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S03.E10: The Final

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On 8/18/2018 at 3:03 PM, Mittengirl said:

Could they have poured the icing over the “fancies”?  The icing looked thin enough to frost the bottom, pour over the top and then move to a clean surface to present.  Or use two forks - stab one in the middle and rest the bottom on another one.  

 

John’s showstopper chocolate cake was the only one I really wanted to taste.  The others were more like - sure i’d try a bite out of curiosity.  But I think I could eat that chocolate cake all by my self.  Sure I would regret it, but YOLO.

I was thinking if I was doing this I would have used an old fashioned potato masher.  Balanced the fancy on there, dipped it in the icing and raised it up.

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1 hour ago, stitcher73 said:

I was thinking if I was doing this I would have used an old fashioned potato masher.  Balanced the fancy on there, dipped it in the icing and raised it up.

what a clever idea!

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19 hours ago, Quilt Fairy said:

OMG I hate that f*king commercial! The only good thing about the show ending is I won't have to listen to it anymore.

YMMV, obviously.

 

13 hours ago, Emkat said:

I cannot hit mute fast enough when that commercial comes on! 

Aww, you guys don't like Bob Dylan and the friendly chickens! My only problem with it is that it's a bit of an ear worm, which is what led me to seek it out. Sometimes listening to a whole song will cure an ear worm, especially if you have just one line or phrase stuck in your head.

 

15 hours ago, Brookside said:

I was so pleased for John.  He was obviously overwhelmed at achieving his own dream, rather than someone else's.  And his mum and sister were clearly so proud.

(I didn't think they were being mean in the talking head - just having a bit of fun. 

I also thought his family were "taking the piss" which is a very British tradition of saying the opposite of what you mean when you like someone or are proud of them.

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1 hour ago, stitcher73 said:

I was thinking if I was doing this I would have used an old fashioned potato masher.  Balanced the fancy on there, dipped it in the icing and raised it up.

Good idea. I was thinking of a slotted spoon.  I don't think the bottoms are supposed to be iced.

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12 minutes ago, Kathira said:

I also thought his family were "taking the piss" which is a very British tradition of saying the opposite of what you mean when you like someone or are proud of them.

Actually taking the piss out of someone just means to make fun of or mock them. It doesn't necessarily involve sarcasm or saying the opposite of what you mean.

Source: My family in GB. Going there in two weeks to visit. :)

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The winner is the contestant who does the best on the three bakes on the final weekend.  Previous weeks do not count towards it, as it's not a cumulative type of prize.  Thus, being consistent, while helpful in getting through week to week, does not necessarily help you win.

Then why, when Paul and Mary were deliberating over the winner, did Paul bring up that "Brendan does well on things he has a chance to practice at home"?  In what way was that relevant? Unless, of course, he and Mary thought John and Brendan were pretty much tied, and he wanted an excuse to "downgrade" Brendan so that John could be declared the winner. Yes, I suppose that could have been the case...

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17 hours ago, Dewey Decimate said:

Thankfully this is only the second season I've seen - I got my mom hooked this season and we're gonna do a once-a-week Netflix book club viewing!

When you and your Mom view the other seasons on Netflix, do not forget to check out the MasterClass episodes with just Paul and Mary, most of which never aired on PBS.  Netflix has them grouped as a separate show with about 6 episodes per season, although the seasons align with GBBO's seasons.  In each of the MasterClass shows Paul and Mary take several of the recent show challenges and demonstrate how they would do them.

ETA: Paul is a lot more playful and likeable in the MasterClass episodes.

Edited by Quilt Fairy
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4 hours ago, MorganSte said:

I thought John's Heaven and Hell cake had an odd flavor combo.  I just don't like lemon and chocolate together.

It's a not uncommon flavour combo in the UK.  Thornton's Sicilian Lemon Mousse anyone?

