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S05.E04: Semi-Final and Final

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The final five [sic] bakers remain.  With six challenges ahead for these contestants to wow the judges, the pressure is greater than ever before. In the end, only one can be named "America's Best Amateur Baker." Find out who wins on the season finale of "The Great American Baking Show: Holiday Edition." 

Yes, it's the most generic yet specific episode description yet.  The bakers will bake and someone will win the show.  Whoever from the show wrote it also got the remaining baker count wrong. I hope you're not overwhelmed by this information.

Who will win?  Dana - that's Dan-uh, not Day-na - queen of coffee flavored treats.  Alex of the dangling earrings and controversial flavor choices. Friar Tuck, er, Brother Andrew, bread master, other bakes good, bad and in between. Marissa who's there.  Let's watch them bake, watch Sherry and Paul taste and see who earns the title.  

Original air date 2020.01.02

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On 12/29/2019 at 10:49 PM, PrincessPurrsALot said:

I hope you're not overwhelmed by this information.

I am overwhelmed. Can you please explain to me how the bakers will bake?

LOL. Even if they didn't want to give anything away, there are much punchier ways to write that description.

ETA for the semifinal:

"I was baking against people who had decades more experience than me." LOL, Alex. If that's how you can justify things.

I was surprised that one last showstopper is what did him in, though. It wasn't good, true, but I don't think Brother Andrew's other two bakes put him ahead.

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Final:

Paul can't wear something other than jeans and an untucked shirt? Wanker.

Some of the flavor combinations in the showstopper really did not appeal to me.

Brother Andrew won? His combos were the ones I was least enthusiastic about. That's why I'm not a judge. Ha!

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This episode is why I hate competitive reality shows... Everything's so obviously manipulated in favor of who the show wants to win.

I hated the final just because Alex deserved to be there, even if he didn't win, especially over Marissa. lol It's like the show knew they wanted Brother George to win because he was a nice, fuzzy, viewer-liked contestant and the only other contestant who might've jeopardized that outcome and outshined him in the final was Alex, so they made sure to cut him at fourth. They even made sure to have one of the judges end their consideration of the contestants in the semifinal by saying, "You'll know the person who makes it through will deserve to be there," as if to coddle the viewers into accepting that as the truth.

And then they made all these disappointed faces at Marissa in the final like they were shocked she was doing poorly. I wasn't, and knew the judges / show were just being ridiculous to prop up their preferred ending for the audience. I don't dislike Brother George and was happy he won of the final three, he's a sweet guy, but it was a real sham Alex wasn't there.

Edited by TheGreenKnight
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Gobsmacked. I really thought it was Dana's win. Take *that,* church of England!

I do think the women & Alex did better over long term but like the poster above; that's why I'm not a judge.

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The winner is based on the last week alone, not the whole competition. Given that, I think Brother Andrew probably earned the win tonight. I wasn't happy about it as he was my least favorite in the finale and I didn't think he was impressive most weeks, but I understand it. I don't think they rigged it for him to win. He did have the strongest showing in two out of the three rounds (and came second in the technical) so I can't argue with the win. I just wish Dana wouldn't have forgotten he crackling or that she would have executed the showstopper a little bit better. The prize win doesn't really matter, although I did find the desert plate/trophy an amusing American addition.

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Hmmm...I didn't realize the cake stand was an American thing. Shows how much I don't pay attention!

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I was disappointed when Alex didn't make it to the finale.  He has been struggling a bit but I think he has brilliance in him and selecting him would have increased our chances for getting a baker with a stellar finale instead of a winner who messed up the least.

Marissa was never really a contender.  And once Dana, the one contestant in the finale who I did think was capable of brilliance, faltered, we were left with the very solid Brother Andrew.

Based on the judging, I am fine with it because it really wasn't a surprise.  However, it didn't feel satisfying.

 

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19 minutes ago, rhys said:

Hmmm...I didn't realize the cake stand was an American thing. Shows how much I don't pay attention!

Nah, the cake stand comes from GBBO.

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The final should have been IMO Alex, Dana and Brother Andrew.  Alex did well all along and Marissa should have been eliminated early on.  As it turned out, I think Brother Andrew deserved his win.  I enjoyed seeing how happy his parents were.  

