The Seafood King and Queen have been deposed from the My Kitchen Rules kingdom as Broome deckhand Josh Meeuwissen and his wife Amy were eliminated from competition during their ultimate instant restaurant on Monday, a night when, after an early argument led to Josh throwing around the word "divorce" and the couple received harsh critiques of their mains, Amy walked out of their house and Josh chased her down to apologise.
"Babe, we've been on a roller coaster this whole competition," Josh pleaded to Amy. "It's fine. I know I can do better than that. We can prove it. We can put out two more desserts and we're done. Karen and Ros are going home."
But when Amy started to cry, Josh replied, "Are you going to cry over the desserts?" That's when Amy lashed out. "Don't be a dick or I'll f---ing walk out on you and never do this," she said.
After more attempts at reassuring Amy, Josh asked her if she wanted to quit, letting Melbourne midwives Karen Gawne and Ros Waters, who were at the bottom of the leaderboard, advance in the competition. "Could do it," he said quietly. "I'm not going to stop doing this," Amy replied before getting to the heart of the matter. "I just wish you'd pull your head in sometimes."
WHO spoke with some of the contestants at their ultimate restaurant about what they observed.
According to beauty blogger Betty Banks, who was originally in Group One and had not been to Josh and Amy's first incarnation of Longshore Drift, she and teammate David Vu were looking forward to the Broome experience. "Maybe the first instant restaurant was just a mistake that happened," she says, "and we were hoping he would back up the talk."
But the food served to the teams caused Betty to cry. "I was just so shocked and I was just appalled," she says. "All these thoughts came to my head, like, for a guy who speaks so high of himself being able to respect seafood and cook well, what he's given us to eat wasn't great, and for me, being able to cook for my friends and family and being able to put smiles on their faces, that makes me feel happy, and it just felt like a smack in the face, when Josh served what Josh served us."
Karen and Ros had hoped to survive past Josh and Amy's cook but were cautiously optimistic. "In this show, anything could happen," says Ros, "and so it can depend on what happens on the night. We were never 100 percent confident we were not going home."
While what ultimately occurred "was a trainwreck," Karen says, "it didn't give you any pleasure knowing the stress that was going on behind the scenes and with them in the kitchen. You don't like to see anyone fail. For us, yes, we wanted to stay in the competition but it was hard to watch."
Brisbane construction lawyer Della Whearty says she had no doubt the kind of food they would be getting. "If I am honest, I think Amy and Josh knew they weren't worthy of the spot they were in," Della says. "Josh has this unwavering confidence, Amy is more of a realist and they knew they were up against competition they couldn't beat."
Adds Amy Murr, a Brisbane human resources executive, " Oh, Josh and Amy know they can't cook and they were very lucky in a lot of their sudden deaths. They actually said it was quite funny how far they got in the competition and they were just skirting by a lot of the time, notwithstanding the laksa, which was brilliant and probably the best thing they produced on the show. They were on as an experience and I don't think they were necessarily there to be the winners or cook the best food, but hopefully they will look back on it as a good experience in their lives."
The evening was very long, Betty confirms. "It was quite a long time," Betty says, "before entrees, mains and desserts came to us. We were waiting quite some time through everything that happened but hearing Amy walk out, we were really shocked that something went wrong."
Karen and Ros formed a friendship with Amy over the course of filming the show. "She did struggle a bit with the stress, they both did as a couple," Karen says, "and you don't like to see people in that situation. Josh doesn't show much emotion but Amy was really upset. As happy as we are to survive the episode, we got no joy from seeing the trainwreck that it was."
Yet at the end of the night, Josh and Amy kissed and seemed to make up. "I'm so proud of you, babe," Josh said. "You've always stuck by my side and backed me up and are such a great wife."
Adds Amy Murr, "Amy and Josh are very much in love and I don't think that's actually been portrayed very well on the show, which is unfortunate, but they are closer than ever. They are actually a very loving couple."