An 11 year-old girl from Long Island is fully healed after slicing two fingers while filming the season three premiere episode of MASTERCHEF JUNIOR.
Kayla Mitchell is “just fine after her accident,” the show’s executive producer, Adeline Ramage Rooney, tells TheTVPage.com.
The middle schooler was attempting to cut into what appears to be a lime during the season’s first “Mystery Box Challenge” when she let the approximately 8 inch knife slip.
A pair of on-set medics quickly appeared to attend to the wounds on her left hand.
“How did you manage to cut two fingers at once?” chef Gordon Ramsay asked her, attempting to lighten the mood.
“That is a record here at MASTERCHEF. Congratulations. High five!”
This is the first time viewers have seen one of the show’s young home cooks (ages 8 to 13) experience an accident in the kitchen.
“It happened so quick,” Kayla tells me.
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“All I remember seeing was, like, part of my nail was gone and there was just blood everywhere. It was horrible.”
“Honestly, I didn’t really know what to do. You want to keep pushing and you want to keep going to cook and finish. I was just really nervous that I wasn’t going to be able to finish the challenge.”
Kayla says this was her first mishap with a knife: “I never cut myself in the kitchen. But I have definitely burned myself a lot [at home] from oil splattering up or pulling on the oven racks with the potholders.”
Since the show debuted on Fox in 2013, some people have questioned whether it is safe to allow young kids to work with sharp blades, hot pans and open flames.
But Rooney insists producers go to “great lengths” to ensure the safety of everyone on set.
“All contestants go through basic kitchen safety training prior to setting foot in the MASTERCHEF kitchen and we have medics trained in first aid on set throughout challenges on both shows,” she says.
“With the Junior contestants, we take extra precautions and have an even larger team of dedicated medics observing the children throughout every challenge.”
“Cuts and burns are a common hazard for all home cooks. Thankfully, we haven’t had too many serious cuts or burns in the MASTERCHEF kitchen on either the adult show or on MASTERCHEF JUNIOR.
Experiencing a cut or burn does NOT automatically disqualify a contestant from continuing to compete, Rooney adds.
“If an injury were so serious that a contestant could not complete a challenge, the protocol is that producers would consult with medics and Fox Standards and Practices to determine the fairest outcome for all.”
Kayla’s accident did not end up affecting whether she advanced or was cut.
MASTERCHEF JUNIOR airs Tuesday night (beginning January 6) on Fox.
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