As we are introduced to a few of the more winning contestants, a small crowd of contenders is gathering on the boardwalk of a beach in what I am guessing is Southern California. With no fanfare, Gail Simmons and Johnny Iuzzini step out of a door and appear before the pastry scrum. Oh shit, you guys! Something tragic has happened to Johnny's hair. It is no longer a towering inferno of Elvis-inspired beauty, but has collapsed in on itself like a fallen soufflÃ©. Can we stage a telethon for this thing? The deflated hair is almost more sad than the fact that, three minutes into the show, the editors once again feel the need to cut to some suck-up talking about how pretty Gail is in real life. Geez, Gail, go write some positive aphorisms in frosting and then eat them in secret like a grown up. Gail announces that the first Quickfire Challenge is happening RIGHT NOW. This shit's getting real, yo!
Gail announces that the first challenge is a team challenge. Everyone groans, but simultaneously needs to partner up immediately. Craig, the doofy redhead with the Harry Potter affinity, is the last man standing and he finds an even more hapless chef, Lina, who is cursing her bad luck wat getting "stuck" with Craig. Clearly she's Team Voldemort. Johnny says something, but I'm too busy studying his tragic hair and donating money to airlift in some Aqua Net to pay attention. Gail explains that the soda fountain is responsible for a lot of great American desserts. Now for their Quickfire Challenge, they must elevate those soda fountain classics to the next level. Johnny's hair moans mournfully and the teams break down the walls of the soda shoppe (you know it has to be spelled like that, right?) and start down the path to pastry superstardom.
In order to give the challenge a real soda jerk/health department feel, everyone has to wear those doofy little paper hats while they run around the tiny kitchen and try not to scald each other with their liquid nitrogen and maraschino cherries. Carlos has a distinct advantage in that his restaurant serves many different kinds of milkshakes and floats. Does he work at Baskin Robbins? No word on that yet. But I, for one, would love it if they cast some guy who does nothing but make those upside-down ice cream cone clown sundaes all day everyday. Although, it's probably quaintly optimistic of me to think that an actual human being makes those. Unlucky Lina has her hands full with Craig, who is so busy thinking outside the box that he's not doing a really good job of focusing on the task at hand and actually getting something done. Lina takes charge with an Elvis-inspired dessert that may have the unfortunate side effect of making Johnny weep uncontrollably for his lost pompadour. Chef Melissa Camacho, who I assume is not related to Chef Sally Camacho, had a childhood filled with turmoil and sorrow or at least one without ice cream shoppes. She is making a simple dish that "honestly" could win. Megan and Orlando, who are like strangers to me, are making a flaming banana, while another team is making pickled cherries. If you can't tell, I'm not bothering to learn any of their names until at least Week 3. I just don't want to get attached you know? I have separation anxiety. Anyway, TIME'S UP.