My Kitchen Rules was once a cute little show about home cooks trying to work sous vide machines and crack the mystery of the perfect sauce. It was a simple formula, and it worked – for many years, MKR was a ratings winner for Seven, snagging the number one slot on any given night.
Then Married At First Sight came along, and suddenly, it seemed like all Australia wanted was to watch bogans and aspiring influencers have sex and tear strips off one-another. Before long, MAFS was the number one show, and MKR producers panicked and tried to emulate it.
This was the beginning of the end. MKR put the food to one side, and instead became all about toxic personalities bickering around the table. Loyal viewers rejected this new approach, and tuned out to the point where it seems like the once-dominant show might not live to see another season.
Just how bad are things looking for poor old Pete Evans and Manu Feildel?
This past Sunday, the rebooted My Kitchen Rules: The Rivals debuted in the number ten spot to just 498,000 viewers. It was the worst ever debut for the show, although perhaps understandable, since it was up against the men’s final of the Australian Open.
Things got worse from there, however. The launch episode of MAFS dominated Monday night with 1.154 million viewers, and while MKR pulled in 517,000, that was only good enough for 16th place. On Tuesday, it sunk to a low of 402,000 before picking up slightly to 428,000 on Wednesday.
At this point, industry observers are predicting doom and gloom. A Daily Telegraph piece claims that Seven executives are “panicking” at the collapse of the once-popular show. An unnamed “insider” even claimed “there’s no way Seven can keep it in its schedule” for the length of a whole season.
There is speculation that the current season might be the last, and that it might even be edited down for a shorter run, to burn through episodes faster. A representative for the Seven network denied these rumours, however, saying that “the show is continuing as scheduled.”
MKR: The Rivals follows a different formula than previous years. Instead of cooking at home, the contestants are split into teams, living in a big house while cooking in teams for Manu Feildel and Colin Fassnidge.
There’s no word yet on what the future holds for this once very enjoyable cooking program, so instead, let’s just look back on some of the good times: