Here's John-John on last night's Hell's Kitchen:
Sixteen contestants sweat over food while a larger-than-life egoed celebrity yells at them. Am I still watching The Biggest Loser? Naw. Hell’s Kitchen is back, and Gordon Ramsay picks up right where we last saw him—screaming, kicking, and cursing at a new batch of contestants. Now this is a little more my speed!
After more than six months of watching The Biggest Loser, I was definitely ready for a change of pace. Turns out the shows are essentially the same. Well, almost. The contestants of The Biggest Loser are running away from the kitchen, while the contestants on Hell’s Kitchen are running towards the fatty creams, butters, and sauces. And did I mention that Hell's Kitchen manages to cram in drama, sweat, and yelling in an hour? Take note, The Biggest Loser.
Back to the belligerent Brit!
Gordon starts the show by telling a roomful of “media” that his contestants shall complete their first dinner service. (It’s never happened in the history of the show.)
Before the meal, Gordon wants to see his new batch of victims in action. He splits the contestants into teams by gender. Each contestant has 45 minutes to make a “signature dish.” This is a chance for Gordon to get a sense of what’s to come.
The challenge goes as expected. Gordon spits out a couple of dishes: Nilka’s spicy chicken wings were cooked using a half bottle of hot sauce; and Gordon won’t even touch Holli’s dish after he finds a stray toothpick near the offering.
Gordon surprises everyone when he starts making out with one of the contestants. Turns out it is his wife in a disguise. (Whatever.)
Anywho, the men win the challenge. Before Gordon dismisses the contestants, he informs them that they are competing for a job at Savoy Hotel in London. The eager contestants spend most of the night memorizing recipes. (They really don’t have a choice. Gordon makes a series of cooking instruction tapes that he forces the contestants to watch in annoying intervals that totally disrupts their sleep.)
The men receive their prize—breakfast in bed served and prepared by the women—the next morning. During the next day’s dinner service it becomes clear that Gordon is not going to tolerate any dead weight.
Stacey, who brags early in the episode about being a chef to celebrities such as Nathan Lane, Martha Stewart, and Demi Moore-- messes up cooking scallops. Salvatore burns his appetizer. Fran messes up cooking potatoes. Benjamin tastes some food and re-dips his spoon back into the pan. Gordon is incensed. Fran’s lobster dish has Gordon on a rampage. Stacey gets kicked out for not knowing how to cook fish.
Gordon winds up kicking out about half the contestants from the dinner service. He is not going to allow bad cooks to ruin his dream of a finished service on the first night. The numbers get so low that he combines the teams so that they can finish, which they do.
Somehow Gordon is able to determine that the men win the dinner service. He tasks the women with nominating two for elimination.
During the deliberation, Fran, who appears to be the cast idiot, nominates Autumn for not being a “team player.” (Did I mention that Autumn had a pretty good dinner service?) It becomes clear that Fran and Stacey will be nominated for elimination.
When it comes time for the two eliminations, Autumn announces that the women decide to put up Stacey and Fran. (Fran rolls her eyes when she hears her name.)
Stacey put the team behind early in the service, according to Autumn.
“She was kicked out of the kitchen and she wasn’t able to redeem herself,” Autumn adds.
Gordon makes a point to mention that Fran doesn’t know the difference between lobster and crab.
“I was a Kosher chef,” Fran says, which causes a few teammates to snicker. (Seriously Fran? You’re garbage!)
Gordon kicks out Stacey.
“I completely screwed up. I screwed up,” Stacey says while exiting.
“It’s a good thing Stacey was a private chef,” Gordon says in a voiceover. “Her food wasn’t good enough for the public.”
Poor Stacey! We didn’t even get a chance to know ya! Oh well. Here’s a list of this year’s contestants:
Autumn Lewis, 29, a personal chef living in North Hollywood, Ca. (Gordon says her signature dish is "good enough to go to heaven for.")
Fran Klier, 44, a catering chef living in Rockville Centre, NY. (She's kind of abrasive. O don't see her going that far in the competition. Her comment about crab and lobster is a classic!)
Holli Ugalde, 24, a banquet chef living in San Bernardino, Ca. (She falls on her butt in the kitchen after wearing high-heel boots. She claims she's going to look better than the rest of the competition.)
Jamie Bisoulis, 26, a sous chef from Chicago. (Almost kills Gordon when she drops a stray toothpick in her signature dish. She feels embarrassed about her mistake. She should.)
Maria Torrisi, 24, a kitchen supervisor from Scranton, Pa. (She laughs while Gordon is yelling in the kitchen which, results in him throwing her out of dinner service.)
Nilka Hendricks, 28, a line cook living in West Hempstead, NY. (A mother of three who almost burns off Gordon's mouth with her hot wings.)
Siobhan Allgood, 25, a pub executive chef living in Philadelphia. (She has long red dreadlocks. Gordon makes a comment about not wanting to see any of her hair fall into the food. Yuck!)
Stacey Slichta, 38, a private chef living in Studio City, Ca. (The self-proclaimed chef for celebrities is kicked out the first episode. Hope she kept her rolodex.)
Andrew Forester, 28, a farmer living in Wake Forest, NC. (He's a strange duck, who claims to love butchering his own animals and eating them raw. Gordon calls him "Hell's Kitchen's version of Hannibal Lecter." Can somebody call security? STAT!)
Benjamin Knack, 33, a culinary instructor living in Malden, Ma. (Gordon loves his signature lobster dish.)
Ed Battaglia, 28, a high school cooking teacher living in Edgewater Park, NJ. (Gordon says his glaze is way too salty during the signature dish challenge.)
Jason Ellis, 37, a personal chef living in Suwanee, Ga. (Gordon loves Jason's grits during the signature dish challenge. Jason is also shown drooling over Autumn in a preview for a future episode.)
Jay Santos, 32, an executive chef living in Medford, Ma. (Gordon says that Jay's steak is seasoned perfectly during the signature dish challenge. He doesn't get much more screen time after that.)
Mikey Termini, 29, a line cook living in Kihei, Maui, Hi. (Mikey has a huge Hell's Kitchen tattoo on the side of his upper torso. Foolish if he's eliminated early from the competition.)
Salvatore Coppola, 35, a pizzeria chef living Laurel Springs, NJ. Salvatore is originally from Italy. He says he's lived in the United States for the past 21 years but still has an accent to attract the ladies. Ugh!
Scott Hawley, 32, an executive chef living in New York, NY. (He says it will be tough for him to be a cook among cooks because he is a chef among cooks. Give me a break!)