Previously on Survivor the three tribes were well and truly settling into island life. Despite being left out of the Helen vote, Sarah was assured by her fellow Tikans they are a solid four and will stick together to the end. Though she was still concerned about what would happen should they return to tribal council. After a bunch of shenanigans with cages, keys and fake idols, the tribes came together for the latest immunity challenge where you know Claire sat out once again. Sadly for her, however, it made her a target once Soka lost immunity and everyone realised she was disposable. While Frannie and Heidi tried to sway their respective partners to target Josh instead, the terrible timeline continued as we lost yet another iconic woman to the pre-merge.
The next day the new Soka tribe did a little sunrise meditation session to work through losing Claire. Not that Josh really needed it though, given he was firmly the swing vote between two pairs within the tribe. Sadly though, that wasn’t how things actually were with the two pairs actually keen to work together to take him out and go into the merge as two powerful duos. We ventured to Tika where the foursome were wandering around the jungle and discovered a new X made of sticks added to the cage, with everyone speculating what it could mean. We then learnt Carolyn is playing 5D chess, hiding the X on the cage and marking an X over where she hid the fake idol to trick someone into finding it. And ugh, I love her so much. The group went back to camp speculating what the X could mean as Sarah discovered Carolyn’s fake idol without anyone noticing. Even Carolyn, though she was grateful somebody found it.
The tribes met with Probst for the first reward challenge of the season where they would race up a ladder, over a cargo net and then shoot sandbags at a target. The trick being that every person on the tribe each needs to hit one of the targets in order to take the win. That being for either a massive or decent tarp, in addition to assigning which person from each tribe goes on the next journey. Danny got Soka out to the lead, followed by Carson for Tika while Brandon eventually connected to keep Ratu in it. Soka continued to power ahead as Ratu overtook Tika as Carolyn struggled to make the shot. Ultimately Soka took out victory before Carolyn finally connected leaving Tika and Ratu to battle for second with Ratu taking it out before Yam Yam even got a chance to toss his sack.
With the challenge out of the way things got interesting as Soka sent Josh, Carson and Jaime on their journey where they bonded as they trekked up a mountain. When they reached the pinnacle, they split up and made their way to a table where they were each given a hidden immunity idol to use up to the merge. The catch being they will not be going home to their tribes, instead pulling out a new buff with Josh joining Tika, Jaime going to Soka and Carson heading over to Ratu. Josh was first to meet his new tribe as Yam Yam, Carolyn and Sarah were gagged to have a new member. Despite welcoming him with open arms, Yam Yam was heartbroken to have lost Carson given they had become so close. The OG Tika’s tried to get to know Josh with Sarah thinking he was a surgeon, though he promptly lied about it and said he was a personal trainer. Sadly for him, Yam Yam could see right through his lie and he and Sarah secretly picked apart his timeline and confirmed they couldn’t trust him.
Over at Ratu Carson was regaling the new tribe with the journey that brought him here and while I love Carson, the fact that his first move to ingratiate himself was to throw Yam Yam under the bus as the leader breaks my heart. Sad to have lost his closest ally, Matthew pulled Carson aside to fill him in on what has been going on within the tribe to try and build trust. And while he left out the fact Jamie’s idol is fake, I love how hard he is playing. Soka were equally gagged to see Jaime arriving at their camp and while I would assume she is completely screwed, she is so kind and upbeat, I don’t see them wanting to get rid of her too easily. The OG Soka’s were concerned about her having an idol and spoiling their plans, so Danny got to work looking through her things though decided she was all good. Despite the fact she has one real and one fake idol.
