Previously on Australian Survivor after finally vanquishing sweet Simon, the tribe battled it out for a guaranteed spot in the final four, with Liz taking out immunity. And promptly rallying Nina and George to work with her to get rid of Matt, given he was her biggest threat. Sadly for her, George was getting nervous about rehashing his mistakes from the previous season, so didn’t want to blindside Gerry in the process of getting rid of Matt. This put him well and truly in the middle of the two duos, making him, once again, all powerful. Sadly for the girls, Nina gave a stellar tribal council performance, which sadly proved that she was the bigger threat – and confirmed she will vote for the best game – scaring George into flipping and taking her out with the boys. Though again, it also gave us our first Twine on the jury.
Back at camp George congratulated everyone on making it to the top four while Liz death stared at him, irate that he had ruined her plan once again and made her path to the final two that much more difficult. Later that night George dropped by to apologise to Liz who straight up cussed him out for signing her death warrant while he was sitting pretty with the boys. George however wasn’t bothered that she was salty given he was essentially choosing which final three he wanted to go with and he still technically has options, given she either votes with him at the next tribal council if he wants to take a shot, or she gets voted out.
The next day Liz was still super nervous, unsure how she was going to navigate the remaining days in the game. And I assume a little bit angry at herself for letting George blindside her again with Nina, just like he did our lord and saviour Shonee Bowtell. Once again though, she knew she had to suck up her feelings and caught up with him in the shelter, with George explaining Nina speaking so well at tribal is what made him change his mind. Liz pretended she was all good, though didn’t bother telling him about what Nina said to her on her way out the door. George then told us he just couldn’t break Gerry’s trust once more, whereas he knew it would be easier to win Liz back. Though he assured her that if Matt wins the next immunity, he will join her in finally getting rid of Gerry.
George next caught up with the boys, reminding them how hard they have worked to avoid the jury, with George telling us how given the jury is made up of only returning players, should he make it to the end, he will be rewarded for dominating the game. Gerry and Matt meanwhile were talking about the path ahead, both genuinely wanting to go to the final three with George and pledging their undying loyalty, before confirming what we have long suspected and that they assume it is a final two, at which point they are looking to cut him just before final tribal council as their big move.
While poor Liz just knew that she was completely screwed should she not win immunity.
Right on cue the final four met Jonathan for the latest immunity challenge. Or so they thought! Instead, it was a challenge for an extra vote at tonight’s tribal council, meaning there is definitely going to be a twist, because they won’t leave George without the chance of immunity at the final four. But anyway, back to the challenge as this one is a biggy! They would race to swim to shore and collect balls, land them in a shoot, crawl under a net and then solve a puzzle before climbing stairs and landing sandbags on five platforms. Matt took out an early lead with Liz nipping at his heels before George and Gerry somehow overtook her. That being said, the other three were kind of irrelevant as Matt continued to power ahead, solving his puzzle as Gerry arrived at the table, while George and Liz desperately tried to close the gap. Matt then got to work tossing his sacks, landing one after the other before anyone else even joined him, promptly taking out the extra vote.
After handing over said vote, Jonathan announced that tonight they will not be voting someone out of the tribe. (Side note: duh). Instead it is the return of the infamous juror removal twist and oh shit, I feel sick because Shonee has been mentioned multiple times already this episode and given Matt and Gerry now have three votes and they know she isn’t voting for them, she is toast. Oh and then JLP confirmed it is a final three, with final immunity coming up tomorrow before the final person will be voted out and replace the juror they eliminate tonight.
Back at camp the final four celebrated making it to the final immunity challenge before popping on some rice ahead of a vastly different kind of scramble. For some reason George started to talk to Matt about the fact that if you have a guaranteed vote, you’re that much closer to winning now that only 7 people will be voting for 3 people. George then went to Liz, both agreeing that getting rid of Simon is the best idea for them, given he is least likely to vote for them. The bad thing being that should be very clear to both Gerry and Matt, so therefore they should keep him.
George and Liz joined the other two to try and sell it as revenge for Simon calling everyone pawns. Sadly for them, Matt gave them a non-committal response while Gerry suggested Nina would vote for Liz for being a female, rather than looking at the game. Liz rightly was offended by that with him explaining he just meant that they were closer and as such, she is way more likely to be swayed by her. Matt then shared with us that his extra vote puts even more pressure on him, given it could be the decision between winning and losing. Matt pulled George aside and told him he is open to both Nina and Simon, however feels like if Liz is sitting at final tribal council – because his and Gerry’s plan to go to three with the King has totally changed now – Shonee is a guaranteed vote for her and as such, she makes the most sense. George tried to point out Simon doesn’t deserve a vote, though stupidly didn’t try to explain that if he and Liz both make it to the end, they split Shonee and as such, make it a tiny bit easier for him to squeak out a win. I mean sure, it isn’t a great pitch, but it is literally the only one we’ve got to keep Shonee vibing on the jury.
