“The Great British Baking Show” Season 13: Three Bakers Lead the Pack Heading into Week Eight

“The Great British Baking Show” made its triumphant return to television earlier this fall. The iconic Paul Hollywood is judging alongside Prue Leith to determine which of the twelve bakers will be crowned the winner of Season 13. The judges are joined by comedians Noel Fielding and Matt Lucas, who spice up the show with short skits. While “The Great British Baking Show” is not meant for everyone, it continues to get impressive ratings with 88 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. If you love to bake, cook, or are looking to watch a wholesome yet competitive show, “The Great British Baking Show” is for you. The fan-favorite will not be ending anytime soon, as it just renewed for at least three more seasons.

For those who are not regular viewers of “The Great British Baking Show,” the series begins with twelve bakers who are tasked with preparing three desserts in an episode. The first bake is a “signature bake,” followed by a “technical challenge,” and the finale of each episode is the “showstopper.” Each week has a particular theme and each of the three challenges connects to it. At the end of each episode, the best baker of the week is named “Star Baker” while the worst is sent home. As the series heads into the quarter-finals, which will air on November 4, 2022, the competition is heating up.

In the first few weeks of the show, contestants Janusz and Maxy dominated the competition. Janusz stunned the judges with his presentation and flavors while Maxy wowed them with her artistic designs and creativity. In the first four weeks, both Janusz and Maxy received “Star Baker” twice. Another contestant, Syabira, has recently been dominating. She was steady throughout the first few weeks but really began to peak in Episode Five, “Dessert Week,” when she amazed the judges with her intricate flavor combinations. She was awarded “Star Baker” for two consecutive weeks due to her excellence in the technical challenges, pungent flavors, and precision in the showstoppers. Syabira even received the first “Hollywood handshake” of the season in Episode Six, “Halloween Week,” for her creative apple cake. The tradition of this iconic handshake was started by judge Paul Hollywood, who gives a baker a rare handshake when everything about their dessert is exceptional.

A particular highlight of Season 13 is the diversity of the contestants in the tent. The twelve bakers, ranging from ages 18 to 60, incorporate different flavors, baking techniques, and ideas into their desserts. The bakers incorporate spices and flavors from their culture while others feature family recipes. In addition, bakers who are vegetarian, gluten free, or have other food restrictions often offer recipes that meet those restrictions. The show also incorporated a new theme on Episode Four: “Mexican Week.” In this episode, the judges asked the bakers to make pan dulce (a Mexican style of sweet bread), steak tacos, and a tres leches cake.

Heading into Week Eight, which will air this Friday, only five bakers remain in the tent. Janusz, Syabira, and Maxy seem to be leading the pack while Sandro and Abdul must step up their game in order to stay in the competition.

Rating: 5/5 stars.