All That Glitters: Britain's Next Jewellery Star: The Final - Potential spoilers inside
May 19, 2021 4:40 AM - Season 1, Episode 6 - Subscribe

It's the grand final, and the three finalists battle it out for the title as they make a pair of pearl earrings and a maang tikka (a bridal headpiece) for client Nikki. But who will the judges crown the champion?

The remaining contestants did an amazing job this week. I thought all three sets of pearl earrings were beautiful, and particularly liked Hugo's. I knew Solange would love Tamara's though, as they were more 'edgy'. Dan's were far more classic but probably the best fit for a 'bestseller' brief.

The main criticism I'd have about the maang tikka challenge is that Indian wedding jewellery is generally made from 22ct or (mostly) 24ct gold, rather than 9ct, and is a much brighter yellow than 9ct. But those softer golds are far more difficult to work in such a short timeframe, so I can see why the contestants were given 9ct. That being said, though, a 9ct piece of jewellery would definitely be given second glances at an Indian wedding.

Again, there was little to choose between them, although Dan's was my personal favourite. I thought the bride looked lovely in the one she chose.

There was no one jeweller who either excelled above the others or made mistakes in this episode, so the judges' decision must have been a difficult one. I wasn't surprised at the winner though, as it's been fairly clear from the outset that their jewellery has hit the mark on so many levels.

I hope this show returns for a second season, but without Katharine Ryan, and possibly without Solange, although she did loosen up - very very slightly - towards the end.
posted by essexjan (5 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Ohhhh, that's interesting to know about Indian wedding jewelry. If that's the case then surely the customers are getting these for free. I wonder if the cost of higher-carat materials also plays into it.

For the earrings, I'm not really a big pearl person but I probably liked Dan's the best (though I liked the movement in Hugo's). I was not at all surprised by who the customer chose. It looked the most like the other maang tikka pieces I've seen.

I also wasn't surprised by the winner--especially once the judges said they were considering all the pieces the jewelers had made (a deviation from these shows, usually it's strictly just what was made this week).

It would be great to see another season of this, with more of the kinks worked out. Solange really opened up over the course of the competition, it seemed like she got more and more invested in the contestants and was visibly anxious for them this episode. I don't mind a reserved judge, but it was nice to see more emotion. As for Ryan, this was my first exposure to her and I thought she was quite funny, but it seems she's pretty polarizing.
posted by Anonymous at 6:11 AM on May 19, 2021

Also, carat issues aside, I thought a maang tikka was a great choice for a final challenge!
posted by Anonymous at 6:13 AM on May 19, 2021

I actually thought the winner was more surprising given looking at the entire track record. Hugo was definitely on the bubble for several challenges. The other two were much more consistent. Before the client picked him, I thought he had the longest odds of the three.

I don't know enough about jewelry to know how similar the two judges are in overall aesthetic, but they seemed to agree too often to be interesting. It's not GBBO where (a) amateurs, and (b) taste seems more binary than aesthetic preferences, but the judges seemed way more like-minded than Paul and Prue, e.g., or the judges on the Pottery Throw Down.

Still, I'd definitely watch another season of this. Even more so with a bit of a shakeup to format. (86 the plinth lights, host can go, get a more charismatic host and/or judge in there, longer time limits.)
posted by supercres at 9:42 AM on May 19, 2021

I spent the entire time with my eyebrows up at my hairline at 9ct gold for a major piece of jewelry for an Indian wedding. I didn't think Dan had a shot -- his stuff is all just a little too generic, though very well done, and really excellent for the bestseller type pieces. I would have been surprised but not shocked had Tamara won, though I think I liked her earrings best. (I liked Hugo's least, but his maang tikka most, though I have no idea what is standard for those.)

I liked the challenges this week, I wish we'd had more metal and stones earlier, even if not gold and diamonds.

What was interesting to me was that the bespoke challenge shows that, actually, customers often want the really standard, traditional, NOT MODERN jewelry, and yet they just ignore that for their judging.
posted by jeather at 9:53 AM on May 19, 2021 [2 favorites]

Yes, jeather, I can just imagine all the side-eye and gossip from the aunties if she actually wore that at her wedding.
posted by essexjan at 12:20 PM on May 19, 2021 [1 favorite]

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