Welcome back to another episode of Hell’s Kitchen! Will this be the week Jen finally gets smacked by our good friend Karma, or will someone else go down, forcing us to listen to another week of Jen’s delusional blather about everyone being threatened by her cooking prowess? One can only hope. Last week, we said goodbye to General Bobby who, while being a bit more chipper than the average contestant on this show, tended to roll out his paperweight imitation at the most inconvenient times.
This week’s episode begins with Chef Ramsay sending the remaining four chefs back to the dorms after Bobby’s ouster. Christina is not happy that Jen managed to avoid elimination again. She thinks this will cause Jen to ratchet up the bitch factor even more. Jen just thinks the others are threatened by her. Back at the dorms, everyone smokes (why does everyone on this show smoke?) and discusses the competition. Jen sweetly tells Christina that she’s not mad about being nominated with Bobby. She appreciates Christina’s honesty. Corey – and everyone else with a functioning brain – thinks Jen is full of it. Corey tells us she’s done worrying about other people’s feelings. She knows Jen isn’t going to change, so they all have to work to get rid of her. Christina confides that she doesn’t feel she can trust any of the other chefs.
The next morning, the final four meet Chef Ramsay in the dining room. The competition has gone up another notch, he says. This next challenge will truly test them and will be the toughest challenge so far. Today, they will each cook a dish for 80 customers. These will be the most demanding and finicky customers imaginable and Chef Ramsay says he’d bend over backwards to please them. Jen the Delusional actually thinks it might be Beyonce or Jay-Z. Please.
With only one hour to prepare their dishes, the chefs get started quickly. They have a fully stocked kitchen and can use any ingredients they want. Christina decides to make a turkey sandwich with curry and avocado. Corey opts for a salmon BLT on toasted brioche with veggie chips. Petrozza will be preparing Monte Cristo sandwiches with a spicy sauce and Jen chooses a grilled grouper with rum butter sauce and mango butter.
Everyone is cooking furiously. Corey admits she feels completely disorganized. Christina sings and chirps happily as she prepares her food. Both Corey and I want to smack her. With only ten minutes to go, it looks like no one is going to be ready on time. Petrozza is just battering and placing his sandwiches into oil. Is he seriously doing that for 80 people? Everyone else begins plating their food while Chef Ramsay counts down time….all except for Corey, who hasn’t gotten anything onto a plate yet. Ramsay calls time and Corey manages to get maybe 15 plates onto her table in the dining room. It’s not nearly enough.
A Mutha of a Challenges
Jean-Philippe opens the doors and a hoard of pregnant women floods into Hell’s Kitchen. While Chef Ramsay told them they would be serving 80 people, it’s really 160 people, since they’re all eating for two. Jen thinks this will be easy since pregnant women will eat anything. Seriously. That’s what she said. Each chef will serve their food on a different colored plate and the diners will vote by the color of the plate.
Within about 30 seconds, Corey runs out of plated meals and runs back into the kitchen to prepare more plates. Some of the ladies stand at Corey’s table waiting…and bitching. Christina puts some of her dishes on a serving tray and stops by Corey’s station to serve her food. Corey is furious and calls the pregnant women bitchy because they don’t want to stand there for twenty minutes while she gets it together. Jen tells us her dish was the most complicated and that means she should win. I think taste is probably what they’ll be judging on today, sweetie.
Chef Ramsay heads into the kitchen to berate Corey for her poor planning. There’s a lot of eating and discussing going on in the dining room and Petrozza is sure he’s going to win this challenge. This, of course, means that he won’t win. Chef Ramsay gathers the ballots and thanks all of the ladies for coming to Hell’s Kitchen….and for not having their babies in the restaurant. Now it’s time to announce the winner. In fourth place is, unsurprisingly, Corey. Jen comes in third place and is, of course, shocked. The winner, by two votes (everyone gasps at how very dramatic that is) is Christina. Petrozza looks crushed. Christina thanks the ladies for the win and Chef Ramsay reveals Christina’s reward: he’ll be taking her to Beverly Hills to go shopping at an amazing boutique. Jen fumes that she should have won: she’s more of a fashionista than Christina. Uh-huh. We all saw your Flavor of Love get-up in Vegas last week, honey.
Chef Ramsay asks Jean-Philippe to escort the ladies out. He then gives the bad news to the challenge losers: they will be clearing up the remains of the challenge as well as polishing the silver, cleaning glasses, etc. Jen complains that there seems to be a lot of turkey (Christina’s dish) left over on the plates. As Christina leaves to go shopping, Corey tells her not to trip on her heels. Christine has no style, Corey observes, so the wrong person definitely won this challenge.
