The Next Iron Chef: Where We Stand

So, we're four eliminations in, and my predictions are doing... OK.

As you recall, my original call was:

Falkner
Irvine
McMillan
Spike
Zakarian
Guarnachelli
Hughes
Chiarello
Burrell
Samuelsson

Week One saw Spike leave. Week Two saw Irvine get the boot. Week Three, poor Chuck Hughes got cut, which makes me sad inside. And last week, McMillan left. Which means, in the first four weeks, three of my bottom four got cut, plus the guy I deliberately ranked higher because I liked him. That's not fucking bad at all.

I have seriously misjudged Elizabeth Falkner, obviously. I mentioned that before, but it bears repeating. She's done very well, and if there's some quota-based meddling due to the need to replace Cat Cora as the only female Iron Chef, she's perfectly capable of taking the prize.

I still hate Geoffrey Zakarian, and wish he would fuck up so that he would leave already. That second week, where it was ALL DICKS in the bottom three? Irvine, Chiarello, and Zakarian? That was a glorious week.

I don't know where the fuck the Marcus Samuelsson who won Top Chef Masters is, but he'd better show up soon.

So here are two new lists, going forward, in advance of tonight's episode:

SKILL RANKINGS: Burrell, Samuelsson, Guarnichelli, Falkner, Chiarello, Zakarian. This is based purely on observed performance. Not bullshit statistics like how many times they won or lost, or were in the top or the bottom, but just how they responded to different challenges and how they're adapting to the format.

PERSONALITY RANKINGS: Zakarian, Chiarello, Guarnichelli, Burrell, Samuelsson, Falkner. This list is based entirely on how much I'd like to see them performing on Iron Chef going forward. I still think, overall, Samuellson's combination of interesting food and light-hearted professionalism would make him a great fit for the show, but he's not competing well in this environment at all. And if he gets cut, I'm rooting for Falkner all the way.