Top Chef All-Stars: Who Deserves to Make the Final Three?

If your stomach is growling in anticipation of a new episode of Top Chef All-Stars tonight, you’d better grab a handful of celery sticks a king-sized Snickers some Chicken Fried Codfish with Brussel Kraut and Ginger Beer. That’s because Bravo won’t be running a new episode of the addictive chef showdown till next Wednesday (Feb. 2).

In the interim, and because we’re currently at the season’s midway marker — with only nine of the original 18 cheftestants remaining — it seems like the perfect time to debate which three folks deserve to make the finale (and which three you’re rooting for, if that question happens to result in a different answer).

If I was able to place an Imperius Curse on Padma, Tom, Tony, and Gail, I’d send Richard Blais, Carla Hall, and Angelo Sosa into the finale. Richard has been an inventive, risk-taking wizard all season long, and a finale without his spiky hair and his mad-scientist techniques just wouldn’t seem right. Carla, for her part, may not have a case of the runaway boasties (like, say, Mike Isabella or Dale Talde), but she’s consistently made delicious, exciting food that’s regularly landed her at or near the top of the elimination challenges. (Plus, she just seems like a lovely human being!) And while I’m not a huge fan of Angelo’s new-age-y smarm (not to mention his tendency to describe his own food as “beautiful”), he’s undeniably talented, and would give me someone to root against in the final weeks of the season*. (*Ditto for Dale, making him a totally acceptable substitute ingredient for Angelo.)

That said, if you asked me who I really, truly want to take home the crown, I’d probably have to say Fabio. After all, “this is Top Chef, not Top Scallop.”

Who do you think deserves to make the Top Chef All-Stars finale? Whose victory would make you happiest? Sound off below! And for all my reality TV ridiculata, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Tomi in Delaware says:

    Been a Top Chef fan from Day 1!


  2. Tomi in Delaware says:

    I have met Carla, and attended a presentation, and she is FABULOUS! She get is just for admitting “it’s not al dente! Its un-done-te!”

  3. Anne says:

    Angelo, hands down. Actually, your list is good, but I disagree with your assessment of Angelo. He’s not smarmy, he’s an introverted-yet-adorable genius who’s not entirely sure the best way to talk to people.

    I kind of want to give him a hug.

    • Michael Slezak says:

      I go back and forth on that one. I prefer my interpretation, but accept yours as a perfectly valid theory!

    • Amber says:

      I completely agree with you! I hated him at first, thinking him smarmy and slightly creepy. Then about halfway through last season he was doing some confessional and he did that horrible laugh of his. I turned to my husband and said, “OMG, he’s really just a huge nerd”. It’s surprising because he’s definitely talented and pretty attractive too, so it takes awhile to notice how big of a dork he actually is.

  4. Darlene says:

    I love Fabio, but realistically, Carla or Richard for the win.

  5. Matt says:

    It’s not Top Gnocchi either though, so I wouldn’t support Fabio. I fully support Carla for the win. She’s always been such a positive person and a great chef, I think she really deserves it. Richard and Angelo or Dale would be perfect to round out the final three, and I’d be happy if any of them won.

  6. Siryn says:

    I would love to see Fabio win it all. Honestly, I would love to see him get his very own show. I could listen to him speak for hours! And those “Fabio-isms” keep me rolling. I still laugh over the monkey butt stuffed with a banana joke.

  7. lisasp says:

    I would love Richard, Carla, and Dale for the final 3 with Richard winning. I do love me some Fabio but he doesn’t seem to be on quite as high a level as the other ones.

  8. Micaela says:

    I´m totally rooting for Angelo. I actually think he’s likeable!

  9. daisyj says:

    I hate to just seem like a follower, but your choices are spot-on. Richard for the win, definitely, and as much as I can’t stand Angelo, with his chef-shrine and mail-order Russian girlfriend (seriously, WTF?), you can’t deny his win record. And who doesn’t love Carla?

    The other people I could see being happy with in the final are Tre and Antonia, and I have to admit that Dale is kind of growing on me. Fabio? Too charming to hate, but hey, it’s top chef, not top flirt.

  10. Bobbi says:

    Final contestants: Richard, Carla and Dale/Angelo

    FTW: Carla!

