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Small Talk: Tapas

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I converted the show request into the Small Talk thread for the show. Please feel free to start threads for characters, episodes, etc.!

If you (collectively) would like to change the name of the Small Talk thread jokey bit just figure it out amongst yourselves and then email david@previously.tv and he'll change it.

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Where do they find these people?  Are they actors or real cooks?  Do they just exaggerate their idiocy and emotional outbursts?  This is the first season I've watched in a few years - I like a few contestants and dislike many many more, but that's the norm for this show in the beginning.  I was happy the whispering chick left today though, she was more annoying than most.

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I believe this show only takes the cooks that can't get on any of the other cooking shows.  After all these seasons I am still surprised nobody seems to be able to cook the scallops and risotto. 

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After 12 seasons, I'm getting tired of this show.  Why do they consistently recruit contestants from prisons and local jails?  I can't root for anyone to win, as I would never want to eat the food cooked by these losers.  

Chef Ramsey, your contestants are under-cooked and over-heated.  SHUT IT DOWN! lol

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"SHUH-TET-DOWN!" "EH-TIS-RAWWW!" 

I like that there is one thread for the show. I'd rather read several posts in one thread than read one or two replies in multiple threads. "I can't be opening and closing all kinds of threads." [/brian Regan] Also, I rarely want to make a comment only about one specific person, so if there are so many threads for small subject matter, I don't know where to put it without going off topic, so I end up not participating. Or I'd have to make a disjointed point about one person then go to another thread to finish my thought about someone else. All the while, "opening and closing all kinds of threads." Also, if threads are narrow and super specific they start stacking up with one or two posts each and it gets confusing for me, [since I'm from the community of the  easily confused.]  I read something and later want to comment, but forget where I read it in order to respond. Now that I hear myself I should take this to another thread.

So TPTB are blurring nipples now. Interesting. I would sleep in my clothes before I'd be caught on camera in my undies, but that's me.

They always manage to make a signature dish that looks like a pile of poo.

"Far too garlic-y." Is there such a thing?

I predict before this is over someone's going to cut somebody and I don't mean superficial, slicing carrots accident.

Edited by ari333

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Ramsay's memo in my head: "Hey, Top Chef and Chopped, send over to Hell's Kitchen any and all rejects, but only if they're certifiably batcrap crazy and/or out on parole for some violent transgression. ThanksK."

STUNNING! AMAZING!

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Hee. Are you guys tired of hearing squealing livestock? Just me? Alrighty then.


I can't believe some of these folks are allowed to work with knives.

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My first thought when watching the first episode of this show (and last night) was: "Where do they find these people?" I really think that Simone girl has something wrong with her. How suspicious was it that right after Rochelle was getting sick, Simone complains she doesn't feel well either? Hmm yeah right. I actually felt pretty disgusted watching Rochelle cook while she was hacking up a lung every 5 minutes. I wouldn't want my food to be served by someone with bronchitis! What were she and Ramsay thinking? That can't possibly be healthy- or legal- at all.

There are no standouts to me so far. We won't be seeing any of the real chefs with actual talent for some weeks, unfortunately. The only standout to me is Joy, for now. Hard to say about the guys, maybe Anton? 

I really wish Ramsay had gotten rid of all 3 people he asked for their jackets. What was the point of him taking the jackets only to give them back? He really needs some new material...

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Not that I'm given to conspiracy theories mind you, but I thought Simone was a plant, just like I thought that wacko woman from last season with the puppet who also excused herself in week 2 was a plant.  Simone didn't know anything about cooking, that was obvious to me.

I swore I wouldn't watch this season, but after a long absence with no new Ramsay on the air, I have to say I was looking forward to it.  Hah, what does that say about me?  I admit it, I'm a sucker for this crap, no sense in hiding it.

I'm thinking right about now the real chefs in the group have to have figured out that most of them are nowhere near on their level.

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I swore I wouldn't watch this season, but after a long absence with no new Ramsay on the air, I have to say I was looking forward to it.  Hah, what does that say about me?  I admit it, I'm a sucker for this crap, no sense in hiding it.

That makes two of us SnarkyMcSnarker (love the name, btw).

Agree with others that have mentioned that the group this year seems to be filled with a lot of duds and possible plants. I'm just glad that at least this cast isn't as greasy/oily/slimy/in desperate need of a shower as last year's crew was.

