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.
One of the most terrifying show stoppers on Bake Off. Ever. #GBBO #GreatBritishBakeOff pic.twitter.com/E4m9viTwQJ— Sangita Lal (@sangitalal) September 22, 2020
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.
Me before lockdown v me now #GBBO pic.twitter.com/CegUUVXx7A— Jamie Bolton (@JamieBolton) September 22, 2020
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.
Losing my mind over the celebrity cake busts on #gbbo. Every last one looks like something from Nailed It— Meredith Blake (@MeredithBlake) September 26, 2020
“David Bowie” pic.twitter.com/Z9HYD4zpsP
David's head. #GBBO pic.twitter.com/v5HTSY4SjN— shane reaction ☘️ (@shane_reaction_) September 22, 2020
The shrunken head-like cake tribute to pop-punk icon/alien enthusiast DeLonge (of Blink-182 fame) also elicited strong reactions, namely terror.
therapist: the #gbbo tom delonge cake can't hurt you, he’s not real— Caitlyn Dewar (@caitlyndewar) September 22, 2020
the tom delonge cake: pic.twitter.com/shViB9anh6
How do you do, fellow cakes? #GBBO pic.twitter.com/hp6bncoxpI— Wear a Fucking Mask (@W1gglyw1g) September 22, 2020
I cannot sleep, I cannot dream tonight #gbbo pic.twitter.com/ZguPFXnImz— Jen Read (@bobskelet0n) September 22, 2020
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.
Therapist: Don't worry the celebrity bust cakes can't hurt you.— Rachel Burn (@rachieburn_) September 22, 2020
The cakes:#GBBO pic.twitter.com/aDLt8FJ9Lo
therapist: cake lupita can't hurt you— robyn ♡ (@robynmarissa) September 22, 2020
cake lupita:#GBBO pic.twitter.com/NYC6jUH09M
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!
Nailed it #GBBO pic.twitter.com/pSN22Ex0No— Hol ♡ (@hollierebekahx) September 22, 2020
I can’t. Lupita I am so sorry #GBBO pic.twitter.com/Q2I2Tgdmgq— Hol ♡ (@hollierebekahx) September 22, 2020
Anyone else see it? #bakeoff #gbbo pic.twitter.com/LtcLBbKlOw— Jasmin McCall (@JazzM1999) September 22, 2020
Chris Hoy Sex Doll #gbbo pic.twitter.com/tmg8L9O69O— A Gilded Eye (@AGildedEye) September 22, 2020
Me laying in bed watching TikTok’s until 4am #GBBO #bakeoff pic.twitter.com/17t12S1II3— jessica (@Solotravelbug_) September 22, 2020
For a full recap of Episode 1, head over to Eater London.