Main: Hell's Kitchen
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Ryan (Occupation: Event Chef)
"I've been pretty humble throughout this whole competition so far, but I think people are starting to realize that I AM a force to be reckoned with."
- The Ace: She was this in the beginning, never screwing up majorly and performing well throughout nearly all challenges and dinner services. She eventually cements this by winning the whole shebang.
- Notably averted in the traditional blind taste test challenge in Episode 9, where she only manages to score 1 out of 4. Although only her first notably poor showing, this ultimately ended her near-perfect streak, as she began making mistakes in future services.
- Beginner's Luck: Is forced to cook French and Japanese fusion in Episode 12's challenge, despite claiming to have never cooked either before. Guess whose dish is deemed the best of all and breaks the tie between the two teams?
- Best Friend: Is this to Heidi. While on the same team, the two would frequently pair up with each other in service and challenges, and often be seen hugging each other. Naturally, she picked Heidi first in the finale.
- Comically Serious: She almost snaps at the Red Team at the beginning of Episode 8's service, when she's trying to seriously give out instructions, while they are still laughing and joking around.
- Consummate Professional: Is shown to be completely serious and focused when cooking in challenges and services.
- Flawless Victory: Managed to win Hell's Kitchen without being nominated once, as the narration states of her (and Heather) in the finale. This puts her in league with Season 1's Michael, Season 2's Heather, Season 6's Dave, Season 7's Holli, Season 10's Christina, Season 13's La Tasha, Season 14's Meghan, and future winner, Season 18's Ariel.
- Humble Hero: Referenced in Episode 5; she says she's been very humble and quiet so far, but by no means does that reflect her actual level of skill.
- The Leader: By Episode 8, she clearly became this for the Red Team, showing Matt and Andrew around and assuming a leadership position during services. Both were pretty content to follow her orders since she hasn't led the Red Team wrong yet.
- Subverted with the Blue Team, as Devin and especially Paulie found her a bit controlling. The Blue Team was ultimately too fractured for her to hold together, and she failed to repeat her success on the Red Team.
- However, she manages to regain her leadership skills in the finale, up to being more vocal towards her brigade.
- Ms. Fanservice: Considered to be the most attractive contestant of the season by far. Remarked upon by Devin in Episode 3's challenge.Devin: Ryan, she's hot. Honestly she's a [bleep] home run. I mean, she's a good-looking chick. She's got an hourglass figure. And that beautiness is coming out, and it's going on her plate.
- Never My Fault: After the red team lost the Surf & Turf challenge, she blames Shaina and Aziza for the loss. Though the two did perform badly, the red team refused to take Shaina's advice when she suggested NOT to pair her with Aziza and also was against pairing Ryan and Heidi. Of course, Ryan blames Shaina and Aziza straight away and refused to consider the possibility that ignoring Shaina's advice was likely the reason why they lost the challenge in the first place.
- Not So Above It All: Despite her usual stoic and serious demeanor when cooking, during punishments and rewards, she greatly enjoys making various humorous jabs or remarks with and at the other chefs.
- One Steve Limit: Her first name is actually Kimberly-Ann, but she is going by her surname to avoid confusion with the other Kimberly.
- The Quiet One: Gets called a quiet little mouse by Ramsay for her soft voice in the kitchen. Ryan even admits it, mentioning that the first chef she ever worked under said the exact same thing about her. Her voice (or lack of) is specifically brought up by Ramsay as the thing she needs to improve the most.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Advertised as such with Heather for the finale, with the narrator describing her as "cool, collected and confident".
- The Rival: After switching to the Blue Team, she became one to Paulie. Both accuse the other of being overconfident in their own abilities, and placing themselves above the team during services.
- The Stoic: When cooking, her face is of a neutral facial expression showcasing no emotion and she rarely changes it.
- Averted during rewards and punishments, where she is notably more emotive and expressive.
- Tempting Fate: (A wheel is spinned to determine which two cultures she must create a dish representing) "Please don't be French and Japanese, please don't be French and Japanese..." (wheel lands on Japanese) "Please don't be French, please don't be French..." (wheel lands on French)
- Took a Level in Badass: Not that she wasn't one already, but early on Ramsay noted that she had a notably quiet and soft voice and demeanor. When she eventually wins, Ramsay acknowledges her growth in leadership supplemented her cooking skills and paved the way for her victory.Ramsay: Early on I challenged Ryan to find her voice. And once she proved to me she could command a kitchen, there was no stopping her.
- What Were You Thinking?: She tossed out a good portion of risotto even though Ramsay called for it earlier.
Heather (Occupation: Sous Chef)
Also Season 18 (Rookies VS Veterans)
- The Ace: Like Ryan, she was also never nominated for elimination throughout the season, and fared decently in most challenges and services. She notably joins Season 7's Jay, Season 9's Will, and Season 14's T as runner-up without any nominations.
- Brutal Honesty: She does not hesitate at all in pointing out people's flaws or irksome traits.
- Graceful Loser: Took her loss well, and said she did do a great job during the competition.
- Motor Mouth: She likes to talk a lot. It grates on Heidi immensely during their punishment together.
- Never Live It Down: In-Universe, her affair with Andrew was brought up by Heidi as a reason Heather shouldn't move on to the finale.
- Out of Focus: After being the first chef to receive a 5 in the signature dish challenge (before Paulie and Ryan), she didn't receive much attention outside of her showmance with Andrew. At least, not until black jackets and after Andrew's elimination.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: In Episode 13, she admits that although she wanted Andrew in black jackets instead of Kimberly, Kim's dish was far superior to Andrew's in her opinion, and thus deserving of winning the challenge.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Advertised as such with Ryan for the finale, with the narrator describing her as "bold, brash and boisterous."
- Ship Tease: With Andrew despite him being engaged. It was to the point that she picked him first for the finale.
- Surrounded by Idiots: Her grumbling "oh, here we go" in Episode 6 when Shaina and Kimberly start arguing implies she views herself as this.
- Also had this reaction in Episode 10, when Matt and Kimberly were screaming at each other.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Gives one to the Blue Team during a Confession Cam moment regarding Aaron's elimination, despite his solid performance that night. She claims their attempt to build a supposedly stronger team will "come back to bite them in the ass."
