‘Hell’s Kitchen’ Season Premiere Serves Up a Chef’s Surprise

by | July 19, 2011 at 3:08 PM | Hell's Kitchen, TV News

Gordon Ramsay of 'Hell's Kitchen' (Photo: Fox)

Gordon Ramsay of 'Hell's Kitchen' (Photo: Fox)

Hell’s Kitchen” got off to a, what else, fiery start Monday night with the premiere of Season 9, which promises to be “the most volatile season yet.”

The season premiere topped the night in the ratings, luring in 5.8 million viewers and a 2.5 preliminary rating in the adults 18-49. That’s down 14 percent from last year’s premiere, but it was still enough to beat “The Bachelorette” – and to give a boost to rowdy Ramsay’s other cook-off, “MasterChef” at 9 p.m. (5.6 million and a 2.3) for a Fox win for the night among younger viewers.

The 16 new contestants — per usual it’s the Men (Blue Team) against the Women (Red Team) — were thrown right into the fire and got schooled by Ramsay from the start. The chefs were primped and brought out onto a stage to the sounds of a screaming, cheering crowd, only to find when the curtain was raised, Gordon Ramsay, alone in the theater, clapping sarcastically. Welcome to your (cruel) new reality, chefs!

The heated competition was almost too much for at least one contestant, who ended up with a hospital visit. Upon feeling dizzy and experiencing difficulty breathing, the medics were called in to take Jason Zepaltas to the hospital. He was treated and tried to return to the competition but didn’t make it back in time for service, and now won’t be back at all.

That ended up to be a double blow to the Men’s team, when Chef Ramsay eliminated Steven Paluba at the end of the episode, leaving the Blue Team down two chefs.

Watch the Season Premiere of “Hell’s Kitchen” on xfinityTV.com:

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