I’m such a huge fan of ABC’s 25 Days of Christmas! There are always so many family friendly shows to watch and two that I love are The Great Christmas Light Fight and The Great American Baking Show: Holiday Edition!
We had the chance to interview Carter Oosterhouse, judge and host on “The Great Christmas Light Fight and Sherry Yard, judge on “The Great American Baking Show: Holiday Edition while we were in Los Angeles last week! We spent the day at the ABC Building learning more about the shows and 25 Days of Christmas.
The Great American Baking Show: Holiday Edition
On your marks, get set, bake! It’s a double dose of spice this holiday season when the most festive and friendliest competition on television returns with new host, Emma Bunton (Spice Girls), Anthony “Spice” Adams, veteran judge Paul Hollywood (“The Great British Bake Off”) and new judge, three-time James Beard Award-winning pastry chef Sherry Yard!
Based on the hit U.K. series “The Great British Bake Off,” “The Great American Baking Show: Holiday Edition” features bakers from across the country battling through 18 total challenges with six challenges throughout each two-hour themed episode, all in the hopes of being crowned “America’s Best Amateur Baker.”
It was so fun to talk to Sherry Yard, she was so warm and pleasant. I just wanted to get into the kitchen with her and start baking! She even brought us all some amazing chocolate bars to enjoy too!
Sherry shared with us her favorite holiday tradition which was, “Breakfast, I love breakfast! I love to make very unique breakfast things, like latke fries, and I cook popovers and I put smoked salmon in them. So my breakfast is noshing, it’s all about everyone coming over for eating a little something. You know, you’ve worked up an appetite, so then after opening up the presents, you go back again and can still nosh. So it isn’t just omelettes or things like that, it’s just all different, fun edibles.”
Sherry also shared with us about the joy of baking, “I always say my best recipe is memories. Because you make a wedding cake, you make a birthday cake, you make cupcakes, whatever it is that you’re making, it’s a memory that will always be in someone’s mind. And then it’s shared, just the same as lights, and so as you’re baking, you don’t bake a cake and then sit in a corner by yourself with it. It’s shared, baking is all about sharing. That’s what I love about this show, it’s this camaraderie, it isn’t a cutthroat competition, it’s about sharing recipes, learning from each other, and sharing with everyone out there. I said, if anything we can do, is moving the needle forward more on baking so people understand it and they’ll share more and they’ll bring people around the table…”
When asked about her favorite recipe to bake, Sherry said, “It’s like saying, “who’s your favorite child?” I love everything – it depends upon my mood. I love making homemade strudel. I could fill this whole table up with one piece of dough.”
When talking about her most memorable episode, Sherry told us, “It’s very hard because we have so many challenges. I think I gained, probably, 15 pounds. I found myself eating two, three bites of one item that they made and they had to make two of that one item, and then there were 10 contestants! So there’s 20 items and I’m taking 2, 3 bites because these bakers, I tell you, they would rival professional pastry chefs. Do not take it for granted: home bakers would kick some butts of some professional bakers out there. And so because of it, everything was so delicious. There were some flops! I don’t know if you know, we do a signature challenge where Paul and I pick whichever baked item that we think might be interesting for the guests to see and a different recipe. I pulled one from one of my books, and it seemed very simple: you have to understand techniques. I’ll just say this: it had a little meringue with it. Meringue – you can’t take it for granted. We had some interesting ways of interpreting [the recipe]. I also don’t give instructions. Everyone gets the same exact recipe. We test it based on what we gave them with another baker in advance. We test it first in the States first, and OMG, being in the tent! I walked up and it was like hallowed ground. So yeah, it’s everything.”
The Great American Baking Show: Holiday Edition” premieres on Thursday, December 6 at 9|8c with a two-hour episode, and will also be available streaming and on demand after premiere.
