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Christmas Wars: Jonathan, Put Down the Egg Nog

Episode 1: Santa's Makeover....looks like there are some pretty talented teams. And although it's only the first episode, so far the team members seem to get along. Loved the winning team's Santa in the coffee shop. It was so brilliantly executed and that tasting element had me licking the TV screen. Not only did it sound delish, the cups were beautifully constructed. There were some cute ideas and amazing melon and fruit carving by all the teams. I guess we'll never get away from the fake drama of "accidental" broken sugar work. I did feel sorry for the team that had the broken bike mishap. But the right team went home...oy! Their Santa was terrible. 

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This is my first time watching Christmas Wars.  I'm enjoying it a lot more than Halloween Wars where so much of it was aimed at being gross.  This is so much more festive.  

Why these people are not more careful with their sugar work is a mystery to me.  I mean, that team with the broken bike, one guy was just banging around on the platform without a care in the world.

Loved the winning team's creation - so cleverly conceived and executed.

Edited by tobeannounced.
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I never finished Halloween Wars because I was so disgusted by the behavior on it. I watch these shows because I like to see the creations people can make. If I just wanted to watch people fight, there's no shortage of shows where I can find that. But so far this one's already coming across better. I'm also glad these aren't the regular Cake Wars judges, who I find so devoid of personality.

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I recognized a couple of people from former Halloween Wars episodes. It feels like there is so much possibility when the teams don't HAVE to carve a pumpkin! I didn't like the team that was eliminated OR any of the team names OR the guest judge, but I still like it more than Halloween Wars this year.

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I do love a good Christmas Wars, but I still don't really like these judges anymore than I did last year. Sigh.

I watched the first one but can't remember anything about it SO onto the second one, featuring one of my least favorite guest judges from Challenge, the lady from the Dr. Seuss foundation or whatever it's called.  She was slightly less annoying on this one, but still IMO spent too much time harping on whether or not every single element was sufficiently Seuss-ian.

I love seeing the fruit carvers. All of them, even the losing team, have brilliant work. All those Grinch portraits, works of art. So far all teams seem to be reasonably skilled. I have a hard time keeping track of the teams, the names, or anything about the competitors because there are so many. In two or three weeks, then I can cast a favorite. My favorite is usually decided by a competitor that I already know from elsewhere, but there are none on this one.

Jonathan's antics are getting old but my 6 and 7 year olds find him hilarious so at least there's that.

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This is my first full season of this show and I need to know why the host acts like such an idiot?  Does he always act like that? 

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12 hours ago, Maharincess said:

This is my first full season of this show and I need to know why the host acts like such an idiot?  Does he always act like that? 

Yes, he does. If you were so inclined to read through all the boards of previous seasons, you will see lots of comments about he can stop acting like he's auditioning for the gig, he already has it. As to *why*, beats me - I assume their test audiences find him funny.

I have noticed the fake drama has been toned down in recent episodes, so that, at least, is a pro. However, it is obvious that the judges' tasting of the various treats happened before the judging, and I'd prefer if they edited it to show that, rather than implying that it all happens at the same time.

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I'm liking the Santa Wars but wish the judges could be a bit more positive. They seem to nitpick every little detail rather than point out the good stuff. On Sunday's episode they had the Nutcracker theme and I thought the undersea one was fantastic. The right people went home though. 

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I thought the undersea display had the best workmanship by a long shot but I also thought the judges were right that it wasn't self-explanatory.  I don't think I would have realized it was a Nutcracker take off without an explanation.  They should have made the main characters bigger than the rest so there was a focal point.  I still think that team is the best one though.

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Yeah, when we go back to the old Challenge judging guidelines, which we'll see if I can dig up... Representation of Theme, Technical Merit, and I can't remember the third but it might be artistic value. Anyway. Undersea scored high in technical merit, it was beautiful. But it fell flat in representation of theme for me too. I think they could have made theirs more "Nutcracker-y", and still kept their undersea theme.

