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Is anyone else watching this season of Top Chef? It's the halfway point of the season, and they have almost winnowed out all the dead weight and also-rans, so it's getting to be time to get serious about who is going to win. There are 9 chefs left, which means Restaurant Wars is coming in 2 weeks!

I'm rooting for Bryan Voltaggio, because he's local for me and I've actually eaten at his restaurant (Volt in Frederick, MD) before he became a contestant. I think he can win it all, if he doesn't slip up one week. He already has 3 elimination wins, but he always tries to do too much in the Quickfires and never wins those.

I think the rest of the final four will be Bryan's brother Michael V (1 win + 1 Quickfire), Jennifer (1 win + 2 Quickfires), and Kevin (2 wins + 2 Quickfires). But the way this show always works, the judges seem to can someone I thought would be a finalist somewhere around when there are 6-8 people left. It just takes one bad dish one week, and you're gone. If that happens, probably Mike I could slip in.

Ash and Robin should be the next two to go. Eli and Laurine are better than those two and should hang around a few more weeks, but neither appears to have what it takes to win it all. But then again, at this point in season 5, I was lumping Hosea in this "middle of the pack" category too, and he went on to win it all, so who knows...
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