Rosie’s chat with Noel about castrating pigs proved unappetising for judges in Patisserie Week. Alice, David, and Steph made the final on The Great British Bake Off, by Jim Shelley

It was the semi-final of The Great British Bake and Patisserie Week - a mouth-watering prospect, particularly when Paul Hollywood smiled that combining them was ‘pretty cruel.’

Sadly though, Noel Fielding wasn’t really joking with his assessment of an impromptu chat with Rosie about the less romantic realities of her work as a vet. ‘This is more interesting than the show!’ he cried gleefully.

Strangely, it proved a non-event.

Gruesome: Noel Fielding wasn¿t really joking with his assessment of an impromptu chat with Rosie about the less romantic realities of her work as a vet

Gruesome: Noel Fielding wasn’t really joking with his assessment of an impromptu chat with Rosie about the less romantic realities of her work as a vet

Two of the contestants (Alice and Steph) qualified quite comfortably – by being consistent rather than brilliant. While the other pair (Rosie and David) were so hapless, neither particularly deserved to go through to this year’s grand finale.

To be honest, Rosie’s revelations about her job were more riveting, albeit possibly too informative for some viewers.

‘What’s the smelliest thing you’ve come across?!’ Noel wondered, as Rosie prepared her Showstopper.

‘Nasty abscesses can be bad,’ she said, all too convincingly.

Unappetising: Rosie the vet¿s chat with Noel about castrating pigs proved unappetising for the judges and she failed to make the finals of the competition

Unappetising: Rosie the vet’s chat with Noel about castrating pigs proved unappetising for the judges and she failed to make the finals of the competition 

Earlier he’d become intrigued by the less romantic aspects of life as a vet after she informed him matter-of-factly: ‘I’ve castrated many pigs.’

‘What’s the biggest animal you’ve castrated?’ he, um, probed.

‘A giant bull,’ she said casually.

Aren’t they all, you thought? Or was it a massive, freakish, specimen?

Made it: Two of the contestants - Alice and Steph (pictured) - qualified quite comfortably ¿ by being consistent rather than brilliant. While the other pair - Rosie and David - were so hapless

Made it: Two of the contestants - Alice and Steph (pictured) - qualified quite comfortably – by being consistent rather than brilliant. While the other pair - Rosie and David - were so hapless

We’ll never know. Rosie had cakes to make so their crash-course ended there and eventually the Baker the judges decided would miss out on the final.

You couldn’t help thinking Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith had overheard Rosie’s conversations with Noel and made her crème pat slightly less appetising.

And how many pigs was the ‘many pigs’ she’d castrated with those same fingers?

Anyway I digress – as Noel Fielding did, unsurprisingly.

Oops: You couldn¿t help thinking Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith had overheard Rosie¿s conversations with Noel and made her crème pat slightly less appetising

Oops: You couldn’t help thinking Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith had overheard Rosie’s conversations with Noel and made her crème pat slightly less appetising

The presenters had 75 minutes to fill and only four (dull) Bakers to work with.

Sandi Toksvig overdid her obsession with domed tartlets during the Signature Challenge. Noel meanwhile spent the show teasing Rosie, Alice, Steph, and David then hastily assuring them: ‘I’m joking!’ (Never a good sign.)

By the end they’d resorted to silly tricks, as if they were hosting a children’s birthday party.

You couldn’t really blame them though.

Working hard: The presenters had 75 minutes to fill and only four (dull) Bakers to work with. Sandi Toksvig overdid her obsession with domed tartlets during the Signature Challenge

Working hard: The presenters had 75 minutes to fill and only four (dull) Bakers to work with. Sandi Toksvig overdid her obsession with domed tartlets during the Signature Challenge

The four contestants arrived wearing ties, in honour of Henry. Which was a touching gesture but only made you wish he were still in it. And reminded you he should have been.

Without the series’ most charming, challenging, Baker, it wasn’t much of a show or a contest.

Alice was, deservedly, Star Baker but even she struggled with two of the three Challenges in Patisserie Week.

Missing out: The four contestants arrived wearing ties, in honour of Henry. Which was a touching gesture but only made you wish he were still in it

Missing out: The four contestants arrived wearing ties, in honour of Henry. Which was a touching gesture but only made you wish he were still in it

For the domed tartlets in the Signature, Hollywood scornfully scoffed that her pipework was ‘not particularly good.’

Then she came last in the Technical with her attempt at a gateau St. Honore, admitting/quipping: ‘Je ne sais pas puff.’

She soared through to the final though with her Showstopper – ‘a representation of a coral reef’ in a (sugar) glass case.

