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Padma and Tom Reveal Who They Were Surprised Did and Didn't Make It to the Top Chef Season 17 Finale
The Top Chef judges also shared who prepared "the worst dish this season."
This article contains spoilers about Bravo's Top Chef Season 17 finale.
This season of Bravo's Top Chef has been full of shocking eliminations — even for the judges.
When Padma Lakshmi and Tom Colicchio appeared on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen: @ Home on June 18, host Andy Cohen asked them various questions about the top six finalists (Stephanie Cmar, Kevin Gillespie, Gregory Gourdet, Melissa King, Brian Malarkey, and Bryan Voltaggio), including who they "were surprised to see go as far as they did."
Both Padma and Tom named Stephanie. "She was kind of up and down the whole time. There were a few challenges where she was on the winning team but maybe didn't cook a great meal. She got through it," Tom explained in the above clip. "But obviously, she's a great cook."
Padma said that she thought Bryan Voltaggio, Melissa, Gregory, and Kevin would make it into the final three. Tom also named Gregory and Melissa as the cheftestants he would choose as his sous chef if he were competing in the finale. "The two of them strike me as someone I can actually get along with, really cook well together with, and would be really supportive," he said.
Andy also asked of those six cheftestants, "Who prepared the worst dish this season?" Padma said "maybe Stephanie," recalling that "she was in the bottom a few times," although she said she couldn't remember a specific dish. Tom thought "Kevin completely bombed his Restaurant Wars." "There was really no excuse, because the meal he gave us pre-Restaurant Wars was actually spectacular," he said, with Padma agreeing, "When they had to do the pitches for Restaurant Wars, his meal was far superior to what we got actually on Restaurant Wars."
On the subject of Restaurant Wars, Andy asked Padma, "Who would you least want on your team during Restaurant Wars?" "Why do I always get these questions?" Padma joked. "Brian [Malarkey], because I think he needs a little bit more editing."
When it comes to who created the most original dishes this season, it's no surprise that Tom named Melissa, who ultimately won this season of Top Chef. "Melissa without a doubt. The last three challenges, boy, she was on fire," he said. "I just remember certain dishes going, 'This is just spectacular.'"
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Watch Melissa's winning moment, below.