Relatably bad bakers are one half of Nailed It!'s winning equation. The other is the host-expert duo of the endlessly energetic and extremely online comedian Nicole Byer and the super French, super charming pastry chef and chocolatier Jacques Torres. Byer's warm personality exudes support even when she's laughing at a disastrous effort, a quality she's effectively turned into a catchphrase ("I don't mean to laugh, but…," she says in every episode). And for being one of the most famous master pastry chefs in the world, Torres is a nonjudgmental voice of encouragement to the significantly less adept home bakers.
The guest judges, which could have easily been a throwaway casting job, add dimension to each episode through personality, repute, on-camera rapport. In the pilot, iconic celebrity cakestress Sylvia Weinstock wanders the kitchen during extended downtime (in other shows, she'd be forced to sit and watch) and misses cue cards. Her aloofness is clearly a welcome quality that immediately sets the tone of Nailed It! as a self-aware show with no interest in imitating the cooking shows that have come before. Rather, it's more content as the goofy outlier replete with a hearty sound effects palette at the ready.