Well, here we are, down to the final week before the double episode finale, during which one of these goofs will be granted permission to run BLT Steak right on into the goddamn ground. Last week, despite their best efforts, the remaining contestants failed to rid themselves of the festering carbuncle known as Elise. Not that they didn’t give it their best shot, though, and my money says she’ll be flat out gunning for their asses now.
This, for example, does not bode well.
The episode kicks off with Jennifer getting her nose rubbed in the delicate longings of her loins she felt compelled to unload on Paul last week. Since she thought she might be going home and couldn’t bear the thought of leaving without getting a taste of Paulie’s meatballs, Jennifer unburdened her heart, and now is stuck with the aftermath. It must smart a bitch to be rejected by the likes of Paul, but at least he can pass the buck and blame his lack of interest on conflicting sports team loyalties. I could have done without the nipple flash, however, thank you very much. Just so you know, Paul, you are far from every woman’s cup of tea.
After a surprisingly quiet evening, meaning Elise didn’t openly try to shank anyone, the remaining contestants are frightened to pants stains by the falling of salmon from the very sky. Gordon starts talking about pricing and portion sizes, and you can literally hear the confusion birth itself into existence, mostly around Tommy, though Elise doesn’t exactly look thrilled, either. The challenge is to use creativity to turn the portion of rare Alaskan white king salmon into a fantastic, high-profit dish. The winner will be the one who maximizes the value of the salmon without sacrificing quality.
Their 30 minute cooking window passes with minimal fuss, and I wonder if the dramatic potential has actually abated, or if this is just the calm before the usual turd typhoon. Jennifer, for some reason, seems to be stumbling and over-thinking it, and Will says she’s on the wrong track, but she manages to pull it together before screwing the pooch too badly.
Just like a woman, right Will?
Gordon brings in a bunch of hoity toity judges I’ve never heard of, and the contestants oooo and ahhh. Gordon instructs the judges to taste each dish and assign a menu price. The winning dish will be the one that garners the highest average price.
Will is up first with his pan roasted salmon in a tomato and garlic stew. The judges say it’s a solid dish, but a bit salty and the skin could be crispier. He pulls down an average of $28.67, which would show up as $29 on any menu in the world, so I don’t know why they’re getting all nitpicky with pennies and such. Probably for suspense.
Elise brings the judges her salmon, which she has, for some reason, served with a baffling side of macaroni and cheese. She also seems to have hacked the fish into ugly strips, and it’s raggedy as hell. Gordon asks what’s up with that, and she said she wanted to show the middle because “it’s pretty.” Yeah, so’s my underboob, but I don’t go around making people acknowledge it. Gordon says it looks like a dog chewed it (the salmon, not my underboob). The judge questions her motive behind serving a heavy, cheesy pasta with fish, and she says “that’s what I wanted to go with.” Wow, Elise, way to impress the judges with your clearly well thought out plan. Gordon looks lost, while everyone else just grins in the background. The judge tells her the pasta overwhelms the fish, which is no big shocker, and they reward her confident planning skills with an average of $24.33. The pouty bitch lips come flying out as everyone else silently gloats.
Tommy is next, with his nicely plated pan-roasted salmon with pomegranate anise beurre blanc. Way to get fancy there, Neck Tats! Judge the First says he likes the seasoning, but the fish is dry. The others don’t particularly like it either, but at least it looks prettier than Elise’s mangled offerings, and with an average of $25.33, it manages to top hers. Ha!
Paul brings forth his salmon, which the judges enjoy very much, pricing it at average of$29.67. Paul killed it! After fucking so many little things up here and there in the past few episodes, it must feel good to pull out ahead for once. He’s been eating Will’s heel dust since day one, and I can only guess that Jennifer’s declaration of love must have given his confidence a boost.
Do you like me, or do you LIKE me like me??
