The first season compared to the second... there is no comparison. It seems like two completely different shows. While you really learn what competition BBQ is about in season one, season two is reminiscent of Food Network shows (The whole "YOU HAVE FIVE MINUTES LEFT!" spiel).
The second season isn't terrible, but I certainly prefer the first. In season two, if a pitmaster doesn't make a good appetizer, he/she goes home. How stupid is that? Entertaining regardless.