The American Baking Competition

The American Baking Competition is a reality competition television series that aired on CBS from May 29[1] to July 10, 2013. It was adaptation of The Great British Bake Off (which is aired in the United States under the title The Great British Baking Show). The series aimed to find the best amateur baker in the United States. The series was hosted by Jeff Foxworthy and judged by Marcela Valladolid and Paul Hollywood.[1] The competition was won by Brian Emmett.[2][3]

The American Baking Competition
GenreBaking
Reality
Presented byJeff Foxworthy
JudgesMarcela Valladolid
Paul Hollywood
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes7 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)Jay Bienstock
Richard McKerrow
Production company(s)Love Productions USA
Release
Original networkCBS
Picture format1080i (16:9 HDTV)
Original releaseMay 29 (2013-05-29) 
July 10, 2013 (2013-07-10)
Chronology
Related showsThe Great British Bake Off
The Great American Baking Show (2015–)
External links
Official website

Format

The show aimed to find among its contestants the best amateur baker in the US. Ten contestants were chosen for the first season. In each episode, the amateur bakers were given three challenges: a signature dish, a technical challenge, and a show-stopper.[4] The three challenges took place over two days, and the dishes made by the contestants were assessed by the judges after each challenge. At the end of the 3 challenges, the judges chose a Star Baker for the week, and a contestant was also eliminated. In the finale three bakers were left and a winner was chosen from the three.

  • Signature dish – a dish using their own tried and tested recipe that the amateur bakers make for their family and friends.[5]
  • Technical dish - a dessert using the same ingredients and recipe provided by the judges. The recipe given however has missing instructions and is designed to test the knowledge and skill of the bakers. The bakers are not told beforehand what the challenge might be, and the judges do not observe the bakers at work and judge the resulting dish without knowing who made them.[5] This round is the only one where how each contestant performed is directly revealed. The contestants are given a ranking, but that ranking is not their total score for the episode.
  • Show-stopper dish - a recipe designed to impress the judges.[5]

The competition was held in one location in a specially constructed marquee. Interspersed in the show were short videos on the background of the contestants, as well as information on the history of baking and visiting various locations.

The entire season series was shot over a one-month period.[6]

The winner of the competition received a $250,000 grand prize and a publishing contract with Simon & Schuster.[7]

Production

On October 17, 2012, CBS ordered the series under the original title Bake-Off.[8][9] Since Pillsbury Company held the trademark to the name (using it for its Pillsbury Bake-Off), the show was later renamed The American Baking Competition.[6]

CBS placed casting calls for participants on November 14, 2012. Auditions were held between December 1 and December 15, 2012.[10] The competition took place at the Gibbs Gardens in Ball Ground, Georgia in March 2013.[6]

Broadcast

The first season of The American Baking Competition premiered on May 29, 2013.[1] It aired four episodes in the Wednesdays at 8 p.m. Eastern/9 p.m. Central timeslot. On June 26, 2013, it moved to 9 p.m. Eastern/8 p.m. Central, to make way for Big Brother, and aired its three remaining episodes in that timeslot. Both of these timeslots put the series opposite Fox's MasterChef.

In 2015, ABC premiered a second U.S. version of the format, The Great Holiday Baking Show. The Christmas-themed revival ran for four episodes as part of ABC's December lineup, and featured Johnny Iuzzini joined by British judge Mary Berry. The series returned for a second season in 2016, renamed The Great American Baking Show.[11][12][13]

Bakers

BakerAge
(on show debut)
Occupation
(on show)
HometownNotes
Brian Emmett43Marketing ExecutiveItasca, IllinoisOriginally from Glendale Heights, Illinois
Carlo Fuda35Social Marketing ConsultantStamford, ConnecticutOriginally from Ellwood City, Pennsylvania
Darlene Pawlukowsky51Project ManagerJohns Creek, GeorgiaOriginally from Mt. Prospect, Illinois
Effie Sahihi40AttorneyHendersonville, TennesseeBorn in Israel and raised in Winter Haven, Florida
Elaine Francisco63RetiredClaremont, California
Francine Bryson44HomemakerPickens, South CarolinaBorn in Greenville, South Carolina and raised in Wakulla, Florida.
James Reddick26PhotographerHollywood, CaliforniaOriginally from Indianapolis, Indiana
Jeremy Cross35FirefighterSan Diego, California
Kolette Biddle30Home Health Care ProviderNorco, California
Whitney Beery21College StudentLubbock, TexasOriginally from Castle Rock, Colorado

