Every season, “Hell’s Kitchen” on Fox seems to up the ante when it comes to brash contestants who like to get in each others’ faces and who sometimes get in Chef Gordon Ramsay’s face. And somehow, despite the fact that they found 16 contestants among 10,000 applicants, they always manage to draw about 50% from the New York tri-state area. Seriously, if you watched last night’s episode, the New YAWK accents are quite dominant.

The show opened with the 16 hopefuls meeting new maitre’ D James. What, where the heck is Jean Phillippe??? Then they were blindfolded and sent to the new location of where they might be working if they win this season–LA Market. Ramsay was there to greet them and then sent them back to Hell’s Kitchen to prepare their signature dishes for him, in 45 minutes time.

The guys won, but not before some funny moments–like when Emily had her boobs basically sticking out of her dress, and Ramsay said to “cover your puppies.” Ha! He then caught Sabrina yawning and almost threw her out. Antonia made some dish that looked like poop and according to Ramsay and everyone else that Ramsay made taste it, tasted like poop as well. The ladies had to clean up the kitchen and the guys got to have a lunch that included champagne, caviar and neck massages. Raj, who is one of those rambunctious New Yorkers, started doing karate kicks after he had a few cocktails. Awesome.

During dinner service, Antonia had bad migraines but was shaking so bad when the medics arrived that they took her to the hospital. That was scary, and I’m kind of annoyed that the producers showed all that. Anyway, Antonia won’t be back this season, so despite her poop dish, we hope she is okay.

For the dinner service, Raj and Emily were taking orders for the mini-pizza appetizers, and Raj did not know what he was doing at all. Trev was dressing the salads like he was dressing himself up for winter. Melissa made raw meat. Boris started mimicking Ramsay saying “RAW!” and Ramsay proceeded to rip ol’ Boris a new one. Classic. Lisa didn’t know how to cook scallops, continually flipping them so as not to get a nice sear. Sabrina was trying to brown nose Ramsay by bringing her food to the pass was done while still waiting for her teammate’s fish and garnishes.

After two hours, no entrees had left the kitchen and people were starting to leave. Ramsay had to shut it down, and said it was the worst opening service ever in Hell’s Kitchen. Do you get the feeling the producers found more amateurish chefs on purpose this time to make for better TV?

Ramsay had each team nominate one person for elimination–blue went with Raj and Trev, and red went with Lisa and Sabrina. But Sabrina was kicking and screaming, throwing Nona under the bus along the way. Ramsay told Sabrina and Trev to get back in line, and he sent Lisa home. Raj and his karate kicks were also safe. Of course they were….why would you send ratings gold like that home so soon?

Episode 2, which was the second hour of the 2-hour premiere (please Fox, don’t make this a 2-hour event every week, but I know you will with baseball playoffs coming up), started with a loud wake up call for the chefs. Then they were brought downstairs where Ramsay introduced his friend, Masaharu Morimoto, an Iron Chef from Food Network. They had to watch Morimoto make two sushi dishes and then re-create them. The guys won this challenge too and got to have a plane fly them to San Francisco (on Southwest….why no private plane, or was this an advertising thing?)…for a wine lunch. You know that that meant…more karate chops! The ladies had to stay back and prep and then eat some “delicacies” that looked disgusting, and I don’t even want to know what they were.

At dinner service, one chef from each team was chosen to be an assistant maitre’ D…Jillian and Vinny. Of course there’s a Vinny, right?
It then took Vinny 30 minutes to get his order in. Gail made good risotto, and Sabrina made good sushi (she appears to be able to cook well but can’t get along with anyone). But many of the chefs failed–Curtis poorly executed sushi, Emily undercooked meat, Boris undercooked scallops, and Vinny told diners not to order sides because Raj could not keep up in the kitchen. He was right, but Ramsay was fuming about the fact that Vinny did this. Eventually, Raj and the rest of them were kicked out of the kitchen, and Raj was trying to karate chop again. The blue team lost, obviously, and Ramsay asked for two consensus chefs for elimination.

They sent up Raj and Boris, but then Ramsay wanted Vinny to also step forward. Then, he threw them all for a loop by eliminating Curtis. You know, I have to admit, I am not positive how this went down because I was FALLING ASLEEP after watching two hours of this show. But I’m sure that Ramsay decided to keep Raj and Vinny and Boris around for ratings. I mean, karate chops and Boris mimicking Ramsay? That’s gold. But Curtis clearly didn’t have the cooking chops needed here.

So this season is going to be mighty interesting. But we’re already down to 13 with Antonia out. Thanks for reading and see you all next week!