The knives are out for four Kiwis stepping up to the plate on Australia's My Kitchen Rules.

Four Kiwis are about to battle it out on TVNZ 2 on Australia's MKR The Rivals and we hear they get in the mix of tensions. The four contestants from Godzone, are Melbourne-based brother and sister Lauren and Mark Matthews and best mates Ben Key and Vasil Bankov.

The show, the 11th season of My Kitchen Rules, pits five of the series' previous teams against five new teams.

Key and Bankov moved to Melbourne eight years ago but are still proud South Islanders. The Matthews are from Auckland's Eastern suburbs. Mark moved to Melbourne more than a decade ago and his sister joined him last year, but bolted back across the Tasman before New Zealand went into lockdown.

Caption: Best mates Ben Key and Vasil Bankov. Photo / TVNZ
Caption: Best mates Ben Key and Vasil Bankov. Photo / TVNZ

Team Auckland have always wanted to be on MKR, however as the show creeps closer to screening here, they tell Spy their mother, Lois, is dreading it.

Lauren is a familiar presence on the Auckland foodie scene, previously the food editor for Remix Magazine and is also a savvy food influencer.

"I actually made a 24-hour split-decision to come home to Auckland before lockdown. The uncertainty of everything was a tad frightening and it seemed like the most sensible decision. I'm a freelance food photographer and stylist. However, there's not much happening at the moment, as you can imagine, so I'm using the downtime to dream up, and work on new foodie projects."

The siblings love the idea of rivalry on the show.

"New Zealanders are underdogs when they compete against Aussies in most things, but we always put up a good fight," Lauren says.

"We'll definitely show some of that fighting spirit in the kitchen and hope Kiwis get behind us."

Their fellow Kiwis on the show say the experience was amazing.

"I made so many new great friendships, and some solid competition doesn't go astray. I can't wait for Kiwis to get behind us," Bankov tells Spy.

"I'm from Queenstown, so up the Highlanders that's for sure!"


Lauren says to expect a completely different and amped-up rivalry between the teams and judges and an awkward, and very cringe, love triangle, that Spy thinks at least one Kiwi may be part of.

Lauren hints there will also be a surprise alliance later in the show.

"We butt heads with dinner-table bullies, but stand our ground. Expect to see a certain someone shed a lot of tears, even though she promised she'd NEVER cry on TV ... I wonder who we're talking about?"