Get More Danushka
Before beginning the competition, Danushka said, "I'm not like anyone that's on the Food Network," and she was indeed correct about that. This brutally honest, no-nonsense finalist struggled to connect with the audience, and it ultimately ended her dreams of stardom.
Giada worked with Danushka during her first Mentor Challenge, in which the finalists had to film 60-second pitch tapes for network executives. Giada encouraged her to "lighten it up and smile," but despite that advice, Danushka couldn't shake her tough exterior when presenting her private chef point of view.
Neither the focus group nor the judges were wowed by Danushka's premiere performance, and she placed among the bottom-three finalists in the first week. Little did she know then that she'd end up making a habit of that, finishing among the least-successful contestants each week she was on the show.
"I went up there and I was myself a hundred percent. This is who I am. Take it or leave it," Danushka said after her performance at Burger Bash. Despite her confidence, she flopped with the focus group, which wasn't drawn to her discussion of being "svelte," Bobby told her later at evaluation.
While most Chopped competitors have little time to spare, Danushka told the Selection Committee she experienced "boredom" during the challenge. Guest judge and regular Chopped panelist Alex Guarnaschelli could hardly respond, explaining: "Someone has time to be bored? I don't even know what to say about that. Quite frankly, I need a minute."
"You literally perpetuate an I-don't-care, I-don't-want-to-be-here attitude. That's a problem," Alton told Danushka during her final evaluation. In the end, the Selection Committee considered it enough of an issue to send Danushka home after just three weeks of competition. "Strike three, I'm out," she reflected afterward. "I can't tell these people enough that I really do want to be here."