Top Chef Season 17 Power Rankings
By Jason Lee
June 18, 2020


The Front Runner: Melissa. Lest there be any doubt, in the past four episodes, Melissa has won two Quickfires and the last three Elimination Challenges. Even better, she cooks the type of clean, refined, unfussy food that Tom loves. This is her title to take.

What she has to do to win: treat the finale like “just another challenge” and don’t overthink it.

The Spoiler: Bryan. I know, I know, not only hasn’t Bryan been anything close to a dominant force this entire season, but he hasn’t performed all that well during the finale so far. And the reception he got from the Italian chef/diners last episode was telling. But the title often comes down to whose style of cooking fares best in the format of the finale, and with his fine dining background, this is Bryan’s potential edge.

What he has to do to win: bring fine dining perfection to the table.

The Long Shot: Stephanie. Yes, Stephanie has outperformed Bryan so far in the finale, but she hasn’t once outperformed Melissa. Beyond that, Stephanie has been the most up-and-down chef this season, though she seems to have admittedly found her groove. But when you size up the three finalists and ask who seems the most likely to succumb to the pressure of the finale, in my mind, it’s Stephanie.

What she has to do to win: enjoy the moment, cook from her heart, and ignore her competition