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Halloween Baking Championship

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I actually wish Jeff would've incorporated some of his other dummies instead of just Walter.

Well I guess I wasn't paying attention since I missed that no one went home last week. I thought John was eliminated so him getting eliminated this week just put me at where I thought the show already was.

I have to agree that I think the fix is in for Michelle. It's like a repeat of the spring season with Jane.

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I wasn't looking forward to Jeff Dunham as host but I think he's done fine.  He's been low key and hasn't tried to use his celebrity to take over as the star of the show.  I don't like Walter but I'm impressed with how Jeff interacts with him and makes it seem natural.

I don't like Michelle at all and I don't like Veronica much better.  I did like John but have to admit that he was the right one to go home.  So I'm hoping Tamara whom I do like can pull out a win somehow.  

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9 hours ago, mlp said:

He's been low key and hasn't tried to use his celebrity to take over as the star of the show.  

Since I had never even heard of him before this show, I don't think we have to worry about that happening :-)

Edited by GaT · Reason: "of him" actually makes the sentence make sense
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4 hours ago, mlp said:

I don't like Walter but I'm impressed with how Jeff interacts with him and makes it seem natural.

The issue I have is that he seems to be a terrible ventriloquist. His moving lips are so obvious.

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I'm hoping either Michelle or Tamara win.  I like both ladies a lot. I am kind of hoping Tamara makes another meringue (or whatever The Dom hates) and Carla and Sandra LOVE it and this is what helps her win.  Dom is just a flat, humorless judge, in a game that is meant to be a blast.  Yes you are judging but if you have that I hate it/no, just no/there is a problem/it's ugly/etc attitude all the time it gets irritating.   The two are boring and look like that are there because they are being paid to be there.  Giada - put your boytoy on your show and stop putting him on this one.  He was RUDE the last time (kept getting the finalist name wrong every time).  I can't wait for the Christmas one.  You see nothing but fun and laughter in the previews.  On this one, I've see Carla give the fun (sorry Sandra looks to be drunk).  The host can't joke with him because he just stares.  I hope next year is new judges save for Carla because Dom sucks.....

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OMG...  Thank you cherrypj...  Every time I see this show I think what a horrible ventriloquist he is....    I thought I might just be being mean....   Again, thank you....

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I can see why they went with Jeff Dunham as host. The tone of this show is supposed to be casual and fun. The competitors cheer and high-five each other and the level is around "skilled home baker". Really it reminds me of friends hanging out to cook for a bake sale. So adding a comedian who makes cute little jokes adds to the fun.  It's meant to be a huge contrast from Halloween Wars where professionals are intense and drama gets you a free pass to the next week.

But I agree he's not being fully leveraged. How do you have Jeff Dunham hosting a round of cake pops and not get him to say "On a stiiiick!" I don't care if it's over some people's heads; how about a little fan service?

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BWAHH!  HA!  HA!  Can anybody tell by now that Sandy doesn't have much use for Damiano. (Carla doesn't appear to have much use for either of them.) 

It seems obvious at times that the judges do not really care for each other and are just flat out not getting along.  Awkward!

Seriously I thought ventriloquists stopped being funny like 120 years ago.  The only funny thing this host has done was be in a hazmat suit while carrying the peppers.  And that had nothing to do with being a ventriloquist.  

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ICAM. They really seemed to be at each others throats last night. Damiano is just flat out unpleasant. I didn't think Sandra was drunk.  I just think she got overly emotional that Tamra is a home baker because it sort of ties into SL's Semi-Homemade brand.  But not quite ... Tamra is actually making everything from scratch and not doctoring up a boxed cake mix.  Anyway, I think Sandy's OK as a judge because she's giving the first impression that the "average Joe" would probably think when they tasted the baked good. Carla seems like by this stage she's just phoning it in.  Maybe the TPTB could have swapped Carla out for Giada as she's a trained pastry chef. It might have kicked some life and humor into Damiano and the bonus would be that we'd have extra snark watching the two of them flirt. She's also no slouch in the Halloween costume department.

