I love the smell of red velvet in the morning
What happens when you combine the competitiveness of Masterchef with the bitchiness of The Biggest Loser, chuck in a judge that looks like Lembit Opik and sprinkle the whole thing with enough hundreds and thousands to last an ice cream van for a lifetime? You get Cupcake Wars, and it’s one of the greatest things on television.
4 competitors are flown from their cupcakeries (real word) to The Pantry along with their trusty sidekicks and a whole load of sass (again, apologies for the addictive American language) to challenge for $10,000 and a big exhibition at a major event. The show is fast paced, and features the retrospective commentary from the bakers that seems to be commonplace in American reality television, with plenty of “oh-mi-god”s and “for-real”s chucked in. The cupcakes do look delicious, but the whole show is a pantomime, really, and for most of the show the cupcakes take a backseat to the battle of the villains and good guys. You can always tell who the villains are because the camera shows them sneering whenever a compliment is given to a rival.
At the end of each round, though, the focus is back on the cupcakes and a baker is sent home, usually for making a shocking mistake like putting frosting on a hot cupcake (it falls off) or not even checking to see if the cupcake has set. They then complain to the camera about how they deserved to win and shouldn’t have been chucked out because of a technicality, but the viewer can go “yah-boo-sucks-to-you” and never has to see that particular person ever again. They shouldn’t complain about the judges anyway – Candace opened the world’s first cupcake bakery, and Florian Bellanger (so French they have to subtitle him) used to be an executive pastry chef at a Michelin-starred restaurant.
The whole show is theatre, it’s comfort viewing, it’s good-looking and fun to watch. The host does a better Seacrest than Seacrest, and if you’re free at 9pm, or you’re bored of shows that have been advertised on the BBC News (HA! Synergy!), give it a try. It’ll make you happy and hungry in equal measure.
Peedotessdot You can see one of my favourite episodes (bitchiness included) here, the one about the Kentucky Derby: