Compared to other reality TV shows, who constantly tweak and re-work their material to make it appeal to a modern audience (Simon Cowell, we are looking at you!) The Great British Bake Off has continued to maintain original standards and a structure – and it couldn’t have worked better. With social media buzzing around Nadiya’s tearful win, it is virtually impossible to avoid it.
This week we follow Nadiya, a stay-at-home mum and baker of 10 years, Ian, a renowned travel photographer and Tamal, a trainee anaesthetist.
The intensity and stakes rise as the three finalists battle it out with their flavourful iced buns. The tension was palpable as Nadiya tried her original ‘cardamom and almond buns and nutmeg and sour cherry fingers’. Despite her nerves, she arrived, naturally, with her wild eyes that say ‘I want to win’, leading to the more inspirational quote subsequent to her win ‘I’m never going to say I can’t do it. I’m never going to say maybe. I’m never going to say I don’t think I can. I can and I will.’ Perhaps a lesson many of us can learn from…
This was followed by the technical challenge, which Nadiya lost in the first week. The bakers had to once again shake hands with Mr. Pastry and present a ‘raspberry millefeuille’ (which I initially believed was spelt ‘melfoi’). Mr Hollywood and Mary Berry indeed challenged them with the one thing all three bakers struggle with. However, this rough-puff pastry did not phase the bakers, with Nadiya triumphing, Ian taking second and Tamal last.
‘I’m never going to say I can’t do it. I’m never going to say maybe. I’m never going to say I don’t think I can. I can and I will.’
Next, we have the unforgettable ‘show-stopper’ challenge. As the bakers enter the tent for the last time they need to be prepared to create a patriotically British cake. Nadiya, who did not have a wedding cake because she got married in Bangladesh, chose to bake her husband’s favourite – lemon drizzle. It’s stand was decorated in red, white and blue sari material. Marry Berry and Paul Hollywood commented on Nadiya’s precision and detail with her bake, whilst Ian was complimented for his simplicity and care, and Tamal, for his ingenuity. However, Ian’s colossal curvy carrot cake, and Tamal’s Chinese fishing town inspired prune surprise did not manage to trample Nadiya’s ‘big fat British wedding cake’.
Upon winning, Nadiya said her family life would now ‘carry on as normal’. Being a mum to three small children under 10 is pretty time consuming, but as her husband rightly pointed out, she had her own adventure, and finally did something for herself. Unfortunately, we didn’t see Mary Berry’s promised ‘twerking routine’ but I’m sure we can all agree a very deserving winner was chosen, whose repertoire of facial expressions never fail to amuse.