Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Bakery Cake Boss Buddy Valastro: Next Great Baker

Buddy Valastro, TLC's Cake Boss, has started a new show called The Next Great Baker, in which the ten competitors fight for $50,000 and the chance to work alongside Buddy himself at Carlo's Bakery.

The contestants are: Joe, who spent 26 years as a plumber and is now a pastry chef; Pamela, an electrical engineer, cake designer, and Diva; Dana, who owns "Desserts by Dana"; Johanna, who has been in the culinary field since high school; Megan, a very perky girl from Texas who said, "Even though I don't have all the experience in the world, I can probably do what you do and do it better"; Corina, a full-time Mom who started her own cake shop; Greggy, who called himself the "Lady GaGa of cakes"; Jay, who owns Maple's Wedding Cakes; Kendra, a sixth grade English teacher who bakes at home; and Brian, who makes crazy cakes and has even blown some up using dynamite.

In the Baker's Challenge, Buddy asked each person to make him their best dessert in two hours. The winner would get an advantage later on. They contestants all had to share the equipment, which included mixers and the ovens. No one seemed to have that easy of a time, but it was Greggy who burst into tears after not allowing his cake enough time to cool and ending up with a big, floppy mess. Talk about a Diva. This guy was shortening words like crazy, almost to the point where they were unrecognizable, like "tots" instead of totally or "jelly" instead of jealous. Then, he has ridiculously long names that include hyphens for pretty much every cake he makes. Frankly, he was pretty annoying. In the end, he and Corina were told they had the worst cakes, while Pamela and Joe had the best two. As the winner, Joe received a free pass for the next round and was told he wouldn't be sent home.

In the Elimination Challenge, they each had three hours that night and six hours the next day to make a celebration cake. The loser of this challenge would go home. Buddy also brought his sister Mary, in addition to Mauro, in to judge this round. At the end of the first three hours, everyone left for the night. Pamela, who says she is an electrical engineer, somehow decided it would be a good idea to leave her cakes in the oven overnight since they hadn't cooked all the way through yet. Not smart. The next morning, everyone returned to a very angry Buddy, who had found Pamela's smoldering, blackened cakes the night before. He scolded her in front of the group, and then everyone got back to work.

Basically, almost everyone's cakes looked pretty rough. Pamela went crazy and spilled gold everywhere, the handle on Jay's Easter basket cake fell right off onto the table, Brian's cake was supposed to have special effects, but just smoked instead, and Joe's cake looked like a tall column of brown and orange smudges with some random green "vines" going up it.

During the Final Elimination, Dana, Brian, Corina, and Jay were all safe. Greggy, Megan, and Johanna were told they had the three best cakes and that Greggy won the challenge. That left the bottom three of Pamela, Joe, and Kendra. They all agreed Joe had the worst cake, even Joe himself, but he refused to give up his free pass and was allowed to stay until the next elimination. Kendra was the one sent home, and they sat her out in the "box truck" that is usd to make deliveries for her exit speech.

Overall, the show wasn't terrible, but it also seems like a rip off of something along the lines of Top Chef. It will be interesting to see if the person who wins actually shows up at Carlo's Bakery or not. Personally, I'm a sucker for cake shows, so even this one is a bit overly dramatic and doesn't always end up with the best looking cake results, I will probably keep watching anyway, just to find out who wins. What did you think? Will you watch, or was one episode enough?

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