I can't really identify any potential front runners this early on though Joy seems to be the best of the bunch at this point.

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I stopped watching last season. I tried an episode this season, but it is still just as bad. If they aren't going to bother to cast people who can actually cook, I'm not going to bother watching. Too much drama for my tastes.

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Gordon has maxed out his grand prize, so with a diminished reward comes even more bargain-basement "cooks".  He doesn't have a new restaurant for the winner to work in, so there's just some unspecified chef job.

Gordon Ramsay owns or operates THIRTY ONE restaurants around the world, but only 9 are in the US, so there's no telling where the winner ends up.  Most of the previous winners don't even work for him anymore.

No self-respecting chef with even a TINY bit of talent would be caught dead on this show anymore, so now it's just posers, wannabes, plants and fame whores.

I'll admit, I'm only watching because I LOVE the comic book intro!!  *LOL*

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I love this show. It is my TV crack. Why couldn't Grrrrr boot all three of the final nominees? They all suck so much worse then the first dude booted and it would help me to remember the remaining folks names.

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I still hate this show, everyone who appears on it, and everything on it as much as always!

Why do I watch?  It's like rubbernecking an accident.  I just HAVE to.  I can laugh, but then after I do I feel like crying.

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Yeah, HK drives me crazy too. I swear they have maybe 20% legit contestants, and the rest are cannon fodder and delusional loons. I think the only requirement is that they must smoke...

I don't understand the point of the 'nominations'. It seems like the process is just to eat up 10 minutes of screen time and antagonize the chefs. We all know Ramsay will kick off whoever he pleases, nominated or not.

My biggest irritation is the cheesy opening credit montages. What’s the point? They look stupid, IMHO, and do nothing to add to the show.

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My biggest irritation is the cheesy opening credit montages. What’s the point? They look stupid, IMHO, and do nothing to add to the show.

Good call.  I DESPISE them.  I mean I actively seethe seeing them for some reason and find myself thinking things like (when it was a circus theme) "yeah, call attention to how this whole thing is nothing but a sideshow, why don't you?"

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My biggest irritation is the cheesy opening credit montages. What’s the point? They look stupid, IMHO, and do nothing to add to the show.

 

I find myself enjoying the opening credit way too much as the show nears its end as I yell "Gone". "Been Gone" "Hate that guy!" "Still here", etc. at their pictures.

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I only love the opening because of the awesome music that makes me dance around the room like an idiot.

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I think the only requirement is that they must smoke...

THIS. This bothers me so much - it's not only a disgusting habit, but it affects your pallet. How can you make really good food and get the seasoning right when your taste buds are compromised? I'm constantly amazed at how many chefs are smokers - I see it on other cooking competition shows as well, though usually it's only a couple of them. This show it seems to be the norm  rather than the exception and nearly every single one of them every season seems to be a smoker.

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I believe this show only takes the cooks that can't get on any of the other cooking shows.  After all these seasons I am still surprised nobody seems to be able to cook the scallops and risotto. 

I saw 2 previous HK contestants on other cooking shows. Lovely from season 6 was on Food Network Star last year.  Will (runner-up) from season 9 was on Chopped in 2009 before doing HK.

Edited by MrsEVH

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It's gotten to the point where I have to wonder if any of the contestants have watched the show or not. Cuz, really, I'm thinking they are all random plants picked up off the street who said yeah, I can cook. Which, yeah maybe some of them can, but I wouldn't call 99% of them a chef. I feel like we are 1 season away from lead line people from Pizza Hut or McDonalds. 

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My biggest irritation is the cheesy opening credit montages. What’s the point? They look stupid, IMHO, and do nothing to add to the show.

I can't stand them either. I usually DVR the show then skip over that plus the recaps from last week and go straight to the beginning. I wonder if anyone from the Ohio Players are getting paid for their song to be used?

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I don't understand the point of the 'nominations'

 

Oh, I think the point is just to crank up the drama and the fighting.  You're supposed to work as a team, and then throw one of your teammates under the bus.   Then, when that person is not eliminated, you have an enemy for the next round.   

It's like if on American Idol, if the singers were asked who should be eliminated - there wouldn't be those friendships and the support they give each other. (might make the show more interesting though, espcially this season) There would be sabotage, hatred, tears. 

Ramsey WANTS the screaming, yelling,  threats, etc, just so he can shake his head about it and say "oh dear oh dear oh dear." 

