Now that everyone has had some time to digest the premiere of the latest Great British Bake Off season — which hit Netflix on Friday, three days after the U.K. air date — it’s time to fully unpack the first episode’s cake bust showstopper challenge. Asked to create edible, three-dimensional effigies of their personal celebrity heroes, the 12 contestants came up with likenesses that can best be described as “haunting.” The list of hallowed heroes include David Bowie, Bob Marley, Charles Darwin, Lupita Nyong’o, Marie Antoinette, Freddie Mercury, David Attenborough, Chris Hoy, Louise Bennett-Coverley, Bill Bryson, Louis Theroux, and Tom DeLonge.
The cake busts quickly captured the hearts and minds of viewers, who for some reason kept coming back to the theme of “expectation versus reality” in a year in which literally everything has gone off the rails. Ah well, no use psychoanalyzing that particular fixation.
hooting and hollering at the expectation vs reality of the cake bust challenge on the new season of GBBO pic.twitter.com/CwEhnnyAqG— maya kosoff (@mekosoff) September 26, 2020
The more grotesque the creation, the more it delighted viewers (remember, we are a society that celebrates the colossal baking failures of Nailed It!). Case in point: Ziggy Stardust’s fleshy, craggy cake dome.
The shrunken head-like cake tribute to pop-punk icon/alien enthusiast DeLonge (of Blink-182 fame) also elicited strong reactions, namely terror.
In fact, there were a lot of invocations of therapy, which is great, I’m glad people are finally more comfortable speaking out publicly about mental health.
My therapist: don’t worry the David Attenborough cake can’t hurt you— Jonathan Young (@_jonathanyoung) September 27, 2020
The David Attenborough cake: pic.twitter.com/sIgrTFONmM
Credit where credit is due: making these cake busts, under extreme time pressure, in competition against 11 other contestants, cannot be an easy task. Any effort should be met with polite applause, or at the very least, gratitude that these bakers have given us the gift of schadenfreude during objectively Dark Times. Laughter truly is the best medicine, barring a vaccine deemed safe and effective by clinical trials.
And remember, these cakes cannot hurt you, despite their best efforts!
For a full recap of Episode 1, head over to Eater London.