Previously on Survivor after a string of split tribals, multi-immunity, non-merges and buffless boots – as has tragically become the status quo of the postmodern era of our beloved show – we finally enjoyed our first regular post-merge episode. And well, it was kind of a doozy! At an iconic immunity challenge we got to see Carolyn protecting Carson as she got stuck in a netted anus before Danny won the season with an even more iconic fart – timing it in response to Probst, no less – on Lauren’s way to taking out immunity. Back at camp the Tika trio expertly rode the middle, as Ratu and Soka went to war. At tribal council Danny squeaked out an idol play for Frannie, winning the war and sending Brandon to the jury. Without anyone realising how tight the Tika trio were.
Back at camp Frannie gave Danny a massive hug to thank him for saving her, while he was just thrilled by their plan going off without a hitch. And not sharting at the challenge, though that was confirmed on social media. Jamie meanwhile pretended to be thrilled by the boss move, while Lauren admitted she regretted not pushing harder for the split vote situation since it would have guaranteed their power. Particularly since Ratu are now even with the other two tribes. Thankfully she still felt solid in her majority, unaware that Tika isn’t legitimately with them. Which Yam Yam confirmed, grateful to still look like he was in a power alliance with the Ratu’s, while getting his way at tribal council and eliminating another person that previously targeted him. Just like Queen Shonee.
The next day Kane and Jamie caught up and regrouped as they hunted for what they assumed would be a newly hidden idol. Ideally to get rid of the biggest threat left in the game, in the form of Danny. As he too desperately searched high and low for an idol, with a patented five tree check followed by collecting some firewood. Sadly for him, it wasn’t as stealth as he assumed, with Jamie and Lauren growing more and more desperate to collect it before him, as sweete Jamie rejoiced about still having her idol. Which to remind everyone is a fake that was tragically hidden by her closest ally Matthew. Oh and amongst the chaos of everyone hunting, it was Heidi that snatched it out of nowhere, despite barely even looking. Like a damn boss.
Back at camp Yam Yam was leading the group in a game of I spy to distract from the actual game, which is honestly iconic – I love his passion for enjoying the ride, rather than being on, all the damn time. Carolyn too was living her best life just hanging with everyone, sharing that she is 13 years sober, and hearing her talk about her recovery and bonding with the tribe was just so damn sweet and heartwarming. And well, crown her now as she is the best casting choice in a good decade. Particularly since she has weaponised everyone’s perceptions of her to make her seem like less of a threat, which is honestly brilliant.
Again, I love her.
Carson meanwhile was still feeling like crap, as Carolyn and Heidi rallied around to help him eat since he had lost the urge to vom. The tribe then found treemail with the promise for the group to be able to negotiate for rice by a number of people sitting out of the challenge, with it appearing nobody would even be willing to do it. Oh and while I was confident Tika was stealth, it appears that Frannie at least is aware of them being a threating alliance.
After meeting with Probst he explained that to win immunity they would stand on a small block and balance a ball against an overhanging piece of wood. And to secure enough rice for the rest of the game, the tribe would need four people to sit out. Lauren and Carson instantly offered, while Danny and Carolyn offered to not vote for any of the sit-outs, which led to Kane and a reluctant Heidi joining them. With that, the remaining five took their places in the challenge with Carolyn and Jamie dropping nearly instantly, leaving Yam Yam, Frannie and Danny to battle for immunity. Yam Yam was next to go, with the duo holding on for five minutes with the rain pummelling them before Danny dropped, handing immunity, once again, to our loved up, nerdy icon Frannie.
Back at camp she was thrilled to be the undisputed challenge beast before the tribe found their rice and giddily got to work cooking a real meal. After joyously smashing the food, Yam Yam was fired up and ready to think through the vote ahead, acutely aware that he is not the only one that would be supercharged by the food. He was thrilled to stay in the middle of the two feuding tribes, with Heidi and Soka floating to them the idea of getting rid of Kane given he is the bigger strategic threat. With that seemingly locked in, Tika approached Ratu to get their thoughts, while also subtly suggesting Jamie should play her idol and suggesting they split the vote between Heidi and Danny.
Ratu meanwhile got nervous about a potential Knowledge is Power coming into play, so swapped who held the extra vote and idol to work around it and keep their plan in tact. Frannie on the other hand was growing more and more concerned about Tika taking control and floated the idea of working with Ratu to blindside Yam Yam instead. With Danny thankfully suggesting Ratu were still the bigger threat – which I’d argue is wrong – and as such, felt they should focus on getting out Kane still. The legitimately dangerous Tika trio were debating which side was better to go with, with Yam Yam and Carolyn fighting over who would be better to get rid of out of Kane and Danny, with Carson calmly trying to keep them all from splintering.
At tribal council Matt beamed with pride to see Frannie with another immunity before talk turned to sitting out for the rice, with Heidi happy about her decision, despite being vulnerable. Kane meanwhile wasn’t confident in the fact people assured the sit outs they won’t be voted out, with Danny pointing out he gave a scouts honour, despite not being a scout. Kane acknowledged he made his choice based on the fact he knew he couldn’t win that challenge while Jamie shaded people who didn’t sit out for showing their games. Carolyn acknowledged the fact that now that they are fed, they feel normal again and were ready to truly strategise. With Yam Yam agreeing he felt able to plan, though you best believe he was nervous about being targeted.
Frannie spoke about the excitement of tribal council, despite never really knowing which plan is going to play out. Heidi listed all the possible advantages and complications which could derail the vote, while Jamie was just nervous about whether the last conversation she had is the one people are still going with. Kane admitted he loves the chaos, given it makes for a funner game, while Danny spoke about finding the balance between leading a vote and knowing when to follow. Carolyn on the other hand was confused about everything now, as Kane started to whisper amongst the tribe. Eventually Jamie and Lauren stood up to whisper before it erupted into full blown chaos with names going out left and right, with everyone unsure what was real and what was just a ploy to get people to flush advantages.
Finally the tribe voted – Jamie twice, using Lauren’s advantage – as Kane was blindsided with Jamie’s idol in his pocket, sadly unaware it was only a fake anyway. Which I quickly filled him in on as he arrived in Ponderosa. I pulled him in for a massive hug, thanking him for being such a sweet, nerdy icon with a killer wardrobe. While he may not have ever cast an eliminating vote, Kane showed he had solid game instinct and TBH, I would love to see how he went in a second season. But until then, I focused on celebrating his game and the sausage fest that is the jury – swoon – with a big, fat bowl of Sausage Gnockane Fritzler.
Sweet and herbaceous, with a hint of spice carried on a creamy tomato sauce, this gnocchi is a quick and easy meal which tricks people into thinking you dedicated a good couple of hours in the kitchen. It is that good.
Sausage Gnockane Fritzler
500g Italian sausage, casings removed
6 shallots, sliced
6 cloves garlic, minced
⅓ cup cinzano
400g can diced tomatoes
2 tsp chilli paste
1 cup double cream
½ cup parmesan cheese, grated
½ cup fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
Heat a small – and I mean small, which is odd for me TBH – lug of the olive oil to lightly coat a medium deep skillet over medium heat and cook the sausage breaking up with a wooden spoon for five minutes, or until browned through. Add the onion and cook for a further few minutes, followed by the garlic for another minute.
Add the cinzano to the pan to deglaze anything that caught on the bottom before stirring in the tomatoes, chilli, double cream and gnocchi. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for five minutes or so. Uncover and check the gnocchi, cooking for a further couple of minutes if required.
Remove from the heat and fold through the parmesan and basil and season to taste before serving piping hot. Coated in even more parmesan just before devouring, obvi.
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