Previously on Australian Survivor Simon was still blissfully under the assumption that he had an idol in his possession. And while we may not know what, if anything, he found in the cookie jar, one thing we can be certain of is that the producers are going to love however it blows up in his face. Hayley meanwhile successfully threw an immunity challenge, desperate to break the (Australian) winner’s curse. And since Rogue was on her tribe, she felt it was kind of a safe bet. Sadly Shaun got a clue to an idol from David and Sam, and while the trio of allies vowed to find and use it together, Shaun jagged it for himself – his first real one! – and decided now might be the right time to turn the tide against Hayley. Thankfully for our Queen, Rogue Rogued and offended her tribe one final time and got herself booted. Though not before doing a you-can’t-fire-me-I-quit plea to be booted.
The next day the Villains were enjoying the peace of a restful sleep after their first night off while Jordie and Fraser bonded over wanting to be arseholes instead of being on 24/7. And by being on, essentially they wanted to do nothing, stop helping and piss by the shelter, which speaks to my desire to retire by 40 on a deep, deep level. Simon however was not being lazy, lopping bamboo and being useful while Jordie and George joined him to help out and reinforce the shelter. Jordie opened up to us about how bossy Simon can be and while they both wanted George out, his temper is making working with Simon difficult. Right on cue, Simon yelled at George for getting distracted too easily and well, it was awkward and everyone just looked like they were embarrassed. For Simon.
Jordie realised that the boys were a tight four, while the girls and George were also bonded and as such, caught up with George to float the idea of working together to protect each other from their factions. Despite the fact Jordie knew it could come back to bite him, should they get caught.
Meanwhile over at the Heroes camp, the tribe were thrilled to be free of Rogue’s attitude and feeling well and truly zen again. Hayley was thrilled to have broken the curse, while Benjamin and Sharni were busy bonding while tidying and being super helpful and ugh, it is so damn wholesome. We then got a deep dive on Benjamin and his career, though I was across most of it given he is my hero. Being kind and crafty, he suggested the tribe whip up a fake idol together and while you would assume it was to benefit the entire tribe come swap, it made David, Flick and Sam feel like they cannot trust him. David and Sam caught up with Shaun, who was wisely keeping the fact he has the real idol a secret before the brainstrust went hunting along the shore. While Shaun giggled about outsmarting them, knowing that playing like a hero didn’t exactly serve him well during his first season.
The tribes joined up with my love JLP for the reward challenge where they would battle in pairs to knock barrels off a deck, with the first tribe to three scoring a tower of baked goods. And well, let’s just say, when I saw I snag roll I practically creamed my jeans, while Liz questioned whether the bread was ciabatta or sourdough, while Shonee was just looking for assurances it all came with a balsamic glaze. Like damn icons. First up were Stevie and Simon versus Shaun and Ben with the Heroes taking the point due to Simon not letting Stevie toss anything. Sam and Hayley then faced off against Jordie and George with George’s fire to best Hayley taking out the point for the Villains. Shonee and Fraser took on sweet Gerry and Matt with the Heroes quickly putting Shonee out of her misery before Paige and David defeated Sarah and Liz, handing the reward to Heroes.
Ideally for us to discover the pastries are actually raw when they return to camp.
Back at camp they learnt the producers had once again trolled them, this time spreading 11 treats out in front of them with the person who read the note – Sam – getting to decide who got to eat what. Hayley got a croissant, Paige got the meat pie, Sharni got a full loaf of bread, Gerry got a snag roll – lucky king – David got a choccie cake, Flick got a cupcake, Nina got a donut, Benjamin got a party pie, Matt a lamington, Shaun got a spongelog – and the realisation that Sam is out of his depth in the game – while Sam kept himself a slice of gluten free toast. Aka loyal to an absolute fault.
After smashing the food, Hayley got back to work hunting for an idol while Shaun watched on. Realising he had to do something to distract Sam and David from the fact he actually had the idol, Shaun told them he caught Hayley catching the idol and as such, they spread it like wildfire throughout camp. Hayley being the best player in the camp, pulled Shaun aside realising something was off between them and tried to find what the problem was. Which thankfully, finally made Shaun realise that it is stupid to vote out Hayley already, given she is a clear threat and as such distracts from the fact he is ten feet and looks stunning in a speedo.
