'Hell's Kitchen' recap: And the winner is... | EW.com

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'Hell's Kitchen' recap: And the winner is...

As I was driving to my local movie theater earlier this week, flipping through radio stations and cursing myself for not having one of those car-iPod adapter thingys, a familiar British voice made me pause. It was my favorite dreamboat chef. He was chitchatting about this week’s big finale, and though I may have missed a good chunk of the interview, it seemed like he was giving Paula lots of verbal lovin’. Not to mention that throughout the season it seems like Ramsay has favored Paula a bit, no? Perhaps that’s why I went into tonight’s finale thinking that Paula was going to come out victorious. And that Lacey was going to seriously piss me off. I was right about Lacey, but as for the winner….well those of you who watched don’t need me to remind you, and those of you who didn’t will just have to wait until the end of the recap (no scrolling!) to find out. Let’s get this ball rolling.

This week’s show started out with Danny and Paula talking to theirnew teams about the menu and their expectations, and when Paula askedLacey how she felt about dessert (favorable…always favorable), sheresponded with her usual enthusiasm by telling everyone “I’m just gonnabe asking you guys for input.” She may as well have said “Please don’tgive me any responsibility because I don’t know what the hell I’mdoing. Ever.” Poor Paula. Then, as if we really needed reminding, theyrolled some footage of Lacey’s greatest hits. Lacey told the camera“I’d love to believe in my team, but f— them. They don’t believe inme, so what the hell’s the point?” Um, hate to break it to you Lace,but you actually have to give people a reason to believe in you. Togive credit where none is due, however, the girl has a real talent forticking people off. I mean, she’s really good at it. She makesineptitude into an art form. Perhaps she can manipulate that into acareer. People love having someone to hate…and boy does she deliverin that department. Annnnnd end rant! No worries, there’s more Laceyrage to come.

The teams started preparations for the final dinner service, andRamsay came around to test the chefs’ menus. Paula was told to makesure that her halibut didn’t come out too dry and that the crèmebrulee (prepared by Lacey) was the wrong texture. Danny’s menu faredabout the same – Ramsay told him to cook the duck better, that hisdessert was undercooked, and that one dish looked phallic. This is thesecond time this season the Ramsanator has pointed out malegenitalia-shaped food. The Brit must have a dirty mind, because when Isaw Danny’s dish, my mind didn’t go to penis. But hey, the brain goeswhere it goes. After tasting the food, Ramsay addressed the camera — as he would throughout the dinner service — to comment on the progressof his final two. Now perhaps it was intentional, but every time Ramsay spoke to the audience he looked off to the side, not into the camera.Can I get a little eye contact please? I will cut him a little slack,however, for the adorable little bunny hop move he did while he talked.Sigh. Whatever will I do without my Ramsay fix for the next month and a half?

Next it was time for the chefs to show Ramsay their newly remodeleddining rooms. Paula’s restaurant, named “Sunergy,” was beautiful. Itwas bright and warm and welcoming. Danny’s, named “Velvet Hammer,”(groan. I was hoping he’d pick his mom’s name…but alas) looked prettymuch like the original dining room, just  with some random fish tackedon the wall. Then again, style isn’t exactly Danny’s thang, now is it?

Dinner service kicked off in pretty typical fashion. Andreaovercooked a scallop on Paula’s team, and Lacey had the nerve to tellthe camera that cooking a scallop is “basic stuff you should know.” Uhhuh. So says the girl who shrieked that she “can’t cook meat” only weeksearlier. Andrea had a tough time getting her act together, though, andoffered up some burned halibut.Meanwhile, over on Danny’s team, Gio (who was none too pleased to beback in Hell’s Kitchen) over-seasoned a sauce. Cut back to Paula’s teamand the requisite Lacey meltdown. When told that there were actuallytwo orders, instead of one, she put on her best confused face, mutteredto herself, and stood back in bewildered shock while the other chefsfluttered around her doing her work. I honestly don’t know if there isanything she could do to make herself less likable. A finalefree of her useless shenanigans would have been refreshing, though veryuneventful. But, we can all take comfort in the knowledge that theLacey saga is officially finito. Can I get an Amen?

Dinner service ended smoothly once the chefs found their flow. Afterthe service came the moment of truth. Danny and Paula faced Ramsay withuncertain futures. Neither had a major blunder during the service. Andso, Ramsay had them each face their own door and informed them that thewinner’s door was unlocked. I had my money on Paula — and I was fairlyconfident in my prediction. I was wrong. Danny busted through the doorwith a triumphant leap and bounced around with glee. I was surprised,but not upset. He was just so ecstatic that it was impossible not to behappy for him. Plus, he cried. I’m a sucker for tears of joy. So thereyou have it folks. Danny took the crown. And I must find something tofill my upcoming Ramsayless Thursdays. Ramsay closed out the finalewith a fitting (and rhetorical, of course) “time to party, yes?” Goahead you naughty Brit. Get down with your sexy self. We’ll rendezvousagain soon.

What about you PopWatchers? Did Danny deserve the win? Were youbetting on Paula too? How does this finale compare to previous ones?