Last night marked the exit of the contestant I had been rooting for, Brian Malarky. While I don’t regret pulling for him all season, Brian shows his arrogance by letting it fly in his post elimination interview, making no apologies for his performance, expressing befuddlement as to what could have gone wrong, and arguing he should have won.

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In part 1 of his exit interview, Brian expresses surprise that he was eliminated, believing he was right on track to win the whole contest. Brian also blamed his exit on guest judge Eric Ripert, arguing that there were at least two people on the panel of judges that thought he deserved to stay, and Ripert basically had it out for him. However, Head Judge Tom Colicchio writes in his blog last night that the decision to eliminate Brian was not a hard one:

“All the funny shtick in the world couldn’t save the dish. Nor could the mystifying blue cheese options — the dish didn’t need a pungent Roquefort or Gorgonzola to finish it, and leaving the choice of cheese to the guest seemed wishy-washy and inconclusive. It wasn’t too hard for us judges to come to our decision; Brian was going home.”

In part 2 of his exit interview, Brian points out he has by far the most successful restaurant of the other chefs, so like, who cares dude? He also notes that for the 3-person finale the contestants are each going to each need a sous chef, and he’s pretty sure the other chefs will ALL be fighting to have him on their teams. I mean why wouldn’t they? He’s Brian Mularky, seafood and quirky hat connoisseur. Humble huh?

Brian also gets in a couple semi-legitimate digs, arguing this season of Top Chef should have been renamed “Top Dish” because decisions seemed to be based not on a Chef’s leadership, creativity and ability to get those in the kitchen to rally around them, but simply on which specific dishes avoided mistakes.

Sadly Brian offers no prediction on who will win this season, perhaps because he anticipates an out-of-nowhere return to the show where he crushes his inferiors with a shocking eliminated-to-champion turn of events…uh, yeah. However, I did note that last week in her exit interview, Sarah said both that she wanted Brian to win, and also that she thought he would…so there goes that prediction.

Once again, I severely underestimated Dale. I had predicted him to go home, but he came away the winner of the elimination challenge. However, I still think his end is near. There is only one episode left, so they may just pick one winner from the 3. However, if they eliminate one of the three first, I anticipate a Casey-Hung top two. Hung has turned himself from the villian into the humble immigrant representing the American dream (whether the judges buy that or not is a different story), and Casey represents a chance for the first Top Chef victory by a woman. I’m thinking those things will be too good for the judges and producers to pass up.

Prediction: Casey Wins, Hung 2nd Place, Dale 3rd

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