Before we get into it, let’s get one thing out of the way: Jonathan Bennett, aka Aaron Samuels from “Mean Girls,” knows his hair looks sexy pushed back. It’s the most common line that he gets repeated back to him. And even as he’s moved on to other projects over the years, “Mean Girls” is still the first thing he’s recognized for out in public.
“Even just today at a pizza joint I was taking pictures with a girl,” he tells us while on the phone to talk about the upcoming “Cake Wars: CHAMPS” finale this Sunday (Mar. 26), which he hosts. “People are so excited to see someone from the pop culture they grew up with, and I’m always so happy to be a part of that.”
Since “Mean Girls,” Bennett has continued to work steadily in film and TV, including completing an arc on MTV’s hit show “Awkward.” and starring in the indie film “Do You Take This Man?,” out this month, opposite the newest member of “Star Trek: Discovery” Anthony Rapp. His current project, however, has been as host of Food Network’s “Cake Wars” since 2015, which includes “Cake Wars: CHAMPS” and its other spin off, “Cupcake Wars.”
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“I’m really excited about the finale,” says Bennett. “It’s Disney princess-themed, which is so fantastic. All the princesses come together, and we have the top of our top bakers all competing for this one, so the cakes are out of this world.”
As for his own baking skills, Bennett assures us the talent is all on the other side of the camera. “I’ve never cooked a day in my life, I’ve never baked a day in my life. I basically don’t know how I’m the host of ‘Cake Wars!’” he jokes. “I”m just there to drive the ship and make jokes. That I can do!”
And that he does well. Watching an episode of “Cake Wars” is like watching a kid in a literal candy store. Bennett jokes around the set like he’s on a sugar high, interacting with contestants and playing with the props, but still bringing that classic dramatic game show tension when it comes to final reveals.
“It is such a blast. Food Network… has been so good to me, and helped us have so much fun [on the show]. Now I’m obsessed with all those shows”
He also loves inspiring other people’s new obsessions, observing that people most likely watch the show to get tips and ideas of what to try themselves. He likes that he’s inspiring people try other things, and to try baking. He’s also realizing that he has a whole new fanbase.
“Our show has such a great kid element to it. I have so many little fans coming up to me at airports and stuff who recognize me and are coming up and telling me that they love watching ‘Cupcake Wars,’ and they try and do the competitions at home with their friends. It’s really fun to know that it’s inspiring kids to get off their iPads or phones and actually do something that’s hands on.”
Maybe someday they’ll also learn that they’re favorite host actually does look sexier with his hair pushed back.
“Cake Wars: CHAMPS” airs its finale episode Sunday, Mar. 26 at 10pm ET/PT. “Cake Wars” returns Monday, Mar. 27 at 8 P.M ET/PT.