A new challenge is taking center stage at "Hell's Kitchen." Season after season, the "taste-it-now-make-it" challenge and the always hilarious taste test challenge have been favorites with viewers. But those face-offs just might have to share the spotlight with the "match the protein" challenge unveiled this week.
Which all makes you wonder: Are these guys really chefs? Is it really so hard to guess that those turkey meatballs were made with ... turkey?
In the competitors' defense, it must be plenty nerve wracking to have chef Gordon Ramsay challenge them to identify the protein in five already-prepared dishes with the protein slathered in seasonings and sauce. (And I have no doubt I'd fail.)
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But it never gets old watching the chefs bragging on themselves in one scene, sure that they will be the last person standing at the end of this job tryout of a boot camp ... only to see them fail so spectacularly when their taste buds are put to the test. It would take the men nearly 11 minutes to identify the proteins in five dishes, in part because they stumbled on those turkey meatballs. (Is it veal? Buffalo? Goat? Kangaroo? To which Ramsay quipped, "No! ... are you hopping mad?")
The women smoked the men in the challenge, and had a day at the beach playing with golden couple Laird Hamilton and Gabrielle Reece, while the men had to grind wheat for bread. Turning the crank on the grinder was enough to make Jeremy pass out. What seemed like a comical moment turned serious: Jeremy said he's a past stroke victim and was taken to the hospital.
Apparently cleared for duty, the hefty fellow returned to the "Hell's Kitchen" household and claimed that he was told he "needed to eat more." He then confessed a hankering for fried chicken. Who knows what Jeremy's medical condition really is, or what he needs to do to keep it in check, but if he truly is a stroke survivor ... he needs help, not the stress of "Hell's Kitchen" and fried chicken.
Instead of a disastrous dinner service, this week served up a disastrous breakfast service, and the women were seemingly unable to make pancakes. Pancakes! Seriously!
This to-be-continued episode wrapped up with several mysteries:
--Is Mary pregnant? If she is, she doesn't seem happy about the possibility. And, if she is, will she stay in Hell's Kitchen? Should she stay? (Women have been pregnant under far more stressful and strenuous circumstances ... but I'm not sure I want to watch that for entertainment.)
--Does Ray really go toe-to-toe with a woman? That's what next week's previews suggest. But it could just be crafty editing. I really hope that Ray, the gray-haired gentleman in the group, wouldn't stoop to that. I like Ray, and I would like to see him go far in a competition whose past winners have largely come from the younger set. Say it ain't so, Ray!
--Will Jeremy stick around? Or is it time for him to go take care of his health?
What do you think of the protein challenge, and these tantalizing mysteries?