Dan and Steph Mulheron

Decadence prevails: Dan and Steph Mulheron embrace after being announced as the winners of the latest season of My Kitchen Rules. Photo: Supplied

And so here we are. After a series that found so many new ways to artificially extend itself that it began to warp the concept of time itself, we arrive at the Big Show, the clash of the titans, the Grand Final that will, once and for all, decide whatever it is that My Kitchen Rules is supposed to decide.

What cooking philosophy will triumph: the warm, down-to-earth sausages-and-narcolepsy approach of Dan and Steph; or the flashy, high-fashion, anime-hairstyle attitude of Jake and Elle? Only an extremely lengthy stretch of time will tell.

The decider begins with a reminder of everything that has already happened, which as you might remember mainly involved inaccurate voiceovers. We then move into kitchen headquarters, where Dan and Steph are dressed in white and Jake and Elle in black, so that we are clear on who is good and who is evil.

Steph informs us that tonight is "the start of our dreams", which seems strangely premature and dismissive of the rest of the series at the same time. Manu arrives and begins by mispronouncing everyone's names, including Elle, which is technically a French name. He then informs us that tonight is the grand final, which shocks everyone. Dan says they have no other option but to win, because loan sharks have his family.

Pete reveals that the challenge tonight is to serve a five-course menu of a hundred plates for a full restaurant, because after all, this show isn't called My Kitchen Rules, it's My Restaurant Rules. No, wait, that's not right. Never mind, logic went out the window long ago.

At this point Jake bursts into tears because he doesn't realise that nothing has happened yet. He and Elle then speak for the next eight hours about the bond they have. "Words can't describe how much winning would mean to us," says Elle, though she seems to be using a hell of a lot of them.

It's now Dan's turn to remind us that his dream is to have his own gourmet sausage shop, and our turn to have a bit of a laugh. Steph says it's also their dream to start a family, which is why they need to win, as the best babies are going for $250K on the open market.

And so we go to the traditional guitar riff which announces the beginning of the challenge. Jake and Elle start their prep by saying they love each other, while Steph starts by telling Dan the rules. "Steph can you believe we're here cooking in the grand final of My Kitchen Rules?" asks Dan, for the benefit of viewers who tuned in accidentally and thought this might be The Golden Girls.

Jake now announces that he and Elle "have their ninja suits on", which is, by any standards, a bald-faced lie. "I wanna be the youngest team to win this Jake," Elle replies, fearing, as we all do, that this episode might be so long they don't get the chance. Jake and Elle's first course is wagyu carpaccio: Manu likes carpaccio because it is raw meat that has been sliced so thin you can barely notice you've eaten it, so it's unhygienic and pretentious all in one.

On the other side Dan and Steph are slicing their scallops. Steph is proud to be using Hervey Bay scallops, which is taking tribalism way too far. They're just scallops, you know? When you start being proud to be using regionally-specific scallops is when you need to reassess your life's direction.

We pause for an ad break, and return to find Jake deboning his quails, which is his pet name for when he ... oh no, apparently he is literally deboning some quails. Meanwhile, Elle is making French coleslaw: Australian coleslaw was good enough for the Anzacs, but not for Little Miss Priss over here.

All of a sudden a shock twist as the kitchen doors open and all the eliminated teams come flooding inside, including Ashlee and Sophia, who have arrived on the back of a flaming horse as foretold in prophecy; Jessie and Biswa, who will spend the whole night sniping about how they were irritating women of Asian descent before it was cool; and that mother and daughter team who creepily dress in matching outfits and weren't actually invited, but hid in Angela and Melina's boot.

The finalists' families are also here, which is an emotional time for them, because they've been instructed by the producers to act as if it's an emotional time for them.

"If he needs something, I will do it," says Elle, in a revolting betrayal of her feminist forebears. Dan is far more enlightened, and he and Steph work as equals. In fact, Melina has never seen anyone work like Dan and Steph, but then throughout the competition, Melina was mostly watching herself and Angela, so she may have literally never seen anyone work at all.

An amusing little interlude now occurs wherein several people say the word "confit" over and over again until it loses all meaning.

Steph wishes her scallops to be beautiful and opaque, and so she orders them to reveal nothing of their true feelings. With only five minutes left, Elle announces that she's getting the beef out, by which she means ... oh. She's actually getting some beef out. With two minutes left the spectators are still clapping and cheering for no reason, as both teams frantically plate up their unimpressive tiny plates of insubstantial garbage. And time is up! Everyone in the room shouts and screams incoherently for the next half hour, as if something has been achieved.

When we return from the ad break, we quickly discover that we're not actually back from the ad break, we're just having one of those stupid "extras", which is probably the most irritating of the six hundred ideas that MKR stole from Masterchef.

