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  1. HA totally agree about Candy Land... I accidentally saw the winner before I watched the episode and was bummed to sit through the whole thing. Yellow was robbed and the judge's commentary about their final showpiece being ALMOST TOO GOOD was so dumb. I honestly don't mind that Julianna won-- actually I would've been fine with any of them winning. Personally I probably would've given it to Lorenzo because he really worked hard to deliver on a tough challenge, but whatever. My husband is a Julianna apologist for some reason but other than a few really odd comments, she was ok. Overall this season has been remarkably pleasant and enjoyable and most of the tweaks to the formula were good.
  2. I did remark on that same thing to my husband... I'm not sure the judges would've allowed an upside-down cake that just had marmalade on top anyway. Does the definition of upside-down cake require some whole fruit on top? Or is it defined simply by being turned out of the pan and served... upside down?
  3. The height thing really didn't make any sense to me either but I think at the end of the day, slapping some whole orange slices, rind and all, on top (bottom?) of your cake is probably gonna spell your doom since it's basically inedible. Eva's was ug-LY but at least you could eat it. In retrospect I think blood orange is a pretty difficult ingredient for this particular challenge... I've never tried to candy blood orange rinds so I have no idea if that would even work. Otherwise you're just stuck with artfully-arranged orange segments I guess.
  4. In the Holiday Baking Challenge host power rankings, I think Jesse has moved up a few slots and is sitting comfortably at #2. No one will ever best John Henson as far as I'm concerned, but Jesse really is naturally agreeable and doesn't appear to be phoning it in like many of the previous hosts. It's nice to see him get a seat at the table and not off to the side eating Nancy's sloppy seconds o_O One of my baking specialties is cheesecake so for me this episode was PAIN-FUL. But ultimately the right person probably won and I still would have gladly tried most of them (and then made a snide comment about it, I'm sure :) I know it's frowned upon to talk about other shows in a dedicated forum but is anyone watching Candy Land? I like the show, Kristin Chenoweth is cute as always, but I CAN'T STAND NACHO. I don't know why they keep bringing him back. He's a weird close talker (watch the way Aarti tries to constantly back away from him) and doesn't really offer any interesting insight into anything.
  5. Absolutely, sauerkraut, tomato soup and beets are all not super unusual ingredients to include in a (usually chocolate, IIRC) cake. I have to assume their reactions were played up for the drama (maybe not a casual baker, but surely a pro has heard of these before??) Anyway, I thought most of the dishes looked pretty good this week. I have to admit I don't always pay very close attention when this show's on, but I thought there was supposed to be another gimmick where contestants could find something in each room for a small advantage? I can only recall that on the first episode and then never again?
  6. Imagine the ridiculous position this puts contestants in... either "I taste too much garlic in your dessert in which we required you to use garlic and it's gross!" or "I don't taste the garlic in your dessert which was supposed to contain garlic so you didn't meet the challenge." It's so dumb. Anyway, I was totally down with the rat-a-choux this week. Any filled pastry is likely to get my vote (uh, except ones that contain black garlic...)
  7. I've made many a cream puff in my day, but never a croquembouche. Just preemptively throwing that out there before I get all judgey. But MAN some of those towers were gross, sloppy, unappetizing messes. I physically cringed when Tamara started slopping together her eclairs (which started out looking good!) with heaps and heaps of black royal icing. That is certainly not a croquembouche and nothing like anything anyone would ever want to eat. Also whole-heartedly agree that the twist was unfairly punitive to some contestants. I mean, when the judges were going bonkers for that dude's apple and pumpkin cream puffs, I mean sure, those flavors plausibly go together. It's not someone's fault if they got stuck with lemon or sour cherry and had to figure out how to cram pumpkin puree in there.
  8. Yeah but Food Network brings out the worst in all of their hosts. Take your one gimmick and double-, triple-, quadruple-down on it. Guy and his Flavortown (actually he probably says "THAT'S MONEY!" more often.) Jason? Why, call me a billy goat and slap my hairy tush! I hate Zac on this show, I just can't stand him, but on other programs he's... well, I wouldn't say I like him but he's more tolerable. Someone at Food Network thinks the key to viewership is giving everyone a catchphrase or an easy-to-digest profile they can fit into. And heck maybe they're right, I dunno.
  9. This show is perfect comfort food for me so I'm happy to have it back regardless of the changes (<3 RIP HOST JOHN HENSON) I have no idea who Stephanie Boswell is and it was a certainly a choice to introduce a totally new judge in costume so you don't even know what she looks like until the end. Not sure why that matters, really, but it bugged me 😉 I seriously LOL'd at the haunted house set, it's so cheesy and looks cheap and flammable. But the Dollar Tree is an essential business after all so you gotta work with what's available... I am pretty sure I say this every year, but the contestants just seem to get worse every season. Most of these cakes were pretty sad and barely hit the challenge at all!
  10. Carla's fine (and boy she's done a great job of parlaying her Top Chef 15 minutes into hosting/judging duties on a bazillion other shows!) but she's not really funny, she's just kinda goofy. John will be sorely missed!
  11. Someone PLEASE tell Eric to lay off that lipstick. I have nothing against guys wearing lipstick or trying to demolish gender stereotypes or whatever... but that color is ALL WRONG for him. It looks like he wiped his lips with a slimy, rotting eggplant, bleeccccchhh
  12. I'm shocked--SHOCKED!-- that Just Sam won. And while I guess I could be convinced that the fix was in, I don't mind since she was the only finalist that I liked. Her performance of Rise Up was pretty darn good. As for other conspiracy theories... I agree with the other poster that Ryan was acting weird, especially towards the end of the show. There were really long and awkward pauses for no reason. Check out right before the last break, there's like a 10 second pause and then you can see someone or something moving under the desk... WHAT!!!?? lol I won't go so far as to say that I miss Simon Cowell but this show has become way too positive for my liking. The judges don't really have anything worthwhile to say to the contestants anymore... granted, most if not all of the top 11 were quite talented but it's all just "YOU ARE A STAR" without actually critiquing the performance. I fast-forward through all of their comments now because it's a whole lot of nothing. And finally... I am not the biggest Katy Perry fan but I kind of liked her new single. Shocker!
  13. Ms Gargano should get some kind of award for having both the worst and the best performance of the night. I think her Adele cover was pretty close to perfect! Personally I don't understand the appeal of Jonny. His voice is fine but he's an absolute charisma black hole. I seem to be significantly in the minority but I can't imagine him ever selling out a concert (uh, if concerts ever exist again...)
  14. Arin's take on the 80s was strange, I guess you could draw a connection to like early 80s punk? And then when describing it to the judges he talked about the bright funky colors of the 80s-- so that made his final cake even more perplexing. -shrug- I definitely prioritize flavor over fancy decorations when I bake, so I really can't fault any of them for that. And I'm generally ok with Sohrob winning, but he seemed like a little bit of a jerk in this episode. I don't know if he and Arin have that kind of fun, smart-ass relationship so it's not fair of me to judge but some of his comments seemed less jokey and more just plain mean. What do I know.
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