Exclusive Interview with the Latest Celebrity Worst Cook to Be Eliminated from the Red Team
In this semifinal round of Worst Cooks in America: Celebrity Edition, every detail counted, and Anne Burrell and Rachael Ray had to take into account past performances as well as competitive resolve in choosing their finalists. The day began with a recipe challenge, which the Red Team excelled on. The Main Dish pasta-making challenge presented problems for most of the recruits. Last season's winner, Jenni "JWoww" Farley, and last season's runner-up, Kendra Wilkinson, returned to help the mentors and test how well the recruits could manage without their authority figures. At the end of the day came the double elimination. Find out who got eliminated from Anne's Red Team below, and get the exit interview from Rachael's Blue Team recruit here.
Mentors Anne and Rachael may not have expected much from Mike on day one in Boot Camp, but with every challenge he proved he could be a contender for the win. In the fill-in-the-blank recipe challenge, mike immediately recognized the recipe, and he and Nicole sailed right through. Unfortunately without Anne to guide Mike in the Main Dish challenge, he lost his way. Luckily Jenni was there to coach him through his issues with rolling out the pasta dough. His dish turned out nearly as good as his teammate Nicole's, but taking into account all the details, Anne had to point out there was too much sauce on the plate. Analyzing how Nicole and Mike progressed overall in the competition, Anne chose the stronger competitor, Nicole, to represent her in the final cook. With a heavy heart, Anne said goodbye to Mike, who left with $5,000 for his charity, St. Jude's Children Hospital.
How would you describe this semifinal day of competition, where you were so close to the end?
Mike Sorrentino: Can’t complain. I mean, everyone was a great cook and everybody did their best, so I can’t say. You know, listen, if I would have gotten picked, I would have done my best to go even further, but [Nicole], I knew she edged me out and throughout the whole dish I was, not struggling, but usually I coast through a little bit better, but this time there was a couple sticky points.
How was it having last season's winner and your former Jersey Shore castmate Jenni coaching you?
MS: I haven’t seen her since Jersey Shore, so to see her, it was special for me. I thought we had a really cool beginning of the show where we hugged it out, and I really missed her and it was good to see her. And then going into the challenge, I didn’t want to disappoint Jenni, because she was also on the Red Ream — or Chef Anne. And then Jenni coached me through the process making sure I didn’t trip up. I was able to get a nice dish out completed. It was pretty, everything was composed, my knife cuts were great. This is pretty much right before the finals, so everything counts. I just wish maybe I didn’t put so much sauce at the end, not that I put a lot — I just put a little scoopful. That was one of my mistakes.
What was it like working with and learning from your mentor, Anne?
MS: Chef Anne was awesome, as well as Rachael. They were both great; this was a great show. This was not an easy show to do. I’ve done Dancing with the Stars, I’ve done a number of shows, and this one was definitely — it was a lot of pressure, and I tried to keep my composure throughout the whole process, because I like to be calm, cool and like that, but it wasn’t easy. ... I’ve learned so much about cleanliness, being organized, knife cuts and the whole process, and I’ll be honest with you: I don’t think I was a horrible cook to start off with. ... I know Chef Anne and Rachael were impressed by how hard I worked, how I improved every single week, and I showed them the side of me that maybe they didn’t know. ... I can go home with my head held high.
Do you think Anne chose the right person for the finale?
MS: As much as I could say, "Oh, she didn’t choose the right person," Nicole did a great job, and she definitely edged me out on this particular dish. The previous dishes, I won two challenges and Nicole won two challenges, so when they were about to announce the names, I was nudging Nicole like she deserved it. If they by chance would have saved me and said, "You know what, you guys were both great cooks [and] we’re gonna throw you guys in the finale," I would have accepted that. But Nicole definitely edged me out.
Do you think you accomplished everything you wanted to? Do you feel like now you can go back home and actually get in the kitchen?
MS: I’m definitely way more comfortable in the kitchen. This past week I’m getting food from different restaurants and checking out knife cuts while I’m eating, which ... is a first for me. At the same time, I would have loved to make it to the finals and say that I won this thing, but I’m happy for my progress [and] happy for what I got to. Third place. It’s not first. I would have loved that, but I did the best I could and third place, it is what it is, and I've got to move forward. And just being here ... ignited a passion for me, not just general cooking but just in life in general. It sparked a, "you got to work hard in life to get where you want to get," and ... it was good for me.
Did you think that you’d make it this far or were you thinking maybe you’d go home earlier?
MS: I thought that in the first week when I got here that I would definitely make it far, but every single challenge was difficult — was maybe more than difficult. So I was happy to get by each challenge. It was a day-by-day fight, and I put it all out on the field.
What was it like working with the entire cast of celebrities?
MS: I thought this particular cast, everyone had their backs, not only did everyone have great personalities, but they looked out for each other and that was great to see, and when everyone left, everyone was sad to see who had to go and who was leaving, and this [day] ... was no different.
Do you have any advice for Nicole? What would be your parting words for her?
MS: I’m very proud and very happy for Nicole. ... She won two out of the four challenges, and then she pretty much won this one, so she deserves to go to the finals. Keep doing what you’re doing, keep your station clean and just take good notes. And she’ll do fine. I think she’s going to win.
Watch the finale of Worst Cooks in America: Celebrity Edition on Wednesday, Nov. 2 at 9|8c.