We’re now past the midway point in season 2 of Worst Cooks in America, and yet the contestants continue to commit unspeakable acts against innocent food products. Potatoes get mashed before they’re fully cooked. Delicious steak is prepared in a way that makes it indistinguishable from Spam. Even one-syllable verbs in recipes become stumbling blocks. “Trim?” asked Kelly, as if her coach, Chef Robert Irvine, had hurled an inscrutable French term in her face. As my husband said to me halfway through last night’s episode, “I know these people can’t cook, but have any of them ever eaten?”
Things kicked off with a Skill Drill that found both the Blue Team and the Red Team rearranging scrambled recipe directions, then trying to execute said dishes as a group. Joshie struggled to tell the difference between pork tenderloin and a slab of bacon, and the sound of his voice drove Jen to cut herself. Kelly trimmed both ends of her haricots vers, causing Chef Anne to downgrade them from “upscale restaurant” to “hospital cafeteria.” (Later, when she learned the error of her ways, Kelly came to the following conclusion: “Apparently you need to leave on the pretty elf shoe.”) Meanwhile, Kelsey and Georg debated the age-old question: “What is veal?” I could go on about how the ladies considered “deer” as a possible answer, then went completely blank for possible alternatives, but at least they managed to cook the hunk of protein with some degree of success.
The same can’t be said for Kat, whose apple sauce went awry when she ignored her recipe and cut her fruit in quarters instead of half-inch chunks. The resulting side dish looked like sad boiled potatoes with a couple shards of burnt pork fat (see photo below). But apparently, Kat’s abject failure to follow directions and utter inability to tell the difference between a tragic boiled apple and actual apple sauce led to a great “a-ha!” moment: In the future, she will trust her instincts! (Translation: Kat’s “cooking” simply provides too much comic relief to cut her at this point in the competition, which means some positive twist must be put on her repeated Kat-astrophes and “might as well give up” attitude.)
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The “Game-Day Party” Elimination Challenge (which roped in N.Y. Jets star Kris Jenkins and his wife Tashia without giving then a role in the judging) asked each contestant to whip up an hors d’oeuvre from a pre-determined recipe, then create an original topping for a potato pancake. “I can put my own little Kelly spin on it,” threatened Kelly, and you pretty much knew she was on her way out the door. The ditzy aerobics instructor put more effort into naming her snack (“Nacho Normal Tomato”) than in inventing it. Chef Robert looked slightly dizzy when he realized his protege had settled on hunks of raw tomato and some melted cheddar, distributed pell-mell around her tray. As for her black-bean fritters, Kelly attempted to pass them off as “edible, not spit-out-able,” but the barely suppressed gag from Tashia told a different story. On the Red Team, Jen got “stuck in pancake world” and found herself headed home, not before giving a tearful farewell about her plans to cook a successful meal for her twentieth wedding anniversary. “I’m gonna make it! It’s gonna be good!”
Winners of the week? Georg on the Blue Team thanks to a diced tomato/cilantro/onion/shrimp topping for her pancake, and Carlos on the Red Team, for whipping up a steak and red pepper topping. Here’s hoping no one gets too, too adept behind the burners, though, as half the fun of this show is in the splattering, the undercooking, and the charring.
What did you think of this week’s Worst Cooks? Did the right folks go home? And with six contestants left, who are you rooting for to take home the big prize? Share your thoughts in the comments, and to get all my reality TV coverage, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV.