Sunday, August 10, 2014

Meet the Remaining Season Four Next Great Baker Contestants

This season of Cake Boss: Next Great Baker is down to four teams from the original ten, so it's high time we dug up some more information on the contestants. Why? As the competition becomes fiercer, some people like to have additional ways to help narrow down who you root for to win it all. It also can be fun to share in the ever-growing "second screen experience," so you can follow along with the teams' twitter or facebook accounts to see how they're reacting to what makes it on the air. Personally, I lost some respect for the Black and Maroon teams through the process, but that would mean I'd be cheering on Blue, which I'm not confident about, either... take a read and see if any new information affects your favorite team.
Team Blue: Al Watson (31) & Lia Weber (24) of St. Louis, MO, are coworkers at the fondant-free Wedding Wonderland Cake Shop, where he is the manager and decorates, and she decorates and bakes. They didn't know how to sculpt faces before this show, and also aren't accustomed to working with wood, PVC, or cereal treats. Judging by the example cake from their shoppe (seen to the right), they are familiar with gumpaste flowers, and are extremely skilled at smoothing buttercream. He started working in a bakery when he was 16, and she's a culinary school graduate. He has a wife and child, she grew up the youngest of five in a poor, religious family.

Their internet presence is much more hers than his, though they have some joint ventures as well:
Team Twitter: @blueNGB
Team Facebook 
Wedding Wonderland Cake Shop Website
Wedding Wonderland Cake Shop Facebook Page
Al's Facebook
Lia's personal Facebook and professional Facebook, where she touts working outside of the bakery as well. Additionally, she is the pastry chef at Hendel's Market & Cafe.
Lia's Instagram
Maroon: Kaiulani Delgado (32) & Roxanne Bodell (48) of Salt Lake City are niece & aunt perfectionists. Kai, who initially auditioned for the third season of Next Great Baker, does amazing sugar work, apparent from the image to the right, a cake that her bakery made last year. She's also apparently self-taught. Unfortunately, she and her two children are also homeless. Rox also has children, and recently opened a salon, LAVA Style Bar and Lash Lounge. Together, the duo are referred to as the Kakedashians by their opponents, their bottoms often match, and they have demonstrated that driving is not their forte. They also use foul language, even in their bio video for TLC.

Their internet presence is wider than it is deep, but you can still learn quite a bit about the Hawaiian ladies.
Team Twitter: @KAIandROX
Team Facebook
Kai's Facebook
Rox's Facebook
Kailava Fine Sugar Artistry Website
Kailava Fine Sugar Artistry Facebook
LAVA Style Bar and Lash Lounge Website (which mentions they offer oracle readings, of all things)
LAVA Style Bar and Lash Lounge Facebook
Black: Manny Agigian (34) & Al DiBartolo (39) of Woolwich, NJ, have been working together for four years at DiBartolo Bakery, which has been in Al's family since 1969. Al is the mastermind and artist, while Manny is the muscle and executor. This strategy seems to work well for them, as they've been pretty consistently impressive on the show. They hit the club and gym together, so they get along well. However, their bio video makes them seem like bad fathers ("you play dad for an hour after you're home from work, then you go out"). On the flip side, it also showcases their fancy rose work (check out the image to the right for some more of their abilities). 

Their internet presence is narrower, with less direct information being distributed by the guys, but they have a more extensive gallery of work, which is impressive in its own way.
Team Twitter: @ngbteamblack
Team Facebook
Team Instagram
Manny's Facebook
Al's Facebook
DiBartolo Bakery Website
DiBartolo Bakery Facebook!wedding/c204
Purple: Bethany Berend (34) & Jennifer Livermore (34) of Tomball, TX, met in a high school typing class and have known each other for almost 20 years. Bethany learned a lot of her decorating skills from television shows, but didn't even bake from anything but a boxed mix until just three years ago! She now runs a small business, Betnie Bakes, out of her home kitchen, but she still has great work, as seen to the right. Jennifer seems to work a Mary Kay-type independent job, but for Rodan + Fields, a skin care company.

Their internet presence is vastly Bethany's, and it seems that she's really made great strides since her first major cake in 2011.
Team Facebook
Jennifer's Facebook
Jennifer's business website
Bethany's Facebook (where it looks like she recently married and changed her last name to Davis)
Bethany's Twitter
Bethany's Pinterest
Betnie Bakes Website
Betnie Bakes Blog
Betnie Bakes Facebook
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