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Hell's Kitchen: Season 21 Champion Warns That Winning Challenges Is A Trap

A standard "Hell's Kitchen" episode starts with the Red Team and Blue Team competing in a challenge against one another to win Gordon Ramsey's favor. The winners get some kind of prize, usually an excursion to do something fun for the day, while the losers have to do busy work in the kitchen. It makes sense every chef does their best to emerge victorious, but winning can be more of a curse than a blessing.

"Hell's Kitchen" Season 21 winner Alex Belew spoke about his time on the show to E! News. He had experience on both sides of winning and losing those initial challenges, and he admitted winning isn't always as cracked up as it seems. "Leaving to do a reward is almost damaging in some ways because it pulls your head out of the game," Belew mentioned. "You get out of the competition mode and you get to let loose. A few times when somebody went on a reward, when they came back they might have gone home that night."

It makes sense relaxing for the day would pull someone out of a competitive mindset. Belew endured nine punishments during his season, so he definitely had days where he knew it was time to kick it into high gear. 

Alex Belew would do it all over again

Alex Belew immediately established himself as a force to be reckoned with on "Hell's Kitchen" Season 21. The theme of the season was "20-somethings" versus "40-somethings," with Belew falling into the latter category. With age comes wisdom, as the first episode saw him win a Punishment Pass by impressing Gordon Ramsey with elevated chicken wings, drawing inspiration from General Tso's chicken. Plenty of other challenges followed when Belew demonstrated his cooking acumen, ultimately winning the $250,000 grand prize along with becoming head chef at the Hell's Kitchen restaurant at Caesars Atlantic City.

However, even Belew admits that not everything went his way. He discussed the blind taste test and how it was virtually impossible for him to do well, "You are blindfolded and everything that you taste tastes like nothing. It's been manipulated, but it's overcooked, it's not seasoned, so it all tastes like mush." Still, Belew admits he would do it all over again if he could. Ultimately, being on the show taught him the importance of persevering through hardships in order to come out the other side more resilient. 

And someone else will soon follow in his footsteps, as "Hell's Kitchen" Season 22 is right around the corner with a premiere release date of September 28.