The preview for the season seems reeeeeally long. Do they need a teaser to make people watch the show at this point? Don't people already know the show exists? Given how many cheftestants they have this season (29), I would rather they spend a little more time letting me get to know the cheftestants and their food, so I might actually care who stays and who goes home.
Anyway, all 29 cheftestants arrive at the Alamo, where Padma is waiting. Isn't 29 a weird number? Do you think there was supposed to be thirty and someone dropped out at the last minute? Did they not have alternates? The first cheftestants we meet are Richie, who is wearing a pink bandanna and has really crazily-groomed facial hair, and his boss, Chris. So you know they're both going to be on. Or maybe only one will make it. Wouldn't it be funny if the boss got cut and the underling made it? We also meet Chef Tyler Stone, who has tiny baby teeth and zero lines on his face and he's freaking me out. It looks like he's wearing a mask.
Padma explains that they will be put into groups and have to compete in one challenge, and only sixteen of them will make it through to live in the house. Everyone's like "Oh, shit."
The first group of ten walks into the Top Chef kitchen. Chris, who is apparently our narrator this season, explains that he walked into the kitchen and first he noticed the ingredient, which is a whole pig, and then he noticed who was standing next to Colicchio: Emeril! And we have our first BAM! Reference of the season. Thank you, Chris. You have won a prize. Not really, dude. That was pretty obvious. Don't do it again.
Tom welcomes everyone and introduces Emeril. I have no problem with Emeril being on this show. He pretty much made the Food Network into a legitimate channel, and has many years of experience running restaurants. He's no Guy Fieri or even Rachael Ray (who I like okay, but I can understand why true foodies don't respect her). Anyway. Tom has everyone go down the line and introduce themselves quickly. More than half of these people are leaving in like ten minutes, so let's not bother with the introductions. I'll just tell you the people that the producers want you to remember: Tyler the Arrogant Baby Teeth Dude, Heather from Chicago, Nyesha Who Worked for Robuchon, Molly the Cruise Line chef, Richie the Moto Underling, Chris the Moto Boss, Grayson the Currently Unemployed, Sarah from Chicago (Chicago is a trend this season), and Colin the Pale Vegan Guy. Got all that? Heather from Chicago is getting a lot of interviews, and in one of them, she says that she's sacrificed a lot of her personal life to be a chef, and she wants to be on the show more than she thinks she's ever wanted anything.