By Jami Lundborg
Updated February 20, 2009 at 09:05 PM EST
Credit: Mike Yarish/Fox

Things got fleshy on this week’s Hell’s Kitchen as the chefs were schooled and tested in the ways of beef. Sound interesting? It wasn’t. Contestants wrestled with a cow carcass (that’s really not an exaggeration), lost their lunch, and served up plenty of raw meat to restaurant guests. Seth won my coveted Most Annoying Person Ever award last night, narrowly beating out Andrea for the prize. And yet the episode lacked any real standout moment. There wasn’t even a good Ramsay pun in there. But more on all this later — let’s get into the meat (haha, get it?) of the episode.

I think it’s safe to say that being asked whether or not you have aheart condition is not the preferred way to start a workday, but thatis exactly the question the the chefs were greeted with the morning ofthe first challenge. They were then handed barf bags, hard hats (incase a giant slab of meat were to fall on their heads, I presume), andnifty little outfits before they made their way into the meatprocessing plant. They stared at the carnage for a bit and headed backto the kitchen. I’m not really sure what they learned, but apparentlyit was supposed to prepare them for the upcoming challenge. On a sidenote, who else had visions of Rocky while looking at all thatraw meat just hanging there waiting for a down-on-his-luck boxer toutilize it? Just me? Okay then. The chefs came back to find Ramsayhanging in the kitchen with a couple of color-coded bovines. Heexplained their challenge, which consisted of identifying various cutsof beef by stabbing little billboards in them like miniature realestate signs planted on a lawn. After that was completed, they were togo to the cows and label where each cut was located on the body. Seth —demonstrating the old reality-show standby of bragging about howtotally awesome you are at something only to make a complete ass ofyourself a few minutes later — told us “meat is one of my fortes” andthen got 7 out of 8 wrong. Despite Seth’s screw up, the men won thechallenge. Their prize? Wine tasting and steak, of course. After all,who wouldn’t want to eat a nice juicy steak after staring at the red,bloody, uncooked version all day long? The women’s punishment was,believe it or not, preparing meat all day. Sensing a theme?

So the men enjoyed their private jet and fine dining while theladies had the privilege of partaking in a heaping plate of…ickyness— kidney, tongue, and various other unsavory parts of the cow. When didthis show become Fear Factor? Now, if the sight of all that rawmeat wasn’t enough to make me feel a bit woozy, the subsequent segmentconsisting of the women vomiting was enough to have my stomach doinggymnastics. Andrea, who seriously must have deposited a few organs inthat bucket, managed to choke out — between heaves and tears — aninspirational speech about sticking together and being a team. Theladies responded with an Outsiders moment (with Andrea asJohnny and the rest of the red team as Dally), declaring that theywould “do it for her.” All we needed was a rumble to make it complete.

The next morning a twist on the dinner service was revealed: Thekitchen would turn into a steakhouse for the evening and the teamswould alternate cooking and serving. The men chose to cook first andhad two hours to serve as many entrées as possible. Things got off to atelling start when Charlie caught his cloth on fire and failed tonotice until Ramsay barked at him. Things snowballed from there. Benprepared dessert before the appetizers were even out on the tables, towhich Ramsay responded with an “Are you stupid?” (which with Ramsay isnever a rhetorical question — he wants you to answer that you are), andshoved him out the door. Then Giovanni, supposedly the most steak savvyof the men, proceeded to under cook an entire slew of steaks, which thediners promptly sent back. Seth slaughtered a fillet mignon and thenattempted to stash the evidence out of sight, but of course that didn’twork out in his favor. Ramsay pulled the scrap pile back out andchucked it at Seth. The few seconds of raw bovine flesh floatingthrough the air and then slapping against Seth’s chest were thedramatic peak of the show. It never really surpassed that.

As the women took their turn in the kitchen Colleen resumed her roleas resident Ramsay punching bag. After messing up the salads (has thewoman done anything right yet?) Ramsay labeled her “pathetic”and then forced her to repeat an order numerous times until she got itwrong, causing him to exclaim “she’s not normal.” Charlie, meanwhile,proved that waiting tables is no easy task by messing up orders andspilling bacon all over one of the tables. Once again steaks began tocome back to the kitchen, but this time Ramsay backed up his chefs’work, finding many of them to be perfect and sending them right backinto the dining room. At the end of the service the women were declaredthe winners. The men nominated Seth and Charlie for the walk of doomand, as usual, Ramsay allowed both men to plead their case. Seth wenton, and on, and on about how Ramsay will “paint a canvas” forhim, and other nonsensical garbage while using the word “absolutely”like it was going out of style. In the end Ramsay stripped Charlie ofhis coat in yet another elimination in which the brownnose/incompetent/crybaby contestant stays for the sake of drama. Ugh.Color me annoyed. Next week’s episode is being touted as the most”controversial” episode yet. Let’s hope it delivers.

So what did you think? Did you find the episode entertaining? Or didyou also think it was lacking in truly dramatic moments? How do youfeel about Charlie’s elimintaion? Share your thoughts below.