TelevisionMade possible by

Is this MKRNZ contestant actually Johnny Depp? A Spinoff Investigation

With the latest season of My Kitchen Rules NZ enlisting international heavyweight judges Pete and Manu, Alex Casey finds another celebrity lurking in the contestant line-up.

Let’s be honest: it’s been a really huge couple of days for New Zealand celebrity lookalikes everywhere. Mr Bean had a killer time at the rugby. Ryan Gosling did a yarn on the telly. And Johnny Depp has announced his most challenging role yet: running an instant restaurant on an Antipodean competitive cooking show.

As a tremendous fan of My Kitchen Rules NZ, I’ve encountered harrowing Ali G impressions, Easy Rider reboots and Hannibal Lecter incarnate, but never a likeness like this. Meet Teal, a hairdresser from Wellington who looks a lot like a certain Sparrow on a mystical quest to the Isle of Tortuga. And no amount of salt-baeing with berries is going to distract us from that.

Let us make no mistake: the real Johnny Depp is most definitely a literal demon barber of Fleet Street who is also From Hell. Teal, on the other hand, seems like a real sweetie angel man who has already committed their team to donating the $100,000 prize money if they win. They are clearly completely different, but goddamn are they the same. Throw me in the Dead Man’s Chest and mail me Beyond Stranger Tides, I’m here to count the ways.

1) HE SEEMINGLY LOVES THE MUSIC OF JOHNNY DEPP

A crucial point. Although he told Stuff that he doesn’t see the resemblance with the Chocolat star, it’s clear he’s as crazy about the guy as Juliette Binoche is about cacao. A light sleuthing from our investigative team revealed this extremely cute mega-upload of Paul McCartney’s ‘My Valentine’ to Facebook by Teal about 400,000 times. FEATURING NONE OTHER THAN JOHNNY DEPP.

2) BOTH HAVE STRONG HAIRDRESSING SKILLS

Screengrabbed via Stuff.co.nz

Teal and Sophie both run the flash as hell looking Mau hair salon in Wellington. Also: having scissors for hands would surely make julienning the carrots a whole lot easier.

3) SHARE AN ENTIRE WARDROBE, OBVIOUSLY

Love it. Love all of it. Tattoos to the nines, goatee, round glasses, floppy hair, waistcoat, chains, distressed jeans. Transcendence.

4) PENCHANT FOR VAGUE PHILOSOPHICAL QUOTES

You mostly just have to say something
And look into the middle distance while doing it
– me

5) OMG THIS SKULL RING

Fantastic rings and where to find them!!!!!!!!

6) PROXIMITY TO A “SECRET WINDOW”

Makes you think, makes you feel. But unlike Mort Rainey falling second fiddle to his writer’s block and/or deteriorating mental state, Teal has already offered up in interviews that he will remain in charge in the kitchen. In other areas, he’s more willing to swap and play a supporting role. Which leads me to the final point…

7) HE HAS HIS OWN HELENA!!!!!!

Just as these two on the left have kept each other warm under the gnarled gothy wing of Tim Burton for most of their careers, Teal and Sophie have stuck together as a couple in both life and work for 20 odd years. Also: she’s absolutely rocking the Bonham Carter vibe. I simply can’t wait to watch them offer up a human pie to Pete and Manu and probably take out the whole damn competition.


My Kitchen Rules New Zealand begins Sep 25, 8pm on TVNZ 2

This content, like all television coverage we do at The Spinoff, is brought to you thanks to the excellent folk at Lightbox. Do us and yourself a favour by clicking here to start a FREE 30 day trial of this truly wonderful service.

The Spinoff Longform Fund is dedicated to facilitating investigative journalism. Our focus is on supporting in-depth reporting on important New Zealand stories. Your donation will help us sustain this most resource-intensive form of journalism, ensuring that the most complex and important stories still get told.