Thirteen contestants started in the second season of the Cake Boss spinoff show Next Great Baker. Suddenly we're down to only ten.
Readers should note that there was no episode recap last week, because the writer of this column lost his cable service last Monday, because a certain huge telecommunications company screwed up his account. The cable service is back, but not contestant Tony, who was eliminated last week.
Anyway, as last night's new episode opens, Buddy has the contestants bake a chocolate dessert incorporating a Hershey's candy assigned to them at random. Some of these candies, like Twizzlers, are unconventional for a chocolate dessert..
Buddy comes in to judge with his brother-in-law Joey. “We know our chocolate,” Joey says.
Carmelo got stuck with Twizzlers. Buddy doesn't like his dish. “This is something I would spit out,” he says. But then he tastes Jasmine's, which also has Twizzlers, and he loves it.
So Carmelo is in the doghouse, while Marissa wins the challenge and earns a year's supply of Hershey candy.
Now it's time for the elimination challenge. The bakers are split into three teams. Buddy takes them to New York, to the offices of Brides Magazine. All the women contestants are super excited, the guys are like whatever.
The teams have to make wedding cakes that are deemed magazine worthy. Each team has a theme: Vintage Romance, Fantasy Princess or Hot Hollywood. Had there been a fourth wedding theme surely it would have been Mediocre Basketball Player Talentless Airhead Sham Wedding.
As the winner of the early challenge Marissa gets to pick for her team, and she chooses the vintage theme. “I wanted the princess one with all the bling,” her teammate Chad says. Apparently he's been watching too many episodes of Toddlers & Tiaras, or even just five minutes of one episode.
Jasmine's team takes the princess theme, and the remaining one, featuring Wesley, Heather and Nadine, is stuck with Hot Hollywood. For some reason this episode Nadine's voice sounds like George Burns.
The contestants learn that the winning team will have their cake featured in the magazine. That's actually how Buddy got his big break. “Who wants this?” he encourages the contestants.
Early during the wedding cake competition Heather says she has to pee and announces its because she's pregnant. Everyone else is taken aback like they were born out of test tubes. She's already seven months along but the baker's coat has been hiding her belly.
Meanwhile, Jasmine's team looks like it's off to a rough start. Megan and Minerva are fighting, and Jasmine isn't able to take control. Everyone thinks because Jasmine is so young she's steering them towards a sweet sixteen cake instead of a wedding cake. Right now it's mostly hot pink.
The time expires and the teams have to bring their cakes to the elimination room for judging. Buddy is waiting with the editor of Brides Magazine and his wife Lisa.
Buddy calls in team Vintage Romance. Terrie, the editor didn't think it looked antique enough. Lisa liked their piping work. Buddy disagrees with Terrie about it nailing the antique details, and in the end they all agree that this is the winning cake. The team is happy they'll make the magazine.
The other two teams are next. “Now we drop the hammer,” Buddy says.
Terrie likes the design of the Hollywood cake, but not the location of a large feather the team used at the last minute to cover a mistake. Buddy thinks the fondant work was horrible.
Wesley and Heather start to blame Nadine George Burns because she's supposed to be the wedding cake expert. But Buddy protects her. “If Nadine wasn't on your team you guys wouldn't have even had a cake.”
Buddy switches gears to talk to Team Princess. “I think we had a very good cake,” Jasmine says. Buddy smirks. Terrie says it needed to be more sophisticated. Lisa says it was a disaster. Buddy says he didn't see the theme at all.
Jasmine starts to defend herself. “I might be young but I'm extremely, extremely, extremely talented,” she says. I'm an artist, blah, blah, blah. The more she talks the worse it gets. This is like Justin Bieber explaining his credentials to go on tour with U2.
“You know what my mother used to say to me,” Buddy says. “Self-praise sucks. I just keep hearing how talented you are. The first thing you gotta learn is humility.”
Buddy sends her to the box truck. She starts sobbing like they closed down Disneyland.
“She thought because she was talented she was safe,” Buddy says. “That's definitely not the case here.”
Even in the back of the box truck, Jasmine is still talking about her talent. Which is reminiscent of that other famous person who had a lot of talent but lacked other essential qualities. What was that name again? Oh wait, that person never got to be famous.