All images, unless stated, owned by Channel 4.
WARNING: This is jam-packed with The Great British Bake Off spoilers because, well, it's all about The Great British Bake Off.
It's safe to say we are a torn crew, from: 'Ahhh how sweet, they're using the same intro, it's just like the good old days.' to 'CHANNEL 4, PUT THE VIDEO FILE BACK IN THE SHARED DRIVE AND WALK AWAY SLOWLY.'
You tell yourself you'll never betray Mel and Sue by falling for these buffoons, and then Noel laughs and you realise heaven is a man on earth and it's worth all of the raven-printed shirts in the world.
And then we met him.
Well, well, well. Hollywood. Look at your tanned, perfectly-groomed face.
Where did you go on holiday with your filthy money, Paul? Seaworld? A Justin Bieber concert? God knows what kind of injustice you're funding with your corrupt wage.
And first impressions of Prue?
Respect for the glasses. As Paul so gallantly highlighted, with 'over 50 years in the industry' behind those rims, she's going to know her stuff.
However, I must admit, Prue's 'it has to be worth the calories' comment straight off the bat is an instant turn-off. Bring back alcoholic Mary and her gigantic spoonfuls.
Contestant-wise, I took a while to simmer down and accept the new. During the intro with snippets from each of them, I disliked everything about all of them and found myself scrutinising them with squinted eyes, cautiously waiting to hear what they had to say next.
Then, the presenters. When you stumble across Mel and Sue conversing in bun puns, you believe you've walked in on Mel and Sue conversing in bun puns - as per.
I do not, however, believe Noel and Sandi stroll through fields discussing French names for cakes.
Sandi was flying the blazer flag for the ladies who had fallen in the B4 (Before Channel 4) War. Sandi, if you're reading, total prof pic right here.
And we were off.
Signature: fruity cake (because we're children and can't call it a fresh fruit cake). 'It's baking in its purest form' - yeah Paul, I agree man. Brownies and flapjacks are so weighed down by climate change and racism man, it's good to get a grounded bake to really get back to the essence of baking.
Technical: chocolate mini rolls
Showstopper: an illusion cake - a hint of competition with B4, as Noel claims this is the toughest first week showstopper. Not really a title anyone cares about.
Saying that, these bakers have blown previous years' calibre out of the water. Their showstoppers were incred, with people making their own moulds and getting their hands on edible paint spray guns. I imagine ex-contestants have a real 'Four Yorkshireman' chip on their shoulders.
The bakers really need to work out how to put their timers on silent. I was getting PTSD flashbacks of everyone setting their treadmills at the gym.
'Basically, what we're saying, if it was a fruit party, sultanas would not be on the guest list.'
Really Noel? Couldn't have worked any harder on that?
I see where Noel is coming from, I'd steer clear of Mel & Sue puns too. But still.
Dates. Dried fruit. Party.
It was all there.
And then we have his voice overs, quite the patronising kid's show feel. Unless he's fooling us all and actually completely taking the piss. Yeah, probs that.
The best news of all is that the B4 illustrator has followed the move! I genuinely feel pleased for them, the kind of pleasure I would feel for a third cousin or road-away-from-my-road neighbour. (Jo Brand's move is worth a mention too, with her 'Extra Slice' follow-up show also now C4. She ducked the headlines extremely well.)
Sweet guy, but was a bit too much of a storyteller. Save your chat for episode five mate, we don't want to waste our time investing in you if you're gonna crumble at round one - pun most definitely intended considering Noel's blatant pun-ingitus.
It was insanely tense when he was trying to scoop the fruity cake off the bakingy tray. And the drum roll music - it was painful to watch.
She just has a lot of energy. And when my mind and eyes are in Bake Off mode, I need slow and gentle speech.
In the first round she spoke of a strange anecdote involving her grandmother and a hearing aid. 'Better than calling it Buzz Cake!!!!!!'
Literally no idea what she's talking about.
This energy led her to extreme lows, when her fruity cake wasn't doney wone. She just shook her head with her lips pressed, not being able to deal with life.
He's made the worst decision anyone in witness protection can make. He only went on national telly, not realising he shouldn't have until he was asked about his family on camera.
'This cake was inspired by my sister's lack of a sweet tooth. This is for you............. sister.'
D'oh! Saved it at the end there.
He really struggled the first two rounds - especially with seemingly easy chocolate roll decorating - and became the contestant everyone else had to help. But he pulled it back with the pancake showstopper.
Her 'crazy' courgette bake was inspired by a weekend in Amsterdam - read: she was baked AF and thought she could save all the bees by putting courgette in cake. For sure.
She bakes while Skyping her Nan. Lucky Nan! Must be really engaging. 'Oh. Hold that thought Nan, just need to beat the eggs. Yep, one sec, just need to sieve the flour, ah yep you were saying about the cancer, let me just weigh this quickly.'
In classic Bake Off style, there was some extremely weird editing of her trying some icing with it halfway out of her mouth.
HOLD THE PHONE
We can see a woman. A woman in a soldier pose, holding a soldier console, and wearing a soldier hat.
This is a new type of contestant! Hurrah!
She's so hardcore and raw they couldn't even find a photo to fit their image requirements. You don't know man, you haven't been there. Landscape photos are forbidden.