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I've heard a lot of chefs smoke because the job is really stressful. Perhaps the show especially wants people who smoke because they know it affects their pallet, therefore they will screw up more dishes by adding too much seasoning, spice, salt, whatever, and have it sent back by Ramsay. It also makes the blind taste test more interesting.

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I wish I could hate this show. I really do. I know I should. I've known that from day one. I feel like I ought to take a shower after every episode. There's really nothing much left to see here anyway. It's the same thing season after season, episode after episode - hell, segment after segment. Awful people being awful at life.

Alas, I just can't help myself from being endlessly amused by Gordon Ramsay just being a dick. That's all this show is, all it's ever been, for me. And I'll be damned if that alone isn't enough to keep me thoroughly entertained, despite everything.

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The nominations are also a trap for contestants who think they're clever. People are always trying to out-think the show and nominate someone for reasons other than "being the worst cook." But whether it's "I don't like them" or "They don't work hard during prep" or "They're too good, and I think they're my competition," it never works, because Gordon has zero hesitation about ignoring the nominations and sending home the person he dislikes the most. Teams should just nominate whoever got yelled at the most or was sent home first.

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The nominations are also a trap for contestants who think they're clever. People are always trying to out-think the show and nominate someone for reasons other than "being the worst cook." But whether it's "I don't like them" or "They don't work hard during prep" or "They're too good, and I think they're my competition," it never works, because Gordon has zero hesitation about ignoring the nominations and sending home the person he dislikes the most. Teams should just nominate whoever got yelled at the most or was sent home first.

I think they're mostly just filler to bring the episode in on time, as well as add to the tension (because remember, this is a show where they overdramatically shake the damn camera if someone so much as stomps a foot, closes a door, or drops a raw tray of scallops--so "drama manufacture" is the clear priority).  It's a nice side effect though that jerks out themselves talking about the nominations.

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What always really bugged me about the nominations was when they would tell Ramsay they couldn't reach a decision, like if they were deciding between 2 different people for the 2nd nomination and couldn't come to a consensus on it. 

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Teams should just nominate whoever got yelled at the most or was sent home first.

Yes. But it does seem like the casting department makes sure that 90% of the contestants aren't the type of people who think that way.

Which is good for the show, and the other 10% are also good for the show because they get to represent me on site by getting frustrated by how the rest of the gang thinks,

When I actually watch the nomination process and don't fast forward though it, it always reminds me of a Springfield town meeting. All that is missing is the guy with a bone in his hair making an eloquent but ridiculous declaration and the part where they storm out carrying torches and pitchforks.

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My biggest irritation is the cheesy opening credit montages.

That's actually my favorite part of an episode.  I enjoy the montage every week.  I also like the seemingly endless ways the graphics people think of to use the HK pitchfork before each break.  I don't know what it takes to produce all those effects but they seem quite clever to me, definitely more clever than the contestants.

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Can someone tell me which season this promo image is from?

Is there any real difference between any of them?

I'd respect the show a bit more, for example, if it actually tried doing something besides Men vs. Women.  Old vs. Young would be a logical thing to try, given the natural tension that creates.

Edited by Kromm

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Or alphabetically. Or by height (which would be mostly but not strictly gender-based). Or by eye color. Just something different!

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Thanks guys! Our local station calls everyhting 'new' and I wasn't sure if this was the current one, obviously not. Last seasons 'who-ha bitch fest' was just too much and I bailed half way, hesitant to return. However I shall continue to lurk...

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I agree. The Men vs. Women thing has gotten so old and tired. In the first couple seasons of the show, the men and women were mixed, but they were just randomly put on a team together. Maybe they could be separated geographically, like the east coasters versus the west coasters.

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I agree. The Men vs. Women thing has gotten so old and tired. In the first couple seasons of the show, the men and women were mixed, but they were just randomly put on a team together. Maybe they could be separated geographically, like the east coasters versus the west coasters.

That's possible, although a bit less inherently clear than age.  Because of all professions, Chefs are one of the ones that relocate/move the most.  

Although despite that, it IS true that they still tend to clump together into stereotypical big groups like "loud talking New York chefs" (usually guys on this show--generally fat ones too), "Granola eating California chefs" (usually women on this show), "people from the 'hood--so usually LA I guess--who say 'bitch' a lot in every talking head" (almost always on the women's team), and a few other uber-categories that usually break down geographically as well as culturally.

