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31 January 2016 @ 06:13 pm
"Hell's Kitchen:" Season 1 Episode 8  
This episode began with Gordon Ramsay challenging the chefs to make dishes using leftovers. Elsie won the competition, although Jessica managed to impress Gordon Ramsay too. The men, not so much. Since Elsie won the competition she got to appear on a TV talk show. The other players went out of their way to point out how jealous they were, which struck me as a bit odd since they're already on TV in the first place. Perhaps they were exaggerating for dramatic effect?

Anyway, that night the team struggled because they couldn't work as a team, I guess because they were still jealous over Elsie winning the prize yet again (she's won, like, all but one or two of the prizes so far, in one form or another). As a result, Gordon Ramsay kept switching them between stations, and eventually had to shut down the restaurant early yet again, and he refused to allow the players to nominate each other, supposedly because he was disappointed with everyone. Elsie was the one who ended up being sent home, but she didn't seem too upset about that, particularly in light of her doubts from the previous episode. I'd rather suspected that something like this might happen for a while--as sympathetic as she was, I'm not sure it would be believable if she had won. I couldn't help but notice that it almost seemed like the show was trying to ship her with Gordon Ramsay a little bit, which is pretty weird, considering both of them are supposed to be married.

In any event, something I noticed fairly early on in this episode is that the competitions have taken on a bit of a different character now that it's everyone for themselves. When they were team efforts, it was pretty hard to focus players' animosity against any specific player; but now that the competitions are individual and only one person wins, the person who does win is going to end up attracting a lot more resentment. I think that's probably the point, with the aim of demonstrating the ability of the team members to work together to prepare food even if they're jealous or resentful of each other for some reason (a very real possibility in the restaurant business).

I'm actually really looking forward to seeing what the next couple of episodes are like, now that there's only three players. Especially since at least two of the players seem fairly aggressive. I will say that by this point my hopes are not high for either Michael or Ralph to win. I mean, they're professional chefs yet neither of them could cook with leftovers nearly as well as two women who hadn't spent any time in a professional kitchen before now? Really? Considering Gordon Ramsay's standards and his statements about previous credentials not mattering, I'm not sure I'd believe it if either of THEM won now!
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