The Dark Horses
#12) Travis Masar (17): Travis was on the winning team this week, but of the five chefs, he seemed to contribute the least. He needs to step up in the next few weeks and make something that announces his arrival into the competition. There’s no reason to be playing it safe with this many chefs left.

#13) Michael Sichel (14): Michael talks a lot of talk regarding New Orleans cuisine, but he hasn’t totally shown up to make something great. Last week, he made an alright alligator dish. This week, he freaked out halfway through the quickfire challenge and threw his product away. The gumbo he ended up with landed him in the bottom of that challenge. He made an O.K. sweet dish for the final challenge, but he’ll need to do more to prove he should stick around.

#14) Nicholas Elmi (12): Nicholas was probably the best on the losing team this week, which really isn’t saying a whole lot. The judges disliked every single dish, and given the looks on each of their faces, all involved seemed convinced they were going home. Hopefully, Nicholas uses his second chance as the fire he needs to get it going.

#15) Bret Pelaggi (10): Bret’s ceviche was horrible. It wasn’t cold enough, and he bizarrely served a piping hot plantain with it that only increased the temperature. Tom apparently only took one single bite of the dish and threw the rest away.

#16) Benedetto Bartolotta (8): Despite an appearance on Top Chef Masters, Bene has not been particularly good. Last week, his dish almost landed him in the bottom and this week, he couldn’t even assert any good ideas. He lamented that his teammates weren’t giving him a voice, but when your best idea is a “sloppy joe,” there’s obviously a reason your teammates are ignoring you. You need creativity to be in the Top Chef competition, and Bene hasn’t proven he has it.

#17) Patricia Vega (6): Patty needs to get her act together immediately. She almost went home last week. So, what did she do to prove she belonged this time around? She made a bland tuna slider with a less than appetizing tomato. She easily could have gone home, and if she doesn’t improve immediately, she will.

Here’s a look at how each of the two ballots shook out:

Carrie Mashaney (19)
Carlos Gaytan (18)
Shirley Chung (17)
Sara Johannes (16)
Nina Compton (15)
Aaron Cuschieri (14)
Janine Booth (13)
Brian Huskey (12)
Louis Maldonado (11)
Stephanie CMar(10)
Justin Devillier (9)
Travis Masar (8)
Michel Sichel (7)
Nicholas Elmi (6)
Bret Pelaggi (5)
Benedetto Bartolotta (4)
Patricia Vega (3)
Carrie Mashaney (19)
Nina Compton (18)
Shirley Chung (17)
Carlos Gaytan (16)
Sara Johannes (15)
Brian Huskey (14)
Aaron Cuschieri (13)
Justin Devillier (12)
Louis Maldonado (11)
Janine Booth (10)
Travis Masar (9)
Stephanie Cmar (8)
Michael Sichel (7)
Nicholas Elmi (6)
Bret Pelaggi (5)
Benedetto Bartolotta (4)
Patricia Vega (3)

Photo Credit @ Bravo

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