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Hell's Kitchen Finale - Part 1 (spoilers)

Bonnie picked Melissa to be on her team. BONNIE PICKED MELISSA!!!!! Arrrrggghhhh!!!! What the HELL was she thinking? Despite Julia's crying that she wasn't in the Final 2, I would have picked her over Melissa any day. Based on the previews for Finale Part 2, looks like Melissa continues to be a f***-up during actual service.

Re: the challenge in LV - same as last year, where Virginia and Heather were tied giving samples out on the casino floor - and the final tiebreaker gave it to Virginia. But Virginia ended up losing the overall competition. Same thing going to happen here? Bonnie takes the individual challenge but Rock takes it overall?

I do have to say that based on description of their challenge dishes, Bonnie's Key West Shrimp over Fettucine Alfredo did sound more appetizing than Rock's Fried Chicken and Crab Cakes.

Will be interesting next week.

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  1. I thought the same thing. I lost my respect for Julia who was supported Rock all of a sudden(unless I missed part of an episode through the season). Get over it. I would be thrilled to be a short order cook, making it on TV, getting as far as she did and having a star chef paying for me to go to culinary school. I think she may just ruin it for her. Melissa, psycho, wacko, crazy person - she is nuts to take her. If these women were smart, they would all perform like crazy and boost their own careers and perception to everyone who watches, but I don't know if women can put their emotions aside. Bonnie seems a little too overconfident; good for her for not allowing Rock to put her down and telling her she can't finish.
    Did you see when she was declared the winner; he was holding in his temper tantrum you could see it on his face? What did she have in her pasta that made it so tasty; just curious because it seems lacklustre; his combo was weird too.

    5 Replies
    1. re: itryalot

      They never say what goes in a recipe, but from Bonnie's "kind of alfredo, but I love spice" description, I imagined a sauce light on the cream, but chock full of tomato chunks, garlic, hot pepper, etc.

      A lackluster Part 1 finale at best. I got the feeling they intentionally edited it to look as though Bonnie was going to take the whole thing, but then I remembered what happened to Virginia last year.

      She may give Rock a run for his money, but I honestly can't see her winning. She appears to be the type who'd fall apart the minute something goes wrong. I also can't see as a leader. She may think that screaming like GR is how to get stuff done. It was cute when she did it, but c'mon...

      I can only imagine the emotional rollercoaster Julia is on. First you overcome the "waffle house" moniker and people start taking you seriously. Second, your confidence grows, you're not asked to leave, so the idea that you just might win starts to sink in. Then it's suddenly taken away from you BUT somebody important tells you he'll foot the bill for your culinary education. THEN you're asked back for the finale while your head's still spinning over the previous. You're so overcome with every emotion possible that all you can do is burst into tears.

      At least that's how I read it.

      1. re: xo_kizzy_xo

        Bonnie's yelling may work on TV but I wouldn't like to be yelled like that while I'm working. There's already enough pressure in trying to get your food out. You don't need someone to yell at ya in the process.

        I also think she doesn't work well under pressure. She's shown that lots of times during service (crying, whining etc.).

        Julia is also probably upset that she (who has restaurant experience and is better IMHO) got beat out by a whining personal cook/nanny.

        The fact that Bonnie never worked in a restaurant before gives me pause that she can run a restaurant.

        1. re: xo_kizzy_xo

          I agree with your assessment of Julia. No amount of knowledge ahead of time and truly prepare you for the emotional roller coaster some of these folks are on.

        2. re: itryalot

          itryalot, surely you jest with yoru i don't know if women can put their emotions aside' comment? yowza!!

          were we watching the same season? remember the obtuse cowboy? rock's tempter tantrums?

        3. Well with Part 1 in the history books, jfood thinks the finale is now only 10% over. Next week is the real finale with all the yucks saved for then.

