There's no doubt that My Kitchen Rules can at times get a little unpleasant, so it's a relief tonight when we are treated to the culinary stylings of JP and Nelly, a squeaky-clean couple from the Sunshine Coast who are so bowel-clenchingly nice that just watching them kiss each other is like taking a long, luxurious bath in a tub of warm Dettol.
The lovebirds' first port of call is the tea store. "Tea means everything to me," says Nelly, and really, where can a conversation go after someone says something like that? She drinks tea, she cooks with tea, she says "tea-riffic": in any sane world she'd be on some kind of watchlist.
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My Kitchen Rules: Jessica admits pizza 'weakness'
Self-described 'extreme eater' Jessica confesses that despite her aversion to carbohydrates, pizza remains her 'weakness'. MKR airs Sundays 7pm and Mon-Wed 7:30pm on Channel Seven.
JP and Nelly's instant restaurant is called The Sandy Teapot, because they want to give their guests the feeling you get from having sand in your drink. They begin preparations by assuring each other at length that they both look wonderful. They continue preparations by telling each other that they look wonderful some more. "It looks delicious … and so do you," says Nelly about her dessert/husband, as thousands of Australians fail to suppress their gag reflex. The entree is perogi, a Polish dumpling and hit Bobby Brown song which will also involve tea to sate Nelly's unnatural desires.
The guests arrive. They ring the bell. Nobody answers. They wait. The tension grows. Have JP and Nelly been murdered? Or have they merely succumbed to the irresistible siren's call of passion and left their guests on the doorstep while they grab a knee-trembler against the fridge? Ah, there we go – after several bell-rings, they stop telling each other how beautiful they are for long enough to answer the door. Jessica wonders whether JP and Nelly have great poker faces, or whether they are genuinely happy to see her. I've got a hunch, Jessica.
It's now time for a hardcore cooking lesson. Today we learn that Perogis Are Hard. And by "hard", I mean "difficult" – try not to make your perogis too hard. Lesson over.
Pete and Manu arrive. Manu hopes that JP and Nelly can "translate their love into good food". This is not how food works, as he well knows: he's been around long enough to know that the more love a person has in their hearts, the more awful their food will taste.
"I'm hoping they do really well," lies Alex, admitting in the next breath that he desperately wants to avoid going back to the mines. There has got to be a better way of avoiding a career in the resources industry than MKR.
Waiting for the entree, Jessica tells the others that she is excited about the perogi, because she is of Polish ancestry and loves carbs. Some fellow diners find her professed love of carbs to be arguably at odds with previous occasions on which she stated that she hated carbs. But it's all a matter of interpretation, of course: whether you interpret Jessica as a liar or a lunatic is up to you. The important thing is that tonight, the personality that likes carbs has taken control of the host body, and we're in for some fun.
Pete and Manu taste the perogi. Manu starts with the negatives: "There wasn't enough," he says, yet again ripping off his misdirection moves from Matt Preston like the filthy plagiarist he is. The judges love the perogi. Disney soundalike music plays as the producers stubbornly refuse to let go of the single idea in their heads. Nelly says the judges' critique is "like a perfectly brewed pot of tea". Nobody tells Nelly to shut up. You get the feeling nobody has ever told Nelly to shut up, and that's probably the root of the problem.
Even Jessica loves the perogi, frustrating everyone at the table who demand to know just what the hell this crazy idiot is playing at. It's like having dinner with Sally Field as Sybil. Having such an erratic person in the room is frankly starting to get terrifying.
Suddenly, disaster strikes: Nelly is struggling with the celeriac mash. Many people in the world today have bigger problems, but Nelly melts down like she's just been told she has Ebola. Suddenly the woman who had been best described as "Snow White but less bitchy" is swearing her sweet little head off and lashing out viciously at JP's suggestions that maybe the celeriac mash could have lumps in it. "I won't serve it with lumps!" she hisses: her entire life has been leading up to this celeriac mash, and if there is a single lump she might as well just hurl herself off the top of the Big Pineapple right now. JP tries to politely suggest that maybe the celeriac is not the biggest priority in the main course, and in doing so runs a genuine risk of being gelded.
Finally Nelly gives up on the mash, and JP checks the steak. It's undercooked, which means he could have let Nelly make the mash again while the steak cooked for longer. Irony, thy name is MKR. Hopefully the undercooking can be covered up if they put enough tea in.
They serve the main with the air of two people searching for an ocean to walk into. Jessica regards the underwhelming dish with a look of utter delight, because Evil Jessica has temporarily taken up residence.
Pete is disappointed by the fact the steak isn't served on the bone, as is traditional with the mastodon cuts he usually eats. But otherwise he finds the main course delicious, even the revolting celeriac lumpathon. Manu is likewise complimentary, and Jessica is absolutely furious – she has so much hate to give, and nowhere to put it.
And so to dessert: creme brulee, a traditional Polish dish made by visiting a French person and asking them for the recipe. Everything is going fine until the very worst thing that can possibly happen to anyone ever in their lives happens: the blowtorch runs out of gas. Surprisingly, they've gone for the traditional blowtorch method rather than burning the sugar by pouring tea on it: and it has proven their downfall. Momentarily, JP and Nelly consider burning down the house to spare themselves the shame, but instead they hit on a brilliant yet risky strategy: going out to buy some more gas.
So JP hops in the car. Yep, that's right: remember all the promos showing JP driving away, making it look like they'd had a huge fight and he'd stormed out in fury, suggesting the stresses of the kitchen had caused the irreversible breakdown of their relationship? Remember the way they hyped it up to seem like this was THE MOST DRAMATIC EPISODE EVER? Yep, it's just JP going to buy some gas to fill a blowtorch. Has Australian television ever known a pack of shameless liars like Channel Seven's marketing department? It's a disgrace.
Anyway, JP is driving around, he can't find any gas, oh no! The guests are waiting, oh no! Nelly can't scoop the ice cream because it's too hard, oh no! If only there was a method of softening ice cream that was in some way compatible with having to wait a considerable amount of time! But science has yet to discover such a method!
Manu pops into the kitchen because dessert is taking too long. Although he goes into the kitchen every episode so I don't know why he's pretending he has an actual reason tonight. He finds Nelly alone in the kitchen, and if you've ever met Manu Feildel, you know how a story that begins "Manu finds a woman alone" is going to end.
Manu urges Nelly to think of a solution, because he knows JP is one of nature's failures and will never find any gas. Nelly has a brainwave: make a toffee to go on top of the brulee instead of the burnt sugar! JP races home to help make the toffee, and everyone celebrates Nelly's ingenuity, except the people who are screaming at the TV "WHY DON'T YOU JUST PUT IT UNDER THE GRILL?" And I'm not saying those people include my wife, but look I've said too much already.
JP and Nelly serve their deeply disappointing crème brulees with crappy toffee bits on top, and they are as successful as can be expected considering their horrific incompetence. The ice cream is terrible but then Nelly was all alone with nobody to tell her what ice cream is. Jessica absolutely loves the dessert and everyone at the table is just like oh FFS Jessica.
By the cunning method of making edible food, JP and Nelly have managed to avoid the bottom of the leaderboard, bringing Alex and Gareth's worst nightmare ever closer. They get a total of 85, sparking a stomach-churning gush of "I love you"s and a flock of animated bluebirds fluttering around JP and Nelly's heads.
Tomorrow: the duck's nuts.