Tonight, it's time to find out who will come out on top in Part Two of the Season Finale of Hell's Kitchen
Will it be Executive Chef Rock Harper
? He's got the knowledge and the experience, but he also has the temperament of Chef Gordon Ramsay
: volatile. Unlike Ramsay, however, he seems disturbed by his own volatility and when he loses his temper, he seems to lose his balance entirely.
Or will it be personal chef and nanny Bonnie Muirhead
? Her palate and creativity have so far wowed Ramsay...but she's also been in the bottom two more than once for her lack of experience in a service kitchen. Is she seriously ready to land a leadership role at a major restaurant?
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Last week's Part One of Hell's Kitchen
certainly set it up to seem so. Bonnie was painted as collected and constantly improving, while Rock was shown slowly losing his grip. I'm thinking either we are being gently convinced of the validity of a nanny winning the competition, or set up for the twist of Rock pulling it out in the clutch.
We're going to see tonight and I'll be posting live updates as the show progresses. You can leave your thoughts and reactions as well throughout the episode in the comments section below!
We're starting with yet another recap of the season segment. Fox is getting more mileage out of the Aaron Song
Last week, the gender lines continued to be drawn as the two finalists picked their teams: Bonnie picked all women and Rock all men. However...Waffle House chef Julia Williams
said in interview she's actually rooting for Rock. Burn!
Ramsay sends everybody off and we get my favorite part of Hell's Kitchen: unnecessarily lengthy security cam walking-in-the-hallway footage!!
Bonnie gives a pep talk to the ladies. She's happy, Jen is proud...Julia still wants it to be her in the final two AND still wants Rock to win. But she's going to give Bonnie her best.
The girls had a support group, Rock has a strategy meeting. His men are happy to fall in line behind him, though.
The ladies are lounging, listening to a yawning Bonnie puzzle things through. Melissa is unimpressed that Bonnie doesn't have recipes yet. Soooo...she doesn't know what she's doing and yet the under-chefs have to learn this by tonight. Sounds promising.
Kitchen prep time. Chopping, peeling. Not scintillating television.
Bonnie is rubbing Julia the wrong way; when she directs Julia, Julia mumbles, "Treatin' me like an idiot." This also doesn't bode well.
Back in the dining room...the construction folks have run out of wallpaper and it's bubbling on the wall where it is. I am on the edge of my seat.
In Rock's kitchen, Josh is doing something wrong. Again. Josh really seems mildly developmentally challenged in every service. It's like he just stands there blinking in confusion constantly.
Bonnie has to tell Melissa how to cook shrimp. I can only imagine that Melissa is thrilled by this turn of events.
After the commercial, Ramsay checks out the chef's menus.
Bonnie's dishes: Goat cheese salad, fettucine with prawns (once again overcooked by Melissa), chocolate truffles. Ramsay likes the pasta, totally underwhelmed by her dessert. She's got to re-think it.
Rock's dishes: He's serving the surf and turf entree that didn't win the challenge last week. Odd choice. Also not well-executed in the version Ramsay tastes: too much garlic. Dessert is a vanilla milkshake with cookies. Clumsy dessert, thinks Ramsay, and offers up a suggestion for better presentation.
Ramsay sees the differences in menu as again being gender-based. Rock's is heavy and robust, Bonnie's, "dainty and well-balanced."
Bonnie takes Ramsay on a tour of her restaurant. It's "simplistic?" But "classic and elegant?" she asks. Bonnie, as a female looking to be a leader - stop ending sentences like they're questions? Okay? It makes people doubt your authority? But Ramsay likes it.
Rock's is "elegant" per Ramsay. No salt and pepper on the tables, dammit, it's seasoned properly from the kitchen. So don't ask. Ramsay likes it again. He's been all pussycat friendly last two episodes. It's disconcerting.
He pulls them together for one last pep talk. Run it or it will run you he tells them. He gives them new chefs' togs and sends them off. Seriously, he's all softie all over town the end of this season.
Right before service, Rock asks his team to be honest about times. Bonnie gives them same message to her team, if you mess something up, tell me.
Service starts. Bonnie says her team members are not her friends, they're her "brigade."
Brad is totally behind his chef Rock, saying when Rock wins, they all win.
First order! Rock calls it out, they are cooking! Ditto for Bonnie!
Both teams are neck and neck to get first starters out. And the diners seem to like both. Mildly disappointed there was no crisis.