          Highlights of last night included:

          - Rock still insisting on the conjugal even in front of Pebbles and Bam-Bam. Get a grip guy, you are facing the biggest event of your life and you’re thinking with the wrong part of your body.
          - Rock is an Executive Chef and can’t think of a menu, major loss of points. Bonnie in her happy-go-lucky routine going through her menu.
          - If jfood hears Bonn-eeeeeee scream “OMG” one more time, he may root for Rock
          - Where did Bonnie learn her table manners? Did you see her eating with Rock? Please close your mouth when you chew, honey.
          - Fried chicken with Crab Cake. There is no chance jfood’s ordering that in a resto. Take a look around you Rock-ie, the hotel is half spa, serving two fried dishes is not a way to win this one.
          - Same to you Bonnie, hello, how about some spa food please?
          - When Bonnie won jfood thought Rock would grab her and throw her in a deep fryer. But good for him he held back or the producers did a “Retake, please.”
          - Onto the selection process. Melissa? The odds of Rock winning just went up. What a loser and then Julia is more a basket case this week than ever before. And then she says she is rooting for Rock. Watch out Mrs. Rock!! The question is who will crack first, Julia or Melissa, and will Bonnie or Jenn be able to hold them together. Jfood also think Jenn needs to tone down the “I love Bonnie.” That’s a different show.
          - On the guy side, it’s also 2 pluses and 2 minuses. Can’t wait to see those screw-ups as well next week.
          - The teasers at the end were the best part. Things falling apart and lots of crying. All we need is Howie to visit from Top Chef and sweat into the food and we’ll have two varieties of body fluids in the food. Blech.

          So the stage is set, the cards dealt, the menu in. Jfood stands by his prediction of sentimentally rooting for Bonnie (now handicapped by Melissa) but in the end Rock gets the nod and finally gets both his conjugal and his resto.

          6 Replies
          1. re: jfood

            I cant believe what a mess Julia was last night. She seemed like such a sore loser when she actually walked away with the best prize--cooking school! I hope she doesnt sabotage Bonnie next week...

            1. re: LesleyEats

              I really didn't see Julia as a sore loser last night. As kizzy said above, she was emotionally overwhelmed. You have to admit, Julia is straight up honest. When she is asked a question, or her opinion, you hear exactly what she thinks and feels. When she said that last night was her "low", I believed it. When Bonnie picked Melissa, I wanted to cry, too!

            2. re: jfood

              LOL! Brilliant recap, jfood, as always!

              I noticed the table manners as well. Do they just forget there are several cameras on them?

              I know why Julia was upset, but it's not like she didn't know she'd be coming back to help the Final 2 - if she watched previous seasons, that is. But her blubbering and *completely* falling apart was incongruous to the way she's acted before - yes, she's cried, but not like this! Sweet to see GR being solicitious of her.

              Was I the only one who also thought it strange that Melissa was in what seemed like a cocktail dress vs. everyone else in regular street clothes? What did she think she was going back to - a party?

              1. re: LindaWhit

                I noticed the little black cocktail dress too. I laughed. It didn't surprise me in the least that Melissa of all people would wear something like that.

              2. re: jfood

                My brother and I were laughing at how the GM of GVR just totally overrode the Exec Chef when choosing the challenge winner. Chef or not, the boss is still the boss.

                Eww, Howie and his sweat. Watching him cook is like watching Shaq at the free throw line. Buckets and buckets.

                I tend to think the conjugal might have helped Rock's concentration. It certainly would have helped him relax.

                1. re: jfood

                  I didn't get to watch last night, but I have to say that, maybe I am strange, but I *like* the sound of fried chicken and crabcakes! Fried surf and turf, what could be better than that? :-)

                2. I think Bonnie will win because she has a better palate and is more in-tuned with the type of food that will likely be offered at GVR. Rock seemed lost in that final challenge. He says it doesnt matter and that he wants to win the whole thing, but I think it does matter. If you cant think up a solid signature dish for the show finale, you dont deserve your own place in Vegas. Maybe he could run his own joint in his hometown, but he lacks the creativity for Vegas. I also think that Rock is less effective as a leader. I dont think this because Bonnie yells at people better, it just seems that Rock is too much "for the people" and not enough "get this shit done now and do it right so I can win".