Heidi (Occupation: Executive Chef)
- The Ace: Was never nominated once for elimination. She was directly eliminated by Ramsay in the final three.
- Best Friend: Is this to Ryan. While on the same team, the two would frequently pair up with each other in service and challenges, and often be seen hugging each other. Naturally, she was Ryan's first pick in the finale.
- Deadpan Snarker: Most of her Confession Cam segments consist of her making snide jabs at her teammates whenever they screw up.
- Epic Fail: A mostly isolated incident, but in Episode 7, Heidi failed to score a point for her team in the Southern dish head-to-head challenge. What puts it into this category is the fact that she was attempt to score against...an empty plate, as her head-to-head rival, Koop, was unable to finish his dish due to cutting himself while slicing celery.
- Go Out with a Smile: For the most part. While she was visibly upset and torn at failing to make the final two, she accepts her experience in Hell's Kitchen as unforgettable and states that she cannot wait to see what the future has in store for her.
- Graceful Loser: Hugged the final two upon her elimination, and reflects positively upon her run on the show.
- Hero-Worshipper: Of Season 10 winner Christina. She practically squees when Christina compliments her dish during a challenge.
- No Indoor Voice: She goes ballistic at the Red Team and yells at them to communicate, after they were taken out and yelled at by Ramsay in Episode 7's service.
- O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Remains mostly quiet, calm, and collected...until Episode 7, where she positively screams at her team for not communicating properly.
- Out of Focus: Ever since clinching the Red Team's victory in the signature dish challenge in Episode 1, she hasn't received much attention at all, despite (or perhaps because of) being a consistent performer that tends to remain relatively uninvolved in arguments.
- Averted when Ryan switches the blue team, and she becomes the red team's most consistent performer in services and challenges.
- Suddenly SHOUTING!: After spending the season so far being relatively calm and quiet, she screams at the Red Team during Episode 7.
- Inverted in Episode 11, where she is suddenly quiet and unresponsive while leading her course, to the surprise and confusion of her team. She eventually succeeds nonetheless, and this sudden behavior isn't touched upon any further.
Paulie note (Occupation: Executive Chef)
- Best Friend: Considered himself one to Johnny, but did not allow it to cloud his judgment regarding Johnny's elimination.
- Also one to Andrew feeling sad that his vote ended up sending his friend home. Also worth noting that they were the last two guys in the final 6.
- Crippling Overspecialization: He's done very well in almost all of the challenges, typically serving excellent, high-quality food. However, during services, he is quite inconsistent, having served undercooked fish and meats several times and making elementary mistakes.
- Distracted by the Sexy: Happens to him in service during Episode 8, where he is captivated by the female dance competitors."Wow, she has a body on her. I wish I could just stand there all day and watch her."
- Foil: To Kimberly. Both have a knack of making many rivals during their stay in Hell's Kitchen, including each other, and were involved in a dual elimination in episode 14. However Kimberly was a Ditzy Nice Girl who had a bad start, but became progressively better during her stay at Hell's Kitchen while Paulie was a Smug Insufferable Genius who had a good start but progressively got worse as the season went on.
- He-Man Woman Hater: His attitude towards the women becomes increasingly more abrasive as the season goes on. During the episode he was eliminated in, he accused them all of "ganging up on" him because he was the only male, ignoring that it was his own mistakes that put him up for nomination.
- Honor Before Reason: Was willing to own up to his mistakes made during the first service and nominate himself. Luckily, this redeemed him in the eyes of his teammates (Johnny in particular), who were initially considering nominating him alongside Pat. They ended up choosing Matt instead.
- Insufferable Genius: Over time, he clearly began viewing himself as the best chef and above the rest of the Blue Team, and makes it known. To give credit where it's due, he has one of the most consistent challenge performances out of all the chefs.
- Averted during episode 6, when Ramsay ripped apart his poorly cooked challenge dish. Paulie pleadingly asked if there was anything redeemable about it. Ramsay simply responded "the plate that it was on."
- My God, What Have I Done?: His reaction when he realizes his vote was the one that eliminated his buddy Andrew.
- Never My Fault: In Episode 9's failure of a dinner service, he blames Koop for his meats coming out raw, saying Koop was not waiting for Paulie to cook the meat properly before cooking his fish and sending it up, this despite the fact that Paulie kept saying "five minutes" every time Koop asked him for a time.
- The One Guy: The last man standing as of the final 5, and the only one to receive a black jacket.
- Professional Butt-Kisser: He sucks up to Gordon quite often, a fact mocked by the other contestants.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Sometimes had moments of being this. The first instance was when, despite being Johnny's Best Friend, he admits that Johnny rightfully deserved his elimination for his screw-ups.
- In Episode 12, after the Blue Team agrees to nominate Devin, he privately talks with him and seems on the verge of switching decisions and choosing Ryan instead. However, when actually prompted by Ramsay, he goes through with nominating Devin as agreed upon.
- In Episode 13, his was the vote that would have gotten Andrew a win. However, he knew that, before being told which chef cooked which dish, he already voted for Kimberly's filet fair and square, and although his face said he sorely wished otherwise, he stuck with it. Downplayed in that Ramsay already knew how he had voted, so he wouldn't have been able to say otherwise.
- The Rival: Became one to Koop after Episode 9's service failure, claiming that Koop employs cutthroat tactics to come out on top, and is irrationally angry and therefore not a team player. Given that Koop was eliminated that same episode, their rivalry was very short-lived.
- Upon her switch to the Blue Team, he became one to Ryan, constantly accusing her of thinking herself better than she is, and being too overconfident in her abilities. He even goes as far as hoping and taking delight whenever she screws up during challenges and services.
- Becomes one to Kimberly, seeing her as a weak competitor, and angry that she stayed over his buddy Andrew.
- Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Stated in Episode 9 that if he went up to the chopping block again after that service, he would be eliminated. He was indeed nominated, but managed to stay, with Koop being eliminated instead.
- Smug Snake: Constantly talks down to other chefs, especially in Confession Cam segments. All while wearing an extremely smug expression.
