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More than fire heats up Gordon Ramsay's kitchen as he searches for the scion of his new LA eatery.

Recaps by Don Harpwood, GSNN

Host: Gordon Ramsay
Maitre D'
: Jean Philippe Susilovic
Sous-chefs: Scott Liebfried, Maryann Salcedo
Narrator: Jason Thompson
EP: Paul Jackson, Arthur Smith, Kent Weed
Packager: Granada Entertainment, A. Smith & Co.
Airs: Mondays at 9:00pm ET on Fox

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"Leftovers and Setbacks" - July 18

Last week, the field was trimmed down to 4 through the course of 2 episodes. Andrew bit the dust in the week's first episode after the red team scored one more win, and in the second, after the teams were disbanded, Jimmy couldn't cut it, and was sent home. The end is getting closer, but how much more heat can the remaining chefs stand?

Closer to the prize

Once back in the dorms, Jessica is relieved to still be there, and she gives Ralph a hug despite his putting her on the block earlier, saying it's okay. Meanwhile, in another room, Elsie is starting to feel more confident that she could win it all. As for Michael, he still has his eyes on the big prize, and Ralph is now also starting to see the big picture. Of course, only one of them can win, so it should be interesting to see how this plays out.

Cooking with leftovers

The next morning, the group lines up in front of Chef Ramsay, and he explains the next challenge; one he gives every new cook that works at his restaurants. Basically, they'll have to create a dish using leftovers. Each chef will have 15 different leftover items to use as ingredients for their dish, and they have 15 minutes to prepare it. Ramsay then says that the winner will get to do something that he says "every chef in America would love to do." Sounds exciting.

The challenge begins, and the chefs are on their way into the kitchens; Jessica and Michael in the blue kitchen, and Elsie and Ralph in the red kitchen. Ramsay tells them to try to use all the ingredients in their dishes. Elsie is feeling very confident with this one, as she has dealt with using leftovers back at home when cooking for her 6 kids. Jessica's dish will be inspired by her mother. Everyone is scrambling near the end to get their dishes done, and when time runs out, they're asked to stop cooking and make sure their dishes are ready.

Ramsay is sitting at a dining room table as the chefs bring their dishes to him, covered. Jessica goes first, and she uncovers 2 dishes; a beef stew, and a berries and cream dessert. Ramsay tries the beef stew, and he says it looks like a mess, but he likes the taste. Same with the dessert. Michael went with a pasta dish and chicken wings. Ramsay tries it and his opinion is opposite that of Jessica's dishes; good presentation, not good taste. He also points out the bones still in the chicken wings. Ralph reveals a sauté of chicken drumstick. Ramsay likes the presentation, and also likes the flavour, but mentions that the raw onion is very crunchy, and his usage of the ingredients wasn't clever. Finally, we come to the self-proclaimed "leftover queen", Elsie. She chose to make chicken soup, which is meant to be great for hangovers. Ramsay is nervous about the colour of the soup (looks kinda like sewage), but he tastes it, and it turns out that he really likes it.

Ramsay reminds the group that the winner will get to do something very exciting. He then announces after some thought that the winner is... Elsie! She looks glad to have won, but the others seem dejected. Ramsay then says that this reward will be taking place the next morning. With that, the chefs return their dishes to the kitchen and clean up for the day. During this time, both Jessica and Ralph asks Elsie if she can try some of her soup. Elsie is getting the feeling that those two can't believe that she won the challenge, since they made some fancy dishes, and all she had was chicken soup.

Later, Ralph is showing his irritation of having never had a reward that took him outside of Hell's Kitchen at all during this competition. He shows it by throwing a few things into a sink in the back. Michael sees this, but if he did anything to try to calm him down, we didn't see it. At 10:44PM, in the dorms, Elsie mentions to Ralph that she has to be up and ready by 7:30AM for the reward, and with her chef's jacket on. And he says it doesn't sound like much fun, even though he doesn't know what the reward is. Yeah, Ralph is still bitter.

5 minutes of fame

The next day, Elsie is up bright and early, and she gets ready to go to wherever it'll be that she's going. Ramsay greets her as they head out of the restaurant, and he asks her if she has her knives with her. She confirms it, and they get into a limo. There, Ramsay finally tells Elsie what's going to happen; they'll be doing a segment on Good Day Live. A live cooking demonstration on national television. Elsie seems to be in shock about it, and Ramsay tells her to just stay in control once they're doing the demo.

They arrive at the Fox TV studio, and in the meantime, back at the restaurant, the others are busy with the prep for that night's dinner service. (I know what you're probably thinking; don't the others normally receive a punishment for losing a challenge? Good question...) During this, sous-chef Maryann asks the others if they have any idea what Elsie is doing, and Jessica says they have a few guesses. Ralph makes the guess of cooking for the Governor, to which Maryann says she wouldn't want to do that.

