The cheftestants exit and the judges deliberate. Tom says that all three had some high and low points. They talk about how Sheldon has evolved over the course of the season, and how impressive it is. Tom thinks it's impressive that Sheldon tried to push it, but Hugh thinks his dishes fell flat tonight. Tom didn't think Kristen's dish tonight was as good as she can do, especially based on her Last Chance Kitchen performance. Hugh is impressed by Kristen's skillset. The judges were all impressed by all three of Brooke's dishes, although Tom thinks she had a lack of focus tonight. But can you really judge her based on what goes on in the kitchen, if the dishes were good? I think not. Brooke's in no danger here. Suddenly, the judges just know who's going home. I guess there was no real argument.
The three cheftestants return to find out which two are going to the finale, and which one is going home. Tom says that they did a nice job for the most part. Tom tells Brooke that her food is complex without seeming showy, but she had trouble with prep. He tells Sheldon that he was reaching for something he didn't need with his dishes, and something was lost along the way. Tom is impressed that Kristen fought her way back into the competition, but he thought she played it a little safe tonight. So who's going home? Padma tells Sheldon to pack his knives and go. Aw. Poor Sheldon. I wish they had talked more about how (as revealed in Tom's blog post) Sheldon's dishes were really bland. The way it was edited, it seemed like they were just mad that Sheldon didn't cook Filipino food.
Here's the good news - there will definitely be another female winner, the first one in a long time! I'm happy about that.