Hell’s Kitchen: the Velvet Hammer swings

Last night was the season finale of “Hell’s Kitchen” on FOX, and one of the stiffest competitions yet on the show between two low-key but talented Floridians, Danny and Paula. At the end of last week’s episode, they had just chosen their teams for their big dinner service, and Danny chose first since he won the challenge back at the Borgata in Atlantic City. His team was Ben, Giovanni and Carol; Paula had Andrea, L.A., and Lacey. Giovanni didn’t want to be there, and Carol admitted she had been pulling for Paula. But the biggest issue was that Paula got stuck with Lacey. Danny knew he had a decided edge already.

During prep, Lacey was at it already, just being Lacey…as she ruined an entire batch of creme brulee. Then Gordon Ramsay wanted to see the design of each restaurant. Paula went first, with her brightly themed “Sunergy” very impressive to the boss. Then Danny, who couldn’t resist
hanging fish on the wall and calling his restaurant “Velvet Hammer,” a reference to his sexual prowess in high school. I can’t believe he actually went through with that name!

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Hell’s Kitchen: throwaway episode?

By all accounts I thought last night was going to be the “Hell’s Kitchen” season finale, but it turned out to be mostly a fluff episode, setting up the meat and potatoes of the big showdown between Danny and Paula next Thursday. The show began with a 10-minute recap of the season, followed by the two finalists enjoying way too much champagne together and then feeling like crap when they had to wake up early the next morning.

They met with a designer for their restaurants, and had to pick a name…Paula picked something like “Sunshine” though I don’t quite remember exactly what…and Danny picked “The Velvet Hammer,” saying that was his high school nickname, because he “was smooth but could lay the hammer to the ladies.” Did he really just say that? Did I really just write that? Yep. Freaking hilarious.

Then they traveled on a private jet with Gordon Ramsay to the Borgata in Atlantic City, where one of them would run Ramsay’s new restaurant. Meanwhile, Paula and Danny each had two “advisors” left to keep an eye on the design progress, and those were family members, or Paula’s stripper sister and mom, and Danny’s dad and girlfriend. They were able to communicate with each other via webcam to make sure everything was running smooth.

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Hell’s Kitchen: ratings rule

Last night’s episode of “Hell’s Kitchen” began with Giovanni talking to Carol, and telling her she needs to calm down and stop blaming Andrea and everyone else for her own shortcomings, and that she should focus on trying to win. That Giovanni has his head on straight, and he could win this season. Gordon Ramsay started out by making something that would be on the menu that evening, tartare…both steak and scallops. Yuck….raw meat of any kind makes me want to vomit. Anyway, Ramsay threw a curveball…the beef was actually tuna and the scallops were actually sea bass. Surprise!

That led into the challenge which was the palate competition, in which they chefs are blindfolded and asked to guess what Ramsay was spooning into their mouths. Ben did better than Andrea, but Robert and Giovanni guessed zero correctly. Carol beat out Lacey, and it was down to Paula and Danny, but for their part of the challenge, they had to guess the ingredients in some vegetable soup. Paula won, and the red team’s prize was a photo shoot for TV Guide. The blue team, as their punishment, had to wait on the red team during the photo shoot, as well as prep both kitchens for dinner.

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Hell’s Kitchen: Does this dude have an off switch?

Last night’s “Hell’s Kitchen” on FOX began with the red team telling Lacey she was lucky that Ji hurt herself and had to ask off the show, because otherwise it would have been her going home. Lacey was getting tired of the girls all ganging up on her, even telling Andrea that she had a “bitch switch.”

Then, as they did last time, the chefs were woken up at 6am the way no one ever wants to be woken up–loudly. Then they were whisked off to a meat packing plant, and some of them knew to be paying attention. That’s because Gordon Ramsay had a challenge for them waiting at the restaurant, in which they had to match tags to cuts of beef, and then place those tags on their matching place on a cow model. After some real screw-ups (Lacey and Seth almost knew none of the correct answers), Ben bailed the guys out by correctly place every tag on the cow. The blue team won and were awarded a private jet trip to wine country, where they had lunch at a steakhouse with Ramsay.

Meanwhile, the red team had to carry sides of beef in from a delivery truck and then cut them all into portions for the dinner that night. Then it got worse. They were humiliated by having to dine on the scraps–tongue, heart, etc.–for lunch and were given barf bags too. Most of the ladies puked and were saying how they would never lose a challenge again. It definitely was making them stronger.

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