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I work. You want drama, I'll give it to ya. You ain't seen shit yet.

Leslie Gilliams was a contestant on Season 5 of MasterChef. He ranked in 3rd place.

Personality

Initially, Leslie was shown to be a grumpy, senile, and pretentious old man. He also had the tendency to be cocky (although he had the talent to back it up) and talk a lot, which usually rubbed most of the other cooks in the wrong way, leading them to immediately underestimate him and consider him as a weak link, while quickly beginning to dislike him for how he came off. However, when he was good, he was really good, and managed to prove everybody wrong by being one of the strongest and most consistent cooks in individual challenges, excelling in every pressure test by a mile except for one that led to his elimination, and was considered to be in an entire league of his own. He could act in a slight childish manner and could explode on his teammates and competitors with extremely snide, ageist, and condescending remarks (with Ahran being the most notable example). However, he later toned down his anger over time and became friendly, energetic, and kind as the season progressed, which eventually led him to earn the respect for the other cooks. He had a minor clash with Elizabeth over his talkative behavior, but he quickly mended fences with her, and also had a short-lived feud with Daniel due to latter making uncalled for negative comments on him at every chance he got for no reason and also for his rude, disrespectful, and petty behavior. However, he had an explosive long-lived running feud with Cutter in due part of his cockiness, but mainly because of the latter's arrogance, stubbornness, refusal to admit his mistakes, and obnoxious behavior. Despite this, he managed to develop friendships with Francis L., Willie, Victoria, and a close father-daughter-like friendship with Ahran despite some early issues with each other, but was disliked by Courtney, Christian, and Christine.

Season 5

Episode 1

Leslie was not initially accepted into the MasterChef kitchen. However, he was given a second chance to gain entry. While cooking he had told Christian that he had many tricks up his sleeve and that he needed an apron. For his 2nd Audition Dish he had made stuffed chicken breast with mashed potatoes and carrots. While he was praised for his chicken breast tasting delicious he was criticized by for his absurd portion. Despite that, he was able to secure an apron and move onto the competition.

Episode 2

Episode 3

Episode 4

Episode 5

Leslie and Francis L. were appointed team captains for the wedding themed team challenge after both of them being named winners of the last Elimination Test. In the following order, Leslie selected Christian, Daniel, Jaimee, Ahran (who he mispronounced her name on accident), Christine, Tyler, Jordan, and Francis B.

At the beginning, Leslie wanted to hear his teammates' opinions instead of taking control. When Ramsay checked over to ask Leslie about the menu, Leslie struggled to recite it. After Ramsay told the Red Team to get their shit together, Leslie tried to make his team communicate with each other by constantly telling everyone to talk to him, much to the confusion of his teammates. In his defense, Leslie stated that he'd never led a team who didn't want to be led in the first place. When Daniel saw him cracking under pressure, he decided to step in and allow Francis B to replace Leslie as team captain. Much to his disapproval, he let Francis B become the team captain. In his confessional, he wasn't happy that he wasn't being the team captain any longer, but would be perfectly fine if they won the team challenge under Francis B's leadership. Leslie then yelled at his teammates to push more scallops, but Francis B calmed him down, saying that the team didn't need more screaming. His team lost the challenge.

Leslie felt that tensions were high and felt that he did have some responsibility for a certain amount of his team's loss. He then apologized to his team, though Ahran interrupted him and berated him for being a bad leader. This led to a huge argument between the two, with Leslie telling Ahran to grow some balls. While Ahran was on the verge of tears, Christian and Christine told Leslie that he was being extremely condescending, but this ended up with Leslie exploding on his entire team that he was tired of getting beat up by everybody and wasn't going to stand there and be abused by them. While his team managed to calm Leslie down, Leslie lectured them, especially Ahran, on the lack of respect and immaturity that they've been giving him since day one.

Back at the MasterChef kitchen, Ramsay asked Leslie to name three people to compete in the Pressure Test. Leslie couldn't be any happier to do this since his teammates threw him under the bus during the team challenge. He picked Christian (due to his arrogance and his know-it-all behavior), Daniel (for throwing him under the bus despite working the most and how he did nothing by complain about him during the last team challenge), and "Iran" (who he intentionally mispronounced her name because he disliked her immaturity and lack of respect for him). Ramsay found these choices to be interest, but then told Leslie that it wasn't his decision. He chose Leslie to participate in the Pressure Test due to his horrible leadership, along with Graham selecting Jordan and Joe choosing Francis B.

During the Pressure Test, Leslie, Jordan, and Francis B would have to replicate a dish of steak frites. While cooking, Graham and Joe found Leslie to be very confident working alone. Leslie believed that Jordan would go home tonight because he snarkily told Graham and Joe that Jordan hasn't cooked as many steaks as he has due to the significant age difference. He was then pissed off that Christine and Courtney were giving Francis B help from the balcony, and knew how everyone hated him from the very beginning due to his old age, adding that it would be an atrocity if he lost to Francis B because of this. He was then very grateful for Willie to be the only one to support him during the Pressure Test. After the Pressure Test, Leslie was the first to be judged for his steak frites. Ramsay found his steak to be perfectly medium-rare, but disliked how his fries were soggy. Still he was the first to be saved, much to the chagrin of most of the other contestants. Leslie stated how he deserved to be up there due to his perfect steak and snarkily wished the best of luck to Jordan and Francis B.

