So the bus pulls up at the Orpheum Theatre, where the marquee promises "Live in Person: Hell's Kitchen Chefs!" but doesn't say if there will be Colosseum-style fights to the death. Nevertheless, this is enough to blow the mind of Gina, 34, from Cape May, New Jersey, who is all like WHAT, you guys! Someone named Amanda, we don't know where she's from, swears appropriately.
The cheftestants are sent right off to hair and makeup. Carrie is a pantry chef, Jason is a line cook, and both are overselling the craziness of what's going on, like it's a Hieronymus Bosch painting. Krupa, 30, from Queens, can't believe they're supposed to cook their signature dishes for everybody. I for one cannot think of anything crazier than the chef contestants on a cooking show cooking their signature dishes for people. Up is down! Black is white! They're lined up on a stage, in front of a table with covered platters. Monterray, 34, of Darby, seems a little freaked out by the chanting audience behind the curtain. Everyone's holding hands, and the curtain goes up ...
... revealing no one. There's no one in the audience. Well, there's someone, starting a sarcastic slow clap. Standing at the back is Ramsay, who lays into the chefs for expecting there to be a packed house, what with them all being nobodies right now. Their resumés mean nothing! "Yes, chef!" everyone yells, only they don't do it loud enough and have to do it again. "Unfuckingreal," he mutters, stalking off. "I felt like I was being berated," says Amanda, 26, of Sun City, Calif. Uh, "felt like"? Wasn't any "felt like" about it. Then she says she wanted to do a "we're not worthy" thing for whatever reason. I don't know. Maybe she's high? I'm just guessing here.
Ramsay stomps up to the stage and tells everyone that he's looking for someone to be a star because the winner will get a quarter-million-salary and be the head chef in a New York restaurant. Both aspects of the prize earn applause from the cheftestants. Jonathon, whose drawl relieves him of the necessity for him to tell us he's from down south, says he's absolutely ready to handle the big time. There is also another eye-bulging clip from Jason, but six minutes in and I've already long grown tired of him.
The restaurant? BLT Steak. Everyone applauds. Elizabeth, 27, a line cook, says BLT Steak is "amazing." She's from New York, and she couldn't have wished for a more perfect scenario. Ramsay orders everyone to get their asses back to Hell's Kitchen to make him the best dish they can.