by Ian Froeb
Jeanette Kozlowski returns to review the new season of Hell's Kitchen, starring her favorite bad-boy chef, Gordon Ramsay.
8:04 p.m. As much as I enjoy Gordon Ramsay and Hell's Kitchen, I'm not very pleased with it usurping House's post-American Idol slot. And, by the way, if you missed American Idol, you missed Paula losing her mind.
8:05 p.m. Like most people who almost burn off their hand, Vanessa is rightfully frightened her injury will affect her performance. "I can't be over heat; I can't get my hands wet," she says. "It sucks! I feel like a jackass."
8:06 p.m. Ramsay isn't shy about showing off his $200 white truffle pizza. He gives each team 45 minutes and allows each chef to make his or her own with more than 130 ingredients from which to choose. The team will then select the best pie. Jen's eyes grow wide: "This is the challenge I've been waiting for -- where I can utilize this crazy mind of mine."
A dramatic mid-show development after the jump...
8:08 p.m. Christina is also excited to do her own thing, which happens to be with oysters.
8:09 p.m. Frustrated Matt huffs and puffs around the kitchen. "No one answers and that's why we lose," he cries. It appears like he's the only one having a hard time mostly because his teammates don't respect his whiney ass.
8:10 p.m. Vanessa makes a pizza one-handed. Albeit it sounds like just the kind of challenge Ramsay would make these wanna-be gourmet chefs endure, her struggle isn't voluntary. Kudos for trying, girl! She's even more disappointed when the red team pick Jen's simple but delicious French- and Italian-sytle dish.
8:11 p.m. On the other side, Matt's still whimpering: "I was shot down; the pizza was fucking phenomenal." And when Ben calls Lourous' dish something you'd get at a pizza shack, the 24-year-old hotel cook is furious.
8:17 p.m. The girls win when Ramsay picks Jen's pizza over Ben's (though he says it was a tight race). She's beyond ecstatic, and the dish is added to the menu. On top of the big win, the ladies get whisked away in a helicopter to eat $90 burgers. Jeez, what's with all the pricey grub? Is this a way for Fox to make us think that gas at $4 a gallon is a steal?
8:18 p.m. Ben takes the heat for the loss. "This team is definitely not missing talent," Ramsay says as he attempts to coach the men. "it's missing team work." Little Lourouse paces back and forth with tears in his eyes and a towel on his head.
8:19 p.m. Matt takes on the role of the communications coordinator, and nobody wants to work with him on it. I can't really tell who is causing all the issues for the blue team. It appears that the only thing they are successfully working on together is sucking.
8:21 p.m. Lourous and Ben go at it, competing to see who should be having a bigger breakdown. Pathetic.
8:23 p.m. "I don't know what the hell I'm going to do to get through service tonight," Vanessa moans. She confronts chef about her injury. Ramsay: "You still have every chance of winning the competition. The choice is yours [to stay or leave]."
8:28 p.m. Vanessa decides to leave!! Her burn proves to be too much of a strain on her ego. "It's unfortunate that Vanessa's burn took her out of the competition. We will never know whether she could have won." While Ramsay considers it a loss, the some of the women are glad to see her go: "I think with Vanessa out of the way it's gonna make us strong," cheers Corey.
8:29 p.m. And for the first time, the customers won't just be dining in tonight. The kitchen will also be filling orders for pizza delivery. So much for Ramsay's quick meal cookbook -- pizza delivery are 30-minutes-or-less meals we're talking about.
8:32 p.m. Ready to impress the famous chef again, Jen sends out appetizers in record time. On the other hand, incompetent Matt serves up eggs that are like "Pamela Anderson's implants." Maybe I'm just reading too much into this: Is Ramsay implying he knows what the former Baywatch babe's rack feels like? Hmm...
8:33 p.m. Oh no! The ladies finally screw up. In what has seemed to become a reoccurring and quite disturbing theme: Catering company owner Shayna almost serves up raw beef wellington. Will there ever be an episode where raw meat isn't served/almost served?!?!
8:34 p.m. Ben tools around in a pizza delivery golf cart with no navigation. I'm suspecting that the camera crew trailing behind him helped out on this one.
8:35 p.m. Rosann is showing off why she is a *former* cook (her bio says she is currently a receptionist) by messing up on the veggie station. "Can you stop tapping and start concentrating!" screams Ramsay. She fights back hot tears as the famed chef violently spits insults at her. Her dish isn't served with the entrées until Jen steps in.
8:40 p.m. "Do you honestly not know how to cook a steak?" Lourous appears stunned as the British chef accosts him. Petroza slices the beef to get it passed Chef Scott.
8:43 p.m. Jen deserts Christina at the dessert station. "She completely had a meltdown," Jen says, exaggerating what really happened. "It's not my job; I'm not her mother." It seems like forever until Corey steps. The women obviously are beginning to realize that if they team up against one person they can easily make her life a living hell. Think again, red team. That's Gordon's territory.
8:48 p.m. For the first time, both groups complete a service. There is no winners or losers. Ben wants to nix Lourous; Bobby is done with Matt. The girls want to delete Rosann.
8:50 p.m. Suddenly Jen decides Christina should go home: "She keeps me from saying my valid stuff when she's going blah blah blah." Being the natural leader that she is, she then convinces the others that this plan is logical.
8:55 p.m. The men nominate Lourous for elimination; the women, Christina.
8:55 p.m. Chef Ramsay asks Jen: "Are you threatened by Christina's intelligence?" He genuinely seems shocked the red team would nominate her. Then Jen says something so arrogant, along the lines of her deciding her fate. Ramsay snaps back: "I do that, sweetheart."
8:56 p.m. Lourous calls Matt the worst cook. Oh snap! And Christina states her case, and says she had no idea she was a detriment to her team.
8:57 p.m. And, of course, nobody leaves! That's the old reality show trick: Why eliminate two people when this show is set to run nine more times?
Next week: Sweet 16 comes to Hell's Kitchen. More raw beef. More raw emotions. And a new chef joins one of the teams! Oh, who will it be? Hopefully someone that knows how to not serve raw meat!