‘Top Chef: New Orleans’ rankings: Is a Nina Compton – Shirley Chung finale inevitable?

What's next? -Is there a serious competition left on “Top Chef: New Orleans“? It depends on how much you read into past performance and editing. Everyone left has to be pretty phenomenal just to get this far, but some seem to have a pretty clear edge over some of the others.

This is where our first official rankings of the season come in! We’re going to try to predict just what happens on the show before it happens, at least in terms of who is the most likely chef to walk away with the title, and also who could at least make it there to the finale. We’re judging this based on edit, overall performance, and whether that they have the sort of variety that is not going to want to make Tom Colicchio yell at them.

5. Carlos Gaytan – He may still be in the competition over Louis, but this guy is not someone getting the sort of edit conducive of a winner. Heck, he may be getting one of the worst edits we’ve ever seen for a guy at this point in the competition. He’s cooked great food (and food that we would love to eat, mind you), but he’s been portrayed as sloppy and also apathetic to the other contestants. Not only that, but he also has been the master of only one type of cuisine in a competition that will push you.

4. Nicholas Elmi – A very skilled chef, and when it comes to training and pure talent, probably one of the best. The problem is that this guy is just a walking ball of stress. He never seems happy, and overthinks a good bit of what he does at this point in the show. His anger towards Carlos is also distracting.

3. Louis Maldonado – He may not be in the regular part of the competition, but considering that he has a record now in “Last Chance Kitchen,” he’s shown himself to be a complete beast. He’s super-likable, capable of cooking many styles, and he has definitely impressed Tom with what he’s done.

2. Nina Compton – Early in the competition, it felt for sure like Nina was the lock to win the whole thing. However, the surge of Shirley the past few weeks puts that in doubt. She’s going to have to up her game in the final rounds, and really prove that she is capable of handling the pressure.

1. Shirley Chung – Shirley’s performance so far is proof that sometimes, a competition can really change people. She was a solid chef going in, but we weren’t thinking of her as a serious threat to win the whole thing. That changed when she started to win challenges, and she’s now cooking some of the most-delicious stuff we’ve seen all season.

Who do you think is the strongest chef left in the competition? Share your thoughts below, and be sure to click here if you want to read our full review of last night’s “Top Chef” episode. You can also click here if you want to bite into some more scoop related to the show and others with our CarterMatt Newsletter.

Photo: Bravo

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