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    12 “Great British Bake Off” Moments From The Quarterfinal That Were Stressful, And 19 That Were So Pure

    "My objective for this week is to survive."

    Welcome to this week's stressful/delightful recap of The Great British Bake Off!

    the title card for the show
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    You can read last week's recap here

    This week, the final five (!) bakers took on the show's first Free From Week, with each challenge being free from (get it? I didn't, at first) a key ingredient you'd normally associate with that particular bake. Here are 19 absolutely delightful moments from the episode, plus 12 anxiety-inducing ones.

    Warning: Spoilers (and potential emotional turmoil) ahead. 

    1. DELIGHTFUL: Paul Hollywood being revealed as a member of the Marvel Cinematic Universe after he Hulks out upon realizing that the bakers will be using dairy-free, vegan, and gluten-free recipes throughout the episode.

    Paul Hollywood dressed as the Hulk, then realizing the bakes are actually really nice
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    Signature Challenge: Dairy-Free Ice Cream Sandwiches

    the sketch of Lizzie's ice cream sandwiches pointing out the glitter and almond brittle
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    2. STRESSFUL: The fact that this is the quarterfinal! Which famously comes before the semifinal! Which just as famously precedes the final! Ah!

    Giuseppe says his objective for this week is to survive
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    3. DELIGHTFUL: Lizzie's dog-themed rolling pin for her dog-themed ice cream sandwiches. I would like to own this immediately, if possible.

    Lizzie's rolling pin, which is embossed with a pattern of dogs
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    4. DELIGHTFUL: Chigs (and Chigs' glasses) hearing his mother's voice while he chops the mango for his ice cream sandwiches, which are based on her favorite flavors.

    Chigs says, I know my Mum's probably watching me. "Why are you wasting all that mango in there?" Not getting the best yield out of the mango, but I ain't got time, soz
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    5. STRESSFUL: Jürgen's biscuits coming out wonky, to which he responds with typical Jürgen restraint.

    Jurgen says, interesting shape, isn't it?
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    6. STRESSFUL: Giuseppe's vague sense of impending doom.

    Giuseppe says, I've got the weird feeling that I've missed something
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    7. STRESSFUL: Jürgen's eulogy for his dreams of a perfect macaron ice cream sandwich.

    Jurgen says the sandwiches are terrible and don't hold together right
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    8. DELIGHTFUL: Giuseppe taking inspiration from the divine for his Signature bake.

    Giuseppe describes the bake as having an element of church decor in there
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    9. DELIGHTFUL: Chigs' cartoonishly perfect ice cream sandwiches.

    Chigs signature bakes, mango ice cream sandwiches
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    Paul and Prue say they aren't flavorful enough, but Paul and Prue clearly don't appreciate this satisfyingly smooth ice cream disc enough.

    Chigs' perfectly smooth ice cream
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    10. DELIGHTFUL: Jürgen, despite his doomsday attitude, pulling through with yet another extraordinary bake. Sure, the meringue he used as his biscuits is a little bit too chewy, but Prue likes it, and Paul basically wants to marry his banana ice cream.

    The judges praise Jurgen's bake
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    11. DELIGHTFUL: Crystelle's joyful disbelief when the judges praise her flavorful ice cream sandos.

    Crystelle says "what?" to Matt when Paul praises her bake
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    Technical Challenge: Vegan Sausage Rolls

    the example image of the sausage rolls
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    12. DELIGHTFUL: Chigs and Crystelle's silent reactions to the challenge.

    Chigs and Crystelle look skeptical
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    13. STRESSFUL: This "vegan block," a butter substitute that Prue tells us is made with almond, coconut, and rapeseed oil. None of the bakers have worked with it before, and I don't trust it. I mean, I'm sure it's a lovely ingredient. But from a baking point of view, it sort of seems like a more vindictive tofu.

    Lizzie cuts the vegan block
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    14. STRESSFUL: Crystelle's harsh assessment of her vegan sausage rolls.

    Crystelle calls her bake "disgustingly ugly"
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    15. STRESSFUL: Oh god, no. No, no, no. Anything but this.

