I see it as a three way race as Top Chef vs. Amazing Race vs. The Voice.
Amazing Race is always a contender, and Top Chef submitted perfectly with The Charlize Theron episode where the competition was really intense and everyone was in their A game. The Voice submitted their season opener (with some interesting stories to tell), and of course, the Blind Auditions is the best and most lauded part of the competition.
'The Voice' submitted very well. I was nervous because the best part of the show is the blind auditions and I was afraid they would opt for just the regular part of the competition. I think they have a good chance. You have the judges bickering, some interesting backstories, and the concept is brilliant in itself.
I find "The Voice" submission good but not great. Compared to what "Top Chef" and "Amazing Race" (and maybe even "So You Think You Can Dance") submitted, I don't think they are very competitive. At this point, most people are already familiar with the blind auditions process, so it's a pretty basic submission. Granted, it still don't know how voters will react to that, but I think it lacks a "wow" factor and it's (dare I say it?) a bit too long.
This is a very strong field, which is really encouraging. I am particularly impressed with SYTYCD, which could be a spoiler.
I think, based on what I have seen so far, that the "Top Chef" episode is just so entertaining and riveting (especially compared to the rest of the season, which for me was a bit of a let down), that it is in front. I am going to change my predictions and put it at number 1.
"Top Chef" definitely submitted the best episode of the season (in my opinion). Everything about this episode was entertaining and the meals the chefs cooked up were more entertaining and interesting to look at than the typical fare they have to make.
Those are strong choices for "Top Chef" and "The Voice." "Project Runway"'s choice isn't immediately making a big impression. I've heard about what GaGa pulled in the "So You Think You Can Dance?" episode. That was likely a smart choice to set themselves apart from the pack. Not sure about the other two submissions.
" . . . for once, I get the feeling that I'm right where I belong"
Excellent submission episodes for both "Top Chef" and "Project Runway," but then again, both shows had superb submissions last year, too.
I'm not sure enough voters actually watch the tapes in these categories; they sure as hell don't for the Reality Host category. Two years ago when "Top Chef" won, perhaps more voters just got off their butts for a change. I don't dislike "Amazing Race" at all, just that it oddly seems to win with very straightforward, unexceptional episodes. That's what leads me to think the voters aren't really watching. Or perhaps the adrenaline rush inherent in each episode and the exotic locales are just more exciting.
"I knew I shoulda taken that left turn at Albuquerque."