The Truth About Worst Cooks In America Contestant JJ Hurt

Spoiler alert: While Jonathan "JJ" Hurt did not win Season 21 of "Worst Cooks in America," he did win the most laughs from the audience. In many ways, this is the more impressive achievement. Review This Review writes in a description of the competition series that laughter is "a theme throughout the show as contestants are good humored and the audience is rooting for them to succeed!" So, when the two-time cancer survivor and tech support worker from Atlanta, Georgia appeared, he received fan support all the way to his elimination, which occurred in the final episode (via Food Network Gossip). 

In case you're unfamiliar with Hurt's antics on the show, he would hilariously confuse "mise en place" with "menopause" and describe the approach of his mentor, Anne Burrell, as "about to rush to his table, peel off all her skin, reveal her exoskeleton and unleash full-on Terminator mode on him," as Meaww describes. What makes his jokes stand out even further is the fact that his ex-partner was the one who enrolled him in the televised cooking boot camp. 

JJ Hurt shows how beneficial the experience can be

Before the series aired, JJ Hurt gave an interview to Fox 5 Atlanta explaining how he had learned a lot about cooking, which in turn prepared him to take better care of himself. When he was younger, Hurt explained, his mother cooked for him all the time, but upon becoming an adult, eating out dominated his diet. In those pre-show days, he could barely boil water, he said. Based on a study reported on by CNBC revealing that 85% of Americans aren't crazy about cooking, Hurt was not alone in his restaurant-going habits.

As for how his culinary prowess has improved since the show? "I mean, I know how to use salt and pepper correctly," he joked. "As far as navigating around the kitchen, I've learned a lot of skills. ... I'm enjoying what I'm cooking, I'm having a good time cooking, and it's been a good experience." In that sense, Hurt fully occupies the sensibility of "Worst Cooks in America." With all the other polished shows displaying professional chefs cooking in the idealized conditions of television, seeing everyday people struggle and, more importantly, gain some fundamentals in the kitchen is what this show is about. That Hurt managed to make people laugh in the process is simply a plus.