I don’t think you can prepare yourself for it. It’s like childbirth – Queensland friends Della and Tully compare notes on My Kitchen Rules
Yin and yang, fire and water, night and day and now, Della and Tully. The pair, who met in Mackay in 2010, will cook for Queensland this Sunday on My Kitchen Rules and, while their personalities are polar opposites, they complement each other perfectly.
“I put a lot of pressure on myself to perform well and we’ve got our roles in the kitchen, but I’m definitely the passionate foodie that gets really caught up in it all,” says Maltese-Italian firecracker Della Whearty, who lived on the Gold Coast while studying at Bond University. “I don’t like failure, either, so when we were cooking there was always that pressure not to fail.”
Tully (whose first name is Sarah but prefers to go by her surname) keeps her cool.
“I’m a bit more relaxed, I’m a bit more like ‘We’ll be fine, let’s just chill out and keep our perspective’.”
While fiery women are often tarred as villains on reality TV, it’s hard to imagine 30-year-old Della in any other light than hilariously bubbly.
“They told us to tone down the swearing on the show, but it was funny because instead we’d be saying things like ‘Oh drats!’,’Oh deary me!’ ‘Whoopsy daisy!’ and they’d be like ‘Just go back to swearing, you sound like idiots’,” she says. “My real job is a construction lawyer, I’m surrounded by construction boys, so I can’t get a point across unless I swear.
“My birthday is the day after it airs, so let’s just say I will be very hungover – whether it’s out of celebration you’ll have to wait and see.”
Like many mainstream reality cooking shows, the entertainment comes from a mixture of food and drama, and what group two dishes up sounds spicy.
“Going on, we knew there’s always drama and we had the idea to just sit back, not get involved and have a good laugh,” Della says. “But then when it was all happening we realised it might not be so easy.
“We were kind of like ...‘What do we do?’ “So we just drank,” Tully interjects.
Feminism is tipped to be a common thread.
“There’s a lot of strong women around the table,” Tully says. “They’re making a TV show so they’re putting you in a room with people with all different personalities, beliefs, and backgrounds, and there’s definitely some moral clashes.”
“We didn’t realise we were femmos until then,” Della laughs. “At some points there definitely is a girls v boys vibe. Actually, mainly girls v boy, one boy.”
Drama aside, this Sunday the girls do what they came to do –cook.
“It’s really hard to explain the pressure,” Tully says.
“There’s a lot of people there – contestants, crew, judges – and they’re all there relying on you or waiting for you. You think you’re prepared but you can’t be.”
“It’s like a uni exam where you know what they’re going to ask and you know what you’ve got to do but you walk out thinking ‘I think I just flunked that’,” Della describes.
“I don’t think you can prepare yourself for it – it’s like childbirth. And I’ve been through childbirth, I’d rather do that again.”
While they’re tight lipped on the outcome, both women are proud of themselves.
“All we wanted to do is show we can have fun, be friends and cook delicious food,” Della says.
And if you’re watching from Mackay and hear a bit of noise coming from down the street, don’t worry, it’s just Della’s family. “I have 60 first cousins, 28 aunties and uncles, and there’ll be about 300 people watching and they all love MKR. They all love Manu. If Manu ever went to Mackay his cheeks would be pinched off.” My Kitchen Rules, Sunday 7pm, Channel Seven.
Della Whearty and Sarah Tully at Rick Shores, Burleigh Heads.