Tensions Rise as ‘Bake Off’ Draws to a Close

Tensions Rise as ‘Bake Off’ Draws to a Close

And​ ​so,​ ​it​ ​is​ ​that​ ​time​ ​of​ ​year​ ​again​ ​where​ ​the​ ​nights​ ​have​ ​begun​ ​to​ ​draw​ ​in​ ​and the​ ​prospect​ ​of​ ​going​ ​out​ ​after​ ​an​ ​intense​ ​two​ ​weeks​ ​of​ ​freshers​ ​fun​ ​is​ ​completely repulsive.​ ​So​ ​what​ ​better​ ​way​ ​to​ ​detox​ ​by​ ​gathering​ ​round​ ​the​ ​television​ ​and enjoying​ ​the​ ​final​ ​stages​ ​of​ ​this​ ​year’s​ ​Great​ ​British​ ​Bake​ ​Off!​ ​This​ ​year’s​ ​series has​ ​of​ ​course​ ​been​ ​highly​ ​debated​ ​after​ ​the​ ​controversial​ ​decision​ ​to​ ​move​ ​to Channel​ ​4,​ ​ousting​ ​Mary​ ​Berry,​ ​Mel​ ​Giedroyc​ ​and​ ​Sue​ ​Perkins​ ​and​ ​bringing​ ​in​ ​a fresh​ ​faced​ ​presenting​ ​team​ ​after​ ​a​ ​previous​ ​seven​ ​series.​ ​The​ ​risk​ ​has​ ​certainly seemed​ ​to​ ​pay​ ​off,​ ​with​ ​the​ ​seamless​ ​transition​ ​attracting​ ​twelve​ ​million​ ​viewers in​ ​its​ ​first​ ​episode,​ ​very​ ​nearly​ ​beating​ ​the​ ​13.8​ ​million​ ​viewers​ ​that​ ​‘A​ ​Woman​ ​of Substance’​ ​drew​ ​in​ ​1985,​ ​and​ ​becoming​ ​the​ ​most​ ​watched​ ​programme​ ​in​ ​the channel’s​ ​history.

As​ ​we​ ​approach​ ​the​ ​quarter​ ​final​ ​tonight,​ ​we​ ​as​ ​viewers​ ​really​ ​get​ ​to​ ​know​ ​the last​ ​remaining​ ​amateur​ ​bakers​ ​and​ ​this​ ​year’s​ ​series​ ​has​ ​provided​ ​us​ ​with​ ​a diverse​ ​range​ ​of​ ​characters,​ ​entertaining​ ​us​ ​through​ ​their​ ​successes​ ​and​ ​frequent mishaps.​ ​Steven​ ​stands​ ​out​ ​as​ ​the​ ​baker​ ​to​ ​beat,​ ​after​ ​becoming​ ​star​ ​baker​ ​once again​ ​after​ ​a​ ​few​ ​weeks​ ​of​ ​lost​ ​form.​ ​However,​ ​forever​ ​cool​ ​and​ ​collected Sophie’s​ ​quietly​ ​unassuming​ ​style​ ​places​ ​her​ ​as​ ​a​ ​secret​ ​underdog,​ ​nipping timorously​ ​at​ ​Steven’s​ ​heels.​ ​As​ ​the​ ​youngest​ ​contestant,​ ​Liam​ ​continues​ ​to impress​ ​viewers​ ​with​ ​the​ ​level​ ​of​ ​skill​ ​he’s​ ​acquired​ ​in​ ​only​ ​20​ ​years,​ ​considering the​ ​average​ ​student​ ​our​ ​age​ ​probably​ ​couldn’t​ ​spell​ ​sfogliatelle,​ ​yet​ ​alone​ ​know where​ ​to​ ​start​ ​in​ ​making​ ​them.​ ​It​ ​is​ ​hard​ ​to​ ​not​ ​to​ ​feel​ ​sympathetic​ ​for​ ​Stacey​ ​and Kate,​ ​who​ ​both​ ​struggled​ ​in​ ​Italian​ ​week,​ ​with​ ​Kate​ ​even​ ​ramping​ ​up​ ​the​ ​drama by​ ​managing​ ​to​ ​slice​ ​open​ ​her​ ​finger​ ​on​ ​the​ ​fan​ ​of​ ​her​ ​oven. Note:​ ​Liam​ ​sadly​ ​left​ ​the​ ​tent​ ​last​ ​week​ ​on​ ​Wednesday.

As​ ​for​ ​the​ ​presenting​ ​team,​ ​Noel​ ​and​ ​Sandi​ ​add​ ​a​ ​quirky,​ ​quick​ ​wit​ ​but​ ​there​ ​is​ ​a sense​ ​they​ ​do​ ​not​ ​quite​ ​feel​ ​at​ ​home​ ​yet​ ​in​ ​the​ ​tent,​ ​after​ ​the​ ​level​ ​of​ ​success​ ​the pair​ ​before​ ​them​ ​had​ ​experienced.​ ​For​ ​what​ ​Noel​ ​and​ ​Sandi​ ​lack​ ​in​ ​the dynamic​ ​relationship​ ​that​ ​Mel​ ​and​ ​Sue​ ​shared,​ ​their​ ​comedy​ ​comes​ ​through​ ​in their​ ​sharp​ ​one-liners​ ​and​ ​the​ ​comedic​ ​height​ ​difference​ ​between​ ​them.​ ​As​ ​for the​ ​substitution​ ​of​ ​Prue​ ​Leith​ ​for​ ​Mary​ ​Berry,​ ​she​ ​seems​ ​initially​ ​a​ ​more​ ​stern critic​ ​than​ ​her​ ​predecessor​ ​and​ ​yet,​ ​I​ ​sense​ ​that,​ ​much​ ​like​ ​the​ ​bakers’​ ​canoli,​ ​she has​ ​a​ ​soft,​ ​runny,​ ​gooey​ ​centre.​ ​It​ ​is​ ​additionally​ ​enjoyable​ ​to​ ​see​ ​that​ ​she​ ​has chosen​ ​to​ ​carry​ ​on​ ​the​ ​tradition​ ​of​ ​brightly​ ​coloured​ ​clothing​ ​choices,​ ​following Mary’s​ ​selection​ ​of​ ​infamous​ ​block​ ​coloured​ ​blazers.​ ​And​ ​so,​ ​as​ ​the​ ​competition draws​ ​to​ ​a​ ​close,​ ​we​ ​shall​ ​all​ ​be​ ​watching​ ​intently​ ​to​ ​see​ ​who​ ​secures​ ​the​ ​title​ ​of 2017’s​ ​GBBO​ ​winner,​ ​eyes​ ​glued​ ​to​ ​our​ ​screens​ ​as​ ​intensely​ ​as​ ​Noel’s​ ​kooky​ ​stare or​ ​Paul’s​ ​at​ ​once​ ​blood-curdling​ ​yet​ ​alluring​ ​bright​ ​blue​ ​oceanic​ ​gaze.

 

Stephanie Claridge

Image Credit: Channel 4