Editors note: This contains a recap of the first episode, including spoilers. If you havent watched yet and dont want to be spoiled, click away now! You have been warned!
The Great British Baking Show is back! And we didnt even have to wait a whole year!
As much fun as Season 1 was, were really excited to meet a new cast of bakers and watch a competition show where everyone, gasp, is friendly and helpful to each other (#bingate not withstanding.)
And so, it appears, were viewers:
This season there are 13 bakers instead of 12. In addition to the opportunity to say bakers dozen at every turn, this means that the judges can send two bakers home in one episode. This plot twist seems to make the already-nervous contestants extra anxious.
Since this is the first episode, the signature challenge is also our introduction to the bakers (meet all the bakers).
While the bakers all excitedly start their first challenge in the tent, Paul explains why a sandwich cake was chosen: Its a great barometer for how talented this group of bakers is. In other words, if you screw up this one, you might not be staying long.
Mary, on the other hand, has no time for a basic sandwich cake say a Victoria Sandwich filled with strawberry jam and cream. She wants something bigger and badder. And you dont want to disappoint Mary.
Our favorite concept for this challenge comes from Frances, who is going quite literal by creating a cake shaped like an actual sandwich and even placed in a sandwich bag.
Everyone wants to make a good first impression, so the slightest mistake can cause a lot of stress.
Mark is banging his head on his oven.
Ruby is crying.
Ali is pacing and bouncing and making us anxious for him.
But everyone pulls through and were off to see the first judging of the season.
Heres how everyone graded out:
Good: Beca (Annoyingly good, according to Paul), Robert, Toby, Ali, Frances, Lucy, Howard
Bad: Mark, Ruby
In the Middle: Glenn, Deborah, Christine, Kimberley, Rob
The technical challenge, as you remember, is a surprise to the bakers. Everyone gets the same ingredients and the same basic recipe to follow. This week, its an angel food cake, drizzled with a lemon and passion fruit curd. Yum!
Mark claims to have never seen an angel food cake. How is that possible? Though, it appears that many of the bakers have never made an angel food cake. This is cracking up to be a tough chellenge. As Paul says, You are cruel, Mary.
The recipe leaves out many critical specifics the bakers must figure out. Do you need stiff peaks? Should you butter the tin? What stress for the bakers!
Unfortunately for Toby, hes on to something. Because he just used salt instead of sugar. Poor Toby.
Despite the anxiety from the bakers, they seem to have done pretty well, actually. This is an attractive lineup of cakes!
This is what it tastes like when you accidentally use salt instead of sugar.
This is what it looks like when you watch someone taste a cake you just made with salt instead of sugar. (Poor Toby, weve all been there!)
Heres how everyone graded out:
Top 3: Rob, Lucy, Christine
The rest: Glenn, Mark, Howard, Frances, Beca, Deborah, Kimberley, Ali, Ruby, Toby
The Showstopper Challenge is the last chance to impress the judges. By our count, Toby, Ruby and Mark have the most work to do to avoid being sent home.
The judges think Lucy and Rob have the inside track to being named Star Baker.
This weeks challenge involves a chocolate cake. Count us in!
The Showstopper Challenge is great because it encourages the bakers to take big risks with their product in hopes of big rewards. Take Glenns cake, for example. It needs 7 different layer cakes to create a chocolate tower inspired by Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi.
Halfway through, Mark is feeling pretty good.
Toby is not.
Working with chocolate necessitates a lot of precision. Its impressive to see how well these bakers are doing with such a sensitive ingredient.
Unfortunately, precision takes time. And many of the bakers are running out of it.
Each baker has to walk their cake up to the judges and present in front of everyone. This is probably the most nerve-wracking point of the show. Were nervous for them.
Heres who did well:
Rob, Lucy, Christine, Beca, Kimberley, Howard, Frances, Ruby
And who didnt:
Toby, Mark, Deborah, Glenn, Ali
So, then the judges had to make some tough decisions not just who goes home, but also who is the Star Baker.
The bakers nervously awaited their fate.
Based on the strength of his performance in all three challenges, and accompanied with a load of engineering puns, Rob was named Star Baker!
Sadly, this is still a competition, so one of these lovely contestants has to go home. This week, its Toby who is heading home leaving Ali and Ruby another chance to impress the judges.
Whew, what a first week! By all accounts, Season 2 is off to a fabulous start. We love all the bakers and it seems like there is a lot of talent in the tent this season.
What did you think? Tell us in the comments below!