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With the elimination of Sara last week, Hell’s Kitchen lost this season’s villain. Nothing else could possibly be as satisfying as seeing her picture in flames. Unless someone sets themselves on fire, severs a limb or bitch slaps Chef Ramsay, I’d say it’s all downhill from here. Nevertheless, we still have two more episodes to get through, so let’s all soldier on, shall we?
After giving kudos to the final three, Chef Ramsay orders Heather, Keith and Virginia back to the dorms to get some rest. Heather responds with a “Yes, Chef.” He could say anything to that one and she’d give him a “Yes, Chef.”
Ramsay: Heather, you’ve had sex dreams about me and a tub of Buffalo wings, haven’t you?
Heather: Yes, Chef
You’d think that escaping elimination by the skin of her teeth would make Virginia happy, but you’d be wrong. Now she’s back in the dorms crying again. She’s overwhelmed by having made the final three. She tells Heather that she’s confused: did she make the final three because Chef Ramsay kept his word or because she deserves to be there? Virginia says that she thinks Chef Ramsay didn’t want her to stay, but had to stick to his word. Good Lord. Virginia needs to get over herself. Really. Heather tells us that she’s shocked over Sara’s elimination: she believe Virginia when she said she wanted to go. Virginia reveals to Heather that she glad Sara is gone, because getting her out was Virginia’s plan.
Heather tells Keith that if she had put him up instead of Virginia, he’d be gone right now. Keith, who has turned the corner into completely delusional, says that Chef Ramsay wouldn’t have sent K-Grease home. Can I just tell you how very much I hate it when people talk about themselves in the third person? Virginia confronts Heather and Keith, asking them who the better chef is: her or Sara/ Neither of them answer. Keith reasserts to Heather that it will be H & K in the final. Virginia seems to have grown from this experience. Or at least I think that’s what has happened. She rambled on about having “a new skin on life,” so, really, I’m just guessing.
Oh, Just Go Eat Some Worms, You Big Whiners!
The next morning, it’s clear that Heather and Keith are done with Virginia. Virginia peppers Heather with questions about various procedures in the kitchen with no response from Heather. The final three meet Chef Ramsay in Hell’s Kitchen for the next challenge and there he is doing something that seems shocking: he’s cooking. He congratulates all three on making it this far in the competition, saying that they’ve all done bloody well. Even so, he still needs to get them up to speed to become successful in Vegas. He then sets a plate in front of them. This is his signature dish. He directs them to taste it. The challenge today will be to recreate this dish in twenty minutes without any knowledge of the actual recipe: they have to go on taste alone. Everything they need to create the dish can be found in the kitchen.
Everyone jumps into action. Keith chooses Chilean sea bass, while Heather and Virginia opt for wild, striped sea bass. In preparing the puree, both Heather and Keith use potatoes. Virginia sees Tuscan white beans and knows that they are the correct ingredient for the puree. With only ten minutes to go, they all move on to the sauce. Keith uses couscous and then tries to hide it from the girls. Virginia isn’t having any of it and orders him to hand it over. Keith and Virginia both use the couscous, but disagree on the seasoning: he uses cilantro, while she uses basil and grapefruit.
Now it’s time for Chef Ramsay to judge the dishes. After tasting all three, he compliments the chefs on creating very good and accomplished dishes. There was one dish he says, that had the best puree and sauce that was “spot on.” The winner this week is Virginia, much to the irritation of Keith and Heather. Ramsay compliments Virginia’s great palate, which you know, she takes as a come-on. Her reward this week: one-on-one time with Chef Ramsay in the kitchen where they will go over cooking techniques and procedures.
Of course, it’s time for more sour grapes from Heather and Keith, who are sure the fix is in. For Heather, Virginia’s win is proof that no matter how good you are, you won’t win. Honey, you got the ingredients wrong. It’s not like this was a subjective thing. Because they lost the challenge, Heather and Keith will be getting an assignment from Jean Philippe today.
Bitchin’ the Kitchen
Virginia’s really getting over her insecurities now. She tells us that cooking is an art and she might just be more of an artist than Keith and Heather. Heather snipes over the fact that the recipe Chef Ramsay prepared was in the cookbook Virginia bought on her shopping spree after the last challenge. Heather is sure that Virginia knew the recipe from that cookbook. Keith and Heather really don’t want Virginia to win this and they vow to work together on getting her out.
