It is at this time in each season of Hell's Kitchen -- after the smoke of several dozen burnt pizza clears, the riff raff has been been separated by chaff, and Gordon Ramsey is nearing his psychological breaking point -- that the real contenders begin to emerge. They are usually those who have hung back and escaped the wrath of their peers, of course, but they are also so generically normal looking that you don't even notice they were in the cast until, suddenly, someone makes a perfect scallop in a sea of Ramsay rejections. This is where it starts to get fun: Prediction the winner. Sadly, I still have no freaking idea. This is also the same time each season that I wonder why in the hell he choose this gene pool.
This week I had a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad flashback to growing up in the American university town with the largest Greek contingent in the country. No, I don't mean guys name Andronicus Lysterius. I mean Delta Delta Delta and Alpha Sigma Phi. Even now, more than 20 years later, I have no idea why a girl would want to put herself up on the pledging block so that she could have the privilege of running into a large dining room on Hell's Kitchen while she claps and sings some sort of Phi Mu chant and looks perky. The sorority was celebrating its 160th anniversary and wanted a Southern menu. Magically, all the chefs prepared tasty foods for the three girls who were chosen to judge. One of them was an incredibly flirtatious blonde. A bit too trollopy actually, with double-entendres, fluttery eyelids, and the confidence of a 40 year old. It sure seems at times that the show hires actors to make things more interesting; watching her flirt with Gordon was pretty gross, and I can't say a real 18 year old having any interest in the guy.
Anywho, the actual service went as expected, with diners waiting and no one able to cook fried chicken all the way through. In the end, roach-coach entrepreneur Bev left instead of weapy, "formerly homeless" Jessica, who wants this so bad it's like a scene out of A Chorus Line. Gordon thought that Bev lacked passion, but she made the rather good point that breaking down crying isn't necessarily a good example of passion. Wouldn't he rather have someone running his who could keep it together under pressure? Maybe so, but not someone who can't even make a crab cake. "Beth may be a great food truck chef," said Ramsay. "Unfortunately for her, Hell's Kitchen doesn't have wheels."