For the first time on this season of “Hell’s Kitchen,” someone was eliminated during the middle of dinner service. Kevin Argueta repeatedly messed up on cooking lobster during the July 12 episode, which got him reprimanded by host Gordon Ramsay. When Kevin later turned in overcooked lamb, the entire Blue Team was forced to have an impromptu meeting in the storage room. “I just have to get my head out of my ass,” the 21-year-old Los Angeles native said exasperatingly when Gordon asked him what was wrong.
“Your head out of your ass? Every table you’ve touched you’ve screwed,” Gordon screamed, referring to the lobster debacle. “Apron off, jacket off and f*** off out of here. You’re done!” Kevin then removed his jacket and left “Hell’s Kitchen” forever, meaning he’s no longer in the running to win a head chef position at Chef Ramsay’s steakhouse at the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas.
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After Kevin’s dismissal, both the Blue Team and the Red Team rebounded from their earlier mistakes and finished dinner service on top. That meant no one else was sent home this week. Gordon explained to the rest of the players that Kevin’s “head was never in the game,” which is part of the reason he didn’t give him a reprieve.
“Kevin is gone,” noted his teammate Trenton Garvey, who earlier in the episode had received high praise from Gordon. “We didn’t get the satisfaction of putting him up and telling him to the f*** out of here. But I agree with that decision. It needed to happen.” Those were strong words indeed, as Trenton and Kevin had been together since day one and never had a quarrel until now.
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Kevin gave a brief exit interview outside the restaurant in which he readily admitted he felt devastated with his performance. “I tried to bounce right back but I just couldn’t find it within myself,” he sighed. “I’m just very disappointed in everything that happened. It’s very devastating to me and I did not expect it to turn this way. I’ve never been put up for elimination. It’s just one careless mistake. I think I just shut down today and it took me down. It sucks. I didn’t just let myself down, but my family back home, my friends. It really sucks.”
Now only 11 chef-testants remain in the running to win “HK20.” The other young guns who’ve been sent home so far this season are: Morgana Vesey (21 from Connecticut), Alex Lenik (22 from Illinois), Jayaun Smith (23 from Missouri), Matthew Francis Johnson (24 from Minnesota), Ava Harren (23 from Alaska) and Payton Cooper (21 from Kentucky).