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A Tent Full of English Short Crust: The Great British Baking Show

SabreCat

Sabe, Inattentive Type
(they/them)
The Bake Off is an elimination competition, however. Not a league. On the basis of this week, they were the worst and were therefore eliminated. I'm frustrated that it happened, but it wouldn't be the first time that the best baker had a bad week and walked.
Except that they routinely give people a pass for their "potential", take into account their record over the course of the season, etc. etc. If that's the rule for eliminations, they do their damnedest to obfuscate it.

I don't know that it was even so clear they were the worst this week, either.
 

muteKi

say "fish don't exist" to my face, motherfucker
Google loves to give me headlines the day after the show first Ird) airs, so by Wednesday I already know who's gone.
 

Egarwaen

(He/Him)
Except that they routinely give people a pass for their "potential", take into account their record over the course of the season, etc. etc. If that's the rule for eliminations, they do their damnedest to obfuscate it.

I don't know that it was even so clear they were the worst this week, either.

They absolutely give people passes for potential, or give “bonus points” for past performance, especially when they’re representative of some stereotype Paul likes. Or cut people because they’ve had a series of bad weeks and didn’t do well enough. And there’s also the usual reality show problem that Paul makes a decision and the editors adjust the footage we see to make that decision seem reasonable. Which is why this last episode was such a misstep, as the editing simply wasn’t effective at passing off Laura as having made mistakes but delivered good bakes anyway.
 

Alixsar

The Shogun of Harlem
(He/him)
Yeah whenever they eliminate someone and pull the "we look at this week only" card it's like...guys that's definitely 1000% not true, why would you even say that to me right now...

I feel kinda bad for the-person-who-made-it this week because I guess she's been getting harrassed online because OF COURSE that happened, and it's not really her fault that she made it? The editing definitely didn't show that she did a good job but I'm also like...how could it? She had a disasterous week. I think where the editing suffered is that it didn't show that the eliminated person didn't have a bad ENOUGH week; like it clearly showed she was struggling but like...not THAT much? I dunno.
 

Rascally Badger

El Capitan de la outro espacio
(He/Him)
I guess I don't really think the decision this week seemed unjustified, though I do agree that this season the show has made a certain choice with a lot of coin flip eliminations that at the very least looks bad in aggregate.

This is the first season I've watched as it aired instead of all together, it is a different experience for me anyway.
 

Jeanie

(Fem or Gender Neutral)
I'm 2/3 through the finale and the only reason Laura wasn't sent home last week was because the producers KNEW she'd be a disaster. You will never change my mind on this.
 

Phantoon

I cuss you bad
I actually think it was inadvertently cruel to put her though. She had a supernatural ability to not be the worst every week, but that was it, unfortunately.
 

Alixsar

The Shogun of Harlem
(He/him)
She did well in the final, which is nice for her, but she also sucked shit in the first two so it was like...why did this even happen.

I'm a LITTLE surprised by the final result. Peter and David both did well, but it seemed like David was overall more solid. I know they said it was super close, but it felt more like they threw darts at a board and came up with "well wouldn't it be nice if we had a young winner". I dunno, feels weird. This whole season felt weird.
 

Rascally Badger

El Capitan de la outro espacio
(He/Him)
The consistent thing for Laura was that they (or at least Prue) were always gushing about how her food tasted. Others stuff consistently looked better, but hers almost always got high praise for her flavors. I assume that is what carried her through until the end.
 

Alixsar

The Shogun of Harlem
(He/him)
Right but there's been contestants before who have ALSO gotten the same feedback, and didn't make it to the final. It's weird (racist?).
 

muteKi

say "fish don't exist" to my face, motherfucker
I'm 2/3 through the finale and the only reason Laura wasn't sent home last week was because the producers KNEW she'd be a disaster. You will never change my mind on this.
I am here because I absolutely believe this
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
I'm a LITTLE surprised by the final result. Peter and David both did well, but it seemed like David was overall more solid. I know they said it was super close, but it felt more like they threw darts at a board and came up with "well wouldn't it be nice if we had a young winner". I dunno, feels weird. This whole season felt weird.

I kinda disagree? David won the technical, but Peter did better in the signature and in the showstopper. The showstopper was close, but they didn't like two of the four things in David's, whereas the worst comment they gave Peter was that one of his cookies was stodgy. Given all that it always seemed to me like it was going to go to Peter.
 

Egarwaen

(He/Him)
They even went through in detail how Peter and David were tied in the Showstopper, and Paul’s post-show justification felt extremely thin. I’m sure there were good reasons to pick one over the other, but they didn’t justify it well on screen at all. Ironically the contestants themselves gave them the perfect justification to go one way or the other - either say you like Dave’s decision to revisit his failures or find it insufficiently visionary and move on.

As for Laura, she was clearly incredibly out of her depth, and it’s the first time I can think of when a finalist obviously had zero chance of winning. I don’t think she had a single gel-based item set at any point during the entire series. She constantly struggled with timing and contingency planning, workspace management, and even fundamental tool use. And her judging was more heavily edited than any other contestant. This episode they literally cut everything Paul said to her other than “tastes great”, in one case obviously cutting him off mid-sentence. It became unignorable a couple episodes ago, when Laura’s signature judging was bland and inoffensive and afterwards she talks about how savage the judges were. I think the producers kept hoping she’d shape up, and by the time it became obvious that wasn’t happening...

Also I feel like contestant cooperation happened less often this season, but Laura went out of her way to belittle the other contestants- she was constantly mocking Hermine for being French and Peter for silly things like “measuring” and “planning”, and it really grated.
 

Phantoon

I cuss you bad
Yeah, not measuring or planning went great for her!

Yeah, this lot seemed less interesting and friendly than the usual. I do wonder how much of that is due to Covid-19, they were effectively living with each other during this one.
 

Egarwaen

(He/Him)
I mostly put that down to editing decisions. They’d rather show us Noel harassing a minor with a wooden spoon.
 

Rascally Badger

El Capitan de la outro espacio
(He/Him)
Maybe it is just that I am less attuned to reality show editing, as this is the only reality adjacent thing I watch, but I didn't really pick up on much of that. The bit about her belittling other contestants absolutely does not jibe with how I saw things. The stuff with Peter, for example, seemed to be more about the playing up the contrast between his being very neat and her generally being more messy. I didn't think there was anything really belittling about it.

I mean, I don't disagree that there were probably two or three other contestants who would have likely been better in the final, but I don't see her making it as some kind of grand error.
 

Phantoon

I cuss you bad
Yeah, I wasn't watching this series in any kind of forensic detail so I wasn't going to argue it but it felt wrong to me. Laura didn't seem to be particularly snide at all while I was watching it. The whole "pretend to diss somebody for being good at something you aren't" is common British humour, not manifested jealousy. It's all in the tone, and I can see people misreading it.
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
Laura also said she wanted to shrink Peter down and keep him in her pocket and feed him bits of cheese at one point, so.
 

Mommi

Miss or be made.
(She/Her)
There was a number of moments where one of the other bakers would be recieving a compliment and they would cut to Laura giving a sour face. The producers were definitely trying something with her.
 

Egarwaen

(He/Him)
It’s also worth remembering that the editors have the advantage of perfect knowledge - they don’t have to air anything until the finale is complete, so they can freely manipulate episodes to get coherent characters and narratives.
 
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