“Previously on My Kitchen Rules,” drawls the voiceover guy, who sounds like he’s been gargling boiled bitumen. “The monsters came up from the depths.”
On any other series, you’d shrug that off as the usual reality TV hyperbole, but for this show and for Sunday night’s episode in particular, it was pretty accurate.
When MKR fans sat down to watch Stacey and Jazzey prepare their Ultimate Restaurant and fight against a penalty for their failed ice cream, nobody was really wondering what the menu would be (octopus, pheasant and a pair of fairly bland desserts, if you must know) or what the restaurant theme was (1980s costumes), it was who would be sitting at the table.
Last time we saw this group was when Sydney friends Sonya and Hadil went from amusingly snarky to the aforementioned monsters, abusing and threatening pretty much everyone until finally, they were “excused from the table”.
It was, after days of promos and disappointment, as explosive as Channel Seven had promised, but what did it really mean?
Typically, Seven wasn’t about to let us know straight away.
After days of promotions hinting the pair would be back – or possibly not – the network was clearly going to milk this moment once again.
Stella and Jazzey, for example, quickly moved past the breathless introduction to go about the business of preparing a meal for their guests, speculating on how many kisses Jazzey could possibly get from Manu (four, she decided) and Henry (two) and how many people even knew what a pheasant was.
And when they set their table, they had enough places for everyone, monsters included.
“So, we’re still setting a place for Sonya and Hadil,” Jazzey said as she laid out the silverware. “Expecting, assuming they’re coming.”
It’s no clearer once everyone arrives at the table, with four empty chairs.
Again, there’s no hurry to let us know, with the teams speculating about “the situation” and endless flashbacks of Sonya and Hadil screaming intercut with Stacey and Jazzey cooking.
Until, eventually, 19 minutes in, Pete and Manu finally arrive.
“Teams, I’m sure you have noticed that there is one team missing from the table tonight,” Pete says.
“I can tell you that we’ve been left with no other option but to end Sonya and Hadil’s involvement in the competition.”
And there you have it.
— #MKR (@mykitchenrules) April 22, 2018
Aside from a quick “blowfish” joke from Jess and Emma and a final bombshell where Pete announces Sonya and Hadil’s scores will be removed from the entire instant restaurant round, no more is said of the incident.
Which seems, after the week of build-up, incredibly strange and something social media was quick to pick up on.
I 100% think Sonya & Hadil were awful, but also: what would happen if #MKR didn't have a villain? Would it survive? Are they needed?
— clementine (@interstellargf) April 22, 2018
— @cats!!! (@cats2007) April 22, 2018
And I guess we’ll find out. Where does the show go without its two biggest drawcards?
To the hospital apparently!
It appears Seven has decided while monsters boost ratings, they’re really not worth the grief, but a good old-fashioned emergency is just fine.
The latest promos might not have monsters, but it does have an ambulance arriving to take someone away. Who will live? Who will die?
And really, who needs Sonya and Hadil when you’ve got that?