Speaking of Jennifer, she’s next. Her poached salmon with oyster broth is presented, and Gordon says poaching a piece of fish of that caliber is unusual, though Tommy prefers the term “ballsy.” Jennifer says she wanted to try something different, but will it pay off? It does! The judges like the flavor, even if it does look like she wrestled the damn thing out of a septic tank. They also respect the risk she took with the poaching technique, and price it at $28.33. Ain’t that a bitch? It puts her smack in the middle of the pack, and she failed in front of her schmoopie, to top it all off. Oh well. At least Elise lost.
I like to take pleasure in the little things, myself.
Paul’s prize is to be whisked away by Gordon on a helicopter tour of L.A. How romantic! They also will have lunch at a fancy-poo seafood place. Gordon tells him to choose a guest, and suggests Jennifer. That Gordon is about as subtle as an atom bomb. Paul hilariously tells us that he doesn’t want to take Elise, because it would be too tempting to push her out of the helicopter. I say it sounds like we could all use a Do What You Feel Day. Who’s with me? He chooses Tommy, because Tommy is neutral and friendly, and won’t be trying to secretly feel up his thigh at the restaurant (that we know of). Tommy looks so genuinely pleased and surprised to have been chosen, that my cold heart feels a little twinge for him. He’s never really been part of the cliques on the season, and probably wasn’t expecting to be picked at all. Call me sentimental, but it’s nice to see a genuine, positive emotion emit from one of these bitches. Elise still looks pissed, Will looks falsely supportive (he was probably expecting his boy to choose him for some copter time), and Jennifer looks good-naturedly resigned to a day without Paul. Thats probably a double-edged sword, because even though she’s missing out on the prize, at least she doesn’t have to awkwardly hang out with her unrequited crush puppy all day. Tommy informs Paul that he’s down with a bromance, but not to expect any makeout sessions. He didn’t say anything about a straight up BJ, however, so I and Paul can safely assume that’s still on the menu, right?
The three remaining losers have to, in Gordon’s words, “spruce up the bar.” In non-Gordonese, this means perform all sorts of tedious tasks, such as scrubbing the ice buckets, arranging the liquor bottles, and polishing a set of stemware that looks like it hasn’t been cleaned properly since Season One. I mean, damn–I wouldn’t drink out of one of those glasses if Slytherin’s locket itself was resting on the bottom, and the fate of the Wizarding World depended on me retrieving it. I’d pass that over to Dumledore’s old ass without a second thought, and if that makes me a bad person, so be it.
Once they polish the dried smegma off the champagne flutes, they have to prep the salmon for that night, when they will be serving Paul’s winning dish. Yikes, that has to smart. As they get started on the bar, Paul and Tommy pass through, still making bromance date jokes, and Will busts on Paul’s mauve shirt, which only a few episodes ago he praised for the way it lit up Paul’s eyes. How fast the bloom doth fade from the rose when your special guy steps out with another man, huh, Will?
Will and Jennifer are joking around about Jennifer’s Paul-crush, keeping the atmosphere light, which of course pisses Elise off. She can’t understand why they aren’t more upset at losing, because if one thing goes wrong in Elise’s world, the entire day is subsequently ruined, and anyone who so much cracks a smile in her zip code is clearly not taking life seriously. My god, she’s such a bitch.
Tommy and Paul and Gordon cruise around in the helicopter, and Tommy chooses to belatedly announce his pants-wetting fear of heights. Most people would have brought that up long before they’re in the sky, but I don’t really blame him for keeping mum, because being forced to confront one of your greatest mortal fears is better than being locked in a kitchen with Elise and a $450 fish corpse.
Since no punishment task would be complete without that slack hussy refusing to pull her own weight, Elise is refusing to debone the salmon because she says it’s too big and she’s afraid of messing it up. I’m sure it will surprise absolutely no one that she confesses to the camera that she didn’t want to handle it because she isn’t down with smelling like fish. Wow, that one wrote itself. But seriously, if she isn’t interested in getting her hands dirty, what the hell is she doing trying to be a chef? I can’t make cereal without spilling at least three things, and half my time in the kitchen is spent with my hands all up in some dead animal parts. I can only imagine that heading a steakhouse will entail dirtying your fingers with some fish at some point, so what gives? Will and Jennifer team up on the fish, and they get along fine, but Will starts getting pissed as he notices what we’ve all been screaming about all along: Elise slacking off and complaining and leaving the work to everyone else, so her delicate princess sensibilities don’t get disturbed.
