We're in the second installment of the Eliminate the Fifth-Last Chef trilogy, which I guess makes this the Empire Strikes Back of the trio, so I'm expecting big things. Remember we were waiting to see who our current chefs would be competing against? Will it be famous chefs? Or chefs famous only in the context of Hell's Kitchen?
Well, of course it's the latter. Winner of HK3: Rock. Winner of HK4: Christina. Winner of HK6: Dave. Winner of HK8: Nona. And finally, winner of HK9: Paul, the only one from a season I've recapped. "Big Deal's back," Paul tells the contestants, and Ja'Nel is annoyed that Paul is talking shit already.
Ramsay wants them to come up with an appetizer and an entrée. Oh, and they need to be "stunning," as opposed to be shitty. The teams decamp to come up with their plan of attack. Susan proposes sliders for an appetizer, and Jon is all, "We're going up against champions." So no sliders?
The former winners are not exactly jelling either, because Nona appears to be shooting down every suggestion the other team comes up with. But she wants to put some "ham hock" on the menu. Finally everyone settles on duck for an appetizer.
Meanwhile, current contestants are planning to use duck for an entrée. Susan's not confident, though. Well, pretend it's a slider! They ignore her plea to keep the menu simple, and she seems to be setting up her excuses for who to blame if the team loses.
Meanwhile, everyone is starting to hate Nona, who starts talking about their entrees being "from the hood" because collard greens are involved.
And now the contestants have to work out who's going to be on which station. You know what? In the few seasons I've been watching this, I don't think I knew that they didn't decide this for themselves already, although I suppose it makes sense for Ramsay (or whoever) to decide, either to spread it around or for maximum reality-show impact.
Anyway, Susan is calling bullshit on Cyndi wanting to be on meat, and she accuses Cyndi of being on an ego trip, which is rather ironic. Eventually the team decides putting up with Susan's whining isn't worth it and let her take the meat station.
The next morning, the cheftestants get ready to prep and the former winners come striding in wearing their all-black jackets, looking sharp and vaguely ninja-like. The teams prepare samples of their appetizers and entrees. Mary says something about smearing duck blood under her eyes. Susan says Mary is a completely different person when she's around meat. Yeah, she's kind of a chirpy psycho with the cleaver, isn't she?