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‘I’m a Real Person With Feelings’: Fans Bully ‘Great British Bake Off’ Contestant for Making It to Finals

Plus, Tyson suspends managers over COVID-19 betting pool accusations, and more news to start your day

The contestants of the 11th season of the Great British Bake Off, wearing beige aprons, in the tent GBBO
Jaya Saxena is a Correspondent at, and the series editor of Best American Food Writing. She explores wide ranging topics like labor, identity, and food culture.

“It’s ok to be sad your favourite person didn’t go through, but please remember it’s not my fault.”

[Spoilers for Season 8, Episode 9, which is available in the U.S. as of Friday, November 20]

This season of the Great British Bake Off (or, as it’s known stateside, The Great British Baking Show) has left many frustrated, underwhelmed, and questioning whether anyone on the series knows what Japan is. But as ever, fans have formed strong opinions about who they think is worthy of making it to the finals. This week, Hermine, the last person of color competing this season, was eliminated in the semi-finals, but fans say baker Laura’s performance has not been adequate enough to make it to the finals. The backlash to the judge’s decision has unfortunately led to people trolling and bullying Laura on social media, which the contestant commented on, tweeting, “It’s okay to be sad your favorite person didn’t go through, but please remember it’s not my fault. I don’t make the decisions. GBBO is all about kindness and I haven’t seen much of that on here.”

“It’s easy to sit there on your sofa and judge,” she continued. “But I am a real person with feelings. Please take a moment to consider your words before you judge someone you’ve never met and whose food you’ve never tasted.”

Hermine has also spoken out against the bullying, posting on her Instagram, “Please don’t be unkind in my name...Honor my time on GBBO with love and kindness.”

Judge Paul Hollywood has also commented in support of Laura, calling the bullying “disgusting behavior” and reminding fans that when it comes to judging, each week stands on its own!!”

It’s not the first time fans have directed their ire over the judges’ decisions onto the contestants. Last year, contestant Sophie Faldo told Radio Times, “The trolling on Bake Off had a horrible impact. I experienced some dark times after the show.”

And while it is extraordinarily fun to have opinions about GBBO (like, they wanted contestants to make brownies with extra mix-ins and frosting, but did not want them too sweet? What on earth did they think they were asking for??), when it comes to eliminations, the blame is on the judges, not the contestants. As ever, be furious about Paul Hollywood.

And in other news...

  • Postmates tracked what everyone was ordering during the pandemic, which was a lot of pet supplies, “family meals,” and alcohol. [RB]
  • Tyson has suspended a number of managers of a Waterloo, Iowa meatpacking plant without pay, following allegations that they placed bets on how many workers would contract COVID-19. “If these claims are confirmed, we’ll take all measures necessary to root out and remove this disturbing behavior from our company,” said Tyson’s CEO Dean Banks. [Fooddive]
  • It’s always a good sign when you have to specify whether eating your meat counts as cannibalism. [Design Museum]
  • Get in, loser, we’re making charcuterie chalets. [GMA]
  • Any business which got a PPP loan won’t be able to deduct expenses associated with that loan, according to the IRS. [NRN]
  • Teen TikTok star Charli D’Amelio lost a million followers after acting uncharitably toward her family’s personal chef. [NYPost]