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Damiano is horrible! He has no personality at all, he's hard to understand, and he's not too bright  ! He kept saying how he hates gingerbread , as if contestants had a choice about making gingerbread when the challenge was to make a gingerbread house!

He loved the gingerbread that was lacking in spice because he hates real gingerbread !  Aunt Sandy seemed irritated by Damian. I thought I heard her say "this isn't Europe",. when he said that he liked the bland gingerbread! 

The host with his idiotic puppet is also annoying ! 

Hopefullt, Damiano was so irritating that he will finally go away! I know that Giada wanted to jump his bones during the Food Network Star competition, but he sucks ! And I do not get the "hot" factor with Damiano! Maybe his lousy personality is influencing my opinion of his looks , but he looks average at best .

Edited by snowydaze
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Well... from now on, should they ever preview anything with Damiano as a judge again, I'm staying far away from it! A good judge can still judge something they don't personally like and give constructive feedback. But to take it out on the contestants for doing the challenge just loses him any and all credibility. I was so disgusted by him, it actually made me forget about Michelle doubling the annoying factor. And oh, surprise, surprise, she wins. I didn't think the look of any of the final pieces were bad but this has been a pretty lackluster season.

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I've figured Michelle would win from the start but I couldn't stand her so I hoped I was wrong right up to the last second.  I didn't get "asylum" from her building at all and I thought Tamara's looked a lot better.  

Damiano was a real jerk.  What have they done with Ron Ben-Israel?

Carla isn't a pretty woman in any conventional sense but she always looks great because she carries herself so well.  She looked terrific in all her costumes and tonight she was absolutely stunning.

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6 hours ago, mlp said:

Damiano was a real jerk.  What have they done with Ron Ben-Israel?

 Dumped him in favor of a reality show attention seeker, who's cheaper and easier to control.

 Michelle is obnoxious.  I didn't see anything impressive about her piece.   White walls with a simple brick stamp and some red gel splattered on it.  Yawn.

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I wonder if the producers told Michelle to yell things like "First one to get my cookies in the oven!" or if she really just is that annoying. 

I was hoping for a Tamara win. 

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Question..first let me state I have no problem with it, but why is it okay for Carla Hall to dress up "Bollywood"? Isn't similar to someone dressing up like an American Indian or an African American who isn't? They would never do that, but Bollywood is okay?

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I knew Michelle would win and I didn't want her to. I was rooting for Tamara but figured that she didn't stand a chance in reality. Michelle was so obnoxious. I think her asylum piece impressed the judges because it showed so many different techniques (in their eyes.)

They need an entirely new panel of judges for next year. Damiano was terrible. I'm sure that there are many flavors that the judges can't stand (for me, it's coconut) but when it's your job, you suck it up and do the best you can. His whining about "not-a liking a-geenger-a-bread" was unfortunate.  I'm glad when Sandy shut him down with her remark about "It's not European gingerbread." (A side note, I saw Nigella Lawson make holiday gingerbread cookies once and they were LOADED with all kinds of spices and dark dark sugar and molasses.)

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I am Italian, and I have visited Italy for a summer. And while I loved the meals, I didn't like the desserts.  IMO they lacked sweetness and had weird flavors. The only Italian desserts I like are canoli and Tiramisu.   And when you have 6 weeks of almost every dessert having some kind of cheese or coffee in it,  in my case I craved sugary chocolate and buttercream! So, I get that Damiano may not be used to American desserts, but, he is there to judge the quality of food, not to keep telling us what he "hates".  He is lacking in any sense of humor, and a horrible judge. Also, I am used to accents, especially Italian accents, but he is very difficult to understand!  When I saw Giada showing her giant teeth grinning at him like a 12 year old during NFNS, I knew we were stuck with the dud for a while!  

I would have rather they didn't have that horrible " worst bakers" Halloween show, and have Duff judge this show along with Carla and Sandy, than Damiano.

Michelle got on my nerves !   Anyone who has to show us pictures of people holding the antlers of dead dear as a great thing disgusts me. I am sorry, but I hate hunting and I do not like anyone who can find that a "fun sport".   I get that all meat comes from animals, but to enjoy killing and then showing of the pictures  is sick.   

