Previously on Australian Survivor 12 pairs made up of 20 new castaways, 3 veterans and 1 very special imported queen were marooned in the Australian Outback. The paris were split up from their loved ones and forced to compete as the hilariously named Blood and Water tribes. Sandra was obviously an icon, as was her daughter Nina who tragically got injured and medevaced from the competition like she was Khanh’s pants, as he repeatedly got dacked in challenges. Alliances were made and broken, daughters voted out mothers, sisters voted out sisters, Sam straight up stole an idol from someone’s pocket. One by one they were eliminated – most recently, the iconic KJ – until only four remained with Mark, Shay, Josh and Chrissy ready to battle it out for the win.
The tribe awoke on Day 46 with Shay excusing herself from camp to centre herself ahead of the final immunity challenge. She opened up about fighting hard to make it to this point, almost grateful that she lost Ben so early so she could fight all on her own. And damn, I’m as proud of her as she is of herself. We next heard from Josh and while it took us ten episodes to hear from him, his post-swap game was quite dominating and he truly has played a strong strategic game. However, given we haven’t been shown too much of that, I feel his fears about Shay winning final immunity may come to fruition and prove to be his spoiler.
Chrissy reflected on her time in the game, shocked by how much she has changed, particularly since she is well positioned to make it to the end. And given she has played far and away the best social game, she truly is well positioned to take out the win if she can articulate her game to the jury. If. Mark meanwhile reflected on how much Survivor has shaped his life, given it is how he met his wife, so thanks to the game, he has his son. Mark spoke about how proud he is to have completely flipped his game on its head from his first season to the second and as such, he is ready to take out the win.
The final four met with Jonathan on a cliff over the water where they learnt that this is officially the final immunity challenge of the season and that this year, they will have a final three. Jonathan then pulled out a phone and gave them all a taste from home with Chrissy’s kids promising to pop the cordials on ice, Mark broke down to hear Harry tell him that he loves him before Sam’s mum told him that his mum would be watching over him today and ugh, why am I bloody sobbing?! Like me, Shay sobbed as soon as she heard Ben and her parents voices and well, it was so damn pure. And then Josh spoke to his pregnant fiance and damn, Jonathan, there better be an ad before this challenge because I need to work through these tears.
But back to the challenge, the final four would each have to hold on to pegs hanging over a waterfall, moving further and further down them until there is only one person left standing. Who would progress directly to the final three, while one of the remaining trio would become the final member of the jury later that night. After breezing through the first level, all four moved on to the third peg as Chrissy wondered how in the hell any of them would reach the final one. While everyone appeared to struggle, Shay stood like a statue and honestly, I can’t tell if the outcome is just that obvious or, somehow, she is going to drop despite people fearing her winning this one since the merge.
Everyone made it to the fourth peg after an hour with Chrissy chatting away to Jonathan about how talking to her kids has made her focused on winning the season and as such, the boys should be nervous. Essentially. Since she spoke about needing to go with her head over her heart. After moving to the fifth peg, the pain really started to get to Chrissy though she managed to push through until the sixth peg before she ultimately dropped after more than 90 minutes. Mark started to struggle while Shay calmly stretched and breathed through the pain before Josh dropped out of nowhere mere minutes after Chrissy. After progressively getting more and more uncomfortable, Mark lost his grip and fell into the water handing Shay final immunity.
Just as everyone has been predicting all season.
Back at camp the tribe gave the usual half-hearted congratulations to Shay who was thrilled to be guaranteed to make it to the end. Given she is super kind, she apologised to everyone for ruining their plans before the boys went away for a chat. Which confused the hell out of the girls, given they are both going to the end. Shay and Chrissy caught up to decide who was the lesser threat out of the boys. Josh meanwhile was feeling like an absolute mastermind, telling Mark that they should both vote for Chrissy and hope that the girls don’t come up with a consensus and as such, they win out. Or, worst case, they go to fire.
Mark went back to camp to pitch voting out Josh to Shay while Josh moped to Chrissy about how they were both accepting of their fate and as such, they weren’t even going to try to get rid of her. Sadly for Josh, Mark had zero interest in going to the final three with him and as such, genuinely pushed for Chrissy and Shay to join him in voting Josh out. Particularly since he has a strong resume and is genuinely likeable. Sadly for common sense, the thought of voting out Josh breaks her heart and as such, Chrissy was unsure whether she can bring herself to do it. Despite knowing that sitting next to him essentially guarantees she loses.
At tribal council Shay admitted she was thrilled that everyone tried so hard in the challenge despite obviously destroying them. Chrissy attributed her performance to talking to her kids, with Mark agreeing how amazing it was to speak to his son as Sam quietly sobbed from the jury bench. Talk turned to the fact both Josh and Mark were in danger, with Josh admitting that he is well and truly bricking it. Mark meanwhile acknowledged that there really isn’t much any of them could do today, so he is hopeful that the bonds he built throughout the season will keep him safe.
Chrissy said that she is heartbroken to have to vote out one of the boys while Shay admitted that she is looking forward to seeing things implode a bit. Which is exactly what was happening as Josh started whispering to Chrissy that she needs to vote for Mark in the hope of confusing her. Which didn’t happen as Chrissy finally made the right move, banded together with Mark and Shay to boot Josh from the game as the final juror.
While Josh was obviously super disappointed to miss out on a place in the final tribal council, he was thrilled to join the iconic Australian Survivor Fourth Place Robbed Goddess club. And, you know, to be going back home to a pregnant fiance. As such, the visit was less about sorry you lost and more, congratulations for all you’ve got ahead of you. Most importantly, a big batch of fresh Josh Karaagate Chicken.
Karaage chicken is one of those things you can eat no matter what the time or your mood. A little sweet, a hint of spice, a gorgeous crunch and a big punch of juicy chicken; it is, to me, perfect.
Josh Karaagate Chicken
2 tsp grated ginger
5 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp dry sake
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp raw caster sugar
500g boneless chicken thighs, cut into large bitesize chunks
peanut oil, for fryin’
1 cup potato starch
½ tsp kosher salt
½ tsp black pepper
1 lemon, cut into wedges
Combine the ginger, garlic, sake, soy and caster sugar in a large bowl, and toss through the chicken until well coated. Cover and pop in the fridge to marinate overnight.
When you’re ready to cook, pop a few inches of oil in a deep pot and place over medium heat until nice and hot. Take the chicken out of the fridge and combine the potato starch in a bowl with the salt and pepper. Working a few pieces at a time, toss the chicken in the starch and then gently pop in the oil to fry for a few minutes, or until golden and crispy and cooked through. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with paper towel to drain and repeat the process until done.
Then, serve piping hot with some lemon wedges and wasabi mayo. And devour.
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