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Characters / Hells Kitchen Season 18 Rookies Vs Veterans

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  • The Bus Came Back: 8 chefs from multiple seasons return!
  • Informed Attribute: On both sides as we are suppose to have a team of strong rookies with impressive resumes, and a team of returning chefs. As with Season 17, both teams are inconsistent.
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  • My Greatest Second Chance: Unlike the previous season, three of them are runner-ups. Bret is notable for being the only one who didn't get a black jacket because of his back injury.
  • New Meat VS Veteran Unit: As the name implies, this season features eight new chefs in the red team competing against a team of eight previous chefs from the past seasons in the blue team. This also makes it the first season since Season 1 that the teams were not divided by genders... at least until the third service, when Ramsay abruptly declared the "Rookie" and "Veteran" team line-ups a failure and reset it to the Battle of the Sexes. Unsurprisingly, the two finalists this season were Mia (Rookie) and Ariel (Veteran).

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Ariel

Previous Season: 6 (3rd place)
"I’m not an evil person, I swear."
  • The Ace: Does consistently well in many services and challenges, to the point that all the other black jacket chefs unanimously deem her a Worthy Opponent.
    • The most notable exception to this occurred in Episode 8, where she mistakenly sent up a raw halibut to Ramsay's daughter Tilly's table, instead of the properly cooked one she had actually prepared. However, this was the last straw of many mistakes from the blue team that night, and Ramsay ended up kicking them out.
  • Adorkable: Does an impression of Chef Ramsay and the Sous chefs using inflatable ducks in the pool in Episode 8.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: As much of a Nice Girl that she is, even she has her limits. She had some very choice words for Roe's Never My Fault on the meat station, getting frustrated when Roe wouldn't own up to her mistakes.
  • Black and Nerdy: Mentions that she is a super nerd when it comes to zombie video games.
  • Boring, but Practical: While an overall strong chef on the line and in certain challenges, other contestants claim she is a bit less creative and wary of risks in challenges requiring execution of unique dishes.
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    • This is especially pointed out in the finale, where Ramsay, after praising Mia's menu, criticizes almost every dish on Ariel's as under-seasoned, bland, and boring. However, this also works to her advantage, as her dishes are easier to make for her team (an advantage also utilized by Dave when she was on his team back in the finale of Season 6).
  • Deadpan Snarker: Has her moments.
    "Trevor, you should have had nicotine as a flavour, you would have got that one." —on Trev's Epic Fail on the Blind Taste Test.
    "Chef Valerie just annihilated Bret's balls." —on Bret's raw dessert
  • Failed a Spot Check: During Tilly's Sweet 16 birthday party, Ariel accidentally sent up a raw halibut instead of the cooked one she was planning on sending up. Oh, and it was for Tilly's table, leaving an understandably pissed Ramsay to kicked the blue team out that night.
  • Flawless Victory: Achieves this, as she not only wins the season, but managed to avoid nomination all the way through, as opposed to her run in Season 6.
  • Genre Savvy: In Episode 13, Ramsay sent breakfast to the Final Five. She and Mia immediately knew what that means, and both were the only ones aware that they had to memorize and guess what was in their Eggs Benedict.
    • This perhaps helped them significantly to win the Taste It Now Make It challenge.
  • History Repeats:
    • Like in Season 6, she lost a special event service.
    • Just like in Season 6, she won the Blind Taste Test.
    • Managed to win a black jacket like last time.
    • Just like in Season 6, she not only won an individual challenge, but ended up tying with somebody (in Season 6 it was with Kevin, here, it was with Mia).
    • Overall, her story is similar to Season 14/17 Michelle as both placed 3rd in their first seasons, and both won the second time they competed.
  • Nice Girl: Is genuinely nice and friendly to the other chefs, helping her teammates during services and challenges (such as tasting for Mia and Kanae due to their food allergies) and is always supportive.
    • However, even she had her limits (see Beware the Nice Ones above).
    • This plays heavily in her favor in the finale, where she provides her brigade with consistent encouragement to maintain their morale. In return, her team treats her with respect and all do their damn hardest to help her win.
  • Out of Focus: At first, she was the one member of the veterans team with the least amount of screen time during the first half of the season. This gradually became subverted as her strong performances began shining through, and she was an immediate shoe-in during the Black Jackets challenge.
  • Pet the Dog: After winning the reward challenge during the Final 4 and told she could bring one of the other contestants along, she decides to take Bret because he hadn't enjoyed a reward in the longest time, and that Mia should take one for the team since she had done only one punishment the whole competition. Ironically, Ariel does the same for Mia by taking Bret along, as it's pointed out by both Mia and Motto that Mia would have had a terrible time doing the punishment with Bret, and she and Motto joke around during the punishment and seem to have a pleasant time overall.
  • Took a Level in Badass: While she was strong in Season 6, she was overshadowed by Dave and Kevin, along with the fact that the red team that year sucked ass in dinner services. In this season, Ariel not only lasted longer than Kevin, but she proved to be more consistent now, helping the blue team win more challenges and services. She lampshades it to Sous Chef Jocky that last time she was not in at as she should have been, but was more determined now. This all culminated in her not only qualifying for the finale (unlike in Season 6), but she eventually won the season.
  • Technician vs. Performer: The Technician. Throughout the competition, most other chefs view her as competent on the line and a good team player, but lacking in the creativity department.
    Motto: Ariel is very technical, but doesn't think outside the box as much.
    • Is this towards Mia's Performer in the finale. Whereas Ariel is strong in communicating with her team and commanding the line, but presents simpler dishes on her menu, Mia creates a more complex menu that is harder for her team to create, and also struggles with communicating and commanding her team's respect.
  • Worthy Opponent: Deems Mia this as she wanted to beat the best, and wished the former luck when she wanted to move into the red team.
    • Bret, Mia and Motto all considered Ariel to be this at one time or another as well. Bret told Motto to watch out for Ariel, Mia wanted to compete against her in the finale, and Motto wanted to compete against her in one challenge because he wanted to beat the best.
  • Youthful Freckles: Still prominently sports these, and to her credit, she barely appears to be a day older than her previous appearance on the show, let alone 8 years (27 then, 35 now.)

