Previously, on So You Think You Can Dance, Nigel and the judges committed an atrocity by allowing the one-dimensional Cedric to ………oops. Wrong show.
Previously on Hell’s Kitchen: Viewers tuned in to see how badly the chef wannabee’s would ruin a wedding reception, witness Bonnie strangling Melissa, and see who got the boot. 60 minutes later, the viewers find out that they didn’t ruin the wedding, Bonnie didn’t strangle Melissa and no one got the boot. WTF? Instead, Chef Ramsey decides to give CaveGirl Melissa a mulligan, and moves her to the Blue team. Is Melissa happy about the move? Not half as happy as the Red team. BTW, what is a mulligan anyway? Well, turns out a mulligan is a “do-over” in golf and was named after a man named, yep you guessed it - Mulligan. David Mulligan to be exact. Now there are a number of variations on what exactly transpired but the Coles Notes version is that after he hit a poor opening tee shot, he re-teed and shot again, not counting his initial shot. In recreation golf, a mulligan is usually given on the first hole only, though some foursome’s will allow one on each nine. Me? I call a mulligan a fancy name for cheating, but I digress.
Opening Credits with pictures of the contestants. You know, I don’t even remember who Tiffany was? Bonnie blows a heart shaped kiss to the viewership, what a diva! Hey Eddie, would have liked to have seen you go further dude. Vinnie, how’s The Family? Aaron, have they released you yet?
Voiceover: “And now, the continuation of Hell’s Kitchen”.
As we see Melissa making her way towards the Blue team, Jen tells us that Chef did the Red Team a HUGE favor by moving Melissa to the Blue team. No Shvt Sherlock. Meanwhile, despite Melissa’s assurance that she will do nothing to sabotage the Blue team, Rock isn’t buying it. In fact, Rock subscribes to the mulligan theory as well. I wonder what his golf handicap is? Did anyone else notice that Melissa, sporting what appears to be a goatee, actually fits in better with the boys than the girls? Bonnie then enters the room stating that there will be a team meeting and adds: “Not you bvtch” to Melissa. She then confirms to Jen and Julia that with the bully gone, that this is their time to shine. Do I sense a foreshadow here?
Voiceover: “As a new day dawns, the aspiring chefs are discovering that people, aren’t always who they seem.” Sidenote:just before he said this, the cameras panned the restaurant. Is it just me, or does the restaurant look a whole lot different than it used to? No Reveille this morning, but Bonnie appears exhausted – maybe the name calling last night tired her out, poor thing. Rock starts talking about the many great restaurants in New York, Brad mentions that a friend of his works at Le Bec Fin in Philadelphia and Jen admits that she used to work there, much to everyone’s surprise. Since I had never heard of it, I Googled it and found this:http://tinyurl.com/2n552l. Nice, very nice indeed. In a confessional, Jen says that she likes to keep her background quiet, so people can be that much more amazed at her game! She also admits that she gained the bulk of her experience at the Ritz and at Morimoto’s. Pop Quiz Time: What are Le Bec Fin, The Ritz, and Morimoto’s? Three places where yours truly will not be sampling the spaghetti.
Chapter 2 - Battle Lobster!
The wannabee’s line up in the kitchen awaiting their next challenge. Bonnie comments that chef was standing beside something that looks like a piano and wonders if they are going to have to sing about food! No denying that you are a natural blond there kiddo! Chef reveals the lobsters, and while the guys are confident, the girls? Notsomuch. Julia remarks that she doesn’t think she has ever even tried lobster. What? You can’t order lobster at the Waffle House? Bonnie says she cries when she has to kill them, Rock states that the lobsters cry too! (Ladies and Gentlemen, a warm round of applause from our resident comic. Rock brings the house down every Monday and Thursday!) Chef Ramsey offers that the key to killing them is to get the knife in quick. Hmmm. I know some of you will find this hard to believe, but I am a Food Network devotee. I recall someone (Alton Brown perhaps), telling the viewers that the best way to cook lobsters is to chill them in the freezer (they are cold blooded so their metabolism would slow to almost nothing), and then gently slip them into the boiling water. I guess that wouldn’t make for very interesting television though would it? Ok then, check that. Chef also points out that you must be careful about not getting pinched (where are the rubber bands around the claws you normally see? Check that one as well for the same reason.), and that creativity will be the key to this competition. But what’s this? As he is talking about this, the lobster he is holding has red claws. Red claws? Doesn’t that mean that it is already cooked? So let’s see if I quite understand. Chef has no issue with plunging a knife into the lobster’s head, no issue with the chefs getting pinched by the band-less claws, but is holding a lobster that couldn’t do him harm if it wanted to? Got it. Back to the show – Chef states that “the girls winners of the competition will be part of something incredibly glamorous while the boys losers, well I can assure you, you do not want to be on the Blue team lose this challenge”.
