Entertainment

Thursday 17 October 2019

Soggy bottom sends home eighth contestant from The Great British Bake Off

Michael failed to impress judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith during Festival Week.

Presenters Sandi Toksvig and Noel Fielding with Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith (C4/Love Productions/Mark Bourdillon/PA)
Presenters Sandi Toksvig and Noel Fielding with Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith (C4/Love Productions/Mark Bourdillon/PA)

By Alex Green, PA Entertainment Reporter

Michael has become the eighth baker to be eliminated from The Great British Bake Off, after he suffered the dreaded soggy bottom in the technical challenge.

The theatre manager and fitness instructor, 26, fell foul of Festival Week, which saw the remaining bakers take on a trio of challenges inspired by celebrations from around the world.

Durham student Henry, 20, was named star baker after delivering a lime and lemon showstopper in which the flavours “balanced up beautifully”, according to judge Paul Hollywood.

In the signature challenge each baker created a yeasted bun, while in the technical challenge they were tasked with making the famously tricky deep fried Sicilian cascarelli.

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Michael was sent home from The Great British Bake Off (C4/Love Productions/Mark Bourdillon/PA)

For their showstoppers, the bakers crafted colourful Sarawak layer cakes from Malaysia.

Michael said: “In the signature, Paul said my buns were tight – but I’m happy to take that as a compliment.

“In the technical my cascarellis exploded (and had the dreaded soggy bottom!) and even though I spiced up my showstopper with rum for my Jamaican Mule Sarawak, it didn’t impress the judges enough to keep me in the tent.”

Former judge Mary Berry coined the now-ubiquitous term soggy bottom during the first series of Bake Off in 2010, and it has become the show’s best-known innuendo.

After being sent home, Michael called the deep-fat fryer his “nemesis”, as it caused his Sicilian cascarellis to explode.

However, Hollywood said this was because he had failed to seal them properly.

Despite missing out on a spot in the quarter-finals, Michael said he had no regrets, adding that his stint on the Channel 4 show had helped curb his anxiety.

He said: “As the series went along, I learned a lot about how to manage my anxiety – and I learned to laugh a bit more when things went wrong.

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Henry was named star baker (C4/Love Productions/Mark Bourdillon/PA)

“In episode five, I really struggled during the technical, but I knew that I had to prove to myself that I could do it.

“If I’d left the tent for a break, it would have felt like I’d given up – and I’m so proud that I didn’t. From that point onwards my whole outlook changed.

“I learned not to dwell on the negatives and start celebrating the wins.”

He added: “For anyone who is dealing with mental health issues – try to remember that there’s always a way through the shadow.

“There’s always someone who will listen, and you’re always stronger than you think.

“Just remember that if I can make it to week seven in the tent, you have to believe that you can do more than you thought you ever could. And let’s keep #RealMenCry trending.”

Michael will join Jo Brand on The Great British Bake Off: An Extra Slice on Friday October 11 on Channel 4 at 8pm.

PA Media

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