Mia

"If they were previous Hell’s Kitchen winners, I would be nervous. But they are previous Hell’s Kitchen losers."
  • The Ace: She has performed markedly better thus far on the red team, netting perfect scores on three reward challenges (only narrowly losing to Bret in one of them) and being the sole reason the rookies bounced back in their second service. This was noted by Christina who told her to take charge of the team. It has continued in the blue team, and overall, she always either scores a point or places amongst the highest in reward challenges, including scoring a perfect run in the Blind Taste Test, being only the fourth person in 18 seasons to achieve this. Even the narrator himself calls her the "Challenge Queen" and Ariel calls her the "Challenge Master".
    • Finally subverted in the dessert challenge, where her deconstructed apple tart earned her a low 4. But she bounced back the next challenge, becoming the second chef to receive a black jacket, after Ariel.
    • Subverted during the tableside challenge, where Ariel won and chose to take Bret on the reward trip, on the grounds that even Mia should have to suffer through a punishment once in a while (it was only her second of the season).
  • Cool, but Inefficient: She builds complex dishes for her menu in the finale to emphasize her expertise in Puerto Rican cuisine, and Ramsay generously praises her menu. However, because of said menu's complexity, her team struggles more to correctly prepare them, not even recognizing some of the ingredients at first.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: In challenges, she produces some of the strongest dishes so far. But come dinner services, she struggles from time to time.
    • Ultimately, in episode 8, after struggling with serving fish and chips, she received her first nomination, but ended up surviving.
    • Her being so good in challenges and being more inconsistent during services could be partly due to her being a private chef and thus possibly not having much experience working with a brigade. But to her credit, she isn't using that as an excuse, even though Bret and Heather cite this as a reason to nominate her.
  • Eye Take: Ariel noted that Mia makes some ridiculous facial expressions in the kitchen, including widening her eyes whenever Chef Ramsay shows up in the kitchen.
    • Bret attempts to nominate her after the first black jacket service for the same reason, as Mia didn't respond when Bret asked for ETA on garnish.
  • Genki Girl: She tends to get very giddy and excitable when going on rewards, best seen when jumping on a trampoline and getting ice cream during one of the rewards.
  • Genre Blindness: Was highly, openly competitive all the way through, and vocally participated in nominations. This caused just enough minor conflicts with other contestants that she was nominated in black jackets for being "hard to work with", and it did not serve her well in the finale, by which point most of the chefs had some kind of beef with her. By contrast, Ariel and Motto cultivated respect and stayed back on nomination discussions.
  • Genre Savvy: In Episode 13, Ramsay sent breakfast to the Final Five. She and Ariel immediately knew what that means, and both were the only ones aware that they had to memorize and guess what was in their Eggs Benedict.
    • This perhaps helped them significantly to win the Taste It Now Make It challenge.
  • Graceful Loser: After learning that she lost, she smiled as Ramsay hugged her, she pointed out how well she did and said that this wasn’t the last we’d hear from her.
  • History Repeats: She was once on an episode of Chopped where she placed 2nd. Here, she placed 2nd behind Ariel.
  • It's All About Me: Light shades of this. She's rarely outright obnoxious, but she managed to have (or at least perceive) low-level conflicts with the majority of other chefs. This came back to bite her in the ass in the finale, when her team picks were apparently forced by the need to avoid those she butted heads with, and she still ended up with two team members who openly disliked her. She shined in individual challenges but never made a particularly exemplary team member, though she was usually very consistent.
  • Never My Fault:
    • Her reasoning for nominating Chris after the first service was that he did not communicate with her on what was going out, even though he pointed out that she should have paid attention to Ramsay as well.
    • When she was nominated during episode 8, she tried to blame Kanae for not properly setting up her station which led to some poorly cooked fish, but the latter argued against that. To her credit, Mia later admitted that she did this because she didn't want to get eliminated, and she and Kanae buried the hatchet quickly enough.
    • In Episode 13, she considered Motto a nominee for getting confused on the fish orders, even though she was one of the three people responsible for causing said confusion.
  • Silk Hiding Steel: During her introduction, she describes herself as this, and that people tend to underestimate her because of her appearance and smiley face. It shows late in the season with Bret, as when he argues with her, she argues right back and doesn't back down.
    • This eventually puts her at a disadvantage for the finale, as Bret and Kanae prefer to be on Ariel's team and all her teammates except for Jose are turned off by her ordering them around during prep.
  • Spicy Latina: Her personality shows this, especially since she's Puerto Rican. She especially emphasizes on her roots in the finale, with her menu being based on it.
  • Sweet Tooth: As seen during one of the rewards, where the ladies got to enjoy ice creams, Mia was beyond excited about it and tried just about every flavor available.
    • The Blind Taste Test this year involved gelato, and Mia demonstrated her finesse with sweetness by guessing all 4 gelato flavors correctly.
    • After she and Ariel earn their black jackets and are taken to a lounge area to relax and enjoy snacks and drinks, Mia wastes no time in going straight to the chocolate fountain.
  • Technician vs. Performer: The Performer. Mia fares well in most challenges, labelling herself the "Challenge Queen" and being labeled the "Challenge Master" by Ariel. However, when actually on the line during services, she experiences major inconsistencies both in cooking and communicating with her team effectively.
    • Is this to Ariel's Technician in the finale. Whereas Mia struggles to communicate with her team and earn their respect, but also creates a more complex menu that Ramsay praises, Ariel creates a menu that Ramsay criticizes as boring and bland, yet manages to communicate with her team more effectively and earn their respect.
  • What Were You Thinking?:
    • She sliced five raw Wellingtons in half, instead of trimming off the ends like Ramsay wanted during the fourth dinner service. She got lucky that it was a fixable mistake.
    • Her picks of her team after winning the final challenge against Ariel, choosing Roe, the lowest placing chef among contestants as the first pick and choosing lower placing chefs Trev and Jose over higher placed chefs in Bret, Kanae, Heather & Motto (the first 3 can be excused as she has some conflicts with them, but she has no filmed conflict against Motto at all). Despite this (and her personality rubbing her team the wrong way), they ended up being neck and neck against Ariel, both services are decent despite being hampered by a weak link (Roe for Mia, Bret for Ariel).
  • Worthy Opponent: Deems Ariel as, by Episode 13, she wanted to face off against the former in the finale.

