Hell’s Kitchen: Pressing Ramsay’s buttons

Gordon Ramsay, star of the FOX reality show “Hell’s Kitchen,” is pissed. He has his six finalists for the head chef position at the Borgata Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, and he’s not sure he wants to hire any of them. Ratings for this show must be down, because they keep teasing us with twists and turns, more so than ever before, and Ramsay threatening to shut down Hell’s Kitchen permanently is clearly a gag. But more on that in a bit.

Last night the show began with everyone in a state of shock that Carol had just been eliminated, after her red team had won the dinner service. Ben and Robert were mostly relieved that they had survived the chopping block. So then Ramsay asked Paula who the weakest link on the red team was, and she said Andrea. Danny was asked the same question for the blue team, and he chose Ben. Andrea and Ben were asked to step forward, the lights dimmed, and Ramsay told them both, “I hate to do this, but give me your jackets.” What? Then he told them to get back in line and put on black jackets, and he asked everyone else to do the same, to signify that they were the final six and that from here on out, it was an individual competition, and not red vs. blue.

So we have Giovanni, Paula, Ben, Robert, Danny and Andrea. Not exactly a stellar bunch, right? I told Mrs. Mike I was thinking Danny, Paula and maybe Giovanni were front-runners at this point. Then they had the initial challenge, which was to create a dish using the same 14 ingredients, which included chicken, mushrooms, red wine, rosemary, and pasta. Ramsay liked just about every dish, making him feel like he had the right final six. But Ben and Danny’s dishes stood out, so he asked them to step forward, and he wound up choosing Ben. That riled Ben up, because Danny had just called him the worst on the blue team. Then Ramsay asked Ben to choose a fellow chef to take with him to San Francisco for the day, and he chose Robert. Ouch to Danny!

Meanwhile, the other four had to unload delivery trucks all day and prep the kitchen for dinner. Giovanni was getting tired and cranky as the day wore on, and Paula was getting impatient with him. Finally, Ben and Robert arrived back after having taken a private jet with Ramsay to the Bay area, and Ben had to recap their experience to everyone else, annoying them all to no end.

At the dinner service, nothing was going right. Everyone was tired and flustered and couldn’t get the orders out properly or work together as a team. Robert made rubbery scallops; Andrea was too quick in her prep work, screwing up the timing of the operation; Giovanni was under-cooking chicken; and Andrea couldn’t remember the orders being called in. Ramsay shouted at her to go cool off, and Jean Phillipe was shown coaching her to get back in the kitchen and basically get a grip. Then Ramsay yelled at Giovanni, prompting Giovanni to mouth back off at Ramsay. Ooooh, not a good idea. Ramsay got in his face, big-time. Then Giovanni inadvertently burned Robert with a hot pan.

Ramsay shut things down, and asked Paula to nominate two chefs for elimination. She had to choose among the three who under-performed that night–Andrea, Giovanni, and Robert. Ramsay commented that maybe he didn’t have the correct six finalists after all. Paula then nominated Giovanni and Andrea, and Ramsay had them both step forward to state their case. He then said, “for all the right reasons,” that he was booting off Giovanni. Dude just had a horrible service and mouthing back off to Ramsay can never, ever be a good idea.

But then, just as the final five were tucking themselves into bed, Ramsay called them back into the kitchen. He said he was considering shutting down Hell’s Kitchen for the season….unless they could all prove to him with one chosen task that he should keep the doors open. Blah blah blah, right? This is clearly a “you have to watch next week” ratings gag. But we’ll see for sure next week!

  

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