I'll admit it: I've never watched Hell's Kitchen on Fox, the reality show in which foodies try to deal with volcanic Gordon Ramsay and win the chance to run a restaurant. But the promo with the one guy who couldn't stop crying got my attention, so here we are.
It's the third season, and the serious-voiced announcer discusses how different it's going to be this season. In the intro, it looks more like The Apprentice than Top Chef. Teams get rewards a la Trump if they win and possibly sent home if they don't.
The contestants are in fancy vans headed toward Ramsay and the competition.
Jean-Philippe, the maitre d, introduces himself, but shortly, Ramsay starts yelling at them to go into the kitchen and cook their signature dish. After an indeterminate amount of time (to us), they are told to stop, and the contestants present their dishes.
Ramsay immediately yells at Vinnie, who has crusted salmon. Joanna says she is going to flirt to get what she needs to get out of Chef Ramsay. Raise your hand if you think he won't see right through that. Her dish is parmesan-crusted chicken, whole-wheat pasta and a raspberry bellini. Rock presents pan-seared scallops with potato gnocchi. Ramsay says he's excited he had time to use gnocchi, and Rock says it was frozen. Ramsay is peeved.
Josh comes forward to present his dish, but first he's shown saying that "food is sex." Original! His dish of foie gras is called raw, but he says it's not. Bonnie presents her contemporary cheese course. He says she's pretty new at this, and she says yes. Eddie, who is 28 but had a kidney disease that stunted his growth, leaving him 5-foot-2 and looking much younger than 28, is called forward to present his dish. He calls himself a "bulldog in a chihuahua's body." His dish is parmesan-crusted sea scallops. Ramsay insists that someone else try it, Brad, who also made scallops. He says they were cooked right, but Ramsay says they were raw. Eddie tries Brad's and he says it was good, but the vanilla ruins it for him. Ramsay says that's the most sensible thing he's heard thus far.
The next person whose dish is pointed out, Jen, loses her breath and almost passes out. She gets it together to present her vanilla crepe with caramelized peaches. He says it tastes only of alcohol. Melissa says she always gets judged in the kitchen because of her looks. (Have you ever noticed that the people who go on and on about getting judged by their looks are not always the unstoppably hot stuff they think they are? Anyway ...) Her dish is steak and asparagus. "Finally, I taste something delicious." He opens a dish by short order cook Julia -- chicken-fried chicken penne. Tiffany says the dish was really peppery. Ramsay says the chicken was great but undone by the pepper. Tiffany's dish is a seafood tostada. Julia says it was good and she would order it in a restaurant. Ramsay agrees. The last chef is Aaron, a retirement home chef wearing a cowboy hat for no reason. He says his dish is finger food. Ramsay says the first part is good, but the other two items made it too much.
Ramsay says he's disappointed with everyone and they need to up their game. He tells them their teams are men (blue) and women (red). They're sent to their living space, where they talk strategy a bit and hit the hay.
The teams each have to prepare a menu of 15 items requiring more than 300 ingredients. Brad takes the lead on the men's team. No one will talk to Julia on the women's team. Aaron messes up his ice cream, and the guys try to help him. On the women's team, Joanna starts giving everyone orders.
Ramsay asks how things are going, and Julia says their communication is a mess. No one agrees. He asks how the men's team is doing, and Aaron starts bawling.
Customers start arriving for tables at Hell's Kitchen.
The women's team gets the first order but it's totally chaotic.
Vinnie gets the men's first order together, but it tastes like paste, according to Ramsay. Vinnie starts snickering because Ramsay uses "a word like 'rubbish.'" He says he needs to use a word he understands. Seriously? Bonnie biffs the eggs, and no one will let Julia help, so she just sits back and whines.
An hour in, neither team has served one dish. Ramsay kicks Vinnie off the appetizers and puts Brad on. Julia still doesn't get to help and starts crying.
Ramsay pulls Tiffany off appetizers, puts Melissa on that station and allows Julia to take a swing at the quail's eggs. They still haven't served a thing, but the guys have served 29 of 50 appetizers. But Aaron burns some chicken, so things get complicated again.
On the women's team, Melissa is doing well, and holy smokes, turns out Julia is rocking the eggs. But the host says Melissa is pushing everyone's buttons. Aaron takes a five-minute break, which you don't really do, and he gets in trouble.
The men have no chicken because it's all overcooked. People start leaving the restaurant because of the wait. Not a good first night.
The women's team keeps arguing.
Ramsay shuts down the first night since there were so many problems. He tells the women their bickering was ridiculous. He yells at Vinnie for the hour without appetizers. Vinnie says he didn't know what Ramsay wanted and Ramsay didn't want to tell him, "so what did you want me to do?" Back-talking isn't going to get you anywhere with this guy, I don't think. Ramsay calls him lazy. Rock says, "All I could think was, 'Please shut up.'" I agree!
Ramsay says there are no winners, but the losing team is the red team. He names Melissa the best of the worst and to nominate two teammates for elimination. Melissa says she thinks Julia was a team player, but that going from the Waffle House to a Gordon Ramsay restaurant is a big jump. Melissa talks to everyone about how things went to get some information.
Melissa nominates Joanna because she thinks they didn't work well together. She also nominates Tiffany, after telling her she's not going home, blaming how long it took the appetizers to get out.
Tiffany says she can do better. Joanna says she was bringing food out, and Tiffany wasn't.
Ramsay sends home Tiffany, who interviews she can't believe how intense it was. She also says if he chose people based on heart, he made the right decision. Joanna interviews that it doesn't matter who she has to [bleep] over to make herself look better. Nice! Aaron interviews that he hopes his body holds up. Bonnie says she thinks she's lucky to still be there.
Hey, the first winner of the sweepstakes (text who you think is going home) is someone named Jeni Mowery from Baltimore. Nice going, random local person.