Bret

Previous Season: 14 (11th place)
"I’m so sorry chef."
  • Apologizes a Lot: Whenever he made a mistake, he kept apologizing to the point the others got tired of it.
    • During the first service, he forgot that he wasn't supposed to slice the lamb chops, and he kept apologizing to Ramsay while working.
    • When he decided to use his Punishment Pass, he kept telling his teammates that he intended to spy on the rookies. Nobody cared or bought that.
    • After they lost the Soup Challenge, Bret kept apologizing to the team for letting them down. Everyone was already tired of hearing it, while Roe, who got the second lowest score, wanted him to just let it go.
    • After serving a raw dessert, he apologized a lot when he went back in line, and in the same episode, he apologized to his deceased parents for serving raw fish to a pregnant woman.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: Italian food. Initially subverted as this helps him get his risotto put on the menu for the entire season and earns him a punishment pass.
    • Later on, Sous Chef Christina lampshades this during the dessert challenge by quipping that he wouldn't be able to make spaghetti, and his dessert flops badly.
    • Trev attempts to nominate him for elimination for the same reason following the subsequent dinner service.
    • Mia also decides to nominate him after the Top 4 dinner service, partly for his mistakes during service, and also because of this, stating that he always stays in his comfort zone and never pushes himself or takes risks.
    • Ironically, finishes in 3rd place due to mistakes made cooking carbonara and even worse, his own risotto. And he might have finished in fourth had Motto not chosen to leave the competition in fourth instead.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Revealed in Episode 13 that he used to be a product of his hometown, and was close to being sentenced to 30 years in prison by age 20.
  • Foil: Can be considered as one to Robert from Season 5 and 6. Both are chefs who did fairly well in their original season, were forced to withdraw due to medical reasons, and were invited to return in a future season. However, whereas Robert did worse upon his return, not even making black jackets, Bret manages to make it all the way to placing third.
  • History Repeats: Narrowly averted in Episode 8. Bret suffered a mild stressed induced heart attack, and while he required medical attention, he refused to leave medical wise again.
  • Hypocrite: He grew to heavily dislike Trev due to Trev constantly downplaying or outright negating his mistakes and making them seem like no big deal, but come the black jacket dinner services, he does the exact same thing when Mia decides to nominate him for elimination in part due to the mistakes he makes during dinner services.
  • Jaw Drop:
    • Had a massive one when T was eliminated, even saying that he thought she would be in the black jackets again.
    • Had roughly the same reaction to Heather comparing T to her son pouting in the toy store during the elimination pleas that episode.
    • He had another one after seeing Heather win a black jacket as he, along with everybody else, thought that Kanae would win.
  • Large Ham: He often comes across as this.
  • The Load: Downplayed in the finale. He was easily the weakest contestant on Ariel's team, screwing up on chicken to the point that Ramsay stepped in to yell at him. However, he managed to recover and still help Ariel secure her victory, as opposed to similar chefs from previous seasons who were replaced on their station or kicked out entirely, often costing their team the win.
  • Manly Tears: Sheds these after winning the risotto challenge in Episode 2, winning both a Punishment Pass and a spot for his recipe on the Hell's Kitchen menu.
    • Repeated when he was the first chef to survive Cook For Your Life, when the red team got thrown out after he served raw salmon to a pregnant guest at the chef's table, when he earned a black jacket, and when he was eliminated.
  • My Greatest Second Chance: More so than the other returning chefs because he was forced to leave due to an injured back. As such he's the only returning chef this season that did not make it to the black jackets.
    • To clinch the deal, Bret not only received his long-coveted black jacket but made it to third place, which he had a legitimate chance to accomplish in season 14.
  • Old Shame: In-Universe. He considers his medical exit last time "disgusting".
  • Tattoo as Character Type: Has gotten two tattoos on his wrists in honor of his deceased parents.
    • Later revealed that he also had tattoos of several of his favorite ingredients, including eggplant, garlic, and two unknown forms of seafood.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: While he was a little arrogant in the beginning, Bret wasn't being nasty towards his competition... at least until near the end of the team phase, but it was mostly toward Trev after reaching his limit with the latter's poor performances and excuses.
    • During the black jacket phase, he constantly targeted Mia as he considered her the weakest performer in services, including not communicating and making unusual facial expressions. In the final four he outright lies about his reasons for nominating Mia, saying that she made mistakes in cooking meat, despite it being shown that nothing she cooked was sent back; whereas Bret made a few mistakes in his station, including messing up his very own risotto recipe, which Mia pointed out.
  • What Were You Thinking?:
    • Says this pretty much word for word regarding Jen's accusing Ramsay of sabotaging her.
    • This trope ends up in his direction when he used canned tomatoes for the soup challenge, getting him the lowest possible score (along with Roe).
    • At one point it's mentioned how he fits this due to him using his one-time-only Punishment Pass at the very first opportunity he could rather than saving it for later just in case, and it shows plenty when the veterans team and later the men's team continued losing reward challenges one after another, with the rewards just getting better and better, much to his chagrin.
  • Worthy Opponent: Deems Ariel as one.
    "She's a gangsta bitch, and she can cook."

