Date: June 12, 2007
Marketer: WE TV
Venue: Times Square's Military Island
It's never too early to have some cake. At least that's what the WE cable channel thought when it hosted the Bridezillas Take the Cake competition in the middle of Times Square.
Decked out in their bridal togs and veils, 15 brides-to-be, selected by radio station WPLJ and the net, filtered into midtown Manhattan, ready to chow down on enough wedding cake to win the $25,000 prize. Think Takeru Kobayashi (the champion hot-dog eater) in a wedding dress.
Twenty mini yellow cakes with white or blue frosting were placed on three-tiered trays before each bride-to-be, along with three bottles of water. The individual who at the most cakes in two minutes was the winner. "It's like 'Bridezillas' take over Manhattan," said WE General Manager Kim Martin. "We brainstormed ideas for this and felt this was the most appropriate."
In the middle of the mess of brides, their friends, families and the press, early-morning commuters walked by the concrete island with looks of complete confusion. Those who had time to kill before clocking into the office stayed and waited for the soon-to-be explosion of dessert to begin.
Katie McKearain of Westwood, N.J., whose wedding will be in September, was one of the lucky 15. Although she's normally not considered a Bridezilla, according to her mother, Grace, Katie was willing to put that aside for the day's competition. "She's a police officer, so she's determined. I never underestimate her," Grace said as she cheered words of encouragement to her daughter.
After WPLJ DJ Brad Blanks laid down the rules, Andrea De Soto, the Bridezilla featured in the first episode of season four, gave the women a piece of advice for their special day. "If you have to step on any toes so be it," said Mrs. De Soto of Orange County, Calif. "It's OK to be a Bridezilla."
Couldn't keep it all in
Once the whistle blew, the brides ravaged their tiers. While their loved ones cheered, the women stuffed their mouths -- one contestant, in fact, couldn't quite stomach all the cake she downed. But she gracefully turned to the side and took care of her business.
After the two minutes were up, the judges -- dressed in tuxedos -- examined the eating stations. And Stephanie Florio, who ate a total of nine cakes, was declared the winner. Her fingers covered in blue frosting, the 24-year-old Long Island native accepted her large cardboard check from Ms. Martin.
Ms. Florio said she will be using the money to upgrade her wedding, but will have a carrot cake laced in white frosting. "The cake was disgusting," she said. "Maybe if I had one bite it would've been OK."
The cake may have been gross, but could this eating contest make people want to watch the show? Ms. De Soto, who occasionally watched the program, thought the event was a great way to expose the public to "Bridezillas."
"I think it was so cute seeing girls in wedding gowns in Times Square," she said. "It was funny to see everyone stuff themselves with cake. Making your wedding better with the money is so Bridezilla-esque."
For this reporter, one thing is certain: Cake will never look the same again.