Top Chef 5: "The Last Supper" Predictions

The thing that gives Top Chef its suspense is the thing that can be most annoying about it. Sure, it would be more fair if each judging looked primarily at a cheftestant's overall performance. But without the You're only as good as your last dish guideline, you might as well crown dominating players like Richard Blais from Top Chef 4 or Stefan Richter from this season winners midway through and not bother with the rest of the competition.

This is television, after all, and creating drama is, in fact, the goal of making the show in the first place - not being fair. So while many feel like Jamie Lauren's overall performance should have saved her last week, her mistake in the challenge overrode all her previous success and sent her home.

So I would like to think that Stefan is safe due to his talent and confidence (or arrogance, depending on how you look at it). I find him oddly endearing despite his sometimes abrasive manner. He's clearly technically proficient, and his performance during Restaurant Wars shows that he doesn't get rattled when a dish starts going wrong. He seemed to stay calm when his panna cotta didn't set and fixed it rather than spinning into panic. But if he does have one weakness, it might be that he tends to stay conceptually safe. Not that there is anything wrong with classic flavors and cooking, but I think if the judges think he's keeping it simple just to avoid landing in the bottom, they might not look kindly on his lack of risk-taking.

Hosea Rosenberg faltered last week and does seem to have lost his focus a bit since the dalliance with Leah Cohen. He still seems to be one of the stronger chefs left, but once again, he needs to get his head in the game to stay in the game.

Carla Hall might have seemed to be the kooky underdog but last week at Le Bernardin, she pulled out her classical training and impressed Eric Ripert. Each success seems to boost her confidence, and increased confidence seems to encourage her success, so if she can keep it up, she might be able to stick it out.

Fabio Viviani did well last week, but I think he and Leah could be most vulnerable this week. Leah's just seemed to be totally losing motivation. Fabio seems to swing from strength to weakness and if he swings in the wrong direction this week, it could be right off Top Chef 5.

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