Motto

"I'm not going to quack under pressure."
  • The Ace: Went through the entire competition without a single nomination; but on his final night, he opted to quit and focus on his current life in Baton Rouge instead of going to the finals.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Was this during the first black jackets service as he helped both Bret and Heather out on meat and fish respectively, and kept service from going further south.
    • Stepped in on the appetizer station during the finale after Kanae burned dumplings.
  • Expy: To Jon from Season 11 as they were both the strongest cooks on their team, but did not get to enjoy the rewards due to their teammates inconsistency.
    • Also like Jon in that he never once complained about it, unlike a few other contestants who went through the same fate.
  • Farm Boy: Reveals in Episode 5 that he grew up on a farm, and had no problem doing the composting punishment.
  • Formerly Fat: Episode 8 reveals that he used to be on the husky side as a teenager, which he credits as loving food too much.
  • I Choose to Stay: A weird take on this trope, but Motto realized that he was needed back at Baton Rouge more than becoming Ramsay's next Executive Chef, wanting to use the lessons he learned during the competition to elevate the culinary industry there. While shocked by that, Ramsay respectfully allowed him to leave, even offering him a job should he feel he succeeded in his goal.
  • Nice Guy: The most genuine of the men, always kept an upbeat and friendly attitude.
    • At the beginning of episode 4, he was noticeably absent when three of his teammates were sitting in the hot tub making comments about Mia's body.
  • Non-Gameplay Elimination: Decided to quit at the final four, and right before Ramsay could name the final two, as he realized that he needed to go back to Baton Rouge and help out his community.
    • However, unlike all the other chefs on the show who voluntarily quit and lost their spot as returning chefs for the finals (Joy from Season 12 and Aaron from Season 13, who made it far enough to qualify for returning at their departures), he didn't lose his spot, making him the first voluntary quitter in the show's history to do so. This might be because he quit for a selfless reason (deciding that he was needed more back home in Baton Rouge), instead of a selfish one or in a Rage Quit.
  • "Not Making This Up" Disclaimer: Remarks at one point that he has to be on all twelve of his toes, with the confessional line stating outright that yes, he does have twelve toes.
  • Only Sane Man: To the red team as he doesn't argue without reason.
  • One Steve Limit: His first name is Chris, but is going by his last name in order to avoid confusion with the other Chris.
  • Suicide by Cop: When the Final Four have to decide the one person they think should not make the finale, he volunteers himself, because he was convinced that he was needed more back in Baton Rouge. Both the other chefs and Ramsay accept his decision.
  • Tempting Fate:
    • Does not taste the sample plate during the Taste It Now Make It challenge. As a result, he lost the challenge because he was the only one to not realize that he needed to use Canadian bacon in addition to prosciutto.
    • Says the above quote during the Chinese food challenge, as he was assigned to cook a duck dish. He lost the point to Ariel after leaving a raw peppercorn on the plate and received a confessional captioned "QUACKED UNDER THE PRESSURE".