                  The crying games on these friggin cooking reality shows needs to end NOW. The Jen/Bonnie lovefest has gone waaaay overboard and is almost disturbing at this point, especially when they hug and cry and hug and cry some more. Who would pick a big crybaby to run a restaurant. Would you be able to work for someone you just saw cry their eyes out when the going got tough? The worst was on the Next Food Network Star. Waterworks galore. I honestly couldnt watch any of them after seeing all of them cry like babies every week. It was comical, actually.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: Blind Mind

                    Jen bugs the hell out of me and her love fest with Bonnie, I agree, is stomach churning!

                    1. re: LesleyEats

                      I'm with you, but you gotta admit it makes for great tv viewing!

                      1. re: berna

                        Fave moment: Bonnie goes to hug her sous chef Mary Ann and she just stands there like a stone, not at all reciprocating.
                        Why does everyone call her Beauty? Her skin, though covered thick with makeup, is not good at all.
                        Although Rock is clearly far more qualified, it was like pulling teeth getting him to create a menu, not a good sign.

                        1. re: Leonardo

                          Yes Mary Ann is not the happy perky cheerleader type (hello Bonnie). She's very business only.

                  2. I was not at all impressed by Rock. They had 36 hours to create a restaurant concept, and Rock spent that night to just "enjoy the moment". Well, that may cost him the competition. Bonnie seemed to be more at ease with making decisions. I thought Rock had more chance, but after last night's episode, I am not so sure now.
                    I would hate to see Bonnie win this competition though. She is not qualified at all.
                    They need to do a better job selecting candidates next season.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Nuray

                      Hi All! I'm new to these boards and wanted to put my 2 cents in! I used to think Rock had this thing, but I was really suprised last nite when he was too busy savoring the moment to come up with anything for his concept! This isn't over yet, but he was acting like he'd already won! I feel like he does have much more experience, but Bonnie seems to grasp it and run with it. That really suprises me. I didn't expect her to get this far. I thought it'd be Jen and Rock. I do feel bad for Julia, but she was borderline sore loser last nite. Even Jen, who got closer to winning than Julia, was able to suck it up and be happy for Bonnie. Julia needs to be grateful that Chef Ramsey theinks enough of her to send her to culinary school. That's a big prize in my book. She didn't walk away with nothing. She can take that training and go far. As far the the finale, I've changed my mind and now i feel Bonnie would make the better winner. She's more outgoing and I believe she'd be a great head chef.

                      1. re: lisamos

                        I think that has more to do with the editing than anything. The same premise has been behind the previous two seasons, and Rock probably had the whole thing arranged in his head of what he wanted his restaurant to look like and the menu for the night, etc. I'm sure Fox took whatever tidbits he said about the menu that were indecisive and played them for all they were worth.

                    2. The part 1 finale sure played up the angle where a "freakin nanny beats the pro chef".

                      I'm surprised Bonnie made it this far. The recap reminded me that Bonnie couldn't even fry an egg in ep #1. She claimed nerves... Come on now. IT was only frying an egg!

                      I wonder how much of the LV audience reaction was edited/biased to show that Rock was the crowd favorite.

                      Overall, the show was on the boring side.

                      I did see a commercial for Chef Ramsay's restaurant makeover show. It looked like a very watchable show. Is this a US version of a BBC show? Akin to Restaurant Makeover (Food Network) which was an interesting show. I enjoyed seeing how the owners were hesistant to change their failing ways or eventually reverted back to their failing ways after the crew left.

                      10 Replies
                      1. re: dave_c

                        This is getting off track perhaps, but I was flipping channels a few weeks ago and happened upon Ramsay's restaurant makeover show on the BBC (British version; I don't know if there is a US version). It was quite interesting, to the point where even hubby stopped what he was doing to watch with me (and hubby is *not* into restaurant or cooking shows)...I also thought it was interesting that his personality comes across much better on that show than on Hell's Kitchen (in other words, while he is blunt when necessary, he is supportive of the folks he is coaching and much less inclined to yell...)

                        1. re: susancinsf

                          That is Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares. I believe they are airing the 3rd season now on BBC-A. It is a wonderful show. They have a Fox produced American version coming out later this year.

