Hell’s Kitchen Finale Quick Hits and Video

Hey all I can’t believe we have reached the end of this season’s Hell’s Kitchen. Before I watch the episode here is my quick analysis of the final three:

Kevin- It’s funny- last night when I was trying to fall asleep I realized that we have not seen anything about Kevin’s ankle injury for a while. It’s possible it may have healed but it’s also possible the producers are focusing more on Dave’s injury to make Dave seem like a more sympathetic figure since he won. It wouldn’t surprise me. Still, though Kevin has arguably been the most consistent of the three, with his only real blunder being when he destroyed the risotto rice a few episodes back. His leadership skills seem to be his real strength, which will come in handy during the “running the pass” challenge they always have in the top three episode.

Dave- If I had to pick the contestant who going into the finale I think is going to win it would be Dave. Besides the constant focus on his injury that makes him more likable Chef Ramsay seems to have a soft spot for him, like when he had the little Gordon Ramsay last week make fun of Dave but not the other finalists. He too has shown consistency during service, though he has struggled during challenges (remember the “fig” fiasco???). I’m also wondering how he will do running the pass this week; he proved he can lead by example when he took over Andy’s station after Andy cut himself, but he’s not the vocal leader that Kevin is.

Ariel-I honestly think she will be the first to go tonight, though the one saving grace for her is that the last three finales have all been man vs. woman. She has had a bad last few weeks (save for last week) and also might struggle in the leadership department. I’m rooting for her since she has shown herself to be the nicest of the three- she has never gotten into a fight with her fellow competitors, and she really takes responsibility for her failures. I’m sure Chef admires these qualities as well but as he said when he fired Amanda nice girls don’t make good head chefs.

-Ariel says she didn’t expect her family to surprise her like they did- has she ever seen this show??

-This is a very interesting final challenge- but one that I like. The Araxi is going to be full of people from different countries during the Olympics next year, and the winning chef will have to know how to cook for this diverse audience. I feel bad for Ariel though- how do you cook fine dining Chinese food?

-Then again Dave got Indian food- ouch. And he’s never cooked it before. Kevin lucked out with Mexican- Rick Bayless has shown us that Mexican food can be fine cuisine.

-Kevin is of course super confident, Ariel fairly confident, and Dave completely nervous. That of course means Kevin will get last and Dave will win.

-Dave is smart to cook a dish he knows how to do and just make it Indian with spices and stuff. That’s the kind of dish the Araxi would likely serve since it would appeal to multiple tastes. Also good idea to not use the meats Indians worship. He is using pork, but don’t they worship pigs as well as cows???

-Ooh now masters of these kinds of food are coming to judge- awesome! Am I supposed to know who Mr. Chow is???

-Hey Ariel’s pulling a Dave and not remembering what she made. And somehow when Chef asked her if she’s made Chinese food before I don’t think he meant take-out haha.

-They should totally have the judges rate the food on a scale from 1-10 like they do for figure skating or how they used to do for gymnastics in the Olympics. Good thing there’s no Russian judges haha.

-Ariel gets mixed reviews- the Indian judges likes it but the others don’t – the Chinese chef says the sauce is too watery but that it is a “nice try”- that’s the kiss of death right there.

-Wow Kevin forgot the sauce- maybe there’s hope for Dave and Ariel. I have a feeling it might not matter though since even without the sauce Kevin’s dish looks delicious. Indeed the Mexican judge says it needed the sauce but the other two gave the dish high praise.

-Now it’s down to Dave. This should be interesting. Luckily the Indian chef seems to be the Paula Abdul of the group. But alas I was right about pigs being worshipped in India too. I wonder why Chef Ramsay even left the pork out for Dave to use- was he just trying to fool the one-armed bandit? However all three judges love the dish. Wow is actually going to win despite offending half of India?

-Indeed Dave does win the challenge unanimously despite using the wrong protein. I totally figured he would win with all the focus on how he’d never done Indian food before. And more and more I’m starting to think he will win this season.

-And as a reward he gets one-on-one time with these famous chefs AND a meal from them. That’s a great prize so close to the end- it will give him ideas for his own menu in the finale (assuming he makes it that far, which at this point is a pretty safe bet). AND free cookware!

-All Kevin and Ariel have to do as punishment is prep the kitchen and decorate the dining room. Guess he doesn’t want to punish the losers too much since they have been so strong the rest of the season.

-That does suck that Kevin and Ariel have to watch the master class for Dave going on right in front of them. Dave’s family also comes back again- isn’t he going to see them in a few days anyway when the show ends? Plus he just saw them the night before. Seems like a bit much to me (though I know Chef does this every year).

-Haha for JP rubbing it into Kevin and Ariel’s face that the food Dave is eating looks really good and that he seems to be having a good time at this reward.

-Glad to see Kevin’s big ego was not bruised too much by his defeat’ he’s still guaranteeing victor. And hey Dave’s talking to himself again!

-I’m upset they got rid of the ritual of having the contestants yell at Chef Ramsay before service to practice running the hot plate. That was always a personal favorite of mine.

-I love Chef-“It’s been very peaceful” running the pass this year, he claims, “I’ve never walked out, I’ve never thrown anything”.

-Presumably Chef Ramsay will continue his tradition of having the sous chefs mess up on purpose to see if the finalists can spot the errors. Though it does seem like the first person to run the pass has a disadvantage in not knowing errors are coming (unless of course they’ve seen the show before).

-Kevin is up first, so at least the contestant I like least is getting the disadvantage. Though he’s also the one I expect will do the best at running the pass. As he (of course) tells us, he has run his team before when his other teammates have struggled. I think this is a bit different though.

-And indeed Kevin gets a quality control test, with Scott substituting the wrong fish for a dish. That seems like it should be easy to spot- the two fishes are different colors after all. Chef never makes these mistakes too hard to spot or it wouldn’t be totally fair I guess.

-Kevin passes this test with flying colors. But wow is Scott a bad actor- claiming he “accidentally” put the wrong fish on the plate. Even if I didn’t know the mistake was a setup I wouldn’t have believed him.

-So Ariel pushes the time needed for her dish from one minute (what Kevin wants) to 1.5 minutes, and Kevin claims that’s “slowing him down”??? Half a minute is nothing compared to how much Suzanne slowed down the kitchen when she was on the show.

-Kevin then claims Ariel overcooked her lamb, while Ariel claims it was perfect. I’m surprised Chef Ramsay didn’t come in to see who was right, because I have no idea. Good solider Ariel though remakes her lamb.

-I really think Ariel is a goner- now she messes up another lamb. Kevin tells her to cut it more, which Ariel claims will mess it up. She briefly protests but then follows Kevin’s instructions, only to have Kevin send it back again. I love Ariel but this seems to be her fault more than Kevin’s- she is the one who messed up the lamb so that cutting it messed it up further, and she should have warned Kevin more clearly before she cut it. She’s almost being too nice in this situation, and it could come back to haunt her.

-I’m surprised Chef is blaming Kevin for the lamb issues and not Ariel. And now Ariel is talking back to Kevin- she must really be ticked off.

-Kevin’s leadership style can rub people like Ariel the wrong way, which is his main weakness, but at the same time Chef Ramsay has a similar style and it works for him.

-I wonder if Kevin is going to sabotage Ariel when she runs the hot plate since he seems to think Ariel did the same to him (which she clearly didn’t).

-Dave is next up, proclaiming the kitchen won’t run him. Wow he can actually yell. And whip a towel onto a table??? Well that’s a side of him we haven’t seen before.

-He’s even telling Scott to use a wooden spoon. Poor Scott- he always gets the brunt of the abuse from overambitious finalists running the pass. I thought Kevin’s style was a bit over the top but Dave is even worse.

-Did he just tell JP to be quiet? I’m just in shock right now. It’s a whole new side of Dave, and not one that I like.

-However, it is effective, though now he will face the quality control test. He though has to distinguish spinach puree from asparagus- which seems a lot harder to spot than a wrong fish.

-Aaand Dave fails. He even tastes the risotto but doesn’t taste the difference in the purees. Strike one against Dave (or strike two if you consider his over-aggressiveness strike one).

