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Hell's Kitchen Finale: Who Survived the Heat (and the Profanity)?

Hell's Kitchen Final 4, Tommy, Paul, Elise, Will Greg Gayne/FOX

It was three men and a lady heading into tonight's Hell's Kitchen finale.

Gordon Ramsay had narrowed it down to the usual motley ensemble of chefs who spent half the time seeming as if they'd muck up peanut butter and jelly and the other half proving that they could actually run a high-class kitchen.

After weeks of fighting and swearing, however, the final four pulled themselves together and made a real go at this season's grand prize: the head chef's position at BLT Steak in NYC and a $250,000 salary to go with it.

So, who's going to be running a show of his or her own?

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Way to go, Paul Niedermann, whom Ramsay called "one of the best" chefs on Hell's Kitchen from the moment he walked in the door.

"Holy, [bleeeeeeep]!" the 26-year-old former sous chef cried as his door opened, proving that he's going to fit right in. He immediately dashed down the stairs and threw himself into his family's arms.

But while Paul was hired, runner-up Will Lustberg was more or less fired. "I didn't come out here for second, I came out here for first," the 31-year-old sous chef said solemnly. But "if I had to lose to anybody, man, I'm glad it was Paul."

And it was Paul who got off to the best start on tonight's finale. He won the initial challenge, which was to guess the ingredients in a signature Ramsay dish and try to match it. For knowing cod from monkfish, he scored Dodgers tickets for himself and his brother, plus a meet-and-greet with the team's legendary former manager Tommy Lasorda.

Meanwhile, fellow finalists Elise Wims and Tommy Stevens held their own during the final dinner service, but even the thinnest of cracks under pressure were enough to send them home.

"Love the energy," the fiery celeb chef told Tommy as he took back his finalist's jacket. "You should not be in tears now," Ramsay told Elise. "I've never met anyone as resilient as you."

But this season, he didn't meet anyone as talented as Paul. Well done!

GALLERY: Speaking of good TV, check out last night's big Emmy winners

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