The Great Christmas Light Fight
Season 6 of “The Great Christmas Light Fight” showcases the wildest and most spectacular Christmas displays in America. In each one-hour episode, four families from all around the country decorate their homes to the extreme in the hopes of winning the coveted Light Fight trophy and a $50,000 prize, with a total of $300,000 given away for the season. This season, as the temperature cools down, the competition heats up when families invite us inside their homes to witness their fantastic Christmas décor for the very first time. In addition to all of the stunning inside/outside displays, the first-ever “Heavyweights” episodes (which aired Monday but you can catch on-demand now!) showcase light shows that have grown too large for any home.
The Great Christmas Light Fight” all-stars special episode celebrates the most incredible Christmas displays from the past five seasons on the show. With over $1.5 million in prizes given away to date, this special episode highlights past competitors by featuring different categories of displays for an all-star lineup. So, grab your cup of hot cocoa and tune in for some “Light Fight” holiday throwbacks! This will air on Monday, December 10th at 10pm EST!
We had a lot of fun talking to Carter Oosterhouse! I’ve followed his career since he was on Trading Spaces!
He told us a little bit about what it was like to film the Heavyweights episode which aired on Monday (but that you can catch on demand now!), “4 million lights – one place has 4 million lights – just to see that, when those lights went on, it was the craziest thing. My brain had to adjust just to know what I was looking at. It was unbelievably shocking to see these people and what goes into it. These people are setting up for months on end. A lot of them are starting once Christmas is done, they start planning for the next one. It was so beautifully draped, the one that had 4 million lights, it was draped over into a river and the river was rushing. So there were so many different experiences going on, that just to digest it was tricky, but then color-coordinated, it was so well put together. That was something that I’m a big fan of, and just seeing that made it that much better and you were able to appreciate it more, because if you have 4 million lights just in this room alone, you’d be like [shocked] you know, but when you see it put together nicely, it’s just such an experience.”
Carter also shared how he feels about the joy and positivity the show brings to people, “For me personally, the one common denominator on our show is that that’s why everyone puts all these lights up. It’s not self-involved, it’s a very communal aspect. That people have such a good response from their community that that’s why they’re doing it year after year. And people are doing it from 5 to 35 years, and they do it year after year because their community – there’s so many memories that they’re creating – not only the memories that they’ve had themselves, but the memories that they’re creating now with these families and these kids in their community. And that is such a beautiful thing to see, because that is what Christmas is all about.”
When talking about his favorite holiday traditions, Carter shared, “We have a two-year-old, she’s almost two, it’s more creating those memories now and being on the show, I don’t wanna put up lights at all – because I can’t compete! I cannot compete. What I’ve always done, even with my family, and now we’re creating these little things, is we do DIY things all the time. One is pinecones and dipping it into white glue and glitter and then stringing them together just to create some garland and stuff. We do that quite a bit. Now it’s the best because it’s little two-year-old Flora, because she’s learning all these Christmas things. I have to say, yesterday I tried to watch the first episode with my daughter, and I said “Hey Flora, we’re gonna watch daddy on TV.” And she’s never seen daddy on TV so she was like, “Dadda? No Dadda. Daniel Tiger.” So I was like really? Oh man, I can’t compete with that.”
The Great Christmas Light Fight” airs Mondays at 8|7c on The ABC Television Network or streaming or on demand.
Toys For Tots
This holiday season, Disney|ABC Television are teaming up with Disney store, ShopDisney.com and Toys for Tots. Fans and families can celebrate 25 Days of Christmas by dropping off a new, unwrapped toy at a U.S. Disney store or on shopDisney.com until December 15th and Disney store will contribute $5 per toy to Toys for Tots, up to $1 Million! For more information on Toys for Tots, go to ToysForTots.org.
Connect with The Great Christmas Light Fight and The Great American Baking Show: Holiday Edition
- The Great Christmas Light Fight on Facebook
- The Great Christmas Light Fight on Instagram
- Carter Oosterhouse on Twitter
- The Great American Baking Show on Facebook
- The Great American Baking Show on Twitter
- The Great American Baking Show on Instagram
- Sherry Yard on Twitter
Disclosure: Thanks so much to Disney for bringing me out to California for the event. All thoughts and opinions are my own.