We will be updating this post live throughout the day, with the most recent news at the top. For full coverage, keep scrolling! Also check us out on Periscope, with the Blog Squad’s Rickey McCoy hosting the final round live from @pizzahutpeople.
That’s a wrap from us. We’ll have more video footage and interviews with the contestants coming soon! Thanks for joining us, and thanks to all the awesome team members who make our brand so great and brought the energy to Dallas today.
10:55AM: Here they are!! Your winners!
10:53AM:…Stephanie Mayes! Becky Schrock is our runner up, and Ron takes the bronze!
10:52AM: We have a winner! And the winner is…
10:47AM: The final round is a wrap! The crowd goes quiet as we anxiously await the final scores from the judges to find out the winner.
10:44AM: Meagan Bueltel stops by to give us her impression of the competition– as an athlete and the muscle behind Pizza Hut’s wellness programs, she knows a lot about what it takes to win. “All the participants have come out and given their A-game today. I can tell they’re making some great pizzas, and this contest is fierce. May the best person win! Do we get to eat the pizzas?” Meagan says.
10:39AM: Here we go! One last lighting round for all the glory. Two more pies are all that stand between these competitors and the big prize.
10:37AM …and they are: Becky Schrock, Ron Alvarez, and Stephanie Mayes!
10:36AM The judges are ready to announce the three finalists….
10:30AM While we’re waiting for the judges to announce the final round competitors, some volunteers from headquarters try their hand at prepping pizzas. Amy Gingerich from the Pizza Hut Training Team takes first in the minute-to-win-it challenge– despite the fact that she was following instructions for a veggie pizza while topping her pepperoni pie. Our team members make it look easy, people.
10:22AM We’re having a brief intermission while judges tally their scores and competitors to catch their breath. We turn to get some audience feedback: “This is probably the most fun and exciting event I’ve seen Pizza Hut put on. It’s a great way to celebrate and honor the heart and soul of our brand! I’m excited to see the finals!” says Jessica Herr from the Field Human Resources Department.
10:16AM Not one to be intimidated by Stephanie’s track record and 27 years of experience at Pizza Hut, Vinetta is really giving her a run for her money. The rookie finishes first in our final semifinal round, but Stephanie is concentrating on getting the specs perfect!
10:11AM Becky Schrock finishes first!! Ron looks composed though– and speed isn’t everything, as judging is based not only on how fast you can make pizza, but also the quality of your pies. Round 6 is a big one– the bronze prize winner from last year’s contest, Stephanie Mayes, is taking on Vinetta Swilley from the Jackson Region!
10:05AM Matt Hughes is the winner of round four!! And we’re live on Periscope– follow the blog squad’s Rickey McCoy as he broadcasts from @pizzahutpeople. That puts us at round 5 with Becky Schrock from the Great Lakes Region up against Ron Alvarez representing Southern Louisiana! Things are getting intense here in Dallas…
10:00AM Round three was a close one, with Jeffrey just barely edging out Shiann at the last second! Things are heating up here at the Hut Championships– and Jeffrey’s walking like a champion on his way back from the make tables. Lisa Bordeau and Matt Hughes are up next!
9:55AM Chris Garrett takes round 2!! The action isn’t letting up, with round 3 competitors Shiann Marion and Jeffrey Manning taking center stage (center table?).
9:47AM Round two is battle of the Chris’s: Chris Otoole vs. Chris Garrett. I’m sitting next to Chris Raleigh from the Pizza Hut Operations team. “Looks like both Chris’s are rockin’ it, and the product quality is fantastic! May the best Chris win!” he says in between cheers.
9:45AM Round one is Charity Reeves vs. Candice Robinson! The cheese is flying as the ladies go head to head in a battle of sauce and cheese. Part of scoring is timing, and Candice finishes first. On to the next round!
9:35AM The competitors have entered the arena! With aprons on, hands washed, and adrenaline pumping, the Regional Champs are introduced to the world. Round one starts at 9:45!
Today is the day! Twelve regional pizza-making champs are here at the Pizza Hut headquarters in Dallas to show off their saucing and topping skills in this year’s Pizza Championship semifinals and finals, and we’ll be covering the event live here as well as on Periscope (check out @pizzahutpeople for Rickey McCoy’s live broadcast!). Want to learn more about the competitors? Check out our earlier post here, pick your local hero or favorite team member, and let Rickey know who you’re rooting for!
The semifinal rounds kick off around 10AM CST, so make sure you’re tuned in on Periscope and watch this space for live updates throughout the competition.