In a move to (possibly) gain the American Idol viewers who are too lazy to turn off their television, Hell’s Kitchen made a daring move to Wednesday nights. Last Friday, we saw Sherkenna leave the kitchen — who will it be tonight?
We start out with a little post-dinner service trash talk. “Meese couldn’t be a dishwasher in the restaurants I’ve worked at,” Ariel claims, upset at her teammate. And while anger is Ariel’s way of relieving stress, Jared’s technique is to flirt with the ladies on the Red Team, discussing boob jobs and massages. But this camaraderie is bound to be short lived, since the chefs are still in the midst of a fierce competition.
The next morning in Hell’s Kitchen, Gordon Ramsay tries to talk to the contestants in French. The reason? One of his first jobs was in France and he had to learn how to communicate regardless of the language barrier. So, why can’t these chefs communicate when they all speak the same language?
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The Communication Challenge
The chefs are given new jackets, each with a new recipe on the back of them. The goal of this icebreaker-like game is to try and learn the recipe by communicating with their partner. Frank’s recipe is cheeseburger sliders, which he’s not impressed with. He’s putting his own spin on the recipe, since obviously he doesn’t understand the purpose of the challenge.
Jared is doing spaghetti carbonara, and Kristin has spanakopita — which she’s nervous about since she’s never made one before in her life. Jackie is more excited about her eggplant Parmesan recipe, since she’s made it a billion times before.
Alan and Eddie are working together, and Eddie is thrilled over his taquitos. Manda also has taquitos, but is poorly informed and assumes it’s just a burrito.
Kristin already has to restart based on Meese’s poor direction, and she makes sure everyone within ear-range knows about it. Poor Meese — she’s really getting piled on this episode.
The challenge ends, and Ramsay judges the recipes head-to-head. Kristin and Hassan are up first. Ramsay immediately notices how Kristin’s dish looks like a failure pile, and calls Meese out immediately.
“What… it… it looks disgusting,” Ramsay says. Kristin notes immediately that her team bombed. Hassan’s dish is wonderful, and the men get the point.
Ashley and Frank are up next. “I think it looked like a regular burger,” Frank claims, still not grasping the challenge. He uses a drop of liquid smoke on his, which the Chef doesn’t understand. “I asked you to do the recipe on your back,” Ramsay says. Ashley wins for understanding the instructions. “She only won because I lost,” Frank claims. (Really, Frank?)
Manda brings up her burrito, and Ramsay quickly tells her that while it’s beautiful, it’s incorrect. Eddie made the correct dish, so the Blue Team gets another point.
Alan and Meese both made fish sandwiches, which both visually look great. But since Alan’s fish didn’t have a lot of color, Meese wins this round.
Vanessa and Kevin made cheese steaks, and while Vanessa’s is a little bland, Kevin’s is right on target.
Ariel and Jared present their spaghetti carbonara, and since both followed the recipe exactly, both teams get a point. Jackie has to win with her eggplant Parmesan to keep the women in the game. But unfortunately, Eddie’s dish is just too good, giving the men the win.
The Prize And The Punishment
They’ll be winning a day at a Santa Barbara beach resort, where they’ll receive a mixology lesson and foot massages! It’s a dream come true, especially for Jared. I mean, he was just talking about massages, so kudos to the show editors for foreshadowing.
The ladies will be having a “smelly day,” per Gordon, prepping a bunch of fish. And know whose fault it is? Meese. “It really wasn’t my fault,” Meese says, saying she feels bad that Kristin is taking this so hard.
“It’s time for a foot massage, since I have really bad feet,” Jared overshares from Santa Barbara. From there, he makes a lot of relaxation noises. “Don’t stop!” he yells to his masseuse, who is likely uncomfortable.
“This punishment is going on forever, and we’re starving,” Kristin says after de-gutting a bunch of fish. Oddly enough, their lunch today is fish head soup, so they can’t escape their punishment. “I’m loving this,” Jackie claims, saying it’s her first time ever eating fish head soup. She’s the only one who isn’t suffering.
Back in Santa Barbara, Joe wants to propose to the sexy lady mixologist. Chad is taken by her accent, saying “coo-kumbers” instead of “cucumbers.”
The ladies are done with the fish, and are working on their lemon zest. Ashley begins getting frustrated at Jackie, who is continuously annoying the other girls and being somewhat disgusting in general.
“That girl’s a mess. Some people just dig their own graves,” Ashley says.