Next ticket, Bonnie has an issue: her team is not responding to her. Julia is just not paying attention and admits she just wants to get it over with.
Over on Rock's side, he's "depending on Josh to get the appetizers out..." oooh, that doesn't sound like a good idea. It wasn't. Josh messes something up, he has to do it over, they argue over times.
Bonnie is having an issue with Jen's energy, and now Bonnie seems to be ignoring or not paying attention to Julia. Ramsay catches sight of this and directs her to communicate. The women's communication is breaking down but the team is getting out food.
Oh my gosh - no he didn't. Josh is ONCE AGAIN cooking more starters than needed. This is what got him kicked out last time. Seriously, this dude has some major performance yips.
Bonnie is moving on to entrees and that seems good until she finds out they are out of fettuccine and have to resort to boxed spaghetti. Ramsay isn't impressed with her lack of oversight.
JOSH IS STILL MESSING UP THE STARTERS. Ramsay pulls Rock aside to tell him to fix it, and Rock's response is to tell Josh to "Get it together!" I don't know if that's what Ramsay was really trying to tell him to do...
Josh burns more crab cakes. TAKE HIM OFF STARTERS for cryin' out loud. Rock wonders, what do you do? Kick him out? Um, yes. Finally he puts him on another station. But it took a half hour of nothing coming out of the kitchen before he solves it. Vinnie is put on the fish station, and he isn't ready to cook those dishes, but it's better than Mr. Chokey Josh. Food goes out, diners give the universal sign of satisfaction, the smiley wide-eyed nod.
Bonnie's kitchen is communicating, but now they are out of prawns entirely. No other seafood to replace it. And the dishes that have gone out are sent back. Bonnie can't get her team to respond again and Julia is being totally petulant about things.
Rock's kitchen is getting it together.
Bonnie is onto dessert. Julia rebels against Bonnie's direction. She doesn't want to wrap up goat cheese. She pushes back on Bonnie. It's pretty immature - I've always liked Julia in the past, but this is silly. It's also silly when Bonnie brattily tells Ramsay about Julia. It doesn't really impress him.
Everybody is in the home stretch...food gets out...diners go home.
After everything, Julia and Bonnie make up, and Julia gives her her due for a job well-done.
Rock's family comes by to see him. Where's Bonnie's? Hmmm...we just got Rock talking about doing this for his family...heart-warming build-up to a Rock win??
Ramsay asks what they would do differently. Rock says he would have won the challenge and would have picked Jen first instead of being left with Josh. Bonnie would have checked portions more.
Ramsay once again is all Mr. Softee on them, agreeing with their self-criticism, but quickly moving on to the congratulations for a job well done.
Are we ready for his decision, Mr. Softee wonders...um, sure, but it's like a quarter to? How will they drag this out? Ten minutes of walking-in-the-hallway footage?
Psych! Ramsay wasn't really ready to tell us, silly! He's got to read the customer comment cards first.
Bonnie and Rock hug everyone goodbye, head back to the apartment, hug each other and decompress. They are both disappointed with how the service went.
Ramsay mulls over the evening.
Rock and Bonnie lounge on their couches and worry. Rock mumbles that he thinks Bonnie won. Then it's time for the result.
Oh my gosh, there it was: my last unnecessary walking-in-the-hallway footage. I think I'll miss you the most!
Ramsay addresses the two in front of the wall of photos and chefs coats from their fallen competitors. Ramsay gives them both their due, then stands them in front of the doors to Hell's Kitchen
. Hands on the door handle...ready...dragging it out...drag...drag...1...2...commercial!
Fox shows the results of the viewer voting, and nearly three-quarters of the viewers think Rock wins. Well, does he?!?
Back to the count, back to 1...2...3, and yes, it's Rock. He's overcome with emotion. Bonnie is happy for him. Julia is happy for him. His wife is happy for him. Rock is happy for him.
Bonnie thinks Ramsay made the right call, and says she thinks the right opportunity will find her. I agree, she had bubbly cooking show host written all over her.
So, BuddyTV Hell's Kitchen
fans, what do you think? Some commenters have noted in the past that Rock's temper made them think he wasn't the right fit. Other pointed out that Ramsay has a temper too and it has gotten him quite a career. So do you think Ramsay picked the right chef? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.
As with all of BuddyTV's Live Thoughts, check back later tonight for an in-depth recap of this Hell's Kitchen
- Leslie Seaton, BuddyTV Staff Columnist