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I don't like ANY of the chefs this season.  I wouldn't trust them to make a grilled cheese sandwich.  Usually there's one or two chefs I like, or at least tolerate.  This year?  None of them.

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I like the opening credits because it's the only thing that seems to change from season to season. It's Men vs Women. There's people who can't cook but cause drama who are kept week after week because of the drama. The competitions come to a tie before someone wins. Whichever team wins the challenge usually loses at service. That's different so far this season because they wanted to have a new "in the history of Hell's Kitchen" moment.Every couple of episodes there's a new "in the history of Hell's Kitchen moment.....". I don't know why they can't change it up a little. Even the food is the same. 

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I think the men vs women thing is more to make living arrangements make sense. They want the teams living together and I think there is concern about having men and women in the same living area. I know they are all adults but we are all aware that bad things can happen with sober adults and are more likely with drunk adults. God forbid there was ever one of the big blow up fights and a man got in a womans face or some got shoved. I think there are possible liability issues that keep the teams gender divided.

 

I know that there are other shows where that doesn't matter, Top Chef comes to mind. But those are not teams where they are encouraged to be studying and bonding in their off time. I would imagine that the energy and feel of the living arrangement is different.

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I think the men vs women thing is more to make living arrangements make sense. They want the teams living together and I think there is concern about having men and women in the same living area. I know they are all adults but we are all aware that bad things can happen with sober adults and are more likely with drunk adults. God forbid there was ever one of the big blow up fights and a man got in a womans face or some got shoved. I think there are possible liability issues that keep the teams gender divided.

 

I know that there are other shows where that doesn't matter, Top Chef comes to mind. But those are not teams where they are encouraged to be studying and bonding in their off time. I would imagine that the energy and feel of the living arrangement is different.

They all live together in the same dorm space--separated only on the individual sleeping room level.  They share the same common space and there seems just to be a few side areas they can gather in as meeting places if necessary.

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Yeah, they all live in the same space and are only separated when they sleep.  Men & women have hooked up in the past, and they haven't separated them. They also switch up the groups when it gets too lopsided on one side. I don't think the living arrangements are to blame, it's the lack of creativity. They could do a competition at the beginning with their signature dishes, Ramsay could pick the two best, then let them pick out their teams based on the dishes. 

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Does anyone know what happened to the previous winners? Are they still working for Ramsey? I would love to see a "where are they now" episode.

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Changes I would like to see in future seasons would be:

 

Changing the teams from Men vs Women. Maybe people just draw names out of a hat and are chosen randomly, so there will still be a mixture of ages, level of cooking experience, hometown, etc.

 

Changing the menu. Although all the chefs should be experts at cooking scallops, risotto, and Wellington since it's been on the menu for the last decade but still never seem to know how to do it, I would still like to see these dishes be replaced with other items. Watching people screw these same items up got old several seasons ago. Ramsay could stand to revamp the menu and make it a little more modern and contemporary.

 

Get rid of the Jaws music that's present in every scene.

 

Stop making all the challenges end in a tie-breaker.

 

Decrease the number of commercial breaks.

 

Stop re-capping every 5 seconds of the show. 

 

I know none of these changes will happen, but if even a few of them were implemented the show could feel fresh again and maybe more people would be interested in watching again. It just starts to feel like the same old show every season, just with new cheftestants, who are still more or less the same "characters" they have every season. 

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The previous winners usually don't even get the announced prize. The money, sure; the job, they're lucky if they even get to be a line cook in the restaurant, never mind the head position, and they never ever EVER get retained past the announced year. I think last season's winner flunked a drug test to get into the restaurant in the first place. It's like the cooking equivalent of The Running Man movie.

 

I agree the menu needs a revamp. I think we've seen just about all the ways there are to fuck up scallops. Real restaurants change their menu too; there's no shame in it. You serve the same stuff all the time and sooner or later you're going to get stale.

Edited by Gosling
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A "where are they now" episode would be great. I believe the winners' contract is only for a year though. So I'm sure by now all of them probably either opened their own restaurant or went to work somewhere else. Not too long ago, I think it was last season actually, they brought back some of the past winners like Nona and I think Dave too. Perhaps in that episode they explained what they had been up to since their win. The only person I really know about at all is last season's winner Ja'Nel, who couldn't take the job because she failed the drug test. I don't know what she ended up doing since though. And as far as I know, the job was not given to Mary (the runner up) or Jon, the third place finisher.

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