Welcome back to Hell's Kitchen, can you believe it's season 17 already?? Me EITHER!
The trailer is all kinds of exciting, but someone dumping an ashtray on someone else seems contrived at best and poor living habits either way. Let's meet our 18 chefs!
First up is retro Manda, a sous chef who says's she's tiny but packs much flavour. You know what I'm thinking! That's right! No Diggity!
Up next is Ashley, who only APPEARS religious and
Pulls the lever on a giant slot machine to reveal...they're going to Las Vegas! Alan is 'CITED!!
Chad was there once and he figures it didn't count because: no boobies. Or too young or something, but I'm pretty sure he meant no boobies.
My husband can't tell if Mark is Asian or Mexican but I'm pretty sure that might just mean he's racist AF. He's not really, stahp it! Jeez
They meet the mayor of Las Vegas and everything!There's a bus
and a parade with Scott Somebody (S12 winner)
who won season 10! Yay Christina! I always liked her.
Joe from South Philly (town? region? Area code?) is so happy to be in a parade that he feels 10 feet tall with a whole head of hair; which tells me he didn't shave his head on purpose.
Sherkenna from Tennessee is gonna test my ability to remember completely incomprehensible vowel placement.
Jared CALLS himself a poker player, but the captions of truth say he's a Line Cook and that looks about right.
Gordon's waiting for them in front of a massive wall of balloons
to tell them that this winner this year will be heading up BLT Steak at the Bally Casino Hotel in Las Vegas and scoring a $250k annual salary. Until he fires them month 13. Enjoy that one time quarter of a million prize, chef!
The balloons pop to reveal MOAR showgirls, yay! And for the first time EVER, the Signature Dish challenge will take place in the actual destination restaurant. Oh wow, there are new sous chefs to help the teams! Blue Team has Chef Aaron
And the Red Team gets Christina! Yay!
They have 45 minutes and I'm going to do my best to not compare this to Top Chef but...in 45 minutes they could cater to a Hooker Army*.
*they make love, not war. (all the snaps to Dena from CDaN)
Frank is a Marine Chef because apparently THAT exists, and calls himself aggressive in a way that I call "juicer".
Meese is a College Chef and what does that even MEAN? She cooks at a college? She is taking cooking at a college? She is a chef that went to college for basket weaving? I DON'T UNDERSTAND.
Shrekena is up first with Eddie, a hunter with "more than twenty" guns at home and suddenly I am worried about stunt casting. I shall dub him Elmer, for obvs reasons.
There is a live studio audience and this show is doing giant leaps over the shark, hey? Then looping back with fireworks and bells? I liked the Gordon Ramsay part (call me?) but the laugh track is KILLING me right now.
Shrekena's crab-stuffed salmon does poorly due to poor presentation and only earns 2/5 stars. Elmer's steak gets 3/5
Lots of applause for the next two, Frank, the active duty marine and Ashley, the brunette with incredibly sharp-looking incisors. Together they look like next-generation Jershey Shore, let's see how their food does. Frank's Penne a la Vodka is okay, nothing special, and scores 3/5. Ashley of the My Two Dads own restaurants in Orlando has made an Oscar filet with blueberry balsamic glaze blah blah it's bland and only gets 2/5.
You guys know that the very best part of this show is the voice-over guy, right? The BEST. Anyway, next up is more stunt casting, in the form of amateur boxer Dannie.
Her scallops with Thai curry sauce look pretty (and MAN I wish they had the convenient dish view with captions that Top Chef has) and taste great, earning 4 more for the ladies. Mark's black mussels with chorizo (would it make someone a racist if they immediately thought "ah! Chorizo. Mexican, not Asian"? asking for a friend) do not do as well and only score a 1/5.