-Here comes his second chance at quality control, again from Scott- does Heather not get a chance to make a messed up dish? I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone miss two quality control errors in a row. But WOW Dave misses the second one as well. Maybe he’s not the lock for the finals I thought he was. Though the second sabotage was hard to spot as well- tuna wrapped in herbs instead of seeds.

-If he gets to the finals after missing two sabotages then that must mean Chef thinks Dave is going to win.

-Finally he catches the mistake on the third try (though cold tuna is easier to spot than the wrong puree or seasoning)- and then starts catching a whole bunch in a row. He seems to do well after the poor start but it might be too little too late.

-Last up is Ariel, who really needs to prove herself as a leader. Hey she has a pretty loud voice when she needs to.

-Finally it’s Heather’s turn to send up a sabotaged dish- this one again involving a puree. I still say Kevin got the easiest mistake to spot of the three. Like Dave she also tastes the dish but does not spot the error. I don’t know if that’s worse than not tasting it at all. Chef seems to think there’s a big difference in the two purees but Ariel says it never occurred to her that it wasn’t potato. Hopefully she’ll at least catch the second error, especially since she should be looking for one now.

-This time Ariel gets the same sabotage Kevin did- wrong fish- and spots it. Good for her. And we get to see more of Scott’s horrible acting as he plays dumb again.

-Just when it seems like Ariel is getting her act together she calls out too many orders at once and confuses Kevin. Kevin asks Heather what is going on, which earns him a little scolding from Chef, but as Chef points out it is Ariel’s responsibility to keep the kitchen under control. Ariel is blaming Kevin for being slow (just as she was when he ran the pass) but she has shown that she struggles with leadership more than the other two do. Kevin is clearly the strongest of the three leadership-wise, and while Dave’s fake-aggressive style didn’t win him many friends he got the job done (minus the quality control).

-Ariel starts taking control, but Kevin continues to lag behind. I hate these accusations of sabotage among the finalists since I never think they are true but in this case I really wonder. Even Chef notes that scallops don’t take that long to cook, and for someone who has been so strong the entire season he sure picked an odd time to take his time and then send up a burnt scallop.

-The end of service goes smoothly, and it really could go any way. I think Ariel has to be in trouble because of her slow start and her poor coordination as leader, but if Chef thinks Dave’s quality control was too poor or that Kevin did sabotage Ariel on purpose either of them could go home as well.

-Ooh now Chef asks each contestant to say who should go home. Ariel will say Kevin, and Kevin will say Ariel, but I’m interested to see who Dave says.

-Ariel accuses Kevin of sabotage, Kevin says he would never do that, though I’m not sure I believe him. Dave doesn’t know what to do, and I do admire him for that.

-Kevin tells Chef he feels Ariel is not quite good enough to be head chef. Ariel claims Kevin didn’t fully have her back as she ran the pass. So it’s down to Dave as we go to commercial. I wonder if Dave’s going to automatically make the final round since he’s not going to get any votes from fellow competitors- unless of course he votes for himself.

-We finally hear Dave’s answer, and he seems pretty sad to say that he felt lost when Ariel was running the hot plate. I’d have to agree with him- she is my favorite of the three but she messed up the most this episode- she was slow when Kevin ran things, missed one quality control test, and couldn’t control her kitchen without Chef’s help. Plus she has been in the bottom two before while the other two have not.

-Chef prolongs the suspense by asking each contestant why they should stay. I think Ariel was least convincing.

-And we get the usual giant posters showing each finalists’ picture with fire in the background. Except this time he is using them to announce his final two. I still think Ariel is gone but I’ve been surprised before.

-So Dave is first in the finals. I guess his quality control mistakes did not outweigh his challenge win or his prior strong showing in the kitchen. No matter who he is facing I think he is the favorite to win. Chef even took him aside when he messed up those quality control dishes- that to me shows that Chef already sees Dave as his potential winner and is thus showing him extra patience.

-Not surprisingly Kevin is the next person sent through and Ariel is sent home. I like her but she proved in this episode she is not yet cut out to run a kitchen. Guess I’m rooting for Dave now- I still can’t stand Kevin and his smugness.

-Many have predicted this finale from the beginning, and it should be an interesting fight. Kevin has the stronger leadership skills but can rub people the wrong way with his attitude. He also can make dumb mistakes like he did with the mole in the challenge. Dave has a strong attitude and can lead by example but still hasn’t shown he can fully take charge without being too abrasive. Still I think his story of having the broken wrist and persevering through that will put him over the top.

-Awww Chef tells Ariel to keep her jacket- has he ever done that before? I think he might have done that with Ariel but I’m not sure. And it seems like Kevin and Ariel have no hard feelings after their fight earlier that night.

-Wow Ariel’s hair looks really scary when it’s not in a ponytail. And Dan’s photo looks weird without his signature beanie.

-So it’s the battle of the walking wounded- if Kevin is still wounded that is. But first of course the contestants much choose their teams from the previously eliminated contestants. That means someone is stuck with Andy and someone is stuck with Suzanne- hopefully not the same person (unless it’s Kevin who gets stuck with both of them- then it’s a very good thing).

-The episode ends with a limo being called for the final two. I’m guessing they are flying to see their potential new restaurant/meet their potential new bosses since that’s the final reward every year.

-But first we get the obligatory season recap. Wow I forgot about Melinda and Louis. And all the fights early this year. Van vs. JP- that was a classic. I don’t remember Scott yelling at Andy though… Chef Ramsay was his usually “cuddly” self- leaving the kitchen, throwing Louis out mid-service. When are they going to mention the injuries? Next is all the fights with Chef Ramsay. I forgot about Tennille cursing out Chef- that was way back when we all thought she was incompetent. Aw the good old days. Where is that military guy who wouldn’t tell Chef his nominees for elimination? Oh there he is- Joseph, that was his name. Him cursing out Chef was another early highlight (or maybe lowlight). And hey here’s the injury segment of the recap. There’s Robert’s heart, Andy’s finger, and of course Kevin and Dave, who as the announcer reminds us, were both injured the same day. At least we finally get a mention of Kevin’s injury. Oh his ankles “gradually improved”- that’s why they haven’t been mentioned in weeks. But of course Dave almost had to drop out every week because of his wrist. Actually it was three times according to the announcer, but who’s counting.

-Dave is surprised he’s been whisked away via limo? Hasn’t he ever seen this show?? He’s probably going to the Araxi or at least to their final challenge. In fact they are heading to a hotel roof- hope they aren’t afraid of heights!!

-Indeed this is their final challenge, with a whole bunch of random people who I’m probably supposed to recognize but don’t as judges. Of course it will come down to the final judge- it always does.

-Dave is doing an “easy” dish according to Kevin, but no dish can be easy with one arm, right?

-They should bring back all the former winners as judges but they probably won’t. And hey what’s with the random blondes calling out Dave’s name. Hey girls he’s taken!

-First judges is Alain Gayot- a famous food writer/critic or something. At least Dave knows what he made this time haha. Alain likes Dave’s dish and Kevin’s as well, but votes for Dave.

-Next up is Jamie Maw- a Canadian food critic. He also likes both but picks Dave. Wow could there actually be a knockout on the last challenge? That never happens.

-Third critic is Tanya Steel. I’ll bet anything she’ll vote for Kevin’s dish just to heighten the suspense. And indeed she does.

-Fourth is an executive chef, Warren Geraghty- another Canadian. And of course he votes for lobster- shocker. So it’s down to the last judge….

-Colman Andrews from Gourmet Magazine- didn’t they just close that magazine?? Of course he struggles with his choice before picking…. Dave! Of course- the one who gets the first two votes usually wins. That means Dave gets first choice of teammates in the final service (I’m guessing he’ll pick Ariel) and will also have the tough choice between Suzanne or Andy at the end of the selection process. More evidence that Dave is going to win the whole show.

-The next morning is menu design. Dave sticks with simple- hey it worked in the challenge.

-Chef brought in special ingredients- the previous contestants hiding in a Trojan Horse truck. Hey it’s better than last year when he had all the contestants look headless. I see Van and Robert- hmm that’s interesting Robert instead of Andy. AND AMANDA IS BACK!!!! Yay!! Rounding out the six are Ariel, Sabrina, and Suzanne. Suzanne should be the last one picked but even so all six are fairly strong- not like previous years where Lacey and Matt were brought back. I’m surprised Tennille’s not there though.

