Next Great Baker: Season 3, Episode 9 “Momma Knows Best,” The Final...

Next Great Baker: Season 3, Episode 9 “Momma Knows Best,” The Final Four

Team Ashley and Gretel-Ann's winning entry, Season 3, Episode 9.
Team Ashley and Gretel-Ann’s entry, Season 3, Episode 9. Image courtesy TLC.

Tonight, it’s down to the FINAL FOUR on Season 3, Episode 9 of Next Great Baker.  The competition started with 13, and now it’s down to these four: Paul, Ashley, Gretel-Ann and Jen.

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,  New Year’s Eve Hoboken Style special,  Episode 6Episode 7, and Episode 8.

Last week’s Kelly Ripa episode ended with a shocker. But tonight, there are no surprises.

It begins with a Baker’s Challenge: decorate a cake blindfolded. Literally. After surveying the entries, Buddy suggested Paul wasn’t just blindfolded, he used his feet. Ashley said Paul’s cake looked like a murder scene. As always (almost), Ashley won the Baker’s Challenge. Paul said, “she’s like a cyborg sent from outer space to take over the world of baking and destroy all of us.” Gretel-Ann responded with an eye-roll and “score one for Ashley. Again,” adding, “I still don’t think she’s everything Buddy is looking for.”

One Elimination Challenge remains before the Finale. Two teams of two. Ashley and Gretel-Ann vs Paul and Jen. Buddy wants a Tribute Cake, a cake to honor Moms. One baker will NOT go to the finale.

Paul’s mom is a dancer, and he wants ballet slippers and a heartfelt saying on the cake. Ashley wants a stethoscope as her mom is a physical therapist, and her mom’s “a Georgia Peach,” so that’s the color they select.Then they sculpt lemons because… one Mom likes Lemonade and the other likes sweet tea with lemons (?).

Then Buddy delivers the assistants. They are expecting past contestants. But, surprise! It’s their mothers.All four contestants promptly burst into tears. They have seven hours.

Paul explains that his mom, RoseMarie, took his whole family in after he lost his job, and she explains how much this would mean for his three little boys. Ashley’s Mom Sheri says Ashley “has always been very creative, but I never thought she would do this as a career.” She was surprised Ashley left modeling.

Paul and Jen top their pale wedding-like cake with an odd baby-like figure, but Ashley and Gretel-Ann’s cake is sweating and the royal icing is smearing. It could go either way. The judges tie. So nobody is safe. Any one of the four could go home. Buddy decides Ashley and Jen have earned their way into the Finale. They are safe. Ashley does a cartwheel.

Buddy breaks the bad news. “Paul, your journey ends here. Your skill level to Gretel-Ann’s is not up to par. To the box truck.”

He tells Gretel-Ann she is going to the Vegas finale, but as an underdog.

Paul says it’s just a little setback in the grand circle of life.

Season 3 recaps here

Episode 1, Episode 2, Episode 3, Episode 4, Episode 5,  New Year’s Eve Hoboken Style special, Episode 6, Episode 7.