Hell’s Kitchen: What happened to the Battle of the Ages?

HELL’S KITCHEN: Host / chef Gordon Ramsay in the “Clawing To The Top” episode of HELL’S KITCHEN airing THURSDAY, Oct. 13 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. © 2022 FOX MEDIA LLC. CR: FOX.
HELL’S KITCHEN: Host / chef Gordon Ramsay in the “Clawing To The Top” episode of HELL’S KITCHEN airing THURSDAY, Oct. 13 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. © 2022 FOX MEDIA LLC. CR: FOX. /

When the gimmick for Season 21 of Hell’s Kitchen was revealed, that it was to be a group of older, more experienced chefs versus a team on chefs all in their 20s, it sounded like a great idea. A new take on the Hell’s Kitchen formula that might spice things up.

And although the first couple episodes weren’t all that exciting, it did show some promise. The Blue Team was obviously having some issues getting used to the style and pace that Chef Gordon Ramsay runs his kitchen and it showed with some poor performances of epic proportions. But many fans wanted to see if they could use their vast experience and bounce back.

However, that wasn’t meant to be. At the end of Episode 3 with yet another chef from the Blue Team being sent home, Ramsay shocked everyone and mixed up the teams. Not just that, he effectively reset the entire dynamic of the season and made it men versus women.

In other words, after just a trio of episodes into Season 21 and the Battle of the Ages, viewers were back to the same old same old Hell’s Kitchen.

Hell’s Kitchen Battle of the Ages feels like a bait and switch for many fans.

I’ve gone on record saying that for me, Hell’s Kitchen has become somewhat stale. Like an old French baguette, it is still enjoyable but it may not be as fresh as it once was. And while Ramsay and the producers have tried different way to make the show more entertaining over the years, none of them have really worked.

That said, Battle of the Ages seemed like it had a ton of potential. Watching older chefs deal with Ramsay and the way he treats the chefs as well as a younger group of cooks who would obviously come in overflowing with confidence felt like a recipe that could produce something worth watching.

But Season 21 feels like a complete rip off from what we were promised. I know the Blue Team was bad but you’re going to revert back to the men vs. women shtick after just three episodes? Seriously? You’re not even going to give them a chance to fight back and mount a comeback?

Part of me wonders if this was Ramsay’s decision or the producers. Were they not getting the level of drama they wanted? Was someone afraid the Red Team would ride into the finale without even being really challenged? Would the team reshuffle have happened in the first place if the Red Team lost as bad as the Blue Team?

We may never get any real answers but if I was on that Blue Team, I would be pretty insulted and want an explanation. They deserved a chance at redemption and to show the Red Team who’s boss. Ramsay took that away from them and it’s not right.

Much like Ramsay’s other Fox series MasterChef, Hell’s Kitchen has become terribly predictable and unoriginal the last few seasons. Has it jumped the proverbial shark? I don’t know but if it has we’ll likely look back and say this was the moment it happened.

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What do you think Guilty Eaters? Do you like the men vs. women dynamic on Hell’s Kitchen? Leave a comment below and let us know or join the conversation on our Facebook and Twitter pages.