Reality TV

EXCLUSIVE: MKR champions Jake and Elle share the secret struggles they endured off-screen, which made their finale win even sweeter

''We just had to keep going and make all of this effort worth it.''
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After losing out in their first grand finale against Dan and Steph almost a decade ago, Jake and Elle returned to My Kitchen Rules for redemption.

And that’s exactly what they got in last night’s finale cook-off.

Never did they imagine it would be a re-match!

But the brother and sister duo from Brisbane held their own with an amazing cook that earned them the title of champions for 2020.

Jake and Elle chatted to Now To Love after their win and opened up about the struggles you didn’t see on screen, what this win means for them and how their business is coping in these turbulent times.

Jake and Elle were ecstatic to win the competition.

(Image: Channel Seven)

Congratulations! How are you feeling the day after it all?

Elle: Woke up and it’s a pretty good day! Jake and I have been waiting for this moment for years and it finally happened.

Jake: It’s finally here

How did you watch it back and celebrate?

E: We watched it from Jake’s, but it was hard with everything going on in the world, we didn’t celebrate how we would have. But that was totally okay. It was just the four of us and my son Tino, so two other friends and us. We all tried to keep distance and then the last moment we jumped on the couch, it was so exciting.

You had a rough start at the bottom of the leader board, did it make you question your decision to return?

J: Definitely, it was rocky from the start. When you have that bad beginning it shakes your nerves a bit, but you either strap in and get it done or you’re going to bomb out.

E: We only needed the first cook to get our sea legs then when we got into the restaurant take-overs we were used to that environment.

The duo’s dessert wowed judges and fans.

(Image: Instagram / @jakeandelle)

Going up against Dan & Steph, just like your first grand final, did that make you more nervous?

J: Totally. It’s okay losing against someone once, but to lose against someone twice we would’ve been gutted.

E: And nearly ten years apart, can I add. It was so much pressure! We had a pep talk before the finale and had to ignore the mental side, and who you are up against.

Elle you in particular had a really hard time during the competition…

E: After being in the competition for a week, a couple of our key staff members they actually decided to leave. I had to fly up in the middle of the week and interview new people and get a new manager on board.

It’s like who do you trust with your business? Then the plan that we put together to have Tino cared for while I was away fell through.

My partner works full time, I had no family to watch Tino while I was away. I had to find a day care to have him five days a week and my husband had to quit rugby.

Then we had to move house, our approved mortgage came through then expired while I was on the show. It was like these things actually happened while I was in Sydney and built up. I can’t believe we made it to the grand final.

Elle with son, Tino.

(Image: Instagram / @elleharrison)

Did it make winning all the more worth it?

E: Absolutely. Jake and I never wanted to quit, it wasn’t an option. We just had to keep going and make all of this effort worth it. The minute we got into the kitchen we knew we were never coming back for a third chance, to even have a second was amazing. I couldn’t even cry last night, I was just so relieved we did it and it made it all worth it.

You’ve won $100,000 as well as the title, will you be putting it back into your business, Jake & Elle’s Kitchen?

E: That’s definitely our plan. This couldn’t have come at a better time; the whole hospitality industry has been decimated over night. Our business has been closed for a couple of weeks now. We’re excited to reopen and go for it, we just don’t know when that will be. We will be brainstorming in the meantime.

WATCH: The trailer for this season of MKR: The Rivals. Story continues below

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How have you been coping with the COVID-19 pandemic?

E: We had our initial shock a couple of weeks before because we are an outside event over 500 people. It’s really emotional, Jake especially has so many friends in the industry it’s just sad.

The finale was interrupted by an announcement from the Prime Minister, and fans were NOT impressed…

J: Oh gosh, we were given a heads up which was nice of seven to do. We got lots of message from friends and family saying ‘We don’t care Prime Minister, get back to the show!’ It was funny but it is just this time you can’t help it.

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