Eddie Langley the second chef eliminated from 'Hell's Kitchen 3'
By Christopher Rocchio, 06/12/2007
The women competing on Hell's Kitchen's third season lacked communication and cohesiveness during their first dinner service challenge, however they were able to thoroughly impress foul-mouthed culinary king Gordon Ramsay and rebound to defeat their male rivals during last night's broadcast of the reality competition show's second dinner service competition. As a result, Eddie Langley, a 28-year-old male grill cook from Atlanta, GA, became the second contestant eliminated from the third season of the Fox reality show.
Hell's Kitchen 3's second episode began with the 11 remaining wannabe chefs and restaurateurs discussing their feelings following their first dinner service challenge. Bonnie Muirhead, a 26-year-old nanny and personal chef from Los Angeles, CA, described Gordon as "evil and twisted," while Aaron Song, a 48-year-old retirement home chef from Palos Verdes, CA who sobbed several times during the premiere broadcast, called himself the "weakest link" on the all-male Blue team because he's the oldest. Finally able to go to sleep at 3:13AM, their rest was short, as they were awoken at 5:56AM for their next challenge.
As they marched directly into the kitchen, they were met by Gordon, who reminded them how "embarrassing" it was to watch their performance during the first dinner service challenge. Because they wasted so much food during it, Gordon said he was going to help them understand where food comes from by having them catch their own fish. However rather than leading them to the open water and handing them each a fishing pole, he took them to the restaurant's parking lot where dozens of already deceased fish were resting in a pile of ice.
"Catch!" yelled Gordon as the fish came flying out of the back of the truck and into the waiting arms of the contestants. Gordon heckled Eddie, telling him the fish he was catching were almost as large as he is. "It seems like in the world today people look at little guy's like they can't get stuff done," said Eddie, who stands just over 5-feet tall due to a kidney condition. "That's partially why I'm here, to show what I've got."
The two teams then moved the buckets of fish to their respective storage areas, with Eddie picking up the slack for Aaron, who was still struggling mightily. Once back in the kitchen, Gordon began to tell them what their challenge would be but was cut-off when Aaron inexplicably said, "F**k!" and began crying again. Gordon told him to get it together and gave Aaron a 15 minute timeout. With Aaron out of the picture, Gordon explained each team would have to peel the skin and remove the fish eggs from pieces of Dover sole. The team that cleaned and prepared the most Dover soles in 30 minutes would win the challenge.
The time expired quickly, and Gordon described the task as "tough." Looking at the work of the Blue team first, Eddie got credit for only one fish, while Brad Miller, a 25-year-old sous chef from Scottsdale, AZ, got credit for two. With Rock Harper, a 30-year-old executive chef from Spotsylvania, VA, getting credit for only one and Vinnie Fama, a 29-year-old nightclub chef from Milltown, NJ, not getting any done up to Gordon's high standard, the Blue team's total was four with only one member left. But Josh Wahler, a 26-year-old junior sous chef from Miami Beach, FL, had previously stated that he knows how to handle fish, and he demonstrated that by "perfectly" skinning and preparing four fish, doubling his team's total and helping them finish with eight.
Melissa Firpo, a 29-year-old line cook from New York, NY, was the first to have her work inspected for the Red team, and Gordon was thoroughly impressed as she completed four fishes. Julia Williams, a 28-year-old short-order cook from Atlanta, GA, completed two, however Bonnie and Jen Yemola, a 26-year-old pastry chef from Hazelton, PA, combined to correctly clean and prepare zero fish, meaning the girls were behind the Blue team by two with only Joanna Dunn, a 22-year-old chef's assistant from Detroit, MI, left to go. She cleaned and prepared three fish up to Gordon's standards, giving the Red team the victory by one fish.
"I wanted to win this challenge more than anything because I was on the chopping block last night," said Joanna, who was saved from elimination by Gordon following the first dinner service challenge. "Gordon old me, 'You've got to get in there and do it.'"
For their winning efforts, the girls got to accompany Gordon on the Shamrock II for a fishing excursion on the Pacific Ocean, complete with lunch. The guys, on the other hand, were punished and were told they had to prep every Dover sole inside the restaurant. With the girls fishing and eating lunch with Gordon, he even offered them some advice and words of wisdom to help them in the competition. Meanwhile the guys were working hard sans Aaron, who didn't join his team in the punishment until four hours into it.
"I'm numb, I'm cloudy, my head's not together. I'm achy because of the cramps. Ooof," said Aaron, before telling the guys he was "going to call it quits for good." This did not sit well with his team. "You're going to come in here and just give up because you got yelled at a bunch of times? That's bulls**t!" said Vinnie, who accused Aaron of leaving Blue "high and dry." Rock said it was better to support Aaron to get through the next dinner service, so Aaron stayed on. That night, Aaron discussed his situation with Julia.
"I'm kind of intimidated by all the young guys. It's just that they know everything," he said. "They're smarter than me, they know all the French terminology, and I know how to cook Chinese food." Julia reminded him "there's no time to feel sorry for yourself in Hell's Kitchen."
