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'Hell's Kitchen' recap: May the best (wo)man win

Do you think Russell gets it?

Nona earned the job as new chef at L.A. Market working alongside Kerry Simon not just because she can cook and has a great palate. She’s also someone chefs wouldn’t mind hustling for, with a demeanor that fosters loyalty and teamwork, the very things that you need to get food out of the kitchen and into the dining room.

Or, put another way, the exact opposite of Russell.

I suspect, though, that Russell does not realize that he probably lost the “Hell’s Kitchen” finale because of a nasty attitude and bullying demeanor. Who would want to do anything for that guy? All you need to know about Russell occurred when he was on the verge of choosing Vinny to help him out in this final dinner service. Instead of approaching Vinny, setting differences aside and getting him fired up for one last chance to show Chef Gordon Ramsay what he could do, Russell badgered and humiliated Vinny about his lack of energy. Way to motivate, Russell!

Russell had the classical training and a pretty fine palate himself and quickly proved himself to be a front-runner in this race. But in the end, he just shot himself in the foot. (Odd how he made such a rookie mistake, trying to rush out so many tables at the same time in a bid to outdo Nona.) And if there was any doubt about Russell’s temperment, it all became clear in the final moments: Russell couldn’t even bring himself to acknowledge Nona as she wished him luck, much less offered the same. And then he immediately began blaming and threatening the returning players who helped with the final dinner service:

 “I felt like I was being sabotaged,” he said, adding sarcastically, “Thanks a lot, guys.” And then — this is the best part — publically promising to blackball them all: “You will never get a job in any city that I work. I will definitely blackball you guys.”

Good idea, Russell, that won’t reflect back on you at all.

Kudos to Nona, who sacrificed much to get here, including her son’s first birthday and his first steps.

Some random thoughts as we end the season:

— Ever notice how sometimes chef Scott can look all nice and friendly? And then — bam!

— My favorite Ramsay line of the night: “Ooof. They're back.”

— I was kind of surprised at how eager Jillian seemed to help Russell. Granted, it’s in her best interest to make a good impression, but she seemed happy to be on his team.

What did you think of this season and the finale?

— Rene Lynch
Twitter / renelynch

Photo: Fox

Comments () | Archives (14)

The other thing that got me...Is Nona was just trying to do the best job to get the job done and was focused on the task at hand. While Russell was making it all about him, which annoyed me. In the end it is not about you but about the customer and how satisfied they are.

It was Russell's team that ruined it for him. It was Russell. He had a good team but he has no idea how to manage a team or to work with a team.

I totally agree with this article. Russel is a true bully. I was very happy when Nona won. Go Nona!

I screamed for joy when Nona won! I am so glad that Chef Ramsey chose her as the winner of this season. Russell may have been consistent in his dinner services but he also had a nasty attitude and did not know how to set his ego aside when it mattered most. He is not as professional as Nona is and I believe that when all of this plays back he will regret his character on the show. Congrats Nona!

Of those who were in the top four, Nona, Russell, Trev, and Jillian. Nona won she will be at the L.A. Market guaranteed. Trev and Jillian can entertain offers from anyone they choose. If any restaraunt owner/chef watches this show, they will black ball Russell for his arrogant, cocky and violent demeanor. Russell needs professional mental help.

I'm pretty happy that Nona won. Russell was so overbearing, I just couldn't imagine working for that guy.

Blaming his defeat on his team was just pathetic. What a poor loser.

I really liked the way that Nona handled the salad. "Hey, let's talk about this. Here is what I want you to do differently." No yelling, no threats, just a simply non-confrontational presentation of something that she would like changed.

The article is totally right and so is everyone else. Nona showed true leadership. She also took the time to constructively correct situations. Sadly enough, Russell did not. This is proof that the work of a Chef is done with the support of a team - without team work - failure is guaranteed. I'm so happy for Nona and her family!

I think at the end of all the seasons after the winner is announced, you would hear Chef Ramsay say something like "Russell is a great cook, he's got heart and determination, but that wasn't good enough for LA Market..."kinda what he says right before he hook up a chef's jacket. I wonder why it was not in this episode. Russell I hope you get a job cooking 'cause I really don't want my taxes paying for your unemployment you effing douche

Why is it that so many reality TV contestants just say and do and say the nastiest, dumbest things? Do they forget they are on camera? Do they forget that they will have to re-enter the real world and get a job? Silly.

Let's face it, Ramsay has a soft spot for young moms appearing on the show - look at Hollie U from last season and Nona from this season. That notwithstanding, it was a very credible win though, good on you Nona.

On the menu and presentation (on TV), I thought Russell had the edge. I truly hope it was the comment cards that brought Russell down and not just because of his attitude. It is a bit rich for Ramsay to dismiss others because of their bullying demeanor...

Someone mentioned Chef Scott, yeah, he is a complete caricature on the show, and a bully. I don't care for that guy one bit.

You guys are full of it. You don't know what you're talking about. I'm the best chef, that's obvious. I should have won, without a doubt. I think Nona and Ramay had a thing going, and so naturally he picked her. Everybody's full of it. I'm the best, and I'll pound anybody who thinks otherwise. You're all blackballed!

When LA Market, Ramsay, EVERYONE, reviews all of the video footage on Russell, they will breathe a sigh of relief that this GHETTO THUG is not the one representing their LA Market restaurant and fine wine. Funny how Russell bragged so much about his expertise with exotic, fine cuisine, and yet HE was (is) so ghetto.

Russell seems to have respect for NO one. Countless times he said things on camera that, I'm sure, his fiancée must have felt hurt by ("..bring on the hookers..." - When he celebrated a victory.) I'm going to guess that Russell has made many (and will continue to make) enemies in his life's journey -- NOT because he's THAT good, but because he's delusional (a la Hitler's style).

Nona, on the other hand, though she expressed her opinion, never stomped people down. I *LOVED* her facial expressions as she reacted to scenes throughout the season. (Anyone notice how her son already has some of those cute expressions?) And she celebrated her victories and rewards with a childlike quality.

In the end, Nona knew how to take command, while building people up. Russell only knew how to be Russell, mean-spirited, arrogant, and disrespectful. Ramsay is no dummy, he stated Russell's arrogance overshadows his talent (or something like that). And, in the end, Russell STILL blamed other people for his defeat. Is he STUPID or what? HE is gonna "blackball" the OTHER guys?? HAHAHAHAHAHA... really, Russell? Try predicting YOUR OWN demise when other chefs recognize YOU!

Nona, Nona, Nona..... you earned the victory, not only because of what you DID this season, but because of who you ARE. Much success in your career, as well as health/happiness to you & your family!

I thought Russell was going to win HK but he tried to serve two tables at once and it cost him bigtime.

Russell, you are so brave. You showed us when you thought you needed to jump off the building with a parachute. Nona was ALL for it. You wet your pants. What you have is a big mouth and like all bullies, you just pick on those you know are weaker than you.
If I were Russell family, I will be ashamed of him.

Hey guys, I'm sorry, I was just a little upset this morning (and still quite drunk). My boss fired me last night and I'm really seeing myself much more clearly now... I don't know why I'm such a "ghetto thug" (as someone put it), maybe its my Chicago upbringing... My mom and dad divorced because dad wouldn't stop drinking... Now I can't stop drinking either, and it cost me the LA Market job. I'm just so sorry.......


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