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Did Waylan and Candace and Florian from the other baking shows just disappear? They're all gone from "Cake" and "Cupcake Wars." I'd watch dour Florian over dumb Damiano any night.  I like those three because when they deliver criticism they usually explain what went wrong and how to correct it.  Plus, they all are professional bakers in some capacity.

Speaking of Duff ... what was the significance of him making an appearance? I know it was to kick-off the tree decorating challenge, but I had high hopes that he was going to hang around to judge the final pieces.  Stupid waste of time and serious letdown!

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I've wondered what happened to Candace and Florian myself.  I'd prefer either one to Damiano.  Or Sandra Lee.  She seemed a bit prickly.  Florian can be a bit hard to understand but he has serious credentials and knows what he's talking about.  Waylan is still on Cake Wars.  

It did seem silly to have Duff on for 15 seconds.  My guess is that he was in the studio filming Worst Bakers and the producers wanted to do the tree thing they did on Camp Cutthroat Kitchen because the surprise did work well.

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6 hours ago, GoMocs said:

Question..first let me state I have no problem with it, but why is it okay for Carla Hall to dress up "Bollywood"? Isn't similar to someone dressing up like an American Indian or an African American who isn't? They would never do that, but Bollywood is okay?

I wondered that myself.  Maybe since Bollywood has a dance style it is like dressing up as a ballerina? I don't know.  I also presume they are not picking their own costumes but that someone backstage is making those calls so I don't fault Carla. (I REALLY like Carla, so I could/would forgive her for many). 

I confess I fell asleep during this episode. I liked Michelle. I didn't mind her win, but all three were kind of bland to me. 

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Michelle has to be one of the most annoying contestants ever. Who cares if you are the first to have your batter done or the first in the oven. So ridiculous and made me actively root against her. God she was arrogant.

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Wow, I can tell how invested in this show I am by the fact that I saw there were new comments in the thread, & then I remembered that I had watched the finale last night. I must have forgotten all about it as soon as I watched it.

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1 hour ago, scribe95 said:

Michelle has to be one of the most annoying contestants ever. Who cares if you are the first to have your batter done or the first in the oven. So ridiculous and made me actively root against her. God she was arrogant.

And even though she was the first one in the oven, she still had to decorate her cookies after they were on the tree.  She's like the person who speeds and drives recklessly only to arrive at the same time as people who drove safely.

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I found Michelle to be so annoying and arrogant. I was hoping she wouldn't win. As for Damiano, anyone who has competed as much as he has should understand how the contestants are feeling and should give constructive criticism rather than say things like "it's terrible!" He needs to go. 

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I hope this ends all the Damiano needs to be on tv talk.  He has no spark, no fun, no joy, and he can't judge a competition on its criteria.  He's rude plain and simple.  Why have a FUN competition if you have a judge that cannot have fun with anything.  I don't care how much the teeth Giada wants to be on the network - hint put him on your show for a while and see how it goes.    It's a gingerbread challenge and all he does is say how he hates gingerbread.  He never should have been a judge.  Sandra may be flighty but she gave critiques according to the rules of the competition.  I'm glad this one is done.  If he is back next year I will be happy to not watch.  Each time all I heard was "I don't like it.  Not my favorite.. I hate it"  None of the judges on these types of shows have been this sulking, rude, and just horrible to watch.  Would have loved Tamara to win but glad Michelle did. 

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Maybe FN has learned is lesson. I saw a lengthy preview of all of the shows planned for November, including numerous baking competitions. Damiano's name didn't pop up anywhere as a contestant or judge. He just needs to go back-a to-a his-a bakery and fade into the sunset. Hopefully is 15+++ minutes of fame will drive traffic to his shop and we're done with him.

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I'm so behind in my TV watching that I just finished the finale a few days ago and my first thought was that I had to come here and see if everyone hated Damiano as a judge as much as I did.  I knew you wouldn't let me down!  He seemed downright douchebag-esque at times, like he was annoyed that he even had to be there.  He was never my favorite on the shows he competed in, but I always liked him well enough.  I had no idea he could be so sour and charm-free.

