Last Cake Standing 2011 continued Sunday night on the Food Network with week 4 of competitive cake design. The five remaining competitors hit Las Vegas, where they were each charged with creating a cake that could perform a magic trick or illusion. When the curtain closed, Jason Ellis found himself alacazaam'd out of contention. Here's a full recap.
Justin Willman greeted the five Last Cake Standing 2011 hopefuls by telling them that they'd be playing a game of chance at Payard Patisserie. He led them to a truffle machine, and let them know that they would each receive a free truffle. The contestant who got the gold truffle would receive a special prize. Orlando Serrano found himself the big winner, but Justin threw a wrench into his joy by letting him know that he would find out what the prize was later, and that it wasn't necessarily a good thing.
Back in the kitchen, Justin revealed that the hopefuls would be charged with creating cakes that could perform magic tricks. He introduced magician and Last Cake Standing 2011 week 4 guest judge Nathan Burton, who told the group that he wanted excitement from the cakes, and that the contestant who failed to deliver would... poof!... disappear. Justin went on with the brass tacks, telling them that their cakes needed to be at least 3-feet tall and able to do a trick or optical illusion.
Marina Sousa planned to create a disappearing cake using a mirror. Orlando Serrano planned to use three different elements: a deck of cards, a rabbit in a top hat, and a woman in a box ready to be sawed in half. Jason Ellis opted to create a "devious" and "cartoony" magician pulling a rabbit out of a hat. Joshua John Russell designed a theater set-up and card trick. Finally, Jorg Amsler called his complex creation "really true to Vegas."
As they worked, the contestants were mentally dogged by the looming spectre of Orlando's mysterious golden truffle. While they rolled fondant and chattered, Justin introduced the judges: Keegan Gerhard, Kerry Vincent, and Burton.
Justin suddenly stopped the clock and turned to Orlando. He asked him who he was worried about beating, and after a quick look around, Orlando chose adversary Marina. Justin asked Marina to put her cake on the table, and with the wave of a black sheet, it vanished. Holy unfairness, Food Network! Last Cake Standing week 4 just got brutal.
But the good news for Marina was that her cake was still out there; she just needed to find its hiding place on the Caesar's Palace property. So off she and her assistant went. Fortunately, she found it floating on an island in the middle of a pool. They donned waders and boots, and retrieved their masterpiece. You go girls!
Meanwhile, Orlando claimed he didn't feel badly about sending Marina on her great cake hunt, because he hoped she wouldn't find it and that she'd be sent home. He looked less than pleased when she returned, cake in hand, but kept working. And so the competition moved forward.
But not without more drama. Jason's oft-occurring health issue resurfaced yet again, and worried good friend Joshua urged him to go to the hospital. The paramedics came, and he headed off to be evaluated. His assistant, Christina, took over their cake, which was about 65 percent complete. A phone call told her that he was okay but would not be returning, and she assured the other hopefuls that she was fine with finishing up their piece.
Shortly thereafter, Justin revealed that it was time to take their cakes to the performance area. Nathan entertained the crowd while they got ready to rumble backstage. The curtain dropped and the contestants presented their wares. Christina was up first for absentee Jason. She had difficulty but finally managed to make her magician pull the rabbit from his hat. Sort of. Jorg also had technical problems with his design, but was eventually able to get his own magician to do its thing.
Joshua introduced his sugar showgirls-turned-skull optical illusion, which worked, but wasn't a homerun. He saved his presentation, though, by nailing his cookie card trick. Thanks to the wind, Orlando's upside down cake presentation fizzled a little, but drew applause when it was complete. Marina was up last, and started off her trick by telling the truffle tale, which was long and painful, but her disappearing cake trick worked well.
The next day, the contestants joined the judges. Jason returned, feeling better but not great, and Justin revealed that based on how the previous night's show had gone, any of them were subject to elimination. Keegan called Orlando's cake surprising, while Kerry said the components weren't as "innovative" as they would've expected. Keegan enjoyed Jorg's cake and Kerry thought his magician was "credible-looking." Nathan liked Marina's cake, while Kerry scolded her for the story. Keegan called Joshua's cake idea "risky" and said it wasn't cake-like enough for him, while Nathan didn't like it, and told him that had he performed in his show, he would've been booed. Keegan told Jason to take care of his health first and foremost, while Kerry was impressed with what he managed to put forth.
Orlando was the first hopeful declared safe, followed by Marina and Jorg, leaving good friends Joshua and Jason facing elimination. The two men swayed back and forth nervously, both insisting that the other should be allowed to stay. Finally, Joshua was deemed safe, leaving Jason Ellis as the odd man out on Last Cake Standing 2011 week 4.
Tune in to the Food Network next Sunday at 9 p.m. for the next episode of Last Cake Standing 2011.