Since we’re now four episodes into this year’s Great British Bake Off, just enough time that I feel we now know who everyone is reasonably well, this seems like an opportune moment to take a step back and have a little think about the wider picture. Props to The Dragon’s Tea Party – blog here, Twitter here – for suggesting this, and also for having a really good gaming blog that I’m happy I now know about. (In particular, this post about Final Fantasy X-2 brought back some memories for me. I’m ashamed to admit that X-2 was actually the very first Final Fantasy game I played all the way through, having picked it up as a teenager who wanted to get into FF owing to a love of Kingdom Hearts. I thought it might not be a bad entry point, because it had… er… dress-spheres. What can I say, I was young and foolish.)
Right, so: Bake Off.
Just so we’re all clear on where we’re at, we started with twelve bakers, four of whom (Peter, Chris, Flo and Tom) have since been eliminated. Unless there’s some drastic deviation from the regular format, we’ll be losing one baker each week until we’re left with three in the final episode; I can’t see Channel 4 opting to alter the way the show works when they’ve bought the format exactly as is, and if they did introduce something like double eliminations it would only make it feel more like another BBC show (namely The Apprentice, which coincidentally is returning in a couple of weeks).
So here’s my predictions for how each baker’s going to do in the weeks to come, and if I get this dead-on then I expect… some sort of praise. Please. I crave validation.
James: Out in week 5 (next week, and I think it’s desserts, which sounds a pretty broad topic) after forgetting to put in a vital ingredient. ‘James tried, but you just can’t afford to make mistakes like that on Bake Off,’ Paul will say.
Sophie: Week 6‘s casualty, she’ll do well in the first challenge but come second-to-last in the technical and utterly fail to save herself when her showstopper collapses as she’s bringing it to the table.
Yan: I’ll be devastated in week 7 when science fails Yan, whose visually impressive showstopper will fall just short of saving her when she makes one too many mistakes with the flavours. She’ll get a handshake in week 6 for some sort of ridiculously impressive sculpture, but probably won’t win Star Baker at any point.
Liam: My probably-second-favourite finally claims the Star Baker crown in week 5 when he really pulls it out of the bag. Then he cuts it fine in week 6, almost getting himself eliminated, but maintains that sort of solid-but-could-go-wrong-any-moment vibe through week 7 until things just get a bit too much in week 8 and we have to say goodbye to him.
Stacey: Solid baking will net Stacey at least one Star Baker award before her eventual departure in Week 9‘s penultimate episode. Her downfall will probably be a lack of imagination, causing Prue to say something along the lines of ‘keeping it simple is lovely, but you have nowhere to hide; Bake Off demands perfection and this week, sadly, Stacey just wasn’t quite perfect.
In the final, therefore, we’re left with Steven, Kate and Julia. Steven will have at least one more Star Baker title to his name by the time we reach the end, while Kate and Julia will most likely be somewhere between the top end of solid and the lower end of outstanding for most of their tenure. It’ll be enough to get them to the end, anyway, at which point one of them will just absolutely nail it and dethrone Steven, who’ll pretend to be happy for them but will probably go home and have a tearful wank. I think I’m calling Kate, who’s had a dark horse vibe from the start, as the ultimate winner – and with her resume already including blacksmithery, vegetable and herb growing, charity work and whatever it is she actually does for a living, I can see her focusing all her talent into utterly smashing it.
That’s my guess, then! I’ll keep track of my predictions as we move forward, and I fully expect that now I’ve committed this to writing, next week they’ll suddenly do a triple elimination in which all three of my predicted finalists are dumped from the tent. Watch this space!