All-Star Melissa King breezed through the first half of “Top Chef” Season 17, winning three elimination challenges. But she hit a speed bump during Restaurant Wars as a member of Kevin Gillespie‘s team. He was overly ambitious in presenting 12 dishes to the judges, and the quality of his food suffered.
She confided that the loss rattled her, and it showed as Melissa racked up two more low scores in a row. But her confidence was somewhat restored after winning two quickfires in a row and then claiming two straight victories in the “Michael’s Santa Monica” and the “Lucca” elimination challenges — going on to win five total, more than any other contestant this season.
Of those who answered our poll about which of the four remaining All-Stars most deserves the title of Top Chef, 48% easily picked Melissa. Following her is Bryan Voltaggio, who nearly won last week’s white truffle challenge. He claimed 28% of the vote, even though he has only triumphed in the “Cabin Fever” elimination challenge. But he has only gotten two low scores and has received four high marks.
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Next is Kevin Gillespie, who has won three quickfires and three elimination challenges. However, his unrealistic plan for Restaurant Wars caused him to be eliminated and forced him to fight his way back into the game in “Last Chance Kitchen.” And last week he had a low score in the white truffle challenge. He earned support from just 18% of those voting.
As for this season’s underdog, Stephanie Cmar, she has come on strong lately, getting two wins in elimination challenges late in the season. But she has also collected the most low scores with five. That may explain why only 6% believe she is qualified to be the champ.
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