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Hell’s Kitchen – Episode 7 (“Day 7”)

Posted by g3tech on July 17, 2007

Gordon Ramsay’s Bleep-O-Fucking-Meter: 23
Best Ramsay Food Insult of the Night: “Looks like baby vomit, tastes like fucking Bovril.”
Best Contestant Quote of the Night: “They took the filets out and they gave us the SKELETONS!” — Bonnie, while sobbing over the botched order

Gordon Ramsay is really letting me down these days. First of all, we have an all-time low here on the Bleep-O-Fucking-Meter — 23? Really, Ramsay? Come ON, we know you can do better than that! Don’t make me call you a donkey! And then he lets Brad’s “cassoulet” slip by. It was FUCKING macaroni and cheese, not CASSOULET! They don’t even share ANY ingredients! How, just HOW? I mean, if I ordered cassoulet at a restaurant and didn’t get white beans and confit duck and all that good French crap, I’d be fucking pissed!

As the contestants trudge back to their rooms, Bonnie’s reaction to last week’s excising of Melignant is odd. She boggles to us, “It was like when you watch a movie and some main character that you’re not expecting to DIE, like DIES, in the first five minutes and you’re just like…what?” But…Melissa didn’t die in the first five minutes…and you thought Melissa was going home the week before anyway, so…what? Bonnie’s not all there. The boys are fine with Melissa’s ousting, and Rock takes the opportunity to talk about himself in the third person again, “Rock is one person closer to the prize.” The girls can’t get over how cocky the guys are and pledge not to lose.

The next morning’s 30-minute challenge is for each team to take leftovers and create three stunning dishes, one appetizer and two entrees. The leftovers include white wine, chicken stock, beef, vegetable stock, chicken, pasta, eggs, and lobster heads. The boys rock out by assigning proteins and getting right on with their individual dishes with some discussion of planning and execution as they prep, but the girls waste seemingly endless amounts of time simply trying to figure out what to do. Bonnie suggests, “Let’s do meat and potatoes,” but then adds, “How do we do meat and potatoes?” Finally, with Bonnie exclaiming, “We could do steak and eggs!” like it’s the biggest brainwave to hit her in years, the girls actually start cooking.

Bonnie and Brad bring their appetizers up and get ready to whip off the covers. Brad has done a stunning curried bass with crustacean-tomato pasta. Bonnie casts pathetic mewling looks back at her team. Ramsay tastes Brad’s dish and likes it. Bonnie’s dish is a rustic chicken stew. Ramsay tastes and says, “It’s nice, quite fresh. It’s rustic, you’re right.” Bonnie nods emphatically. He calls a tie between the two dishes. I call bullshit. Brad clearly put more thought and effort into his dish, but we do need the drama in this fairly boring episode.

Next up are Jen and Josh. Jen says she did a “classic take” on steak and eggs. What we see are some sad brown chunks of beef, two fried eggs, three tomato slices, pepper over everything, and some sort of unidentifiable yellow sauce, which may or may not be broken yolks. Ramsay expresses his displeasure in Jen’s lack of ingenuity by making a predictable comment about the dish coming off of Julia’s Waffle House menu. Ramsay expected more from Jen. To us, Jen is pissed since steak and eggs was Bonnie’s idea. Yeah, but you cooked it. You could have done more with it. Josh stuffed chicken legs with pea tendrils but doesn’t explain what the fried things are. Ramsay tastes the dish and is repulsed by the acidity of the sauce. He calls a tie here as well, zero-zero.

Finally, Rock uncovers his turf ‘n’ turf of petit rib eye and pan-seared, which Ramsay deems, “delicious.” Moving on to Julia’s dish, Ramsay swears something awful before we go to commercial. Okay, and then we’re back from commercial, and although we get a recap of the few seconds before commercial, we don’t again get the swearing, so I have no idea what that was all about. Anyway, Julia made fish and chips. They’re nice fish and chips, according to Ramsay, but they are still just…fish and chips. Rock wins the challenge for the boys.

