Gordon Ramsay to end Kitchen Nightmares

Gordon Ramsay has announced on his blog that Kitchen Nightmares will end after filming finishes for upcoming episodes:

I’m currently filming 4 new episodes, Costa Del Nightmares, for Channel 4 which will be my last. I’ve had a phenomenal 10 years making 123 episodes, 12 seasons, shot across 2 continents, watched by tens of millions of people and sold to over 150 countries. It’s been a blast but it’s time to call it a day.

Starting in 2004 this was the show that really propelled my TV career and I’m very grateful for the amazing team behind the series and for the support from the viewers for almost over a decade! From the first episode which aired in April 2004 with over 5 million viewers we’re now 12 seasons later and it’s been an amazing journey. In 2007 we took the show to America on Fox and they’ve just finished airing series 7 this summer. During this time I’ve visited over 100 restaurants, meeting and trying to help or in some cases failing to help, some of the most weird and wonderful people. Of course Amy’s Baking Company is a standout along with Bonaparte’s but there were good times too; the lovely sisters at La Galleria and Momma Cherri’s to name but two.

Gordon Ramsay’s Announcement
via Variety.

Survivor: Nicaragua Finale

Spoilers ahead

I’m in the process of watching the finale right now and writing this right after the tribal council where Holly got voted off. I really have to hand it to Fabio, he really poured it on in the last three challenges. That really surprised the alliance of Sash, Holly and Chase.

I’m a little surprised that they didn’t get rid of Sash instead of Holly. One thing is sure, though… Fabio really saw through everything Sash was saying.

Sash certainly played the hardest during the whole game.

Chase flipped flopped like crazy the whole game. I’m sure he won’t have Jane’s vote. She’s as mad (or madder) that anyone that’s ever been voted off.

There were a lot of smile when people saw that necklace around Fabio’s neck. He has Dan’s vote. Probably Jane’s too. Not sure about everyone else.

Now watching the final tribal council.

Chase stated the obvioius.

Fabio showed his easy going side.

Sash probably stated his case the best, saying that friendships were made, alliances were made to be broken.

What a crazy bunch of questions.

Brenda didn’t ask Fabio any question;, Marty had it in for Chase; Holly asked some good questions (and I think there were some honest answers); Jane had nothing to spew but bile at Sash and really didn’t have a question to Fabio; Benry had a good question to Sash and Sash answered as honestly as he could; Dan had it in for Sash too – “spineless”, he had it in for Chase too – he was very animated, no question for Fabio either; Purple Kelly gave 60 seconds to Sash how he outwitted and outplayed – sure sounded like she was going to vote for Sash; Nayanka asked Fabio a GREAT question about his mom… very surprised to her such a great question from her… I really give her a lot of credit for that one; Alina just straight out insulted Fabio by calling him a boy, and gave Sash an opportunity to slam the other two…. Chase basically said that he had to survive, and slammed Fabio too.

I’d say odds were pretty good that Sash will take it, but I think Fabio will be close in votes. I hope Fabio wins. I don’t think Chase will get it at all.

Commercial – Stunning announcement…. What is it? Is Jeff quitting? Hey, and they’re going to have a “reunion race” on Amazing Race. That should be good.

Update: Ok all caught up to the DVR.

Fabio probably has Nayanka, Benry, Jane and Dan. Whoa! Marty voted for Fabio!

Alina voted for Chase.

Another vote for Fabio – and it’s Dan

Update: Brenda voted for Chase! Kinda surprised about that.

Jeff’s grabbing the votes.

Update: Jeff walks out with the votes into the jungle ….and we get cleaned up versions of Chase, Sash and Fabio. Jeff walks out of the fake jungle on the CBS set.


Final votes

Chase: 4
Sash: 0
Fabio: 4

Wow! One vote left!

Update: FABIO WINS! YEAH!!!!!!!!!! I’m really happy about this. That’s completely awesome. I’d love to see how the final tally went. Kinda surprised that Sash didn’t even get one vote. Youngest winner ever.

Kitchen Nightmares, Hell’s Kitchen, and Gordon Ramsay

Earlier I posted that a chef that appeared on Kitchen Nightmares has committed suicide. This is the second time this has happened that a contestant that appeared on a Gordon Ramsay show has committed suicide. The first was Rachel Brown, who appeared on Hell’s Kitchen.

