On Fox’s “Hell’s Kitchen,” it’s down to the final three now–Kevin, Dave and Ariel. Who deserves it more? Well, Kevin is the only one who hasn’t been close to being sent home, and he let everyone else know it at the start of the episode, telling Dave, Tennille and Ariel that he was the only one indeed who hasn’t been in danger of being cut. Cocky, yes. But he’s right. Plus, Gordon Ramsay likes those cocky bastards because they remind him of himself.

Anyway, the show began with Dave giving himself a pep talk in the mirror at 6:30 am. Then the final four met downstairs where they were greeted by a mini-me version of chef Ramsay, who gave them all crap the way Ramsay would. Then Ramsay announced a challenge in which each of them would have to cook a vegetarian dish for 80 people. Each of them moaned a bit, but then went for it–Kevin made a mushroom crepe, Tennille vegetable stuffed eggplant with mushroom gray, Ariel eggplant lasagna, and Dave a polenta tower with goat cheese and roasted peppers. Then halfway through cooking, Ramsay informed them that the 80 customers would be kids. Yikes….we all know most kids hate vegetables (if you don’t believe me, come to my house and watch my 2 year old turn his nose up at anything green).

Dave’s arm was really hurting, but he plowed through with one hand. The kids sampled each dish and then picked their least favorite and most favorite. 40% chose Kevin’s as the least favorite and Dave and Tennille had the favorites, but Tennille won. Her prize was a day of pampering and a sushi lunch with Ramsay. The other three had to clean up the mess left behind by 80 kids.

At the dinner service, Tennille could not get it together on the fish station, under-cooking and over-cooking like crazy until finally Ramsay pulled her aside and screamed at her to get a grip. Kevin was on apps and I’m not sure what Ariel was doing, but maybe it’s the way she’s gotten this far, by flying under the radar. Dave really hurt himself trying to lift a pan out of the oven and was writhing in pain, but still managed to send out perfectly cooked meat.

Then, with like 20 minutes left in the show, Ramsay got them all together and asked Dave the burning question. “Are you okay? Can you stay?” And Dave repeated over and over that he was fine and he would not lie to Ramsay’s face. So Ramsay accepted that, and told Tennille to take off her jacket and leave Hell’s Kitchen. He did, however, offer a parting pat on the back because she really fought her way back from being almost eliminated very early in this thing more than once.

Then as the final three began celebrating, Ramsay called them back down. Uh-oh. He asked Dave once again if he had made the right choice and Dave squirmed. Commercial break….ahhhhhh. It was doubly hard for me switching from this to the Twins/Tigers one-game playoff that was about to go into extra innings. The TiVo was taping “The Biggest Loser” so I had to watch this. Back to the show, Dave was safe and then Ramsay congratulated the three, and then brought in their families to help them celebrate.

Next week things really heat up as we find out who the two finalists will be. Is this season really almost over? Do any of these four really deserve the grand prize? And for those of you who didn’t see it, the Twins won in 12 innings in a thriller.

See you next week!