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S10.E01: Cake Week

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The bakers must tackle a complex fruit cake, a retro Technical, and a Showstopper that takes the bakers back to their childhoods

Original air date: August 27, 2019 in the UK.

Channel 4 lists this as Series 03.

Netflix US air date: August 30, 2019 as Collection 7. 

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I thought it was a bit of a stale start to their anniversary series.

The Wizard of Oz into was hilarious. "I have no brains - well that's the QI gig gone"

The contestants skew pretty young, and its a weird mix when you throw in the lorry driver and the woman from Lanzarote with the furry garden.

After 10 years of bake off people have the platitudes down to a t, but some really should make smarter decisions about their bakes regarding the time constraints for the first challenge. If baking time or cooling down your cake might be an issue, choose a smaller tin and decoration that isn't sensitive to heat!

I hate fruit cake so all I can say about the first challenge is that I liked the christmas wreath and the one with the fragile little house that collapsed. Although I side eye people who go over the top with decoration in the signature challenge - thats what the show stopper is for.

I don't pay attention during the technicals anymore because nothing will ever beat (cute) fireman Mat baking his royal icing.

I liked the birthday cake challenge and I liked that most of them weren't perfect. There are a few flavours that get a bit repetitive and then it becomes a cake design competition.

Thinking back, my favourite birthday cake would be a nice dense (underbaked) chocolate or Sacher cake, plain and without any fussy decoration. I don't want to eat masses of fondant, marzipan or sugar sculptures.

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Maybe it's just that it's been a year but it feels like production went a little over the top casting bakers with animated expressions. I'd prefer it if only a few contestants have Nadiya-level facial contortions.

While I also wish the group had a little more balance in ages, I do like that the bakers look like they have already bonded. It helps the show when there's camaraderie between the contestants.

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As usual with the first episode of a season, there were too many bakers to get a firm impression of anyone. I liked Priya and her nerdy, ISBN numbered childhood book, and one or two others had appealing moments.

Not keen on the klutz who cut himself a half dozen times, the young lad who kept making a mess of things or the vet with the annoying voice. It was obvious that hipster Dan wouldn't last long, from the moment he said "I should have prepared more".

I kind of want to see the geography teacher stick around for a while, just to see how brittle her determinedly cheery demeanour will get before it shatters.

I liked the theme of the showstopper, which was more strongly defined than some of those from last season. Everyone immediately gets what you're looking for, when you say 'dream childhood birthday cake'. And everyone did a pretty good job of producing something that looked good.

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Agreed, there were more young guys aged 18-24 than I expected. Not as many older moms and dads.

Like Henry, Stephanie, Priya, Helena, and Alice

Not a fan of Jamie, just in how he blows off everything and seems to admit he's out of his depth.

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Ah, another season of Bake Off. Glad it is back.

I knew that salted caramel everything idea in the showstopper was going to be bad. 

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I actually didn’t think this was a bad start. It seemed like a more jovial atmosphere and it looks like the bakers have already developed a bond. I think some were undone by nerves but for the most part, they appear to be a competent bunch. I’m definitely bothered by the lack of age diversity though. And bring back the blue plasters!

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I think Jamie should have been the one to go instead of Dan.  I know he's young and all, but he just doesn't seem to be taking it seriously at all. Then again, I felt bad for him when he started to tear up, so maybe he was just trying to hide how upset he was.

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1 hour ago, 3 is enough said:

I think Jamie should have been the one to go instead of Dan.  I know he's young and all, but he just doesn't seem to be taking it seriously at all. Then again, I felt bad for him when he started to tear up, so maybe he was just trying to hide how upset he was.

He is just very young and hides some of his true emotions. He really did not want to tear up on camera. He made jokes through it all. I think it's a personality and age thing more than him not taking it seriously. I agree he could have gone as easily too. He probably won't last long, but I wonder if this week means he'll be extra cautious next week.

Dan on the other hand also didn't take it serious enough. He made a radical change on his Signature bake by doubling the fruit. I knew he would have raw cake after he admitted changing it last minute. He didn't seem to have prepared much either. 

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On 8/28/2019 at 1:31 PM, Danny Franks said:

I kind of want to see the geography teacher stick around for a while, just to see how brittle her determinedly cheery demeanour will get before it shatters.

Oof, this is grim, but also, same.