- Sour Supporter: To Ryan in the finale. While he personally disliked Ryan and was very annoyed that he wouldn't gain anything even if they won, he didn't let it affect his cooking (much) and helped bring Ryan the gold.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: Was one of the more well-liked and nicer male contestants at the start of the season. However, as the show went on, he became increasingly nasty and egotistic, constantly putting down other chefs.
Kimberly (Occupation: Sushi Chef)
"Those are your competitors. Those people are gonna try to fuck you, and not in the right way!"
- Beware the Nice Ones: One of the nicest contestants of the season, constantly providing encouragement to chefs even when they screw up, and generally avoiding talking down to others. However, she is extremely vicious when arguing with and confronting people that piss her off.
- Butt-Monkey: She herself recognizes this in Episode 13, where she realizes that all the chefs dislike her and would rather have Andrew in black jackets instead of her, and would vote for his dish regardless of quality. Luckily for her, Ramsay keeps the identity of each dish's cook completely anonymous.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Between her signature dish challenge and her early ditzy behavior, she came off as very incompetent; turns out she's one of the strongest in the challenges and in dinner service, and had one of the best performances in the blind taste test, with a 3 out of 4. She ultimately went on to go to the black jackets and place in the top five.
- The Ditz: Comes off as this, with how constantly she asks her teammates to explain things she should know to her, though she points out in a confessional that she's a food truck sushi chef and thus still learning how to work on a restaurant kitchen.
- Duel Boss: With Andrew for the final black jacket. She won.
- Foil: To Paulie. Both have a knack of making many rivals during their stay in Hell's Kitchen, including each other, and were involved in a dual elimination in episode 14. However Paulie was a Smug Insufferable Genius who had a good start but progressively got worse over his stay at Hell's Kitchen, while Kimberly was a Ditzy Nice Girl who had a bad start, but became progressively better as the season went on.
- Genius Ditz: Despite her early ditzy behavior, she has done quite strongly in challenges and in dinner services.
- Go Out with a Smile: Smiled broadly and thanked Chef Ramsay for the opportunity during her elimination.
- Graceful Loser: Left in good spirits because she did improve a lot in the competition.
- Heroic BSoD: Suffered a big one due to the Epic Fail of the first Black Jacket, resulting in her freezing up due to the countless orders being switched around. Unfortunately, she was eliminated that night because of it.
- The Load: In the finale, she repeatedly sent up raw rib-eye, forcing Heather to replace her with Devin.
- Nerves of Steel: At least compared to Jessica. When she is singled out by the Blue Team and targeted for bullying in Episode 4, she takes it and shakes it off much better. Even when several members of her own team verbally attack her during punishment and prep time when she was asking questions in Episode 6, she doesn't let it get to her, being more focused on putting in a good performance during dinner service than on her team's mean-girl-clique behavior.
- Nice Girl: As said above, she is very nice and encouraging, and the first thing she does upon winning her black jacket is console Andrew with a hug.
- Older Than She Looks: Her behavior, appearance, and voice all suggest she is one of the younger chefs in the season. She's actually 34 years old, and tied for second oldest (after Pat) with Paulie and Aziza.
- The Pollyanna: Perpetually has an upbeat attitude, even during her elimination.
- The Rival: She clashed with Gia, Shaina, Matt, Andrew, and Paulie.
- Kimberly despised Gia's attitude and work ethic. To be fair, so did the rest of the Red Team, Kimberly was just the most vocal about it, actively getting into a huge shouting match with her. Whereas all the other chefs were shocked with jaws hanging upon Gia's elimination, Kimberly was positively beaming with happiness.
- Kimberly disliked how Shaina constantly underperformed on meat, while Shaina disliked Kimberly's overly confrontational attitude. After Shaina's team switch, their rivalry ended.
- In Episode 10, Kimberly and Matt clashed, with her being sick of him blaming everyone else for his mistakes.
- Andrew's constant Manchild mannerisms and flirtations with Heather irritate Kimberly to no end. In Episode 13, they seemed to make up when they faced off against each other for the last black jacket. Both acknowledged each other's hard work as chefs, and upon his elimination, Andrew even hugs her before leaving.
- Lastly to Paulie, Paulie admits he hates Kim for being a weak competitor and for being chosen over his buddy the aforementioned Andrew, while Kimberly dislikes how Paulie see himself as better than all the other chefs. Ironically this rivals ended when both of them were eliminated in episode 14.
- Too Dumb to Live: Served Gordon canned clams in the signature dish challenge. Canned and frozen food, as anyone with a lick of sense knows, is one of Gordon's major Berserk Buttons, and apart from Season 3 winner Rock, no chef who served canned/frozen/prepackaged food for their signature dish or left a non-food item on their dish ever made it to the black jacket stage or even lasted into the second half of the season.Johnny (confessional cam): You cannot make the words "canned clams" sound good ever.
- Took a Level in Badass: After Episode 10, with 10 out of 18 chefs eliminated, she became the second chef to last into the second half of the season despite her typically fatal signature dish mistake, after Rock. Additional points for having been nominated that same episode, but managing to survive to become this.
- She further went on to be the second chef who made that mistake to reach black jackets as well, and ultimately lands in the top five.
- Ramsay actually noted how many levels in badass she took during her elimination.
- Averted quite heavily in the finale however, as she screwed up on the meat station so badly that Heather was forced to assign her into desserts and replace her with Devin.
Andrew (Occupation: Sous Chef)
- The Ace: Was never nominated for elimination throughout his entire run on the show. His elimination was a result of losing the challenges in Episode 13, in which the reward was qualifying for a black jacket.
- Best Friend: One to Paulie being the last two guys in the final 6.
- Big Brother Instinct: Tried to save Aaron from going up for elimination the second time.
- Boisterous Bruiser: He's loud and confident in the kitchen, a fact he attributes to his Philadelphia upbringing.
- Deadpan Snarker: In the confessional cam, he responds to Genaro's "Would you like another, chef?" with a huge mix of incredulity and snark."How is that even a question? No, we're just gonna tell the guests, 'Sorry, our meat guy had an off night. You're not gonna eat tonight'".
- Duel Boss: With Kimberly for the final black jacket. He lost.
- Hot-Blooded: Proudly proclaims that he's from Philadelphia and was born and raised to be loud and boisterous.
