The Truth About George Aristidou From The Great British Baking Show: Season 12

"The Great British Baking Show" returned to PBS and Netflix for its 12th season in September of 2021, and in case you were wondering, the elimination-style baking contest has been every bit as inexplicably competitive as ever. (We say "inexplicably" in light of the fact that the show is one of very few televised cooking competitions that offers no cash prize as an incentive; rather, contestants compete for flowers, a cake stand, and a perhaps all-too-fleeting flash of fame, per Insider). Of course, no one should have to remind Season 12 contestant George Aristidou of that fact, as the 34-year old baker from London was eliminated in the season's seventh episode, according to Radio Times.

Aristidou's downfall occurred during the show's "dreaded caramel week," as Cornwall Live reports. Aristidou had failed to impress, well, pretty much everyone (including himself) with his curdled and aesthetically displeasing caramel tart, which he said was more like toffee than actual caramel. As talented a baker as Aristidou clearly is, it's not so surprising that a tricky caramel challenge threw him off his baking game. What has turned out to be unexpected, however, is the backlash that followed his elimination.

Aristidou had a feeling that caramel could be his demise

Cornwall Live reports that Aristidou has a day job as a Shared Lives coordinator, which involves providing companionship and emotional support to at-risk teens and adults, per the company's website. The baker, who has roots in Greece and Cyprus, is a married father of both human children and a Japanese Spitz named Eli, whom Aristidou claims is a big fan of dancing (via Essex Live). Aristidou, who says he never even imagined getting cast on "The Great British Baking Show" in the first place, was not all that surprised when he was eliminated during week seven.

Aristidou's experience on the show began with a "flipping nightmare" in which he struggled with a couple of challenges. His final set of tasks included baking biscuits (U.K. English for "cookies"), an area in which he feels he usually excels. Unfortunately, it also included working with caramel, which is apparently Aristidou's Achilles' heel. "I kind of knew it was time to go," he said about his caramel bake, per Cornwall Live. "No one wants to go home, but I was very happy that I managed to get this far."

The unexpected price of "Great British Baking Show" fame

Aristidou built some close relationships with the people he met while competing on "The Great British Baking Show," including fellow contestant Amanda Georgiou, says Cornwall Live. It would appear that Aristidou has been nothing but gracious whenever he's been called upon to reflect on his experience on the show, which he called "invaluable" and said taught him a lot.

Still, Aristidou's time as a contestant has not been completely positive. According to Decider, Aristidou has been contending with online bullying in the wake of his appearance on "The Great British Baking Show," particularly since the sixth episode of Season 12. That day, Georgiou was eliminated, and some viewers believed it should have been Aristidou instead, Entertainment Daily reports. "Can I just remind you it's a baking show that we all auditioned for and you do not have to go out of your way to spread hate," Aristidou noted on Instagram in response to the "hateful opinions" he has had to endure. Sadly, Aristidou is one of a few "Baking Show" contestants who have been bullied. Season 8's Stacey Hart has found herself unable to watch the show due to the online harassment she faced after her time in the tent (via Insider).