Northern Irish baker is first to exit the Great British Bake Off
A County Tyrone baker has become the first contestant to be booted off this year's series of the Great British Bake Off.
Imelda McCarron, 33, failed to impress judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith during biscuit week.
The countryside recreation officer received bruising criticism from the judges who branded her creations "simple" and "bland".
Serving up stale shortbread
In the opening signature challenge the 12 bakers were tasked with creating 24 regional biscuits and things were looking up for McCarron as she earned praise for her cherry and white chocolate oatmeal biscuits.
Her luck turned in the technical challenge, however, when the contestants were tasked with creating eight wagon wheels Imelda toiled, finishing eleventh out of 12 bakers.
And in the showstopper, McCarron's situation didn't improve, as the group of contestants were asked to create a 3D biscuit selfie portrait.
Prue Leith described the Tyrone baker's final bake as "simple" "bland" and "dry", while Hollywood compared her final bake to "stale shortbread".
Ahead of the show, McCarron outlined her reasons for entering the competition to Radio Times: “I went in for me as a challenge obviously for the baking, but also to have the confidence of meeting new people, I don’t usually put myself out there personally.”
And despite becoming the first to exit the Great British Bake Off tent, McCarron managed to make light of the situation describing her time on the show as "one of the best experiences of my life".
'Someone give Imelda a hug'
Social media users were sympathetic to McCarron following her exit from the show.
Some fans of the show were backing the Tyrone baker to go the whole way during the signature challenge with Twitter user @m1cvv boldly claiming: "Imelda will win the whole thing."
As the 33-year-old baker battled with nerves @innocent tweeted their support for for McCarron stating: "Imelda is shaking. SHAKING. Someone please give her a hug and a puppy immediately #GBBO"
Many felt McCarron was hard done by when she was shown the door, including @stuartosmond who stated: Imelda shouldn't have gone home.Should've been Ruby,she didn't even finish her show stopper.
While for @sambaguelyart it all became too much: "Why am I welling up that Imelda’s going home?! I’ve known the woman for 75 minutes, via the medium of television."
Catch up on the Great British Bake Off on All 4