The Great British Bake Off: The Final
November 24, 2020 5:16 PM - Season 11, Episode 10 - Subscribe

It's here! The final is here! Our three last bakers face down three more challenges in a bid to win the whole banana. If there were ever spoilers they are in this thread.

Dave, Laura, and Peter form the final trio. Who will take it home?
posted by Anonymous (29 comments total)
Based on this week's challenges, DAVE WAS ROBBED. He and Peter matched the signature, matched the showstopper, but Dave produced an absolutely superior technical. I have never actually thought the producers were affecting judging before, but "cherub-faced megafan wins GBBO" may have been a storyline they just couldn't pass up.
posted by Anonymous at 5:19 PM on November 24, 2020

I thought Peter edged the signature but yeah Dave’s technical was way way better. I thought all the showstoppers were a bit of a letdown.

It really sucks that Laura is getting shit for Hermine leaving but all I could think of watching this is that Hermine would have nailed it. You could really feel them stretching before showstopper to say that Laura still had a chance.
posted by supercres at 10:39 PM on November 24, 2020 [3 favorites]

Well that was nice. I’m glad they pulled off a Bake Off this year. 2020 needed it.
I didn’t reach the end thinking there was anything between Peter and Dave and thought either would have been a deserved winner. I don’t buy there being any agenda in Peter’s win. We only get to eat with our eyes so it’s hard to ever know really.
posted by chill at 11:44 PM on November 24, 2020 [4 favorites]

Yeah, I suspect they might have ended up going on taste for the walnut wullyballoo or whatever it was in the technical, because once again they had a temperature critical bake in a 39C tent, and maaaaaybe they were excusing Peter's slumpiness on the conditions rather than the bake. Eh.

And yeah, all 3 showstoppers were Not Great. I don't know if it was some "no artificial supports" rule in passing or if everybody was just too aggressive with their additions, but that was a buncha half fallen over desserts.

I do still like the post-season recap where everybody is still buddy buddy though. Honestly, I think a lot of the weirdness of this season did sort of boil down to the unusual circumstances, with everybody bundled up in a hotel for the duration of the production. That's what, 6 weeks holed up with the judges and your fellow competitors and the crew, even with the accelerated filming week's pseudo-weeks? Unless if the judges and jesters were sequestered off in their own part of the hotel, I suspect they became closer to the competitors than they're usually afforded during the usual weekend-only schedule.
posted by Kyol at 6:33 AM on November 25, 2020 [2 favorites]

I think it could be argued that Peter's friands were more in the range of "not good" while Dave's profiteroles were failures. I was not a huge fan of Laura but I'm really happy she was able to succeed with her showstopper. I also became very fond of Prue this season. I'm not sure if she was materially different compared to previous seasons, or if I'm just missing a matriarchal figure in my life.
posted by Rora at 6:48 AM on November 25, 2020 [2 favorites]

Noel was so sweet with his 'Bjorn Borg' advice to Laura. I'm really glad she did well on her showstopper and was able to finish on a high note.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 9:13 AM on November 25, 2020 [15 favorites]

I thought from Paul and Prue's comments that Peter was slightly ahead in the showstopper, since they only disliked one of his elements and all Prue could say about the Battenberg biscuits was that they were starting to get soggy, while they really disliked Dave's profiteroles and his babkas. But it was incredibly close. If they looked back at the entire competition, which they have sometimes done when the final is very close, then the edge would have just gone to Peter. Either one would have been fine as a winner though. It was definitely nice seeing the pictures from when they were all in the bubble together, playing around with the kids, and then future star baker Ronnie with Dave. The memorial to Luis made me weepy--he was a wonderful competitor and seemed like a lovely man.
posted by ceejaytee at 11:37 AM on November 25, 2020 [6 favorites]

I understand why Laura didn't win, but as someone who is also a good baker whose food turns out and who is good at flavours but just lets everything down when it comes to finishing/decorating, I enjoyed her stuff.

Overall, though, a big meh to this season. I am sort of curious about who ended up friends with whom.
posted by jeather at 12:14 PM on November 25, 2020 [1 favorite]

There's definitely a chance that I'm misremembering, but this feels like the first GBBO series where they did that horrible reality-TV thing of making a spectacle of people crying - I've noticed it through the season, in the interview bits with the people who've been eliminated, but especially in this episode with Laura. I heard that Mel and Sue used to curse or say trademarked brand names when people were crying, so they couldn't air it.

