Meet the MKR NZ contestants

Ricardo Simich,
Spy News,
Publish Date
Saturday, 9 September 2017, 5:12PM
Jaryd and Ben, Tash, Hera, Teal and Sophie.
Jaryd and Ben, Tash, Hera, Teal and Sophie.

On Wednesday night, My Kitchen Rules’ judges Pete Evans and Manu Feildel take a break from filming their Aussie series to launch the third season of the New Zealand show.

The $100,000 up for grabs isn’t the only reason auditions were popular this year. We’re told having the superstar chefs on board got would-be contestants very excited.

Evans’ wife, Nicola Robinson Evans, formerly Nicky Watson, may want to attend the launch with her husband as one of the six teams, Auckland friends Maddie, 20 and Charlotte, 19, couldn’t contain themselves when they met the pair.

“I just looked deep into Manu’s eyes. I was a bit hot. Got flustered. It was so surreal,” Maddie gushed to Spy.

“Maddie was flapping so hard she nearly flew away. All I felt was pure excitement, I just couldn’t keep quiet about it!” added Charlotte.

We hear the girls have a crush on a couple of male contestants too and the flirtation may go both ways.

Spy reckons best mates Jaryd and Ben, soccer boys from Auckland’s North Shore, will be ones to watch. A few months ago an agent was peddling stories about the lads to Spy and what we learned is they are a little bit larrikin and dying for their big break.

Charlotte, Maddie, Chris, Bex, Heather and Mitch.

“We want to show them that I’m not just a funny guy and Jaryd’s not just a pretty face,” Ben explained.

“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime competition. We’re not just here for a bit of fun, we’re in it to win it,” said Jaryd.

We reckon the baddies of the season are shaping up to be Heather, 30, and her friend Mitch, 39, from Christchurch, who aren’t afraid to tell the others what fabulous cooks they are.

“I love picking other people’s food apart because I think I can do it better. To the other contestants I’d say watch yourself — we’re coming for ya. If the food’s not great, I will not hold back,” Heather said.

“It’s competition time, it’s game on. We’re here to win it, let’s not doubt that.” added Mitch.

The other three teams consist of friends Tash, 31 and Hera, 34, from Rotorua, who cook with aroha; hairdressers Teal, 45, and Sophie, 43, from Wellington, who have lived and worked together for 20 years, a bond they see as a competitive strength. Completing the field are Wanaka real estate agents Chris, 35, and Bex, 32.

We are told Evans and Feildel loved their instant kitchen, not just for the food but also the unrivalled scenery the town is famous for.

MKR NZ starts on TVNZ 2 on Monday September 25.