Casey Thompson has come a long way from being The Sensitive Chef -- now, she's danged near a favorite to win Top Chef.

Will Casey Thompson Kick Some Aspen?

Very exciting day around here: Our Best of Dallas® issue's on newsstands now -- and, really, mazel tov, all you amazing winners out there -- which explains why most of the staff's currently drinking at the Gingerman from now till pass-out time. Which should give some us plenty of time to fill up for the first part of tonight's Top Chef finale, which airs at 9 p.m. on Bravo and finds Shinsei's Casey Thompson a clear-cut fave to make it at least as far as the Top Two.

No word on how many of the Final Four will get eliminated tonight -- half, we're figuring -- but Bravo does have on its Web site some preview video from tonight's episode, which finds Casey, Hung, Brian and Dale touching down in Aspen -- only to find waiting for them a hot-air balloon. That does not amuse Casey in the least: "Not real great with heights," she says. --Robert Wilonsky

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