Back at the studio, Ramsay leads Elsie to the makeup area, where some ladies get them ready to look good on TV. Then, minutes beforehand, they walk onto the set, and they get prepped for the demonstration. Meanwhile, in the restaurant, sous-chef Scott tells the others to stop prep for a few minutes. In the studio, Arthel Neville, one of the hosts of Good Day Live, asks Elsie if she's nervous about the live TV thing, and she says she'll be fine. One minute away, and they're just about ready. In the restaurant, Scott gets Michael, Jessica, and Ralph to have a seat in the dining room... in front of a TV. Hmm, I think I see where this is going... In the studio, seconds before they go live, Ramsay makes sure that Elsie is ready.

It's time. The TV in the dining room is on, and guess what Michael, Jessica, and Ralph are watching? That's right; Good Day Live! Ralph is starting to realize what they're about to see, judging from his "Oh no"s. The next thing they know, they see Ramsay on TV, and after he mentions that they're going to show how to make a risotto, Elsie is brought in to demonstrate the preparation of the dish. Elsie makes the risotto on national TV, and watching it happen is making the others jealous. (I guess you could consider this their punishment for losing, then.) Once the segment is over, Scott turns off the TV, and sends them back into the kitchen to continue the prep.

From jealousy to conspiracy

Back at the studio, after saying bye to the hosts of Good Day Live, Elsie heads to the backstage area and seems very pleased that she did so well on live TV. She also figures that the others will be jealous of the fact that she did this, though. In the kitchen, the others continue their prep, but they're also plotting. Plotting to not help Elsie at all during the dinner service. They're still talking about it as Ramsay and Elsie walk into the dining room, but they stop when those two arrive in the kitchen.

After asking the others what they thought of Elsie's TV appearance, as well as what they learned (Michael's response: Don't lose challenges), Ramsay explains that there's a second part of the prize; Elsie chooses who is on what station during the dinner service. He gives her some time to think about her decision, as he lets her join in the prep with the others. During this time, Michael tries to tell Elsie that no one is bitter at her or hated her for that TV appearance. Yeah, right. He also says that he thinks Ramsay has different expectations from each person, based on skills. Sounds like he's trying to play mind games with Elsie.

Minutes before the service starts, Ramsay has the group line up, and tells them that they have to complete a fully-booked dining room. He then asks Elsie who gets what station. She puts Jessica on the starters, Michael on the vegetables, herself on the fish, and Ralph on the meat. Ramsay then tells the group that they'll be tested more than ever before, before getting them to their stations.

[This time, the chefs will be working in the red kitchen.]

Teamwork? They need it.

It's 7PM, and for the 8th time, Hell's Kitchen is open for business. The customers file in, and they start ordering. Once Ramsay gets the first orders, he reads them out, and the chefs get to work. There's no communication between any of the 4 yet, and Ramsay says it's making him nervous. Soon, Jessica puts her first starter, a salad, on the hot plate. Ramsay calls her over and notes a few problems with it, and she takes it back to redo it. Ralph throws her a bit of quiet encouragement as he passes by. And then, Michael helps Jessica with the dish.

1 hour in, and Jessica finally gets some starters out (with help from Michael and Ralph). The customers approve of the food that they're getting, but Ramsay wants things to move faster. So he stops the group for a minute, and after mentioning how bad the dinner service has gone thus far, he tells everyone to switch stations. He apparently did this so the people at the veggie, meat, and fish stations would communicate. Once the switch is made, the chefs continue. Soon enough, Ralph brings over a dish, which Ramsay immediately approves.

Another 30 minutes later, and the main courses are on their way to the customers. Ramsay calls for some Penne, which Elsie is currently responsible for. But Michael decides that he wants to do it instead, and he says so. Ramsay questions this, and Elsie says she had never done that particular dish before. She tries to get Michael to show her how to do it, but instead, he's just showing her what's needed, and not answering the "how" part. The conspiracy is afoot...

Suddenly, Ramsay stops the group again, and calls for another switch. This time, Jessica is moving to the fish, Ralph to the veggies, Elsie to the starters, and Michael to the meat. They make the switch and continue. Ramsay reminded them that this was meant to be a tough test. Moments later, Jessica is busy with a lobster, but when Ramsay calls for it, she says that more time is needed. Ramsay then tells Michael to stop the filet.

He then asks for a time on the lobster, and the response is 3 minutes. He asks if it'll be done then, and the best answer Jessica gives is, "I hope so." Not the kind of answer Ramsay wants to hear. Jessica then presents a few dishes, but Ramsay tells her to take them back, then compares one of the dishes to Dewberry's dog's dinner. Nice to know that he hasn't forgotten about the guy that was eliminated way back in episode 2.

