Chloe James and Kelly Ramsay narrowly missed out being named the first WA My Kitchen Rules victors when Adelaide mums Bree May and Jessica Liebich were crowned the season five winners.
Just two points separated the two teams in the tightly-fought finale, which saw them each plate up a five-course menu in a sudden death challenge that drew tension and tears from both sides of the kitchen battlefield.
May and Liebich had been the hot favourites to take out the competition from early on and their offering of classic dishes with a modern twist edged out James and Ramsay’s fine-dining fare, which aimed to take diners on a trip around the world with ingredients like veal sweetbreads and pig trotters.
The SA cooks' creations were praised by the judges for being "restaurant quality" and they were awarded an overall score of 54 out of 60 - two more points than the Perth team's tally of 52.
After the verdict was announced, May said the $250,000 cash prize would change the life of her young brood.
“Our families are going to be so proud,” the mother-of-two said. “I can’t believe we did it.”
As alternate endings had been filmed to keep the winners under wraps, James and Ramsay, who gained a reputation as the “villains” of the Seven show, only learned of their loss last night at a VIP viewing event for close friends and family.
James said she was devastated when she heard the result.
“We're heartbroken, we put so much into the show and not only so much hard work but keeping up with the villain tag has been draining for us,” she said.
“There's not much you can do, Bree and Jess deserved to win. We don't deserve to win any more than they deserve to win.”
Despite having made it further than any other WA team in the competition’s history, the duo had a difficult journey to the finish line after they were the subject of backlash over social media because of their sharp-tongued comments throughout the series.
James previously told The West Australian her and Ramsay had been shocked by the hate messages they had received since the season began.
Since filming for the show wrapped earlier this year, Ramsay has taken up a position as trainee chef at The Trustee and said she hoped James would eventually join the restaurant’s front of house staff.