Previously on Australian Survivor – hang on a minute, this is the premiere. Why am I getting recap vibes? I mean, yas yas yas for the Samoan sea witch tribute … but we’ve got new castaways to meet, greet and roast.
After an epic yet strangely rushed intro from JLP, we opened on the new castaways sitting on a boat in the pouring rain at night before legit meeting our first castaway military Mark W, my potential new boyfriend Locky, who is feeling very confident about his upcoming victory. We then met Jacqui who is an absolute queen and I am desperately hoping actually pulls out the win. We then met Sarah – who survived Naomi Campbell, so is a definite frontrunner – followed by Mark H aka good Des who is, well, the duck’s nuts.
We then met Aimee the plumber – not a hairdresser, a plumber (and a bogan) – Henry the faux yogi – fauxgi? – the pious Jericho who is planning on dragging people to hell with him, Jarrad the freak and weirdo who is prettier than he is giving himself credit for, shady Joan who is proudly better than last year’s cast and AK the DJ. Just let those four letters sit with you, AK. DJ.
JLP arrived to put me out of my AK misery and welcome the new castaways, congratulating Mark H on his killer beard and introducing us to Sam who was shitting herself, and not appearing to endear herself to her fellow castaways. We then heard from Luke who rambled and confused the hell out of me before JLP lost interest and checked in with our fauxgi who Sarah is thrilled to be on Samatau with, while Luke and his Asagan were feeling super confident that they would dominate.
Given his rambled introduction, I’m going to assume they will not in fact dominate.
With that, JLP kicked off the game telling the castaways that they could loot the barge for supplies, fill up an floating net before diving off the ship and racing the other tribe to a bag of rice on the shore. JLP being JLP had a twist up his sleeve, with the first tribe to the rice getting to keep everything in their raft while the losers had to set up camp with nothing.
I mean, it isn’t the winner takes it all but it sure is brutal.
Both tribes scrambled about the boat and quickly got to work pushing their nets to shore. Poor, confused Luke kinda flopped off the side of the boat, while Locky decided it was best for Samatau to throw some of their supplies into the water to lighten their load and speed up their swim to the beach. Given the fact the loser gets nothing, it kind of made sense.
Asaga struggled when they arrived at the beach allowing Samatau to catch-up, dump pretty much everything else in their net, pick it up on their shoulders and run to the mat. Jarrad then climbed on his tribes’ shoulders to grab the bag of rice, before Asaga caught up and threw Sam into the fray. The two battled it out, hanging on to the hook before Sam fell off and handing Jarrad the victory.
Samatau arrived at their beach, feeling rightfully cocky before we met my other favourite Tara aka the first good barrel racer to play Survivor. The tribe then did their introductions where we also met Adam the gym owner slash secret poker player. Despite not wanting to, Locky took the lead and got the tribe working on building their shelter which Tara was living for because he is an absolute babe.
We then met Anneliese who was also thirsty, but not as charmingly as Tara. Tara is me, I am Tara, I am a queen, Tara is queen … you hear?
AK pulled himself … aside trying to make alliances with everyone starting with Mark H, followed by Peter – who he wanted to clarify was gay before locking anything in – Tara and Jarrad. I mean I shouldn’t be shocked since he can only muster two letters, but I find him insufferable.
Meanwhile over at the decidedly less affluent Asaga, Sarah was feeling positive despite the fact they have absolutely nothing. The tribe quickly got to work trying to figure out what the hell they would do, with Joan taking the lead, tasking her tribe mates to build a shelter. They then wandered around for hours before settling on a location, which you just know is not a good sign for their longevity.
Sam confessed to being a control freak before Luke returned to try and win me over by talking about his family, though there is just something so insufferable about him. Mark then returned to talk about the fact he was hiding his military past to appear less threatening, though Jacqui was loving his skills.
We then met Kent who is a dickhead, his word.
Back at Samatau we got some skinny dipping from Locky and … I dunno, I’m moister than an oyster. Night fell – with Locky sadly clothed – and in rolled the rain, which AK was loving as he was mentally prepared for it. My queen Tara then started to fall ill, leaving the shelter to vomit. AK quickly followed to see how she was … no wait, he was seeing if they were good, not if she was good.
AK, forget you, go home, goodbye.
The next day Samatau awoke to the reality that sleeping in the rain was not all that enjoyable before treemail arrived for the first challenge, requiring each tribe to send two people to compete for fire. Mark H and Adam competed for Samatau, the latter of who tried to tell Jacqui and Mark W how great things were at their camp. Thankfully Mark H – dare I say it, my king – quickly shut him down, admitting that they had nothing and really needed the win.
The challenge involved each tribe starting a fire on a station and building it high enough to burn through a rope aka the final four tie breaker. Samatau got out to an early lead with Mark H building a strong, smoky flame, while young Mark and Jacqui scrapped the magnesium off the flint and stood around. That being said it was a winning strategy, with old Mark and storytelling Adam’s fire quickly dwindling and young Mark and Jacqui’s slowly building to burn through the rope.