These hands don’t do manual labor–these hands went to college!
Meanwhile, Paul and Tommy have quit the copter and are lunching on some seafood. The chef is trying to give them some career advice, asks is asking them some useful questions, but Paul…well, Paul is clearly distracted by the chef’s feminine charms, and derails the conversation by hitting on her very awkwardly and inappropriately. Jesus, Paul, she’s trying to help you–is offering her a ride in your helicopter really where you want to take this opportunity? Even Tommy knows this is not right, and just shakes his head. Paul has absolutely zero game. He’s going to have to resort to Jennifer by default if he doesn’t rework his charms, because no other woman will want to deal with that kind of blather and misogy issuing from a dude of his caliber. He’s not exactly Alexander Skarsgard, if you catch my drift.
My drift seems to be blowing toward Fug City.
Jennifer is scaling the fish and joking with Will about using the scent of salmon to lure Paul into her pants. These girls are making it too easy, so we’ll go ahead and skip the fish-coochie jokes, if that’s cool with you guys. Elise is pissed off that Jennifer has a crush, saying that romance is not what they’re here for. I can see your point, Elise–who has time for romance, when there’re only so many hours in a day to stand around, mouth off, and act like an entitled cunt, right? If that’s what you’re here for, you’ve already won.
Paul and Tommy return, and Paul immediately launches into how hot the chef was, which is just rude and awkward. Plus, he failed to mention the other half of the story, which is how stupid and ham-fisted he made himself. Tommy, once again proving himself the most socially competent of the group, deflects the attention to himself and lightens things up with one of his awful jokes. He may be a bit greasy, and you may not dig the leather vest and poorly-conceived tattoos, but you just can’t hate on Tommy when he’s grinning that little kid grin and telling Elise she has a bone to pick, while she’s picking bones out of the salmon. I guess they finally just slammed the thing down in front of her and said “bitch, get on it,” because I’m unable to imagine she volunteered for that task.
This is the first night a single kitchen will bear responsibility for feeding the whole dining room, and Gordon will be up their asses one hundred percent of the time. If anyone screws up, he’ll see it, which is refreshing, because maybe he’ll finally get a better big picture of the individual weak points in the group. Jennifer immediately freezes up when asked for a time call, and isn’t communicating with Tommy, which causes Tommy to get yelled at for undercooking the capellini. Gordon does not appreciate the silence, but for some reason, Jennifer is still not talking. Doesn’t she know that’s Gordon’s pet peeve? The rest of us do, and it’s the single trait that is guaranteed to send a bitch strolling out those double doors at the end of an episode. But she brings it back with some good risotto, right before trading words with Elise, who insists that Jennifer didn’t call the time for her scallops. Even though we and Gordon see she did, Elise is not taking blame. What else is new. After a batch of burned risotto and some more scallops drama, they finally coordinate, and things start moving. It’s good, though, that Gordon is seeing the bullshit that occurs in its entirety, for once.
He seems less than pleased, for some reason…
Onto entrees! Elise is on fish, Paul on meat, and Paul’s meat is fine. I mean that literally, by the way; the steak he is cooking is fine. This is in no way a euphemism for Paul having an attractive schlong. Elise, however, fucks up the super expensive specialty salmon, burning it on the bottom. Gordon calls her useless, and says it’s dry as fuck. For some reason, Gordon sends out his meat entrees anyway, and Elise bungs up another round of salmon. Then Gordon and Paul have to stand there and instruct Elise how to properly cook a piece of fish. This is the final five, people. Elise has done literally nothing all season but yell about how those who can’t cook a simple dish shouldn’t be in the game. Now that it’s her messing up, though, who wants to bet she has at least 47 excuses as to why she’s unable to do just that? It’ll be lack of communication, or the pan being too hot, or Paul not being specific enough in the recipe, or maybe the stress of someone else messing up the appetizers was too much for her. You know, as long as it’s not HER fault.
