Top Chef Power Rankings

By David Mumpower

January 15, 2014

They are like an old married couple. I bet neither of them fights this much with their wives.

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During a recent batch of Power Rankings, I mentioned that I expected a series of unpredictable eliminations from that moment forward. Since then, Carrie has been voted out by the judges because of lingering resentment over a dish she prepared when she had immunity. In the next challenge, half a dozen players were inexplicably divided into teams. And one of them was again provided immunity.

What happened next was, in the Lemony Snicket vernacular, a series of unfortunate events. Nick, the player who performed by far the worst in the challenge, had immunity. His team lost specifically because of him. When Nick chose to keep himself safe, a right he had earned via his first Quickfire challenge, an exceptional chef who had cooked extremely well was eliminated from Top Chef. It’s going to be that type of denouement this season. The Power Rankings may as well be entitled Nina and the Other Five at this point. Based upon recent events, that means the odds of Nina not winning Top Chef are about 100%.


1) Nina
Nina’s team got beaten last week by Stephanie and Shirley. Had Nick played it safe with his dish instead of swinging for the fences, we would probably be discussing other options at the top of the Power Rankings. Acknowledging the puzzling nature of the last challenge’s voting, Nina still crafted the best dish for her team. Since her team “won”, Nina was the overall victor, her first victory since episode six, questionable though the outcome may be. That is enough for me to believe I have to rank her in first place.

2) Shirley
The joke above about Nina and the Other Five notwithstanding, Shirley has basically become the 1A player this season, the Brooke Williamson to Nina’s Kristen Kish (or vice versa). She is tied for the most victories with Nina and out-cooked her foe last week. We generally only see miscarriages of justice like this with regards to outcomes in boxing, ice skating and gymnastics. Top Chef is designed to guarantee that the better player wins. People didn’t do their jobs last week, which is why Nina was given a victory that Shirley rightfully owned. At this point, I think that the women have distanced themselves from the men. None of the three dudes deserves to be champion the way that Nina and Shirley do.

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