With the second dinner service challenge looming, Gordon called both teams into the kitchen to tell them what they'd be preparing: "the most amazing pan-fried Dover sole." For the second part of their punishment for losing the challenge, one of the members of the Blue team would have to work table side and fillet the Dover sole for customers. The dubious honor was awarded to Aaron. Before the doors of Hell's Kitchen were opened, Melissa gave orders but Joanna remembered Gordon's words and focused on teamwork. In the Blue kitchen, Rock was upset Josh was leading with his booming voice instead of by example. As Gordon explained his duties to Aaron -- he went blank and basically passed out standing up -- describing himself afterwards as "cloudy." Hell's Kitchen was then open for business and the second dinner service challenge was underway.
Gordon barked orders at both kitchens as Aaron went table side and conversed with all the customers seated in the dining area. "Get that donkey out of there!" yelled Gordon about Aaron. Gordon then turned his attention to Eddie and scolded him for his lackluster pasta, and Eddie explained he got confused because of all the other chefs working around him. Eddie said he was "ashamed" at himself for not stepping up and speaking out. Forty-five minutes in and the Blue team still hadn't produced anything while Gordon yelled at Bonnie on the Red team for messing up his orders.
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"Are you a dumb blond?" he asked Bonnie, who said she was trying to prove that misconception wrong.
Vinnie was attempting to prepare the Dover sole for the Blue team, and Gordon commented he thought it looked burned. When Vinnie said it wasn't and Gordon noticed it was, Gordon was upset Vinnie lied to him. With Jen in the lead, the Red kitchen started to push out appetizers, which were receiving rave reviews from Hell's Kitchen's patrons. Aaron then had his first chance to fillet a Dover sole, and other than profusely sweating, it took him 15 minutes to complete the task and the fish was cold by the time he was done. Gordon then yelled at Eddie for making his risotto "way too peppery."
"You wouldn't even serve it to a f**king pig!" Gordon yelled at Eddie, who once again said he was "embarrassed" by his efforts. Brad was then put in control of the risotto before Gordon turned his attention back to the Red kitchen and scolded Joanna for forgetting to cook the lettuce. Because teamwork was the mantra, Bonnie consoled Joanna and the Red team was able to serve 23 of their 50 entrees compared to the Blue team's nine. Things got worse for the Blue team, as Josh overcooked the Wellington, and Gordon said the Blue team was "sinking like the Titanic." Customers were also complaining about the number of bones Aaron was leaving in their Dover soles.
"Customers are complaining about bones in the soles. What's going on?" asked Gordon. "It's dark out there and I'm trying to rush myself I guess," answered Aaron meekly. "Concentrate!" yelled Gordon as Aaron questioned his ability again. "This is a top class place and maybe I'm not top class," said Aaron.
The Red team then encountered a hiccup as Melissa was getting in Joanna's way, and Gordon pleaded with them to stick together since they were doing so well up to that point. Three hours into the dinner service and the Red team was all but finished, however the same could not be said for the guys, as Brad's risotto was just as bad as Eddie's and Josh was yelled at for preparing dry chicken. The entire Blue team was then banished from the kitchen and the girls were left to pick-up their slack.
"The girls took over dinner service? I mean that's embarrassing. How did they beat us?" wondered Brad. "It happened, and it sucks." Not only did the girls work as a team, they were able to push-out all the Blue team's orders.
"It's pretty obvious who was the worst team this evening," said Gordon before singling out and individually blasting several members of the Blue team, including Aaron, Vinnie and Eddie. Gordon described Rock as "the least bad" of the Blue team, giving him the task of nominating two of his teammates for elimination. All of the guys pleaded their case to Rock, with Eddie suggesting he, Vinnie and Aaron are the smart choices for elimination. Aaron flattered Rock and before wondering in private if he was the correct choice to go home.
"I honestly think that it should be me," said Aaron. "Probably me."
Josh told Rock he didn't think he deserved to go home, but Rock apparently saw things differently, nominating Josh as one of the two members of the Blue team up for elimination. "To me, Josh is all over the place," said Rock as Josh wore a look of amazement on his face. Rock also nominated Eddie. "I feel that Eddie is a small guy, and I'm not sure when he can come out of that shell and be an asset to the team," said Rock. Both Eddie and Josh then told Gordon why they should stay, and while he said it wasn't an easy decision, he decided to send home Eddie.
"My biggest regret in Hell's Kitchen is just not being loud," opined Eddie. "I should have just went in full blast and just tore the place apart. Getting kicked off sucks, but I did it to myself." Aaron said he was "incredibly surprised" he wasn't nominated by Rock, while Bonnie said she thought the girls proved to the guys that they are a force to be reckoned with. Josh was now aware Rock might be gunning for him and would have to watch his back.
"Eddie's got a big heart. Sadly, he couldn't even hold his own section," said Gordon. "He made far too many simple mistakes, and he didn't merit running his own restaurant."
Hell's Kitchen 3's third episode will air Monday, June 18 at 9PM ET/PT on Fox.