-Dave goes first, and his first pick is Ariel. Solid choice. Kevin is next- I’d go with Van or Robert. And indeed Van is the choice- those two were old roommates so that makes sense- the two will get along well. Just keep him away from JP haha.

-Dave’s second pick is Robert. Again solid choice- he’s made it far in the past even though he completely failed this year. Now if he picks Amanda as his last choice he’ll have a solid team, though Kevin may pick her first. Kevin’s next pick is Amanda. Boo- that means I can’t root for her anymore I guess. Aw she looked so cute when she got picked before Sabrina and Suzanne. Did they have to show the scene of her thinking 3 X 3 was 6? She’s had so many more better moments, especially on fish, which is why Kevin picked her for his fish-heavy menu.

-So now Dave has a tough choice- both Sabrina and Suzanne were maddingly inconsistent but Sabrina was less of a pain to deal with so I’d pick her. Suzanne says she expects to be picked last, which of course means she won’t be. Dave then shockingly picks her over Sabrina. WHAT ARE YOU DOING??? You had such a strong team and now you may have blown your shot. Ariel gets along with everyone but I don’t know how well Robert and Suzanne will mesh. I forgot Suzanne won a challenge with Dave but if I remember correctly he said she would have been his last choice for a partner.
She is a decent chef but not that much better than Sabrina and Sabrina comes with fewer communication issues.

-Interesting point implied by the announcer that Kevin’s team may have difficulties picking up his complicated menu. Dave’s menu is “idiot proof”, so to speak, which should help him. Robert however, wants to eat his competitor’s menu, which includes carmelized scallops, coffee cured beef, and creme brulee trio. I don’t know what any of that means but it looks delicious. Dave’s classic menu features mushroom risotto, a venison entree (hey it worked in the challenge), and a mousse dessert that looks quite tasty.

-Chef thinks Kevin’s food is beautiful but perhaps too complicated and notes that Dave’s is simple and thus must be perfect. I think Dave has the advantage with the simple approach but also has the disadvantage of working with Suzanne so it kind of evens out.

-By the way, what happened to the part where the contestants get to design the restaurant themselves? I guess Chef figured the competition should be more about cooking than decorating, which I can’t say I disagree with.

-Right before the service starts Chef calls the two finalists over and gives them head chef jackets- has he ever done that before? That’s pretty cool though. Those jackets are quite nice.

-Top Chefs from Canada are in attendance, including one from Araxi- aka the winner’s future boss. No pressure there.

-Good to see Dave has calmed down running the pass since the last episode. No more whipping towels onto the table.

-Amanda seems to be the type who does well with positive reinforcement rather than with people yelling at her. I think she got picked by the wrong team then…

-Amanda’s first scallops are undercooked, and Kevin is not pleased. He actually is calmer than I thought he would be.

-Robert’s first risotto meets Dave’s standards, and the one-armed bandit takes the early lead.

-I really think Kevin’s complex menu is going to be his fatal flaw. He overestimated the skills of his minions and will probably be stuck correcting them all night instead of sending out food.

-I’m starting to like Amanda even more since it seems like she is going to be a main reason Kevin doesn’t win.
Now I’m glad Dave didn’t pick her.

-Amanda continues to overcook scallops in her kitchen. Obviously Chef can’t fault Kevin for Amanda’s poor performance but at the same time Kevin picked her so he has to get some responsibility for that.

-And as we go to break Amanda is setting the stove on fire….

-Chef finally tells Van to go on the scallops but it might be too late. Amanda gets out a good risotto and Van sends the scallops but he still has a ways to go to catch up.

-Dave’s first issue arises when Robert starts to run out of mushrooms. His acts words to Robert are “go easier on them” which Robert interprets as putting in only two or three mushrooms per risotto. Chef spots this before Dave does and Dave swears he would not have sent that risotto if he had seen it. It’s hard to tell who was in the wrong without knowing how many mushrooms were left to use. Then Robert “drops” the mushroom container just to get some revenge on Dave. Wow that’s a bit petty of Robert to do- isn’t he supposed to be HELPING his leader.

-Meanwhile back on Kevin’s side a risotto is sent back for being “crunchy”. This again was Amanda’s responsibility. Maybe she was more incompetent than I thought. Or maybe (more likely) Kevin’s menu is too complicated for her.

-Now Van is covering for Amanda on risotto too, and Kevin is panicking. His only hope is for Suzanne to completely falter for Dave. And now Kevin is reminding Van of Chef Ramsay- is that a good thing??

-Dave is up to entrees when Ariel overcooks a venison that Dave wisely spots. Chef is impressed with his quality control (especially since he failed at it in the last episode). Dave is firm but not too harsh with Ariel, who gets the meat right on the next try. It also helps that a) his menu is
simpler and b) Ariel is more competent than Amanda.

-Kevin has made a comeback and is now cooking for the Araxi Chef. I’m surprised he knows in advance he is cooking for his future boss. Meanwhile Amanda can’t get the temperature of the meat right, especially because Kevin keeps contradicting himself on the pass. Then he blames Amanda when she cooks the meat too much even though he had called out the wrong temperature before correcting himself.
And hey Amanda set the stove on fire again.

-Kevin finally decides to nicely help Amanda cook instead of yelling at her, but it’s probably a bit too late. The Araxi Chef is impressed with Kevin’s dish- but what about Dave’s.

-Meanwhile in the blue kitchen Ariel is struggling again with undercooked and overcooked food, causing Chef to yell at Dave a bit before Dave takes control and tells Robert to reheat a salmon. When there are only three small crises in the blue kitchen the whole night it must be a good night.

-I don’t get why the teams are in such a race to finish first- it’s not like the first team to finish wins or anything. In any even Dave finishes first but it is very close- not that it matters in the least.

-Since it seems obvious at this point that Dave is going to win (thank goodness), let’s look at the main mistakes Kevin made to cost himself the title (which I think Dave would have won anyway unless Dave had really blown it):

1) Picking Amanda I don’t think was that bad of an idea, I just think he a) gave her too much to do, b) didn’t get her help from Van fast enough, and c) didn’t realize until it was too late that she works best when being praised, not being yelled at. When she was yelled at early on she seemed to lose all momentum and just completely fell apart.

2)As mentioned a few times, his real fatal flaw was the complicated menu. He could probably cook the food really well but his teammates were not that strong, so he should have stuck to a clearer, idiot-proof menu like Dave did.

3)Losing his cool- Dave seemed to handle the pressure when his teammates made mistakes (like Ariel with the venison) better than Kevin did. Kevin just got frustrated and started yelling instead of calmly solving the problem. Thus his brash personality that makes him such a strong leader may have hurt him in the end.

-But of course we have to have the official opening door ceremony to determine the winner.

-Why does Dave think he lost when he clearly outperformed Kevin??? He needs some more confidence in himself.

-Chef gives the two finalists a talk before he announces the winner, saying this has been the closest final ever based on the comment cards. But based on performance in the service it was not that close. He says they are both winners, blah blah, get to the winner already.

-And here we go- the winner is…. Dave!!!! Yeah that was kind of anticlimactic based on the services they both had. Plus they had been playing the sympathy card with him the whole season with his injury to make the viewers root for him more. Aw he’s crying…..

-Kevin is taking his loss in stride, so good for him.

-What happened to Dave’s beanie? He’s switched to a backwards cap for his winning moment.

-Hey is that Rock from Season 3 spraying champagne around the room??

-And we end the season with- Van arm wrestling Chef Ramsay? Awesome. And Van won!! And kids spraying water on JP, Robert breaking things, Dave dancing (BEFORE he won), Chef saying “he’s nobody’s b****) and Dave’s photo on the wall of fame next to Danny. So Danny and Dave win in consecutive years- hopefully next year the winner won’t be named Dana or Darrell.

So that’s it for this season. Were you happy with the results? Was it that obvious to you that Dave was going to win? What did you think of this season as a whole. Post your comments below.