Joe's polenta is good enough for a solid 3/5, Meese's dry pork loin only gives the ladies 1/5
Vanessa is a chef who cooks for First Class passengers at Los Angeles International Airport and that is yet again: a subgenre of chef that I did not know existed. I'm learning so much! I couldn't get a picture of her, but her Eggplant Involtini (I do a great Eggplant Involtini!) does very poorly at 1/5. Jared takes the lead for the boys with his halibut over an Alaskan King Crabcake, rated 4/5. Now. When asked, Jared says he used to be a locksmith and a professional poker player and Imma say that's like writing: you can't call yourself a pro if you don't make any money at it. I'm pretty sure you can call yourself a Blogger any.damn.time, though.
Jackie from Jersey is up next with her seared scallop and grilled corn salsa, Chef Ramsay is concerned that there isn't much on the plate . "Thought I'd get more from a Jersey Girl. Every time I've been there, they're very generous" and I'll be from wherever you need me to be, Chef Ramsay. Say the word, you can have it ALL. ANYWAY! She gets a 3/5 due to skimpy portion size, but still does better than Kevin from Rhode Island with his tiny manpony.
He used store-bought dough and store-bought Caesar dressing on his bad pizza; Chef Ramsay asks if he wants to go home. Allls the breathing stops.
Mr. Smooth (Alan) and Miss Pink (Kristin) bring up their food; Alan made a pan-seared maple-glazed salmon filet that he calls Pennsylvania Dutch country food and I call The Keg. He was adopted into an Amish family and yeah. Kristin says her interest in food came from her Probation Officer and SO.MUCH.STUNT.CASTING! Everyone laughs while she details her lengthy criminal background and I know this is self-evident, but let's say Kristin wasn't a adorable busty blonde and instead was a young man of ANY other colour; How high-larry-us and silly would that be to the studio audience and their laughtrack? *giggle shouldershrug giggle* crime never looked so kewt!
Her pork tenderloin is massive but tastes well enough for 3/5, so on we go to the next matchup. Chad, the sous chef from Philly (is that near South Philly? They sound similar) does very well with his prettily-plated dish; he had Chef Ramsay and I at "confit". Ariel has made shashuska; which represents her Black Jewish background; it gets 3/5 for being a "comfort dish that oozes quality" and that just sounds WEIRD, doesn't it?
Last round! Single mom Manda says he's doing this for her three kids (8, 5, 4) and I call vacay from kiddos, yo. Her scallops look DISGUSTING.
Scores a 4/5 with his scallops and takes it for the Blue Team. Yay menz! They win a super special High Roller's evening package that ends at Dre's NIghtclub and hey, mebbe it's for the best that the Women didn't win that one.
The punishment is banquet prep for the winners; starting with peeling 50lbs of shrimp and ending with peeling a thousand pounds of potatoes. A THOUSAND POUNDS. Sweet baby Jeebus my hands are cramping just thinking about it. I will say this is one of my favourite things about Hell's Kitchen, the fact that there are winning rewards AND losing punishments. Makes you try all that much harder.
The boys are all up in this ball in the air in the middle of nowhere and ALL THE NOPES. It is very much reminding me of the Eyrie in Atlas Shrugged, though, so there's that.
Off they go to Dre's still no! Still better than what the women are doing, however. All the chefs with the winning dishes bitch bitch bitch about the chefs with the lower scoring food; gurl please. One extry point doesn't make you any better than anyone else, and you aren't their boss, Ariel, so stop counting their smoke break minutes.
Time to go home to Hell's Kitchen!
The chefs arrive at their new digs and find brand new Henckel knife sets and ehhhh. I mean, yay, new knives, but all the real chefs I know have a set they've been assembling since they could walk and would be no more likely to use new knives for competition than they would swap out their children. Plus, J.A. Henckel knives are available from everywhere from Wal-Mart to Williams Sonoma and every store in between, so I no longer trust them as a brand. IMMA SCROOGE.
Prep time! Jared is trying to run the blue kitchen already; it''s time to open the doors! On a side note: I've always wanted to go to Hell's Kitchen, but no offense: maybe not the first night. They're still trying to figure out where the hot spots are on the grill and scallops take YEARS. Hey! CeilingEyes got a new gig!
