MKR elimination: Highest rating reality show for Seven, so far.
Serving up another pair of super-bitchy cooks is proving a winning recipe for the producers of My Kitchen Rules after a massive 2.11 million viewers tuned in to the show overnight.
West Australian team Kelly Ramsay and Chloe James' snarky comments about other contestants and alleged cheating in the “pastry-gate” affair had viewers flocking to channel seven in their droves. (It wasn't MKR's most watched show so far; that title went to the Queensland surfie dads.)
The girls' rise to prominence mirrors that of last year's bad-girl duo, Sophia Pou and Ashlee Pham, who reveled in their reputation for slagging off other competitors behind their backs, splitting opinion among viewers and whipping up a storm on social media.
This is the fifth series of the cooking show, which easily won last night's ratings battle, helping Seven snare 28.6 per cent of the overall audience.
The reaction to Ramsay and James's antics has been predictably over-the-top in online forums. However, the women themselves say they have been shocked at some of the abuse.
Ramsay said she had seen pictures on Instagram of stick figures of the pair being hung from a tree and others of them having their eyes poked out.
Facebook posts included comments like: "I wish these girls would f--- off and die".
"The imagery on Instagram is really horrible," Ramsay told Fairfax. "My mum has been crying about it a lot.
"People have no idea that we're real people, we've been made the villains of the series and people have said horrible things about us."
Ramsay added that she and best friend James were doing their best to keep away from social media.
"But it's like a car wreck, you can't help but look," she said.
Controversially, the two women were last night kept in the competition despite a less than stellar performance in the kitchen, giving rise to suspicions they are being given a leg up because of their ratings potential.
The MKR Facebook page in particular is alive with allegations Ramsay and James were put through by judges unfairly and should have been expelled for using store-bought pastry and bread.
- with Allen Newton