Things got heated in The Great British Bake Off tent as the semi-final kicked off.

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The penultimate episode saw the final four bakers in the Great British Bake Off 2022 line-up taking on three new challenges for the Bake Off theme.

And it was an exceptional week, with Abdul winning his first Star Baker accolade and Syabira receiving huge praise for her DNA-themed Showstopper.

With such high standards in the tent this week, the judges had a tough decision to make when it came to choosing who to send home. At the end of the episode, it was revealed that Janusz would be leaving, as Syabira, Sandro and Abdul went straight through to next week's final.

Here, reigning Bake Off champ and RadioTimes.com columnist Giuseppe Dell'Anno shares his thoughts on Patisserie Week, as he gives his last piece of advice to this year's finalists and reveals who he thinks should be crowned the Great British Bake Off 2022 winner.

You can watch Giuseppe share his verdict on Bake Off's latest episode below – and keep watching at the end of each video for more from Giuseppe!

Giuseppe on Patisserie Week

I found this episode much more enjoyable than last week’s. There was almost a step change compared to Pastry Week, in my opinion. Last time we had a mix of very stressed out bakers, unnecessarily harsh judging and overall underwhelming bakes.

This week instead, everybody did exceptionally well in all the challenges, regardless of how whacky they were. Our lovely bakers still looked very nervous, of course, but I perceived them somehow more confident.

There were a few white-knuckle moments where you cover your face and cannot bear to look at the screen, like when Janusz helped to move Syabira’s showstopper, or watching Sandro propping up his Krokan with plastic cups. In fact, I got palpitations and gasped all the way through the episode, but that’s why we love the show!

Favourite bake

This week, my favourite bake has got to be Syabira’s showstopper, no doubt. It will go down in Bake Off history for sure. The whole thing was simply majestic - it was inspired, it was brave, ambitious, well-conceived and also well-executed. For me, it simply ticked all the boxes. In fact, I would have loved to taste it as her combination of almond, rose and pistachio sounded delightful.

Having said that, all showstoppers looked nothing less than insane. What a phenomenal display of creativity, design, ingenuity, and… engineering skills ! All those towering piles of biscuits were entirely self-supporting, and there were no dowels or frames in sight, which I found simply extraordinary.

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The only bittersweet note was Maxy’s absence. I can only imagine how she must have felt having a Swedish cake being baked in the tent the week after she left. My sympathy goes entirely to her!

Least favourite bake

This week it’s very difficult to pick one least favourite bake as all bakers did very well throughout. I did feel for Abdul, though, when it came to his mini-Charlottes.

His design and flavour combination really resonated with me, I would have probably done something very similar: simple and well-curated. He went for tiramisu flavoured Charlottes and he hoped to have enough time to decorate them beautifully, so it killed me when he got to the end of the challenge and had no time to polish them as much as he would have liked.

They still tasted phenomenal and got great praises from the judges, but had he managed to decorate them as he was hoping, they would have been nothing short of a patisserie masterpiece!

Tip of the Week

Last year I went into the final very relaxed. I had made it through the entirety of the season and survived 10 episodes, and I’m sure that this helped me getting through the challenges successfully. So, I would recommend the bakers to keep a cool head and just try to enjoy it. They have to tell themselves that they have already won.

They will go down in the show’s history as finalists anyway, so they might as well soak it in and try to provide their best performance yet. Keeping a cool head is extremely important. In the final, avoiding mistakes is just as critical as delivering exceptional bakes. Best of luck to them! I’m sure that, whatever happens, we are in for a very entertaining show next week.

Giuseppe Answers...

Were you surprised to see Janusz go?

Seeing Janusz go this week brought back memories of last year’s semi-final, when Jurgen left the tent. Sadly, this time I didn’t gasp as much because, for me and for all the viewers, it was clear that it was going to be either Sandro or Janusz. And to be frank, it would have been equally disheartening had Sandro left.

Janusz was my designated winner from day one, so I was very sad to see him go. He has brought a lot of light-hearted joy and a gentlemanly charm to the tent. He elegantly pulled off high heels and make up on Halloween Week, he has been playfully exchanging banter with Sandro, and he had been constantly running around the tent helping whoever needed a hand.

In reality, the challenge is now more and more on the casting team to find more bakers like Janusz. The tent and this world need more men like him! It’s as simple as that.

Abdul won his first Star Baker - what do you think of this?

Hallelujah! It was a long overdue acknowledgement of Abdul’s understated skills. I find the guy so relatable. Still this week, although he was in the semi-final, and after a streak of consistently good weeks, he kept wondering how he got there. How can anybody not love somebody so adorable?

Also, the timing was perfect - the Star Baker accolade now is a much needed boost of confidence for him, as it means that he will go into the final without feeling like the underdog any more. He is a Star Baker as much as Syabira and Sandro, and he just needs to start believing that himself.

What do you think of the three finalists? Who do you see winning?

I really like this year’s fabulous trio, because, in a way, there is something for everybody; we have an excellent and diverse mix of skills, styles and palettes.

I’m looking forward to seeing what other original flavour combinations Syabira will concoct, I cannot wait to see another of Sandro’s bold and super-ambitious designs, and I’m really eager to see Abdul finally blossoming into the great baker he really is. I think that they all have what it takes to be a winner.

However, looking back, Syabira has probably been the best performing of the three overall, and I hope that the final result will give her credit for that. But, in the tent, everybody starts from scratch every week, so literally anything can happen!

A Week in the Life of Giuseppe

This week I had another first. I virtually met one of my comedy heroes, Russell Kane, and participated in an episode of his podcast Man Baggage to discuss if men are more patient than women – and what an interesting talk it was!

I have also been getting ready for the Bake Off final myself. Next Tuesday, I will be baking my Panna Cotta on Steph’s Packed Lunch on Channel 4 and then I'll rush home for a viewing party with the show production team in the evening. I cannot wait - it’s almost as if Christmas is arriving early for me this year!

To make your own show-stopping bakes at home, Giuseppe’s debut cookbook, Giuseppe’s Italian Bakes (Quadrille, £20) is available to order, out 13th October.

The Great British Bake Off airs on Channel 4 on Tuesdays at 8pm. Looking for something else to watch? Check out our TV Guide or Streaming Guide, or visit our dedicated Entertainment hub for the latest news.

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