We are finally down to only two episodes left in season four of Hell’s Kitchen. But doesn’t it feel like this has lasted a lifetime longer than that? Remember ol’ Fatso? It feels like he left a decade ago, doesn’t it? Sometimes I really miss that fat crapper. (Not really.) Now we are down to the final three. And, historically, the best things always come in threes. Solid, liquid and gas. Bacon, lettuce and tomato. Simon, Paula and Randy. And, of course, triple homicide.
Our mighty triumverate fights on.So here we are again. Two more dinner services left to go in Hell’s Kitchen. Do you think the show will finally vary from the formula. Nope. We start out like we always do, discussing last week’s elimination with a little drankin’ and a little smokey poke mixed in. Our final three culinary warriors all feel like a giant weight has been lifted now that cockroach Jen has finally been squashed. They trade high fives and head to bed. And Corey picks her teeth. It’s pretty riveting tv, folks.
Picking out the risotto or digging for gold?
The next morning, they nervously meet the all-knowing, all-power Ramsay in the dining room for the day’s challenge. To celebrate the final three, he will personally cook one of his signature dishes for them. But before that happens, he wants to introduce some special guests. I think it’d be really funny if Beyonce and 50 Cent came out because Jen would have JUST missed them now that her tenure has ended. But no. Out pops Corey’s mother and boyfriend. Christina’s mom and dad. And Petrozza’s father and girlfriend. Petrozza has a girlfriend? What? And how hilarious is his dad? Looks just like him! Crazy rat-weasel pair!
Good ol’ Pa-trozza
Corey’s mom says, “I can’t believe you’re in the final three.” Oohhh I really hope her mom is a Negative Nancy! Those are fun! Anyway, they all get emotional and cry and yadda yadda yadda. Christina secretly hopes that her mom will do all of her laundry for her and then give her some grocery money that she will instead blow on pixie sticks and Skittles from the 7-11. Kids are so irresponsible, I tell ya.
They all sit down at tables with their families. But what they don’t know is that once their families are gone, they will have to recreate Ramsay’s signature dish. Christina is one step ahead and multitasks as she eats the dish, trying to discern what ingredients are in it. Her mother tries to help her by saying the word “cream” over and over and over. That word really grosses me out, p.s. That and “moist.” Ew.
“When I do this, my shadow looks like an anteater! See mom!?”
After the families leave, Petrozza gets very emotional, saying that he got this far thanks to his family. Chef tells them that he hopes they were paying attention to the dish they were eating. Now that they’ve tasted it, all of them will make it. They have to find the ingredients, cook it and put it together. Corey admits that she was so wrapped up with her family that she totally forgot she was in a challenge. They have 45 minutes to complete the challenge and have one sample dish to reference.
There are nearly a dozen different meats in the refrigerator, but Corey guesses that it would have to be something rare like venison or buffalo. Corey and Petrozza choose the buffalo filet while Christina chooses the venison striploin. But after tasting the meat in the sample dish, Petrozza switches to the venison loin. All three then select pancetta, carrots, onions, cabbage and parsley. Time out: venison is a delicacy? I drove through Wyoming this past week (don’t ask) and saw MANY dead deer on the side of the road. If I had known that was expensive roadkill, then I might have tossed it in my trunk! But I always viewed it more as hillbilly food. On a side note, sometimes I forget that buffalo aren’t extinct. AND sometimes I can’t remember whether or not reindeer are real. Moving on…
Christina can’t find the veggie that she’s looking for but keeps tasting the dish and is pretty sure that it contains white beans. She finally finds it high on the top shelf of the fridge. Oh that Rams! So tricky! Christina turns the beans into a white bean puree. Corey chooses a potato parsnip puree. And Petrozza…uh…he doesn’t make a puree at all. Maybe he’s inherited Jen’s missing sauce disease. All three make a red wine sauce for the last piece of the puzzle. Corey is sure that there is something sweet in the sauce, and when she spots some raspberry, she has a gut instinct that that’s what she needs.
Time is up and it’s time to face the music. Gordon tastes all the dishes and our final three list what they used. Corey’s raspberry definitely gets some raised eyebrows. But it turns out that she was correct! And she was the only one who put cream in the cabbage to bind it. Christina should have listened to her mom. Instead, she got docked for the aiolli, and Petrozza is docked for the missing puree. Unfortunately for Corey, even though her sauce was perfect, she chose the wrong meat and is out of the running. The winner is Christina yet again. Dammit! I would have really liked to see Petrozza do it. He’s always so close.
Corey and Petrozza will be on bar duty — polishing the glasses and handcrushing the ice from solid blocks. Oh that is evil. Christina will be dining out with Gordo and taking a site-seeing tour on a double-decker tour bus. Classy. Even better, her parents get to come! When they meet outside to climb on the bus, Gordo is wearing THE tightest little white t-shirt EVER, by the by. LOVE IT! They travel around with a lovely tourguide, seeing Hollywood hotspots and then get dropped off at a restaurant called Grace.
I’d been wondering what Star Jones had been up to!
Back in Hell’s Kitchen, Corey and Petrozza are chipping away at the ice with chisels. I love how they always have to act like pioneers when they lose challenges. It’s so ridiculous. We have machines to do stuff like this nowadays. Even better is that they are wearing goggles and gloves as if they are in chemistry class. Corey comments that she feels like a caveman, and I agree. That is exactly what they look like! And not even the hip, cool kind that try to sell you insurance.
Next comes the glass polishing. Petrozza polishes so hard that his shoulder practically dislocates, but it’s not good enough for Jean-Philippe. He inspects the glasses disapprovingly, seeing spots that couldn’t have been seen with a microscope and makes Petrozza do them all over again. And, yet again, what is with the goofy tuba music that always accompanies J.P.? Is it just to reaffirm that he’s a big boob? I feel like they could have Charlie Chaplin on this show bumbling around, and it’d be more realistic.
