It’s Day Two of the auditions, and this recap is way late because much like how the Home Cooks are pursuing their culinary dreams, I was pursuing my Memorial Day vacation dreams. I’ll do my best to be quicker once we’re finally done with the horrible auditions.
In the intro, we meet a gentle longhaired bearded fellow, a beautiful blonde, and an ex-NFL player whose football career was not successful enough to get him onto Dancing with the Stars.
Our first audition is Beamie (?). He brought a picture of his three daughters whom he loves so much that he joined a two-month reality competition. They’ll be staying with Child Protective Services while Daddy tries to become famous. He’s wearing a black fedora and has a goatee, which does not bode well for his creativity. Beamie cooks “Mofongo de Camarones” which loosely translates to Mothafuckin’ Shrimp, Mothafucka. Gordon makes Beamie taste his own dish, and he really likes it. Then he asks Beamie if he’ll be able to handle being away from his daughters, which turns Beamie into a blubbering mess. Joe calls Beamie a crybaby. Beamie says that he isn’t a crybaby but instead Joe’s rival, all through a waterfall of snot and tears. Graham is a Yes. Joe, non-crybaby sufferer, is a No. Gordon does the classic fakey No and gives the big baby an apron.
Next up is Jessie, “a small-town Southern belle who has some very big dreams” (to be an actor). Apparently, she’s a “Yacht Stewardess” which in no way sounds like a maritime prostitute. Jessie makes “Sea Bass en Croute.” Gordon negs her dish as being 80’s because he desperately wants a piece of that. Joe, also wanting a piece, plays it cool with a No. Graham tries to get a piece with the nice-guy routine and gives her a Yes. Gordon, sensing competition from Joe, decides to get hands on with the stunning Jessie. He brings out two huge fish for a filet-off. This is some serious foreplay. She nails it. They bang. Apron won. The judges all examine her tail filet as she walks off.
Misfit Montage: Fire Twirler, Tractor Driver, Magician, Pathetic Death Metal Guy, Biker Dude, An Idiot on a Pogo Stick, and a Robot. The Magician makes it through and maybe some others, though it isn’t clear. Graham gamely gets on the pogo stick, hoping word of his athleticism gets back to Jessie.
Next we meet James, who has beautiful long hair and a handsome beard. James’s struggles go beyond finding the perfect conditioner. He grew up poor. His dad died. His mom died. His wedding has been put on hold for the show, and his fiancée will probably die before it’s all over. He makes “Crispy Pork Belly with a Lentil Hash.” Graham likes it. He’s been a real teddy bear so far this episode. Gordon says it’s interesting. Auditioning for Shark Tank, Joe wants to know what he’ll get back on his investment. James promises more than 100%, an impossible answer that fairly matches the impossible question. Graham is a Yes. Joe says he doesn’t see passion. Unfavorite! He says No and begins writing his You Really Won Me Over speech for later this season. Gordon has his doubts. The editor kisses to black, and we see James walking out with an apron in hand – only it’s red, his own apron from before. But surprise, surprise! He’s hiding the white apron underneath it! The crowd goes wild. He celebrates by smashing his face into a blonde, formerly faced woman.
Misfit Montage: desperate, loud females. Joe tells one of them to shut up, and it’s deeply satisfying.
Now we meet Sasha Fox, Honey. She fits the Sassy Black Woman stereotype to a T. She’s brash, crass, and not going to get an apron. We haven’t had an audition No yet this episode, so she has to be it. A harp mockingly announces her entrance and is contrasted by her obnoxious HEY Y’ALL!!!1! She’s making fried chicken and some crepes and decides to scream a little song for the judges. Gordon likes the chicken but not the crepes. He’s a Yes. Graham is also a Yes. Joe is a big Yes. I am a big idiot. The editor fooled me again. I told you he/she is good.
Next up is Rudy, burn victim of the 2003 San Diego wildfire. Are they really going to say No to a burn victim? They have to. Time is running out. I’m predicting an inspirational No. Rudy makes a “Fry Bread Taco with Buffalo Meat,” and it looks horrible. Gordon says the buffalo is dry, which seems insensitive considering…well, you know. Joe is a No, because he doesn’t see that Rudy put himself on the plate. Graham, huge softy today, says the dry buffalo is Rudy on the plate. (!!!) He’s a Yes. Gordon says that Rudy is very inspirational, but he’s a No. And I’m back in the game!
Misfit Montage: regular, nice-looking people with (mostly) good-looking dishes. They all get No’s, giving the show some serious credibility.
Our next Home Cook is Eddie, ex-NFL player. He’s bringing a football with him, so Gordon won’t be confused about which football he’s referring to. Eddie throws the ball to Graham, who catches it for his contract-required second feat of athleticism. Jessie is not impressed. Eddie makes Jerk Meatloaf in homage to Joe and Graham. Joe’s a Yes. Graham likes the meatloaf but then he doesn’t like it (?) and is a No. Gordon thinks the meatloaf has balls. Footballs. He’s a Yes. I like Eddie, mostly because he doesn’t have a contrived sob story. I’ll be rooting for him even if he did play for the hated Patriots.
It's time for our final Home Cook audition. His name is Luca. He lives on the second chance. Last year, Gordon shot him down, but he’s back and he’s brought his Italian accent with him. He makes “Broccoli Rabe Ravioli,” and the dish looks bomb. Luca gives himself a 6.5 out of 10, which is very humble. Will the cocksure Gordon approve? Joe doesn’t love the dish, but he’s still a Yes. Graham hates the sauce and is a No. Gordon pulls one more fakey No and gives him the apron. Luca celebrates wildly and calls his father, who surprisingly doesn’t have an accent. Let’s hope this mystery is solved in the later rounds.
Next week: the auditions are over! Thank the merciful flying spaghetti monster in the sky!