The competition had just been kicked off in season 9 of "Hell's Kitchen", but one man was already down. In the episode aired Monday, July 18, Jason Zepaltas struggled with his breathing while preparing for the opening night.
A concerned teammate called medics who gave him oxygen, but he wouldn't stabilize. Jason was later rushed to hospital, and he could not be back in time for service. In fact, Gordon Ramsay informed the other contestants that Jason would be in hospital for a few days and would not be back to Hell's Kitchen at all.
Jason's exit made the Blue Team down a man. The group had to nominate two other members for elimination when they failed to get a single entree out during the service. Steven Paluba and Monterray Keys were nominated by the Blue Team, but Gordon thought Chino Chang should join them as well. After pointing out the three men's mistakes, Ramsay decided to send Steven home and keep the other two on the show.