Take down the tent and get Jürgen’s name engraved on that glass cake tray already – there’s only one winner of The Great British Bake Off 2021, and he’s so much better than everyone else it’s already starting to get a little bit awkward.
Watching Jürgen deliver a masterclass in Biscuit Week, mixing invention with scientific precision, while others bodged their brandy snaps in the signature and struggled to get their showstoppers to stand up straight was like watching Usain Bolt race a load of primary school kids on sports day.
Jürgen patrolled his station like a Nobel Prize-winning physicist throughout Tuesday’s episode, carefully mixing his spiced chai cream and producing a gingerbread windmill so structurally sound you could have added a generator and powered the entire tent.
He even managed to impress during one of the wonderfully pointless challenges the Bake Off specialises in. The technical saw the 11 remaining bakers tasked with creating Jammy Dodgers (or ‘Jammy Biscuits’ as the Channel 4 producers persisted in calling them).
It’s one of our biggest Bake Off bugbears, tasks like these. When the raw ingredients cost 10 times more than a pack from the shop, and bakers can’t hope to replicate the exactness of industrial machines, all these challenges serve to do is make the bakers look incompetent. Still, though, Jürgen came out on top in the blind judging. Because of course he did.
The other bakers paled by comparison, but there were believe it or not a few non-Jürgen highlights. George interesting Cypriot flavours to the creations in episode two during a strong week for him. He’s hard not to like, George, and he brings a chaotic energy to the show while others are serenely making progress around him – the man constantly looks like he really needs a sit down and a beer, and we can relate.
Giuseppi and Freya showed themselves as the skillful bakers they are too, with Giuseppi’s brand snaps looking like they came straight from the window display of a swanky Rome bakery. Our money is on them both making the final with the German genius.
In the end the showstopper – a toy-themed biscuit which had to be interactive – proved a step too far for Jairzeno, who was probably unfairly eliminated after Amanda served up a pile of biscuity rubble when her rocking horse creation collapsed pre-judging. Jairzeno seemed a good bloke and encouraged viewers to apply for the 2022 series in his exit letter though, so it’s not all bad news.
How are we feeling two weeks in? The show seems to be finding its feet again after an opening episode which for stretches was as dry as a week-old fruit cake. We have noticed a few things emerging already – the show seems to be lower on cheeky innuendo and meme-able moments than ever before.
We still have reservations about the line-up too. It’s still early days, and we’re sure they’re all nice people, but some of them need to up their game – even the gingerbread family from the Aldi ads have made more of an impact than some of the other bakers left in the tent.
It’s all academic, though. Unless Jürgen has a Baked Alaska-size meltdown before the final, he could win this with both his arms tied behind his back. And he’d probably be one of the most popular winners the show has had. Judging by the social media reaction, there are legions of fans out there who, two weeks in, would gladly run through walls for him – and someone even answered the phone when he won star baker this week!
The softly spoken, scientifically minded baker has already won over the hearts of the nation. Can anyone stop him? Not a chance.
The Great British Bake Off continues on Tuesday at 8pm on Channel 4.
Credit: Original article published here.