Great British Bake Off judge Paul Hollywood has spoken out after finalist Laura Adlington was trolled simply for making it through to the baking show's final on Tuesday night.
Contestants Peter and Dave comfortably earned a spot in the final after impressing the judges during Patisserie Week, but Laura and Hermine both struggled with a number of challenges. At the end of the show, the judges chose to send Hermine home, and her fans were left gutted.
Addressing the criticism Laura faced following the elimination, Paul called the trolling "disgusting behaviour" before clarifying that he and Prue Leith make their decisions based purely on the food in front of them.
"Those of you who may not be aware how Bake Off works or new to the series may have missed what we have always done on Bake Off judging," he wrote on Instagram. "Each week stands on its own!! It never matters what any baker has done in previous weeks.
"Even if you win 4/5 star bakers and then have a bad week you will be at risk of going sadly. It's the rule that has been in place for 11 years!!"
Paul continued, "Also I only give out handshakes in signature not in Showstopper or technical, there was one exception three years ago... stop trolling any of the bakers!! Remember Prue and I can actually smell and eat the bakes... Bring on the final X"
After seeing Paul's response, Laura took to Twitter to show her appreciation, writing, "Thank you Paul that really means a lot to me." While 2018 GBBO winner Rahul Mandal added, "Thanks so much for clarifying this Paul."
Following Hermine's elimination, Laura said she'd read some very unkind messages. "It's ok to be sad your favourite person didn't go through, but please remember it's not my fault. I don't make the decisions," she wrote on Twitter. "GBBO is all about kindness and I haven't seen much of that on here."
In a second tweet, Laura added that "it's easy to sit there on your sofa and judge. But I am a real person with feelings. Please take a moment to consider your words before you judge someone you've never met and whose food you've never tasted."
Laura, Peter and Dave will now compete in the final on Tuesday 24th November.
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