Has anyone here made a banana cream pie that DIDN'T turn that color? I thought that was pretty much standard unless you: make vanilla pastry cream and add the bananas later, in which case the flavor is impacted, or add a bunch of food coloring to try to yellow it out?
That said, I didn't care for Duff's pie either. I think he's been spending too much time with the contestants on Kids' Baking Championship.
I agree with most folks here that bigger isn't always better, but I also think there is something to be said for the initial "wow factor" of bringing out a really big cake. At first glance, both look impressive so the win goes to BIG. It's not until you look at the details that you notice, hey, the big one is a little sloppy while the smaller one is super clean. Judges should know better but that doesn't necessarily negate that initial "holy cow!" when the cakes come out.
Of course, all of this assumes that the competition is being fairly judged and not carefully orchestrated for optimal drama......... 😝