all came down to this one, final night (I know, it always comes down to the final night, but go with me on this one). It was age versus beauty, semi-competence versus pseudo-competence, man versus woman, and the winner would truly get to take all. Unfortunately for Petrozza and Christina, it was Matt and Jen who took center stage this evening with their incompetence, leaving our two finalists to mop up after them.
Picking up right where the last episode left off (after the necessary "last time on Hell’s Kitchen"), Petrozza was left with the choice of Jen or Matt for his team. I don’t know who I would have opted for, but Petrozza went with Jen. Not surprisingly, but certainly horrifically, Jen stated in her one-on-one with the camera that she was chosen second to last because of how strong a leader she was and the finalists didn’t want her to outshine anyone. Jen was right when she told Petrozza he needed to be far more prepared and clear than he was, but that didn’t really mitigate her crazy.
The other final pick, Matt, was beautifully handled by Christina. He was all huffy with her right up until she lied to him about how he, Matt, was the inspiration for her risotto. It was a lie, it was clearly a lie from the moment she uttered it (and Christina confirmed as much to the camera), it couldn’t have been anything but a lie, but Matt bought it. Matt just isn’t the smartest of men.
During the prep for dinner service, things got truly weird. Jen asked Ramsay for a letter of recommendation. Seriously. She asked Ramsay for a letter of recommendation, either it was a setup, or she’s delusional. He must have said no, because she then began sulking and it became pretty apparent that she wasn’t going to giving it her all during service.
On the other side Matt was goofing around, singing, doing funny voices, and just being Matt. It was pretty typical of him, but certainly less harmful than Jen’s attitude. Matt can, for the most part be ignored and worked around, Jen always makes sure to be at the center of everything, particularly when she’s not wanted.
Thankfully though, Matt and Jen faded into the background briefly as Ramsay tasted Petrozza and Christina’s menus. Ramsay seemed to like both of the menus and gave some valid pointers. Handicapping the battle based on what he said after sampling the menu, the edge seemed to go to Petrozza, whose food was far more ambitious than Christina’s. Of course, that also meant that it would be far easier for Petrozza to crash and burn during service..
There was also a moment tonight before service depicting the requisite fear on the part of the contestants that the restaurants wouldn’t be finished on time, painting wouldn’t be done or booths wouldn’t arrive. But, as we saw when Ramsay examined the restaurants, everything was finished and beautiful. I don’t understand why the producers bother with the worrying scene, we all knew the restaurants would be finished and open on time.
During service, astoundingly, the first appetizers went out without incident. Well, for Christina’s red team they did, Petrozza had to send back Bobby’s first bunch of appetizers. Bobby happily fixed the problem, something that a bunch of other chefs in the kitchen wouldn’t have done with nearly as good an attitude.
By the time the fixed appetizers went out though, Matt was goofing around in the red kitchen, unable to make a salad. I’ll give him this – he always manages to surprise me with his incompetence. He can take the easiest task and make it difficult in a way that would impress Maxwell Smart (the original).
Matt though, as I said above, can be worked around and the red kitchen did their best to make that happen. On the blue side, Petrozza’s group hadn’t bothered to do enough prep work and ran out of ingredients for two of his three appetizers. Petrozza actually had Bobby come up with a solution (a lobster risotto) rather than doing it himself. Later, he asked for helping plating food from Ben and Jen. I’d take away points for that sort of thing if I were scoring.
Ramsay probably did too if he was really paying attention, but he may have been busy listening to Matt curse and complain under his breath. After Matt sent up raw monk fish not once, but twice, Ramsay was ready to step in and boot Matt from the kitchen. He practically begged Christina to show Matt the door, and while Christina was displeased with Matt’s performance, she seemed hesitant to fire the incompetent man.
Somehow, Christina managed to get cooked food out of Matt and dinner service was completed in both kitchens (not that there was ever any doubt that the last bit would happen).
To be honest, I was rooting for Petrozza before the episode started, but figured that it would be Christina who would go home with the prize. Her long term potential is much greater than Petrozza’s. Petrozza might be a better chef right now (and I tend to think he is), but Christina has always seemed poised for something better (FYI, I wrote this paragraph prior to the episode airing and Ramsay saying the bit about Christina having better potential. You don’t have to believe me, but it’s true).
When it came down to it, Ramsay voted on the potential rather than the right now, and Christina won the competition. I wish her well. I wish Petrozza well too. I even wish Bobby, Corey, Ben, and Louross well.
Matt and Jen? Well, they’re always welcome to read The TV and Film Guy’s Reviews, but that’s as far as I’ll go.