Gordon Ramsay eliminates both Lacey and LA from 'Hell's Kitchen'
By John Bracchitta, 03/27/2009
Lacey, a 24-year-old corporate buffet cook from Charlotte, NC, and LA, a 23-year-old line cook from Las Vegas, NV, became the eighth and ninth contestants cut from Hell's Kitchenduring last night's broadcast of the Fox reality cooking competition.
"On the one hand it's a relief, I can get back to my normal life," Lacey said following her elimination by Chef Gordon Ramsay during dinner service. "But another part of me wishes to stay and learn more and have that chance to win. But unfortunately I f--ked up tonight. I can only look back on the positive things, which there weren't many for me."
Despite Lacey's elimination, Gordon didn't hesitate to also eliminate LA during the show's normal elimination ceremony.
"I definitely think Chef Ramsay made the wrong decision. Anything I did in there, I did it to the best of my ability," LA said following her ouster. "I'm big on not showing emotions in the kitchen, emotions are weakness, and I will never be weak. Never."
Hell's Kitchen's eighth fifth-season episode began immediately following the conclusion of last week's episode, which ended with Gordon's decision not to eliminate either Lacey or Ben, a 26-year-old executive sous chef from Chicago, IL. As they left the restaurant following the elimination ceremony, Lacey noted that she was aware of her unpopularity amongst her teammates but said that she was trying not to let it get to her.
"It's not worth it to care what they think when the only person that matters here is Chef Ramsay," Lacey said.
The following day, the contestants met Gordon in the kitchen and were told that they would be taking part in a blind taste test to measure their sense of taste. One member of each team would step forward at a time to taste a variety of different foods while blindfolded and wearing soundproof headphones, with their team getting a point if they guessed the food correctly.
In order to even out the teams, LA didn't hesitate for a moment to sit out of the challenge.
"My taste is a little off, and I'm a smoker so I'm not gonna lie, I thought it was gonna be real difficult and I was like you know what, you guys go ahead and jump up and take it," she explained later.
After the first three rotations of contestants, the Red team held a 5-4 lead as Paula, a 28-year-old executive sous chef from Coconut Creek, FL, and Danny, a 23-year-old executive chef from Edgewater, FL, came up for the final round.
Gordon then switched up the rules a bit for Paula and Danny, presenting them with a minestrone dish made with 10 ingredients. Each contestant would receive one point for each of the 10 ingredients they could correctly identify.
While Danny was able to guess three ingredients to tie the challenge up, Paula was able to match him and take the challenge for the Red team after guessing correctly during her last chance to win 8-7.
As a reward for their win, the Red team was told by Gordon that they would be starring in a photo shoot for a feature in TV Guide. Because they lost the challenge, the Blue team learned that they would not only have to wait on the Red team and cook them lunch while they participated in the shoot, but would also have to prep each kitchen for dinner service that evening.
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"F--k me man, not again," complained Robert, a 29-year-old sous chef from Quogue, NY.
As the Red team celebrated while getting their makeup done in preparation for the shoot, the Blue team sulked as they first served them chocolate covered strawberries and sparkling cider before beginning their preparations for lunch and dinner that evening.
As they struggled through preparing the kitchen, the Blue team's members also continued to become frustrated with Lacey, who often seemed lost in the kitchen and gave her teammates attitude whenever they asked her to do anything.
"She is something else, there are few people that I've met along the way that have created such a sick feeling in my stomach," Ben said. "All I wanna do is put her out into the street and call her a cab."
Meanwhile, during their photo shoot, Andrea, a 30-year-old line cook from Reading, PA, marveled about getting a taste of what life was like for a celebrity chef and that she would actually be appearing in TV Guide.
"Having the thought that somebody is gonna have me on their coffee table just blows my mind," she said.
Following the photo shoot, both teams met in the kitchen and began their final preparations for dinner service that evening. They also learned that they would be hosting their first two celebrity guests of the season: former Will and Grace star Eric McCormack and Terminator 2: Judgement Day star Robert Patrick.
