Royal bid for MKR THRONE
She was crowned this year’s first reality television villain in the show about home cooks that has delivered champagne ratings.
Now, “Princess” Jennifer Evans and her bestie Leigh Sexton, have a real chance of winning the My Kitchen Rules crown.
As one of the final four duos still standing in the competition, the pair has survived nasty online jibes and attacks, kitchen meltdowns, and the discovery that Evans fell pregnant while filming took place.
Since the show started, they have been succeeded as resident villains by the likes of the Gold Coast’s “Dr Evil” Peter Hamilton and Thomas Carr – the bloke who wouldn’t eat humble pie, and certainly couldn’t cook it.
Evans and Sexton tonight take on Tasmanians Megan Woodman and Andy Appleby in the first semi-final.
A win will see them go into Tuesday night’s grand final cook- off, against the winner of tomorrow night’s challenge.
That second semi-final pits South Australians Nic Mazzone and Rocco La Bella against sibling duo Emily and Carly Cheung.
For Evans and Sexton, it’s been a wild ride.
And whether or not they survive the final rounds to take the $ 250,000 winners prize, the pair have notched up personal victories money can’t buy.
Evans, despite a growing aversion to scallops, is enjoying blooming in her pregnancy, while Sexton, a florist, is plotting adding a café to the business she works in alongside her husband.
And together, despite a barrage of early criticism from viewers and contestants alike, they’ve become faster friends than ever.
Evans and her husband have relocated to Sydney since the show finished filming – a move which elicited stories that Evans and Sexton no longer spoke.
It’s one of a wealth of stories the pair have laughed off since they burst on
We had no idea we’d get this far
to our screens in February, and Evans unintentionally made the word “yeah” her trademark and a promoter’s dream.
“There’ve been some ridiculous stories and attacks, but the fact is we’re closer than ever,” says Sexton.
“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.” Evans shrugs off 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’ critics – on and off the show – forget that her poison tongue “only ever critiqued food – she didn’t get personal”.
“When we went on the show that’s what it was about – cooking and critiquing other people on their food, and yet Jennifer was attacked for critiquing food in a nasty way,” she says.
“Then people went on to critique her personally. “I’ve read some terrible articles bagging her out.
“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 as they have every challenge in the MKR ride – 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. “We had no idea we’d get this far.” The pair giggle that until the show went to air, they had no idea Evans said “yeah” so much, or gave so much away with her facial expressions.
“But I didn’t set out to be someone I’m not,” Evans says.
“I only punctuate sentences with ‘yeah’ when I’m speaking to people I don’t really know – not to Leigh or my husband or my friends.
“So if I have a cringe moment on the show, it’s that, and the fact I called New Zealand people ‘simple’, which just came out all wrong.”
Sexton says watching the show in real time has meant she cringes “every time I open my mouth, because I have a potty mouth”.
The culinary pair thought their MKR ride had ended in the melting heat of 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,” says Sexton.
That said, the pair would do it again in a second.
“Anyone who doesn’t sign up for next season is mad,” says Sexton. –
Doody St, Alexandria, NSWfor Nationwide News Pty Ltd (ACNofHolt St, Surry Hills, NSW