'Hell's Kitchen' Season 8 Premiere: This is War!
'Hell's Kitchen' Season 8 Premiere: This is War!
Remember when Hell's Kitchen used to be about cooking? Okay, maybe not cooking, exactly, but is seems like past contestants have had the actual ability to prepare and serve a decent meal. This season, it seems like the producers not only went out of their way to cast the most amazing group of misfits, but they even conspired to keep the worst of the worst on the show.

War is the theme of Season 8 and it looks like it could get bloody.

The Hell's Kitchen voiceover man called this the "most devious" season ever but frankly, I don't think there's a contestant here bright enough to be called devious. Loathsome, short tempered, delusional and reactive, yes, but not devious.

Dizzy Dancing

The two-hour season premiere began with each chef being asked to prepare their signature dish. Now, if I was going to be on Hell's Kitchen, I'd watch the past few seasons so I'd know that this is how it always begins. And yet, Emily shows up in a dress that can barely contain her ample-ness and Sabrina shows up in high-heeled boots. It's the guys against the girls in a showdown that begins with an unheard of win-win, but that doesn't last long. Antonia serves a plate of brown-grey stewish looking slop that makes everyone actually wince when they taste it. Wow, that bad, huh? She's becomes the tiebreaker that gives the guys their first win and she folds under the pressure. Literally. After complaining about a hideous headache, Antonia passes out cold and is taken to the hospital never to return. (If anyone has proof of what happened to her, I'd love to see it. I've seen rumors but nothing more.)

hk_lisa-kitchen.jpgDown a chef, it appears that the girls would have a disadvantage at service but the guys have Raj and that's worse than being a man down. In an on-camera interview, Raj says that he has a bad habit of drinking too much then doing karate. He ka-powed and kicked his way around the dorm like some crazed ninja and his performance during dinner service was no less bizarre. The only thing more bizarre was Boris imitating Ramsay's frequent cry of "it's raw!" Is it possible that these contestants have never seen the show?

As expected, dinner service is a fiasco. The girls nominate Lisa for bad fish frying and Sabrina for having an attitude. Raj goes up for the guys along with Trevor because he couldn't dress a simple salad. Inexplicably, it's Lisa LaFranca, a 48-year-old corporate food director who is sent home.

Would You Like Fries with That?

In the second part of the opener, the chefs had to learn to prepare sushi after watching Iron Chef Morimoto prepare a California roll and a salmon nigirizushi. I've made sushi rolls and it's not easy, so the chefs did surprisingly well in their timed challenge. The men squeaked by for a second win which had them jetting off to San Francisco for a wine tasting.

At dinner service, both teams had to send one person into the house to act as a waiter. Jillian took it for the girls and did a good job. Vinny, however, tried to get ahead after screwing up his first orders by making a small suggestion. He told the diners not to order sides or it would be hours before their meal arrived. Raj was on sides, so that was his excuse but of course it didn't fly when Ramsay found out. Raj again stood around like he was waiting for a bus as orders were being called, then he got the brilliant idea of pre-making a long line of sides that he might need, none of which he did need because the guys never made it that far.

hk_curtis-kitchen.jpgGood ole' boy Curtis was stuck with the task of making sushi and who decided that? Curtis didn't even finish making his sushi in the timed challenge and was eliminated from judging because the guys had too many people on their team. So he gets the sushi station? This is a perfect example of how the show sets people up to fail. He tried his hardest, couldn't do it and eventually his whole team was kicked out of the kitchen for one issue after another.  The girls, on the other hand, actually finished service.

When it came time for the elimination, Raj was put on the block again, along with Boris, a last minute substitute. Ramsay added Vinny to the list, then, after reading them all the riot act, eliminated Lewis Curtis. Huh? How in the world can Ramsay justify keeping Raj on the show, other than the fact that he's a ratings draw?

It looks like this whole season is going to be about the conflicts which leads me to wonder what it would be like if Hell's Kitchen put together their own pro-wrestling team. More on that over here.

For now, I'd like to know what you think about the Lisa and Curtis being eliminated over Raj and Sabrina.