I haven't been blogging it this season, but I've watched every episode, and the winner, announced tonight, was my strong favorite from Day 1.
Spoil away in the comments.
ADDED: Here's the Television Without Pity recap. I must say, the entire series was edited to try to make it seem as though the chef who eventually won had all sorts of problems, but I think you could see all along that he was the most skillful. To create suspense, they edited the show to include every little complaint about the time he didn't work well with others or the lack of sufficient acidity or whatever. The worse came last week when they told him his food — though clearly better than that of the other contestants — somehow lacked soul or that he didn't include enough of himself -- and it sounded to me as though they were saying: You're Asian, why isn't your food more Asian? No one else got stereotyped like that.
And, as the TWOP recap says, the live element of the finale made the show worse. Padma is boring, yelling repeatedly about how the show is live. And only part of it was live. It was live in the style of a "Survivor" finale, but without any interesting discussion among the contestants. On "Survivor," the contestants are voting, so we see something happen on the live show. Here, it was just the judges, who had already decided on the winner, delivering the news of their judgment -- with less dramatic effect, since the contestants got to see the edit of the show, including what the judges said about them. Which was really mean to Casey.