Halloween Wars Season 8 winner: Outbreak contained

The Halloween Wars Season 8 winner has been crowned. Which team’s Halloween display showed a compelling, horrific outbreak?

Halloween Wars Season 8 winner was crowned on the popular Food Network show. With two impressive teams, Zesty Zombies and Candied Cadavers, battling for the title, this finale episode showcased the teams’ immense talent. Still, only one team could earn the Halloween Wars title.

Going into the Halloween Wars Season 8 finale, both teams were evenly matched. Throughout the season, both teams had earned the most wins. Still, previous successes don’t earn a team the title. Those successes only set the bar higher.

For the Small Scream, the teams had to create a scene showing a demon’s most prized possession. This broad based theme could go anywhere. Each team took a totally different approach to this small scare. Earning advantage came down to the judges’ personal preference, not a technical issue.

Zesty Zombies choose to make a zombie stamp book. These stamps represented the souls that the zombie had captured. This scene was creative, but not over the top. The book itself was nice, but the team didn’t seem to push the scary envelope.

Lenny’s carved zombie fingers were scary. The judges thought that eyes peering over the book would have made for a creepier scene. Truthfully, I think that the fingers could have been painted differently to show more details.

Contestant with Zesty Zombies, Lenny Calvin, as seen on Halloween Wars, Season 8. photo provided by Food NetworkCandied Cadavers chose a baby demon with his prized possession, his pacifier. The sugar work on this piece was amazing. The pulled sugar necklace and pacifier were both impeccable.

Additionally, the carved pumpkin demon face had the right balance of scary and cute. The demon’s smile and snarly tooth really captured the mood. But, the coloring for the demon was one, red tone. Everything was an overpowering, non-dimensional red. This color choice brought down their display.

Winning the small scare was Candied Cadavers. While the judges preferred the baby demon, I thought that this display lacked visual impact. The monotone coloring was too overpowering. Still, my opinion doesn’t earn anyone the Halloween Wars Season 8 winner title.

By winning the small scare, Candied Cadavers got their first choice of pumpkin in the Spine Chiller. This advantage is huge. Having the right pumpkin can make or break a display. Plus, it can play with the mind of the other pumpkin carver.

The theme for the Spine Chiller was showing an person succumbing to a horrible virus. Call it an outbreak, zombie apocalypse or just a Halloween scare, the theme was up to interpretation. Also, the teams had to include an antidote to this horrible outbreak. Again, the two teams had very different approaches to the final challenge.

Candied Cadavers’ theme was a scientist in a laboratory. The lab tech was synthesizing a cure to the deadly alien outbreak. While the scene didn’t have huge splashes of color, the scene had tremendous movement.

The juxtaposition of the deadly alien to the off-balanced lab tech was smart. It filled the whole display and made the scene extremely dynamic.

Of course, this display had the best use of sugar art. The numerous sugar test tubes were impeccable. Even though these items were in the background, they showed great attention to detail.

The pumpkin in this display was good and just ok. The pumpkin cocoon from which the alien emerges was impressive. While not huge, the crater detailing was a smart choice. It added to the other-worldly component.

Truthfully, the sugar work and the impromptu save set this display apart. When Candied Cadavers realized that they had a structural problem with their lab tech, they found a way to make the support part of the story. This quick thinking earned big praise from the judges.

While the display had great technical achievements, the tasting element wasn’t the antidote that they needed. Although herbal notes can offer a depth of flavor, this tasting element was overpowered by milk chocolate. Still, could this error in the tasting element cause the team to place second?

Zesty Zombies took a dark, more morbid approach to the outbreak display. Their idea was guy being consumed by deadly goo that has taken over the world. As the guy tries to save the antidote, he is consumed by the lethal mess.

Truthfully, Zesty Zombies seemed to be overtaken by a dark cloud even before they started. Lenny was thrown off kilter when he lost the pumpkin that he wanted for the display. Could this single element throw the team into disarray?

Looking at the display overall, Zesty Zombies had the more colorful display. Each layer of color showcased the depths of death and destruction. While the scene may not have been incredibly dynamic, the color display was impressive.

The expressions on the dying man’s face were gruesome. It really captured the severity of the moment. Still, the scene lacked something, although it wasn’t quite clear what is was missing.

Part of the problem with this scene could have been perception. Some of the key elements were mounted slightly askew. If the judges have to seek out the details, the display loses some of its impact. Did that issue cost Zesty Zombies $50,000?

Contestants with Zesty Zombies, Lenny Calvin, Kimberly Hall and Shelby Bower, as seen on Halloween Wars, Season 8. photo provided by Food Network

For their tasting element, the team excelled with its lemon/lime posset. This dessert was actually used as a remedy in Shakespearean times. This particular tie-in was incredibly smart. After last week’s salt/cookie disaster, Shelby needed some redemption.

According to the judges’, the posset (similar to a pudding) was the best tasting element from all of Halloween Wars Season 8. The flavors were on point and the combined textures from the cookie crumble were sublime. It definitely beat the other team’s tasting element.

Before announcing who won, the tasting element clearly went to Zesty Zombies. Still, the tasting element hasn’t been a deciding factor in any episode. If the tasting element isn’t impacting the judges’ decision, why is it part of the competition? For next season, it would be nice to see the tasting element have a bigger impact.

Looking at the displays, both teams took totally different approaches. Candied Cadavers’ display was brighter and more dynamic. Zesty Zombies’ display was darker and more gruesome.

The Halloween Wars Season 8 winner was Candied Cadavers. This team will surely be part of a future Halloween Wars highlight reel. Throughout the season they made innovative displays that have pushed the technical difficulties in this Food Network competition show.

If I had chosen a winner, my preference would have been Zesty Zombies’ display. While the coloring was a little dark, the scene had a more intense Halloween feel. Also, I think that they deserved more credit for their tasty and choice (it was a remedy/antidote).

Related Story: Lenny Calvin, Halloween Wars pumpkin carver, talks about this Food Network experience

This season of Halloween Wars has come to a close. What was your favorite display from Halloween Wars Season 8? Did you think that the right team won? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

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