Friday, July 16, 2010

Top Chef Power Rankings (07/14/10)

A good episode last night that involved some awkward cooking situations and some cold weather (for people from Miami). I thought the episode was just ok, but I think it showcased something I’ve been feeling all season. These Chefs really do not like each other. Yes I know it might be editing and how the story tellers are telling it, but from what I see, they do not get along at all. They are quick to throw each other under the bus, a bunch of them have said in confessionals that they don’t like person X and last night, they spent 5 minutes of the show showing everyone yelling at each other. I know other seasons have had some hate, like Hosea hating Stephan and most of Top Chef 3 not liking hung, but not really hating him. Compared to this season, those look tame. From the preview of last week I don’t see it getting much better.

Tim looked to produce another unspectacular dish and was sent home. It was clear that he had lost all his confidence by the time the elimination challenge came along. He was second and triple guessing himself, yet somehow was still surprised when he ended up in the bottom. He was my top choice to be sent packing when he didn’t finish in the top of the crab challenge. That quickfire was designed for him to win, and he couldn’t even get to the top 3.

On to the Power Rankings

Top Shelf

1. Angelo Sosa (Last Week #1)

Angelo retains the top spot after a pretty quiet elimination challenge for him. His duck dish seemed to go over well, but wasn’t a huge hit as some of the other dishes. Apparently the duck was worn out from Angelo “Making Love to it” He did finish in the top 3 of the quickfire in which he had the most interestingly line. He admitted to having crabs, but didn’t follow it up with a laugh, so I’m unsure if he was being serious or not. I don’t think he’s replaced Alex for creepiest confessional quote yet though.

2. Kenny Gilbert (Last Week #3)

Kenny had a top finish in the quickfire and won the elimination challenge which moves him into second place. He was confident in his trio of crab dishes would win even though the judge didn’t agree. The main reason I put him ahead of Kelly is because he won the elimination challenge with eggplant. His eggplant dish beat out the meat dishes which is challenging to do.

3. Kelly Liken (Last Week #2)

Kelly drops to into the third place due to no fault of her own. Having her fall to number three was my hardest choice. She had a top finish in the elimination challenge and made a second dish that was a dessert. Thank goodness she took a risk, cause if I have seen anything this season, well besides the hate, this chefs have no guts. Each chefs wants to play it safe and just cruise along, so I have to say thank goodness for Kelly. I have moved Kelly into the Top Shelf group and I think it’s clear that these three chefs are beginning to separate themselves from the field.

Best of the Rest

4. Tiffany Derry (Last Week #5)

Tiffany has been slowly climbing the Top Chef power rankings. She hasn’t been a winner of any kind yet, but continues to cook food the judges seem to enjoy, just not as much as other apparently, and has a lot of confidence in herself. She needs to get some wins if she wants to get into the final four though.

5. Andrea Curto (Last Week #8)

Andrea is our biggest climber this week as she moves to number five on the strength has a win followed by a top finish. She was a little nervous about how to prepare her pork, but once she decided to cut it down to cook easier she made one of the judges favorites.

Middle of the Pack

6. Ed Cotton (Last Week #7)

Ed got his first win of the season doing an Asian influenced crab dish in the quickfire. With the exception of the platting mistake last week, Ed has been really starting to perform better. He hates working with Alex but keeps getting stuck with him. I think he can cook better with somebody he likes, but who knows, maybe working by Alex is his good luck charm.

7. Alex Reznik (Last Week #6)

Alright, I’m ready to get killed in the comments for this. Alex only falls one spot and is still above Tamesha. Alex has been consistent throughout the show and last night didn’t change my opinion of him. I will say, he tries way too hard to be funny, and probably should talk less.

8. Amanda Baumgarten (Last Week #4)

I know a lot of readers will disagree with her free fall, but I honestly don’t think Amanda is that good. She had two elimination challenges that she did really well on, but the rest of the time, seems to be putting out bottom level dishes. Two of the big criticisms of her last night was her lack of basic cooking skill, and not know what a dish is. Those are two things most Top Chefs need. Yes it could have been a brain lapse like she said, but I’m not sure if it’s more than just that. I could very easily see her sent packing with another bottom finish.

9. Tamesha Warren (Last Week #9)

Tamesha didn’t move at all this week, but I was anything but impressed from her last night. I can understand not knowing how to properly take apart a crab, especially in her case where she was allergic to it, but I think she’s getting too much help from Angelo. Angelo admitted she is the only one he likes in the house and so is willing to work with her and help her. That doesn’t impress me as a chef who needs to stand on her own to feet. Is Angelo overstepping? Probably, but until Tamesha shows me something on her own, here is where she will stay.

(Feel free to tear me apart in the comments for those last 3 spots, cause I know you guys are)

Could Go Either Way

10. Kevin Sbraga (Last Week #10)

Kevin had an interesting night. His bottom finish in the quickfire put him in the bottom for 4 consecutive competitions. His confidence was dropping quickly, and it showed in his face and in the confessional. During the elimination challenge he began working on one dish, that Kenny or “the wind” knocked over, so he had to start from scratch and was still able to finish on top. I kept him this low because I am unsure of his confidence level. If the top finish restores his confidence and he starts making dishes the judges love, he will be out of the spot quickly. However, if his confidence stays low and he begins to second guess himself, more bottom finishes are in his future.

Chopping Block

11. Stephen Hopcraft (Last Week #12)

Stephen was on the bottom again. The judges had too main complaints about his dish, he tried to do too much, and it wasn’t presented very well. I think the salad showed Stephen does have good technique, but he hasn’t been able to translate that into a dish. Stephen might not have ended up on the bottom if he had put the salad on a plate instead of a bowl. I am holding out hope for him, but unless somebody completely bombs, I cannot see Stephen surviving another bottom finish.


  1. You're right that if Hopcraft finishes on the bottom again, he's donezo.

    With the 7-8-9, I'd go Amanda-Tamesha-Alex. Mostly because the first two have shown some level of talent, whereas Alex hasn't. I didn't really think Amanda deserved the bottom finish this week.

    That soup looked good as hell. This is entirely separate from me thinking she's beautiful (which I kinda do)... that soup looked like I'd eat the hell out of it.

    Realistically, I think the people most at risk for elimination in the next few weeks:

    1. Stephen
    2. Alex
    3. Andrea

    I think you knock those three out and you've got a damned good top eight.

  2. I would go:

    1. Angelo
    2. Kenny
    3. Kelly
    4. Andrea
    5. Tiffany
    6. Ed
    7. Tamesha
    8. Kevin
    9. Alex
    10. Amanda
    11. Stephen