Reality TV

How much of My Kitchen Rules is actually real?

Do they put the 'real' in 'reality'?
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After a two-year hiatus, household favourite My Kitchen Rules is back, starring new judges Nigella Lawson and Matt Preston alongside favourite Manu Feildel. 

Watch Below: First look at My Kitchen Rules 2022

While fans will once again see home cooks compete and create incredible dishes together,  past seasons have seen viewers question how much of the drama-filled show is actually real.

So how much of the show can we believe? 

Nigella has been confirmed for My Kitchen Rules this year.
Nigella has been confirmed for My Kitchen Rules this year alongside long-time judge Manu (Credit: Seven)

The Doorbell 

The dramatic ringing of the doorbell is an iconic part of MKR, signalling the arrival of the judges. 

Whilst it was already unbelievable that every contestant would have the exact same doorbell to begin with, a post-production failure in an episode from 2018 revealed the doorbell was definitely fake, with Manu awkwardly ringing a doorbell with no visible button. 

Are the contestants REALLY home cooks? 

Rumours have swirled in the past that contestants were paid actors, with some viewers even suggesting that the relationships between teams were fabricated. 

Season seven contestant Jordan Bruno dispelled this rumour during the 10th anniversary special when asked about the show’s biggest myths. 

“My favourite is, ‘You’re a paid actor on MKR aren’t you? And I was like; one, yes I’ve got lots of talent, two, none of them are acting” explained Jordan.

Before Nigella, Manu co-hosted the series with Pete
Before Nigella, Manu co-hosted the series with Pete (Credit: Seven)

Do the contestants actually cook?

Yes, the contestants really cook. But they don’t get to create their own menus. 

During the show’s 10th anniversary special, season two winner Bella was quick to point out the authenticity of the cooking.

“So many people come up to us and ask what it’s really like…you saw what it’s really like, because it’s real,” Bella explained. 

While the contestants do cook everything themselves, they don’t always know what they will be cooking. 

During the long audition process contestants are required to submit dozens of potential recipes to the food producers. 

Outlining the process to Mamamia, season four winner Steph Mulheron explained, “a lot of teams just copy and paste from the internet, and then submit them. 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.”

Do the judges eat the food?

Fans of MKR have previously questioned if judges try all the food and past judge Pete Evans has set the story straight. 

“I have never spat out food from MKR, and I have swallowed every single bit that I have ever had on the show” he explained to the Daily Telegraph.

While the judges do try all the meals, the scenes viewers watch of the judges tasting are not usually the first time they are eating the food. 

Talking to AAP Pete explained, “we usually eat it within a minute or two of it being plated, but because of the logistics, we end up eating another dish later on that’s been sitting there a little bit longer.”

 “We eat the food hot in all situations because of the logistics of it, being a TV show, it has to be done off camera,” he added.

 “We have already judged the dish previously, otherwise it’s not fair on the teams.”

Watch below: My Kitchen Rules myths busted

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Are the instant restaurants filmed at the contestants’ real houses?

Ever watched the show and questioned how all the contestants have enough space in their homes for the instant restaurants? 

“There are a lot of teams who have smaller houses or have units that aren’t suitable for instant restaurants,” Steph said.

“You’ve got three or four cameras in front of you, lights, there’s about 50 staff behind the scenes, a food team running around, so you need a large space.”

Whilst some teams like Dan and Steph from season four had space in their actual home, other contestants borrow a friend or family member’s more spacious place for the instant kitchen. 

Is the finale pre-recorded?

My Kitchen Rules is pre-recorded way in advance unlike many other live Australian reality shows such as I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here.

Whilst many other shows film grand finales in advance and swear winners to secrecy until the show airs, MKR actually film two different endings. 

By filming both endings, MKR contestants only find out if they have won with the rest of Australia when the episode goes to air.

Jake & Elle are crowned the My Kitchen Rules champions. Can you tell it's fake?
Jake & Elle are crowned the My Kitchen Rules champions. Can you tell it’s fake? (Credit: Seven)

Is the drama fake?

Fans of MKR have also questioned how real the drama is throughout the season, with controversy surrounding the emergence of friendly photos between Season five contestants Chole and Kelly and on-screen rivals Helena and Vikki Moursellas.

Rumours also emerged about ‘frenemies’ Pat and Bianca during season ten.

Pot stirrers Josh and Austin claimed the bickering between Pat and Bianca was “all fake” and that they were actually “besties.”

But other contestants are adamant that the drama from MKR is authentic. 

Roula and Rachael from season nine explained to the Sydney Morning Herald that their drama with Jess and Emma was 100% real. 

“The moment we walked in there, those girls looked up and down at us and it continued. People are like, ‘oh my god, this is so scripted’. Well, it’s not scripted. Anything we say to each other in that room is real” Roula explained.

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