Why Crystelle Pereira Is Happy About Her GBBO Focaccia Failure

The blunder may have cost her the competition: In the last episode of "The Great British Baking Show," Series 12, finalist Crystelle Pereira was soaring to a possible win after winning the Belgian bun technical challenge. Then, judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith ate her za'atar, garlic, and honey focaccia. "Uh, this is not recognizable as focaccia," the Daily Mail transcribed Leith's immediate reaction. Hollywood went further: "That's raw dough. What have you done?" He held a piece of the bread for the camera to see its plainly uncooked interior. "I mean, that is actually raw. Has it been in the oven?"

Pereira proceeded to lose the competition to Giuseppe Dell'Anno, who had come in third place in the technical challenge with overbaked buns but redeemed his chances with an impressive display of brioche, panna cotta, muffins, and more. Had Pereira's focaccia been properly baked, there's a chance she would have been crowned the winner, some fans think.

Why Pereira is happy despite her loss

For many bakers, such a stumble in the final stretch of a difficult competition might prove utterly disheartening. For Pereira, it was just part of the process. "In a way," she said in an interview shared by London News Today, "I'm a home baker, not myself, and I'm showing that these things are happening in your kitchen, so I'm glad to the viewer that it happened." Due to how people curate their appearances on social media, she explained, people only ever see the best shots of others' lives, including the perfect bakes. The messy test rounds from behind the scenes get binned.

As for what exactly went wrong with her focaccia, Pereira had no idea. She used the same ingredients and the same recipe as she had at home, and yet, what had worked in her own kitchen failed in the white tent. "Even after the final, I actually remember talking to Paul and even he couldn't put his finger on it (what was wrong)," she said. "[The camera crew] saw me add yeast and everything." Sometimes, things simply go wrong. It's just unfortunate that there are no do-overs on "The Great British Baking Show."