The girls have to scrub down the entire kitchen as well as receive and shelve the delivery order. The boys, on the other hand, get to take out their pent-up aggressions in a paintball war with Ramsay at Hollywood Sports Park. At the park, Ramsay explains that it’s the three of them against him — they get to shoot the hell out of him as many times as they want, but if he gets them just once, they’re out. The boys start with a little target practice in the form of photos of Ramsay and the girls, and then we get some slo-mo footage of the suited-up guys going into battle with Ramsay. Josh proclaims Ramsay to be “a little bit of a sniper.” The whole thing seems to be over in a matter of minutes, but I’m sure it lasted much longer. Ramsay eventually manages to nail the guys and they all smile and laugh with each other. I get the feeling that Ramsay doesn’t ever want to actually talk to the boys. Both times they’ve won a prize, it hasn’t been to have some intimate lunch or dinner with Ramsay where they get to work on their sparkling conversation skills.

Back at the kitchen, Bonnie is put in charge of checking in the order while Jen and Julie carry the stuff back. This is not going to go well. At one point, Bonnie makes a big show of smelling the crab and determining, “It’s…fresh.” However, inside and after the delivery truck is totally gone, they discover some major problems. Julia holds up a fleshless turbot and asks, “Where’s the rest of the fish?” Turns out, Bonnie signed off on fish stock skeletons rather than actual filets. “I hate feeling like I’m the dumbass,” Bonnie whines to us. Honey, you’re not just feeling it, okay? Bonnie drops her head to her hands and moroses a bit. Jen bellows at her to stop with the drama because it’s not the end of the world. “Yes, it isssss!” Bonnie whimpers, “You guys didn’t doooo it, it’s meeeee!” Mary Anne arrives to swear over Bonnie’s turbotched job. And then she finds that Bonnie also okayed skinless snapper. And then Scott drops a useless box of salted butter at Bonnie’s hapless feet. (The kitchen only uses unsalted.) This results in the Reds still being involved in a redelivery when the Blues roll up. Inside, Jean-Philippe stops the boys from going upstairs and suggests how nice it would be if they helped out. “Unfortunately, I would like to help,” JP says, touching his lower back gingerly, “But I have a severe back pain.” Hee, of course you do, JP! Rock responds, “I have the same problem, Jean-Philippe and I empathize with you, so I’m gonna take it upstairs.” HA! Nice one. The boys all leave and JP hisses, “It’s deezgusting!” to Bonnie.

The next morning, the contestants are told that they will be creating their own menu in the form of three apps, three mains, and three desserts. The teams split up to brainstorm and plan out their menu over the course of an hour. Jen begins by saying she thinks they should have an ahi tuna appetizer, to which Julia responds, “What’s ahi tuna?” Goggle eyes from Jen and a con-chef-ional about Julia’s Waffle House roots. Whatever. She’s a hard worker. So she doesn’t know what ahi tuna is on paper, show her how to make it and she’ll do fine. Move on.

Brad comes out with all these wild ideas like scallops with horseradish spaëtzle, and making upscale macaroni and cheese but calling it cassoulet. Okay, what? Rock’s with me on this. He doesn’t see a problem with upgrading the mac ‘n’ cheese and calling it what it is, “It’s not a cassoulet. It’s macaroni and cheese.” “We’ll call it cassoulet, though,” Brad insists. Okay, things a cassoulet does not have: pasta and cheese. Things mac ‘n’ cheese does not have: beans, lardon, duck confit, and sausages. There is no overlap there, Brad. You can’t call mac ‘n’ cheese a frickin’ cassoulet any more than you can call Melissa a soothing influence in the kitchen.