Standards are slipping: Steph had been awarded Star Baker in four of the eight episodes but equally mostly unimpressive in Patisserie Week

Standards are slipping: Steph had been awarded Star Baker in four of the eight episodes but equally mostly unimpressive in Patisserie Week

Steph had been awarded Star Baker in four of the eight episodes but equally mostly unimpressive in Patisserie Week.

Hollywood thought her domed tartlets ‘not very neat on the bottom’ and ‘akin to a lemon meringue pie’ (a heinous crime apparently).

Steph only came third in the Technical. Her gateau St Honore had ‘big holes’ he said (ditto) and her Chiboust ‘like scrambled egg.’

Even though you had no idea what this was (Chiboust that is), you still knew that was a disaster.

No competition: With no Henry in the final, they might as well give the title to Steph now. It would be slightly ridiculous if she loses out to David

No competition: With no Henry in the final, they might as well give the title to Steph now. It would be slightly ridiculous if she loses out to David 

She also redeemed herself with the Showstopper.

‘Everything you’ve done is very neat, very tidy, very Steph!’ swooned Paul, while Prue Leith went even further.

‘You’re a very good baker Stephanie. You really are.’

With no Henry in the final, they might as well give the title to Steph now.

It would be slightly ridiculous if she loses out to David - given the gulf between them during the series. It’s hard to see it happening in any case.

He could easily have been eliminated having made some strange choices here.

‘This is Patisserie Week and I didn’t really do a patisserie,’ he reflected before the judges’ verdict, without saying why (or, more accurately, why not). ‘It was more a cake.’

Unimpressed: Paul Hollywood was certainly unimpressed, complaining: ¿Patisserie Week is all about delicacy, finesse, and intricate detail

Unimpressed: Paul Hollywood was certainly unimpressed, complaining: ‘Patisserie Week is all about delicacy, finesse, and intricate detail

Paul Hollywood was certainly unimpressed, complaining: ‘Patisserie Week is all about delicacy, finesse, and intricate detail. Putting sponge on sponge on sponge on sponge on sponge is slightly wayward.’

Even presenter Sandi Toksvig had a pop at David’s Showstopper (as it were), tutting: ‘it looked like a sandwich!’

Rosie somehow managed to be even more ‘wayward’ (worse) though.

For the Signature Challenge, the crème pat in her domed tartlets didn’t set properly – a fairly significant minor detail in Patisserie Week.

Then in the Technical, she fell apart even more than her gateau, weeping to Sandi Toksvig: ‘everything’s gone wrong! My choux pastry is liquid but I don’t understand why! My pastry’s failed as well. I might just go home now!’

‘Slow down! Deep breath!’ Sandi said patiently, as if calming a child. ‘You’ve got this.’

‘I don’t think I do have this,’ wailed Rosie, regardless.

Horrifying: Last week viewers had been amazed/horrified when the judges¿ favourable placement meant Rosie survived at Henry¿s expense

Horrifying: Last week viewers had been amazed/horrified when the judges’ favourable placement meant Rosie survived at Henry’s expense

Last week viewers had been amazed/horrified when the judges’ favourable placement meant Rosie survived at Henry’s expense.

To be fair to her, Rosie was speechless when she heard Paul Hollywood announced St Honore had won tonight’s Technical – ‘even though your choux buns were upside down.’

As it so often does, this meant Patisserie Week all came down to the Showstopper.

Glam: As it so often does, this meant Patisserie Week all came down to the Showstopper. Even though David neglected to make anything very patisserie

Glam: As it so often does, this meant Patisserie Week all came down to the Showstopper. Even though David neglected to make anything very patisserie

Even though David neglected to make anything very patisserie, Rosie’s sugar glass case was virtually empty.

‘It’s a bit simplistic considering it’s a centerpiece, a Showstopper,’ Paul mentioned with some understatement, pointing out that even the small piles of choux pastries she had made were ‘a bit boring, a bit dry, floury. And there’s no flavor to it.’

Apart from that though, he loved them.

But not enough for her to make it to the final…

So if Rosie wants to find fame and fortune, her best option is probably pursuing Noel Fielding’s idea earlier – when he said their conversations about animals/vetinary practices were ‘more interesting’ than this semi-final.

‘We should have our own spin-off series!’

Move on: If Rosie wants to find fame , her best option is pursuing Noel Fielding¿s idea earlier ¿ when he said their chats about animals practices were ¿more interesting¿ than this semi-final

Move on: If Rosie wants to find fame , her best option is pursuing Noel Fielding’s idea earlier – when he said their chats about animals practices were ‘more interesting’ than this semi-final

 

The Great British Bake Off, review by Jim Shelley 

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