This was a wonderful season of Bake Off. I'm going in chronological order and it's definitely a favorite so far. It was a nice wholesome season where everyone cared about the competition but it didn't feel so stressful or dour. I don't know. Relative to other seasons, the contestants seemed less miserable, even if things didn't go perfectly. I think that was helped by contestants like Mat and Paul who could take things in stride.
It felt like a good amateur baking competition this year. There were strong bakes in every challenge but up until the end, there were mistakes and weaker bakers, or at least, bakers who stumbled when pushed outside of their comfort zone. And even if I can't taste the food, it's always nice to have a season where bakers are frequently complimented on their flavors. I'd rather see people who seem to make things that taste good rather than people who can twist pretty bread plaits, especially when I try and look up the recipes later or at least take inspiration from the flavor combinations.
I loved all three bakers in the final. Tamal was probably my favorite (I already knew Nadiya won before starting the season) but they all produced strong bakes throughout the competition. Ian seemed strongest at the beginning and like he struggled the fancier bakes/techniques towards the end. Tamal was consistent throughout with small fluctuations. And Nadiya really hit her stride towards the end. So I'm not surprised with her win. The season also made me confident enough in their flavors that I want to look up their recipes/cookbooks and try them out.