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'Cake Boss: Next Great Baker' Finale: And The Winner Is... (VIDEO)


First Posted: 01/31/2012 3:33 am Updated: 01/31/2012 9:23 am

After a long competition, only three contestants remained on the season finale of "Next Great Baker" (Mon., 9 p.m. EST on TLC). It was a night of celebration with the winner being crowned, but TLC also took some time out before the finale to air a retrospective of the season. While it was light in parts, the cast did address the suicide of contestant Wesley Durden after filming of the season had wrapped.

The night began with Ryan Cimorelli, Marrisa Lopez and Nadine Reibeling all vying for $100,000, as well as a job working with the "Cake Boss" himself, Buddy Valastro. The girls got off to a quick start -- literally, as the first challenge had them racing to crack eggs the fastest. Marrisa won this contest.

The next challenge had them baking items to sell at Buddy's bakery. Once again, Ryan struggled to match the women in quantity, and while he did sell out quickly, he just didn't have enough product to stay competitive. Nadine won that challenge and took on Marrisa in the final bake-off.

For the win, they had to create a 4-foot tall cake that represented the American Dream. Both bakers went with a dreamlike story of their own journeys, and it looked like it was going to be a close competition that came down to the wire. But in the end, it was Marrisa Lopez who won it all.

"I would have loved for her to win as well and I wish we could split it," Marrisa said of her competitor and friend. "But there can only be one, and I'm just so happy it's me."

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