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Food Network celebrates the first day of 2017 with Anne Burrell, Rachael Ray and a brand-new roster of hapless cooks in the return of primetime series Worst Cooks in America on Sunday, January 1st at 9pm (all times ET/PT).  In the ten-episode series that turns kitchen nightmares into skilled cooks, Anne and Rachael each lead a team of bumbling cooks in an intense kitchen boot camp designed to whip them into culinary shape.  The contestant who makes the most impressive transformation is awarded a $25,000 grand prize, along with victory and bragging rights for their team leader.

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“Watching Anne and Rachael turn these lovable kitchen disasters into confident cooks is hilarious, competitive and inspiring,” said Didi O’Hearn, Senior Vice President, Programming, Food Network & Cooking Channel.  ”Worst Cooks viewers can look forward to a fun, entertaining season filled with comical mishaps and transformations.”

The competitors are: Adam Cooke (Rancho Cucamonga, California), Laura Docker (Fort Worth, Texas), Stephen Hawkins (Temecula, California), Matt Josephs (Richmond, Virginia), Kayla Kurtz (Kent, Ohio), Daniel Mar (Burbank, California), Maria Marcello (Torrance, California), Jake Michaels (Manteno, Illinois), Cedrick Miller (El Paso, Texas), Brittany Lenore (Chicago, Illinois), Buffy Mykkanen (Portland, Oregon), Ann Odogwu (Houston, Texas), Jetta Linda Ostrofsky (Sacramento, California), Mandy Thornton (Hanover, Massachusetts), Lester Turchin (Fort Lauderdale, Florida) and Jeff West (Douglassville, Pennsylvania).

In the season premiere, Anne and Rachael welcome the recruits to boot camp with photos of their most disastrous dishes, which they must recreate so the mentors can assess their skills.  After teams are chosen, they dive into their first main dish challenge: cooking shrimp and live lobster!  The recruits with the least successful dishes on each team are sent home, while the rest move ahead in their battle for culinary success.  Upcoming episodes feature a messy egg-filled breakfast battle; game-show style contests “Lick It To Win It,” where recruits test their newly refined taste buds, and “Family Food,” where they put their food trivia knowledge to use; and Valentine’s Day and Mardi Gras-themed challenges.  The season culminates on Sunday, March 5th at 9pm with the two most-improved recruits preparing a three-course, restaurant quality meal for a panel of culinary experts, and only one wins $25,000 and victory for their mentor.

Viewers can uncover the very best of the worst at FoodNetwork.com/Worst Cooks and take a quiz to find out if they’d survive culinary Boot Camp, catch photo and video highlights, discover cooking tips and much more.  Join the conversation on social media using #WorstCooks.

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