Hell’s Kitchen 2007, Episode 3

That was a bit more interesting this week. I’m relieved to see that the doctors the producers told Aaron he was off the show because he was too sick was too obviously a plant and people were talking, besides it was time to decrease the pathos level.

Doesn’t eliminating an actor and a contestant in one episode reduce the total episodes in the season by one?

This episode’s challenge was scripted to highlight Julia’s skills. The other girls harp on her lack of knowledge of fine dining, and granted that doesn’t help her any. However, she has basic competency, is capable of being a leader and a manager, is capable of learning, and would be surrounded by staff who do know details she doesn’t. It’s a different set of skills, but she strikes me as this year’s unassuming Elsie, only with a better chance of taking it.

Vinnie seems to be little more than a jerk. Again, they edit to give you the characters they want, who are not necessarily really how the contestants are, but there’s at least a little core for the editing to work with. He and Josh are the guys who will probably go first, maybe even beating Jen and/or Bonnie out the door. Brad seems more together, if not like Rock.

Melissa disappointed me tonight. She has a lot to offer, and is a likely finalist, but that was absurd to push for Julia to be nominated to go based on overall knowledge rather than performance that day. Certainly cumulative knowledge, attitude, ability and performance count for something, but not in the face of clear choices.

Joanna redeemed herself in the end in a couple ways. She self-nominated when the girls were talking over who to nominate. She knew she was gone. Then when she was telling Ramsay who the other nominee was, she made it clear she disagreed with their choice of Julia.

Jen stepped up by self-nominating and confessing about taking spaghetti out of the trash, the vehement halting of which was another way in which Julia stood out.

Jen and Bonnie are both kind of inconsequential, so I barely notice they are there. Joanna was a bitch, but she was alive. It’s very strange, but it has to mean they have no chance. Again, leaving the final four in my mind as Melissa, Julia, Brad and Rock. I almost have to hope things turn upside-down, as it shouldn’t be that predictable. Perhaps Brad will prove to have a bad nose like Joanna, when the producers plant rancid food in his kitchen. Or perhaps he’ll try to pass raw food through to the dining room.

I was surrpised how much trouble they had with breakfast. How do you get cold hash browns? Then again, I’m always surprised when they turn out anything seriously cold or raw, or aren’t even close with something seemingly basic. But then, I’m not under that pressure.

The big punishment, peeling all those potatoes and onions, just didn’t seem that bad to me. Kind of high volume, and the onions would be inherently rough, but hey.

Next week features my favorite challenge; the blindfolded taste test! It’s remarkable how badly people do each year. Perhaps they should do a smell test, in memory of Joanna. I can’t wait. Of course, they tend to include some strange things. I’d be nervous about what they were making me taste.


  1. rob sama

    Melissa is conniving. I’m convinced she is trying to select people for elimination who would be competitors to her. In the first round she selected Tiffany after saying she wouldn’t, because Gordon Ramsay seemed to like her signature dish. I find Melissa to be generally distasteful. I would prefer Rock wins.

  2. jay

    Yes! Rock is the one I just plain like the best, as well as believe has the ability. If not him, then foil the belittlers by having Julia win.

    Melissa impressed me initially, and like her or not she’ll probably go far, but she’s turned out to be too nasty and not the best player of the game element of it. You *need* someone Good Enough like Julia to help you advance, until near the end.

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