With more viewers than ever before, this year's final of the BBC'S Great British Bake Off on Tuesday is set to be unbearably tense. After 12 weeks of waiting anxiously by the oven door, it's all down to the last three fabulous baking boys who have taken the nation by storm, with petit four cygnets, choux pastry bicycles and delectable gingerbread buildings.
Unmistakably kitsch, the mass of union jack bunting may give the marquee baking room a vintage touch but the show has demonstrated that cake making and bun baking is a craze embraced by the modern generation.
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And with two of the three finalists still in their early 20's, it seems that talent doesn't just come with experience.
The youngest and most innovative of the bunch, 21-year old medical student James Morton, has consistently surprised the judges with daring taste combinations throughout the series, gaining him more 'star baker' titles than his rivals.
And it's not just James' chilli-sugared biscuits that are getting the audience hot and flustered. The tall, spectacled Scot has since become a huge hit with the housewife fans after wearing a tank top during the third episode.
James told the Radio Times that being labelled a heartthrob was "hilarious", adding: "I had 60 Twitter followers before, now I have nearly 15,000 – I think people confused their attraction to the tank top with liking me".
Fellow amateur baker John Whait, a 22-year old law graduate, may be the least consistent of the finalists but it's certain that his innate passion won't go unnoticed with aims of joining Le Cordon Bleu.
Despite struggling in the quarter finals, John saved himself with a phenomenal baking showstopper. And it's no wonder that the enormous gingerbread Colosseum took over a week to design with over 100 black treacle and spice-flavoured pieces.
John modestly added that his success was, in fact, due to "Paul, my amazing partner. He's a graphic designer and works for an architect".
Last but not least, Brendan Lynch, 63, may be the show's self-confessed perfectionist but his unbending determination hasn't got in the way of some good old-fashioned chivalry, saying "there was a good sense of camaraderie and support". Contestants even got told off by show producers for helping each other. "We were often ticked off for wandering over to one another and offering advice," he said.
The eldest of the three, Brendan, is now semi-retired and on a two-year project to bake all the breads of the world, having already made more than 90.
But will this set him apart as the man from the boys?
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