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Top Chef is going bigger and bolder than the show did in the Texas season for these last two episodes, which is a feat. This week, the winner of Last Chance Kitchen was revealed. I had an inkling I knew who it would be, and that gut feeling served me well. Kristen returned to the kitchen last night to compete against Sheldon and Brooke in the final round before the finale.
This week’s challenge for the finale was a toughie. The three remaining chefs were asked to work in Tom’s restaurant, Craft, to complete a three-course meal for the judges and other diners eating in the restaurant. During the show Tom expedited which was partly a treat to see and partly a slightly scary ordeal. Brooke almost crumbled under the pressure, which was strange because that was the first time we’ve really seen a big moment of indecision from her all season.
Still, all three chefs seemed to do pretty well, with a few minor mistakes. The judges loved Brooke’s dessert, but didn’t really dig on Kristen’s or Sheldon’s. One of Brooke’s dishes was of lesser quality and of course, she was a total Josie in the kitchen. The bigger mistake may have come from Sheldon, who showed the judges a whole new array of cooking during this week’s challenge. Apparently, they liked it better when he cooked from the heart and it was Sheldon who eventually earned the axe from the judges this week. That’s a tough break for the chef, but a good break for Josie and it means the winner of Top Chef: Season 10 will be a woman. Woot!
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, seventeen were given for a last place vote. Seventeen competitors have already been eliminated (not counting those chopped in the early rounds) and one has been brought back into the fold. Here is how this week’s voting panned out, complete with analysis on how the contestants might fare moving forward.
#1) Brooke Williamson (36): I don’t think anyone was prepared for the frazzled Brooke we saw in the kitchen during this past episode. Still, even with her nerves it seemed pretty clearly her food was a slight win over Kristen and Sheldon’s and that she would be going through to the finale. Brooke has been high or close to high on this list all season and her five challenge wins is a serious accomplishment. If she cooks the way she has been, Brooke should hands down be the favorite, but with Kristen hot on her tail, she’s going to have to have a great week.
#2) Kristen Kish (34): With all due respect to CJ, Kristen was the most shocking elimination this season. It was obvious to anyone watching that she has talent to win the whole damn thing, but thanks to her refusal to stand up for herself, she got the boot during Restaurant Wars. It was nice to see her come out of Last Chance Kitchen, and it was nice to see her in the zone last night. Her dessert definitely wasn’t up to her own standards, but apart from that, she cooked well during her reappearance. She’s more than capable of besting Brooke, but given her elimination, she’s still the underdog going into next week.
Here’s a look at how each of the two ballots shook out: