Previously on Survivor Jeff decided that this season of, dropping the 4 keeping the 1 hadn’t thrown quite enough twists and turns at the castaways, so opted to do a split tribal council gig. As such, the tribe was halved with Erika and Xander winning immunity from their respective groups before each group went to separate beaches to scramble. Over at Team Erika, Shan and Ricard pushed for Heather and Naseer to be booted respectively, further causing tension between them as Shan wanted Naseer to stay since they were close. After Ricard got his way, the other group rolled into tribal council and upon seeing Naseer on the jury bench, Deshawn and Danny opted against turning on their alliance and the group banded together to boot Evvie from the game.
The two groups came together back at camp where Danny immediately questioned why the other group booted Naseer, while the rest of them in turn barely batted an eyelid at Evvie’s departure. Ricard quickly got on to telling the story of Naseer’s downfall, masterfully talking about how he pushed Shan to use her extra vote – that to me, seemed like it was needlessly – to ensure he got some credit for the move. Erika meanwhile knew that Shan is the biggest threat and everyone was simply too scared to make a move against her. With that, Erika pulled Deshawn aside and quickly pointed out that Shan is a bigger threat than Xander and as such, they need to take her out before it is too late while nobody views Xander as a viable ally, so they can get him whenever.
Oh, but Shan saw them walk off together so you know it isn’t coming together.
The next morning a paranoid Shan pulled Deshawn aside to find out what went down between them, with her learning from their past dealings and assuring him that they need to do what is best for their individual games as well as their alliance. Talk turned to the fact that they feel like they are playing for more than themselves, wanting to help lift the culture after the continued trauma and tragedy of 2020 (and the centuries before that). This bonding made Deshawn start to question whether he could actually turn on Shan yet, though both agreed that they still have a long way to go to repair their trust.
The tribe joined Jeffrey for this week’s reward challenge where they would each race through a series of obstacles while tethered to a rope before, you know it, solving a puzzle. For an overnight pizza retreat, which sounds glorious TBH. Xander and Liana got out to the earliest of leads with Ricard nipping at their heels. Ricard overtook Xander while the rest of the tribe quickly closed the gap. Ricard, Liana, Deshawn and Danny all made it to the puzzle together, with the rest of the tribe eventually joining them. While Deshawn looked to be well out in front, Ricard quietly powered ahead and narrowly took out another victory.
As is oft the case, Jeff let Ricard pick someone to join him, ultimately going with his Ua tribemate Shan. Jeff obviously made him pick another person, opting for Heather who had never been on a reward and then Xander for giving up a couple of rewards, when Jeff gagged him with a third and final slot.
The losers returned to camp where Danny was looking to make a move. He went for a walk with Deshawn, suggesting that Ricard needs to be the next one out. Deshawn suggested that things would be difficult to get him out at the next tribal, though agreed it would be a good way to neutralise Shan. With that they approached Liana who identified Shan and Erika as bigger threats before realising they wanted to get rid of Ricard and immediately saw the value of getting him out too.
Meanwhile at the Survivor pizza hut, Ricard was thrilled to make meaningful connections with everyone and glad to bring Shan some joy. Shan and Ricard got real about the fact they will eventually need to turn on each other with Shan admitting she wants a woman to win while Ricard knows people like her more and as such would give her the win over him, meaning they will never get to the end together.
The next day Liana and Shan caught up with Shan, again, pointing out that she can’t trust Deshawn, as Liana grappled with going behind her back to get rid of Ricard. She eventually broke down and told Shan everything, who in turn took the information to Ricard to turn the vote against Deshawn instead. Ricard meanwhile said that it was a lot to take in and despite the fact Shan clearly had his back, he admitted that he was shocked that she wanted to let him know.
The tribe joined Jeffrey again for one of my favourite challenges in the back catalogue, where they all have to stand on a beam, hold a long hard pole and keep a ball balanced on a disc. Sadly in this new no 4, keep the 1 era, Probst did far less smutty innuendo, though. Barely minutes into the challenge, Liana became the first to go followed by Danny. After everyone transitioned to a smaller section of the beam, Erika dropped instantly followed by Heather thanks to Shan’s repeated, masterful saves. Well until they transitioned to the narrowest section of beam when she dropped instantly. Shan was followed by Deshawn – much to her delight – before Xander dropped out of nowhere, handing Ricard his second immunity of the season.
Back at camp Shan was nervous about making a move against Deshawn too early and spooking everyone. Shan rallied her allies and Ricard to lock in the vote on Erika, though Ricard did try to scare Xander into burning his idol, just in case. Ricard meanwhile was still nervous, knowing that Shan’s alliance is ready to get rid of him when it comes time to do it, Shan will gladly get rid of him. As such, he decided now was the time to get rid of Shan instead to guarantee her alliance splinters before getting the chance to take a shot at him.
