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.
Tonight’s episode began with four celebrities but by the end would drop down to two. Though the celebrities would continue to compete in two separate teams, they would be judged individually. And at the end of the day, two would be eliminated from the bottom three. The challenge required the celebrities to serve meals out of food trucks to a hungry lunch crowd of 100 within a time limit of two hours. Unfortunately, not everyone could cope with the difficulties of the challenge, but that didn’t mean those who did do well were any safer.
With the advantage from last week, Team Rachael got to choose the theme for their food truck from among the available options: Comfort Cruiser, Tiny Italian, Ragin’ Asian and Mighty Mexican. Rachael suggested they choose Comfort Cruiser because it would allow them to cook basically any comfort food they wanted. Out of the three remaining options, Guy steered Dean in the direction of Mighty Mexican since it best represented Guy’s point of view. Dean was apprehensive at first but warmed up to the idea and decided to create triple-pork tacos, which turned out to be a hit.
When it came to service, Dean had the most difficulty managing the time constraints out of everyone. But he still ended up getting the most votes and won the challenge. That meant the members of Team Rachael would cook against one another in the elimination challenge, which wouldn’t be blind. They had to create their best food on a stick. Rachael and Guy found choosing the best dish difficult because they had criticisms about all three. Kathy’s grilled fruit skewers’ portion size was too small, Hines’ kebabs had undercooked shrimp and Carnie’s beef kebabs’ portion size was too large. In the end they chose the dish that was best overall. Hines was one of the two celebrities eliminated (read the other exit interview here). Watch Hines’ exit interview below.
How do you feel about leaving the competition?
Hines Ward: Uneasy. Up to this point I did everything I had to do. I completed the challenges. I felt like I did everything I could do, all my best. I tried to be a good teammate and friend. I wanted to win because I am, of course, a competitor at heart. When you accept losing, you’ve lost it all. I hate losing, but it’s a competition and you can’t win them all. I feel I did good by my foundation by finishing near the top.
What would winning have meant to you?
HW: I really wanted to be in the finals, one step closer to winning $50,000 for my charity, the Hines Ward Helping Hands Foundation, which hits home for me and my mom. Regardless of my not winning, I’m winning in the long haul for helping out these kids. I want them to be anything they want to be. I want to show them that every chance I’m out there promoting my charity.
Would you have done anything differently in the blind-tasting challenge?
HW: I thought everything was going in the right direction based on Rachael’s comments. But then Guy called my shrimp raw. I disagree with the shrimp. I ate the shrimp myself and it wasn’t raw. It was perfectly fine, but maybe it wasn’t up to Guy’s standards.
Did you ever think you would make it this far in the competition?
HW: Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would get this far. But I think I showed the world that I can cook, that I got better each week and I applied all the things I learned. I had the best dishes three out of the four weeks.
What have you learned from this competition, about cooking, yourself?
HW: In the beginning I didn’t think I had much to learn, but at the end of the day I showed America that I know how to cook. I’m trying to be a Renaissance man.
What do you take away from this competition?
HW: I made some good friends and learned a lot of new things. Cooking to me used to be just about putting food on the table, but going through this competition I found out I can take something small and make it big, make more sides, be more creative with spices and work with new appliances. I will be reading all the instructions for my kitchen appliances and I’m exciting about getting my first food processor, which will cut down on my prep time tremendously. I am grateful for doing the show. I will take all the things I learned and become a better cook.
Do you have anything to say about Carnie, the final remaining member of Team Rachael?
HW: I want Carnie to win. If I was going to lose to anybody, it should be to Carnie. She has that passion for food. She sleeps and dreams food. She loves everything about food. She deserves it. And she wants this more than anybody. I wish her nothing but the best.
What’s next for you?
HW: I really want to take a vacation because doing the show has been grueling, but it’s nonstop for me. I have a cameo appearance on The Walking Dead. I’m doing NBC Sunday Night Football. I’m also going to be preparing for the World Ironman Competition in Kona, Hawaii.
Do you think Hines deserved to go home? Leave a comment.
Donate to Hines’ charity, the Hines Ward Helping Hands Foundation.
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