The Great Pottery Throw Down fans in tears after finaleMarch 7, 2022
The Great Pottery Throw Down viewers left in floods of tears as first ever non-binary winner is crowned – after crafting a nine piece totem pole about their ‘life journey’
- AJ Simpson, 21, from Aberdeen, was crowned the winner of the Channel 4 show
- Non-binary person, who uses they/them pronouns, impressed judges with skills
- Many of those watching were in floods of tears after watching the programme
- One happy viewer commented: ‘Seeing AJ win the show made me so emotional’
Viewers of The Great Pottery Throw Down were left in floods of tears after the show crowned it’s first ever non-binary winner last night.
AJ Simpson, 21, from Aberdeen, who uses they/them pronouns, faced off against Anna McGurn and Christine Cherry in the finale of the Channel 4 show.
In a tense final, the contestants were tasked with making a garden totem sculpture to reflect their life story, with AJ including a teddy bear to represent their relationship with their sister, and a signpost to nod to the roads not yet travelled.
The judges Keith Brymer Jones and Rich Miller were blown away by AJ’s huge nine piece sculpture, and viewers were left weeping as they were crowned winner of the series.
One commented: ‘I’m not crying at the finale of #GreatPotteryThrowdown, you’re crying at the finale.’
Viewers of The Great Pottery Throw Down were left in floods of tears after the show crowned it’s first ever non-binary winner AJ Simpson, 21, from Aberdeen, last night
Meanwhile another wrote: ‘Seeing AJ win #TheGreatPotteryThrowdown made me so emotional. Every time someone used their pronouns I was so happy, and so thankful for this representation.’
Another added: ‘It’s no use. I’m utterly bereft now.’
The potters were given eight and a half hours and 50 kilos of clay specially designed to be robust enough to build their giant totems.
Judge Keith said he felt ‘genuinely really excited’ about the challenge, with Christine confessing she ‘never expected to be’ in the final.
The judges Keith Brymer Jones and Rich Miller were blown away by AJ’s huge nine piece sculpture, and viewers were left weeping as they were crowned winner of the series
She explained she was showcasing her love of teaching with her totem, with books and even a satchel, as well as a sculpture of her parents and wider extended family.
Meanwhile Anna’s totem represented her travels and love for adventure, with a brightly dedicated duck sculpture dedicated to her partner.
And AJ was opting for an ambitious build made up of nine separate pieces, with sculptures dedicated to their younger sister Anna, as well as their time at university.
Atop their totem was a signpost, a nod to the roads they had yet to travel.
Crafting their nine piece totem in the finale, AJ included a teddy bear to represent their relationship with their sister, and a signpost to nod to the roads not yet travelled
The judges told them they had been ‘seriously ambitious’ with the challenge.
As the potters waited for their pieces to be fired, they took on the second challenge – with the judges asking them to make a crown.
They were given an hour to craft the piece, which the judges went on to judge blind.
Anna was praised for the symmetry in her crown, while AJ’s ‘clever’ crown was hailed.
But it was Christine who impressed the judges the most, with the pair calling it ‘complex’ and praising the ‘fluidity’ in the design.
The 21-year-old, who uses they/them pronouns, had become a fan favourite on the show after winning potter of the week three times
After she was announced the winner of the second challenge, the group went back to the workroom to finish painting their totems.
The judges were looking for beautiful decorations that don’t only bring alive their pieces but also their life stories.
As the challenge came to an end, each of the potters burst into tears and offered one another a group hug.
Anna said: ‘We’ve spent 13 and a half hours on the totems and there still weren’t enough hours in the day.’
In the second challenge of the finale, the artists were tasked with crafting an intricate crown design (pictured)
The judges confessed each of the pieces was of a high quality, and praised the potters for their complex designs
Meanwhile AJ said: ‘I’m sad that was the last bake we’ll ever do in the pottery.’
The judges told AJ they were blown away by their totem in particular, saying: ‘You’ve got this hodge-podge of different forms but they seem to work together.
‘And they’re so clearly you. In terms of the construction, everything is on point.
‘I don’t think there’s ever been a final when there just isn’t anything between you.’
AJ said: ‘It was overall really positive, I’m really glad they liked the forms and how they worked together. It’s all coming to a head, and I don’t think they even know [who is going to win].’
Christine explained she was showcasing her love of teaching with her totem, with books and even a satchel, as well as a sculpture of her parents and wider extended family
And the shock was obvious on the artist’s face when host Siobhan McSweeney proudly announced they had bagged first place.
The 21-year-old confessed: ‘I’m feeling totally overwhelmed, I’m so happy. It’s a dream come true – a dream I never thought would ever happen.
‘I can’t wait to get making again and I can’t wait to see where my pottery will go from here.’
Anna’s totem represented her travels and love for adventure, with a brightly dedicated duck sculpture dedicated to her partner
Keith said: ‘Just a wonderful worthy winner, the hand building is just sublime. AJ won three potters of the week and five second challenges. That’s got to be a record.’
Gushing over tonight’s champion, the Channel 4 show tweeted: ‘A huge congratulations to our winner, AJ.
‘From horror gnomes to an otterly brilliant table lamp, AJ has shown pottery mastery and developed a unique sense of style. Watching your journey has been a joy, AJ.’
The shock was obvious on the artist’s face when host Siobhan McSweeney proudly announced they had bagged first place
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