Hell’s Kitchen 2007, Episode Two

These people seem pretty pathetic. Except melissa.

Anyway, I hate the massively long intros that show you stuff that won’t happen until later weeks, but make it appear it will happen this week. Where’s the ambulance, dawg? What’s interesting about the intro is trying to put a number on how many years Heather has aged in the nearly a year she’s had that executive chef job.

It took three tries before I understood that the words Ramsay was saying were “Dover sole.” And here I thought I knew English.

The fish gutting was disgusting, with the roe. They were all female? I found myself surprised that Dover sole had no bones, since one would naturally remove the skin, clean out the guts, and remove the bones. I must not be high class enough to have ever dreamed of a restaurant in which restaurant staff would remove bones at your table after the fish is cooked. Weird. But great fun for tormenting Aaron.

At the same time it was disgusting, it surprised me they got so few done. Joanna showed there was a bit of something there besides complaining and feeling maligned and being vicious. I think Ramsay accepted her third fish for the sake of not having a tie.

The boat ride would have been cool, but I’ve never been into fishing, so that part of the challenge prize wouldn’t have thrilled me.

The whole strutting around in panties thing seemed over the top.

The guys were pathetic. It wasn’t even close. I mean, getting kicked out completely while the girls finished dinner? Wow.

Rock is one of my favorites. I could see right now a finale pitting him against Melissa. It almost seems this year like they do have plants, or they pick people they know have no chance, pre-limiting the range of contenders later in the season. Perhaps they borrowed some of the screening producers from American Idol. You know, the ones who pick the hopeless cases who should never get to the three judges

, for theoretical entertainment value.

What’s up with cooking lettuce?

In watching how bad Eddie was with the spaghetti – why do people have such trouble with that? – and watching Aaron be pathetic and trying to determine whether he’s an actor or for real, I didn’t pay much attention to how bad Josh was. I’m still surprised Rock didn’t nominate Aaron, and I half expected Ramsay to overrule him and pick Aaron anyway, but apparently working out in the dining room confers a degree of safety. Some theorize that is why they put Aaron there; to keep him safe this week. Well, besides the obvious entertainment value. Goofy, perhaps, but I thought he showed some initiative and personality, going around to the tables and introducing himself. His first experience boning a fish at a table (yes, I said boning, because it is not de-boning) took 15 minutes, was excruciatingly embarrassing, and reminded me of the first time I ever had to do a tech screen interview with a job applicant for Visual Basic support. We had a sheet of questions we cribbed from, ad libbing as needed. I was forced by my manager’s manager (whose nickname was Shiny Thing) to do the interview without a copy of the questions, couldn’t remember what they were or think of substitutes off the top of my head, and had to admit to the candidate (who luckily wasn’t close enough to appropriate to have been screwed by all this) what was going on. It took a ton of extra time and I thought I was going to melt in a puddle of my own sweat. I extrapolated that horrible feeling onto Aaron at that first table. But… 15 minutes?

Rock surprised me by not picking Aaron, who all but begged to be sent home. The producers probably want him to be there long enough to be especially logical and memorable as a member of one of the finalist’s staffs in the finale. He picked Eddie, who also knew he was likely, and Josh.

When the two defended themselves, Eddie gave a good response to why he should stay. Josh gave one of those whiny, content-free responses to why he should stay. Then Ramsay turned temporarily into Chef Seacrest, faking us into thinking Josh was going, telling him he was getting another chance, and tossing Eddie. I was kind of rooting for Eddie from an “appearances can deceive” standpoint, but he didn’t have it.

Finally the much touted ambulance scene is coming next week. Maybe. So they imply in the previews. It’ll be interesting to see whether it’s for Aaron or someone else collapsing or getting injured as some of the scenes seem to suggest, or if it’s because someone’s cooking does in a diner, as clever editing also seems to suggest.

A little disjointed, but as went the episode, so go my thoughts.

I’ll go out on a limb here and predict a male versus female finale. I will venture further to predict Melissa will be one of them, and that most likely Rock will be the other. Now the fun is in watching them get there and seeing if someone manages to surprise us with an upset.

Hell’s Kitchen Returns!

Hell’s Kitchen is back! Will it be better than last year? I sure hope so. It’s looking good so far.

Last year Heather was a standout early in the season. This year’s Heather, though not a clone, seems to be Melissa.

First season we had Elsie, who was the only one to impress him with the initial signature dish challenge and lacked some of the experience others had. Julia seems to be this year’s equivalent, if a bit more assertive.

The ones who stood out for me at all on the men’s team were Rock, who exuded just plain competence and sense from what I could tell, and Eddie, who seems to be there to show appearances don’t count. Aaron is memorable, of course, but he was cast as this year’s male emotional wreck.

Overall there was no contest as to which team should “win,” which benefitted Aaron, who’d have been the prime candidate to leave.

Tiffany was the right choice, but Joanna will be trouble until she inevitably gets tossed too.

Despite the women being so hopeless, overall this gang did pretty well with the first night of service, if I am remembering past seasons right.

And what’s up with serving quail eggs?