Jen Kwapinski of Jen's Cakes has gone from one of thirteen competitors on the third season of "Cake Boss: Next Great Baker" to one of three. On Monday's episode, "Momma Knows Best," Kwapinski started off happy to have lasted so long in the competition, noting that "having Chad gone definitely makes my future look brighter. He was honestly the person I thought I was going to go against in the final two. Being a part of the final four, I'm feeling awesome. I just feel this is one of the coolest moments of my life."
Kwapinski did not have a flawless night, however, as she was bested in the Baker's Challenge by opponent Ashley Holt. The task was to decorate a cake in ten minutes while blindfolded, and though Kwapinski's cake was frosted smoothly, her border did not stay along the edge of the top of the cake and her rose looked rough. She knew it would be a long-shot to win, though, as she had "never made a cake so ugly in my life."
The Elimination Challenge paired Kwapinski with Paul Conti to create a cake to honor mothers. Host Buddy "Cake Boss" Valastro surprised all four remaining competitors by bringing their own mothers to assist for two hours. Kwapinski and Conti put their mothers to work making stripes and rose petals for their four-tiered lavender cake, though some of the work needed to be re-done for a cleaner look. Valastro's wife, Lisa Valastro, and his mother, Mary Valastro Pinto, helped judge, finding the cake to have needed more vibrant colors, though the details and piping were skillfully done and the theme fit the assignment.
However, the judging came down to a tie, with Pinto preferring the cake made by Holt and Gretel-Ann Fischer. Rather than break the tie, the "Cake Boss" decided that Kwapinski and Holt were safe from elimination because of their work on the individual cakes. After some heartfelt pleas, Conti was sent home because his skill level was below Fischer's. Thrilled to be continuing, Fischer believes that she can "steamroll" Kwapinski because she is not "too combative."
While on the show, Kwapinski's mother described her daughter as "driven," a sentiment echoed by the competitor, who said "I want to be the next great baker so bad. This is something I was born to do. This prize is there for me to take it." The audience will find out on the Las Vegas-set season finale of “Cake Boss: Next Great Baker” on Monday, February 11 at 9pm ET/PT on TLC.