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2 hours ago, stitcher73 said:

I was thinking if I was doing this I would have used an old fashioned potato masher.  Balanced the fancy on there, dipped it in the icing and raised it up.

I think someone did do this in the episode where they had to do the 36 fondant fancies (previously aired on PBS season Series 7 (not sure of PBS season--4 maybe), Semi-Finals (thank you wikipedia!)).

Edited by illdoc
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6 minutes ago, illdoc said:

I think someone did do this in the episode where they had to do the 36 fondant fancies (previously aired on PBS season Series 7 (not sure of PBS season--4 maybe), Semi-Finals (thank you wikipedia!)).

 

Thank you! I thought I remembered seeing that somewhere and since I hate them with a passion I can’t imagine watching a segment on making them on any other show.

Edited by biakbiak

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On 8/17/2018 at 10:32 PM, adhoc said:

ETA: And of course, John is younger and wants to be a baker, blah blah blah. Crowning him the winner is so much more appealing than giving it to someone in his 60s  who is already semi-retired, etc.  This is my opinion, of course.

I share your opinion. While I have zero evidence to support my claim, I think age bias could most definitely could have been at play behind the scenes here. Not that I don't think John wasn't terrific and was a lovely person, but I really think Brendan deserved the win—he was consistent throughout the series and:

On 8/18/2018 at 3:09 AM, GaT said:

I thought John's showstopper looked sloppy & didn't understand why they kept praising how it looked.

THIS. I didn't think John's showstopper was stopping any shows. It was looked quite the mess. 

I'm really going to miss this show. Every contestant was just fantastic.

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1 hour ago, Giant Misfit said:

I share your opinion. While I have zero evidence to support my claim, I think age bias could most definitely could have been at play behind the scenes here. Not that I don't think John wasn't terrific and was a lovely person, but I really think Brendan deserved the win—he was consistent throughout the series and:

 

GBBO has had plenty of older winners, not to mention winners who would not be considered "telegenic", for want of a better word.  The winners don't go on to represent GBBO with appearances, personal or otherwise.  And history has shown that many competitors (not just winners) have gone on to success in the baking world.  Just as many finalists in Masterchef UK have gone on to success in the restaurant world.  How many US Masterchef competitors can one say that of?

Don't mean to sound defensive, just trying to point out that shows from different countries don't follow the same criteria - vide the prize of a cake plate for GBBO, or a crystal bowl for Mastermind, the closest show to Jeopardy!

I think we can all agree that we love this show.

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According to John's twitter feed, he's going back into law: "Many of you ask why I’m going back to a career in law. I care about access to justice. I want to devote myself to the untangling of families & to child welfare. When I graduated I didn’t have confidence or calmness to be a barrister. But after years of TV & live shows, I’m ready." and "I will continue to write about food and I hope I will have time to teach some classes @jw_kitchen. I’ve loved my career since #GBBO and you’ve been an indispensable network of friends, but I need to devote myself to something utterly important."

A lot happened in the six years since this season ran!

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16 hours ago, Kohola3 said:

I don't think the bottoms are supposed to be iced.

seems the only way you could manage that would be to put them on a rack and pour over. I wonder why no one tried that. It seems the dipping thing was just causing massive trouble.

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18 hours ago, adhoc said:

Then why, when Paul and Mary were deliberating over the winner, did Paul bring up that "Brendan does well on things he has a chance to practice at home"?  In what way was that relevant? Unless, of course, he and Mary thought John and Brendan were pretty much tied, and he wanted an excuse to "downgrade" Brendan so that John could be declared the winner. Yes, I suppose that could have been the case...

Because they have to have something to talk about.  They clearly thought John took more chances, and they tend to value that over mere competence.

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16 hours ago, Giant Misfit said:

I share your opinion. While I have zero evidence to support my claim, I think age bias could most definitely could have been at play behind the scenes here. Not that I don't think John wasn't terrific and was a lovely person, but I really think Brendan deserved the win—he was consistent throughout the series and:

THIS. I didn't think John's showstopper was stopping any shows. It was looked quite the mess. 

