GBBO’s Deaf Baker made it through the first round with the rigor of Cake week. But how does she stack up against the competition for biscuits and bread? Weeks 2 and 3 takeaways ahead!
On your marks, get set.. BAKE!
Warning this article contains spoilers from the most recent season of the Great British Bake Off – Collection 11, Episodes 2 and 3. If you do not want to know what happens in this episode, please leave the big white tent!!!!
As with every new season of GBBO, I just marvel at the people in it. A dozen British home bakers bringing their best to share what they love and do so well. We fans watch GBBO expecting the familiar. To chuckle at random quirkiness. To oooh and ahhh. Squeal and giggle, yes. We want happiness, dammit.
When I heard there was going to be a Deaf baker on GBBO, I felt a a mixture of excitement and cautious optimism about how Deaf representation would be shown here for the first time. I really wanted them to get this right because this is one of only two shows I care about and watch regularly (Star Trek is the other). To pace myself, I normally watch GBBO while running on the TREADMILL. Vulcan logic. I have to say, after watching these episodes, I am SORE! But Tasha’s performances were worth the extra miles.
Week 2: Biscuit Week
By week 2, everyone’s got their wiggles out. The novelty of BSL and the interpreter seems to have died way down. Both are ever present and visible of course, but as everyone settles in, it seems to be less of a “thing” than it was in ep 1 – and that’s a good thing.
This can be reality in enlightened situations, but it actually frames an ideal situation. Deaf people are seen for who they are and what they do with clear communication and included as equals. Normalize this, folks.
And if someone makes a stupid comment, you can edit it out. Love.
Deaf Baker gets a Hollywood handshake
Tasha’s signature biscuit bake was a marshmallow/chocolate confection, reminiscent of her favorite malted chocolate drink from her Australian childhood.
This earned her not only the coveted Paul Hollywood handshake signifying bakeoff perfection, but the season’s FIRST! And, it was the ONLY handshake offered that round (Paul typically doles them out in pairs, much to his chagrin).
This is where dear Tasha identifies herself as a front runner.
Tasha landed in the lower mid-pack again for the persnickety custard creme technical. One of those bakes I assume most people have more experience buying in a package than baking.
Of course, UK packaged stuff still looks like food. So baking your own custard cremes isn’t as much of a stretch as say.. double stuff Oreos. No Kryptonite ingredients under the gingham cloth, nope.
So, when Tasha placed 8th, I grimaced and mentally ran through the other seasons trying to remember if anyone’s gotten a handshake and sent home in the same episode. Yeah, I went there. The possibility Tasha could get cut was out there. Would this will be my last play by play about the Deaf baker?
Alas, the universe wants me to keep writing.
Deaf Star Baker
Tasha’s biscuits illusion showstopper of “Japanese Katsu and Matcha” was neck n’ neck with Josh’s double-take-inducing “burger and fries”. But (ahem) Josh did not get a handshake earlier in the signature which probably pulled Tash slightly ahead.
The result: Tasha is the Star Baker for week 2!!
I have to tell you, in all the years I have watched GBBO, I’ve never screamed or jumped up and down.
Not until today anyway. It was appropriate.
Bread in Week 3
The week that no one really looks forward to except for those who regularly pay homage to the bread gods and of course the Breadfather himself, Paul Hollywood. That’s right, week 3 was bread week!
Right off the bat, the hearing bakers are tapping at the bottom of their sig bakes listening for whatever tells them their bread’s done. Tasha says, “I can’t do that” with a laugh.
No need, Tash. These are the leanings of mere mortals. Pfft.
Deaf baker on a roll
Her superpowers apparently ward off the pesky Star Baker curse.
Tasha’s signature roasted garlic and rosemary malted cottage loaf earned her muted raves from Paul and Prue. “90 percent, not perfect, dense but delicious”, says Mr Hollywood between chews. Prue said she’d be so proud if she’d done it. Us too, Prue!
For the tricky Devonshire splits technical bake, Tasha broke her own track record and got second place! Momentum!
With her showstopper, Tasha’s plaited bread centerpiece bearing Medusa’s likeness was lauded for artistry. For taste and texture, Paul’s highest praise: “You understand bread and I like that”. Pragmatic Prue’s a straight shooter: “You’re one hell of a bread baker”.
Lots of gushing today. Bet they’re delirious from all that bread.
Deaf Star Baker, again!
So in this very “good week” she’s had, it’s less surprising but absolutely enthralling: Tasha was crowned star baker for week 3!
“What the hell?” She says in the confessional.
“I go into things with low expectations of myself. I’m going to stop doing that.”
Thank goodness. Just because it’s never happened before doesn’t mean it can’t. Someone has to be the first. Why not Tasha? And if you want to get philosophical: why not you? Believe it, achieve it, y’know?
Final thoughts on GBBO’s Deaf baker in weeks 2 and 3
I’ll admit this season of GBBO has far and away blown all my own expectations right out of the Bain Marie.
After two wins in a row, GBBO’s Deaf Star Baker is riding high. As the bakers belly up to the proverbial bar, Tasha has plunked her money down. She’s here to play, folks.
The Great British Baking Show airs new episodes on Netflix on Fridays in the US.