This was kind of a bland first episode. The only names I can remember are Michael the klutz, and Dan who left. Nobody really stood out for baking. I hope the formula isn't going stale because I still need this show. Next week did look more promising; some fancy biscuits in store.

I continue to love Noel; his affinity for the goth-y gal was cute, and I appreciated his efforts to get Prue to stop referring to herself as "dripping."

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On 8/28/2019 at 9:31 PM, Danny Franks said:

Everyone immediately gets what you're looking for, when you say 'dream childhood birthday cake'. And everyone did a pretty good job of producing something that looked good.

I have a hard time believing people’s childhood dream cakes would be carrot or coffee flavoured, though. And the star baker’s decoration of brown leaves and brown snails? It didn’t exactly scream fairy. Were toadstool cakes even a thing when she was a child?

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I also found the first episode a little "lackluster." Am I a terrible person if I say I think it's because no one failed spectacularly? The only big "oh no!" was the pretty lattice-work that fell apart. The talent level seems pretty high (as does the attractiveness level, which saddens me a bit. I appreciated all those "ordinary people" from past seasons.) I guess the show is so popular that it has brought a lot of very accomplished bakers out of the woodwork.

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6 minutes ago, dleighg said:

I guess the show is so popular that it has brought a lot of very accomplished bakers out of the woodwork.

I don't know yet about them being accomplished but the show has been around enough to have kids who grew up on the show becoming competitors. I think Henry - collapsed lattice house guy - is the one who has been a superfan since he was twelve.

On 8/28/2019 at 2:31 PM, Danny Franks said:

----

Not keen on the klutz who cut himself a half dozen times, the young lad who kept making a mess of things or the vet with the annoying voice.

----

I kind of want to see the geography teacher stick around for a while, just to see how brittle her determinedly cheery demeanour will get before it shatters.

I did kind of like the klutz because I'm always hopeful for more multicultural influences in the bakes. Michael's parents were adorable. I'm glad the chai tea cake went over well but cutting that many fingers is not a good sign.

Tough assessment @Danny Franks, but this made me laugh. Alice is one of several contestants who had some over-the-top, cartoony expressions that bugged me. Maybe I'll warm up to her and the others. (On the other hand, I loved Nadiya because her expressions seemed genuinely felt in the moment and there were other personalities like Paul the prison warden to balance out the cast.)

I was surprised to read that Alice was the bookie's preseason favorite to win it all and wonder how this episode might change things.

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Do they film different intros for the Netflix/US shows? Because the Wizard of Oz team called it "The Great British Baking Show," which is, as far as I know, the name that's required to be used in the US (instead of "Bake-Off.") I don't recall them doing that in the past. 

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They may do two intros. I didn't even catch that! 

The kid should have gone. He was worse than Ruby admitting how bad he was. But unlike Ruby in most cases, he really fell flat on his face. He's definitely not long in the tent.

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1 hour ago, J-Man said:

Do they film different intros for the Netflix/US shows? Because the Wizard of Oz team called it "The Great British Baking Show," which is, as far as I know, the name that's required to be used in the US (instead of "Bake-Off.") I don't recall them doing that in the past. 

I caught that too. They must be recording 2 intros from now on, I even noticed that during a voice over at the beginning of the episode, they said "baking show" instead of "bake off"

Too many people to have a favorite yet.

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So happy to have GBBO back!  It's been a crappy few weeks in my world; I need the tent in my life.   Also appreciating getting each episode right after it airs in Britain, as it is difficult to remain spoiler-free.   

I'm glad the young dude wasn't the first out.  I didn't take his attitude to be uncaring at all.  Looked to me like he cared a great deal but didn't want to show his feelings.  

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I think Prue said "dribbling," which to me is even worse than "dripping"!

At one point, there was a closeup of someone bent over the table, with her hair either on the table or very close to it. I think it was the winner. I was surprised that they aired it.

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3 minutes ago, jennylauren123 said:

At one point, there was a closeup of someone bent over the table, with her hair either on the table or very close to it. I think it was the winner. I was surprised that they aired it.

I noticed that also

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I wasn't surprised that Dan left before Jamie.  Sounded like it came down to the signature which Jamie did well on unlike raw fruitcake.  Dan seemed nice enough but definitely under prepared from the get go.

Good technical to start with although you would think everyone would learn to memorize how to make a genoise sponge.  It always comes up at one point.

