If you’re a longtime fan of The Great American Baking Show: Holiday Edition, then you’re already well aware there’s some new faces this season with both the judges and co-hosts. Some of them may look familiar, others not so much. So who are they?
Anthony “Spice” Adams
Back on the show this year is former NFL player Anthony “Spice” Adams. It might have been just his nickname that originally got him the gig, but his personality and humor have made him a show staple.
Adams originally earned his nickname in high school, because he had braids that resembled a rapper from the West Coast called Spice 1. It became part of the on-field communication as he played offense.
The nickname went with him to college at Penn State, and eventually stuck. “It’s one of those nicknames where you’re not too fond of it … but around the 1500th time, somebody called me ‘Spice,’ and I finally started answering to it,” he explained in a 2016 podcast.
He also earned the nickname “Double A” for both his initials and his energy on the football field.
Adams played for the San Francisco 49ers from 2003 to 2007, and for the Chicago Bears from 2007 to 2011. He officially retired from football in 2013. In addition to hosting The Great American Baking Show, he also has a recurring role on the HBO series Ballers. Adams and his wife, Andenika, have four children.
Emma Bunton (formerly known as “Baby Spice”)
Even if you weren’t a teenage girl in the ’90s (like yours truly was), you have most likely heard of the Spice Girls, the British pop group that dominated the music charts and to date are the best-selling female group of all time (sorry, Destiny’s Child).
They even had their own movie (take it from someone who saw it in the theaters — twice — no need to see it if you haven’t already. Really).
The group has been on “hiatus” since 2000. If you’ve been missing the Spice Girls, then you’ll be pleased to hear that they’ll be embarking on a tour next year, with the exception of Victoria Beckham (“Posh Spice”), who apparently married some soccer player and has a fashion line.
Emma Bunton was nicknamed “Baby Spice” because she was the youngest of the group and often had her hair in pigtails and wore babydoll dresses. Hey, it was the ’90s, you know?
Since her time in the band, she’s done some solo albums and reunited with her bandmates to perform at the 2012 Olympics closing ceremony in London.
She’s even done some judging of her own on reality shows, as a judge on the British skating show Dancing on Ice. In 2011, she launched a children’s clothing line with British retailer Argos. She has two sons with partner Jade Jones.
Paul Hollywood is no stranger to judging baking shows. You may already recognize him from previous seasons of The Great American Baking Show, as well as The Great British Baking Show (known in the UK as The Great British Bake Off).
He can salute or slay your dish with just one look. He’s known for his poker face, his intense baby blues, and his high expectations when it comes to baking.
Paul’s literally grown up in the baking world: His father was baking proprietor John F. Hollywood. But Paul actually had his sights on sculpting at one point, studying at the Wallasey School of Art in Cheshire before he decided to leave art school and work as a baker.
He started out at his father’s bakery in York and eventually became head baker for several hotels throughout the UK, and then spent two years in Cyprus working at resorts.
Paul has been a judge on The Great British Baking Show ever since its debut in 2010, following the show when it switched networks in 2016.
He’s known in the baking industry for his delectable breads, and created an almond and roquefort bread recipe in 2008 that was said to be the most expensive bread in Britain. His bread cookbooks have received high praise, including from The Gourmand World Cookbook Awards.
Last but certainly not least is newcomer judge Sherry Yard. Unless you are a foodie or an avid Food Network watcher, you may not recognize Sherry, but she’s certainly proven herself in the culinary world.
Sherry’s a three-time James Beard Award winner, including for Outstanding Pastry Chef of the Year and Best Baking Cookbook.
In addition to her accomplishments in baking, she’s been a judge for various cooking and baking shows, including Halloween Baking Championship, Christmas Cookie Challenge, Food Network Star, and Top Chef: Just Desserts.
In 2008, she married dentist Edward M. Innes (a little ironic for a woman who’s dedicated her career to sweets!), and the couple resides in Manhattan Beach, California.
Emma and Sherry are both wonderful additions to this season, and we’re hoping they stick around for more seasons to come!
The semifinal and season finale of The Great American Baking Show: Holiday Edition airs Thursday, December 20, at 9 p.m. Eastern time on ABC.More: The Great American Baking Show