Martha Collison, the youngest ever contestant to take part in The Great British Bake Off, has become the latest hopeful to leave the show after she failed to make the grade.
The 17-year-old student – who had been balancing baking with her A-level studies – said the BBC One show had been “a life experience that I will never forget” as she bowed out.
She had been close to elimination a week earlier and her final selection of bakes during “advanced dough week” included an east European nutty bread which was barely cooked.
Judge Paul Hollywood even advised his colleague Mary Berry not to try the Povitica, prepared for the technical challenge, and declared it was “totally raw” in places.
The teenager from Ascot in Berkshire said her experience of the programme had increased her appetite for cookery.
“I love baking and I feel that I have learned so much from the Bake Off and from Mary and Paul’s critique that it has made me love baking even more.
“I would love to go to university and study Food Science as a course – that is my ambition.
“I am also hoping to do a gap year for charity which will involve baking on some level.
“After the excitement of watching the episodes on TV, I am now back to school on my second year of A levels, and hitting the reality of maths, chemistry and food technology.”
She praised her family for supporting her through the low points.
“They have been a solid rock to lean on.
“They had to deal with a very under-pressure Martha while I was on Bake Off and studying for exams at the same time.
“My family were very good at coping with me and keeping me calm, and they loved the whole process although I think throughout we have all put on a bit of weight.”
Viewers saw her in tears last week when Kate Henry was eliminated instead of her, and she admitted: ” I was just feeling so drained and exhausted.
“I was juggling revising with baking and it was just a bit of a car crash moment.
“I fell apart a bit, but then pulled myself together with great support and help from the other bakers, even though sometimes there was a big age difference.
“Without the bakers being who they are and how they are it wouldn’t have been such a good experience for me.”
She had watched the show since the age of 12 and said: “It’s amazing to be on something that you have grown up watching.”
Her creations for this week included a spice plum iced bread swirl, of which Paul said: ” Some of it is quite dense It could have done with a slower bake.”
She also made two different types of doughnut – chocolate and passion fruit, as well as lemon and poppy seed.
Paul said: ” You have got two great tasting doughnuts, but the texture’s not good.”
Viewers saw Richard Burr named star baker for the fourth time during the series.
He and Chetna Makan, Luis Troyano and Nancy Birtwhistle go forward to next week’s semi-final.
Martha added: “Being on the show definitely made me grow up quite fast, I met lots of new people and learned about their lives, which makes me excited about my future.”