Also liked the showstopper.  Fit the description of one without being too over the top.  I like the kid with the treasure chest cake.  Overall no major standouts, even SB Michelle didn't have a perfect week but I'm sure by week three or four I'll love them all.

Between the way Paul kept saying "fairy garden," Prue "dribbling" and Phil smoothing fondant on his rocket, my brain fast tracked itself to the gutter.  Welcome back my quaint baking show.

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On 8/28/2019 at 2:31 PM, Danny Franks said:

I kind of want to see the geography teacher stick around for a while, just to see how brittle her determinedly cheery demeanour will get before it shatters.

I thought that her turning a layer cake into a lesson on strata in rock was...... rather forced. I don't recall exactly, but weren't those students a bit old for that awfully simplistic lesson?

59 minutes ago, kittykat said:

Between the way Paul kept saying "fairy garden," Prue "dribbling" and Phil smoothing fondant on his rocket, my brain fast tracked itself to the gutter. 

wasn't that exactly where your mind was INTENDED to go with all that?

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2 hours ago, kittykat said:

Between the way Paul kept saying "fairy garden," Prue "dribbling" and Phil smoothing fondant on his rocket, my brain fast tracked itself to the gutter.  Welcome back my quaint baking show.

That was hilarious.

About the rocket: At first I thought it would be  quick take, and then the camera lingered...and lingered...went to showing him shaping another part of the phallic rocket. Definitely one of the reasons that I love this show.

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2 hours ago, jennylauren123 said:

That was hilarious.

About the rocket: At first I thought it would be  quick take, and then the camera lingered...and lingered...went to showing him shaping another part of the phallic rocket. Definitely one of the reasons that I love this show.

Right and there was no commentary or peanut gallery remarks.  It was just show not tell let the audience giggle without shame 😆😆.

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3 hours ago, jennylauren123 said:

That was hilarious.

About the rocket: At first I thought it would be  quick take, and then the camera lingered...and lingered...went to showing him shaping another part of the phallic rocket. Definitely one of the reasons that I love this show.

Right up there with Prison Paul squeeze his piping bag and groaning as the thing exploded. No commentary necessary. 😂

I watched again on Netflix and noticed the Baking Show voiceovers.  Makes a lot more sense than cutting things abruptly to avoid any Bake Off mentions like they did before (damn you, Pillsbury!) since they know it’s being shown to an American audience. As far as I could tell, new voiceovers aside, the Netflix version was complete, no cuts at all.

When they were showing Paul and Pru discussing the technical and they displayed the sample, I swear the angel cakes sponges looked exactly like…sponges. In fact, I have a packet of sponges in my kitchen in that exact color combination. Maybe I’ll throw in some buttercream and try to pass it off as dessert/pudding. Give people enough wine and they might not notice. 

I originally thought Jamie should have gone over Dan but on rewatch, I think they made the right call. Jamie’s signature saved him and I think for the rest, he was just undone by nerves. Dan, on the other hand, made a major miscalculation with his last-minute changes and then admitted he should have been better prepared. YMMV.

Noel killed it this episode. I love him going way back (Goth Detectives and my favorite ep of Buzzocks with Donny Tourette for the win!) but when he was announced for Bake Off, I couldn’t for the life of me see how he would fit in. Now I can’t imagine the show without him.

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On 8/28/2019 at 3:53 AM, Aulty said:

The Wizard of Oz into was hilarious. "I have no brains - well that's the QI gig gone"

Also "I have no heart." "No one's going to be surprised by that, Paul."

It seemed like everyone was using big sheets of fondant for their birthday cakes, but I don't recall anyone making their own.  Are they allowing store-bought now? 

The winning cake must have tasted awfully good because I didn't think it was that attractive at all.  Are those huge toadstools with orange tops and spots common in the UK?  

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I don't know the names yet. I'm thinking of goth-y one who admitted she'd never made a Genoise sponge in her life. Um, showing up on GBBO without even having attempted a Genoise sponge strikes me as very dumb move. (Like Amazing Racers who didn't bother to learn a stick shift, back when they made them drive more.) I get that most of them had very little experience with it, but it's come up quite a bit and would be on my list of things to at least try once before arriving on the set!

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On 8/28/2019 at 2:53 AM, Aulty said:

I don't pay attention during the technicals anymore because nothing will ever beat (cute) fireman Mat baking his royal icing.

That's a good 'un.  I loved watching them make the tennis cake.  I also loved watching the Princesstorte.  Both just beautiful, fun looking cakes.

