My Kitchen Rules Recap: Cookin’ Merrins

On we go with the saga of Group Two, who are already making us miss Group One. Tonight’s cooks are sisters Kelsey and Amanda, who were raised in a macaw aviary. They live in Harrington Park in Sydney’s southwest, or at least that’s where the house they are borrowing for this episode is situated.

Their actual house

Amanda declares that the sisters will show the other teams that “you cannot judge a book by its cover”, although frankly, if a book is constantly screaming at you, you’re never going to open it anyway. A get-to-know-you montage confirms that, yes, they do sound like this all the time, and yes, so do all their friends.

Kelsey and Amanda drive to the supermarket, bent on achieving the holy grail of MKR: a score of over 60. Albert and Dave’s mediocre bar will take some getting over. The sisters arrive at Cole, where they scream incoherently for several minutes until the staff give them what they want.

Cut to Manu and Pete looking at the menu. Pete hypocritically describes how pasta should be cooked, while Manu babbles something or other in his accent.

Back to Kelsey and Amanda, who have left Coles and are now screaming at the fishmonger, who gives them some fish in return for them going away. Kelsey and Amanda are sure that they have a huge advantage in the competition because they are mums. This would be a bigger advantage if: a) there weren’t other mums in the competition, and b) thinking that being a mum gives your superpowers is the hallmark of a cretin.

The sisters prepare their instant restaurant, which has been designed around an “idiotic child” motif. Their preparations are soundtracked by Always Look On The Bright Side of Life, the most revolting purpose to which this song has ever been put.

“Tonight, I really wanna prove that we can do it,” says Kelsey: this is approximately the eighteenth time that one of the women has expressed this sentiment in the first ten minutes. They live in constant terror of the Australian public momentarily forgetting that they want to prove that they can do it and you can’t judge a book by its cover and they’re not bimbos and they can destroy a greenhouse from a mile away just by greeting each other.

They begin to prepare their dessert, making a coulis while Kelsey tries to teach herself to speak English. “I want to prove that we can cook,” says Amanda — great callback.

Kelsey makes pasta while telling Amanda that it’s important for pasta to not be bad, because Amanda often forgets that. Kelsey then uses the word “uncredible”, and I think we’re supposed to find this relentless stupidity endearing in some way.

The guests show up. Alyse doesn’t think Kelsey and Amanda are a massive threat, as they “don’t look like girls who spend too much time in the kitchen”. I guess Alyse checked their pants for flour or something. The guests ring the doorbell and Kelsey and Amanda respond by being murdered, or at least I have to assume this is what happens based on their shrieks.

The guests are welcomed to the creepy children’s dining room, and Josh and Amy make some extremely unfunny comments about sugar and dentists. Every series has its stand-out bland forgettable team, and Josh and Amy may just be it.

Kelsey and Amanda seat their guests and howl at them like banshees before going back to the kitchen, allowing their competitors to begin some serious drinking. The dinner table discussion quickly reveals that Della and Tully will laugh at literally anything, and that Albert and Dave are polar opposites in that Albert is an accountant and Dave is not. We also discover that Josh has been “scouted” as a model, a claim which Alyse finds dubious, because she is a “fashion stylist” and therefore knows everything about what everyone in the fashion industry has ever done. I find it easy to believe, though, as Josh is definitely dull enough to be a male model.

The judges arrive at the front door and immediately begin bleeding from the ears as Kelsey and Amanda greet them.

Kelsey and Amanda prepare the ravioli for entree. Amanda confides in us that actually she hopes the ravioli turns out to be good and not bad: a fascinating glimpse into her inner psyche. Meanwhile in the dining room, Josh thinks the sisters’ “bubble’s gonna burst”, because as an almost-model, he knows how tricky ravioli can be. He elaborates, but his voice has put everyone to sleep so nobody knows what he says.

Entree is served. Josh thinks Amy’s ravioli is cooked better than his, but maybe his ravioli is just bored. As it turns out, the judges love the ravioli: Pete finds it a textbook example of the kind of food he claims will give you horrible diseases, while Manu thinks the burnt butter sauce is every bit as good as the one he uses in his hair.