Ricard then approached Heather and Xander, assuring Xander that the other alliance doesn’t want to vote him out and that he should hang on to his idol for another day. Obviously this didn’t make Xander feel reassured, until Ricard suggested that he, Xander, Heather and Erika band together to get rid of Shan instead with the help of one other. As such, Ricard approached Deshawn to let him know that Shan told him everything about their previous plan and while Ricard wasn’t thrilled about it, he suggested they work together to target Shan instead.
He then returned to Heather and Erika, with Erika nervous about being the collateral damage should Shan get nervous and play her idol. She then suggested that she and Heather could talk to Danny and see if he’d be interested in flipping on Shan too so that they can at least split the vote between Shan and Liana to maintain a level of control. As such, Erika quickly pulled in Danny, who in turn grew nervous about Erika given she is clearly threatening, making him unsure which side to vote with heading in to tribal.
At tribal council Xander spoke about how out of touch he is within the tribe, completely unsure what is happening. Heather meanwhile shared that she is clearly on the bottom of the tribe, with Erika agreeing that she is in the bottom but was ready to make a move. Whether it be being approached to help a move or making her own. Shan reiterated the importance of relationships to keep powering ahead while Ricard shared that he and Shan have been honest about the fact that they are together, though both accept that they will have to turn on each other eventually.
Deshawn and Danny spoke about people having misguided faith in their alliances while Erika pointed out that her vote is just as powerful as anyone else’s and as such, she can be used as a number. Shan admitted that statement is nerve wracking, despite having worked with Erika in the past. Ricard pointed out that everyone’s paranoia is what actually makes them feel on the bottom while Liana summed it up by saying that everyone has a perception of what is going on though the fact is, one of them is wrong.
With that the tribe voted and we learnt that she and Shan were the ones that perceptions were wrong as the rest of the tribe split the vote between them, with their lonely two going to Erika. As such, the tribe revoted between Shan and Liana, with Shan ultimately blindsided from the game with an idol still in her pocket. Though not before she congratulated Ricard on the way out the door, assuring him that he has her vote. Which, you know, paints a target on his back. Oh and she called Deshawn a snake while lonely Xander sat there smiling, somehow still with an idol in his pocket.
As Shan arrived at Ponderosa, she was still coming down from the excitement of her blindside. Not yet angry or disappointed, so the perfect time to catch up and lavish her with praise for absolutely dominating the game. Which is exactly why she was taken out, because she was too threatening and, frankly, her scalp was perfect on a resume. After reiterating that to her – and reminding her that there is no Edge of Extinction for her to make a return – we laughed, we cried and toasted her success with a hearty batch of Shuntel Smaith.
I feel like I say it all the time, but I love a good dump. If you told me I could only live off one food for the rest of my life, I would pivot from burgers to them as soon as I realised these are the healthiest options. And these little shu-ies – tweaked from the Woks of Life recipe – would be high on my list – sweet, salty and lightly spiced, they warm your soul and, to channel Dr Seuss, may you feel nice(d).
Serves: 1 hungry castoff and her cheerleader, or 4-6 people dependent on greed.
300g pork mince
1 ½ tsp raw caster sugar
¼ white pepper
1 tsp cornstarch
1 tbsp shaoxing
2 tsp light soy sauce
1 tsp chilli paste
3 tbsp water
1 ½ tsp sesame oil
200g baby prawns, peeled, deveined and roughly chopped
½ tsp salt
3 shiitake mushrooms, soaked and finely chopped
1 tsp ginger paste
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 tsp oyster sauce
20-30 gow gee wrappers
To make the filling, combine the pork, sugar, pepper, cornstarch, shaoxing, soy, chilli, water and one teaspoon of sesame oil in a large bowl. Stir in a single direction for five minutes, or until a fine paste is formed. In a second bowl, combine the remaining sesame oil with the prawn and salt. Again, mix in one direction for a minute or until it all comes together. Cover both bowls and pop in the fridge for half an hour or so.
Meanwhile combine the mushrooms, ginger, garlic, shallots and oyster sauce in a large bowl before adding the pork and prawn mixtures. Stir again, in one direction, for five minutes, or until it all comes together.
Get a steamer prepped while you start working on the shumai. While I just use baking paper to line, you can either brush with oil or use a damp cheesecloth.
But back to assembling. Hold a gow gee wrapper in the palm of your hand before adding a heaped teaspoon of filing in the centre. Bring the sides up and crimp around the edges to leave an exposed circle at the top. Continue the process until done.
When you’re ready to steam, pop them in the steamer leaving a couple of centimetres between them and steam for 12 minutes, or until cooked through.
Devour immediately with your favourite condiments.
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