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'Hell's Kitchen': 'Don't you dare come up to my pass again!'

July 21, 2010 | 12:29 pm

Scott-Leibfried Really, Benjamin?

You have been sorely lacking in leadership. Dinner service after dinner service, chef Gordon Ramsay has begged you to step up, but you haven't been able to lead your colleagues. Which makes your actions this week so curious, and so dumb. (And so much fun to watch.) So there we were in the midst of dinner service and Ramsay needed to leave the kitchen for a few moments. He put sous chef Scott Leibfried in charge. And so you decided that that would be a good moment to start acting like a leader, and you tried to edge Scott out and started calling out dishes. In other words, you proved that you cannot lead a bunch of people who are in dire need of leadership, but you decided that it would be a good idea to disregard what Ramsay said and take on his second-in-command.

Well, I'm really glad you did. That was perhaps the best tail-whipping of the season so far. Clearly, Scott has learned from the best. I cannot possibly quote Scott in full, because of all the expletives, but I did get this much: "Don't ever come up to my pass again!" But that doesn't begin to do justice to the intensity of it all. Maybe Scott needs his own show.

In the first hour, we saw the teams dissolve and individual play begin. Ed got tossed, Autumn was cat-like in her ability to live to see another day, Benjamin won a challenge with a picturesque dish that earned him a much-needed makeover from his Scooby-Do mullet.

There was also a clever profit-margin challenge: Spend $10 on a meal that people would pay double or triple that to enjoy. Blue-Jay thought he had it all locked up. But Holli stole the victory. Her reward was a day of pampering at the Penninsula Beverly Hills and a $1,000 shopping spree at Surfas, and she got to take a friend. She chose Jay. And so we got confirmation that these two do indeed have a little somethin' somethin' going on! (That and Jay's personal mission statement: Win "Hell's Kitchen" and sleep with Holli.)

Later that evening, the two were getting busy in the jacuzzi when Autumn showed up and jumped on in. Is she really that tone deaf? Or maybe she can't pick up on anything because she's always talking.

The communication between this crew was still so awful that Ramsay had to force them to speak up by making them switch stations every few minutes -- they had to talk to each other to hand off the food prep. It was a brilliant effort, but some still flopped. In the end, Jason went home. He was good, but too slow. "It was wonderful," he said of his experience on "Hell's Kitchen," "but I'd never do it again."

From next week's previews, it looks like Holli and Jay are going to be asked to choose between the professional and the personal. Or is that just crafty editing?

And do you plan to stay tuned after next week's episode for the premiere of "MasterChef" at 9 p.m.? I have watched the first episode, and I won't spoil anything except to say this: Buckle up. It's a roller coaster ride.

— Rene Lynch
Twitter / renelynch

Photo credit: Fox