My Kitchen Rules

My Kitchen Rules: All the behind the scenes secrets revealed!

Dinner is served...with a side order of juicy secrets.

By Alex Lilly
Ever wanted to cook your signature dish for Manu and Pete?
Well before you grab your application form and think starring on My Kitchen Rules will be a piece of cake, think again! What you see on TV isn't always what it appears during filming, and in some cases, the difference will surprise you.
From the instant restaurants right through to the grand finale, there are some pretty juicy secrets kicking off camera. And luckily for you, we've rounded them up.

The contestants are filmed for hours at a time

If you thought eight hour days at the office were a drag, spare a thought for the MKR contestants when the Instant Restaurants are being filmed.
2018 villains Roula and Rachel revealed to the Herald Sun that filming the instant restaurants takes 14 hours. 14. Whole. hours.
"We are dropped off (at the location) at 2pm, it was always 2pm, and not allowed to have a phone or watch with us," Rachael told the Herald Sun.
"The longest finished at 5am," Roula added.
No wonder they're all looking bedraggled by the time the scores are announced.
"You will see in an episode you might look really pretty when you arrive and at the end you have hair everywhere and you look horrible and tired. That is because we have been there so long," she added.
And when you're tired, there's bound to be more drama.
Season four winner Steph Mulheron told Mamamia: "They [producers] try and poke and prod you and make you tired, and that's where all the drama comes out, when people are exhausted. And at the end of the day, that makes good TV."
"When people are tired, you're very vulnerable. So that's when you get angry, and hangry, and it can lead to bad comments coming out."
Roula and Rachael may have looked nice at the beginning of the instant restaurants, but 14 hours later, it's a different story. (Image: Instagram @roularachaelau)

There are no snacks, phones or cigarettes, but plenty of booze

Despite the long hours and sometimes massive breaks between courses at the instant restaurants, contestants just have to suck it up and let their stomachs rumble.
Even the sneaky couples who tried to sneak in snacks were caught out and had to fork over their nibbles. You weren't even allowed a phone or watch and smokers had to forego their ciggies too.
But there was one thing that there was plenty of: Alcohol.
"We learnt the very first instant restaurant, you get p---ed, then you get a hangover, then you just want to go to bed. "It's a long night," season four's Steph told Mamamia.
Season eight's Della Whearty also spoke about the booze situation saying: "And you know, when the food's not great or you've waited a really long time for it and you're hungry and I was always quite drunk because there wasn't much else to do..."
The booze is always flowing at MKR! (Image: Instagram @mykitchenrules)

No talking to contestants off camera

Want to have a quick chat with your competitors in between takes? Think again.
To make sure the conversations were fresh and natural for camera, producers made sure that none of the contestants spoke to each other when they weren't shooting.
"I thought we would all be going out to dinner, but no, you would walk past each other in the lobby and be like this," said Rachael holding her hand up to her face.
"And when you were on a bus going to a location there would be two producers sitting with you making sure you didn't talk," she added.
What's more, they're also not allowed to talk about the show either in person or on social media until the season finale. This is to stop any spoilers getting out in the open and protects everyone from pesky online trolls.
WATCH: Josh and Courtney's argument on My Kitchen Rules. Post continues...

Contestants don't get to choose what they'll cook

Ever watched those moments on MKR when a team will say, 'We've never cooked this before,' and found yourself yelling at the TV wondering why on earth they would make that dish? There's a reason.
During the months-long audition process, teams must submit dozens and dozens of potential recipes to the food producers.
"A lot of teams just copy and paste from the internet, and then submit them," Steph revealed.
"Not knowing that they [producers] choose a three-course meal out of everything you've sent through. And then you get told about it at 6am on the day."
And it's not just the recipes that leave the contestants stumped. Roula and Rachael said they had to use sponsor's products as well. So if you notice someone struggling to get a blender working this season, that could be why.
'What do you mean you've never cooked that dish before?!' (Image: Instagram @mykitchenrules)

Two endings are filmed

By now you're probably aware that the show is pretty staged, but it doesn't even stop until the very final episode.
After that final cook-off at Kitchen HQ, producers film one team being told they've won, given their $250,000 prize money and covered in confetti and then the set is reset and the other team is filmed celebrating. It isn't until the episode airs that they are told who actually won the series.
During an interview with Rove & Sam on 2DayFM at the time, 2016 winners Tasia and Gracia were told by Channel 7 publicists to shut down any questions about how production pulled it off.
"Sorry guys but unfortunately we can't talk about any production stuff," they said.
"Let's just say we only found out yesterday too, but we can't talk about production. We found out the same time you guys found out."
Back in 2015, Woman's Day reported that Mount Isa runners-up Jac and Shaz weren't even told about the two endings.
"Everyone else on set, including Will and Steve, were fully aware that two endings were being filmed," explains a source on the set. "It was like common knowledge. But Jac and Shaz were clueless and furious they'd been kept in the dark."
2015 runners up Jac and Shaz were reportedly blindsided by the two endings being filmed. (Image: Supplied)