Another life for Arrowtown friends

After a nail-biting hour of viewing last night, Arrowtown friends Jaimie Stodler and Bec Stanley lived to cook another day in the Masterchef New Zealand kitchen.

The pair are in the final three of the world's first televised Masterchef duo competition, tied for second place, three points behind Maketu sisters Kasey and Karena Bird.

They were among 15 pairs selected from hundreds of hopefuls and while they made it to the top three, were battling to stay in the show after a ''bad day'' in the kitchen during part one of their challenge on Sunday.

For that, the teams had to prepare two dishes from their proposed cookbook for judges Josh Emett, Ray McVinnie and Simon Gault.

While the Bird sisters and mother-daughter duo Nicola and Jordan Shearer, of Lower Hutt, had clear visions, Ms Stodler (35) confessed she and Ms Stanley (39) had ''never discussed this at all''.

Scores were not divulged on Sunday night, but it was clear after a series of kitchen disasters Ms Stodler (35) and Ms Stanley (39) were in danger of elimination last night when they were tasked with presenting a main and a dessert.

After an intense and at times chaotic two hours of cooking ''Cyclone Jaimie and Bec'' presented their creations to the judges.

Mr Gault said the pair was on ''death row'' and asked Ms Stanley if it was the last dish she presented in the competition, what she would say to her children.

Ms Stanley said she would thank her ''darling husband'' for allowing her the opportunity to ''follow my passion''.

''I feel more sad for him if I go home now, but I'm proud of what I put up ... I know it tastes amazing and if it's what sends me home I think I can hold my head high and I know my kids would be proud of that.''

During judging Mr Emett described the pork belly as ''one of the best bits of pork belly I've ever had'' and Mr McVinnie described their dessert as ''perfect''.

However, the judges had one more twist for the teams - after the sisters were announced as going through to the next round, the judges divulged the Shearers and the Arrowtown friends were tied on 16 points, scoring 8 and 7 on Sunday night and 8 and 9 respectively on Monday.

While a tied score would normally be resolved with a cook-off, the judges felt that would be unfair, and instead decided the scores would be carried through to this Sunday, when one team would be eliminated.