Watch Part 1 of the two-part season finale here courtesy of hulu.com:

And watch Part 2 here also courtesy of hulu.com:

October 14, 2009 I Written By

Hell’s Kitchen Episode 13 Quick Hits and Video

Hey everyone we are down to the final four on Hell’s Kitchen and before putting on this episode I think it will come down to Tennille and Ariel for the last spot in the top three. Kevin has been cocky and brash but consistent each week and a leader in the kitchen and Dave, if his injury does not force him to withdraw, has been solid in service if not in challenges. So it’s likely down to Tennille and Ariel, whose Hell’s Kitchen experiences have been essentially the opposite: Tennille started out with a strong attitude but cooking wise at the bottom of the pack, seeming to be one of those put on the show just to be yelled at for a few weeks and then cut, while Ariel immediately emerged as a quiet but early favorite. Now Ariel has struggled in recent weeks while Tennille has hit her stride. It will really be interesting to see which one Chef chooses to continue to the next round. Plus we get a few “shockers”, at least according to the previews (which I have learned long ago not to trust too much).

-Kevin claims to not have a weakness, but I think his brashness could rub people the wrong way. I also don’t necessarily agree with his assessment that Tennille needs to be more consistent since she has been consistently decent since the first few weeks.

-Dave’s motivational talk to himself reminded me of Brett Favre’s speech to the Jets in their last game of the season last year- not exactly the most emotional or firey speech in the world.

-That little Chef Ramsay was the cutest thing ever. He could have literally been Chef’s son. His impression was good too. Loved the joke about Dave being shot if he were a horse. I like seeing the softer side of Chef as we get towards the end of the show where all the contestants have potential. He’s no longer constantly yelling at all the incompetent cooks so he starts having more fun.

-80 portions in an hour does sound like a challenge, especially without the use of meat. Good to see a real test for the chefs as we near the home stretch.

-Hopefully Dave actually knows what he is making in the challenge this week haha. I admire his attempt to cook all by himself with one hand (after all he’s done it the whole season) but I don’t know if he’s stupid or just crazy.

-All these dishes sound pretty good. But that’s quite an interesting twist having kids taste vegetarian dishes. It seems a bit counter intuitive to me- isn’t the point of having vegetarian dishes to make something vegetable lovers like? They are supposed to take like vegetables- that is the point. But obviously the kids won’t like the dishes that taste like vegetables since they hate vegetables. So it kind of defeats the purpose of the task in my opinion.

-Just from hearing what the dishes are I think Ariel will win since her dish involves pasta- always a crowd pleaser.

-I concur with Dave- little kids are really annoying. And REALLY loud. Also agree Tennille is screwed since her dish is the most vegetable-heavy.

-At least Dave is getting into the chanting spirit- responding “I’ve Got Food” when the kids keep obnoxiously yelling “We Want Food”. I’m starting to like him again…

-Also smart of him to refer to his dish as a sandwich and to have fun with the kids by calling himself the “one-armed bandit”.

-Haha these kids are tougher critics than Chef Ramsay! AND they get a goodie bag for their troubles- awesome!

-Not surprised Kevin got last since his dish was also veggie heavy. Also not surprised Dave made the top two.

-Wow I can’t believe Tennille won. A good sign for her making the top three and thus not good news for Ariel. Then again I remember when Julia won the kids challenge in her season and still went home that episode so this might not necessarily be a good thing. I don’t like her that much but it is nice to see her win a challenge for once. She seemed genuinely excited by the win.

-More good news for Tennille- she gets one-on-one time with Chef. Usually contestants who get this kind of reward do well since Chef gets to see what they are like outside the kitchen and vice versa.

-And just when I start to like Dave he starts trashing Tennille, saying she makes food fit for children and that is why she won. Jealous much??

-Made over Tennille looks even more like Whoopi Goldberg than non-made over Tennille.

-Those clips of the losers cleaning up the remainders of the kids’ lunch reminds me why I hate kids.

-Haha at Dave taking some of the kids’ leftovers from the floor!

-AND Tennille gets sushi knives as part of her reward. Fitting since she is the one contestant always doing Asian food.

-Kevin is happy to be prepping and not getting a makeover. Suuure. Especially since last week his poor prepping of the rice almost screwed over the team.

-Wonder if we’ll actually get the first good service of the season tonight. Considering there are only three services left they are running out of chances.

-Whatever happened to Kevin’s sprained ankles? He seems to be showing no ill effects from his early injury. And also impressing early on with his leadership and cooking.

-Yay Tennille messed up on the scallops! Bad for her, good for Ariel.
She eventually gets it right but is proving her inconsistency Kevin mentioned at the top of the show.

-And AGAIN Dave aggravates his wrist injury. It seems every week we have this will he or won’t he quit the competition theme. This time it really looks serious though. Did they really need the sound effect in the background that sounded like a bone snapping in half? That noise just made me cringe.

-But of course he is not quitting- as has been the case every week. I’m getting tired of this storyline since all it does is show Dave in pain for a few moments and then have him decide to go on.

-And now Tennille screw up number two- this time serving random bits in her sea bass. She really is blowing it in this late stage. She seems to be rushing to get through her food and making LOTS of stupid mistakes, including basically overcooking or undercooking every piece of fish at her station.

-Tennille sends up yet ANOTHER raw halibut. Looks like we will have an Ariel-Kevin-Dave final three after all.

-To top it all off Tennille pulls a Suzanne and claims to have a dish ready in two minutes when she really needs six. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a worse meltdown in the years I’ve been watching this show.

-Chef is giving her a pep talk but it might be too little too late.

-Wow that was a fast service. I guess no body else messed up except Tennille. Well I guess that means she’s a goner but there’s still the matter of who Chef Ramsay thinks deserves another chance as was shown in the previews. I still think it is Julia from a few seasons back or maybe (hopefully) Ji from last year.

-I think Chef is making a big deal of Dave’s injury just to make the seemingly obvious elimination of Tennille a little more climactic.

-I loved Dave’s plea to Chef to keep him in the competition. You could really see the passion for cooking in his eyes.

-Good for Chef Ramsay for making the elimination quick and painless for Tennille. There really was no point in putting two people up for elimination so he might as well have saved her the agony, like he said. But there are still 10 minutes left so I’m guessing some crazy stuff is going to happen.

-I really feel bad for Tennille when she is sent home. You could tell she really wanted this by the way she cried. And classy moves by the rest of the contestants (led by Ariel of course) to hug her goodbye. Even Dave! I guess their feud is over. And I guess the rumors of the contestants hating each other were greatly exaggerated.

-Did she really know nothing about fine dining when she first came on this show? That’s pretty impressive for her to make it this far without that prior knowledge. And of course her rise from the bottom to the top was inspiring (or would have been if she were less obnoxious). Still we have a solid final three, though I have a feeling that three is about to become four again.

-All this talk from the contestants about how they are the final three really makes me think someone is coming back to make it a final four again.

-So the “shocker” is that Chef is having second thoughts about eliminating Tennille. Somehow I doubt he’s going to change his mind. The surprise is probably a trip to their possible new restaurant or something.

-Oh yeah I forgot about the obligatory family visits. I’m surprised Dave’s family is not asking about his cast. Kevin’s kid is quite adorable by the way.

-I don’t get why the contestants are surprised to see their families when Chef only gives that reward EVERY year.

-Aw Kevin carries a photo album of his family with him at all times. He is cocky but he really does seem to love his wife and son.

-So I completely fail in my theory about him bringing back former contestants. Oh well we still have a solid final three and any of them could win. Right now I’m rooting for Ariel but my money is on Kevin- he’s been the most consistent in challenges and service. Plus next week the contestants get to run the pass, and we’ve already seen how Kevin can be a leader in the kitchen. But Ariel and Dave might be too laid back for that kind of job so I’ll be interested to see how they handle it.

Next time we have lots of trash talking and Ariel being pushed around by the big boys. Hopefully she can handle the pressure.

So thoughts on this week’s show? Were you disappointed by the lack of “shockers” promised from the previews. Is this the strongest final three in recent memory? (it’s certainly up there). Who do you think will make the final two? Post your comments below.

And check out the latest episode of Hell’s Kitchen here via hulu.com:

October 8, 2009 I Written By

Hell’s Kitchen Episode 12 Quick Hits and Video

Hey all sorry I missed last week’s double dose of Chef Ramsay but I’ve been crazed with schoolwork these last few weeks. I did find the time to watch Hell’s Kitchen’s last two episodes and here are some quick thoughts before we get into last night’s show:

-Not surprised at all Sabrina went home in the first hour. She’s been inconsistent for a while now and really should have stepped up more with the menu. I agreed with Tennille’s assessment that Sabrina should not have criticized all of Tennille’s ideas without having any of her own.