Episode 6

Episode 7

Episode 8

Episode 9

Episode 10

Episode 11

Episode 12

Episode 13

Episode 14

Episode 15

Episode 16

Episode 17

Episode 18

Episode 19

Competition History

Week 2 In/Immune
Week 3 Pressure Test
Week 4 In/Win
Week 5 Pressure Test
Week 6 In/In
Week 7 In/Immune
Week 8 Pressure Test
Week 9 In/In
Week 10 Low
Week 11 Win/Immune
Week 12 Pressure Test
Week 13 Win/Immune
Week 14 High/Win
Week 15 Win
Week 16 In/Low
Week 17 Pressure Test
Week 18 In/Eliminated

Season 6

Episode 8

He made an appearance as a former contestant in Season 6, where he appeared as a guest for the 100th episode of MasterChef.

Season 10

Episode 4

Leslie made a cameo appearance as a guest at the Season 10 Pool Party

Post MasterChef

  • After his appearance, he was arrested due to a misunderstanding in a bar where his sister fell ill but he was not charged.
    • Shortly after the charges were dropped, he started a food blog website with his daughter but only a few recipes were posted before it was no longer updated and the site was eventually deleted.
  • He still has a passion for cooking, often regularly posting food dish pictures on social media and appears to travel often, offering private chef services and other culinary projects.
  • In November 2018, he opened Silver Fox Oysters and created his own oyster sauce.
  • Leslie regularly posts food pictures on Instagram and offers personalized videos on Cameo.

Trivia

  • At age 56 (63 now) he is the oldest contestant of the season, and is the oldest adjusted for time.
  • He is a former hairdresser.
  • He is currently the only MasterChef contestant to survive 6 Pressure Tests.
    • He also had the most Team Challenge losses in his season, being on 6 losing teams.
  • Of the contestants who had to cook in the second challenge for season 5 auditions, Leslie was the only one who made it to Top 10.
  • He is the second contestant(s) to be threatened with on-the-spot elimination, following Christian (Season 2) and Cutter (from the same season).
  • He is the stepfather of actress Melissa Joan Hart, best known for playing Sabrina the Teenage Witch.
  • His net worth is $2 million.

Quotes

  • (To Elizabeth) "I never said anything to you, Elizabeth. Never once. You wanna get ugly? Let's get ugly. You don't know where the hell I've been."
  • (To Elizabeth) "You wanna know why I live in Malibu sweetheart? It's because I fucking work my ass off. You know what work is? No! No! I got where I got because I work! Don't want your bullshit to me about where I live, figure out how I got there! I work. You want drama, I'll give it to ya. You ain't seen shit yet."
  • (To Elizabeth) "I'm sorry."
  • "TALK TO ME!"
  • (To Ahran) "Can I say something or you just gonna jump in every time because you're an 18-year-old, and that's what you do."
  • "You know what? You can disrespect me all you want, okay? Because that's what teenagers do, okay? So grow up and grow some balls."
  • "Well I'm sorry! I apologize! I don't know how else to put 'sorry'. 'S-O-R-R-Y'. That's 'sorry'."
  • (To Christine and the rest of his team for their unfair treatment of Ahran) "Of course I'm condescending because I'm tired of getting beat up by everybody here! I'm not gonna stand here and be abused, okay?! Enough is enough!"
  • (To his team regarding Ahran) "She has no respect for me from day one, and if you want respect, you have to earn it, and if I give it to you, I damn better get it back! That's how the real world works! Please, may I thank you! That's how I was brought up, not crying and running and shit!"
  • "I'm not perfect. I don't know what else you want from me."
  • Gordon Ramsay: "Who's your cheer leaders?" Leslie: "My cheer leaders?, me, myself and I, all three of them."
  • Joe: "Hey Leslie, don't get tanked." Leslie: "What, you kidding me? I'm 56. It's all I do."
  • (To Daniel) "I'm not gonna acknowledge you, I'm just concerned you don't exist, so I'm gonna leave it like that."
  • (After Ahran's elimination) "It's a very bittersweet moment. I kinda felt that bond, you know. Maybe it's me missing my own daughter. I'm really, honestly learned to care for this person."
  • (About Daniel) "You know Daniel's quick to criticize but he's not quick to help, you know, I put him in my team but instead of supporting me like I supported him, he puts a knife in my back, and that's fine I have plenty of knifes in my back!"
  • (To Cutter) "I'm not even talking to you. You still here?"
  • (To Cutter) "I NEED YOU TO LOOK AT ME!"
  • (To Cutter) "You want to know what Cutter? Do me a favor; shut the fuck up."
  • (About Cutter) "Right now, I need to just speak to Cutter in a nice way and if Cutter doesn't behave himself and do what he's told, then I don't need him in the kitchen, he can go sit in the corner like a 'baby'.
  • (About Cutter) "I gave the big Texas man a shot to put down his best dish on the plate and that was a disaster. If I go to the pressure test because of Cutter, I'm definitely taking him down!"
  • (After being eliminated) "I'm a stay-at-home dad that came here to win, and I was doing a pretty damn good job up until the salt part. I learned a lot, I mean I didn't expect to make it this far. I met interesting people, some liked me, some didn't like me. Outside of getting married and having my children being born, this has to be one of those great things in my life that I'll remember forever."

Gallery

Season 5

Season 6

Season 10

External links



References

MasterChef U.S. Season 5
Judges

Gordon RamsayGraham ElliotJoe Bastianich

Contestants

Francis BiondiWhitney BrayCutter BrewerElizabeth CauvelAhran ChoLeslie GilliamsChristian GreenGordon HoustonJordan KaminskiCourtney LapresiAstrid LaveniaFrancis LeggeElise MayfieldDaniel McGuffeyWillie MikeKira NovakVictoria ScrogginsStephani Syfax-ShepherdChristine SilversteinTyler ViarsJaimee VitoloDan Wu

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