I’m at the Pillsbury Bake Off in Orlando, Florida. There are 100 finalists here… dicing, slicing, frying, baking and otherwise stressing out in a giant hotel ballroom. At stake? One. Million. Dollars. In their faces? Cameras. Lots of cameras.
Me? I’m not baking. Not baking a thing. Thank heavens. I’m not a competitive baker. Just the thought of competitive food production makes me want to crumble.
The 93 women and 7 men competing here at the 44th Annual Pillsbury Bake Off are champions. Cooking with this sort of pressure and media is a looooong way from home cooking.
Want to see what this whole shindig looks like? It’s serious business.
Camera crews, lighting dudes, sound men and journalist ladies all gear up for the four hour long competition over breakfast.
Hardcore branding. Hardcore advertising. Mega sponsorship. Loads of contestants and family and annoying bloggers like me milling about.
Pre Bake Off… some dudes are giving me camera envy.
Know what the Bake Off has taught me? That husbands are super awesome! Here’s one hubby taking a picture of his wife’s finished product slot. I can’t tell you how many conversations I’ve overheard between anxious husbands. Tender moments. Serious tenderness.
There are cameras exactly everywhere.
Before the grand entrance of the hundred contestants, the ballroom smells like new ovens and photographers. It’s complex.
Moms. Sisters. Grandmas. Husbands. All getting ready for the entrance of the BakeOff-ers.
Blue aprons. Finalist ribbons. Smiling faces. I think I might me almost as nervous as they are. How utterly self indulgent of me.
You’re pretty and you’re baking. Go! Fight! Win!
Every competitors cabinets are stocked with the exact ingredients they need for their recipe. Whomever stocked these cabinets… I’d like to hire you to be my permanent sous chef. Please and thank you.
Um… this lady looks like she might be peeking at her neighbors work. Is that allowed?
There are plenty of little gentlemen like this cheering on their mothers. Kinda precious.
Also… old man elbow. These things can’t be avoided.
There’s a lot going on back there.
And there’s a lot going out here.
So… no pressure or anything. I know you’re trying to win a million dollars, but it’s interview time.
Just look at how graceful and lovely JoAnn is. Pretty smile. Hands clasped. Finalist ribbon gleaming in the camera lights. These people are lovely and gracious home cooks. Their families are buzzing with excitement. It’s such an exhilirating event to be a part of.
Four winners are being announced later tonight. The grand prize winner of the Pillsbury Bake Off is being announced live on Oprah tomorrow afternoon. Whaat!? Yea. Crazytown. That’s happening.
Thank you to Pillsbury for generously flying to to Orlando to take dorky pictures of your grand Bake Off. That sure was swell of you.