Even though tonight's show was touted as a "Ben vs. Matt" showdown (which we pretty much got), both teams took some serious steps backward. In addition to again failing to complete a dinner service, this group of cooks (I find it hard to refer to them as chefs anymore) proved once more just how inferior they are to the competitors in previous seasons.
The tone for the showdown was set from the opening minutes as Matt and Ben had words following the previous night's elimination. Matt was eager to prove that the men's team wasn't weak just because he was on their team, and to make sure Ben no longer had an easy scapegoat. Ben, on the other hand, simply insulted Matt and made fun of the women's team for not knowing what they had coming, a sentiment echoed by Corey who complained of the move being unfair.
Tonight's first challenge was taste test that began with
Gordon serving three dishes that didn't contain any meat. Despite Ben's "awesome pallet," none of the chefs were able to detect that the proteins were meat subsitutes. Though Matt did say after the fact that the texture was "like eating a catnot that I've ever eaten cat before." Um, sure.
After this poor showing, the chefs squared off to see which team could name the most ingredients/dishes served to them while blindfolded. On the shoulders of Rosann and Christina, the ladies earned a 5-1 lead, building up to Matt and Ben's first matchup. They were each served clam chowder and charged with the task of naming the 10 ingredients they tasted. Ben was stronger than anyone else on his team, but had some ground to make up. Despite getting all of his correct, he could not overcome the lead, as Matt was also correctly naming ingredients on his turn. In the end, the ladies (and Matt) took yet another victory, earning a day at the spa while the men scrubbed the toilets and cleaned the dorm. (Awesome Gordon Moment: "I can't call it the women's team anymore can I Matt? Unless you [referring to Matt's chest] lift them up a bit." Priceless.)
Although Ben thought Jen "needs to fix that weave" during her day at the spa, he ended up being the one to serve the red team iced tea during their time of relaxation. Bobby, of course, was sad that he missed out on "a therapeutic rub kind of thing," but from the looks of Matt's ugly black toe nail, the bathrooms may have been the less disgusting place to be for the day. I also loved how Matt considered himself a metrosexual by getting an eyebrow wax (not that he couldn't use it) and chocolate mask.
Once the flames were lit in the kitchen, everything was downhill. Gordon had a little piece of everyone tonight, except for Christina and (surprise, surprise) Matt. Gordon told him he made the best risotto ever served in
Hell's Kitchen (which Matt quickly inflated to "best risotto he's ever had in his life," a compliment he thanked everyone in his life for helping him to achieve), and also complimented Louross's salads and Christina's beef.
However, Gordon did have problems with Rosann and her continuously undercooked fish and scallops, Ben's laid back approach and undercooked beef, Bobby's lack of communication with other members, Jen's "cocky" attitude and Petrozza's messy work station. To be fair, I did sympathize with Jen for being frustrated with Gordon's perceived double standards, but you can't clam up like that. If nothing else, it just makes it more obvious that you can't handle pressure, which Gordon seized on again and again, telling her that "he couldn't even give her direction" because she had given up. And even though Jen had a tray of her food dumped because of bad communication and "risotto king" Matt got scallops thrown at him, Ben got the worst of Gordon's anger. He was furious with Ben's "limp excuses" and said he sounded like a case for Dr. Phil. Though Ben's beef was way less than well done as requested, I still find believe Gordon should have been able to catch that before it left the kitchen. But the boss makes the rules!
Gordon finally shut down the service, calling the chefs' work overconfident, lazy, slow and pathetic. He did, however, name Matt the best chef of the night, making his move to the red team a seemingly wise choice. (Matt said he would be humble about his compliment - he didn't sound very humble earlier in the night.)The men were named the losers, and each team member had to nominate a competitor to go on the chopping block. Ben, to perhaps save himself, suggested everyone nominate themselves and let Gordon decide. But Louross, who had a strong night, refused to nominate himself and nominated Ben when the time came. Ben, likewise nominated Louross, and Bobby nominated Petrozza, expecting him to name Bobby as the final nominee. When Petrozza nominated himself "for not being a star" he earned Gordon's compliments for his maturity, graciousness and for being a gentleman (which brought tears to his Petrozza's eyes in confessional).
Ultimately, Gordon sent Ben out of
Hell's Kitchen, with remarkably little fan fare. I still believe Gordon wanted Ben to step up, but after a few weeks of poor performance, he had to cut him loose. With Ben gone, the teams are now uneven, so next week, a woman will be sent over to the men's team. Will she shine the way Matt did after his swap?
What do you think about Ben being sent home? Were you shocked at how Matt stepped up? Which girl do you think will join the men next week? Now that Jen (who seemed to be the strongest) had a breakdown, is there any cook you think stands above the rest? Share your thoughts and comments and check back next week for more (including a severed finger!!!!)
Even though tonights show was touted as a Ben vs Matt showdown which we pretty much got both teams took some serious steps backward In addition to again failing to complete a dinner service this group of cooks I find it hard to refer to them as chefs anymore proved once more just how inferior they are to the competitors in previous seasons The tone for the showdown was set from the opening minutes as Matt and Ben had words following the previous nights elimination Matt was eager to prove that the mens team wasnt weak just because he was on their team and to make sure Ben no longer had an easy scapegoat Ben on the other hand simply insulted Matt and made fun of the womens team for not knowing what they had coming a sentiment echoed by Corey who complained of the move being unfairTonights first challenge was taste test that began with Gordon serving three dishes that didnt contain any meat Despite Bens awesome pallet none of the chefs were able to detect