My Kitchen Rules

My Kitchen Rules Exclusive: "The show went too far"

After last year’s controversial season, the My Kitchen Rules judges promise a firmer hand.

By Zara Zubeidi
Drama and My Kitchen Rules have always gone hand-in-hand. But even judges Pete Evans, Manu Feildel and Colin Fassnidge admit that the controversy went too far during last year's season of the hit cooking show.
Following several angry altercations, friends Sonya and Hadil were "excused from the table" and booted off the show, making MKR history.
However, as the show enters its 10th season on-air, the judges are adamant things are different this time around.
"It was a very uncomfortable situation for us all and not one we ever want to be in again," Manu, 45, tells TV WEEK.
"There are always opinionated people who like to say what they think, but it needs to be controlled."
My Kitchen Rules judges Pete Evans, Manu Feildel and Colin Fassnidge.
Other shocking scenes last season included Sonya threatening fellow contestants during Kim and Suong's ultimate instant restaurant.
"I'll come for you, and I'll come for you, and I'll come for you, because you're all disrespectful a**eholes," a fired-up Sonya said on air while jabbing her finger at the other teams at the table.
Colin, 45, now admits the behaviour of last year's contestants got so out of hand, his wife Jane even refused to let their young daughters – Maeve and Lily – watch the show.
"My kids are a great barometer," he says.
"If my wife won't let them watch certain episodes, then I'm like, 'Yeah, we have a problem here.' When the show went a bit haywire, my wife just put a stop to it. It upset me, because I spend six months of my life doing this.
"I had my concerns, and I didn't enjoy what was going on. It annoys me because that's not why I joined [MKR]. It's made us more determined to come back and sort it out."
Colin says the show went a bit "haywire" in 2018.
Looking ahead to the new season and already it appears the trio have delivered on their promise. Colin says he's proud of this season and that the show "couldn't have done any better".
Meanwhile, Manu says it's becoming easier to spot which contestants have ulterior motives for being on the show.
"Every team is there for a different reason," he says. "Some are there for the cash, some for a life change and some to be on TV. You never know until you sit around the table.
"But if they're not there for the right reason, they go pretty quickly."
That said, Manu admits the show wouldn't be what it is if there weren't at least some infighting between the contestants.
"It's part of the recipe for the show's success – you need a little bit of spice to make it work!" he says with a laugh.
Group One competing in My Kitchen Rules 2019.
Pete, 45, agrees, adding that you never know what each new season of MKR will serve up.
"Every single year there's been some sort of drama," he says. "I think people forget that it's a competition to win a lot of money – and they're passionate home cooks trying to prove they're the best.
"The drama unfolds regardless. I guess it depends on what the viewers focus on. The drama is one element, but I focus on the food and the stories. I see a lot of joy, hard work and dedication.
"From my perspective, the cooking and the cast are the strongest we've ever had. All the boxes are ticked for it to be the strongest year."
My Kitchen Rules starts Monday, January 28, 7pm, on Channel Seven.

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