The Great British Bake Off is back for the 2018 series and we're down to eleven bakers...
Manon was the first star baker of GBBO, with her mountain selfie blowing the judges away and she is now the outright favourite to win this year’s series.
Imelda was the first one to be axed, with her selfie cake described as “stale and bland” by Paul Hollywood, so it was little surprise to see her get the chop.
Briony was also backed by the judges and she’s a 5/1 chance to walk away with the overall prize.
GBBO winner odds
The Great British Bake Off is back and the 2018 series will see twelve new bakers compete for the prestigious GBBO title.
We’ve had a glance through the contestants and they fit the typical moulds really. A mixture of old and young, male and female, while all ethnic boxes are ticked and Channel 4 can now get on with the show.
It’s hard to tell who’s going to have star baker quality before any flour has been spilt, although Ruby and Manon fit the right sort of trend when it comes to going a long way in the competition. They are trading at 7/1, with Imelda trading at 15/2 before you have the first male and Dan is available at 9/1.
Judge Prue Leith has admitted she’s a lot tougher in this latest series. “I felt a lot more relaxed and confident this time around. I have been straighter, found it easier to say ‘that’s not a proper bake’,” she said during a Q&A last week.
“Last series I said lots of things that were nice before anything nasty. Paul is always saying ‘Don’t talk around so much, just say it.’”
It’s biscuit week in week one. So let’s see which contestants crumble!
Let’s just hope Prue keeps her cards closer to her chest when it comes to revealing the winner after last year’s Sophie spill.
GBBO winner odds
BREAKING: The bookmakers have now suspended betting on the Great British Bake Off following Prue Leith’s accidental tweet which suggests that Sophie is the winner.
The fact that Prue then deleted the tweet and claimed subsequent mortification means we can be fairly sure that Sophie will be crowned the winner. A shame to find out in advance of the final but it’s only a TV show.
Sophie had been among the favourites to win, with Steven and her the market leaders for most of the series.
We’ve reached the final! Firstly, it’s been a fantastic series, one of the best yet. All those who complained that GBBO was going from BBC to Channel 4 can only really moan about the amount of adverts that litter the programme and many of us fast forward these anyhow.
So then, who’s gonna win? Do you know what – it wouldn’t surprise us if any of the three remaining bakers won but here are the odds:
Steven is the most likely winner. He shone in the early rounds before the rest of the field caught up with him, although surely the GBBO final is the sort of stage that was made for this baking talent. Sophie has been rock solid throughout the competition but has she been spectacular?
Kate has served up some right dross but she has got her baking right at key moments and will have to hit the high notes to get over the line here. We love the scouser and the Brits love an upset but surely she won’t do it?
Betway have got all manner of odds for the final including the First Innuendo. Fantastic Buns is priced at 5/2, although Soggy Bottom could be the value at 8/1 considering that seems to get mentioned every week.
First Innuendo Betting
Fantastic Buns 5/2
Wrist Action 7/2
Irregular shaped balls 6/1
Pop Pru’s cherry 13/2
Soggy Bottom 8/1
Paul Hollywood claimed it was “very tight” when it came to deciding which of the four bakers would be axed from the GBBO before the final, although Stacey has been leading a charmed life for the past few weeks and it was little surprise to see her go.
Stacey has been bit like Marmite for many viewers due to her inability to retain any semblance of calm although she was a talented baker who actually did win a Star Baker award along the way and possibly deserved a place in the final as much as Kate.
Kate would be a big surprise winner next week, with the scouser having served up some crap along the way although she always seems to pull a show-stopper out of the bag and Hollywood seems to favour her slightly.
Steven started the series like a train and looked head and shoulders above the field, although Sophie has now become the favourite and she bakes with confidence and in an unflustered manner.
It should be a gripping final although Sophie is the favourite and it’s hard to disagree with that verdict.
Nooooooo! We were expecting Liam to complete his meteoric rise in the Great British Bake Off, although the 19-year-old (like everyone else) was only one bad week away from exiting the competition and so it proved on Tuesday night.
Like Michael J Fox in Back to the Future, the five bakers stepped back in time this week to make some “forgotten favourites” although Liam will wish that the programme makers had canned this idea as he was found wanting.
There was a sweet and savoury signature challenge dish, while Prue set a boozy technical task and Liam simply wasn’t up to the job. Things were looking good for the student with his pizza-inspired dish, although he made a horlicks of the Rum Nicky and the Savoy cake showstopper wasn’t much better.
Steven was admired once again, while Stacey picked up massively this week and has really come back from the brink. Kate went down a basic route this week but she was able to survive by the skin of her teeth and the bottom line is that you need to be the least-worst baker each week rather than aiming to be outstanding.
Sophie remains the favourite to win GBBO although maybe it’s not the two-horse race that we’ve been expecting, with Stacey and Kate having the ability to put the cat amongst the pigeons. Maybe as part of a cake.
We were slightly surprised that Yan was in the firing line this week, with the likeable Londoner admittedly struggling to make a Margherita pizza although we thought that Kate and Stacey were the more likely candidates to bite the bullet.
Kate making the quarter-finals is particularly surprising considering that the scouser has looked out of her depth for a few weeks, while Stacey has also fallen behind the show’s three outstanding bakers.
Sophie is pretty much flawless when it comes to any task. She doesn’t moan, she never looks exasperated, she simply cracks on and delivers every single time. Steven is slightly more erratic as he aims to be Picasso as well as a good baker, while Liam continues to excel after a shaky start to the process and there will be many viewers gunning for the 19-year-old.