Julie suggests they put a New York strip steak on the menu, but Bonnie pooh-poohs it and suggests rabbit, adding, “Do we know how to cook that, though?” Jen raises a sneering lip and wonders if it’s going to be classy enough. Both teams head back down to the kitchen in fairly foul moods. Bonnie asks Jen why she’s shaking her head. “Because I can,” Jen snaps. “Oh, Jen, don’t turn into a bitch now, please,” Bonnie whines. “Don’t call me a bitch,” Jen bitches. “Don’t act like one,” Bonnie retorts. I really hope there are some sympathetic Trekkies out there, because I have been sitting on this one for six weeks: Jen is a dead ringer for like Varria in “The Most Toys.”

Ramsay steps over to examine the menus and asks Julia which of the nine new dishes is the one she suggested. None of them. Julia explains she really wanted to do steak and shrimp, so Ramsay tells her to have at it. Ramsay approves the boys’ menu and hopes they can pull it all off. During prep, Bonnie whines about her bacon staying together. Jen turns to look at her but hardens her face and doesn’t respond. “No one’s talking to me right now,” Bonnie tells the air. Mary Anne reminds them all that it’s still a team effort. “Chef, it’s fine!” Jen announces, “If I make a friend, that’s great and if not, that’s fine too, like, I am just here to compete.” Bonnie is starting to have doubts about her friendship with Jen. Oh, the drama of thinking someone was a nice person on a reality show and then finding out otherwise! It’s like these people have been living in Amish country for the last ten years.

JP throws the doors open, and our helpful and often redundant narrator tells us that the Reds will be adding New York strip steak with shrimp (Julia), seared ahi tuna (Jen), and bacon-wrapped rabbit leg on a bed of polenta (Bonnie) to their menu. The Brad team, however, will be offering turbot and mushroom consommé (Brad), lamb chops with herbed gnocchi and asparagus (Brad), and sautéed chicken breast with truffled “cassoulet” (Brad). If Ramsay doesn’t go completely gnat piss on their donkey asses for that, I’m going to eat a dog’s dinner.

Dinner service is the same predictable jumble of ups and downs. It starts off with diners only ordering from the Red menu and Ramsay slamming the Blues for that. Then none of the Reds really know how to cook Bonnie’s bacon-wrapped rabbit leg but Julia finally masters it and a diner proclaims it to be the best thing he ever tasted. Orders for Julia’s New York strip start to come in like crazy and Ramsay praises her left and right. “Sometimes I do know what’s best although I’m not culinary arts,” Julia tells us. You go, girl!

On the Blue side, Brad has to deal with cold ravioli being sent back and then Josh begins to mess up the lamb chops. He brings some chops to Ramsay, who calls him back to bellow about one chop being perfect and the other being boiled. “Let me tell you something in your ear,” Ramsay says, beckoning to Josh, “YOU CAN’T COOK!” While Josh struggles and struggles in his lamb chop weeds, no one on his team lifts a finger to help him out. As a result, Ramsay jabs his finger into four more of his ruined lamb chops, bellowing, “Just look what you’re doing, you DONUT! BOILED! BOILED! BOILED! BOILED! DONKEY!” And the problems with the Blues don’t stop there, because their customers aren’t getting served. A woman comments to JP that her dining companion, who ordered from the Red menu, is being served before she, the lady, is served. JP, who takes chivalry very seriously, dances up to tell Ramsay about the problem. I was hoping Ramsay would stomp into the dining room and tell the woman that “chivalry is fucking deader than her makeup” but all he does is yell the complaint back to the Blues and blames Josh, “And this is where it separates a fucking chef from a DONKEY!” Ramsay finally orders Brad and Rock to help Josh, but they still don’t do a damn thing.

Ramsay’s temper is way up, so when he can’t immediately find Jen he yells at her for cleaning up and running around with her elbows and wrists up like…well, like the way one would imitate a rabbit, I guess. Jen bitches to us that she doesn’t walk like that, but then we get a blue-toned Hell’s Kitchen flashback to Jen walking pretty much just like that. Observing Jen’s face, Ramsay orders her not to stand there “looking sad like a little, lonely puppy.”

