The Contenders
#7) Stephanie Cmar (26): Stephanie has a history with Top Chef. Last season, she cooked in the early rounds but didn’t earn a coat. Early in the first episode this season, Stephanie said she retrained for the past year to attain a level of perfection. This week, she made buttered frog legs with a watercress puree that the judges were all over. Hopefully, she’ll keep up her streak and won’t head home.

#8) Louis Maldonado (24): Is Louis good? Is he bad? Like many chefs, it’s really hard to tell at this juncture. The judges liked his food well enough, but without a larger sample size, it’s pretty much just guesswork. Here’s to hoping he stands out next week.

#9) Justin Devillier (22): As one of the two chefs who made it out of the New Orleans competition, Justin has a unique advantage over most of his competitors. It’s almost as if he’s already in mid-season form. Plus, given his local roots, it’s not a stretch to think he could make a pretty sweet run.

#9) Michael Sichel (22): Michael is one of the two chefs representing New Orleans in the competition. He has a cocky swagger about him, but he’s quick to assert that he’s “confident” rather than “cocky.” This week he made deep fried alligator that landed him somewhere in the middle. He’ll have to cook better to land in the top of these power rankings, but he definitely could have done worse.

#11) Jason Cichonski (20): Let’s just be honest. Jason has a douche face. He looks like a big old Philly douche bag, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he can’t cook. He slid through in the middle of the pack this week. Next episode, I’m really hoping he does something brilliant so viewers can get past his fratty appearance.

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