Top Chef: Episode 4.11 Predictions
Last week on Top Chef 4, we said goodbye to spazz attack Andrew D'Ambrosi for his faux sushi that was a flop with the judges. Lisa Fernandes found herself in the bottom for the third time, but she's still beat out by Spike Mendelsohn, who's found himself in front of the judges four times defending his dish in the bottom rankings. That's the most of any cheftestant still left on Top Chef 4.

That said, he did also finally get his first win, mastering the salad in the Quickfire Challenge. And here's another interesting development about Spike's place in the competition.

So far, Spike has seemed to be getting some bad buzz from viewers who are not too crazy about his attitude and/or his many hats. This week, Bravo posted some video of one of their on staff visiting with Spike and Andrew as they watched the episode with Spike's parents. It's a pretty warm and fuzzy little series of clips, contained in a blog entry that takes care to note that Spike is much more likable in person than on the show…and, despite the fact that they are watching the episode in which Andrew gets eliminated, it's Spike who gets the lion's share of the screen time.

Curious. One of the viewers to the Bravo video had the same thought that I did: is this some off-show image rehab for a contestant who is going to go farther in the competition than one might suspect? Maybe it's completely innocent, but with reality television, you are always reading the tea leaves and clues to try to guess what they will do next.  It's hard not to look for conspiracies!

So who do I think will be eliminated next? Lisa has seriously faltered at times, and many think she's the next to go. Antonia Lofaso has been in the bottom just as much as Lisa and some viewers feel her successes have been with such simple dishes that she might not have the same creativity or flash as others. Stephanie Izard continues to be a roller coaster ride; she's been in the bottom three times like Lisa and Antonia, but unlike the two of them, every time she's not in the bottom, she's called out in the top or wins. Richard Blais continues to do solidly, and his quieter edit in the past episode makes me think he's not being built up for a big surprise elimination this episode.

So I'm getting a gut feeling that it might be Dale Talde this week. There's something about his edit that seems like he is trending this way, and my gut feeling about Andrew's edit was actually right for once last week. I think that Dale makes interesting and exciting food, but this next episode is Restaurant Wars and we've already seen that cooperation and controlling his response to team-related frustration are not necessarily his strong suits. From a pure cuisine perspective, I think I'd rather see him stay over Lisa or Spike, but I wonder if this might be the episode where he implodes.

We'll find out tomorrow on the Restaurant Wars edition of Top Chef 4!

- Leslie Seaton, BuddyTV Staff Columnist

(Image courtesy of Bravo)