Hell’s Kitchen 2007, Episode 6

The fifth sixth episode of Hell’s Kitchen was all about Melissa and how the mighty can fall.

Chef Gordon Seacrest gave her a second chance, after last week’s implosion. He meant it. In terms of discord, she didn’t do to the blue team what I expected, and it helped the red team even more than I expected to have her gone, but in terms of a competent performance, she was the biggest drag.

The lobster challenge was funny; especially Bonnie’s reaction. Speaking of which, that was one of the top possible names had our third been a girl. No, not Lobster! Bonnie.

Those lobster dishes looked and sounded yummy, as apparently they were. Apple struck me a bit odd, but could have been good. Citrus sounded better, and lost mainly because the lobster wasn’t cooked right. Josh was not allowed to touch the lobster, balancing the teams, but seemed to do awesome at coaching Melissa.

On the other side, I thought Julia did great for being out of her element, and it was only that the delicious lobster was paired with boring risotto that lost her that round.

The cooking challenge was effectively a tie. The red team won because this was the week that the prize was a photo shoot, and the girls always have to win the photo shoot. Heck, for all we know the apple lobster salad really wasn’t as good as the citrus lobster salad. The girls seemed especially funny, and tickled by that, this year.

The punishment wasn’t as bad as Ramsay made it sound, but it was interesting to see Rock’s temper at even the idea of rooting through trash. Then they punished him for losing his temper by sending him to the photo shoot for a bag of trash. Poor Rock! Good thing he’s going to win and will presumably have been worth it.

Of course, it would have been funny for Jen to be on the losing team for that punishment…

Service was no contest. Despite the excitement of Bonnie having a pan flare up and not knowing how to handle it, and the weird, spurious giving a hard time to Julia, they were just on, like a well oiled machine. Bonnie and Jen have both grown on me.

Speaking of Jen, it was funny at the beginning of the episode when they did a big reveal of her skills being far beyond that implied by “pastry chef.” Rock applauded her game playing. I’m starting to see her as the potential other finalist. I can’t see Josh or Brad getting that far; especially Josh. Julia is way better than she is credited with being by some of the others, and is capable of learning, being a leader, and certainly working hard. Yet she still has the weakness of not knowing things or having the experiences that most of the others do. I could see it being her in the finale, but Jen seems like an increasingly large obstacle to that. Bonnie is better than what they edit her as being, but she lacks confidence that would allow her to get to the finale by anything but accident. Then again, her lobster salad did go on the menu, to everyone’s surprise, even if part of the reason was the give Josh an extended punishment of lobster fetching. Obviously my early prediction of Melissa versus Rock won’t happen. I have to go with Jen or maybe Julia versus Rock.

I couldn’t believe the mashed potato scene! That was absurd. When I saw Josh pouring potatoes, I thought it was some kind of batter and wondered why he would be baking something just then. Perhaps I’m spoiled because Deb makes the best mashed potatoes I’ve ever had, one of the things I leave to her, but I never envisioned mashed potatoes as pourable. It made me think of a tragic accident involving excess liquid and a box of instant potatoes. Then they ran out of potatoes! Of course, you know certain things like that have to be contrived to a degree.

Compared to that, Brad’s mishearing an order and making an extraneous risotto seems minor.

Was it just me, or did Melissa’s overcooked monkfish look like pieces of light colored hot dog or sausage? Ramsay made much of showing it to us, and everyone there, so we got a good look. The poor fish should have stayed in its monastery under the sea.

Anyway, after they ran out of potatoes on the blue side, and had all six lobster dishes returned from a six-top (using that expression for larger tables reminds me of the circus), they were shut down. The customer who at least wanted dessert was funny.

Gee, hard decision. Could it be that the blue team lost? Hey, Gordon Ramsay thinks so too!

He punished them by making the team overall discuss and put forth two candidates. Sounded like that would have been Josh and Melissa, though they agonized over whether to count tonight or cumulative more heavily. Brad seemed to think he had a worse night than Josh, even though Josh had a bad history.

Then they didn’t even get to say who the two were. Melissa got sent packing summarily, which is good management. That is, he warned her she had one more chance and then she was out of there. She didn’t recover. He did as he’d said he would.

Then Gordon Ramsay put on his Ryan Seacrest hat, saying he wasn’t done yet, having Josh and Brad step forward.

Ooh, could I have been wrong about last week’s non-elimination keeping the number of episodes from being affected by Aaron? Two in one show would put us back to the status quo.

Nope. It was a warning shot. They each got to say why they should stay. I prefer Brad, but he was the incoherent, babbling one who didn’t give a good answer. Josh at least tried to give some reasoning. Then they both got to stay, fair warning that they’re both on shaky ground.

Next week appears to be the one in which each team designs a menu, and it’s red versus blue on how well they do with the menu and then with the dishes they incorporate. That should be interesting. If nobody else crashes and burns, unless the other team loses, it’s most likely Josh’s turn to get booted, but those darn editors can make anything happen.

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