Really, we should’ve seen the mess coming as soon as the series announced the Mexican-themed challenge for this week. Paul Hollywood may know his stuff when it comes to creme pat, but keep that man away from tacos at all costs. Mexican Week was a disaster in the tent, only supporting the argument that The Great British Baking Show needs to do away with the country weeks once and for all.
Hosts Matt Lucas and Noel Fielding wasted no time jumping into offensive bits. They sported sombreros and ponchos to begin the episode, teeing up a few abhorrent jokes in the meantime. While Noel swore there would be “no Mexican jokes” throughout the entire episode, his more controversial co-host disobeyed his rules.
“What, not even Juan?” Matt said. Queue the groans. And to think—this is all within the first minute of the show. Just call the whole thing off. Skip your weekly GBBS this week, guys, because it only goes downhill from here. Just as an example, later, Matt brings out a set of maracas and goes hog wild. That’s enough!
The first challenge is a dozen pan dulce, and most of the bakers craft different takes on conchas. But as they bake, Noel immediately breaks his “no Mexican jokes” rule (something that should have been strictly enforced, albeit behind the scenes, not in the first scene), diving into a bit about how Mexico doesn’t exist.
“I think it’s like Xanadu,” Matt agrees.
“Like Oz,” Noel says.
GBBS, please: Fire everyone involved and hire new hosts immediately. But the offenses don’t stop with Noel and Matt—judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith certainly aren’t innocent bystanders in Mexican week. Prue’s already endured a week of discourse surrounding her confession of drowning bags of kittens as a young child. Now, she’ll face hell for her contributions to Mexican Week on The Great British Baking Show. Throughout the show, she continuously says things look Mexican simply because they have “vibrant color.” Just take next week off, Prue.
It’s Paul’s turn to decide the week’s technical, and out of left field, he goes with tacos. Or rather, “tackos,” as he says while he describes the dish in an aside with Prue. There are a few qualms I have with this. Firstly: tackos. Secondly, why is Paul making the bakers work on tacos when this is The Great British Baking Show? That’s a dish you’d see on Chopped, not a bake off.
The other pronunciations are off, too. No one can pronounce pico de gallo—not even Hollywood himself, who opts for “pico de kahlo.” Others pronounce it “gah-lo” and “galio.” Did The Great British Baking Show staff even think about having someone run through pronunciations before they embarrassed themselves over and over again?
This mispronunciation really bogs the whole episode down quite a bit. The first challenge is pan dulce, but Noel Fielding continues to call it “pan dul-che” (which would be a proper pronunciation in Italian) in the narration, only correcting himself once or twice. The same thing happens in the showstopper challenge: Instead of tres leches cake, he calls it tres leche cake, skipping the final “s.”
Carole drops the real bomb, though, as she dollops guacamole on her taco and exclaims that it’s “glockymolo.” Glockymolo. Dear lord.
There’s an important lesson in The Great British Baking Show’s heinous Mexican Week. The series needs to do away with the country-themed week immediately. Last year, it opted for German Week, which played well—after all, a good number of Baking Show contestants are German. And it’s a European nation, which bodes well for the European show.
But back in 2020, The Great British Baking Show faced similar criticisms for its offensive Japanese Week. Viewers accused the show of having no actual Japanese desserts, also blasting the fact that most of the contestants made pork buns, a dish commonly found in Chinese cooking.
That’s it—no European nations, no other foreign countries; just come up with something new. What about a Pinterest-themed week? How about viewers get to decide the week by voting online? What about a pretzel-themed week? These are just some options.
Either way, The Great British Baking Show better cancel this theme quickly, before the whole show is canceled instead. It might be too late—glockymolo is a war crime that should never be forgotten.