The Great British Bake Off: The Final
October 30, 2018 4:35 PM - Season 9, Episode 10 - Subscribe

Three bakers. A scorchingly hot tent. Three last challenges to see who of Kim-Joy, Rahul or Ruby will be 2018 Bake-Off winner. First, doughnuts - actually, British-style filled doughnuts and US-style ring donuts. Not that Rahul has had either before - will his imagination get the better of him? Then a technical challenge that surprises the bakers as much as it does us. Finally, a show-stopper bake where our final three get to show us their best. Needless to say, discussion involves mention of the winner.

It really was all open up until near the end, wasn't it? But Rahul was perhaps slightly ahead going in to the show-stopper, and his garden looked amazing. Kim-Joy seemed ever so slightly to run out of steam and Ruby's can-do attitude didn't quite get her past Rahul's quietly brilliant baking.

I'm still trying to decide if the technical challenge was inspired genius or a gimmick that took the show all too close to the sort of daft challenge you associate with celebrity reality TV. At least it got the bakers out of a tent that must have been like a sauna.

The delightful part of the final is seeing all the other bakers come back with family and friends (incidentally, I am very impressed that the result is as well-kept a secret as it is with so many people in on it). Here it seems that the bakers have been and have remained a particularly close-knit bunch - save, ironically enough, for Rahul himself. Previous winners and even some non-winning bakers have gone on to a measure of fame and success, but I rather get the impression that Rahul, if he has anything to do with it, will disappear off the radar and not be seen again unless there's a 'Where Are They Now?' if and when the show gets to its 20th year.
posted by Major Clanger (16 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I cried at the end. Rahul is the best.
posted by mai at 6:16 PM on October 30 [1 favorite]

My team is that the technical was daft bullshit. That's a Week 1 challenge if anything, when the bakers are still loose and having fun and not giant balls of stress.

I also didn't realize how much I'd been rooting for Kim-Joy until the end. And seeing Briony again was so great but man I missed her this episode.

I want only good things for all my little ducklings. <3
posted by soren_lorensen at 6:33 PM on October 30 [2 favorites]

I am tremendously proud of that Eeyore of a man.
posted by rewil at 10:59 PM on October 30 [1 favorite]

Oh and yes I'm also on team what the hell was that technical. Because damn.
posted by rewil at 10:59 PM on October 30 [1 favorite]

I have the feeling the various post show meet-ups between the contestants go beyond "posed for TV" camaraderie. I would like to think that some of the others got together to take Rahul to see Star Wars - eat a doughnut and get the hump over his his failure to have done all that previously.
posted by rongorongo at 12:27 AM on October 31

I thought the technical was a great idea for a fun challenge on some kind of cooking show — but a terrible choice for this cooking show, and especially the final. Because I know the show is never really an objective exercise in finding the best baker, but you can at least try to emphasise the role of skill over luck IN THE FINAL.

I thought all the showstoppers were a bit dingy looking; were they specifically told to try to make them naturalistic? They would have been much more attractive in cheery bright colours.
posted by Bloxworth Snout at 1:57 AM on October 31

I'm really blase about this finale and season in general. To be fair, the last season I watched was when it was still on BBC and Nadiya won, that was spectacular.

I'm pretty meh about Rahul winning. I've droned on about how lukewarm I am towards him, but I will give him two credits:
- When his glass storage exploded I actually thought he handled it pretty well. Honestly I was expecting him to sit in a corner crying, but he did seem to get on with it. I don't know if it was weird editing but I was very pissed off with Prue and Paul criticising his composure after that happened. Like, what the actual fuck, a glass exploded all over his ingredients and no one had told him if he would get that time back yet and they're picking at his attitude? I really hope that was bad editing because that was poor commentary from the judges.
- When Noel asked Rahul to describe himself in a word: "Depressing." I lol'd.

That technical challenge was a joke. Three out of the four components was dips and the dough component wasn't even baking and under gimmicky conditions. I wouldn't have minded so much if it was very early on in the competition, for a bit of a laugh. But for a final technical? Absolute joke and a waste of everyone's time.

The landscape showstopper fell completely flat for me. Unsuprisingly, grey rocks and green sludge do not make appetising looking bakes. It was really underwhelming and some of the bakes looked flat out gross and not worthy of the skills posessed by the final three contestants. I want final showstoppers that delight the imagination and dazzle the senses!