ABC really, really needs to replace the hosts.  Both of them detract from the show.

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43 minutes ago, Sew Sumi said:

Nah, the cake stand comes from GBBO.

Google tells me you’re right! I don’t remember the show talking about it or making it sound like the coveted prize.

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42 minutes ago, Dots And Stripes said:

Google tells me you’re right! I don’t remember the show talking about it or making it sound like the coveted prize.

The show generally doesn’t make the stand out to be a coveted prize. The hosts usually walk out with it when they go to announce the winner, so it’s easy to miss amongst everything else that’s going on. 

ETA: The Mason Cash mixing bowls come in red! This version of the show has just redeemed itself in my eyes. It was worth the lacklustre hosts for the sight of my favourite mixing bowls in my favourite colour!

Edited by hula-la

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I thought it was going to be Dana, but it seems like her final showstopper wasn't as good as Brother Andrew's, & that's why he won. 

I wonder who pays for all those family members to fly & stay in the UK?

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4 hours ago, TheGreenKnight said:

This episode is why I hate competitive reality shows... Everything's so obviously manipulated in favor of who the show wants to win.

I hated the final just because Alex deserved to be there, even if he didn't win, especially over Marissa. lol It's like the show knew they wanted Brother George to win because he was a nice, fuzzy, viewer-liked contestant and the only other contestant who might've jeopardized that outcome and outshined him in the final was Alex, so they made sure to cut him at fourth. They even made sure to have one of the judges end their consideration of the contestants in the semifinal by saying, "You'll know the person who makes it through will deserve to be there," as if to coddle the viewers into accepting that as the truth.

And then they made all these disappointed faces at Marissa in the final like they were shocked she was doing poorly. I wasn't, and knew the judges / show were just being ridiculous to prop up their preferred ending for the audience. I don't dislike Brother George and was happy he won of the final three, he's a sweet guy, but it was a real sham Alex wasn't there.

I, too, was surprised when Alex was sent off and Marissa stayed. It seemed there was some type of mistake or failure in almost everything she made while Alex had very few.

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So Friar Tuck with all of his invoking Lord Jesus and crossing himself is the winner?  That got on my last nerve.  I hoped it would be steady, self-composed Dana.  Marissa was never really a contender.

Get rid of those ridiculous hosts.  They are so distracting and stupid.

I found it highly amusing at the end with the fake snow and everyone in jackets except the bakers. It was filmed in August.

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8 hours ago, mlp said:

Marissa should have been eliminated early on. 

Marissa was usually saved by someone doing worse than she did. She had a very sour face during the friends and family scenes, which leads me to believe she's just one of the Debbie Downers. 

I agree the final three should have been Alex, Dana, and Brother Andrew, but I think Dana should have won. She was always solid. Though I think her crackling mistake sunk her, and she knew it. Her attitude was the best.

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19 minutes ago, dubbel zout said:

Marissa was usually saved by someone doing worse than she did. She had a very sour face during the friends and family scenes, which leads me to believe she's just one of the Debbie Downers. 

I agree the final three should have been Alex, Dana, and Brother Andrew, but I think Dana should have won. She was always solid. Though I think her crackling mistake sunk her, and she knew it. Her attitude was the best.

I really thought Dana was going to win. And I wasn't too surprised by Alex, his last bakes were not good.  I did not want Marissa to win as like you say she seemed like a Debbie Downer.

All in all I"m happy Brother Andrew won. He kept his spirit up and really loves baking. Plus, I think it looked good for a "holiday" show that a Brother won. 

I always wonder if they critique some bakes a lot harsher just to make it more dramatic and keep people guessing? I saw it recently on Chopped. They were somewhat harsh on a dish and then later when the judges were talking, they said it was one of the best things they ate all day. 

Edited by libgirl2
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53 minutes ago, Kohola3 said:

Get rid of those ridiculous hosts.  They are so distracting and stupid.

Who would have thought that one host known for middling level football and one known for annoying poses/centipede eyelashes would be a crappy fit as baking show hosts?  ABC should have known.  

The nicest word I can use to describe this duo is tiresome.

8 hours ago, hula-la said:

ETA: The Mason Cash mixing bowls come in red! This version of the show has just redeemed itself in my eyes. It was worth the lacklustre hosts for the sight of my favourite mixing bowls in my favourite colour!