While Rocky and Bullwinkle whine some more about how the whole thing is rigged, Virginia joins Chef Ramsay in the kitchen. He’s going to show her how to do as many different procedures as possible and encourages her to ask lots of questions. Back in the dining room, Jean Philippe greets the two losers and breaks the news to them that they will be polishing all of the glasses and silverware in Hell’s Kitchen. In the kitchen, Ramsay is cooking fish and giving Virginia tips. Heather and Keith agree that Virginia got a really good prize this week. Not only is Chef Ramsay giving Virginia cooking tips, he’s now going to give her pointers on how to run the pass. He instructs her in calling orders as Keith and Heather whine that Ramsay is showing Virginia how to win. Jean Philippe redirects them back to their task. He wants them to put a little love into the polishing. In the kitchen, Ramsay urges Virginia to scare her chefs a little. She pledges to be a bitch in the kitchen.
Back in the dorms at the end of the day, Heather sits in the kitchen eating her dinner which, from the sounds coming out of her mouth, seems to be cud. She says that, even though Virginia is trying to be nice, they are not friends. Virginia swears to Heather that she didn’t see the recipe in Ramsay’s cookbook. Her palate helped her, not the cookbook. She even doubts that Ramsay would have intentionally chosen a recipe that was from a book he knew she bought. Keith tells Virginia that Chef Ramsay probably hooked her up. Meow.
Virginia throws another pity party, crying over being the outsider. Cut to Heather and Keith wrestling and laughing on Heather’s bed. You know what? Virginia totally got the better deal this time. Seriously, which would you rather have, alone time in the kitchen with Gordon Ramsay or bed wrestling with K-Grease? No contest.
The next morning, sous chef Scott gives the chefs a little rundown on the dinner service. Call it “Chef Ramsay 101.” Virginia tries to get some teamwork going with Heather, but Heather’s not having any of it. Virginia tells us that Heather and Keith think that they’re a lock to be the final two and that gives her motivation to work even harder.
For tonight’s dinner service, Chef Ramsay has a master plan to help him in his decision. Right now, all three candidates are even in his mind. At dinner service each of the chefs will take a turn running the kitchen from the hot plate. As an additional challenge, Ramsay has added six more tables to Hell’s Kitchen. Scott and Mary Ann will be helping out in the kitchen, but it will still be lots of work. Virginia starts the night out with a bang, burning the salmon. She dumps it into the trash and Chef Ramsay rags on her for being so casual. Virginia asserts herself, telling him that she isn’t casual about it and she gets to work on two new orders of salmon. She tells us that Ramsay is like a dog: she has to stand up to him and look him in the eyes and he’ll back down.
Virginia’s not the only one having problems tonight: Heather’s not doing so great either. When Chef Ramsay calls for chicken, she doesn’t have any. She tells us that, because she’s trying so hard, she’s screwing up and it’s embarrassing. Even though Ramsay is clearly about two days past happy, he’s still going forward with his plan to have each of the chefs run the kitchen.
Musical Hot Plate
Keith is first up at the hot plate. Because quality control is one of the most important parts of running the hot plate, Keith’s standards are about to be put to the test. Ramsay instructs Scott to overcook pasta and Keith quickly catches the error. While Keith is doing well with quality control, he could use some practice giving orders. Chef Ramsay tells Keith he’s speaking to his chefs like he’s working with his best mates. Keith calls out an order and Virginia doesn’t even acknowledge him. After Virginia can’t repeat the order to Ramsay, he makes Keith call the order out again. It’s going in one ear and out the other with Virginia – she still can’t repeat the order. Heather is clearly exasperated and says that Keith can’t control the pass. She then starts to take over. Keith is irritated by the whole thing. He says that Chef Ramsay wants them to be just like him, but you don’t have to be a d*** to be a chef. So what’s your excuse, Keith?
By the one hour mark, the kitchen has only served 25 out of 124 diners. Cut to one of the 99 unserved diners asking her companion if they should just go somewhere else for dinner.
In spite of the fact that things aren’t going all that well, Chef Ramsay plows ahead with his plan and calls Heather up to the hot plate. After a few frenzied moments, Ramsay tells Heather to calm down and get control of herself. Heather may be doing fine now, but Keith is driving off into a ditch. He sends undercooked risotto to the pass and then gets into an argument with Chef Ramsay. Ramsay gets right in his face: Keith’s attitude stinks and Ramsay threatens to take Keith out right now rather than waiting until the end of service. Keith just stands there, slack-jawed. You could drive an 18-wheeler through that gaping maw. Keith tells us that he tried not to have an attitude, but it just came out anyway. Ramsay says that they’re not all even now: Keith is far behind Heather and Virginia.
Heather’s leadership at the pass has stabilized the kitchen and Chef Ramsay thinks this is the perfect time for a little sabotage. He instructs Mary Ann to make lumpy mashed potatoes. Heather checks them and shouts to Mary Ann to watch it with the lumps. Then she sends the dish to the dining room. Ramsay immediately stops the server and tells Heather she failed that test. Heather tells us that she second guessed herself and blew it.
