The Contenders
#5) Sheldon Simeon (28): Sheldon has been all over the board during this competition. He’s been high on several occasions and low on several occasions, but the one thing he has not yet attained is a final challenge win. He and Stefan will continue to hang out in the middle of these power rankings until they can pull through with a final challenge win and prove what it takes to be Top Chef.

#6) Lizzie Binder (25): Lizzie hasn’t won an elimination challenge yet, but she has finished in the high group on four separate occasions. She’s clearly a competent chef, and she’s clearly a woman capable of putting out good, highend food. It’ll be interesting to see whether she can ever kick it up one more notch in order to seriously have a shot at winning.

#6) Micah Fields (25): I’m really happy that Micah won the quickfire challenge. He seemed really emotional in regards to creating a dish for Emeril, and that fried oyster looked divine. Micah continued his run this week, landing high in the final challenge. He clearly has talent, but he still needs to prove he has more than one good week in him to move up in these rankings.

#8) Josh Valentine (22): I’m so over Josh and his attitude. After landing in the bottom—again—he tried to tell the judges that he doesn’t understand how Micah and Lizzie’s dish was up to par with the rest of the challenge. It’s like he’s constantly looking for a verbal bitch slap, and quite frankly, he hasn’t been cooking to back up his mouth, landing in the bottom for the last four out of five weeks.

#9) Josie Smith-Malave (20): Josie was in the bottom yet again this week. Her partner Bart wound up going home, but considering it was her fourth time in the low group, it’s hard to imagine she’ll be sticking around that much longer. She’s had a nice run, but we’re getting to the point in the season in which it’s time to separate those who can possibly win from those who cannot.

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

John Tesar (18)
Brooke Williamson (17)
Kristen Kish (16)
Stefan Richter (15)
Sheldon Simeon (14)
Lizzie Binder (13)
Micah Fields (12)
Josh Valentine (11)
Josie Smith-Malave (10)
Kristen Kish (18)
John Tesar (17)
Brooke Williamson (16)
Stefan Richter (15)
Sheldon Simeon (14)
Micah Fields (13)
Lizzie Binder (12)
Josh Valentine (11)
Josie Smith-Malave (10)

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