Every Sunday night, FN Dish gives you the exclusive exit interview with the latest castoff from Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off, the competition show that features celebrities cooking their way through challenges for a chance to win the title of Cook-Off Champion and $50,000 for their chosen charity. This season will have the celebrities facing real-life situations — far from the glamour of the red carpet — and will test more than just their cooking skills.
On tonight’s episode, the remaining five celebrities found themselves in a challenge that would test not only their ability to cater for a crowd, but to please even the pickiest of eaters: kids. Each team had to cater a separate kids’ party and make sure they were cooking foods that their clients actually liked. Each celebrity had to make one savory and one sweet dish with 30 servings each. At the end of the day, the result of the challenge proved to be one of the most surprising yet.
With the advantage from last week, Team Rachael got to choose the client they would cook for and they chose the girl, Jaden. Team Guy cooked for the boy, Adam. It was boys against girls, with Hines as the only outlier on the girls’ side. Both teams did a great job of cooking the food, but not everything was to the kids’ liking. When it came time to reveal the results, the biggest surprise of all was that it was split down the middle — both teams had tied.
The cook-off would be different this time. Those who made the least-favorite dishes from each team (instead of a single team) would face off. The least favorites were Carnie’s Sloppy Jadens, which the kids thought lacked flavor, and Johnny’s Chicken Fries, which were unevenly cooked. The challenge for the bottom two was to make a hot dog in 10 minutes. Johnny was at a disadvantage because he had never cooked a hot dog before, so he chose to make a crumbled sausage sandwich. Carnie made a real hot dog with bacon and cheese. Because Johnny’s sausage creation didn’t adhere to expectation, he was sent home. Watch Johnny’s exit interview below.
How do you feel about leaving the competition?
Johnny Weir: I’m very sad that I’m leaving the competition, especially on a dish that I felt was very well prepared. I’m sad it’s going south so quickly for Team Guy. Personally I’m sad that I lost. Nobody likes to lose. But at the same time I’ve gained so much from this competition. My cooking abilities and my confidence in cooking have grown enormously since starting the competition. Honestly I’m just gutted that I couldn’t continue on and continue to grow.
Would you have done anything differently in the blind-tasting challenge?
JW: I really thought I had it in the cook-off. I thought my deconstructed sausage would be a fresh take on a hot dog. I don’t know how to cook a hot dog, but I use sausage meat out of its casing all the time for pasta sauce. I knew I could put together something delicious. I did myself proud by customizing the sausage. I think the only thing I would have changed is grilling my bun more. I thought I had it but when Rachael and Guy said it was gourmet with a perfect blend of flavors, but that it wasn’t a hot dog, it felt very bittersweet. It sucks that I did everything right and the best way I thought I could and it still wasn’t good enough.
Did you ever think you would make it this far in the competition?
JW: I’m four weeks out of six weeks into this competition. I never in a million years thought I would make it this far. Cornelia came with her own brand of vegetarian chic. Chilli cooked incredible salmon and glazes and amazingly stylish food. The only person I thought I’d beat was Gilbert. I didn’t expect to make it much further than week 2. The fact that I’ve made it this far means the world to me. It means I improved and my mentors believed in me.
What did you learn from this competition, about cooking, yourself?
JW: I learned to trust myself, which is amazing. I used food processors and deep fryers, and put myself into situations I wouldn’t normally put myself into. I’ve been stretched as a creative cook and the one thing I really wanted to get out of this competition was to grow as a home cook, to be able to cook for my family. I’ve definitely achieved that. Taking that into my life, I’ll be able to cook better for my husband and I’ll be able to throw Thanksgiving dinners for my family. I’ll be able to do all sorts of beautiful things for the people I love and care about.
How has your confidence level changed in the kitchen?
JW: I’ve gained so much confidence in the kitchen from this competition simply because I’ve been in these beautiful professional kitchens with so much workspace where I can just throw things around and somehow they end up where they’re supposed to be. Usually I’m cooking in a cramped apartment kitchen and my husband is watching TV with the puppy. I am usually very slow and methodical. This competition gave me a chance to be dirty in the kitchen and somehow that gave me this crazy sense of power and beauty when it comes to culinary art. In that way I’ll be more confident at home to make a mess because you can always clean it up.
What do you take away from this competition?
JW: The value I take away from this competition is that I raised awareness for the Human Rights Campaign. I pushed their name as much as I could. I myself am a symbol of what the HRC can do. I’m completely free to be myself. I’m happily married, which is something I thought I never could be. So while it would have been amazing to win that money I can still be happy in the fact that more people will understand what the HRC does. Winning would have been a huge blessing and would have changed many lives but words are worth their weight in gold.
How did you like working on a team?
JW: The best part of this competition has definitely been my camaraderie with my teammates and even the other team of Kathy, Carnie and Hines. Giving everyone nicknames and stressing out over the exact same things even though we come from such different fields brought us together. My favorite part of this whole crazy thing was just building friendships that will last for a long time just because we’ve all been in this place and time together.
What do you have to say to Guy?
JW: I would thank him for helping me find confidence and for being proud of my achievements in the kitchen. I thank him for choosing me to be on his team, for believing in me and my special brand of cooking — the fancy shoes, jackets and hair — for letting me be myself and not putting his own spin on me. I wish him luck, and God willing, he wins.
Do you have anything to say about Dean, the final remaining member of Team Guy?
JW: Dean is an incredible chef and the most talented of anybody on this show. He’s been our true team leader since the beginning. He took charge and really inspired all of us to do better and be stronger. I really respect what he does in the kitchen and how he provides for his family. I was proud to be on his team and am very proud to have him as a friend. There’s nobody more deserving of this title than Dean. He’s his own title, the Gourmet Dad. When I’m watching this competition on TV with the rest of America, I hope Dean reigns supreme.
Do you think Johnny deserved to go home? Leave a comment.
Donate to Johnny’s charity, the Human Rights Campaign.
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