- Insufferable Genius: Claimed that Chef Ramsay may as well mark down his point for the Blue Team in the challenge in Episode 5, to his opponent Wendy's irritation...and put his money where his mouth was, cooking his fish to perfection in spite of how he believed he miscalculated his times.
- It's All My Fault: He was utterly and visibly crushed from failing to qualify for black jackets in the three challenges in Episode 13, and blamed no one but himself, acknowledging his various screw-ups.
- Jerkass: Joined Johnny in bullying the Red Team, and is quick to jump on his teammates if he feels they've failed or are accusing him in any way, in particular Devin.
- Mostly subverted when he is switched to the Red Team, as he acknowledges their superior service performances and is content to smoothly integrate without much fuss.
- The Lancer: In the finale, he was far and away the most vocal of Heather's supporters.
- The Leader: When Johnny isn't doing this during kitchen service for the Blue Team, Andrew is, being loud, consistent, and focused on keeping his team together.
- Manchild: Ryan refers to him as a big ol' kid at heart during their reward for Episode 8.
- Morality Pet: Aaron was one for him, being the teammate he tried hardest to defend.
- The One Guy: For the Red team after Matt was eliminated.
- The Rival: To Devin, whom Andrew believes to be over his head and the most incompetent amongst the chefs.
- After switching to the Red Team, he became one to Kimberly, constantly claiming her to be the worst of all the chefs, and expressing hope for her elimination.
- The viciousness of his rivalry with Kimberly is toned down in Episode 13, where he acknowledges that both of them have worked hard and neither should go home. When he is ultimately eliminated, he blames no one but himself, and even hugs Kimberly upon leaving.
- Your Cheating Heart: Is engaged, but likes to flirt with Heather.
Devin (Occupation: Assistant Restaurant Manager)
- Big Damn Heroes: In the finale, he steps up to save Kimberly and the meat station after she tanks on rib-eye.
- Butt-Monkey: Is not well liked by the blue team, and is the first person the team will try nominating no matter what he does.
- In Episode 8, a few people tried to nominate him for sending up a raw chicken, though Devin argued that it was the only mistake he made that night, compared to the numerous mistakes Johnny, Paulie, and Wendy made that night.
- This treatment followed throughout the season and eventually contributed to his elimination.
- Can't Catch Up: Was constantly accused of this by the other chefs.
- Critical Research Failure (In-Universe): Presents his challenge dish in Episode 8 as a "fusion of Asian and Thai cuisine"...completely forgetting that Thai is Asian.
- Good Ol' Boy: Is from South Carolina, and has a southern drawl.
- Graceful Loser: Took his elimination fairly well, saying goodbye and wishing good luck to the other contestants, and stating that he was proud of making it as far as he did. In short, he took it a lot better than Johnny, Koop, and especially Matt did.
- I'm Not Here to Make Friends: Says the famous line in Episode 6, though he didn't take it quite as far as many past chefs did. If anything, it was more of a self-realization of his Butt-Monkey and No Respect Guy status.
- Nice Guy: Somewhat Played With. At times, he did seem to have a slight ego regarding his skills. However, he was never malicious about it, and mostly avoided unnecessary hostility, conflict and drama with the other chefs, only raising his voice or arguing in order to defend himself when accused.
- Played Straight mostly mid-season when, compared to the other remaining male contestants such as Johnny, Matt, Andrew, and Paulie, his attitude was the best by far.
- Also, while nearly all other chefs disliked Wendy due to believing her to be the weakest chef and unable to cook, Devin mostly disliked her just for her somewhat annoying mannerisms.
- No Respect Guy: His teammates always think of him as one of their weakest members. This treatment lasted all the way up to his elimination.
- Only Sane Man: One of the few male chefs in his season that didn't have an overly inflated ego or cause unnecessary drama. For the most part, he avoided being openly hostile towards his teammates, only raising his voice or arguing when accused and defending himself.
- Poor Communication Kills: On the wrong end of this in Episode 6 when the rest of the Blue Team decides to ignore the challenge and nominate whoever tanks during the dinner service. Devin has gone to bed early when this agreement is made, and nobody bothers to tell him in the morning.
- The Rival: To Andrew, whom Devin believes is way too cocky and arrogant compared to his actual cooking skills.
- This Is Gonna Suck: His reaction to the blind taste test. Sure enough, he bombed it (although his team still won). He at least got one right, though.
Wendy (Occupation: Line Cook/Pastry Chef)
- Crippling Overspecialization: Generally a strong performer in challenges, but services tend to be hit or miss. Chef Ramsay himself acknowledges this, praising her palate but citing her service inconsistency as the reason for her elimination.
- Flawless Victory: Technically subverted since she had to go twice, but in her first turn in the blind taste test, she scored a perfect 4/4, being the third contestant in HK history to do so (after Justin from S10 and Milly from S14).
- Gentle Giant: The biggest female contestant of the season, and also typically one of the nicest. At least whenever her buttons aren't pressed.
- Would also take the most pleasure and delight in challenges and services that were dedicated to public goodwill, such as picking up litter or cooking for charity organizations.
- Handicapped Badass: During her second turn at the blind taste test, she was covered in baby food (having been splattered earlier due to Devin only getting 1/4), and claimed that the smell interfered with her sense of taste. While she didn't perform nearly as well as her first turn, she still manages to beat the completely clean Andrew and clinch a victory for the Blue team.
- Hoist by Her Own Petard: She creates the best challenge winning dish that is added to the dinner menu in Episode 7. During service, she proceeds to royally screw up her own dish twice, leading to her second nomination.
- It's Personal: Swears to take down the Red Team one by one after she's switched to the Blue Team, having grown furious over how they nominated her twice in a row.
- The Load: In the finale, she repeatedly sent up raw salmon, forcing Ryan to replace her with Koop.
- Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant: Took an unnerving amount of joy in cutting live lobsters in half and ripping them apart during the punishment in Episode 8.
- No Respect Girl: Constantly accused by other chefs of flat-out being unable to cook, despite proving otherwise in many challenges and even a few services. Her inability to gain the confidence of other chefs contributed to her elimination.
- Picked Last: She and Koop were the leftovers when the drafts for the finale were completed.
