Huge financial cost of MKR loss
My Kitchen Rules runners up Ibby and Romel are thousands of dollars out of pocket after failing to defeat Luke and Matt in the grand final.
The NSW socialites revealed to news.com.au they splashed their cash throughout the season in order to maximise their chances of winning the reality show and the $250,000 prize.
"Give or take we put in $30,000 combined," Romel told news.com.au.
RELATED: Viewers shocked by MKR result
The duo spared no expense when it was their turn to host the other teams at their Instant Restaurants and hired a stylist, a graphic designer and spent thousands on flowers.
But the majority of their money was spent practising their dishes in their apartment and hiring a kitchen hand to help them.
"The majority of the other contestants had either left their jobs or they came in unemployed whereas Ibby and I both run businesses," Romel said.
"At first we didn't have a kitchen hand at all, so what we found was chopping up, cleaning up, running to Coles a gazillion times a day, it was just consuming all our time.
"We had a meeting and asked ourselves, how can we work smarter rather than working overtime and not having any time for our businesses? So, we thought why don't we just hire a kitchen hand to clean after us. They were chopping up, they were running to Coles … It was basically to save time.
"When we were practising it wasn't as if we were just making one dish," he said. "This is where the other money went. The majority of our ingredients, they're f***ing expensive. We weren't just making one dish. If we were serving 23 people, we were making 23 dishes."
Some rival teams on MKR accused the boys of cheating when they discovered Ibby and Romel had hired a kitchen hand to help them practise, but Romel wasn't bothered by the accusation.
"I couldn't give a sh*t about the other contestants," he told news.com.au. "At no point were we breaking any rules. Production and the network wouldn't have allowed it."
Romel was adamant the kitchen hand never helped them create a menu or come up with a recipe, but he did suggest that another team hired a professional to do exactly that.
"Veronica and Piper had hired a professional chef, we know that for a fact," he told news.com.au. "We've got text messages to prove it. Why is everyone pointing the finger at us?"
Ibby and Romel were beaten by Luke and Matt by four points in last night's grand final (Luke and Matt = 92/100, Ibby and Romel = 88/100). But many viewers, and even fellow MKR contestant Josh Bonwick, were shocked by the result.
"I can say with a clean conscience after eating both team's dishes tonight, I believe Ibby and Romel should have won as their food to me was superior in flavour," Bonwick tweeted. "The food was chalk and cheese tonight. We were all so shocked."
Ibby and Romel even making it to the grand final is quite remarkable given how little they knew each other at the start of the competition.
They first met seven years ago and "instantly connected", but they were never extremely close.
"We weren't the best of mates," Romel told news.com.au. "We weren't hanging out every week or even talking to each other on a monthly basis. It was one of those friendships where if we saw each other after six months we just picked up from where we left off.
"We really got to know each other during the show. A lot of people probably thought we'd known each other for years and hung out all the time - but we got to know each other during filming. We were basically two strangers working our little butts off. It was all very new to us."