Heather

Previous Season: 16 (2nd place)
"Rookie mistake número uno!"
  • Boring, but Practical: None of the chefs were impressed that she kept it safe with a standard filet and lobster surf and turf dish, but it came out with fewer problems compared to Kanae's dish that had underseasoned rice and overly sweetened shrimp. This led to her winning the final black jacket.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: The other chefs in the Black Jacket Lounge completely deflated when she walked in, as they were hoping for Kanae to join the Black Jackets.
  • History Repeats:
    • Impressively, she managed to score a perfect 5 on her signature dish again like last time.
    • Played with in the special service during Episode 8. While she did win the challenge again, her team lost the service.
    • Managed to win a black jacket like last time.
      • This is the third season in a row where the last person to earn a black jacket was the next to be immediately eliminated.
  • Hypocrite: In episode 11's dinner service, Kanae uses a spoon to break a bit into her fish to see if it's cooked on the inside, and Heather says in confessional that if Kanae can't check if her protein's properly cooked just by touch, then she shouldn't be there. This came after she overcooked some meat on her first entree ticket and during the re-fire she asked Mia to check it for her.
    • Repeated during nominations after the first black jacket service, when she accused Mia and Bret of not communicating with her. The reality is that she didn't respond to Ariel or Bret when they asked her for a time on fish, which forced Motto to take over her station; this ultimately led to her elimination.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: While Heather is blunt, she isn't too mean toward the other chefs without reasons, and she seems to be close to Trev, even trying to lift his spirits up after the latter's poor performance in the Blind Taste Test.
  • Never My Fault: Her entire attitude in the first black jacket was this as she blamed poor communication around the kitchen for her faults on fish, despite not communicating with her team herself.
  • Old Shame (In-Universe): Her affair with Andrew back in Season 16. She even told Ramsay that they were no longer on speaking terms.
  • Pet the Dog: Is this to Trev while he vents about Scotley slacking off during a punishment and his 0/4 performance on the blind taste test.
  • Too Much Information: During a punishment involving cleaning the dorms, she mentions to Bret that her 5-year-old son doesn't... aim well, so to speak.
  • What Were You Thinking?: Ramsay's reaction to her preparing a potato puree in a Vitamix blender for the first black jacket challenge. This is the same mistake that cost Elise a black jacket in Season 17.

Kanae

"My husband would kill me if I didn’t have a cover up."
  • The Ace: Was never nominated once, instead getting booted in Episode 12 on the Black Jacket Challenges.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: She stated in the first episode that she grew up in an area where there were shootings.
  • Gosh Darn It to Heck!: Rarely if ever swore during her time on the show.
  • Graceful Loser: Took her elimination pretty well as she was proud of her accomplishments with Ramsay hoping that one day, she becomes an Executive Chef.
  • Nice Girl: Is one of the nicest chefs of the season, and only gets in confrontations with other chefs (such as Mia) when she is attacked first. Even then she still manages to be relatively civil, as opposed to the open hostility that often occurs between other contestants.
  • Reluctant Fanservice Girl: During the rookies' third reward, Kanae gets in the pool wearing a bikini and a cover up, because her husband would be furious if she got on camera wearing only the bikini. She still shows that she has a great figure. Subverted in Episode 8 where she did not wear a cover up when the women were at a pool during a reward in Malibu.
  • Speech Impediment: Has a slight lisp bordering on Fang Thpeak (her consonant "s" sounds like "th"), except without any actual fangs.

Trev

Previous Season: 8 (4th place)
"You're making SNACKS!!!."
  • Arch-Enemy: He was this with Scotley as he disliked the latter's arrogant attitude, and basically called him a douchebag.
  • Bald of Awesome: He's become bald since last time, but zig-zags the awesome part of the trope.
  • Butt-Monkey: Once again, Trev is this as he barely gets any respect from his teammates (especially Scotley), and has done all but one punishment since the start of the season. And like in Season 8, he brought a lot of his No Respect Guy status upon himself with his Never My Fault tendencies and his inconsistency.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Most of the funniest commentaries in the interviews come from him, delivering all the sarcastic quips without missing a beat.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?:
    • Cites gaining the respect of his team as his one of his main goals, considering his experience in Season 8. Unfortunately, he never really gained the respect of the rest of the Red Team, especially Scotley.
    • Averted with Ramsay, however, who seems to still like Trev as much as he did the last time. When Trev is eliminated, they part very amicably with good wishes, and Ramsay remarks that Trev is "the most passionate" of all the chefs to have ever come through Hell's Kitchen.
  • Epic Fail:
    • Somehow managed to go a peg further down from his previous attempt in the Blind Taste Test by scoring zero out of four this season. It's worse when you remember that he was the only person to get that score this season.
    • He also cost the red team the Dessert Challenge by making a healthy dessert that guest judge Valerie Gordon brutally criticized.
  • Expy: To Devin from Season 16. Both were chefs who struggled to gain admiration from their teams throughout their time in Hell’s Kitchen, but whereas Devin may not have deserved his No Respect Guy status, Trev (mostly) deserved it. Coincidentally, both were eliminated in the same place (7th).
  • History Repeats:
    • As with Season 8, Trev moved from the blue team into the red team.
    • In Episode 7, Trev loses the challenge for the red team by leaving the fish for the cioppino on the pan, not unlike in Season 8, where he left correctly identified carrot puree on the pan in the "Taste It Now Make It" challenge, costing him the victory.
    • As in Season 8, Trev has become the The Friend Nobody Likes on his team, to the point the only one who gets along with him is Bret — until Trev just about single-handedly wrecks the red team's chances of winning the Blind Taste Test challenge.
    • As with in Season 8 again, he lost a challenge for a special event service, but his team won the service anyway.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Even viewers who didn't like Trev agreed with him when he called Bret a "one-trick pony"; considering the fact that he didn't cook anything except Italian for the entire season's run, Trev isn't exactly wrong.
  • Never My Fault: By the end of his run, he went to this attitude as he refused to accept responsibility for his mistakes. One example was disregarding Valerie Gordon's harsh criticism of his dessert as a "personal opinion," which greatly angered Bret as she brutally criticized his dish.
  • Sanity Slippage: At the beginning of the season he was one of the most calm of the male chefs and rarely lost his cool. As the season went on, the repeated punishments and conflicts with his teammates wore on him, and he became far more argumentative and easily stressed. Episode trailers sometimes played up his ongoing breakdown and the other contestant occasionally commented on how he was losing it.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Had many instances of this. Repeatedly, he has talked a big game or passed off his mistakes onto someone else yet his cooking has left something to be desired. This played a major role in his being eliminated shortly before Black Jackets.
  • Tempting Fate: Arrogantly brushed off the lessons as he claimed he could do them. Cue him improperly marking the Wellingtons and getting an earful from Sous Chef Jocky, then struggling to poach eggs two episodes later.

