For months, speculation has been rife over which team will make history and become the first ever to be kicked off MKR for bad behaviour.
And now, Manu Feildel is ready to break his silence and set the record straight on what happened during the Ultimate Instant Restaurants, which resulted in the explosive exit.
‘It’s just horrible,’ the French chef tells New Idea.
‘I thought it was a normal little fight between two teams, I never knew it was going to go to that extent and go too far.’
The 45-year-old confirms that a volatile argument between Sydney sisters Jess and Emma and Jordanian friends Sonya and Hadil got so out of hand Manu and his fellow judge Pete Evans were forced to intervene and take the drastic step to remove one team from the competition.
According to Manu, it was a joint decision between MKR producers, him and Pete to send the yet unnamed pair home.
‘It was a team effort of analysing the situation.
‘With the whole show, we’ve [Pete and I] got a lot to say when it comes to making decisions.
Usually that’s to do with food, but this time it was about contestants and how we wanted to protect the competition.
‘I think we all agreed that we had to make the decision, not just for the sake of the show, but for everyone,’ he says.
Though Manu won’t go into specifics about which team is booted, he does confirm he was concerned ‘knives’ were going to be ‘thrown’.
‘It started slowly and then it kept on escalating more and more and more,’ he recalls. ‘I started getting a little bit edgy and I had to tell them [the team eliminated] a couple of times to keep it down a bit.
‘It went one word too many and that was it. We had to make a decision because otherwise, I think it would have gotten worse. I didn’t want to see knives being thrown at each other.’
As for allegations that there was an incident off-camera between Henry and Anna’s Ultimate Instant Restaurant, which airs on Tuesday night, and Kim and Suong’s, airing Wednesday, Manu admits that he was informed there was heightened tension following a confrontation.
‘Yeah, we were keeping an eye and ear open to everything because we knew they had started on a bad foot,’ he says.
Meanwhile, Sydney contestant Josh, who became embroiled in the conflict when he jumped to Jess and Emma’s defence, says that one team ‘overstepped the line’.
This mirrors the statement that was issued by Channel Seven when it was first reported that one MKR team had been removed from the competition following an ‘off-camera scuffle’.
‘Someone crossed a line that shouldn’t be crossed,’ the Seven Network spokesperson said.
While Josh dodged questions about any off-camera incidents – which are believed to have involved him and his younger brother Nic – the father-of-one did say: ‘I had a feeling that things would escalate. I knew it wasn’t going to end well.
‘It’s pretty self-explanatory on the TV.’
Speaking about the incident, Jess and Emma admit that no matter the outcome, both teams overstepped the mark during Kim and Suong’s Ultimate Instant Restaurant.
‘I should have walked out with Jess at the time and I shouldn’t have sat there arguing,’ Emma admits.
‘All the people that were sitting around there were uncomfortable and we could have handled it better.’
At the time of publishing, Sonya and Hadil refused to make comment.
My Kitchen Rules airs Monday to Wednesday, 7:30pm, Channel Seven.
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