With more than half of the diners served, Virginia comes up to take her turn at the pass. She calls out the first order and Heather snottily asks her to repeat it, even though Virginia called it out quite clearly the first time. Passive aggressive much? Keith admits that he didn’t really even listen to Virginia. Chef Ramsay on the other hand, is impressed by Virginia’s energetic start. To test her, Ramsay asks Scott to substitute sea bass for salmon in an order, to see if Virginia is capable of keeping track of orders. Virginia immediately catches the error and sends the plate back to Scott. Her private tutorial with Chef Ramsay seems to have helped her immensely.
Now that Chef Ramsay has seen each of the chefs at the hot plate, he takes back control of the kitchen to finish up tonight’s dinner service. Ramsay wants to remind them that success isn’t just about outshining competition, it’s also about teamwork. Keith tells us that it’s hard to be a good teammate to people your supposed to be competing against. In spite of the lack of interest in teamwork, the dinner service is completed.
Chef Ramsay tells the chefs that he saw new leadership qualities in each of them tonight. Because a good leader needs to make decisions every day, they will all have to make a decision and nominate one of their competitors for elimination. Virginia tells us that Keith and Heather are sure they’ll be the final two. She asks Heather if they’re both planning on nominating her, but Heather doesn’t respond. She then says that Keith’s attitude stunk tonight and Heather agrees: Virginia might be weakest on the line, but Keith has a bad attitude. Heather even tells Keith that his performance could have been better tonight. Virginia packs her bags just in case she’s the one to go this time. She tells Keith that if she isn’t experienced enough, then there’s nothing she can do. He slams Heather a bit, telling Virginia that he was pissed about Heather’s yelling on the pass. My, how quickly they turn.
Back at Hell’s Kitchen, the nominations fall out like this:
Keith nominates Virginia because her performance on the line wasn’t better than his and she wasn’t any good at the hot plate.
Virginia nominates Keith because he was weak at the hot plate. She also says he didn’t show any fire or passion.
Heather nominates Virginia because, even though Keith didn’t do so well either, Virginia didn’t demand respect at the hot plate.
Chef Ramsay has Keith and Virginia step forward. Keith tells Ramsay that he should stay because he wants this. He wants to go to Vegas: it’s his dream. Virginia begins another of her now patented rambles. She hits on the old dog/new tricks thing. She’s a new dog, she doesn’t have any bad habits. Ramsay can mold her in his own image. She’s ready. She wants it. She’s willing and able and if this could sound any more like a proposition, I don’t know how.
Ramsay says that this is one of the toughest decisions he’s ever had to make. Tonight, Keith will be going home. Cut to Keith, whose expression (the usual wide open yapper with blank-eyed stare combo) barely changes. Ramsay’s looking for a leader and he doesn’t think Keith is ready. Keith hands over his jacket and then just stands there looking shifty. He then opens his mouth and proves how stupid he really is. He challenges Chef Ramsay: Is Virginia a better leader than he is? Ramsay says he doesn’t believe Keith is ready to lead. Keith then says that he thinks Ramsay has a …ummm…. well, he likes Virginia a whole lot (*winkwinknudgenudgesaynomore* ). Instead of just taking Keith’s head off the way I want him to, Ramsay asks Keith why he has to be so rude. Keith replies that Chef Ramsay is rude to him all the time. “Now I know I’ve made the right decision,” Ramsay says. Keith’s attitude does stink.
Keith’s parting shot: F*** Ramsay. He cooks better than all of those bitches. Yeah, whatever. Go buy some suspenders.
Chef Ramsay tells us that, as head chef, you can either run your team or your team can run you. The team definitely ran Keith. He might be a really good cook deep down, but Keith needs to lose the attitude. Ramsay congratulates the final two and sends them back to the dorms to get some rest. Virginia and Heather jump up and down, squealing like little girls. They find a bottle of champagne waiting for them, along with a card from Gordon. They pop the cork and begin their celebration. Not so fast, girls! Chef Ramsay has one more surprise in store. It’s time for one of those ultimately anti-climactic reality TV cliffhangers that only Fox can deliver. The door begins to swing open, we hear gasps and…… I guess we’ll all have to tune in for the season finale next week to see what the big, fat, hairy deal is.
Next Week: It’s the moment of truth. Virginia and Heather will face their former competitors and they’re not ready to play. Each will design their own restaurant and then they’ll face off in the most important dinner service of their lives. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll probably cringe, so tune in! Really, what else do you have to do?