This was a crazy week on Hell’s Kitchen, and I’m sure that it shall live on in reality tv infamy for many years to come. Not only did Cringing Matt have a total breakdown, but we got to deal with a group of finicky teenagers, an overly Botoxed mom and a twinkling party planner from a different planet. So much ground to cover, and so little time. Let’s get started, shall we?
“Like, oh. my. GOD. I’m like so totally 16 now! Sweet!”So the show started off the same way it does every single other week with the chefs puffing away on their cigarettes, discussing the most recent elimination. Normally one of the girls is in tears and one of the men is completely pissed. And this week was no different. The angry girl and guy are Christina and Cringing Matt, respectively.
Christina comes outside to the smoking crew, casually sipping on a little plastic cup of red wine — classy! I don’t know all the signs of alcoholism, but I’m pretty sure that one of them is drinking a drink out of an inappropriate glass. Wine out of a plastic tumbler. Beer out of a flower pot. Vodka out of a 2-liter Coke bottle. You get the point. She tells everyone that she’s having wine because she deserves it after being on the chopping block twice so far.
Then Christina tells us that people are just intimidated by her because she’s book smart, looks great in heels and can cook. Oh yeah, and she’s modest too! With all these great assets, she’s sure she’ll be up for elimination again in the near future.
Sprawled out on the couches like dead banana slugs, Ben and the General discuss their alliance and plan to go after Matt next. But the Cringester and the Toilet Brush are busy having a conversation of their own. (Or, actually, Matt talks while T.B. stares boredly into space.) Totally in denial, per usual, Matt is convinced that it’s Ben and Gen who are ruining the team. They are such an item that I think they deserve a Hollywoodized couple name. I now christen them to be known only as “The Beneral.” Then Matt cringes and says that once they get rid of him and T.B., they’ll turn around and stab Petrozza in the back.
Mr. February in the “Sexy Men of Hell’s Kitchen” calendar.
The next morning, the teams meet Chef Ramsay at the regional farmer’s market. This is where he announces that for the first time ever, they are hosting a Sweet 16 birthday party. What is with sweet 16s these days anyway? They are SO out of control. I don’t even think I had one. But if I did, it probably involved five friends and a large cheese pizza. These days it’s all about glitz and glam and spending beyond your means. This concept completely escapes me. But anyway, on to the day’s challenge.
Shielding themselves from the glare of the Great Gordon Ramsay!
Each team has $100 and 20 minutes to go through the market and come up with three dishes for the birthday party — one appetizer and two entrees. Then they’ll have 45 minutes in Hell’s Kitchen to prepare the menu and serve it.
The Blue Team starts looking for special meat. And Cringing Matt suggests making a sushi pizza on a tortilla. What? There is not possibly anything in this world that goes together less well than that. Oh except for caviar and white chocolate with capers! The General prays that Matt will shut up because his thinking shows there’s something wrong with his brain. Agreed.
“Teenage girls love Barbies. Let’s meltdown a Barbie and turn it into a burger!”
The ladies decide to focus on glamour. They pick three glamorous cities from around the world and prepare a dish from each locale. Rosann says that she has a teenage daughter and that 16-year-olds are picky and don’t like to try things they can’t recognize. I could not agree more. I don’t care if you are the richest teenager in the world, all you really want is something that you can easily microwave in a safe foil sleeve and eat on the go. Or something with a reasonable amount of grease. But the ladies offer up fancy suggestions, and Corey pushes pomegranate because it is “trendy.” I love that fruits can be trendy, p.s. Oh, and, I don’t eat oranges anymore. They are SO last month.
It’s really funny with the guys because Matt is brooding and storming around and making suggestions, but they collectively ignore him and his dumbass ideas.
Back in the kitchen, the teams race to prepare their dishes. Ben takes the reigns in the Blue Kitchen and delegates duties to the rest of the team. And Corey bosses everyone around the Red Kitchen, telling them to move fast. Shayna seems to be confused and not doing anything. Not working slowly; just not doing anything at all. Great strategy, Shayby!
