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Cupcake War, reruns and insider notes

Inside scoop on one of televisions’ hottest shows.

Details on how reality television works behind the scenes is a heavily guarded topic, but Dawn Eskins, the owner of Carolina Cupcakery, recently appeared on Cupcake Wars Season finale and isn’t hesitant to offer feedback. “When you watch reality shows with competitive formats, presumptions are made that the drama is manufactured.”

“In our case, at least, the producers were genuinely interested in creating professional entertainment so, no matter how frantic and stressful the experience appears, it’s actually ten times more intense. The big aisles you see on tv, between kitchens, fills with cameras, directors and producers all of whom are coaching you through it. It can be really overwhelming, but you have to suck it up, focus on why you are there and what you need to do.”

“They don’t have to create drama when you are faced with 1000 cupcakes in 2 hours. I assumed (like most people) that agreeing to appear on a reality show could make my company vulnerable, and assumed the exposure would be worthwhile. So much happens behind the scenes— it’s very easy to forget your mike is on, or to do something thoughtless in the heat of the moment. During the long delay between shooting and airing it, you can go crazy worrying about those things.”

“In our case, I distinctly recall ripping off a container lid, with my teeth. Definitely not something I’d want to see on air. Fortunately they agreed. In the end I had nothing to worry about and feel so blessed for it. I don’t know about other people, but our experience was a total win-win.”

Dawn’s comments on the judges:

“Candice is a smart lady who is also very kind and friendly. She a tough cookie (no pun intended) who almost single-handedly created this industry and she has confidence in her opinions because she’s done it all too. We spoke in person about the challenges of running a growing business and how much we both miss spending time in the kitchen : (

Florian, is nowhere near as serious he seems to be.. he’s a total cutup in fact. Between takes he was doing what appeared to be learning The Dougie from Jennette and Justin, he’s a real sweetheart.

Justin, is even more handsome up close than he appears on television. He’s very witty and quick on his feet, and not all of his quips are scripted, either.

Jennette McCurdy would make a great role model for any young lady. After taping the show, she tracked us down to personally thank us for researching her video and making the display so personal. Super nice and super smart young lady who really seems to have her head screwed on. She has a long and brilliant future ahead of her.”

“I’m sure this all sounds very Polly-Anna but our experience was completely positive, if also exhausting. I was ready to throw in the towel and go home after the fire which was much larger in person than it appears on tv but my assistant and daughter Kyndall jumped in and gave me a stern pep talk, reminding me that we were not done and not giving up. I am so blessed to have her in my life and to have her support in this crazy, crazy business.”

Official press release:

Carolina Cupcakery has a secret to spill, finally.

A company that recently won The Virginian Pilot’s “Best of” contest, Carolina Cupcakery says the network waited to air this show for a good reason.  “Due to some  crazy events that occurred during taping, the show we’re featured in—episode no. 13— was saved for the season’s grand finale,” says Dawn Eskins, owner of the cupcakery, “there’s never been an episode like this one”.

The grand finale aired Sunday, September 11th at 8 p.m. on the Food Network.

Carolina Cupcakery opened as the area’s first cupcake bakery in 2007 and has been receiving national attention ever since. After being featured in Modern Bride and sponsoring two episodes of Extreme Home Makeover, the company was also in consideration for the show that is now DC Cupcakes.

Reruns are set to air on November 22 at 8pm and Nov. 29 at 7pm.

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