Tonight was the season finale of Hell's Kitchen
and thankfully, unlike their reality show cousins, they decided to stick with an hour instead of going with two. It was Holli the banquet chef against Jay the executive chef with years of experience. Only one was going to walk away with the job working for Gordon Ramsay in London, but that didn't stop Jay from snuggling up to the competition.
Over the course of the series, Jay and Holli have gone from flirting to fondling in the hot tub and I'm sure neither one of them expected to be facing the other in the end (so to speak.) Jay thought he'd be up against Ben and Holli didn't think she'd make it at all. She was so unsure of herself, she didn't even have a menu in mind for the final service.Send in the Clowns
These two have seen the show, so they weren't surprised to see the eliminated contestants come through the door to play sous chef. But Jay was surprised to see them show up the night before the final battle ruining his final chance of sleeping with Holli. Ben, Jason and Fran joined Jay on his team while Holli got Siobhan, Nilka and Autumn. Everyone said they were here to help their chef win it and I think they meant it. There didn't appear to be an intentional sabotage in the kitchen, but it soon became clear why certain chefs were sent home weeks ago.
Siobhan had the hardest time juggling her responsibilities in the kitchen and since she was handling the appetizers, Holli's team got off to a poor start. As things got heated, Nilka kept her cool even when Holli sent her meat back time and again. Half way into service, Autumn decided that if you want something done right you have to do it yourself and began refusing help on garnish as entrees piled up at the pass. To Holli's credit, she kept it together and didn't lower her standards.
Nice Guys Finish. . .
On the other side of the kitchen, it was a kinder, gentler Jay who ran the pass but he still didn't let any bad food get by him. He had his hands full with an easily flustered Jason, but quickly realized that yelling at the man would only make him worse. Unhappy with Jay's new attitude, Ben took control for a few minutes, rattling off tickets and pushing the chefs to catch up while Jay stood around playing Mr. Nice Guy. Incredibly, very little food was sent back and overall, dinner service on both sides of the kitchen was a success.
After service, Holli and Jay were sent to the loft for one last smoke break while Ramsay reviewed the diner's report cards. Holli looked like she was going to snap in two under the pressure but Jay's expression said he was still thinking about one thing. . .
Then it was time. Cue the freaky lights, bring on the tribal drums, ratchet up the tension with those quick zooms and camera cuts! They'll both turn the handles on their doors but only one will open! And it's at this moment that I always worry that they left this job to a PA and the wrong handle or neither of the handles will be locked. How awful would that be? Oh, sorry. Wrong door, you didn't win.
But the handle turned, the door opened and it was Holli who stepped out, victorious. Holli's son proceeded to steal the scene with his cries of, 'you won!' and everyone got a good dousing of champagne. It truly was a special night.
As for Jay. He was disappointed but supportive and so the producers let him have the final say -- words that, I think really summed up the competition as a whole.
"Maybe I can take her pants off her, tonight!"
Yeah, Gordon. You made the right decision.
Come back tomorrow when we'll take a final look at this season of Hell's Kitchen.
CR: Patrick Wymore/FOX