What Great British Bake Off Contestants Are Really Told Before The Competition Begins

Being a part of an intense competition such as "The Great British Bake Off" is not easy, and it requires participants to tackle incredibly difficult baking challenges while racing against the clock. In 2019, celebrity chef and a recurring judge on the series Paul Hollywood said that certain challenges in the past have been "too difficult" for contestants (via Metro).

Hollywood added, "On series one, people could approach [the baking challenges] and make them and want to enjoy making them. But if you make them too difficult people will go not interested."

According to one of the ex-contestants on the show, Antony Amourdox from season nine, getting selected to compete is a challenge in itself. He wrote in an Insider article that thousands of hopeful participants apply to be a part of the show and have to go through "weeks of interviews and a psych test" to ascertain whether they can tackle the pressure inside the tent.

Themes are discussed beforehand

According to banker and former GBBO contestant, Antony Amourdoux, participants on the show are told about the themes "for all 10 weeks of challenges" in advance and are expected to come up with recipes for the signature challenges as well as the "masterpiece challenge[s]." However, the technical contests are always a "complete surprise" and participants have no idea what to expect.

For Amourdoux, having little baking experience meant that he wasn't sure what he was getting into. He wrote that "Ideas for the two known challenges had to be submitted in advance, and there I was creating these dreamy recipes like an elephant-head biryani pie and a gravity-defying zip line coming down from a mountain of bread — neither of which I actually practiced beforehand."

Additionally, it was important to stay mum until the show's participants were officially announced which meant that Amourdoux and the rest of the cast secretly filmed "The Great British Bake Off" during the weekends.