”I Feel Pretty…”
In the limo with Chef Ramsay, Christina admits that all of her clothes are black and white because she knows they will match. Well, at least she’ll have someone picking out clothes for her today. The limo pulls up in front of the Lisa Kline boutique and Ramsay and Christina are greeted by Lisa Kline herself. She’s chosen a whole room of clothing just for Christina to try on. So, what would they have done if Petrozza had won the challenge? I don’t think he’d look pretty in silk. Just a guess. We’re treated to a little fashion montage as Christina tries on lots of outfits and Chef Ramsay adds his helpful little comments and mild catcalls. Christina accuses him of flirting. Honey, we’ve seen Gordon flirt with female contestants in the past: this is nothing.
When Christina returns to Hell’s Kitchen, she seems completely oblivious to the fact that the other three are fuming over her win. She shows off one of the tops she got and Jen comments that she doesn’t like metallics. Hmmmm, bitter much? Petrozza seems happy the girls are sniping at each other: at least they’re leaving him alone. While Corey, Jen and Petrozza start prepping for dinner service, Christina takes a few moments to relax in the dorms. Corey tells us she’s going to use Christina’s day off to her advantage: maybe the time away has put Christina off her game. It was like 3 hours. How far off her game could she be?
With her leisure time over, Christina heads down to the kitchen to help out with dinner prep. She immediately asks what she can do to help, but no one answers her. After asking that same question at least 5 times, Petrozza finally pipes up and gives her some things to do. Teamwork is the thing, Petrozza reasons, so there isn’t a good reason to shut Christina out. It’s a shocking situation when Petrozza is the most mature person in the kitchen, but there it is.
Chef Ramsay arrives for the pre-dinner service “pep” talk. This is when it gets tough. As if this whole competition has been a walk in the park up until this point. The stakes are enormous, he reminds them, and each of them has a chance to win. Well, theoretically, each of them has a chance to win. We all know there’s at least one person left who doesn’t have a chance in hell of winning. Ramsay then rolls out his comedy routine and says they all equally deserve to be there. He urges them to unite as a team, but to shine as individuals.
Scalloping Toward Disaster
Hell’s Kitchen opens for dinner service again and Jen and Corey – on appetizers – are the first ones under pressure. Corey admits she doesn’t feel safe. They start strong with Corey’s scallops and Jen’s risotto, both of which earn praise from Chef Ramsay. It’s the best start they’ve had so far and Ramsay urges them to keep it up. Twenty five minutes into dinner service, appetizers are flying out of the kitchen. They’re all aiming for perfection and Jen’s risotto isn’t measuring up. Ramsay tastes Jen’s risotto, which he says is like mush. He calls her forward to taste it and she agrees. He says this proves she doesn’t taste her food before she sends it up.
Now that Jen has to redo the order of risotto, it stands to reason that she would move even faster to get it out. Yeah, not so much. Chef Ramsay really is onto something when he says Jen actually moves more slowly when the pressure is on. Eventually, she manages to produce a good risotto, which Ramsay says is proof that Jen is lazy: she only produces when she wants to. The others begin moving to entrées while Corey and Jen work on finishing up appetizers.
Chef Ramsay seems happy so far, which means it’s just about time for this week’s minor emergency. This time, it’s Christina who’ll deliver it. She takes up a pan to Chef Ramsay at the pass and neglects to tell him that the handle of that pan has been over a flame. He reaches for the pan and burns his hand. He shouts at her and berates her for not telling him about the handle. He threatens her, saying that, if she brings him another pan with a scalding hot handle and doesn’t warn him, she’s done. She promises it won’t happen again. Of course, you know what’s going to happen. Through the magic of editing, it’s almost instantaneous. Christina brings up another pan and Chef Ramsay burns his hand. He yells at Christina to come look at the pan. He pours water on the handle and the water steams and sizzles. Christina looks horrified and scared witless. Ever the drama queen, Jen tells us she could smell Chef Ramsay’s burning skin across the kitchen. Surprisingly, Ramsay actually doesn’t throw Christina out of the kitchen. He growls at her to wake up and that’s the end of that.
Christina and Petrozza start over on entrees while Corey and Jen work on the final appetizers. While Corey is preparing the scallops, it’s Jen’s responsibility to cook the eggs that go on top of the scallops. Corey asks her to start the eggs and Jen says no: she’s too busy…cooking one risotto. Christina says she’ll take care of the eggs as Chef Ramsay starts calling for the scallops. Cut to Jen the team player, still stirring her risotto. After a little hiccup with the first set of eggs, Christina gets them cooked correctly. Ramsay lectures Jen that she’s part of a team.