Matt then pulled Gerry aside to float his horrible, no good plan. He told Gerry it is very clear they are being played by George with the Simon vote, given he is a guaranteed vote for one of them. Matt continued, explaining that since it is now a final three, they need to adjust their plans and get rid of George at the next vote. And therefore if they go to the final three with Liz, they need to get rid of the only guaranteed vote for her, in Shonee. George filled Liz in on the drama, with Liz telling him to get down to the shore and break it up as they can’t lose Shonee. With Matt expertly playing derpy and telling him they have realised getting rid of Simon makes the most sense as he arrived. Gerry and Matt then spoke about trying to play their cards close to their chest at tribal council so as not to spook anyone, while trying to weigh up who is the better option of going to the final three given everyone loves Liz while George has played the best game. Before Gerry wisely pointed out that George also has a lot of hate against him from the jury and as such, maybe he isn’t a guaranteed winner.
While Gerry just felt like tonight was a chance for him to draw a line in the sand by either going with Matt to eliminate Shonee, or sticking with George to take out Simon.
At tribal council Jonathan quickly caught the jury up on what would be happening tonight, explaining that one of them will be leaving tonight, which obviously pissed all of them off. Particularly Shonee, who appeared to know the writing was on the wall. George spoke about this being the most important tribal council he has ever attended since the winner will only need to secure three or four votes to win. Matt opened up about being the one with the extra vote tonight, and how while he has power, he still needs one other person to agree with who should go out. Gerry admitted two names were on the table pack at camp and that both are warranted to go out. George meanwhile spoke about how fierce debate was back at camp and as such, suggested things may still be up in the air, as Liz interjected and pointed out that she had actually thought they were on the same page.
George whispered to Gerry to see who he was thinking about voting out, with George reiterating he will be taking out Simon as Gerry gave him nothing. Matt spoke about how they need to make a choice between getting rid of a guaranteed vote for someone else or just someone they think will be bitter. As Gerry and George continued to whisper, Gerry told him he had a bad feeling about all the girls on the jury being locked in behind Liz before George pointed out that since she won’t be at the final tribal council, it shouldn’t matter. But you could kind of tell he realised he is definitely going out in fourth and maybe should have kept Nina. Matt and Liz then got in on the whispering, with Liz asking if we’re all losing Shonee before Matt announced he is confused, but ready to vote nonetheless. With that the tribe voted and Gerry finally swayed from George, though tragically it broke the hearts of the nation in the process, as he, Matt and even George removed Shonee from the jury. Which was 100% the correct move for two of them, but it doesn’t make me hate it any less.
As she just cruised on out of there and even further into our hearts.
The next day the final four were jubilant to officially be the last ones standing, with Gerry sharing how at the start he was ready to ride it out with the Heroes until they sent him to the Villains without any concern, leading to the second best revenge arc behind Queen Shon’s in All Stars. But just ahead of Stevie’s in this season, given it went nowhere. George meanwhile was just shocked to still be in the game given he came in with such an epic target. And now he just needs to survive one more tribal council to take out his deserved victory. His words. Matt on the other hand was shocked to have made it there, though knew that without immunity everything could come crumbling down. In the form of Liz, who knows she is out next without immunity, though you know she is ready to fight and given she is an Olympian, you know she has the resolve.
After a brief glimpse of Kristie, Lee, Jericho and Peter in their respective final challenges, the newest final four arrived at a cliff face to discover this year’s final immunity challenge. Which will feature them all standing on a narrow perch holding a handle above their head, while JLP will turn a crank pushing blunt spearheads into their backs to make things as uncomfortable as possible. But before that, he delivered a little bit of love to help motivate them. First up was iconic cooking queen Cara for George, followed by Liz’s boyfriend Daniel, Gerry’s fiance Pam and Matt’s pregnant wife Kirsty and oh lord, I’m crying, they’re crying, everyone’s crying.
The visitors were promptly kicked off to a bench to watch their loved ones be tortured as they speculated how long they would be up in the devices. After JLP gave the crank a spin, the boys all complained as Liz suggested it was nothing and begged JLP to give it another crank. Which you know he did! Instantly the boys started to feel the pain while the two-time Olympian laughed with glee. Mother nature then joined in the fun, unleashing a deluge of rain as they fought for an hour before JLP whipped out his crank to further dig the spikes into their backs. Which was all it took to take out Gerry, as he stepped off the perch while his competitors sweetly praised him for doing so well. After two hours and an additional crank, George suggested nobody wanted the win more than him with Liz calmly telling him he is wrong and to just wait and see. We got to three hours before Jonathan gave the spears another crank which saw George start to struggle, badly, as he begged Matt to hold on, before ultimately dropping out. Leaving Liz to battle Matt for final immunity. After four hours Liz started to get the shakes as Daniel willed her on before she requested JLP dish out one final crank.
