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'Hell's Kitchen' crowns Paul Niedermann ninth-season champion

By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 09/20/2011 

Hell's Kitchen crowned Paul Niedermann, a 26-year-old junior sous chef from Davie, FL, the Fox culinary competition's ninth-season winner during Monday night's finale broadcast.

"Holy sh-t! Oh my God! Yes, yes! Oh my God! I am $250,000 of a big deal," Paul yelled in excitement to the crowd after discovering he had won Hell's Kitchen's ninth season.

"If I had to win, then I'm glad I beat the best. I'd also like to thank my team tonight. We didn't do it for me, we did it for my mom."

As the ninth season's winner, Paul won a $250,000 head chef position at the BLT Steak in New York City.

"There's so much emotion going through me. I'm sad, I'm happy, I'm ecstatic. My mom's looking down on me right now. She knows what I've been through. She knows how hard I've worked. This is all for her! I mean, this is it. This is the greatest achievement I've ever reached in my entire life. I am a big f--king deal," Paul added.

Hell's Kitchen star Gordon Ramsay said Paul won the competition mainly due to his outgoing personality and obvious drive.

"He won tonight because he's probably the most passionate, determined chef to ever enter Hell's Kitchen. He'll make a great head chef because his enthusiasm is contagious. I'm so proud to hand him over to BLT Steak in New York City," Gordon explained.

Paul defeated Will Lustberg, a 31-year-old sous chef from Jersey City, NJ, during last night's Hell's Kitchen finale broadcast.

Will took the news of his loss fairly well and congratulated his opponent, giving Paul a big hug and telling him he earned the victory.

"It sucks. I much rather would have won. I didn't come out here for second; I came out here for first. But if I had to lose to anybody, then I'm glad it was Paul," Will said.

(Photo credit Fox)

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