Previously on Survivor despite the ‘Earn the Merge’ portion of the game being behind us, the tribe arrived at the latest immunity challenge where Jeffrey gagged everyone with the information that once again half of them would be immune. The tribe were split down the middle with a person winning immunity from each team, and the person that lasted the longest from both earning immunity for their entire group. The catch being, they wouldn’t have a vote at tribal council either. After Frannie won one of the immunities, she held on against Brandon to make her entire group immune, leaving her boo Matt in jeopardy. Knowing he and Yam Yam were both in danger, they tried to get in with the Ratu majority in their collective. Sadly though it was all for nothing, even with Heidi snatching an advantage that could have saved them both, instead using it to doom Matt to the jury.
As the sweetest King of the Jury to ever exist.
Back at camp Yam Yam once again thanks the tribe for saving him, while hugging the winners and saying how much he missed them and how sad he was to lose Matt. He meanwhile was quite shocked by Heidi choosing to play her advantage to get rid of him, and while he was grateful to have survived, he questioned why she didn’t use it to make a bigger move against the Ratus. Frannie meanwhile was heartbroken to have not only lost her love, but to have watched him be so scared about the vote ahead, knowing it is now how she feels. While the OG Ratu felt to like they were now in control, given they managed to weaken not only OG Soka, but a powerful, sweet, loving duo that we all ship.
Heidi tried to do some damage control with Yam Yam, assuring him that she played her advantage the way she did because it was bleedingly obvious that Matt was going home anyway, so by doing what she did, she ruffled – or rustled, maybe – the least amount of feathers. Before floating that Tika and Soka come together – well, her and Tika at the least – to take control of the game. Which Yam Yam immediately took back to Carson, suggesting that better than locking in with one of the other tribes, they simply ride the middle and flip back and forth until they make it to the end. As Carolyn expertly hung with Ratu to keep them happy, with Kane confident in Ratu’s chances admitting if one of them doesn’t win, they really fucked it up.
The next day Carolyn continued to delight the tribe, whipping them up a nutritious breakfast as poor Carson crawled around in the background vomiting. Which is not related, given it is the PB&Js that caused his gastrointestinal distress, not our queen. As he loitered on the edge worrying about avoiding everyone, Carolyn assured him that everyone loves him and knows he is sick, so to just relax and heal. Ugh, she is the best. Proven even further when Jamie returned with treemail telling everyone to pair up for the upcoming challenge, with her offering to go with Carson so she could carry him on her back. As everyone else split up, Lauren worried about herself being a weak link that nobody wanted given she is so fatigued with Danny offering to go with her, despite gunning for her the day before.
But trust and believe, this doesn’t mean he won’t still target her next.
The tribe joined up with Probst in the jungle where they learnt the pairs would race in three stages, the first being to crawl through a twisted net and dig up planks with the first four pairs moving on. Stage two would see them race up a cargo net and use the planks to cross a bridge and slide down to a mat with the first two pairs going to the end. Where they would have to balance on small footholds between two walls with the last person standing taking immunity. Frannie and Yam Yam got out to an early lead with Kane and Brandon nipping at their heels. Danny and Lauren tried to close the gap, while Heidi and Jamie were closing out the group as Carolyn got stuck, while Carson quietly tried to will her on, though no doubt was grateful to not have to participate. With the other pairs thankfully making it through before he really had to try.
In round two, Kane and Brandon got out to an early lead with Yam Yam and Frannie and Danny and Lauren close behind. With the latter duo booking their place in the final round with the boys. As the four lined up in the structure they navigated through the first and second footholds with ease before the transition to the third foothold cost Kane his shot at immunity. He was almost instantly followed by Brandon before Danny won the season with a fart. Sadly though, it wasn’t enough to win him the challenge as he dropped more than his guts after transitioning to the final foothold, handing Lauren immunity. Like. A. Boss.
Back at camp everyone rinsed off the mud as Yam Yam worried about being targeted yet again, as is tradition. The OG Ratu crew quickly locked in their votes on Frannie, roping in Carson to make sure they were still together. They then wooed Carolyn and Yam Yam to vote with them, as Brandon hoped for some reciprocation from the latter for saving him. Brandon then approached Heidi and Danny and while they both said they were keen, when alone with Danny, Heidi told him that now is the time to make a move on Ratu alongside the Tika crew. Danny assured Heidi he would gladly play his idol for Frannie, while Heidi approached Yam Yam, Carolyn and Frannie to align against Ratu and take out a massive threat in the form of Brandon.
Yam Yam then approached Carson by the well to see what he was thinking, as Heidi approached them to check in. Carson assured her that while he was very keen on her power move, he was also a little bit concerned about how they could do it without making any enemies. Heidi then told them that Danny also has the hidden immunity idol and is playing it for Frannie, hoping the information solidifies their alliance, while also helping them through the vote. Sadly for her, Yam Yam wasn’t sure whether it was best to work with Heidi, or rat her out to Ratu and take control with them. Danny meanwhile let Frannie know that he was planning to blindside Brandon and play the idol for her. He then caught up with Carson, who told him that Yam Yam knows about the idol and while Danny was stressed, Carson assured him that he will monitor Yam Yam and make sure he sticks with them.
Despite Danny spiralling in fear.
At tribal council Matt and Frannie adorably looked at each other with love in their eyes, as Kane spoke about having a jury making everyone feel like they need to play a more bold, visible game. Heidi read the previous twists, pointing out that only Lauren is safe now and as such, she’d just love people to not vote for her. Carolyn spoke about how everything can change on a dime, with Yam Yam agreeing that the key in the game is to know what is going on at all times. Heidi and Jamie spoke about being terrified every time they set foot in tribal council, while Brandon spoke about how even if you have had conversations with people, you can never trust you’ve been given the legitimate one. Lauren on the other hand spoke about it potentially being a majority vote tonight, while Danny alluded to the fact that even if you’re down and out, a comeback story is always a winner with the jury. Kane spoke about how he focuses on moving with intention, with Frannie agreeing Survivor is about finding the most number of people with shared intentions to make it through to the next round. And then lather, rinsing and repeating.
With that the tribe voted, Danny stuck firm with the plan to play his idol for Frannie and promptly negated 6 votes for her as Brandon – rather poetically, I must say – was idolled out of the game with the rest. As he arrived into the jury, I pulled Brandon in for a massive hug thanking him for bookending his game with idol plays in such an iconic way. While he pointed out the latter wasn’t really up to him, he was grateful for the praise all the same. Despite being someone that could have fallen into focusing just on brawn, after saving himself with a trick he hustled his way into power. Which had worked well until the other tribes rallied against them. Which is a sad truth which can only be worked through with a glorious batch of Brandoned Buttom.
While this is something that is generally saved for the festive period, I would argue we need to normalise this as a year-round thing! Sweet, punchy and smooth, it is the perfect addition to your festive baking or melted on a fresh batch of pancakes.
175g icing sugar
175g unsalted butter, softened
½ cup brandy
½ tsp kosher salt
Cream the butter and icing sugar in a stand mixer on medium for about five minutes, or until white, thick and fluffy. Slowly add in the brandy a tablespoon at a time, allow it to come back together before adding more, followed by the salt.
Transfer the butter to a sheet of baking paper and wrap into a cylinder, holding firm with some tape or cling film. Pop the log in the fridge to chill for an hour or so before devouring. Festively, year round.
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