The Next Great Baker competition was down to eleven contestants tonight. In Buddy's quest to find a new cake artist for his bakery, he continues to issue challenges to the competitors. Along with an opportunity to work with Buddy, the winner will receive a $100,000 cash prize.
The Baker's Challenge
On tonight's the Next Great Baker, Buddy incorporated a little of the show Chopped in the competition. At start, each remaining contestant was told to choose a package. In the package was a number assigning them to a team. There would be four teams for tonight's contests. After dividing into teams, each team would have to choose a hidden dish which held three ingredients. All three ingredients would have to be used to make a holiday treat. Although all the teams had good items like Reese's peanut butter cups, chocolate, and almonds, each also had one or more difficult ingredients such as bacon, tomato soup, fennel, pink pepper corn, butternut squash, and cayenne pepper. Both Buddy and Anthony would judge this challenge.
Buddy was actually impressed with all the teams but gave the prize to Ashley and Garrett. Each won a gift card to Hershey's Chocolate World in New York City and an advantage in the elimination challenge. The advantage was in a gift box, and Buddy instructed them to give the gift to one of the other contestants. Chad was selected to receive the gift. It was actually a pink bunny suit that he'd have to wear the remainder of the day's competition.
Everyone remembers the iconic movie A Christmas Story. While talking about it, in comes Buddy's special guest, Peter Billingsley, who played Ralphie in the movie. Billingsley is now producing the movie as a Broadway musical. To celebrate the cast, he hoped to order a special cake. Consequently, Buddy challenged each team to make A Christmas Story cake that included three scenes from the play/movie and stood at least four feet tall. The teams were given eight hours to complete them.
Early on the teams were excited and seemed to get their ideas together quickly. Nonetheless, soon problems with planning and implementation became evident. One team failed to place a hole in the cake for a motor to spin the cake and thus had to leave it out. On the other side of the room, Ashley cut her finger and had to get stitches. She and Garrett were the only team with just two people, so with her being hurt, they were really at a disadvantage. Chad's team made the famous leg lamp, but it was heavy and thus the fondant began to buckle. Later when they tried to put the lamp on the cake, it totally fell apart. Another team had trouble with their rifle standing up because of lack of support. With it not secure, they knew Buddy would not be pleased.
Lastly, the cakes would have to be delivered to the theater where they would be judged. Unfortunately, some of the cakes didn't make it completely intact. Judging this challenge was Buddy, Peter, and Buddy's sister Lisa. After looking at the cakes more closely, the judges least liked the cake of Chad, Paul, and Melissa, and most liked the cake of Peter, Letty, and Jen. Although Chad had been at the bottom for a couple of weeks, he was deemed safe. In the end it was between Melissa and Paul. Buddy chose to send Melissa home, and all the other contestants were disappointed with the decision to keep Paul.