Buddy vs Duff Season 3 premiere recap: Who is king of the jungle?

Host Duff Goldman in the jaws of the beast, as seen on Buddy vs Duff, Season 3. Photo provided by Food Network
Host Duff Goldman in the jaws of the beast, as seen on Buddy vs Duff, Season 3. Photo provided by Food Network /

The Buddy vs Duff Season 3 premiere set a high bar for the remainder of the Food Network baking competition season. Even though both Buddy Valastro and Duff Goldman have won the crown, this season will be the tiebreaker. Based on the first challenge, both Buddy and Duff are going to go down swinging.

In the new Buddy vs Duff Season 3, there are some changes to the competition. Instead of in person events, the judging is a panel of 50 cake artists from around the nation. The big board of faces includes some bakers and cake artists, like Jewel Johnson, who are familiar with Food Network competitions.

The judges are allowed to ask questions. Also, they provide commentary on the cake displays. The weekly winner is determined by a total point number.

Since there have been some questions on the judging in previous seasons, this 50-person panel seems to be quite neutral. Maybe it will really determine whether Buddy or Duff is king of cake?

Were the Buddy vs Duff Season 3 premiere cake displays hugely impressive?

In previous seasons, there seemed to be a clear difference between the two kitchens. Buddy is often about the gigantic display. From life-size cakes to many, many parts, it is about the biggest display possible.

For Duff, the small details matter. Even if the display is significant, those tiny details and little touches are what sets his cake displays apart.

In the Buddy vs Duff Season 3 premiere, the theme was a safari. Even though the cake displays had a digital screen behind them, they really could have stood in an empty room and made a huge impression. Given that these impressive pieces of edible art were made in 20 hours, it might make some home bakers rethink what is possible in their own home kitchen.

If anyone expected Buddy to make a small display, they obviously haven’t watched the show before. Buddy’s display featured a rhino, crocodile and a whole pond scene. While there were some concerns about the seams on the rhino, the judging panel had a lot of positive feedback.

The crocodile was quite realistic. From the sheen to the placement, the crocodile might have stolen the moment from the rhino. Even the pond water looked real. It was a scene right out of the Discovery live on safari show.

But, it wasn’t exactly perfect. Some of the colors seemed a little off. Also, a few little details might have been more refined. Still, it was a great display, especially for the Buddy vs Duff Season 3 premiere.

With Duff, he went for a jaw dropping display. But, it also had the signature Duff Goldman whimsy that everyone expects from him. Also, Food Network viewers might have sensed a touch of a flashback from Buddy vs Duff Season 2. Recall the Battlecorn? (and yes, even Duff said it).

To say that Duff’s display was dynamic was an understatement. The lion catching the impala mid-air was totally unique. It almost looked like a museum display.

While the display made a big visual impact, the reality is that Duff had some fun little touches, too. From the bird suspended in air to the dung beetle on the ground, those small moments were important too.

At the same time, there were a few missteps. The lion’s foot looked backwards and the lion needed more muscle definition. Still, these comments were just minutia in comparison to all the big items.

Who won the Buddy vs Duff Season 3 first round?

Since the panel voted based on a 5 point score, it seemed like that the scores would be close. As the point totals were revealed, it was tight.

Buddy’s score was revealed first and he received 217. Duff’s score was 228. Duff won the first challenge.

It is unclear how the totals will be combined over the season to determine the ultimate winner. After all, it isn’t about just one challenge. It is the combination of all the cake displays. There will definitely be some ups and downs throughout this Buddy vs Duff Season 3.

Still, the premiere episode set the bar high. It will be interesting to see how each new theme brings something new to the competition. Could someone bring some cake innovation to the discussion? Remember Duff introduced those floating cakes in this Food Network show. Wonder what he will do this year?

Related Story. Sherry Yard shares her passion for the sweet life, interview. light

What did you think of the Buddy vs Duff Season 3 premiere? Are you excited to see what the future challenges hold?