And, they’re off! Voiceover: ”For this challenge, the teams will have one hour to create three dishes that are creative and delicious enough to impress Chef Ramsey”. All the contestants are selecting their lobster in anticipation of their dishes. Well, all except Bonnie who tried to duck out of it. Power to her though, she put her reservations aside, grabbed a “Big F***er”, and tossed it in the pot. As Josh cannot tell the difference between lobster and scallops, he cannot assist except to offer advice. Rock tells him he is making a fried lobster tale with mango. Brad states he can make a bisque in seconds. Josh decides that Melissa could use some coaching and suggests a cold lobster salad. (Yum – Did I mention that I love lobster?)
Over on the girls’ side Jen says she is a bit concerned about Julia’s lack of lobster experience. Hey Jen? Why don’t you just tell her to make a lobster omelet – play to her strengths for goodness sake. Instead, she suggests Risotto – something everyone struggles with. It is not clear at this stage, what Jen and Bonnie are making.
First Up: Bonnie. Bonnie has made a grilled lobster salad with what looks like an apple remoulade. Chef pronounces it “Very Nice”. Bonnie is clearly relieved.
Next up: Melissa. Citrus herb salad with poached lobster. Chef likes the freshness of the citrus but then states that the lobster is not cooked properly. Josh biting his nails as Chef critiques.
”Edge goes to Bonnie”, says Chef, and the screen reveals: Women (1) Men (0). Huh? Throughout this entire competition, we have been referring to the teams as Red Team and Blue Team, even though the Red team has always been comprised of women, and the Blue team of men. Now the Blue team has a woman (albeit one that has more facial hair than yours truly), and they are now the “Men”? Actually, come to think of it....Bwahahahaha!!
Round Two: Julia starts. Has made a lobster risotto. Chef likes the “spicy lobster” but pronounces the risotto boring. Next Up: Rock: Chef says: “Blow me. Away.” (Settle down Bonnie!) Chef is presented with a buttermilk lobster tempura with asparagus. Chef says it was done perfectly and gives the edge to Rock. Screen reveals: Women (1) Men (1).
Round Three: Both Jen and Brad have selected to make lobster bisque. Jen’s is more traditional and her dish looks the part, while Brad’s is a modern version. Chef likes both and says that the decision is a tough one. Says that he is so sorry the men will lose that there has to be a loser. Um Chef? How about reminding us that the winner will be pre-selected judged on creativity and taste. Chef states that “The winner is…….cue dramatic music……commercial break. Actually, the real winner here looks to be the lobster that was thrown back in the tank as we went to commercials.
Chapter 3 – Conspiracy Theories Abound.
And…we’re back from commercials. I thought about recapping the commercials but I am afraid that you would have seen different ones than me. You see, even though this is a production made in the US, and we get it from a US feed, we then insert our own “Made in Canada” commercials. Which is why Canadians suck at The Price is Right”. We never see the US prices, and look like complete idiots when we quote the Canadian price. It took me years to figure that out. Alas, I digress.
“The winner is……..Red Team. As the winning team, all three of you will have an exclusive interview and photo shoot with In Touch Magazine along with me”. Jen and Julia are excited, but Bonnie about pees herself at the thought of being in a magazine, being made to look pretty and having her photo taken with Chef Ramsey. “Champagne awaits on ice in the limo ladies, hurry up. Losers, unfortunately the punishment is at the other end of the glamour spectrum. I need you to go through every garbage bin in the restaurant looking for recyclables”. (Does spaghetti count chef?) Rock says that he has never seen anything in the garbage that could be re-used and then in a confessional (growing angrier) states that “I grew up in the ghetto, the hood, and I never been in no trash”. And he’s off! Really losing it now, swearing, throwing things around the kitchen, while his teammates are growing more alarmed with each outburst. “Creativity! What the bleep is creative about a crab and lobster bisque? Nothing – you can get bleeping lobster soup anywhere!” Pop Quiz: Is Rock angry about losing to the Red Team? Answer: I dunno, is Eddie short? Does Aaron cry a lot? Is Melissa looking at getting quantity discounts on Mach II blades?
In any event, the Blue team gets busy with the recycling task (mostly bottles, cans etc, and thankfully, no spaghetti in sight), and the Red team jumps in the limo to head out to the shoot. They wave as they pass the Blue team, and the Blue team are cordial. As we no longer have Vinnie on the show, there are no F* Bombs dropped by the Blue team, at least any that we could hear. I am going to skip through the shoot pretty quickly as I found most of it pretty boring. They get made up – get nice dresses and all look much nicer than they normally do. They toast each other with a “Here’s to the Hotties of Hell’s Kitchen…no longer Hell’s beyotches”, and I can’t help wondering if that would have sounded more appropriate if Melissa was still in the mix.
