To quote my ex-lover Phil, can you hear it, coming in the air tonight? Oh lord, the sound of conch shells and potential tribal genocide can mean only one thing – SURVIVOR is back
top five baby!
My part-time lover then joined the fray and quickly caught us up – 17 years, 33 seasons, all stars, fans, favourites, heroes, villains, blood, water, brains, beauty, brawn, millennials, gen x, yet there is still only one Queen and her name is Sandra.
Jiffy Pop quickly got to work catching us up with the legends – and other people available during filming – returning for another shot at the title. We zeroed in on our brash, llama advocate Tony who claimed to have created the spy shack, a move Sandra successfully utilised in two winning seasons before his one … without the gimmicky name.
My basement flooded to realise that Malcolm was indeed back and he wasn’t just a figment of my sex dreams. I mean, seriously, I was bouncing with anticipation too …
I’ll let Sandra reintroduce herself in her own words – “the Queen stays Queen, adios.”
Cirie got off the couch for the fourth time and reaffirmed her passion for being the smiling assassin and her hope to finally convert her killer gameplay into a victory. Our tiger swimsuit wearing, ex-model, water technician, farmer, stockbroker, football coach and explorer Debbie then reminded us that she is built for this game – despite looking susceptible to blowing over in the breeze – due to her tenacity of a giant squid.
Oh and my frenemy Culpepper said something? FUCK YOU BRAD CULPEPPER, Probst is on a shipwreck. Can you beat Probst on a shipwreck?! No. No you can’t.
We joined the castaways on a ship where Probst fulfilled his obligation to sell the theme, no matter how much of a stretch it was – remember the milk drones of Millennials vs. Gen X? – saying that everyone was selected because of their willingness to make game changing moves. Though when he mentioned “some of you made subtle moves,” he looked like he died a little inside.
Continuing to get reacquainted, Ozzy shared that he still has nightmares about losing money – make another Playboy Channel movie, surely that pays – JT proclaimed Sandra won’t be the only two time winner, Cirie gave her first chuckle of the season saying he was wrong and Zeke geeked out.
My boy then split them into their two tribes, where he screwed Cirie hard by sticking her with two well known nemeses. Let’s hope this is a beginning of a supreme underdog edit?
Wanting to change the game, Jiffy Pop offered the tribes an opportunity to win a massive toolkit for the first person to swim out to a bouy and untie knots. Echoing the audience, Malcolm saw zero point in going for this given the fact that Ozzy is part dolphin and would definitely win. That being said, bless Caleb for trying. Bless.
And with that, they were off with Debbie added wrestler to her resume and body-slammed Malcolm into the deck of the boat. Tai stole chickens from Ciera and Sandra before said chickens attempted to drown him as they dived off the ship together. Clearly none of them were fans of becoming Mark 2.0.
We arrived at Mana, where Tony immediately ran off looking for the idol speaking llama, while Sandra proved why she is the OG spy who actually invented the spy shack and followed him into the woods with dear Caleb to ensure he didn’t find said idol while Hali appeared to assure us that she is a game changer and is the cobra nobody is thinking about.
Meanwhile Nuku arrived at their camp where Zeke fanboyed at his fellow castaways before they noticed three goats on the hill, hopefully not an omen for things to come at final tribal council. Sarah then congratulated herself for her killer social game, ten minutes into the show and Sierra walked us through the secret advantage Andrea repeatedly walked over during the entire marooning.
(FYI, it is a legacy advantage eligible at final 13 or 6).
Sierra then continued her play as Wentworth 2.0 and approached Brad and Ozzy about forming an alliance to target Cirie. Though let’s be honest here, Sierra’s real game changing move is that make-up that just won’t come off.
Cirie then approached Ozzy about their past – where she brutally blindsided him while he was at his peak cockiness – to ensure he wasn’t entering the game with any baggage. Despite claiming they were cool, he then wandered off with Tai to tell him he wasn’t sure about Cirie. Tai being Tai then went and told Cirie she should try and clear the air. Obviously Cirie questioned this, terrifying and confusing Tai who just stood paralysed by shock.