                          The F-Word is the other Ramsay show worth looking for. Also on BBC-A. It is a totally different concept that is part competition, part tv-magazine style with different segments on food, eating and cooking. Again, his personality and passion comes through much better on that show.

                          1. re: sgwood415

                            Yes yes yes!! Kitchen Nightmares is premiering some time in September. I actually had the pleasure of working on the show. Although I was more at the beginning of the post-prod. process and didn't see any cuts of the show, Gordon definitely did not play it up the way he does with HK. The show was taped pretty close to how they tape the BBC version, although I'm sure it will be FOX'ed up a bit. Gordon is great when you see him in his entirety like I did while watching raw footage. He's quite a motivator, really.

                          2. re: susancinsf

                            The commercial depicted Chef Ramsay yelling at the owner (?).
                            Sounds like the American version will emphasize Ramsay's volatile character... which is too bad. It makes him look bad in the long run.

                            1. re: dave_c

                              Ramsay yells at the owner (and/or the swell-headed unskilled chef) in EVERY episode! It's like his trademark... (but yes, it's a great show and we always watch it... I hope FOX doesn't spoil it too much.)

                            2. re: susancinsf

                              The thing I thought was interesting last night was that an aspect of Ramsay's personality came through that I'd never seen before. He was practically jumping up and down as he explained the finals to the contestants...like a kid in a candy store, waiting to see what he was going to get! He was excited and charming and, for lack of a better word, cute, and I almost liked him. He was also very kind and supportive of the contestants when he took them to Vegas.

                              I guess if I think about it, there have been moments like that throughout the series, usually when he's with them on one of the rewards. (And of course, there was the cooking school promised Julia...). I think the swearing and yelling and all that is just for show...after all, they DO call it Hell's Kitchen....

                              1. re: janetofreno

                                no the swearing and yelling is for real, as is the other bit - him being genuinely excited. thats what i like about ramsays kitchen nightares - the extending f-bomb dropping has more meaning, shall i say? :D

                                i'm apprehensive about the american version tho. we'll see what happens.

                                1. re: winedubar

                                  well, at least its refreshing to have a host/judge on a cooking show that shows some personality. I am so tired of Padma on Top Chef....sure, husband loves the fact that she's eye candy (and he makes a point of commenting on it every time we watch the show, naturally) but I find her very, very boring.....It sounds like she speaks in a monotone....

                              2. re: susancinsf

                                A few more that Gordon Ramsay has done: Beyond Boiling Point, Trouble at the Top, and The F-Word. Kitchen Nightmares has been very entertaining.

                              3. re: dave_c

                                >>>I wonder how much of the LV audience reaction was edited/biased to show that Rock was the crowd favorite. <<<

                                I actually thought Bonnie was going to win it hands down -- it seemed to me like the two former HK winners were brought in as ringers to make it a closer contest. All but one of the Las Vegas chefs picked Bonnie's dish.

                              4. I think what we saw was cut and edited to appear as if Bonnie was in complete control, and Rock was not. I'm so glad this is almost over. Every week they try to manipulate us to believe what they want us to see, and try to keep us interested and watching. (its working) This leads everyone to think she has a chance to win it all. I actually caught myself thinking she was a stronger chef than what I thought before. But upon reflection, I just can't see her put into the head spot. They probably chose her over Jen, so it would be an easier decision to have Rock win. Did anyone else see the news last night on Fox5? They interviewed Rock and he was grinning ear to ear.

                                1. Good laugh of the night: When Rock was chosing the uniforms for waitstaff and wanted them to wear blue-jeans. I think he lost sight of his goal: To win-over the folks at the hotel where he wants to WORK!!
                                  Jean-Phillipe was a crack up. I met him at dinner at Hell's Kitchen and the taping got kind of long. The guy barely speaks French. He has a deep cockney accent underneath. When another guest spoke French to him, he responded in a heavily French accented English "OOOh, loo-ok at jou, speaking zee fraa-ansh! " He just cracks me up!

                                  8 Replies
                                  1. re: sassille

                                    Ive always wondered how you could get a seat at HK for a taping. That must be fun haha.