Matt is trying to peel asparagus and sucking at it, so Ben has to come over and show him what to do. He’s whittling them down too thin. Everyone is yelling at him and he tells us that he’s getting sick of the whole contest. He wants to quit because no one is allowing him to give any input. I know he wants sympathy from us, but he’s so delusional that I can’t possibly feel sorry.
This just isn’t a face that I can pity…
Gordo asks if anyone’s been to a Sweet 16 party. Surprisingly, Cringing Matt raises his hand. Who’s Sweet 16 party has this guy been to?! I wonder if he just shows up uninvited and lurks in the corner to check out young girls. Because that’s what I picture. Chef then asks if the food they prepared is similar to what was on that menu. Matt says no, and everyone is beside themselves.
But the awkward situation ends when the sweet 16-year-old, Melissa, and her mother walk in to taste the food and judge with Ramsay. Melissa is very skinny and pretty like most teenage girls. You know, it’s an age where the metabolism still actually works, and it’s easy to stay trim. But all that goes down the drain with the always dreaded Freshman 15 and only gets worse from there. So enjoy that figure while it lasts, girl, mmkay? Her mother, on the other hand, has been fighting the aging process with every tool at her disposal. She’s so nipped, tucked and muscularly paralyzed, that her pinched and taut face has little mobility and her bone structure rivals that of Skeletor.
This facial expression serves as her smile, frown AND disapproving grimace.
The teams will present the appetizer first, followed by each entree. The team with the most dishes chosen will win the challenge.
Shayna presents a Tuscan shrimp scampi that they are calling the Super Sweet 16 Shrimp Scampi. Ooooo nicely done on the spectacular example of alliteration! My eighth grade English teacher would be proud! The General presents a stuffed chicken wing, and Melissa’s face immediately lights up. Melissa has never tried shrimp before and is very hesitant about it. She rubs it on her lips and then sticks it in her mouth only to spit it right back out into her napkin. Melissa chooses the chicken hands-down. It’s the poo vein, mostly. Or maybe I’m just projecting my own feelings and opinions onto her.
Poo vein lipstick.
Next, Jen presents a Caribbean halibut with a mango salsa. Ben has a sweet potato mash with sautÃ©ed asparagus and shrimp. Uh oh. He just said that “s” word! I imagine the men will lose this one. The mom pertly says that the fish is a little dry and the rice is undercooked. But if it weren’t so, then the salsa is really good, so it might not be bad. Melissa still chooses the ladies’ entrÃ©e because she hates asparagus and shrimp. Yeah it’s the one-two punch with those two — poo vein and asparagus pee. And don’t pretend like you don’t know what asparagus pee is because I know you do. And I can’t believe that I’m talking about human excretions this much on a public forum either.
Corey presents the last dish, which she made herself. It’s a flank steak and homemade French fries with pomegranate sauce. Corey was right about the pomegranate being trendy because one mention of that word, and Melissa perks right up. Petrozza presents a sassy surf and turf that he prepared alone. It has the dreaded shrimp and filet mignon.
Turns out that the pomegranate wasn’t a good idea at all as Melissa thinks it’s more like jewelry than food. And she doesn’t like all the fat on Petrozza’s steak. Melissa can’t decide between the two dishes, and the mom tries to interject because she is totally one of those freaky controlling moms that has an “All About Eve” complex. Rams puts his foot down and says it’s Melissa’s choice, so basically the mom needs to shut up. I love how Gordo is so fearless with his attitude and will even put the client in her place! Melissa admits that her mom just changed her mind, and she picks the men’s dish.
“Yawn. I enthusiastically choose the surf and turf. Whatevs.”
