Valerie Bertinelli's Kids Baking Championship Exit, Explained

Actress and TV personality Valerie Bertinelli said she was unceremoniously dropped from the Food Network's "Kids Baking Championship" after 12 seasons of hosting and judging. The move comes after the network opted out of renewing her contract, which ended in 2022, Bertinelli's manager Mark Schwartz said in a statement to Variety.

Bertinelli, who hosted and judged the competition show alongside Duff Goldman since its debut in 2015, took to Instagram on January 20 to confirm the news. "I've been avoiding facing what I got confirmation [of] last night... because it really hurt my feelings," the former Food Network star said in an emotional video. "I know it's not supposed to. Logically, I know it's business. Budget cuts, right? But it really hurt my feelings to know that I'm not going to be asked back to be on 'Kids Baking Championship.' It really sucks."

Bertinelli explained that the show acted as a personal "flotation device" for her, keeping her head above water as she navigated a difficult divorce in 2022. "Without sounding like a drama queen, the show saved my life," she said. Although the Food Network has yet to respond to  Bertinelli's claims that she was not asked to return as host of "Kids Baking Championship," the story has continued to evolve since the former "One Day at a Time" star broke the news on Instagram late last week.

Bertinelli says the Food Network ghosted her

After People shared an article claiming "Valerie Bertinelli 'Wanted to Continue' on Food Network but 'Talks Stalled," the ousted actress responded with a tweet suggesting the headline was misleading. "There were never any talks, so no talks could be stalled," Bertinelli wrote on X.

Although she claims that her lack of involvement in the show's annual holiday special gave her the sense that she might be getting the boot, Bertinelli says the news wasn't confirmed until she received a text from a "third party" on January 19. "LOL I was basically ghosted," she wrote. Nevertheless, the scorned host said in a separate tweet that she harbors no ill will toward the Food Network.

"I think I'm most sad that I won't be able to tell everybody [working on "Kids Baking Championship"] what they mean to me," she says in the video. After gushing over her former co-workers, Bertinelli had a message for the kids on upcoming seasons she now won't get the pleasure of working with. "I just want you to remember this: You are there for a reason. You're some of the best bakers in America right now, and if you don't make it to the next round, please always remember, it's not because you're not a good baker. You just had a bad day."