Jose

  • Birds of a Feather: Is this with Mia, his fellow Puerto Rican. One of the few returning chefs who was actually excited to be on her team for the final dinner service.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Mentioned in Episode 5 that he used to be on the streets at a young age, but being a parent has changed his priorities.
  • Epic Fail: He did not do a proper check on his veal saltimboccas before sending them out, and that led to half of them being sent back for being raw. Not only did Ramsay have to cook the refires by himself, but it pretty much cemented his elimination.
  • Failed a Spot Check: The reason why so much veal were sent back for being raw. Jose failed to properly check the veal chops and it was his responsibility to do so, so Ramsay eliminated him.
  • Out of Focus: Other than getting nominated after the first service (which was mostly Ramsay's choice as the rookies picked Scott and Chris over him), Jose didn't receive any significant screen time among the rookies... at least for the first four episodes. Afterward, Jose shows off more of his skills.
    • Ultimately averted in his last two episodes, when not only was he significantly more vocal with the rest of his team, but also his performances began to decline, with him failing to lead on the fish station in Episode 9, and failing to check his dishes on the pass during Episode 10’s charity service, causing half of the veal dishes for the red team to be returned for being raw. He was eliminated that episode.
  • Papa Wolf: His family is the main reason why he decided to compete for the Executive Chef title.

Scotley

"Stop acting like Baby Girl."
  • Arch-Enemy: He was this with Trev as he disliked the latter's attempt at leadership, basically calling him a whiny bitch and baby girl.
  • The Big Guy: He's the tallest of the rookies.
  • I Want You to Meet an Old Friend of Mine: It's revealed in Episode 1 that he and Gizzy knew each other before coming onto the show, working for the same company before she left.
  • Jerkass: When Trev has an allergic reaction during the punishment in Episode 7, Scotley is unsympathetic and calls Trev a “baby girl”. And while one reason why he acts this way is because he thinks Trev is just trying to get out of punishment, he also acts this way because he wants to make Trev explode!
  • Lazy Bum: Scotley is seen doing little in his final punishment, naturally annoying Trev.
  • The Leader: Tries to be this due to his lack of confidence in Mia's credentials, with mixed results such as a paper towel catching fire on the fish station and a miscommunication on the appetizer station that prompts Gizzy to erroneously enter the kitchen from tableside. Mia was thankful to be switched off his team.
  • Never My Fault: He refused to take responsibility for not communicating in the fourth dinner service as he could not multi task on both garnish and timings. The problem is that anybody who knows this show knows that garnish needs to be in sync with meat and fish entrees so...
  • Picked Last: Was Ariel's final pick in the draft by overall.
  • Sore Loser: Did not leave in the best of moods, and sarcastically wished the red team luck with Trev.

Roe

Previous Season: 13 (5th place)
  • Graceful Loser: Took her elimination with some grace, and knew that all she had to do was shake Ramsay's hand before leaving.
  • Oh, Crap!: She visibly has this reaction when Jen starts accusing Ramsay of sabotaging her shortly before her mid-service elimination.
  • Out of Focus: Like Ariel, Roe is so far the only veteran to not have received any major focus, compared to last time where her inconsistency was the main focus.
  • Tempting Fate: During Tilly's birthday service, she boasted that she was strong on meat several times in the past, and was ready to kick ass again. Cue her sending up two raw steaks, and getting eliminated that night.
    • Repeated during the finale when she boasted about saving the fish station for La Tasha in season 13, only to send raw pork and overcooked fish, which helped cost Mia the win.
  • Took a Level in Badass: In Season 13, Roe was easily the most inconsistent chef that got to black jackets, but from the start of this Season, she improved more, and did not have any service performances that were lackluster. But that soon became subverted during Episode 8 when she tanked on meat, and was eliminated not long after.

Gizzy

"Who's gonna be the bitch and say that this needs salt?"
  • Crazy Enough to Work: Puts up a vegetarian dish for the risotto challenge in Episode 2; some of the other contestants believe she's lost her mind, and Gordon himself is noticeably hesitant to try it. In fact, even Gizzy herself acknowledges that it was a huge risk. However, when he does try it, he finds it to be quite delicious. While it ultimately doesn't win the challenge, the fact that it was presented to Ramsay in the first place note , as well as it beating out two of the veterans' dishes says a lot about how good it was.
  • Dramatic Irony: Admitted to Roe in Episode 7 that she wanted to prove to everybody that she could handle her own on a station. She was then put into an individual elimination challenge where she was eliminated for having the weakest dish of the six.
    • Gordon points out during her elimination that Scotley was her replacement at her previous job, and now he's taking her spot in the competition.
  • Fiery Red Head: She has bright red hair and is one of the most outspoken and confident from the rookies. Surprisingly subverted in the fourth dinner service where she doubled guessed herself on the lamb, leading Ramsay to urge her to speak out more. Eventually, her confidence went down even further, and it led to her elimination in the Cook For Your Life Challenge.
  • I Want You to Meet an Old Friend of Mine: It's revealed in Episode 1 that she and Scotley knew each other before coming onto the show, working for the same company before she left.
  • Never My Fault: In episode 4, she is reprimanded and even nominated for elimination for abandoning her tableside post to try helping Mia and Scotley on flatbreads, then says that they should've told her that they didn't need her there and to go back to her assigned post.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Her real name is Elizabeth, but she goes by Gizzy.

