- Great British Bake Off -Should Jurgen Have Been Eliminated On 'The Great British Bake Off'?
Jürgen seemed like a choux-in to be named the winner of The Great British Bake-Off this season. But in the semifinals, the world inside the tent as GBBO fans knew it changed. Jürgen was sent home on The Great British Bake-Off leaving Chigs, Crystelle, and Giuseppe to face off in the finals. But did this lovable German baker really deserve to go?
Jürgen didn't get Paul's Hollywood Handshake during the Signature, unlike the other three bakers. (Three Hollywood Handshakes in one round?! Add it to the list of scandals!) But his Murder at the Opera cake did leave Prue singing his praises, saying it was "sensational" and commenting that if she could have given him a handshake, she would. (Just do it, Prue! Make the "Leith Shake" a thing!) Then, he went on to get first in the Technical. OK, no handshake, but first in Technical puts him on even footing, right? Well, no. Because Paul was underwhelmed by his Torii Gate in the Sea-themed banquet display for Pâtisserie Week, and thus, he was sent home.
At this point in the show, any misstep or even just baking something lackluster can mean elimination. But something feels off about Jürgen's departure when you consider what happened during the quarter-finals. Giuseppe's Showstopper was deemed the worst, but evidently, Giuseppe had done enough to save himself in the first two bakes to not even be considered at the bottom?? Then, when deciding between Crystelle or Lizzie to send home, Paul said, "You've to look at it, generally as bakers, which one deserves their place in the semifinal." When in previous seasons, Paul has said that judging is solely based on how the contestants proved themselves that week, and not on their worthiness overall.
I may be biased, but with the way Lizzie and Jürgen were sent home, the judging feels inconsistent. Lizzie finally demonstrates finesse, she's sent home. Jürgen does consistently great bakes, he's sent home. Couldn't you argue that Jürgen with his three Star Bakers and four Technical first places (more than any other contestant this season) had done enough to make it to the last week? As GBBO fans process this loss, let's evaluate the judging of his best and worst bakes to see if Jürgen truly was deserving of this elimination.
The Best: German Biscuits
One could argue that GBBO having its first German Week with a German in the tent was unfair. He didn't end up as Star Baker (Giuseppe did), but Prue called his coffee-flavored German biscuits in the Signature Challenge "the crumbliest, butteriest biscuit I think I've ever eaten, it is just perfect," while Paul gave him a Hollywood handshake.
The Worst: Vegan Sausage Rolls
Jürgen dropped his vegan sausage rolls during Free-From Week on the ground. Since he put them back into the oven, maybe the five-second rule didn't count. He got fourth out of fifth in the Technical, so the judges weren't impressed. And if you're into conspiracy theories, maybe the judges were angry they got tricked into eating floor sausage rolls and that's why they eliminated Jürgen the following week.
The Best: Mini Rolls
The Black Forest-themed mini rolls in Week 1 weren't the tidiest thing that Jürgen ever made. But, tons of bakers make sloppy bakes and get passes, especially early on. So with his perfect Black Forest flavors (he is from the Black Forest after all), the judges were right to praise his bake.
The Best/Worst: Reading Lamp Cake
Jürgen's anti-gravity reading lamp cake was one of his best with Paul saying he could become the "flavor king." But why I consider it one of the worst when it comes to judging is because Paul and Prue didn't taste the anti-gravity part of Jürgen's cake — the lamp. They only ate the book, which arguably, was a rather simple bake since it was a standard rectangle. Why didn't they cut into the lamp to make sure it had structural integrity and packed the same flavor and textures? This is one time Jürgen seemed to get off easy and he earned Star Baker for it.
The Best: Joconde Imprime Dessert
Prue and Paul claimed they couldn't get the black pepper flavor of his musical dessert, but Jürgen said it would come later... and evidently, he was right. Paul had him sing "Pastime with Good Company" (the song that was on his dessert) and after, Paul claimed he could taste the pepper. You could say this was Jürgen getting some preferential treatment, but I say this was simply him being the best damn Jürgenator around.
The Worst: All Of Week 3
Besides going with a baby theme for his milk bread Showstopper, Jürgen didn't do anything egregious in Week 3's Bread Week. But after two Star Bakers, the judges were holding him to a high standard, which was evident after Paul claimed, "Jürgen's back," during the Signature in Week 4. That comment in Week 4 seemed to indicate that if Jürgen wasn't absolutely wow-ing the judges, he was underperforming. Was any other baker being held to such a high standard?
The Best: Domed Caramel Dessert
Paul and Prue weren't very impressed with most of the contestants throughout Caramel Week. But with his domed caramel Showstopper, Jürgen managed another Star Baker win. His dessert with 107 steps (!) made Paul say (again) that he was happy Jürgen was back in the tent while Prue called it a triumph and couldn't resist taking another bite.
The Worst: His Elimination
This "worst" goes to the judging more than to Jürgen's bakes. Apparently, if Prue thinks you made something "sensational," but Paul doesn't, it means you're in danger. And while other contestants used Rice Krispies treats for their structural Showstoppers, Jürgen made his torii gate out of biscuits, which is far more difficult. Still, that wasn't enough to save him after not getting a handshake.
While there's no doubt that Chigs, Crystelle, Giuseppe, and Jürgen are all amazing bakers, will GBBO fans ever recover from this elimination? Well, even if I don't agree with the judges' decision in the semifinals, it's sure not stopping me from seeing who wins next week.