MKR insider spills on hotel altercation
AFTER months of unverified rumours, Channel 7 has confirmed there was an off-camera altercation that contributed to Sonya and Hadil's removal from the reality show.
On the most recent episode, Sonya and Hadil were shown being excused from the table by judge Manu Feildel after verbally attacking rival contestants at a dinner party.
But Seven has confirmed an MKR insider's account to news.com.au that a clash at a hotel in Tasmania was partly the reason the team were kicked out of the competition for good.
"A few of the teams had gathered in a room and were cooking dinner," the insider told news.com.au.
"Sonya and Hadil were walking past and they heard a comment through the door. They were very upset by that comment and knocked on the door."
Italiano brothers Josh and Nic answered the door and according to the insider, "an altercation broke out".
"It started as voices and people arguing and pretty quickly got to push and shove. It blew up in the corridor. Other people on the floor poked their heads out of their doors. It calmed down pretty quickly and everyone returned to their rooms, but it was not a good scene."
Police weren't called over the incident and none of the guests lodged a complaint with hotel management.
The insider said the corridor drama "was of great concern" to the production team.
A statement from Seven released to news.com.au confirmed the incident.
"While on location in Tasmania, during a break in filming, several members of this year's teams became involved in an argument which escalated into a physical exchange," the statement read.
"This regrettable incident was witnessed by other team members.
"Over the following days, producers put in considerable effort to rebuild the teams and their relationships with each other.
"Eventually, it became apparent the situation was beyond repair, resulting in one team being dismissed from the show."
Two days after the incident the teams regathered in Melbourne to shoot the instant restaurant episode at Kim and Suong's house, which was aired on Wednesday night.
Before filming began, producers reminded the teams that it was a cooking show, but Sonya and Hadil went on to launch an extraordinary verbal attack on rival team Jess and Emma before the entrees had been served.
"Pete and Manu at that stage had had enough and that's when Manu said what he said," the MKR insider told news.com.au.
"Remember, it wasn't just that one thing [verbal attack at the dinner party]. It had been coming for a while."
In a first for the reality cooking show, Sonya and Hadil were "excused from the table" by Manu and the rest of the episode was filmed without them. At that point it wasn't clear if they were being removed from the show for good.
"The people who were involved were all very upset the next day and that obviously had an effect on production, so we had to call a halt," the insider told news.com.au.
"We spoke to the people involved and made sure we'd heard and understood everyone. We tried again to put them all together to work it through."
This was just one of many attempts by producers to alleviate the tension between Sonya and Hadil and some of the other teams, but it was to no avail.
"We tried to broker peace again and couldn't and we wish we'd been successful. But they [Sonya and Hadil] wouldn't budge on their position."
The insider told news.com.au that producers, in consultation with Pete Evans and Manu Feildel, decided the only way forward was to officially remove Sonya and Hadil from the competition and the duo were informed of the decision off air.
"They were not happy," the insider added.
Sonya and Hadil didn't speak to the media in the lead-up to or after Wednesday night's episode which showed them being excused from the table.
According to the insider, they haven't been gagged by Channel Seven and have chosen instead to release their own statements on Instagram.
Last night Sonya and Hadil apologised to viewers "for having to witness and endure the situation which should have never been allowed to go to air".
The NSW besties also slammed Channel Seven who they said "twisted, provoked and fuelled this entire situation".
Sonya and Hadil have previously said on Instagram that they were the victims of bad editing, a claim the MKR insider denied strenuously.
"No one has been misrepresented. You just can't do that," the insider told news.com.au.
My Kitchen Rules continues this Sunday on Seven at 7pm