Hell's Kitchen (U.S. season 9)
|Hell's Kitchen (U.S. season 9)|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||16|
|Original release||July 18, 2011– September 19, 2011|
Season 9 of the American competitive reality television series Hell's Kitchen premiered on July 18, 2011, on Fox and concluded on September 19, 2011, with a two-hour season finale. Jr. sous-chef Paul Niedermann won the season and was awarded a "head chef" position at BLT Steak in New York City, New York.
The entire season took about six weeks to film. It also saw the show return to its original one season per year schedule, having run two seasons each in 2009 and 2010 due to the after-effects of the 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike.
The opening sequence, like the previous two seasons, did not not take place in the kitchen. The opening featured Chef Ramsay playing a pinball machine, with the contestants trying to dodge the pinball and the machine's bumpers.
18 chefs competed in season 9.
|Elizabeth Bianchi||27||Line Cook||New York, New York|
|Natalie Blake||23||Sous Chef||Harrodsburg, Kentucky|
|Chino Chang||39||Executive Chef||Hatboro, Pennsylvania|
|Amanda Colello||26||Personal Chef||Sun City, California|
|Jamie Gregorich||24||Sous Chef||Bradenton, Florida|
|Brendan Heavey||31||Head Chef||Hoboken, New Jersey|
|Carrie Keep||31||Pantry Chef||Dallas, Texas|
|Monterray Keys||34||Line Cook||Darby, Pennsylvania|
|William "Will" Lustberg||31||Sous Chef||Jersey City, New Jersey|
|Gina Melcher||34||Restaurant Consultant||Cape May, New Jersey|
|Paul Niedermann||27||Jr. Sous Chef||Davie, Florida|
|Jennifer Normant||34||Chef de Cuisine||Boston, Massachusetts|
|Steven Paluba||44||Sauté Chef||Ridge, New York|
|Krupa Patel||30||Private Chef||Queens, New York|
|Jonathon Plumley||34||Head Cook||Memphis, Tennessee|
|Thomas "Tommy" Stevens||31||Line Cook||Brewster, New York|
|Elise Wims||26||Line Cook||Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania|
|Jason Zepaltas||29||Line Cook||Chicago, Illinois|
|Original teams||Switched teams||Individual||Finals|
|5||Jennifer||WIN||WIN||NOM[n 1]||LOSE||LOSE||WIN||LOSE||WIN||LOSE||BoW||BoW||NOM[n 1]||NOM||OUT|
- Chef was nominated by Ramsay
- Chef was hospitalized and withdrew for health reasons
|Title||Original air date||U.S. viewers (million)|
|109||1||"18 Chefs Compete"||July 18, 2011||5.84|
Eighteen new chefs are shown receiving their invites to appear at Orpheum Theatre. They walk on stage behind a curtain with covered platters bearing their names and the sound of crowds cheering. However, when the curtain opened, the theater was empty. Ramsay reminded them that they were not stars yet, then sent them to Hell's Kitchen to cook their signature dishes.
The men enjoyed lunch at the L.A. Market restaurant at the JW Marriott Hotel at L.A. Live, where they dined with last season's winner, Nona Sivley. The women stay behind to clean both kitchens for the season opening service. Shortly before dinner service, Jason was rushed to the hospital after he became short of breath. Later, just before the service, Ramsay stated that Jason would not be returning, making him the first chef of the season to leave Hell's Kitchen. [note 1] It was also the second straight season in which a chef withdrew from the competition before the start of the first dinner service for health reasons. (No elimination sequence was given for Jason, but his jacket and burned photo can be seen when Chef Ramsay hangs Gina's jacket.)
Ramsay asked Jonathan for the two nominees, which were Steven and Monterray. However, Ramsay nominates Chino for his poor service. And with the three nominees called forward, Ramsay chose Chino and Monterray to step forward and he eliminated Steven for his poor performance.
Ramsay's comment: "I realized early on that Steven had as much of a chance of being the head chef of BLT Steak as I do of winning a gold medal in figure skating."
|110||2||"16 Chefs Compete"||July 19, 2011||5.77|
The chefs were awakened at 5:35 a.m. to the sound of a kid playing an electric guitar, and were brought outside Hell's Kitchen for the challenge.
