Tarryn and Diego.

Watch the next episode of My Kitchen Rules South Africa, Sunday 8 July on M-Net 101 (DStv channel 101) and on DStv Now at 18:00.

It was so near, yet so far for married couple Tarryn and Diego tonight (Sunday 1 July) as they became the first pair of contenders to be eliminated from My Kitchen Rules South Africa – by a paltry two points. The final score from their fellow contestants and celebrity judges David Higgs and J’Something came to 50 out of 100 – two points behind Minnie and Tee, who had occupied the bottom of the log for the past week.

This means that Kim and Pashi, Jalal and Adrie, Rox and Spoen and Minnie and Tee are the four pairs from the first group of contestants in Table 1 that will be moving into the next round of the competition: MKRSA Kitchen HQ, where they face a variety of tough challenges.

The relieved successful competitors can now breathe a sigh of relief, put their feet up and reflect on their triumphs and misfortunes.

Next week My Kitchen Rules SA introduces five brand new duos to showcase their culinary skills. As in the case of Table 1, they will be awarded points for their food and presentation, and the pair with the lowest score will be eliminated at the end of the round.

Tarryn and Diego’s day started off on the wrong foot – or tentacle – as they couldn’t find baby octopus to complete their main dish. They had to settle for a larger specimen but refused to let that dampen their spirits. The zesty couple named their Instant Restaurant “Picante” – the Spanish word for spicy – and were determined to make it live up to its name.

For the hors d'oeuvre, they prepared Aguadito – Quinoa and chicken soup – and were thrilled when it found favour with their fellow competitors and judges J’Something and David Higgs, who agreed that it got the evening off to a near-perfect start.

The highlight on the menu, chargrilled octopus with chorizo and fingerling potatoes, sounds delectable, but Tarryn and Diego soon realised that they didn’t have enough octopus to fill the plates. “Can I just tell you how excited I was to see this on the menu? It’s my food to the core,” J’Something said. “And then I tasted it...” Enough said. The first sign of trouble for Higgs was the portion size. “It’s got to be a whole meal. For me it was just a starter portion. That leaves you with a hell of a lot to do for dessert.” At this point Minnie and Tee started feeling upbeat about their chances again.

Tarryn and Diego knew their last hopes of redemption and a place at MKR HQ rested on a top-notch dessert. They got cracking on their cinnamon poached toffee apple and ice cream dessert. Diego wasn’t satisfied with the first batch of toffee, and the ingredients looked a bit skimpy for his second effort. The fact that the ice cream had started to melt didn’t help their cause.

“We gave it our best shot,” Diego said afterwards “but it just wasn’t enough. Best of luck to the other teams for the rest of the competition.”

My Kitchen Rules SA is broadcast on M-Net channel 101 every Sunday night at 18:00. Viewers can also visit www.mnet.tv/mkr to watch exclusive interviews with the judges and contestants, meet the new group of five couples and follow all the breaking news and conversations around the show on Twitter @MNet / #MKRSA or on the official M-Net Facebook page.