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'Hell's Kitchen,' 'MasterChef' recaps: Girls rule, boys drool

June 05, 2012|By Rene Lynch
  • Chef Gordon Ramsay gives Tavon a dressing down on "Hell's Kitchen."
Chef Gordon Ramsay gives Tavon a dressing down on "Hell's Kitchen." (Fox )

Is anyone else interested in joining a class-action lawsuit against Fox, "Hell's Kitchen" and "MasterChef"? Surely, the nation's emergency rooms are jam-packed today with audiences suffering from whiplash after veering between the laugh-and-point antics of one, and the reaching-for-the-tissue moments of the other.

Season 10 of "Hell's Kitchen" got off to a hair-raising start. Yes, we've been punked before by Gordon Ramsay. (Remember the time he wore a prosthetic nose and wig and stood among the competitors?) But not like this! I actually fell for it when sous-chef Scott — seriously, has he ever been that cheerful before? — told Season 10 competitors that they could best prove their dedication by shaving off their hair.

As proof, he was joined by a newly shorn Andi, his co-sous-chef. A man and a woman both stepped up to the barber's chair before Ramsay charged out to put a stop to this "hazing." Turns out it was all a prank, and the two victims were in on it. We learned this much: Andi, as evidenced by her bald prosthetic, can rock a chrome dome!

And just like that, we were back in "Hell's Kitchen" for the 125th dinner service and the start of Season 10. Make that, "another disastrous dinner service." Because no one — not one of the 100 diners who showed up — got an entree.

Tavon is the first to go home after he completely butchers — butchers  — the evening's allotment of scallops. They are hacked beyond usability. Is it really possible that this guy is an executive chef at a restaurant in Washington D.C.? This isn't yet another Ramsay prank?

At this point, it's hard to imagine that there's anyone in this bunch who can cook their way into Paris Las Vegas and the job at Gordon Ramsay Steak that awaits the Season 10 winner. But it's always like that. At least things are looking up for the ladies: They won the signature-dish challenge ('Girls rule, boys drool!") and got to hobnob with past winners Rock and the one-armed bandit, Dave. Nice to see those guys back.

Now, pass me some Kleenex and let's get to "MasterChef."

Seriously, how many times did you find yourself choking back tears during this Season 3 opener? Exactly! Like, the newly out Michael, or smiling girl-next-door Samantha? (Why did Ramsay bring her entire family in if he wasn't going to give her a white apron? Fowl!)

Even flavor-gunslinger Ryan and the ceiling-scraping Josh brought the feel-good.

But the single-best moment of the night belonged to Christine. Blind, she lost her sight as a young woman due to an autoimmune condition and now moves about the kitchen using her memory and the rest of her senses.

Judge Joe Bastianich declared that a "great advantage" in this competition. (Hmmm. Not exactly sure about that, since the judges seem to pounce immediately on presentation.) But he is right about this: Her other senses are more elevated, including her sense of humor.

At one point, when she served up a Vietnamese hot-pot dish of catfish, she joked that Joe must be giving her the patented death stare. "Luckily, I can't see it!" she said.

I don't know how long Christine can last. But I definitely want to "see" more of her. That said, I had to cover my eyes when she was cutting that lemon and the green onion. I wonder how often she cuts herself in the kitchen.

Go Christine, go!

What do you think so far about this crop of "Hell's Kitchen" and "MasterChef" frosh?

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