-I’m getting more and more impressed with Dave each week. In the first hour he pushes on despite re-injuring his arm, and in the second hour he wins the challenge and helps Ariel when she falls behind. I’m starting to think he could take this whole thing. At first I thought he was too laid back to win but he’s been strong every week and looks to be a safe bet for the final three.

-On the women’s side, I cannot believe how much Ariel blew it in the second hour. Accidentally leaving a burner on (which resulted in the burnt lettuce that made Chef walk out on the kitchen) is one thing, but she served raw food the previous hour and then fell behind after Chef walked out. She really seems to be cracking under the pressure just as Tennille is stepping up to be a strong leader in the kitchen. I’m starting to think Tennille may be the last girl standing instead of Ariel. It pains me to say this since I can barely listen to Tennille’s confessionals without wanting to stick pencils in my ears, but she has come on strong these past few weeks and led the squad when Chef walked out. I don’t think Ariel could have done that, and while she blamed Tennille for not helping her when she fell behind, it was to some extent Ariel’s fault that she fell behind in the first place.

-AND Chef told Tennille it was the best he’s ever seen anyone cook meat. Now that’s a compliment. The more I think about it the more I think the three left standing at the end of service last week will be the final three. Originally I had Ariel in there instead of Tennille but I’m starting to change my mind.

-I did admire Ariel agreeing that she should be on the chopping block in hour two. It really could have gone either way between those three. I was quite surprised they did not put up Van since I thought he had the worst service of the three. Suzanne’s refusal to plate did anger me though, and if I were Chef I would have cut her right there (though of course he wasn’t around to hear her say that). As for Ariel, she was worse than Suzanne I thought, at least this one night.

-I was also surprised Chef was so annoyed to see Ariel put on the chopping block, especially since she was the reason he walked out of service.

-For a split second I thought he actually might get rid of Ariel, but I agreed with his choice to send Van out the door. He has struggled with fish the entire time, which is supposed to be his specialty, and Suzanne’s issues seem to be more with timing and people skills than with actual cooking.

Now on to Episode 12:

-Just when I’m starting to like Dave he gets mad at Tennille for changing her mind at the elimination last week. He is correct in saying she claimed she was going to send Ariel up and then voted for Van (as the cameras remind us) but he WAY overreacted to this. Chef probably would have sent Van home anyway even if the other three had not specifically nominated him- he’s done that before.

-Kevin is still his usual smug self though, claiming he likes seeing others self-destruct even though he has gotten into an argument or two throughout this competition as well.

-Ariel does seem to be the nicest of the group, comforting Suzanne after her close call on the chopping block. I think I am still rooting for her over Dave, but I’m just worried her performance last week might come back to haunt her.

-Is presentation really so important that it is the main focus of the first individual challenge??? Though getting other foodies to judge the contestants is a smart idea. But still a contestant can create a visually stunning dish that tastes like crap and still get second place. Or it could taste wonderful and not even make the top 2.

-Wow Dave is really in a bad mood this episode (or at least shown to be via editing). Now he argues Suzanne’s salad is not difficult enough of a dish for foodie editors. He may be right but he didn’t have to say it, even in a confessional.

-Yay Tennille’s fish broke!! That means she’s probably not going to win. My early bet is on Ariel- she mentioned how she needed a nice pick-me-up after the last two weeks and a challenge win would do just that.

-Based on presentation I would send Ariel and Suzanne to the final round. Dave’s looked good also but he FORGOT WHAT HE MADE. Wow he has had some really bad moments on challenges- that could also be his downfall in a pretty open competition.
I don’t know what was worse- this or the “fig” debacle. Or the dish he made that looked liked dogfood.

-Shows what I know about presentation- Suzanne gets fourth (with Tennille getting last, obviously) while Kevin is first. Kevin’s was good looking also I guess but didn’t look as appetizing to me as the others. At least Ariel got second in the looks portion of the competition- Dave’s failure to know what he made probably cost him second place.

-Kevin of course uses this opportunity to brag about how great he is. But once it comes down to tasting he is more subdued. Does he actually think he’ll get beaten? I never thought I’d see the day where Kevin doubts his own abilities. He had been tolerable the past couple weeks but already I want to punch him and it’s only the first 10 minutes of the episode.

-Both dishes are good, so of course they go to commercial before revealing who wins the challenge. I really hope it’s Ariel. Not only because she’s my favorite but because I can’t stand another minute of Kevin gloating.

-So they both won- that was anticlimactic. Well at least Ariel didn’t lose, even if she has to share the win with Kevin.

-That’s a great reward they got- having the recipes published in a magazine. That’s almost like what the winner of Top Chef gets.

-Haha the rest of the contestants have to clean the streets as a punishment. Not as gross as prior punishments but it reminds me of what prisoners have to do after being freed- appropriate since the three are “prisoners” of Hell’s Kitchen.

-Dave STILL has a grudge against Tennille. Give it a rest already! I’m really starting to get annoyed with him.

-Tennille just made the prisoner reference that I made two posts above. I’d say great minds think alike but I don’t think she qualifies haha. At least she learned she will never commit a crime because the judge might make her pick up trash (the horror!!!)

-For the first time all season I hope Dave’s wrist does force him to withdraw from the show. And AGAIN the challenge further injures it. Can’t he get an exemption from the challenges that require difficult arm work?

-Of course Kevin tries to convince Dave to quit- at least he admits his motives in the confessional and doesn’t pretend to be truly concerned for Dave’s well-being.

-I’m surprised Dave’s wrist is preventing him from helping with prep- it’s never stopped him before.

-Is Chef allowed to use the incredibly overplayed “Yes We Can” phrase if he’s not actually from America?? Just wondering.

-So Dave, Tennille, and Suzanne must work together on appetizers. Oh yeah this is definitely going to go badly. I wonder if Chef purposely assigns the chefs who hate each other to work together.

-I do admire Dave for agreeing not to bring his conflict with Tennille into the kitchen (for now).

-First mistake of the night goes to Tennille, who forgets to tell Suzanne when to drop the scallops for the first appetizer. At least she goes over to help her while Dave watches her food.

-These guys can barely complete one appetizer and are expected to do several orders at once?? Maybe Chef should have waited until next week to up the stakes.

-And now we have Ariel v. Tennille round 2. Earlier this season Tennille went against Ariel’s view that a dish was done improperly and it turns out Tennille was right. Now Ariel warns Tennille that her risotto is overdone, but Tennille again ignores her. But this time indeed Ariel is right. Chef doesn’t get too mad though- he must have more patience for these contestants since they have been strong in the past.

-And now Suzanne burns her scallops. At least the two I don’t like are the two failing the most so far.

-Tennille’s SECOND risotto is mushy too. But wait, it’s not Tennille’s fault, it’s the fault of the person who made the risotto- Kevin!! Wow all we need now is for Dave to mess up and everyone I don’t like will be in Chef’s doghouse.

-Dave blames Tennille for not noticing the rice was bad. While I guess that is true to some extent when you are busy cooking a bunch of dishes like she was you probably don’t have time to notice those things.

-Both do take responsibility for their failures, which I would admire if they did not already annoy me so much.

-Chef is being REALLY hard on Kevin for the rice. Probably because he expects so much from him. As we go to break Chef tastes another risotto and calls the two over. I’m guessing he’s just going to say it is brilliant and ask why they couldn’t do that before. And indeed I was right- I know this show too well.

-Nooo Ariel messes up too- this time serving pink chicken. Kevin is critical of her in confessional yet he’s the one who can’t even cook rice correctly. I don’t know much about cooking but I think rice is easier to cook than meat.

-Now it’s Suzanne’s turn to mess up, sending up undercooked fish. Again, Kevin calls her out, and again I say YOU COULDN’T EVEN COOK RICE CORRECTLY!!!

-Another pet peeve of mine is the restaurant goers complaining about their food taking forever to get to the table. YOU AGREED TO GO TO A RESTAURANT WITH REALITY SHOW CONTESTANTS AS CHEFS. YOU KNOW THE FOOD IS PROBABLY GOING TO BE BAD OR SLOW. SO STOP COMPLAINING. Okay rant over.

