Megan

It's Not Just About Cakes for Chad

01/24/2012

Chad-fitzgerald-250x200He went home in the box truck Monday night, but Chad isn't bitter about his experience on Next Great Baker!

TLC: What was your reaction to the elimination?
Chad: Well, I'd lie if I said I was ready or happy, but I knew it was gonna happen. I was definitely upset. It's a game. Everyone goes home at one time except for one. I wanted to be that one, but with being letdown for going home comes a great amount of pride and strength. I wanted to win.

TLC: Who would you say was your best NGB ally?
Chad: Ally is a very important word. I would say Megan. I felt like and still feel like Marissa is my little sister. Well, if I had one, I would want her!

TLC: What are your plans now?
Chad: I resigned teaching high school, but in January I reapplied and was accepted back into the same class and school I left. SO HAPPY!! We have three shops (one in Dallas and two in Duncanville), and we just plan to grow and see what happens. The next two years will be very important to decide the direction we want to go.

TLC: What were your impressions of Buddy?
Chad: Buddy is a great guy. Definitely a perfectionist. He wants the best for us and continually challenged us. Buddy is a stand-up guy; I respect him because I believe that he had our best interests at heart 100 percent of the time.

TLC: Would you have done anything differently during the elimination challenge?
Chad: I think I did the best I could with the situation.

TLC: Any last words for your fans?
Chad: I want everyone to know how much I appreciate them...all of them. I hope that at time of adversity, everyone learns to stay true to yourself. I'm not a crybaby, but I am very emotional. I don't throw people under the bus; you saw small clips of conversations.
    I live my life very intense. I love to challenge myself and that's what makes us all better as individuals. Kind words go a long way. Smiles are so inviting. Helping others can help them win, but in the process, you win, too.
    Marissa told me one day, "Chad, you are the realest person I have ever met!" I think that is such a compliment. Be real. Be true and be yourself. This adventure is a complete blessing. I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to participate in this experience. I can't begin to explain my feelings and the depth of my gratitude.
    It's not just about cakes. Life is sweet, too!

Post-NGB, Megan Makes a BIG Change

01/19/2012

Megan-hart-250x200Megan filled us in on life after elimination -- and she's made some big changes.

TLC: What was your reaction to the elimination?
Megan: It wasn't that shocking to me...I had a feeling I was going home, as did Melo. We discussed it prior to the elimination.

TLC: Who would you say was your best NGB ally?
Megan: My greatest ally in this cast was Chad, and second Marissa. I love them both, we clicked, we got each other, and we understood each other. I just love these two people so much and wish them nothing but the best, as I also hope and pray for the rest of my castmates -- a really great bunch of talented people!

TLC: What has happened in your life since filming the show?
Megan: After I came back from filming, I went back to work as a paramedic, still doing cakes as a hobby.
    In October, I got pneumonia and landed myself in the hospital for about a week. I went home and my condition worsened. I called my crew to come and take me back to the hospital, and about 12 hours later, I was in the Neuro ICU on a ventilator...life support.
    I had a very bad case of pneumonia. For most of the month of November, I was hospitalized. My co-workers raised over $1,400 on my behalf for my family and myself to cover medical expenses. I have been on disability ever since and am fighting real hard to get better.
    In the midst of this, I was offered an amazing opportunity to be THE head baker for Dozen Bake Shop in Pittsburgh. My husband does not wish to go through seeing me ever again exposed to some of the things paramedics are exposed to, so he wants me to do it. Maybe I'll be Pittsburgh's very own Cake Boss?

TLC: What are your plans now?
Megan: I will be saying goodbye to 13-plus years of being a paramedic, and it rips out my heart to walk away. But I do think at this stage of my life, it will be the best for my mind, body, soul and home life. Being a paramedic takes its toll, like most public safety jobs. I no longer want to be a part of someone's death or the death of someone's loved one. I want to be there to see people's faces light up at celebrations and milestones celebrated by CAKE! Talk about opposite ends of the rainbow for me!

TLC: What were your impressions of Buddy?
Megan: I think Buddy is a great person. He and his family are genuine people, and they are very down to earth! For Buddy, a man as busy as he is, to sit and talk to us after the filming of the shows, that makes me a winner -- not too many people have that opportunity. I did! I learned so much.

TLC: Would you have done anything differently during the elimination challenge?
Megan: No, because I knew the guitar was going to fall. I said it from the start, I wasn't understanding what Nadine wanted me to build. I expressed my concerns, and it just didn't translate. Maybe if I would have said, "I won't take responsibility for the guitar falling," but who knows? I now know how I would build it if someone asks for it, but you can't beat yourself up over something that is foreign to you in the first place.

TLC: Any last words for your fans?
Megan: Thank you so much. It warms my heart that people have contacted me, rallied around me and supported me. I'm humbled. I want to say that at the age of 38, in the midst of one of the worst times of my life, I mustered up what little confidence I had and BELIEVED in myself.
    Believe in yourself, be your own best cheerleader, dance to the beat of your own drum, and above anything else, have fun! If you aren't having fun at what you're doing, it's not worth it anyore! Do what you LOVE; LOVE what you do!
    If I can do it, anyone can! I'm just a normal, blue-collar, hard-working person, and I stepped outside of my comfort zone and did this -- without a single regret at all.

Get even more Megan from her official fan page, including a special video message!

About the Series

Join Buddy Valastro as he puts 13 talented pastry chefs through the ringer to earn the title of "Next Great Baker." Check back each week to get Corina's insider analysis and other hot news!
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