Episode two of Season 5 of “Hell’s Kitchen” on FOX had an interesting twist last night, a twist of fate that was a real bummer, but more on that in a bit. The show began with the guys busting on Seth and the ladies busting on Lacey. Clearly, these two aspiring chefs are not going to win this thing, and the sooner the rest of the field can be rid of them, the better. At least as far as they are all concerned.

As they often do in the dorms of Hell’s Kitchen, a marching band woke up the contestants at 6am, three hours after they all went to sleep. Yikes. I mean, a freaking marching band? That is cruel beyond words. Anyway, the chefs had to then fish for scallops in big tanks. You probably haven’t seen scallops in their full form, but they come in shells and are utterly disgusting. Their challenge was to shuck and clean the scallops into edible form and to Chef Ramsay’s standards. The guys won, 36-35, barely eking out a win when J had one of five scallops done properly. The guys’ prize was to venture with Ramsay to Catalina Island by helicopter. But first, Ramsay informed Robert that anyone over 300 pounds could not ride in a helicopter, and Robert admitted he was more like 400 pounds. So he had to take a ferry. The ladies, meanwhile, had to set up the raw bar for dinner that evening.

But Lacey was being whiney and wound up sleeping for six hours while the rest of her team played with raw seafood. You think they were all pissed? Yep. Meanwhile, as the guys were on the helicopter, they were poking fun at Seth, who knows more about Ramsay than Ramsay himself. Dude is a stalker!

Back in the kitchen, Ji slips on some water or grease on the floor and sprains her ankle really bad. She is shown getting help from a medic and decides she is going to tough it out that night at the dinner service. Paula and Robert are assigned to work the raw bar in the restaurant, while everyone else gets busy cooking. Carol and Charlie have trouble cooking risotto, and Ben bails out Charlie. Meanwhile, Colleen keeps burning salmon and Lacey of all people bails her out.
The winner is determined by who can get the dinners served the fastest. The blue team, or the guys, wins, but barely. They seem to really be working together as a team, while there is a bit more bickering going on with the red team.

So the ladies have to choose two nominees for elimination, and Colleen is an easy first choice. Ramsay just does not like her, and keeps harping on the fact that she is a cooking instructor with no previous training of her own. The second choice is Lacey, because they are all still pissed about her sleeping for six hours while they cleaned stinky fish. But Lacey thinks Carol was worse at the dinner service than she was. No matter, the majority chose Lacey.

Ramsay thought back to how Lacey and Colleen performed at the dinner service and at the earlier shucking challenge, and I’m quite sure he was about to boot Colleen off. But then Ji came forward, in a wheelchair no less, and said she was in too much pain to continue. Ramsay let Ji go, but not before telling her to keep her jacket as a symbol of her courage that evening, and he told the remaining chefs that they can learn something from Ji about persistence and drive. Very true. But now one of the red team’s best players is gone while Colleen and Lacey remain in Hell’s Kitchen. That also has to make the ratings-driven producers of the show happy.

See you next time…