Paul and Prue Saved the Wrong ‘The Great British Baking Show’ “Mexican Week” Baker

The Great British Baking Show “Mexican Week” was full of controversies. There was Noel Fielding and Matt Lucas‘s tone deaf cold open, Paul Hollywood‘s idea to put refried beans on tacos, and the way sweet Carole Edwards pronounced “pico de gallio.” However, these “Mexican Week” specific issues have come to overshadow a more classic Bake Off fracas. Once again, we must ask ourselves if the wrong bakers went home this week. Spoilers, but did Rebs Lightbody and James Dewar both deserve to get the boot while Carole got the gift of staying in the Bake Off tent for another day? Or did Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith get the “Mexican Week” double elimination wrong?

Last week, both Rebs Lightbody and Abdul Rehman Sharif missed The Great British Baking Show “Bread Week” because they were under the weather. In a fit of mercy, Paul and Prue decided to spare any of the eight present bakers from elimination. However they did warn everyone that because no one went home last week, a double elimination would be on the horizon. As it happens, this week, Paul and Prue discovered there were three bakers whose poor performances put them in line for going home: James, Rebs, and Carole. They gave James and Rebs the axe…but was that the right decision? I don’t think so! I think Carole and not James should have been eliminated.

The best part of watching The Great British Baking Show is watching these darling bakers create decadent desserts against the clock. The worst part is we never get to taste any of the creations. We merely have to trust Paul and Prue’s opinion on the texture, flavors, and overall quality of the bakes. Going off Paul and Prue’s comments — coupled with the producers choices in the editing booth — it’s often obvious which bakers are doing well and which are in dire trouble.

Carole calling Pico de Gallo, "Pico de Gallio"
Photo: Netflix

“Mexican Week” was a rough one for the Great British Baking Show bakers. Most everyone except Maxy and Kevin fumbled a bit during the pan dulce Signature Challenge. Carole came in last during the taco Technical, with Rebs in ninth place, and James in eighth. During the tres leches cake Showstopper Challenge, Dawn rallied enough to save her skin, but James, Carole, and Rebs once again struggled. But the trio struggled in different ways.

James understood that he was in trouble, so the creative Scot took it upon himself to be incredibly ambitious during his Showstopper. Instead of just attempting a layered tres leches cake, he added a fraisier tart as the top tier and a white chocolate collar. As Paul later said, James attempted too much and the final result was not neat. Paul and Prue loved the flavor of the fraisier tart and the bottom sponge, but Prue felt it was unevenly soaked. Paul liked the flavor, but again called it messy.

While James attempted too much and came up short in his decorations, Rebs’s Showstopper was a leaky mess and didn’t taste good. Apparently she went overboard on the flavors to Paul and Prue’s chagrin. Carole, who was struggling Day 1, had a nice looking cake, but there were definitely flavors. Lady put two bird’s eye chilis into her chocolate ganache, rendering it way too hot for Paul’s liking. Prue defended the cake even though she noted it wasn’t soaked at all in her piece.

James after Great British Baking Show elimination
Photo: Netflix

So when James, Rebs, and Carole were named as the bottom three bakers during deliberations, I wasn’t surprised. In fact, Rebs had been in the bottom every week she was in the tent and Carole was in danger last week. What did surprise me was that James and Rebs were the ones chosen to go home. I personally thought — and don’t hate me, Carole! — it should have been Rebs and Carole.

Rebs’s time in the tent was definitely up, but it was a bit tighter between James and Carole. Because Carole not only came in dead last in the Technical, but because she also fumbled on flavor on one of the more simple bakes, I would have given the edge to James. I think when it comes down to it, taste should matter more than decor, and the Technical should be used for “tie” breaking.

Alas, that is not what Paul and Prue thought. They decided James would go home and, to James’s credit, he took the news like a champ. Rebs blubbered and Prue had to remind her it was just cake, but James was cracking self-depricating jokes to the camera about his performance. James will endure! I only wish that James had endured longer in The Great British Baking Show tent.

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