I'm really going to miss this show. Every contestant was just fantastic.

And I thought Brendan's showstopper looked underwhelming.  Without being able to see and taste the contestants' work in person, all we can go by are the decisions made by Paul and Mary, and over the course of the seasons I've watched, nothing I've seen has made me think they are making biased decisions.  They do like bakers who take chances but other than that, I don't see a problem.

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Brendan even said in an interview that he thought he was going to win because he was more consistent over all the bakes during the series.  But that's not what GBBO uses as its basic idea.  It's who did best this week.  In other words, John did the best job "this week" . . . it just happened to be the finals, so he won the cake plate.  

Under those parameters, I agree with John winning.  His showstopper was much more creative than Brendan's, and the judges thought the taste was magnificent.  

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Noticed Mary's abridged recipe given to the bakers mentions 'dip(ping)' at least 3 times. Since none of the finalists have made it before no wonder they followed the instruction until realizing it's not working! 

The complete recipe Mary Berry's fondant fancies

15. Take the cakes out of the fridge and place one onto a fork.
16. Dip each square into the icing one at a time and carefully set onto a cooling rack, with parchment underneath to catch the drips. Try not to get finger prints on them - for this reason it is best to insert the fork at an angle so that you can slide the cake off onto the cooling rack easily.

This is how Mary did in the Masterclass* episode of the series. 
3bzFm2P.gif
To Paul's question why dipping not pouring, Mary answers she thinks it gives a smarter finish and she found it easier to do. However, from her full recipe, the key for the method seems to be chilling the squares in the fridge after almost every step and she didn't allow them enough time for that.

Not everyone agrees with her though. ;)
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/9615108/So-Mary-how-do-you-bake-the-perfect-fondant-fancy.html

Quote

Although Berry is a dipper, others prefer to drizzle. [ __ ], winner of the first Bake Off in 2010, swears by a recipe from [her/his] old food technology class at school. “Put the sponge on a fork over the bowl of fondant and use a spoon to pour it over the cake, so it drips back into the bowl. That way you don’t handle the cake and you get even coverage. You risk breaking the sponge or losing it completely if you dip it into the fondant.”

Patissier Peggy Porschen, who runs a series of fondant fancy masterclasses at her London cake studio, says the Bake Off finalists did “remarkably well”, given the two-and-a-half hours they had to complete their challenge. “They really needed to rest their sponges overnight – that way they don’t crumble so much,” she says. Porschen recommends using fondant patissier (a pouring fondant that can be bought in tubs), which she mixes with sugar syrup and lemon juice, and brushing the sides with apricot jam instead of buttercream.

* I seem to remember reading three episodes of Masterclass will be available later for the US audience via either PBS or Netflix.

Edited by sum
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2 minutes ago, Kohola3 said:

So there was one.  Just one.

I'm not sure that is meaningful. In my recollection (I've watched all the ones available on PBS), most of the "older" folks have been much more of the "home cooking" sort (which I would put myself in the class of) and really couldn't shine once just producing a "nice tasting cookie" was not good enough. The judges seem to adore people who do things a bit outside the box, and if you excel at, say, apple pie, sourdough bread, and chocolate cake (those are my go-to winners) that will eventually not be enough.

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47 minutes ago, Kohola3 said:

So there was one.  Just one.

Spoiler

One mid forties (not that that  is "old", but it's hardly early 20s)

One mid fifties (and American to boot, since we're speaking of perceived biases)

Two in their sixties

 

There have been more than one. 

(Spoiler in case anyone hasn't viewed later episodes, though I don't mention names.)