Judging was inconsistent and massively favoured toward Rahul. Kim-Joy got criticised for how much filling her donuts had while they were gushing over Rahul's overstuffed concoctions. She also got criticised for not having enough height on her cake, which they admitted was delicious? And she had loads of height from her gingerbread walls, so specifically her cake needed height. When was that a criteria?

There was absolutely no suspense. I knew Rahul had won after the first challenge based on how the judge's comments were going. The drama over his glass exploding (which in no way is his fault, I'm talking about how it was edited and portrayed) sealed it for me.

I'm really on the fence about watching again next year. I'll probably tune into the first couple of episodes but I really don't like the direction it's gone this year so if that continues, I'm out.
posted by like_neon at 3:17 AM on October 31 [3 favorites]

At least it got the bakers out of a tent that must have been like a sauna.

I remember Ruby commenting she was eager to get back in the tent. It was 32 degrees under a blazing sun and working with an open fire. I don't blame her.
posted by like_neon at 3:18 AM on October 31 [2 favorites]

I didn't remember them criticizing Kim-Joy's donut filling, just exclaiming over it. And I imagine they wanted height from the cake because I think a taller cake would have been more impressive-looking. But I didn't feel the judging was biased.

I would've been happy with any of the bakers winning--but I feel like that nearly every year, I love the contestants.

The technical challenge was bullshit and gimmicky through and through. I enjoyed the last season on C4 and had hopes it would continue, but this season you can really tell the difference from the move.
posted by schroedinger at 5:34 AM on October 31 [1 favorite]

Yes, I feel like last year they were afraid of alienating loyal viewers with the move to Channel 4 and the new hosts, so they kept a low profile and tried to keep it as true to the Platonic ideal of the show as possible, but there was noticeably more tinkering this time and not really for the better. I don't really think it quite jumped the shark, but this may be my least favorite season.
posted by briank at 5:38 AM on October 31 [3 favorites]

I disagree that Raul was ahead going into the final. Rahul's donuts were dark and oily, and the buttercream frosting did not go over well, though the mango filled ones were apparently good. Also it seemed a bit weird to have never had a donut and then say "I like my filled donuts very full." At any rate, I thought it was pretty clear that Kim-Joy won both challenges on the first day and therefore was in the lead going into the final.

Sadly the showstoppers were godawful looking. I was really surprised at how ugly and unappetizing they all were. I agree that I would much rather see everyone succeed with lovely things that are a bit easier to accomplish and more straightforward baking. This isn't a show that needs to be made more suspenseful or dramatic. I hope Love Productions is reading the comments on Twitter or the Guardian or wherever. Seems like a majority of viewers are not happy with the turn toward outlandish challenges and crying bakers.

Also I am tired of all the dips*.

*food ones, not Noel. I like him.
posted by oneirodynia at 7:12 PM on October 31 [2 favorites]

Rahul should have gone out in Danish Week when he BURNED EVERY CHALLENGE, and was last in the Technical. Briony should have been in the final--even with her over-large patisserie. < /rant over>
posted by tzikeh at 11:27 PM on October 31 [5 favorites]

Yeah, I thought Rahul was second going into the final, but he nailed his Showstopper and Kim-Joy flubbed hers.
posted by schroedinger at 6:39 PM on November 1

It's interesting to see how every reality tv fandom breaks down into two groups - those that choose their favorites based on personality and those that root for the most talented. I am in the former category, which is why I continue to stan Rahul even when he burns his danish.
posted by mai at 10:13 AM on November 3

Rahul is a great guy and everything and his "adoptive family" were really sweet, but... I'm kind of disappointed he won. His "garden" looked like an aquarium that had been drained. It was supposed to be a "feast for the senses" and even Paul said it looked terrible. He also really scraped through the previous two weeks, getting through despite making "inedible" bread. That said neither of the others really stood out so it's hard to choose an obvious winner (I also think Kim-Joy was just ahead going into the last round, but Ruby's showstopper was the best). I agree with like_neon that it was a really underwhelming showstopper.

I don't know if it was weird editing but I was very pissed off with Prue and Paul criticising his composure after that happened.

I feel like it must have been some editing - there was a later comment during the judges' discussion that made it sound like Rahul had been more upset than was shown maybe? Which is fair to Rahul but made the judges seem super harsh.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 1:29 AM on November 6

Guardian interview with Kim-Joy. She seems almost impossibly nice.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 1:45 AM on November 12 [1 favorite]

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