A moment of silence, please, as we remember this day as the one in which Max finally predicted the winner of a reality show competition (I never get it right). In a non-shocker last night, Michael walked away with the big prize after making it through weeks of Hell's Kitchen.
At the end of the show, Ramsay offered Michael a chance to come work in his restaurant in London (something else I sort of saw coming, though I thought it would happen only if Michael had come in second place). Was this in addition to Michael getting his own restaurant or in place of it? Was it some pre-arranged deal so that FOX wouldn't have to actually put up the considerable money for a brand-new eatery? I'm skeptical, though Michael is still getting the chance of a lifetime that many young chefs would kill for. (And let's be honest, his restaurant probably would have folded after a year or so.)
Good grief! I haven't posted about Hell's Kitchen in weeks, mainly because I'm usually out of town on weekends through Monday or Tuesday over the summer--I apologize to the three of you out there who are still watching (and enjoying) the show like I am.
Anyway, the final two in the competition are (no surprise) Michael and Ralph--I have to say that the elimination process, which involved votes from the contestants' families, was both cruel and diabolically clever. Poor Jessica, having to cook the bland chicken dish--of course no one liked it next to the tuna and beef (ordering chicken in a nice restaurant is just a sign of an unadventurous eater, I think), and she didn't really work any culinary magic on it. However--AND YOU MAY NEVER SEE ME WRITE THIS AGAIN--you have to give props to FOX (!) for not only making no fuss whatsoever about the fact that Jessica is a lesbian (tonight was the first mention of it, I think) but also for showing a same-sex kiss without any big to-do over the whole thing. Who knew they were capable of such restraint?
My prediction for next week: Michael as the big winner. He's a clear favorite, and (as I think I've mentioned in the comments here before) Ramsay favors forthright and driven young men in his own kitchen. If Michael loses, for whatever reason, I wouldn't be surprised if Ramsay offered him a job in one of his own restaurants.
Oh, and next week also sees the return of the ridiculous Dewberry (but probably not likely-lawsuit-filer Jeff)! Fingers are crossed for another Southern-fried meltdown!
We actually got to see some skills on display tonight in Hell's Kitchen. Not in the areas of cooking or serving, of course--it was just another night o' disasters there--but in some actual strategic thinking on the part of Michael, who knocked out his main threat (from his own team, anyway), "Executive Chef" Chris. I don't think Chris stood a chance with Ramsay, anyway, but I can totally see the logic behind Michael's decision to put him up for elimination.
It looks to me like it's coming down to Ralph, Michael or Elsie--but if Elsie doesn't shut up with all of that "I don't think I can handle this" talk, she's going to lose out on any chance of winning. And poor Jimmy! As a fellow heavy-sweater (don't judge me), I know how he feels. At least when I sweat at the gym (we're talking puddles here), I don't have an annoying Belgian waiter telling me I'm gross.
Another semi-anonymous contestant gets the boot this week on Hell's Kitchen--Mary
Ann Ellen seemed nice enough, but hadn't really emerged as a major player in the kitchen. I think I actually remember the remaining chefs-in-training, so the dismissals should be a little more involving in the weeks to come.
It seems to me like Gordon Ramsay has kind of a love-hate thing going on with token smart-ass Andrew. Maybe he sees a younger version of himself? Who knows? I'll tell you one thing I do know--red-faced (literally) Gordon needs to learn three little words--ESS PEE EFF. You know, as in SPF 15, SPF 30, SPF anything for your face. Did he fall asleep under those french-fry-warming lamps or what? I think he forgot that he was in L.A. now, not traipsing through the moors of Scotland looking for pigeons and frogs for dinner.*
*Are there moors in Scotland? Everything I know about moors (i.e. "don't walk through them at night, y'all") comes from reading The Hound of the Baskervilles and Wuthering Heights, so I may be way off.
We got not one but two departures on Hell's Kitchen this week. Wendy was the official elimination, but since she said about three words during her appearances on the show, it was kind of a "whatever" moment. Much better was Jeff's "Take this job and shove it!" walkout--it was nice of him to show his little kidney stone to everyone (I wonder if he ended up throwing it in some sauce), but his whining and ineptitude won't really be missed.
It only sounds like a fabulous Paula Deen dessert--in reality, it's what we got to see this week on Hell's Kitchen. Dewberry threw a snit-fit in front of Gordon during the restaurant challenge and basically sealed his fate right then and there. Kidney-stone plagued Jeff (brother, I feel that pain) may have been useless in the kitchen, but at least he didn't try to walk out completely.
I'm still confused about the patrons of the restaurant, though. As freakgirl pointed out last week, it seems like the whole place is filled with carefully-chosen diners--ones who are willing to confront Gordon about the lousy service, and yet don't go postal when he tells them to eff off. Are they getting free meals? Are they told in advance that they may not actually get food? Do they all have advanced degrees in music? (Okay, that was just the one guy--but what a jackass. Who announces that sort of thing as an argument-winning strategy?)
Gordon Ramsay made his official U.S. television debut Monday night, with the Survivor-meets-The Apprentice-meets-Wickedly Perfect-meets-Iron Chef combo known as Hell's Kitchen (warning: typical FOX annoying flash/audio awaits you). I've been waiting for this show for a while--I'm a fan of Ramsay (thanks to BBC America) and I love cooking shows, so I'm planning to stay with this until the bitter end.
The first episode thankfully jumped right into the action, as the twelve aspiring chefs had to cook for a full restaurant on their first night of their TV gig. It was a disaster, to put it mildly. Now, some of the food might have actually been quite lovely, but you have to realize that Ramsay's schtick (and it is schtick) is that he screams and yells and drops F-bombs all over the place until someone either cries or storms out of the room. In other words, he's an utter a**hole, but is an extremely talented chef. So I think your fondness for the show is really going to depend on your ability to listen to his tirades. Personally, I enjoy watching it, but I certainly don't condone it or want to be around it in my own life. That kind of type-A venom-spitting hostility gets you little more than an early grave, if you ask me.
But on to the contestants. My first thought was, "Why are so many of them from New Jersey?" (Freakgirl, any theories?) My second was, "Is that guy's name really Dewberry?" (Ramsay called him "Blueberry," which made me chuckle.) It's hard to pick any front-runners right now other than Elsie, who won the show's version of immunity last night and got to nominate two of her fellow red-teamers to be booted by Gordon himself. One of her picks (who ended up staying) was Dewberry...and Dewberry was pissed, yo! Next week promises a little drama there.
Like I said, Ramsay may not be everybody's cup of tea, but as long as FOX doesn't yank this show off the schedule prematurely, I plan to be watching every episode.