The tribes caught up with Jonathan again for the immunity challenge where the tribes would race to push a heavy cart through a course to collect fire making equipment before lighting a fire to release a bag of coconuts. Aka the final four firemaking challenge on a massive scale. Despite being far weaker on paper, the Villains got out to an early lead before everyone fought over wood. With Stevie climbing it to make things hard for the Heroes like a damn icon. Deciding they had enough, the Villains powered to the end of the course while the Heroes focused on getting as many supplies as possible. The villains were first to make it to the end with Stevie getting to work on the fire as the rest of the tribe tried to figure out the best place to build the bonfire in the conditions. After lighting the torch, the Villains built a tall structure in a race against time as the Heroes closed the gap. Though way too slowly as the Villains took out the win before the Heroes even lit their fire.
Back at camp Sam was busy speculating whether they take out Ben for being shifty – which I repeat, he wasn’t – or Gerry for having an injured foot. Ben, Shaun, Flick, Sharni and Nina caught up by the well, agreeing how difficult the upcoming vote will be given they don’t have a Rogue. Nina suggested getting rid of Gerry would make sense given he is injured and while everyone felt bad about losing such a sweet man, Sharni tried to rationalise it as something that may save him from further injury in the long run. But damn does she hate the idea. After everyone disappeared, Sharni admitted she won’t be writing Gerry’s name down to Nina with her suggesting they get rid of Ben instead, for being shifty. This plan spread like wildfire and while Hayley was not a fan of the idea, given she and Ben are so close, she knew she wasn’t safe enough to make any demands.
Sadly for her laying low wasn’t keeping her safe anyway as Sam, David and Matt decided now would be a perfect time to blindside Hayley, given everyone is distracted, so got to work trying to find two more to get rid of her. While Nina gave some non-committal assurances, Shaun was not so thrilled about blindsiding his new ally and despite pretending it doesn’t bother him, it spurred him into action. First he told Flick what was happening before the duo approached Sam and David, assuring them that while Hayley needs to go before the merge, now is not the right time and as such, they need to see sense and not cause more chaos than they need to.
At tribal council David was surprised they were back at tribal council, while Flick spoke about how much more difficult tonight’s tribal council is compared to the last one, given they all get along. Ben was hopeful everyone was on the same page, though was nervous about blowing things up, given the last vote actually created some harmony. Hayley spoke about being worried that the upcoming vote won’t create the factions they think, while sweet Gerry was concerned his injury would be his undoing, given everyone is friendly. Ben felt like everyone should be nervous, while Gerry was the only one willing to cop to feeling like he will be receiving votes tonight.
Gerry spoke about being strong in challenges and at camp, with Shaun reiterating he has done so much for all of them and while he is still strong, he has an injury and anything will make you a target. After pointing out Gerry can’t vote for himself, Hayley begged him not to vote for her – lol – before Jonathan dropped the bomb that while they are voting someone out tonight, it is actually to send them to the Villains tribe. And should they survive their exile for two days – aka, through the next tribal council – they will return back to the Heroes camp with a tonne of intel. Which is a good twist (finally), as it could actually go either way for the person voted out and the tribe as a whole, meaning the way forward is murky.
This gagged the tribe with Shaun suggesting they get to whispering to figure out who to vote for, while Hayley suggested they should vote for a clearly loyal person, given they will give the Villains nothing and the Heroes everything upon their return. Ben meanwhile wanted to send someone that would cause chaos, while Gerry told them to focus on sending an asset. Nina meanwhile pointed out that while you want to send a spy that won’t be offended, there is still the risk that the person could just be voted out by the Villains next. Hayley smartly asked whether the Villains would know how it all transpired, with JLP assuring them it will only be what the Heroes tell them.
Paige meanwhile suggested she would be happy to go, while everyone else whispered to lock in the Gerry vote. As Nina jumped on the Paige bandwagon, telling the tribe it was easy, Paige continued to push to go for the star moment, while Sam suggested they vote someone that makes sense to have been voted out that they’d also be willing to lose given it isn’t a guarantee they come back. Which obviously made Gerry nervous as he asked who Sam was suggesting then. And ugh, Sam, you were so damn close to making a compelling argument, why did you have to go and tell the person you’re about to vote as a spy that they are expendable? With that the tribe voted, sending sweet Gerry over to the Villains for the weekend. And thanks to Sam’s blunder, he was taking a little bit of a bruised ego which should thankfully make things a little interesting.
As Gerry arrived at the Villains camp, everyone was fast asleep as he quietly crawled into the shelter to try and gently wake someone up. As he alerted Simon – who hilariously thought it was Sam – he pulled him in for a hug, while the rest of the tribe awoke to welcome him. Well except for George, who was annoyed that he scored a better spot in the shelter and after sassing him out, told us that it was critical that he makes sure he woos Gerry before Simon does. And well, who is going to tell him it may be too late already?
