Coi becomes the sixth contestant eliminated from 'Hell's Kitchen'
By John Bracchitta, 03/13/2009
Coi, a 22-year-old cafe cook from Austin, TX, was revealed to be the sixth contestant cut from Hell's Kitchen during last night's broadcast of the Fox reality cooking show.
"I feel Andrea should be here right now," a heated Coi said following her elimination by Chef Gordon Ramsey. "I feel angry for the fact that she wasn't seen as the worst. I don't feel like I should be going home."
Hell's Kitchen's sixth fifth-season episode began immediately following the conclusion of last week's episode, which ended with Gordon deciding to eliminate Colleen, a 41-year-old cooking school instructor from Papillion, NE, from the Red team. Following a brush with the bottom two after a sub-par in the kitchen, Andrea, a 30-year-old line cook from Reading, PA, said she held no animosity for the decision to put her up for elimination and instead used it as motivation.
"Being up on the chopping block was a very humbling experience this evening," she said. "It's not gonna happen again.
The next morning, Gordon greeted the two teams and told them that they would be hosting a bar mitzvah at Hell's Kitchen's restaurant the following evening. He then revealed that for their challenge they would have to prepare special versions of the three favorite dishes -- a hamburger, brisket and chicken soup -- of Max, the 12-year-old boy the bar mitzvah was being held for.
Both teams were given 45 minutes to prepare the food. Coi volunteered to handle the brisket for the Red team while Carol, a 30-year-old sous chef from Knoxville, TN, prepared the burgers and stuffed them with bleu cheese despite the concerns of her teammates that the flavor of the cheese may be too strong. Meanwhile on the Blue team, Ben, a 26-year-old executive sous chef from Chicago, IL, was confident that his Jewish heritage would help him make a superior brisket to the Red team's version.
After preparing the food, the contestants were somewhat surprised when it was revealed that Max -- and not Gordon or the boy's mother and grandmother who were on hand as well -- would be the sole judge of the competition and choose which version of each dish he preferred.
For the chicken soup, Max preferred the Blue team's traditional chicken soup with pasta, fresh vegetable and rice balls over the Red team's spring chicken soup with homemade pasta and pea shooters.
However the Red team moved into a tie with the Blue team after Max preferred their brisket with cherry barbeque sauce over Ben's brisket, which he said was prepared with a "wee bit of schmaltz."
With the burgers acting as the deciding vote, Max ultimately chose the Blue team's traditional Kobe beef burger over Carol's stuffed bleu cheese burger, with Max specifically citing his dislike of the bleu cheese as the reason he had picked the other burger.
As their prize for winning the challenge, Gordon told the Blue team that they would be receiving a day of luxury at a spa while the Red team set up the Hell's Kitchen restaurant for the bar mitzvah, which included the construction of a basketball court-themed dance floor and the inflation of countless balloons.
While the Blue team relaxed, the Red team struggled as they set up the restaurant, particularly with the construction of the dance floor that led to bickering between Andrea, Carol and Coi.
While at the spa, Lacey, a 24-year-old corporate buffet cook from Charlotte, NC, was congratulated by Ben for her hard work on their team, and later said that she was happy with the decision for her to switch teams made by Gordon.
"It's very satisfying knowing that I'm on a new team, I've had a new start," she said. "I'm gonna show both teams that I can do this I deserve to be here.
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With the restaurant set up by the Red team and the Blue team back from their day of luxury, both teams then gathered prior to their dinner service and were Gordon told them that he expected "a very, very special night for Max" and urged them to put on their best dinner service yet.
The bar mitzvah than commenced, and got off to a somewhat rocky start when Gordon singled out Andrea for not putting enough mushrooms in her mushroom risotto. However, after quickly recovering -- and denying help from Carol in the process -- Andrea redeemed herself by fixing the order without wasting much time.
As a second part of their punishment, the Red team was told that they had to stop midway through their appetizer preparation and go onto the dance floor to lift up Max in a chair as part of a traditional ceremony, allowing the Blue team to get a jump on them and push out their appetizers first.
One-and-a-half hours into the dinner service both teams completed their appetizers and moved on to the main courses. However, the Red team was severely held back after Coi committed a fatal error by forgetting to put the hamburgers on the grill beforehand. To make matters worse, Gordon screamed that the burgers for Max's table -- who was getting served first before the rest of the guests -- were cold. As the Red team scrambled to prepare the burgers again, Gordon chided them for stumbling over each other and not giving them enough room to get their cooking done.
Following her hamburger debacle, Coi struggled further with the brisket and was rude when she eventually had to be helped by LA, a 23-year-old line cook from Las Vegas, NV.
"When Coi gets under pressure she just gets frustrated," LA said later.
On the Blue team, Lacey struggled with the brisket as well, forgetting to keep it heated and delivering a set of cold dishes to Gordon that he promptly sent back.
Despite their issues, each team was able to complete their dinner services with relatively few complaints. Following a surprise performance by the Harlem Globetrotters to end the bar mitzvah, Gordon told the teams that they had "made Max and his family very happy."
Because both teams performed almost evenly, Gordon said he was going to award the challenge to the team with greater "level of service," before telling the Blue team they had won.
Gordon added that because she had bounced back from her rough start, Andrea would be the Red team contestant to pick the two nominees to put up for elimination.
After leaving the kitchen Carol said she was "pissed" that Andrea had been singled out as the strongest performer on the Red team and said she had in fact been the worst.
Sensing that she would be nominated for her poor dinner service performance, Coi told Carol that if they were brought up for elimination that should tell Gordon that Andrea had been the weakest performer in the kitchen in an attempt to get him to change his mind.
While Andrea did single out Carol and Coi for their poor performances, she also seemed to acknowledge that she had not performed well either and said before leaving to meet with Gordon that she did not know who she was going to nominate for elimination.
She reiterated her uncertainty to Gordon as well once the team met with him in the restaurant, saying that it was "hard to stand up here and point fingers when I can pretty much be reflecting those reasons upon myself as well."
"Are you f--king mad?" Gordon shot back at her before demanding that she own up to her responsibility and give him two nominations immediately.
Andrea obeyed Gordon, nominating Coi for her recent sub-par performances in the kitchen as well as LA, whom she said had only been giving 90% instead of 110% in the kitchen and had not stepped up as a leader for the team.
Gordon had LA and Coi come forward and present why they felt they should stay in the competition before he made his decision.
"You haven't seen the best of me yet, LA said. "I mean this is my life. I'm not very loud, I just gotta get in there next time and do it, and I gotta show you that I'm in it to win it."
"I've been a wonderful team player ever single time that I've had a challenge," Coi said next. "I've been in the front motivating my team. I'm always first, I'm always doing [something] and helping my team."
Coi then added that she felt Andrea had been the weakest performer during dinner service, with LA and Carol agreeing with her. However when asked who she felt performed the worst, Paula, a 28-year-old executive sous chef from Coconut Creek, FL, named Coi.
Gordon then agreed, eliminating Coi from the competition. He later added that her inability to cook such a simple item such as a hamburger had been the primary reason for her elimination.