There's an extry dish tonight, shrimp bruschetta to be served tableside by Meese and Ariel for the red side and Jared and Elmer for the blue diners. No way this will go wrong!
In the Blue KItchen, Joe is already getting shite for not listening (ticket one!), Alan is on scallops and they pass! Yay! I get so worried about those damn scallops. Drunk-baby-voiced diners say they are sooooo good through their noses and I silently curse the Kardashians for popularizing that style of speech amongst young women. Oh my gaaaawwww.
Vanessa is on apps in the Red Kitchen and immediately screws up a pizza to nerves, let's hope she can regroup. Over in Blue, Alan is riding high on his scallop win and is firing entrees already. Chad is confused, because he didn't hear Chef Ramsay call "fire entrees" or anything else that means cook the main stuff, but follows Alan's confident lead to support with his garnish. Oh nooooo. Lots of screaming and donkey-calling ensues. Oh boy.
Red Kitchen is working on appies; Manda's confident in her scallops but they look weird to me
Right? Anyway, she's focused on Vanessa, who looks like she hasn't quite come back just yet from being yelled at by Ramsay. As well she should be, Vanessa's squash is cold and terrible and this is where my husband always says: why do they bring up food they know is wrong? The under-cooked chicken, the cold scallops, the squash that looks as though committed hari kari on the plate? It's because Ramsay is yelling and their minds go blank and they just wanna MAKE IT STOP. Also, I think they are hoping THIS will be the time the food either magically transforms itself into edible, or that it will be the time Ramsay doesn't check. It never does either of those two things and it just gets more shouty. That's called doubling down in Vegas!
Vanessa, to her credit, asks for help and everyone slides on over. You know what they say about too many cooks!
Alan's started screwing up scallops again and Chef Ramsay yells out what I'm pretty sure is an inappropriate saying about the colouration of food and basically, get it together, boys! Frank the Jersey boy (so called that) jumps on pizza and things start moving again.
In the Red Kitchen, everyone BUT Vanessa are slamming appies out, woot! They move on to entrees but Blue can't just yet. They still have to do appies! The tableside appetizer has slowed to nothing, so Elmer and Jared head back to the kitchen. Elmer jumps in on an under-cooked, under-seasoned risotto and ends up having to eat the whole pan with Mark. But hey, they get wine! Not a bad gig.
Sherkenna does her first Wellington perfectly for the Red Team; don't celebrate too early, Tennessee! Blue Team is sunk by Alan on the fish station again and out walks Ceiling Eyes. Pfft, you know she wasn't gonna eat anything anyway! There might have been carbs hiding! Chef Ramsay kicks the entire Blue Team out and to be honest, that's what usually happens. Whatever team wins the challenge usually has their heads out of the game or celebrate early and lose immediately after.
Blue has to choose two peeps to put up for elimination and I would go with Alan and Kevin; Kevin cries and I feel bad. Sorry, tiny man-pony. The team goes with Mark and Kevin anyway; they don't feel as though Kevin has their same skillset, but I bet it's really because he cried. Chef Ramsay threatens to send them BOTH home: shocker! It's time to Plead For Your Knives!!
Mark: blah blah ready to be here blah here for you blah overwhelming
Kevin: blah overwhelming blah environment blah gonna study blah practice and HOW is he gonna do that? Cooking theory in the dorms? That isn't gonna offset line cooking nerves.
And Chef Ramsay sends home: Mark. That was a surprise, I didn't get a sense of his being completely lost like Kevin was, but nobody did as poorly as Alan, as far as I saw. Huh. Chef Ramsay says he's never seen a Blue Team freeze as much after one table before and that sounds like made up sports stats. And he didn't even mention ambient temperatures!
Red Team knows they dodged a bullet, so they aren't gloating aTALL. And we oot! That felt like 4 episodes in one, honestly. Premieres have so much setup! Anyway, what did you guys think? Did you watch? It totes should have been Alan, hey? See you next week for more donkey talk!