Episode Overview: We are getting close to the final stretch of Hell's Kitchen. After an individual challenge that sends a surprise choice on a Vegas trip with Chef Gordon Ramsay, it's time for all five remaining chefs to work together as one team. It's not a rousing success, and one chef so frustrates Chef Ramsay that he throws the contestant off the show right in the middle of service. That's not the only surprise of the evening relating to an elimination: another chef is sent home, but not before receiving a shocking send-off from Chef Ramsay.
Bonnie Muirhead narrowly escaped the chopping block last elimination. She's surprised, and she knows the others are also shocked that she beat out Brad Miller.
Rock Harper might be surprised about the elimination, but he's not unhappy. He figures that Brad was his strongest competitor, and with only Josh Wahler left on the men's team, he feels pretty confident. He says as much to Josh, and as you can imagine, this conversation isn't the friendliest they've ever had.
The chefs head to Hell's Kitchen for their next challenge, but Chef Gordon Ramsay has a surprise for them first. There is no longer a division between the men and women; all five chefs will be on one team. After spraying them with some celebratory champagne, the chefs change into their new black-trimmed chef jackets.
Another new development: in this challenge will be an individual event. They will be cooking for a group of “trendsetters,” says Ramsay. The group is blindfolded and taken to the venue…a high school cafeteria. The chefs will have to make food for 100 students, who will vote for their favorites. The winner will take a trip to Vegas with Chef Ramsay.
The chefs all try to prepare the dishes they think will be a hit. Josh makes a salmon dish with a pineapple salsa; Rock, a kobe meatloaf on a roll; Julia Williams, a grilled cheese with onion rings; Bonnie, a fried goat cheese on a bed of greens; and Jen Yemola thinks she will have a hit with a teens with her baked chicken fettucine.
Each of the chefs tries to win over the teens with their personality as well as their dishes, but ultimately, it's what they cook that the kids are voting on. And the winner, with 51% of the vote? Short order cook Julia. She is ecstatic, and chooses Jen as her traveling partner.
While they head off to Vegas, the other three get busy with their punishment. They have to clean the upholstery and iron the linens. It's tough going made tougher when Josh needs a reminder that the steam cleaner has to be plugged in to work.
Meanwhile, Julia and Jen are living the life in Vegas after a private plane ride with Ramsay. They have a spa day and get to meet with Season Two winner Heather Sullivan, who gives them some advice regarding the competition.
They return and it's back to the grind of service. Tonight's is the first time that the men and women will be working together, but at first, the chefs are mainly trying to just get themselves together as individuals. Josh continues to try to get a jump start on his starters, but since the dish is pasta, this doesn't work. Ramsay continually tries to get him to get in line, but to no avail.
Julia is also having some issues. It's her first time on the garnish station and she can't seem to get in the swing of things. Ramsay is dismayed at her performance, but his attention is momentarily diverted by a dish of risotto returned as undercooked. He's completely had it with Josh. Spitting with rage, he throws Josh out. His time on Hell's Kitchen is over.
Now it's time for a little interpersonal trouble. Rock and Jen butt heads, and exchange strong words. The tension becomes disruptive, so much so that Ramsay has to yell at them to stop. Even after that, Rock continues to snap at Jen.
They all finish, though, and Ramsay names Bonnie as the best for the evening. She has to nominate two chefs for the chopping block. As the chefs return, Jen tries to make peace with Rock, but he's not having it. Later though, he realizes that he lost his cool, and he's disappointed with himself.
Bonnie has a tough decision ahead of her. She knows that Rock will be one of the two, but can't decide which of her fellow women chefs she should nominate.
But she has to make the call, so when the chefs assemble in front of Ramsay, she announces it's Rock and Julia.
Ramsay is sincerely dismayed at having to make this call, and takes a moment to make up his mind. Prefacing his elimination with “I'm really sorry,” he sends Julia home.
However, she's not empty handed. Ramsay believes in her so much that he offers to send her to culinary school. He knows she has the talent to be a great chef; she just needs some education and additional experience.
And there it is! A Ramsay soft spot. As much as he might scream and yell, he truly seems to appreciate true talent. Since we are now done to the three chefs he considers the strongest, it's possible we might see this softer side again as we work towards the finale of Hell's Kitchen.
- Leslie Seaton, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
(Image courtesy of Fox)