Elise asks Paul over and over to approve her fish, but despite him standing over her, she keeps messing up piece after piece of really expensive salmon, because she is just not following directions. Not from Paul, not from Gordon, and Gordon is a tic away from losing his mind. Paul feels Elise might benefit from a few hammer hits to the head, and I have to say I’ve heard worse ideas out his mouth, thought I still am partial to the shove-out-the-helicopter-door plan. Gordon is watching his profits swim down the toilet, and Elise is the one doing the flushing. I’m the one doing the laughing, especially when Gordon tells her to sit back and put her lipgloss on, because the next ticket is all meat orders.
Here’s another one of Paul, for all you ladies lookin’ for a little sumpin’!
Paul and Will decide to show how it’s done on the meat station, but then Tommy serves up undercooked capellini again. The weird part is that Jennifer tests it and pronounces it fine before she sends it out, and wouldn’t she have noticed? Tommy leaves her to it and scurries over to help at the fish station, where Elise is restarting the fish yet again, because she got it stuck to the bottom of the pan. “It’s the pan’s fault now?” screams Gordon, awesome in his rage. Elise freaks out because Tommy is trying to help, and then sends up another duo of bad fish, this time not overcooked, but decidedly RAWR!
He kicks every last one of them out of the kitchen because of her, and I can not WAIT to see her argument for staying after this. There’s no way she can deny screwing up when she did so in such a blatant fashion. Gordon and Scott take over the kitchen, and Gordon sends Andi to bring Paul and Will back, which brightens them up considably. Meanwhile, Tommy is getting a case of the bitchies because he wants to know why he got sent out for Elise’s undercooked fish. I’m thinking it had more to do with the several plates of undercooked capellini, Tommy. I can’t be too hard on him, though, because he probably doesn’t remember back that far. Jennifer is all about taking blame for her own shortcomings, at least, and Elise is oddly quiet, which means she probably can’t think of anything to say in her own defense, and so has opted to not say a damn word. Paul and Will commence to kicking some ass in the kitchen, much to the delight of the fish-ordering diners, who had all but starved to death. They wrap up service without further incident.
After service, Gordon expresses his bafflement at the same five people who kicked ass on the last service sucking that selfsame ass on this one. He sends them away to pick two for elimination. But wait! Tommy gets right up to Gordon and asks him point blank why he got sent away! Way to nut up, Tommy. And holy shit….Gordon tells him to fuck off or he’ll stick his head in the oven and talk to him through the gas burner, and Tommy says “DO IT.” Oh lawd. TOM-MY. What are you thinking? Did that last hit off the backstage meth pipe mess your head up but good, or do you just have balls for days?
Take a wild guess. No, really, because I just don’t know.
After that cliffhanger, we cut to commercial, and when we return, Gordon somehow manages not to wring the tats off Tommy’s neck. He just tells him not to rub salt in the wound, and go join the others. Huh. Totally anticlimactic. The thing is, though, Gordon was quite civilized and mature and all, but I think if pressed, he’d admit he just doesn’t want to go there with Tommy. Tommy may be a scrawny dude, but he’s probably lived a wild life and seen some shit, and might give old Ramsay a run for his big talkin’ money. At least if he managed to get in close early, and latch onto Gordon’s neck like a little inked-up mongoose. What say you?