But my favorite technical quip was when they were making chocolate souffles and Nadia said she'd sooner have another baby than ever do that again.  Having never made a souffle, she's done scared me away from it.  😂

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No baker made a positive impression on me.  I don’t care for Jamie and he’s not long for the competition.  I think he said he never made a genoise.  Really???  How can you be a contestant and not have made a cake that is pretty much a standard for this show?

I didn’t like the cutesy opening gag.

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2 hours ago, PaulaO said:

No baker made a positive impression on me.  I don’t care for Jamie and he’s not long for the competition.  I think he said he never made a genoise.  Really???  How can you be a contestant and not have made a cake that is pretty much a standard for this show?

I didn’t like the cutesy opening gag.

I thought the opening was ridiculous.

edited to add:

I was a bit disappointed to see the dreaded (to me) rice krispy treats make their way into the Showstoppers. To me, they belong in the crazy decorating competition shows, not in a competition that highlights home bakers.

Edited by Rickster
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2 hours ago, Rickster said:

I thought the opening was ridiculous.

edited to add:

I was a bit disappointed to see the dreaded (to me) rice krispy treats make their way into the Showstoppers. To me, they belong in the crazy decorating competition shows, not in a competition that highlights home bakers.

Rice Krispy treats don't bother me as long as they're used simply for structure and they still taste good.  The baker's who used them also met the brief by baking cake.

Flora got dinged a few seasons back by using RKT that didn't taste good and were dry and crumbly.  That was fair.

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3 minutes ago, Destiny74 said:

Rice Krispy treats don't bother me as long as they're used simply for structure and they still taste good. 

count me in the "it bothers me" camp. I didn't see them taste that part of the "cake."

Edited by dleighg
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I think I count RKT in with things like fondant, marzipan, royal icing... in fact, in a way, you could say RKT is fondant with cereal in it. When bakers have made their own fondant they melt marshmallows, right? which is what you do with RKT but then you add the cereal, you mold the fondant around the cake, you mold the RKT into shapes. I have more of a problem with marzipan but only because I don't like the taste. But it is moldable like RKT so I can see it's uses. In fact almost any icing could be considered in the same category since almost none of them are -baked-. All of these things are tools that bakers, including home bakers, use to achieve the look of the item they are producing.

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On 8/30/2019 at 11:56 PM, J-Man said:

Do they film different intros for the Netflix/US shows? Because the Wizard of Oz team called it "The Great British Baking Show," which is, as far as I know, the name that's required to be used in the US (instead of "Bake-Off.") I don't recall them doing that in the past. 

I was wondering, too. I'm getting confused on if it's officially called "Bake Off" or "Baking Show".

What was so funny about Paul and "fairy"?

Edited by Writing Wrongs

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Because he kept saying "furry" instead of "fairy"

3 hours ago, Rickster said:

I was a bit disappointed to see the dreaded (to me) rice krispy treats make their way into the Showstoppers. To me, they belong in the crazy decorating competition shows, not in a competition that highlights home bakers.

I hate eating them, but rice krispy treats have to be the epitome of an item that is in a home baker's wheelhouse rather than a professional baker.

And because I am 13 at heart, I loved the drooping rocket.

Love to try Ms. Furry Garden's chocolate cake - that looked dark and decadent.  I always love chocolate cake made with coffee.

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1 hour ago, meep.meep said:

I hate eating them, but rice krispy treats have to be the epitome of an item that is in a home baker's wheelhouse rather than a professional baker.

True, although I've seen many baking competitions where rice krispie treats are used for structure as well so it's a professional thing too.

Edited by Irlandesa

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1 hour ago, Writing Wrongs said:

I'm getting confused on if it's officially called "Bake Off" or "Baking Show"

Everywhere but the US it’s Bake Off. In the US it’s Baking Show because Pillsbury owns the name Bake Off.

The more elaborate the opening skits got (Mel and Sue usually just riffed on something related to the theme), the more ridiculous and annoying they became. I try not to pay attention. 

I don’t mind the Rice Krispie treats because given the time constraints, I  don’t think it would be possible for the bakers to create the same constructions out of cake. So as long as it’s allowed, I don’t see a problem if the bakers use it. Most of them also use pre-made fondant. The only one I can remember getting dinged for it was Enwezor and that may have been the editing. Martha also got scolded for using molds for her chess pieces, but again, we’ve seen others use molds without being criticized for it. Bake Off is only consistent in its inconsistency.