I just felt very bad for Laura, who seemed to be in just a little bit over her head in terms of the necessary skill level - I don't think she would have made it to the final in a normal season. If I had been filmed failing like that, and crying about it, Noel Fielding definitely wouldn't have been able to get me to take my head out of the freezer.
posted by Jeanne at 6:06 AM on November 26, 2020 [3 favorites]

They absolutely used to hide all the crying etc, and I wish they would again. I think the show needs a real change, but then I'm still watching so maybe it's just easier to keep going as is.
posted by jeather at 7:23 AM on November 26, 2020 [5 favorites]

I found Noel so creepy in this series, it was actively unpleasant. Stop talking about seeing your colleagues naked! Stop suggesting you'd use their body parts as inspiration! Stop making people kiss the wooden spoon! For that matter, stop talking about filling things with blood! Ugh. I'm here for the baking and the kindness, not the hit-and-miss comedy. The presenter of The Great Pottery Throwdown just plays it completely straight, and I find it so much more enjoyable to watch.

I really want to try one of those walnut whips whirls, though. (Perhaps they couldn't call it a Walnut Whip for the same reason they can't show brand names on any of the ingredients?) The cone of coffee ganache in the middle is a fantastic idea.
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 8:15 AM on November 26, 2020 [12 favorites]

I heard that Mel and Sue used to curse or say trademarked brand names when people were crying, so they couldn't air it.
I heard Sue Perkins say that a few years ago and remember being confused because of I’d seen plenty of emotion. Ruby Tandoh for example got a lot of abuse for it, eg people saying she was just trying to get the sympathy vote.
posted by chill at 10:58 AM on November 26, 2020

I thought it was sweet that they had all of the "bubblers" at the final garden party, and had public appreciation of the extra effort to pull off a 2020 GBBO. I was meh on the final showstoppers - the idea of showcasing a bunch of different techniques is good on paper, but ended up seeming like random stuff piled on top of a cake.

The kissing of the spoon was weird, but I laughed at the key party joke, and got weepy at the Bjorn Borg advice.
posted by Sparky Buttons at 9:52 AM on November 27, 2020 [4 favorites]

Even though they were all in a bubble together, I think it was irresponsible to show something like the bakers all kissing the wooden spoon.
posted by QuakerMel at 10:33 AM on November 27, 2020 [2 favorites]

I heard that Mel and Sue used to curse or say trademarked brand names when people were crying, so they couldn't air it.

According to this article, Mel and Sue almost walked off the first season of GBBO because the producers were trying to provoke contestants into crying. Also they shielded contestants who were upset. Laura trying to hide her face in the ice box was painful. I can't imagine how much more upsetting it is to have a camera on you while you're going through that. I reallllllly wish they wouldn't do that.

It was nice to finally see the bakers families. It's something I really missed this year and I wish we had more little moments like those through the series and a lot less of Noel.
posted by miss-lapin at 10:52 AM on November 27, 2020 [3 favorites]

So I'm a GBBO newcomer -- I've seen some isolated episodes here or there but this was the first time I've ever watched a season all the way through in real time. I was similarly underwhelmed at the final three but have to say I found the ending actually quite moving. Someone winning + all the people in the bubble + hey some of them remained friends + dedicated to a past contestant who'd died -- all of that in combination really hit my "exactly what I need in 2020" button.

Also, as an American minimally familiar with Noel and Matt, I found that while I actively disliked them at the beginning I really grew to like them as the season went on. And I also found the Bjorn Borg moment quite lovely.

Count me in for next season, whenever it is.
posted by BlahLaLa at 11:49 AM on November 27, 2020 [2 favorites]

I tried to commit to not rooting for anyone, but I loved the audacity of Dave re-making bakes that he failed at throughout the season. Couple that with his calm competence, and Peter seeming to fall apart a little with the checkerboards, I thought Dave would have it. Oh well! I guess technicals never did matter (and here it was chocolate not setting vs. marshmallow melting a little), but Peter was the best technical challenge performer of the three throughout, so he had the best shot from sheer skills. I wish he'd do a theme besides Christmas, though, but he is still a young'n.

Mr. Spoon can go away.

I still like Laura and she's such a nice person (her dad's video message made me tear up a little!) but they showed her freezer crying in the preview so that ruined a lot for me. :/ I will complain the most about the editing of this season, ramping up drama and focusing on upset moments and trying to generate suspense.

Still, I thought it was lovely to have the celebration with the staff and crew that made the show possible, and they all cheered so loud! I nearly cried at the last shot of Luis. He was lovely, as were most of the contestants we got to know this season.
posted by j.r at 12:08 PM on November 27, 2020 [6 favorites]

I hadn’t known Luis had died. I’m so sad—he was one of my all-time favorites.