I thought the judges were unnecessarily down on the steampunk one, I thought that was an interesting take and unique compared to the others. The two top ones were kind of two sides of the same coin, with the hip-hop and the breakdancing. 

And I think we can all agree that the "personal transportation device" or whatever they used to call the Segways, was just bleh on every level.

Judges hated almost all of the treats this week, which is probably because they required them to use chestnuts, which, gross.

It's weird to not have a cake tasting/flavor competition in either round, but it's nice to not have the Drama! caused by having to bake cakes in addition to decorate them in a ridiculously short amount of time.

Oh, as much as I like Tamera Mowry, I didn't care for her as a judge. I'm not holding this against her personally because I think I'd be the same way when judging, but half the things she said didn't make sense and seemed like her reaching to say *something*, rather than being actual constructive criticism or praise. I didn't take notes but one I will probably mis-represent was her saying something like, "When I look at it, I see flavor and fun". You taste flavor. Not see. Also, with all due respect, what exactly qualifies her to be a judge for this? Although that goes for all the Christmas guest judges, they're names loosely (very loosely) connected with Christmas. At least on the endless cartoon themes, the guest judge is usually someone from the franchise, so their job is to know the theme.

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Animals celebrate Christmas: that was a cute episode and all the teams made some adorable characters. I do agree that the right team went home (Night Riders?). It sure wasn't very Christmasy but the sugar work was beautiful. The backdrop was so dark! I actually laughed when the Winter Wonders' sugar guy was about to put his gorgeous garland on their tree and the teammate was telling him "put it here" and it broke. Listen, lady, he doesn't need you to tell him where to hang the garland. Step away from the sugar work!! The winning team with the animals singing was one of the sweetest creations I've seen.

Maybe I'm getting used to his shenanigans, but it didn't seem as though Jonathan had drunk too much egg nog last night.

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On 12/6/2016 at 0:07 PM, Spunkygal said:

Animals celebrate Christmas: that was a cute episode and all the teams made some adorable characters. I do agree that the right team went home (Night Riders?). It sure wasn't very Christmasy but the sugar work was beautiful. The backdrop was so dark! I actually laughed when the Winter Wonders' sugar guy was about to put his gorgeous garland on their tree and the teammate was telling him "put it here" and it broke. Listen, lady, he doesn't need you to tell him where to hang the garland. Step away from the sugar work!! The winning team with the animals singing was one of the sweetest creations I've seen.

Maybe I'm getting used to his shenanigans, but it didn't seem as though Jonathan had drunk too much egg nog last night.

That seemed so staged to me.  Seems like they have to have some dramatic sugar disaster every show.

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Second Cake Wars Christmas from the end - the team who did the dog and the disco (I can never remember their names) is the clear winner in both rounds. They're my favorites to win it all but I can concede their work has been somewhat inconsistent.

The moon and the shoes in the first round both didn't translate for me. I felt like I could only tell what the moon one was because I had seen the sketch, and didn't care for the look of the shoe one.

Main round - I would have eliminated the 2nd place, the one with the conveyor belt. The paint fight one, while I agree it suffered majorly from the design flaws mentioned, it was much cleaner work than the conveyor belt. There was something about the paint splatters that made me think of a 90s Nickelodeon game show, but all the work was beautiful and clean. Conveyor belt elves were terrifying and the belt itself had good sugar work but the black fondant belt part didn't look great.

For all the talking about the disco ball from the winner, I thought for SURE we'd see it in pieces on the floor and yet it remained intact. Way to fake us out, Cake Wars.

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I appreciated no sugar disasters this week. Sometimes I wonder if they have sugar prepared ahead of time just for the purposes of breaking it so there can be more drama - just to be a conspiracy theorist.

I think if the paint fight one looked more festive it would've stayed. Their work was cleaner but I agreed with the judges that it looked like a child's bedroom. It wasn't unlike the team from last week that got eliminated for having a display that wasn't festive enough.

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I'm rooting for Winter Wonders to win. Their puppy in the stocking stuffer challenge was adorable and I liked their elves partying...a conga line!!! That disco ball was gorgeous and the team works well together. However, Jonathan was OTT annoying in this episode.

