Hell’s Kitchen All Stars: Who Will Win Season 17?

by Kevin Roberts
on October 3, 2017

Gordon Ramsay is back at it again. His foul mouth, quick wit and demand for perfection take over FOX yet again, as season 17 of Hell’s Kitchen features some of the most talented chefs to ever don the blue and red aprons.

That’s right, Hell’s Kitchen returned in full force on September 29th with episode “All-Stars Arrive” debuting the first ever “all-stars” season, while also ending on a cliffhanger.

On the line for the first time ever is the position of head chef at Gordon Ramsay’s new Hell’s Kitchen restaurant at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. Sixteen of the most talented chefs have been called back to compete for the right to lead the new Hell’s Kitchen restaurant, but only one can win.

Hell’s Kitchen Season 17 Odds

Episode one left us hanging quite a bit, but that hasn’t stopped top entertainment betting sites like Bovada from dishing out early odds for who might win.

Unlike past years, Ramsay is now giving each chef their own unique ingredients to create new dishes. With each dish being ranked on a scale of 1-5, the men took down the women by a narrow edge, 28-27.

We learned some interesting things from episode one. Robyn Almodovar had her dish graded the lowest of all the contestants and Elise Harris could be in some trouble after spurning her team by not helping them clean up as part of their losing “punishment”.

Then again, Elise did score a perfect 5 on her lobster dish, so it might be a bit harsh to downgrade her just because she didn’t feel like cleaning up. Van Hurd and Benjamin Knack also produced perfect 5 scores on their dishes, highlighting arguably the best performers to get the ball rolling.

All things considered, we’re getting some interesting early odds over at Bovada:

  • Ben Walanka +250
  • Josh Trovato +350
  • Michelle Tribble +550
  • Barbie Marshall +800
  • Nick Peters Bond +1500
  • Elise Harris +1500
  • Dana Cohen +2500
  • Giovanni Filipponi +2500
  • Van Hurd +2500
  • Benjamin Knack +2500
  • Milly Medley +2500
  • Robyn Almodovar +3000
  • Ashley Nickell +3000
  • Jennifer Normant +3300
  • Manda Palomino +3500
  • Jared Bobkin +4000

With no cuts made in the first episode, it’s going to be very interesting to see where we go from here. Chef Ramsay called an individual challenge ahead of the first full-service, so it’s possible episode two (Raising the Bard) might bring more than one head to the chopping block.

As things stand, we get a lot of value in a full 16-person field. We certainly want to consider how some of these chefs fared in their past seasons. They’re all here because they’re talented, while they also all made it to the “Black Team” during their respective seasons.

None of these competitors finished worse than 6th when they last entered Hell’s Kitchen so hypothetically, they’re all in the running as things first get going.

Elise has to be on high alert. She killed it individually with her cooking, but her attitude and work ethic in the punishment department won’t sit well if it gets back to Ramsay. She has the talent and some fun odds (+1500), but that’s a big red flag.

This is a huge opportunity and the last thing Ramsay wants in a prospective head chef is someone who isn’t a team player or willing to do the dirty work.

Even closer to the chopping blog is probably Robyn, who already had long odds (+3000) and performed the worst in episode one. A bad showing to start doesn’t always equate to a death sentence, but it’s not a good omen. We wouldn’t be shocked at all if she ends up being the first Hell’s Kitchen casualty.

On the flip side, we might be able to take an early advantage of that value we touched on. Knack (+2500) stands out with a perfect score on his first dish, but he also has very playable odds and got to 3rd in his season 7 appearance on Hell’s Kitchen. He has to be one of the top sleepers to monitor or bet on right away.

We can’t leave out the likes of Dana Cohen (+2500), Ashley Nickell (+3000) or Michelle Tribble (+550), either. Tribble is obviously already one of the early favorites if we look to the top entertainment betting sites, but all three of these contestants have finished 3rd in their respective Hell’s Kitchen seasons.

That doesn’t make them locks to get far in this year’s All-Stars edition, but they absolutely have to be looked at as early threats. Nickell and Cohen might be a little more interesting, as they sport odds with more upside and both also scored a solid 4 on their initial dishes.

Who Will Win?

Predicting the winner of season 17 of Hell’s Kitchen feels like an impossible feat. This is really a wide-open field and odds aside, you just never know what Gordon Ramsay is going to do.

Ramsay often operates off of emotion and if his chefs aren’t perfect and stay in line, pretty much all of them are at risk of being sent home at any time. Now may not be the best time to make the call, as things change greatly from episode to episode.

That being said, if we’re placing early bets on Hell’s Kitchen season 17, I want some value and upside. I think we can get that from Benjamin Knack, who is off to a strong start, fared well (3rd) the last time he was in this atmosphere and has a long history in intense, high-pressure situations.

Knack has the skills and experience to get the job done and at +2500 we’re not sacrificing much safety or upside in such an early bet.

While we’re game for Knack, we do advise to slow play this one if possible, as the coming weeks will shrink the field and give us a much clearer picture of which contestants have the skill-set and demeanor to have a real shot at winning.

Pick: Benjamin Knack (+2500)
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