As a newcomer to the British Isles I heard tell of a show – a great show – about baking. Until today I had never seen it, so I was given the task of watching the finale of the Great British Bake-Off and sharing my thoughts.
I’m familiar with the key themes of GBBO: baking, innuendo, Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood. But otherwise, I have no idea what’s going on.
So please, join me, as I experience GBBO for the first time ever.
1. Here we go.
2. Here we fucking go.
3. Will watching this qualify me for British citizenship?
4. What a nice garden.
5. Ah good, they’re recapping the other episodes so I can figure out what on Earth’s going on
6. Someone has been banned from Yorkshire, presumably for poor baking? This is brutally insane.
7. The titles are making me hungry.
8. What is this picturesque wonderland?
9. Why is everyone wishing each other luck? I thought this baking would be cut-throat? I DEMAND BLOOD.
10. As expected, one of the finalists had baked some nice cakes in earlier episodes.
11. The other contestant has won “Star Baker” several times, once apparently for a peacock cake that looked very much like a cock cake.
12. She hopes she got fit and toned from baking??
13. ANDREW IS AN AEROSPACE ENGINEER AND HE’S TALKING ABOUT UNIFORM THICKNESS OF DOUGH HE IS AN ABSOLUTE CHAMP.
14. A MECHANISED PIE WHAT MADNESS IS THIS IT TURNS GEARS.
15. Actually come to think of it, why are they in a tent? Is this some kind of British baking thing I don’t know about?
16. JELLY ORBS.
17. They have to make a crown big enough for a whole family, apparently.
18. Wow those were pretty loose instructions, are there any more criteria?
19. Andrew’s dropped a bowl already, I hope he doesn’t work directly with plane parts.
20. Jane’s meringue crown is red, white and blue, because she is patriotic AF.
21. Paul Hollywood sounds a bit upset that it sounds too simple.
22. I hope he doesn’t get cake caught in his goatee.
23. They’ve all opted for a meringue. I must have missed that instruction earlier, so fair play GBBO.
24. Jane wants a meringue that’s as white as possible. I bet she voted for Brexit.
25. Now Paul is criticising Candice for trying to make something too complicated. WILL NOTHING PLEASE THIS MAN?
26. Candice is now wearing a bowl as a hat, crazy.
27. NOW SHE’S GOING FREEHAND ON HER CIRCLE. SHE IS A LOOSE CANNON.
28. Andrew applies some gold lustre, I don’t think he realises that you can’t eat rare metals.
29. I understand about 1/3 of the words the voiceover uses to describe the meringue he is making.
30. I used to work in a chocolate shop, so yes I do know what praline is okay just leave me alone.
31. Jane believes the result is up to the gods, which kind of ignores the fact that she could just make a better cake.
32. “There’s nothing like British fresh fruit, is there?” Yep, she voted Brexit for sure.
33. They’re talking about temperature shock but I don’t really know what’s going on. The meringue is making sounds and cracking. Such intensity.
34. Paul Hollywood constantly looms in the background like Donald Trump at the second presidential debate.
35. I have to say at this point I really don’t get what the fuss is about, I can barely even follow what each person is doing and the music has been stuck at high intensity for the last 20 minutes. WHERE’S THE NARRATIVE?
36. Actually the show’s only been going for 13 minutes so the music has been intense for maybe 10.
37. These meringues are almost done and there’s like 40 minutes of this show left. I guess they’ll make another cake?
38. TIME IS UP. Coronation time. Are they going to wear these? I’m so confused.
39. Everyone looks at their cake like they’re about to cry.
40. How long did they even have to make these cakes? Give me some fucking context.
41. Candice’s cake actually looks tasty AF. Paul goes for the handshake with Candice and Jane freaks out.
42. Is Paul’s handshake a regular signal of approval? How retro, he’s like a 1950s middle manager congratulating his son for a good report card.
43. JANE GETS THE HANDSHAKE AS WELL, IT’S ACTUALLY A THING.
44. Jane has never seen two handshakes.
45. “He’s giving out handshakes willy nilly.” THIS IS MADNESS.
