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Hell's Kitchen Contestants You Might Not Know Passed Away

From her very first appearance on “Hell’s Kitchen,” Rachel Brown made an impression. 

“I am proud to be a redneck,” was one of her more memorable quotes, making the proud declaration before Gordon Ramsay criticized her butterfly shrimp in chocolate sauce. “I don’t have to be the big dog, but I’m not gonna let anybody run over me.”

After some strong performances early on, Rachel faltered on several dishes, having trouble with the risotto, leaving bones and wing on a quail, and overcooking Beef Wellingtons during service. Rachel nominated herself for elimination in Episode 4, but was given one more chance by Gordon. But her time on the show didn’t last much longer, as she was then eliminated in Episode 5, which was particularly hard on teammate Heather West, as the two had grown close over their dislike of Sara Horowitz.

Before Rachel left, she told Heather that she hoped Heather would win if Rachel had to go home. However, Rachel returned for the final service when Heather got to draft a team of previously eliminated competitors. Heather ended up winning, which was all the more heartwarming considering Rachel’s words to her before going home.

Unfortunately, Rachel has the sad distinction of being the first competitor on the show to pass away. Rachel Virginia Lianne Brown died on Wednesday, May 9, 2007 in Dallas from a gunshot wound, with her death being ruled a suicide by a representative of the Tarrant County medical examiner’s office.

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline​ at​ 1-800-273-TALK (8255)​.

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