My Kitchen Rules Recap: Shut Up Tyson

As Louis the somethingth said, “Apres le Tennis, le Deluge”, and so it has come to pass, as Channel Seven’s annual festival of schadenfreude and incompetence kicks off with episode one of My Kitchen Rules, the first reality show in television history to be classified as a noxious vapour by the Centre for Disease Control.

We begin with lights going on in Kitchen HQ, and those big “lights going on” noises that happen when lights go on on reality TV shows. Then in come the contestants, squealing and grunting like the pigs to slaughter that they are. Sorry, that was a bit harsh. But accurate: they are nothing but meat to be fed into the MKR grinder.

And here come the butchers: Manu Feildel, continuing to pretend to be French; and Pete Evans, continuing to pretend to be human.

Two women whose identity we have yet to be given inform us that they “mean business”, possibly the most meaningless statement it’s possible to make. With the exception of Manu’s next statement, which is that the teams are there to prove themselves the “best home cooks in Australia”. Manu, you can drop the facade: we all know that most of these people literally cannot cook to save their own lives, and that all of them have been selected on the basis of how entertaining their personality disorders are. So let us get on with the grand project of public humiliation.

The first team to cook comes from Burnie, a Tasmanian town which brands itself as “city of makers”, which doesn’t augur well. The team is Damo and Caz, a loving couple who don’t want us to know their real names. “I can’t wait to show everyone what Tassie’s got,” says Caz, just in case we were considering liking her. They believe they are representing the whole state of Tasmania, a belief that is as incorrect as the average MKR contestant’s belief that they can cook.

Off Damo and Caz go to the supermarket, to “showcase Tassie’s finest ingredients” — it’s possible they think this is an audition to star in the Tasmanian Tourist Board’s new campaign. They can’t stop talking about local produce in the car. If you were hitchhiking with someone who talked this much about local produce you would pretty much assume you were about to be murdered.

Meanwhile Pete and Manu sit down with Damo and Caz’s menu to talk some crap.

Damo and Caz arrive at a pile of rural dirt to buy truffles from a man in a jumper. “He’s like a Calvin Klein model,” says Caz, but she is wrong: Calvin Klein models do not sell truffles. Now they’re off to the butcher’s to get some “great Tassie steak”, which I believe is made from Tasmanian devil meat.

Manu says something about the steak but I have no idea what it is, because the producers have told him to make his accent thicker this year, and “steak” is the only word I understand.

Meanwhile at the supermarket, Damo has hit his first hurdle: he doesn’t know how to open a plastic bag. It’s a true underdog story as he overcomes his disability and manages to buy apples.

Damo and Caz arrive home, time running out because they spent two hours driving into the middle of nowhere to buy truffles. Their instant restaurant is built around a musical theme, to illustrate Damo’s passion for music, which he likes much better than cooking. There are guitars hanging on the walls, and…you know, so forth.

Damo and Caz finally start cooking, the dullest part of every episode. Damo compares their dessert to Keith Urban, that’s the kind of wacky dude he is. “I wish these guests were arriving a little bit later,” says Caz, but don’t worry — once they’re there she’ll wish they never arrived at all.

And here come the aforementioned guests. “I’m pretty hungry,” says a bearded man to another bearded man. “I’m so excited to be in Tassie,” says a woman to a man, which is a very odd thing to say after you’ve been on a flight to Tassie, and a drive from the airport, only to voice your excitement on the walk from the car.

The doorbell rings. Caz and Damo are definitely not ready. In any way. Karen and Ros are the first through the door. “My first thought is they’ll make gorgeous babies,” says Karen, who has a filthy mind. Entering the dining room, Karen and Ros squeal — squealing is going to be a major theme with Karen and Ros throughout the series. “They’ve transported us back in time!” they shout, apparently believing that guitars represent The Past. They’re guitars, guys, not harpsichords.

“Coming up: a table full of colourful characters,” says the voiceover guy, which sounds like a threat if ever I’ve heard one.

We get a closer look now at Karen and Ros, who are midwives, which I guess is why they instantly make such creepy assessments of what people’s babies will look like. “We’ve been breast friends…” says Ros, triggering an outbreak of ear-murdering laughter from both of them. That is what Karen and Ros are like. They are Those People.