The men were rewarded with a trip to Palm Springs, California via a private jet, where they took a tram up into the mountains and enjoyed a fine dining lunch with Ramsay. The women had to clean and scrape all of the grills, and later had to pick up a side of beef, bring it into the kitchen and cut the meat on it. [note 2]
After being thrown out of the kitchen, the men began to yell and argue on the patio, with Paul and Will speaking up the most. Rather that ordering the men back in the kitchens in a usual post-service mortem, Ramsay regrouped the two teams and asked Will, then Paul and then Jonathan who should be nominated and all three of them said Brendan and Chino. When Ramsay asked Jonathan who he would like to send home, Jonathan said Chino causing an argument to break out between the pair. Ramsay eliminates Brendan because of his lies with his sea bass situation.
Afterwards, Ramsay announced to the women that they would have to pick one member to go over to the men's team, much to the disapproval of both teams. Will even attempted to decline Ramsay's request for a woman to transfer to their team (agreed upon by all the men), but was rebuked.
Ramsay's comment: "The only thing bigger than Brendan's ego are the lies he tells, and I can't have that in Hell's Kitchen."
|111||3||"15 Chefs Compete"||July 25, 2011||5.95|
To even the teams out after the departure of three men, Ramsay asks the women for a volunteer to move to the men's team. Before the team challenge, Carrie initially volunteered in order to separate herself from Elise, but Ramsay chose Natalie.
The blue team earned a trip to Medieval Times in Buena Park, California where they enjoyed a meal with a medieval jousting tournament; after the show, the knights taught the team members how to sword fight. The red team's punishment was to completely clean the dining area and set tables for the next night's dinner service. In addition, the red team also had to set up a children's playground, as the next service is a "family night" service.
Due to the severity of the problems on the red side for this service, Ramsay became the sole nominator for that losing team and chose Carrie, Amanda and Jennifer, and ina shocking surprise, Ramsay eliminates Amanda, feeling that despite Carrie's numerous errors, Ramsay was impressed at how she fought to stay, whereas Amanda had given up during dinner service, and told both teams when ever they made a mistake they must bounce back. [note 3]
Ramsay's comment: "Amanda lost the will to cook on the line tonight. I lost the will to keep her here."
|112||4||"14 Chefs Compete"||July 26, 2011||6.04|
The red team spent the day go-kart racing at K1 Racing, while the blue team spent the day preparing chickens for the next service. Shortly before the service, Elise got into an argument with Sous Chef Andi, who felt that Elise was being disrespectful to her.
Ramsay asks both teams to nominate two for elimination. The blue team quickly chose Chino and Monterray. Chino tried to push the blame on Natalie and insulted her causing Natalie to break down crying, angering the other male blue members causing them to defend her and belittle Chino. While the red team all agreed that Carrie on her first nominee and they chose for the second nominee. However, Elise claimed that she had performed flawlessly in every single service and challenge, and agrees as the second nominee after more arguing with Carrie. In the nomination ceremony, Elise asks Ramsay to poll the red team, saying they would all agree that Carrie should be nominated. When Ramsay polled the team, including former teammate Natalie, all but Elizabeth said that Elise should be sent home. Following Elise's plea, Ramsay called her forward and only to tell her to get back in line, and Ramsay eliminates Chino for consistently being a poor performer in all four services.
Ramsay's comment: "Chino took his time in Hell's Kitchen very seriously. The problem is he seriously couldn't cook."
|113||5||"13 Chefs Compete"||August 1, 2011||5.60|
The blue team spent the day pampered at the spa at the Montage hotel in Beverly Hills. The red team must clean the hot tub in the dorms and the fountain in front of the restaurant; also, they must prep both kitchens for service that night.
Each team choose two chefs for elimination. The red team chose Krupa and Elise; the blue team chose Tommy and Monterray. As Elise gave her plea, upon being asked she says that Gina should have been the one nominated, a statement Krupa agrees with in hers. Ramsay calls Elise forward, only to agree with Elise about Gina and he eliminates Gina for her disintegrating performances.
Ramsay's comment: "They say good things come in small packages. But unfortunately in Gina's case, her talent matched her size: tiny."
|114||6||"12 Chefs Compete"||August 2, 2011||6.32|
The blue team spend a day on a luxury yacht, while the red team decorated Hell's Kitchen for the reunion, including decorating the dining area and making a three-layer cake, which Ramsay rejected as it was poorly made.
After a massive post-mortem argument in the blue team, Natalie announces that the nominees for elimination are Paul and Monterray. Ramsay decides that Jonathon should also be up for nomination. After Paul argued for why he should stay despite his disappointing performance, Ramsay gives him another chance and orders him back in line. Ramsay chooses to eliminate Monterray for his inconsistent performances, but praises him for his efforts.
