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'Hell's Kitchen': Vegas is calling

August 28, 2012|By Rene Lynch
  • Barbie Marshall: The picture of determination on Season 10 of "Hell's Kitchen."
Barbie Marshall: The picture of determination on Season 10 of "Hell's… (Fox )

Barbie Marshall overstayed her welcome by several weeks. On the face of it, she should have been gone weeks ago, in part because she was such an annoying presence. (Remember that foot stomping incident to wake up all her housemates?)

Something happened after we met that Barbie. Another Barbie starting showing up. She added comic flair, sharp commentary and plenty of creative, resourceful cooking. Week after week, she stepped up her game. At the beginning of the competition, she wasn't seriously considered a contender. And while it's still pretty remarkable that she ended up in the final four, she earned that berth.

Well done, Barbie! Chef Gordon Ramsay said as much, even as he dispatched her, complimenting her "extraordinary" level of improvement over the course of the competition.

The episode kicked off with a welcome visit from family, followed by the "profit-margin challenge." The chefs were given just $15 each to shop and make a "stunning" dinner with a jacked-up price tag.

Dana Cohen took the shrewd route to winning the challenge: She spent the bulk of her money on a beautiful piece of halibut, then focused on a stunning preparation. (After all, we eat with our eyes first, right?) The rest of field had a "give 'em some value for the money" approach that fell short.

The four remaining competitors took turns running the pass -- arguably the single hardest challenge of the competition. It allowed Barbie to both shine when she detected some ingredient tampering designed to trip her up, but also underscored the obvious. She's just not top chef material. Yet. 

That leaves just three chefs -- Dana, Christina Wilson and Justin Antiorio -- in the running for a job working at Ramsay's new steakhouse in Las Vegas. 

It seemed that Dana failed the quality-control test and also struggled at bit a running the pass. But perhaps I'm just saying that because I couldn't bear that high-pitched bellowing for much longer.

Who do you think will be the last two standing? How about the winner?

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