TV Recap: Hell's Kitchen - The Final Three

Previously: Christina beat Petrozza in what seemed like kind of a rigged challenge. She also burned the crap out of Ramsay’s hand, but it was Jen who was eventually eliminated.

The three remaining chefs, Petrozza, Christina and Corey, are predictably relieved to have Jen out of the competition. Christina sums up everyone’s feelings by saying that if she has to lose; she’d want to lose to one of them.

The next morning, Ramsay tells the contestants that he’s going to celebrate the final three by cooking for them. Now, I’m sure that Ramsay isn’t going to poison the food to make sure that he doesn’t have to give any of them a job in his restaurant, but I do have a sneaking suspicion that the thought at least crossed his mind. You know, just an idle fantasy. In addition, he’s brought their families, which makes everyone freak out. It’s kind of hilarious. Everyone starts crying and Christina seems so excited to tell her parents that she rode in a helicopter.

I’ve mentioned before that I’m not sure who to root for in this, but Christina starts making a strong case for herself by being the only one of the three contestants to realize that Ramsay had an ulterior motive in inviting their families to this meal. The contestants don’t know this yet, but today’s challenge is to recreate Ramsay’s signature dish. While Petrozza and Corey are busy crying over their families, Christina’s talking to her parents and trying to figure out what’s in the dish. She’s keeping her head in the game, and I like that.

After they finish eating, Ramsay tells them about the challenge. Christina looks confident, while Petrozza and Corey look like they’re about to crap their pants. What disappoints me about this challenge is that instead of having to solely rely on what they just ate, Ramsay provides a reference dish for them. While Christina still has an advantage, since she’s been thinking about it longer, it’s not as much as it would have been had they been forced to recreate the dish solely from memory.

Things start off interestingly though, with the chefs uncertain even of what meat was used. Corey and Petrozza choose buffalo, while Christina thinks it’s venison. However, after Petrozza tastes the reference dish again, he changes his meat to the venison. As for the other ingredients, all of the chefs pretty much choose the same things, with the exception of the puree. Christina is convinced she tastes white beans, while Corey makes a potato parsnip puree. Petrozza on the other hand…doesn’t make one at all.

Ramsay tastes all of the dishes. He commends Corey for getting the sauce and the cabbage right. It’s really looking like she’s going to win, especially since Petrozza left off the puree. Her dish is immediately disqualified, however, because the meat was venison and not buffalo. It’s down to Christina and Petrozza, and unsurprisingly, Christina wins. However, Ramsay does say that if Petrozza had any form of a puree on his plate, he would have won.

Am I the only one who’s starting to think that this whole thing is rigged because Ramsay has a little bit of a crush on Christina? I just find it highly suspicious that Petrozza never quite manages to win the prizes that are set up like dates. Last week, it was a shopping spree in which Ramsay had Christina model for him. This week, the prize is a three-course meal with Ramsay and a sightseeing tour in a double-decker tour bus. I don’t know, maybe I’m paranoid, but I just have a hard time picturing Ramsay and Petrozza zooming around the city. Instead, Petrozza and Corey are back in the kitchen breaking blocks of ice and polishing glasses.

At tonight’s dinner service, each contestant is going to have a chance to act as Executive chef. In preparation, Ramsay is giving them yelling lessons. Petrozza does well immediately, but Christina and Corey both have some problems yelling at Ramsay. They both get over it, and Ramsay is pleased with their level of bitchiness.

Dinner service gets off to a smooth start, but Ramsay is planning on testing the chefs’ leadership (yelling) skills by having the sous chefs sabotage them. Petrozza is up first and Scott sends him a risotto without peas. Petrozza tastes it, but fails to notice the missing ingredient. However, this isn’t as bad as the food that Christina starts sending out. She’s either burning the fish or sending it out raw. She basically has a complete meltdown. It’s kind of sad.

Ramsay tells Petrozza that he did a good job and calls Corey up to the front. She immediately has a problem when she fails to realize that the server left an entrée off of her first ticket. After that mix-up, she performs well until Chef Scott brings up the wrong sauce with the Wellington and Corey doesn’t realize it until after she sauces the dish.

Christina starts her turn up front with Ramsay already pissed at her. She starts off strongly and continues to do well as the only chef to spot her sabotage. In her case, it’s mis-seasoned mashed potatoes, which Christina sends back.

After dinner service ends successfully, Ramsay talks to the remaining chefs about their performance. He commends Corey on her running of the meat station, but tells her that she did a crap job at the pass. Christina was the exact opposite. She screwed up the fish station, but did really well when she was in charge. Petrozza, on the other hand, wasn’t great, but performed both of his roles adequately. Ramsay sends them back to figure out who should go home.

At elimination, Corey nominates Christina, while Christina nominates Corey. Petrozza breaks the tie by nominating Christina. Ramsay listens to their reasoning and tells them that the first of the final two is going to be Petrozza, leaving the decision between Christina and Corey. It’s a tough call, but Christina does consistently win the challenges, which should give her an edge. Ramsay apparently agrees and chooses Christina as the second finalist.

Next week: It’s the finale. Six eliminated contestants return and either Christina or Petrozza is going to have a job at Ramsay’s new restaurant in West Hollywood.