Not long after host Ayesha Curry joked that Father Kyle Schnippel "needs a Hail Mary," the suburban Cincinnati pastor was eliminated in the second hour of ABC's "Great American Baking Show" Thursday.
Judges said his pumpkin spice cake was "a little bit rubbery," his cube-shaped lamingtons were baked "pretty uneven," and his decorative Swiss roll was over-baked.
And then there were his rectangular donuts topped with crosses.
"Forgive me for this father," said judge Johnny Iuzzini, "but they look more like coffins than donuts."
So at the end of the two-hour telecast, Father Schnippel was the second of 10 amateur bakers sent home from the competition filmed in Iver Heath, England.
Fellow Cincinnatian Jessie Deye Salzbrun was more fortunate. Salzbrun, who has only been baking for a year, won the first hour and was named "star baker" for her spice pumpkin naked cake and mocha bourbon Swiss roll.
Judges were amazed at the technical abilities of Salzbrun, who earned a degree in molecular biology at University of Cincinnati after starting in design school. She is product chief at Cincinnati's Family Tech start-up software company.
"You're in the wrong business," said judge Paul Hollywood, a cookbook author and baker.
Hollywood had called her spice pumpkin naked cake – the first challenge -- "beautiful, very professional… (and) well done." That prompted Salzburn to say: "It was a very sweet moment, and a great way to kick off the competition."
Her fortunes soured in the second hour. She fell to seventh of nine bakers in the savory hand pie competition, and was "close to the bottom" at the end of the show, Iuzzini said. But unlike Father Schnippel, she will be back for the two-hour broadcast next Thursday, Dec. 14 (9-11 p.m., Channel 9).
"This has just been so wonderful of an experience," said Father Schnippel, pastor of St. John Neumann and Corpus Christi Catholic parishes, at the end of the show. "I'm so glad and honored that I was able to be a part of this… and become a better baker in the process."
Read more about the competition in my Tuesday blog, Cake Job: Fr. Kyle Schnippel, Jessie Salzbrun On ABC's 'Great American Baking Show.