Bake Off. Too many Bake fails this year?(57 Posts)
Not once this series has Paul said that immortal line ..." this is taking baking to the next level" . I don't recall as many failed attempts and lack lustre show stoppers in previous series put together than this series alone has thrown up.
Maybe to add a bit of drama the contestants are being given less time to complete the task but I would rather see beautifully executed bakes than some of these poor failed attempts!
Not even any long lingering shots of tonight's show stoppers, were the cameras trying to hide something I wonder.
So what I'm asking is are this year's contestants a little bit less talented than those from previous years ?
I'll brace myself for a back lash of "could I do any better?" but no I couldn't. I restrict my bake fails to the privacy of my own kitchen!
No. Just wondering if I'm being a bit of a cow for thinking this lot are a little bit less talented, that's all.
Hmm. I think there is a definite element of having to do more in less time. I'm sure the wedding cakes in the final a few years back had longer than 4 hours and I cant see how they were significantly more difficult than todays showstopper.
I'm no expert but I've made a few 3 tier cakes including my own wedding cake. There is no way on earth you can do a perfect job in 4 hours. Sounds like I'm being a cow.
The program is edited so they could be given more time to let things cool, prove set, etc.
Now wondering what C4 will add / change to add drama.
I don't think the standard is as high this year.
On the other hand it feels like a lot of the time they deliberately give them slightly less time than they need, which is stupid. Bake Off isn't that kind of show!
I don't like the feeling of people being set up to fail by not being given enough time to complete the task - there was one in the early weeks (bread, I think) where almost no one had managed to get their bake right, because they needed about 5 mins more to do justice to the recipe. If we wanted speediness, we would bring back Ready, Steady, Cook!
Although, in the bread week, the people who did well in the signature bake were those who'd looked at the time limit and thought "OK, then, I'll do a slightly smaller loaf" (Rav) or "OK, then, I'll skip the second proving and go for a flatter end result" (Andrew). I think the "think about the time you actually have available" message hasn't necessarily filtered down.
Also I get the impression that in the early series contestants would mostly have practised the non-technical rounds at home more thoroughly than seems to be the case this year.
I think we just mentally edit out the less-talented contestants from past years and remember the really good ones, whereas all this year's contestants are still fresh in our collective memories.
I do think that they are being set up to fail in the early rounds, with the ones who manage to do least worst are the ones who go through. Hopefully the last few rounds will give them the time they need to actually do justice to the task in hand.
Maybe its because in earlier series, there were some real problems in deciding who should be sent home so they needed to make it more clear cut. I remember in the ....second series I think, although could be wrong, that there was outcry that the wrong person was sent home according to Twitter et al.
We've been saying the same thing. But until last night, the showstopper challenge wasn't very showstoppery. Dp has said all season that he doesn't particularly want anyone to win, he just wants Andrew to lose less than the others. He's been very disappointed in the lack of a bread lion this year.
I feel the same as Pohara's DH - there are no winners amongst this lot, I just would prefer it if Andrew and Benjamina did OK purely because they seem nice. With the exception of the first one or two to go out in previous years, it just feels like they were all of a higher standard than this current crop.
I think every year, people say that Bake Off isn't as good as previous years - it is a Bake Off tradition I am loving this year, especially Selasi, Benjamina, Andrew & Jane. I actually like them all and was sorry to lose cuddly teddy bear Rav. I will miss it when it goes to C4 (sniff).
They're all a lot more talented than I so fair play to the lot of them. Benjamina is my fave.
Yes feel the same, in previous years have always by this stage had one or two that I would like to win, this year I don't particularly care who wins. No one seems to be standing out as that 'wow' baker. Thinking it's a good time for bake off to be moving on elsewhere and for Sue, Mel and Mary to be given a new format.
I was wondering if there was something going on with the tent, hotter than usual or more humid or something? They all seem to be failing to do pretty basic things like getting meringue to the right consistency but then pulling off some complicated stuff. Its really odd.
I think part of it is that they have all watched previous series of Bake Off and are trying to push themselves too hard in the time available. They want to show how clever they are, and how innovative, and how they know ALL the baking techniques and can use fancy gadgets and ingredients.
Like Jane last night with her chocolate collar things for her cake - she just didn't have the time for them and they didn't work well. Had she kept things more simple and concentrated on something simpler, she could have made a stunning cake. (Her's was still better than Awful Candice's seasons monstrosity though)
I agree. I think it is about the time and that is intentional in order to facilitate judging. It also seems that in order to get telegenic, nice people and to maintain a balance across age/sex/race/culture the priority is not the baking skills of the person.
I am really enjoying the series, for in fact, those reasons. The "personalities" provoke discussion and if we like them - and I do - they add to the charm of the programme. The baking seems secondary this year - more than most.
I would find it interesting to see a bit more about the skills and techniques involved but it is already an hour long!
When they all destroyed their Yorkshire puddings I had thoughts of actually entering myself! All previous years, when someone tells me to enter, I am very clear in my own mind that I would not make the grade. This year I would say they are not nearly as good.
I thought Benjamina and her half naked cake was genius no mad fanning trying to cool it down so her icing wouldn't run
Yes I think the standard is lower this year. Most of the cakes last night were a disaster. I also wish they were given a bit more time in that i'd rather see the best they can come up with rather than the drama of people falling short.
It's been a lacklustre year!
I said this to DH last night. They seem to have deliberately cut down the time given maybe to ramp up the tension, but everything now looks a bit shit! Bread week was ridiculous as they were trying to make enriched dough in 2 hours!
I do wonder what was going on with the meringue yesterday too, a lot of them made very sloppy mixtures and meringue is not that difficult!
Yes I agree, never enough time, so it's not about who bakes best, but about who can do something OKish in the limited time, which is a shame when you have people who are good at baking and don't want to just do OKish things, but then run out of time. Just to create drama.
Same thing with the technicals, giving them practically nothing useful in the instructions, and letting it be a mind game with how much they already know or can guess about the item, rather than who can actually bake well.
Even with the judging - they never tell them properly what they're looking for until it's too late. If they only like the meringues done in the oven and not blow-torched, well say so then, rather than waiting til afterwards. People who like blow torched, softer meringues might love the other ones, but if it's not what Paul and Mary like best, then too bad. It's not something that has an absolute right/wrong, but a choice. Same with the biscuits. After they'd all decided on what they were doing, Paul went on and on about the crunch of them and the snap, and the poor people who had chosen soft raisiny type biscuits were never even in with a chance, no matter how wonderful they were. Or if they wanted them to show lots of different decorating skills on one cake - then say so! Poor Andrew's cake looked fabulous, much better than the mish-mash of Candice's, but he'd not shown as many techniques, and they didn't like that - even though the overall product was better. They need to be a lot clearer with the judging criteria, or it just becomes a mind-reading game.
I nearly dropped last night when the judges called Toms showstopper "simply decorated". Maybe he had done the same the whole way round but it took skill, precision and he allowed himself enough time. Many couldn't even achieve that!
and yes, I'm sure the conditions in the tent make it really hard to predict how things will respond - the humidity changes so much in an outdoor setting, and the ovens all seem to work differently than they expect on different days, etc. They don't choose the exact brands and types of ingredients, either, which will make a difference.
I'd also like to see what they could all do as their best work, not just the time pressured stuff.
I agree - Jane, Candice, Andrew, Tom (and last night - Selasi) have all shown flashes of brilliance, but there are no true all rounders. Benjamina has always been quite good, but there's no 'wow factor'. Unless she really pulls out all the stops now, I'd feel her winning would be on consistency rather than genius.
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