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On 11/3/2016 at 10:41 AM, grisgris said:

Maybe FN has learned is lesson. I saw a lengthy preview of all of the shows planned for November, including numerous baking competitions. Damiano's name didn't pop up anywhere as a contestant or judge. He just needs to go back-a to-a his-a bakery and fade into the sunset. Hopefully is 15+++ minutes of fame will drive traffic to his shop and we're done with him.

Nope and nope.   he was a judge on last night's Christmas Cookie Challenge.  and he was a complete drip.   Why, oh why, is Food Network foisting this drip on us?   Oh the humanity!!

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Whoever that American Idol winner judge was seemed much more knowledgeable than him. He was so unpleasant, and barely understandable. He kept adding "-ah or -uh to the end of his words, too. Drove me crazy.

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Third season will premiere Monday September 25 at 9PM.
 

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This season’s Halloween Baking Championship contestants are Jasmin Bell (Seattle), Cliff Butler (Austin), Tyler Davis (St. Louis), Jonathan Elias (Birmingham, Mi.), Andrea Kratville (Sonora, Cali.), Dina Melendez (Brooklyn), Jessica Scott (San Diego) and Ray Vizcaino (San Diego).

Judges are Carla Hall, Lorraine Pascale and Zac Young.

 

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Returns 9/25.  John Henson is the host this year.  Apparently they're going to switch out the host every season.  Carl is back with new judges Zac Young and Lorraine Paschal.  Glad Damiano is out (maybe FN finally realized he isn't going to happen) but I will miss Aunt Sandy.   She was made for this show.  

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I wonder why Duff isn’t a judge anymore.

What kind of balloons did they give Jonathan that they kept popping like that?

Do the judges have to make an entrance in costume for each contestants?

The candy filled cookies didn’t look tasty at all, & most of the oozing desserts failed.

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Duff has never been a judge on the Halloween show.  Just the Holiday and Spring ones.  The judges have always come in for the second round of each episode in full costume.  

 The oozing desserts were embarrassing.  None of them really worked.  That should not have been that hard for an experienced baker. 

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All of the female contestants looked too similar and I couldn't tell anyone apart. One of them was from Brooklyn, and that's all I've got. 

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29 minutes ago, Maya said:

All of the female contestants looked too similar and I couldn't tell anyone apart. One of them was from Brooklyn, and that's all I've got. 

Yes! 2nd round when the one woman said she was going to make a spider, I thought "Didn't you just make a spider in the cookie round?". Then I realized it was the other brunette.

I know no names yet & nobody impressed me or made anything I really wanted to eat.

Those "candy stuffed" cookies were all a fail. Are those a real thing? Is that how you are supposed to make them? 

I did like the host, though.

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An even better question, how are you supposed to eat them?  Those crunchy hard candies in there seem like the texture and taste would be annoying in a cookie.

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I always enjoy this show so I'm glad it's back.  I like all the judges too.  I wonder if Zac Young is really short.  He looked small sitting between Carla and Lorraine.  

All the contestants except the woman who was eliminated have serious credentials so I was surprised that so many of them did so poorly on the second challenge.  Maybe that's a direct result of the time constraints.  

I felt sort of sorry for the guy whose balloons were popping until he kept trying again and again and wasting time instead of doing something else.  I could hear popping in the background even when the cameras were on someone else.  He must have tried dozens of them.  Either the balloons were defective or he was doing something wrong over and over and over.

I liked John Henson when he was on Worst Cooks and I thought he did a good job as host.

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9 hours ago, cherbitrary said:

Those "candy stuffed" cookies were all a fail. Are those a real thing? Is that how you are supposed to make them? 

Yeah, that confused me. I'm pretty sure they did a stuffed cake challenge on one of the other Baking Championship shows and it confused me there, too. On most of the desserts I saw the candies are still wrapped! Doesn't that defeat the purpose? And if they are still wrapped what is the point of whether or not your candy flavor goes with your cookie or cake flavor? 

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I like John Henson.  So far, he isn't too far over the top.

The guy with the balloons looked really familiar but I can't think of what other competition he has been in.  Guys Grocery Games maybe?

