15 “Great British Bake Off” Moments From Patisserie Week That Were Stressful, And 19 That Were So Pure

    "This is madness."

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

    the title card for the show

    This week, the final four bakers battled with patisserie to win a coveted spot in the season's final. Here are 19 absolutely delightful moments from the episode, plus 15 anxiety-inducing ones.

    Warning: Spoilers (and potential emotional turmoil) ahead. 

    1. DELIGHTFUL: The opening, which suggests that iconic musicians such as Elvis, David Bowie, and Freddie Mercury regularly emerge from the afterlife to watch The Great British Bake Off being filmed (so they don't have to wait for the episode to air like the rest of us living, breathing schlubs). As far as ideas for what happens in the next life go, I like this one.

    Paul dressed as Elvis, Noel as David Bowie, and Matt as Freddie Mercury, with Prue as herself

    Signature Challenge: Patisserie-Style Layered Slices

    the sketch of Crystelle's yuzu, coconut, and black sesame slices

    2. STRESSFUL: Hearing Crystelle call herself the "least capable baker" left in the tent.

    Crystelle predicts she'll probably go home this week, though it's ok, because she's a semifinalist

    The same Crystelle who made this gluten-free masterpiece...

    Crystelle's showstopper from the previous week

    ...and this sublime pie?

    Crystelle getting a handshake for her perfect pie

    Nope, sorry, Crystelle. I'm just not buying that you're not a contender here.

    Crystelle getting a compliment on her ice cream sandos from Prue

    3. STRESSFUL: Giuseppe being mortified by his mistaken attempt to cook incomplete batter...

    Giuseppe pulls out his batter while saying big mistake, big mistake

    ...and pulling it out of the oven at the exact same time the judges come over to casually chat with him. Apparently, he forgot to incorporate the flour into the batter, a very un-Giuseppe-like move.

    4. DELIGHTFUL: The touching compliment Chigs receives about the way his baking skills have improved during his tenure in the tent.

    Paul says to Chigs, Over the weeks, you've gotten gradually better set in your finesse, so this should play to your new strengths. And Chigs replies, Fingers crossed

    Side note: This comment on last week's recap about the power of Chigs' glasses is my new favorite fan theory. Not just for the Bake Off, but for all pop culture in general.

    A comment that reads, have y'all noticed that ever since Chigs has been wearing his glasses he's been doing really well lol? Coincidence? I think not!

    5. DELIGHTFUL: Jürgen being caught red-handed...while making a murder-themed beet juice cake. If we've learned anything this season, it's that Jürgen's gonna Jürgen.

    Jurgen with his red hands up in the air

    6. STRESSFUL: Chigs finishing his slices well before the other bakers. I don't know why, but someone finishing early makes me nervous. It reminds me of debriefing with friends after a math test and finding out that a problem you thought was very simple actually took them a whole page of equations to figure out. It never bodes well.

    Chigs waiting at his bench

    7. STRESSFUL: Netflix, get your corporate synergy out of my baking show.

    Noel says, he'll sweep Paul's leg, like I'm on Cobra Kai

    8. DELIGHTFUL: Wow, this is a satisfying challenge.

    A perfectly cut slice, that jiggles with dignity and grace

    9. DELIGHTFUL: Chigs getting a sweet, sweet, semifinal handshake. He didn't finish early because he didn't understand the assignment, he finished early because he's a goddamn marvel. I never should've doubted (or projected my math class baggage onto him).

    Paul shakes Chigs' hand

    10. DELIGHTFUL: Jürgen's reliably impressive (and murder-y) slices. Prue adores them, but Paul isn't overly fond of the flavors. And based on that last comment, Prue may be planning a coup. (A Proup? ...I'll let myself out.)

    Prue says, Pity I'm not the one who hands out handshakes

    11. DELIGHTFUL: Folks, that's two, count 'em, two handshakes in the Signature Challenge, and the second goes to "least capable baker" Crystelle for her yuzu, coconut, and black sesame slices. The speed at which she proved that pre-episode assessment of her chances wrong gave me whiplash.

    Crystelle saying Oh my god! while receiving her handshake

    12. DELIGHTFUL: Three?! Has inflation hit the handshake market? That being said, I'm sure Giuseppe's tiramisu slices were transcendent.

    Giuseppe's tiramisu slices getting a handshake

    13. STRESSFUL: Jürgen being left out of Handshake Bonanza 2021, and the subsequent return of his mournful German laugh.

    Jurgen says, There were three handshakes in the tent. I didn't get one. The judges were divided. Bottom line, I'm in trouble now

    Technical Challenge: A Sablé Breton Tart

    A tart topped with berries, meringue, and chocolate tuiles

    14. DELIGHTFUL: This baby duck, which is blissfully unaware of climate change, war, and the wanton cruelty of French pastry.

    a baby duck in the water

    15. STRESSFUL: Jürgen trying to politely tell Noel to stop doing improv so he can focus on baking this extremely complicated French thing.

