Good evening, my little Cha Cha Chickens (no, really, that’s what I had for dinner tonight), and welcome to the continuation of Hell’s Kitchen, during which our two teams of cheflings merged and one of them lost his mind. Or what was left of it. Watching Matt go down was a little like seeing someone get rescued from a parachute tangled in a tree: He’d been dangling upside down for weeks now; someone just needed to cut the strings.
The episode opened with the ladies trying to work out a truce — the announcement that Jen would be back with Corey and Christina made no one happy, especially since Corey and Louross were so close. (Sir Fauxhawk, you’ll recall, took his leave last week.) Meanwhile, the men were no more thrilled about the return of Matt, as indicated by Petrozza’s calling him a ”f—ing hemorrhoid.” But the uncomfortable teams didn’t last, since after a 6 a.m. wakeup — and one gratuitous Corey underpants shot — the cheflings found themselves blindfolded and kidnapped to the roof of what will someday become Chef Ramsay’s new L.A. restaurant. There they received their new black chef jackets, got a glimpse at $250,000 (courtesy of two dudes who I’m certain have been looking for work since The Sopranos went off the air), and had a chance to tour the bones of the ”extraordinary” space where Gordon has chosen to carve out the winner’s eventual place of semi-employment. Bobby called this moment ”bases loaded, bottom of the ninth.” I guess he’s into extra innings, because this sucker — much to my Tuesday-night personal-life dismay — is far from over.
Tonight’s challenge — the first individual one of the season — was for each chef to make a unique dish out of the central ingredient they were assigned. ”Make it work!” bellowed Ramsay, like Tim Gunn’s evil twin, and they were off. Weirdly, this group of seeming incompetents, when left to their own devices, all managed to cook decent food: Matt made a ”nice” roasted veal, Christina a ”fascinating” sea bass with tarragon; Petrozza’s prosciutto-stuffed chicken was ”well done” (”I’ve never seen one individual do so much to a breast,” yukked Ramsay); Jen sliced a rib eye thin, apparently a huge risk, but pulled it off. Only Corey and Bobby failed slightly, the former for not using her whole lobster and the latter for drying out his duck. It came down to Jen vs. Christina, and as the Big Baby stood there crying her eyes out (from ”nervousness,” although Corey thought she was faking), she was declared the winner. The big prize? Her dish was added to the menu, and she won the obligatory trip to Vegas. Her chosen companion? Corey. Uh, Corey? ”It’s like the cobra and the mongoose hanging out,” said Matt, in his final moment of televised sanity.
NEXT: Matt can’t deliver