Hell’s Kitchen: Day Six
May 7, 2008

FOX, Tuesdays at 9:00PM

Genre: Reality

Conceit: LiKe Top Chef, But Less About Cooking And More About Violent Yelling.

This show is becoming more and more like Top Chef.  Well at least in terms of their challenges.  This week’s gimmick episode was more intrusive than last week’s.  Whereas pizza delivery didn’t end up taking as much camera time as we expected, this week Hell’s Kitchen hosted a Sweet 16 party.  The challenge was going to the market and finding ingredients for 3 dishes which would appeal to the crowd and then make said ingredients.  It was pretty hilarious to see how blatantly the guys have decided to ignore Matt, but in the choosing of dishes and preparing.  Melissa, the sweet sixteener, and her mom came to taste the food.  My first thought was, “Wow, she looks well adjusted for someone having their Sweet Sixteen on TV”, and my second that was, “Wow, Melissa’s mom looks exactly how I’d expect”.  The guys pulled out the win by the skin of their teeth.

At dinner, things started off well enough, with both teams getting appetizers out pretty quickly.  And then things slammed to a stop.  Melissa sent her steak back to the girls kitchen to get recooked.  This made Ramsey lose his mind.  Not wanting to fail the guest of honor, (in believable fashion) Chef Ramsey took over recooking the steak and sent it out.  Melissa’s overly botoxed mom sent back her halibut to the guy’s kitchen because it was too dry.  Matt tried to fix his mistake, but when it didn’t happen, Bobby took over and got the job done.  He really continues to astound me.  He may not be the Black Gordan Ramsey as he claims, but he is doing far better than he was at the beginning.  That didn’t stop Chef Ramsey from chastising him for completely taking over someone else’s station.  However, for the second week in a row, both kitchens finished the entire service.  In general, the losers of the service were Matt (again) and Shayna (who pretty much made it thus far without anyone realizing she was on the show).

As both kitchen performed very well, no one really won and so both had to send one.  Matt knew it was inevitable and started packing, obviously fed up with the guys in his kitchen.  After debating between Rosann and Shayna, the latter ended up before Chef Ramsey.  He was particularly annoyed that for the second night in a row, the girls failed to send the person who deserved to go.  So he also put Rosann, who’s undercooked steak he had to personally fix, into the mix.  And then Matt lost his mind.  He said that his team was awful and he couldn’t work with them and he preferred to work with the girls.  And it worked.  Matt was safe and Shayna went home.  And Matt went to the girl’s team.  This is a true disadvantage for the girls.  Sorry, ladies.

Final Grade: B+

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Hell’s Kitchen: Day Five
April 29, 2008

FOX, Tuesdays at 9:00PM

Genre: Reality

Conceit: Like Top Chef, But Less About Food, And More About Violent Yelling.

Well, I guess tonight’s challenge was more like Top Chef than usual.  As opposed to the normal “hot to run a kitchen” tests that the chefs have, tonight they were asked to make gourmet pizzas individually and then pick one from each kitchen to represent the team.  Matt continued to just be a complaining disaster.  His pizza was so bad that Ben couldn’t even comment on it.  Bobby and Ben pretty arbitrarily decided that Ben’s pizza would represent the men’s kitchen against stand out Jen’s pizza.  In another photo finish, Jen managed to win it for the girls and get her pizza put on the menu as a special.  So far, she has yet to have a bad moment.  Chef Ramsey commented that Ben’s pizza was good, but his failure to properly wash the mushroom topping was his undoing.  And just like that, the guys kitchen started to really unravel.  All of a sudden, the chefs found themselves on each other’s last nerves.

Vanessa found herself at a disadvantage during dinner service.  The burnt hand she sustained last week was fully bandaged and getting in her way.  Chef Ramsey gave her a choice and Vanessa walked.  That was bizarre.  Again, I can’t imagine how hard it was for her to do the work bandaged, but she didn’t even try the dinner service.  She put the girls down one for no reason at all.  Her comment at the end made it seem like her departure was more about how hard the competition was, as opposed to the burn.

Because the guys lost the challenge, they found themselves forced to deliver Jen’s gourmet pizza door-to-door in a rictshaw looking thing.  The scene of Ben physically pushing the cart backwards because he couldn’t find the reverse was hilarious.  If that was their only problem, it would be fine.  Of course it wasn’t.  Bobby stepped into Matt’s station when he couldn’t fry a decent quail egg.  Louross wasn’t fairing much better.  He couldn’t get a steak ready for his life.  Then Petrozza cheaped his way out.  He sliced a tops of the steaks to make them appear medium when they weren’t in fact.  I couldn’t believe he got away with it.  This was the turning point, as the guys banged out the rest of the dinner service flawlessly.

While Jen was still hitting homeruns, the rest of the ladies were falling apart.  Rosann had a particularly bad night.  Her breakdown made Chef Ramsey break one of his cardinal rules and send out dishes incomplete.  Chef Ramsey asked Jen to step in and fix things up.  The problem with this was that Jen was pulled off of the desert station, which she was supposed to work with Christina.  When Chef Ramsey ordered Corey to help her, Corey did so reluctantly, rather wanting Christina kicked out.

And so both kitchens finally completed a dinner service on their own.  Looking at the parts, rather than the whole, Chef Ramsey declared it a tie, so that one from each team had to go.  The women correctly chose Rosann.  But then reality TV minds stepped in and decided it was Christina’s time to go.  And let the claims of “If I come back, I’m gonna get you” begin.  Louross stepped up and threw himself in, knowing that he had an awful night.  

The best thing about this show is the fact that Chef Ramsey knows stupid when he sees it.  He was well aware that Christina was not the worst chef in the women’s kitchen and called the women stupid for maneuvering her towards elimination.  Turns out he didn’t eliminate anyone tonight, claiming that Vanessa leaving grants them a reprieve.  My guess is that the shows run is based on an elimination per episode, and a double elimination would throw that off.  Either way, prepare for the girls team to implode.

Final Grade: B