Back on the Blue team, Rock is told he is wanted on the photo shoot and arrives a short while later. Chef informs him that he wanted to ensure the task was complete, and would he mind if he took out the garbage from the shoot. Rock showed immense reserve by not going ballistic with this one, and I, for one, really wondered why Chef was baiting him like that. That Chef, a real master baiter. (Somewhere, Bonnie’s ears just perked up.) Did I forget to mention that Chef asked “what’s that smell”, to which Rock replied “It’s me”. Nasty, nasty stuff.
Back to the shoot. Pose like Charlie’s Angels……Bonnie holding a mixer like a gun….Bonnie saying that she felt like a Rock Star. We get it Bonnie. You have aspirations outside the kitchen. Man – you are such a little diva. Meanwhile, Rock returns to HK, rants some more. And then for good measure, rants some more as we go to….commercial.
Chapter 4 – Senior’s Dinner Hour.
We’re back. Voiceover: “After a long day, there’s no rest for the weary, as both teams must now prepare for tonight’s dinner service”. Rock now shown in a meditative state. Says he was angry earlier (really Rock?), but now he must focus on leading his team. Blue team shown starting prep work, lot’s of talk about staying focused and winning with emphasis on Melissa claiming she wants to put everything out perfect and quickly. Can you say foreshadowing? I knew you could. Meanwhile, Red team shown communicating, and saying that while they are short one person (waves to Eddie), they feel confident.
Chef calls both teams over and announces that Bonnie is a dish Bonnie’s dish (the grilled lobster salad with apples), will be featured on the menu tonight and that because the Blue team lost, they will have to run to the tank to retrieve the lobsters for all orders. Chef then instructs Jean-Philippe to open the restaurant and it is soon filled with wannabe actors customers. As an aside, most restaurants that I have been involved in would try and stagger the tables to give the kitchen a chance to get a groove going. I often wonder why HK patrons are treated like the 4:30pm sitting at the seniors’ complex (waves to Aaron).
And…here come the orders! Chef announcing them faster than REM signing the lyrics to “It’s the End of the World as You Know It”. Coincidence? You decide. Julia announces to the Blue team that she needs a lobster, and Josh goes to the restaurant to retrieve one. In a confessional, Josh states that tonight he is a “Lobster Beyotch”. Again, this makes no sense to me. If there are no “Whole Lobster’s” on the menu, why do we need the tank in the restaurant? That’s usually the case if you are encouraging your patrons to choose their own lobster, but certainly not what’s happening here. I think I’ll write Chef and ask. Meanwhile, Rock is giving encouraging words to Melissa, letting her know that she should lean on the team whenever she needs to. I think this is a bit of a man-crush thing we are witnessing, and Rock must be secretly into the “Pirate Look”. Unfortunately, while Red team seems to be starting off quickly, the same cannot be said of the Blue team, who are struggling to boil water. WTF? Red team gets Chef’s praise on their first starters, Blue team is asked for two starters, and sends three. Chef tells them that they should start panicking. I say that panic button was worn out on the first show. Red team is really moving, communicating, working together. Melissa struggling, taken to task over her “papery scallops”, and earning the words “Everything she touches she screws”, from Chef. (I said pardon? I swear this stuff writes itself)
One hour into dinner service, Blue team doesn’t appear to have sent out a single dish, while Red team are half way through their starters, earning high praise from Chef who announces that this is the best start we have ever seen! And just as we savor that little ditty, Bonnie starts a MAJOR fire. Off we go to commercial.
Back from commercial. Bonnie laments that she didn’t know what she should do to put out the fire, and with that, it’s out. (Very disappointing for the viewers who take the previews each week literally. I know I was expecting mass panic as the actors patrons bolted in a panicked frenzy.) Red team still moving like a well-oiled machine, getting compliments from Chef, and the other one, whose name (and role) always escape me – Shi-Ann, is that you?. Should we fast-forward through some of the torment the Blue team is dealing with? Josh can’t make potatoes, Brad’s risotto (which was really Melissa’s), is overcooked, Monkfish that according to Chef, looks like regurgitated dogshvt, etc. etc. etc. A minor altercation with Julia over her not listening to Chef happened somewhere in between, but it was lost in comparison. Chef has had it and insists that Rock take over the fish station while Melissa moves to garnish. The good news is that throughout this whole fiasco, Chef’s blood pressure stayed under 200/150. Not.
