Previously on Australian Survivor Stevie was grateful for Shiz saving him in the most chaotic tribal council of the season, while Jordie was left right out on the Villains. Though with Shiz secretly vowing to have his back. While Simon was Simon. Shonee meanwhile casually found herself a new piece of bling in the form of an idol, wisely keeping it a secret from even her closest of allies. At the immunity challenge George and Simon aired their dirty laundry to the Heroes before Shiz single handedly scored them immunity. Back at the Heroes, Gerry was fired up and ready to call them out for the way they handled sending him to the Villains, while Ben quickly realised it was him or Gerry going home. After finding the cookie non-idol, Ben used it as a clue to finding another idol on the Heroes beach, which he ultimately used to save himself, as he stitched up Sharni and swiftly got her booted from the game.
In no small part thanks to Paige’s lie that Sharni dropped the block, but whatevs, I’m not bitter.
Letting us know we’re in for a big episode, the tribes immediately joined with Jonathan in the middle of the jungle where they were delighted to discover an auction awaiting them. Psych, it wasn’t an auction though, as Jonathan unveiled the first covered item, new buffs, meaning they are finally switching! One by one they went up to select their new buffs with Nina going to the Villains, Ben sticking with the Heroes, Sam going to the Villains, Gerry sticking with the Heroes, alongside ally George before Liz found herself isolated on the Villains, as Shonee also landed on the Heroes. David added more beef to the Villains, alongside Shaun and Simon before Matt stuck with Heroes, Hayley went to Villains, Stevie went to Heroes and Jordie stuck with the Villains. Alongside his nemesis Simon and all his new alpha bros. While Flick and Paige were stuck on the Heroes tribe.
And while everyone laughed about the meat tray all landing together, George hilariously reminded them that meat heads normally suck at Survivor and as such, he isn’t concerned with the idiots. Basically.
But turns out, there was actually an auction too with each tribe getting $2500, with max bids set at $500. The catch being, the money would be shared amongst the tribe meaning some could win big and others end up with nothing. George quickly worked out that everyone then had $320 to spend, with Liz winning the first item, a cheeseburger and beer for $320. Ben jumped straight to $320 on a covered item which led Sam to jump to $360 for what he assumed was an advantage, but ultimately ended up being chocolate. Which honestly, I think makes more sense for him than a note. The next item was a scroll with Ben jumping straight up to $400 as Paige, shock horror, started to bitch to George about needing to vote Ben out ASAP. Oh and the scroll meant he scored an onion and while everyone laughed, Paige – again, shock – looked sour.
Paige then bid $400 on spag bol and red wine – I guess we can all go over $320 now – before Shaun bought it for $500. Flick then bought tacos and margs for $480 before Liz and Paige went into bat for Jordie and Matt bidding on a call from home, given they are both expecting children. While Jordie sweetly tried to step back and let Matt take the call for $200, Matt just as sweetly pointed out he is up to date with the scans and knows the baby is good and as such Jordie can have it to get his update as the two both burst into tears. As did I. While Paige told Matt he is such a good bloke. As Jordie spoke to Sam, he learnt they got the all clear from the doctors AND they found out they are having a boy and ugh, watching everyone cheer for him was so damn wholesome. As was him sobbing about how much he misses her.
Matt tried to assure him he was crying happy tears for him which honestly broke me even more before George spent $320 on a covered item, which turned out to be a pass as the guest of Honour at a Survivor afternoon party with two of his friends. And while Ben tried to remind him it is a social game, he was loyal and stuck with Shiz as Paige, once again, looked saltier than the dead sea. While Jordie and Simon cautioned everyone that was a dangerous reward, particularly for someone like George.
The Spice Girls arrived at their epic reward, ready to devour everything in sight – including some leftover Sharlami Vinson, FYI – before George learnt he had just won $60,000 from Set for Life. They debated whether they should be checking for an advantage, with them agreeing to just wait until the end before Shonee straight up found an idol while smashing a party pie. Making it two in two episodes. Liz turned the talk to their new tribes, with George sharing that Flick told them Ben can’t be trusted while Liz was confident in all the strength she had on the new Villains, but knew that should they lose, she will be first on the chopping black. With Shonee assuring her that she will hand off the idol if she does lose an immunity. Since she should probs keep it as new Heroes is super weak comparatively and more likely to attend all the premerge tribal councils.
