Even though we may have the same five competitors left on “Top Chef: New Orleans” that we did at the last time in which we did contestants rankings, we do think that having Carlos Gaytan in “Last Chance Kitchen” against Louis Maldonado changes things on a certain level. Now, we know that only one of them is in the final four, and that person may feel a ton of confidence and momentum. For Carlos, it would be defeating a chef that has set a record for consecutive wins on the web show; meanwhile, for Louis it would be simply exceeding that record yet again.
If you missed what we wrote last week, we’re judging these based on overall performance, but also edit and projects of how they could do the rest of the way.
5. Carlos Gaytan (last week: 5) – We had Carlos ranked last then, and we once again do here mostly on the basis of him being able to actually make it out of “Last Chance Kitchen,” and then succeed when it comes to actually cooking all the way to the very end. He’s been great at Mexican cuisine, but we haven’t seen enough of him outside of his comfort zone.
4. Nicholas Elmi (4) – The ranking also stays the same for Nicholas, mostly because he has struggled the most of the chefs remaining in the actual competition, and while incredibly talented, tends to over-think many of his creations in the competitive environment of this show.
3. Shirley Chung (2) – We make the only change of the rankings this week based on one consideration: Momentum. Last time we saw Shirley in Louisiana, she had it going for her after being in the middle of the pack. But, she took a little while to warm up in the early going. What side will we see in Maui? There is enough of a layoff between one part of filming in the next that she is somewhat of a wild card.
2. Louis Maldonado (3) – The finale for “Last Chance Kitchen,” meanwhile, took place in Maui, so Louis has an advantage over all of the chefs if he makes it back in (which we expect him to fully based on this past episode) thanks to cooking competitively recently, and also winning so many one-on-one competitions.
1. Nina Compton (1) – Still, it is hard to rank someone #1 who has been previously eliminated, even if Kristen Kish did it last year. We feel like Nina has given one of the best all-around performances in the history of “Top Chef,” and has shown off a variety of different techniques along with her own background and culture. She’s likable, and has given us almost everything that we would want to see from a contestant on the show … including consistency throughout.
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