As the loved ones watched on with baited breath, George swapped seats and started chatting to Gerry, telling him that all they need to do is stick together at the next vote and there is a way forward for them. Liz continued to breathe through the pain before Matt’s hand slipped off, handing Liz final immunity. And ideally, crowning her our winner.
Back at camp George was very nervous about the newbies banding together to take him out, though was confident in his ability to plot and scheme. Even in such a shitty predicament. Knowing she would have been out of the game if she didn’t take out immunity, Liz was well and truly feeling her oats and ready to finally get her revenge on George and send him out of the game. Gerry meanwhile congratulated everyone on fighting so hard in the challenge, talking about how humbled he was by their performance. He then took it one step further, telling everyone that he didn’t deserve to go to tribal council and begged them all to vote him out. Which George obviously jumped at, promising to do his wishes before getting to work wooing Matt and Liz.
George first pulled Matt aside to tell him how important it would be for them to just vote out Gerry and guarantee their place in the final three. And while he agreed to George’s face, he knew he couldn’t do it to Gerry and instead told him he would actually be voting for George and if he wanted to avoid making fire, he should vote out George too. Speaking of George, he pulled Liz aside to try his best, with Liz too pretending to be all in on the Gerry vote, though obviously, that would not be happening. Because revenge. Though George was confident Liz would have his back and as such, was ready to march to the end and take out victory.
At tribal council the jury were absolutely delighted to see that Liz had immunity – I wish Shon was here to see this – before she opened up about her own pride to have come out on top after such an epic, intense challenge. Particularly with her boyfriend there. George immediately cut her off to talk about how driven Liz is and how proud of her he is, while Liz spoke about the fact she was so driven because she knew she had literally no other option. Matt meanwhile was gutted to be the one coming in second, talking about how now they need to be smart about who they send out of the game. Gerry on the other hand spoke about how hard it would be to vote for either Matt or George. With that the tribe voted and despite Gerry’s plea the newbies banded together to take out George, as Liz wisely whispered in his ear that she finally got him.
As George arrived at the Jury Villa, I pulled him in for a massive hug and praised him on such a dominating performance. While he was disappointed to be eliminated so close to the end, he admitted he was expecting his massive target to take him out early so was thrilled he was once again able to find his feet and dominate. I then did a quick detour and yelled at him for turning on Shonee too soon and robbing us gays of our mother. I mean, I know she was planning to turn on him at the next vote, but given siding with the newbies landed him on jury, I would have preferred to see a wee more exciting end game by having her stick around a little longer.
While I would argue that come the merge, George got lucky that people knew he would be an easy vote at the endgame, there is no denying that he once again proved himself to be a master strategist. And that alone deems him worthy of going out as the fourth place robbed goddess of the season and the piping hot Beef Bourgeorge Mladenov prize that goes along with it.
Boeuf bourguignon is one of those dishes that has the power to convert even the most vehement beef naysayers of its delight. The meat melts in your mouth as the sweet, rich sauce washes over your tongue and fills you with glee.
Beef Bourgeorge Mladenov
1 tbsp olive oil
200g bacon, diced
1.5kg beef brisket, trimmed and cut into a large dice
1 carrot, thickly sliced
1 onion, diced
10 cloves garlic, minced
kosher salt and pepper, to taste
2 tbsp flour
12 French shallots, peeled
3 cups red wine
2 cups beef stock
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp fresh thyme, finely chopped
2 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
2 bay leaves
2 tbsp butter
500g small mushrooms, quartered
Pop the oil in a large dutch oven and sauté the bacon over medium heat for a few minutes, or until crispy and browned. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a bowl and set aside. In batches, brown the beef on all sides in the glorious bacon fat before using the spoon to transfer to the bacon dish. Finally, add the carrots and onions to the pan and cook for a few minutes before adding 6 of the garlic cloves and cooking for a minute, or until fragrant. Drain off the fat, leaving a tablespoon or two, before returning the beef and bacon to the pot. Stir in the flour with a good whack of salt and pepper, and cook for about five minutes, or until browned. Add the shallots, wine and stock, the latter to just cover the meat, before stirring in the paste and herbs. Bring to the boil, reduce to low and cover before simmering for a few hours.
While the beef is rollicking, heat the butter in a large saucepan until foaming before adding the remaining garlic and cooking for a minute or so, or until fragrant. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally to coat, for about five minutes, or until browned and plump. Season with salt and pepper, before transferring to a plate.
Remove the bay leaves from the casserole, before stirring in the mushrooms and skimming off any of the excess fat that rises to the surface as it cooks until it reduces to a glossy liquid, enough to coat a spoon. Adjust seasoning before serving with a gloriously buttery mash and devouring, like a king.
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