Back with the Blues, Josh FINALLY gets the lamb chops perfect and pulls the Blues out of the hole as a result. Even Scott bellows some gravelly encouragement at Josh. So now, with the Blues overtaking the Reds, Ramsay turns his abuse on them. Not that it’s undeserved, mind you, with Bonnie attempting to cook on an unlit stove. “Hey missy, turn the fucking gas on. It will help!” Ramsay advises. However, just when the Blues thought they were finally getting ahead, two of Brad’s turbot consommés are sent back for being bland and salty, respectively. Ramsay yells and screams and makes them taste the dish and then tells Brad to start them again and then tells him to fuck off. Unfortunately, the Reds aren’t faring any better. They’ve completely stopped talking to one another, Bonnie starts burning things (which is a slight improvement over not actually cooking them), and no one seems to know who is cooking what and when. Poor Chef Ramsay yells and then kicks the hell out of some red plastic lined trashcans.

Finally, desserts get served by the Blues, and the Reds really start bitching at one another. Jen won’t talk to Bonnie and Bonnie keeps whining about it. The restaurant empties and the contestants are lined up. Once again, Ramsay decides there is no winning team. He is particularly pissed at the Blues for leaving Josh in the lurch and reams them for it. There is only one person that whole night, who was impressive and consistent: Julia. WOOHOO! Not a single one of her steaks came back, and Ramsay is rather freaked by the idea that her dish — the most popular one that night — almost wasn’t on their menu. He tells Julia to pick a Red to go home and then orders the Blues to decide amongst themselves the same.

Back in the dorms, Bonnie knows she’s the one to be nominated but spends the rest of Julia’s deliberations convincing her how truly sorta great she is. “I think I make kick-ass dishes, I think my creativity supersedes what I can do in the kitchen!” “Creativity” like…steak and eggs? “I have a great mind and a great mm– you know, tongue, for something like this.”

The Blues can’t come to a consensus about who should go home because none of them will send themselves home. Josh says over and over how he’s sick of being the team’s whipping boy. Rock tells us, “If Josh stopped messing up, he wouldn’t have to be worried about being our scapegoat or being ragged on or anything like that, he’d just be…good.” Remember when we used to say “ragged on” all the time?

Back in front of Ramsay, Julia nominates Bonnie, explaining that Bonnie has “great culinary experience” but can’t get the food out. Turning to the Blues, Ramsay asks Brad who they’ve nominated. Brad announces that they’ve nominated Brad because he took too much control over the menu. Ramsay asks Rock if that’s true, “Not exactly. We voted on it, Chef. He tried to take the leadership reigns today — we think that led us to being unsuccessful.” How is that any different from what Brad said? Ramsay makes Brad and Bonnie step forward and asks Brad how he feels. Brad goes on about waiting in the wings and being a martyr and stepping forward and doing the right thing and going full force and I really don’t know what he’s talking about, but Rock must because he interrupts, “Say my name.” All eyes turn to Rock. “You should just say my name, that’s all,” Rock shrugs. Everyone is quiet. Waiting. “If you’re talking about me waiting in the wings, say ‘Rock,'” Rock says. Brad admits, “I thought I’d be politically correct about it.” “There ain’t no being ‘politically correct’ — we trying to win a competition. Say my name,” Rock insists. Okay, the more times he says “say my name,” the more sexual it sounds. Ramsay comments sourly on how great it is to see such strong team spirit and then asks both contestants to give reasons why they should stay. It’s the predictable stuff: passion, good at what I do, leadership, desire to learn, do my best, etc. Ramsay looks around and says, “The person leaving Hell’s Kitchen is…Bonnie –” She drops her head. “Wake up!” Ramsay continues. Bonnie snaps her head up and looks around with stagy confusion. “Brad, take your jacket off; you’re leaving Hell’s Kitchen.” Brad complies. Ramsay VOs that he was looking for a leader but Brad was just a cook. Brad leaves and tells us that he was voted off because he was the best chef and Rock and Josh were threatened by him. After some words of teamwork wisdom, Ramsay sends the contestants off to bed.

Next week: ROCK CRIES! Oh, no! And Mariah might be in the house? As in Carey? Why?


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