    • Bobbi says:

      Richard, who is probably the obvious choice to win, choked in his original season and he has been making himself a nervous wreck this season. Seems to me he could choke again.

  11. noo says:

    fabio is my number one guy on that show :D i wanna see him in the finale with blais and angelo, because i love them all and because their styles are so different :D

  12. Tanya says:

    Carla, Blaise & Trey… with Taboo closing in on a close 2nd… I like Tiffany but I don’t think she should make it to the top 3. The only person I’m not fond of (even though he seems 2 be a component chef is Dale….

  13. Jill says:

    Richard,Dale,Fabio/Carla would be my best guess. I could also see Antonia there as well because she’s either done really well or really bad.

  14. SaraK says:

    I do love me some Fabio, but I think your picks will actually be the Top 3. I think Richard or Carla will win.

  15. Mooshki says:

    Richard, Carla, Angelo, with Angelo taking the win. But Angelo will have to pick it back up – he’s clearly losing energy right now.

  16. DancerinDC says:

    A great time to debate this!

    Right now my top 3 would be Richard, Carla and Dale. Blais has been creative and strong throughout and is probably most deserving of the top prize. Carla is not only a great person, but she puts flavor over style which is great! Dale may have an attitude problem, but he’s brought his A-game this season. I don’t want him to win, but I won’t deny he deserves a top 3 finish.

  17. Brent says:

    Boo! They should show the entire season without any weeks off.

    As for the question posed. Carla all the way baby! She should have won her season and would have had she not doubted herself and tried a technique she wasn’t comfortable with even if Casey was there to help her with it. (I don’t blame Casey…and I really wish she was still competing too)

  18. Erica says:

    Fabio is so sweet and I love watching him. (BTW Michael have you checked out his blog at his website on last week’s episode? It’s so funny. He talks about his Bromance with Richard and dismissed Stephan as his old Bromancer) But I think it will likely be the 3 you listed though I’m thinking it will be Dale instead of Angelo. I’m rooting for Carla though.

  19. Jenny says:

    My top three would be Richard, Fabio and Trey. I have really been enjoying this season of All-Stars.

  20. Mimsy says:

    Carla, Dale and Fabio

  21. red_snapper says:

    I have been rooting for Carla and Fabio since their original seasons. I would love to see either of them take the top prize. I know realistically Carla is the one with the chance to win. I love me some Fabio but he needs to step it up a bit. I would be okay with either Richard or Angelo winning as well. I wasn’t I huge fan of Richard his season but I really gotten to like him this season (especially the bromance with Fabio). I rooted for Angelo all of his season and still maintain that he would have won if he had not gotten sick. He’s not as lovable as Fabio or Carla but he can cook very well. My dream winner is the same as yours, Fabio because he is just plain awesome.

  22. selfee says:

    Richard for sure, and he’s the one I’d like to see win. He seems like a great guy, no matter how many bad edits the producers pull on him, and he consistently combines a sense of whimsy with great food.

    Carla also for sure. In her first season, it wasn’t clear until late in the season that she’s a really good cook, but she’s always come across as a real sweetheart.

    For the third winner, it’s a tough call. Dale’s food and knife skills are amazing to watch, but his rude behavior and short temper make him awfully unappealing. I’m in the “he’s a nerd” camp on Angelo, and his best food seems inspired at times, but he’s so inconsistent and seems to get stuck inside his own head in the kitchen. Fabio is a wonderful character who makes for great tv (and would be a great host at a restaurant or on a regular TV show), but his food isn’t quite up to the standards of a Richard or a Carla or a Dale.

  23. Crissy says:

    FABIO ALL THE WAY!!!!!!!!

  24. abbysee says:

    Had no idea you covered Top Chef! Thank god for twitter! Fabio has my heart, and as long as he doesn’t make any more gnocchi I would be happy if he lasts until final three. I hate Angelo. I think he looks like if he couldn’t cook he’d be a serial killer, lol. Carla is my second fave, she’s like the wacky aunt that you just always wanna hang out with, then Blais, because after all it’s a cooking show.

  25. Donna says:

    A Fabio win on Top Chef would be even more tasty than the Fabio win on Survivor. Seriously, he’s a chef with a pet turtle. That he walks on a chihuahua leash. Love. But, if it can’t be Fabio, then Carla for the win. Hootie Hoo all the way to the finale!

