Our ‘Top Chef’ contest champ says Mei Lin was ‘obvious’ winner over Gregory Gourdet

“It was obvious after the first few episodes that Mei Lin was the one to beat,” reveals Gold Derby’s latest contest champ Matthew Ward, who scored the best while predicting “Top Chef” Season 12. “You could sense Mei’s intense desire to go to the end.”

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Ward, a 30-year-old writer from Crossville, Tennessee, earned the #1 position on our “Top Chef” leaderboard thanks to his 31% accuracy. His prize is a $100 Amazon gift certificate and a spot on Gold Derby’s winners list. (To see how YOU scored, click here.)

Ward picked Mei to win since early in the season. He explains, “It was clear to me pretty early on that Mei was going to be the winner. For the first couple of weeks I had Joy Crump to win, but once she was eliminated I went with the obvious best chef, Mei.”

The final battle came down to Mei vs. Gregory Gourdet, and Ward tells us, “I thought this was the best Top 2 the show has ever had. There was no wrong choice for the judges at the end of this season. Mei and Gregory both could have won. But, in the end, I was personally happy that Mei took it.”

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Does Ward have any tips for predicting “Top Chef”? “I really don’t have any secrets. I just focused on picking the person I thought was the strongest/weakest from episode to episode and managed to get lucky a few times. As the season went on, it became more apparent which chef was going to get eliminated.”

Make your own Oscars picks now — click here — or scroll down to predict the Best Picture winner using our easy drag-and-drop menu. Best predictions will win $1,000 prize. And the 24 Users with the best scores advance to a team to compete against our Experts and Editors next year. See who’s in our current Top 24 and their early Oscar predictions. Meet the guy who won our contest to predict Oscar nominations this year — and learn how he did it and how you can be our next Gold Derby superstar. Register/log in to your account so you can also compete to predict “The Walking Dead,” “Survivor,” “The Amazing Race” and more.

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