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    14 Times "The Great British Baking Show" Made Me Question Its Reputation As A Relaxing Show

    Panic! At The Baking Competition

    Disclaimer: I adore The Great British Baking Show with an intensity that rivals Paul Hollywood's feelings toward bread, or Noel Fielding's toward statement sweaters.

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    For too long it's been sold as relaxing television, but I think it's finally time to drop the act and acknowledge that this show is STRESSFUL.

    In fact, I'd rank it somewhere between an award show being produced on Zoom for the first time and that documentary where a guy climbs El Capitan with no ropes.

    These 14 moments will explain why.

    1. When Glenn's tuiles got raunchy in the oven.

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    If you have to bring Jesus (and his tears) into the tent, you know the bake has gone awry.

    2. When Liam (and the audience) prayed Paul wouldn't ask more follow-up questions.

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    Teacake texture is, in fact, very nice! WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT FROM HIM, PAUL? WHAT WILL SATISFY YOU?

    3. When the hosts tried to drag this innocent young baker into an underworld of bread-fueled innuendo.

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    The bakers are judged on the taste, appearance, and creativity of their bakes, as well as their ability to politely ignore the suggestive banter of the hosts.

    4. When Tamal faced the greatest enemy of the successful baker: Math.

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    "Ah. Maths." —Me, smoking a pipe and gazing into the distance, remembering the long ago days when I actually knew what a derivative was.

    5. When Ruby's attempt to win Paul over with a strong cup of tea — which is legally considered a bribe in the United Kingdom — backfired.

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    I don't know why Paul wanted wet biscuits, but I think Ruby was right not to bend to his bizarre, damp standards.

    6. When expectations in the tent did not match up with reality.

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    The only thing worse than constantly being on the lookout for disaster is not knowing that you should be on the lookout for disaster.

    7. Literally anytime someone had to move a cake to a second location.

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    Imagine Jenga, but if it collapses, so too does the respect of your countrymen.

    8. When Nadiya was horrified by Mat's decision to bake royal icing. (Of course, you and I both know that you aren't supposed to do this.)

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    I don't blame Mat for this. If I were on this show, I'd panic and try to bake everything, up to and including those little Union Jack flags.

    9. When Paul used four baguettes (and the dreams of the baker who made them) as his own personal punching bag.

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    I would like to adopt these baguettes and protect them from the ice cold gaze of Paul Hollywood.

    10. When Manon, a contestant who grew up in France, didn't recognize the very first (and very British) technical challenge: "The iconic Wagon Wheel."

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    For the record, a Wagon Wheel (or Wheeling Wagon, for those in the know) is a delightful chocolate-coated marshmallow biscuit. Despite never having seen the treat before, Manon channeled her inner Brit and came in third place.

    11. When the judges deemed Rahul's bread less than "entirely edible."

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    At least Manon, She of The Wagon Wheel Miracle, was there to comfort Rahul after he was viciously roasted for his rye.

    12. Not even the celebs are safe from tent-induced panic, which comedian James Acaster discovered on the show's celebrity edition.

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    Upon discovering that one of his bakes was still liquid after being pulled out of the oven, James called his time in the tent, "the worst experience of my life."

    13. The cast of the hit comedy Derry Girls also spent their time on the show descending into (very festive) madness.

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    Somehow, this baking competition for charity was more chaotic than that one episode where everyone thinks the Derry Girls killed a nun. (They didn't, but Siobhán, aka Sister Michael, really did serve the judges slime when they asked for trifle.)

    14. And, finally, the moment that made all fans consider running away to the wilderness, never to face the cruel reality of civilization and its baking standards again: Bingate.

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    The man presented a trash can (!) of melted ice cream (!!) to Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood (!!!). That is a level of brokenness that can only be achieved in the shadow of the Baking Show marquee, and the Queen's expectations.

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