On a reality show where the majority of screen time goes to the host’s caustic tirades against the most inept and blundering contestants, it’s often those whom we see less of on screen that have the best chance of taking home the grand prize. At least that seemed like the case with LA, a 23-year-old line cook from Las Vegas, and one of 16 chefs competing on this season of Hell’s Kitchen with everyone favorite culinary despot, Chef Gordon Ramsay. Through several successful dinner services, LA cast herself as a dark horse of sorts, earning the occasional high compliment from the master chef, and few, if any, of his fiery outbursts.

But in the end, it was her spot in the middle of the pack that drove Ramsay to send LA packing her knives last night on Hell’s Kitchen. The dark horse waited a bit too long to break away, and Ramsay didn’t see her as a leader.

BuddyTV has a chance to talk to LA this morning about her highs and lows in Hell’s Kitchen, and how she felt about her elimination. Read on for the full transcript.

Stay tuned for Monday, when we’ll be talking to last night’s other eliminated contestant, Lacey D’Angelo!

This is Meghan from BuddyTV, and I’m talking with LA from Hell’s Kitchen. How are you doing?

I’m doing all right.

Congratulations on getting on Hell’s Kitchen and making it that far! Do you want to take me through how you decided to get on the show?

There was an open audition, and I was kind of contemplating it, but one of my really good friends pretty much dragged me. I never thought in a million years that I’d make it on. But I ended up making it on!

I have to say that you were one of my favorites this season because I just thought that every time you were on screen you were either saying something funny, or you were doing a really good job. So to me it was really surprising that you got eliminated. Why do you think that they threw you under the bus like that last night?

I’m not sure, even to this day. I still look at it like, “Wow.” I think it was mostly Ramsay. He wanted me to step up and show that leadership role, and show that I could run a kitchen, and I just never really did. I mean, I never really had the chance to. I could have put more into it, and I kind of just shut down.

Was that an overall exhaustion?

I started getting really sick. I mean after all is said and done, you literally got two to three hours of sleep. I started to get sick. In the whole tasting challenge, that’s why I decided to sit out. I couldn’t smell anything, I couldn’t really taste anything. So I decided it would be best for me to sit out. I regret that every second of every day now, but, you know, that’s life.

Were there any favorite moments you had while you were there?

Getting a compliment from him or having you stand out above anybody else, those were really the high points. Winning the challenge. A lot of the challenges that the Red team won put our names out there. I mean, I’m on epicurious.com, I’m going to be on the cover of TV Guide! Definitely no regrets.

How was your relationship with Ramsay? I remember during the horseracing prize you said it was like hanging out with your dad.

He really liked me. Everyone always asks me, “Was he mean to you?” And I keep telling everybody, “No! He really liked me.” He saw something in me. I just couldn’t take it all the way.

Can you take me back to that elimination ceremony, and what was going through your head when all three of you were standing up there?

Honestly, what was going through my head, I was thinking that he was going to send one of them [Andrea and Carol]. I had it kind of set in my mind, especially when they started going at it. I was like, “Alright. I think I’m safe for another week.” But I think the way that I answered his question made him think, “Okay, maybe she can’t handle it.” I definitely thought Carol was going home. I mean, that meat station, she should have had it down by then, I mean, we’d been there for so long already. I figured she’d have it down. But… it was me instead.

Do you have a favorite that you want to take it all the way to the end?

I would love to see Robert take it all the way to the end. I mean, the guy is hilarious, and he really was good in the kitchen.

What’s in the future for you now?

Just trying to keep my name out there and my doors are open. I’m just waiting for that offer, putting myself out there little by little. Maybe get a sauce company started, or something like that, and eventually going on to owning my own place.

If you could do it again, would you?

Definitely! I’m hoping that they’ll have the “Best of the Best” and bring me back so I can win it all.

That’s a great idea. You should talk to FOX about that!

[Laughing] Yeah, I know!

Want to see where LA went wrong? Read the recap: Hell’s Kitchen Recap: Episode 5.8

-Meghan Carlson, BuddyTV Staff Writer

Image courtesy of FOX

Think you know who’s next on the chopping block? Join the fun in BuddyTV’s Fantasy Hell’s Kitchen League!

Meghan Carlson

Senior Writer, BuddyTV

Meghan hails from Walla Walla, WA, the proud home of the world’s best sweet onions and Adam West, the original Batman. An avid grammarian and over-analyzer, you can usually find her thinking too hard about plot devices in favorites like The OfficeIt’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and How I Met Your Mother. In her spare time, Meghan enjoys drawing, shopping, trying to be funny (and often failing), and not understanding the whole Twilight thing. She’s got a BA in English and Studio Art from Whitman College, which makes her a professional arguer, daydreamer, and doodler.