'Great British Baking Show' Shocker! Frontrunner Jürgen Krauss Eliminated in the Semi-Finals

The finale of The Great British Baking Show airs on Netflix Friday, Nov. 26

The Great British Bake Off S5
Photo: Mark Bourdillon/Netflix

Warning: This article contain's spoilers

The Great British Baking Show viewers were given a shock on Friday.

During the semi-final episode, judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith made a shocking decision to eliminate Jürgen Krauss, one of the competition's biggest breakouts.

"We're picking the worst of the best," Hollywood said, in the judge's tent, Leith adding, "You could argue for any one of these. It's really hard."

Krauss was favored by many to win this year, and was an early frontrunner right out the gate. He had won Star Baker three times, including Cake Week and Biscuit Week, the show's first two episodes. He also excelled to the top in Caramel Week.

But Pâtisserie Week wound up being Krauss' downfall. Despite getting positive reviews for the taste of his showstopper (a gingerbread recreation of a Japanese Torii Gate surrounded by a fleet of entremet boats with layers of genoise sponge, raspberry jelly, and white chocolate, raspberry and Matcha Bavarian creams) and getting first in the technical (an incredibly challenging Sablé Breton Tart), he ultimately came up short — with the judges split on his opera cakes (beetroot and cassis buttercream separated by coffee liqueur-soaked Joconde layers, coated in a chocolate glaze, and pierced by tuile daggers).

The Great British Bake Off S5 Jurgen
Jürgen Krauss. Mark Bourdillon/Netflix

It was a choice that left everyone in the tent gasping, except for Krauss himself.

"I feel kind of okay," the 56-year-old Physicist from Brighton, East Sussex said. "I kind of saw it coming. I think the others are more shocked than I am."

He also admitted that he knew, going in, that Pâtisserie Week would "play to his strengths," flavor-wise, but that when it came to presentation, "that's where I need to hone my skills."

Of his time on the show, Krauss added, "It's been incredible. I really enjoyed being here. I made friends for life and I will be with them in spirit."

The Great British Bake Off S5
Mark Bourdillon/Netflix

With Krauss out, that meant Giuseppe Dell'Anno, 45, Chigs Parmar, 40, and Crystelle Pereira, 26, will be competing in the finale, which airs Friday, Nov. 26, on Netflix.

If ever there was a year for there to be a final four instead of a final three, it would be have been this year.

Going into the semi-finalists, all four bakers had all gotten a Paul Hollywood handshake and been Star Baker at least once. "We do have the best of the best in the tent at the moment," Hollywood said.

The Great British Bake Off S5 Chigs
Chigs Parmar. Mark Bourdillon/Netflix

Still, one baker expected they would be out before they even began.

"Clearly I'm the least capable baker, most likely to go out this week," Pereira said, before the week's challenges even began. "Pâtisserie's really not my thing. But enough of the negativity! I just need to enjoy it because the worst that could happen is I go out as a semi-finalist, and that's not too shabby."

She did more than just that. She was actually named Star Baker.

"Shell-shocked is an understatement," Pereira said after getting the honor for a second time (she was also top in Pasty Weeek). "I don't think it's really hit me, really."

"It's mad," Pereira added. "Star baker in Pâtisserie Week? I'm in the final? That's just a lot of things that don't make sense."

The Great British Bake Off S5 Crystelle
Crystelle Pereira. Mark Bourdillon/Netflix

Dell'Anno was also not expecting to make it to the finals. "I'm not surprised I'm standing here, I'm shocked I'm standing here," he said. "I had to buy new clothes, because I wasn't expecting to make it this far!"

"I am scared s---less," the Italian engineer teased. "Like, I'm really, really happy. I'm over the moon. I just want to make the best out of it and have a jolly good time."

Parmar felt similarly. "This week, I feel a little out of my depth," he admitted. "In the practice tent I made a mistake of looking at the other contestant's bakes and I'm like, 'Oops, what have I gotten myself into here?' "

"I don't got a clue what I'm doing here," he joked. "How has that happened? I don't know what to say."

The Great British Bake Off S5 Giuseppe
Giuseppe Dell'Anno. Mark Bourdillon/Netflix

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Pereira, Dell'Anno, and Parmar now all go into the finals with two Star Baker titles each. They all also got Paul Hollywood handshakes in the semi-finals.

"I'm really happy as a collective we're doing well," Pereira said this week.

As for Krauss, Pereira, Dell'Anno, and Parmar sent him off with hugs, tears, and well-wishes.

"You're an inspiration, really," Pereira said. "One of the most incredible bakers ever."

The finale of The Great British Baking Show airs on Netflix Friday, Nov. 26

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