92% Of Hell's Kitchen Fans Think This Elimination Was A Mistake

Hell's Kitchen is known for delivering its share of odds-defying upsets. But season 19 of the Gordon Ramsay-fronted show, which happens to have been filmed in Las Vegas, has produced one of the most dramatic upsets yet. We're talking about what went down in episode 12 as Ramsay prepared to finalize the season's Final 5. After Mary Lou Davis, Declan Horgan, Cody Candelario, and Kori Sutton all earned their coveted "black jackets" in their respective challenges, it all came down to a fight-to-the-finish showdown between Nicole "Nikki" Hanna, a then-25-year-old relative newbie (via Gold Derby), and Amber Lancaster, a chef who then had close to 10 years of experience (via Hospitality Net).

Tasked with preparing dishes that brought them back to their respective childhoods, Hanna whipped up pork chops, scalloped potatoes, and green beans, while Lancaster went with filet mignon, mashed potatoes, and pearl onions (via Gold Derby). Ultimately, it was Lancaster who earned the jacket and a place in the Final 5. While Hanna earned Ramsay's "respect," as he told her, a surprising number of Hell's Kitchen fans thought Hanna got robbed.

Was Hanna "robbed"? Or did she kind of win after all?

Hell's Kitchen is known for its drama and upsets, and not everyone always agrees with Ramsay's decisions. But never has this been more apparent than after episode 12 of season 19, when 92 percent of fans polled by Gold Derby shared that they thought the elimination of Hanna was a mistake. Indeed, it could actually look like a mistake when you consider the accolades Hanna earned from Ramsay as runner-up to Lancaster. "You are the most improved chef that I've ever witnessed in the history of this competition," Ramsay proclaimed to Hannah. "And so I will personally fly you to any of my restaurants around the world for as long as you like. The world, young lady, is your oyster." 

In the end, the now 27-year-old Hanna — who's said she's "happiest when... in a professional kitchen under great stress five minutes before close making 15 meals at once" (via Instagram) — has turned her loss into a major win. After watching what Hanna was made of in the kitchen, Lancaster ended up hiring Hanna to work for her when she took the job of Executive Chef for the Aparium Hotel Group, which includes the kitchens of ALTO and Allegory at the MC Hotel in Montclair, New Jersey (via North Jersey).