This week was a bad week for all of the chefs, excepting Sheldon and Bart, who apparently made a great team. After meeting up with Seattle’s Daisley Gordon for the quickfire challenge, the contestants were asked to pair up and create breakfast, which sounds simple enough, until sneaky Padma got to the twist. Contestants had to team up and cook breakfast outside for 50 people, on a stick.
Surprisingly, Sheldon and Bart’s team came through with the win this week, for a weird panini sandwich. The two were given immunity and the elimination challenge began, with the team-ups still intact, which ended up being a disaster. Everyone was terrible in the challenge, which included incorporated local products into a dish, but the three teams who ended up as the worst of the day included CJ and Tyler, Stefan and Brooke, and John and Josh (and if you’ve been watching, Josh hates John). Somebody good was going home and it was just a matter of whom.
The judges were so disgusted with the food they opted not to choose a winner, although the win would have clearly gone to Bart and Sheldon, again, who had the only dish the judges kind-of liked. They also decided to send an entire team home, rather than just one individual. Sheldon had too-sweet cabbage and Brooke didn’t cook the duck properly in that team’s dish, but ultimately, the big losers seemed to be John and Josh, who had terrible grits (cooked horribly by John) and a terrible sear on the meat (cooked improperly by Josh), as well as CJ and Tyler who made a sloppy burger that was both a terrible idea and a “soggy” execution. Eventually, CJ and Tyler were sent home and the former of the two was not happy about it, although I wouldn’t qualify his exit as a Jenn Carroll breakdown.
The Top Chef Power Rankings are an ordered compilation of weekly lists put together by TV Blend writers Jessica Rawden and Mack Rawden. Each week after viewing the episode, they each rank the competitors in order. Eighteen points are given for a first place vote, and this week, seven were given for a last place vote. Six competitors have already been eliminated (not counting those chopped in the early rounds); therefore, those people automatically occupy the bottom slots. Here is how this week’s voting panned out, complete with analysis on how the contestants might fare moving forward.
#1) John Tesar (36):This was easily John’s worst week in the Top Chef kitchen. His grits were a borderline embarrassment, and his partnership with Joshua, at least after the quickfire, was way too passive. Luckily, since practically everyone else was horrible too, he remains comfortably at the top of the leaderboard. Something tells me he won’t be so lucky the next time he turns in an awful week.
#2) Sheldon Simeon (33): The Top Chef Power Rankings would like to formerly apologize to Sheldon for underestimating his incompetence. Sheldon landed on top near the beginning, but a few underwhelming rounds at bat pushed him way further down in the rankings than the young man probably deserves. Still, this cushy second place spot could all go away should new Sheldon revert to the Sheldon of the last couple of weeks. Maybe Top Chef should just start asking the contestants to make food on a stick more often.
#3) Stefan Richter (32): Stefan should have won his season. The only real competition he had was Carla, despite Hosea sneaking up behind the two and nabbing the win. Maybe Stefan’s head is just not in the game, but he seems to have been making silly mistakes over the past few weeks, although he has also had several good dishes, landing himself in last week’s top 3. This week, he ended up in the bottom, and he needs to really push himself to remain as high as he currently is on this list.
#4) Lizzie Binder (31): Like everyone else, Lizzie was dreadful this week too. The dessert she and Danyele made easily could have been on the bottom, and it was even referenced during CJ’s “we really had the worst dish?” speech. Throughout the competition, she’s excelled at perfectly executing relatively simple dishes. She got away from that last night, but there’s no reason why she can’t get it back.
#5) Kristen Kish (28): Kristen was last week’s winner. This week her team-up with Micah landed them in the middle, although judges didn’t really like their cheese curd dish. Despite her own win, Kristen really needs to pull ahead and land in the top or even earn a win to really push ahead any further in the list. However, the good news is, she doesn’t seem to be doing anything so wrong that it will send her home.
#6) Micah Fields (24): I appreciated Micah’s decision to make the cheese curds three different ways. He was clearly comfortable with the ingredient and was trying to win. I like that he’s not interested in playing it safe, but still, it’s hard to reward him too much when the decision wasn’t even the clear favorite among the failures.
#6) Danyele McPerson (24): Danyele and Lizzie need to never be partners again. They kind of got roped into a corner by choosing an ingredient that begged to be made into a dessert, but given how horribly everyone else did, if they had even just made a mediocre dessert they would have won. It’s time for Danyele to step up and give us at least a clue she’s capable of winning.
#8) Brooke Williamson (22): I’ve been a Brooke fan ever since she churned out those biscuits the judges were all over. She and Stefan probably should have been the episode’s strongest twosome, but they wound up being dangerously close to going home. We know she can deliver top-notch food. What we need from Brooke now is some consistency.
#8) Bart Vandaele (22): Bart’s team-up with Sheldon actually earned him a quickfire win and immunity this week. Since Sheldon bumped up a ton in the ratings, it would only be natural to assume Bart might bump up a ton, too. The thing is, Bart’s been in the middle throughout the competition, but he hasn’t even really been on the good side of the middle. Most of the competitors riding the wave in the middle of the pack have gotten slightly above-average criticism, but other than Bart’s group work with Sheldon, he’s generally gotten slightly below average remarks from the judges. He still needs to step up his game on the solo front.
The Dark Horses
#10) Josh Valentine (18): Is anyone else sick of Josh acting like an arrogant prick when he’s been mostly terrible all season? If you’re going to act like a prick, back it up. John has won or almost won nearly every single challenge the entire season. Stefan has a handful of really popular restaurants, and he narrowly lost his original season. Josh, on the other hand, has put out shit more often than he’s put out good food. He needs to shut his mouth and cook.
#11) Eliza Gavin (16): Eliza’s never been on the bottom. However, she’s never made one memorable dish, either. This week, her team-up with Josie was a disaster and, quite frankly, she let Josie boss her around. If she can’t manage to assert herself when it matters most, we don’t expect her to be able to assert herself with her own dishes and stand above the pack. She could certainly stick it out for a few more weeks, however.
#12) Josie Smith-Malave (14): Josie was low for the first two weeks she appeared on the show. Her cooked turkey in the Thanksgiving episode was a disaster, and if she hadn’t earned a quickfire immunity, she would have gone home. She’s not a great chef and, despite this, she just took control this week, not even bothering to listen to Eliza. I’m shocked the team didn’t end up in the bottom three with the salty cardamom bitters dish, but I suppose pulling slightly ahead this week isn’t really that much of a compliment.
Here’s a look at how each of the two ballots shook out: