”He can call me a f—ing donkey all day, fat pig, he can talk about my penis being small, me s—ting my pants, but I’ll never give up.” Thus spoke Sam the Eagle at the end of tonight’s Hell’s Kitchen continuation, apple fritters, and the longer I watch this season, the more I am convinced that the dude knows of what he speaks. The week, after early favorite Ben the Rageaholic Electrician got the hook, Matt is still with us, even if part of his hand is not. Oh, BTW: He was the one who chopped a finger off this evening, though to be fair it looked more like just the very tippy-tip of his thumb (not a half inch, as Corey suggested), and the wayward flesh didn’t come anywhere near the mouth of a critic (as the commercials wanted us to believe).
But before all the carnage, there was war to be fought, namely the one between Corey and Jen. Corey, always strategic, decided to manipulate Jen into switching to the Blue Team, and I wonder: If Jen knew it was manipulation and announced she gave Corey’s opinion no more weight than a feather but still switched to the Blue Team, doesn’t that make it the best manipulation ever? We shall see. What I do know is that her rationalization for switching didn’t instill me with a vast sense of confidence: ”The Red Team is safe,” she said. ”I’m not a safe chef.” Here’s hoping she gets the chance to put that slogan on an awning someday.
Tonight’s challenge: Cook four dishes using 20 ingredients. Every ingredient must be used; no ingredient can be used more than once. The Red Team took off running (that speed may have been somewhat to blame for Matt’s inadvertently adding a 21st ingredient to the challenge, in the form of his flesh), while the Blue Team stalled and cooked silently, a lack of communication that would lead to their doom. Seems no one had thought to incorporate veal (happens to me all the time), and although the reasonable (if not delicious) place to put it was on Louross’s red snapper (most awkward surf ‘n’ turf possible?), Louross summoned up every inch of his chefling integrity and refused. He also wouldn’t lie to cover his team’s ass. Steam began to slowly filter from Jen’s ears. Uh-oh.
Christina and Petrozza tied in the hollandaise snapper vs. crab salad standoff; Jen’s pancetta wrap beat out Nine Finger Man’s ”weird” quail (Matt? Making weird dishes? Crazy talk!); Corey’s plain chicken still triumphed over Bobby’s overwhelming poultry glaze. And so, with the teams tied at two all, it came down to Rosann’s clumsy veal versus Louross’s complete lack of veal. ”Where’s the veal?” steamed Ramsay, and somewhere, Clara Peller clutched a tiny cow and wept. This is where I stamp the word ”FAIL” on a picture of the Blue Team, and Jen’s head explodes.
The triumphant Red Team was whisked off to the annual photo shoot (where they all cleaned up real nice, Rosann achieving almost Stepfanie Kramer-esque levels of sassy-’80s-broad-ness), while the Blue Team had to stay behind and do laundry — by hand. This turned out to be one of the more amusing punishments in a while, largely thanks to J.-P.’s decision to taunt Jen with a live crab. ”Are you gonna be bitchy the whole day?” he said, but Jen wasn’t having any. ”My dish was flawless as usual,” she snapped. ”I don’t give a f—.” Then she called Louross a punk ass and wandered around muttering profanities. Louross declared himself not scared, but I dunno, he kinda looked it. Did I mention he cried earlier?
NEXT: The Reds blew it