A Special Guest
Before the dinner service, Jared wants to remind his team to stick to the recipes, probably intending that comment to reach Frank. But before the guys can complain too much, Chef Ramsay busts in with an announcement — Buzz Aldrin will be dining in Hell’s Kitchen tonight!
“Who’s Buzz Aldrin? What is this, Toy Story?” Meese claims. (Oh, Meese. I was rooting for you to say something redeeming at some point during this episode.)
Ashley and Alan are chosen to do table-side service tonight. Gordon Ramsay calls out the first order, and then asks Vanessa to repeat it back to him. She screws it up a few times before admitting that she didn’t completely hear what he said.
Over in the Blue Kitchen, the spotlight is on Jared on appetizers. He puts out a killer risotto, which gives him a lot of confidence.
Back in the Red Kitchen, Dannie is depending on Vanessa on the fish station to create a great lobster risotto. Vanessa seems to miscount her lobster, which creates a little tension Luckily, Dannie keeps her cool, and the team gets it together.
Reciting The Orders
Chef Ramsay is still set on making sure the chefs are listening to him, now calling on Kristin to recite back the order. “This is not funny. I’ve had enough!” Ramsay exclaims, after he senses that she’s not taking this seriously. Kristin claims that she just has a lot on her mind right now.
Sous Chef Christina humiliates Kristin even further, by writing the order on her chef coat with a Sharpie.
Back on the Blue Team, Frank starts getting a little testy. Their order calls for one vegetarian risotto, which means no lobster. “I know they may be vegetarian, but they deserve better than that!” Chef Ramsay claims after seeing a poor order. Jared recooks the order, and pushes an acceptable risotto through.
Manda is on the Garnish station, and thinks that it’s finally her time to shine. But she quickly screws up by mixing up her times. “Two minutes, Chef!” she finally claims.
The Blue Team is in charge of the Buzz Aldrin table, and the pressure is mostly on Hassan. Unfortunately, Kevin doesn’t understand the importance of the VIP by trying to cook already cooked food. “You’re a space cadet,” Ramsay says. (Quality joke there, Chef!)
Back in the Red Kitchen, Manda is still freaking out over garnishes. After asking for a second opinion, Meese trashes the wellington since she’s unhappy with it, but the chef disagrees with her decision-making. “Cooked perfectly, and it’s in the trash,” Ramsay laments.
The Blue Team gains some speed, and they’re more than ready to deliver some fresh, non-trashed wellington to Buzz Aldrin. Buzz seems quite happy with his food.
Once again, Arctic char is on the menu tonight, and the girls deliver some stone cold fish. Jackie is responsible for the bad fish, and Ramsay is quick to call her “useless.”
Jackie claims that no matter what, she’s still “with it.” But obviously Ramsay disagrees, saying that now the fish is both cold and raw. “I am done,” he claims, kicking all of the ladies out of the kitchen.
“We’re hitting walls instead of jumping hurdles,” Ariel says.
Chad is on top of the world, as the Blue Team finished both services flawlessly.
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“Tonight, you got completely dominated,” Gordon Ramsay tell the Red Team. The girls need to nominate two contestants. Obviously Meese has her name mentioned a few times within the deliberation.
Manda complains that Vanessa doesn’t do anything — even though her timing was off, she definitely wasn’t the worst chef tonight. While deliberation is never easy, it’s pretty obvious that these girls hate each other.
“Ladies, you all took a huge step backwards tonight,” Chef Ramsay says. He asks Ariel for the nominees, and Ariel says it’s Meese, for throwing out good product, and Vanessa. But there’s some tension between the contestants — was Vanessa the final decision among the group?
It seems like the team choice was Manda, but Ariel went rogue. Oh, Ariel. This won’t help you gain friends.
Who’s Going Home?
Meese claims that she’s not the weakest chef in the competition, which Vanessa quickly reacts to. After all, Vanessa doesn’t throw good food in the trash. Vanessa deserves to stay since she deserves to run BLT. “I want to win, and I know I can win,” she claims.
However, the chef chooses Vanessa to go home. “I don’t think you believe in yourself enough,” Ramsay says. Vanessa thanks him for the opportunity, and says farewell to her team.
“I was supposed to win,” Vanessa says while wiping tears from her eyes. But according to Gordon Ramsay, Vanessa made food that “only a mother could love.”
Hell’s Kitchen airs on Wednesdays at 9pm on FOX.
(Image courtesy of FOX)