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Burgeoning bakers are back with the most impressive cake creations to date in season four of NEXT GREAT BAKER premiering Tuesday, June 24th at 9/8c on TLC. Buddy "Cake Boss" Valastro is joined for the first time this season by two permanent judges, famed chocolatier Jacques Torres and Magnolia Bakery's Chief Baking Officer Bobbie Lloyd, as they search for best of the best of confection-obsessed competitors. This season also adds a new level of drama as the competitors are working in teams of two - all for a chance to work for Buddy at the new Carlo's Bakery at The Venetian in Las Vegas and to Capture a grand prize of $100,000.
"Jacques and Bobbie are the definitions of business skill and culinary creativity. I'm thrilled to have their unique perspectives and expertise help me monitor the teams' progress and ensure they have what it takes to successfully run a baking business, which is the end goal for all the competitors," said Buddy Valastro. "This season showcases the most talented bakers we have had on the show, and the new team format promises double the skill and double the bakery drama."
Each episode features a Cake Challenge, and in a new twist, the lowest ranked teams will fight tooth and nail in an Elimination Challenge, a final competition that tests a variety of skills needed to be the NEXT GREAT BAKER. The focus will be not only on cakes, but also an array of other desserts to ensure that each competitor masters flavor and creativity. Throughout the season, guest judges join Jacques, Bobbie and Buddy to help determine which teams advance and get closer to their dreams of opening their own bakery.
In the season premiere, the teams arrive at the Carlos Bakery facility in New Jersey and must immediately get to work on a dessert that represents their hometown in just 45 minutes. Once the judges have a taste of their dessert style, Buddy gives the teams a challenge to create NYC-inspired cakes after a few field trips around the city. With their dreams on the line, the teams must prove they have the skills and creative intuition to follow in their culinary idols' footsteps and open a bakery of their own.
Upcoming episodes include a candy-themed challenge judged by Dylan's Candy Bar owner, Dylan Lauren; a wedding cake extravaganza, judged by Sean and Catherine Lowe from ABC's "The Bachelor"; a life-sized cake recreation of TLC's Theresa Caputo judged by the "Long Island Medium" herself; a spooky, sweet challenge judged by "Freddie Krueger" himself, actor Robert Englund; a trip to Rachael Ray's talk show for an audience-judged challenge; and many more cake competitions that push the boundaries and test the limits of bakery perfection.
The teams are:
Roxanne Bodell and Kaiulani Delgado, aunt and niece team from Salt Lake City, UT
Julie Voudrie and Danielle Voudrie, a mother/daughter duo from Gray, TN
Fred Isla and Barry Ackerman, bakery buddies and former colleagues from Las Vegas, NV
David Duran and Elaine Duran, husband and wife from Kissimmee, FL
Don Donneruno and Meredith Gulfman, co-workers from Long Island, NY
Brandy Smith and Ginger Soave, a bakery student and teacher team from Virginia Beach, VA
Bethany Berend and Jennifer Livermore, best friends from Tomball, TX
Al Watson and Lia Weber, co-workers from St. Louis, MI
Manny Agigian and Al DiBartolo, friends and co-workers from Woolwich, NJ
Jose Barajas and Aimee Anderson, an unconventional friend duo from Chula Vista, CA
In a TLC first, the network will reveal exclusive on-set "selfies" of each competitor on Snapchat, giving followers a First Look at the bakers who will be competing for the coveted title of NEXT GREAT BAKER. Online at TLC.com, fans can learn more about their favorite teams and see behind-the-scenes photos from each episode. Each week on Twitter, TLC will use a real-time hashtag poll to track fans' favorite teams, and the updates will appear on-air during each premiere.
NEXT GREAT BAKER is produced by High Noon Entertainment for TLC.
TLC is a global brand that celebrates extraordinary people and relatable life moments through innovative nonfiction programming. A top 10 cable network in key female demos, TLC has built successful consumer brands around series including Cake Boss, and has transformed Fridays into "BrideDay" with a lineup of wedding-themed programming anchored by the Say YES To The Dress franchise. In 2013, TLC had 32 series averaging 1 million P2+ viewers or more, including seven series that averaged 2 million P2+ viewers or more, the most ever in a year: Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, Sister Wives, Long Island Medium, The Little Couple, Who Do You Think You Are?, Breaking Amish: Brave New World, and Breaking Amish: LA.
TLC is available in nearly 99 million homes in the US and 329 million households in 167 markets internationally. A destination online, TLC.com offers in-depth fan sites, exclusive video content, and original editorial covering style, home, food, and more. Fans can also interact with TLC via On Demand services, on mobile platforms, and through social media such as Facebook or @TLC on Twitter. TLC is part of Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA,DISCB, DISCK), the world's number one nonfiction media company reaching more than two billion cumulative subscribers in 224 countries and territories.