– I can’t believe Ariel messed up on the lamb again, this time sending out pieces barely hanging on the bone. And I can’t believe Chef yelled at her in front of the entire dining room. Great the episode where I like her the most she’ll probably go home.

-So the contestants did finish service, but it certainly did not go smoothly. Everyone messed up except for Dave. Ariel for sure should go up for elimination, and as much as I like her she probably should go home based on this service. Kevin screwed everyone over with the rice but has been solid to this point. Tennille’s mistakes were more Kevin’s fault, and Suzanne only had that one bad fish as far as we saw.

-If the other contestants were smart they would put Kevin up for elimination since he’s the biggest threat.

-It sounds like Suzanne didn’t have much cooking to do since no one ordered fish. Well then it’s kind of hard to send her home if she didn’t do anything.

-Suzanne talks about how her performance was “beautiful”, but as Kevin points out, she did serve that raw fish. He also is correct in saying she is the most inconsistent.

-Figures they can’t agree on who to put up for elimination since they couldn’t communicate all night.

-First nominee is Ariel. No surprise there. Now it gets interesting… And of course we go to commercial right before we hear who nominee number two is.

-Suzanne is nominee number two. Oh yeah I forgot about the scallops she served that were overcooked. So she made as many mistakes as Ariel that were shown, and she has been worse than Ariel over time so hopefully that means Suzanne will be sent home. And, as Kevin correctly points out (dang he is being correct too often late in this episode) she even thought her performance was good. Ariel did not seem at all surprised that she was being put up for elimination and seemed to accept it, unlike Suzanne. I know on Top Chef contestants who don’t think their bad food is bad are usually sent home, so hopefully that will be the case here.

-It’s Suzanne’s FOURTH time on the chopping block- though I wonder how much of that is because her teammates hated her. But then they hate her because she lacks the people skills needed to be a good head chef.

-This really could go either way. Chef thinks both should go. But thank goodness Suzanne is finally sent packing. As he points out, he gave her many chances and she didn’t taken advantage of them.

-Next week though should be quite interesting between Tennille and Ariel. At first I thought Ariel was a lock for the final three but Tennille’s stock is rising as Ariel’s is falling. I still think barring something shocking Dave and Kevin will be in the final three.

-At least Suzanne has learned from her mistakes and realizes she must work on how she deals with other people.

-Wow Chef told Tennille she could have been on the chopping block too. But I still say the risotto disaster was more Kevin’s fault than hers.

-Next week Dave reinjures his wrist AGAIN, the contestants still all hate each other, and there are two “shocking” surprises- including unfinished business with someone on a telephone. Hmmm he already brought Robert back- is it Ji?? Julia from a few seasons back (who Chef said was not yet ready and sent to cooking school after she was eliminated in the top four)?

Thought’s on this week’s show. Are you no longer on the Dave bandwagon? Do you think Ariel can beat out Tennille for the third spot in the top 3? Post your comments below.

Check out the full episode 12 video below courtesy of hulu.com:

October 6, 2009 I Written By

Hell’s Kitchen Episode 9 Quick Hits and Full Video

Hey all I’m still smarting from Amanda’s elimination last week but you have to figure Suzanne’s not too long for this show anyway. She may last a few more weeks for the drama but once the rest of the weaker chefs (Sabrina and Andy) go home she may be next. Or maybe Chef will wisen up and get rid of the know-it-all if she has another bad week. You figure one of those three are likely to go home tonight unless someone else really screws up.

-With all the focus on Andy in the recap I’m guessing that’s not a good sign for him. Though I think calling Amanda “disappointing” was a bit harsh.

-Suzanne is actually quite humble and sincere when apologizing to her teammates after elimination. Somehow I don’t think that will last.

-And kudos to Ariel for showing some leadership while talking to Suzanne about how she needs to focus more on interacting with her teammates. She is definitive but respectful- the kind of leader I like.

-Mmm crepes- I’ve never actually had them but I’ve had blintzes which I think are similar (and delicious!)

-Suzanne probably was overcompensating for her lack of team spirit by offering her teammates everything (and I mean everything) they could possibly need, but I still thought her teammates were too hard on her. Better this version of Suzanne than the bossy, know-it-all version.

-Wow I guess those crepes really are harder to make than they look. Though in the end they all came out pretty decent looking.

-JP is judging- awesome!!!

-First up is Van and Ariel I wonder if JP remembers his little run-in with Van early on in the season.

-Ariel wins, though I don’t know how salmon is really a breakfast…

-Tennille v. Andy. Tennile’s sounds weird but Andy’s decision to do ham and cheese is clever. Wow he won- maybe there is hope for him yet.

Suzanne v. Kevin. Suzanne spends a lot of time describing her dish. Chef always hates this, but I still think her teammates overreacted again. It’s like every little thing Suzanne does wrong gets scrutinized just because her teammates hate her, which just doesn’t seem fair.

-JP is not really doing much judging – he’s basically just nodding in agreement with Chef Ramsay so far. I wonder if the two disagree on a crepe what will happen.

-Chef announces the winner of this round, further showing who the real judge is. I guess Chef can’t sit on the sidelines for too long. Anyway I’m surprised it was a tie between these two since it seemed like they liked Suzanne’s a bit better. But of course they did it that way so that it will come down to the last round, as usual- Dave v. Sabrina.

-The men should have this in the bag with Dave, which of course means the women will win.

-Kevin thinks they have it in the bag- oh yeah the men are screwed. And Chef’s reaction going into commercial just confirms my fears.

-Ew I can see why Chef reacted like he did- Dave’s crepe looks like someone just threw up on the plate. Between this and the fig fiasco of a few weeks earlier it seems challenges aren’t really Dave’s thing. I still think he’ll make the final three with Kevin and Ariel but if he doesn’t step it up it may be the other two fighting for the prize.

-Wow they won’t even taste Dave’s crepe. Ouch. I wonder what happens if Sabrina’s stinks though- will there be no winner?? Or will the red team win because there’s was at least edible?

-It doesn’t matter because the red team wins. I still can’t believe Chef told Sabrina her dessert was Whistler worthy. Maybe she can surprise us all and make the finals.

-So in the end only Tennille didn’t get a point for her red team. Maybe she is the weakest link after all.

-On the men’s side it was Dave and Van who let them down, but of course the blame will be put on Dave’s shoulders because he was last. Though in this case I think he deserves most of the blame- Van’s idea and filling were decent but the crepe itself was bad. Dave’s was just a disaster.

-Supposedly Andy is going to cut his hand really badly while prepping both kitchens in the punishment. Van better watch his back since he’ll be the only one left on his team not injured…

-Good to see Dave take full responsibility for his poor performance in the challenge.

-The girls are learning pantomime- that’s kind of lame reward. Though I guess it could help them with communication in the kitchen. Their communication now certainly can’t get any worse. And I’m sure the red team is happy to “fake punch” Suzanne for a few hours and get some of their anger issues out.

-Haha I love when the losing teams have to eat tongue and other disgusting sounding body parts for lunch. Though Andy actually likes eating pig’s head- that actually explains a lot.

-Maybe if Dave did throw up on the plate after eating the tongue his plate would have looked like his crepe he made for Chef.

-Did Andy just cut himself on a grater? Cutting yourself with a knife is one thing but cutting yourself on a cheese grater takes some skill. Although technically he got hurt in his own kitchen it looked like so it wasn’t the punishment’s fault (this time).

-He CUT THE TOP OF HIS FINGERS OFF! Holy cow that looks painful- it looked like he had small holes on each of his fingers. At least I think that’s what it looked like- I turned away once they showed all the blood.

-I wonder if Andy will miss service while getting stitches. Though according to the preview everyone does so bad in the service that they are all kicked out of the kitchen, so maybe this injury will actually allow him to stay for one more week. If that happens things will get interesting since I wonder if Chef would cut Sabrina after she did well in the challenge. Then again Amanda won the challenge for her team last week and it didn’t help her that much.

-There is all this talk about the men having no shot even though they are (only) one person down. I guess that means they will win service. Fair enough since none of them deserve to go home yet except Andy, and Chef never sends people home who miss service.

-Wow Andy is back already- I’m amazed. He probably would have been better off staying in the hospital all night since now there is a good shot he will go home.