She knew how to make Italian meringue, so you know she'll do welll. Plus, she got the handshake to boot.
Biggest blatant brag story with a club bouncer thinking her champagne bottle cake was her actually bringing in alcohol. In fairness, I still don't understand how she made the ice cubes.
Bakes every Sunday for his local church. Although, I know fox shit when I see it, so he could be serving up The Help-stylee #MinnysChocolatePie.
I fear he may have some unresolved issues he's using his bakes to combat. I'm talking about the coconut role playing, saying the cake might say 'oh, I've had enough coconut, I'm tired.'
Well, Peter, maybe the cake is tired. Maybe, the cake has an early morning, and yeah, maybe the cake is feeling bloaty and rubbish, or just flat. Think about what the cake wants, yeah?
He put five teaspoons of baking powder in his fruity cake?! I bake once a year and that would set off alarmy bells (I'm gonna keep running with this).
This is that guy. He's the colleague you get stuck in the kitchen with or on a tube journey into work. 'It's good for us really, isn't it? All this fruit'. Hahahahahaahahahaha yes, yes it is. Yes. Fruit.
He made a bit of a condescending comment to ol' Prue when she guessed he had a shit load of fruit in his cake 'yes, well the whole point is, you can taste it'. WOAH. BACK OFF.
Had a mare during the technical, the kind where someone says 'you should NEVER do this' - cut to him doing exactly that. He seems like the Nasty Nick of the series (now that's an outdated cultural reference) so not too attached just yet.
Firm favourite of mine. Love her deadpan, blunt voice. She was watching her bake without the oven being on, bless her. Big fan of her whispering celebration dance when she scores a goal.
At one point she was pushing icing sugar onto Liam, the baby of our group. She's rough around the edges alright, son.
Got super technical creating a ramen-look cake for the showstopper. Couldn't actually understand her explanation of what she did. But basically she made tiny orange spheres. Could she have used tapioca? Sure.
Within seconds we see Flo spill loads of her mix out of a pan, dramatically gasp, and scurry around the work space to clean it up. Instantly love her.
Unnecessary dig from Noel 'her children had to help her type up her recipe'. Yeah alright Noel, you've had the same hairstyle and eyeliner look for 15 years, glass houses and all that.
Also, it's the cutest effing letter you've ever seen.
Grammar aside, they ask if there are any leaves outside that she can use as decorations. I mean, no, that's an awful idea and would potentially be spiking the judges with animal urine. But bless.
Noel also needs to nip this 'Grandmother Flo' nickname in the bud. Or maybe he should keep going to get it trending so she'll get an advertising deal with Tampax.
Which reminds me: FAO all ad agencies - a predominantly female audience can be sold more than clothes and sanitary products. We do more than spend money and bleed, mkay?! We also read Margaret Atwood.
Flo got her own back on Noel with the 'what do you think, about your new job.' By George, a Beleeber got into the tent! They've been hacked from the inside out!
Her showstopper watermelon looked fab. And she based it on a cocktail because it brought back fond memories. She's a good time girl.
Hi there. Hi. How ya doing?
Anyone who uses gold leaf in the first round is over compensating. I predict a week 4 exit.
He didn't have the best first round, with Paul saying 'I think you have over baked the cakes for sure...'. But... No but. End of judgement.
Ammateur blacksmith - geddon the ladies with their skills, not a stay at home mum in sight. Oh crap, there is.
If there was a Black Mirror situation where Kate Middleton had to be swapped with anyone else called Kate, I feel like the public would happily allow this with baker Kate. And Tom can be Will.
Very consistent baker and bordering on too much style for her substance, but it's a heavily visual show so not the worst situation to be in.
This kid will go far. Making caramel and crystalising lemons in his first round. Got a bloody Hollywood handshake after the first bake.
Was a bit strange when Noel said 'I think I'm in love with you' after hearing about toffee-covered apple balls that look like flames... think he's nervous.
His showstopper stole the show, and so...
Steven is star baker! (obvs)
Which was awkward as:
a) He cried
b) Sandi delivered the news with a bread pun, when Peter had also baked a bread cake - especially worse when...
Peter is out!
Innuendos of the week
- 'You have to put it in a towel and squeeze it' - Julia
- 'Elsewhere in the tent, there has been squeezing' - Sandi
- 'Ummm I dunno what he's doing, but I want to dip my finger in it' - Tracy - potentially my first laugh out loud innuendo in Bake Off history (including B4 and C4)
- 'I'm going to tuck it under, don't tell anyone' - James
- 'Dripping all over the place' - Stacey
- Talk of exposed bottoms
- 'It's certainly a bit sticky in your mouth'
Best of Sandi and Noel
- Liam: 'Joking can only get you so far' 'Thanks a lot' - Sandi
- Noel wanting to see where the judges go
- 'I can actually feel my hips widening' - Sandi
- 'Here' (Sandi passes Noel a bowl and he falls) 'he's bowled over'
The ridiculous statement more fitting of a Scorsese film
'Stern talking to myself tonight. Serious talks' - Liam
And when they finally realised it's just a baking show
'It's just a sponge, no one's gonna die' - halleloo Chris!
Until next time...