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Stuart, a PE Teacher, is confident that his tomato turnover recipe is a winner. Then he looks down, and finds out he neglected to put in his special tomato jam, and the turnover is already in the oven. Is he ruined? Can the turnover possibly be any good? Does this mean he’s going home?
This is the stuff of drama on the new season of The Great British Baking Show, debuting June 22nd on PBS. In addition to Stuart’s dilemma, we follow Cathryn, a gas station attendant, who is so nervous her hands shake, through three challenges. Will Cathryn find her confidence? Or will her nerves doom her to an early exit?
Originally aired in Great Britain as The Great British Bake Off Series 3, Season 5 of The Great British Baking Show reunites all the familiar elements that have made the show such a great hit both in the US and internationally. Hosts Sue and Mel make cheeky, slightly off-color jokes with the judges and the contestants. Judges Paul and Mary frighten nervous bakers with pointed questions as they struggle to finish their bakes. Mary awards a bake with the sought-after compliment of “scrummy” (don’t try to look it up in the dictionary, you won’t find it).
In addition to Stuart and Cathryn, other contestants include Victoria, the CEO of an environmental charity; James, a medical student who treats every bake like a science project; Sarah-Jane, a Vicar’s wife who is used to baking for her congregation; and Manisha, a day care worker who hopes her baking can be as successful with the judges as it is her students. People from all over Great Britain, from all walks of life, but absolutely no baking professionals.
It’s aspirational television at its best, as viewers can picture themselves as contestant. It’s also educational, as contestants and viewers alike learn new baking terms and learn to bake things they’ve never heard of before.
This is advertised as the last season with the original cast, as Great British Bake Off has switched networks and replaced its hosts and judge Mary Berry. But for now, the team is intact, to be enjoyed one last time.
The Great British Baking Show Season 5 debuts Friday, June 22nd at 9:00 p.m. on KIXE Channel 9.