Previously on Australian Survivor despite having the worst luck of the entire cast – including Jackie, who literally injured herself in the first challenge and was evacuated – Simon somehow managed to snatch himself a car and ugh, he was loving it. As was I, given he has become so hapless you can’t help but root for him. After being invited on his celebratory reward, Hayley outed George’s $60K win at the auction to Simon, Nina and a very loyal Matt. And she was ready to destroy George at the earliest opportunity. While he was back at camp dressing as Shonee to win back Liz. After Nina became the first Twine to win individual immunity, George set his sights on finally putting Simon out of his misery. That is until Hayley told him to split the vote, allow her to protect her little puppy for another round and send Shaun from the game.
On the way back to camp George was seething about Nina flipping on him, telling Hayley his reads are spot on and that he will get rid of her ASAP as revenge. While Hayley praised him for his skillful reads, knowing how wrong they were. She on the other hand was nervous about getting to the end without moves, so wanted to get a big scalp on her resume, though didn’t want to appear like she screwed everyone to get there. After George berated Nina for flipping, she continued to deny it before pulling Hayley aside to praise her for the move and assuring her that whatever she says won’t change his mind, so Hayley at least is all good. And well, if she goes next, it is another name Hayley can claim. In reality though, she wanted revenge against Hayley – who she thinks is actually in control – and as such, got to work turning George against Hayley. She pulled him aside and told him that Hayley told her about the $60K he won at the auction and that he best beware, leading to a rare moment of humility where the king apologised.
Oh and then he pulled Liz aside to let her know that Hayley is out for him, so everyone needs to turn on her. Which apparently is logic.
The next day George was still filled with rage against Hayley, though tried to pretend he wasn’t aware she was after him. Simon meanwhile proved himself to be quite aware, thanking Hayley for saving him while she just wanted him to realise she actually wants him around. George meanwhile was catching up with Liz to talk more shit about Hayley under the guise of being worried about Matt, while he admitted that Hayley took the real world into the game and as such, he needed to get rid of her ASAP.
The tribe joined JLP in the jungle for an epic challenge for an overnight spa reward where all they would have to do is build a tower using blocks while standing on a balance beam. TBH, it was a pretty straight forward challenge with Hayley, Simon and Liz all powering along until the girls dropped out of nowhere, followed by Simon, opening things up again. It went back and forth as the wind picked up and screwed each and every one of them until Queen Liz got her eye in and scored herself the reward. Jonathan obviously let her choose someone to come with, selecting George since they still had drama to work through before Liz chose girl power, dooming Hayley and giving Princess Nina some glam time.
The trio arrived at the spa, delighted to smash all the food in sight while Liz assured us the duo were only invited to reward to get her to the end and not because she likes them. As Nina questioned how she could pay her back for the kindness, Liz promised she had a few different ways. Talk turned to the game with the trio strong in the fact they want to get to the end together, with Hayley their first target. Oh and then George modelled his buff skirt and showed off his foreskin, and again, my basement is far more flooded than it should be. They then shaved off, getting their stories straight for Hayley and while I want to warn her, maybe she should have turned on George rather than Shonee last week. But whatever, I’m not bitter.
Back at camp meanwhile Simon and Hayley were nervous about the trio on reward and how it could impact their games. Hayley was obviously nervous for her own longevity, while Simon was concerned about getting George out. Annoying Hayley, given Gerry and Matt are clearly in his pocket and that is near impossible. Matt, bless him, asked Simon to explain why getting rid of George is best for them, with Simon clearly articulating that George is a threat to everyone and as such, they all at least need to try to open things up for themselves. While Matt agreed George is definitely more likely to win, he reiterated that now is just not the right time for him to make a move. That night Simon got creative in his pursuit of securing some power, emptying out half the rice so that everyone would be fatigued so he had a better shot at the immunity challenge. And while, sure, that makes sense, why, Simon? That could easily backfire on you.
