If 25-year-old Eli were to be believed, he didn't cry out of frustration from not winning Top Chef, but because of pure exhaustion and fatigue.
"You're tired and fatigued after being in Las Vegas on a six-week production," he told TV Guide. "When I was doing those exit interviews, it was probably 3 or 4 in the morning. So I don't think I was emotional about not winning Top Chef. I don't feel I went out too early, I was just tired, beat-up, and exhausted."
That being said, the Top Chef fifth placer conceded that the judges made the right decision in sending him home, resulting to a very predictable finals cast - the V brothers, Kevin, and Jennifer.
"I think that it was fair. There were a lot of things said we didn't hear at the table where the judges were eating and a lot of things said that the audience didn't see. But overall, I think it was the appropriate decision. Of the five of us, I think I was the person that deserved to go home that day."
As for his future plans, Eli said he remains to be a chef at the restaurant Atlanta, but that doesn't mean he isn't looking for "other opportunities and things." As of now, he's off to "expand" his "public image" to make people "more interested" in him.
Top Chef takes a break this week and resumes competition next Wednesday, the first of the two-part finals.