At 7.30, the final of My Kitchen Rules began. Thirty-seven hours later, it finished. But in some ways, what happened in between is even more interesting.
Who would take out the mildly-coveted title of Most Ruling Kitchen People? Would it be Bree and Jessica proving it was possible to have children AND make food? Or would it be Satan who fulfilled his half of his contract with Chloe and Kelly? Which is not to say that I am biased, just please God don’t let it be Chloe and Kelly.
We began with a flashback to what had happened previously on My Kitchen Rules, a segment which by itself lasted longer than most science fiction trilogies. The contestants then walked to the kitchen in slow motion, which gave a pretty big clue as to what was coming.
Each team will have their own “restaurant” in the final. Bree and Jessica’s is called “Sage”, because they’re pretty old; while Chloe and Kelly’s is called “Nouveau”, which is French for “let me tell you about my last holiday”.
But before the cooking, we need to see everyone talking! Apparently! For a really long time! Chloe says the food they cook is “unlike anything this competition has ever seen”, whatever the hell that means. Bree says they are “just a couple of mums from Adelaide”, proving that being a mum in Adelaide is not the death sentence many believe it to be.
Apparently both teams want to win, yet also both teams know they’ll have to, like, cook good and stuff. Pete informs them they’ll have to cook five courses, which seems way too many.
And off to the kitchens they go, for everyone to hug and tell each other once more that they’re in the grand final and that this will change their lives.
After a few hours, the floor manager reminds everyone that they’re supposed to be cooking, and we’re off. Bree says she likes modern twists on classic flavours, which is incredibly original. Chloe and Kelly are making a variety of dishes from around the world. Unfortunately they only have five courses – if only they’d had six hundred, they could’ve made a dish from every country they’ve visited.
There follows several hours of contestants telling each other things they already know. “Confiting these tomatoes is really gonna take this dish to the next level,” says Kelly to Chloe. Chloe seems pretty on board with this theory. Meanwhile Bree needs to cut her salmon pretty thin, or her children will be ashamed of her.
Manu lets Pete know that the two teams are very strong. Pete couldn’t agree more. The excitement is so intense it’s turned Manu’s suit purple.
Chloe is making cheese, which is honestly the strangest behaviour I’ve ever seen. Anyone who makes their own cheese is just a damn show-off and you can quote me. But while that weirdness is going on, all the eliminated contestants arrive.
Bree and Jessica lie about how much they love David and Corinne. Chloe and Kelly lie about how many friends they’ve made. The contestants’ families also arrive. Kelly’s parents are proud of her. “It’s amazing,” she says, as they’ve never been proud of her before. Then Jess starts crying, so either her kids have shown up or she’s dropped a spoon.
It is traditional that in every episode of MKR, at some point people eat something, and despite early impressions, the finale is no different. Although it looked like it might be a close thing while Bree was delivering an extended monologue about her children when she should’ve been plating up, both teams get their first course out.
Triumphant music plays, but we have miles to go before we sleep. Everyone likes the starters, and thinks it’s great how the girls made their own cheese, which is a disgusting attitude and only encourages them.
During preparation for the second course, Jessica is forced to recut her pasta because she used the wrong cutting thingies the first time around, which she probably had a cry about. Nothing much else is happening, so we have to listen to freaking David talking garbage. Then Kelly starts twonking on about how other cultures love pig trotters, and waves some pig’s ears around and everything is taking on a bit of an Animal Farm vibe.
“This is a challenge,” Bree informs us. Incredible the inside secrets you discover on this show. David is saying some things, but I’ve trained myself pretty well to block him out by now. Jessica has overcooked something and may be about to walk into the sea. “It’s going to be fine,” says Bree, talking only about the pasta and not Jess’s life.
Second course is served. Kelly starts leaping into the air like a marmoset on crack. It’ll be a big shock when she finds out she has to cook more food. The judges love Bree and Jess’s scallops. “This is a very fragile, perfect dish,” says an emotional Karen Martini, offering to take the scallops home and raise them as their own.
Then disaster! Chloe and Kelly’s trout has bones in it! Uncertain of whose bones they are, the judges send the fish for forensic analysis. Kelly is taken into custody. Colin didn’t get any bones in his, and looks obscenely happy with himself, like he’s beaten the other judges with his ability to not have bones served to him. Yeah well done, Colin, you really got one over on them.
“We’re going to make something truly magical out of this today,” says Bree about her squab in a good example of something that isn’t true.
Frankly things are getting a bit confusing now. There’s lamb, there’s pigeon, there’s pancreases flying around, Anna is punking Helena and Vikki, Kelly looks like she’s going to vomit, Manu’s suit is still purple. What to make of it all?
Bree and Jessica do some cooking. Then cut to them talking to camera about how they’re going to do some cooking. Then they do some cooking. Talk some more. Cook. Talk. Chloe is making pea foam, presumably to win some kind of bet: can’t imagine any other reason a person would make pea foam.
