Spring Baking Championship Season 7 had a suspenseful finale, as every competitor brought their A-game. That made Keya’s win very meaningful.
Keya Wingfield won the 2021 season of Spring Baking Championship and we’re here to explain why her win was so special and amazing. She soared high on her final bake with her garden cake, despite stiff competition from Derek Corsino and Natalie Soto. There was so much pressure to finish on a strong note.
Technically a home baker, Keya did start a baking business that she runs from her home kitchen. She found that customers loved her confections. Being on Spring Baking Championship has boosted her business. As her season’s winner (some past winners are doing very well these days), she also received a prize of $25,000, which is a significant amount of money. It isn’t often that a self-taught baker earns their way to the winning position, but it has happened more than once. On the show, Keya consistently brought her A-game, adding pop to her preheat whenever she won the coveted advantage. For example, Keya won the Holi preheat. Unsurprisingly, due to her Mumbai background, she knew how to work with the colors and the spices.
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The season finale featured a bug-themed challenge for the final cake. Bakers had to make a garden cake and feature two of six invertebrates presented on cards. They included bees, butterflies, ladybugs, spiders, dragonflies, and caterpillars. Derek said that he hoped he didn’t get spiders because he has arachnophobia. He probably shouldn’t have said that because preheat winner Natalie gave him spiders as one of his necessary invertebrates. Derek was very unhappy about that, and Natalie apologetically said that she had to use the advantage to win. Meanwhile, Keya got dragonflies and bees and she doesn’t have phobias related to those insects. Host Ali Khan announced that this time there was no twist, so they were off the hook. See Keya before the finale below:
The first reason why Keya’s win was so awesome is that she was a winner within a pandemic. Thanks to travel and work restrictions, Food Network had to put in 110 percent effort to make sure that no one on or off-camera was at risk of contracting the virus. Judge Lorraine Pascal’s was absent for that reason. It’s impressive that Keya was able to compete despite the restrictions.
Another reason why her win was special was the fact that her competition was quite formidable this season. Derek was the most likely winner, owing to how he always upped his game when he ended up in the bottom. Natalie was also a force to be reckoned with since she knew how to adjust to different challenges and limitations. She won the season finale preheat because she knew how to make her birds and nests look very edible. Like Derek, Natalie really was a contender, but couldn’t quite pull it off.
Keya is also inspirational because she was quiet about the fact that she was competing while she was four months pregnant. Some Food Network fans may recall that a previous contestant on Halloween Baking Championship (fans love the show’s social distancing), Amy Strickland, had to drop out while pregnant. She felt that the competition was affecting her health. That’s an understandable reason to gracefully withdraw. Filming for weeks on end and hoping to win can elevate stress levels.
Going by instinct, Keya persevered. She talked about how she hoped to inspire her daughter. She gave birth to her son in February, long after filming wrapped. Tragically, her baby son was born with health issues and has passed away, according to WTVR.
It was great that a woman of color and an immigrant took the Spring Baking Championship title. To those in the audience witnessing turmoil in real life, having that victory is meaningful. Keya has traveled countries, learned a new trade and started a successful business. Being a success means that fellow immigrants succeed as well.
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