By Andy Starr

The last episode before the season finale wrapped up last night and my first reaction was, "wow, I can't believe John made it to the finals!" Remember the first episode when he was in a fight-for-your-life duel to stay on and despite sweating profusely all over his shrimp, he survived. Shirley reaching the finals is no surprise at all as she has consistently performed well and arguably should have won the first time she was on.

My money is on Sheldon though as he continues to prove that he is the most innovative chef on the show. I also love the guy. The fact that he was the only one attentive enough to figure out that his wife was on the other side of that partition during the initial challenge just goes to show the type of person that he is. The others were so stressed out that they didn't even notice their loved ones on the other side. Aside from that, he takes risks, dazzles the judges with his combination of flavors and technique and most importantly, he's humble about it. Watching on television, you don't really have any idea how the food tastes but Sheldon and Shirley always produce dishes that look extremely appetizing. 

My wife and I checked out Last Chance Kitchen for the first time after the show. I don't know why we haven't been watching it all season as it's 10 more minutes of uninterrupted Top Chef that we could have been enjoying. Brooke battled Casey in a challenge of consistency and went in completely different directions. Brooke made two first courses with her soup and salad dishes while Casey went for the home runs in steamed fish and steak. Casey's steak on a bed of potatoes, which she wasn't judged on, looked ridiculously good. Unfortunately, because they didn't want to spoil the first finale episode, they didn't reveal the winner. I would lean toward Casey winning based on the reaction to the dishes, but Brooke and Tom Colicchio seemed a bit flirtatious so that could work in her favor. Excited for the finale!