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Wrap Battle: a new holiday competition from the producers of Skin Wars

Wrap Battle: a new holiday competition from the producers of Skin Wars
Freeform's new reality competition is Wrap Battle. (Photo by Kelsey McNeal/Freeform)

I have a soft spot for holiday-themed reality TV competitions, and wish there were more of them outside of cooking competitions on Food Network. ABC has The Great Christmas Light Fight, but truTV’s wonderfully jolly Santas in the Barn only lasted one season.

This winter, we’ll have a shortened, holiday version of NBC’s Making It, and also a brand-new competition on Disney’s cable network Freeform: Wrap Battle, a competition about wrapping gifts.

The clock that will be used to time Wrap Battle's challenges
The clock that will be used to time Wrap Battle’s challenges. (Photo by Kelsey McNeal/Freeform)

I hope the pun of the title is an indication of its tone. The series comes from the producers of Skin Wars and Window Warriors, which were both competitions I really enjoyed. And one of the judges of Window Warriors, Carson Kressley, will judge this show, too, which is another great sign.

Wrap Battle will have just six episodes and nine contestants, who are competing “in challenges ranging from creating the most over-the-top gift basket to wrapping some of the most outrageous objects,” according to Freeform.

They’ll be competing for $50,000—or, excuse me, a prize “valued at $50,000,” according to Freeform, which is apparently not giving away that much cash. Instead, they’ll get this prize package of product placement:

“In an unprecedented collaboration with Paper Source, the winner of Wrap Battle will receive a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to design their own custom holiday wrapping paper to be sold in at least 120 stores across the country. In addition, the winner will get to showcase their talent at The SoNo Collection, Brookfield Properties’ one-of-a-kind shopping destination in Norwalk, Connecticut, designed to celebrate fashion, art and culture. The winner will be part of the main event for the new, interactive holiday experience and will receive a $1,000 shopping spree to The SoNo Collection.”

Wrap Battle’s judges and guest judges

Carson Kressley, Watch What Happens Live
Original Queer Eye star Carson Kressley, on Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Bravo)

Carson Kressly will judge Wrap Battle along with Wanda Wen, who founded the paper company Soolip.

The host is The Talk co-host and comedian Sheryl Underwood.

Freeform also announced these “celebrity guest judges”:

  • Food Network star Sandra Lee
  • Vanderpump Rules star Lala Kent
  • Designer Sabrina Soto, who judged the first two seasons of The Great Christmas Light Fight
  • Tony-winner and Broadway producer Candy Spelling
  • actor Sherry Cola, who stars on Freeform’s Good Trouble
  • actor Diggy Simmons, who stars on Freeform’s grown-ish

The show will air this December on Freeform.

The network has mostly been out of the unscripted game the past few years, at least since 2016’s Ben and Lauren: Happily Ever After?, a one-season Bachelor follow-up, and Cheer Squad, a Canadian series it also broadcast; before that was 2015’s Startup U.

The set of Freeform's new reality competition, Wrap Battle
The set of Freeform’s new reality competition, Wrap Battle. (Photo by Kelsey McNeal/Freeform)

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About the author

  • Andy Dehnart is the creator of reality blurred and a writer and teacher who obsessively and critically covers reality TV and unscripted entertainment, focusing on how it’s made and what it means.

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