MKRNZ contestants, Tash & Hera.

In a closely fought battle, Rotorua's Tash and Hera became the second team eliminated from the competition. 

The pair found themselves on the chopping block, when Wanaka duo Chris and Bex beat them by just two points!

The pressure was on from the start, in the first of the Sudden Death cook-offs.

Both teams had to create a three course meal, for judges Pete and Manu. There were some special VIP guests at the table too, the stars of Shortland Street.

Pete said the standard of cooking from both teams was "exceptional." But unfortunately only one team could go through to the final round. 

Tash and Hera cooked a menu that was close to their hearts. "Home-cooked kai made with aroha." It was a meal they knew their families would be proud of. 

The girls were praised for their well-cooked entree, and serving a risotto for their main course was a brave move. Their poached pear dessert lacked "wow factor", but they were still convinced they'd done enough to come out on top. 

It wasn't plain sailing for Chris and Bex either. Their entree was impressive, and the accompanying sauce in their main was "one of the best in the competition." But they came under fire for their dessert, which was intense and overly sweet. 

Both teams received an 8 out of 10 from the Shortland Street stars. The remaining teams dished out a 23 for Tash and Hera, and only a 19 for Chris and Bex.

With a four point lead hanging over them, it seemed like Chris and Bex would struggle to close the gap. But a 9 from Manu helped propel them to the top, with a final score of 76, over Tash and Hera's 74.

Tash and Hera's mantra, "too blessed to be stressed," helped to steady their nerves throughout the competition. This round was no different, and they were still smiling even as they left the show. 

"Kai is a love and a passion of ours. Our time on the show has been amazing. We pushed each other, and ourselves, through a challenging opportunity. We remained true to who we are, have no regrets, and believe everything happens for a reason." 

Manu said, "losing you girls is tough, really tough. For me, New Zealand is the Maori culture, and you taught us that straightaway." 

"We're so pleased to have tried your beautiful culture and your delicious food," added Pete.

MKRNZ continues Mondays at 7.30pm on TVNZ 2. Stream the latest episodes right here.

Next week, the competition reaches boiling point when Heather and Mitch battle it out against Jaryd and Ben in the next Sudden Death round.

They'll have to pull out all the stops, to impress Pete and Manu, along with a table of New Zealand's elite sports stars.