Winx Club Forever
Mitzi's Challenge is the one-hundred and eighteenth issue of the Winx Club Comic Series.
Bloom and the Winx guest-star on a popular show in Gardenia, the Jenny Joy Show, and Mitzi uses this as an opportunity to call Bloom out in front of thousands. Wanting to prove that Bloom is nothing special without her magic, Mitzi challenges her to a cooking challenge that will be televised live within three days and, if Bloom loses, she must give up her powers! Bloom takes on Mitzi's challenge but, unfortunately, she is not well versed in cooking, and needs to learn how to prepare a full-course meal before the challenge. To make matter worse, everyone's favorite trio of witches hid themselves amongst Jenny Joy's crowd and heard everything.
The story opens up with a little girl eagerly calling her mom into the living room just as Bloom arrives on the Jenny Joy Show as a guest-star. Jenny Joy has her audience welcome Bloom with roaring applause as she asks the young fairy how she feels. Bloom tells Jenny that this is all an exciting experience for her and dedicates the applause she got to her best friends sitting in the front row, the Winx. After the audience cheers on the Winx, Jenny and Bloom settle down in their seats as Jenny tells Bloom how everyone loves her and that so many little girls look up to her as a role model, wanting to be just like her. Bloom admits to this being a wonderful thing but points out that it also gives her a great responsibility as she tries to lead by example to continue being a good role model.
Just then, a voice from the crowd dismisses all of this to be "stupid chatter" and Mitzi rises from the stands to declare that she would like to see how Bloom would fair without the use of her magic. With the crowd still confused, Mitzi takes the opportunity to publicly challenge Bloom—one without any magic tricks—and asks if Bloom will either accept to these terms or chicken out. Naturally, Bloom demands that Mitzi choose where and when this challenge will take place and Mitzi reveals that the challenge will be a cooking competition that will go down in three day's time. Jenny excitedly jumps at the challenge, declaring it to be a "spaghetti grudge match" and proclaims that the show's Gardenia channel will broadcast it live.
Mitzi stomps down from the stands and onto the stage as she tells Bloom to prepare to look like a total fool. Bloom claims that she is not afraid and that she could easily beat Mitzi with only one hand, even without magic. Mitzi then adds that if Bloom were to lose to her, then she must relinquish her powers, but this does not make Bloom back out. Jenny then signs the show out by telling her audience to tune in in three days to see whether Bloom can keep her powers or not, all while everyone remains clueless to an invisible trio of witches who are standing in the crowd and the Trix certainly will not pass up the chance to not only make Bloom look like a fool, but also get a chance to strip her of her powers.
Afterwards, the Winx return to their Gardenia home, and Bloom rants about how Mitzi always gets on her nerves. She then begins to regret accepting her challenge as she does not even know how to cook a radish, until Flora politely corrects her about how radishes are eaten raw, not cooked. Bloom only becomes more disheartened as Flora's correction was proof enough to show that she knows nothing about cooking, and she dreads the thought of losing her fairy powers. The girls gather around Bloom as Stella tells her not to joke around like that as she offers up their help and Aisha adds that a person can learn a lot in just three days.
And so, on the first day of Bloom's cooking training, she is woken up early in the morning by Musa banging a pot lid as Stella displays an apron that she will be wearing. Once in the kitchen, Musa decides that they should start with learning how to make a plate of pasta—stir-fried macaroni in fact—as Flora insists that, for an appetizer, they make a salad made of violets, primroses and chicory. However, once Bloom tries to cook the stir-fried macaroni, flames erupt from the frying pan! This results in singed pasta, with Aisha even commenting on how Bloom tried to cook the macaroni without even boiling it first, but Stella points out how the salad came out just fine as Kiko is gobbling it all up.
On the second day, Bloom and Stella try to make a creamy velvety cherry tomato and ginger tart. Bloom is fairing well with slicing the tomatoes as Stella uses her magic on the oven to make the tart bake faster. Unfortunately, Kiko puts the tomato slices into the blender without properly capping it and the oven begins to go haywire, resulting in quite a big mess. Flora and Tecna rush into the kitchen to see what happened as Stella tries to turn the situation around by claiming that at least the cream turned out fine.
