Though Andy Husbands barely appeared on the first of last night’s two back-to-back Hell’s Kitchen episodes, he more than made up for it in the second. Things started out alright for the Tremont 647 chef: he had a funny line during a shrimp peeling challenge when a trap door opened, pouring out pounds and pounds of the prawns, which he called “a freak crustacean ice storm from Hell.” He was the Blue Team’s executive chef during the aforementioned challenge and performed well, successfully prepping seven out of eight shrimp. When the Blue Team had to step into the kitchen, however, Husbands faltered. Assigned to cook up some chicken, he cut into a piece he had prepared, realized it was still raw, and then made the grievous error of cutting it up and frying it up. Gordon Ramsay, predictably, went nuts and called him a donkey. To his credit, Husbands didn’t flinch and immediately admitted his error. He also demonstrated integrity when the group deliberated about who should be sent up for elimination, again admitting his error without getting defensive. Though he was one of the Blue Team’s two nominees for elimination, we didn’t get to learn his fate, as the episode was “To Be Continued” after ex-Marine Joseph tried to start a physical fight with Ramsay. We are not making that up. Below, some more thoughts on the episode.
• What’s up with all the sexism on this show? The teams on Hell’s Kitchen are (mostly) broken up by gender: boys on the Blue Team, girls on the Red Team. The exception: Robert Hesse, who left the show for health reasons last season and was invited to return on last night’s episode. Despite the fact that the Red Team actually had more contestants than the Blue Team, due to Louie being kicked out during service, Ramsay sent Robert on to the Red Team to help them out. Because clearly, they needed a man. Speaking of Louie, he earned our ire when he remarked, after the women lost a challenge and had to clean the kitchen, “Women are the best at cleaning!” The award for the second most sexist comment of the night goes to Jim who, after Louie messed up some lamb, incredulously commented “You’re a man. There’s a primal instinct inside you to cook meat.”
• There are parallels to be drawn between Gordon Ramsay and Tyra Banks. Both make their first appearance of the season from behind a video of themselves talking and both are so self-aggrandizing that it slips into self-parody.
• Between the planets in the opening sequence and Dave’s voice resemblance to French Stewart, there were weird echos of Third Rock from the Sun.
• Our early favorite contestants, besides Andy: Tek, who seems quietly competent despite whiffing on the scallops. Tennille, who is wildly quotable and gives us the opportunity to make a lot of Captain and Tennille jokes.
• Our least favorites: everyone else. Specifically: Amanda, who tried to do tequila shots with Ramsay, said the “one tequila, two tequila” rhyme, and froze salmon because she can’t tell a freezer and a fridge apart; Lovely, who left the line for 45 minutes to hydrate; and Tony, who sounds like a ghastly combination of Christian Siriano and Fred Armisen playing Joy Behar and can’t cook scallops to boot.