After four rounds of competition on “Next Great Baker,” the contestants shared their impressions of one another and their thoughts up to this point. San Jose competitor Jen Kwapinski was held in high regard by many of her rivals, and show host Buddy Valastro noted that she has the cleanest decorating work, even if there are better bakers.
“New Year’s Eve, Hoboken Style” showed that Kwapinski did not start off with impressive work, though, as she panicked during her audition in front of Valastro. As he questioned her decision not to utilize a turntable, she explained that she would be better if she was using her own tools in her own shop. Although she considers herself an expert piper, Buddy showed her how he would do the same assignment, telling her to “have a little more humility next time.” Of course, the competition is grueling, and Kwapinski said that “being on ‘The Next Great Baker’ is more emotionally exhausting than anything else.”
The contestants, including those who have already been eliminated, talked about what they thought of the others, and Ashley Holt considers Kwapinski a “piping queen,” Gretel-Ann Fischer sees her as a threat because she can “decorate one hell of a cake,” and James Brown and Peter Gray believe she will make it to the final weeks of competition. If Kwapinski made predictions, they were not featured on the episode.
The episode also featured some behind-the-scenes moments, including the superhero cake that was close to getting Kwapinski eliminated. She struggled with her team, saying that she knew the building was sloppy and crooked and did not believe her teammates were going to fix it. After opponent James Brown resigned from competing, Kwapinski said that “he was my savior in that moment. He came in and he totally rescued me and Melissa because I really thought we were both going home.”
The battle is not over, and “The Next Great Baker” continues Monday, January 7 at 9pm ET/PT on TLC. It is sure to be a battle, as Kwapinski notes, “every single time you go into the kitchen, you’re fighting for your life the whole time.”