Halloween Baking Championship has decided to implement social distancing in the filming for the social media season, a move supported by fans.
Halloween Baking Championship has decided to implement social distancing in the filming for the social media season. Originally a spinoff of Holiday Baking Championship, the show is a Food Network mainstay since its 2015 premiere, allowing both professional and amateur bakers to impress Carla Hall and a rotating set of judges for each season, who are often decked out in costume. No matter the fanciness, the judges are always ready to taste.
With Halloween, many interactions involve handing out candy, delivering dessert to willing people, and bringing up bowls of popcorn to get ready for trick-or-treating. Halloween Baking Championship takes it a step further, with hosts Richard Blais and Jim Henson always happy to troll their contestants with creative stunts. Reality television during the holiday requires more contact, with film crews and chefs working to meet challenges in record time. With the pandemic, filming becomes more complicated for the amount of contact; you have cameramen adjusting for different shots, bakers working in close proximity, and people tasting foods to make sure they fit the episode’s challenges. That’s not even going into travel restrictions that can drastically affect filming.
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CheatSheet was more than happy to talk about the challenge and the solutions. Many films have been canceled or filming postponed unless chefs can host their shows from home. With Halloween Baking Championship, it seemed that cancellation was imminent. And yet, Food Network wanted to keep their Halloween mainstay, without risking anyone’s lives. So what did they do? They created a new filming environment, that enforced physical distancing and made sure the contestants and judges had the customary six feet. Only astute viewers would realize it on a rewatch or closely observing, and those that did praised the implementation on Reddit. No one wants to risk lives to get their daily fix of horrific-looking but delicious desserts.
One especially unique obstacle with the holiday challenges is that the host has to distribute items for mandatory twists. Not all twists require that, but a good portion do with cakes or other pastries. In one awful case, the challenges were given while the Halloween bakers had to run in the dark, with an occasional flashing light, to find out the theme for their individual dessert. Those tend to require hands-on-hands contact, or the bakers chasing hosts for the items in question.
Other shows have shown that the pandemic can create tension between casts, and ruin great relationships. Even if one person is a carrier, they can spread the virus to more people that are immunosuppressed or suffer a deadly reaction. Reddit users talked about how they appreciated how the Food Network was responding to the new challenge. It shows a great amount of care for the participants in the show.
With the pandemic, baking in a filmed kitchen is an obvious problem. Those in the home kitchen like to share what they’re making, but the difference is they aren’t feeding national contestants and guests possibly from abroad. That is why it is important to learn how network television makes adjustments to keep the contestants, judges, and crew safe. We are in for the long haul, as long as there are carriers that refuse to wash their hands or self-quarantine. The Food Network has shown where their priorities lie, and it is in safety.
Next: Halloween Baking Championship: 5 Of The Best Creations From Season 1 (& 5 That Fell Flat)
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