Edited by Brookside

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Besides what Brookside noted, there were a couple very shy (not TV-friendly) ones as well. Again, this series wasn't exactly huge back then and no one had made a career out of it until that point.
Normally the line-up has more young-ish people than the other way around and they tend to be more creative and shine more as the series progresses. Male/female, young/old, the judges can't manipulate outcome just to appear fair. In most weeks it's rather clear who would go and there were very few controversies regarding the judges' decisions despite the fact that viewers can't taste them and rely only on how they look and judges' comments. Transparency was one of the points constantly complimented on this very board as well. 

Speaking of final & age, there were some grumbles over series 3/4/5 (US season 5/2/1).

Series 3: Some argue the oldest finalist should've won but didn't because of his age.
Series 4: All three were young ladies, age couldn't have been an issue.
Series 5: The oldest won. Many felt underwhelmed or thought it was absurd that someone star-bakered four times didn't win. (IMO, the setup of this series final was similar to that of the Series 3. James/Richard, Brendan/Nancy, John/Luis)
Series 8: No names but 

Spoiler

Not in the final but something opposite of the accused situation happened and the majority of the audience wasn't too pleased, to say the least.

I can't spot a pattern. Admittedly the judges are only human and can't be completely unbiased. Still I don't think they have done anything too dubious to make me question their impartiality. 

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29 minutes ago, sum said:

I can't spot a pattern. Admittedly the judges are only human and can't be completely unbiased. Still I don't think they have done anything too dubious to make me question their impartiality. 

I think the question is, how much influence do the producers have? I don't know where you live, but In the US, it's not unusual to see a contestant on a reality type show who clearly should be eliminated getting kept because of the drama they bring, or because they're a fan favorite, and that's because of the producers. They always have disclaimers that say something about it. For example: Top Chef's (a reality competition cooking show) disclaimer says "Winning and Elimination decisions were made by the judges in consultation with producers. Some elimination decisions were discussed with Bravo"

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1 hour ago, GaT said:

I think the question is, how much influence do the producers have? I don't know where you live, but In the US, it's not unusual to see a contestant on a reality type show who clearly should be eliminated getting kept because of the drama they bring, or because they're a fan favorite, and that's because of the producers. They always have disclaimers that say something about it. For example: Top Chef's (a reality competition cooking show) disclaimer says "Winning and Elimination decisions were made by the judges in consultation with producers. Some elimination decisions were discussed with Bravo"

I think I made my position clear in my comment and agree with Brookside's earlier post.
In the recent series, (sorry I have to use another spoiler tag)

Spoiler

the audience's favorites didn't even make the final. Selasi in S07, [ __ ] in S08. In the latter case, it was really close and they could've easily kept [ __ ] over the least liked baker if their personalities, probable popularity & TV career was considered.

Again, if the judges are influenced by the production team, the famous 5 hours of deliberation between Mary and Paul wouldn't have needed - hardly any footage of that heated discussion made the cut to milk it, either.

It's a bit ironic that John was striving for validation from others so much, but even when he achieved something so important to him, its legitimacy gets(got) questioned relentlessly.


ETA: FWIW, James was my outright favorite from the start. I wasn't too keen on John, because he often came across as too desperate to me, possibly due to the said reasons & didn't care that much about Brendan. So the outcome of this series has nothing to do with how I feel. 

Edited by sum
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Thank you sum, you've reminded me that I have to go and look for clips of Season 7 for my periodic fix of the friendship between the person you mention and the eventual winner! It was one of the most heartwarming and charming things I've ever watched on reality TV.   With the added bonus of some serious eye candy!

Edited by Brookside
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On 8/19/2018 at 1:01 PM, Kathira said:

I don't know if this should go here or in the Media thread, but it relates more to PBS generally than the media about the show. In my area anyway, the show is sponsored by Nellie's Free Range Eggs and they have a super cute promo spot featuring Bob Dylan's "All I Really Want to Do (Is, Baby, Be Friends with You) and I've become fascinated with it over the weeks of watching the show. If anyone else has seen it and is interested, here's a link with more infornation about the company, which seems really cool. The article has a link to the full ad. http://www.unionleader.com/Monroe-egg-company-goes-for-the-gold-with-TV-campaign-during-Rio-Olympics

It makes me want to spend a couple extra bucks on fancy eggs.

