So if boisterous Gordon Ramsay wasn’t getting wilder and more demanding with each season of “Hell’s Kitchen” on FOX, the producers seem to be making things wild, and bordering on hard to believe…literally. Last night, Season 6 kicked off, and while it’s always fun to see how some of these contestants will react when first meeting Ramsay and having to cook for him, some of the contestants appear to have been planted by producers, and some of the action seems almost as fake as the Hell’s Kitchen video game. But I’m here to recap, so that’s what we’ll do…..

The 16 contestants arrived with an impatient Jean Phillippe waiting and worrying that Ramsay was going to kick his ass for the limo arriving late. JP announces that he’s tired of contestants who don’t know basic skills in the kitchen, so he invites them inside and shows them former contestants on TV screens who offer advice such as, “Make sure the stove is on.” Then Ramsay appeared, first on TV, then in person, and he announced that the winner this season would become the head chef at the Araxi restaurant in Canada. He then shouted to them to go cook their signature dishes, and they herded into the kitchen like a a bunch of wild cattle.

Then, Ramsay announced that they would square off in blue vs. red, or men vs. women, with these signature dishes. Suzanne, who I’m already pegging as a contender, squared off against Dave, who reminds me of last season’s champ, Danny, a.k.a. “The Velvet Hammer.” Suzanne made a risotto that she swore was cooked properly but Ramsay and Dave both thought it was chalky. Danny made ostrich (blech) that Ramsay thought was great but he served it with a barely cooked brussels sprout on the side. No points for either team. Some other highlights and lowlights in this challenge…Louie, a 45 year old New Jersey diner owner, made Ramsay sausage gravy and biscuits–in other words, he fed him trucker food. Ramsay spit it out, and Louie couldn’t believe why. Um, dude, this is fine freaking dining!

Amanda, a bouncy girl who made margarita french toast, asked Ramsay to do a shot of tequila with her, saying “it’s part of the dish.” Yikes. Joseph made a veal chop and when Ramsay asked him to try it without a fork, Joseph replied, “I”m not an animal.” Uh-oh. Melinda made poached lobster tail without one key ingredient–lobster tail. Tek made chipotle honey shrimp, and Ramsay dug it. He also liked Tony’s mussels with chorizo despite the fact that Tony has no formal culinary training. It came down to Sabrina, who kept telling us how hot she thought she was, with her chipotle pork tenderloin, against Van, a big muscular Texas jock dude, who made (get ready for this) seared foie gras with minted caramel sauce. Ha! He said something about being a beer drinker with a sophisticated palate. I call B.S. on this…dude is a plant! Anyway, Van surprisingly won, and the blue team had the overall victory in the challenge.

So while the ladies had to clean up the kitchen, the guys were invited to have a 3-course dinner with Ramsay. Louie made some comment about women being good at cleaning…yikes. Joseph made some sort of disrespectful comment about not caring about the rewards….he only had his eye on the big prize. Whatever dude…we know you’re planted too.

During dinner service, Lovely made the mistake of cooking pudding desserts before the doors even opened. She said “I followed the instructions, cook at (temp) for 10 minutes.” Ramsay replied, “Yeah, when they are ordered!” Naturally they became chocolate lumps. But there were plenty more mistakes. Jim made a scallop dish but forgot how to count, plating four instead of six. Meanwhile, Melinda kept dumping spaghetti into the trash every time the red team didn’t cook scallops properly, which was like every time. When Ramsay found the spaghetti, they kept showing Melinda’s deer in the headlights look, and she couldn’t even manage to defend herself. What was that?

Then came a twist….Robert, who had to leave the show last season for medical reasons, was in the house with his wife as Ramsay’s guests. Hmmm. Then they showed Lovely skipping off into the cooler, saying “my body was craving hydration.” You know, I’m not a doctor, but if you work in a hot kitchen for several hours it might make sense to drink some freaking water as you go! Amanda, meanwhile, put some salmon in a freezer instead of the fridge, completely messing up this dish of salmon wrapped in pastry. Finally, Louis tried to plate lamb chops that were the size of jelly beans, and Ramsay had seen enough of diner boy. He threw him out of the kitchen, and told him to pack his bags. For that? Like Mrs. Mike said, Lacey did far worse things last season and got away with them.

Anyway, Ramsay went right out into the dining room and invited Robert back on the show, and Robert (as well as his choked up wife) accepted. The big boy is back! But on to business…Ramsay shut down the kitchen and declared that both teams sucked…however, the red team managed to put out zero entrees, so they took the loss. He asked them to come up with a consensus two chefs for elimination. They chose Melinda, as well as Amanda, but Amanda thought Lovely should have taken the fall. Ramsay asked them both to step forward, and when he asked why they should stay, Melinda gave some really vanilla response. Who is this person? Naturally, he kicked her off.

Then it was part two of the 2-hour premiere, and after Robert was put on the red team, they had the initial challenge of cleaning shrimp, which the blue team won and got to have lunch in Newport Beach with Ramsay. The red team had to clean shrimp all day for the dinner service, in which they would be serving shrimp scampi prepared tableside. Ramsay chose Van and Tennille to do the tableside serving, and Van kept spouting off about how he had “charisma.” Yeah, big dumb hillbilly jock charisma!

During the service, Tony cooked scallops without having an order for scallops, and Lovely forgot to turn the stove on. Hey Lovely, weren’t you paying attention when you first arrived? Kevin had to help Tony, who apparently thinks he can cook seafood but can’t. Robert was also rusty, screwing up the risotto. And Tennille tried serving raw shrimp to a pregnant woman. Nice.

Then things turned strange, as Jean Phillippe and Van started arguing, and JP was saying Van had no respect for him….Ramsay took them both in the cooler and let them have it…..but it would have been fun to watch them actually fight. Back in the kitchen, Andy and Sabrina couldn’t figure out how to cook chicken properly and Lovely undercooked some fish, prompting Ramsay to call her “Dumbo.” Ha! Ramsay had seen enough at this point, and announced that to save time and feed some hungry people, they would just offer shrimp cocktails to all.

After serving the shrimp, though, Ramsay shut down the kitchen again, and told them that they all had another awful dinner service. He asked each team to come up with two names for consensus nomination to be eliminated. The red team chose Tennille and Lovely….Tennille for almost killing a pregnant woman, and Lovely for two poor services in a row. Then Ramsay asked Joseph to give the blue team’s nominees, and Joseph said something like, “They know who they are, chef.” Ramsay repeated that he’d like for Joseph to give the names, and he said Tony and Andy, and that Tony and Andy knew why they were being singled out. Ramsay stepped closer and starting giving Joseph a hard time….but it was almost like this whole thing was staged…..they kept bickering back and forth until finally Joseph threw off his coat and got in Ramsay’s face, saying “I’m not your bitch….that’s it, let’s step outside!” We showed you the clip from this yesterday but here it is below again. Tell me if you think it is all staged, because I can’t see how it’s not.

That’s where this episode ended, with a “to be continued”…..I can’t imagine Ramsay will let chef Joseph stay, but if he does, he’s surely been planted for ratings. I don’t mean to bust on the producers here, but come on….you really don’t have to inject drama into this show.

I’m curious what you all think, so leave your comments below, and see you next week!