Back at the Heroes camp, Paige told Stevie that everyone helps out around at their camp before reiterating to Flick how much she wants to get rid of Ben ASAP. Given he allegedly twisted her words the previous night, which he didn’t. He told Flick that while she doesn’t trust George, she feels she could at least work with him for a couple of rounds, knowing they’ve split up the chance that he and Ben could potentially align. While Ben quietly worked nearby and oh god, I hope he heard. Also, as an aside, does it feel like a lot of the hate towards Ben comes from a place of casual homophobia? Because it is starting to feel like it. Though to be fair, I am super sensitive about that and may be finding reasons why my hero keeps getting called shady.
We checked in with the new Villains tribe where Hayley was thrilled by their surroundings, while Simon was more focused on how stacked their tribe is and thrilled to finally put an end to his losing streak. Knowing he no longer is the only person carrying the tribe through every challenge. Simon caught up with Shaun to fangirl over him, before Shaun admitted that he plans to use the Jeremy Collins meat shield strategy as Simon desperately tried to get pulled in. They returned to camp with Jordie overhearing him suck up and as such, he decided the only way to survive this mess is to blend in as best as possible, talking footy and copying Shauns’s fashion choices. And ugh, I love Jordie so much as this is hilarious, knowing he is quietly mocking them. Despite how well Simon was trying, the Heroes were still focused on sticking together with Shaun, Hayley, Nina and David locking in a plan to flush Simon’s idol ASAP and then pick off the original Villains. Because yeah, they can all see how desperately Simon was trying to win their love.
The new tribes reconnected for an epic immunity challenge where they would race to transport a tribe member locked in a cage through a tunnel, then a gate, up a huge ramp and then down into a pool before they unlocked said member and two people solved a puzzle. Because duh. Shonee and Hayley took their places in the cages, with the former loving the chance to have a little R&R during the challenge. Obviously the Villains got out to an early, massive lead, unlocking Hayley before the Heroes even made it to the ramp. Hayley and Nina got to work on the puzzle as Stevie cheered his tribe on before finally getting the chance to free Shonee and starting on the puzzle with George. A full circle moment, and I love it. While Hayley and Nina calmly worked through the colours, George started to bicker with Stevie about messing up his work. While Ben looked frustrated to be shut out of the puzzle before subbing out with George. That made the challenge exciting as the Heroes closed the gap as Hayley and Nina madly finished the puzzle and just snatched immunity for the Villains.
As the tribes hugged it out, David told Paige not to trust George whatever she does – like duh, is that really the most important message to share – which made her change her mind about targeting Ben as soon as she returned to camp. Well, after yelling at Stevie for trying to debrief too early and then yelling at everyone to get to work on fire and making some rice. Thankfully George is wise and instead got to work scrambling and locking in a plan of his own. Flick tried to lock him and Shonee in on a plan to get rid of Ben, floating that afterwards, they could align with Paige and Matt to run the tribe. Once Shonee and George were left alone, they laughed about how easy her plan would be to derail, given they are not going to just do what the OG Heroes want and instead will work with Gerry to get rid of one of the originals. And after finding God, they locked in Paige as their target given life is for living.
With that George and Shonee got to locking in a new majority, first pulling in Stevie to get rid of Paige and assured him that under no circumstances are they to tell Flick, Matt, Paige or Ben. George then floated the idea with Gerry, who was also very much on board given he wanted to mix things up. And admitted Paige can be hard work.
