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Worst Cooks in America, Season 18: Meet the Recruits

Get to know the 16 kitchen disasters competing for the chance to win $25,000.

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Photo: Scott Gries

Shannon Akins — Tempe, AZ

Shannon is a social butterfly whose mother always cooked for her, so she never had to lift a finger in the kitchen. She was raised on traditional Southern food and doted on by her family, but this diva has failed at recreating any family recipe. She’s ready to stop partying and transform her cooking skills in boot camp.

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Photo: Scott Gries

Dr. Lulu Boykin — Pittsboro, NC 

Lulu is university faculty, a teaching artist, and musician who marches to the beat of her own drum. Her daily wardrobe includes a tutu, pigtails and a lot of sparkles, but her cooking is hardly as cheerful. Her creativity was always encouraged, but when she makes dishes like blue mashed potatoes and green eggs and ham, her family and friends head for the exit. This eccentric loveable lady is determined to improve her kitchen moves.

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Monica Colwell — Hazard, KY

Monica is a Southern belle who loves having a good time. In her small town, home-cooked meals are the norm – so she feels like a square peg in a round hole because she’s a total disaster in the kitchen. She eats a lot of fast food and knows it’s not the healthiest choice, so she wants to conquer her fears and learn to cook like a true Southerner.

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Photo: Scott Gries

Joe Deese — Fultondale, AL

Joe has always had the women in his life cook for him, so he has no idea how to make a home-cooked meal. His diet mostly consists of fast food, but knows he needs to provide more nutritious options to his son. He’s ready to overcome his awkwardness in the kitchen and gain some cooking confidence in boot camp.

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