The shock decision to send the German baker packing came despite him winning the technical challenge for patisserie week and having three Star Baker awards under his belt.
The unexpected departure of 56-year-old Jürgen Krauss – nicknamed the Jürgenator because he was such a tough competitor – means next week’s final will be between Chigs Parmar, Giuseppe Dell’Anno and Crystelle Pereira reports the Mirror.
The semi-final was so closely fought, at one point presenter Matt Lucas, sighed: “Oh my Lord, I don’t think I can take much more of this.”
It got off to an especially strong start when Paul Hollywood handed out three handshakes during the signature challenge, in which the bakers had to make delicately layered slices.
Prue found Jürgen’s coffee and chocolate Murder at the Opera creation “sensational” but Paul complained about the flavours, saying: “I like it, but I don’t love it.”
Things then looked up hugely for Jürgen in the technical challenge, in which his sablé Breton tart won first place.
“That went very well, what a relief,” he said. “I will sleep better tonight.”
His joy was short-lived, after his themed entremets display showstopper failed to impress as much as his rivals’ did, with the judges calling his choice of colours “bland”. They also said his Torrii Gate in the Sea needed more decoration on the Japanese boats.
In contrast, Chigs’ apple-themed effort was deemed “exceptional” and Crystelle was moved to tears when her fruity creation was described as “flawless”.
Jürgen took the news on the chin when it was revealed he would leave.
“I feel kind of ok, I kind of saw it coming, I think the others are more shocked than I am,” he explained. “It has been incredible and I have really enjoyed being here. I have made friends for life, and I will be with them in spirit.”
This year, because of coronavirus, the bakers all lived together in a bubble for the entire time. Showing his good nature, Jürgen said he felt thrilled for his friends for making it through to the end.
“I am really proud for the other three bakers to be in the final, they deserve it. We helped each other out all the way and during practice there was never any spark of competition. By the time we got to the semi-final we were close friends and we all appreciated each others’ unique baking styles and personalities. I am so looking forward to watching the final but I know I will be quite anxious for them.”
He said he looked forward to being reunited in Brighton with his wife Sophia and son Benjamin, with whom he plays trombone in a band. “I missed having meals with my family, and playing music together.”