Guessing Who Will Win 'Bake-Off' 2021 Based On First Impressions

Which assassin in a fun knit will it be this year?
Lauren O'Neill
London, GB
Posts  /  Guessing Who Is Going To Win 'GBBO' 2021 Based On First Impressions
Screenshot: All 4

The Great British Bake-Off, annual high point for the country’s twee insult community and Official Government Representative of what it means to be British (I’d argue that Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares is more accurate, but what do I know?), returned for its twelfth season last night, and with it came ten more assassins in fun knits hoping to steal the crown, the nation’s heart, and, ideally, a cookbook deal.


Throughout the premiere’s 90 minute runtime – and can I just go on the record to state that there is no reason why an episode of Bake-Off should be feature length? – viewers were by turns harrowed by Paul Hollywood lip-syncing to a baking-themed version of “Achy Breaky Heart,” worried by some wobbly looking showstopper bakes, and delighted by Jürgen just in general.

But one important question remained (and will do for eight more weeks, because that’s when the show ends): who will emerge victorious? I have superficially assessed the contestants after the first episode and here are my predictions, from least to most likely to win. 



Tom / Screenshot: All4

Tom is officially the least likely to win because he has been eliminated from the competition and therefore it is impossible for him to do so. I could have told you that when I saw his “gravity defying” cake which was simply a tiered cake with the top bit on slightly wonky, but useful that the show has confirmed it. 


Jairzeno GBBO

Jairzeno / Screenshot: All4

Seems like a very nice person but he’s on thin ice after ninth place in the technical and his showstopper cake, which sadly was a bit ‘allergic reaction.’


Amanda GBBO

Amanda GBBO / Screenshot: All4

Amanda’s surfing cake was cool but unfortunately she wears her glasses on the end of her nose in a teacher way so I can’t endorse her any further. 


Lizzie GBBO

Lizzie / Screenshot: All4

I liked Lizzie’s Lazy Oaf dress and her idea for tahini caramel (I love tahini so much that I would eat it out of the bin), but I think that in order to actually win Bake-Off, you have to have a bit of a ruthless, competitive streak – like, to even be compelled to make 12 perfectly matching iced buns or whatever, I would argue that there has to be an element of serial killer behind your eyes – and I do not believe she possesses that instinct. Which really is probably a good thing. 



George GBBO

George / Screenshot: All4

George had a middling-to-bad first episode but I hope he stays on the show purely because his reaction to the beginning of the first challenge was exactly what mine would be: “I feel sick. Why did I apply for this? What is wrong with me?”


Rochica GBBO

Rochica / Screenshot: All4

Joining Liberty From Love Island and Jack Grealish, Rochica is the third prong in the 2021 Birmingham Rehabilitation Project which I can only imagine is being orchestrated from a deep bunker beneath Alison Hammond’s house. I wasn’t too convinced by her showstopper apple cake but I hope she sticks around to advance the Brummie agenda a bit more. 


Chigs GBBO

Chigs / Screenshot: All4

Chigs seems like your classic overachiever, having picked up baking to GBBO standard, as well as rock climbing and “cooking with his mum” over lockdown. As someone whose main hobby is going on their phone, this would usually turn me against a person, but I felt that Chigs’ general capability was actually pretty good vibes, and reminded me of the one housemate who reliably knows DIY, rather than the person at school who would get A*s in everything going on about how they “did shit” because they achieved 90/100 on a test.

Unrelatedly there was a section of the show where one of the hosts was talking to Chigs about how he looked like various celebrities, including “a young Robert DeNiro” and “a young Andy Garcia.” I actually think he looks more like Gary Neville. Anyway he’ll probably go midway through. 



Crystelle GBBO

Crystelle / Screenshot: All4

Loved Crystelle’s effortlessly glam approach to proceedings and even if she doesn’t win (I think usually she’d be up there – and she still might be – but this seems to be a talented year and there’s a clear top four so far), I would like to see the BBC pick her up for their roster of “gorgeous women cooking” along with Nadiya, Nigella and Lorraine Pascal.


Maggie GBBO

Maggie / Screenshot: All4

Maggie saw a malt loaf technical and showed the young girls how it was done! This is a person who clearly spends her every waking minute doing perfect cakes for various bake sales benefitting village halls and dog charities, and as such the other contestants should be very afraid. 


Freya GBBO

Freya / Screenshot: All4

While I’m not sure she’ll quite steal the overall win, as GBBO’s first vegan baker, Freya will probably be the show’s material champion, in that she’s probably going to be set for life with offers for Instagram spon con about aquafaba and cocktail sausages made from peas for the rest of her days. 


Screenshot 2021-09-22 at 13.20.35.png

In his screen debut, Jürgen played the trombone, judged his own cake, smiled wearily while Matt Lucas sang at him in German, made a cake version of Thomas More’s complex philosophical tome Utopia, and was revealed to own a rabbit called Humphrey. I’m not sure there’s ever been a stronger first showing on GBBO or indeed any other programme. Who is doing it like him?


Giuseppe GBBO

Giuseppe / Screenshot: All4

As someone of ‘having an Italian dad and nearly being called Giuseppe myself’ experience I feel very spiritually close to this man. Did you see the swirl definition on Giuseppe’s mini rolls? Just as they did at the Euros, Italia will triumph over pathetic little England once again here, mark my words.