Over at the spa, the trio woke up early the next morning to work through their stories ahead of blindsiding Hayley, should she not win immunity. While back at camp Simon was nourished for the challenge ahead while everyone else complained about being starving. Speaking of said challenge, the tribe reconnected by the beach where they would race to build a fire in a drum and then fill a hole riddled bucket with water from the ocean to raise it until it burns through a flag. Matt and Haley were first to get flames, before Hayley’s just as quickly went out. Simon then got to work on his fire as Matt got to work filling his drum, confident in the fire’s strength. As Simon made a break, Liz decided to abandon her own chances and opted to help Matt to raise his flag and while she well and truly helped, his fire was a bit of a bust as Simon closed the gap and snatched immunity just ahead of Matt. Which feels poetic as a newfound Simon stan, TBH.
Back at camp George was thrilled by Simon taking out immunity, ready to blindside Hayley. Given her passion for a split, George was ready to tell her to split the vote on Liz and Nina, when in actuality, the vote was against her. Liz meanwhile filled Gerry in on the plan before dropping by George and Hayley to pretend she was super annoyed by George and Nina for ruining her reward. As Nina scurried around pretending to look for an idol to sell the story, Hayley realised that they could in fact blindside George if she, Nina and Simon worked together. And well, can they pull this off? Because I love it. Hayley pretended to follow Nina idol hunting, floating the idea with her and just like that, Nina holds all the power to decide who goes home between the King and Queen. Oh and then the duo caught up, assuring each other they are in it to the end, while both dropped some secretive hints that they’re about to get rid of each other.
At tribal council Liz spoke about her spa being a transformative experience, allowing her to reset and refocus on the task at hand. She admitted she invited George to clear the air, while she simply wanted to block Nina from finding an idol. Nina meanwhile played her part dutifully, pointing out George was out to get her after the previous tribal council before George warned everyone that they need to be careful about making a move, because if they bomb, they are next on his hit list. Oh and he just wants people to own their moves, rather than hide in the shadows. Liz spoke about being comfortable with those left behind at camp, while Simon was just desperately trying to find friends, despite the fact people clearly don’t want to work with him. Ever.
Gerry meanwhile just wasn’t interested in hearing anyone’s plans as he is comfortable with his place in the game. While Simon was grateful to be immune, he doesn’t have power and as such, he needs people to be willing to work with him. Like Nina, who is clearly tonight’s target. George argued it is a balance of finding people that want to work with you, though also having friendships. Hayley pointed out that friendships and alliances are different, agreeing that she prioritises alliances while George was hoping to ride his alliance all the way to the end of the game. And as such, is wanting to target people that go rogue and punish them for deviating from his plan. Essentially. Hayley meanwhile planned to vote out someone she doesn’t want to see at the end, while Liz was focused on getting rid of a silent threat.
With that the tribe voted as Queen Hayley was blindsided from the game, holding her head high as she congratulated them on a killer move. Wishing and hoping that exile would not be around to save her again. As she arrived at the Jury Villa, I pulled her in for a massive hug and praised her for proving herself to be the most skillful winner to return to the game. In Australia, at least. Despite being the biggest target on her tribe, she managed to lay low and work her way into a position of power until she reunited with George. Which should have been something both tribes were nervous about, since when they did come back together they dominated and made it deep. Sadly though, George wasn’t interested in losing a second time and as such, had to dethrone the queen. So to dull the pain, I toasted her run with a delicious Hazeleynut Leake Bark.
There is nothing quite like a chocolate bark and while this one is rather simple, it is super tasty and oh so good. A little bit nutella-y, a little fruit and nut, it is the perfect gift to congratulate your bestie, or cheer you up when you need to eat your feelings.
Hazeleynut Leake Bark
Serves: 2 queens.
200g milk chocolate
¼ cup dried cherries
1 ½ tsp kosher salt
¾ cup toasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped
Melt the chocolate in a double boiler until shiny and smooth. Fold through the dried cherries and salt and pour out on a lined baking sheet before sprinkling with the hazelnuts.
Transfer to the freezer to set for an hour before breaking into shards and packaging. Or devouring.
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