The Contenders
#5) Danyele McPherson (28): Every time someone willingly elects to make sweets during a group meal, I always scratch my head and wonder what’s going on. This isn’t Just Desserts. That being said, it’s hard to find fault when the offerings are well received by the judging panel. Danyele has been quietly impressive thus far during her tenure on the show. She doesn’t seem like the type of girl to make silly mistakes, and at some point, she should put out a flavor combination that rises from her usual good to great.

#6) Kristen Kish (26): Kristen may have been more shocked than anyone when she took home this week’s elimination challenge win for making simple mushrooms, but more often than not, the early rounds of Top Chef are about executing tasks properly. I’m not sure anyone has ever gone home in the first few episodes for making something the judges enjoyed eating.

#7) Micah Fields (23): Micah made some vegetables this week that looked like a collection of veggies in the 1950s, but weren’t cooked overly well. He’s consistently landed in the middle of the pack throughout the competition, and thus has also landed smack dab in the middle of the power rankings. At some point, he’ll need to stand up and make a statement or head home.

#8) Brooke Williamson (22): Brooke received decent marks from the judges this week for her seafood salad. The praise was enough to land her in the middle, but it wasn’t nearly the outpouring of support she got for her biscuits last week. She’s been quietly good thus far this season, but without any victories, she still has plenty of room for improvement.

#9) Tyler Wiard (20): Tyler landed in the bottom 3 for his gumbo last week and it gave him the confidence to really push through and create a good dish this week. His fifties throwback starter was a crab cocktail that landed him in the top. One week of coming through in the clutch is not enough to land you in the top 3 at this point. History says Tyler will likely fail again, but we hope not.

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