Ramsay's comment: "It was high school reunion night in Hell's Kitchen. Unfortunately, for Monterray, he flunked the test."
|115||7||"11 Chefs Compete"||August 8, 2011||6.51|
The blue team attended the 2011 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach as VIP guests, where they met Arie Luyendyk, Jr. and Simona De Silvestro. The red team must take in several deliveries of food, including ice and kegs of beer.
Ramsay asks both teams to nominate two chefs for elimination, the blue team chose Jonathon and Natalie – the two chefs kicked out of the kitchen - while the read team chose Jamie and Krupa. Before the decision, Ramsay asked Natalie if she wanted to quit, but she refused and Ramsay eliminates Krupa for her numerous mistakes and failing to live up to the promise she showed in the earlier services but praises her heart.
Ramsay has no comment regarding on Krupa's elimination and the burning of her picture and hanging of her jacket wasn't shown. The episode ended in cliffhanger.
|116||8||"10 Chefs Compete"||August 9, 2011||6.41|
During the recap of the last episode, Krupa's photo was burned and her jacket was hung up. Following from the previous episode, Ramsay asks each team to pick a contestant who could be the strongest leader – the red team chose Jennifer and the blue team chose Will. The next morning, Ramsay asks Jennifer and Will who would be the weakest leader – Jennifer chose Carrie and Will chose Tommy.
The red team spent the day at the Laugh Factory comedy club in Hollywood. The blue team prepped both kitchens for that night's service and cleaned both teams' dorms, with team leader Tommy ordered to clean the bathroom with a toothbrush. Jonathon practically sat out most of the punishmentdue to muscle pain in his neck, much to the chagrin of his teammates.
The blue team must select two contestants for elimination, they selected Natalie and Jonathon once again. Ramsay calls a tearful Natalie forward and told her to go back in line, and in the end, Ramsay eliminates Jonathon due to his weaker performances in the last three services, and constantly blaming everyone else for his own issues.
Ramsay's comment: "The only thing worse than the pain in Jonathon's neck was listening to him blame everyone else for all his mistakes. I was glad to put him out of his misery."
|117||9||"9 Chefs Compete"||August 15, 2011||6.99|
The red team flew to Las Vegas, where they spent the night in the villa suite at Caesar's Palace; in addition, Holly Madison pops by to give the ladies signed copies of her book, as well as passes for a three day, two night stay for them and a guest at a later date. The blue team prepared for the next night's "date night" service, which included a raw bar.
The losing red team had to choose two nominees for elimination, and they select Carrie and Elise, the two chefs who were kicked out during the service. After the deliberations, Ramsay calls both Carrie and Elise forward only to order them back in line and he eliminates Jamie as he felt she had no fight back whatsoever, despite her completing service with Elizabeth and Jennifer, leaving the other chefs shocked.
Ramsay's comment: "Jamie's lack of fight-back told me she's not ready to be a head chef. The remaining chefs need to know it's not about what they've done in the past. It's what they do here that counts."
|118||10||"8 Chefs Compete"||August 22, 2011||6.07|
The red team gets a horseback ride in the Hollywood Hills, enjoying champagne and a stunning view of the Los Angeles skyline, while the blue team had to prep both kitchens for a special steakhouse service along with making grape jam for the dessert, peeling each grape by hand.
Each team has to nominate one contestant for elimination; the red team nominated Carrie, while the blue team decided on Tommy. While Ramsay said that he thought Tommy had no chance of winning the competition, he eliminated Carrie. While acknowledging that she had a big heart and was ambitious, Ramsay felt that she was not mature enough to run BLT Steak. [note 4]
Ramsay had no comments regarding Carrie's elimination and the burning of her picture and hanging of her jacket weren't shown. The episode ended in cliffhanger.
|119||11||"7 Chefs Compete"||August 22, 2011||6.42|
Continuing from the last episode, Ramsay got all the chefs to remove their jackets, and told them that they would all be leaving Hell's Kitchen... Instead, they are flown to New York City for a culinary tour of ethnic cuisine and a visit to BLT Steak.
The red team were rewarded with a trip to Venice Beach, where they join James in riding a plastic bubble (which James calls zorbing); while the blue team had to prep both the kitchens for that night's service.