At the table, Karen and Ros force everyone to discuss placenta, something that does not please Amy and Tyson, the brother-and-sister team who we are supposed to hate, and probably will. They make two things clear: they are going to be incredibly obnoxious to everyone during the competition, and the reason they are competing together is because they are much too unpleasant to form a relationship with anyone else.

The next team we meet is David and Betty, “friends”. “We’re definitely just friends,” says Betty, while David stares straight ahead, face twisted in a grotesque imitation of a smile. Betty says her job is a “social media influencer”, so seriously, fuck you Betty. Betty and David’s montage is backed by “Shut Up And Dance”, for no apparent reason.

Back in the kitchen Damo and Caz are doing something boring with truffles and cauliflower. I don’t know why on earth anyone would care.

Back at the table, we meet the bearded guys, Tim and Kyle. As far as can be determined, their beards are their only distinguishing characteristics. Although Kyle does display a slightly promising line in irritating sayings.

Next are Bec and Ash, best friends who Tim and Kyle want to have sex with. Bec is a veterinary surgeon and Ash is a dental nurse, but their hatred of helping others has grown to such a degree they need to pursue a career in food. They are also hoping to meet two single men on MKR and marry them, indicating they are just desperate enough that maybe Tim and Kyle will do.

Kyle and Bec discuss oysters Kilpatrick in a way that suggests they’ve got their feet in each other’s crotches under the table. “We’re in big trouble if they can cook as well as they can flirt,” says Amy. What the fuck does that mean?

Oh, Pete and Manu are here. That’s good.

Damo makes a point of mentioning the kisses Caz got from the judges — Damo is definitely the jealous type. He hated the truffle farmer too. Then again so did I.

“We couldn’t think of a better place to start our competition than right here in Tassie,” says Pete. Really? I mean, logistical and financial considerations obviously apply, but I can THINK of better places. Florence? Provence? Thailand?

Ugh, the instant restaurant is called “Soundcheck”. Why doesn’t Damo go on the frigging Voice?

“Meat and three veg is very boring,” says Tyson, who is an Uber driver with a lot of nerve. “This menu doesn’t inspire me,” he elaborates, staring glassily at his sister with his bulging fish eyes.

Manu enters the kitchen to disrupt the food preparation and destroy the cooks’ confidence. Damo admits he’s never used truffle in his cooking before, which worries Manu, but I’m sure they’ll be fine: it’s not like it’s a high-stakes situation where it’s important to get everything right.

Manu successfully sows his seeds of doubt, leaving Damo and Caz to argue about how much truffle to put in the entree.

Meanwhile Tyson tells everyone that he doesn’t think much of the concept of soup, which is surprising because his face looks like it’s made of it. Kyle looks disapproving of Tyson’s negative attitude and inability to grow a beard.

In the kitchen, Damo is surprised by how hard truffles are. He’s never even seen a truffle before. He only found out about MKR this morning.

Entree is served. It is a small puddle of milky mush with a bit of truffle sitting on top. Pete tries and fails to plunge his face into it. Tyson is “not amazed”, but he probably lacks the essential brain chemistry to experience such a sensation.

Damo is worried about whether they’ve made their entree the right way, which is a pretty reasonable fear to have given how inept he clearly is. Manu asks Damo to go to the kitchen and bring him the grater and a truffle. Damo, fearing that Manu is going to grate his face and insert the truffle inside him, does so. Manu grates the truffle over his soup. There wasn’t enough truffle. They’ve skimped on the truffle, which is a dumb thing to do after you made that big drive out to Wolf Creek to buy them.

The contestants try their entrees, and seem to mostly like them except for Amy and Tyson, who express hatred of the food as a code for how much they hate themselves. Whether we will hate Amy and Tyson more than Karen is a close thing, however, after Karen uses the word “scrumdiddlyumptious”.

Tyson bitches about garlic, causing Kyle to look angry again. Sooner or later, Kyle will punch Tyson, and his fist will go straight through Tyson’s papier-mache head.