- Primal Fear: Heights, which prevented her from enjoying the reward in the eleventh episode (a ride on a trapeze).
- Sore Loser: Was extremely bitter about losing the fifth challenge. Partly justified, since she was the last competitor from her team, and her dish was deemed excellent by Ramsay. Unfortunately, he judged Andrew's to be just slightly better."There's no question about how salty I am for losing this fucking challenge."
- Suddenly SHOUTING!: Had a habit of doing this whenever other contestants would criticize and attempt to nominate her.
Matt (Occupation: Sauté Chef)
- The Atoner: After his near-quit in Episode 3, he decided to better his attitude and be more of a team player, and contributed to Blue Team's first completed dinner service.
- However, by his last two services in Episodes 9 and 10, he completely returned to his early poor behavior, resulting in his elimination.
- Can't Take Criticism: Matt does not take it well at all whenever a visiting chef criticizes his dish and rates it poorly during any challenge, insulting them and their abilities and judgment. It almost led to him quitting in Episode 3, and continued throughout the season.
- Character Development: In the beginning of the season, it seemed like Matt was shaping up to be this season's Joseph, openly arguing with both his teammates and Ramsay. After his near quit however, he became a lot nicer, and more open to help his teammates.
- Subverted in his last two episodes, where he managed to completely return to his attitude in the first few episodes, and openly argued with his teammates and Ramsay.
- Cluster F-Bomb: About half of his post-elimination interview was bleeped out.
- Foil: To Shaina in their dual elimination in Episode 10. Whereas Shaina accepted her elimination calmly and gracefully, Matt cursed out both his teammates and Chef Ramsay, stating he would fight him if he ever ran into him in the streets.
- Genre Savvy: Subverted in Episode 1, when he told Ramsay to look at the cameras to clear his name, only to be told "Fuck the cameras" and being blamed for bad scallops.
- Good Ol' Boy: Though not as notable as past contestants, he has a strong Southern drawl to his voice. He even claims that one is not truly a Southerner if they do not have an accent.
- Heroic BSoD: Had one after blowing the third challenge, and seriously considered throwing in the towel until Ramsay gave him a Rousing Speech and convinced him to stay. See Let's Get Dangerous! for the result.
- Jerkass: Began the season as one, but got much better after nearly quitting and receiving a talk from Chef Ramsay. But he went back to being one in his last two services in Episodes 9 and 10, contributing to his elimination.
- Let's Get Dangerous!: After the above Heroic BSoD, he pulled himself together and managed to help the Blue Team complete their first dinner service.
- Never My Fault: Blamed Genaro for his screw-ups in the first dinner service.
- It came again in Episode 10 where he argued that no one helped him on the lobster tails that were sent overcooked, despite the fact that everyone offered to help him. This resulted in his elimination.
- Pretty Fly for a White Guy: Shows shades of this, using a lot of slang and even wearing chains during episode 10's reward.
- Pride: This was Matt's Fatal Flaw throughout the season. He is very proud of and stubborn about his cooking, and becomes incredibly defensive and angry if anyone criticizes him or his methods in the slightest, leading him to lash out at others. This contributed greatly to his elimination.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Was this during the nomination process of Episode 5. Given Johnny's terrible performance that episode, and his railing on Matt the most by far in previous episodes, anyone else in Matt's position would have used the opportunity to get Johnny nominated and hopefully eliminated. Instead, Matt actually defends Johnny, acknowledging his otherwise consistent performances and abilities, and suggests nominating the inconsistent and more inexperienced Aaron instead. A class act that contrasts his behavior in other episodes.
- Screw This, I'm Out of Here!: Almost attempted this, until a pep talk from Ramsay convinced him to stay.
- Sore Loser: Just like Johnny and Koop before him, he did not leave in a good mood. He was worse than the past two, as he said that he would have fought Ramsay bare-fisted if they were on the streets. Even Johnny and Koop didn't threaten physical violence.
- Too Dumb to Live: Figured that the signature dish challenge would be a good time to experiment with dove breast. It didn't end well.
- Actually tried to step up to Chef Ramsay, then when called out for it, tried to justify it with his military background. Because it worked out so well for the last person who stepped up to him with a similar background.
- He did this again in Episode 9 when he tried to give an excuse over why he only cooked one portion of lamb in an order with two lamb. He kept giving excuses and even interrupting Chef Ramsay, and Ramsay proceeded to rip him a new one.
- Took a Level in Kindness: After almost quitting the competition, Matt decided to work on his attitude, and was temporarily one of the season's nicer and more reasonable male contestants.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: He didn't return for the finale, and was replaced by Koop. May not be too surprising considering his attitude during his elimination.
Shaina (Occupation: Banquet Chef)
"Oh, shoot! Mine's is chocolate milk! But there's no way in hell I'm about to let the rest of them know that!"
- Badass Decay (In-Universe): Chef Ramsay himself cites this as the reason for her elimination, stating that she started in the competition relatively strong, but could not keep it up as the competition went on.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Remained fairly nice and affable throughout her time on the show. However, she was absolutely unafraid to viciously defend herself and retaliate against anyone accusing and criticizing her, as both Kimberly and Johnny can attest to.
- Foil: To Matt in their dual elimination in Episode 10. Whereas Shaina was calm, said goodbye to her team, and left Hell's Kitchen with a positive attitude, Matt was furious, unrepentant, and cursed out both his own team and Chef Ramsay.
- Go Out with a Smile: Stated in her exit interview that she was very proud of having made it as far as she did in the competition, and did not seem to hold ill will towards her team as she left, saying goodbye to them. This is in stark contrast to Matt's behavior that same night.
- Insane Troll Logic: In Episode 7 she undercooks some wellingtons, then during her second attempt undercooks them again. Both times she managed to blame it on the ovens.
- The Load: In the Episode 6 challenge, she forces the Red Team to pick chicken as their meat, is unable to cook it properly, and spends the punishment refusing to help and arguing with Kimberly.
- Never My Fault: Tries to pin the blame for her failed wellingtons on Kimberly, who lowered the oven's temperature, in Episode 7. For clarification, Kimberly was asked to start getting desserts ready and turned the ovens down so they wouldn't burn. While Kimberly did screw Shaina over, Shaina should have just put them in a different oven.
