Valerie Bertinelli Appears in Her Last Episode of “Kids Baking Championship” After Exiting the Show

Bertinelli has co-hosted the series alongside Duff Goldman since season one

<p>Food Network/Youtube</p> Valerie Bertinelli on Kids Baking Championship

Food Network/Youtube

Valerie Bertinelli on Kids Baking Championship

Valerie Bertinelli's time on Kids Baking Championship has come to an end.

On Monday night, Food Network aired the final episode of season 12, which saw tween baker Lila Smethurst crowned the winner of the competition. The finale, shot in summer 2022, was Bertinelli's last episode since she revealed in January that she won't be returning to the show for future seasons. The former cooking show host has been with the series since it began in 2015.

In celebration of the finale, Bertinelli's co-host, Duff Goldman, shared two images from the episode, which was themed spirit and science day. "Watch as the kids make tie dye doughnuts then prepare for a science fair!" he wrote on Instagram. "Lots of colors and erupting in tonight’s episode."

Goldman's followers were quick to point out that this would be his last with Bertinelli, and wished her well.

"It won't be the same without Valerie!" one person commented. "Love you and her together. It just won't be the same. You two have a natural bother/sister chemistry and wonderful I interaction with the children."

Related: Valerie Bertinelli Says Being Cut from Kids Baking Championship 'Really Hurts': 'The Show Saved My Life'

Other fans chimed in with their disappointment over Bertinelli's exit as well. "I have to agree with so many comments about this being the last time with Duff and Valerie as judges," a fan commented in part. "Their chemistry is genuine and they both have the most special way of supporting the kids without coddling them."

<p>Dominik Bindl/Getty</p> Valerie Bertinelli in 2019

Dominik Bindl/Getty

Valerie Bertinelli in 2019

Bertinelli announced in January that she had learned she was "not going to be asked back to be on Kids Baking Championship." At the time, the actress posted a video opening up about why the network's decision "really hurt my feelings."

Season 12 of the long-running show was shot during what the Hot in Cleveland actress called "my apex year of hell." (In 2022, she split from husband Tom Vitale after more than a decade of marriage.)

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"Without sounding like a drama queen, the show saved my life," Bertinelli said. She went on to add that staying productive and being in an environment where she could spread kindness helped her through her divorce.

She added, "It was like a floatation device. So it really hurts that I won't be able to go back and see everybody and say, 'Hey, I made it through.' "

Related: Valerie Bertinelli 'Wanted to Continue' on Food Network but 'Talks Stalled,' Sources Say

A source close to the production previously told PEOPLE that a return for Bertinelli was "absolutely discussed" after her contract ended. However, the star's team "decided they wanted more and talks stalled."

Another source said, "Her deal was up, and [Food Network] chose not to renew. They did not make a new offer, but Valerie very much wanted to continue."

Bertinelli used her announcement at the time to share some advice for future contestants on the show.

"You are there for a reason. You're some of the best bakers in America right now," she said. "And if you don't make it to the next round, please always remember this: It's not because you're not a good baker, you just had a bad day. So, always, always believe in yourself. Please do that for me. And keep baking. I'll miss you guys."

Bertinelli's show Valerie's Home Cooking was canceled in 2023.

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