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I did not like they took so much  of the candy ,  yes I know it was an advantage , but it seemed  just rude not to leave  the other team something  to work  with.

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This is my first time watching any cake war.

The fruit carving is all the same (a few exceptions).  The flowery fruit that made the stone wall looked like Hawaiian flowers NOT stone. I was shocked no judge mentioned that.  Of course they won, they took all the damn candy. That was not a reasonable nor entertaining advantage. 

Obnoxious host and lame guest judges. I have no idea who that little singer was who mentioned something was good for her when on stage repeatedly. 

The sugar mail box that shattered was way too tall. They would have been nicked on proportion. 

I had to laugh when the pink bow shattered. She thought it would just stay balanced there with no glue? Oy

Edited by wings707.
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Thought the winning house looked like a Christmas episode of "Hoarders".  Waaaay too much crap thrown all over the place.  And I can appreciate the beautiful & intricate fruit carving, but I don't see "Christmas" in big carved dahlias and hibiscus flowers.  Yes, I know tropical Christmas decor exists and it is pretty.  I just don't think watermelons and pineapples stacked next to snowmen or reindeer in sweaters makes thematic sense.  Go Tropical or Seaside (or anything non-red/green Santa in a red fur suit "Traditional"), but I just don't like them jumbled together.

I am glad I won't have to hear the contestants' forced and fake "acting" when they read their lines in the TH's. Or the blond lady judge telling everyone she thinks their tasting items are "too sweet".  Um, blond lady...it's effing cake, candy, fruit. Everything they have for ingredients is comprised of sugar;  sucrose, glucose, lactose and fructose.  Go judge a a show about tofu if "sweet" offends your delicate taste buds.

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I thought the winning house was messy and the candy lane looked like an accident in a candy factory. I also had an issue with the carved fruit. They look like flowers and not Christmasy at all. I didn't think it fair to give one team all the candy either; especially when they just poured most of it out on the floor.

Edited by Madding crowd.
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I get the too sweet dessert, absolutely, I have tasted many.  They are usually homemade mistakes and not in a restaurant but it happens there, too. 

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Since all fruit carvers make those same damn flowers, it is probably the easiest way to go.  One man did very cool faces in trees and they were not impressed, too dark.  Had that woman cut apples into stones it would have worked.  They were successful as rocks in another scene. 

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No, no, no, no! Judges, you got this one wrong. I hope Winter Wonders returns next year and blows it out of the water. Their sugar work and fondant work were awesome. Those street lamps and the walkway were gorgeous and the polar bears and Santa were perfection. North Stars' fondant lady never had the level of perfection that WW had. Their Santa and the kids were not finished well. Did NS have any sugar work other than the lame pond? As @BusyOctober said, NS house looked like a Hoarders episode. It was more just throwing candy everywhere rather than creating a clean story. And WW had the delicious cream puff swan. Bah humbug to this outcome.

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Yeah, good try there judges, but wrong choice. It happened last year too, that the team that got to choose the candy first, grabbed 9/10 of it, and then felt compelled to dump all of it on their display, and it just looked like a candy store threw up, rather than enhancing the actual cake, sugar, and fruit. The other team, since they weren't able to get 3000 lb of candy, had to make their display show off their actual work, which is a *good* thing and IIRC worked in that team's favor last year, but unfortunately not this year. The Hawaiian flower fruits did not work. The other team had those carvings that were buttercream-ed and had lights in them, and the judges said they didn't like them, but at least they were *Christmas*... or at least winter, I guess, which is close enough for the purposes of that display.

NS had some good components - the gingerbread men were cute, something else in the front yard that I've forgotten now, but almost all of it was overpowered by them throwing candy EVERYWHERE. All the way up the path... and then WW has the beautiful red poured sugar walkway with the lights. Yeah, which one those shows skills? That's what I thought.

