9 Reasons to Watch the Season 9 Premiere of 'Hell's Kitchen'
9 Reasons to Watch the Season 9 Premiere of 'Hell's Kitchen'
John Kubicek
John Kubicek
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
Hell's Kitchen returns for a ninth season tonight at 8pm on FOX, and now it's sizzling on two nights. The show will air at 8pm on both Monday and Tuesday for its first five weeks before slimming down to just one new episode Mondays at 9pm starting August 22.

That may be different, but Hell's Kitchen remains the same show full of cocky chefs and a very loud and angry Gordon Ramsay. The berating Brit continues to mock the 18 aspiring chefs who are competing to be the head chef at BLT Stack in New York City.

The premiere of Hell's Kitchen always does a good job setting the stage with the signature dish cook-off, which typically features at least one big disaster, and the first disaster service, which almost always goes horribly wrong. Season 9 is no different, but here are nine very special reasons why you should tune in.

Slow Clap Mockery

Gordon Ramsay likes to play jokes on the chefs to start (like when his wife posed as a contestant and he passionately kissed her after tasting her food, confusing everyone). Season 9 of Hell's Kitchen features another practical joke that includes the most sarcastic slow clap ever, and it's a moment of pure schadenfreude.

The Pinball Opening

Every season of Hell's Kitchen features a different theme for the opening credits, and while most have a Hell or food undertone, this season the contestants are trapped in a pinball machine Gordon Ramsay is playing. I don't really understand what pinball has to do with cooking, but at least the graphics team probably had fun making it.

Another Early Exit

Hell's Kitchen may be the most dangerous reality TV show, because almost everyone season features a contestant leaving early due to illness or injury. Season 9 continues that great tradition with the eighth contestant in the show's history to leave for health reasons.

The Signature Dish Competition Streak

Starting with season 6, the signature dish competition came with a reward for the winning team, and for all three seasons since then, the men have won. That's an impressive streak, and while I won't give away which team wins, it's cool in either instance: the men continue to dominate or the women finally shatter the glass ceiling.

Don't Give Gordon Canned Pineapples

During the signature dish challenge, one of the chefs gives Gordon Ramsay canned pineapple. His reaction is very well-tempered and rational. Just kidding, he flips his freaking lid.

Forehead Tattoos Are Never a Good Idea

The only forehead tattoo I can think of is Charles Manson's swastika, so Tommy, who has a tattoo on his forehead that says "Rock + Roll," isn't in the beset company.

Best Dialogue Ever

In the signature dish challenge, contestant Jason's first conversation with Gordon Ramsay will hopefully become as iconic a Hell's Kitchen quote as "I ain't no bitch."

Gordon: "Why would you choose to do a taco on a day like today?"
Jason: "Uhhhhh, because it's delicious."

You really can't argue with his logic, or his elongated use of "uhhhhhh."

Sitting on the Sidelines

The first dinner service typically goes awry, but this season it seems especially difficult. During the opening night of Hell's Kitchen, Gordon Ramsay forces FOUR contestants to sit on the sidelines after they've screwed up. That's a lot of bad performers right out of the gate, and it makes choosing one person to go home especially hard.

You Can't Tell When Gordon is Happy

My favorite thing about Hell's Kitchen is how scared all of the contestants are of Gordon Ramsay. During the first service, he repeatedly screams at them, asking who cooked a certain dish. The contestants are all hesitant to speak up, assuming they're going to be scolded, but several times he's actually offering a compliment, but the chefs are too scared to take credit for anything. This is illustrated by the following classic exchange:

Gordon: "Look at it!"
Jonathon: "Sorry chef, I apologize."
Gordon: "It's cooked perfectly."

That's the perfect sign of how good Gordon Ramsay is at creating his own image.

Hell's Kitchen airs Mondays at Tuesdays at 8pm on FOX.

(Image courtesy of FOX)