 

 

On 8/19/2018 at 8:54 PM, Quilt Fairy said:

OMG I hate that f*king commercial! The only good thing about the show ending is I won't have to listen to it anymore.

YMMV, obviously.

 

AMEN to the commercial-hate! I can't hit the Mute button fast enough either.

And I grew up listening to Dylan. But his voice in that particular song drives me right up the wall.

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Quoting myself from ep 8. Of course by this point I had a 25% chance of being right; it's not like I predicted this in ep 1...lol 

On 8/5/2018 at 2:20 AM, Toothbrush said:

John is right that he has been in the middle of the pack and needs to step it up. Of the final 4 I have been least impressed by him overall, but his gingerbread Coliseum was well-done. I am not spoiled whatsoever, but my feeling is that he is the ultimate winner. 

Congrats to John! His showstopper sounded like all heaven to me, and the bottom layer had me craving these

My city's worthless PBS station spent 10 minutes between the technical challenge & the showstopper on fundraising. Important, yes, but in that case extend the show's airing time by a few minutes. Not sure what was cut; was there a history lesson in the final?

I've had Little Debbie snack cakes that looked better than J, J, & B's fondant fancies. But I am intrigued by them & plan to make them one of these days. And I guarantee that mine will look even worse!

My husband is a doctor and said he could never have devoted time to a competition such as this during med school, and especially leading up to/during exam time, and I'm sure the same applies to John at law school. Heck, I am an actuary and couldn't have done it during school (the fact that I would never make it on the show notwithstanding!)  

On 8/18/2018 at 8:27 AM, Rinaldo said:

I actually felt that it was cruel to expose Brendan that way; they didn't need to, there was a clear cut-away point after the first part of his speech. That was a rare moment in the course of this series when I could feel the producers delighting in a chance to exploit someone's vulnerability.

I admit that I was an unabashed James fan, probably the most biased I've been in any of the seasons. But I can't deny that he overreached and underperformed in the final. In fact, if anyone was being "smug" (and I don't think anyone was really), one could say it was James, for not practicing his two prepared items sufficiently (if you haven't done rough puff before this week, all the more reason to work on it) and for not really absorbing the Showstopper brief to make A Cake, not five. He seemed rather reliant on his flair, which has saved him so many times, to do it this time too. The thing that people forget about the "take a risk" and "go big or go home" strategies is that there are indeed two possible outcomes, and this time the risk didn't pay off.

Agree with all of the above. 

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3 hours ago, Toothbrush said:

Not sure what was cut; was there a history lesson in the final?

No, not in the final.

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On 8/21/2018 at 6:57 AM, dleighg said:

seems the only way you could manage that would be to put them on a rack and pour over. I wonder why no one tried that. It seems the dipping thing was just causing massive trouble.

The professional bakers I know use the pour method, just because it's faster when doing them in bulk. The thing about the dip method is it's sort of a muscle memory thing. It looks SO EASY when you see Mary do it, and yet we saw them all struggle with the fork and the angle in this one. It's the sort of thing where once you "get" it, you can do it easily, repeatedly, but if you've never maneuvered it before, you're going to drop the cake or get it clumpy or...what we saw. Which is partly the point of why they give them technical challenges. This episode's was "can you deal with applying pouring fondant". They pretty much all got complimented on the cake part, but they all failed the fondant test.

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5 hours ago, may flowers said:

Sorry, but which season had the five hour judging? I’m fairly new to the series and would like to watch that season next. Thank you!

You're probably out of luck.  It's either UK season 1 or 2, which have not aired on PBS, nor are they likely to.  Netflix only has the PBS-aired seasons as well.

