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Jeff Branscome writes about Spotsylvania County.

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Rock Harper continues to roll on Hell’s Kitchen; “Cave Woman” gets in trouble

Another wacky episode of  Hell’s Kitchen has come and gone. Last night’s show showed how the pressure of the game can really make a contestant  crazy.

Case in point: Melissa from New York, New York. The girl lost it last night.

The two teams cooked for a wedding party. The bride and groom taste-tested a menu selection from both teams and it was at this point  Melissa became neurotic. The team of girls cooked duck. But this didn’t look like duck. Melissa errantly decided to put the duck back in the oven and she overcooked it. When it was time to present the duck to the bride and groom Melissa is whispering, “Don’t do it. Don’t do it.”

I had no idea why she was acting like that until  they took the top off the tray to present the duck. It looked like rotted meat. No joke. It looked disgusting.

 “When they pulled that dome off that duck, I was happy,” said Spotsylvania resident and Hell’s Kitchen contestant Rock Harper during an interview this morning. “I was just extremely happy. We could have put a cheeseburger on the plate and we would have won.”

Does this make any sense: A reality show of cooks that rewards the winner with a restaurant to manage and half the contestants couldn’t cook duck? I can’t cook duck, either, but I don’t think I would apply to be a contestant on the show.

Chef Ramsay, who might have used some of his harshest language yet (I counted eight on the cussing meter) was angry. He said he was truly embarrassed by the lame duck dinner.  That started the downfall of Melissa, who constructed a path of lies, deceit and downright nastiness. She even back-stabbed my love interest, Bonnie.

After several weeks of struggles for the team of guys, they finally won a challenge. Harper is one of the  most-talented contestants on the show. Harper is  starting to appear as the leader of the team of guys. This morning, Harper told me he was starting to feel more confident in the stressful kitchen environment.

“I did reserve myself and I stayed to myself a bit,” in the beginning of the show, he  said. “I wanted to observe. I think when you jump out there and try to assert yourself you can alienate yourself from the teammates and the chef. Before you can lead, you have to learn how to follow.”

Harper’s a smart cookie.

Ramsay threw a wrench in the show’s plot last night. Jen, the one who pulled pasta from the trash and was going to re-serve it, chose Melissa and Bonnie for the chopping block. I was surprised she picked Bonnie, but she claimed it was strategic.  But Ramsay decided to put Melissa on the guys’ team and Bonnie remained with the girls. No one was booted.

This is the same Melissa whom Chef Ramsay called a “a jumped-up little cavewoman!”

Yes, he did say that. 

Did I say Melissa has bad hair? Well, I did notice her hair somehow turned funky but this matter of opinion became more of a fact when a co-worker brought it up today, too. Cave women had bad hair too, I assume.      

Harper was a bit irritated when Ramsay announced his new teammate. The guys just won a challenge and the girls were struggling to keep the chemistry intact.

I almost think this was a set up, because earlier in the show, Harper said: “If Melissa were on my team, a very dark side of me would come out.”

He also said this about her: “That [bleep] is crazy. I showed her exactly how to make this simple-[bleep], dumb-[bleep] dish.” 

But this morning, Harper was a little less critical of Sweet Melissa.  

“I actually thought it was quite clever,” Harper said about Ramsay putting crazy Melissa on his team. “It was a nice little spin.”

As Harper explained to me, Melissa  did a complete reversal on the show. She started strong and now she is slowing down considerably.

“She’s talented,” he said.

 Next Monday’s show is supposed to be full of twists. Harper was promoting it to me.

“It is going to be explosive,” he said. “You should definitely tune in. I don’t think the previews our misleading.”

Well, I say previews are ALWAYS misleading!! I hope this one is only somewhat misleading.

“Of course there’s going to be a twist,” Harper continued. “There is always a twist in Hell’s Kitchen.”

I’ll be watching next Monday at 9 p.m.

Check the blog next week for an update.