by Ian Froeb
You probably already know who won last night's season finale of Hell's Kitchen. Jeanette Kozlowski tells you how it went down.
8:02 p.m. You can barely hear the person next to you at Revival, where Christina and about 100 of her friends and family have gathered to find out whether she will flown LA to be Gordon Ramsay's executive chef or return as line cook at this very establishment.
8:03 p.m. Some guy whistles and yells for everyone to keep it down. Now I know why they called this a "watch party," because it's nearly impossible to hear what anyone on the TV is saying (or shouting).
8:04 p.m. Ah, there we go. Someone finally turns up the volume. So "the culinary student from Missouri" Christina goes up against "the catering chef from North Carolina" Petrozza. Considering they've placed little gift baskets of confetti on every table here, the winner seems inevitable. "Matt is a freaking lunatic," Petrozza says, "and Jen can be a bitch. It's a tough decision."
After the jump, the final round...
8:05 p.m. He goes with Jen, who makes the sound of being picked second to last appear very complimentary. "I definitely know I was picked second to last was because of how strong of a leader I am." I wonder if she's having a watch party tonight?
8:06 p.m. "I feel freaking great about my team," Petrozza says. With Bobby, Ben and Jen, it at least appears he has the most loyal team. Well, except for the fact that Jen still believes she should be in the top two. Witness her rant below.
8:07 Christina forgets that Matt needs massive sugarcoating, which turns him into her enemy on the one night she needs him the most. When she is honest with him, he doesn't like it. "You just don't get respect," he says, "you've got to earn it." One compliment about his risotto later? Respect fully earned.
8:08 p.m. She puts Corey on meat, Louross on appetizers and Matt...somewhere. Meanwhile, Petrozza is the man with no plan--again. "Being a prep chef for Petrozza is like people playing the violin when the Titanic was going down," Jen says, "That's how I feel right now."
8:09 And then Jen asks world famous Chef Ramsay for a letter of recommendation. Isn't she supposed to be prepping the kitchen? Ramsay looks startled, confused and appears to just scamper off.
8:10 Matt is also back to his old ways. Wait. Let me restate that. Matt is back to his old, pass-the-crack-pipe ways. His behavior offends everyone enough that Christina tells the camera that he can just go "fuck off." With that said, brief applause erupts from the adjacent dining room.
8:11 p.m. Much to Petrozza's dismay, Jen's out of control ego is in full force tonight. Watch out, boys!
8:13 p.m. After the first commercial break, someone in a nearby booth taps a wine glass, yet everyone continues to loudly gab. Grasping a glass of red wine and smiling wide, Christina is standing right in front of me as I watch her on TV.
8:14 p.m. Now Ramsay reviews each dish before service. Christina's menu features a beef sliders trio, a New York Strip Steak with succotash and a tropical sundae. Petrozza picks a lobster strudel, filet mignon with risotto and onion ring and for dessert, a vanilla soufflé with whiskey crème anglaise. Ramsay tells him his strudel is overcooked and his risotto, too stiff.
8:18 p.m. Ramsay describes Christina's menu as "plain jane" and Petrozza's as "highly imaginative food." He calls the culinary student's dining room "elegant" and "very L.A."
8:19 p.m. When Petrozza's floral dining room pops up on the screen, someone from the crowd shouts out "horrible." Ramsay has different words, including "rustic" and "elegant." "I feel like I'm in the middle of the Hamptons," he says.
8:20 p.m. Ramsay wishes both contestants luck. Petrozza says, "This is the most important service of my life." And Christina is ready for anything: "Bring it on!"
8:21 p.m. At the beginning of the commercial break, there's another applause outburst and a few "woos." I don't think I've ever heard someone applaud at a commercial break. Will this happen every time?
8:26 p.m. When Hell's Kitchen opens, the 13 tables in each dining room begins to fill.
8:28 p.m. Bobby realizes the menu he's working with is complex. "He definitely went for an impressive menu. It's a problem executing that stuff," Bobby says, "But I'm gonna keep cool and cook my ass off." Petrozza exercises quality control and sends back Bobby's cold strudel. This keeps Ramsay impressed.
8:30 p.m. Over in Christina's kitchen, Matt couldn't even impress a busboy with his salad skills. Someone working the drive-thru window at Wendy's have more salad-making wherewithal then this tubby chef.
8:36 p.m. While Matt is lacking in salad skills, Petrozza is lacking something a little more important--ingredients. Two out of his three appetizers can no longer be served. Petrozza feels the heat: "Running out like that was tearing me apart; it was ripping out my guts." He replaces one with a lobster risotto.
8:38 p.m. "Lukewarmish" steaks are sent back to Christina's kitchen. This doesn't trip her up though, and her team barrels on.
8:40 p.m. Matty serves it up raw. Again. He had to do it one last time, didn't he? Will he get hired anywhere respectable after this show?
8:41 p.m. Jen takes a decade to cook up one onion ring. "C'mon, put up a decent onion ring?!" Petrozza pleads, "With one arm, I could have done a better job than Jen on that station."
8:44 p.m. "I definitely feel like I got screwed by working with Matt," Christina says. "You need to shape up or get the fuck out of my kitchen." Well, someone's starting to sound a bit like Gordon Ramsay!
8:49 p.m. Before desserts, Ramsay says it's truly "neck and neck." Both teams send out the sweet stuff in a jiff. "Honestly, this evening, more highs than lows," Ramsay tells both groups.
8:52 p.m. Ramsay calls the two "very worthy finalists." As Christina and Petrozza stand in front of the infamous doors, Ramsay counts one, two, three. And in FOX fashion, this is promptly followed by a commercial break. A guy at the bar calls out: "You knew there was going to be a commercial!"
8:56 p.m. After the suspenseful commercial break, the big moment has arrived. And the spikey-haired lady in the next booth is flailing her arms...is it really that big of a deal? YES IT IS!!!!!! CHRISTINA'S DOOR OPENS!!
8:57 p.m. Christina cries, steals Petrozza's OMG line and says, "Oh my god, I wouldn't have been her if it wasn't for you guys." As for Ramsay: "I definitely made the right choice." The confetti flies, the crowd roars, and our hometown girl claims victory once again.