No.  No it wasn't.  We'll all chip in to buy these bowls for your personal use if the network would drop them.  Do we have a deal?

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32 minutes ago, littlebennysmom said:

Who would have thought that one host known for middling level football and one known for annoying poses/centipede eyelashes would be a crappy fit as baking show hosts?  ABC should have known.  

The nicest word I can use to describe this duo is tiresome.

 

I didn't mind them. I thought they improved at the end. Plus, I watch more for the bakers. 

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1 hour ago, libgirl2 said:

I always wonder if they critique some bakes a lot harsher just to make it more dramatic and keep people guessing?

They're harder on the bakers in the semi and final because it's the semi and final. I actually thought those comments were more useful than most of the others, just because they had more substance than "it's underbaked." (And again I renew my complaint that if a majority of bakes are underbaked, it's likely the contestants didn't get enough time. Give them 10 or 15 more minutes!)

1 hour ago, libgirl2 said:

They were somewhat harsh on a dish and then later when the judges were talking, they said it was one of the best things they ate all day. 

I think they were referring to the flavors, as some of the bakes themselves were weak, but Paul and Sherry loved the flavors.

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The mixing bowls look really heavy. I noticed the mugs they were drinking from. They remind me of le creuset non matchy ones I have in different colors. Weird what we see & sometimes lust for! I'm looking at you, kitchen aid mixer in all colors!!

I still wish the bakers had more space to work & larger ovens. Those are just too twee.

Get new hosts with the name of Baker. Easy I bet.

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17 minutes ago, rhys said:

 

I still wish the bakers had more space to work & larger ovens. Those are just too twee.

And I know that for filming purposes they have to be low, but it makes me nuts to see them not only sitting on the ground but putting some of their food on the ground before or after it's in the oven.

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21 minutes ago, Writing Wrongs said:

Is this the first time they've actually said beforehand that one of the 3 were not going to win? Paul said Marissa canceled herself out.

I seem to remember Paul and Prue saying the same thing about a baker on GBBO. 

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50 minutes ago, Writing Wrongs said:

Is this the first time they've actually said beforehand that one of the 3 were not going to win? Paul said Marissa canceled herself out.

I took that comment to mean the opposite of what Paul meant at first. When he said it, I thought Marissa had redeemed herself (she turned around from 2 earlier bad bakes the day before). So imagine my surprise when Paul & Sherry meant the opposite.

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12 minutes ago, rhys said:

I took that comment to mean the opposite of what Paul meant at first. When he said it, I thought Marissa had redeemed herself (she turned around from 2 earlier bad bakes the day before). So imagine my surprise when Paul & Sherry meant the opposite.

I initially thought the same. 

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26 minutes ago, rhys said:

I took that comment to mean the opposite of what Paul meant at first. When he said it, I thought Marissa had redeemed herself (she turned around from 2 earlier bad bakes the day before). So imagine my surprise when Paul & Sherry meant the opposite.

I took it how it was meant—i.e., that Marissa was out—but it wasn't phrased in the clearest way. I think it was pretty obvious Marissa wouldn't be considered in the final deliberations, especially because she was so inconsistent.

I'm still bummed Dana didn't win. But at least we didn't have to listen to Brother Andrew praise God for his win and continually cross himself. I get that's a huge part of his life, but it started to feel gimmicky. I noticed that the show either didn't film him doing that in the final few eps or he stopped crossing himself. Either way, thank you.

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2 hours ago, littlebennysmom said:

Who would have thought that one host known for middling level football and one known for annoying poses/centipede eyelashes would be a crappy fit as baking show hosts?  ABC should have known.  

The nicest word I can use to describe this duo is tiresome.

No.  No it wasn't.  We'll all chip in to buy these bowls for your personal use if the network would drop them.  Do we have a deal?

It’s a deal! I hadn’t watched this version in a few years, and remembered being disappointed when I did watch it. I’m still disappointed. Is the American version just cursed?

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34 minutes ago, dubbel zout said:

I took it how it was meant—i.e., that Marissa was out—but it wasn't phrased in the clearest way. I think it was pretty obvious Marissa wouldn't be considered in the final deliberations, especially because she was so inconsistent.