Both teams got off to relatively rocky starts, with the Red team's Paula, a 28-year-old executive sous chef from Coconut Creek, FL, putting too much salt in her first risotto order, causing Gordon to spit it out and force her to make it again.
Carol, a 30-year-old sous chef from Knoxville, TN, also immediately began having trouble on the meat station, as many of her orders began taking longer than expected and coming out undercooked, irking Gordon.
On the Blue team, Robert's pasta appetizers were sent back as well after Gordon felt that the portions he had made were too large.
However, Lacey quickly stole the show with her service problems at the meat station as she frantically ran around the kitchen screaming that she didn't know what to do. Despite attempts by Danny and Ben to guide her through cooking her meals, Lacey was unable to calm down and stressed that she "[couldn't] cook meat" until she was thrown out of the kitchen by Gordon and told sternly to "wake up and get a grip!"
After returning to the kitchen, Lacey was aided by Ben briefly before he burned his hand on a pan and was eventually called off the meat station by Gordon to assist elsewhere.
Unaided, Lacey continued to stress out as she struggled. After turning over an undercooked beef Wellington along with raw lamb, Gordon let loose on her again, pulled her out of the kitchen and eliminated her from the competition.
"Madam, look at me, let's be honest you're done," Gordon told her.
After saying goodbye to her Blue teammates, Lacey didn't receive much fanfare as she left the kitchen for the last time.
"There's a small violin just for Lacey. She sucks, adios biatch," Robert said bluntly.
Meanwhile, the Red team continued to struggle as well, as Carol continued to incorrectly guess the cooking times for her meat dishes and held up other parts of the kitchen -- including LA who got stuck waiting for her at the garnish station.
"Carol got me a little mad tonight because I had all these pans lined up, waiting," she said. "I was sitting there, ready to roll, and Carol just got freaked out and scared and she just lost it."
However, LA's night was made worse after Gordon began scolding her for her shortcomings in the kitchen, despite the fact that they had been caused in part by Carol's slowdown.
Meanwhile, with Lacey gone the Blue team suddenly began working together extremely well as a team and was able to speed through their entree dishes, pulling well ahead of the Red team, which continued to be slowed by Carol and LA. After the Blue team completed their last meal ticket, they celebrated as Gordon told the Red team to shut down their kitchen.
"Three guys doing all that food, you can't not but be proud of us tonight man," an excited Robert said following dinner service.
After crediting the Blue with working well together saying that he had "never ever seen more teamwork than tonight," Gordon announced that they had won the service challenge and would receive immunity. When speaking to the Red team, Gordon mocked LA's lazy performance in the kitchen, saying that "The only thing missing form your service tonight was your alarm clock and your sleeping blanket" and told the team that they had to come to a consensus on two teammates to nominate for elimination.
However, the Red team even struggled to do that, with many of the contestant feeling that Carol and LA should be nominated except for Carol and LA themselves, who pushed for Andrea's nomination instead of their own.
After reconvening with Gordon, the chef had to push the team to "cut the bullsh-t" before getting Paula to announce the team's nominations. Paula first nominated LA because "her services have been okay but nothing superb" and then Carol.
"I just feel that Carol has had a few very bad services and tonight was one of them," Paula said.
After hearing LA and Carol's insistence that Andrea be put up for elimination as well, Gordon brought down all three contestants. After Gordon asked her who she felt should go home, Andrea put aside her rivalry with Carol and said that LA should go because Carol had, for better or worse, at least tried to take on a leadership role in the kitchen while LA had not.
Gordon than asked LA and Carol to both tell him why they should remain in Hell's Kitchen.
"I can cook my ass off Chef. The only reason I'm up here is they're basing it on my communication. They think that I can't run a kitchen because I don't yell and because I don't show emotion on the line. That's bullshit," LA said.
"I would give anything to redo tonight I just need a chance to show it to you," said Carol.
After thinking it over, Gordon revealed that Carol would receive a second chance to prove herself as he eliminated LA.