The penultimate episode of The Great British Bake Off 2017 went down in a flurry of pastry, meringue masterpieces and a technical challenge that made all four semi finalists more than a little bit misérables. Sadly, it was Stacey’s week to leave the tent, but with Paul Hollywood saying it was one of the hardest decisions that Paul Hollywood has ever had to make on his eight years judging the Bake Off, she can certainly say she’s leaving on a high.
We caught up with Stacey for one last chouxmotional farewell as she said goodbye.
Hi Stacey! How did you feel when they said your name?
“It was a mixture of emotions for me. I felt I had done so well to get so close to the final, but also sort of relieved that I would be leaving the tension of the competition. At the beginning of the episode I said that if this is the end of the road for me, then I am leaving happy.”
Let’s talk about your ‘pies’ and ‘doughs’, starting with the positives…
“The best moment out of the whole experience for me was to challenge myself to do something scary and out of my comfort zone. I still find it strange watching it back, and see that it is me in the tent, it doesn’t somehow feel real.”
… and what about any dough moments?
“Without a shadow of a doubt, my choux buns were my worst moment. I was just setting myself up for disaster; I put decoration on the top that wasn’t really needed. I gave myself too much to do in the time allowed, so I set myself up for a fall, and wow I went crashing down. I could kick myself now that I didn’t make it easier for myself, but you can’t wind the clock back!”
Did you think you’d make it to the final?
In Week 4 I started realising that I could actually compete with the other Bakers. At that point, I thought that I might have a chance, or probably that I could do alright, and perhaps I wasn’t as bad as I thought I was. If I have a fault it’s that I can easily find fault in myself – I am self-deprecating to such a tough point, but that is just the way I am. If I can make it hard for myself I will, and I did that on nearly every bake!
What was it like returning to your daily life from being on the show?
“It was a relief not to be baking up against the clock, and I really quickly got back to baking what I wanted to bake and when I wanted to. I thought at the end of my time in the tent I wouldn’t bake for a while, but I did the very next day and I haven’t stopped since.”
What will you be taking away from your time in the tent?
“I am a better baker now than I was before, and I learned that it’s good to push boundaries, and also that it’s not good to wear jeans in a hot tent. I also found a whole new bunch of friends. Within the first week we were all like family and we had such a laugh together, we shared so many highs and lows, and all the bakers are such lovely people.”
What’s next for you, Stacey?
“I am not sure what is happening next for me, we will have to wait and see. But I will definitely be baking.”
Goodbye, Stacey – and good luck!