‘Candy Land’ becomes Kristin Chenoweth’s latest TV address
With her knack for the high-spirited and the fanciful, Kristin Chenoweth has an ideal new television home in “Candy Land.”
The Tony- and Emmy-winning singing and acting dynamo helps bring the classic game to life by hosting a Food Network competition series premiering Sunday, Nov. 15. The colorful sets are completely edible as players vie for a $25,000 grand prize by using ingredients found in such areas as Chocolate Mountain, the Peppermint Forest and the Lollipop Woods to create confections and advance along the game board en route to King Kandy’s Castle. Nacho Aguirre and Aarti Sequeira are the judges who gauge their culinary efforts.
The ever-energetic Chenoweth says she’s amused to be on Food Network now, since she attests, “I avoid my kitchen! I just don’t go in there, so when they called me, I said, ‘I don’t know my lower oven from the upper one.’ And they said, ‘No, no, it’s “Candy Land,” We want you,’ And I thought, ‘Well, OK. This could be cool.’ And I started to see pictures of the sets, and it reminded me of Broadway. And I thought, ‘I need to be there.’ ”
Also enjoying her “fashion moment” with her haute-couture outfits for the show, Chenoweth cheerfully admits that since her “Candy Land” surroundings actually can be eaten, she’s fought to control her cravings. “There is a river of real chocolate,” she reports, “and what’s the first thing you want to do when you see that? You want to stick your finger in it. And since I’ve never done a reality competition before, I didn’t realize there were cameras everywhere. And the next thing I knew, it was in the show.”
Despite the quieter period brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, the strongly work-oriented Chenoweth now seems to be everywhere again. In addition to having recently released movies on HBO Max (“The Witches”) and Netflix (“Holidate”), her “Orphans of God” duet single with country star Ty Herndon debuted in late October. She also will lead a two-year Masterclass program in screen acting for her alma mater, Oklahoma City University, that begins in January.
Even with all that activity, “Candy Land” in particular is giving Chenoweth professional and personal fun at a time when she especially welcomes it.
“I’m like everybody,” she reflects. “I have the days when I think, ‘Are we ever going to be “normal” again? And what will that look like?’ I had just started up my tour for ‘For the Girls’ (her female-artist tribute album) and then it got stopped (by the pandemic), so I was like a horse at the gate, ready to go. I think that when we come back, we’re going to be stronger and better.”