I know I am in the EXTREME minority, but I have never cared for Carla Hall since the earliest times of Top Chef.  She still continues to grate and I think my dislike is getting worse. Too bad, because I really like this show and look forward to it every year.  

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3 hours ago, LexieLily said:

Yeah, that confused me. I'm pretty sure they did a stuffed cake challenge on one of the other Baking Championship shows and it confused me there, too. On most of the desserts I saw the candies are still wrapped! Doesn't that defeat the purpose? And if they are still wrapped what is the point of whether or not your candy flavor goes with your cookie or cake flavor? 

I remember that - they had to make a cake filled with candy. I've never heard of such insanity. These were just as bad. But I also don't like overly decorated cakes so clearly I'm a bit off from the norm. 

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On 9/26/2017 at 7:23 AM, Maya said:

All of the female contestants looked too similar and I couldn't tell anyone apart. One of them was from Brooklyn, and that's all I've got. 

That's what I said! Kind of odd.....

 

14 hours ago, caci said:

I know I am in the EXTREME minority, but I have never cared for Carla Hall since the earliest times of Top Chef.  She still continues to grate and I think my dislike is getting worse. 

I'm in that minority with you. Not a fan.

Agree with those who posted about the candy stuffed cookies, they sounded gross.

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All of the female contestants looked too similar and I couldn't tell anyone apart. One of them was from Brooklyn, and that's all I've got. 

Okay so it wasn't just me. All of them looked so similar!

I miss Ron Ben Israel - I stopped watching Cake Wars when they threw him off Food Network and he's sorely missed here. New male judge is way too obnoxious and over the top.

All in all this was just okay, but no wow factor for me.

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On 9/26/2017 at 7:57 AM, cherbitrary said:

Yes! 2nd round when the one woman said she was going to make a spider, I thought "Didn't you just make a spider in the cookie round?". Then I realized it was the other brunette.

I thought the same thing too, cherbitrary!

I like these kinds of shows. It's light fluff to unwind to after a long day, but one thing the producers don't seem to get is that what I really want to see is impressive baking and decorating. I really, really wish they would give them enough time to do things that make me go "Wow!" Seeing stuff that's just slapped together because of the short amounts of time they have creates a lot of drama but not really great work.

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I hope Larraine and Zac do make it a point to disagree with everything the other one says.  

On 9/26/2017 at 5:23 AM, Maya said:

All of the female contestants looked too similar and I couldn't tell anyone apart. One of them was from Brooklyn, and that's all I've got. 

Same here, so we tried to come up with ways to tell them apart.  We eventually started calling them "Half-Shaved One," "Brooklyn One," "Home Baker One" and "The Other One"

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Those stuffed cookies were stupid.  Aside from m&m’s, all the candies they used were those gross, tasteless, hard sugar coated gravel.  Not good candy!  Cute for decorating, not for eating.  And the way they stacked 3-4 cookies into a brick...not tasty.  I’d prefer well baked, one layer cookies, thanks.  And if someone goes through the trouble of baking cookies with great combinations like mocha spice or salted caramel, how will artificially sweetened shards add anything to the flavor profile? Is biting into a cookie or cake and having hard pellets spill out and bounce all over my plate, my table and my floor supposed to “delight” me in some way?  Because I can tell you without even trying one, I won’t be delighted. Stupid to make, stupid to eat.

Too bad the goo fillings didn’t work out for most of them.  When the older baker got grape for his goo, I was thinking PB &J combo.  Wine was a good idea to go with chocolate I guess.  But that cartoon-y purple didn’t look like a match for a grownup flavor.  Glad he got to stay.  Balloon Boy had better learn to think on his feet a little better!  Wasting all that time on a failing idea was foolish.

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I love this show, I´m so happy that it´s back. It´s great to have a new judge instead of Damiano, he was the worst. It´s so fun to watch them make the scary cookies and cakes, and since I couldn´t eat more than 10% of what they make, seeing the judges taste everything is in and of itself scary for me.  I´m so fascinated by all the ideas and the knowledge the bakers have.

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