A lot of people are going to jump to the conclusion that this has something to do with Gordon Ramsay’s tactics on these shows. I think that’s completely false. The people who have been shown on Kitchen Nightmares have run restaurants that are failing. The emotional upheaval this must cause for people has to be tremendous. They’re at their wits end, and have asked for frank advice about how to turn things around. And frank advice is what Ramsay gives…both barrels, holding nothing back. Some of these restaurants have gone on to close, some of them remain open. Ramsay tries to help these people turn things around in a short time by trying to be brutally honest with them. It’s very sad that some people think the only way out of situations like this is to commit suicide.

Hell’s Kitchen…. Humpf. I do continue to watch this show, but I have to say, they take a very “American Idol First Few Weeks” approach to picking contestants. Some of the contestants are genuinely good. Some of them are NOT good AT ALL. The last few seasons it seems as though they’ve been picking people that have not been prepared to deal with the sort of stress and anxiety that show causes. Some of these people are completely delusional about their abilities, and I find it extremely difficult to believe that Ramsay considers them to be in the running for the restaurant prize, at all.

There are many, many cooking competitions on TV: “The Next Iron Chef”, “Top Chef”, Ramsay even just finished a third: “Master Chef”.

If they’re truly looking for a person to run a restaurant, why not get chefs of the quality they get on Top Chef? It’s all about the train wreck, that’s why. This must leave some of the contestants, who never, ever had a chance, despite getting on the show, emotionally devastated.

I will say that I have no idea what the circumstances were around Rachel Brown’s death, and I’m not blaming the show. She made it through five shows, which is a lot better than most. The problem that got her voted off was that she just had a bad dinner service.

I really do think though, that particularly for shows like “Hell’s Kitchen”, it would be a lot better for everyone, all the way around, if they had contestants that did stand a chance to win everything from the get go.

Survivor – Samoa

Well, add The 19th season of Survivor started again, and this time the castaways are in Samoa. Right off the bat we can add Russell to the list of folks that people are going to love to hate.

Not only did he make a record four different Alliances on the very first show, but at the first sign of trouble, he was able to get rid of Marisa. She of course made the fatal Survivor mistake of telling Russell she was suspicious of him. That’s like painting a huge target on your back, as Marisa found out.

From what we saw on last night’s show, I think Russell is doing too much too quickly. First, making four alliances is a dumb move. It won’t take Betsy much longer to put two and two together about what’s happening at camp. Second, I have *NO* idea what Russell was thinking when he dumped out all the water. All that did was make his tribe weaker, and doing so quite possibly ended up getting them sent to Tribal Council. It’s kind of hard at this early stage in the game whether that was a contributing factor or not…but it sure couldn’t have helped.

How long is Russell going to last if he keeps this up? My guess is not much longer. He might be strong (and in that challenge, he looked VERY strong), but if he keeps up his current pace in messing with his tribe, they’re going to catch on to him fast. Especially if they realize what Marisa was talking about.

James “JT” Thomas Winner of Survivor Tocantins

James “JT” Thomas won a unanimous decision made by the voted-off members of the jury on Survivor last night to claim the $1 million dollars.

The final four was surprising. Taj, Erinn, Stephen and JT were left at the end. After JT barely beat Erinn in a construction a puzzle, he won immunity. I think at that point, everyone thought Erinn was the next to go. Erinn talked to JT and convinced him that Taj was a bigger threat than she was. How she was able to convince him of that, I’m not really sure… especially considering Erinn nearly beat JT in that challenge.

Voting off Taj could have been a serious mistake. As Taj said herself, if Erinn went into the finals, that’s who would have gotten her vote. If Erinn had somehow gotten into the finales, the majority of her tribe was on the panel, and she might have been able to convince them she was a true “survivor”.

As it turned out, that didn’t happen. In the final challenge, balls were dropped in a device that made them go down different wire paths. They had to catch the balls as they fell out out of two chutes. The balls alternated between the two. Oh, and they had to do it with one hand tied behind their backs. As the challenge progressed, more balls were added. Erinn was the first to go, followed by Stephen. JT was the winner.

Side note…. was it just me, or did it look to anyone else like Stephen used the hand that was tied behind his back to save on of the balls before it hit the ground?

Erinn did her best to put some doubt in JT’s mind and tried to convince him to vote her into the finals. That would have been a serious mistake. Taj said she would have voted for Erinn. I think Coach probably would have voted for her as well, because in his eyes, JT would have broken the “warrior alliance”.

Lots of tough questions during the finale tribal council, making both JT and Stephen feel uncomfortable. JT admitted afterwards (during the wrap-up show) that his apparent shock at being “betrayed” was a bit of acting, and that he and Stephen are still good friends. JT even suggested that they go into business together, which really surprised Stephen. Stephen’s initial reaction was “no”, which I think meant “no, it’s your money, do what you want with it”.

