It’s now down to seven contestants for Episode 6 of Next Great Baker, Cakes Al Dente. Spoiler alert: stop reading right now if you don’t want to know the outcome of Episodes 1, Episode 2, Episode 3, Episode 4, Episode 5, or the New Year’s Eve Hoboken Style special.
They’re past the halfway mark.
Tonight’s Baker’s Challenge: piping, for 15 minutes, in the walk-in freezer. (It keeps the buttercream from sweating.) Winner gets Immunity.Winner — with swags, drop lines, and swirls — Gretel-Ann. Chad disagrees with the victory (correctly — he and Ashley and Jen all did superior work in the challenge).
For the elimination challenge, a Carrabba’s product placement (one of the Sicilian founders will judge the elimination). The theme of this week’s cake: Italian Family Dinners. MVP will get a trip to Italy.
Team 1: Chad, Letty, Ashley, Paul. (Ashley is not happy. “I’d rather not work with him again. He just thinks this is a big joke.)
Team 2: Jen, Chris, Gretel-Ann. Gretel-Ann’s strategy: “to send Jen or Chad home.”
The immune Gretel-Ann immediately schemes to sabotage Jen.
Ashley says her competitors’ efforts look cartoon-y.
Team Chad — the Italian Family Dinner Cake — is precariously balanced. A wheel of pecorino romano forms the base. There’s a recipe book. A pasta pot overflowing with pasta. Tiramisu on top. Then Buddy pulls out a tape measure.
Over on Gretel-Ann’s team, Buddy’s tape measure comes back out.
Chris, Gretel-Ann, and Jen go before the judges first. Jen admits to taking the lead. The other cake was better, but it failed the height requirement. Jen is the MVP, and she’s going to Italy.
Backstage, Chad whines, “they’re pinning this on me as the leader when ultimately it’s everybody’s fault.” (Height was his assignment.)
The judges like their detail work — the tiramisu, the grandma’s recipe book — but ultimately it did not meet the three feet height requirement.
Chad says, “I think I was the most valuable.”
Ashley points out “our bread basket fell because there were not dowels and a board.” Chad blames this on Paul.
Ashley is immediately dismissed as Safe. She and Paul made some of Buddy’s favorite components.
It’s down to Chad and Letty. Letty cries that there’s no passion from Chad. He calls her over-emotional.
But because she did the least amount of work: Letty off to the box truck.
Ashley, upon seeing Chad’s return, says, “I don’t understand. I’m confused. I’m pissed off. I’m hurt. I don’t know why he’s still here.” Through tears, she tells him, “the cake fucking failed because you were supposed to sit there and you didn’t dowel it.”
When James Brown exited Episode 2, it was to go home to prepare for upcoming surgery to remove a brain tumor. The surgery was successfully completed last Thursday, January 10. In addition, teammate Letty Alvarez raised over $4,000 in crowd-funding to assist the Brown family in keeping Brown’s Bakery solvent while he takes time off to recuperate. He says he is recovering well, and is thankful to all the viewers who contributed good thoughts, prayers, and crowd-funding.