Halloween Wars Season 12 premiered on Food Network on Sunday, September 18, 2022, and just like last season, failed to impress the audience with its new format.
Until Season 10, the show used to premiere in October, but now it airs in September instead.
The season premiere left fans unimpressed since they did not like the reduced prize money, off-screen host or the lack of guest judges, and claimed that the new changes made the show look boring.
After the format changed for season 11 of Halloween Wars, which premiered last year, some fans even signed a petition demanding that the Small Scare challenge, an in-person host and pumpkin carvers be brought back to the show.
So far, the petition has received 511 signatures.
What are the changes in Halloween Wars this season?
The first disappointment was ghost adventurer Zak Bagans, who failed to make a good impression because he did not even appear on the show and instead hosted and gave challenges to the team via a TV screen.
Judges Aarti Sequeira, Shinmin L and Eddie Jackson also failed to impress viewers because having three judges meant no more surprise guest visitations. Previously, the third guest judge used to be someone related to the horror theme.
However, one saving grace this season was the inclusion of pumpkin carvers, unlike last season, when they were not included in the teams.
Previously, each team used to face two challenges: the Small Scare and the Spine Chiller. In the Small Scare, teams were asked to make their own interpretation of a scary theme within 45 minutes. This was followed up by a bigger challenge in the Spine Chiller round. The winners of the first round used to get an extra assist for the second one.
The showmakers of Halloween Wars did not include the Small Scare challenge this season, as was evident from the premiere, where the teams only competed in the Spine Chiller round.
The prize money for the winning teams has also been reduced from $50,000 (as seen in the first 10 seasons) to a mere $25,000.
Halloween Wars fans slam showmakers for making changes to the show's original format
Those who watched the premiere took to Twitter to complain about the new format and asked the showmakers to remove the changes made on the show. Fans also wrote that they missed the old set decoration of the show.
More about Halloween Wars Season 12 premiere
In the season premiere, team Mixin Vixens prepared a lifesize cake based on the theme of a vampire who invited everyone to his tea party but no one showed up. The team captured the vampire's anger with broken cups and plates. The judges loved the details on the figure and the blood splatters on the teeth.
Judge Eddie felt that the figure should have been a little bit more muscular. The judges also said that there was very little flavor in the tea cake.
Team Eerie Eats made a cake representing a werewolf who wanted to win the throne and had two faces of the Queen and King mounted on a wooden plank for decoration. Judges were blown away by the detailed wrinkled faces and hair. Their mask, a required item, was broken, but they managed to make one quickly.
Team Wicked Delicious made a vampire cake with the wife eating her husband's heart.
By the end of the episode, judges sent team Mixin Vixens home.
Next week on Halloween Wars, fans will see three teams making a prison themed life-size cake to qualify for the next round. The show airs on Food Network every Sunday at 9 pm ET.