Haunted by matcha mistakes and mildly received desserts, NSW hustlers David Vu and Betty Banks wanted to serve up a sweet ending to their My Kitchen Rules experience on April 25 in their semi-final against Queensland siblings Amy and Tyson Murr. Although their mango sorbet turned out terrific, and judge Guy Grossi called it "one of my favourite dishes of the night," David and Betty ended up two points short and were eliminated from the competition.
"It was a dream come true going into the semi-finals," Betty tells WHO. "That's what I was aiming for, although we also saw the light at the end for the grand final. But first things first and to be able to stand in Kitchen HQ and say we were in the semi-finals, it was a privilege. It really was."
Amy and Tyson chose David and Betty as their semi-final opponent, leaving Adelaide mates Tim and Kyle to battle Brisbane mother-daughter Valerie and Courtney in the second semi. "It was a toss of a coin," Tyson says. "We thought David and Betty could be a bigger threat across five courses." Adds Amy, "We didn't want to come up against Valerie and Courtney at all, one, because we love them, and two, because they are very strong, and we also thought we wouldn't mind going up and having one final showdown with Tim and Kyle in the grand final, so that left David and Betty. We decided to pick them and then back ourselves."
The close battle began with near perfect entrees by both teams, including David and Betty's Vietnamese sugarcane prawns, which featured the "David and Betty twist" on a traditional recipe. Judge Karen Martini called it "superb" and said it brought her "straight to the streets of Hanoi."
Bringing those flavours and recipes to the show has been a longtime dream for David, who says this may be the sixth time he has applied for My Kitchen Rules. "I've always loved food and I never thought I'd ever dabble in it," says marketing manager David, "but this has been one of the most rewarding things I've ever done."
Going forward, David may continue exploring opportunities in food and Betty in television, but long-term reality commitments may be off limits. Still caring for her blind mum, Manisone Phathanak, Betty says, "I don't think I could leave my mum again for that long to be honest. I'm such a mummy's girl."
'My Kitchen Rules' continues Wednesday night with the second semi-final at 7.30 PM on Seven.