After locking in the 4-3-1 vote – given Ben’s is irrelevant at this point – and filling me with joy, Paige decided to ruin everything and pulled Flick and Matt aside to talk about getting rid of George instead, given the meat heads are too scared of him making the merge and told her to do it. Flick wisely cautioned them that they need to decide whether it is better to stay hero strong, or to get rid of Ben. Right on cue, Ben arrived who assured them all that the OG Heroes would be so proud of them if they managed to get rid of George. While Paige once again acted like Ben has given any reason not to trust him. He then pointed out that they need to try and woo Gerry to their side if they want it to work, with Ben offering to do it while Flick wisely suggested they should all try, given he hasn’t exactly felt the love from the original Heroes tribe.
Up first, Ben pointed out that he and Gerry were both kind of on the bottom of the OG Heroes and as such, they need to make a decision that would save them in the long run. Gerry the icon told him he wasn’t willing to commit to anything yet, before all the Heroes obviously pulled him aside to take their shot. While Shonee quietly watched on as it all unfolded. Feeling confident, Paige went off to relax, while Shonee decided to act on the nervous energy; pulling George aside to warn him that something is afoot as the Heroes hung out, gleefully talking about taking out the King as Shonee assured us that while she doesn’t want to play the idol, if that is what it takes, she will.
At tribal council George and Shonee joked about being frequent flyers while Paige spoke about how it was too soon to deem any of the newbies heroic. Eyeroll. George spoke about this tribal council drawing a line in the sand and letting people know where they stand. Paige said that she doesn’t focus on goals when voting, given they all have the same – I mean, duh, but also WHAT? – while Flick spoke about how scary tribal council always is. Shonee brought some intelligent strategy to the table, telling JLP that if you have enough conversations, you can build trust and prove that you can add value to people’s games long term and meet those goals. Gerry meanwhile spoke about having loyalty to people, but he doesn’t know if he has it from others. And while trust takes forever to build, it can break just as quickly.
George felt like Gerry should be able to trust him and he hopes they are still friends, while Paige started whispering to Flick that she is sure they can get George out. Shonee meanwhile admitted she isn’t feeling as confident as George, while Matt spoke about being very nervous given the OG Heroes were whispering. Paige had a big shit eating grin talking about how confident she is that her conversations from the afternoon will hold firm. George meanwhile wanted tonight’s vote to bring a group of people together that will be able to run the game and make it to the end. Like a shared goal, even.
With that the tribe voted, Shonee wisely opted to play one of her idols on George as Paige looked ready to shit her pants, realising that her genius plan didn’t exactly account for an idol. As four votes piled up on George the cocky Heroes grew less and less confident as the rest came in on Paige, sending her out of the game in tears of rage. And ugh, it was GLORIOUS. As was Flick congratulating them as Shonee reminded her that the whispering tipped her off, given this is not her first rodeo.
Paige was still rather annoyed by the time she arrived at Loser Lodge and despite myself, I told her to hold her head high and be proud of the game she played. While her confidence and the paranoia of the game turned her quite bossy in the last few episodes, she started off strong, building a lot of trust with her allies and firmly placing her in the Heroes majority. Sadly though she was undone by two of the best at the game in George and Shonee, meaning she had to settle for some pre-merge comfort in the form of Paige Donarred Greens.
Given the off-screen drama that fueled Rogue to hate on Paige so much, it was kinda poetic that both of them ended up with vegetarian dishes. But when they taste as good and wholesome as this, it is hard to pass up. A little spicy with a hint of tang, this is the perfect side for a Sunday roast. Of ethically farmed meat, obvi.
Paige Donarred Greens
3 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
5 garlic cloves, minced
6 cups collard greens (aka borekale), washed and dried, removed from the main stems and bruised
2 bay leaves
1L chicken stock
¼ cup lemon juice
1 tbsp raw caster sugar
1 tsp chilli flakes
salt and pepper, to taste
Place the oil in a large pot over medium heat and saute the onion and garlic for about ten minutes or so, or until sweet and tender. Add the bay leaves and cook for another minute or so.
Slice the greens into 3cm thick ribbons and add to the pot along with the stock, juice, sugar and chilli. Bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring infrequently, for about an hour or until the greens are gloriously soft and the liquid reduced. Season with a good whack of salt and pepper before devouring with your favourite roast.
Or on its own, whatever.
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