Pumpkin-carving competition Outrageous Pumpkins is back on Food Network, just in time to give us jack-o-lantern inspiration before Halloween… or, at the very least, an inferiority complex about our own carving skills!
How I Met Your Mother actress Alyson Hannigan is back to host Season 2, emceeing four episodes that “take the traditional Halloween pastime to the next level,” as Discovery Inc. boasts in a news release.
In this second season, seven pumpkin carvers “dive headfirst into the most-insane, eerie, and outrageous challenges,” hoping their designs will impress judges Terri Hardin and Marc Evan, as the company explains. At stake? The title of Outrageous Pumpkin Champion and the $25,000 grand prize.
And for the Season 2 contestants, they’ve had to wait a year for their moment in the spotlight…
When is ‘Outrageous Pumpkins’ filmed?
According to The Monroe Sun, each season of Outrageous Pumpkins is filmed a year in advance. And that production schedule almost took Season 2 contestant Christine Scarpati out of the running. Christine is an elementary school art school teacher in Connecticut, and when production ramped up on Season 2 last year, her school district was rushing to develop a hybrid learning plan for its students.
Plus, Christine and her husband have two young kids at home. “I thought I’d have to turn [the Outrageous Pumpkins producers] down, because my family and my job comes first,” Christine told the Sun.
But Christine got a big morale boost from her school administrators. “They were so positive and confident in my skills,” she said. “[The superintendent] said, ‘You might win it. You might be there the whole time.’ They were really excited.”
Where is ‘Outrageous Pumpkins’ filmed?
Season 2 of Outrageous Pumpkins was filmed in Virginia, as the Journal-News reported in a profile of Season 2 contestant William Wilson.
Like Christine, William doesn’t count pumpkin-carving as his full-time job. By day, the Ohio resident is the owner and general manager of a full-service cleaning and restoration company.
“This is just something I got good at, and I was able to compete on a TV show,” he said of his side gig as a pumpkin carver. “Every year it seems like I was getting better and better, so I knew the opportunity would come soon.”
William got his start in pumpkin-carving after a friend encouraged him to enter a competition at the Columbus Zoo. Then he got involved with the carvers at the Operation Pumpkin festival in Hamilton, Ohio. “It started out with me just sweeping up as they were carving the big pumpkins, and helping them move the big pumpkins,” he said. “And I just got my opportunity.”
Eventually, William opted to streamline his life, devoting his time to family, work, and carving, as the Journal-News reported. “I can do 100 things decent, or I can do two or three things great, and that’s what I’m going to focus on, the three things I do great,” he told the newspaper.
Outrageous Pumpkins Season 2 airs Sundays at 10 p.m. ET on Food Network.