One-on-One With the Latest Blue Team Recruit to Go Home — Worst Cooks in America

by in Shows, March 10th, 2013

Carrie Lee Riggins, Carla Johnson and Chet Pourciau on Worst Cooks in AmericaFor the 14 recruits competing on Worst Cooks in America, it’s the opportunity of a lifetime to learn kitchen basics and culinary how-tos from Anne Burrell and Bobby Flay — two of New York City’s top restaurant chefs and some of Food Network’s most celebrated stars. It’s up to the contestants to use the tools the chefs provide to learn how to master certain skills on their own and demonstrate progress in the kitchen. Despite their best efforts, however, one recruit from Chef Anne’s Red Team and another from Chef Bobby’s Blue Team will ultimately succumb to the challenges of Boot Camp week after week as they compete for $25,000 and bragging rights for their coach.

Check back with FN Dish every Sunday after the episode for the first interviews with the latest eliminated contestants to read their exclusive reflections on the competition, thoughts on difficult challenges, plans for the future and more.

Also see:
Find out who went home from Chef Anne’s Red Team
Top Photo Moments of Episode 4
Video Highlights
Sneak Peek at Next Week’s Show

No strangers to delivery dinners, the recruits were familiar with the Asian-inspired takeout dishes prepared during this week’s Skill Drill, but their penchants for restaurant-made meals didn’t help them when challenged to prepare these plates from scratch. Chef Bobby demonstrated the whats and hows of executing shrimp lo mein, and when it came time for his team members to re-create his seemingly simple dish, Chet rose to the occasion while Carrie Lee seemed to struggle. She found it difficult to stay focused in the kitchen and was forced to start over after burning her garlic. More problems surfaced for Carrie Lee during the next day’s Main Dish Challenge in which she and her rival recruits were forced to tackle baking. Despite a tutorial from Sweet Genius Ron Ben-Israel, she admitted, “I don’t feel comfortable in this at all” and was even tempted to give up during the challenge. Her teammate Carla also struggled with baking, as portions of her cake layers stuck to the pans and had to be scraped off. In the end, although Carla’s dessert was ultimately deemed to be far too dry, Carrie Lee Riggins was asked to turn in her Blue Team apron.

Carrie Lee RigginsWhy were you so tempted to just give up and walk away this week? Were you simply frustrated, or was the stress of the competition becoming too much to handle?

CR: I was extremely frustrated during the burger challenge. The original concept I had for my burger was Mexi-Cali inspired and the ingredients I needed (i.e., Manchego cheese, jicama, pepitas, etc.) were not available, so I went a different direction doing a Greek burger. Obviously, the kitchen can’t be stocked with every ingredient our minds can imagine, but I felt my creativity was being stifled by the limited range of products. Unfortunately, when you share cooktops with other contestants, burners can get altered by accident. More than once my burners were turned all the way up and the griddle became way too hot. I had to go around the front of the island to try to move the pan. My foot found a stray onion, and I hit the deck. Thankfully I sprung up pretty quickly with a small bruise on my knee and a bigger one on my ego. I heard Rasheeda make a cute joke, saying, “I heard a penny drop and I look over and Carrie Lee was on the floor!” That made me lighten up for a moment! Thank you, Rasheeda! I have to say one of the best parts of the show was working with this group of people. All had hilarious personalities across the board to go along with their very contrasting and incredible backgrounds.

During the casting process, you told Bobby and Anne that you’ve only cooked three times at home. After returning from Boot Camp, what was the first meal you made? Was it successful?

CR: After returning from Boot Camp, the first meal I made was tilapia with Chef Flay’s relish he taught us from the black sea bass recipe. I took my time, and it came out well. I assure you that I made damn-well sure I got all my pin bones out of it. Although still not terribly confident in my skills, I cooked just for myself and didn’t subject my boyfriend to my cooking YET. Instead of boarding a boat and cruising out to catch dinner, I simply went over to the market and made my fishmonger supply me with a beautiful fillet. I also forwent the Smurf outfit. However, my doorman now calls me Smurfette ever since that episode aired. Thank you, Worst Cooks in America, for that!

What was your favorite part about learning to cook from Chef Bobby?

CR: My favorite part about learning from Chef Flay was he helped shake my disdain for “spicy.” He showed me the light and taught me to embrace heat. I really enjoy some fire in my food and the dynamic dishes that are now being incorporated into my meals.

Chef Bobby Flay and Carrie Lee RigginsTell us a bit about life at the Worst Cooks house. What was it like living with your rival recruits? What would you guys do during your off time?

CR: Life in the Worst Cooks in America house was mostly enjoyable. I was the insomniac of the house, for sure. I think the first night we slept in the brownstone I closed my eyes for an hour. I got up at 4 am and did yoga in the living room. Chet discovered me about an hour later doing handstands. We hardly knew each other yet, and he probably thought I was absolutely insane. I am such an active person that, if I don’t physically exhaust myself, I am a restless sleeper. There were times I would do a little ballet in the house, and I don’t think the boys minded one bit. In fact, I think I made a ballet fan or two out of that experience. There were times we got stir-crazy and I might have done some makeup on Aadip and Alex. Alex wanted to look over-the-top, a la Lady Gaga. His wish was granted down to big cherry red lipstick and black eye shadow. He put on a tight leopard dress of Rasheeda’s and WERK’d it out to Gangnam Style in the living room. It seemed he really enjoyed it, and I don’t think it was the first time Alex has done something like that as he had stated … hmmmm. I put a cool bandana on Aadip and gave him rock star eyeliner.