Edited by Quilt Fairy

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17 hours ago, GaT said:

I think the question is, how much influence do the producers have? I don't know where you live, but In the US, it's not unusual to see a contestant on a reality type show who clearly should be eliminated getting kept because of the drama they bring, or because they're a fan favorite, and that's because of the producers. They always have disclaimers that say something about it. For example: Top Chef's (a reality competition cooking show) disclaimer says "Winning and Elimination decisions were made by the judges in consultation with producers. Some elimination decisions were discussed with Bravo"

That's one reason that GBBO is so enjoyable, because bakers clearly aren't being kept just for drama or because of their backstories, etc.

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6 hours ago, Quilt Fairy said:

You're probably out of luck.  It's either UK season 1 or 2, which have not aired on PBS, nor are they likely to.  Netflix only has the PBS-aired seasons as well.

Thank you!

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My British friend who watched this season back when it aired in the UK told me that James was the darling of the audience throughout.  People, well maybe many female people thought he was cute and witty, with those glasses and the sweaters, etc..  And he had real talent and was creative and took risks.  Also, to me it seemed pretty obvious early on that Paul Hollywood especially preferred James to Brendan.  Ironically James entered the competition on a lark while both Brendan and John took it very seriously. 

However, on this show being the audience darling does not mean you are going to be the winner.  Even if you impress the judges throughout.  I remember one baker, in one of the other seasons, Selassi, oh, he was so awesome and cool under pressure - 

Spoiler

he didn't win star baker once or win the competition

 

I think James could have won this had his final show stopper not disappointed.  John stepped up when it counted the most, his final show stopper wowed the judges.

I don't believe the show is ageist or prefers the pretty bakers to win.   I think if you make it to the finale - and that alone is quite an achievement - you must have better bakes that day than your two fellow bakers to win. I don't believe the competition is fixed the way they do on the American competitions.

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35 minutes ago, magdalene said:

I think James could have won this had his final show stopper not disappointed. 

I also liked James. His showstopper was a disaster. No other way to say it. He was not going to win this thing. The sides of his cakes were barely frosted. No way that wins.

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27 minutes ago, dleighg said:

I also liked James. His showstopper was a disaster. No other way to say it. He was not going to win this thing. The sides of his cakes were barely frosted. No way that wins.

All I was trying to say was had his final show stopper been up to his previous excellent bakes he could have won. But he had an off day when it counted the most and that was it.

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3 hours ago, magdalene said:

I don't believe the show is ageist or prefers the pretty bakers to win. 

In fact, I recall someone commenting a few years back (it may have been in a different forum, I don't remember) that they seemed to be biased against young bakers, because talented women in their teens seemed sure to be eliminated. I didn't see the trend there either. The finalists and winners have covered a wide demographic spread over all the seasons.

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16 hours ago, Kohola3 said:

No, not in the final.

Glad we didn't miss out on the history of fondant fancies or the pithivier. 

James reminds me of Austin Powers. That is how I referred to him because I could never remember if he was James or John. John was known as 'the lawyer' at casa Toothbrush.  

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11 hours ago, magdalene said:

My British friend who watched this season back when it aired in the UK told me that James was the darling of the audience throughout.  People, well maybe many female people thought he was cute and witty, with those glasses and the sweaters, etc..  And he had real talent and was creative and took risks.  Also, to me it seemed pretty obvious early on that Paul Hollywood especially preferred James to Brendan.  Ironically James entered the competition on a lark while both Brendan and John took it very seriously. 

However, on this show being the audience darling does not mean you are going to be the winner.  Even if you impress the judges throughout.  I remember one baker, in one of the other seasons, Selassi, oh, he was so awesome and cool under pressure - 

  Hide contents

he didn't win star baker once or win the competition

 

I think James could have won this had his final show stopper not disappointed.  John stepped up when it counted the most, his final show stopper wowed the judges.

I don't believe the show is ageist or prefers the pretty bakers to win.   I think if you make it to the finale - and that alone is quite an achievement - you must have better bakes that day than your two fellow bakers to win. I don't believe the competition is fixed the way they do on the American competitions.

