While My Kitchen Rules contestants Court and Duncan Hall-Eastey knew they would have to face their competition at Karen and Ros's house on the heels of their own ultimate instant restaurant, Court tells WHO she was not prepared for how long the dissection of their difficult cook would be, her own visceral reaction to it, and being pulled aside by judge Manu Feildel for a private chat.
"Dunc and I just felt that the whole situation was really rude," says Court, a Melbourne designer, of the debate led by Josh and Della on how long Court and Duncan's instant restaurant was in the April 4 episode. "People were discussing us but not including us in the conversation," she says. "It was literally us sitting there the whole night and people talking about our restaurant. Everyone had a different view of it and I was like, 'Guys, we want to move on from it, and if you're going to talk about it, maybe we should be included instead of sitting here while you argue in front of us.' I just hated it."
Court and Duncan began the night on a high note celebrating Tully Vella's pregnancy announcement but then fell silent and edgy when table talk began. Even the helium balloon pronouncements Josh initiated only cracked a little smile. "I still had a good time that night," Court insists, "but there was still some stuff we had to get through first. I do remember Tyson being very funny on the helium."
By the time the mains were served, judges Manu Feildel and Pete Evans could sense the tension. When Manu asked them what they ordered, Court replied, "I'm not going to do this, to be honest." Pressing further, Manu said, "It seems that you're angry and upset." Court said, "It's not easy for us right now to be here and I'm pretty f---ing sick of it personally."
Della told Court, "Try to keep it in perspective," but Court only lashed out, "Don't tell me to have perspective" before letting off a run of expletives. That's when Manu asked her and Duncan to step outside where he told them, "I am really not enjoying what's happening right now, to be honest with you, and I want to know what issue you think there's been happening."
Looking back, Court says it was a good release to talk to Manu but adds about the instigator of her discomfort, "I don't know if people understand what it's like to have dinner with Josh seven nights in a row." After laughing a bit, she adds, "It's torture. I think I reached my limit of sitting there and listening to the conflict and people being rude and it all being about the competition. We thought, 'Ugh, this is gross.'"
Manu tells WHO in a statement about his actions, "Pete and I look after our teams in many different ways. My Kitchen Rules is a tough competition, it’s long and it’s stressful. Some contestants are stronger than others and some need more support than others. Yes, I have done this before but never during a dinner party and in such an intense way."
He adds, "I felt I needed to give Court and Duncan a pep talk and remind them why they were in the competition and what it was about. I think I got through to them. They were able to come back to the table and refocus their minds on the competition.”
Court agrees. "After that, we were fine," she says. "I had my blowup and was fine again."
'My Kitchen Rules' continues with David and Betty's ultimate instant restaurant on Thursday, April 6 at 7.30 PM on Channel 7.