-Andy doesn’t know what is going on since he missed a lot of the prep. Normally I would sympathize with him but it seems like he never knows what is going on even when he is present the whole time.

-Good for Dave stepping up and doing the risotto for Andy- another sign of a good leader.

-Sabrina may well be in trouble. She insists the risotto she cooks tastes good, but Chef thinks otherwise. Whenever contestants on Top Chef insist their poor dishes are good they are sent home, and that may be the case tonight as well.

-At least Sabrina’s next risotto was good. She is maddeningly inconsistent, and I think Chef’s constant criticism is part of his way of motivating her. You can tell who he really thinks is garbage and who he thinks has potential, and I think Sabrina falls into the latter category.

-Kevin criticizes Andy for not being able to make a simple crepe, but if I remember correctly all of them (including Kevin) struggled to make crepes in the challenge. A bit hypocritical, don’t you think?

-The red team tonight is communicating, which is a good start. Plus it allows Chef to see that it really is Suzanne screwing over the team. She says she’ll be ready with a dish in three minutes and then two minutes later says she needs six more minutes. It seems she’s not a good judge of how long it takes the dish to cook. I’ll give her credit for being honest with her team and saying she needs more time but she still must learn how to better judge the timing of her dishes.

-Too bad Chef wasn’t in the kitchen to see Suzanne’s breakdown. She does admit to Chef that she is the one who needs five minutes (that’s how I interpreted her comment of “I need five minutes” to Chef, though others may conclude she was being selfish again and only referring to herself, not the team). But of course right when I give her credit she goes and blames the oven for her troubles. One step forward, two steps back.

-Wow Dave looks like he is literally in four places at once. AND he has only one arm. AND his dishes impress Chef. Maybe he will make the finals after all.

-Suzanne finally does get called out, this time for cutting the lamb too soon. It seems like this is a common mistake on this show- don’t these people watch prior seasons? Anyway I think her earlier mistake was worse than this but at least she’s getting what she deserved last week and earlier tonight.

-Dave can do four different dishes with one arm, but all Andy can do with one hand is make salad? And he can’t even do that right! Unfortunately I think the blue team is going to win tonight so he’ll be safe another week, even though he’s by far the weakest chef left in either kitchen.

-I just realized that if the men win the next two services Andy will be into singles. He’s like this year’s version of Matt from season 4, cut finger and all.

-Ha Chef just said the same thing I said- that if Dave can cook with one arm why can’t Andy cook with one hand??

-Suzanne then forgets how the lamb should be cooked. Forget what I said earlier about Sabrina- it HAS to be Suzanne or Andy going home tonight, right?

-Well maybe not, especially after Sabrina challenges Chef, claiming he wants her to put too many spices on the frog legs (which I don’t think I would eat even if they were covered in spice). I think Suzanne has been worse tonight than Sabrina has been but Sabrina is almost talking back to Chef, and he hates that.

-If so many people are supposed to get kicked out of the kitchen tonight, I’m surprised Andy, Sabrina, and Suzanne haven’t all been shown the door yet.

-Well Andy is the first one thrown out, which isn’t surprising considering he’s been the worst so far tonight. And he even calls out Chef in the process, saying he is too mean in the kitchen. One small problem with this logic: Chef wouldn’t have to be so mean if Andy was more competent.

-And Sabrina and Suzanne are not that far behind. I think those three are the next to go in some order, and I won’t miss any of them.

-It is a good sign for Tennille and Ariel that Chef trusts them enough to finish service despite losing half their team. The remaining blue team members are equally as impressive. As I said before this will likely be the final five.

-Hmm there is no winning team tonight, which means Andy still has a shot of going home. But I don’t get why Chef has them only pick two people to put up for elimination when it’s clear whichever one of the three banishees they don’t pick will be put up there anyway. I guess he just wants to heighten the drama and put the contestants against each other in the deliberations.

-I would put Andy and Suzanne up since I think Sabrina’s mistakes were the least egregious. But I don’t think it matters since all three will be put up anyway. Between Suzanne and Andy it’s a tossup over who was worse, though I think Suzanne actually can cook and just has timing issues, while Andy can’t cook that well. So Suzanne seems to have a bit more potential (plus she might be kept around just for the drama like she was last week).

-The two teams agree with me, which is good, though Sabrina is celebrating a bit too much for someone who will likely be on the chopping block too. I wonder if that’s a precursor to her going home tonight.

-Now the blue team has turned on Suzanne also, and wants to put Sabrina up instead to guarantee Suzanne will go home. I agree that if Andy goes up he is likely gone but I wonder if Chef would get rid of Sabrina over Suzanne since Sabrina talked back to Chef so much. Though if I were on the blue team I would get rid of Andy, who is clearly slowing down their team, and keep Suzanne around since she is tearing the red team apart.

-Though I guess the blue team came to their senses and put Andy up. And surprisingly Sabrina is not asked to join them. Between these two it’s six of one, half a dozen of the other. Andy is less competent but Suzanne is more annoying so I don’t care either way but based on tonight it should be Andy. At least Suzanne somewhat knows how to cook.

-At least Chef finally knows now that the red team wants Suzanne gone. I thought for sure she’d be a goner when I heard that but then Andy pulls the injury excuse again. Not a smart idea with two other injured players standing behind him. It could really go either way.

-And sure enough Andy is sent home, as he should have. Chef seems to like Andy’s attitude (it’s better than Suzanne’s for sure) and tells him to stop panicking. I think that was a problem for him- he would feel rushed and make stupid mistakes. But a head chef cannot act that way in the face of pressure.

-But that’s not all. First Chef calls forward Sabrina and I think she’s a goner. Then he tells Suzanne to take off her jacket, only to tell her to switch teams. Dang I get fooled by that trick every year. At least the red team will be happy now with her gone, though the blue team doesn’t seem to like her much either. This is probably her last chance- if she can’t get along with the blue team she’s a goner.

-So what was the point of Chef calling Sabrina up for elimination just to tell her to get better??

-Next week the blue team is “thrilled” to see Suzanne join them, the teams make their own menus, and Dave gets ANOTHER injury. Man that guy needs a bodyguard 24/7.

Thoughts on tonight’s show? Did Andy deserve to go home? Did Suzanne deserve another shot? Post your comments below.

Check out the full episode 9 video here courtesy of hulu.com:

September 9, 2009 I Written By

Hell’s Kitchen Episode 8 Quick Hits and Video

Hey all just to warn you my computer has been a bit weird lately when I type so there might be some odd spacing and/or random letters in the middle of words that I don’t catch before I post this.

-Why are the men so annoyed Robert is gone? They seemed like they wanted to shove him out the door the last two episodes.

-Unlike Andy, the object of the men’s hatred, Suzanne actually can cook, so while she may be annoying and bossy, she’ll be around a while…

-Yay the taste test! Chef’s favorite challenge and one of mine as well.

-Andy says he can taste things no one else can- why do I have a feeling that statement will come back to haunt him in this challenge??

-Interesting Chef chose Tennille to sit out- I guess that means he’s been impressed with her these last few episodes (as have I). Suzanne is her usual cocky self of course.

-Good early matchup with Ariel and Van. I hope Ariel does well…

-Surprised Ariel missed the venison since she worked at a steakhouse. But at least she was close in saying roast beef. Tuna, Van??? Really??

-Van was allowed to change his answer on the last food. That doesn’t really seem fair to me but at least the women are still in the lead.

-Dave v. Suzanne- another good matchup.

-Can’t blame the two for not getting qunice, even if they work with it every day. I’ve never even heard of it!

-That egg yolk looked disgusting…

-I’m worried about Dave after that poor showing in the challenge. At least he seems to be really upset by how badly he did. He even gives himself an F!

-Kevin v. Sabrina- Chef does seem to be matching up the strongest cooks together, though I think Kevin may win this matchup.

-Maybe not. His spinach answer for clams is even worse than Van’s tuna answer before. And Kevin is a seafood guy too! At least Sabrina was in the fish family with her response.

-I think Chef put Andy and Amanda together because they are both on the bottom of their respective teams. She probably is the weakest on the red but not by as much as Andy is the weakest on the blue.

-Andy will either do really well or really badly.

-Wow Andy got lychee, another food I have never heard of. He may have some skills after all. Good for him if he wins the challenge for his team, but I hope he doesn’t because that would mean Amanda is in trouble.

