People across Britain are feeling tense ahead of the Great British Bake Off (or GBBO to fans) this evening. Opinions are mixed as fans fiercely defend their favourites but who will be crowned the champion, the cherry on the cake, the ultimate star baker?
This series has been turbulent but still very funny with cake-listening from Val and Mary's disdain at jaffa cake dipping as well as the bombshells that broke many a fan's heart. Affectionately titled #bakeoffgate by many, the first bombshell hit with the announcement of the show's move to Channel 4 somewhere around Batter Week. Many were up in arms about this, arguing that GBBO is a quintessentially BBC show and so should remain with its home of 7 years. The second came when beloved presenters Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc announced their departure the next day and then the final blow came a short time after when British institute Mary Berry announced that she would not be following The Great British Bake Off to Channel 4. Paul Hollywood will continue working with the show.
Whilst many fans are disturbed by the upheaval in their favourite show, everyone is putting this to the back of their minds in order to enjoy the GBBO series 7 finale tonight, the last in its current state.
What to expect from the final
The final week in the tent will be royal themed with the finalists tasked with creating bakes 'fit for a queen'. They will face three rounds, tougher than any other week, and then one baker will be crowned champion. Meringues are back for the final signature challenge after which they will face a technical challenge set by Mary with just one instruction and no measurements at all - a real test of the bakers' skills. Their final challenge will be (apparently) one of the toughest showstoppers GBBO has ever seen, with the highest amount of bakes ever requested in a challenge. With only one oven each, the finalists have a solid five hours of baking to prove which of them should be the winner.
The Great British Bake Off finalists
Firstly we have Andrew Smyth, 25, from Northern Ireland. Andrew's precise and measured baking skills are born from his career as an aerospace engineer - very apparent in his clockwork pies during Tudor week! He got off to a shaky start in the first few weeks but has grown to be loved by many for his vast array of facial expressions and closeness with his family.
Next up is Candice Brown, a 31 year old PE teacher from Bedfordshire. Candice is known for her huge, ambitious bakes that can sometime land her in hot water when she tries to take on too much. However, Candice has a very high chance of winning after being crowned star baker three times. The nation was particularly flabbergasted by Candice's baking skills in week 2 when she recreated the pub she lived in as a child in gingerbread - complete with pool table and sticky carpet. She has also kept up with her promise to Sue to wear a different shade of lipstick every week!
Last but not least, we have Jane Beedle, 61 from Beckenham, Kent. When she's not baking, Jane is a garden designer and mother to two grown up children. Jane caught our eye as star baker in week 1 but has since fairly quietly and calmly glided her way into tonight's final. She credits her passion for baking to her grandfather who owned a bakery in Hastings.
So with that, we wish all of the final bakers the best of luck! Please do let us know who you would like to win by tweeting us at @Lifeline24.
Oh and if you're already wondering where to get your next GBBO fix, never fear, the BBC has announced TWO Bake Off Christmas specials this year! Series 8 will begin on Channel 4 in 2018.
READY, SET, BAKE!