What’s your plan for the future? Will you continue to hone your culinary skills?

CR: I have met an amazing man, Justin, who is a wizard in the kitchen. He flies all over the world, and he has been sharing some of his knowledge of cuisines and cultures with me. I am thrilled to be his sous chef! He is a patient and wonderful teacher, and I look forward to learning more with his guidance in this loving and calm environment. It is much better than trying to learn on a TV show with seven cameras and people screaming at the tops of their lungs. At least cooking at home with Justin, I’ll be the only one flirting with the teacher!

Visit Food Network’s Worst Cooks in America headquarters for more insider coverage of the show.

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Comments (30)

  1. Karen says:

    What are you going to do – keep Carla on there because she's so obnoxious? She makes it very difficult to watch the show.

    • samantha says:

      If she doesn't go home next week, I'm done with watching this show!! It's ridiculous to have to watch her obnoxious behavior week after week!!

    • Judi says:

      I sure hope Carla goes home next week. I agree she is so obnoxious! I hate to watch her and they seem to give her alot of air time. Come on get rid of her!

      • MoHub says:

        I can't help but think Production instructed Bobby to keep Carla in as long as possible, since they she'd be television gold in the reactions she would generate from the viewers. Sometimes, she was legitimately out of the bottom, but every time she's been in the bottom two, the other person has gone home. I can see Production smirking in anticipation of the "cheer heard 'round the world" when she is finally eliminated.

        Ratings, baby, ratings.

    • Felicia says:

      Do all of u have something again BLACk PEOPLE? How dare all of I guys have a problem with her is it because she beings character to this show or is it her skin color? Just be very careful how u talk about people I'm sure none of u guys are all that great.

      • Corey says:

        I can't roll my eyes hard enough at this comment. She's annoying. Constantly making noises, and the odd flirting thing with B Flay is excruciating to watch. Sure, she has personality…but it's not the kind of personality I want to see shoved in my face constantly.

      • Penelope says:

        She would be annoying and disgusting if she was white. It's her, not her color. Why is it when a black person is criticized, some think it's because of their color. Who's the racist? You are.

  2. Corey says:

    Carla's failure in the first round combined with a poor cake showing….I'm honestly perplexed by this decision. Factor in what Karen stated, that she makes it difficult to watch (a severe understatement)…no idea why this decision was made.

    • lcsa99 says:

      Bobby even pointed out that she didn't bother measuring her ingredients. She failed so completely, and seemed proud to be doing it her own way, when Carrie Lee actually seemed to be trying to do it right. It doesn't make any sense that Carla didn't go

      • samantha says:

        I totally agree!! why is Bobby keeping her?? surely he knows she's a loser and isn't going to make the cut in the end…she's a joke but I guess Bobbby loves it…:(

    • mlp says:

      I think I understand it. Carla is indeed hard to watch and annoying and I'm looking forward to her exit. However, she does seem to be trying in her own way. In this episode, Carrie Lee wasn't trying very hard and also stated she felt like giving up. I think her obvious negative attitude is what did her in, not Carla.

  3. The TD says:

    I need the color and brand of paint on the "blue" walls on the show. Can anyone with FN get that info for me?
    Thank you

  4. Stephanie says:

    Three weeks in a row that Carla should have left. I fully understand that the point of the whole process is actually ratings but seriously. When anyone with half a brain understands that ratings are the ONLY reason she is still here – the magic is lost!

  5. EZ Bake Oven says:

    I think the outtakes would be more interesting than some of the stuff they are showing! All of these contestants need to step it up! They give baby steps to a whole new level.

  6. cakebakequeen says:

    The elimination thing is totally screwed up.Carla,SHOULD'VE left yesterday.What's the point of her staying? She screwed up during the skill drill challenge.Than during the Main Dish Challenge.She ruined her cake.Watching her make an cake.She didn't even know how to measure her ingridients.I'm hoping for next week episode..She's eliminated and out..The only two who I thought are the kinda the strongest in the blue team are Alina and Chet.That I am sure that would most likely be the final two.But if Carla,ends up being the one who would cook for the judges.Than I'm not watching.

  7. Guest says:

    I missed Sundays show I feel asleep. I woke up and checked and I was sorry Carla didnt go either. Bobby Flay is married and she needs to leave him alone and get to the business of whys shes there to begin with. I usually dont give an opinion but this time I felt I couldnt keep silent.

    • Robert Ostrowski says:

      Believe it or not, Guest, I already echoed your sentiments about Carla in an earlier blog post. There is no doubt in my mind right now that if she doesn't out-perform Chet and Alaina next week, she WILL be let go of. I intend to watch next week's episode and see if my prediction comes true then..

  8. guest says:

    your absolutly right carla should have went home….she is soooooooo……hahahahhehhhhehhhheehhhe

  9. nacwwc says:

    I love Carla!! She may not win but she sure has made this series!! Love the show.

  10. sonia says:

    why does everyone hate Carla?without her the show is boring.

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