Hell’s Kitchen reopened for its milestone tenth season Monday night, and the special four-course menu included “bloody hell” in a puff pastry, s–t served two ways, a steaming plate of f–ks, and a sorbet of mystery bleeps. Yes, headcase chef Gordon Ramsay was back, boiling mad as ever with his latest crop of contestants, and unleashing his displeasure with a torrent of expletives.
If there was ever any doubt Hell’s Kitchen was less about the actual food and more about ritualized humiliation, the Season 10 premiere ended with the following startling statistics: 100 dinner guests, 18 chefs, and 0 entrées served. But hey, on the bright side, each and every contestant was unceremoniously hurled from the kitchen and told to “f–k off.” Who needs dessert when Ramsay’s sweet hot rage is the final bite on your fork?
Of course, the stakes for Season 10 are pretty high: A job as head chef at Gordon Ramsay Steak at The Paris in Las Vegas, a gig that comes with a $250,000 salary (20 percent of which will presumably be spent on therapy bills). But enough about serious details, let’s get to some observations from the season’s opening hour:
* Just in case you were worried that we might be getting a kinder, gentler Hell’s Kitchen, the first three contestants shown speaking on camera dropped completely unnecessary f-bombs. How badly do you want this, Clemenza? “Take an arm. Take my leg. Take my f–king shoes.” Alrighty then!
* Because you wouldn’t want to focus too much on actual culinary technique, we burned a good six or seven minutes on sous chef Scott faking out the contestants by pretending they’d need to get their heads shaved to prove their committment to winning. I will say that having a male and a female plant in the kitchen and buzzing ‘em both bald was a pretty effective way to freak out the ladies in particular.
* Whatever stress that prank had on the women didn’t seem to affect their cooking game. They bested the men pretty handily in a head-to-head matchup of their signature dishes, with Robyn noting that praise from Chef Ramsay was the equivalent of “the best orgasm ever.” (Insert “I’ll have what she’s having” joke here.) My own personal awards? Best Critique: Gordon telling Tiffany her entree felt “like a wet diaper.” Grossest-Looking Dish: Tavon’s shrimp, scallops, and crab over “whiskey infused” fettucine alfredo that included gloopy lumps of (!) balsamic vinegar. Poor Tavon (pictured, right) wasn’t ready for washing dishes, the punishment doled out to the men’s team: ”I have on white skinny jeans!” he complained. But hey, it couldn’t get worse than that for him, could it? (Oh, of course it could.)
* Quote I have to share just so I know I’m not the only one who’ll be haunted by it forever: “A perfectly cooked scallop feels like the tip of a [bleep].” Thanks for that, Barbie.
* Congratulations, Roshni, for getting the first ”get the f–k out of here” of Season 10.
* And congratulations, Tavon, for thinking that pigeon is a dish best served cold and raw. (Side note: Pigeon sounds a lot less disgusting when it’s called squab, right?)
* Tavon doubled his failures by mutilating the scallops during prep time. ”Tavon treated those scallops like a homeless rat. You should never do that to scallops,” huffed Brian, leading me to wonder if everything he knows about rats, he learned from Ratatouille.
* On the women’s side, Christina struggled with the Beef Wellington, but hey, at least the chicas got their appetizers out the door.
* Am I the only one who sometimes wonders if the show’s producers do things like mess with the oven’s temperature gauges, the better to lead to botched cuisine and a Chef Ramsay meltdown where everyone gets thrown out of the kitchen?
* Ultimately, the men put Tavon and Don up for elimination. “Don? Why?” barked Chef Ramsay, noting Don never even got a chance to cook. “Not only did you put in a s–tty performance, but you came to a crap consensus.” And then, ignoring the men’s decision, our cantankerous judge put Royce in the Bottom 2 alongside Tavon, who described his performance as that of “a prep cook that got thrown onto the line.” Bzzzt! “I would’ve said a dish washer on a [bleeeep] day,” snarled Chef Ramsay.
* Tavon, you’re eliminated. Now get the f–k out.
What did you think of the season premiere of Hell’s Kitchen? Are you rooting for anyone yet, or are you still at the point where you haven’t even bothered to learn anyone’s name yet? Sound off below, and for all my reality TV recaps and news, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!