When we genuinely return from the ad break, the judges arrive to taste the first course. "We've still got four more courses," Elle tells Jake, having completed her Advanced Maths Certificate IV.

Chef Grossi believes Dan and Steph's scallops are perfect, and even Colin Fassnidge likes them, although he does deliver that verdict with a look on his face suggesting that he wants to punch everyone in the room's face. Thence to Jake and Elle's entrée, and the female judges both agree that it is sexy: nothing gets a lady's juices flowing like a paper-thin sliver of raw meat.

And so off to cook the second course. Everyone begins shouting and clapping again, which is getting extremely old. Dan and Steph are going to sous-vide the squab because they got a hot tip that the judges will be favouring trendy wankery tonight. On the other side, Jake is laying out his pancetta, if you know what I mean. Jake and Elle's mother asks Elle what they're cooking, apparently not having heard that cooking requires concentration. She proceeds to interrogate her children as to how they know how to debone quail. "Have you been seeing another mother behind my back?" she demands.

Dan is sous-videing his squab, a complex process that involves dropping some bags in some water and staring at a thermometer. Meanwhile Elle tells Jake she can do the sauce. "Can you do the sauce?" asks Jake. "Yes," says Elle. Back to the other side and Steph is making dessert – I think that comes later Steph. "It's not gonna be normal," says Steph, menacingly.

Jake is putting quails in pans – wrapped in pancetta they look like tiny nude people wrapped in carpets and dumped in a shallow grave. Adorable.

As the squab versus quail death match continues, Dan yanks his squab out and finds them soft – they were spoiled as children. But they look great, unlike Jake's quails, which aren't going to look pretty as Jake has used cheap Kmart cosmetics. Also they are raw, which will poison the judges.

With six minutes left, Pete realises he hasn't said anything for a while, so he decides to impart the vital information that the teams should go as fast as they can. Elle is telling Jake not to freak out. Jake is wishing the cameras weren't there so he could slap Elle. Jake and Elle are running out of time – instead of slicing the quail up they're having to serve it whole and remind the judges of serial killers. Steph is saying "confit" a lot again. I don't even know what confit is. Sounds awful though.

Everyone counts down – man that's getting annoying – and time is up, and another course of unrecognisable alleged food has been plated up. In come the judges. "I guess it's all about the blind tasting now," Dan tells Steph, putting his finger unerringly on the point as usual – it is, indeed all about the blind tasting: no way they'll be able to run up and cook the food again on the table now. In keeping with the theme of the bleeding obvious, Colin informs his fellow judges that you either cook squab well, or you don't. He didn't get where he is in the culinary industry by needlessly introducing non-binary thinking. In this case, the squab IS well-cooked.

The quail is served, and Colin admits that he didn't want to like it but he does. Is he drunk? Over at the failed contestants' table, meanwhile, Sam is being pretentious, hoping to become a wanky reality TV judge himself one day.

It is time for the third course, in which Dan and Steph will meddle with the fundamental forces of nature by attempting to make a flathead sausage. "Sausages are my passion," says Dan, failing to appreciate the inherent existential tragedy in that statement. Jake and Elle are making semolina crisps, which sound like the sort of thing fat children are forced to eat instead of real chips, and rock lobster, which gives Jake an opportunity to practise his natural sadism.

Both teams are now preparing their third course, but also their fourth course. And their fifth course. It's just all really confusing and giving me a headache. This isn't improved by Jake telling us that he wants his duck to be "fluffy". This is surely exactly what you don't want a duck to be, if you're intending that duck to be food. Also Elle is translating "semifreddo" from the Italian for us, and Dan is making big yellow sausages out of fish and Steph is mutilating them with a fork and everything is spinning out of control. A suspicion begins to creep over everyone in the kitchen that in fact they are all dead, and this is purgatory.

Pete is worried that Jake and Elle have bitten off more than they can chew. Manu is worried that his accent isn't sounding fake enough.

Suddenly catastrophe strikes as Jake misplaces his dough. Where is it? He looks under the roll of glad wrap, in case a huge ball of dough has crawled under it. The realisation creeps up on him that in fact the dough was all in his head. Pete and Manu inform the authorities. "Where did you put the dough Jake?" asks Elle. He doesn't know. He had it right there. Then he turned it into crisps. Then he finished it all. Then he forgot. Then he started looking for it. This is a Roman Polanski-level study of psychological disintegration.