Ramsay asks two teams to nominate one per each team, Natalie nominated herself for the blue team, The red team has a decision to pick Elise and Elizabeth voted each other; however, Jennifer chose Elise for the nomination. In the end, Ramsay eliminates Natalie feeling she was on a severe downward spiral but told her to continue with her energy and passion.[note 5]
Ramsay's comment: "Natalie was lucky enough to get to see BLT Steak in New York. She may get to see it again... as a customer."
|120||12||"6 Chefs Compete"||August 29, 2011||6.21|
The men went to a Ted Baker outlet to buy some designer clothing, while the women had to set up the dining room for the next service. The men bought a handkerchief as a gift for Elise, mocking her earlier actions in crying after the challenge loss.
After yet another fierce argument between the women in the service post-mortem, Ramsay loses his patience and decides that all 3 women from the red team would be facing elimination. Ramsay awarded the black jackets to the remaining men, and he announced that the five remaining chefs for the first time since season three that would be part of one team in the next service. When the crying trio of Elizabeth, Jennifer & Elise step forward, Ramsay called Jennifer to take off her jacket, saying that her worst performance isn't bad and Ramsay gives her a black jacket. Then, he calls Elise and Elizabeth to take off their jackets and eliminates Elizabeth, feeling that she was not ready to lead a brigade. Elise was also threatened with elimination, buy Ramsay gives her one more chance and gives her a black jacket.
Ramsay's comment: "Tonight was all about charity in Hell's Kitchen and after watching Elizabeth's performance, I'm now ready to donate her jacket to a worthy cause."
|121||13||"5 Chefs Compete Part 1"||September 5, 2011||5.89|
Will sends on a culinary tour of several Los Angeles restaurants via Rolls Royce, and he chose Elise (who placed second; much to his delight). The others have been tasked with doing Hell's Kitchen laundry, including Ramsay's jacket, as punishment.
Just as the night before of the service, the "returning chefs" team, consisting of Ben Walanka (season 5), Tennille Middleton and Van Hurd (season 6), along with Jillian Flathers and Trev McGrath (season 8) was brought in to compete with the black team, which is the first time in Hell's Kitchen history, and they instruct to write their own menus by a one-hour limit. The returning chefs team decided on their menu choices without much trouble, but Elise tried to take control of the black team's menu and reacted angrily to any suggested alterations by the other chefs, which eventually resulted in Will storming out of the planning session.
Ramsay asked for two nominees for elimination, and after much argument, Elise and Jennifer were nominated. Ramsay expressed surprise at Elise's nomination but accepted the two nominees. After briefly heard with the nominees, Ramsay called Jennifer forward and was told to remove her jacket and got a new one. He sends Jennifer and Elise back in line and announces none of the chefs have been sent home for the week with no mistakes and getting a higher approval.
Ramsay's comment: "Tonight's service was the best yet in Hell's Kitchen. Just like the returning chefs received a second chance, I decided to give Elise and Jennifer a second chance as well. Hopefully, they'll make the most of it."
|122||14||"5 Chefs Compete Part 2"||September 12, 2011||5.78|
Paul got a helicopter trip with Ramsay, followed by lunch at the Water Grill, and he picks Tommy for a reward. The others had to prepare the Alaskan salmon for Paul's dish, which would be on the menu for the next service, and Will did this mostly by himself, as Elise openly refused to take part in the punishment, while Jennifer mostly did minor tasks.
Jennifer and Elise both agreed that they should be the nominees for elimination. Elise's nomination ties for the record for most nominations for elimination in the entire competition.[note 6] Prior to the ceremony, Elise pulled Will and Paul to one side and got them to promise that they would back her up if Ramsay asked them who was the weakest. The two nominees got into an argument after Ramsay called them out, and much to Jennifer's shock, Paul and Will honored their agreement with Elise and told Ramsay that Jennifer should be sent home. Tommy, on the other hand, said that Elise should be sent home. Ramsay agreed with Will and Paul, and eliminates Jennifer, feeling that she was not ready to run a brigade. However, Ramsay praised Jennifer for her big heart and strong palate.
Ramsay's comment: "Jennifer finally found her voice in Hell's Kitchen. Unfortunately, it was when she was being eliminated."
|123||15||"4 Chefs Compete"||September 19, 2011||6.04|
Before the start of the challenge, Chef Ramsay surprised the remaining chefs. Elise's husband, son and aunt came in first, followed by Tommy's girlfriend and mother, Paul's older brother and Will's mother and wife, came to spend time with them.
Paul and his older brother got to attend a Los Angeles Dodgers versus Chicago Cubs baseball game, where they met Tommy Lasorda, Jamey Caroll, Steve Lyons, and Don Mattingly, while the remaining chefs had to move the belongings of the other, since-departed contestants out of the dorms.
