Previously on Australian Survivor – yes, I have to stipulate that now – Vavau neared extinction after the tribes absorbed resulting in major casualties in sweet, angel Craig and Aganoan goddess Phoebe.
We opened up right on schedule with the melancholic Vavau tribe, now down to three comparing their level of skeletal-ness. I literally can not pick a winner of this competition though.
Thankfully the tribes convened for what they thought was their next challenge where the Vavauns were surprised to discover they’ve been saved from themselves as the tribes actually merged and were treated to the Survivor Auction.
Conner walked away with the first two items, blowing all his money in the process, Sam bought some mediocre looking nachos, Brooke got a very cheap bath – why did no one bid against her? – while Lee got the ultimate prize – an advantage – for only $80, before Nick paid $440 for a covered item … which also turned out to be an advantage in the game.
The tribe arrived at their new camp, the former Vavau tribe, which made the old Saanapuans wistful for their days of opulence over at their camp. Instead they were stuck in the Survivor slums which Kristie and Phoebe attempted to burn to the ground but a week ago.
They immediately got to work scrambling as one tribe, with Flick leading the charge against Conner while Sue rallied the counter alliance to topple Saanapu. I’m not sure who should tell them the immunity challenge hadn’t even occurred yet?
Lee then disappeared to the well to discover his advantage, which is to block someone voting at tribal council.
Nick then disappeared to the well, at a different time, where he discovered he paid $360 more than Lee for an idol clue rather than a guaranteed advantage. Thankfully he found the idol … however sadly it was just after being sprung by Lee who is now wary of him.
The dominant alliance then found a pink piece of cloth and decided friendship bracelets were the best way to highlight the pecking order before they arrived at their first individual immunity challenge.
Sadly I was not competing as I would have dominated, I’ve never met someone that grips a pole quite like me!
After what seemed like an eternity, the poles got wet and slippery – according to JoJo, I didn’t actually see rain and think he was just feeling inspired by Probsty – before Kylie’s memory lapsed and Brooke took out immunity.
We returned to camp for the actual scrambling where we were reintroduced to Flick who seems to struggle with pronunciation before Nick got to work over-explaining a vote split, Sam worked his way into my good books by trying to turn it on Nick and Sue got to work dominating with a plan to screw Nick’s split vote.
The tribe – oh did I mention they called themselves Fia Fia? They did – arrived at tribal with me quite confused as to what would happen. Flick was confident, Nick was quietly confident and Conner was trying his best to throw the target on to someone else.
JoJo then opted to call out the friendship bracelets and attempted to throw them all under the bus as we headed into the vote, however poor Conner ran out of luck and found himself voted out.
While I’m sad that Sue’s plan didn’t come to fruition just for Nick’s tantrum alone, Conner was a legitimate threat and made sense however telling him how much of a scrappy underdog he was, isn’t what he wanted to hear as he stepped out of the game.
I’ve recently been teaching law in Canberra which is where I connected with Conner – seriously, why universities continue to hire me is beyond puzzling. As you can tell from the game, Conner is perceptive and could pick up on the fact I was not a qualified lawyer or professor. Despite this, his kind heart got in the way and we started a friendship despite his better judgement.
Thankfully for him though, that friendship meant I knew exactly what he needed as he exited the game – his favourite, my Arroz Conner Pollo Bethune.
Hearty, warm, spicy and soothing – this dish is the epitome of comfort food while also packing a punch. Delicate saffron, a kick of cumin and the tart olives? Enjoy!
Arroz Conner Pollo Bethune
½ cup white wine, or as much as your drinking allows
pinch of saffron threads
6 chicken thighs fillets, diced
1 onion, finely diced
5 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground sweet paprika
400g can diced tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 dried bay leaves
1 ½ cups short-grain rice
3 cups chicken stock, plus more if needed
1 cup pitted green olives, rinsed and drained
½ cup chargrilled capsicum, drained and roughly chopped
¼ cup parsley, roughly chopped
Combine the wine and saffron in a bowl and allow to steep.
Heat a good lug of oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat and add the onion and garlic and sweat for a couple of minutes before adding the chicken with a good whack of salt and pepper and cook until browned.
Reduce the heat to low and add the tinned tomatoes and paste and cook stirring for a minute. Add the wine/saffron and bay leaves and cook until reduced slightly, about five-ten minutes.
Stir in the rice and stock, bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to low and cover, cooking for about half an hour stirring occasionally. Or until the liquid has all absorbed.
Remove from the heat, stir through the olives and capsicum and leave to stand for about ten minutes.
Then serve and devour.