And the men. Freak. Out. They cheer, jump around, high five each other and high five Melissa. Matt celebrates too even though he hated all the food. Jen is annoyed because the mom interfered and influenced Melissa. Because they lost, the women will be decorating the dining room to make it look more like a Sweet 16 celebration. And the men will enjoy a “teenage-inspired reward.”
The women start cleaning up the room when Francisco, the party planner, enters the room with a grand “Hello hello!” He reads off his little clipboard everything that needs to be done. The list includes balloon bouquets and sconces. The room is going to be so sparklicious that even Tinkerbell will be jealous! It will be sweeter than the sweetest dessert! (His words. Not mine. And for the record, I would never say anything THAT lame.)
“Hello hello! Please join my monochromatic army!”
Meanwhile, the men are getting out some aggression on the go kart track. They skid around and play bumper cars. The General wins and says that’s what he does because he’s from Niagara Falls! And for those of you who don’t know, that’s what Niagara Falls is best known for. Go Kart racing! Did you think it was better known for something else? Some sort of natural wonder of the world? Yes? Then you would be wrong.
Who ya gonna call?
Mommy Dearest arrives in the dining room and wants an update on the decorating. She looks around and totally freaks out. She wanted everything to be silver. Right now there are blue and red plates, and those do not match her vision! It’s all about presentation! Then she loses her patience and asks who’s in charge of the napkins. Right now, the napkins are just rolled up, sitting the plates like sloppy burritos. She wants napkin rings! Napkin rings match her vision! Napkin rings that are silver!
Shayna, who works in catering and has planned many parties, folds the napkin into a weird flowery thing and places it in the empty water glass. The mom likes it, but Corey thinks it looks stupid. I thought it looked kinda nice myself.
Now the men are at a restaurant where a man transforms American classic snack cakes into gourmet desserts. It’s pretty cool, actually. And what a nifty idea.
Although it’s hard for me to believe that the glory that is the Hostess cupcake can really be improved upon.
The men go back to Hell’s Kitchen, and finally we get to see the faux budding romance between Corey and Toilet Brush outside. He says that they are like two peas in a pod. Twinkie and the filling. A toilet and a brush. He hearts her, man. Then Corey literally rips off her clothes and plunges into the hottub. But not to worry, folks, this is just yet another one of Corey’s weird seduction plots. She says that T.B. is attracted to her, which makes him an easy target.
The whole interaction is weird and makes me feel uncomfortable, flabbergasted and grossed out all at the same time. Corey tells Brushy to get in the tub, and he does this weird prolonged beaver face and beaver laugh. It feels like it lasts a lifetime. But Corey confides to us that nothing would ever actually happen with them because she’s two feet taller, and, oh, she has a boyfriend. Just a pesky little detail!
Ladies and Gentlemen, Sonic the Hedgehog!
Now it’s back to Hell’s Kitchen to prepare for the Sweet 16. In addition to Rams’ classic dishes, the winning dishes will also be on the menu. Ben makes fun of the women’s mango salsa saying that it’s elementary and easy. Yeah, but it’s also delicious! And 16-year-olds can’t handle anything too weird. We’ve been over that already!
Then Ben gives Shayna a hard time because the mango salsa is her recipe. She says that he hasn’t cut veggies small enough, and he says that if it’s diced any smaller, it will be guacamole. He’s kinda getting snotty here. I don’t know how I feel about this. Shayna tells us that she’s mad because her salsa is a creative idea and if he’s going to recreate it, it still needs to keep the integrity of the original. Okay, it’s salsa here, lady. Not the Sistine Chapel. I declare that this argument has no winner because they are both being really dumb.
Then Shayna spends the next 90 billion years carefully dicing up vegetables. And all the girls are annoyed with her pace.
Hell’s Kitchen opens and Melissa’s friends begin to file in. Jean-Philippe has really met his match in Francisco, and they stand around and compliment each others’ clothing. I can’t tell if it’s a sarcastic conversation or not, but J.P. sure is cute, isn’t he? I love that little French cartoon! Or Belgian cartoon! Or whatever he is!