AFAIK, the show is fully completed before it starts airing. So it won’t matter who the audience take to or against, by the time viewers see the bakers, the winner has already been decided. I much prefer this way to shows where the audience get a day in the voting process and talent comes secondary to audience appeal and/or a good miserable back story. 

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15 hours ago, magdalene said:

And he had real talent and was creative and took risks.  Also, to me it seemed pretty obvious early on that Paul Hollywood especially preferred James to Brendan.  Ironically James entered the competition on a lark while both Brendan and John took it very seriously.

The funny thing is, in one of the interviews posted earlier in this thread, James had talked about how he and Paul didn't always see eye to eye and that Paul often got annoyed that James was so laid back in his approach. I think because James impressed, despite often winging it, even Paul couldn't help giving praise when praise was due. The judges have also said repeatedly, across the entire show, that they look for originality, which James certainly offered, even John too. I think they see it as anyone can bake something well if they follow a tried and true recipe but these bakers, although amateurs, are on a higher level than just following a recipe.

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On ‎08‎/‎22‎/‎2018 at 12:21 PM, Quilt Fairy said:

You're probably out of luck.  It's either UK season 1 or 2, which have not aired on PBS, nor are they likely to.  Netflix only has the PBS-aired seasons as well.

Apparently it was Season 1.  Here's the article I found which included mention of it.  There's a slight spoiler about someone who made the final that season but it doesn't say who won.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/bbc/9411189/Behind-the-scenes-at-the-Great-British-Bake-Off.html

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15 hours ago, magdalene said:

All I was trying to say was had his final show stopper been up to his previous excellent bakes he could have won. But he had an off day when it counted the most and that was it.

Yeah, his plan was pretty ambitious, like most weeks.  Usually he managed to find a way to make it work, but not on that last weekend when he needed it to the most.  I liked him a lot, and I also like John.  Brendan was more reserved, probably due to his upbringing, but he'd have been a deserving winner had his final weekend's bakes been the best.  I find that I rarely have a problem with any of the finalists, and this season was like that.  Any one of them could've won, and I'd have been happy.

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8 minutes ago, proserpina65 said:

I find that I rarely have a problem with any of the finalists, and this season was like that.  Any one of them could've won, and I'd have been happy.

Same here. Toward the end of each season there's usually one baker I really like who has a bad weekend and gets bounced, but that's kind of inevitable. I usually have a preference for the winner, but I never feel any of the three finalists don't deserve to be there.

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On 8/23/2018 at 9:42 AM, proserpina65 said:
On 8/22/2018 at 5:44 PM, magdalene said:

All I was trying to say was had his final show stopper been up to his previous excellent bakes he could have won. But he had an off day when it counted the most and that was it.

Yeah, his plan was pretty ambitious, like most weeks.  Usually he managed to find a way to make it work, but not on that last weekend when he needed it to the most.  I liked him a lot, and I also like John.  Brendan was more reserved, probably due to his upbringing, but he'd have been a deserving winner had his final weekend's bakes been the best.

 

On 8/23/2018 at 9:52 AM, dubbel zout said:

Same here. Toward the end of each season there's usually one baker I really like who has a bad weekend and gets bounced, but that's kind of inevitable. I usually have a preference for the winner, but I never feel any of the three finalists don't deserve to be there.

Agreed! I was rooting for James going into the finale because I liked his combination of science and creativity and his ability to laugh at his own mistakes. But I was very happy that John won since he was also very talented and it obviously meant so much to him and enabled him to fulfill his dream of going to Le Cordon Bleu.