                                    Yes, the blue jeans comment and the look on Jean Philipe's face was priceless. What an idiot. I guess Ramsey really needs to focus on who can COOK and not who can design. Rock's ideas were black and white decor and waitstaff wearing blue jeans. Cant get much worse that that...

                                    1. re: Blind Mind

                                      oh come on, it would be GREAT!. . . in, um, 1987. . .

                                    2. re: sassille

                                      Dinner at H.K. is fun, if you get served. Remember Ramsey closes the kitchen down if everything gets screwed up. The wine was pouring freely but the dishes are inconsistant. Those chefs are under so much pressure while they are cooking, not to mention some behind the scenes sabotage going on, if you have dinner in Hell's Kitchen, you kind of know not to expect too much. Two people at our table loved everything, but my food was hit and miss. The table next to us were served an hour late, after we finished our desserts. One couple NEVER got served. I think its fun if you just go for the drama and watch all the action in the kitchen. It was a great "show" and there was no charge.

                                      1. re: sassille

                                        How fascinating. I've always wondered about that. Thanks for sharing!

                                        1. re: sassille

                                          OK, so are drinks also free of charge? I would love to go watch Ramsey yell at the cooks and getting hammered would certainly make up for not getting served if the cooks F up hahaha.

                                          1. re: Blind Mind

                                            Everything is free including the wine. It was only Beringer but it sure did the trick.

                                            1. re: sassille

                                              I wouldn't go unless I got extra's scale. Remember, it's possible you won't ever eat!

                                          2. re: sassille

                                            I would think the diners know dinner may or may not happen...

                                            Are "customers" paid or encouraged by the producers to go up and complain to Chef Ramsey about not having food or terrible food? Seems that every season, someone goes up to Ramsey only to be humiliated. Or are these people just wanting camera time?

                                        2. The fried chicken and crabcakes sounds exactly like something you'd get at B. Smith's in Washington, where Rock works. They serve big portions of heavy, heavy, Southern-inspired food. It's not bad, just guaranteed to put you to sleep for the afternoon -- not the kind of food you'd expect at a spa-type resort.

                                          There's a nice bio of Rock on the restaurant's Web site: http://www.bsmith.com/restaurant_dc_h...

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: Bob W

                                            Thats an excellent point, which makes me believe Bonnie has a better grasp of the type of food that should be served there. She's a quick learner and I think she'll be able to handle the pressure her own restaurant.

                                            1. re: lisamos

                                              If she doesnt start crying on the line she may have a chance. Otherwise, she cries once, and the other cooks in her kitchen will lose all respect for her, if they would have any to start with based on her background as a nanny, and not a seasoned kitchen veteran. .

                                              1. re: lisamos

                                                Oh please! Let's see.......a pretty girl with a descent palate and absolutely no leadership skills made it into the finals. Sounds....vaguely familiar. I think Ramsey has a soft spot for the honeys. Rock is rough, but he is a chef through and through. He has the tools. They have creatively edited Bonnie into "appearing" like she has talent. Never forget the fried egg episode....my 7 year old nephew can fry an egg.

                                            2. Highly unlikely outcome, but if I were Gordon Ramsey, I would have them both win. Rock could run the kitchen and Bonnie could run the restaurant and work on menu development. It would optimize both of their skill sets, and it's the only way that the restaurant would succeed from a food standpoint (unless larded with a bunch of Ramsey's sous chefs and line cooks). Plus, it would be an surprise ending.

                                              4 Replies
                                              1. re: cabking

                                                omg i think they would kill each other in that scenario. i do think bonnie would be a good front-of-the-house mgr once she ages a little, gets a grip, and learns how to manage crisis better.

                                                1. re: cabking

                                                  Ramsay's staff don't have anything to do with the restaurant. The GVR Resort is owned and operated by a conglomerate called Station Casinos, including owning Red Rock Resort, where Heather went last year.

                                                  And I haven't heard anyone say the winner will be Executive Chef - and Heather isn't EC at Red Rock either - she's a "senior chef" - http://www.redrocklasvegas.com/dining...