- She also claims that the wellingtons were the only thing that got sent back, completely ignoring that she sent up dry and raw chicken for the chef's table.
- Nice Girl: Was one of the nicer chefs this season, and one of the few Red Team members who didn't pick on Kimberly for her lack of experience in Episode 5.
- Only Sane Woman: In the surf and turn challenge in Episode 4, she tries to put Heidi and Ryan on different teams since they allegedly have better palates. She also tries not being paired with Aziza, since they both have the worst. Unfortunately, her pleas fall on deaf ears, and she and Aziza are ultimately the cause for the Red Team's loss, taking over 7 minutes to identify their dish's meats.
- Is this again in Episode 8, trying to tell Johnny to sear his fish (which refusing to do lead directly to his elimination) and keep the team together. She was also the only chef on the blue team besides Koop who did not screw up that Epic Fail of a service.
- The Rival: Was one to Kimberly in Episode 7; she disliked how Shaina constantly underperforms on meat, while Shaina disliked Kimberly's overly confrontational attitude. After Shaina's team switch, their rivalry mostly all but faded.
- Sore Loser: Upon being nominated in Episode 7, before the other nominee is even named, she launches into a rant about why she shouldn't have been nominated because her failures aren't her fault.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Gives a humorous one to the Blue Team men in Episode 8 in a Confession Cam moment, after catching them staring at the female dance competitors."Every guy on the Blue Team: Keep your eyes on the stove, and off the ass."
Koop (Occupation: Kitchen Manager)
- Achilles' Heel: Like Johnny, he was actually fairly consistent during services at almost every other station, except on the fish station. Both times when he was nominated, he was working on the fish station and after having his second disastrous performance on the fish station, it resulted in his elimination.
- Ironically, when Wendy tanked on fish in the finale, Koop came to the rescue and completed the station with no problems whatsoever. Thus, its possible Koop could have survived his second disastrous performance on the fish station had he not lost his temper afterwards and thrown a chair at the wall.
- Anime Hair: His hairstyle is certainly... unique.
- Big Damn Heroes: In the finale, he came to the rescue when Wendy tanked on salmon.
- Casual Danger Dialog: See the quote under his Deadpan Snarker entry? He said that while suffering from a cut that was so bad that it caused him to pass out.
- Cluster F-Bomb: Drops one in Episode 9 after the Blue Team is kicked out for the sixth time. Drops another one that same episode, in his exit interview regarding Paulie.
- Deadpan Snarker: Makes a comment in this vein after accidentally cutting himself while cutting celery."Oh, I was chopping through my celery and decided to give myself a manicure."
- 11th-Hour Superpower: Despite his struggles on the fish station leading to his elimination, in the finale he puts in an impressive performance, just in time to help Ryan win.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: When things went south for the blue team's ninth dinner service, he completely blew his stack, to the point of throwing a chair at a wall. When Ramsay learned of this, his elimination was a swift one.
- I Coulda Been a Contender!: He was one of the blue team's more consistent members, but a fit of rage after an embarrassing service convinced Ramsay that he wasn't ready to be a head chef.
- Picked Last: He and Wendy were the leftovers when the drafts for the finale were completed.
- The Rival: Became one to Paulie as a result of Episode 9's service failure, accusing Paulie of being whiny, kissing up to Chef Ramsay, and talking himself up better than his actual skills. Given that Koop was eliminated that same episode, their rivalry was very short-lived.
- Sore Loser: Spent his elimination interview cursing out and flipping off Paulie.
- The Stoic: Most chefs who go up for elimination are some combination of nervous, afraid, angry, or desperate. When Koop goes up, he's level-headed and calmly lists off the reasons he should stay.
- Tempting Fate: Comments in the third challenge that he enjoyed making a huge mess the front of the house and leaving it for "some bitch server" to clean it. Guess what part of the blue team's punishment for losing the challenge was.
- Took a Level in Badass: Was a key member of Ryan's team in the finale as he managed to rescue the fish station after Wendy had screwed up on there.
Johnny (Occupation: Burger Chef)
"You're embarrassing me in front of one of my heroes!"
- Achilles' Heel: Like Koop, he was actually fairly consistent during services at almost every other station, except on the fish station. Both times when he was nominated, he was working on the fish station and after having his second disastrous performance on the fish station, it resulted in his elimination.
- Barbarian Longhair: Has extremely long hair, longer than even most of the female contestants. Is also one of the most aggressive and roughest contestants of the season.
- Best Friend: Became one to Paulie, after Johnny defended him from nomination in the first episode. However, Paulie does not allow their friendship to excuse Johnny from his awful final service that resulted in his elimination.
- Blatant Lies: Claimed that nobody on his team gave him a heads up about searing the fish. Cue the recorded footage that exactly shows Shaina telling him to, and him brushing it off.
- The Bully: Proudly establishes himself as one in Episode 4, when he and Andrew attempt to verbally abuse Kimberly in an attempt to break her similarly to Jessica."This is the exact kind of stuff I do. I just can't wait to make her cry."
- Deadpan Snarker: "You cannot make the words 'canned clams' sound good, ever."
- Hair-Trigger Temper: Johnny's rather easy to anger, especially if his team loses, as shown when they got kicked out of dinner service in episode 2 and he went into a temper tantrum.
- Hero-Worshipper: He's a huge fan of Gordon, and hasn't been shy in admitting, even going so far as to refer to him as his hero (hence the quote). He even called Gordon Ramsay "The God of Cooking". He has also declared Joe Perry to be another of his heroes.
- Honor Before Reason: In Episode 5, after Aaron and Devin step up front from being nominated, Ramsay mentions one more nominee, but does not say the name, instead seeing whether the nominee "has the balls" to bring himself forward. While Andrew seemed just as much of a contender, having served raw steaks twice, Johnny brings himself forward instead, having served raw and burnt salmon.
- It's Personal: Says this to Genaro, alongside the above quote, in regards to Genaro's terrible performance that service.
- Jerkass: He actively takes delight in verbally bullying the Red Team and trying to break their spirit and morale. He eventually extends this attitude towards some of his own teammates as well.
