It was over-hyped, overpromised, and kinda under-delivered. Kelly & Ash, one of the Victorian My Kitchen Rules teams, was eliminated by the producers of the show over the health of Kelly. While the health of any contestant of a reality show should be the primary concern of the producers, it was very clear from Ash’s ‘farewell’ after their elimination was announced that he wasn’t happy about it. At. All. From the press release:

A tragic turn of events tonight on MY KITCHEN RULES saw Victorian team Kelly and Ash Cooke forced to leave the competition after Kelly lost vision in her left eye.

It was announced at the start of the episode that due to sudden and unforeseen medical reasons, the married couple could no longer continue in the competition. It is the first time a team has been forced to withdraw from the show.

During the week away filming for the Northern Territory specials, the 28-year-old office manager lost sight in her left eye before vision disappeared completely over a few days. She was diagnosed with optic neuritis; an inflammation of the optic nerve which causes a complete or partial loss of vision.

An emotional Kelly fought back tears as she said goodbye. “It’s too upsetting for me at the moment,” she said before adding, “I’m just really proud of what we’ve done together.”

Her husband Ash, 29, was also visibly upset as they delivered the news to the other contestants. “We chose to come into this competition to achieve the goal of opening up our own restaurant, learning as much as we possibly could, but over the last few days Kel has gradually lost sight in her left eye and now has none in that eye.”

Although Kelly and Ash wanted to keep filming, for medical and safety reasons they were not able to continue in the competition. Executive Producer Rikkie Proost said, “The health and safety of all our teams is our number one priority. Kelly’s well-being and recovery was our main concern.”

Kelly has slowly regained her eyesight but doctors say, due to her condition, vision loss could re-occur without warning at any time.

Judges Pete Evans and Manu Feildel paid tribute to the couple’s fighting spirit and their determination to win. “It’s such a shame you have to leave in this manner,” Pete said. “You are great competitors. We have both loved having you in the competition.”

The pair were meant to compete in a sudden death cook-off against fellow Victorian team Kane and Lee tonight but their sudden departure meant the housemates were safe from elimination.

Instead everyone was told they had to prepare a three-course menu Darwin style. Two teams cooked entrees; two teams mains and the other two desserts.

The winners – as determined by Pete and Manu and guest judges Tobie Puttock, Karen Martini, Guy Grossi and Liz Egan – were NSW sisters Sammy and Bella for their main of pan fried barramundi with crushed potatoes and pea sauce. Their win ensures they are safe from the next elimination.

Next week we move to the business end of the competition with only six teams left standing. By the end of the week, there will be only four.

In a double elimination week, the heat is on as they fight for a place in the finals with one team going home in a 90-minute special on Monday.


My Kitchen Rules – Mon/Tue/Wed 7.30pm, Ch7.