                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                    this place heather is working at is absolutely horrible. my mom lives right near it, so we went for a laugh last november. the menu was just about the most predictable, uninteresting, bog-standard italian food around (chicken parmigiana, fettucine alfredo, etc.), which would have been fine if it was executed with the slightest bit of elan. It was totally early-bird-special-bland-Olive-Garden crapola. And the place was pretty empty too.

                                                    I think Gordon Ramsey is giving Julia the best shot at a successful culinary future by sending her to culinary school. If she takes him up on it (which she'd be bonkers not to), she'll be able to build a career, whereas the winners seem like they won't be much further along than they were before they set foot on the Hell's Kitchen set.


                                                    1. re: funkymonkey

                                                      I'm still cheering Julia on even though she's been booted. I, too, hope she takes up the offer.
                                                      She didn't have the chip on her shoulder like the other "professional" chefs.
                                                      Hopefully, the certificate from the culinary school doesn't go to her head like it seems to do with the "professionals."

                                                2. Nice to see Rock get the win. I thought he was better as a leader this time and I also think he deserved it more out of the 2 of them. Bonnie was a very positive and gracious loser and I thought it was pretty classy of her. Good luck to Rock in "running" that GVR eatery.

                                                  1. The most interesting part was that the one that ultimately may have done her in was Julia, not Melissa (who was pretty quiet and a non-issue as far as I could tell...). The cooking had little to do with the final outcome; it was how the chefs handled their crew. Bonnie ultimately gave up on trying to get Melissa into line....and Melissa clearly was not cooperative (and clearly didn't want Bonnie to win, so had no vested interest in the process...). OTOH, Rock finally did what he had to do in taking Josh off of the station. And Ramsay was right: Rock showed more leadership in the kitchen as a result. The E.C. does ultimately have to be the boss, and we all know that employees are the boss' biggest problem....

                                                    (That and Bonnie's low-key planning, which ultimately did her in as far as portion amounts and the like....)

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: janetofreno

                                                      Also, Bonnie was forced to "tattle" on her two line workers to Chef Ramsey, instead of handeling the situation. Perhaps some of the kids she nanny's for behavior rubbed off on her. She was a fish out of water.

                                                    2. In the finale, those already given the hook had no reason to comply with orders made by the final two...afterall, they get nothing for helping the finalists. Julia proved even an unexpected prize (culinary school) doesn't mean appreciative grace.

                                                      And I really wonder if the writers/producers/folks this season really only meant to heighten the vengefulness for TV viewers who enjoy the crosshairs.

                                                      Season 3 was my least favorite. Bleak roster of contestants, Ramsey is stale.

                                                      3 Replies
                                                      1. re: HillJ

                                                        Its true that those already given the hook had no reason to comply with orders from the finalists...but the finalist could have/should have given the uncooperative the hook....

                                                        1. re: janetofreno

                                                          janetofreno, the contestants are required to work the kitchen during the finale. I didn't see much room for choice there. In the throws of dinner service, who was going to ask a pair of hands to leave? Maybe Season 4 will take a fresh look at the whole setup...I hope so anyway.

                                                          1. re: HillJ

                                                            well, Ramsay asked a contestant to leave in the middle of service at least once earlier in the season, and somehow they muddled through. Or change stations, or do something. My point was that Bonnie was acting more like a friend than the boss......

                                                            (Rock didn't ask Josh to leave, but he did make a point by switching stations...and it improved the situation....)

                                                      2. Tell you what's really funny here. Although I love to watch Hell's Kitchen, it's funny to see the disparity between the contestants on this show versus Top Chef. Wow. Could you imagine Rock in Top Chef? Remember the 50 year old retirement home chef? Damn, was that a PR stunt. Love Gordon Ramsey though. And, can't wait till the Kitchen Nightmares series comes out!

                                                        3 Replies
                                                        1. re: billyparsons

                                                          To me, HK is for the drama, TC is for the food and imaginative cooking. Both are fun to watch in their own right. :-)

                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                            Linda... could not agree more. Plus, I have a crush on Bonnie. :)

                                                            1. re: billyparsons

                                                              Yeah, HK is kind of a joke. Oh, and I DEFINITELY would throw out an incompetent worker and do the cooking myself if needed. You gotta send a message sometimes if you want to be a respected leader.