 

On 8/21/2018 at 5:53 AM, Ms Lark said:

According to John's twitter feed, he's going back into law: "Many of you ask why I’m going back to a career in law. I care about access to justice. I want to devote myself to the untangling of families & to child welfare. When I graduated I didn’t have confidence or calmness to be a barrister. But after years of TV & live shows, I’m ready." and "I will continue to write about food and I hope I will have time to teach some classes @jw_kitchen. I’ve loved my career since #GBBO and you’ve been an indispensable network of friends, but I need to devote myself to something utterly important."

I was a little sad at first to read that he had decided to leave his baking career and return to law, but he seems to have real heartfelt reasons for doing it so I admire that. I hope he is able to find a balance between his new career as a barrister and his continued love of food and baking! 

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I enjoyed this season so much. I ordered the past GBBO seasons on DVD from Amazon and have been watching them with my mom who is in hospice and has a lot of time to kill. That doesn't sound right but you know what I mean. We have such a good time cheering on these contestants who have long ago gone on with their lives and here we are in 2018 waiting on tenterhooks to see if their biscuits will come out crisp in the end. Ha!

In this season's final, I was astounded that James would submit 5 separate cakes for his showstopper. The man is clearly brilliant but how would he propose they judge that entry? That's like putting 5 different answers on a test paper and asking the teacher to pick the best one and mark that one. What? What was he thinking? Probably he was thinking about medical school. It is amazing that he was able to do both simultaneously. That is bloody impressive.

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1 hour ago, GoldaVining said:

The man is clearly brilliant but how would he propose they judge that entry? That's like putting 5 different answers on a test paper and asking the teacher to pick the best one and mark that one.

Paul and Mary have always told contestants that they'll be judged on everything they present.  So adding to the brief can be just as disastrous as not fulfilling it entirely. 

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On 8/17/2018 at 10:36 PM, Quilt Fairy said:

 

PBS has advertised this season "For the last time ever".  It's unlikely we'll ever see the post-Mary seasons unless Netflix manages to get them.

I have been watching the new season on CBC (I live near Seattle and my cable system carries a Vancouver BC station). The format is the same and the new folks are fine but they haven’t won my heart (yet?) the way Mary, Mel, and Sue did. At least the show is not ruined, in my opinion. 

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On 8/22/2018 at 4:36 PM, magdalene said:

I don't believe the show is ageist or prefers the pretty bakers to win.   I think if you make it to the finale - and that alone is quite an achievement - you must have better bakes that day than your two fellow bakers to win. I don't believe the competition is fixed the way they do on the American competitions

I don't think it's ageist, either. I think one of the issues Paul and Mary had with Brendan is that even though they told him early on and repeatedly that his decorating was very outdated, he persisted in that style of decorating. Along with creativity, they also like to see some growth and the ability to absorb constructive criticism. While I adore Brendan and, having been a teenager in the 70s, enjoyed the retro look of his bakes, I do understand that they would not fly in a modern establishment. 

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On 8/21/2018 at 1:31 PM, sum said:

However, from her full recipe, the key for the method seems to be chilling the squares in the fridge after almost every step and she didn't allow them enough time for that.

This seems really unfair to the bakers to set a technical challenge where "Mary Berry-quality" fondant fancies are to be produced, without giving them the same amount of time that Mary Berry has to make them. No wonder all of the fancies looked deficient - usually at least one person hits the mark on the technical challenge, but for all 3 in the final to not work it out suggests that the challenge itself was not set properly.

 

4 hours ago, Nysha said:

Along with creativity, they also like to see some growth and the ability to absorb constructive criticism.

Personality and possible smug-ness aside, this is was what irked me most about Brendan. Whenever the judges criticized his bakes, you could see in his face and demeanor that he didn't entirely believe what they were saying to him. Also, although he certainly produced consistent high-quality bakes, what he was producing was consistent, high-quality versions of classic recipes, with barely any creativity added. That's fine for someone who wants to work in a run-of-the-mill bakery on a small town high street, but it's clear that on this show they want to see someone who can bring a new flair and take on baking, while still producing delicious and visually impressive baked goods.

Edited by ombelico
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