My Kitchen Rules was once Australia’s most popular reality TV show with an average of 1.89 million people tuning in each night to watch pairs of home cooks battle it out in the kitchen.
13 years on from when the series first launched in Australia, however, MKR has delivered its most disappointing ratings yet.
This year’s season premiere received 470,000 viewers on Monday night, which is almost one-quarter of the show’s average viewership in 2014.
Not only was MKR beaten by Channel Nine’s The Block, which had 651,000 people tune in to see living room week kick-off, but it also ranked below Channel 10's Have You Been Paying Attention? at 543,000 viewers.
It appears one of the main reasons why fans have turned away from MKR this year is because of the “unnecessary” drama between contestants.
“I love this show but WHY does there have to be controversy and drama? Just cook!” one person wrote on social media following the premiere.
“This will end up like the old MKR, too much b***hing instead of cooking,” another added, while a third agreed, “Play nice people and let’s get back to the food”.
“Had to switch it off, I thought they would have learnt from previous seasons,” someone else commented, followed by a different user who said, “Watched the first episode and I don't think I can be bothered to watch another”.
Reality TV fans across the board seem to be growing tired of the drama, with last week's ratings showing that viewers opted to watch the final rounds of The Voice’s Blind Auditions over The Block’s “toxic femininity”.
While the renovation series has consistently been one of Australia's most popular reality shows since it relaunched in 2010, season 19 has been criticised for focusing too much on the contestants’ “nasty” behaviours.
“I’m not sure if the producers are specifically editing the show to create drama, but it’s really disappointing,” one viewer shared on Reddit.
“I’m only here for the reveals, I can’t stand all this manufactured drama,” someone else wrote.
Married At First Sight appears to be one of the few reality shows that consistently performs well despite being centred around the cast drama.
However, it should be noted that this year’s premiere was the lowest in the show’s history, so time will tell what happens when season 11 returns early next year.
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