Ohmigod, did you see Madison?! She like SO didn’t even wear makeup or brush her hair! The nerve!
As the party guests go through their expensive party favors, Francisco announces the queen for the evening, Melissa. And she trots down the stairs into the dining room. Everyone applauds and even her mom’s creepy Botoxed face manages to show some emotion.
Things start rolling in the kitchen, but the ladies immediately hit a speed bump as Christina forgets to put the mushrooms in the mushroom risotto. And the men also hit a bump because they didn’t sauce the chicken enough. And then just when Christina gets the risotto mushroomy enough, it’s not parmesany enough! Geez! Follow the recipe! By the way, has anyone ever noticed that Christina’s cute, pointy little nose sits on her face sideways? She’s like a real, live Picasso or something.
The Red Team moves on to entrees, and Rosann has the difficult task of preparing Melissa’s meat. It needs to be perfect and medium well. Rosann says that since she has a teenage daughter, she wants to give Melissa the best party she could possibly have. All right, Rosie. May the force be with you on this one.
Mommy Dearest is getting impatient waiting for Matt to cook her fish. Petrozza delivers yet another wonderful one-liner about the Cringer, saying that “Matty is hanging on by a thread with the fire of hell looming underneath him.” And it’s true, Matt is perpetually slow and completely confused. At all times. And when he’s not doing those things, he’s cringing.
Mom finally gets her food, but Melissa can’t eat hers because her so-called medium-well steak is all pink and drippy. She has J.P send it back to the kitchen to be cooked a little more. And of course Gordo is furious. He slams the dish in front of Rosann. You know, I like Rosann, but when she gets flustered, she can’t do anything. She just paces around, picks things up and sets them back down again. And Melissa’s mom sends back her fish because it’s too dry. Geez!!!
This is where Gordo loses it. He slams the plate of fish down and starts screaming, “It’s mush! It’s mush it’s mush IT’S MUSH!” Francisco tries to deflect attention away from Rams’ outburst by telling everyone to keep talking at their tables.
Rams freaks out at Matt for not waking up. And then freaks out at Rosann, who has cooked up yet another freakishly raw piece of meat. He scoots Rosann out of the way and takes over himself, cooking the meat in a pan. Rosann peters around in the background, kinda not sure what to do, occasionally scooting a pan around. And Ramsay turns to her and yells, “Leave. Me. Alone!” She’s incredibly embarrassed and shuffles off.
When Melissa gets her properly cooked steak, she loves it. But Matt’s second attempt at the fish is bad. The General grabs it before it goes out of the dining room and points out that it’s raw and cold. Gens pushes Matty out of the way and takes over the fish station. Matt cringes and says that General is acting like he’s doing a bad job. Then the General breaks the news to him that he IS doing a bad job. Matt is in such denial. He blames the whole ordeal on the General saying that he’s controlling and crazy. No, he just wants to win, dude. And no one is going to win with your incompetent ass doing much of anything.
This week’s gratuitous fire screencap.
Shayna is keeping with her theme of the day and moving impossibly slow while cooking up the vegetables. Corey says that because Shayna is overweight, she can’t move fast. Shayby might be slow, but Corey’s just a jerk.
Then Gordon gets mad at the General for running Matt’s station, which surprises me because Matt really couldn’t do it himself. Gordo says that the worst part is that Matt let the General take over his section; he would have never allowed that. Then he whispers to Matt, “You can only hide for so long.” Matt says that he’s not hiding at all and cringes in anger. Then Chef yells at him for denying that he’s hiding.
Matt cringes at the camera and says that he did need help. But help does not mean pushing someone away.
Everybody picks on me!
