I've been watching baking shows for years now, and I am an amateur baker, doing cakes for friends' birthdays and the like. I often get jealous of the large workspaces, great tools, and prepared icings and fondants on series such as these, but I finally came to the realization of what I envy most: the team aspect. Much of the time, I bake and decorate alone, which takes a great deal more time than I always feel like it should, but I generally attribute that to the fact that I'm a perfectionist. Nope... I'm pretty sure the bigger problem is that I'm only one person. In this episode, the contestants began to get a feel for what the others think of them, and also how other team dynamics function. It was particularly interesting that Buddy allowed them to choose their own teams (I'm slightly suspicious of producer pressure there), though I am a bit sad over the team which got the boot this time... I think they could have had some very interesting future work to show as well.
The remaining teams [with my thoughts up to this point]:
Blue: Al & Lia of St. Louise, MO, coworkers at a fondant-free cake shop. [they're okay.]
Maroon: Kaiulani & Roxanne of Salt Lake City are niece & aunt perfectionists. Others are referring to them as the Kakedashians. [not a fan of their personalities and agenda.]
Black: Manny & Al of Woolwich, NJ, have been working together four years. Al has a family bakery. [nice guys.]
Brown: Jose and Aimee of Chula Vista, CA are coworkers. [take 'em or leave 'em.]
Pink: Danielle & Julie of Johnson City, TN, are a mother-daughter team. Danielle is the oldest of seven kids. Julie bakes for churches, and Danielle has only joined in the past six months. [they're not good enough for this game.]
Teal: Fred & Barry of Las Vegas - pastry chefs. [they'll come up with awesome stuff, right?]
Tan: Don & Meredith, of Long Island, are coworkers, with him designing and her baking. She also was his kids' nanny. [take 'em or leave 'em.]
Purple: Bethany & Jennifer of Tomball, TX, who have known eachother for almost 20 years. [not a fan.]
Red: David & Elaine of Kissimmee, FL are husband and wife. She's full-time and would love a storefront. He's an amateur. [I don't think they belong here and I will fully give up on this show if they win.]
Cake Boss: Next Great Baker "Sugar High" (S04E02): There's about a thousand pounds of candy available, and three teams of six will create cakes that use 100 pounds of candy each. They'll have eight hours, and will need to get it up three flights of stairs upon delivery. [SO HEAVY!] Dylan Lauren will be guest-judging, but the kids' favorite will be safe from elimination. [interesting twist...]
Rox & Kai, David & Elaine, Manny & Al: Elaine thinks candy factory, but they aren't utilizing enough cake and have to add in more. [good. I hate when designs ignore the fact that it's a cake first!] It could have used candy in more ways, as it didn't look like all 100 pounds was on there, and they're judged to be the middle-ground cake.
Fred & Barry, Julie & Danielle, Jennifer & Bethany. Fred thinks a gumball machine with a big teddy bear would be a good idea, but when Fred and Barry are told to play to their strengths and do more sugarwork, they wind up not paying enough attention and the design doesn't get executed properly. [eh. kinda set-up to fail in that respect.] The purple team doesn't like the pink team's lollipop, so they pull it off... and Pink puts a confetti canon in its place. [both acts seems random and childish, happening without communication.] The execution is simple, and the gumball machine should have used more candy, so they are judged to be worst cake, and must face the Elimination Challenge.
Jose & Aimee, Don & Meredith, Al & Lia: Jose wants a candy racetrack mountain cake, with various lands covered in different candies. [cool idea. very Wreck-It Ralph.] The rotating platform gets icing in the ball bearings and doesn't spin by the time it gets to judging. [boo!] It has a great 360 factor, though, and not only is it the best, but it also wins the kids' vote. [nice.]
The Elimination Challenge: The bottom three teams must make a candybar in 30 minutes, using any ingredients in the pantry.
Fred & Barry go with a chocolate-based bar but time is not in their favor, and they have to run to the freezer so the chocolate can set, but even then they can't get them out of the mold. They're eliminated without the other bars even being tasted. [dang.]
Julie & Danielle go with a no-bake cookie bar.
Jennifer & Bethany make a peanut butter bar that doesn't bake all the way through, so they cut it out of the pan differently.