I haven’t seen crystal this nice since crystal meth.
Christina says goodbye to her parents and joins the others in the kitchen for prep. Tonight they will all be running the hot plates. They can all cook, but can they run a kitchen? One-by-one, RamJam makes Petrozza, Corey and then Christina role play with him, pretending like the are the unapologetic, commanding force that he is. It’s pretty funny. Petrozza tries to break out of his timid, big-hearted shell and yell. Corey approaches the challenge like a little kitten, which is funny to me because she seems realistically like the most bitchy of the group. And Rams tells Christina that she comes across as a cheerleader, which offends her.
“Give me an OHHHHH…I suck.”
Hell’s Kitchen is open. A half hour into service, appetizers are out, and our team is already moving onto entrees. Sous Chefs Scott and Gloria are filling in the gaps in the kitchen, AND they are also being used to test the aspiring chefs ferocity by planning different ways to sabotage.
Petrozza is up first to run the hot plate. He calls out the orders and gets several trays out to the dining room. But now it’s time for a little test. Scott sends a risotto missing the peas. Petrozza tastes it and doesn’t even notice until Ramsay points it out. Petrozza fakes yells at Scott, and Scott fakes plays dumb. Petrozza gets the hang of it and yells at Christina for serving up scallops that are too dark. Christina goes downhill after that and burns the salmon. Next she serves up raw salmon and Petrozza sends that back too. Doesn’t Christina know that burnt fish, overcooked salmon and burnt scallops are the losing trifecta of this show?
(Meanwhile Corey starts the kitchen fire of the week. Yawn.)
Now Christina forgets to put the prawn on the John Dory! What the crap?! Gordon wonders if she’s trying to sabotage Petrozza, and then she drops a pan. Wow. Did I switch the television station? Am I now watching “The Mole” by accident? What is going on?
It’s now Corey’s turn to run the kitchen, and she’s really nervous. Just calling out the orders, she’s already having issues. Apparently, blondie reads at a fifth grade level. She also makes a mistake because there are six appetizers but only five entrees. The server (possibly sabotaging) forgot to write the sixth one down. But after that, Corey starts cookin’. She gets on everyone to hurry and communicate. But she’s about to be tested as Scott sends up the wrong sauce with the lamb Wellington. She realizes that it’s the wrong sauce, but only after she’s poured it onto the Wellington. Not good enough. Wouldn’t it be great if the stakes were even higher and the mistake sauce was poisonous? So if Corey didn’t catch it, then everyone would die? It would kind of be a combination of Hell’s Kitchen, The Mole, AND Survivor!
“Tee hee hee! My illiteracy is hilarious!”
Now it’s Christina’s turn to run the hot plate. Corey tries to step it up by cooking her meat perfectly. Christina gets a little too overbearing and irritates Scott. She has a squealing, high-pitched voice, and it’s getting on everyone’s nerves hearing her scream. Gloria tests her by putting basil in the mashed potatoes instead of mint, and Christina spots it right away. I think that by going last, she had an unfair advantage. She knew that she was going to be sabotaged by one of the sous chefs just by watching Corey and Petrozza. But Christina hopes that by doing well at the pass, she’s making up for her seafood nightmare.
Everyone works on desserts together, and the dinner service is completed with success. Gordon says he isn’t sure who to put in the final two. Corey ran the meat station perfectly but did poorly on the hot plate. He didn’t feel comfortable leaving her alone. Christina did great on the hot plate but on the fish station, she was crap. Petrozza wasn’t great but he wasn’t bad, and he was careless on the hot plate. Each of them will nominate one person to go home.
The team goes back to the house to drink, smoke and deliberate. No one feels safe and everyone thinks they should stay. Corey said that she likes them both but she wants to win. Christina decides to make a list of pros and cons. She says that she loves working with Corey in the kitchen, but Petrozza came with the most experience and maybe deserves it more. Petrozza says they’ve all become very close and it’s really hard to choose. Always the big, teddy bear, he even gets a little misty.
They meet a pleased Gordo in the kitchen who says that they’ve come a long way and that he likes them all and is very proud. Corey’s nominee for elimination is Christina because when she gets yelled at, she turns into a deer in the headlights and freezes. (Mmm that makes me hungry for venison!) Christina nominates Corey because she’s a strong member of a team but not a leader. Petrozza nominates Christina because it was hard for her to get food up to the pass today. He says that someday she will be a great chef, but it won’t be today. Or possibly even tomorrow. Snap!
The first person to head into the final is Petrozza. Yay! Christina says that she should stay there because she shows a lot of promise, perseverence and aptitude to learn. Corey says she should stay because she’s strong, hardworking and wants it more than anything. But the person joining Petrozza in the finale is Christina. He tells Corey to keep her head up because she’s done very well and is one talented gal. She should follow her dream.
We watch a little montage of Corey trying to seduce people in the hot tub and scheme to get rid of the best players. Her burning her hand and getting kicked out of the kitchen. She says that she hates being treated like a dumb blonde because she rocks.
This is how Corey will remain forever in my memory.
Two HK banners fall dramatically from the ceiling, startling everyone. Time for the ultimate test. Next week, Christina and Petrozza will design their own kitchens, create their own menus and be shocked by surprise after surprise! (Only not surprising to anyone who’s ever watched another season of the show.) And six eliminated contestants will return.
So what do you guys think? I think that Corey was better than Christina even though Christina won so many challenges. But I think that Tina will ultimately win because RamJam sees her as someone without as many habits as an older person and therefore easier to train. So my money is on her although I’d love to see a nice guy finish first for once.
See ya Tuesday!