The first “Cook For Your Life” challenge on “Hell’s Kitchen: Young Guns” proved to be the end of the road for Keanu Hogan during the July 19 episode. Sadly, this 23-year-old private chef from Baltimore, Maryland never recovered after charring her bone-in pork chop. The others who competed in the 45-minute challenge, based on private rankings from all of the contestants, were Josie Clemens, Victoria Sonora, Emily Hersh and Sam Garman.
One by one, renowned chef Gordon Ramsay told Sam, Josie and Emily to head back to the dorms because they did indeed cook for their lives. That left Keanu and Victoria both on the chopping block — Keanu because she burned her protein and Victoria for her lazy plating. In the end, Gordon asked Keanu for her jacket, sparing Victoria from elimination.
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“You’re a firecracker,” he told Keanu, who was openly weeping about having to go home. “You have a focused, determined, tenacious mind. You’ve done your parents proud, Baltimore proud, so head up high.” Unlike many of the other ousted contestants this season, including Kevin Argueta who was thrown out of dinner service last week, Chef Ramsay clearly had a soft spot for Keanu.
After handing over her jacket and leaving the restaurant, Keanu declared in her exit interview that she was “not ready” to leave the reality TV show. “I was not ready to go home, but I’m not gonna let this knock me down for sure,” she noted. “If anything, it has awoken a fire in me. I’m just happy to have made it this far. I’m just so proud of myself. Look Mom, I really made it!”
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Gordon hung up her jacket and, as per tradition, it promptly caught on fire in the “HK” hallway. His parting words for Keanu were, “Keanu has many of the important attributes required to be a great chef. But when her pork went up in flames, so did her chances of continuing in this competition.”
Now only 10 chef-testants remain in the running to win “HK20,” five on the Blue Team and five on the Red Team. Prior to Keanu, the other “Young Guns” who’ve been eliminated so far this season are: Morgana Vesey (21 from Connecticut), Alex Lenik (22 from Illinois), Jayaun Smith (23 from Missouri), Matthew Francis Johnson (24 from Minnesota), Ava Harren (23 from Alaska), Payton Cooper (21 from Kentucky) and Kevin Argueta (21 from California).