Are out

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Television - DEB­BIE SCHIPP MY KITCHEN RULES, semi- fi­nals tonight and to­mor­row at 7.30pm on South­ern Cross; grand final, Tues­day, 7.30pm

And, de­spite a bar­rage of early crit­i­cism from view­ers and con­tes­tants alike, they’ve be­come firmer friends than ever.

Evans and her hus­band have re­lo­cated to Syd­ney since the show fin­ished film­ing – a move which has elicited sto­ries that Evans and Sexton no longer speak.

It’s one of many sto­ries the pair has laughed off since they burst on to our screens last month. Evans un­wit­tingly made the word ‘‘ yeah’’ her trade­mark and a pro­moter’s dream.

‘‘ There have been some ridicu­lous sto­ries and at­tacks, but the fact is we’re closer than ever,’’ Sexton says.

‘‘ Some have been funny, some have been hurt­ful, but most of it we take with a grain of salt be­cause we know who we are.’’

Evans laughs off her por­trayal on the show as the early vil­lain.

‘‘ If I didn’t know me, I prob­a­bly would have hated me too,’’ she says. ‘‘ But I knew it was a re­al­ity tele­vi­sion show, and the ed­i­tors were just do­ing their job.’’

The Thai- born chef also shrugged off some deeply per­sonal crit­i­cisms made of her on­line.

‘‘ It didn’t bother me at all. You can’t please ev­ery­one,’’ she says.

‘‘ I don’t know these peo­ple, they don’t know me. And if you’re sit­ting around bul­ly­ing some­one on the in­ter­net, you prob­a­bly re­ally need to fill your day with bet­ter things – go for a walk and get some fresh air, do some­thing pro­duc­tive.’’

Sexton says Evans’s crit­ics for­get that she only ever cri­tiqued food. She didn’t get per­sonal.

‘‘ I’ve read some ter­ri­ble ar­ti­cles bag­ging her out,’’ she says. ‘‘ They’re jealous of Jen. I’m a down- to- earth per­son and I sur­round my­self with the same. I wouldn’t be friends with some­one who’s a bitch, and Jen’s not.

The pair is ap­proach­ing the semi­fi­nal the same way they have ev­ery MKR chal­lenge – try­ing not to take it too se­ri­ously by over- pre­par­ing.

‘‘ Me­gan and Andy are great cooks and it’s daunt­ing and scary go­ing up against them,’’ Sexton says.

The pair’s culi­nary low point in MKR would have to be the car­a­van chal­lenge in Far North Queens­land.

‘‘ The hu­mid­ity, the kitchen, the heat, no gas, and it was the first time we’d had a bad dish. It was hor­rific,’’ Sexton says.

That said, the pair would do it again in a sec­ond.

‘‘ Any­one who doesn’t sign up for next sea­son is mad,’’ Sexton says.

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