Great British Baking Show 2021

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Warning: If you haven’t watched this season of The Great British Baking Show, read no further. Spoilers!

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This season has been my absolute favorite season so far. I loved so many of the bakers, and for the first time, I felt like there was no clear winner going into the final. I absolutely felt like any of the three finalists could have won, and in any other season, there is no way a baker as gifted as Jürgen wouldn’t have made it to the final. I have to admit I was rooting for Giuseppe. Ever since Paul Hollywood asked Giuseppe for his focaccia recipe, I was rooting for him. I admit I was also rooting for Jürgen, and I was crushed when he was eliminated last week.

What I love about this show is how supportive the contestants are of each other. They are truly happy for each other when they’re successful. It makes me sad to say, but it’s not a show that would work in the USA. I know they tried to start an American version of the show, and I understand it failed. I think it’s because we’re too individualistic and competitive. That’s not to say that the UK isn’t also an individualistic society, but they’ve at least managed to care enough about their fellow human beings to have universal health care.

A few years ago, I was intimidated as a baker. I might make occasional cookies and brownies, but I was scared of trying more complicated bakes like bread, and cakes have always been a bit of a challenge for me because I’m impatient and don’t wait for them to cool before frosting them. Watching this show has helped me try things I might not have tried (certainly not at their caliber or level, however). But more than anything else, I love this show because makes me believe in people. This pandemic has been so hard. It’s not over, either. This show has been one light spot over the last two years. I’m really grateful for it because it gives me hope.

It shows me the best parts of humanity every week when I feel surrounded by the worst parts. It’s beautiful to watch the bakers grow over the course of the series. Chigs, for example, started baking during lockdown. That he was in the final is incredible, and he grew tremendously as a baker while competing on the show. Crystelle, too, has had some incredible moments, including a Hollywood handshake during a showstopper and another showstopper that Paul Hollywood declared was “flawless.” It’s been such a journey, especially this season. I loved watching Lizzie every week. She was so cute, and her final showstopper in honor of neurodivergence was really heartwarming. I will buy whatever cookbooks Giuseppe writes, I swear. (I understand from the finale that he’s working on one with his father.) I just know Giuseppe has to have some killer sourdough starter going.

My next quest is trying to get my sister to watch. And then we need to watch it together.


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