Top Chef Season Whatever has begun again without a chef or cook from New Orleans. But hey two people from Atlanta made it and Atlanta is the New York of the South. After 4 weeks, two things are abundantly clear. First, the casting agency found 6 people who could cook, and then stopped doing their job. Second, Ashley will go extremely far in this competition by following Lisa from Season 4's lead.
The Brothers Volt, Jen Ripert, Mike from Juhsey, and the Baconator are the only people who should win. The rest of them as a whole have been mostly disappointing. You mean to tell me in a nation where cooks are being laid off at record pace, the casting agency hired by Magical Elves could only find 6-7 chefs who could really win this thing? Was there no one better than Eve? Shoot, I bet Petro from P&G on Baronne could have gone farther than Lip Ring Girl.
The first contestant to go, whose name is irrelevant, looked like a cast off on Miami Ink. Listen, I understand chefs and cooks come from a different world than normal people. But if you were eating a restaurant and that lady walked out with ear lobes you could drive the Madden Bus through and a Tyson worthy tattoo job, don't you think that might turn off your dining experience. It was difficult to watch and I imagine for the judges even worse to experience her cooking.
Ashley, who is the embodiment of a Killers song, will go very far in this competition despite any skill. Look for her to do just enough that someone else does worse than she does. Plus, she will continue to provide meaningful societal statements in a format where it is completely uncalled for. Ashley, had you seen Top Chef before? In one season the chefs were required to cook a wedding feast for a groom and groom. Did the straight chefs air their political viewpoints and whine like you did? Instead we will be subjected to more weeks of look at this f*cking hipster cook, hurried frenzy, and dishes that apparently don't suck enough.
So early predictions look like this:
Ashley - makes it to finals, loses when she really should have won, but only because the judges this year take into account entirety of the season - in a radical departure from last season.*
Jen Ripert - Here will be the downfall of Jen. She keeps winning quickfires. Eventually that means she will have to be the captain for restaurant wars. Unfortunately for her, Eli acting as maitre'd will do something stupid like serve the red wine in a water glass. Jen will take the blame leading to Padma asking her to "Please pack your knives and go."
Eli - Hangs around and hangs around. See also Carlos from Season 1 or Ilan from Season 2.
The Baconator - Has a real shot at winning this thing. But I sense he falters when asked to cook a chardonnay and cigarette amuse for Kim from The Real Housewives of Atlanta.
Ash - Gone in at least the next 3 episodes.
Brothers Volt - Each gets kicked off after old sibling rivalry over Mario 3 is reignited which leads to punches thrown.
Mattin - Just too young and inexperienced to make it the whole way.
Mike from Juhsey - This guy has a shot to be an under the radar competitor in the finals. But bravado eventually costs him the title when he decides to try his hand at cheesemaking in episode 8.
Ron - I like this guy to go far, but ultimately he does not seem to have the speed and refinement of the elites which seems to be what the judges want in a winner this season. Ron is like a monster truck racing in NASCAR.
Winner is either Jen, the Baconator, or a Volt Brother.
* Go re-watch the Season 4 Finale. Lisa freaking killed it, Blais choked, and Stephanie finished second if you listen to the judges comments.