The Great British Baking Show: Welcome to the Semifinal

Noel, Paul, Prue and Matt. The Great British Bake Off
Noel, Paul, Prue and Matt. The Great British Bake Off /

Going into the Semifinal of The Great British Baking Show, there was only one question on the minds of the fans. Who would be joining Jurgen and Giuseppe in the Final? Would it be Chigs or Crystelle who would witness the end of the great Jurgen/Giuseppe rivalry, one of the best ever seen in The Tent?

However, once the flour dust had settled, there were a whole lot more questions. And what is shaping up to be a Final with the potential to be one of the most talked about and unpredictable in Great British Baking Show history.

But first, the Semifinal. This week was Patisserie Week which, as you know, is all about being exact and creating beautiful bakes. For the Signature Challenge the bakers had to create eight patisserie-style layered slices. They had to be identical, at least three layers and each layer had to stand out.

To put it simply, all the bakers did some amazing work. So much so that three of the four received a Hollywood Handshake, an unprecedented event. Chigs in particular created stunning raspberry and chocolate slices that included jaconde sponge, chocolate ganache and raspberry mousse that were things of beauty.

Who was eliminated in the Semifinal of the Great British Baking Show?

The odd baker out? Jurgen. His Night at the Opera slices, inspired by the classic opera cake that included beetroot buttercream, chocolate glaze and a coffee-soaked sponge. Although Prue was impressed Paul found the flavors lacking.

For the Technical Challenge the bakers had to make a sablé breton tart including raspberry confiture and pistachio creme mousseline with meringue kisses and chocolate curls. Of the four bakers Jurgen was the only one who had any clue what the Challenge was. At the other end of the specturm was Chigs, who seemed lost.

The standings showed just that as Chigs came in last by a wide margin with a tart that was a complete mess. Crystelle came in third followed by Giuseppe with Jurgen getting a much needed win after his disappointment in the Signature.

That left the Showstopper Challenge, which was a themed banquet desset that had to include an edible centerpiece and 12 entremets. They had five hours to make their creation with a spot in the Final riding on how they did.

And all four bakers responded to the pressure and turned in some of their best bakes to date. Giuseppe received glowing comments on his centerpiece inspired by the Leaning Tower of Pisa with entremets made of chocolate custard with a cherry center all inside a chocolate sponge. Crystelle’s centerpiece of a candle and meringue flowers drew inspiration from her sister’s wedding and was dazzling. Paul said her entremets, made with vanilla and coconut cremeaux centres surrounded by mango bavarois on top of passionfruit jelly, were simply flawless.

With both Chigs and Jurgen’s Showstoppers also getting rave reviews, it made for one of the closest Semifinals ever seen on The Great British Baking Show. Any of the four bakers could have gone to the Final and there would have been no argument.

In the end, Crystelle was named Star Baker much to her shock and surprise while in what can only be called the upset of the season, Jurgen went home. It was so close that it’s tough to argue with the decision of the judges. They all deserved to go through.

Which means it is really anyone’s title to win. Looking at our final Leaderboard of the season, you can see what we think of the Final Three and where they stand.

  1. Giuseppe
  2. Crystelle
  3. Chigs

If Giuseppe can keep focused and have three solid bakes, the title is his to win. However, he has shown that he can be beaten, and has been by both Crystelle and Chigs. All it will take is one mistake and Crystelle could easily walk away the winner. The same can be said for Chigs.

All in all, this looks like it will be one very exciting and unpredictable Final. A new champion will be crowned next Friday when the season finale of The Great British Baking Show arrives on Netflix.

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What do you think Guilty Eaters? Are you upset about Jurgen going home? Who do you think will take the title? Leave a comment below and let us know or join the conversation on our Twitter and Facebook pages.