Anyway, after that letdown I’m ready to see a fight, and since elimination talks are next, I know I’ll get to hear some shit from Elise at the very least. It seems like she’s going to disappoint me, as she can’t think of anything to say to excuse herself after that awful fish debacle. But wait! She drags Will, who she must think is the closest thing to a buddy she has left on that show, into a corner, and asks him to gang up on Jennifer with her in an alliance at the lineup. Excuse me, Elise, but is this The Challenge? Am I VirginiaApple? What’s with this sudden call for backup? Luckily, Will sort of nods along, but informs us he’s going to call it like he sees it. She then calls Paul away for the same conversation, thinking he’s going to follow along with Will like a puppy dog. She knows she’s full of shit, and so does everyone else, and she’s trying to guilt them into promising to side with her. Hopefully they’re not as dumb as she openly tells us she thinks they are. Meanwhile, Jennifer is reciting verbatim the speech she knows Elise will drag out, and it’s the same old shit we’ve been hearing all season. Hilariously, Elise doesn’t bother approaching Tommy, which I can only deduce means she thinks he might be a little smarter than Will and Paul. He probably does have a better bullshit detector, come to think of it, so she’d have been wasting her time anyway.
Or maybe she remembered this little interaction and decided not to press her luck.
Lineup! The group nominates a completely unsurprised Jennifer first, because of the screwed up appetizer station, then Elise, for obvious reasons. Gordon calls them forward, and asks Jennifer why she should stay. She knows she’s strong in the kitchen, she says, but has communication issues. This is not news, Jennifer. You were supposed to be working on this for the last few episodes, not chasing after Paul and mauve shirt. Gordon asks how she plans to command a kitchen when she can’t talk to one person on a station, and I have to say, that’s a fair question. His dilemma, he says, is he has one chef who won’t shut the fuck up, and another who can’t fucking talk. Guess which is which?
He ask Paul who he thinks is the weakest chef, and wants him to answer honestly, which is apparently a tough thing for him to do. Oh wow, this doesn’t look good. He hems and haws, and Will steps in and says Elise is a stronger cook, based on cooking skills alone. Jennifer and Elise both looked shocked, and Paul agrees, totally stabbing Jennifer in the back and licking up Will’s ass, just like Elise knew he would. Jennifer is livid, and it really doesn’t matter what Tommy says at this point, because I think he’s just glad he’s not up there after the capellini snafu, but he does say Elise is weaker, and there’s some talk from Gordon about…Tommy’s ball sack? I can’t be sure because it’s bleeped out, as is the middle finger Tommy shoots Gordon, held down by that very sack. Or maybe he’s grabbin’, but anyway, we can’t see it. Methinks someone might be sick of the competition, because damn, Tommy!
For DAYS, folks.
Gordon then takes all leave of his senses and sends Jennifer home. What. The. Fuck. What the actual fuck, people?? She’s been on the top of this thing all season, and now she’s going home after Elise ruins at least ten pieces of fish in a row? I am stunned. The only thing I can think is that production wants to keep her around for the drama factor, and no one else messed up badly enough to top her. Or maybe Gordon just wants to get her as close to the end as possible before crushing her dreams at the last minute, in which case I’m okay with that. But seriously, what the hell?
Guess who’s NOT getting a goodbye hander now, Paulie?
Elise is just as smug as can be at how she played those dumbass boys. And come on, who’d have thought Tommy would be the smart one in all of this? This is just bullshit at this point. How badly to you have to fuck up to get sent home, if destroying all the fish entrees in the course of an evening isn’t enough? Jennifer says that Will and Paul will rue the day, because now they’re going to have to deal with Elise in full-on, cutthroat competition mode, and it will not be fun for them. And lordy, I do believe she might be right. Have fun, boys! Fucking turncoats.
I think Will is already realizing what a dire mistake he made, but too late now. And Tommy just needs a nap.
On Monday, those bitches will reap what they sow in the season finale. At this point, I’m solidly on Team Tommy, for three reasons: 1. He’s by far the most likable contestant left; 2. He doesn’t appear to have an entitlement complex or think he’s hot shit–he just wants to get to do his thing; 3. Will and Paul deserve to be shunned for backing Elise like a couple of morons. I could give a shit by this stage about cooking skills, because clearly they’re all equally (in)competent, to the point where the slight differences in their food doesn’t matter.
I doubt Tommy will actually win it, but I’ll be rooting for his baby blues, forehead tattoos, and giant nut sack to take the big prize. Who do you guys think will win, and who are you pulling for? Find out the results when we wrap things up next week!