Jonathan Bennett, Halloween Wars host, shares why fans love this Food Network show


Jonathan Bennett might not create those epic Halloween displays on Halloween Wars but he is an integral part to the show’s continued success.

Fans of Food Network’s Halloween Wars know that one reason for the show’s continued success is the host, Jonathan Bennett. While each season has teams looking to go bigger and bolder in their displays, Bennett keeps fans engaged with a lighthearted joke, timely pun or just a silly moment to break the tension.

With Season 9 in full swing on Food Network, Bennett took a few moments to chat with FoodSided about the current season and his thoughts on the fan favorite Halloween Wars. While Bennett is a cookbook author, actor and host of Cooking Channel’s Snack Attack, he is often associated with the Food Network’s Halloween Wars.

One of the reasons why fans connect with Bennett is his vivacious personality. Never afraid to go for the pun, act a little silly or just have fun with any situation. While the Halloween displays drive the contestants competition, Bennett brings the engagement that fans crave.

Looking at Halloween Wars Season 9, Bennett said that fans should expect these displays to be the “biggest and best ever.” He said, that the judges mentioned after the first episode, they were definitely impressed with the direction that the competition was taking.

Just looking at the first two episodes, there have been several firsts. From swinging zombies to suspended pumpkin spiders, these teams are definitely pushing the envelope. In a way, that willingness is a testament to the show’s success. Each season the teams need to do more to impress the judges as well as the fans at home.

Like other Food Network shows, Halloween Wars can inspire fans at home and spark some creativity in their own Halloween displays. While the fan might not be able to carve a super detailed pumpkin, there are several tips and tricks that they can use.

Bennett said that fans should “chose one thing” to take away from the episode. While maybe the fan can’t carve a huge werewolf, they can learn all types of carving tips that will take their Halloween display up a level. In each episode “there are one or two skills” that anyone can master.

While the Halloween themes sometimes go to the darker aspects of the spooky holiday, some themes offer a little lighter side. Bennett referenced the zombie dating episode which balance the fright and the fun.

Bennett mentioned that he found the zombie date night episode as one of his favorites from the season. The theme allowed the teams to bring a little humor with the scary. There was so many possibilities with that episode. In some ways, that episode is a great reflection to his approach to hosting Halloween Wars.

Even though some of the themes are frightening, Bennett brings the balance. Whether it is the creepy crawly tasting element or the overly realistic nightmare, that moment of levity brings everyone back to center.

While visuals impress, success is measured by communication. These teams are paired together just for the competition. A team is only as good as their ability to work together.

Bennett commented about that dynamic. He finds that how these people come together as a team to create a design and execute is part of the reason why fans love the show. The teams who find that connection can walk away with $50,000.

While the visual is often the memorable part to Halloween Wars, the success and failure of a team often depends on its tasting element. Bennett shared that the tasting element is often the deciding factor for the judging panel.

Even though he isn’t on the judging panel, Bennent said that he does taste all of the treats (and his jean size by the end of the season reflects that tasting). Still, there are a few times when he hasn’t been as thrilled to sample the treats.

In previous Halloween Wars seasons, the teams have added a little fright to those tasting elements. While the “insects” might have added a little texture (and scare), he has opted out of those more adventurous choices.

Lastly, Halloween Wars is popular not only with Food Network fans but also with celebrities. Every season the judging panel’s special guest judges are quite impressive. From Fear the Walking Dead cast member to the original mistress of the dark, Elvira, the guest judges add to the show’s excitement.

Bennett has had a few favorites over the seasons. As a big Stranger Things fan, he was excited to have those cast members on the show. Also, he is a Twilight fan and was excited for that special guest judge.

While the special judge might change the dynamic slightly, the addition is great for fans. Since the guest judges are fans, they often say and react just like a fan at home would. Although my family might only have spirited debates on the couch, we can relate to how these “super fans” would feel if we were on the show.

Season 9 of Halloween Wars is currently airing on Food Network and Jonathan Bennett is back offering his spirited hosting skills. Don’t forget to watch a new episode on Sunday nights at 9 p.m. EST/PST on Food Network.

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Do you have a favorite Halloween Wars episode? What theme do you think this Food Network show should tackle next?