Results summary

Elimination chart
Baker[14]1234567
BrianSBWINNER
DarleneSBSBRUNNER-UP
FrancineSBRUNNER-UP
ElaineSBSBOUT
JamesOUT
EffieOUT
KoletteOUT
JeremyOUT
WhitneyOUT
CarloOUT

Color Key:

     The baker got through to the next round.
     The baker was the week's Star Baker.
     The baker was one of the judges' favorite bakers that week, but did not win Star Baker.
     The baker was one of the judges' least favorite bakers that week, but was not eliminated.
     The baker was eliminated out of the competition.
     The baker was the season runner-up.
     The baker was the season winner.

Episodes

Episode 1: "Pies & Tarts"

Episode one aired on May 29, 2013. The theme of the episode was sweet and savory pies and tarts.

For the signature bake, the bakers were given two hours to bake an American pie. On the technical bake, the bakers were required to bake a free-standing savory pie using Paul Hollywood's own recipe. The pie would be a hot water crust pastry and the bakers were given two hours. For the showstopper, the bakers needed to make 36 sweet tartlets within three hours.[15]

Color key:      Eliminated      Star Baker      Winner.

BakerSignature
(The All American Pie)
Technical
(Freestanding Savory Pie)
Showstopper
(36 Sweet Tartlets)
FrancinePeanut Butter Bacon Pie3rdChocolate Cherry Tartlets
BrianMaple Bourbon Chocolate Pecan Pie1stRaspberry and Dark Chocolate Tartlets
ElainePeach Cobbler Pie2ndLemon Ginger Tartlets
EffieApple, Quince, Rose pie6thOrange-Almond-Vanilla and Ricotta Tartlets
JamesMile High Apple Pie8thRicotta and Greek Yogurt Honey Tartlets
DarleneSweet Potato Pie9thBlooming Apple Tartlets
KoletteChocolate Hazelnut Pie5thGoat Cheese and Cherry Tartlets
WhitneyLemon Meringue Pie7thRum Coconut Tartlets with Custard and Orange Zest
JeremySweet Potato Pie4thKiwi, Mango and Blueberry Tartlets
CarloRicotta Easter Pie10thCalabrese "Pite" Tartlets

Episode 2: "Cookies"

Episode two aired on June 5, 2013. The theme of the episode was all kinds of cookies.

The bakers were set the challenge of baking 12 cookies in an hour and a half using their own recipe, and all the cookies baked should be presented to the judges. For the technical challenge, the bakers were required to make in two hours 18 S'mores using Marcela's recipe. For the final showstopper, the bakers were given four hours to bake 40 sandwich Macarons. They must be of two different types, have a delicate crisp shell and soft chewy center.[16]

BakerSignature
(Cookies)
Technical
(S'mores)
Showstopper
(40 Sandwich Macarons)
ElaineGinger Cookies7thCoconut Ganache and Lemon Buttercream Macarons
Jeremy"Fat Pills"5thStrawberry and Chocolate Peanut Butter Macarons
Francine"Slap-Yo-Mama" Chocolate Fudge Cookies2ndDrunken Orange and Raspberry Ganache Macarons
EffieRosemary Cherry Meyer Lemon Cookies1stSaffron Rose and Curry Coconut Lime Macarons
DarleneRed Rose Crumbles6thBlack Sesame and Chocolate Cinnamon Macarons
JamesBrutti ma Buoni with Hazelnut Glaze9thClementine and Earl Grey Macarons
KoletteWhite Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies3rdCandied Ginger and Meyer Lemon Macarons
BrianCakey Chocolate Chip Cookies8thCoffee Cream and Mint Chocolate Macarons
WhitneySoft Lemon Poppyseed Cookies4thMocha and Chai Macarons

Episode 3: "Cakes"

Episode three aired on June 12, 2013. The theme of the episode was cake.