As Damo and Caz work out how they’re going to stuff up the main course, the guests chat and laugh at the table, except for Amy and Tyson, who refuse to engage in conversation or acknowledge the existence of other human beings. Bec and Ash compare them to the Addams Family and bafflingly think that’s a funny comparison to make.

Damo floats the idea of asking the guests how they like their steaks, but Caz doesn’t give a flying fuck how they like their steaks. They’re getting medium rare and if they don’t like it they can shove it up their dickholes.

Damo and Caz are happy with how the steaks look, but they’re deluded.

Back at the table, Kyle expresses disapproval of the one-flip method. Tyson says he prefers the sous-vide method, because he’s an utter wanker. Kyle tells him sous-vide is bullshit, which is correct. David thinks Kyle and Tyson are getting “macho”, but I’m pretty sure Tyson wouldn’t know macho if it jumped up and sprayed him with deer blood.

Meanwhile Bec continues her efforts to drench everyone at the table with pheromones. If she doesn’t get a proposal tonight she’s going to lose it. Karen changes the subject by revealing she met her husband at a Jimmy Barnes concert, a revelation that nobody is interested in.

Tim and Kyle and Bec and Ash discuss whether they’d swipe right or left on each other on Tinder, but I don’t know what they mean because I can’t remember which one is the good one.

Amy attempts to kill the conversation dead by telling everyone that Tyson doesn’t do social media. Earlier, though, he claimed to be an Uber driver. Is he actually working for Uber, or does he just cruise the streets trying to find people willing to take a lift from a stranger.

Tyson is underwhelmed by the main course, so now he knows how everyone who’s ever met him feels. Still, he has a point, as the steak is clearly crap. The judges agree. Pete tells Damo that the steak was overcooked — cooking meat at all isn’t paleo, really. Caz’s bearnaise sauce is delicious, and Manu is at pains to emphasise how much better Caz is than Damo.

Tyson pulls a face like a nauseous chameleon as he attempts to process this human food. Kyle rips through his meal and then starts eating other people’s, his beard needing nutrients to survive.

Tyson bitches about the steak in the same way he bitches about everything else and everyone hates him a lot. Kyle struggles not to snap Tyson’s neck like a twig.

In the kitchen, Damo and Caz are putting a twist on the cheesecake, which sounds like an awful mistake. In the dining room, Tyson says he thinks the dessert sounds “safe”, and isn’t “pushing the boundaries”. Kyle’s fists are itching horribly. Literally everyone, in the room and in the TV audience, is willing Kyle to punch Tyson. Or anyone to punch Tyson. If Pete punched Tyson, that’d be a win. I bet when Tyson cooks he’s going to use liquid nitrogen, the cock.

Dessert is served: apple crumble cheesecake. Which doesn’t really sound all that safe to me — sounds like something that is very likely to go horrible wrong. “The cheesecake’s put down in front of me and I’m not amazed,” says Tyson, wearing his incapacity for human feeling with pride.

Manu says the cheesecake has been in the fridge for too long. He doesn’t agree with the texture, but then isn’t robust disagreement at the heart of our democracy? Pete found the cheesecake not pleasant to eat, but it’s fucking Pete Evans, we’re going to take his opinion on cheesecake seriously? The man does not eat dairy. He will literally only eat cheesecake on camera. He doesn’t even remember what cheesecake is. Jesus.

Amy says the base was dry and too thick. Bec looks angrily at her, suspecting her anti-base comments to be an attempt to steal all the men. Tyson whines incessantly about every single thing and everyone hates him even more.

The guests give their scores. They all give fives or sixes. Tyson and Amy give a six: typical gutless reality villains, bitching non-stop but not willing to give an honest score.

“We know you’ve put everything into it,” says Pete, strongly implying that Damo and Caz just lack ability. The judges are kind to the entree, less kind to the main, and scathing about the dessert: Pete gives the desert a three based on the fact that it’s not bone broth served to a newborn, and Damo and Caz get a total of 62: a pretty crap score, but probably good enough to beat whichever team completely crashes and burns in this round.

Tune in tomorrow, when David and Betty cook and David tries to feel Betty up without her noticing.

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