JOHN WHAITE, 23, law student, Manchester
Have you been tuning in?
Yes, it’s been really weird watching myself. I think I’m more nervous about watching myself than when I was filming it. Compared to this, baking in front of Paul and Mary was a complete dream.
But I’ve been getting some good feedback. Lots of followers on Twitter and stuff generally, good reactions. I’ve been recognised a few times. The first time it happened, I’d just done a length of the swimming pool. This woman said, “Oh, are you on Bake Off?” She recognised me without my clothes on!
What was your worst moment – when you sliced open your hand?
That happened when I was making the strudel dough. I grabbed the dough in the Magimix to test the consistency, and forgot the blade was in there. It was a moment of pure stupidity.
One thing I’d always said was that I didn’t want to get through on default, I wanted to go through on merit. I was gutted when I thought I was getting through just because I cut my finger. Then I realised that no one was going home so that was a bit more fair.
But in the following week, which was the enriched doughs, I messed up all three rounds – Chelsea buns, doughnuts and stollen – and it didn’t go well at all. After the first day I went back to my hotel room and was sure I was going to get kicked out. It was during the finals of my law degree, too.
But I’d do it all over again, I really would. I love baking that much. I’ve always baked as therapy in times of stress, and it’s helped me be really organised. I can’t draw or paint, so baking is how I express my creative streak.
If you do win Bake Off, will it change your life?
I’ve been studying law, but it’s not something I really have an interest in – I really want to go down the baking route. I love it enough to want to make it into a career, to be innovative and write recipes. I want to try and go to the Cordon Bleu or the Ritz Escoffier to try to hone my repertoire, then open an establishment in Manchester and maybe London.