The bakers were set to make a One-Layer Cake in 90 minutes in the signature bake. In the technical challenge, they were given two hours and fifteen minutes to bake a Chiffon Cake with Tequila Orange Glaze using Marcela's recipe. For the showstopper, the challenge was to make a Surprise Inside Cake where, when sliced open, a surprise design is revealed. The bakers were given five hours for the challenge.[17]

BakerSignature
(One-Layer Cake)
Technical
(Chiffon Cake)
Showstopper
(Surprise Inside Cake)
ElaineCoconut Pineapple Upside-Down Cake3rdValentine's Day Cake
FrancineCherry Soda Pop Cake1stFloating Hearts Cake
BrianDark Chocolate Truffle Cake5thAll-American Hamburger Surprise Cake
DarleneBanana, Pineapple and Pecan Tiki-time Cake4thGive a Dog a Bone Cake
JamesCoffee Cake2ndUnderground Surprise Cake
EffieOrange Cardamom Pistachio Cake7thI Love You to the Moon and Back Cake
KoletteOatmeal Spice Cake8thCheck, Check, Check it out Cake
JeremyCinnamon Chocolate Cake6thSingle layer Cherpumple Cake

Episode 4: "Breads"

Episode four aired on June 19, 2013. The theme of the episode was bread and pastries.

For the signature bake, the bakers had three hours to make a free-form loaf of bread. The bread had to be yeast bread, and hand shaped. In the technical bake, the bakers were given one hour and 45 minutes to make eight large soft pretzels using Paul's recipe. Immediately following the technical challenge, the bakers went on to make the showstopper, which was two types of croissants, one plain and one filled. They were given two hours the first day, allowed the dough to rise overnight in the fridge, and then three hours the next day to finish the bake.[18]

BakerSignature
(Loaf of Yeast Bread)
Technical
(Soft Pretzels)
Showstopper
( 24 Croissants)
DarleneTwist-and-turn Pesto Wheel1stPlain and Apricot and Pecan-Filled Croissants
BrianOnion-Braided Loaf3rdPlain and Ham-and-Chive-Filled Croissants
FrancineRed Hot, Pecan, and Brown Sugar Loaf2ndPlain and Date, Nut and Honey-Filled Croissants
JamesProsciutto, Capicola, and Pepperoni Loaf7thPlain and Chocolate-Filled Croissants
ElaineOld-Fashioned Potato Loaf4thPlain and Raspberry and White Chocolate-Filled Croissants
EffieEnriched Challah Bread6thPlain and Pear-Filled Croissants
KoletteGerman Pumpernickel5thPlain and Almond-Filled Croissants

Episode 5: "Desserts"

Episode five aired on June 26, 2013. The theme of the episode was sweet baked goods.

For the signature bake, the bakers must make 8 individual custards, either sweet like a crème brûlée, or using a more savory recipe. They had 90 minutes to finish the task. In the technical bake, the challenge was to bake a chocolate soufflé, however. As the soufflé can fall within minutes of coming out of the oven, the start time for the bakers was staggered so that each bake can be judged immediately after it was baked. The bakers were each given an hour and 45 minutes. For the final challenge, the bakers were required to produce a layered dessert featuring meringue in five hours.[19]

BakerSignature
(8 Custards)
Technical
(Chocolate Soufflé)
Showstopper
(Multi-layer Meringue Cakes)
DarleneVanilla Custards3rdChocolate Meringue Cake
FrancineDreamsicle Custards4thRaspberry, Lemon and Meringue Chiffon Cake
ElaineCrab and Fresh Corn Custards2ndNutty Meringue Stack
JamesCaramel Espresso Custards1stPavlova and Lemon Layer Cake with Berries
BrianJalapeño and Chorizo Custards6thAlmond Meringue Cake
EffieLime Pots de Creme5thHazelnut Meringue Creation

Episode 6: "Patisserie"

Episode six aired on July 3, 2013. It was the semi-finals of the competition. The theme of the episode was French pastries, often called patisserie.

