Paul Hollywood defends sending Bake Off star Hermine home after 'disgusting' trolls target Laura over 'fix' row

PAUL Hollywood defended his decision to send Bake Off star Hermine home in the semi-final after "disgusting" trolls targetted Laura online.

Fans were left stunned when popular Hermine was voted off the series by judges Paul and Prue Leith following disastrous Patisserie Week and claimed the result was fixed after she had scooped star baker for two weeks running.

Some targeted Laura online on Tuesday night and she begged the vile abuse to stop.

Long-standing judge Paul has now rushed to her defence and said in statement on Instagram: "I've heard of some sad people trolling Laura, it's disgusting behaviour.

"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 added: "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!!

"Also I ONLY give out handshakes in signature not in Showstopper or technical, there was on exception 3 years ago… STOP trolling any of the bakers!!

"Remember Prue and I can actually smell and eat the bakes… Bring on the final X."

Grateful Laura replied to Paul and said: "Thank you Paul that really means a lot to me".

Now David, Laura and Peter will go head to head in the final next week to see who will be crowned Bake Off winner 2020.

Paul spoke out after Laura begged fans to stop trolling her and "be kind".

The 31-year-old baker told followers it was not her "fault" Hermine was booted off the show in the semi-final.

The Digital Manager hit back at cruel trolls after she was flooded with a barrage of vile abuse.

Laura took to social media, writing: “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. GBBO is all about kindness and I haven't seen much of that on here.

“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.”

Viewers were left furious when show favourite Hermine was sent home missing out on the grand final.

Fan were gobsmacked by their decision to put Laura through, after she came last in the technical challenge and encountered problems with her showstopper.

Laura had struggled to get the chocolate to set on her cube shaped cakes resulting in a disastrous and unappealing showstopper.

One fan tweeted: "I'm fuming, I like Laura but Hermine should never have gone, it's so unfair."

Another added: "How is Laura still in the competition? Prue and Paul sending Hermine home after one bad bake when Laura is consistently bad."

The semi-final tested the bakers’ skills in the art of patisserie baking, with David winning Star Baker and Peter getting a Hollywood handshake.

The four remaining bakers were tasked with making a booze-soaked signature creation followed by pastry horns for the technical challenge.

Finally, in the showstopper, the bakers demonstrated finesse and precision on both a small and large scale by creating a cube made entirely from delicate, smaller cube shaped cakes.

Although she made it to the semi-finals, the judges were not impressed with Hermine's showstopper describing it as "stodgy" and likening it to a "rubber ball".

Hermine, 39, said "Patisserie Week, was just not her week", and although she succeeded at the first two challenges, her showstopper failed to rise to the occasion.

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