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Monday 5 December 2016

'I promised myself that I wouldn't cry ...' says Natasha after Bake Off elimination

Natasha Dawson was sent home from The Great Irish Bake Off
Natasha Dawson was sent home from The Great Irish Bake Off

The Great Irish Bake Off's youngest contestant has been sent packing.

Natasha Dawson's technical bake challenge didn't rise to the occasion, while the 17-year-old's signature bake dish - an Italian stuffed picnic loaf called a Tortano - also didn't make the judges' cut.

In the blind testing, the Donegal baker's stollen bread came sixth out of all 12 contestants.

The teen, who is studying for her Leaving Cert, was teary-eyed as she heard the news.

"I was quite shocked, I didn't really know how to react.

"I am disappointed with myself because I know I could have done so much better," she said.

"I promised myself I wouldn't cry but, hey, I did.

"I know I'm an ugly crier, so I don't know how that's going to look when I watch it," she joked.

Despite sending her home, judges Paul Kelly and Lilly Higgins praised Natasha's culinary abilities.

After her elimination, they said that the youngster had "done herself proud" during the TV3 show.

"Sadly, Natasha's journey has come to an end, but she has so much potential and she has done herself proud," Lilly said.

"The lovely thing about Natasha is she has taken this all on board. I hope she has learnt from it, and I know myself and Natasha are going to cross paths again," Kelly added.

While Natasha's quest for the Great Irish Bake Off title is over, playschool teacher Sandra O'Reilly came up trumps and was awarded 'Star Baker' for her breakfast picnic loaf.

The Dubliner (51), who cut her culinary teeth selling her wares at the Malahide market, was thrilled with her win.

As the final draws closer, pressure is mounting for the amateur bakers.

There will be no rest for the remaining contestants as next week is chocolate week.

The 11 bakers left will be challenged to produce a selection box for the "show-stopper challenge".

Eliminate

Last night's elimination was the first in a fortnight for the bakers, as judges opted not to eliminate anyone last week after one of the contestants had to leave for health reasons.

Laois woman Ailish Carrigan left the show after falling ill during one of the challenges.

Paramedics were called to the bake-off tent to tend to the 41-year-old, when presenter Anna Nolan (inset) noticed she was out of sorts.

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