- Was actually a pretty nice guy for first few episodes, but when he began bullying the red team, all kindness in him gradually eroded away, and his behavior eventually extended to his own teammates.
- Jerkass Has a Point: His accusations against Matt's poor attitude and teamwork were fairly valid in the first few episodes, and especially in Matt's last two episodes on the show. However, by then, Johnny had already been eliminated.
- Never My Fault: In Episode 8, he claimed it was his team's fault for not telling him to sear the bass, despite it having been done that way from the beginning and Shaina outright asking him if they were searing the fish. In the latter case, during a Confession Cam segment he blamed Shaina for his screw-up because she asked him if he was doing it instead of telling him to do it. It cost him his run on the show.
- In the tasting challenge the day before, he put up a rather terrible dish and argued that he didn't have enough time to make it better. Ramsay of course reminds him that everyone had the same amount of time to prepare their dish.
- No Indoor Voice: When Johnny's angry, the volume of his voice rises quite a bit.
- The Rival: To Matt, whom Johnny believes is a terrible team player with a terrible attitude. He gives Matt the hardest time by far while both are still on the Blue Team.
- The rivalry was mostly one-sided, as Matt was never recorded insulting Johnny outside of defending himself or responding to Johnny's accusations. Matt even successfully defended Johnny from nomination in Episode 5, and later expressed disbelief and anger at Johnny's elimination.
- Only Sane Man: At least in the first dinner service, where everybody on the blue team was kicked out. While almost everybody else tried to nominate Paulie and Pat due to their failures on the appetizer section, Johnny was the only one who realized that by putting Paulie and Pat up for elimination, Matt was going to be spared, despite being arguably the worst performer of the night, and having by far the worst attitude of the team.
- Sore Loser: Did NOT take his elimination well at all, claiming that he had "stepped up" while the other chefs "all suck", despite the fact that he was on a definite downward spiral, performing worse and worse in both challenges and services.
- If his team loses a challenge, you can tell by his body language that he isn't happy.
- Ungrateful Bastard: Complains about Matt's attempts to help him during service, telling him (in a Confession Cam moment) to "just shut up." This being after Matt had defended Johnny from being nominated by the team for elimination, despite Johnny having already given him a hard time before.
Aziza (Occupation: Kitchen Manager)
"I'm gonna research squab, I'm gonna Google it."
- Beginner's Luck: Had never cooked wahoo before in Episode 5—she'd never even heard of it—but she still turns out a beautifully-cooked fish.
- Book Dumb: Seems to lack culinary knowledge about various ingredients, as seen when she's never heard of what squab or wahoo is.
- Generic Girl: She never really stood out in any way (good or bad), and received very little coverage.
- Genius Ditz: Despite her seeming lack of culinary knowledge and ingredients, she still manages to cook great dishes, as seen when she presents a beautiful wahoo dish in Episode 5.
- Go Out with a Smile: Accepted her elimination with a smile and a very positive outlook.
- Graceful Loser: Took her elimination very well, stating in her parting interview that she learned much during her time on the show, and her elimination was simply the beginning of a new chapter in her life.
- Nice Girl: By far the nicest contestant of the season. She was nothing but polite and respectful to all the other chefs, and completely avoided insulting or belittling any of her teammates (even in Confession Cam moments), trying her best to get along with all of them.
Aaron (Occupation: Cook)
"I look like I'm fresh out of middle school!"
- Adorkable: Generally came off as this, helped by his self-deprecating sense of humor.
- Go Out with a Smile: While he admits to being frustrated with his unexpected elimination, he ultimately leaves with a positive outlook after some encouragement from Chef Ramsay and declares that he will continue cooking.
- Impossibly Tacky Clothes: His swordfish shorts. This was pointed out by the other chefs as well as himself.
- Kick the Dog: Was on the receiving end of this. He wound up being sent home after a perfect service solely because his team didn't believe in him.
- Morality Pet: Seemed to be one for Andrew, who tried his best to look out for and defend Aaron from nominations.
- New Meat: He is the youngest and least experienced chef of the group. It bit him in the ass, causing his performance in services to be inconsistent, and resulted in three nominations and his elimination, despite having an otherwise solid service on the third one.
- Nice Guy: He was pretty outwardly polite and nice to others, usually only showing frustration or anger in his Confession Cam moments. And even then, it was typically with himself.
- No Respect Guy: He was unable to garner respect from his team due to his inconsistent performances and struggles with communication, and got eliminated because of it.
- Older Than They Look: He looks like he's still in high school. Naturally, this was pointed out by Ramsay.Ramsay: Do your parents know you're here?
- Poor Communication Kills: What his team considered to be his Fatal Flaw, and what ultimately costs him in the end. In the fourth dinner service, his failure to communicate got him nominated for the second time. Luckily for him, Gordon spared the Blue Team and booted Gia instead. However, he gets nominated again the next episode on similar grounds, and is finally eliminated.
- Rule of Three: He was eliminated on his third nomination.
- Spear Counterpart: A young chef that, despite being able to cook competently, receives little respect from teammates due to age and lack of experience. Aaron is essentially a male version of Season 14's Michelle (bonus points for both being 22 at their time of competing) that was quieter and less assertive. Unfortunately, that difference cost him a lot in the long run, causing him to be the 5th eliminated chef while Michelle placed 3rd.
- Weak, but Skilled: Ramsay himself tells Aaron that he can cook, but that his lack of confidence, voice, and communication in the kitchen are strongly working against him.
- Unfortunately, his team lacked confidence in him and his chances of improving, resulting in his third nomination and elimination the very next service.
Gia (Occupation: Catering Chef)
"No, nobody needs a fucking medic!"
- Blatant Lies: When she "cut" her finger "really bad", it turned out to be a minor flesh wound that wasn't even bleeding.Ramsay: Where's the cut? (Beat.) Where's the cut?
Gia: Right here, chef.
Gia: It's not there.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: During dinner services, her head never seemed to be all there. She was consistently spacing out and not properly communicating with her team, and always seemed to be confused and lost on what was going on.
- Drama Queen: Said she cut her finger off during the third service, causing Ramsay to start calling for a medic, but it only turned out to be nothing more than a flesh wound with no blood. Ramsay even calls her out on it and says she is one word for word.