Edited by Margo Leadbetter
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24 minutes ago, meep.meep said:

I hate eating them, but rice krispy treats have to be the epitome of an item that is in a home baker's wheelhouse rather than a professional baker.

I agree that making rice krispy treats is a typical home baking project, but using them as a structural element to drape fondant and other decorative items is something borrowed from competitions that regard cakes as sculptures rather than desserts to eat, in my opinion.

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I'm glad the show is back, though as usual the first episode is a bit rushed and awkward.  I'm with those who didn't care for the into and thought it forced.  It does feel like a lot of the quaint bake off charm is coming from Noel, which I would not have predicted.

I know some people who had a professional groom's cake that was part rice krispies.  It was a sculptural part (fish tail), but it was also for the kids attending the wedding.  They really liked it.

Priya's childhood books with ISBN number were sweet.

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Seriously, that snake cake was amazing! It may be one of the best designed and best executed bakes this show has had.

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17 hours ago, Rickster said:

I thought the opening was ridiculous.

edited to add:

I was a bit disappointed to see the dreaded (to me) rice krispy treats make their way into the Showstoppers. To me, they belong in the crazy decorating competition shows, not in a competition that highlights home bakers.

14 hours ago, dleighg said:

count me in the "it bothers me" camp. I didn't see them taste that part of the "cake."

13 hours ago, meep.meep said:

I hate eating them, but rice krispy treats have to be the epitome of an item that is in a home baker's wheelhouse rather than a professional baker.

12 hours ago, Rickster said:

I agree that making rice krispy treats is a typical home baking project, but using them as a structural element to drape fondant and other decorative items is something borrowed from competitions that regard cakes as sculptures rather than desserts to eat, in my opinion.

Rice krispie treats make me think of Duff Goldman & Buddy Valastro who make giant  fancy "cakes" for events, but the "cakes" always seem like they consist more of dowels, motors, piping, & rice krispie treats than actual cake. I don't think you should be allowed to call it a cake if it's made of rice krispie treats.

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11 hours ago, ae2 said:

Seriously, that snake cake was amazing! It may be one of the best designed and best executed bakes this show has had.

I LOVED the creepiness of the gummy snakes inside the egg.  SO awesome for a kid's birthday!  

By now, every contestant should have a  whole range of cakes that can be baked in thin layers quickly, to allow for cooling, before they set foot in the tent.  10 seasons allows NO reason for lack of preparation like Dan.  I think that fruit cake did him in.  Paul HATES when people just wing it on the basics like cake layers.  He's much more forgiving on mixing flavors and decorations.  

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41 minutes ago, leighdear said:

I think that fruit cake did him in.  Paul HATES when people just wing it on the basics like cake layers.  He's much more forgiving on mixing flavors and decorations.  

Yes, especially when the part the baker "experiments" in shows fundamental lack of knowledge of the physics of baking. You can't just dump twice as much fruit in the batter and expect it to cook the same way in the same amount of time. Of course it was going to come out an undone mess. 

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Yes, the opening skit was bonkers, but I had to laugh at Prue wearing one of her signature necklaces over the lion costume.

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I am delighted that the show is back and enjoyed the first episode quite a bit. I traditionally love the first episodes because everyone is nervous and giddy and star struck. After awhile everyone settles down and gets more comfortable and its fun to see the different personalities emerge; and see how the bakers interact with Paul and Prue and Noel and Sandi. The Scottish-Indian kid who kept cutting himself cracked me up. I found him so funny and hapless, like Inspector Clouseau or something. But I think Dashing Dan the Doctor will be the guy to beat.

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I really liked the Star Baker’s phone call home at the end—very charming, and the man on the other end was wonderfully delighted at her news.

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On 9/2/2019 at 2:00 PM, Margo Leadbetter said:

Everywhere but the US it’s Bake Off. In the US it’s Baking Show because Pillsbury owns the name Bake Off.

Thank you! I didn't know why they made the change and thought it had to do with the channel change.

On 9/4/2019 at 9:21 AM, Pj3422 said:

Yes, the opening skit was bonkers, but I had to laugh at Prue wearing one of her signature necklaces over the lion costume.

The thing that got me was the earnest but unskilled way that Paul "landed" after Noel brought them back home. At least he tried.  Prue is just along for the ride.

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