It started as a joke. My husband Sonny (who’s an amazing cook by the way) decided one fine day to apply for Masterchef but then finding out he’d missed the application deadline turned his interest to another well-known reality cooking show – MKR or My Kitchen Rules. There was only one problem, he needed a partner. ENTER MY ROLE. So while sitting on the couch watching a movie after dinner he handed me the laptop with the online questionnaire. Never thinking anything would come of it, I answered the questions with whatever was the first thing that came to mind. Two days later we both individually received phone calls from Channel 7 requesting a phone interview.
Now I’m not really a funny person and God help you if you EVER ask me to narrate a joke, but the one thing I’ve learnt in life is when you least care about the outcome is when you actually perform your best! So I just had fun with all the questions thrown at me and not long after, I had my interviewer in splits of laughter over what I can only term my “overly dramatic” answers.
We were then asked to submit a 3-minute video on why we should be on the show. Being in corporate jobs working really long hours, we left this to the last day and on the last night before our deadline, we decided to get it out of the way. We turned on our very ordinary camera and began! 5 takes later talking over each other, taking jibes at each other and pretty much laughing all the way through we submitted our very amateur home video! A week later Channel 7 came back to us requesting a face-to-face interview followed by a 15-minute pressure test performed in front of a live camera. This is when it got pretty real- for one, our home a modest 2-bedroom apartment didn’t fit the specs they requested to host the first MKR dinner! Luckily, you can always count on the family who was amazing enough to lend us their beautiful home for the event.
Sonny and I now got thinking about what we could realistically produce in 15 minutes. Oh, by the way, I skipped one round where they asked us to design a 5 x 3-course meal including recipes (accomplished after multiple trials at home trying recipes offered by our mums and very helpful friends). I reckon the entire process resulted in us both putting on additional 5 kilos each.
Finally, on judgement day- the Channel 7 crew arrived with all their cameras & equipment and started setting up shop at my uncle’s place. It was all quite intimidating when the cameras first started rolling but having my aunt peeking from behind the cameraman with her own camera going click happy certainly broke the ice and then we just had a fun time. I have to admit, it had the makings of a reality show complete with our family dog Spunky managing to sneak into the kitchen halfway through the filming and nearly tripping me while chasing something I dropped on the floor. Our interviewer was the nicest guy ever. He had the most random food questions for us throughout and made the whole experience really easy and enjoyable. By the end of the day, we were knackered!
That was our last round and we put the whole thing down to a crazy weekend experience and went back to work on Monday morning! This also happened to coincide with one of my clients moving to LinkedIn. I met up with him for a coffee and about a month later I was joining LinkedIn! It was a surreal start to a new job as I was put on a flight on day 2 and on day 3 I was sitting at our very cool mountain view, California offices in my new hire induction class. That’s when I got the call from Sonny telling me we’d got onto the show!
It was the hardest decision as accepting their offer to go on TV required us to take a 3-month sabbatical for filming. Looking back now, it could have gone either way had we accepted but I chose LinkedIn and have never looked back.
Was it right to choose our careers? Should we have seized a rare opportunity to be on TV? Did we lose out on something special? Some questions are better left unanswered. The one thing I do know is if we hadn’t given it a shot we’d never have known we could qualify. Sometimes in life, it’s worth taking the plunge into the unknown. Even if you don’t swim all the way to the other end, you are that much richer for the experience.