The Great British Bake Off’s Selasi Gbormittah said he “dropped the ball” as he became the ninth baker to leave the tent, but admitted that exiting the competition at the semi-final stage was “the right time” for him.
The contestants were tasked with creating a selection of tasty treats under the theme of Patisserie Week but the 30-year-old banker failed to impress judges Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood with his creations.
Selasi said: “It’s a massively great achievement for me personally, and my family, to get to the semi-finals. It’s been absolutely amazing, splendid, I loved it all.
“I was almost at the last hurdle, and then I dropped the ball. I can’t blame anyone else but myself, I was sorry to be going but also accepted it at the same time.”
The famously calm and collected baker said that being dubbed “Mr Cool, or the chuckling zen banker” among his fans “does make me smile”.
He said he and the other bakers, especially Benjamina Ebuehi, got on well and that “for me it was more about a bunch of people baking in the tent and having a great time, not a competition”.
He added: “My best moment in the tent has to be every moment. But when I messed up and tried to blag my way out of it, I can’t believe I did that, now watching it back I find it really hilarious.
“My worst moment had to be leaving of course but I think I left at the right time, it was time for me to go. I knew it and felt it.”
Paul said he was “very proud of Selasi” to get this far, and Mary added that he is a “great character”.
Selasi’s downfall in the semi-final began with the signature challenge, as the four remaining bakers were tasked with creating 24 savoury palmiers with two different flavours.
His salmon, spinach and mushroom, and sun-dried tomato, onion and Parmesan palmiers – constructed with puff pastry – were under-baked, with Mary describing them as “very raw”.
The technical challenge required the contestants to construct a ring-shaped yeast drizzle cake called a savarin, but Selasi came bottom of the pack for his over-baked effort with disappointing orange segments on top.
His showstopper challenge creation, 36 fondant fancies, were the final straw as Mary and Paul confessed they were “not excited” over his flavours or the fondant around the outside of each mini cake.
Aerospace engineer Andrew Smyth, 25, was named Star Baker for the second time during the competition, securing him a place in the final along with Jane Beedle and Candice Brown.
Selasi will join Jo Brand on The Great British Bake Off: An Extra Slice on Friday October 21, at 9.30 pm, on BBC Two. The final of The Great British Bake Off will air at 8pm on Wednesday October 26 on BBC One.