'Hell's Kitchen': Something stinks and it isn't the John Dory

Danny_hellskitchen_s5_240 Danny, my choice to win it all on " Hell's Kitchen," did not perform as well as I would have liked tonight. Okay, I'll admit it, he embarrassed himself repeatedly, he stunk. Don't worry, I've still managed to come up with a couple of reasons for him not to be eliminated tonight. Read on.

Before I get to my reasons, let's talk about tonight's challenge. I feel as though usually when the show brings in contestants' friends and family, as they did tonight, we get the "cook for loved ones" thing. Color me thrilled that they didn't do that this year. I like the basic idea behind that challenge -- your loved ones are going to choose someone else's dish as their favorite -- but I don't like to see the sentiment and emotion and hugging and kissing. It's not that I don't care for people or am against PDAs, but I'm never sucked in enough to lives of the chefs to care who their family is or how they feel about each other. Consequently, the candidates cooking for 100 real chefs for the challenge and not for family was a pleasant surprise.

What wasn't a pleasant surprise was that my guy, Danny, served the least liked dish -- over 76 percent of the chefs put it down as the worst. At least Paula won the challenge and not Andrea. If Andrea took the challenge I'd have some serious crow to eat.

Danny didn't bolster my confidence when he took charge of the pass during service. He eventually worked out what he had to be doing, but was downright embarrassing early on. The man almost gave me palpitations with his performance.

Was he better than my second choice, Paula? I don't know, maybe. Calling out her first ticket, Paula made a complete hash of it -- it seemed like she didn't even know what was on the menu. Surely she should have been prepared to cook the food on the menu this evening and so should have known what she was seeing on a ticket.

Now Andrea, she didn't have any sort of problem with assertiveness and calling stuff out. What was wrong with her? After she failed the first quality control test, delivered by Scott, she sent stuff back to him over and over and over again. At one point Scott said he was going to slug her, and from what we saw I could understand why (not that I condone physical violence).

You could certainly make a case that Danny ought to have gone home based on his performance tonight, but I disagree. If Scott was ready to murder Andrea, doesn't that tell us something about her work? Danny at least got better as his turn progressed, so I'm saying that his issues was just some initial jitters. Andrea got worse. I wouldn't expect her to command the sort of respect that Ramsay does, but the attitude she inspired in Scott showed a real problem on her part.

Later, Andrea suggested that she applied her "standards" to the dishes she sent back. Let me ask you, if that's the case, why has Ramsay returned her dishes this season? Has she just failed her own tests repeatedly? And, if she has, hasn't she failed her tests often enough that she should go home just based on that alone?

So, yes, Danny had a bad night, but Andrea wasn't very good and -- I think we can all agree here -- her performance this whole season hasn't been as good as Danny's either. Ramsay knew that. Ramsay and I saw completely eye-to-eye there. He sent Andrea packing tonight, putting Danny and Paula into the finals.

Come on, you've known for the past few weeks that was coming, didn't you?

Quick bites:

  • J.P. went with Paula for her post-challenge prize. The show tried to make it seem as though there could be something between the two. Did you buy that? Tell me you didn't buy that.
  • Right here, right now, I'm asking again (and not making it the poll question because I want you to support your answer) -- who is going to win the whole shebang?

The TV and Film Guy's Reviews - still keepin' the faith.