The guests start fawning all over a gloppy chocolate fountain when Francisco forgets that he’s not a guest and sticks a skewer into it. He tells Jean-Philippe that he should try the chocolate, and J.P. gets all confused. He is mortified that Franny tried the chocolate and pulls him away. J.P. says that Fran cannot eat with them. And Fran retorts saying that he’s the party planner. And it’s all about glee and sparkling and happiness. J.P. says that if it happens again, then he’ll be thrown out. But Fran goes for one more banana behind J.P.’s back and drops it into the chocolate.
Scene of the crime!
Now both kitchens have moved onto desserts, which everyone loves. Both sides have pulled it together and completed dinner service. Phew!
Gordo asks Melissa and her mother if they had a good time. Mel says that it was great and she’ll never forget it. He then says that there’s another surprise for them waiting outside. I am hoping that it’s the creepy petting zoo from the kids’ night, but I fear that it’s not.
Melissa and her guests excitedly scuttle outside where there is a stage set up and the Pink Spiders will be playing. Apparently this is Melissa’s favorite band, but I’ve never heard of them. They don’t sound that bad to me. It’s just the typical guys in skinny jeans, skinny ties and greasy, messy hair. You know, the type of look that says, “This is the way a punk band is supposed to look, so we’ll look that way.”
“I’m so hot that I fog up my own glasses.”
Back in the kitchen, Rams has comment cards from the teenage guests. 98% of the men’s guests said they’d come back. But 99% of the women’s guests said they’d come back! The ladies celebrate, but it’s too soon. Chef says that he can’t choose a losing team because it was too close. Matt pipes up and says, “Thank you for your generosity, Chef.” Lame. Suck-up. Luckily Chef sees through it and snaps, “Fuck generosity, Matt.” Or at least, that’s what I think he said underneath the bleeps.
Both teams will choose one person for elimination. Instead of going to discuss who they’ll pick, Matt storms back to his room and starts packing his bags and throwing a Matt-sized fit. All the men make fun of him and his lame generosity comment behind his back. The General says that he always manages to open his mouth at the exact wrong time.
For the women, they all want Shayna gone because she is slow or Rosann because, I’m sorry, but she just kinda sucks.
At elimination, the men choose Matt. And the ladies choose Shayna. Chef asks Christina who she would personally nominate, and she says Rosann. Rosann sent an undercooked steak to the birthday girl herself. So Chef calls Matt, Shanya and Rosann to all step forward.
Shayna says that she should stay because she left her three-month old child behind, which means that she really wants this really bad. Rosann is also there for her daughter to give her a better life.
And whoa. Here comes the tirade.
Matt is beet red and fuming. He says that he should stay because he was pushed and bullied off his station. Chef says that he hides behind the General. Then Matt says that it’s Ben who hides behind the General. Chef says that he doesn’t buy it. Matt’s 250 pounds. He shouldn’t be pushed around. T.B.’s balls are bigger than his! Matt says that he doesn’t even have a voice because no one listens to him. Then he says that if he’s put in the Red Kitchen, his absence will be noticeable in the Blue Kitchen. All the women look at each other like, “Oh crap!” Because they don’t need that dead weight either!
The delicate face of a scared and helpless victim.
Chef tells Matt to get back in line. Shayna will be leaving. He says that she’s a solid cook but just a little too slow. And it’s obvious that her heart is at home with her baby. Shayna says that she’s not happy to go home but is confident in her skills and is sure she’ll still succeed.
Then comes the major announcement that we’ve all been waiting for. The mystery cook who will be joining the girls is none other than CRINGING MATT! Ben says that the girls better watch out because they don’t even know what they’ve inherited. Wow, this is going to be really interesting!!! I almost can’t wait.
I love Rosann, but if Matt wasn’t going home, then I think it should have been her over Shayna. Both of them seem to have an affinity for serving raw, bloody meat to children, and that’s just out of the question.
What do you guys think? I think that I really underestimated both the General and Petrozza from the beginning. Because now they both really seem to be tearing it up in the kitchen. Still, no one really stands out to me as the star; this is anyone’s game.
Can’t wait to see Matt bumbling around with the women next week!
See ya then!