    All of the sausage rolls falling on the carpet
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    All of Jürgen's sausage rolls fell on the carpet in one sad, small pile of vegan defeat. He rescues them, but at what cost?

    Jurgen picks them up from the carpet and says you didn't see it
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    16. DELIGHTFUL: Paul damn near keeling over from the spiciness of Crystelle's chutney, while Prue coolly keeps judging.

    Paul coughing while Crystelle laughs
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    17. DELIGHTFUL: Crystelle places last in the Technical — an unequivocal bummer — but this lil' interaction when a wounded Paul makes her try her own chutney is pure Bake Off gold.

    Crystelle tries her chutney and coughs from spice while defending it
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    18. DELIGHTFUL: Chigs placing first in the Technical. This man started baking as a pandemic hobby, and look at him now! Making vegan sausage rolls with the best of 'em!

    Chigs raises his hand to identify his bake
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    Showstopper Challenge: Visually Spectacular Gluten-Free Celebration Cake

    The sketch of Crystelle's showstopper which is a cascading dress
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    19. STRESSFUL: The automatic disadvantage Giuseppe's put himself at by making a Black Forest cake, aka Paul's favorite, aka sworn cake enemy of Prue.

    Noel jokes that it's bold for Giuseppe to split the judges on Week 8
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    20. DELIGHTFUL: Lizzie taking inspiration from her own brain and the ways it works for her Showstopper, a choice that is as unique as it is touching.

    Lizzie says she has quite a few special educational needs, including dyslexia, dyspraxia, ADHD, and concentration disorder, and is making her cake to celebrate her differences
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    21. DELIGHTFUL: Sudden bunny.

    a bunny in the field outside the tent
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    22. DELIGHTFUL: Jürgen's admission that Noel makes him feel more relaxed.

    Jurgen tells Noel he finds him to be a calming influence
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    23. STRESSFUL: If you were wondering how difficult it is to move a multi-tiered cake, Crystelle and a summer breeze are here to tell you, "Very, very difficult."

    Crystelle waits to move her cake while a breeze passes
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    24. STRESSFUL: The marathon Crystelle must cover to deliver her Showstopper to the judges.

    Crystelle walks across the tent
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    25. DELIGHTFUL: But, folks, she makes it, and delivers a goddamn masterpiece. And it's modeled after one of her grandmother's dresses, no less!

    Crystelle's professional looking pink dress cake
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    26. STRESSFUL: Giuseppe, for the first time in living memory, disappointing the judges in both looks and flavors for a Showstopper.

    Giuseppe's cake
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    27. DELIGHTFUL: Chigs is a genius, a prodigy, a gentleman, and a scholar. Enough said.

    Chigs' incredible strawberry and chocolate Showstopper
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    28. DELIGHTFUL: You may be thinking, "Mary, this is a lot of photos of cake." But you know what I'm thinking? "Look at Jürgen's one! It's three tiers! That's one more tier than they asked for!"

    Jurgen's chocolate showstopper
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    29. DELIGHTFUL: Lizzie's truly extraordinary cake. The judges have been asking for finesse, and she delivered without losing even an ounce of her own style. Paul even says he'd eat it on his 40th birthday! (Paul Hollywood is 55 years old.)

    Lizzie's rainbow cake, decorated with bits of rice paper decorated with letters and numbers
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    Final Results

    The bakers in a row
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    Warning: Spoilers below!

    30. DELIGHTFUL: The one, the only, the incomparable Chigs being named this week's Star Baker.

    Chigs laughing when he gets the news
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    31. STRESSFUL: Saying goodbye to Lizzie. This one hurts. She's a great baker and a one-of-a-kind soul whose refusal to take Paul's bullshit (not to mention her frankly impressive collections of Crocs) will be sorely missed in the tent.

    Crystelle hugging Lizzie goodbye
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    Farewell, Lizzie. You're the absolute best. Am I crying? I think I'm crying. See you all next week for the semifinal. Hopefully we will all be emotionally recovered by that point (unlikely, but I'll try). 

    This concludes our Free From Week recap! What were your favorite moments from this episode? What are your predictions for the upcoming semifinal and final? Tell us about them in the comments!