Jacqui and Mark W returned to camp victorious, bringing Joan to tears and making Kent look awkward. While Jacs was loving the positive attention, Mark was concerned that winning the challenge exposed his mad skills … which is a good point, but I think people are more concerned about fire at the moment to worry.
Over at Samatau, Locky and Mark H tried and failed to kill a shark. That is literally it.
The next day Asaga awoke to Joan gloating about her glorious night’s sleep before she got everyone motivated for the first immunity challenge. Being an escape room owner, she is confident in her puzzle skills which makes me feel extremely anxious about her bombing the puzzle and therefore the challenge for her tribe.
My dear JLP returned for the immunity challenge where Joan spoke about how well their tribe was going, while Tara mentioned that Samatau was struggling due to having rice but no fire to cook it. With that, JLP explained the first immunity challenge, requiring the tribes to crawl under an obstacle, climb up ropes to release a cargo net, push crates to build a staircase, climb over a wall and then … a puzzle.
Asaga got out to an early lead with Mark H’s rope climbing skills, before Peter caught Samatau up. The tribes were neck and neck pushing their boxes down to build a staircase before Samatau opted not to build the entire staircase and instead have dreamy, skinny-dipping Locky push everyone up to the top of the wall, before Adam, Mark H and Peter pulled the stranding Locky over the wall.
Despite Locky’s hero performance, Asaga caught up leaving Jarrad and Luke to battle it out releasing the puzzle pieces leaving Anneliese and AK and Joan and Kent to secure victory with the puzzle. After struggling with the knots, Joah managed to pull out in front before hitting a dead end giving Samatau time to remove all the pieces, start again and take out immunity.
Back at camp Joan was feeling rightfully anxious about tribal, while Kent likened himself to a star footballer stumbling at the last hurdle. Kent joined with Sam and Jacqui, the former of whom wanted Joan gone while Jacs was happy to just go with the flow. Not wanting to lay down and get voted out, Joan pulled everyone aside and tried to put the target on Kent.
Meanwhile Odette rallied Ben, Michelle and Jericho to target Joan, while Sam loitered in the bushes like a low rent Sandra Diaz-Twine. Sam then pulled Sarah aside to talk about getting rid of Joan, decided to tell Joan it was Kent, which Joan bought.
Kent hung in his dickies in the ocean with Jacs and Henry before Sam decided to overcomplicate the vote, splitting it 6-4 on Joan and Kent. Shocking no one, that aroused suspicion in Sam, leading Luke to try and flip the vote to Kent … which obviously lead into our first tribal of the season.
JLP quickly got to work asking Michelle how the tribe were going, with Luke adding that he would continue to tinker with the shelter until it was perfect and the tribe were comfortable. Joan then jumped in to say she was probably on the block for having a good sleep the night before. We then circled back to Luke who said that he would base his vote on challenge performance, making Kent and Joan even more nervous. Kent then tried to defend himself, saying it was the best place for the old fella … which Sam correctly pointed out meant he couldn’t do anything else. Joan then tried to throw more shade on Kent for being the worse of the two, before the tribe cast their votes.
Luke then asked how to spell Henry while casting his vote, which I will begrudgingly admit was funny.
The votes quickly piled up, one by one, on Joan and Kent, resulting in a 6-6 tie. Everyone but Joan and Kent then went to vote again, Ben looking extremely confused about the entire ordeal as the votes rolled in for them both, before Joan took out the lead and became the first person booted from the game.
I’ve known Joan for years, having met at an escape room owners convention in 2013, before they were a thing, and knew that dear Joan would be feeling shitty about being cut from the game. That is, until she lay her eyes on my Breakfast Joan Caballnaro.
Rich, creamy, a little bit salty, chock full of meat and completely comforting, the breakfast version – hey, fried eggs make anything a breakfast version – of a classic carbonara is the ultimate post-boot comfort meal.
Breakfast Joan Caballnaro
300g pork sausages, broken up into meatballs
4 shallots, roughly chopped
zest of a lemon
small handful of parsley, roughly chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
Heat a pot of salt water over high heat and cook the pasta as per packet instructions.
While the pasta is getting al dente, heat a frying pan over medium heat and cook the sausage until browned. Add the shallots and cook until you can no longer smell the three-days Joan was on the island.
Combine four eggs, zest, parsley, parmesan and salt and pepper in a jug and whisk until combined. Drain the pasta, reserving some cooking water.
In a medium frying pan, fry the remaining eggs until the whites are just cooked.
Add the pasta to the sausage / shallot mix, and toss to coat. Remove from the heat and stir through the cheesy egg mixture, adding a little bit of the past water to loosen the mixture.
Serve immediately, topped with a fried egg, and eat your first boot feels.