We checked in with the Heroes where Sharni was regalling the Meat Tray with stories of waking up and punching a crab. And while they seemed close, Sharni shared that she was just flexing her acting muscles – or chops, even – given she is so annoyed with them for risking Gerry despite Paige wanting to go to the other tribe. While Shaun tried to explain that voting for Gerry made the most sense, it didn’t make Sharni feel any less annoyed by how it all went down behind his back.
We returned to the Villains camp where Simon interrupted George and Gerry bonded, while George stared daggers at him. Fraser joined the conversation to see if he knew he was copping votes the previous night, with the sweet man proving to have a few sly tricks up his sleeve as he expertly spun a lie. And well Gerry, he was just feeling all the love from the tribe and was grateful for how friendly and kind they all are and as such, his loyalty was already wavering. Particularly since they were happy for him to be expendable. We then learnt about Gerry’s life on Fraser Island and all the hardship he has experienced and ugh, just like Sharni, I want only good things for him. As Simon continued to suck up to Gerry, George went person to person, pointing out how obvious Simon was being to try and woo him as a number. And George, maybe stop complaining and start befriending?
The tribes reunited with Jonathan for the latest reward challenge with George sassily asking the Heroes to explain why they voted out Gerry before learning that one at a time they would face off one on one to knock their opponent’s idol off a disc. With the first tribe to three getting a huge collection of supplies and a piping hot lasagne. Or not, who knows? It could be frozen. Sam and Simon were first to do battle with Simon tragically dropping his, leading to a smug little dance from Sam. Shonee was next up against Flick, with our Queen tying things up before George and Hayley faced off, with Hayley obviously putting Heroes back out in front. Jordie and Shaun were up next with Jordie wisely tossing his in the air as he slapped Shaun’s to the ground, once again tying things up leaving Simon and David to battle out for reward with Simon botching the toss strategy as the Heroes jagged the win.
But hey, at least George got some intel from Hayley that he should trust Gerry.
Back at the ever improving Heroes camp, derpy Sam was thrilled with their latest haul as he carved up one of the three lasagnes for the tribe to devour. The spirits were obviously very high, but only got higher as Matt discovered pictures from home. We met David’s girlfriend who made him break down in tears, while Matt showed off a picture of him proposing to his girlfriend – post nervous poo – Hayley showed the day she bought a house, Benjamin spoke about his high school sweetheart Scott, we met Sharni’s grandfather, Sam’s girlfriend, Sandra got a photo cameo, Megan Gale graced our screens, Flick’s boyfriend made a return before Paige sobbed talking about her grandmother who passed away a few months earlier and ugh, I’m crying too.
Meanwhile the Villains were busy working, with Stevie getting them all on firewood duty while George quickly started working on Gerry. He pulled him aside and told him that Hayley told him to trust Gerry before Geroge spilled the tea on what was going on within the tribe, before they both offered up their allies and vowed to work together. While sweet Gerry proved to also be shrewd, knowing that he now holds the power to choose between George and Simon. And without the heroes realising, he can return to them with a new tribe of allies to bring them down. And FUCK YES, rise King Gerry.
The tribes joined JLP on a beach for the next immunity challenge where the heroes announced that they got photos from home. Which made Gerry look ready to kill. But back to the challenge, where they would race out to a boat, row it into shore and drag it up the beach before crawling under a net and tying their paddles into a pole to release a key which they would use to unlock blocks which they would then use to solve a word puzzle. While the tribes were neck and neck at the start, Shaun being a man mountain let the Heroes take the lead as he propped up the net and let the tribe breeze through. The Villains desperately tried to close the gap with once again, the puzzle proving to be the great equaliser. The Villains were first to get their letters ready while the Heroes figured out the phrase. Clearly out of their depth, the Villains vowed to just copy off the Heroes as Ben straight up signed the answer to Paige to slow them down. With the Heroes solving the puzzle a fraction ahead of the Villains.
Back at camp Simon was well and truly over the losses, while the tribe tried to rally and keep morale up. As everyone split up, Simon quickly locked in the plan to vote out George with Fraser however it was all reliant on Gerry. But given he had clearly warmed to Geroge, Simon instead tried to woo Sarah to his side. She was obviously in on the plan, telling Simon she knows he is a snake and as such, wants to get rid of him as quickly as possible. Simon took the information back to Fraser with the duo celebrating how easily it came together, as George watched on, assuming they were coming for him.