I'm still bummed Dana didn't win. But at least we didn't have to listen to Brother Andrew praise God for his win and continually cross himself. I get that's a huge part of his life, but it started to feel gimmicky. I noticed that the show either didn't film him doing that in the final few eps or he stopped crossing himself. Either way, thank you.

I think if Alex would have done better, Marissa would have left. 

As for the crossing, Brother Andrew might not even realize sometimes he is doing it. 

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3 hours ago, littlebennysmom said:

one known for annoying poses/centipede eyelashes

Now that it was pointed out I couldn't help looking at her legs. In one scene she was walking forward, and she put each foot directly in front of the one behind (and once even crossed over a bit). Ridiculous looking.

I thought the "perfect template" souffle in the first episode looked a bit underbaked. It looked a bit "wet" in the middle. 

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29 minutes ago, hula-la said:

Is the American version just cursed?

No, I think it simply suffers from a much shorter shooting schedule. The bakers don't get a chance to practice bakes between tapings like the Brits do. That can make a huge difference.

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For me it was a toss up between Alex and Marissa in the semi final.  They both had a bad few bakes.  I would have liked to see Alex in the final based on his prior performance, but they are making the decision on that week's performance only.  

I felt for Marissa.  I suspect she is an excellent baker who did not do well with the pressure of the competition.   Her questioning herself or being disappointed in her performance led to a more negative demeanor.  However, that was her being hard on herself, not others, so I can see where it came from.  I would gladly try something she baked when she is not under such stress. I think the judges were saying that since Marissa has basically lost the first two bakes, she would need a perfect final bake and the other two would have to fail spectacularly for her to have a chance. 

Andrew and Dana were much better with pressure throughout the season.  It seemed like going into the final bake they were pretty much even. Dana had the craquelin issue on the first bake which ruined the look, but they like the flavors and they were well baked.  She won the technical.  Andrew won the first bake and came in second on the technical. 

For the three items they baked in the final bake Dana had the budino that Sherry could not stop eating.  (I loved when she grabbed a second one).  Her other two items were okay.  Andrew had two of three items that they praised, although not as highly as the budino (which I want to try so badly).  So it was close but he pulled out the win.   

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Plus, I think it looked good for a "holiday" show that a Brother won. 

I really, really hate to pull out the tinfoil hat, especially for a show as innocuous as this one, but I was surprised Andrew pulled out the win over Dana. I was willing to bet money Dana had it in the bag after the showstopper. I'm left scratching my head and can't help wonder if the producers step in from time to time and "suggest" who might make the best winner. It was like Rahul beating Kim-Joy all over again. And you raise a good point about the tie-in.

Overall I think the American version succeeds where it emulates the British version and falls short where it doesn't. I've noticed a lot of complaints about the recipes seeming simpler and I concur that the showstopper, at least, is far less impressive in the American version. Some of the elaborate creations the Brits have to come up with are astounding. All the Americans ever seem to do for showstoppers are relatively simple things that could be switched out for the Signature bake. 

I also concur with the majority that the hosts need to be replaced. Fortunately the hosts play a relatively minor role on a show like this so it's not as if they're ruining the show, but Emma just seems overly pretentious and fake and I have no idea what the hell that football player is doing there. 

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I really thought going into last night that Alex would win. Then I thought Dana would. 

I'm happy for Brother Andrew - he did well. His crossing himself didn't bother me as he's in a Holy Order. It's something he does daily.  Some random contestant? Heck yeah. 

I've seen craquelin topped goods  before but didn't know it had a name. 

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It didn’t matter to me who won, but I was surprised Alex tanked out since I thought he had been leading since the beginning.

I liked Dana’s emphasis on having a good time and doing what she loved.

I laughed that Brother Andrew wore the same thing for every episode. He got to pack light for his trip overseas!

I thought all the canapes looked yummy, and that segment made me very hungry.

I had never heard of "shoe dough" so was glad to see it spelled on screen so I could google it: “little cabbages.”

Since no one actually WINS anything on this show other than the glass-inscribed cake stand and bragging rights, everyone should have had a good time. Plus fam was flown in and contestants who left early got expenses-paid time in a British hotel, a win win for everyone.

