All images, unless stated, owned by the BBC.
WARNING: This is jam-packed with The Great British Bake Off spoilers because - well - it's all about The Great British Bake Off.
Originally posted on The Bake Off Update.
And what better way to welcome us into the least climactic Bake Off final to date, than the least witty Mel and Sue intro:
In the beginning, there were 12.
Now. there are three.
It's royal week - another new theme for avid Bake Off viewers to sink their teeth into.
The queen is dragging out this birthday like nobody's business. She's like that friend who has a birthday holiday, then a night out, then a work night out, then a half birthday night out six months later. Move on, Liz!
Signature - three-tier meringue crown
Technical - Victoria sponge with jam and butter - wow, tricky, right?
'We haven't given them any recipe' Mary beamed, like: 'Ooh, we've got them this time'.
No you haven't MBez! They were all doing exactly the same thing. Same ratio of ingredients, same sugar, same 'all in one' method. This had as many points to slip up on as buttered toast.
Showstopper - 1 chocolate celebration cake, 12 puff pastry sausage rolls, 12 mini quiches, 12 savoury scones, 12 custard tarts - they did surprisingly well considering this was such a beast of a challenge, and kind of proved themselves as finalists after all.
The grand total of 49 did not bode well for us has-to-be-an-even-number volume controllers.
Paul's lax knife-work between Candice's bakes was equally poorly received from the Rain Man in me, leaving bits of previous bakes on the side of the current.
Mary's face of the week
I've decided the bakers must have to sign some agreement that have to tell the camera crew when they're 'going in' as they keep announcing it like crazy people. We just don't know what it's like in that tent. Like Attenborough catching a monkey's mating call that happens but once a blue moon, this camera crew have to keep up with the bakers and if they miss a savoury scone going into that oven, they're done. Baking waits for no lense.
This one is definitely gunning for a M&S voice over job: 'There's nothing like British fresh fruit, is there?'
Jane has also always been the one gunning for that winning title, being super competitive, watching on while the others are being judged, hoping for a crash and burn.
She managed to whip out 'three layers of heaven' during the signature and bagged herself a double Hollywood hand shake.
However, as ever, she was Scatty McScatterson throughout the weekend, forgetting to add pepper to a savoury filling, and literally out of breath while she manically laughed at rolling out her pastry - god I wish I knew how to GIF to show this in film.
She also started a pretty realistic fake cry (which she thought was hilarious).
It was almost too real to be funny... she didn't get that bit about a joke only being funny if it's not true...
No matter where you sit with Jane, when the collar wouldn't set, your heart broke, it really did. Also, she just looked like such a bloody fool though.
If you can't set your icing wrap once, shame on you. Twice? Shame on you again because you've got weeks to practice and it should be pretty simple to pull off if you're a Bake Off finalist.
But as a garden designer, with artistic flair flowing in her blood, Jane fixed her disaster with delicate and elegant decoration.
Brown and green splodges, apparently using the largest width spray tool using Paint, circa Windows '98.
Props where props is due though, Jane looked lovely, and ironically the most rested we've seen her throughout the comp.
Jane (kinda rudely) always saw this as a two-horse race. And, sure, at times Andrew looked like he had wandered into the tent lost, and sure, he served such vile sausage rolls MB couldn't even finish hers (as rare as a double Hollywood handshake).
But, fair play to the guy for nailing the technical and serving some impressive bakes with a solid five minute by five minute plan and reversible shards.
Andrew was one of the few bakers who cracked out some techniques your average baker just wouldn't be able to tackle, need I remind you of the cogs.
Saying that, he did have to verbally 'face palm' (me neither) after using the wrong side of baking paper. Sweet jesus.
He definitely has a thing for making life harder for himself, giving himself an inch of worktop to deal with - quite possibly - the most delicate all of baked goods. (For me, that was a moment when your mum's voice is in your head, that's Joan's number one kitchen rule Andrew, you should know this by now).
This is when the oldie pics are great. He has not changed at all! Plus his mum is his twin.
'He didn't actually go to his graduation,' she shared, 'we went and saw his friends graduate and he was home baking.'
She liked her 'I always take on too much' shtick a bit too much. Like that person who says they're 'absolutely mental' all the time.
With her incred meringue crown (loved the pistachio jewels), you knew she was going to run away from the other two from the start.
Despite serving her meringue in a bin, and struggling with a Victoria sponge, her decorating and knack of making cutesie finishing touches (piggy sausage rolls for one) set her apart from the others.
I was a big fan of her sly dig to Jane: 'Paul's giving out handshakes willy-nilly.'
That's it CB, discredit every positive Jane has that you can.
And just like Andrew, big fan of her home album. It makes me miss the simpler days of yesteryear when 300 selfies weren't taken a day with filters and animated flowers floating around your head.
You just had the lighting you had and hoped in a few weeks time you had a clear shot without a finger blocking half the view.
(As well kind a knew...)
CANDICE IS OUR WINNER!
And didn't it melt your heart with:
'I did it. I'm good. I'm good enough.'
Bless her cotton apron.
And Candice winning was one of Jane's first predictions to come true!
Mel and Sue's best bits
- 'Off you go to your intimacy workshop'
- Naming the roman clasp Hollywood handshake
- Sue following a script of being the host asking what Andrew's doing
Innuendos of the week
- 'If it isn't beaten until completely stiff' Mel
- 'My bottom's cracking' Jane
And now for my favourite part of any show...
Life since Bake Off
These were more boring updates than in previous series. We had the usual beginners no one could remember, and Andrew baked his dad's retirement cake...
- My main gal Val is heading to Ayia Napa - love it
- Candice and Jane are off on a baking road trip together - the two bakers who seemed to get on the least? Where's Benjamina and Selasi's duet or Val?
And what about everything they missed out?!
Since Bake Off...
- Channel 4 have bought the rights to the show for £75 million
- Paul has followed the job and was named 'a peacocking manchild lingering wherever the money is' by ex baker Ruby Tandoh.
- Mary, Mel and Sue have left the show to stay with the BBC and the trio have reportedly got a new Beeb baking show in the pipeline
- Richard Ayoade, Delia Smith, and 2k15 winner Nadiya are all rumoured to take over from Mel & Sue
I guess they just forgot to add those bits in...
Until next year...