Exclusive Interview with the First Celebrity Worst Cook to Be Eliminated
Worst Cooks in America: Celebrity Edition started off with nine recruits, but unfortunately there was room for only eight in Boot Camp, four per team. In the premiere, one celebrity went home without having been chosen for a team.
After a baseline challenge that had the recruits cooking with swag-bag items, and a challenge to cook a brunch dish, Anne and Rachael carefully determined which celebs they thought would best fit their teams — who they could mold into potential winners. But one was left the odd man out. Find out who was the first celebrity to exit Boot Camp.
After a fun but harrowing first day in Boot Camp, Kenya Moore, of Real Housewives fame, was sent home. She cooked as best as she could, in her high heels of course, and presented a spicy catfish dish inspired by her Southern heritage.
Unfortunately her use of cayenne caught Anne off-guard. When it came to cooking a Mexican-style steak and eggs dish a la Rachael, Kenya kept burning her tortillas one after another, and her final dish wasn’t the best version of the bunch. Unfortunately at team-choosing time, Kenya was left out and eliminated from the competition. She does, however, leave with $5,000 for her charity, Habitat for Humanity.
Although it’s been short, how has your time on the show been? What do you take away from the experience?
Kenya Moore: I mean, I enjoyed all the recruits, the celebrities. Each and every one was really so great to work with. So, that’s a blessing for me, because I don’t always work with people I like, especially on a Real Housewives show. And just the little amount of learning that I, you know, of new skills while I was here.
Do you think after this you’ll want to get into the kitchen more, maybe take cooking classes?
KM: I would love to take some cooking classes; I just don’t know if I will ever have time to.
You’re such a big fan of Rachael Ray. Would you have hoped to make it on her team?
KM: Oh, absolutely. I was crushed when I didn’t make her team. I know I wasn’t the worst cook, let’s say that.
How was it working with Rachael and Anne?
KM: I absolutely love Rachael. She just has a great way of giving you constructive criticism. She’s funny, she’s sweet, she’s straightforward. … I just feel like her spirit — she means well no matter what. She could tell you, oh, you know, this tastes like dog food, but you just have to laugh because it’s her way. … We know it’s coming from a place of love. Anne, I just didn’t enjoy working with her at all. I just thought she was very mean, like, unnecessarily mean and just very high-strung, and it was just too much.
What sort of things do you think you could have learned from, say, Rachael if you would have hung on longer?
KM: Everything, you know, just how to cook. How to cook a lot of tasty meals that seem to be not so complicated.
When you were presenting your potluck dinner dish, what were you thinking when you were hearing some of those comments from your fellow competitors and from Anne and Rachael?
KM: I thought it was good. I thought it came together well. I liked my sauce. I knew my fish was not going to be dry, because I hate dry fish. I just didn’t know how about the seasoning, because I don’t know what’s in a blackened seasoning, so I was just trying to improvise, but I thought it was going to be pretty decent. I tasted it myself. It was spicy, but it was good.
After making the second dish, the steak and eggs for your elimination challenge, how’d you feel about the comments that you were hearing from Anne and Rachael?
KM: Oh, I never thought I would be in the bottom. I saw way worse dishes and people who did pretty much the same thing that I did, which was cook it a lot on the outside but not a lot on the inside. We saw that repeatedly throughout the day, and I thought because my first dish was not, was solidly in the top five, or you know, I didn’t think that my second dish not being the worst would get me eliminated, but I think maybe having one judge not even taste your food and just refuse to judge you probably was why I got eliminated.
How was it working with these celebrities. What was the camaraderie like? Under this short time period, did you make friends?
KM: Yeah, you know, there’s some really cool people here. Like, everybody just is here to have fun and learn. Nobody has any big huge egos; nobody was being difficult or standoffish. Everybody was just super sweet.
Is there any one celebrity that you’re rooting for?
KM: I like Matt a lot. Matt is just the sweetest guy. He just seems like cookie dough, like, he’s just so sweet and gooey, and I don’t know, I just like him a lot. … I like underdogs as well. I like Loni because I think Loni is kind of an underdog, but I always root for an underdog too. I would have to say Matt and Loni.
Is there any advice that you have for the rest of the celebrities?
KM: Just listen to the judges. The criticism — take it and kind of just really just focus, but also have fun.
Watch Worst Cooks in America: Celebrity Edition on Wednesdays at 9|8c.