“Kids Baking Championship” star is back in business

Totaro explains the confectionary treat shes working on to Kids Baking Championship judge Duff Goldman. She appeared on this season in 2019 and earned sixth place.
Totaro explains the confectionary treat she’s working on to Kids Baking Championship judge Duff Goldman. She appeared on this season in 2019 and earned sixth place.
Submitted by Madison Totaro

Junior Madison Totaro and baking extraordinaire since childhood is now working on fresh projects after she first appeared on the Food Network show, Kids Baking Championship, in 2019, as a 10-year-old contestant for their traditional season. 

“I never really thought about applying, but my mom [encouraged] me to because I wasn’t in any sports or extracurriculars,” Totaro said. “I applied, and I just kept on making it through the rounds.”

The online application process is certainly tedious, including 12 rounds of video submissions and questions inquiring on the motivation behind applying, personal baking background and any past awards candidates have received for their baking. Totaro successfully beat around 7,000 applicants for her spot on the show.

The first season that Totaro filmed took approximately one month to film during the summertime, as students can’t legally be taken out of school for filming. Totaro got sixth place and after the season was streamed, she was very popular amongst viewers. She was named a fan favorite and invited back for a Halloween Special.

“I had just been on TV and I knew halfway through the year that I was going on another show,” Totaro said. “It was weird because everybody was either scared to talk to me, or they wanted to be my friend [without] actually wanting to be my friend.”

Totaro filmed the Halloween special, Tricks and Treats, for two weeks over the summer of 2019. The winner of this episode was awarded with $10,000 and an abundance of baking supplies. However, this isn’t where Totaro’s Food Network journey ends – she recently filmed more content for Kids Baking Championship.

“I just finished filming a look-back in November,” Totaro said. “It’s not like I’m back in the kitchen.”

In this look-back, Totaro reflects on several clips of her past seasons, explains the behind-the-scenes, her strategies, and gives insights into several other aspects of the show that aren’t obvious from a viewer’s perspective.

“[For] the first couple of years, I would get recognized on the streets, [which] was really weird,” Totaro said. “Now it’s a lot less, but once these two other shows come out, I think it’ll start happening again.”

Totaro recognizes that there are potential drawbacks of the show depending on what you do in the competition, and she even recalls a fellow competitor who faced lots of negativity. For her, however, the aftermath was positive, as she learned how to deal with big production companies, business-running schemes and established a wide variety of new connections.

“There are celebrities who happen to work on the show and are in the studios next to us,” Totaro said. “All of these people are my friends, so it’s really cool to see our experience go on TV.”

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About the Contributor
Aisha Rashid, Editor
Aisha Rashid is a junior, elated to be Feature Editor this year on the Voice. She is the president of the ConnectHER club, secretary of Muslim Culture Club, secretary of NEHS and secretary of MYNA Austin. In her free time, Aisha loves spending time with family and friends, baking, volunteering and traveling.

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