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Top Chef Power Rankings: Restaurant Wars Gets Ugly

Restaurant Wars is always a stressful episode on television. This year, surprisingly, the teams got their actual concepts and restaurant setups together with not too much trouble. However, by the time the chefs actually began producing food for their patrons, all hell broke loose.

There was no quickfire this week, and rightfully so. Instead, teams split up to delineate the tasks early on. On the women’s team, Kristen and Lizzie bought foodstuffs and Brooke and Josie put together the table settings and other decorative pieces. On the men’s team, Stefan gleefully took care of the table settings while Sheldon and Josh shopped for food.

The two teams got down to work, with Stefan taking on front of house at the men’s restaurant and Brooke agreeing to head up the service face of the women’s team. Brooke was a lovely host, but unfortunately, the kitchen was cooking to order and this made dishes difficult to get out in a timely manner. On the men’s team, Stefan was a bit of a prick as the host, but overall, the kitchen ran more smoothly.

Ultimately, the men won, which was lucky for Stefan because both Josh and Sheldon pulled through with great dishes. The women’s team faltered with more ups and downs. Kristen’s leadership skills were questioned and Josie’s ability to cook was questioned. However, Josie took the low road, blaming Kristen for her problems. While she wasn’t outright lying, Josie did spin the truth and Kristen chose to fall on her own sword, letting Josie say her piece. Ultimately, she didn’t defend herself and this made her leadership skills seem even weaker than they were. Kristen was asked to pack her knives and go.

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, thirteen were given for a last place vote. Twelve 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.

The Favorites

#1) Brooke Williamson (36): Brooke’s dish went over well enough with the judges during restaurant wars, but it was her very good front of the house work that really drew their attention. Having opened four restaurants in the past, she was able to provide arguably the greatest customer experience since the legendary Fabio, and while everyone is technically on the show to cook, that’s still a testament to how efficient, competent and organized she is. With Kristen gone, Brooke is our new frontrunner, and she deserves it.

#2) Sheldon Simeon (34): Sheldon had a great concept this week, and while he didn’t have chefs who had ever cooked cuisine from the Philippines, they were game to give it a try. It was a gamble that worked, and this week Sheldon pulled through with the win. At this point in the rankings, Sheldon and Brooke are the only two contestants left who have actually won final challenge battles. The next couple of weeks will determine whether or not Sheldon can work his way back into that top slot.

#3) Lizzie Binder (31): It was nice to see Lizzie return to her solid fanfare this week. After a couple of weeks on the bottom, she really needed to find her way back into the competition, and she did so this week with a rabbit and broth-based soup that the judges were gaga over. Had the women won, I have no doubt this would have been the winning dish. However, she still has a few weeks to pull through with a much-needed win.

#4) Stefan Richter (30): Stefan didn’t do himself any favors with his shitty service and defensiveness at judge’s table, but lost in all the hoopla was the fact that he made two dishes the judges actually liked. Considering he’s still here and won’t need to work the front of the house again, that’s probably more important anyway. Here’s to hoping when he gets back in the kitchen he finally reminds us all why he should have won so many years ago.

#5) Josh Valentine (29): Josh made an egg dish that everyone seemed to like this week, despite the fact that it lacked the sort of flavors Sheldon’s concept was supposed to have. The last three weeks, Josh has really pushed himself to put his best concepts on the table. He may have finally worked his way into this competition, but if you look at all of the low notes the man accrued prior, it’s still difficult to believe he can cook his way into the finale. Hopefully, he’ll prove us wrong.

The Contenders

#6) Josie Smith-Malave (26): Had Kristen even expended the slightest amount of effort in front of the judges, Josie would have been packing her knives. As it stands, she’s still here, and everyone, from viewers to her fellow chefs to Gail Simmons, are none too pleased about it. She needs to take a long, hard look in the mirror and realize, apart from one quickfire dish, she hasn’t accomplished one single thing the entire competition. She’s needed about three miracles to make it this far, and with only six people left, I highly doubt she’ll get any more.

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

Brooke Williamson (18)
Sheldon Simeon (17)
Stefan Richter (16)
Lizzie Binder (15)
Josh Valentine (14)
Josie Smith-Malave (13)
Brooke Williamson (18)
Sheldon Simeon (17)
Lizzie Binder (16)
Josh Valentine (15)
Stefan Richter (14)
Josie Smith-Malave (13)
Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Reality TV fan with a pinch of Disney fairy dust thrown in. Theme park junkie. If you’ve created a rom-com I’ve probably watched it.