I also thought WW should have won the first round also. I got that the judges felt the work on their card was sloppy. The footage didn't show anything indicating that it wasn't supposed to be like that, and that's what I thought - it was supposed to be that sort of swirly, sketched looking art. NS' card didn't even slightly look like a card, and their sculpting wasn't as good.

Ah well... and now on to my regular life, and enjoying some more endless cartoon themes. Till next year, Cake Wars Christmas.

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WTH, seriously have the judges been drinking too much spiked eggnog! Winter Wonders creation kicked the others ass!

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I completely agree that the wrong team won. I didn't care much for the woman on Winter Wonders, I think her name is Carmel? She was kind of bitchy but the tubby Guy Fieri wannabe and Damien were ok and their work was much much better than the other team.  They should have won for the Santa and the polar bears alone, the other team had nothing close to that level of work.  I think that previous wins should be counted in the final decision too. 

I love the Hoarders reference and its so true, I couldn't really see the work they did because their was too much stuff everywhere. 

This was the first season I've watched all the way through and I enjoyed it. They need a different host but I like the show. 

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I also thought it was funny watching the competitors pretend to be excited about Kristi Yamaguchi - "OMG, an Olympic champion from 20 years ago!". When they started saying Olympic champion, I thought for a moment that they were going to bring on Simone Biles (yes, I know she's gymnastics, not figure skating, don't mind me). Also, Kristi Yamaguchi looks a lot older now than she does in her Madame Tussaud's figure in NYC, in case you were wondering.

They should have Kerry Vincent as a guest judge. That would be way better than all these random people who were marginally famous 20 years ago.

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I'll give it to NS in the first round for having a better Rudolph but I never like the advantages where the winning team gets first pick of whatever food. It's a vague advantage and I think as soon as the winning team takes their first piece of candy, the second team should immediately go over to start taking theirs.

But in the main round, the biggest issue for me was the challenge itself. I would've rather seen the teams make up their own display than have the judges decide whose pre-made gingerbread blocks look better stuck onto a pre-built front of a house. This just seemed like it was designed to take WW down a peg and give NS a fighting chance. And I still thought WW had the better display, they had more techniques, I loved the polar bears and light posts, and they had a better tasting element. I think all NS had going for it was that the amount of candy helped to distract from their lack of techniques. But that gravely road was an absolute mess.

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I agree with everyone about the wrong team winning. Yeah, it looked as if somebody got sick and barfed candy all over the yard at NS's house.

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I hated the piece that won the 1st round. To me it looked like Rudolph had been harvested and taxidermed. I thought it would have been more appropriate to a Halloween challenge.

I did like the children, the Santa, and the Christmas tree in the winning piece because those did draw you in and did convey a story but I liked WW's work better overall and I just adored Damien.

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Welp, they ruined Halloween Wars for me with producers picking the winners rather than the judges and it looks like they ruined the Christmas Cake Wars for me too.

Congrats Food Network, I won't be watching anymore. You broke me.

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Has anyone heard if there will be another season of Christmas Cake Wars? I haven't seen any commercials for it. 

Edited by Spunkygal.
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8 hours ago, Spunkygal said:

Has anyone heard if there will be another season of Christmas Cake Wars? I haven't seen any commercials for it. 

We looked on FN's website the other day and it appears not. They're re-running an old season of it, but there's no new ones on the "upcoming" on the Cake Wars page. Sad face.

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1 hour ago, JessDVD said:

We looked on FN's website the other day and it appears not. They're re-running an old season of it, but there's no new ones on the "upcoming" on the Cake Wars page. Sad face.

The seasonal specials always have high ratings. I am surprised they aren't doing this. I guess so they can cram more Guy down our throats. I'm so sick of him, but YMMV.

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ETA -- this is from 2015!

Could the judges be more biased?

"Build a snow globe"  "Oh, you don't have a snow globe? That's smart!"  No, you assholes, that means you LOST!"

Then we come to We Three Kings' mess of a house.  It's not cute, it's not refined, it's not Christmas.  Jack Frosters completely blew them away.

The right team won, despite the BS. 

Edited by jhlipton.
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