46. Andrew is smiling but his eyes are dead as he notes that he did not get a handshake.
47. Here we go for the last ever technical challenge, which implies there’s another challenge coming after that but I don’t know what kind?
48. The hosts just made the weirdest joke about a Zorro mask and taking their pants off and I couldn’t be more confused.
49. Mary has judged quite a few Victoria’s Sandwiches in her time, but she’s “never counted”. The mark of a true expert.
50. Paul hopes the bakers come up with something that’s good, which is definitely a novel criteria for judging.
51. Andrew’s still feeling sad about the handshake rejection earlier.
52. These challenges go so quickly, I need a narrative to hang on to – haven’t you people seen Masterchef?
53. Andrew whispers, “I need this. I need it.” He has definitely killed a man.
54. The host says, “It’s tense this,” to create the illusion that things are actually tense.
55. Mary argues that one of the cakes has more of a jelly than a jam. I don’t know what’s going on.
56. Guys, these all look fine. I would eat them all. They’re basically the same thing. It’s all good.
57. They’re ranking these cakes, does that mean no handshakes?
58. Andrew wins best sandwich, God I hope he gets a handshake or I think he’ll lose his mind.
59. NO HANDSHAKE. Why are there no handshakes in this round? I don’t get the format at all.
60. Ooh, sheep and now a bee. Then back to the tent.
61. I’m now being informed that the winner will be announced at a picnic.
62. The hosts are sitting with Paul and Mary to recap exactly what I’ve just seen, including a full breakdown of Paul’s handshakes. Even my attention span isn’t this b
63. Okay now they have five hours to make 49 things. Maybe (probably) they did say how long they had for that earlier task and I just wasn’t listening.
64. Why are there so many references to these cakes needing to be good enough for the Queen? The monarchy gives no fucks about your peasant cakes.
65. YES CANDICE’S LIFE STORY THIS IS WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT.
66. Her dad says she’ll be a winner even if she loses, but that is empirically false.
67. This genuinely feels like I’ve watched the same thing three times in a row.
68. My conviction that Andrew has killed a man grows by the minute.
69. He has a spreadsheet to help him bake. Where did that even come from?
70. Now it’s Andrew’s life story, but where are all the tragic obstacles they’ve had to overcome to be here in the tent today?
71. Jane was apparently let down in botanical week. What is botanical week? I have so many questions.
72. Her daughter says Jane hasn’t slept for weeks. This is terrifying.
73. Imagine concentrating on a task for five straight hours? This show has expectations well out of step with the reality of 2016.
74. Things are being put in and taken out of ovens, which seems about right.
75. Now we’re at the picnic with the losers from earlier episodes. I care not for their plight.
76. Jane has overchilled her cake, a rookie error if ever I saw one.
77. TIME IS UP. Everyone hugs, their smiles totally false.
78. These hampers look tasty as fuck.
79. MORE QUEEN TALK. JUST LEAVE THE ROYALS ALONE. YOU BRITS NEED TO CALM DOWN.
80. Andrew is getting destroyed by the judges. Brutal scenes.
81. Mary says that Candice’s cake would be a great one to take on a picnic and I’ve never seen anyone happier.
82. I wonder if they had a contingency plan if it rained on the picnic?
83. CANDICE WINS AND THE CROWD ERUPTS IN THE MOST UN-BRITISH FASHION POSSIBLE FOR A PICNIC.
84. The Queen would find this most unrefined.
85. Wait, the prize is like a platter dish thing? Is that it?
86. Candice says, “I did it, I’m good enough,” and I’m tearing up. My poor heart.
87. There was like no innuendo in this episode? I was sorely misled.
88. YES the “where are they now” section, which I’m sure would be more interesting if I knew who any of the other contestants were.
89. JANE AND CANDICE ARE GOING ON A BAKING ROAD TRIP, THAT IS QUAINT AF.
90. Aaaaand we’re done.
91. I’m still not sure I get it?
Scott Limbrick - @ScottLimbrick