For an episode that initially started with a whimsical challenge that involved Mr. Potato Head (if only Don Rickles were alive to see this), episode 6 of Season 18 of “Hell’s Kitchen” heated up to be quite dramatic mash-up as two of the best veteran chefs ended up sticking verbal forks in one another.
Only one, however, was definitely done.
First, rookie chef Chris Mendonca, who suffered an accident in his past that causes him be anxious and hear voices, should have been celebrating his success after his lobster shepherd’s pie was declared to be the best of the tater-based dishes. But, mentally, he was obviously going downhill and decided he needed to leave the show for health reasons.
While 31% of our poll’s respondents felt no one should have been sent packing after he dropped out, Chef Gordon Ramsay had the ultimate say.
With Chris gone, the all-men Red Team was facing a possible disadvantage with only five chefs in the kitchen, while the female Blue Team was lucky enough to still have seven players to share dinner duties. But while the guys were in sync, the gals were sunk. Season 14 runner-up T Gregoire’s ultimate downfall, as with most tragedies, was hubris. She and Season 16 runner-up Heather Williams decided to man the meat station together on steak night, dubbing their partnership a “power couple.” But the pair was like Goldilocks’ worst nightmare. Their filets were consistently either undercooked or overdone, never just right. Instead of getting their acts together, T decided to ignore Heather, not even answering her questions. Ramsay was undone himself by their failures, as he sank to his knees at the sight of one final nearly raw piece of meat.
Her behavior was the main reason why T was sent packing. As fellow veteran chef Roe DiLeo noted, “How do you stop talking to the person next to you that is supposed to be sharing your responsibility?” Heather also put in her two cents: “I’ve never seen anything like that except when my son doesn’t get what he wants from the toy store.” That on-point observation might be one reason that only 8% of poll respondents thought she should have been the one to be kicked out.
Actually, T’s downfall was foreshadowed throughout the episode, from her grainy potato and squash and poorly done peas to deeming rookie Kanae Houston‘s creation to be the one to sit out the challenge to match the number of men’s servings because it looked “visually unappealing and clunky.” Turns out, it would have earned 8 points as opposed to her 3 and allowed the ladies to win.
Interestingly enough, a previous Gold Derby poll had returning chefs Kevin Cottle, a runner-up in Season 6, and T as the players rated most deserving a second chance to win “Hell’s Kitchen.” Now both are gone and only half of the original eight veterans are still on the show. It will only get more interesting from here.
Let’s give Ramsay the last word: “As a former runner-up, I expected T to come full of swagger and skill. Sadly, she came back with double the swagger and only a fraction of the skill!” Tune into Fox on Friday at 9 p.m. ET/PT to see what happens next on “Hell’s Kitchen.”