Great British Baking Competition contestants to hatewatch

Caveat: North American TV has only aired the seasons in which Mary judged, and not all of those…I think we haven’t seen seasons 1 and 2, and PBS renumbered the what was 5 in the UK as 1 here. Most of the contestants were lovely, gracious people whom we cheerfully supported. But there were a few whose elimination was a Schadenfreude banquet.

Foremost, 1) Brendan: Throughout, he clearly believed he deserved to win and didn’t seem to take the judges’ critiques seriously. 2) Candice: She wasn’t overtly overconfident, but the Betty Boop puckered mouth seemed arrogant to me. I thought the two other finalists were at least as talented, and hate that she won her season. 3) Ruby: Munchhausen’s Syndrome by Pastry. Consistently angling for reassurance and sympathy by apologizing for her creations in advance, then looking shocked that Paul and Mary liked them. Either she was deliberately conniving, or in need of a therapist.

Who have I missed?

I find it very difficult to hate anyone who makes cake.


I don’t think I’ve encountered a personality that I truly dislike yet – unlike, say, Top Chef or other American cooking shows where they seem bent on having at least one “villan” per season. But there are definitely a few quirky folks whom I wasn’t a big fan of for various reasons.

I too found Candace’s constantly pursed lips strange – like she was always trying to hold a fart in. Her wearing super bright or deep colors didn’t help it because it drew all attention to her pursed lips. Poor Ruby though. I empathize with her constant lack of confidence and second-guessing herself; I see a lot of people (and women in particular!) who are like this, so I didn’t mind her at all.

I know Val was probably seen as this sweet older lady who was just like your loving grandma trying to bake you snacks with love everytime, but I couldn’t help but wonder why is she in a competition like this?! She just seemed like she was on a different show or planet during half the challenges. I’m sure she’s a fine baker, and is a sweetheart, but good lord, she gave ME anxiety watching her try to manage the time and complexity of the challenges when she was on.

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I’m a bit surprised by such a response to a programme whose chief characteristic (after baked goods) is its kindness. I mean, many of us were braced for a horrible turn when it went to channel 4 but thankfully it stayed kind.

I don’t recall the series you’re watching at this moment, but I recall no villains in GBBO ever, and at most have not wanted someone to win.


I think it’s improved since the move - the choice of Sandi and Noel as presenters has been inspired.

New series due to start around the end of this month, but I haven’t seen any trailers yet.

My only moan about the show (right from beginning) has been the almost predictable stereotypical selection of contestants. There will always be the pretty one, the older one, the obviously gay man, the man who may or may not turn out to be gay, the very serious one, the “regional character”, etc

And the obviously straight one, the straight one the has to talk about their kids, and the one who you think can’t have a boyfriend/girlfriend but ends up having one and being straight.

Well, the post hasn’t exactly drummed up a big pile of hate, just a few mild annoyances :slight_smile:

I think it’s a bit less stereotypical or formulaic than you’re making out. I’m delighted there are queer contestants (I don’t exactly know how to respond to the feeling there are men who read as gay) and delighted by the showcasing of Britain’s diversity. (It was certainly comforting in the aftermath of June 2016).

Of course, I do wonder about types sought because yes, that will happen. There will always be a near babby on the show. And a nan…

So yeah, now I want to do an accounting…

That’s true. But what an odd response to the show from the OP (which is what I meant). I genuinely can’t see how this fits with the ethos of the show.

Absolutely no disagreement with you there.

In my defense, I did note that most of the participants are delightful. Perhaps that amplifies the annoyance factor of those who aren’t. There was considerable metaphorical gnashing of teeth and rending of garments when Mary, Sue, and Mel chose not to stay with the show, complete with U.K. viewers threatening boycotts. That seems to have died down. Netflix released the first of the non-BBC seasons a while back. Though I think Sandi admirably fills Stephen’s big wingtips on QI, her skits with Noel can leap into stale vaudeville territory. I felt their predecessors had more charm. Although the new GBBO team is still good, I wish the original hosts and judge had remained (or that it hadn’t left the BBC). If the series producers do have a prescribed list of types to fill the 12 competitor slots, it is far less cynical than the criteria applied to virtually all other reality competition contestants.

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Sorry, but I need to confirm: Are you explaining Britain and GBBO to me?

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Anyone trying to explain Britain at the moment is doomed to failure.


And/Or tears.