After being briefly sent back to the dorms to consider their pleas on why they should stay, the chefs returned to the dining room. Tommy was immediately eliminated, as Ramsay said that he is weakest amongst the final four, though Ramsay told him that he still had plenty of passion and skill. After hearing the pleas with the remaining three chefs, Ramsay names Will as the first finalist, and he chooses Paul to join Will for the final,[note 8] leaving a teary-eyed Elise as the one to leave Hell's Kitchen and allows to keep her jacket.
Ramsay does not have a regarding comment on Tommy and Elise's eliminations, and they both didn't receive the coat hook and burning picture sequence.
|124||16||"2 Chefs Compete"||September 19, 2011||5.94|
Finalists Paul and Will prepare a menu featuring four appetizers, four entrées and three desserts, and he gives them a new white jacket. Ramsay sends them to BLT Steak Los Angeles branch. They were taken out to dinner by Chef Ramsay with their relatives, and in an ironic reversal of what happened in the season premiere, were unexpectedly shown into a room filled with a cheering crowd.
When the finalists returned to Hell's Kitchen, there was big present box in the middle of the dining room.[note 9] For winning the challenge, Will picks Tommy, Paul picks Elise, Will's picks are Natalie, Jennifer and Krupa. Paul's picks are Elizabeth, Jonathon and he is left with Carrie. (Will deliberately having engineered his choices so that Elise and Carrie would be on Paul's team, hoping that their feud would bring down the team). Before discussing the menu with his team, Paul warned Elise and Carrie not to get into any fights due to the many confrontations they had during the season. Prior to the service Paul had a brief breakdown after Chef Ramsay hated his menu, but soon regained his composure.
After reading over the comment cards, Ramsay calls the two finalists to his office. He complimented Will on his consistency and Paul on his spirit and tenacity, and announced that while they were two outstanding chefs, there was a clear winner based on both the comment cards and his own observations. The two chefs each stood before a closed door; whoever's door opened would be the winner. Paul's door opened, making him the ninth winner of Hell's Kitchen.[note 10] Will took his defeat graciously, acknowledging that his service had been very disappointing and that he was happy for Paul to honor his late mother making him the second chef in the history of Hell's Kitchen to win in the honor a deceased parent (the first being Danny from season 5).
During the credits, clips were shown of Paul during the signature dish challenge and Chef Ramsay making jokes about Tommy's 19 year-old girlfriend, as he is 31 years-old. In the closing moment of the season, Chef Ramsay told Elise that she could go far as a chef, but she needed to "stop being such a bitch!"
Ramsay's comment: "Paul won tonight because he's probably the most passionate determined chef ever to enter Hell's Kitchen. He'll make a great head chef because his enthusiasm is contagious. I'm so proud to hand him over to BLT Steak in New York City."'
Paul appeared in season 11 as a part of the champion's team against the final 5 in black jackets. He made another return in Season 12 to pick one of the contestant's dishes to appear in the Hell's Kitchen Calendar alongside Season 3 winner Rock Harper, and Season 10 second runner-up Dana Cohen.
Jason returned as a contestant in season 12, where he was the runner-up.
Elise appeared as one of the five celebrity chefs on the August 12, 2014 episode of NBC's Food Fighters and re-appeared in the 200th dinner service as a customer.
- Jason would later return as a contestant in season 12.
- this marks the sixth consecutive season where the men won the first challenge & the fifth consecutive season where the men won the second challenge as well as the first.
- This was the first time since season 2 that Chef Ramsay was the lone nominator after dinner service.
- Carrie's elimination was treated with a retrospective montage during her exit, like Rachel from season 2 and Robert and Sabrina in season 6.
- Natalie's elimination was paid in retrospective montage during her exit like Carrie in the previous episode.
- Elise's nomination count ties with Autumn Lewis of season 7, Sabrina Brimhall of season 8,Clemenza Caserta in Season 10 and Scott Commings of Season 12.
- The pass is where the food orders are placed and quality checked before leaving the kitchen. In episode 915, the chefs have a chance to handle that station.
- This has the third time to feature an all-male final, the first were seasons 1 and 6.
- In episode 916, the eight returning chefs returned to help with the two finalists. However, eight of the last six chefs present for the service, Jamie did not return; instead Krupa came in her place and was the last person prior to the final ten chefs.
- Paul was the first winner that had positive remarks on his signature dish in the first episode, a sign of his consistency throughout the season.
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