I’m glad another season will be filmed, I find it soothing to watch people bake without throwing tantrums, back stabbing or hating the competition. Although I could never be on as certain words automatically slip out of my mouth if I mess up a bake. I said plenty just watching others goof up!

42 minutes ago, iMonrey said:

I have no idea what the hell that football player is doing there. 

I think it's because his (nick) name is Spice. Reason enough, right? LOL!

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I think when the judges are selecting the final 3 they should consider the totality of the bakers’ performance. Marissa shouldn’t have been in the final (even if she did count herself as “elite.”) How many times did she under bake because she ran out of time? In order of talent I think Dana should’ve won, then Alex, then Andrew.

They all had good bakes here and there, but overall I wasn’t really impressed by any of the bakers.

Edited by Kiddvideo
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45 minutes ago, Kiddvideo said:

I think when the judges are selecting the final 3 they should consider the totality of the bakers’ performance. Marissa shouldn’t have been in the final (even if she did count herself as “elite.”) How many times did she under bake because she ran out of time? In order of talent I think Dana should’ve won, then Alex, then Andrew.

They all had good bakes here and there, but overall I wasn’t really impressed by any of the bakers.

None of these shows actually work like that, though.  It's only that week's performance that counts.  I suggested a points system for another competition show, can't remember which one now.  I'd like to see them try it.  That way, the person who does the best all along actually wins, and you don't have an Alex situation, where he missed the final because of one bad day.

Edited by Rammchick
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Thank you, princess, for typing Dana's budino. Gah! I could not figure that word out. I was "bou_____???" Then I was cornfused again with craqulin  ( sp?)---I was imagining pork cracklins. I *could not* figure how those went with a sweet mini dessert!! Damn spelling issue.

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2 hours ago, PBnJay said:

I’m glad another season will be filmed, I find it soothing to watch people bake without throwing tantrums, back stabbing or hating the competition.

That's precisely why I love the GBBO format.  I hate the horrible trash-talking cooking and baking shows on Food Network.  Maybe it's the fact that you get a cake plate and money isn't involved that makes people act more civilly.

Obviously Dana's budinos were tasty but do they really qualify as a bake?

Ditch the spices and keep the format.  Looking forward to the next one!

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4 minutes ago, Kohola3 said:

Obviously Dana's budinos were tasty but do they really qualify as a bake?

The showstopper was desserts, so I think a budino is fair game. It's a pudding in the classic sense. The judges didn't say everything had to be from the oven.

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1 minute ago, dubbel zout said:

The showstopper was desserts, so I think a budino is fair game. It's a pudding in the classic sense. The judges didn't say everything had to be from the oven.

True.  I was thinking that the title is Great American Baking Show though and every other bake was, well, a bake.

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38 minutes ago, rhys said:

Thank you, princess, for typing Dana's budino. Gah! I could not figure that word out. I was "bou_____???" Then I was cornfused again with craqulin  ( sp?)---I was imagining pork cracklins. I *could not* figure how those went with a sweet mini dessert!! Damn spelling issue.

OMG it's craquelin NOT cracklin. Over on Masterchef (US) they are constantly making cracklin to put on everything.

So I could not figure out why they would put crispy pig skin on their choux. On purpose. Of course the first time I heard about choux pastry I thought it was shoe pastry.

I feel smarter now.

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19 hours ago, Dots And Stripes said:

The winner is based on the last week alone, not the whole competition. Given that, I think Brother Andrew probably earned the win tonight. I wasn't happy about it as he was my least favorite in the finale and I didn't think he was impressive most weeks, but I understand it. I don't think they rigged it for him to win. He did have the strongest showing in two out of the three rounds (and came second in the technical) so I can't argue with the win. I just wish Dana wouldn't have forgotten he crackling or that she would have executed the showstopper a little bit better. The prize win doesn't really matter, although I did find the desert plate/trophy an amusing American addition.

https://www.bustle.com/p/whats-the-prize-for-winning-the-great-british-bake-off-2019-its-really-not-what-youd-expect-10357099

It seems the British winners also receive a cake stand. 

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PrincessPurrsALot

If you want to talk about GBBO or comparisons to any other versions of the bake off/baking show, please go to the Bake Off/Baking Show: Comparing the Countries, Hosts and Judges thread.

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