The Bizarre Way Contestants Find Privacy On Hell's Kitchen

There are few places that can fray a set of steely nerves faster than the set of "Hell's Kitchen." Host Gordon Ramsay's angry rampages alone are often enough to make a contestant's hair stand on end — not to mention the pressure to perform, the antagonism among teammates, and the grueling punishments. For example, one former contestant told The Virginian-Pilot that "you're...being pushed to your limits psychologically."

Between the ever-looming threat of undercooked chicken or having to dumpster dive for recyclables, "Hell's Kitchen" contestants often exist in a state of heightened anxiety. And to make matters worse, their culinary goof-ups, stress-inspired arguments, and Ramsay's "constructive criticism" can take place in front of over two million viewers (via TV Series Finale). 

Yes, the cameras are nearly always rolling. According to Season 10 alumni Dana Cohen, the show even films in the bathroom when you are crying and having a breakdown (via For quite a while, there was no way to escape the lens and prevent your most humiliating and raw moments from entering the public domain — until someone happened upon a very interesting way to ensure that these embarrassments would forever end up on the editing room floor. 

How do "Hell's Kitchen" participants now ensure a few precious minutes of privacy? The answer is surprisingly simple. 

Singing can keep the film crew at bay

The best way to make "Hell's Kitchen" not broadcast a moment is to break into song — preferably one that has huge royalty fees. Yes, the truth is that music rights are very expensive and Fox usually doesn't want to shell out extra cash because someone sang a Taylor Swift song on air (via TheThings). 

Not only does this give the participants a well-deserved break from film, but it often provides some truly joyful moments and much-needed camaraderie. It's hard to keep crying when you're singing out loud and possibly out of tune.  

The truth is that "Hell's Kitchen" contestants endure unimaginable levels of stress during their five-week stay. They are cut off from everything — they hand in their phones and are forbidden contact with their families or the outside world (via TheRichest). They wear their microphones all day and all night, as the aforementioned Dana Cohen also told "You fall asleep and then someone goes up your shirt to change the batteries." They are sleep-deprived, surrounded by strangers who are all competing for the top prize, and have likely endured some of Gordon Ramsay's imaginative, physically taxing — and, oftentimes, vomit-worthy — losing team punishments. 

Many fans can't help but feel sympathy, so it could come as a relief to know that these aspiring head chefs can simply break into song and cry in relative peace.