T

Previous Season: 14 (2nd place)
"Rookies, you can't work the line, you can't burn, you're going home."
  • Arch-Enemy: Took an instant dislike to Jen, and openly questioned early on why Ramsay had deemed her worthy of being brought back.
  • History Repeats: In both her seasons, T was in a challenge where her team had an extra chef they had to sit out, but after they lost the challenge, it was revealed that the sat out chef could have won them the challenge (In Season 14, it was Michelle's alligator chili that could have scored a perfect 15, while in Season 18, it was Kanae's purple mashed potatoes that could have scored 8 points).
    • In both of these cases it was T who pushed for said dish to sit out, only to underperform herself.
  • One-Letter Name: Still goes by her nickname "T" instead of her real name, Torrece.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Attempted to take over the meat station from Gizzy by suggesting that the latter had a raw lamb chop (Ramsay confirmed it was perfectly cooked). Recommended for the blue team to chop Kanae's dish for the potato challenge instead of her own, a decision that backfired severely. Sent home for her refusal to accept responsibility for multiple steaks being rejected for being raw and overcooked.
  • Sore Loser: Downplayed, but she called her elimination unfair as she felt she was better than Heather, even though she shut down when she was sinking meat that night.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Episode 6 had T nosedive into this. Not only did she not feel remorse for removing Kanae's dish for the challenge (which would have gave the blue team the win as she herself and Gizzy received 3 points), she argued with Heather during dinner service, and refused to talk to her despite being station partners. This ultimately led to her elimination.

Chris

"5'7 and a half, because the half does fucking matter!"
  • Forgetful Jones: Revealed during the first elimination that he had an accident that damaged his memory, hence why he had to write down cooking times during the opening night. This comes to damage him again in the third service, when a burned pork pan appears in the red team's oven. As he angrily wants to know how it got there, a flashback clip shows that Gordon explicitly told him to let the pork rest in the oven for a while, but he forgot about it immediately.
  • Heroic Bsod: At the beginning of Episode 6, Chris started to face some anxiety and depression as the effects from his accident were starting to come back. It got to the point where, despite winning the challenge for the red team, he ultimately decided to quit.
  • Jaw Drop: Had an epic one in Episode 3 when Chef Ramsay revealed during post-service that Jen had dared to openly accuse him of sabotaging her.
  • The Load: Was definitely this in Episode 4. In the team challenge, which was otherwise a Curb-Stomp Battle in favor of the Rookies, he got the lowest possible score of three stars, the second-lowest score on his team being a seven. Then, during the actual service he completely forgot that Ramsay had left a pork chop in the oven when demonstrating how to cook it (though in fairness, Ramsay himself apparently did so too), then had major trouble timing his orders correctly, causing a ripple effect of confusion throughout the kitchen.
  • The Napoleon: Subverted; he's short, but also quite friendly.
  • Non-Gameplay Elimination: On Episode 6, Chris decided to leave the competition as he was facing personal demons from his accident nine months ago which was distracting him from the competition, which Ramsay wholeheartedly sympathized with.
  • One-Hit Wonder: His lobster shepherds pie not only gave him a perfect 10, but it was also the dish that won the tie breaker for the red team. Sadly, this would be the last great dish he would make prior to his departure.
  • One Steve Limit: There are two Chris' on the red team, but he is going by his first name while the other Chris is going by his last name Motto.

Kevin

Previous Season: 6 (2nd place)
"I have this chip that I just can't get rid of, and it's been eight long years I've been chewing on this."
  • Bald of Awesome: Is still bald after all these years. Unfortunately, he soon stops being so awesome.
  • The Dreaded: His teammate Trev warned the rookies to watch out for him, as he was cutthroat back in Season 6. Considering that Kevin scored a perfect 5 in the Signature Dish Challenge, Trev's got a point. Sadly, this did not carry over as two poor performances led to his early elimination.
  • Epic Fail: His performance on meat in Episode 4 saw him send three unacceptable lamb dishes to Ramsay: the first one was over, the second one was under, and the third was raw. It got him his first nomination ever (though he was simply sent to the red team).
  • Graceful Loser: Took his elimination with grace, admitting that he was already successful outside the competition, and that he did not have the same drive that he once had eight years ago.
  • History Repeats: Jen's mid-service elimination was not the first one Kevin witnessed among one of his teammates, as it also happened to Louie back in Season 6. It also wasn't the first time Kevin saw one of his teammates get unceremoniously eliminated for trying to confront Ramsay, since that also happened to Joseph.
  • Retired Badass: Revealed in Episode 3 that he used to be in the marines.
  • Sore Loser: He's seriously displeased when his dish loses to Mia's in the first reward challenge.

