Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Hell's Kitchen: The kitchen coronation

The biggest lie of the Hell's Kitchen season finale wasn't "we ran out of wallpaper" or any of those other issues blown out of proportion to ratchet up the drama of the final showdown. It was three simple words at the beginning of the show: "Viewer discretion advised." Normally, you see, when I see those words, I expect some body parts, like a thumb or an arm, to get chopped off or something like that. But bleeped-out swear words? Kind of a letdown, actually.

Stop now if you don't want to know who won.

You know, I was pretty sure already that Bonnie wasn't going to win, but the moment that confirmed it was when she came out with her too-big master chef's jacket on, like a kid playing dress-up. Rock's, of course, fit perfectly, because he was the chosen one, foretold by bodog.com.

Look, everyone knew Rock was going to win. The instapoll voters knew, the internet gamblers knew, Rock's wife knew, even Bonnie knew. She wasn't all that upset when the winner was announced, she interviewed that she thought Chef Ramsay made the right decision, and when Rock said that he thought she was going to win, Bonnie, along with the entire viewing audience, answered, "Whatever."

And although the ending was a foregone conclusion, there was enough drama during the dinner service. More than enough, actually, to send this season of Hell's Kitchen out with a bang, or at least with a ****. There were problems of all kinds – food problems (Bonnie ran out of both fettuccini and prawns for her prawn fettuccini entrĂ©e), communication problems (Bonnie and her team couldn't hear one another over the roar of their own bootless efforts), and chef problems. Of course, for Bonnie's team, the problem chef was Julia – lethargic, grumpy, Rock-supporting Julia. Bonnie and Julia got into a major tussle over wrapping up goat cheese, of all things. So sad to see Julia in such a bad mood over not making it when Ramsay clearly has nothing but respect and admiration for her. You're good enough, Julia! Over on Rock's side, the problem was Josh, who learned absolutely nothing from his unceremonious defrocking a few weeks back, and still insisted on cooking orders in advance. It was fixed soon enough, when Rock switched Josh's and Vinnie's stations, but still – honestly, Josh, did you not remember being fired in the middle of service a few weeks back for doing that exact thing? Why? Just… why?

So everything fit for Rock - his dishes, his leadership skills, and his jacket - and everyone rejoiced at his victory. A satisfying season-ender, even if I never learned to root for Rock.