The Great American Baking Show is back, this time with a celebrity holiday edition. The return may possibly be the redemption of the American spin on on the UK favorite.
The Great American Baking Show: Celebrity Holiday premiered on The Roku Channel on Friday (December 2). The show is the first time the Americans have ventured into celebrity baking competition territory with the series. Despite the fact that this writer only recognized the names of two of the six celebrities competing, I held out hope that the show would bring some of the magic that has made the Great British Bake Off such a success. The show did not disappointed.
The episode kicked off with new hosts Ellie Kemper and Zach Cherry offering some humor along with a hosting chemistry we haven’t seen since the days of Mel & Sue. The opening monologue also introduced new viewers to the premise of the show with Kemper passionately declaring, “This is not just A baking competition. This is THE baking competition.” When Cherry responds with a comment about “a random tent,” Ellie sets him straight, saying, “Not just any tent. That tent is the coliseum of pastries. It’s where the best amateur bakers on earth go to battle it out in front of super esteemed judges.”
Great British Bake Off judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith brought their British charm to the show, creating the perfect dynamic between the British and American baking personalities and styles. It’s a phenomenon that the franchise hasn’t been able to reproduce with U.S. bakers…until now.
The celebrity line-up for the new edition was questionable on paper, but my low expectations were shattered while watching.
The cast includes:
NFL great Marshawn Lynch
Comedian Chloe Fineman
Actress and comedian D’Arcy Carden
Social media star Liza Koshy
Comedian and producer Joel Kim Booster
Actor Nat Faxon
It’s hard to believe that the bakers were novices as they consistently turned in impressive bakes across all challenges. In fact, Paul declared that the American celebrity bakers were better than British bakers, a comment sure to fire up our baking friends across the pond.
While I won’t spoil the show by revealing the winner here, I will say that my only and biggest complaint is that there is only one episode. This most definitely should have been a series as it’s the best baking show to hit television in a very long time.
Unfortunately, we have to wait a few months more for another Great American Baking Show series. The next round won’t be a celebrity edition, but we’re hopeful that it will be a “regular season” instead of a holiday edition. So far, every season of the Great American Baking Show has been holiday-themed. And let’s face it…there’s only so much you can do with eggnog, peppermint and gingerbread.
A premiere date for the new season of Great American Baking Show hasn’t been released, but it’s rumored to be premiering early next year.
Watch Great American Baking Show: Celebrity Holidays on The Roku Channel now!