Hell’s Kitchen – It’s Do Or Die Right Now

We’re down to the final TWO!!!  Either Russell or Nona will be the new head chef at LA Market, plus the spokesperson for Rosemount Estate wines before the end of the night.  The pressure is mounting!  Each chef has to design their own menu for the final dinner service, but first, it’s challenge time!  Both chefs are kidnapped and sent to LA Market in a helicopter.  Once they get there, they’re told they have to skydive down to the audience waiting below and are given parachutes.  The funniest part about this was that Russell started totally freaking out and almost crapped his pants.  It was all a false alarm though.  They ended up walking down to the audience instead.  Very disappointing, but I’m sure Russell was relieved.

I'll just freefall right here!

The first challenge is to create 5 separate dishes, soup, salad, pasta, fish and meat, and they will be judged by these really awesome judges.  Russell decided fusion was his thing, despite the fact that he didn’t do well in the fusion challenge, and Nona stuck with her southern flair.  The fusion idea worked well for Russell this time, since he won the challenge, beating Nona with 3 of the 5 dishes.  This, of course, swelled his ego even more.  Then they’re told to head back to the dorms where previous contestants from the season jump out of closets, scaring Russell and Nona, even though we all knew they were going to be there.  Russell’s reward for winning the challenge was that he got to pick the first team member, which I honestly think is the lamest reward Hell’s Kitchen has ever thought of.  Russell picks Jillian first, which makes sense since she made it so far.  He also ends up with Vinny, Sabrina, and Rob, which means Nona’s team consists of Gail, Melissa, Trev, and Boris.  Nona totally got the shaft.  I barely even remember Melissa and Boris certainly didn’t make any impressions on me, other than washing dishes in the middle of dinner service and sweating in the food.

Vinny pouting over his horrible fate

Vinny immediately starts pouting, because he’s still holding a grudge about Russell putting him up for elimination.  I like Vinny a lot, but even I have to admit he kind of acted like a baby.  No one else on his team, other than maybe Sabrina, really likes Russell either.  He certainly hasn’t made many friends at Hell’s Kitchen.  Right away, Boris is moving along like molasses in January and he ends up getting hit with the fish curse that has overtaken almost everyone who has ever worked the fish station.  His fish is raw (dun dun dun!).  Back in Russell’s kitchen, Vinny is still pouting away while Russell is riding his ass, until Russell finally tells him to leave.  When he starts to leave, Russell is all, “Where are you going?  Get back here?”  Yeah, I’m confused too.  Did he want him to leave or not?  Maybe he just enjoys dishing out empty threats.  Meanwhile, Sabrina (whom is not featured nearly enough this episode) decides she doesn’t like the way the steak is cooked and adds stock to it, which causes blood vessels to pop out of Chef Ramsay’s forehead.  Russell has enough of his team falling apart and switches Sabrina’s and Vinny’s stations, which turns out to be for the best, because food is flying out of his kitchen now.

How do you cook meat again?

In Nona’s kitchen, Boris is still standing there with a “you mean fish isn’t supposed to be completely raw?” look and Trev is trying to help him out, which causes a blow-up since Boris can apparently do everything himself, even if he sucks at it.  Nona starts yelling at them and it’s really awesome.  Boris finally decides to cook the fish instead of taking the easy way out which was apparently plucking them out of a stream and just dumping them on a plate.  Then it turns into The Amazing Hell’s Kitchen Race when Russell decides his team should be superheroes and do 2 tables at once in order to keep ahead of Nona’s team, which, in turn, causes dishes to be sent back to the kitchen by the disgruntled patrons.  The stress proves to be too much for them, however, because when Rob runs out of tomato water, Russell has a coronary and they get into an argument.  Between Rob running out of water and Russell flinging dish after sub-par dish out into the dining room, I’m not sure Russell’s team is winning many points with Ramsay.

I sense a commercial coming on!

One more thing I’m not sure worth mentioning is that Melissa is sinking on the meat station in Nona’s kitchen.  I still barely remember Melissa.

Finally, both teams are hitting their stride and the food is going out of the kitchen and not being sent back which is a huge step.  Russell and Nona are sent back to the dorms to a

wait their fate, where Nona suddenly starts laughing hysterically and Russell is like, “What the hell is wrong with her?”

Eeeek!!!  Decision time!  As usual, both chefs are at their doors with their family and friends waiting below with baited breath.

The handles turn….

and we get a commercial!

Okay, we’re back.  The handles turn and out comes NONA!!!  Congratulations, homegirl, you deserve it!

Nona holds nothing back

And the first thing Russell does is blame his team for failing him.  I think Nona just managed her team better, Russell.  So there.

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