With turmoil in the tent on Wednesday night which saw pastor Lee pack his bags after a tragically dry sponge, 10.3 million viewers tuned in for our first chance to see what these bakers are made of.
As our first opportunity to see the contestants present their technical challenges as well as a signature bake and what fans will recognise as the weekly ‘showstopper’, a challenge designed to showcase the artistic flare of the baker.
Jane, 61 from Beckenham was awarded 'star baker' this week after carrying out all three baking challenges with no huge disasters but viewers were left feeling that the gardener may have won the coveted title by default. While other bakers tried more challenging cakes and made mistakes in the process, Jane secured an early victory with slow, safe baking - something that won’t win you the Great British Bake Off. It’s still early but Jane's 'star baker' credentials could be a red herring as we head into week two.
Selasi, a banker based in central London, baked with style and sophistication on Wednesday night and was given ‘the look’ from Paul Hollywood on more than one occasion. Despite his dominant skills in the kitchen some TV critics have described the city slicker as ‘brilliantly unlikable’ and the more cynical viewers were overjoyed to see him miss ingredients on two occasions.
Benjamina worked tirelessly on Wednesday making a few minor slip ups but her odds would be shortening after a very solid performance. Sitting comfortably in the Oddschecker top 3 bakers, Benjamina could well go on to win this competition after showing a real desire to improve as we look ahead to next week’s performance.
Candice looked like a clear favourite throughout the show but after a single failed layer in her mirror glaze showstopper, the PE Teacher from Bedfordshire appeared to have a mild emotional breakdown in front of millions of baking fans. With an eye for detail and a creative flare, Candice is definitely an exciting prospect but the pressure may prove too much to handle as the competition progresses.
Kate, 37 from Norfolk, ticked all the right boxes as a mother and nurse before the competition began and as a result was the Oddschecker pick to win the coveted Bake Off title. With obvious culinary skills and an immense knowledge of the baking world, Kate made a slip up in the showstopper round meaning star baker was out of her reach.
As we head into next week’s challenges, Kate remains the Oddschecker pick despite a quiet start but keep a close eye on Benjamin who could be about to show her true baking talents in the second instalment of the Great British Bake Off.