Clinton Kelly Loves to Be a ‘Baking Voyeur’ on Food Network’s ‘Spring Baking Championship’

“I’m basically a 1950s housewife reincarnated,” says former co-host of “The Chew” and “What Not to Wear”

By his own admission, Clinton Kelly isn’t “a huge dessert person.” But that won’t stop the host from ogling every delicious confection that contestants prepare for judges on the new season of Food Network’s “Spring Baking Championship,” which premieres Monday at 9 p.m. ET.

“In this show, I’m not doing any of the work. I’m obviously working as host, but I’m not actually doing any cooking,” the former co-host of “The Chew” and “What Not to Wear” told TheWrap. “I can just be a baking voyeur.”

When he’s not appearing on food-centric shows like “Spring Baking Championship,” “Rachael Ray” or “Family Restaurant Rivals,” Kelly is actually quite a homebody, he says, which gives him time to do some of his own cooking. It’s something the former magazine writer and fashionista knows a thing or two about — some of his own personal recipes can be found in his 2008 book “Freakin’ Fabulous,” as well as in The Chew’s recipe archives of “The Chew.

“I’m basically a 1950s housewife reincarnated,” he laughed. “I love to iron. I could make myself very happy all day doing that kind of stuff. I became a really good cook by just doing it every day.”

But when it comes to “Spring Baking Championship,” there is only one person who can convince Kelly to sample some of the endless desserts that get churned out by the contestants each episode. That’s former “Farmhouse Rules” star Nancy Fuller, who serves as a judge on the seasonal baking competition series along with Duff Goldman and Lorraine Pascale.

“If it’s really good, Nancy will say, ‘You have to have this,'” Kelly said. “She’ll make the most perfectly composed bite on a spoon.”

Kelly prefers classic desserts — last season’s chocolate cake was his all-time favorite thing he’s eaten on “Spring Baking Championship.” But it’s really the baking contestants that keep his heart in the show. He wouldn’t divulge too much about what happens during the upcoming season except to say that there will be “some tears.”

“I really liked so many of the bakers that it was really sad when they got eliminated one by one,” he said. “I do my best to sort of befriend them, be cool, let them know that it’s a competition show and I’m just here to support them and have a good time.”

The new season of “Spring Baking Championship” premieres Monday, March 9 at 9 p.m. ET on Food Network.

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