Therefore, Kate and Stacey are the bakers with everything to do and the bookmakers think that it’s a toss-up between the two ladies as to which ones makes the semi-finals and which one waves goodbye.
And then there were six. Julia simply couldn’t get the hang of pastry and her failings saved the bacon of Stacey whose hand-raised pie crumpled like a wet paper bag.
Stacey remains the rank outsider to win 2017 GBBO and we’re kinda hoping she’s the next baker to go. It’s been several weeks of pulling faces and attention-seeking rather than getting on with the job in hand and having a little more decorum.
The big news is that Liam won Star Baker and he’s absolutely flying as we enter the business end of the competition. How is this kid 19? His goat and plantain pie looked a thing of beauty although he’ll have to go some to topple the front-running pair of Sophie and Steven.
Sophie is our new favourite, simply because she doesn’t put a foot wrong, while Steven has proved to be underwhelming in recent weeks and struggles to deliver on flavour (maybe he should spend less time spray painting fruit).
Yan looks like she could last a couple more weeks, while Kate saved herself with the show-stopping pie but needs to produce the goods on a more consistent basis if she’s to challenge those leading contenders.
It was Pudding Week in the Great British Bake Off and we saw the bakers attempt to make a steamed school pudding, some chocolate bites filled with peanut butter and then an ornamental trifle terrine (yeah we have one every day actually).
James didn’t do very well when it came to any of these tasks although he wins hands down when it comes to talking a good game. It will be sad to see him go – perhaps there’s space for a third presenter who can talk us through each task like some kind of expert.
Steven remains the favourite despite needing all the gelatine in Christendom to create the stars and stripes effect for his show-stopper. We particularly enjoyed Sophie’s smug smile as Steven wandered back to his table and next to the bin with those hundreds of discarded gelatine wrappers. Are you going to switch the oven on when you get back Steven?
Lovely Sophie barely put a foot wrong this week despite forgetting to put the oven on for her technical. She’s the second favourite to win the competition and wins extra marks for using random ingredients which were possibly imported to the tent by Oompah Loompahs.
Julia got a bit emotional this week but she’s got the ability to go a long way, while Kate went backwards and lead a charmed life. Perhaps Yan has the potential to reach the business end of the competition, while you sense that Stacey and Liam are always one bad move away from leaving the competition.
Kate was the surprise winner of the Star Baker award in Week 4, with the young scouser producing an excellent apple cake during caramel week. Kate seemed taken aback although she has been a steady operator since the programme began and Liam also shone against the odds.
Liam was probably second best baker during Week 4, while Steven failed once again to hit the high notes after an early couple of brilliant weeks. However, he remains favourite to win.
The gorgeous Sophie is second favourite and she seems to be a pretty decent all-rounder, while Julia has a Star Baker award under her belt and should be able to go a long way in the competition.
Tom failed to produce the goods and exited the competition, with Yan and Stacey potentially vulnerable next week, while James didn’t do too well with his caramel but could bounce back when it comes to Week 5.
Flo has exited the competition after “Bread Week”, with Julia snatching the Star Baker mantle from Steven.
The latter accepted defeat in typically ungracious fashion, talking pretentiously about being “taken down from my cloud” and “turning the oven on” when he returns home. Hopefully to put his big fat head into.
Steven nevertheless remains the bookmaker favourite to win 2017 GBBO and will clearly go a long way, with the bread handbag leaving Paul Hollywood raving.
Sophie is a strong contender along with Tom, while Julia is now fourth favourite to win and appears to be hitting her stride. We’re anticipating Stacey or Liam being next for the chop, with the latter seemingly just about surviving every week.
We’ve enjoyed the first two episodes of the Great British Bake Off 2017, with Steven the outstanding baker in both shows. He’s produced two excellent show-stoppers already, although viewers might wonder whether someone of this calibre is almost too good for a programme like this.
Steven seems modest about his abilities although we’re already ruling out half the remaining field from challenging him, with Liam and Flo at opposite ends of the age spectrum but likely to fall by the wayside in the coming weeks.
Stacey also seems to be struggling to get results and Julie’s efforts seem to be below-par at the moment, although the other six bakers could go very well and that includes Sophie and Tom.
That pair seem most likely to compete in a potential final against Steven and there are a few weeks for them to illustrate that this isn’t a one-man show.
James also seems to be of a high calibre, with Kate needing to find more off the bridle and perhaps Bread Week will bring a new set of results after previous episodes including cake-making and biscuit-building.
How many bakers will there be?
Twelve bakers started out in the competition and, as usual, the bakers are a range of ages and have lots of different backgrounds.
Who are the bakers?
Kate, 29, from Merseyside
Peter, 52, from Essex
Julie, 32, from West Sussex
Chris, 50, from Bristol
Flo, 71, from Merseyside
Steven, 34, from Hertfordshire
Yan, 46, from North London
James, 46, from Essex
Sophie, 33, from Surrey
Tom, 29, from Edinburgh
Stacey, 42, from Hertfordshire
Liam, 19, from North London
The 2016 renewal was won by Candice Brown, with the PE teacher wowing the judges with her baking skills throughout the competition. Paul Hollywood will remain as the head judge, although there will be no Mary Berry in this format. Instead, Prue Leith has been hired, while Mel and Sue are now replaced by Sandi Toksvig and Noel Fielding.
All odds were correct at time of posting.