-Glad to see Andy misses the next one. So much for his comeback. Now the best the men can hope for is a tie.

-Aaaand Andy fails! If he doesn’t go home this episode I’ll be amazed. And Amanda is the semi-hero for her team. Sure she only got one right, but that’s all she needed to. Maybe her team will finally see that she is competent after all.

-Andy is correct when he says no one else on his team did well either. But of course Andy is going to unfairly become the scapegoat since he was the last one up there and missed a relatively easy food with ahi tuna (of course he also got the really hard lychee, but I’m willing to be he won’t get any props for that).

-Ouch the men have to make sorbet by hand. That doesn’t sound fun. And sorting berries- ew!

-Van should really stop complaining considering he only got two right at the challenge. Then again that was a good number considering how bad everyone else did.

-The red team gets to dine in the dark. That’s kind of cool I guess, though I wonder how they’ll be able to see where the food is on their plate.

-Ew that men’s lunch looks gross. Duck in a blender?? I would totally throw up if I had to eat that.

-Chef makes a good point about how eating in the dark helps develop a palette. NOW the reward makes sense!

-I didn’t think Suzanne was sucking up to Chef by asking him about latest culinary trends. I thought she was just using this time with him to ask for advice. I usually don’t defend her but in this case I will.

– The red team is taking it a bit too far with the anti-Suzanne team. I get that she is a know-it-all but shunning her will just make things worse. The men learned that last week with Robert.

-The way things are going either Suzanne or Andy will likely be going home tonight depending on which team loses.

-Ariel gets to do the sorbet for the women. I guess that means Chef trusts her, which is good of course.

-Wow Tennille is being a surprisingly good leader on appetizers, NICELY telling Suzanne that the scallops are too dark. Miss I Am Always Right, of course, refuses to listen.

-But Suzanne was right about the scallops. That actually surprised me. Suzanne may be a poor leader but can actually cook, while the reverse is true of Tennille I guess.

-Kevin takes charge for the men on the first sorbet. I bet Chef likes that kind of thing. I’m not rooting for him but he is my early pick to win.

-Van falls apart on appetizers as Kevin leaves to do the sorbets. I guess the blue team does rely a bit too much on Kevin. It will be interesting to see if everyone else struggles too when he’s not in there.

-TENNILLE says her teammates have too big an ego??? That’s a pot calling kettle black if I’ve ever heard one.

-Chef isn’t too hard on Amanda when she first messes up- I guess (hope) that means he likes her potential.

-So two of the weakest chefs (Amanda and Andy) are on garnish tonight. Hopefully this will show Chef that Andy is worse than Amanda.

-Indeed the kitchen is lost without Kevin. I’m almost sure he will make the finals, likely against Ariel or Dave.

-Sabrina and Suzanne must work together?? This isn’t going to end well.

-If lamb does cook slower than fish like Sabrina says (which I think it does) then Suzanne should have waited to cook her fish obviously. Though Sabrina also could have reminded Suzanne of this so there is fault on both sides.

-Sabrina though gets all the blame for sending out raw lamb when clearly Suzanne was rushing her. Chef should have talked to both about working together more rather than only yelling at Sabrina.

-Can Sabrina get sick from eating that raw lamb?? I guess not but still Chef way overreacted to a situation that was not all Sabrina’s fault.

-Looking at that lamb, I don’t even think it is that undercooked.

-Glad to see Tennille stand up to Suzanne when Suzanne tried to rush her as well. Sabrina could have done the same, which is why she is PARTIALLY (but not fully) to blame for the undercooked lamb.

-The lamb Tennille sent out looks just like the one Sabrina sent out.

-Tennille might make it to singles at this rate…

-Chef tells Sabrina if the lamb isn’t good enough for her it shouldn’t be sent out to the customers at all. Then why did Chef let it be sent in the first place??? He should have realized it was undercooked before he served it, shouldn’t he?

-If the blue team had run out of potatoes, I don’t think it really would have been Andy’s fault, unless he was the one who prepped them.

-Why is Chef getting mad at Tennille at the end for taking charge in the kitchen? I thought he liked that in a chef.

-At least Suzanne messes up at the end with the fish and gets yelled at by Chef. She deserves it after messing up with Sabrina earlier but not getting blamed for it.

-I still don’t get why Andy running out of potatoes is his fault. But shouldn’t he have been the one to make more instead of Dave? But props to Dave for stepping up and doing so.

-Similarly, shouldn’t Suzanne have cooked her own fish instead of handing it off to Amanda? Sure Chef should have blamed Amanda more for the undercooked fish but I still don’t get why Suzanne couldn’t have just done it herself.

-Amanda is mad at Suzanne for ratting her out, but Amanda was the one who undercooked the fish, not Suzanne, so Suzanne had every right to do that.

-10 minutes left- I guess the kitchen will be shut down pretty soon.

-I do agree with Chef that Suzanne should have checked Amanda’s fish before serving it. But still I blame Amanda more than Suzanne for the second fish disaster.

-Andy does seem to be moving reallly slowly, and he has shown his incompetence in prior weeks. Plus he was a poor leader on the garnish station earlier. I would send him home but I have a feeling the red team might lose tonight.

-Indeed I was correct. It honestly could have gone either way, but I was hoping the red team would win so Andy could finally be sent home.

-Yay for Dave for getting more props from Chef! I’m surprised Kevin didn’t get a shout out too since he showed how great of a leader he was.

-As for the women, you figure Suzanne for sure will be put up for elimination. It is really close between Amanda and Sabrina for the other slot but since Amanda messed up more I would put her up. Especially since I think Sabrina got too much blame for undercooking the lamb. But considering Suzanne’s overall bad attitude and lack of communication on the fish station, plus that last disaster at the end, I would send her home.

-Then again Chef may shock us all and just send Andy home anyway.

-Tennille gets best of the worst, and deservedly so. Wow I can’t believe I just wrote that but it’s true. As Chef said it was her best service yet. Too bad she is obnoxious or I would be rooting for her.

-I do think the team ganged up too much on Suzanne during their deliberations. The whole part about her saying to Chef that she was ready with her food didn’t really seem like throwing the rest of her team under the bus, and neither did her telling Chef that Amanda cooked that last fish that went wrong. She did however screw over the team by not knowing the timing of cooking her fish, so I think she should go home more for that than for throwing her teammates under the bus.

-Totally agree with Tennille- definitely put Suzanne up for elimination, but then it’s close between Sabrina and Amanda. Since there is so little time left though I’m thinking it will be a quick decision, which likely means either Suzanne or Andy are out.

-Wow I’m surprised Tennille put up Sabrina when Amanda was worse tonight. Sabrina had that one mistake with the lamb but that wasn’t her fault, while Amanda sent up that small portion and messed up on that last lamb.

-Of course Amanda is asked to come forward anyway. I figured that was coming.

-Okay NOW Suzanne is throwing her team under the bus by saying they are only putting her up there out of spite. She could at least admit she made some mistakes tonight and that that is why she is really up there.

-Wow now the whole team is throwing HER under the bus. Though if the whole team thinks Suzanne was holding up Sabrina then it is probably true. Even if that is not the case it is pretty clear the red team can’t work with Suzanne so she either has to go home or be sent to the blue team.

-I can’t even type right now I am so shocked. I though Amanda might get sent home when Chef asked her if she could win (which she probably can’t) but still Suzanne was so bad and is so hated by her team I don’t understand why he kept her around. I’m sure conspiracy theorists will have a field day proposing that he kept Suzanne around for the drama.

-Seriously now even Andy was worse than Amanda tonight. Sure she wasn’t going to win but she could have lasted a few more weeks. She had a much better attitude than Suzanne and their cooking has been about even the past few weeks, with Suzanne being worse tonight.

-At least Chef was nice to Amanda in his voiceover about her, calling her a sweet girl.

-Well at least next week’s promo got me in a better mood. All the chefs get kicked out of the kitchen and yet ANOTHER blue team injury (they really are dropping like flies aren’t they?)

So what are your thoughts on this week’s show? Do you think Suzanne should have gone home? Or do you agree with Chef’s decision? Post your comments below.

Check out the full episode 8 video below:

September 2, 2009 I Written By