Is 'Worst Cooks In America' Staged or Are The Contestants Actually That Bad?

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Is ‘Worst Cooks In America’ Staged or Are The Contestants Actually That Bad?

Worst Cooks

Source: Food Network

Is ‘Worst Cooks In America’ Staged or Are The Contestants Actually That Bad?

David Triana - Author

Competition shows have become one of the most popular genres on TV, from singing competitions like American Idol and The Voice, to cooking competitions like Chopped and MasterChef.

One thing those shows have in common is that they’re all looking for the best of the best. One show, however, flipped that concept on its head when it premiered and is instead looking for the best of the worst: Enter the aptly titled Worst Cooks in America.

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The Food Network’s Worst Cooks in America is pretty self-explanatory; two professional chefs pick teams from a pool of contestants who are awful in the kitchen, putting them through various competitions and the last person standing is heralded as the best of the worst, walking away with a cash prize.

Despite the show’s lengthy history and more than 20 seasons, people are skeptical about the show’s legitimacy and wonder if Worst Cooks in America is actually staged. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, considering many reality shows do pump things up for the camera, so let’s dive in and see if that holds true for this Food Network juggernaut.

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Are these the'Worst Cooks?'

Source: Food Network

In a conversation with the News Times, former contestant Michael Haydin said there was an extensive audition process. He also noted about filming Worst Cooks in America, “I had to take time off from work. All the contestants were sequestered in a house in Brooklyn. We weren’t allowed any contact with the outside world — no cellphones, no internet, no TV, and definitely no cookbooks.”

Meanwhile, former contestant Anna Altomari told The Orange County Register, “There was no drama in our house.” This is one of the more important details to note, considering many reality TV shows thrive off of the drama between contestants in these types of competitions. So far, the Worst Cooks in America might be one of the more legitimate reality TV shows ever created.

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Are the cooks actually that bad?

A scene from the show

Source: Food Network

Yes, the cooks are actually that bad, so much so that in some cases it gives a lot of validity to the claims that the show has to be staged. But, when you hear Michael say, “I would burn grilled cheese and undercook chicken. I always told people whatever I cook either comes out pink or black,” you just have to believe it.

Also, Anna shed some light on the process of verifying that these cooks are actually the worst, backing up Michael’s claim that the audition process is intense.

“They have you answer questions in different ways,” she said. “It was a process. It was nonstop. You fill out paperwork, fill out questions. It was an ongoing thing making sure that you are really truly who you are.”

For fans of Worst Cooks in America and of reality TV in general, it’s nice to know that there are still some shows out there that do their best to make sure you get the real thing.

Be sure to check out Worst Cooks in America every Sunday at 8 p.m. EST on the Food Network.

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Is “Worst Cooks in America” Staged or Are the Contestants Actually That Bad?

In recent years, cooking shows have become increasingly popular, ranging from the highly technical “Top Chef” and “Chopped” to the lighter “Worst Cooks in America.” This show has been enjoyed by many people, but when it comes to the question of whether this show is staged or not, there is no definitive answer.

However, the producers of the show that focuses on home cooks have provided a few clues as to how contestants are chosen and edited.

How are Worst Cooks in America Contestants Chosen?

A hallmark of the show is the audition process for participants. Potential teammates must pass a series of tests and interviews and provide samples of their cooking, which the producers then use to rate the contestants.

Why Do Contestants Struggle So Badly on the Show?

Although it appears the contestants struggle more on Worst Cooks than they do on other cooking shows, this is most likely due to inexperience in the kitchen and/or the frantic pace of the show as contestants are always racing against the clock.

Are Contestants At Fault or is the Show Edited?

Although some viewers have accused the show of being doctored, producers of the show insist that it is not and that the contestants are solely to blame for their struggles in the kitchen.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: Is Worst Cooks in America staged?

A: The producers of the show assure that it is not staged.

Q: How are contestants chosen for the show?

A: Contestants must pass a series of tests and interviews and provide samples of their cooking, which the producers use to rate the contestant.

Q: How do contestants struggle so badly on the show?

A: The contestants are inexperienced and the frantic pace of the show can be overwhelming.


The cooking show “Worst Cooks in America” has entertained many viewers, but the question remains whether or not it is staged. The show’s producers reassure that it is not and that contestants must pass a series of tests and interviews before being chosen and sent to the show. Once on the show, the contestants struggle due to their lack of experience and the frantic pace of the show.

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Prolific Writer with taste in Entertainment and Celebrities Gossips.
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