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MKR’s youngest under pressure in the kitchen

Will Charlotte and Maddie rise to the occasion?
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They’re barely out of their teenage years, so impressing the My Kitchen Rules NZ judges and fellow teams was always going to be a big task for Charlotte Brown and Maddie Hunt.

Charlotte, 19, and Maddie, 20, welcome the contestants into their Auckland home for their tropical-themed instant restaurant ‘Fresh’.

“We are obsessed with pineapples because they stand tall, wear a crown and are sweet on the inside,” the bubbly students say in unison.

They want their restaurant to be “light, fun, fresh”, with a beautiful beachy table setting, pina coladas and menus in bottles.

Heather and Mitch are unimpressed by the girls’ efforts. “It’s a match for the bottom,” is Heather’s snippy opinion.

The rest of the teams are more optimistic about the young students’ chances in the competition.

Chris and Bex think they’re on an equal playing field to everyone else, while Teal and Sophie, who are chilling in the top spot, call them their adopted children.

Meanwhile, Jaryd and Ben, currently in last place, are pretty nervous about how well the girls are going to do.

The girls kick things off with their entree, called “From the Sea”. It features coconut shrimps with a mango dressing.

They had high hopes of impressing judges Pete Evans and Manu Feildel, but they fall short with the overcooked prawns. Manu appreciates the fun look of the meal, but he “personally did not have a lot of fun eating it”. Ouch!

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Back in the kitchen, Maddie’s bouncy exterior is cracking. They have to get started on their Main, “From the Sea Again”, featuring macadamia nut snapper stuffed with crab and a side of coconut rice, but Maddie isn’t feeling it.

Charlotte encourages her to give off positive vibes! And Manu also pops by to give them a pep talk, telling them to make sure to put the fun in it.

Pretty soon they’re back into the rhythm, but it’s already going downhill fast. When the judges do get a taste, they’re less than impressed.

“You’re one element away from having something really delicious,” says Pete. It’s the sauce. Well, that and the dry snapper. And the inconsistent cooking. Yikes.

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Charlotte and Maddie’s last chance lies in their dessert “From the Heart” – their green tea panna cotta with bacon crumbs, chocolate dirt and a dash of pineapple.

“It’s a very dangerous dish we’ve got on our hands,” one of the girls say. “But we’ve got nothing to lose.” Lucky for them, Pete and Manu are fans.

“This dish proves you deserve to be in this competition,” says Pete, who is he’s absolutely loving the popping candy the girls included.

But is it enough to save them from last place?

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The combined score of the teams was 26/50, one above the boys, so it’s not looking too hot.

Then it gets to the judges. The entree gets three points from both, the main gets a four from Pete and a five from Manu, and the dessert – the girls’ saving grace – gets them a seven from Pete and a six from Manu, for a total score of 54/110.

This puts Charlotte and Maddie below Jaryd and Ben, at 54 points to their 56. The boys should be pretty happy, but you’ve gotta agree with them when they say, “It’s a really uncomfortable victory.”

Wanaka team Chris and Bex are next, so make sure you’re round to see that go down!

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