One hour into dinner service, all appetizers have been served and the chefs move onto entrées. Chef Ramsay stands at he pass shouting for Corey to get the Jon Dory to him. After being badgered for several minutes, she sends up the dish, knowing it isn’t cooked. Corey then watches nervously as Ramsay prepares the dish to go out. He doesn’t catch the mistake and the food goes out. Aaaaand it comes right back. If she wanted sushi, the customer explains to Jean-Philippe, this would have been perfect. Chef Ramsay calls Corey forward so he can yell at her. She re-cooks the fish and it goes out again. Wouldn’t it have been faster just to cook the fish the first time?
The New Math
In spite of Corey’s little mis-step, the chefs are all working hard to impress Chef Ramsay and things seem to be going well. That is until Ramsay gets a load of Petrozza’s stations, which looks like a sty. He shouts at Petrozza to clean up and to stop working like a pig. Petrozza admits that, although he’s trying to be clean, it doesn’t come naturally to him. In spite of his piggy station, Petrozza manages to impress with his filet mignon, which Chef Ramsay says are beautiful. Petrozza may work like a pig, but the meat has been excellent.
Miraculously, an hour and a half into the dinners service, the final orders go out and Chef Ramsay tells the chefs to turn off the stoves. Tonight, they served the dining room in record time.
At the post-dinner meeting, Chef Ramsay faces them grim faced. He doesn’t know what to say…it was their best service. Everyone looks jubilant as Ramsay compliments them: it was really well done. There were a few bad patches, but there was significant improvement. Unfortunately, someone still has to go home. He sends them back to the dorms to decide which of them will be nominated for elimination.
Back at the patio in the dorms, the final four start discussing who will be nominated for elimination. Jen says she feels like she finally has a heart. Petrozza tells us she’s a cold bitch: it took this long for her to finally have a heart. Corey suggests that they all write down two names, but not the same name twice. She then counts the votes and it becomes obvious that someone voted twice because there are too many votes for Christina. Jen sits trying to look innocent, but everyone knows this little stunt is her clever plan. Hello? There are only four freaking people. Like no one is going to notice an extra ballot. Jeez. I guess we'll cross "mathematical genius" off her list of possible talents. Inside, Jen tells us the others are all threatened by her. Corey, Christina and Petrozza try to figure out which of them would be least likely to go home if nominated opposite Jen. Petrozza volunteers, but Corey reasons that she deserves to be nominated more than Petrozza.
Nahnahnahnah Heeeey Goooodbye!
Back in Hell’s Kitchen, the final four face Chef Ramsay. He thanks everyone for a good dinner service and then asks Christina for the nominations. Well then. He must have been pretty sure she wouldn’t be nominated. Christina reveals that the first nominee is Jen. They just don’t feel like her teamwork is strong enough. The second nomination is Corey because the team would like to see more out of her at dinner service and because of her bad performance at this week’s challenge.
Chef Ramsay asks Jen and Corey to step forward and plead their cases. Corey thinks she should stay because, although she blew it during dinner service, she did come back. She thinks she’s still a valuable asset to the team and spent more time than she should helping the team. Jen is under the impression that her passion in the kitchen is obvious to everyone. She then makes a very Extreme Home Makeover plea about how winning the show would change her life. She then adds that, without this show, she doesn’t see anything else in her future. You know, that argument might work if Gordon Ramsay was actually interested in Jen as a person. Corey then adds that she is more honest than the others and accuses Jen of lying. Jen interrupts, saying she’s a team player and wants to win.
It’s time for the big decision. Chef Ramsay begins, “The person leaving Hell’s Kitchen is….Corey…say goodbye to Jen.” The angels sing, women and children dance, I jump up and down on my couch and Corey and Christina smile slyly. Jen takes off her jacket and thanks Chef Ramsay for the opportunity. He tells her to keep her head up. Jen says she came on the show banking on the fact that she’d be on top. She then says no one is more passionate than she is. If you substitute the word psychotic for “passionate,” I totally agree with that statement. Jen then has a moment of clarity and admits she needs to work on her attitude because she let the competition get the better of her.
The relieved final three stand before Chef Ramsay, who offers them congratulations and tells them they should at least hug or kiss each other. Corey, Christina and Petrozza go in for a group hug. They’re probably more happy to have gotten rid of Jen than they are about making it to the top three. Tonight was almost a perfect service, Ramsay compliments, but next time they have to be even better. He then sends them off to the dorms and tells them to enjoy the rest of the evening.
Chef Ramsay tells us that a great chef should be consistent with both their cooking and their attitude. He never knew which Jen would show up at dinner service and that’s why she’s gone.
Next week: The final three are shocked by the arrival of a mystery guest. Plus, at the dinner service, Chef Ramsay’s expectations are at and all time high when each chef will take a turn running the kitchen. It will all prove too much for one chef, who takes it out on the wrong person.