Jessie needs Bree to help her plate, but Bree has alarm bells in her head. The network psychiatrist is called to sort this out. Bree is worried about her mould. It’s a questionable decision to serve mould as a fourth course in the first place to be honest.
“I start to panic,” says Jessica, apparently flashing back to her first episode and every second of her life since. The mould is in the fridge. The squab is plated. The other things are in other places. Third course is up.
Bree and Jess’s squab is a success – Guy Grossi actually feels like he’s sitting in a restaurant, rather than the urine-soaked condemned flophouse that judging MKR dishes usually brings to mind. But then both Liz and Colin proclaim themselves blown away by Chloe and Kelly’s sweetbread. And Manu says it’s the best sauce he’s ever had on the show. Pete humours him, just wanting it all to be over.
It’s time for some more cooking, which frankly is getting a bit repetitive. They should’ve broken things up with some carpentry or ventriloquism. Bree and Jessica take a minute to tell each other for the eightieth time that it’s “pretty intense”. “There’s so much going on in my brain,” Jessica lies.
“I’m going to mince this beautiful pork neck,” says Kelly to Chloe, sadly meaning it literally. They are making a French dish, which is from France, which is a country they have been to in the world, amongst many other countries which they have been to.
There follows a detailed and unbelievably fascinating discussion about consommé and broth, it’s practically a TED talk.
Chloe and Kelly are pulling bones out of their pork, so, you know … write your own punchline.
Jessica is anxious, tired and stressed. In unrelated news cows go moo. What’s more, her ganache is no good and Jesus just sent a telegram to say he thinks she smells.
Over the other side Chloe and Kelly are doing something absolutely revolting.
Bree can see Jessie is losing it from the way her mouth keeps going blurry when she swears. Bree considers shooting her with tranquilliser darts. Jessie is sobbing and babbling nonsense about her greens going brown. Her greens aren’t going brown. Her greens are green. She is hallucinating. Bree submits an application to have Jessica institutionalised for her own protection. Jessica is crying and sniffling and hearing voices. Then she looks up. She sees her husband. She sees her children. She sees a seven-headed beast with the body of a horse and the tail of a lion. She senses the time of purification is at hand. Also, the consommé came out nicely.
The fourth course is served as the finale enters its second-last month. People seem to like the food, but then your senses get dulled when you’ve been imprisoned for as long as they have.
Time for the last course, and the pressure gets so great everyone starts moving in slow motion and doing eerie voiceovers. Bree and Jessica talk some more nonsense about “winning for their families”, genuinely having convinced themselves they are the first women in history to be married with children.
“There is so much riding on this,” says Pete, having been told by his producer that he has to say something or he won’t get paid.
“Right now, we’re working as a team,” says Bree, as surprised as anyone, before declaring her intention to “go out with a bang”. She said that before too – it’s possible she has explosives strapped to her torso.
Course five is done. “I’ve never felt such happiness,” says Kelly, and you believe her but not the way she thinks. “We put our heart and soul into this,” says Chloe, boldly alleging that she and Kelly have hearts and souls.
Judges love Chloe and Kelly’s dessert except for their decision to include frozen rose petals, which didn’t go with the rest of the dish because the rest of the dish was food. They love Bree and Jessica’s dessert as well: it’s so good that Manu says something totally incomprehensible about it.
Judgment day has arrived, and it seems like only yesterday that the show started. It is now time for some of the slowest talking ever heard on Australian television.
Before judging happens, obviously we have to have some crying and hyperbole. “j Pete tells Chloe and Kelly they have nerves of steel, classily not mentioning their brains of basalt. Manu notes that Bree and Jessica’s journey (or “jonnee”) has been all about their families. Bree tearfully agrees that it has been wonderful to spend so much time away from her family.
The judges take it in turns to find different ways of saying, “yep, pretty tasty”. Funereal music accompanies discussion of Chloe and Kelly’s catastrophic bones. Every time someone says something nice about a dish, Kelly sniggers like Muttley.
Manu says “if it’s not perfect, don’t put it on the plate”, a rule which, if followed, would condemn the entire show to oblivion. Strangely none of the judges raise the subject of what the hell “heirloom carrots” are. Both teams confess that, in a shock twist, they hope they win. Bree YET AGAIN talks about her family, as if we didn’t GET IT by now.
While Carly and Tresne play synthesisers in the background, the judges give their scores. Chloe and Kelly score 52. Will it be enough? Only slightly more time than is strictly necessary will tell!
Bree and Jessica get … 54! They’ve won! Chloe and Kelly have lost! Thank God!
And so it was that evil was defeated, and it was proven, once and for all, that mums can do stuff. Good times. See you next year.
Judge scores for Bree & Jessica/Chloe & Kelly
Pete Evans: 9/9
Manu Feildel: 9/9
Colin Fassnidge: 9/8
Guy Grossi: 9/9
Liz Egan: 9/8