Shanelle smells a 'trap' ahead: that is, the trap of cooking food that everybody hates as she and Uel had into Sudden Death.

Shanelle smells a 'trap' ahead: that is, the trap of cooking food that everybody hates as she and Uel had into Sudden Death.

It's Sudden Death Time, although alas for the ratings, not literally. But what it does mean is that tonight is about everything that makes My Kitchen Rules great: incompetent cooks failing to overcome their personal inadequacies, and the possible destruction of once-happy marriages.

The death match is of course between Uel and Shanelle, who were rubbish last week, and Deb and Rick, who were rubbish this week. “It's go hard or go home,” says Deb, who still doesn't understand the rules – it's probably a tendency to make things go hard that's got her into this mess. “We'll show those whipper-snippers,” she then declares, determined to prove wrong all the gardening implements who have doubted her in the past.

The judging panel enters and the young women say stupid things about Colin Fassnidge, who is apparently attractive to young women in that “appalling personality” sort of way.

Painting too much of a picture ... Deb and Rick's love may not be enough for <i>MKR</i>.

Painting too much of a picture ... Deb and Rick's love may not be enough for MKR.

The teams prepare to cook. Rick thinks they have an advantage over the younger couple, because they've been married for 38 years and have therefore long ceased fearing death. Deb begins by making the bases for her prawn tarts. She does this by rolling out pieces of bread, because she does not know what a tart is.

Meanwhile Shanelle asserts that they don't want to “fall into the trap” that they have fallen into previously: that is, the trap of cooking food that everybody hates.

For main, Deb and Rick are making spicy lamb shank, by gluing together some dinner rolls. For their main, Uel and Shanelle are calling each other “darling” every two seconds.

There follows a dull period of “cooking”, leavened only by the increasingly passive-aggressive way in which Uel and Shanelle are starting to enunciate “darling”.

As time ticks away, Rick tells us, “we're using prawns in our entree tonight, because it's a prawn tart”, which is a sort of Zen aphorism.

Entree is served. “Who doesn't love prawn and avocado?” asks Liz Egan, a question with quite a lot of obvious answers. Guy Grossi observes that Deb and Rick's tart crust is more like toast than pastry, though to be fair this is only because it is. Shockingly, all the judges dislike the concept of toast tarts. They much prefer Uel and Shanelle's, though Colin has to be a downer as usual.

On with the mains. Deb declares it will be “like no other we've ever made”, presumably meaning it will be edible. Deb pokes her meat with a fork. “Go Nanna!” she shouts, inducing widespread vomiting. Meanwhile Rick makes ice-cream, to blot out the awful emptiness. At the halfway mark, Uel and Shanelle are ahead on food, but behind on marriage security. Deb says she's going to show the kids why it's good to stay together for 38 years. “There has to be something good about it,” she says hopelessly.

Over the other side Uel is peeling quail eggs, presumably as some kind of court-ordered punishment. The word “darling” is beginning to sound like an insult.

“We cannot afford any stuff-ups,” says Deb, vastly overrating Uel and Shanelle's ability. But there is trouble in purgatory, as Deb and Rick brawl over whether to use the drum sieve, whatever that is. Rick makes an amusing joke about how much Deb wishes to murder him. Much more amusing than Uel's egg puns, which see him immediately subject to a warrant from Interpol.

Time slips away. “You can't use your fingers!” Deb shrieks, choosing this tense moment to bring up Rick's intimate failings. Yet mains still get plated, and Uel and Shanelle are depressed by the unimpressive appearance of their dish and by their inability to think of a second term of endearment.

The judges taste the mains. Uel and Shanelle have cooked the pork beautifully, but Colin is bitching about the sauce, obviously. His negativity infects all the judges, who moan and gripe in a very unattractive manner. Deb and Rick's lamb shank is more popular. “You can't beat a good lamb shank,” Grossi lies.

Time to prepare dessert, and Deb and Rick rush to the oven to discover they have inadvertently prepared a tray full of weasel droppings. From the balcony the other teams marvel at Shanelle's amazing technique with her crepe pans, not realising that she is actually suffering a massive seizure.

Meanwhile Deb and Rick's hopes have revived as their revolting brown lumps begin to rise. Will the dung-pudding out-do the crepes that look like celery stuffed with dirt? Only time will tell. Which it quickly does. Time is up. Uel and Shanelle embrace unenthusiastically and call each other “darling” with a sense of elegiac despair.

The judges love Deb and Rick's sticky date pudding. “My only criticism …” says Colin, like the big hairy buzzkill he is. But then a miracle happens: Colin tastes the crepes and thinks they're great. So Pete takes up the slack by complaining about how the crepes are too sweet and the sauce is too salty and the coconut wasn't activated and his glass of water came from an insufficiently elevated mountain spring.

Time to score. The judges agree that Deb and Rick's lamb was nice, but also that they made a mistake with their bread tarts, and that their relationship is indefinably off-putting. Conversely, they agree that Uel and Shanelle's menu was flawed, but that they are much better company than Deb and Rick, and so the youngsters win through, and Deb and Rick go home, to pose for nude portraits and drink heavily.

“I'm more in love with him now than I've ever been,” says Deb, conspicuously not mentioning how low a base she started from. We then get a montage of all the unpleasant and fairly uninteresting moments Deb and Rick have brought to the show, and then merciful release.