After suddenly being seized with the urge to Google-Image stalk Gordon Ramsay, I have come to the conclusion that he resembles a cuddly bulldog -– all wrinkly and smooshed – with a sexy British accent. And though his forehead creases are so deep he could store change in them, I can’t help (as I mentioned last week) but find him oddly endearing. On this week’s Hell’s Kitchen, the Ramsanator laid the charm on thick (it’s all for me, I know) and sent home…drum roll, please…well, let’s save that delicious tidbit for later, shall we?
The episode started off with the girls in ecstasy over Lacey’s transfer to the blue team and the men (understandably) pissed off about it. Lacey told her new teammates that she was “sick of drama” on the red team, causing me to scoff audibly at the audacity of the most dramatic contestant on the show making such a claim. (Someone ought to stamp the word “kettle” on her forehead. Or “pot.” I’m flexible.) The next morning, the chefs were taken to an Asian market where they learned the rules of their first challenge: Each team was given a $100 budget and 25 minutes to shop for the ingredients they would need to cook three Asian Fusion meals for Ramsay’s assessment -– one beef, one poultry, and one seafood. Andrea immediately took the reins and started barking ingredients at the red team, earning her no love from her fellow chefs –- an attitude that looks to come to a head in next week’s show. The men, however, utilized a different strategy: simply grab random food from the shelves and hope to create something spectacular from it. Both teams came in under the time requirement and budget.
Once back to the kitchen the teams had one hour to make their dishes for Ramsay and surprise judge Tanya Wenman Steel, editor in chief of epicurious.com. The chefs, who worked rather harmoniously in pairs for this challenge, each had their turn presenting their dish to Tanya and Ramsay for critique. Carol made a lovely impression by explaining her choice to use pomegranate because it’s such a “nice fruity…fruit,” J forgot what his dish with Giovanni was called, and I continued to be amazed at how often these “chefs” seem to forget what things are called, or what ingredients to include, or that scallops have shells. Paula, however, made a Tuna Tempura that Ramsay liked so much he made it a part of the dinner service menu. Paula? Really? Where did you come from? I am simply not familiar with contestants that are not incompetent and/or camera-hogging complainers. Thanks to her surprise dish, the red team walked away with the challenge win.
As punishment for their loss, the men were sentenced to a day offortune cookie making and decorating with origami. I realize that bothprojects are likely tedious and frustrating, but my reaction wassomething like: “Fortune cookies? Yummmmmmm!!” The men were not asenthusiastic. Lacey immediately started up the Boo Hoo track and whinedabout going home for the billionth time this season. It’s abouttime Ramsay made an honest woman of her. PLEASE. Ben attempted a peptalk, to which Lacey responded by telling the cameras “Ben was trying toblow smoke up my ass,” which, though entirely true, begs the question:How exactly does she want people to respond when she sets up camp inthe pity pool? I would have let her drown in it, but Ben went the otherway and tried to appeal to her ego – telling her they needed her, blahblah blah. And it paid off. The next time we saw Lacey she was actinglike a loon and bouncing about in the kitchen like Daffy Duck.
What was the women’s prize you ask? Well, last week they soakedin the sun poolside, and this week they got down and dirty on the mat.In giant Sumo suits. The fun started off with what is hands down myfavorite moment of the season thus far: Ramsay entering the room in a Sumo suit to take on Jean Philippe in a Sumo smackdown (see the clip below). Ramsay,normally all furrowed brows and scowls, wobbled around with a goofygrin on his face, happy to let loose for a bit. Now, I like mean Ramsay (that is the point of the show, is it not?), but I find myselfafflicted with the warm-and-fuzzies when he breaks out the raresmile. Melts me like butter. Ahem, forgive me.
Back to business. Afterbumping into each other for a while, the girls headed off for someSaki. Meanwhile, the men attempted to fold origami to little success.That is until Lacey swooped in with an actual talent, bolstered byBen’s atta girl, and mentored the men on the arts of paper shaping. Towhich I say an emphatic “SO WHAT?!” The occasional moment of usefulnessdoes not negate the heaping pile of waah waah she’s erected. Hmmm. Itseems I have a bit of rage where Lacey is concerned.
All rage aside, the Asian Fusion dinner service started out well,with Giovanni and L.A. both making appetizers Ramsay deemed excellent.Then some Sumo wrestlers came in (coincidence? I think not.) and eachordered the entire menu, which Ramsay split between the two teams.Things in the kitchen declined rather quickly shortly after. Andreacharred the bottom of her wellington and J undercooked his. Andreaapparently learned nothing from Seth and attempted to hide her mistakes(by shoving them in a cubby below the counter), which resulted onceagain in Ramsay finding it and throwing it against the wall. The bigdrama of the night, however, was the Ramsay/Robert conflict. The Britupset Robert by repeatedly calling him “Bobby,” which he explainedreminded him of his crap father. Now, I apologize in advance if I soundcruel –- and I like Robert -– but this is not the show for a woe-is-me,my-childhood-sucked back story. Save it for American Idol or America’s Next Top Model.I’m not interested. Anyway, Ramsay didn’t take well to Robert ignoringhim and quickly took him aside and chewed him out privately. Then, because it is the classiest, most effective way to get one’spoint across, Robert mooned the camera. .
The chefs never regained theirfooting when J continued to fall behind on the meat and the women sentout a raw, and rock hard, dessert. And so the dinner service ended up amess for the second week in a row. It made me chuckle, however, whenRamsay, so livid with the situation he was in, waved his hand at JeanPhilippe, who was approaching with a returned meal, and J.P. quicklyturned around and walked the other way. Now that is a man who knows how to interact with a less-than-jolly Ramsay.
The angry Brit told Giovanni and L.A. to nominate one person fromtheir team for the guillotine, making this the second week whereneither team won. Before elimination, however, Ramsay called Robert tohis office to address their problem. Robert explained his daddy issues,to which Ramsay apologized and promised not to let it happen again.Ta-da! Drama resolved. Come elimination time, Andrea and J were chosento face the music. But then…resume drumroll (and add a marching bandand a choir while you’re at it)…Ramsay stripped Colleen (yes,Colleeen!) of her coat and sent her back to educate legions of futurepiss-poor cooks. All together now “Na na na na. Na na na na. Hey heyhey. Gooooodbye.” To her credit, Colleen took it with class, and Ramsaycomplimented her tenacity. And I did a happy dance. Seth and Colleenare gone and we are slowly inching our way to a winner. If only thecrop looked a little more promising…
So what did you think? Are you happy about Colleen’s elimination? Who should be the next to go?