The tarte tatin was the signature bake. The contestants were required to complete it in two hours and fifteen minutes. For the technical bake, the bakers were required to make 4 Napoleons, using Paul Hollywood's own recipe, in two and a half hours. For the showstopper, the contestants had to make a choux tower in four and a half hours.[20]

BakerSignature
(Tarte tatin)
Technical
(4 Napoleons)
Showstopper
(Choux tower)
BrianFrench Onion Tarte Tatin1stChocolate Mousse Choux Tower
DarleneApple, Pear, Cranberry Tarte Tatin3rdOrange and Grand Marnier Cream Choux Tower
FrancinePeach Tarte Tatin2ndVanilla Cream Choux Tower
ElaineBartlett Pear Tarte Tatin4thChocolate Espresso Cream Choux Tower
JamesAsian Pear Tarte Tatin5thChocolate and Orange Liqueur Cream Choux Tower

Episode 7: "Finale"

Episode seven aired on July 10, 2013. It was the finals of the competition. The theme was patriotism, with dishes that were all related to the United States.

The contestants could make anything for the signature bake but had to include the official state crop of Georgia, the peanut; they had a time limit of two hours thirty minutes. The contestants had two hours forty-five minutes to complete a Paul Hollywood recipe; a dozen Boston Cream Donuts. For the showstopper the final three contestants had five hours to make 72 miniature desserts inspired by the American flag; 24 mini-meringues, 24 mini-tarts and 24 mini-cakes.[21]

BakerSignature
(Peanuts)
Technical
(Dozen Boston Cream Donuts)
Showstopper
(72 miniature desserts)
BrianVanilla Peanut Chiffon Roll with a Peanut Mousse Filling,
topped with Peanut Praline
3rdWhipped Cream filled Mini-Meringues with White Chocolate dipped Popcorn
Mascarpone Cream filled Mini-Tarts with berries
Raspberry White Chocolate Mini-Cakes with berries
DarlenePeanut Cake Roll with Peanut Cream Filling1st4 July Mini-Meringues with Pop Rocks Candy
Peach and Grit Mini-Tarts
Strawberry USA Mini-Cakes
FrancineSpiced Peanut Peanut Butter Torte with a Cream Cheese
Filling and a Cookie Crumble Shell
2ndBlueberry Cream-Filled Mini-Meringues
Red, White and Blue Mini-Cakes covered in White Chocolate
Peaches and Cream Creampuffs pastries

Reception

Critical reception

The American Baking Competition has received mixed reviews from critics.

Liane Bonin Starr of HitFix stated that the series was "surprisingly nice" for a reality TV series. She felt that it was very mellow, so "it was up to judges Marcela Valladolid and Paul Hollywood to provide some acid to the recipe." She did appreciate the series's showcasing of the food, saying "what the show lacks in intensity it makes up for in food."[22]

TV Line's Michael Slezak described the series as "half-baked" stating that there was "not really enough time to focus on getting to know the players" or to get "a real insight into their baking philosophies." Additionally, the pilot's outcome was described as "as predictable as the use of butter in a pie crust." He expressed hope that "future installments might take a few tips from various Food Network competition shows and put a little more emphasis on the actual dishes."[23]

Ratings

The series premiered to a disappointing 1.0 rating in the Adults 18-49 demographic and 5.11 million total viewers.[24] This made it the worst ever Wednesday premiere for a CBS show.[25] However, it rose in ratings for the first two weeks, a feat ratings experts called "extremely rare."[26] It had seemed like the series would be boosted by moving behind Big Brother on June 26, but it didn't end up that way, as the ratings were generally the same after the move.[27] The last two episodes did not help the series, as it went down slightly, a movement that was not good for the series's renewal prospects.[27] The show was cancelled in July 2013.[28]

