KNIVES OUT ARE
Gary) are any worse, they’ve just decided to open up and play the game.
‘‘ You have to look at it as a game. You want to be the last team standing. A lot of money is at stake.’’
Most critics labelled My Kitchen Rules a Masterchef ripoff when it premiered in 2010.
Since then, MKR has gone from strength to strength. Twonights-a-week turned into fivenights-a-week, and it increased its ratings every time.
Evans, who had been a guest judge on Masterchef, says the two shows are completely different.
‘‘ You’re not going to see contestants making a croquembouche or V8 cake on My Kitchen Rules. There is no room for Heston Blumenthal in the MKR kitchen.
‘‘ Our show has an immediate audience connection,’’ Evans says. ‘‘ You get to know the teams quickly and get straight into their homes.
‘‘ It is wonderful to see how they interact.’’ Feildel agrees. ‘‘ It puts a lot of pressure on couples,’’ Feildel says.
‘‘ Would I want to do it (be a contestant?) I’m not sure. Last year there were some rocky relationships between couples.
‘‘ What viewers don’t see is the amount of stress those people go through.’’
The success of My Kitchen Rules does have a downside for Feildel and Evans.
For Feildel, it is an expanding waistline. The French heartthrob reckons he put on 10kg judging the current series.
Last year, Feildel was able to slim down by being a contestant on Dancing with the Stars.
This year, he has had to hire a personal trainer to help shed the unwanted kilos.
Evans has had to withstand the media glare on his personal and business life.
Last month it was revealed that Evans had walked out of his Hugos restaurant after a bitter feud with his brother, and business partner, Dave.
The two are said to be no longer on speaking terms.
‘‘ Pete has had less and less to do with the business as he spends 10 months a year working full time on MKR and his other television and book commitments,’’ a Hugos Group spokeswoman said.
At the same time, Evans finally broke his silence about his romance with model girlfriend Nicky Watson.
It came six months after he split with Astrid Ellinger, his partner of 11 years. The couple have two young children, Chilli and Indi.
Watson was once married to millionaire Warriors rugby league club owner Eric Watson.
Evans says the media scrutiny is a small price to pay for being part of a show that, he believes, has the ability to change people’s habits.
Evans is a staunch advocate of healthier eating.
‘‘ If people want to know more about my private life (because of the success of MKR), so be it,’’ Evans says. My Kitchen Rules, Channel 7, semi-finals start Sunday, 7.30pm; the grand final is on Tuesday, 7.30pm
Look sharp: Manu Feildel and Pete Evans; below, Evans with