On the final day, just hours before Mitzi's cooking challenge, Bloom manages to successfully make a plate of spaghetti with breadcrumbs and pistachio pesto sauce! After serving her spaghetti to Stella, Tecna and Flora, Stella praises Bloom on a job well done but points out that she overdid it a bit with the salt. Flora then advises that Bloom always taste-test her food before serving it as Stella adds in that the meatballs Bloom made were practically inedible. Bloom begins to fear the upcoming contest as she still has many more dishes to learn, but her worries are interrupted by a voice calling out for her to hug her. When Bloom turns to her right, she finds that her parents have come to cheer her on!
Bloom runs into their arms and expresses her worries as Vanessa happily embraces her child while Mike gives some encouraging words. Bloom cannot seem to settle down and claims that if she were just half the talented cook her mother was then she would have a shot at winning as Vanessa's homemade chocolate mousse is unsurpassable. Vanessa assures Bloom that her recipe is simple as she just uses her secret ingredient. Desperate to know what it is, Bloom pleads for her mom to tell her and Vanessa naturally complies; whispering the secret ingredient into Bloom's ear. After hearing this, Bloom regains her confidence and begins to believe that she can win the challenge.
And so, later that night, Jenny appears on her show to welcome the audience and introduce them to the scheduled cooking competition between Bloom and Mitzi. After some applause, Jenny asks the two girls if they are ready and, once Bloom and Mitzi confirm that they are ready, Jenny directs the audience and cameras to the three strict judges that have been chosen to oversee the competition: an unforgiving food critic and director of the "Super Pans" magazine, Ginger Mac Arony; the chef that runs Il Polpo Innamorato, the most fashionable restaurant in Gardenia, Anthony La Sagna, and most award winning chef on the entire planet, Joe Turtellinus.
Everyone in the audience takes notice of how the judges look like ones that will be tough to impress as Jenny proclaims that both competitors must make a full-course meal consisting of an appetizer, main dish and dessert and that all three meals will be judged based on taste and presentation. She reaches for a red card pulled out by one of her stagehands as she continues to explain that both competitors must cook under the same time limit and that Bloom will be disqualified if she is caught using her magic. After receiving the card, Jenny announces that their appetizer must be an avocado salad. The big clock on set begins to count down as both girls only have twenty minutes to make the salad, so the two of them rush towards the table where all the vegetables are placed.
Meanwhile, from the stands, the invisible Trix prepare to sabotage Bloom's chances of winning, starting with Darcy sneaking on set. As the two of them rush to prepare their appetizers in time, Darcy sneaks up from behind Bloom and dumps a whole jar's worth of hot sauce onto Bloom's salad as she is preoccupied with taste-testing. Soon enough, Jenny stops the girls and announces the tasting portion of the first round.
Mitzi presents a salad with an avocado, corn and asparagus base flavored with balsamic vinegar, to which Joe Turtellinus expresses his disappointment in Mitzi's presentation. After the three judges taste her salad, though, they reward her with a total of 24 points: an 8 from Ginger, a 9 from Anthony and a 7 from Joe, who adds that Mitzi's salad "tasted like cat and detergent." Bloom presents her salad next as one "with an exotic touch" made from avocado with tomatoes, lemon, chopped red peppers of coriander. The three judges seem to be impressed with Bloom's presentation but, when they give it a taste, Ginger and Joe's mouths catch on fire from the spice! Anthony, on the other hand, seems to have quite enjoyed Bloom's salad.
Naturally, the audience (and the Trix) laugh at the judges' zany expressions as they try to save face. As Ginger chugs down a vase full of water, Anthony praises Bloom on being courageous enough to try such a spicy recipe, but Joe makes a snide remark on how he would much rather call in the fire department before his mouth catches fire. They then reward Bloom with a total of 22 points—a 7 from Ginger, a 10 from Anthony, and a 5 from Joe—leaving Bloom 2 points behind Mitzi, which the Winx lament about from the stands.
