University friends Katie Brooke and Nikki Spehar joined this series of My Kitchen Rules as part of the third, secret instant restaurant round that went around the country with judge Colin Fassnidge. With their blonde hair, promo girl looks and constant reminders that they both work in butcher shops, they were hard to miss, but their run on the show came to an end on Wednesday night when they got the lowest score at the conclusion of the series' Redemption Round — strategic scoring from the other teams, particularly Kat and Andre, saw them get a total score of 52 out of 110.
Katie and Nikki surprised their fellow competitors with the menus they presented. On last night's episode, the girls cooked an entrée of chicken livers with potato rosti and garlic spinach, a main of pork cutlet with bacon sauerkraut and onion knodel, and a dessert of "kick-ass" apple pie with burnt butter ice cream. It was a bold menu with big dishes, but in the end it wasn't enough to save them from elimination.
We caught up with Katie this morning to talk about her experience on the show, from how she felt about watching herself on TV to how the series changed her friendship with Nikki. Oh, and she also clarified exactly what happened between Nikki and British contestant Steve Flood.
POPSUGAR Australia: What has it been like reliving the episode, not just with watching it last night but also talking about it this morning?
Katie: It's so unrealistic. It's like talking about a movie you've seen, because the whole night is like a blur — you have so much going on at once, and then it's over. Watching it on TV, I didn't even realise it was me on TV, you know? You're just watching characters. Talking about it, I don't even have an opinion right now! I feel what the rest of Australia feels, but it was me.
PS: So you feel like you couldn't even recognise yourself on TV?
Katie: Yeah, like, it's just such a wild experience, it all happens so fast.
PS: Was it something you were able to get used to as more episodes aired?
Katie: You get more used to watching yourself, but it becomes even more surreal. You think more and more, 'That's not me.'
PS: You and Nikki cooked last in both of your rounds, right? Do you feel that was a disadvantage in any way?
Katie: I think we do feel a bit disadvantaged cooking last both times. The first time it wasn't so bad, because we got relaxed at the restaurants, we learned from experience from everyone else. But then the second time we definitely felt disadvantaged because we knew strategy was at play. They [Kat and Andre] admitted it at the table, and we were like, "Well, we know this is going to be a lot harder."
PS: So you probably suspected they'd give you a really low score.
Katie: We were expecting it. We knew it was going to happen. We knew they'd done it before, so we knew we had to cook really well to make it through.
PS: How different was it cooking a second time?
Katie: We were really surprisingly calm the first time, so the second time was just as good, for us, in terms of the kitchen. We were so calm. Things went wrong, but I think we dealt with them really well. We actually work really well in the kitchen together — it's so weird. We didn't expect it. We hadn't cooked in the kitchen, like ever, together, before we got accepted on the show, and then we just had to start practising together. I was like, "Oh my gosh, I'm so going to get upset, I'm going to storm out crying," and then nothing happened! No dramas. And we've actually now moved in together. So we live together.
PS: I always think it's interesting when you discover people are cooking on the show when they've never cooked together before. In your bios it said you do a lot of the prep and Nikki does the cooking, and I thought that seemed like a pretty good system.
Katie: Yeah, well we kind of worked it out when we started practising. I didn't mind doing the prep, and I didn't feel confident doing the cooking part — that's where all the pressure's at. And Nikki just goes at one pace, and it's really slow, and I like to go boom boom boom — I just want to get things done. So it turned out to be our strongest point.
PS: So were you girls not as close before the show?
Katie: We were relatively close, but we'd only known each other less than a year; we've been friends less than a year, before we applied for this. We weren't best friends, but we hung out at uni all the time, and that's when I decided to apply for My Kitchen Rules for the both of us.