The rest of the tribe might have been able to be convinced that Erinn should win, just because of tribal alliances. One thing they didn’t show last night was a show of hands about who would have voted for Erinn, which would have been nice.

JT also won an additional $100,000, awarded by Sprint, for being the most popular “Survivor”.

Congrats to JT!

Next Survivor airs this fall – in Samoa!

How did you think last night’s finale went? Did the right person win?

The Year in Hollywood 2008

The year 2008 will go down in history as the final year of the presidential primaries, which started approximately three years before any of the candidates were born. That was highly entertaining for everyone except the American people that had to suffer through approximately 10,000 hours of political commercials per day.

Having said that, let’s look at something slightly less entertaining, what Hollywood was up to:

January – Lost debuts, giving people hope that all the weird questions about the show will be answered.

Hollywood was in the midst of a writer’s strike, which meant that a lot of people who you’ve never heard of were running around with picket signs. Hollywood executives were very concerned, and said so through numerous very sincere press releases from their limousines.

People were just beginning to realize that what was going on meant disaster because it meant more reality television. By the end of the month, all the experts were saying that the writer’s strike was going to last for at least another six months.

February – Listening to the experts in January, the American people brace themselves for a long strike, which ends in early February.

Big Brother 9 starts up, answering the question, “They’re not really going to do a ninth season, are they?”

March – The show “New Amsterdam” debuts and is watched by literally several people;

The show “The Return of Jezebel James” proves that some shows weren’t meant to show up, let alone return from anywhere.

April – Miley Cyrus poses for photos for Annie Leibovitz in Vanity Fair, and everyone is actually shocked when they turn out to be a bit provocative. They use the excuse that all the adults went to the bathroom at the same time while this was happening, and they promise never to do that again.

May –Survivor Micronesia’s biggest Survivor fan ever, Erik, must have missed all the shows where people scheme behind each other’s backs and gives up an immunity idol on the show. He’s completely shocked when they actually vote him off the tribe for being stupid.

Indiana Jones returns in “Indiana Jones – Raiders of the Lost Teeth”.

Lost’s season ends, leaving us with a lot of old weird questions unanswered, and a whole bunch of new weird questions unanswered.

June – Jamie Lynn Spears gives birth, trying to top her sister in the “I’m Crazier Than You” category by naming the kid “Spearmint”, before later changing it to “Maddie Briann”.

George Carlin dies, causing everyone else to say seven dirty words.

Pixar knocks another animated movie out of the ball park when it debuts “WALL-E”, a movie where a robot discovers a group of humans that just sit around in front of screens and do nothing but eat. This movie goes over very well with a bunch of humans who sit around in movie theatres, watch a large screen and do nothing but eat.

July – Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie give birth to twins – This was mostly Jolie’s role, although Pitt said he could have done the birth himself, if the role had called for it. They’re both surprised when they realized they could have their own kids, rather than traveling around the world looking for them.

August – Summer Olympics starts up in China with a spectacular show that can be seen in high-definition, even from the moon. They use humans to form a large pyramid, letters of the Chinese alphabet, and the stadium itself. Controversy unfolds as Europe accuses a 6 month old Chinese child wins the gymnastics all-around, and also accuses Michael Phelps of being part dolphin.

The press announces that Madonna turns 50, still performing in her “I might break a hip” tour.

September – New Kids On The Block release a record – again; 90210 debuts – again; People begin to wonder if any new things are going to ever come out, or if we’re doomed to recycled television shows.

SNL returns for it’s 600-th season, and breaks it’s own record for actually being funny twice in one season.

Heroes starts a new season, which promises to be all different this time around because this time they’re going to save the whole world!

October – Madonna and Guy Ritchie divorce, causing people to ask, “Wait! When did she get married?”

“High School Musical 3: Senior Year” debuts, millions of parents pray that none of them end up in college for a four movie sequel.

November – The election finally ends; half the country is upset, half the country is overjoyed, and half the country doesn’t understand there aren’t three halves in a whole.

“Twilight” opens, which is yet another story about vampires falling in love, which was never done on a show like “Angel” or “Moonlight”.

On Heroes, the “Villains” episode is shown. This proves to be a turning point in the show because things are a lot more interesting when the Heroes have someone to go up against; unfortunately, there aren’t many new characters, just a lot of old ones behaving badly.

24: Redemption” is shown, but it turns out that it has nothing to do with S&H Green Stamps.

December – NBC announces that Jay Leno will now be on at 10 pm, allowing everyone to go to bed an hour earlier.

See you in 2009!