John-John Williams IV reports on last night's Hell's Kitchen ...
Chef Gordon Ramsay has a short fuse. (I swear he's a heart attack waiting to happen.) But last night he seemed extra stressed. Maybe it's the fact that the competition is down to six chefs? Maybe he needs more fiber in his diet? Who knows? One thing is for sure. I've never seen the firey Brit walk out of the kitchen during a dinner service until now. (I'll get to that a little later.)
The episode started with a challenge. (Surprise, surprise.) Ramsay put out a dish, asked the contestants to taste it and then re-create it without them knowing what ingredients were used. (Trust me. It's harder than it sounds.) The chefs were broken into three teams of two: Kevin and Tennille, Ariel and Van, and Suzanne and Dave.
Tennille and Kevin forgot to put the calamari garnish on the dish and put themselves out of the running. Suzanne and Dave barely won by correctly using passionfruit in their sauce. As a result, they were rewarded with a lunch with last year's winner, Christina. The other chefs had to prep Hell's Kitchen for a special couple's-themed dinner service.
While at lunch, Suzanne -- in her know-it-all annoying voice -- kept interjecting comments while Christina was giving the two advice. At one point, Dave basically told her to shut up. It was pretty funny. During the confessional, Suzanne compared herself to Christina, who was kind of annoying in her own right last season. All in all, the lunch went off without much drama.
When Suzanne and Dave returned to Hell's Kitchen, they were greeted with a little bit of a cold shoulder. (Personally, I think it was a case of selected editing.) Nothing much really resulted from that.
During dinner service, Ariel, Van, and Suzanne each had their share of mistakes.
Suzanne couldn't get her timing correct on appetizers, and slowed the entire kitchen. Van and Chef Ramsay got into it after Van was observed sweating into the scallops he was cooking. (Yuck!) Ramsay took Van aside and scolded him to the high heavens. And Ariel caught Chef Ramsay's wrath after she burned lettuce. Ramsay had enough. After screaming at the entire kitchen, he stormed out to the restaurant. (Now I'm not sure if this was planned. I suspect it was. But the antics definitely lit a fire in the contestants.)
The food started flying out of the kitchen to rave reviews. Suzanne surprisingly refused to plate food without Ramsay being in the kitchen. (This came back to haunt her when the other contestants chose the bottom two chefs.)
When Ramsay returned to the kitchen, he immediately kicked out Ariel, Van, and Suzanne from the remainder of the dinner service. Van lost it when he returned to the contestant's living space. There were so many curse words, the censor beeps could barely keep up.
Meanwhile, Dave, Tennille, and Kevin were steamrolling through dinner service.
Ramsay told Tennille: "That is the best I've seen anyone cook meat."
Ramsay also told the three remaining chefs that none of them were in danger of being sent home because of the excellent job they did. He then asked them to choose the bottom two chefs for the "Chopping Block."
Suzanne was a no-brainer. Dave got strategic and nominated Ariel. He later said that he did so because she is a "stronger chef" than Van.
Chef Ramsay looked dumbfounded when he learned of the decision to nominate Ariel. In true Gordon Ramsay style, he ignored the contestant's nominations and asked Tennille if she agreed with the bottom two. She said that Van should be in the bottom instead of Ariel. Ramsay agreed, and called up Van to join Ariel and Suzanne on the "Chopping Block."
Ariel said she was disappointed in her performance. Suzanne said her nerves were playing a role in her poor dinner service. And Van went into this rant about how he was better than his poor performance. Blah, blah, blah.
Ramsay chose Van to leave the show. He told Van to "keep your cool and let your food do the talking."
For the first time during the episode, Van was actually calm. He accepted his dismissal much better than I expected.
Meanwhile, Dave was steaming that Tennille told Ramsay that Van should be put on the "Chopping Block." He later said in the confessional that he was going to seek revenge. I can't wait!