Everything you need to know about My Kitchen Rules

My Kitchen Rules
Photo: Channel 7 Australia

My Kitchen Rules is an Australian cooking game show competition that airs on the Seven Network. It has been on the air since 2010. Celebrity chefs Pete Evans and Manu Feildel have appeared in every season of the show since its inception. They host all the challenges and critique all the contestants in the series. The show is produced by the same team who produce the reality television show My Restaurant Rules. The show was put into production due to the success of Masterchef Australia which airs on Network 10.

The show has been a ratings heavyweight since it first began to air and has consistently been among the highest rated programs on the Seven Network.

What’s the premise of My Kitchen Rules?

The format of My Kitchen Rules has changed slightly over the course of the shows history. Initially the show had teams from some Australian states (NSW, QLD, QLD, SA, VIC and WA) of two competitors who knew each other prior to the show. The teams each competed to transform their homes into a restaurant, complete with styling and decorations. The number of teams has grown of the years to two for each state. The show has a couple of series judges that have appeared in every season of the show and who are responsible for hosting all the challenges and judging in the show. The judges are celebrity chefs, Pete Evans and Manu Feildel. The series also features guest judge Colin Fassnidge who joined the show in season 4 and appears on the blind tasting panel during sudden death cook-offs. He also sometimes takes part in additional judging roles, such as during the comeback kitchen and food truck challenges which appeared in season 4 and 5. The show also sometimes has some special guest judges such as Rachel Koo and Curtis Stone.

The show’s original format follow the sudden death format which consisted of two teams cooking a three-course meal and the losing team being eliminated from the competition. The participating teams were initially separated into two groups of five who then competed in two separate rounds of instant restaurant. The teams who came last in each group were eliminated from the show whilst the teams who came in third and fourth place proceeded to a cook-off. The lowest scoring team during the cook-off would then be eliminated from the competition.

My Kitchen Rules contestants
Photo: Channel 7 Australia

After the cook-off round the remaining six teams in the competition would compete in a three round quarter-final. Each team who lost a quarter final round would then be eliminated whilst the highest scoring team would proceed straight to the grand final. The remaining teams would then compete in a semi-final.

The current format of the show instead focuses on one team’s instant restaurant each episode. The teams much prepare a three-course dinner for the opposing teams and judges. The teams are only allowed to start preparing dinner three hours before the other teams and judges arrive at their home. After the three course meal is served opposing team mates and judges will then rate the meal out of ten. The lowest scoring team is then at risk of being eliminated from the competition. Competitors don’t always cook in their own homes because they are sometimes not suitable for filming. In the current format of the show the lowest scoring teams after the instant restaurant rounds compete in a sudden death cook-off, the losing team is eliminated. The remaining teams progress to the people choice round of the competition. The teams compete in a number of challenges after the instant restaurant. Teams cook the best dishes and those that receive the most votes or money win rewards or safety during eliminations. Teams that fail to win the judges favour end up the sudden death round.

Some of the challenges on the show include the off-site people’s choice challenge, which involves teams preparing meals related to a theme or event. The team with the highest number of guest votes, or the best-selling dish is declared the people’s choice winner.

My Kitchen Rules chefs
Photo: Channel 7 Australia

The show also featured a food truck challenge in season 5 which involved each team being split into two groups and being tasked with running competing food truck’s. Diners can then pay for what they believe the meal is worth. The food truck who earns the most wins, whilst the losing group must participate in a rapid cook-off.

During rapid cook-off challenges, competitors must create a dish using a key ingredient in only 30 minutes. The dishes are judged and a small number of participants will be safe from elimination, whilst the rest must compete in a showdown. During the showdown round, teams must cook a meal using a core ingredient in 60 minutes. The team with the worst dish then proceeds to the sudden death round. During sudden death, the two losing teams from previous challenges must create a three-course meal. They have 90 minutes for meal prep. The lowest scoring team is eliminated from the competition. The finals round of the competition is made up of two semi-finals and a grand final. Final rounds use the cook-off format, where contestants must produce a three-course meal.

Controversies surrounding My Kitchen Rules

Season 5 of My Kitchen has so far been the most controversial for the show, with a number of scandals for the show and its contestants making headlines over the course of the season. Season 5’s biggest controversies included a sex scandal between two contestants; Piper and Victor. In The show Piper is competing with her friend Veronica, whilst Victor is paired up with his friend G. During one of the episode, Piper was accused of feeding Victor information about what other teams had said about his team whilst they weren’t in the room. The allegations led to a set walk off by Piper and Victor. Piper’s team mate Veronica revealed to the rest of the contestants that Piper and Victor had been hooking up behind the scenes. The pair were warned that they needed to adjust their attitude towards the other contestants, because bullying or intimidating behaviour would not be tolerated. Another controversy involved a poorly received comment by one of the contestants during one of the instant restaurant nights. The women were talking about their first impressions of Karolina, when Lyn told her that she thought she was trans, because of her height. Karolina was incredibly offended and immediately told Lyn off for pointing out something she felt ‘sensitive about’. Lyn apologised before bursting into tears and fleeing the room. Karolina proceeded to say that how offended she was with Lyn out of the room. Lyn’s team mate Sal attempted to smooth things over by pointing out that Lyn had apologised. He the left to find a crying Lyn and convinced her to return to the instant restaurant, she then apologised again to Karolina who accepted her apology. Viewers however were less forgiving of the comments, and Karolina’s reaction to them. Viewing the trans comments and poor reaction to them as insulting.

My Kitchen Rules couple
Photo: Channel 7 Australia

Another major controversy for the season was the win by friends Luke and Matt, with many views and contestants from the show saying the show was rigged. The friends were facing off against Ibby and Romel, with many feeling the decision was made because Matt and Luke epitomise the typical Aussie’s whilst Ibby and Romel did not.

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