But can we please get the screenshot of Tai’s confused face as a meme? Contact meme corp, I need this asap.
The next day Tony ran off again, this time looking to build a spy bunker, which I assume will be as successful as the sunken shelter Rupert built in All Stars. Thankfully he was caught lying down in his half-dug grave by Troyzan, hopefully putting a kibosh on the bunker.
Ciera then quickly appeared, surprisingly not to talk BIG MOVEZ, but to give her extremely insightful analysis of what was happening and announced that everyone should target Tony and Caleb, to put an end to their burgeoning bromance and Tony’s always possible idol.
Sadly for Ciera, that isn’t what Malcolm wanted, knowing he needs a meat shield, putting her in danger.
But before anything further could happen, Jiffy Pop returned for the first immunity challenge of the season where seven members of each tribe had to paddle out to a platform in the ocean, someone had to swim for some keys, everyone on the platform then mounted a box before traversing an obstacle course back to the shore.
They then had to dig some holes – awkward for Caleb, given the history – before, obviously, complete a puzzle.
Given their was swimming involved and Ozzy is in the cast, Nuku took an early lead that despite the locks not laying down for Debbie like lovers, never really disappeared as Cirie and her biggest fan Zeke secured immunity.
Let’s run stats here – this is the first first immunity Sandra has ever lost and the third for both Varner and Malcolm. Conversely this is the first first challenge Cirie has won in her four seasons. So yay for Cirie?
Back at camp Varner lamented his shocking track record before deciding they need to target the weakest off the threats, which Aubry and Tony decided was Ciera. Sandra, continuing her Queendom was asked to put a name out there, to which she affirmed her winning strategy and told them to tell her the names and she’ll tell them how she feels.
Of course, Ciera “she voted out her mom” Eastin then arrived at the pre-tribal pow-wow, causing everyone to splinter and discuss the vote in smaller groups. Not having the luxury of viewing her first season before playing a second, Michaela discovered that Ciera thought everyone was targeting her instead resulting in her epic sass, which may not fly on an All Stars season.
Almost like the sass manifested her, Queen Sandra then dropped by to tell us that Ciera was always an easy target and that maybe booting Michaela and her less charming attitude was the better idea.
It was then – obviously – that we arrived at tribal where Tony’s craziness was addressed, Malcolm continued to be dreamy, Caleb and Michaela addressed their unknown entity status before Sandra continued to display why she is the only two time winner … before Hali then quoted Sandra and terrified Ciera as they went to vote.
Sadly for Ciera, her trend to double her previous placement continued and she found herself exiting the game as the first boot. (For those playing at home, that means Ciera will only play again if there is a season of 40 people. She would again be the first boot).
As you know, we’ve long been friends with the badass Eastin-Moretts and you just know that there was no one Ciera would rather see, after suffering the indignity of becoming a first boot.
While we usually go for something sweet, I thought Ciera needed something with a bit of a kick to cheer her up so went with her Ciera Eastindoori Chicken. And hey, she may have been the first boot … but she was also the first castaway to have two recipes, so you win some I guess?
Spicy, soothing and with a little bit of fire, this perfectly reflects the beat qualities of my dear, dear friend. Plus, there is raita involved so you can’t lose.
Serves: 4-6 … or, you know the drill, a disappointed first boot and her dear friend.
1kg chicken thigh fillets
½ cup tandoori paste
¼ cup natural yoghurt
2 cups long grain rice
1 tsp ground turmeric
raita and coriander leaves, to serve
Combine the tandoori paste and yoghurt in a bowl, add the chicken and toss to coat. Cover and allow to marinate in the fridge overnight … or as long as possible, if you were unaware your friend would get the boot.
The next day, preheat oven to 180°C.
Once the oven is nice and hot, place the chicken on a lined baking sheet and cook for about twenty minutes or until cooked through and browned on top.
Rinse the rice until water runs clean, place it in a large saucepan with the turmeric and 3 cups of water, and bring to the boil over medium heat. Once boiling, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for about ten minutes or until the water is just absorbed.
Serve the chicken on a bed of rice with an extremely generous dollop of raita. I mean, this was for a first boot ok? Then devour.