Bake Off's best semi-final ever features most Hollywood Handshakes in one task - but who went home?

·TV Reporter, Yahoo Entertainment UK
·3-min read
Ep9.  Paul and Prue.
Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith faced their toughest judging yet. (Channel 4)

Great British Bake Off judges Prue Leith and Paul Hollywood have been faced with their most difficult decision ever in the semi-final as they found it almost impossible to call who should be sent home.

Both judges admitted that they were in the unusual position of trying to choose "the worst best one" as they struggled to decide who to send home, eventually settling on Jurgen.

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The German baker had been a favourite from the start, winning star baker more times than anyone else, so when his name was announced his co-stars gasped in shock.

Jurgen said: "I feel ok, I kind of saw it coming. I think the others are more shocked than I am."

It left Chigs, Giuseppe and this week's star baker Crystelle as the series 12 finalists.

The penultimate episode of the series was the most skilful the show has ever seen, with three out of four bakers getting a Hollywood Handshake in the first task as Leith said: "I don't think I've ever had an afternoon in the tent as satisfactory as this one."

Jurgen was expected to ace German week. (Channel 4)
Jurgen was expected to breeze through to the final. (Channel 4)

Chigs, Crystelle and Giuseppe all earned a handshake from Hollywood for their perfect layered patisseries, but opinion was split over Jurgen as Leith told him his bake was "sensational" and added: "It's a pity I'm not the one who hands out handshakes."

Newbie baker Chigs joked: "Handshakes don't mean nothing today, he's giving them out willy nilly."

But a worried Jurgen said: "There were three handshakes in the tent, I didn't get one, the judges were divided. Bottom line, I'm in trouble now."

However, Jurgen evened things out by going on to win the technical challenge, a sable Breton tart covered in pistachio mousseline, berries and meringue, leaving it all to bake for in the showstopper.

Meanwhile, Chigs dropped to the bottom of the technical scoring, saying: "Out of the 26 bakes we've done, that was my worst one."

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The showstopper was a mammoth five-hour task to create a stunning edible centrepiece surrounded by 12 identical entremet cakes, all on a theme.

Jurgen's Japanese sea gate and boats was ambitious but Leith called the look of it "boring", while Hollywood complained that Giuseppe's entremet cakes lacked flavour.

Commenting on being in the semi-final, Giuseppe admitted: "I had to buy new clothes because I wasn't expecting to make it this far."

Meanwhile, Crystelle and Chigs both excelled in the showstopper as Hollywood told Chigs: "You've really been on a journey, Chigs. You only started baking last year and look what you've done."

Crystelle was left in tears as Hollywood commented on her showstopper: "That, Crystelle, is flawless."

The Great British Bake Off final airs on Tuesday, 23 November at 8pm on Channel 4.

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