Inter-team flirting, friends who swear there are no benefits, the show’s loudest-ever team and a contestant whose accent is thicker than Manu’s. Eight years into its run, Seven’s hit cooking competition My Kitchen Rules (returning Mon., Jan. 30, 7.30PM, Seven) is still finding ways to surprise its audience—and its hosts, particularly where competitors’ skills are concerned.
“We seem to say this every year, but it’s true: the teams have only gotten stronger,” says co-host Manu Feildel. “Australia has really gotten its teeth into the food world. It really felt like any of them could have made it to the end.”
For Pete Evans, staying hitched to the show has been about more than just a comfortable pay cheque. “We teach and mentor a hell of a lot, but we learn at the same time. It’s an ongoing school for me, I guess. The day we think we know it all is the day that ...”—he laughs—“It’ll never happen!”