Just as Bloom tries to figure out what went wrong with her salad, Jenny assures her not to get too worked up and announces the meal for the second round: eggplant meatballs. Unfortunately, this is possibly makes things worse for Bloom as Stella points out from the stands that Bloom's meatballs from earlier were an utter disaster. Meanwhile, Icy decides that she will be the one to sabotage Bloom's recipe for this round and stomps on-stage as her sisters eagerly await the results.
The second round quickly begins and Jenny notices how Bloom is already struggling with peeling her eggplants. As Bloom tries to remember all of the ingredients, Icy sneaks up next to her and turns a bowl of one of the ingredients into one full of spiders! Just as Icy is about to sneak back into the stands, she knocks over a bag of flour, which she steps in and leaves footprints behind. Surprised by the falling bag, Bloom looks over and sees footprints just next to her feet and realizes what is at play. She then grabs the bag of flour and flings its contents into the air, landing on Icy! With their cover blown, the Trix do away with their invisibility and prepare to destroy the Winx. Just as the Winx spring into action, Musa reminds Bloom that she will be disqualified if she tries to transform and tells her to leave the Trix to them as they go into their Sirenix.
The Trix quickly unleash a powerful Dark Sirenix Convergence at the Winx and even at the crowd, but their Convergence is neutralized by Flora conjuring up her Gaia's Defense. One of the blasts from the Trix's Convergence bounces off of the Gaia's Defense shield and towards Jenny and Mitzi, but Bloom leaps in front of the two, whacking back the blast with the back of a frying pan as she proclaims that she is still a Winx with or without her magic. The shot that Bloom deflected hurls into Stormy and knocks her out quickly, which leaves Icy and Darcy with no other option but to retreat. With the Trix gone, Jenny resumes the cooking competition and calls the judges out of hiding, however, thanks to the Trix's attack, they are unable to continue on from the second round, so Jenny cancels it. This leaves Bloom with a better shot at winning, which Stella even cheers for, while Mitzi claims that Jenny is not being fair because she would have won.
Leaving the stage crew to clean up the mess the Trix left behind, Jenny moves the competition on to its third and final round, where Mitzi and Bloom are tasked with making mousse al chocolate. Bloom and Mitzi quickly get to work on their deserts as Jenny asks whether Mitzi can keep her lead or if Bloom can overtake Mitzi by her two-point lead. Soon enough, the cooking portion of the final round ends and Mitzi is the first to present her dish, which is a white chocolate mousse with candied violets, chopped hazelnuts and dark chocolate decorations. As the judges taste her white chocolate mousse, Joe claims that the mousse was "as ugly as a nose pimple that shows up on your birthday" but even he admits that it is delicious. Anthony agrees and all three judges reward Mitzi with three 9s or a total score of 27 adding onto her 24 points, bringing Mitzi's score to 51.
Bloom then presents her dish, which is a dark chocolate mousse with candied orange peels, dollops of cream and peppermint leaves with a secret ingredient from her mother. The three judges each take a spoonful of Bloom's dark chocolate mousse and are enchanted by how well she had done. Ginger claims that the mint touches were a genius idea and Joe is brought to tears as he is reminded of his grandma's cooking. When asked what their votes are, all three judges rise from their seats as they reward Bloom with triple 10s! This brings her total to 52, making her the victor of the competition by just one point!
The crowd erupts in cheers as Bloom approaches Mitzi and asks them if they are no longer enemies now. Though reluctant, Mitzi admits defeat and agrees with Bloom's statement as they shake hands, but she claims that she still cannot stand her. Jenny applauds the two girls being respectful to one another and stops Bloom before she can leave as she wants to know what the secret ingredient to her dark chocolate mousse was. Bloom tell Jenny that she simply followed her mom's advice and cooked with lots of love because, if one cooks with a lot of heart, then they will always be successful. She then winks at the camera as she makes it a "fairy promise" and the little girl who tuned into the show leaps with joy with her Bloom doll in hand as her parents watch over her.
- Dark Sirenix Convergence - Used by the Trix upon being discovered.
- Gaia's Defense - Used by Flora to block the Trix's Convergence.
- On page 2 and up to page 4, Flora's bangs are inverted.
- The Winx Club
- This issue included the Winx Trendy Fairies figurines.