Lemon Bay High’s own Kyle Smothers was first to be chopped from his Food Network debut on “Girl Scout Cookie Championship.” But the Team Mistle Toasters captain is still going strong in the “Holiday Wars” baking game.

Soon we’ll know whether his team took home the show’s $25,000 prize.

Still, the challenges just kept on coming for Seattle-based pastry chef Smothers.

“We have a new cake artist,” he announced at the beginning of Episode 4, which premiered Nov. 22.

In Episode 3, Mistle Toasters team member Sybille Kroemer had succumbed to a crippling bout of back pain.

“Unfortunately, last episode, Sybille was just unable to move forward,” Smothers explained, while introducing her replacement.

A former contestant in Food Network’s concurrently airing “Candy Land” competition, cake artist Tiffany Lightfoot’s Orange Team had been eliminated in the first episode of the new show hosted by actress Kristin Chenoweth.

Lightfoot got another chance as a Mistle Toaster.

“I am nervous,” she admitted. “They’ve been working together already, and I don’t know what to expect.”

Mistle Toaster Corinda Baum said, “The hardest part of having a new team member is getting that person on board with the vibe and the feel that we have. She was literally thrown into the fire, but Tiffany is very much rising to the challenge.”

Teamwork became a common thread running through Episode 4.

Loose teamwork proved the downfall of Team Treat Yo Elf in the episode’s first round. The team, whose members complained of being “like puzzle pieces that are not fitting,” suffered its third benching and had to go home, leaving four teams moving forward.

As in previous episodes, Smothers’ life inspired his team’s creation for the “When Toys Come Alive … And Go Wild” challenge.

“My dog Spice destroyed every toy. What if the toys took revenge on Spice?” he suggested.

Corinda Baum applied her sculpting skills to the tied-up pet that became the focus of the piece.

“I wouldn’t trust anyone else to bring Spice to life,” said Smothers.

But with Lightfoot’s ambitious Christmas tree threatening to collapse, host Raven-Symoné needled, “Tiffany, listen here, the name of the game is to keep things standing.”

Smothers stepped in to shore up both the tree (with rice cereal treats) and his teammate (with encouragement).

“Tiffany, I think you and I are working really well together on this tree,” he soothed.

Then the tree slid down in a heap of green buttercream and rice cereal.

With an hour left in the challenge, Smothers used his buttercream expertise to instead paint a popcorn-swagged tree on the scene’s backdrop.

“What I love about you Mistle Toasters is you always bring it back!” Raven-Symoné said.

Though they didn’t win the latest round, Smothers and team headed to the show’s next episode, “Critter Christmas,” premiering at 8 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 29, on Food Network.

The season finale, a destination “North Pole Wedding,” premieres at 8 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 6, when judges Shinmin Li and Erin Acevedo decide which of the four teams takes home $25,000.


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