The Great British Bake Off 2019’s finalists have been named, after one of the toughest weeks in the show’s history.
It was patisserie week, and as Paul Hollywood said with a gleeful chuckle: “I think putting patisserie week in the semi-final was very cruel.”
Read more: Heatwave and heartbreak in GBBO week 8
In true Bake Off style, the semi-finalists paid tribute to the recently-departed Henry by wearing some jazzy shirt and tie combos in his honour - but would any of them be able to match Henry’s staying power in keeping a tie fully done up for all three challenges?
Even Sandi Toksvig, one of Henry’s biggest fans, got in on the tie action.
I hear the beautiful semi-finalists may be wearing something a bit different for tonight’s SEMI FINAL... 👔❤️ https://t.co/3WwK1M46ej— Henry Bird (@henryfabird) October 22, 2019
We couldn’t dwell too long on Henry’s untimely exit, though, as there were three places in the final to fight for...
The Signature Bake
First up was domed tartlets, something Sandi was especially excited about, but it took all of about 30 seconds before every baker gave up on their tie.
Yes, it’s hot in the tent, but would that have lowered Henry’s sartorial standards? It certainly would not.
We were also a bit surprised at the slapdash attitudes on show to baking tonight - Alice slopping her mixture into the moulds, Rosie and Steph claiming it didn’t matter if the pastry looked a bit scrappy. Come on people, this is the semi-final!
It was a brave choice of Rosie’s to use yuzu, something that along with matcha has been a regular but not very often well-received flavour this series.
David was also on shaky territory saying he didn’t like things too sweet, another criticism that came up a few times last week.
However, he’s now risen up the ranks to become our favourite contestant after popping a bottle of fizz at the end of the Signature.
Everyone did pretty well, everyone was judged fairly harshly, but if we had to call it, we’d say Alice was triumphant in the first round.
Who won the Technical Challenge?
Patisserie Technical? We were terrified just watching it, never mind being faced with actually baking.
It was a particularly daunting one tonight, with Gateau St Honore on the menu, which we’d describe as a kind of stacked pastry tart filled with caramel profiteroles.
Paul Hollywood would describe it as “diabetes on a plate”.
It was Rosie’s turn to end up in tears in the Technical this week, as she had to remake every element of the gateau which all went wrong.
God, I wish I had Rosie's resolve. She handles stress like a boss. #GBBO— Brian Smith (@BrianSmith0) October 22, 2019
However, she kept battling on in an impressive display of resilience in the face of an absolute baking nightmare.
As usual, David was the calmest person in the tent, possibly thanks to that bottle of fizz in round one.
But in the biggest moment of triumph possibly ever seen in the Technical, Rosie managed to win and her tears of despair quickly turned into tears of joy.
Of course, David was second - for the sixth time.
OMG YES ROSIE. A walking advert for not giving up on something no matter how hopeless or impossible it may feel. Absolutely smashed that #GBBO— Alicia Russell (@Aliciarussell93) October 22, 2019
rosie messing up throughout her technical and winning is the baking equivalent of starting your essay 15 minutes before the deadline and getting a first #GBBO— adam parrish lovebot em (@claremontdiaz) October 22, 2019
You know sometimes, you watch the show, make a few cupcakes, then think perhaps you’ll practise your baking and enter the next series?
Well, if any task was ever going to give you a reality check about your baking skills, it was this one.
All this technical stuff and genius baking skills has inspired me, I've just whacked a couple of steak bakes from the freezer to the oven. 😀 #GBBO— Kev Shep (@shep_kev) October 22, 2019
Crazy Showstopper this week - the bakers had to make a representation of something special to them and display it in a sugared glass case.
If there was an award for the most mesmerising challenge so far, surely this would win it, from pouring the sugared glass, to the intricate piping work, to constructing the actual case. We’d nominate every one of the four contestants to make the final based on managing this task alone.
One thing did manage to tear our eyes away from the sugar windows, though...
The competition flipped on its head for Rosie, whose Showstopper Paul had “serious issues” with, but Steph really pulled things back with a near-perfect bake.
David was criticised for “just” making a cake (seriously?) while Alice’s murky sugar glass unfortunately detracted from her incredible sea-themed cake.
Who won Star Baker? Who’s in the 2019 final?
Alice was a bit of a surprise Star Baker this week, bolstering our growing view that the Technical, which she came last in, actually counts for nothing.
She goes straight through to the final, along with frontrunner Steph and Mr Cool, Calm and Collected David.
It looks like next week is going to be one of the strongest finals there’s been - we can’t wait.
Who was sent home?
Rosie has been hanging on by the skin of her teeth for weeks now, and even that ridiculously dramatic Technical win couldn’t save her from the chop.
The semi-final must be the most devastating week to leave in, but Rosie can hold her head high on the back of her Gateau St Honore.
Aw Rosie, so sad to see you go. But what a superstar pulling back that technical and winning 💪 #GBBO— ClaireBear🐻 (@clairedarlison) October 22, 2019
Poor Rosie, well done girl. You did your best, just not your week. #GBBO— Sanoobar Patel (@Sanoobar) October 22, 2019
The Great British Bake Off final airs on Tuesday at 8pm on Channel 4.