Dan and Steph ain't no loonies though – Dan is placing his sausage like a pro. However, his worst nightmares may be about to come true – the fish sausages may be about to dry out. The audience marvels at the mental processes of a man whose worst nightmare is dry fish sausage. Manu tells both teams there are five minutes left, which is the cue for the onlookers to ruin the cooks' focus by whooping at them. Jake and Elle are now arguing violently over how much lettuce people like to eat. The answer, ironically, is "zero". Their parents scold them for fighting, but honestly, who asked them to stick their fat oars in? Elle notes that this is the worst grand final she could have imagined: clearly the girl lacks imagination, since the possibility of setting Jake's hair on fire or slipping on vegetable oil and breaking her neck didn't even occur to her. Although the fact that with a minute left on the clock she's just remembered the lemon foam does make things look pretty bleak. The fact they planned to make foam in the first place was a bad sign.

Luckily for everyone, the last ten seconds of this round go for about a minute, allowing plenty of time for lemon foam to be made and slopped over the food, ruining it forever. Dan, though, is worried about his sausages – he knows that sausages don't love him as much as he loves them.

The judges arrive and tuck into the rock lobster and semolina. Grossi is very happy with it, as is Karen, who likes the "surprise crunch" of the semolina wafer. Why it's a surprise crunch, given the wafer was sitting there out in the open, is not explained. Meanwhile Jessie and Biswa have a bit of a bitch because that's what they do.

Tasting the sausage, Colin confides that he can really taste the fish, which is astonishing given the sausage is entirely made of fish. However, the sausage is a little bit dry: sausages have betrayed Dan yet again.

No time to dwell on Dan's perversely blighted dreams, though: it's fourth course time, and time to say "confit" a lot more. "The duck looks good Ellie," says Jake, inaccurately. Elle doesn't know what to make of the duck: ducks confuse her.

"I'm just multi-tasking," lies Steph, as she stirs something with a spoon. Her fondant is misbehaving. "I feel like our future's melting away, just like the fondant," she says, making that classic rookie mistake of over-explaining a metaphor. This could cost her when the judges allocate their figurative scores.

"We've had three beautiful courses from both teams, now it's fourth course," Pete tells Manu, who suffers from severe Memento-esque short-term memory loss. Pete and Manu then have an incredibly boring conversation about confit. God I hate confit.

Back in Dan and Steph's kitchen, fondant continues to be a problem, but on the upside, Dan is doing well frying up his lamb roulade, which seems to be a technical culinary term meaning "dog food". I think Dan then says that he's cooking Pearl Bailey. That can't be right can it? Where would they even find Pearl Bailey?

Dan then moves on to the task of smoking his carrots, because he needs to relax. Sam explains to Chris his views on why Dan and Steph are smoking carrots. Chris doesn't seem interested in the slightest.

Jake is still fiddling with his confit. He needs to make sure he doesn't overcook his duck: duck confit is that rarest of dishes, that shouldn't be overcooked. Meanwhile Elle is trying to get her Jerusalem artichoke puree perfect, even though this is clearly a stupid way to waste your life. Jake and Elle begin to fight again. Mick disapproves of this, unaware that nobody asked him to open his fat mouth.

Dan isn't happy with Pearl Bailey, but it's time to plate up. On the plate will be a baked turnip, a smoked carrot, and blanched baby fennel. This suggests that Dan and Steph are mentally ill. A baked turnip? Is this avant-garde theatre of the absurd? Even worse, they don't even have enough sauce, and given how depressingly awful the meat and vegetables look, they're going to need a lot.

The judges return from their suspended animation pods to taste the fourth course and contemplate the senseless monotony of their careers. "Wow, look at that lamb falling apart," says Pete, and it's true, the lamb does seem emotionally unstable. Colin finds the smoky carrot magnificent: he is definitely on something. He hasn't threatened to headbutt anyone yet. On to the duck, which is a little bit dry: the curse of the flathead sausage strikes again.

It is dessert time, and it all comes down to this, because no contest in MKR is ever anything but unbelievably (literally) close. For the winner, glory and fortune. For the loser, a lifetime in a dank dungeon being flogged by Adriano Zumbo.

Jake and Elle are making a semi-Fredo, a dessert first created by Francis Ford Coppola in Godfather Part Two. On the other side, Steph begins manipulating some candy, while someone puts a porno soundtrack over the top. And yes, it is pretty arousing. Meanwhile Elle is making crostoli, continuing to believe that she is Italian. Jake and Elle have a violent argument about how thin the crostoli should be. Their mother chips in, still having not learnt to stop flapping those gums.

Apropos of nothing, A Place To Call Home is a sweeping period drama on Channel Seven.

"This is the last dish of the grand final," Pete tells Manu, who begins tattooing this information on his stomach so he doesn't forget.

Jake and Elle continue their crostoli battle, the thin-thick divide mirroring their respective attitudes to healthy body image.

