'The Great British Baking Show' Cake Celebrities, Ranked
Cake Week's show-stopper challenge was a bit of a… bust.
Some good news: The Great British Baking Show is back!!! In today's socially distanced world, the show tried something a little different, sequestering all 12 contestants -- plus judges Prue Leith and Paul Hollywood, and hosts Noel Fielding and Matt Lucas, replacing Sandi Toksvig -- on site for the seven weeks of competition to keep quarantine. And they seem to have pulled it off, starting up a new season with episodes dropping every Friday on Netflix for us Americans.
Collection 8's Week 1 was, as is tradition, Cake Week, and the contestants were charged with baking a Battenberg sponge cake, mini pineapple upside-down cakes, and a fondant-covered bust of their celebrity hero. The first two challenges are pretty standard, but the third… well. There's no winner here, least of all any famous person unlucky enough to be honored by any of last week's bakers, and the whole experience was like watching an extended version of Eddie Murphy's Sonic the Hedgehog "cake" on Saturday Night Live. Because ranking things is our hobby, we decided to rank all of Cake Week's cake busts, from sentient-mound-of-icing to maybe-possibly-resembling-a-human-being. Sadly, we couldn't actually taste any of the cakes, which are surely delicious, so we based our criteria on celebrity resemblance alone.
12. Lupita Nyong'o
The Lupita Nyong'o cake isn't real, it can't hurt you. There's a reason this challenge received a lot of comparisons to failed Pinterest projects: In this case, the gulf between expectation and reality was a bottomless chasm. Hermine's "Ode to Lupita" really sets the bar for cake nightmares -- but it is worth mentioning that her work with the icing fabric is actually quite lovely. Maybe with another hour… or five… this cake would have looked like an actual person.
11. David Bowie
LOL. Poor Marc's Ziggy Stardust suffers from an affliction familiar to cake busts, wherein the sizable head gradually just sort of eats the neck. This one looks less like a famous singer and more like he's about to start floating through the air yelling about spice production on Arrakis.
10. Louise Bennett-Coverley
Loriea's recreation of Jamaican poet Miss Lou is maybe my favorite of the bunch, even though it looks nothing like its subject, or anything that would be classified as a terrestrial organism. Loriea mentioned while making it that her first attempt came out looking more like Dobby from Harry Potter, which perhaps would have been preferable to this. At least no one feels that bad cutting into it.
9. David Attenborough
Sura's bust of naturalist David Attenborough has a head so big that it needs to be propped up so the whole thing doesn't fall over ("He's taking a nap," she says), and eyes that stare so deep into your soul they can see all of the times you forgot to cut through your plastic six-pack rings before throwing them in the recycling bin.
8. Chris Hoy
Peter's tribute to Scottish cycling champion Chris Hoy at least stands up on its own, thanks to those enormous sturdy shoulders. The exact opposite of Sura's Attenborough in every way.
7. Freddie Mercury
Laura's attempt at Freddie Mercury looks more like a sleepy South Park character, or maybe an unfortunate Cabbage Patch doll. It's maybe the first one that's actually recognizable, though, with the buck teeth, the mustache, and the expertly sculpted yellow jacket.
6. Bill Bryson
Mak has made for us author Bill Bryson, which basically looks like any generic guy with a blond beard before someone tells you it's supposed to be Bill Bryson, and you're like, "Oh, yeah, sure." The glasses are a nice touch!
5. Bob Marley
Linda went for an especially psychedelic rendition of Bob Marley, which sorta looks like the sea witch Tia Dalma from Pirates of the Caribbean right before she turned into a bunch of crabs.
4. Louis Theroux
Lottie's celebrity hero is British documentarian Louis Theroux, though her cake looks more like a cross between Dr. Seuss and an especially beardy Alfred Molina. Maybe it's the eyes?
3. Charles Darwin
Mark took the "bust" part of the challenge a little more literally, crafting what looks like a stone carving that any biology professor would be thrilled to stand proudly on his desk.
2. Marie Antoinette
Rowan's Marie Antoinette bust stands impressively upright, and it's unmistakably her, with her delicate powdery makeup and pearly ringlets. Points deducted only for the paper-and-toothpick headdress in place of a failed tray of choux buns.
1. Tom DeLonge
Dave's bust of former Blink-182 guitarist Tom DeLonge is pretty much the best any of these bakers could have hoped to make. Instead of opting for realism, Dave went for a sort of caricature style, exaggerating DeLonge's sneering mouth and sideways hat. There's intentionality to it, and style, and humo(u)r, which is exactly what you want if you're attempting to make a famous person into a cake.
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