The new tribes reconvened with Jeffrey for the latest immunity challenge where they would dive into the ocean one at a time, climb a tower and leap off to grab a key before swimming to a balance beam and walking over it. Once the four keys were collected, they would unlock puzzle pieces and solve said puzzle. Because, duh. Josh got Tika out to an early lead until Brandon powered across the balance beam and snatched the lead. While Danny was left right out. Lauren missed her key, meaning Brandon had to double back to collect one, given Soka and Tika time to close the gap. Well, Soka at least, as Yam Yam got stuck on the balance beam. Heidi and Matt got to work on the puzzle for Soka as Kane and Carolyn raced to make it to the end of the course, before Kane started struggling on the beam. Once Soka confirmed their win, Ratu and Tika powered through their puzzle before Lauren and Carson pulled ahead, securing immunity for Ratu and sending Tika back to tribal council. Just.
Back at camp the tribe were dejected by the loss, with Yam Yam disappointed but ok, given Josh is a super easy target as the newbie. Sadly Yam Yam told Carolyn she would be the decoy vote and while she said she was ok at the moment, she was super annoyed by it and sick of being told to accept being the secondary target. Yam Yam and Sarah pulled Josh aside to loop in him, assuring him that they desperately want to work with him and get rid of Carolyn. Though Sarah admitted she was a little concerned about him having an idol and assured us that should he play one, she will be playing hers. Josh then went to Carolyn and straight up told her that not only is she their target, but that he has an idol and would play it on her while they put their votes on Sarah and get her out of the game. Giving Carolyn the choice to send Josh out of the game or tell him where to actually play the idol and blindside Sarah.
At tribal council Josh spoke about how shocked he was to have been swapped to the new tribe and while he was an easy target, Sarah and Yam Yam spoke about how keeping him around could help build an alliance with his friends in Soka. Yam Yam spoke about how he may not feel like he is friends with his OGs anymore, which upset Carolyn given it felt like he was over her and wanted her out. As they started to fight, Josh admitted he was living for the chaos, though knew that the fight could all be a cover to make him feel safe. Carolyn felt that her loyalty was being ignored, as Sarah and Yam Yam spoke about aligning with Soka meaning Carolyn was clearly the target. If it isn’t an act. With that the tribe voted and Josh played his idol on himself while Sarah and Carolyn held onto theirs – whether Sarah’s was real or not doesn’t matter here, TBH – before Carolyn and Josh’s votes sent Sarah from the game. To Yam Yam’s shock and horror.
As often happens, Sarah found her way to Loser Lodge by following my tears of rage. This time due to having lost yet another iconic woman pre-merge. I mean, in the words of Taylor Armstrong – enough. I pulled her in for a massive hug and told her that the small starting tribes seem to have run their course, given time and time again, women and minorities are going out with just a few votes for no other reason than there aren’t enough people around to strategise with (or vote out). Add in a sea of advantages and well, refer back to Taylor ok? That being said, the new era has given us plenty of icons for another Second Chances season and that is enough to celebrate with a big batch of Golden Sarup & Wadamom Dumplings.
These fluffy dumplings are the perfect, soothing dish to warm your soul. Sticky and sweet with a beautifully spiced kick, they melt in your mouth and take away the pain of yet another season of femicide (thank f- Liz overcame this trend).
Golden Sarup & Wadamom Dumplings
100g butter, diced
1 ⅓ cups muscovado sugar
¼ cup golden syrup
1 ⅓ cups flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cardamom
¼ tsp cinnamon
⅔ cup milk
Vanilla Ice Cream, to serve
Place 60g butter, 1 ¼ cups of muscovado sugar and the golden syrup in a large frying pan with 2 cups cold water and cook over a low heat for about 5 minutes, or until the sugar has dissolved. Crank the heat up to medium and bring to the boil, and cook for a few minutes until it reduces before removing from the heat.
Combine the flour, cardamom, cinnamon and butter in a bowl and, using your fingers, rub the butter through until it resembles wet sand before stirring through the remaining muscovado. Make a well in the centre, pour in the milk and stir with a wooden spoon until it comes together as a wet dough.
Return the caramel to a medium heat and carefully drop in a few tablespoons of batter at a time, leaving a little bit of space to allow them to puff up as they cook. Cover with a lid or some foil, reduce to low and simmer for 15 minutes, or until they are cooked through.
Serve immediately with a generous coating of the caramel and a hearty dollop of ice cream.
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