About 2 hours in, and things are not looking so good for the group. Customers are starting to lose patience, but maitre d' JP does his best to assure one table that they'll get their food. Meanwhile, Elsie is in the station where the others apparently hoped she'd end up in. Remember, they conspired to not help her at all. So, when Elsie asks Ralph about a sauce, he says nothing, sticking with his own work. And soon enough, Ramsay asks Elsie for some dishes. She doesn't give much response at first, and his response is to yell at her.

Eventually, Elsie presents a few dishes, but Ramsay decides to yell at her some more, telling her that she needs to get one more dish to the hot plate. Elsie does what she can, and all the while, Ramsay is still talking to her. She seems to be panicking, though. Then, Ramsay calls her over to the blue kitchen for a couple of minutes. She heads over, and he says that 6 starters were needed, but she says she only heard 3 of them. Ramsay then says that she should have checked with him first. Ramsay then tells Elsie that he wants her to get through this, and tells her to head to the back to calm down for a bit, then when she's ready, to return to him. Elsie does so, and heads to the back, while Ramsay goes back to the red kitchen.

Elsie makes her way to the bathroom, and she stands there, in front of the mirror, trying to breathe and calm down. She's ticked that no one else was talking to her during the dinner service (referring to Michael, Jessica, and Ralph), and she's feeling like an outsider. That's the conspiracy for ya. Meanwhile, Ramsay mentions to JP what is going on with Elsie, and Jessica is wondering where she is. Eventually, at around 9:45PM, Elsie walks out of the bathroom, and back to the kitchen. Ramsay reminds Elsie that she needs to communicate with him if she has a problem, as she gets back to her station.

It's now 10:06PM, and only half the main courses have been served. Some customers are losing patience. But another table, which got their food, raises a complaint; a small piece of wood on the edge of a plate. JP brings this to the attention of Ramsay, and he calls over Jessica to point it out. Back in the dining room, impatient customers are starting to leave. JP notices this, and Ramsay notices this. But Michael is saying that they can still do this, that they can get everyone served. I don't think he noticed.

Ramsay calls Ralph over to ask what's wrong with a steak. It's upside down. And yes, that's a reason to redo it. But there's not enough time, as Ramsay calls JP into the kitchen, and has the group gather around. Ramsay asks how many people left, and JP responds that 2 tables worth of customers left. So Ramsay asks for the kitchen to be shut down. As they shut it down, Michael can't seem to believe it.

Could anyone be safe?

The chefs are lined up in the kitchen, and Ramsay explains how things went. Long story short, he didn't like how things went at all. He even thought the previous service was better. And he didn't see enough teamwork from anyone this time. So Ramsay decides that this time, no one will get to nominate any teammates for elimination. He'll make the decision on which of the 4 is going home. He then sends them back to the dorms.

Things are mostly silent in the backyard while everyone is in there, but Elsie breaks the silence by saying she did the worst that night. She then returns inside, and then, the others start talking about how she did. I guess they're not done with their conspiracy yet, despite the service being over. Inside, Elsie is still feeling like an outsider, and she said he did notice the tension after she won the challenge the previous day. Michael is nervous though, since no one is safe this time, and who knows what Ramsay will do. Ralph feels that though he did a lot, it doesn't necessarily mean much.

An emotional elimination

The chefs line up in front of Ramsay in the dining room, and he says he has made his decision. He starts by telling Michael that he did a lot of good things that night. He then tells Jessica to step forward, and asks for a reason for her to stay. She says that despite the rough start, she was pulling it together, and she was getting stronger, and she's ready to work harder. Ramsay then asks Elsie to step forward, and asks if she thinks she got the right kind of support from the team that night. She says that she was disoriented and unprepared during the service, but she could only blame herself for how she did. Ramsay asks the question again, and she says yes. (It didn't look like it to me, though, due to the conspiracy.) He then asks for a reason for her to stay, and she says that she does her best to work hard, and that she can be a team player.

And now, it's time for Ramsay to decide which of the ladies won't be moving on. We get a flashback of Jessica being yelled at about how long a lobster was going to take to be ready, then one of Ramsay telling Elsie to get it together. Ramsay then decides that the one leaving tonight is... Elsie. But before asking for her jacket, he does mention that she came a long way, and that she had impressed him, and even touched his heart. Aww... Anyway, Elsie hands over the jacket, then as she leaves, Ramsay tells her that he is proud of her. With that, Elsie heads back through the dorms and out, after we see flashbacks of some of Elsie's better moments throughout her stay in Hell's Kitchen.

Next week, a big surprise awaits the final 3, but an emergency arises, causing them to stay up all night, and for the dinner service, a sleep-deprived trio have to serve a dining room that includes VIPs. They'll work as a team, but when it's time for elimination, it'll apparently be an unbelievable one.

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