Red team only have two tickets to complete. But wait! A minor squabble over tone sets Julia off again. I swear she has cried on every episode of this show. More than Aaron even. Voiceover states that “Chef is starting to run out of patience with the Red team (huh?), while the Blue team is running out of something else”. Potatoes. But that won’t matter as Jean-Luc-Picard Philippe returns six of the dishes prepared by the Blue team claiming that the lobsters are tough and the Wellingtons are overcooked. Chef start to thank the Blue team, for overcooked Risotto, for running out of potatoes, for overdone Monkfish. Can you see what’s about to happen. Wait for it now. And then the immortal words: “You’re fired?” Nope – wrong show silly. “Shut it down! And we are off to commercial.
Voiceover: “After a lopsided dinner service, Chef Ramsey has an easy decision.” “Blue team, let’s put you out of your misery, you lost” says Chef. “Sous chef?” He inquires of Josh. “Executive Chef?” Rock nods. “Sous Chef?” To Brad. “Line Chef’, to Mr. Depp Melissa. “You got beaten by a nanny, a short order cook and a pastry chef, and goes on to remind Josh that he has not had a single good service and that Brad’s had his worst night ever. Chef then instructs that all four members of the Blue team must come up with two nominations.
Chapter 5 – It’s Time To Vote.
Blue team discussing the nominations for tonight. Rock asks if anyone wants to “volunteer”. Melissa says that while she doesn’t want to go, she isn’t going to try and hide. (Side note: You know? When this season first started, I actually thought Melissa was reasonably attractive, and that part of the storyline would be her playing up her appeal. Tonight, she looks like she went 10 rounds with the heavyweight champ and sucking on that cigarette certainly isn’t helping.) Brad states that they need to decide if they base the nominations on tonight’s performance, in which case he and Melissa would go, or overall performance, where Josh and Melissa would go. Melissa says that she is going either way (brains to boot!), and Josh agrees with an overall approach, as he feels that while he has not had a great dinner service, he has not had a bad one. Rock stays strangely silent throughout this entire discussion.
Blue team enters the kitchen. Chef asks if they have made their decision, to which they say yes. He then asks if it was difficult. A few mumble mumbles from the foursome and Chef responds with “Cut the crap.” He then asks Melissa to step forward and tells her to leave Hell’s Kitchen, saying that she has had more chances than anyone. (Anyone notice he didn’t wait for the Blue team to offer up nominations?) Rock shown in a confessional saying he was not surprised as he needs to see everyone walk out the door if he is going to win it all. Back to Chef: “Blue team. I’m not done yet. Brad and Josh, step forward….” Off to commercial. Wait a minute! A triple elimination? That would be amazing! And to think, thanks to a VCR snafu, I get the privilege of writing about it! A Hell’s Kitchen First!
Conclusion – A Case of Premature Speculation
Back. Voiceover: Upset with the Blue team’s disastrous dinner service, Chef Ramsey sent Melissa home. But that, was just the start. “Josh, you’ve done sweet-f*** all since you’ve been in Hell’s Kitchen. Why should you stay?” “I have a lot more to offer…yada yada, continually improving, yada yada, do not want to leave.” These guys should really practice their pitches no? “Brad? Tonight you were *long bleeeep*.In fact you were worse than *bleep*. You complemented *bleep.* Why should you stay?” Brad looks nervous as he says “because I have never been as embarrassed as I was tonight, and I really feel like I have what it takes to win.” Chef, to both of them: “Endless excuses, pathetic cooking and a complete letdown”. (Here we go, the triple elim!!!!). “My decision is….(dramatic music, panic looks all around)……both of you…………get back in line.” WTF? I hate that. Hate, hate hate that! Excuse me as I go on a Rock rant for a bit! That was a clear set-up for the triple-elim and he left it out there. He gave them a mulligan.
Josh in confessional: “I deserve to be here, I am good enough to be here, I’m strong enough to be here and now, its gameface”. (Thanks Stuart). Brad in confessional: “If I am as good as I say I am, I need to win”. Julia in confessional: “Here I am, the little waffle house girl. And I am still here and don’t plan on giving up”. Sounds like the Little Engine that could to me. Bonnie in confessional: “Red team just needs to keep working their little a$$es off” No comment. Chef Ramsey: “That was really difficult. Brad and Josh were really horrible and Melissa, though she sounds like a leader, doesn’t cook like a leader”. Walks over to Melissa’s picture and impales her jacket through the hook. Yep, you got it, flames engulf Melissa’s picture.
Next week on Hell’s Kitchen.
Paintball fight, intense competition, Ramsey yelling, Blue Menu versus Red Menu, with a restaurant at the Green Valley Ranch Hanging in the balance! More importantly, the lovely and talented Snidget will be here to tell you all about it.