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'Hell's Kitchen': Vegetarian half-pints and the finalists are revealed

October 6, 2009 | 11:38 pm

What was more shocking? That Tennille made it this far? Or the manner in which she was dispatched?

Tennille came out swinging tonight, winning the half-pint vegetarian challenge, and earned a lunch with Chef Ramsay at Nobu. It was enough to make the other competitors turn on her, sharpening their knives behind her back. Turns out they didn't need those weapons: After her day of glory, Tennille returned to the kitchen only to deliver a disappointing service. When it was over, Chef Ramsay said he didn't want to go through the traditional elimination process: "I don't want any nomination. I don't want to prolong your agony," he said to a shocked Tennille. "Come here madam, take off your jacket and leave Hell's Kitchen."

The remaining three chef's --  Ariel, David and Kevin -- were rewarded with family visits. Tonight's episode started with a mini-me version of Chef Ramsay coming out into the dining room to berate the competitors and call them "donkeys." That was Chef Ramsay's idea of a joke. He had another joke before the night was through. He had dispatched the chefs for the night, when he suddenly called them back into the dining area for some "unfinished business." He addressed Dave's hand injury, which has been causing him immense pain. But instead of giving up, Dave has insisted on sallying forth.

"I was wondering if I'd made the right decision by keeping you here," Chef Ramsay told Dave. "After a long thought, my decision is....I know I did."

Just another day on the Hell's Kitchen roller coaster ride.

--Rene Lynch