Someone with a presumably excellent body image, because she's really hot, is Steph, who happily exclaims, "What better way to finish dinner than with an after-dinner mint?" She better hope everyone takes that as rhetorical. She also orders Dan to play with his fondant. The fondant is troubling Dan. In a moment of disastrous confusion, he makes a sausage out of it. "Our whole journey of MKR comes down to this moment," says Dan, finally understanding what a complete waste of time the last few months have been.

Meanwhile the semifreddo/semi-Fredo/Semi-Frodo is giving Jake serious troubles. He asks Elle for help. "OK Jake," sighs Elle, in the weary tones of a woman who is thinking a conjoined twin would be less troublesome than this Astroboy-coiffed human noodle she's been lumbered with.

And BANG! Time is up, and the teams finish cooking. Forever. They will never cook again, because of this traumatic experience. "The competition has literally come to an end," says Elle, not understanding that no, it hasn't. Meanwhile Steph is in tears over a dessert: maybe she's already pregnant.

The judges begin with Jake and Elle's semifreddo, which resembles an enormous bowl of yoghurt with a large orange spider squatting next to it. The blonde judge makes a point of explaining just how much she enjoys over-enunciating foreign words. They then dig in to Dan and Steph's chocolate mint thingumabob. Colin, now hopelessly intoxicated on whatever gutrot the flask in his waistband contains, rambles on about his childhood Christmas, which may be a good sign. Or not. I have no idea. They're all talking utter nonsense.

As we prepare for the moment of judgment, one thing becomes increasingly clear: there are still twenty minutes of this show to go, so this is going to be ridiculously drawn out.

Dan declares that they've given it a hundred and ten percent, and is automatically disqualified for innumeracy.

"Dan and Steph, tonight you cooked for a full restaurant," says Pete, lying through his teeth. "Both of you would be worthy My Kitchen Rules champions," adds Manu, just as mendaciously. Elle then says that Jake "got me through this", so obviously this is the designated time for lying in the show. "We have no regrets whatsoever," says Steph, forgetting about her tattoos. "We need this ... because of our dreams," sobs Dan, ensuring that if Jake and Elle win, everyone in the room will feel like a complete bastard.

But enough of that, it is now time for the judges to, very slowly, give their scores. Colin is smiling like a maniac, and everyone is terribly happy as they describe Jake and Elle's dishes in pseudo-sexual terms. When it comes to dessert though, Colin says, "I don't like Amaretto", and Jake and Elle's mum's world falls to pieces. Aha, but! "Until tonight!" Colin adds! Aha! He's pulled a Preston!

We cut to Elle explaining how great she is.

Time to tell Dan and Steph how tasty and sexy their food was. The scallops have pleased everyone, especially Manu, who is so excited his accent becomes literally incomprehensible. The squab, Colin says, was as good as anything he's seen in a restaurant, though to be fair most restaurants know better than to cook pigeons. And then Grossi explains that Dan's sausage was dry, and Dan dies inside. And when it comes to dessert, the chemically-inspired Colin explains how the dish was so good it caused him to discover time travel.

Time for the scores. "I cannot believe one team is going to be named the My Kitchen Rules champions," says Jake, "it's absolutely insane." The fact that this series of MKR is finishing with someone winning it blows him away – a competition having a winner? Has the world turned topsy-turvy? Of course, Jake has always been fascinated and amazed by predictable and expected occurrences.

We now have another ad break because God forbid any of us stay young.

Looking at his watch and noticing that the polar ice caps have almost completely melted, Pete announces it's time to tell the teams their scores. Karen gives Jake and Elle an eight. Grossi gives them a nine. Blonde Judge gives them a nine. Colin gives them a rude drawing of a potato. Pete gives a nine. Manu gives them a neuf. "Four nines, I'm getting goosebumps," says Jake, shivering due to the broken air conditioning. Their score is 52.

Dan and Steph's turn. Karen thinks they cooked intelligent meals, because as a professional cooking judge she isn't allowed to say things that mean anything. She gives them a nine. Grossi gives a nine. Blonde judge gives a nine. Colin gives an obscene finger gesture and a kebab. Pete gives a nine. Manu gives a nine.

DAN AND STEPH WIN! DAN AND STEPH WIN! THEY GET TO HAVE BABIES AND MAKE SAUSAGES!

This is truly a victory for Aussie decency and guts over pretentiousness and weird hair. Dan and Steph are off to a life of glamour and excitement, while Jake and Elle must slink back to their parents' house to continue sponging off them. "We're going to teach our kids to work hard," says Dan, "over short periods of time on television shows."

And that's it! MKR done for another year. Tune in in 2014, when every elimination will be followed by a surprise gatecrasher and the series will never end at all. Bon appetit.