The downside of getting a good reaction from the judges is, of course, that Kelsey and Amanda race into the kitchen and start squealing in each other’s faces.

The guests are big fans of the entree too, although in Josh’s view, the pasta was “slightly under” — much like his state of consciousness.

Main course is snapper with mash and a big crapload of butter. Kelsey runs into trouble early, telling Amanda, “I don’t know how to microwave this microwave”. It will take all her famed determination to overcome both her inability to operate simple appliances, and her ongoing struggle with language.

Meanwhile in the dining room there is controversy over Matt’s sudden revelation that he is a complete arsehole. Matt notes that while Josh is almost a model, Amy isn’t, and that therefore Amy is “batting Merrins”. This, apparently, is an expression meaning “batting above your average”, or punching above your weight. I have never heard this expression in my life, and I strongly suspect that Matt made it up because he knows someone called Merrins whose girlfriend is prettier than he is; but the upshot is that Matt is saying that Amy is an ugly sow, and for some reason Amy is offended to hear this from a complete stranger.

The rest of the table thinks Matt’s comment was a bit beyond the pale, although nobody feels strongly enough about it to tell him he’s a piece of shit or kick him in the neck or anything. Matt doesn’t see what all the fuss is about. “Too many feminists at this table,” he scoffs, sick to the back teeth of the radical feminist taboo against telling a woman you barely know that she looks like crap in front of a large audience. Back in the good old days insulting women was popular and encouraged, and everyone was happier. Political correctness gone mad.

Matt relaxing at home

With a full moon in the sky, Kelsey and Amanda are making noises like wounded wolf pups as they overcook their snapper. Meanwhile in the dining room Josh goes on and on and on about fish and how Kelsey and Amanda are doing their fish wrong and how he would’ve done the fish and how doing fish this way would be better with a different kind of fish and pretty soon everyone is searching through their bags for razors to make the pain of listening to Josh end.

Snapper is served, as Led Zeppelin said. Josh is immediately enraged with the non-crispiness of the skin. “I could cook better fish than this with my eyes closed,” he says, which is probably true because his eyes are always kind of closed.

“Are you happy with what you created?” asks Pete, referring to the snapper and not their children. Kelsey and Amanda consider being honest but instead say that they are indeed happy. Pete releases them from his psychological vice by agreeing, the fish is great. Up yours, Josh. The skin may not be as crispy as you would want, but as Jesus said, crispy skin is not everything in life.

Kelsey and Amanda celebrate in the kitchen by singing history’s worst song, Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves, in the worst voices that that song has ever been sung in. Meanwhile the guests are enjoying the snapper except for the bitchy ones: Alyse and Matt and of course Josh. Josh talks about fish for another half an hour while everyone else has a nap.

Kelsey and Amanda get to work on the dessert while Kelsey finds fun new words to mispronounce. The ice-cream is melting, which comes as quite a shock. In the dining room, Tully is hoping that the dessert includes ice-cream, “to cut through the sweetness”, having somehow formed the belief that ice-cream is savoury.

In the kitchen the chocolate fondants are not cooking properly, the ungrateful little shits. One by one the sisters rescue them, in the dessert equivalent of Dunkirk. Dessert is served. Josh gapes at his dish as if he’s just been served an alarm clock.

The fondant, despite its many travails in the oven, is a success — the best he’s had in the competition, says Pete, who never eats fondant outside competition. Unfortunately the ice-cream was too sweet, which will devastate Tully’s dreams of a barbecue chicken-flavoured ice-cream.

The guests agree, apart from the bitchy ones, again. Duncan says the dish “had a lot of theatre to it”, so whether he even possesses the capacity for taste, who knows? I mean some gooey chocolate oozed out of it, which I guess could be theatrical to someone who has lived their entire life in one room.

Time for scores. The guest teams give nines, eights, and one seven from Alyse and Matt, who hold the entire world in contempt at all times. The judges give a total of 54, for a total of 95. Alyse and Matt are mightily pissed off, disbelieving that anyone could receive such a high score without being Alyse and Matt. Meanwhile Kelsey and Amanda celebrate by squawking until their house collapses.

Tune in tomorrow when Court bursts into tears over not having an entire name.

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