Does FOX have to reach for programming when it makes “Hell’s Kitchen” a two-hour event? It wasn’t the season premiere, but instead two episodes lumped together as one. Great if you’re a fan of the show…mildly annoying if you’re a blogger! And to keep your attention, I’m going to make this a rapid fire recap.

    Episode 1

The two teams had to make lunch for the USC marching band and cheerleaders, and had to make basic lunch fare like burgers, fries and salad. Jason was slow on the salad and Scott couldn’t cook a burger all the way through, so the red team made it to the finish line first. Their prize was a day in the sun in Malibu, playing soccer on the beach with Ramsay and his family. The guys, meanwhile, put on yellow jump suits and had to clean debris from a freeway “river.” Seriously, no river goes through Los Angeles that I know of!

At dinner service, Ramsay appointed Holli and Sal to help JP with front of house. Holli did fine but Sal can’t read or write English well despite having lived in the U.S. for 21 years. He almost walked out but didn’t. Meanwhile, Maria messed up risotto, Fran messed up meat, Jason and Jamie were slow, and Siobhan couldn’t cook fish all the way through. Fran also had burned her hand earlier but was trying to cover it up. Ramsay caught wind and made her see a medic, who bandaged her up. So the ladies got off to a fast start but the men won. The ladies had to come up with two nominees for elimination, and they chose Fran and Jamie. Ramsay said to Fran, “Back in line!” and sent Jamie home.

    Episode 2

In the second episode, the first challenge was to cook a dish using a roll of dice to determine ingredients. The guys went first and rolled H, E, S, C, P and B. They had five seconds to name an ingredient, and their dish wound up being made from halibut, endive, salsify, crab, peas and bacon. The ladies had B, S, M, H, T and D. They went with beets, shallots, mango, ham, turnips and duck. Ewww.
Autumn tried to take control of her team as she always does, but she’s not talented enough to be a leader. Anyway, the guys won because the ladies’ duck was too fatty. They had to clean and prep the kitchen while the guys went fake skydiving in one of those “I Fly” places. Maria was crying because she felt stressed…wah wah wah.

At dinner service, there would be two chefs’ tables, one for Entertainment Tonight host Kevin Frazier and his wife, and one for Debi Mazar from “Entourage” and her chef husband. Scott was being extremely cocky and kept saying he was helping Sal and others, but his teammates resented it and felt he was getting in the way. Siobhan mistook crab for lobster, Autumn dropped fish and tried to put it back on the plate, while Nilka cooked her meat perfectly and Sal cooked his fish perfectly. Scott, meanwhile, was too busy trying to boss everyone around that he undercooked his meat twice.

Both teams finished but Sal and Nilka did so well that Ramsay asked them to each nominate one teammate for elimination. Sal chose Scott, his “mentor,” and Nilka chose Autumn. Ramsay told Autumn she didn’t have enough passion and told Scott he needs to be more humble, but then he told them both to take off their jackets. However, he asked them to change teams and get back in line! So no one was eliminated…but now Autumn is with the guys and Scott is with the ladies…yikes. That should be interesting.

So there you have it….we have a long way to go but some of the riff-raff continues to be weeded out or exposed. See you all next week!