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Top Chef Recap: Cigarettes, Bananas and Second Chances

Spoiler Alert: If you do not want to know what happened on last night's episode of Top Chef, stop reading now.

At the end of the last episode the judges left us with a cliffhanger revealing to the final four that they would be joined by a fifth contestant who had been competing secretly in Last Chance Kitchen. The catch was they didn't reveal which of the remaining cheftestants it would be, Beverly Kim or Grayson Schmitz.

At the beginning of last night's episode the chefs wasted no time stirring up drama and silly bets as to who would come back. Edward Lee bet a pack of cigarettes that it would be Kim and Sarah Grueneberg upped the ante with a banana betting Schmitz would "kick Bev's ass." The cheftestants entered the kitchen and moments later through the swinging doors, Kim rejoined the competition.

This made Grueneberg unhappy (and likely the editors of the show very happy) and the drama was rekindled as they show her saying, "I am not happy to see Bev. She is off in Bevland and I'm not buying a ticket to go there anytime soon." Fighting words (or so they wanted us to think).

Fast forward to the quickfire challenge where the chefs had to make a dish out of items they pulled from the pantry while blindfolded. Grueneberg dubbed this as the "quickfire or all quickfires" since the winner gets to choose between a Prius V or winning immunity with a direct pass to the finale. Most chefs talked a big game that they'd choose the car to show their confidence, but in the end the prize went to Grueneberg for her corn soup with onion, red chili, roasted mushrooms and peaches and she chooses to go straight to the finale.

Lindsay Autry, Paul Qui, Lee and Kim make up the final four left to compete for the three remaining spots in the finale. The judges surprised them when their mentors walked into the kitchen. Tears immediately start to flow when Sarah Stegner (Prairie Grass) arrived to support Kim, and Tony Mantuano (Bar Toma, Spiaggia) lended support Grueneberg. Since Grueneberg has a free pass, she got to go off to relax and celebrate with Mantuano while everyone else competeed for the finale with a dish that would make their mentors proud.

Ultimately the judges were most impressed with Qui and Kim and they automatically advanced to the finals. Qui had the winning dish and was rewarded with the Prius V that Toyota was determined to give away before the end of the show. Autry took the last remaining spot and Lee is sent home.

Nice to see that the finale, which will take place in Whistler and Vancouver, British Columbia, gives Chicago chefs a 50 percent chance of winning it all and joining Stephanie Izard as not only the second Chicago chef winner, but the second female winner in Top Chef history. We can't wait!

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