Reason behind MKR favourites’ shock exit
MY Kitchen Rules fan favourites Stacey Allen and Ash Keillah have revealed their shock exit from the reality cooking competition came after doctors warned Keillah risked losing his remaining eye if he failed to take the infection he had developed during filming seriously.
The popular Byron Bay couple, who announced their sudden departure on Wednesday night's episode, told Confidential that Keillah - who lost an eye in a glassing incident on the Gold Coast 10 years ago - contracted an infection in his eye socket after becoming run down.
"After we filmed the Bondi challenge, I was just wrecked and super run down and my eye socket started swelling up," he said.
"I thought I could just sleep it off but I woke up the next day and it was infected."
While the avid surfer was told he could not work around food for a week, the pair revealed they made the decision to leave in private before speaking to producers about whether it was possible to stay.
"The doctor was really concerned - he was more concerned because I only have one eye and it was contagious," Keillah said.
Allen added that she made the call to pull out based on how serious the doctor's recommendations were, including putting her partner on bed rest.
"No one wants to go out the way we did and I know how competitive Ash is but, at the end of the day, it was about his health," she said.
"We also didn't have to stuff the producers around and, in a week, three teams could go home and it wouldn't have been fair to them."
Keillah, who has since been given the all clear, said the couple were disappointed because they felt they had what it takes to go all the way.
"We were bummed out for sure - I think we had a genuine shot at winning because we were learning really fast and on the fly," he said.
The pair, who have filmed an episode of Seven's Creek to Coast that is set to air on Saturday, said their goal was to transition from their focus on social media to television.
"The dream would be to have our own segment and do a regular market to plate type of thing," Allen, who boasts more than 135,000 followers on her personal Instagram account, said.
"Anything to do with cooking, surfing and fashion on TV would be the dream."
The couple said their time on My Kitchen Rules had been beyond their "wildest dreams".
They said they had maintained "solid friendships" with Brisbane's Andy and Ruby and Perth's Amanda and Blake and they were thankful to have had such supportive fans.
"It's amazing - we were walking through the streets in Brisbane and people were stopping us to get pics and were so excited," Keillah said.
"Our support was insanely good."