  26. Tess says:


  27. skyfan says:

    Blais! He’s been a class act all the way through, and skilled too. He choked once in his original season, but never tried to blame anyone else for the fail or tried to second-guess another chef into making a mistake. In a perfect world, he and Fabio should open a restaurant…

  28. skyfan says:

    Oh, meh; you want THREE finalists. OK: Angelo and Isabella. To paraphrase Fabio, “It’s Top Chef, not Top Gnocchi”!

  29. oriharakaoru says:

    I’m totally #TeamCarla! LOVE HER. I think Richard and – wait for it – Antonia are also deserving. I really want to see Antonia in the finals. She’s been so close to the top several times, and I think she’s really talented (and underrated).

  30. MonkeyFace says:

    Final 3: Richard, Carla & Tre. Or Fabio. That’s who I’d like to see, but I think Angelo (not a fan) may sneak in there.

    Winner: Richard (probable) or Carla (my pick).

    Hooty hoo.

  31. Beckie says:

    I love so many of these top chefs that it is more about who I don’t want to see in the final, which is Dale and Mike, and frankly, they have been at their most bearable, so I wouldn’t throw my remote at the t.v. if they ended up in the finale. I’m frankly shocked that Fabio has made it this far and am glad that the producers/judges/fates love him as much as I do to keep him in the competition. I would love for Fabio to step it up a bit and finish strong so that we may get a dream finale with Fabio.

  32. Stephanie says:

    I like Carla a lot but this isn’t Top Lettuce Wrap either!!

    I think of all the remaining chefs Blaise is the best all around and I really do believe that he’ll take it. I think him being eliminated before the finale would be the most shocking thing to happen this season. I also like Tre and Fabio but I really can’t even begin to guess who the other finalist will be…as long as it isn’t Dale Talde I’ll be happy :)

  33. 3dhouseofmagic says:

    Team Carla!!! Quirky but kind should get some credit this season!

  34. lisa says:

    Hootie Hoo FTW!

  35. lisa says:

    and Michael, i was dying that you left EW, but i’m thrilled to find you on tvline!

  36. Trish says:

    My love of Fabio knows no bounds. I want him on my tv all of the time. But he’s not going to win. Richard for sure, Angelo, Dale?

  37. Christina says:

    I too think Angelo has been misunderstood. I rooted for him from day one last season and he has my vote again. I’m leaning towards Blaise and Dale to round out the top three. That being said I love Fabio! I could listen to him all day, he is just too adorable!

  38. Lisa says:

    Boo for Top Chef taking the week off.I hate reruns.

    I would like to see Richard , Trey and Angelo in the F3.
    As much as I love Fabio I don’t think he is on the same level.

  39. Kaiulani says:

    As long as one of them is Carla, I’ll be happy! Love her!!

  40. Missy says:

    While I like Carla, and would like to hang out with her, I don’t know if her food is as sophisticated as some of the other chefs. I am kind of shocked to see so many people support her for the win.
    Blais, Angelo, and Dale are who I am expecting to see in the finals and I am kind of torn between Blais and Angelo for the win….I would have loved to see Mike Voltaggio in this competition and I think he would have been the real one to beat.

  41. Alison says:

    I actually really enjoy Fabio on the show but having tried his food….I was majorly disappointed. It just wasn’t good, it wasn’t awful but I wasn’t impressed in the least. It was generic italian food that you could get anywhere for a LOT less. That said if Fabio makes it to the finale I will really think that the judges don’t know good food. I’m rooting for Richard and Carla (I would’ve liked to see Jen in the final too but we all know how that went.)

  42. erika says:

    Will make it: Richard, Mike and Antonia

    Want to make it: Angelo, Mike and Carla

  43. Nieves says:

    Richard for the win… I absolutely love him :-) final 3 would be Richard, carla and Dale

  44. thelma rowe says:

    I am so disppointed, first you throw off the only black male on the show then carla now tiffany. what is wrong with these people becoming top chef? italians are not the only cooks in this world. people do not eat that kind of food every day. variety is the spice of life and that is what i like. I HOPE YOUR SHOW GET CANCEL OR YOU GET SOMEONE WHO IS NOT BIAS IN THERE DECISION MAKING. would you like to eat something that’s sweet or something that’s undercook
    go figure TOM