The classic “Elf on the Shelf” story is coming to life with a twist in a brand new Food Network competition.
“The Elf on the Shelf: Sweet Showdown” has six teams going head-to-head in a dessert-making competition. Hosted by Duff Goldman, the teams will have to impress Goldman and two more judges, Kardea Brown and Ashley Holt, and one team will take home $25,000 and the title of The Ambassadors of Confectionery Concoctions.
“‘Elf on the Shelf’ is so iconic, and with a network as legendary as Food Network, the partnership makes sense to create a beautiful magical show full of surprises,” said Holt, who has competed in shows such as ” Cake Boss: Next Great Baker,” “Chopped,” and “The New York Cake Show.” “Let’s create the most epic holiday baking show imaginable. My favorite thing about this show is that it’s full of surprises.”
When the teams step into the Enchanted Cottage, they will adopt a Scout Elf, and as the competition unfolds, the teams will tell their elf’s story and personality through their confections. Each bake requires some sort of magical element to help push the teams over the top.
“When the bake is done, we get to see the creation, but it’s not just for tasting and judging. The Scout Elf appears in their creation, it’s always fun to see where the elf decides to land and what kind of trouble it’s going to get into,” said Holt. “The competitors are so talented and being able to work in teams really allows them to create something spectacular. I’ve competed myself in a lot of competition shows, so I have an insane amount of empathy for these competitors.”
At the end of each episode, the two bottom teams will face off in the Santa Showdown where they must dazzle the judges with a snow globe display that highlights their favorite Christmas memories. In the end, one team has to leave the Enchanted Cottage with the other teams advancing to the next round. The three final teams will go head-to-head in the finale, airing on Dec. 17.
Despite not being raised with the “Elf on the Shelf” herself, Holt says that judging the show inspired her to bring one home for her own daughter this holiday season.
“I have a five-year-old and we’re gonna adopt our very first Scout Elf this year. It was amazing to get to work with the Elf on the Shelf team and get to know the authors and this amazing story that has created a new tradition around the holidays, which is an impressive feat,” said Holt. “We’re definitely doing it this year.”
Holt says that those who tune in to watch “The Elf on the Shelf: Sweet Showdown” can expect to feel the holiday spirit as well as the fun and whimsy that comes along with it, and it may even inspire some to bring Elf on a Shelf into their holiday traditions.
“[The audience] can definitely look forward to the holiday spirit. This will definitely give some inspiration and new ideas to elevate their holidays, or ways to welcome a Scout Elf into their home,” said Holt. “If we can leave this series and it inspires a few people to adopt their own Scout Elf, that’s gonna continue to spread the magic of holidays throughout these homes.”
“The Elf on the Shelf: Sweet Showdown” premieres on Food Network on Nov. 19 at 8 p.m. ET/PT. You can follow Holt on Instagram @sugar_monsterr.