Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Next Great Baker: The Internet was Right!

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

I last mentioned that I had seen rumors flying about that Peter would be the one to go home next... and he was! I was a little doubtful because he seems so easy to work with and produces some great stuff. But, his slow speed was his downfall. I hope that he succeeds in his own venture, where he can take as much time as he deems fit.

I liked watching the Baker's Challenge because it was different, but I was a little put-off that I wasn't more inspired. Sometimes I end up wanting to try my hand at those things, but cannolis weren't that interesting. Of course, maybe I'm biased because I don't care to eat them, either. With the Elimination Challenge, the brides all changing their minds about what they were looking for was a bit odd, but I'm sure it was designed that way. I have to side with Paul in being confused over how unhappy Antonia was - if she had a trip on the line, she could have complained a little less! I'm glad that the "wedding cake" test is behind them, as I really like the more elaborate sculpting and whatnot better!

Cake Boss: Next Great Baker "Wedding Belles" (S03E06): Buddy goes to Garrett's hotel room, where he says that one's health is first and foremost, and Garrett should not be embarrassed. Garrett has the option to continue or resign, and he chooses to resign, with his parents escorting him home. 

Baker's Challenge: After watching Joey make cannolis, the bakers have two minutes to make as many as they can. They have to be fried and then have their sticks removed and remain in-tact (and not raw). [haha at Paul's use of "carte blanche"] Jen, Peter, and Letty had never made cannolis previously. A look at how everyone did:
Peter = 5
Gretel-Ann = 24
Ashley = 17
Paul = 18 (a perfect batch, too!)
Jen = 27 (also perfect)
Letty = 26
Chad = less than 26 (they stopped counting when he couldn't be in the top two)
Chris = only started with 19, so they don't check them

Letty and Jen, the two top competitors, choose their teams for the Elimination Challenge. [I kinda had Paul pegged to rock this challenge, having the experience and working in a NY bakery.] Jen picks first, choosing Gretel-Ann because "I know that if I surround myself with good people that we can be the top." Then, Letty chooses Ashley. Jen goes for Chad, and Letty goes for Peter. This leaves Paul and Chris to be their own team.

Elimination Challenge: Three brides are there, and each team will design a wedding cake for a bride. There's classy and picky Julissa, spoiled diva Antonia, and outgoing, OCD, career-oriented Jennifer. [I think I'd want to work for Julissa.] Twelve cakes are on the counter, three of which have numbers in the cakes to see what order they will pick. Chris chooses the Italian Princess, Letty chooses Jennifer, and Gretel-Ann goes Julissa, who they think will be the easiest to please anyway. The Most Valuable Baker award will get somebody a four-night stay for two in Jamaica, and the bride for that team will also earn that prize. The teams get five minutes to chat with their clients and will have have eight hours to make the cakes. Guest judges will include Lori Allen and Monte Durham from Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta. [ugh. that's a show I don't understand. why watch other people pick out wedding gowns? maybe I just don't want to relive the experience of trying on a hundred dresses at thirty stores all across Florida?]

Team Julissa: She loves the Empire State Building and the NYC skyline, so the team rolls with that, constantly checking one another's work. Gretel-Ann thinks that Jen is patronizing her, but otherwise the trio doesn't have problems. When Julissa and her sister, Natacha, arrive to see the progress, they want "less boom" and more elegance, so she requests lots of piping. [smart of the bride to play to the baker's strengths!] But, their large navy bow has trouble sticking and eventually falls off. Julissa liked the color and theme at the end of the project, but Lori thought there needed to be more bling and Monte thought the Empire State Building didn't look finished. [it WAS an odd Empire State Building!] Still, they win, surprising their opponents. [I really didn't like that the tiers weren't gradual.] The MVP decision: Chad says that, although he stepped up a lot, he wasn't MVP. Jen says she doesn't know. Gretel-Ann names herself, and Buddy gives it to her for having the courage to say she deserves it. [the internet seems to feel that Jen's humility indicates that she deserved it. Personally, I don't think enough of the competition focused on this group for me to make a clear judgment this time.] Off-camera, Gretel-Ann says that she didn't deserve it but a person need to take ownership. [not sure I agree with that mindset! Also, I'm thinking that Julissa would have pretended to be happy with anything in order to win that vacation, LoL!]

Team Antonia: She wants four tiers of roses and detail. Not a huge request, except Chris has never made flowers before and he's pretty stressed. [haha at Paul calling Chris's roses "monogamous" instead of "monotonous."] When Antonia comes to check the progress, she decides to ask for fewer flowers and more bling. They throw rock sugar on the cake like the bride wants, but when they both hate the look, they remove it, grain by grain. [holy moly that's a lot of work! I'm glad they did, though, because this really seemed like one of those times where you ignore the bride and go with your instinct... although, the first baker I hired (long story) for my wedding cake tried to talk me out of cream cheese frosting, though I was dead-set on it... it was a red velvet cake! who has buttercream with red velvet??] In the end, Antonia doesn't think it's finished, as she was expecting more roses and longer bows. Lori doesn't like the bows, but both she and Buddy love the roses.

Team Jennifer: The bride wants five tiers of silhouettes that tell the story of her and her fiance. [at first I thought this would be nice... but I agreed with the bride - it's too cartoony.] When she examines their progress, she asks them to go with some drapery instead. [is this really a recent trend in cakes? I was married in 2007, and went to 5-6 weddings within 18 months of that and didn't once see draping on a wedding cake!] Ashley is upset about the big change, but Letty smooths it over. Peter's big contribution is modeling chocolate roses (Buddy thinks they're poorly done), Letty makes ruffles (Monte finds them exquisite), and Ashley covers the cakes with fondant (not impressing Buddy). Despite poor bows on Antonia's cake, the harsh black accents on Jennifer's really brought down the team. [I didn't think it was too much... I found it tasteful, really. though if Antonia was the most unhappy bride, you'd think that cake would come in last.] Letty explains that they barely finished because Peter is slow, and Ashley agrees, sealing the youngest competitor's fate. [remember, he's only 21!!]
Also, we have a new poll to the right if you want to weigh-in on who will be the next to head home on Cake Boss: Next Great Baker! Be sure to vote before the start of next week's episode!
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