Jen

Previous Season: 4 (4th place)
"You trying to clown me up in here, chef!"
  • Arch-Enemy: Bret seems to be one for her as of now as she got annoyed by his boastfulness. However, she was touched by his description of his tattoos.
  • Compliment Backfire: Goes off at both Ariel and T for seemingly criticizing her prepped sauce (both actually agreed that her sauce was better than the one they made, and should try to match that).
  • Epic Fail: Her entire second stint despite it only lasting three episodes, one being a two-parter. To start off the season, she scored a two in her rendition of Mia's signature dish — the lowest by any blue team chef. Her real down fall came in her second dinner service, where she needed Heather to bail her out on salads. It only got worse after her mashed potatoes were sent back twice. After accusing Chef Ramsay of sabotaging her, well, how much of a bigger fail can you be?
  • Expy: Shades of Tavon come to mind. Both claimed they were executive chefs, both struggled with basic culinary 101, both blamed everyone else, including Ramsay for their short-comings, and both were eliminated unceremoniously. However, even Tavon was able to admit during his elimination plea that he had royally screwed up, whereas Jen remained Defiant to the End.
  • Foreign Cuss Word: Utters the word 'Wanker' repeatedly unbleeped throughout the first episode.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: The entire Blue Team already considered her dead weight in terms of cooking; her terrible attitude was simply the icing on the cake. Needless to say, they were all glad when she was ejected.
  • History Repeats:
    • Much like in Season 4, she went through a Minor Insult Meltdown over Ramsay calling her out over something (calling out the orders in his place in Season 4, under-portioning the garnish this time) in a much milder way than he'd usually chew someone out for. However, whereas in Season 4 she just spent the rest of that service in a massive sulk and complained about Ramsay in the Confession Cam segments, this time she blew up at Ramsay and accused him of sabotaging and disrespecting her, causing him to throw her out on the spot.
    • The manner of her elimination was also more than a little reminiscent of Joy's abrupt exit in Season 12. Much like what happened there, Jen made a mistake early in the service and gave Ramsay attitude over it, and when she made a similar mistake later in the service, she completely lost it, cussed out Ramsay and then left the competition, albeit via an instant elimination rather than leaving of her own accord like Joy did.
  • Humiliation Conga: Her entire (short) time on the show this season was one for her. There was not a single challenge or service that went particularly well for her, culminating in her automatic elimination after failing on the garnish station (and taking it out on and blaming Ramsay of all people for it)
  • Ignored Aesop: She claims to have improved her attitude since Season 4, but very quickly proved that to be completely false, starting the season immediately hostile towards her teammates and the staff, culminating in her mid-service elimination after accusing Ramsay of sabotaging her.
  • Jerkass: Way back in season 4 Jen was the prototype of the reality TV bitch. Despite promising at the start that she changed her attitude, she proved during the blue team's punishment that she has not changed after 10 years, even arguing when Sous Chef Jocky told her that she should have cleaned the mushrooms before pureeing them.
  • The Load: Received a 2/5 on the signature dish challenge (the lowest Blue Team score and tied for lowest overall), incorrectly pureed mushrooms during dinner prep, served pork sauce late during the first service, overdressed salad in the Marine Corps lunch challenge, and failed to adequately serve mashed potatoes on the garnish station (considered by most chefs to be one of the easier stations) in the second service. Her mid-service elimination that night probably only hastened the inevitable.
  • Never My Fault: Any mistake she committed would be either brushed aside, or she'd throw the blame back at whoever had called her out on the mistake. This led to one hell of an moment when she accused Ramsay of sabotaging her during the second dinner service.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: After being given the chance to come back a full ten years after her first run on the series, she is all too happy to storm out the front door after being chewed out for having (falsely) accused Ramsay of trying to sabotage her.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Claims that she does "have it" regarding her ability as a chef, and that "there's plenty of people that think so." Too bad she never displayed those skills during her time on the season.
  • Tempting Fate: Early in what turned out to be her final service, Ramsay called out to her, to which she snarkily asked him what she was doing wrong. Just as Ramsay started to chew her out for her lack of respect, Jocky handed her a pan of mashed potatoes she had given him moments beforehand, and told her they were bland.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: It's hard to believe this was possible, given her already Jerkass attitude towards the end of Season 4. But at least during that season she was nice enough in the beginning, and never openly talked back or argued with Ramsay. In this season? She argues with her teammates from the get-go, and accuses Ramsay of sabotaging her during service. Given her meltdown and her leaving and the comments after her departure, it's a wonder Jen did not stab someone.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Did she really think accusing Ramsay of sabotaging her would be a smart idea?
  • What Were You Thinking?: On the receiving end of this from her entire team (in particular Bret) after openly accusing Chef Ramsay of sabotaging and unfairly disrespecting her mid-service.

Scott

"Saving the best for last, that's how we roll up in here!"
  • Epic Fail: He had some massive problems in the shrimp during opening night which included forgetting an order for them, making too much, and cooking for tableside despite it being Scotley's responsibility. This led to an unsurprising elimination.
  • Expy: With his poor performance at opening night, along with cooking shrimp for tableside when he was not supposed to, you could argue that he was close to Season 8's Raj (although Scott was eliminated earlier than Raj was).
  • High Hopes, Zero Talent: Despite being the oldest of the rookies, his outstanding resume, and owning his own restaurant, Scott did very poorly in the first service that led him first out.
  • The Load: Easily one of the weakest rookies, and was the first one out.
  • Long Speech Tea Time: Went on a long tangent by listing off all the employers he worked under. This bored everybody, and Trev responded by flipping him off.
  • One-Hit Wonder: About the only thing that went well for him during his very short time on the show was his risotto being one out of four selected by Sous Chef Christina to compete in the risotto challenge. Unfortunately, his was immediately deemed inferior to Mia's by Chef Ramsay.
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