- Even worse is the fact that the medic actually came, and was subsequently brushed off by Gia due to not being needed. Poor guy.
- Epic Fail: Managed to become the seventh chef to get the boot despite being on the winning team.
- The Friend Nobody Likes: The rest of her team mates dislike her for her attitude and refusal to help out.
- Jaw Drop: When see found out she was eliminated, despite her team winning that night.
- Jerkass: Tries to lie to Chef Ramsay about "a really bad" wound, refuses to help her team during their episode 3 punishment, and has been one of the cattiest members so far. It eventually came back to bite her when Gordon eliminated her despite being on the winning team.
- The Load: During services, she was constantly lost, seeming to have little idea what she was doing, and would lash out at anyone trying to reach out to her.
- Never My Fault: Would never admit to or accept responsibility for her faults.
- The Rival: To Kimberly, who despised Gia's attitude and work ethic.
- Sassy Black Woman: Oh, so much. She would always lash out at anyone trying to call her out on her shortcomings.
- Sore Loser: Was not happy when she got eliminated despite being on the winning team, and argued that the eliminated person should have been Aaron or Koop since they were nominated. Apparently she doesn't know that Ramsay can eliminate people no matter what the situation.
Jessica (Occupation: University Chef)
"I'm gonna just go start getting my [bleep] together, just in case I do go home."
- Adorkable: Shows heavy shades of this with her constant nervous smiling and laughter, and slightly awkward yet perpetually cheerful attitude.
- Beginner's Luck: Had never cooked ostrich before the challenge in episode 3, but she manages a lovely dish.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Likely. She mentions during her nomination defending plea that she experienced much arguing in her household throughout her childhood, which is why she tried hard to avoid any in the nomination process and volunteered herself. Unfortunately, this doesn't earn much sympathy from Ramsay, and since she is actually eliminated, it is not elaborated upon any further.
- Glass Cannon: As a competitor. Aside from her score of 1 on the signature dish challenge and messing up one appetizer in Episode 2 and one tableside tagliatelle in Episode 3, she actually did fairly well in all services and challenges so far. However, her one mistake with the tableside dish and her aversion to confrontation led to her self-nomination (even though Kimberly did arguably worse) and her packing her bags ahead of time. This contributed to her elimination, with Ramsay feeling she lacked fight or confidence.
- Also rubs in the Blue Team's second loss, but becomes upset when they verbally retaliate. See Hypocrite below.
- Honor Before Reason: Nominated herself for her mess up, which Ramsay saw as a sign of weakness and eliminated her for.
- Hypocrite: At the start of Episode 3, she begins putting down the Blue Team for their second service loss in a row, and bragging that the Red Team would "keep schooling them until all of them are gone." When they Blue Team talks back, telling her to basically shut up and stop talking, and that nobody likes her, she becomes upset and actually starts crying, acting like she were the victim rather than the initiator.
- Idiot Ball: Despite performing very well otherwise in her third service as a tableside server, she screwed up one dish by slightly overcooking it. She thus nominated herself for elimination to try and keep her teammates from arguing over nominations, and was so ashamed of her performance she decided to pack her bags because she was sure she was going home. Ramsay, who respects strength and tenacity in chefs, gave her what she was basically asking for.
- Nice Girl: Was very kind and cheerful towards everyone on her team, and was even recorded on-screen forgiving and giving encouragement to chefs when they made mistakes.
- This became deconstructed when she willingly nominated herself to supposedly avoid arguing, which her teammates and Chef Ramsay himself interpreted as a sign of weakness and giving up.
- The Pollyanna: Her perpetually cheerful attitude grated on her teammates during their punishment in Episode 2.
- Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Began packing her bags in case she got eliminated. This was ultimately what caused Ramsay to eliminate her, seeing it as a sign of weakness and giving up.
- Suicide by Cop: Decides to nominate herself so there would be no arguing during the nominations. This results in her elimination.
- Tempting Fate: Brags that the Red Team will send all the men home in Episode 3. Guess who becomes the Red Team's first elimination that same night?
- Too Dumb to Live: It's well known that Ramsay doesn't like chefs that don't fight back, but she took it a step further and didn't even attempt to defend herself, leading to an unsurprising elimination in spite of Gia having been the worst performer that night. Incidentally, this marks the first time that a chef was eliminated on a night that they served tableside.
Genaro (Occupation: Sous Chef)
"Would you like another, chef?"
- The Generic Guy: Didn't really stand out at all.
- Heroic BSoD: Pretty much shut down and gave up after several screw-ups during the second dinner service. Gordon gave him the boot soon afterwards.
- The Load: Received a 1 on the signature dish challenge, botched the fish station on the first service (along with Matt) and got booted as a result, and screwed up the meat station completely in the second service, putting the blue team in a hole and getting everyone kicked out (again). Yeah, his short track record isn't exactly the best.
- The Quiet One: Rarely talked during his time on the show. It doesn't help that he received very little coverage, having no Confession Cam moments whatsoever in the first episode.
- The Stoic: Didn't show much emotion over his mistakes, besides vague disappointment. This earned him the ire of Johnny and Paulie, and Ramsay cited his lack of passion as the reason for his elimination.
- What Were You Thinking?: During second dinner service he screwed up on meat by sending raw New York Strips. That was already a bad mistake, but when Ramsay told him about this, Genaro didn't apologize for making that mistake. Instead, he asked: "Would you like another, chef?". Ramsay's response for that was pretty much this word for word.
Pat (Occupation: Culinary Instructor)
"I can nail risotto in my sleep."
- Fat Idiot: Very heavyset, and not a particularly useful teammate.
- The Load: During the first punishment, he didn't really help much, claiming he was too old to do the heavy lifting.
- The Millstone: His attempts to "help" Paulie's risotto ended up accidentally sabotaging him.
- One Degree of Separation: He was the mentor of Season 15's Jackie.
- Small Name, Big Ego: Bragged about his skill in cooking risotto, then managed to screw it up.
- Spear Counterpart: With his failure during service despite being a culinary instructor, he's this to Season 5's Colleen. Though he doesn't last as long.
- Unwanted Assistance: Given to Paulie when he oversalted some risotto that Paulie was working on in the first dinner service.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: He was the first one out.