Hell’s Kitchen – who will the public turf?
Welcome to the final four. The music has changed, the opening sequence is cheesier, and the celebs are wearing bandanas, just like Marco! Naturally, they all look pretty bloody silly. One of them will only have to bear looking like this for this episode, though, as the public will be voting one of them out.
Who will it be? Who has earned the public’s loyalty and who will be cast aside?
Let’s find out, after not only the jump, but some interminable challenges and montages…
We start with an egg challenge. Our contestants wake up to find baskets on the table and instructions to collect eggs from the courtyard and produce “a dish of (their) choice”. They have 20 minutes to do this. The oversized nest that’s been set up outside contains a range of eggs, from what must be an ostrich egg (although Linda prefers “dinosaur”) to some little quail eggs.
Danielle has no idea what she’s going to do. She thinks the task is “pretty tricky, because I don’t like eggs”. Ooops. Ade’s cooking a goose-egg by guesswork and Niomi’s making eggy bread. Danielle’s egg blows up, but Ade finds that his egg is “perfectly cooked by accident”. His description of Linda’s omelette – “a piece of yellow foam” – is sadly accurate.
Marco enters, flicking his knife backwards and forwards menacingly. He goes through the basket of eggs, identifying each one, and Niomi notes that the Ostrich egg “looks like something that should not be eaten”. I’m at a loss as to why, given that it’s just a larger version of a hen’s egg. She clarifies this by explaining that no-one in her house eats eggs, except for her boy. Ade notices that her anecdote about the boy seemed to engage Marco, who pronounces the eggy bread “delicious”. Ade’s new strategy will be to make everything “for small people from now on, as it seems to be the way to his heart”. He notes that Danielle also pitches her dish to her daughter and it seems that he’s really on to something here as Marco appears to approve without even tasting it.
Even without appealing to the children!-won’t-someone-think-of-the-children!, Ade’s goose egg (“kedgeree without the rice”) gets a nod from Marco. And now we come to Linda. Marco would like Linda to tell him about her dish. It does look rubbery. She says she makes one or two omelettes a week for dinner and Marco doesn’t mind the outside, but prefers the insides to be runny. As a breakfast choice, with a cup of tea, he pushes those irritating children aside and chooses Ade’s.
Marco gives the celebs one of the ostrich eggs and Linda is quite keen to find out what it’s like. She gives it a decent bash on the counter and then opens it into a pan. Niomi is screeching as though she’s the bird wot laid the egg – she describes it as “looking like snot”. It is a seriously big yolk. She scrambles it up and she and Ade try to analyse it. Marco has a taste, screws up his face, and says “it’s the most disgusting thing I’ve ever eaten”. I hope Andrew Zimmern is watching – he could get Marco to guest on Bizarre Foods to broaden his disgust horizons.
Today’s not-cooking segment is a tour of the celebs typical day, narrated by Linda. We see Niomi shambling around in a tracksuit looking completely out of it and Danielle halfheartedly clutching her bathrobe to her chest while en route to the shower, whilst Ade wonders in an interview what they do that takes so long: “they’ve got less bits!”. Ah, perhaps (although surface area? I don’t really want to think too hard about it), but you’re also bald.
Once the celebs are finally ready, they start prepping. And prepping. And prepping. Ade manages to achieve a zen state chopping cornichons, which is admirable. Of course, the hardest part is service. Linda describes it as “intensely aerobic”. We see lots of running and a fitness expert tells us that they’d be clocking up 30,000 steps a day. Danielle tries to get us to believe that she ever had “bingo wings” to lose (as if) and we see sous-chef Tim tell her and Linda that their “boyfriends will be over the moon” when they get home.
Next montage is the injuries montage: burning, cutting, scarring… and then cleaning. And then bonding on the big red couches. And finally the donning of the bandanas for the final four.
Niomi – meat
Ade – fish, asparagus and fennel
Linda – crab, smoked salmon, tartare and chips
Danielle – starters, dressing on the pass, and helping out
Service starts, but we miss some of the shenanigans for an extended we-all-love-each-other montage and the party politicals from the celebs as they try to convince the voting public to keep them in the kitchen.
“Where’s my lamb, where’s my lamb, where’s my lamb? Where’s my pomme puree, pomme puree, pomme puree, pomme puree, pomme puree? Where’s my cockles, where’s my cockles?”
“Gull’s eggs, gull’s egg’s, gull’s eggs, crab, gull’s eggs, crab, gull’s eggs, where’s my turbot?”
In the midst of the chaos, Marco puts Niomi on the pass. She takes a bit of a cue from Marco’s approach, but leaves out key information: “I need a hot, hot, hot one, hot, hot”. Fortunately, the others seem to know what she’s trying to say.
Service is over and somebody will be going home, but first we get to see our celebs crying. And laughing. And Claudia is back behind the pass interviewing Marco, who says he’s relieved that he no longer has to do any sacking. He can’t answer who he least wants to go, or who he thinks is going. So, another revealing interview…
AWT wants Linda to win, as does Rosemary Shrager. Somebody I don’t recognise tips Ade, as does Rowland Rivron. Paul Danan goes for Danielle and Chris Eubank is backing Niomi. Nick reads out some of the diners’ messages of support and Marco invites the contestants to join him for a “last supper”. First, he serves oysters. Linda is seeking guidance on how to eat them and Danielle recommends “chucking it down your neck”. Classy.
They discuss who might vote for them and why. It seems pretty tough to answer and Danielle offers that her voters might be women lacking in confidence, which is interesting. She’s certainly grown in confidence over the episodes so far. Niomi “for once” is speechless, so Marco does her pitch for her. And also lets Ade of the self-promoting hook, too. Linda might be feeling a bit peeved that she had to go first.
First person saved (in no particular order) … Danielle!
Second person… Ade!
Leaving tonight is… Niomi! Oh. I wonder if she polled lower because of her will-I-stay-or-will-I-go discussions.
As part of her exit interview package, we see her confrontation with Marco over the Jody issue. She says that she is proud that she spoke her mind, and that Marco is lovely (well, we all knew that, really!) but she recognises that she could have expressed herself better and apologises to Marco (who smiles and applauds).
Who does she want to win? Danielle.
Who will win? Not long to go…