Netflix’s Nailed It! is a hilarious take on cooking shows

Grace Glines, Reporter

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WHEN PEOPLE think about cooking and baking shows, most minds think of Master Chef or Cake Wars. These kinds of shows feature amazing cooks and bakers competing to become the best of the best. The competitors make incredible dishes that most cooks wouldn’t even attempt, and one little slip up is enough to send them home.

Most people will not even try to get onto these shows because their cooking is not nearly as good as the people on screen. However, Nailed It! is a Netflix TV show that recruits bad bakers to come recreate master-level desserts, and whoever wins receives a $10,000 prize.

Nailed It! is obviously different from other baking competitions in that the competitors have absolutely no clue what they are doing. A good example of this is in season 1, episode 6. Competitor Kymberli Talton decided not to cut out her cookies before baking, instead placing the slab of cookie dough in the oven and attempting to cut it when it was already baked. This, of course, did not work out well.

Each episode in the show has three bakers competing against each other and two different challenges. The first challenge is the baker’s choice, in which competitors get their pick of three different designs for a dessert, such as three cake pops with different decorations. This challenge does not help decide the winner of the episode. 

The winner of baker’s choice will get an advantage in the next challenge, called “Nail it or Fail it.” Sometimes, this advantage is a button at their station that, when pressed, will force the other competitors to stop what they’re doing for one minute. Other times, it is a button that makes one of the hosts go distract other competitors. Every competitor gets a button that allows a host to come help them one time in the competition.

The second competition, “Nail it or Fail it,” decides the winner. Competitors get two hours to recreate a complicated cake completely from scratch. The cakes are originally made by top-tier bakers, so the competitors’ failed results are absolutely hilarious next to them. They get some instructions on the basics, but they often don’t even read them, making it more entertaining.

The judges on the show consist of Nicole Byer and Jacques Torres, as well as a new guest judge every episode. Nicole’s commentary throughout the episodes is one of the funniest things on Nailed It! She jokes with Jacques and associate director Weston Bahr about the competitors’ baking skills (or lack thereof). 

Nicole is the heart and soul of Nailed It!, being the main host and ultimate decider of the winner. In a pajiba.com article about the show, Kristy Puchko describes Nicole as having a “[B]ig smile and bigger personality.”

Since Nailed It! came out in 2018, a special holiday season has been made each winter. This year’s holiday season came out on November 21, 2019.