Episode list
Episode Air date Rating / share
Households
Rating / share
18–49
Viewers
(millions)
Weekly ranking
18–49 Total viewers
1[24][29][30] May 29, 2013 (2013-05-29) 3.4 / 6 1.0 / 3 5.11 41 27
2[31][32] June 5, 2013 (2013-06-05) 3.1 / 6 1.1 / 4 4.73 >25 29
3[33][34][35] June 12, 2013 (2013-06-12) 3.9 / 7 1.2 / 4 5.68 24 22
4[36][37][38] June 19, 2013 (2013-06-19) 3.7 / 7 1.2 / 4 5.80 23 14
5[39][40][41] June 26, 2013 (2013-06-26) 3.3 / 5 1.2 / 4 5.10 23 >25
6[42][43] July 3, 2013 (2013-07-03) 1.1 / 4 4.70 23 19
7[44][45][46] July 10, 2013 (2013-07-10) 3.1 / 5 1.1 / 3 4.83 >25 25

References

  1. Bibel, Sara (March 5, 2013). "Jeff Foxworthy to Host 'The American Baking Competition' premiering Wednesday May 29 on CBS". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved March 16, 2013.
  2. "Catching up with baking champ Brian Emmett of Itasca". Daily Herald. July 31, 2013.
  3. "Bake Off star Paul Hollywood's US TV show cancelled". Hello Magazine. July 22, 2013.
  4. Stephens, Sarah (June 12, 2013). "VIDEO: Sneak Peek - Tonight's AMERICAN BAKING COMPETITION on CBS". TV world.com.
  5. Bobbin, Jay (June 5, 2013). "'The American Baking Competition's' Jeff Foxworthy on firemen and pink macaroons". From Inside the Box. Zap2it. Retrieved July 1, 2013.
  6. Ho, Rodney (May 29, 2013). "Can Jeff Foxworthy and 'The American Baking Competition' make a tasty CBS treat?". Access Atlanta. Cox Media Group. Retrieved June 1, 2013.
  7. Goldberg, Lesley (April 2, 2013). "The Jeff Foxworthy-hosted series based on the U.K. format will bow May 29". The Hollywood Reporter.
  8. Rome, Emily (October 17, 2012). "CBS orders American version of 'The Great British Bake Off'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved March 16, 2013.
  9. Bibel, Sara (October 17, 2012). "CBS Orders New Reality Series 'Bake-Off'". TV by the Numbers. Zap2it. Retrieved June 14, 2013.
  10. Bibel, Sara (November 14, 2012). "CBS's New Baking Competition Series is Looking for the Best Amateur Bakers in America". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved March 16, 2013.
  11. "UK Reality Hit 'Great British Bake Off' Getting Holiday-Themed Remake On ABC". Deadline. October 20, 2015.
  12. "Fall Premiere Dates For New & Returning Series: 2016 Edition". Deadline.com. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  13. "Is American Baking Really Limited to Fruitcake and Gingerbread?". The New York Times. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  14. "Cast Bios for The American Baking Competition". CBS. April 11, 2013. Retrieved April 20, 2013.
  15. "Season 1: Episode 1". CBS. Retrieved 30 May 2013.
  16. "Season 1: Episode 2". CBS. Retrieved June 26, 2013.
  17. "Season 1: Episode 3". CBS. Retrieved June 26, 2013.
  18. "Season 1: Episode 4". CBS. Retrieved June 26, 2013.
  19. "Season 1: Episode 5". CBS. Retrieved July 1, 2013.
  20. "Season 1: Episode 6". CBS. Retrieved July 4, 2013.
  21. "Season 1: Episode 7". CBS. Retrieved July 13, 2013.
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  26. "Spotted Ratings, Wednesday 6/12/13". Spotted Ratings. Blogger. June 13, 2013. Retrieved July 26, 2013.
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  28. "Hollywood's TV career in US is toast". Daily Mail. Retrieved January 5, 2015.
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