'Hell's Kitchen' star Gordon Ramsay cuts Fran Klier, Nilka Hendricks
By Reality TV World staff, 07/07/2010
Hell's Kitchen eliminated Fran Klier and Nilka Hendricks and revealed its Final 6 seventh-season contestants during Tuesday night's broadcast of back-to-back episodes of the Fox culinary competition series.
"Congratulations, you're in the Final 6!" Hell's Kitchen star Gordon Ramsay told the six remaining contestants as he gave them new chef's jackets and dissolved the competition's Red and Blue teams.
"The challenges are going to get harder, the competition is going to get more fierce. And look at you -- one dynamic team. Well done. Now f--k off upstairs."
Hell's Kitchen's ninth seventh-season episode began with the Red and Blue teams competing in a palette challenge in which the eight remaining contestants had to identify spoonfuls of various food ingredients.
The Blue team won the challenge via a 4-3 score, allowing them to spend the day at SeaWorld while the Red Team was tasked with unloading the kitchen's delivery trucks.
Afterward, the teams competed in a dinner service in which they had to design their own menus. While both teams completed the dinner service, Gordon declined to declare a winner and demanded each team nominate one contestant for elimination instead.
"That was pathetic! You both lost tonight. Both teams get back in the dorm and think from each team, one individual that should go home tonight," he told the teams.
After deliberating, the Red team nominated Fran, a 44-year-old catering chef from Rockville Centre, NY, while the Blue team nominated Autumn Lewis, a 29-year-old personal chef from Chicago, IL who currently resides in North Hollywood, CA.
Gordon subsequently decided to eliminate Fran, who had struggled to handle her team's meat station during dinner service.
"Keep your head up high, you deserve it," Gordon told Fran as he took her chef's jacket.
"I don't regret one minute that I've spent here," Fran said after her elimination. "I truly was the backbone of the team. They all think that the Red team is stronger with me gone [but] the Red team, they don't realize what they've lost right now."
In addition, Gordon also decided to send Autumn back to the Red team -- the team she had been on before Gordon swapped her to the Blue team after she clashed with her teammates.
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"Ever since you started with the Blue team you've been on a downward spiral and it's not working in there, is it? You may not have been liked by the Red team, but you had your best performances there," he said. "So get back in the Red team. I'm giving you one more chance to prove yourself."
Hell's Kitchen's tenth seventh-season episode then began with the Red and Blue teams competing in a challenge in which each team member had to prepare a dish using a portion of a 10-pound lobster.
Since the Red team had one additional member, Gordon told the team to decide which member's dish would be omitted from the subsequent tasting. After tasting all four dishes, the Red team members chose to eliminate Nilka's potato puree with lobster.
"Sounds disgusting, good choice," Gordon quipped after hearing a description of Nilka's excluded dish.
Gordon then judged the dishes along with Michelin star chefs Josiah Citrin, Michael Cimarusti, and David Lefevre.
Holli Ugalde, a 24-year-old banquet chef from San Bernardino, CA, faced off against Ed Battaglia, a 28-year-old high school cooking teacher from Burlington, NJ, in the first round and won it, giving her Red team a 1-0 lead.
However Autumn lost the next round to Jason Ellis, a 37-year-old personal chef who currently resides in Suwanee, GA, giving the Blue team a 1-1 tie.
Benjamin Knack, a 33-year-old culinary instructor from Elmont, NY, and Jay Santos, a 32-year-old executive chef who currently resides in Medford, MA, then faced off in the final round but neither dish was deemed good enough to earn a point -- causing Gordon to award the tiebreaker to the Red team based on the quality of Holly's dish, which he considered the best overall.
"Your dish was the best by far," he told Holly.
Afterward, the Red team spent the day "experiencing the life of the rich and famous" while the losing Blue team remained behind and cleaned the dorm and prepped for the evening's dinner service.
Once the Red team returned, the teams competed in a dinner service in which both teams cooked together in the Red team kitchen and needed to complete service within two and half hours.
Nilka struggled to handle the fish station and delivered undercooked portions throughout the service, resulting in Gordon eventually telling her to leave the kitchen and take her jacket off.
"No chef, don't say that please!" she pleaded. "Chef please! Please don't say that!"
However Gordon wasn't swayed by Nilka's tearful pleas.
"Take your jacket off and get out of Hell's Kitchen. I can't do it," he said when she returned to the kitchen to beg for one more chance. "Don't do this to me... take your jacket and get out!"
Once dinner service completed without further issue, Gordon met Nilka outside the restaurant as she was leaving.
"I just want to say you walk out of here with your head up high. Sadly, you're not ready... but what you are ready to continue doing is follow your dream. Don't stop," he said.
"Listen, you have done phenomenally well. I've never come out here to say goodbye but I wanted to make the effort to say goodbye and say thank you."
After saying goodbye to Nilka, Gordon asked the six remaining contestants to nominate two people for elimination.
They nominated Ed and Autumn, however Gordon then surprised them with the news that no one was being eliminated and he was dissolving the competition's Red and Blue teams.
"Tonight was the best service we've had in Hell's Kitchen, and that's why I rewarded the Final 6," Gordon explained afterwards. "Now, only the best chefs remain. Nilka was clearly out of her depth."