My Kitchen Rules contestants speak about their wild ride
IT'S absolutely ridiculous, beyond our expectations.
Those are the words My Kitchen Rules contestant Dan Mulheron used to describe not his time on the reality cooking show, but the reaction he and his partner Steph have received since returning home to Hervey Bay.
"There is so much support there for us," Steph told The Chronicle during a My Kitchen Rules dinner party hosted in Brisbane on Thursday.
"I think a lot of people are proud of us and what we've done."
But their newfound fame has made the couple feel like celebrities in their own home.
"We've had people knocking on the door for photos," Dan said.
"It takes us three hours to get milk… it is absolutely overwhelming how well they've taken to us."
The number one question they get asked doesn't have anything to do with the laid-back couple at all.
"The most frequent question we get asked is 'are Ashlee and Sophia that nasty?'" Dan laughed.
"Not 'how'd you go?', not 'well done', it's 'are those girls really that nasty? You've got to get rid of them'.
"We get along with them quite well, but we've stopped defending them because they've said some things and it's like 'I can't defend that'. You've said it; you put it out there; you deal with it."
Steph says the gatecrashers are struggling with their current status as the biggest villains of Australian reality TV.
"I think they're finding it tough," she said.
"If we were put in the same boat then we'd find it hard too, but they'll be fine. They've got thick skin."
The couple reckons they get along with Ashlee and Sophia because they give as good as they get.
"We used to hang crap on them all the time about how much rice they cooked and how simple their food is," Dan said.
Steph added: "I think a lot of Australia doesn't really like them because they're so brutal but we've learned a lot from them. Each to their own. We respect who they are."
But if they had the chance to open a restaurant with another MKR team, it wouldn't be Ashlee and Sophia.
"To open up a restaurant it's not just about food, it's about running a business," Dan said.
"So I'd be on to someone who's a bit more business savvy like Kerrie and Craig, and they can cook. Kerrie's an encyclopedia of food."
When the show returns to Seven after Easter, the details of Kerrie and Craig's so-called cheating scandal will be revealed.
Dan and Steph are hoping to bounce back from the "embarrassing" steak, egg and chips they served up earlier this week.
"I think a lot of people can cook that," Dan said.
"We were just lucky the girls (Angela and Melina) cooked terribly."
But they reckon their biggest mistake of the competition so far was in the instant restaurant rounds.
"I think the biggest mistake we made was underestimating our second instant restaurant," Dan said.
"We thought because we'd done the first one that we would be able to walk in and get through it, but it was even harder. To get that negative reaction from the judges, thinking we had something good and we didn't, was just heartbreaking."
Looking forward, the couple hopes Hervey Bay becomes more of a food destination.
The local scallops, with their detached roe and sweet flavour, are one draw card that should be highlighted.
Dan also reckons the area could benefit from more restaurants like Coast.
"I reckon Julia Paussa (owner of Coast) needs to open up half a dozen restaurants and Hervey Bay would be on the map," he said.
"I went to school with her and she's got such a passion for food. Her restaurant is second to none."
My Kitchen Rules returns to Seven on Easter Monday.