George caught up with Shiz by the well with George talking about how horribly Simon treats him and as such, he is willing to get rid of him ASAP. While George was confident they had Sarah and Gerry in their corner to make a move, Shiz both cautioned him that Sarah isn’t as loyal as he thinks and as such, suggested that maybe they should consider targeting her instead. And while Geroge was happy with the plan, he was also worried that she would push him down the stairs quicker than you can say Miss Greece. As such, George approached Gerry to let him know about the plan with Gerry quickly jumping on board. Talk turned to who would be the best person to rope in as a fifth, with them settling on Stevie, given he is another old boy. Sadly Stevie was not thrilled to blindside Sarah at first, given he is very close with Simon, though knew that getting rid of her takes him one step closer to the switch.
Stevie wisely caught up with Gerry to talk through what they should do, with Gerry reminding him that things change minute by minute and he needs to go with the flow. Stevie then approached Fraser to check if they are voting for George or Sarah, with the eavesdropping Simon wondering how Sarah became an option all of a sudden and grew all the more confused as they headed out for their date with JLP.
At tribal council Gerry spoke about how welcomed he was by his fellow Villains, while George spoke about how great it was to get a new member, particularly one that slotted right into the tribe. Shonee felt like Gerry fit in with them, given they are kind of lovely despite their love for some cheeky villanousness. George reiterated how grateful he was to have Gerry in his corner, while he was focused on making sure that the person they vote out tonight is the biggest risk to flip on the tribe post swap. As hell froze over, Simon agreed that was the wisest move while Jordie implied a tribe swap was imminent which upset JLP, given he sets the rules. While George, Simon and Jordie appeared to be on the same page, Stevie spoke about being worried about just following, rather than making the move that benefits him. Jordie spoke about voting for the shiftiest while Sarah was focused on sticking with the people she trusts. As George stared at Simon and Jordie, willing them to flip and take her out.
With that the tribe voted, George held onto his idol and once again, Simon got cold feet ahead of the vote, joining with the Shiz crew to blindside Sarah. As she arrived at Loser Lodge, Sarah quickly proved how she became a champion beauty queen, acting poised and charming as I pulled her in for a hug. I congratulated her on playing a solid game, telling her that if this had been a season of just newbies, I truly believe she would have taken it all the way and well, that was enough to cheer her up before I served up a fresh batch of piping hot Chicken and Sarah Marschkroom Baos.
There is nothing I love more than a glorious steamed bun, and this lighter chicken version is truly delicious. Sweet and earthy, it warms even the coldest of villains. And could even guarantee nobody is pushed down the stairs, or anything.
Chicken and Sarah Marschkroom Baos
7g sachet dry yeast
¾ cup warm water
2 cups flour
1 cup cornflour
5 tbsp raw caster sugar
¼ cup vegetable oil
2 ½ tsp baking powder
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp minced ginger
2 cups shiitake mushrooms, sliced
salt and pepper
500g chicken mince
⅓ cup chopped chives
1 tbsp truffle oil
In the large bowl of an electric mixer, dissolve the yeast into the water and let it rest until it is foamy and glorious.
While that is frothing away, sift the flour, cornflour and sugar together. When the yeast is ready, add the flour and oil.
Using a dough hook, turn the mixer on to the lowest setting and leave to knead for about 5 minutes or until a small ball is formed. Place in a large oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth and allow to prove for 2 hours.
While the dough is working on proving itself to you, get to work on the meat mixture.
Heat a lug of canola oil in a large frying pan and saute garlic and ginger for a minute or so, or until nice and fragrant. Add the mushrooms and cook for five minutes or so, or until soft. Remove from heat, season and allow to cool completely. Once chill, combine the shiitakes, mince, chives, and truffle oil in a bowl and scrunch until well combined.
After the dough has made something of itself, return it to the bowl of the mixer, add the baking powder and knead it again on the lowest setting until it is smooth again, adding water a teaspoon at a time if it looks too dry. Trust your gut here people, I did. Cover with a damp cloth and leave to rest for 15 minutes.
While resting, cut out ten 10x10cm squares of baking paper and add water to the steamer and bring to the boil.
When ready, roll the dough out into a long tube and divide into ten pieces. Flatten each piece into a 12cm diameter disc, leaving more dough towards the centre, add a good chunk of the filling and bring the dough together to close the bun at the top. Place on a square of parchment and repeat the process until all done.
Steam the buns for 12 minutes over high heat, three or four at a time depending on the size of your steamer, making sure the water does not touch the buns. Then devour, gleefully, with your fave condiments.
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