    Jurgen, baking. Noel, riffing. Chigs just being in the background

    16. STRESSFUL: Chigs didn't find the piping nozzle for his meringue kisses (and therefore assumed they weren't given one) until after the kisses were already in the oven.

    Chigs with the lost nozzle and his kisses in the oven

    17. DELIGHTFUL: The brief moment where Chigs wondered, "Why have we been assigned a fascist dessert?"

    Chigs pronounces mousseline as Mussolini

    18. STRESSFUL: Crystelle's pastry deciding to be all dramatic and collapse in the oven, even though it knows how high the stakes are.

    Crystelle's collapsed cake

    19. STRESSFUL: Chigs opening the fridge to check in on his rapidly melting tart, and discovering this menacing puddle of melted Technical Challenge dreams.

    Chigs melting tart

    20. STRESSFUL: Chigs placing last in the Technical, which in all fairness, seemed nigh impossible.

    Chigs raising his hand to identify the last tart as his

    21. DELIGHTFUL: Jürgen placing first in the Technical, putting him in good spirits following his handshake-less Signature.

    Jurgen smiles as the other bakers clap for him

    Showstopper Challenge: A Spectacular Themed Banquet Display (With At Least 12 Individual Entremets Desserts, Arranged Around A Beautifully Crafted Edible Centerpiece)

    Giuseppe's dessert, themed around the Leaning Tower of Pisa

    22. DELIGHTFUL: Giuseppe finding a loophole and theming his Showstopper after a notoriously "wonky" monument: the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

    Giuseppe saying that if his showstopper is wonky, he's got a justification

    23. DELIGHTFUL: Jürgen theming his Showstopper around a photograph from a children's encyclopedia that fascinated him as a child: that of a Torii, a gate that traditionally denotes the entrance to a Shinto shrine.

    the sketch of Jurgen's torii gate

    24. DELIGHTFUL (AND ALSO A LIL' BIT OF A BUMMER): Crystelle's Showstopper being themed around her sister's wedding, which has been delayed due to the pandemic.

    the sketch of Crystelle's tropical wedding showstopper

    25. STRESSFUL: The way my heart stopped when Chigs said this.

    Chigs says, This has never worked for me in practice. Not once

    26. STRESSFUL: Jürgen very nearly doing "this thing" (i.e., dropping his bakes onto the carpet) again.

    Jurgen just barely catches his biscuits

    27. STRESSFUL: Chigs accidentally knocking a piece of his biscuit tree's trunk right off.

    Chigs says I hit it!

    28. STRESSFUL: Jürgen realizing that he's forgotten to bake an essential element of his Showstopper, without which it won't be able to be assembled. It was at this point that the semifinal stress became so acute that I needed to pause the show and take a lap around my apartment.

    Jurgen says, This is madness

    29. DELIGHTFUL: Jürgen powering through and delivering a Showstopper the judges only fault for the undersaturated color of the lil' boats.

    Jurgen's showstopper from above

    30. DELIGHTFUL: No practice, perfect Showstopper: That's the Giuseppe way. (The judges have minor critiques about the flavors, but still. Look at this thing.)

    Giuseppe's Pisa themed showstopper

    31. DELIGHTFUL: Chigs' Showstopper, upon which Paul and Prue shower praise. (Again, the only thing that's off is the color of the entremets, which were supposed to be bright red.)

    Chigs' showstopper, with biscuit tree and apple entremets

    32. DELIGHTFUL: Crystelle's gorgeous centerpiece, which is worthy of a real-life wedding. Paul called it "flawless," while Prue thought it was "just beautiful."

    Crystelle's showstopper

    Crystelle teared up when she heard their comments. You know what, I don't think anyone should go home this week. In fact, I might stop watching this episode right now and live in a reality where all of the bakers get to stay.

    Crystelle crying at the good feedback

    Final Results

    The final four bakers lined up

    33. DELIGHTFUL: Crystelle making this face when she's named Star Baker. She's always been a contender for the crown (or the bouquet and decorative plate), and it's wonderful to see that confirmed before the finale.

    Crystelle's mouth drops open when she hears the news

    34. STRESSFUL: Saying goodbye to Jürgen, who no one can deny has been an absolute force of nature this season. It's a shock he didn't make it to the finale, but it speaks to the strength and talents of these final four bakers that this last elimination came down to tiny, barely-there errors.

    Jurgen hears the news

    Farewell, Jürgen, aka the Jürgen-ator, aka Jürgy Pops. You're a German treasure, and I hope you take some time off to pursue your next favorite hobby: playing the trombone while staring at the sea. Say hi to Humphrey for us.

    Jurgen playing trombone while Humphrey the bunny hides under a chair

    This concludes our semifinal recap! What were your favorite moments from the episode? Who do you think will win this season? Approximately how fluffy is Humphrey the Bunny? Tell us your thoughts in the comments!