It's almost over: Final 'Top Chef' power rankings
I think someone may have said that before her, but point being -- it's that time. Our joyous lives that were filled with "Top Chef"-goodness are nearly over. Yes, over. For the final "Top Chef" course, we'll be serving sugar-free strawberry twist Kool-Aid with a light rat poison finish.
OK, perhaps that's being a little dramatic but really, once "Top Chef" is over -- so are our Wednesday nights. Between "American Idol" and "Gary Unmarried," I think I'll opt for the Kool-Aid.
But enough about our death wishes caused by a lack of Colicchio and Padma. Let's move on to the New Orleans finale predictions! Hooty-hoo!
As we said last week, the winner of the power rankings, and in life, really, will be decided after this episode. For the finale, the power ranking rules are as follows: All players must rank their chef choices from 1 to 3 (one, being the supremo champion, two the runner-up and three the mayor of Loserville). The player to correctly identify the order of rank will be awarded 25 whopping points! If the order is wrong, but the player still correctly identified the winner, they will receive 10 points. If the player's name is Rozwadowski, he gets negative points for sucking at life. Oops, I mean, what? The Channel Surfers have provided a little explanation in their choosing of numero uno, so any players -- feel free to do the same.
Here's where we're at:
First place, 29 points (tie)
I'm sorry, Carla, and in a way I hope I'm wrong. But at the end of the day I think the baby-makin' faux German will get his attitude in check, put away the smokes for half an episode and do something amazing in the finale. He's certainly got the talent, and after having the 'tude scared out of him with a near-miss last episode, I think Stefan will rally with a sprint for the finish. Hosea is talented but boring, and while Carla has been unbelievable these last few episodes, I'm just not sure she can take the crown. That said, I'm still mourning Fabio, so maybe my judgment is clouded. Redemption, thy name is Team Euro.
-- Friend of Channel Surfing, Kelly McBride, email@example.com
(Editor's note: Mr. Roz is on mandated furlough this week, meaning he is not allowed to work. Just to be clear -- he sent this to me last week when he was allowed to be human, er, I mean allowed to work.)
Why Carla will win: Every time I've moved Stefan off the top spot, that bald baby-maker has caused me to regret it. While that may also hold true here, I can't ignore the lightning in a bottle phenomenon that seems to be propelling Crazy Eyed Carla's loooooove bus. I'll no longer be surprised if the Ostrich lady pulls it out. She's come THAT far since the definitive challenge that almost had her packing her bags. You'll remember that one: it's where Stefan and Carla both made desserts, and one was smarter than the other in working around a faulty freezer. Everything has changed since that point. The momentum is undeniable, and it's no longer a fluke that Carla is a finalist. She's cooking amazing dishes (even perfect peas, for chrissakes.) She's confident, but not overconfident. She's in the South. Carla ... follow that bird to the "Top Chef" crown. You actually deserve it. Hooty-hooooooo!
-- Thomas Rozwadowski, firstname.lastname@example.org
Second place, 24 points
Forget talent. These three chefs have all proved to have varying levels of competence and shortcomings. Hosea is a very skilled technician, but lacks creativity. Stefan can cook basically anything, but is lazy, and his cockiness gets in the way of his abilities. Carla is probably the least qualified of the three, but she's got heart, determination, and the sense not to take herself too seriously. Lately the story of "Top Chef: Season 5" has overshadowed the contest, and Carla has emerged as the plucky heroine, destined to take the throne. Stefan is the villain of the story, who always seems to have the upper hand every step of the way ... until the very end, when the forces of good triumph. (Besides, who do you think Diet Dr. Pepper wants pitching their product next season: a bouncy, crazy-haired former model, or the evil, bald Finn? Ba-dow. BA-DOW.)
-- Adam Reinhard, email@example.com
Third place, 22 points (Ms. Quarter rolls in at 23 points)
Why Stefan makes good babies and will win: It's Stefan's game to lose. It always has been. Sure, he's had a few pitfalls during the last couple of challenges -- and a formidable opponent in Carla in the finale -- but if anyone can roll with the punches, it's Stefan. Carla's good, but her weak point has always been coping with the potential wrenches thrown her way. (Frankly, Hosea doesn't really count because he's just been a non-entity since his lip-lock with Leah). Stefan is calm, he's collected and he's creative. Plus, if Stefan's good enough for Fabio (oh, how we miss you), he's good enough for me.
-- Malavika Jagannathan, firstname.lastname@example.org
Fourth place, 19 points
Again, I'm taking a bit of a risk here but I think maybe this time, it'll work. I think ultimately, Stefan is just a better chef. He's cocky and I hate him, but I have to admit, he's the best. The finale challenge is to just "cook a good meal." Having that much freedom can be both a burden and a blessing. A burden in the sense that it's not focused, you don't know what the judges are expecting at all. A blessing because well, it's the opportunity to really show your skills. Stefan has been hit with a rolled-up newspaper just enough that I think he'll try to put his arrogance aside and let the competitor in him shine through that Mr. Clean head of his. As for numero dos, I think Hosea may surprise us. He's been the dark horse and let's be honest, no one likes him after he smooched Leah but I think he wants this really bad -- perhaps bad enough to nail a runner-up spot.
-- Sara Boyd, email@example.com
Others contributing to this splendid "Top Chef" stew: Ms. Quarter, 23 points; ACon, 12 points; Dusty, 13 points; Dilido Fan, 8 points
Submit your power rankings now and don't forget to catch the final episode at 9 p.m. Wednesday on Bravo.