gone wrong!!”
- “Disgusting clowns!”
So enthralling was the showdown that the cooking went out the window.
At one point, hosts Kim and Suong couldn’t serve their entrée because, as Pete explains when he rushes into their kitchen: “We’ve had an incident.”
That would be the end result of a calculated stream of jabs at Jess and Emma from Sonya and Hadil, who said at one stage: “Just keep laughing at them and then they’ll explode.”
The resulting fight escalated until most of the table was involved.
Sonya was swearing and Hadil was threatening to “come after” Josh, Jazzey and anyone else who argued with her when Pete finally called: “Enough!”
“This behaviour is unacceptable,” Feildel told Sonya and Hadil.
“You are excused from the table.”
Viewers were left wondering whether they would ever see them again, but the pair have seemingly since confirmed they were kicked off the show in an Instagram post.
“We’ve been extremely disappointed with our experience and treatment by the show,” they posted on Instagram.
“As for some of the other contestants who played up to the drama, they wanted us out because they knew we were the hardest team to take out in the competition. How convenient to get rid of the best cooks in the comp.”
For Seven, it will be a guaranteed ratings bonanza and proof its controversial plan to run promotions pointing to the incident happening last Sunday was a good commercial call.
Those teasers might have annoyed viewers but they were enough to lure viewers en masse to see what was happening.
Wednesday’s episode attracted a whopping 2.4 million average viewers for capital cities and regional areas, while Tuesday night’s MKR was the lead show of the day, pulling 1.93 million viewers (metro and regional), well ahead of Channel Nine’s The Voice on 1.15 million.
“After years and years of waiting for this dinner party … MKR have certainly delivered with the goods,” one viewer wrote.
“So I understand there is always potential for #MKR to manipulate editing to make a team look bad, but these words are actually coming out of Hadil’s mouth. Voluntarily. There are no excuses for bullying like that,” wrote another.
But mixed in was a healthy dash of scorn for the network that some felt hadn’t acted fast enough to stamp out the growing fire and had – perhaps deliberately – allowed the focus of the show to veer away from cooking.
“I find it appalling that this behaviour is being celebrated on national TV when the rest of the country is working towards eradicating bullying and harassment,” was one unimpressed comment.
“Sonia and Hadil must be removed from MKR for good. Channel 7 cannot condone bullying like that. There is enough bullying in schools, Channel 7 need to act and show bullying cannot be tolerated!! Didn’t like Jess and Emma, but that was inappropriate,” another said.
Complain as they might, the series was clearly well watched, with both #MKR and “Sonya and Hadil” trending on social media Australia-wide.
And there’s more to come. Remember that scene in the scandal promos where an ambulance is seen rushing someone away? In typical Channel Seven style, that wasn’t part of the Sonya and Hadil explosion, that’s from next week.
Just what happens and who is taken away remains to be seen. Here we go again.