I’m happy with Peter’s win but while the season started well for me, by the time it was over I found myself getting really rankled by dumb stuff. Frankly I’d like to take that spoon to the sides of the presenters’ faces. That stupid joke at the beginning was an entire minute of wasted time. I’m so done with them, Bjorn Borg Speech aside.
posted by kitten kaboodle at 5:01 PM on November 27, 2020 [1 favorite]

I’m not much of a baker, so I aspire to Laura’s “taste’s excellent, is lopsided” level. I did laugh at her gagging about coffee in exactly the same way she did about macha, though. When she hates something, she hates all the way.

If Dave’s choix buns had come out well, it might have tipped him over because it was a fun challenge for a final. But you could see they were shaped oddly.
posted by PussKillian at 7:40 PM on November 27, 2020 [2 favorites]

I've seen some isolated episodes here or there but this was the first time I've ever watched a season all the way through in real time

Me too, and they dropped my three favorites one after the other after the other! And I‘m seemingly the only one who wasn’t a big fan of Peter? Partly his taste just doesn’t seem to line up with mine. But he’s certainly skilled so I can’t say it’s unfair for him to come out on top.
posted by atoxyl at 10:01 PM on November 27, 2020

Matt Lucas has the best narrator voice. Sounds like a completely different person.
posted by guiseroom at 5:48 AM on November 28, 2020 [4 favorites]

Matt Lucas has cornered the market as the unattended weird toddler at the grown-up party.

What’s with Prue getting a raspy voice after eating baked goods?
posted by Don.Kinsayder at 11:37 AM on November 28, 2020 [1 favorite]

Also, I’ve really grown fond of Prue. She’s cool as hell!
posted by Don.Kinsayder at 11:40 AM on November 28, 2020

Prue and Mary Berry should be the judging team.
posted by janell at 1:50 PM on November 28, 2020 [14 favorites]

That’s what I think!
posted by Don.Kinsayder at 1:54 PM on November 28, 2020

This was a perfectly cromulent finale. Bakers encouraged each other, bakers more or less completed all challenges, bakers' families made me tear up. Boxes checked.

Laura's dad ("you're so clever!") and Peter's brother who looks just like him were the family highlights for me, not to say anything against Dave's lovely wife and dog.

The showstoppers weren't executed as well as one might hope, but they were all pretty ambitious and none abject failures. I thought it was bold of Dave to do a redemption cake, but I disagree that it seemed his was as well received as Peter's. Just going off the judges' comments, it seemed Peter edged him. I also don't get why "fresh faced young GBBO fanboy" would be such a better narrative than "expectant new father wins GBBO" that the producers would want to manipulate it.

I'm glad I watched this season, and it's impressive they pulled the production off despite quarantine restrictions, but overall I prefer the earlier seasons still.

I also didn't know Luis died! I might go rewatch series 5 now. Other than series 6 (Nadiya and Tamal stan for life over here), that was my favorite. I think Luis is the one who brought the sheriffs badge they gave to the star bakers that year. RIP, star baker.
posted by the primroses were over at 3:41 PM on November 28, 2020 [7 favorites]

Luis was one of my favorite contestants, he seemed super friendly and not as tightly wound as most of the other great bakers. :(

I won't judge the quality of these bakers against any other season, they had a very, very different process.

Seeing pics of Peter growing up on GBBO was great. This is still an enjoyable show, it's just never going to be the show it was 5-10 years ago.
posted by skewed at 8:39 AM on November 30, 2020

I agree with:
Prue: awesome
Noel: creepy
Mr. Spoon: go away

I was fine with Peter winning, although I never was quite able to root for him. I really hoped Laura would pull everything together in this episode and wow us all!

I liked all the challenges this time, I'd never heard of a custard slice before but they looked delicious, and I was super impressed at how well the walnut whatsits turned out. Maybe next year they can invest in a blast freezer? You know, because climate change...or why not do it in the fall rather than the summer?

I really liked the idea of the showstopper "dessert tower" as a kind of portfolio of the whole season. So much better than building a garden out of biscuits or whatever that was last year. And Dave's do-over theme was a total flex, even if he didn't quite pull it off. I will say that Peter's base cake looked incredible and I want some even though I don't even really like cake that much.
posted by exceptinsects at 9:25 AM on November 30, 2020

Ooops, I meant DAVE's cake. Fraisier cake? Yes please.
posted by exceptinsects at 10:09 AM on November 30, 2020 [1 favorite]

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