Previously on Survivor our icon Carolyn was inspired by the release of the remake of The Little Mermaid, designing impressive statement jewellery using the shells of lobsters and prawns. Actually, maybe it isn’t inspired and more she went on a Mad Max style adventure through the ocean. After Yam Yam took out his first immunity challenge of the season – the iconic Last Gasp – the tribe were split on who was the most threatening. You had Ratus and Sokas looking to put aside their differences to take out Carson while the Tika couldn’t trio couldn’t decide which side was more dangerous, and then of course, who was worse for their game on Soka. With Queen Carolyn ultimately coming out on top and playing an idol to save her baby Carson, completing her revenge arc as Danny made his way to the jury.
Back at camp Heidi was way more chill about being on the outs at tribal council, with everyone more focused on Carolyn’s iconic – though needless – idol play. Despite it not changing the outcome, Carolyn was proud of the fact it kept the Tika trio safe to the top six. She then regaled everyone with her tales of finding the idol and while it was cute, Yam Yam was worried she was showing everyone just how smart she is and as such, feared she is fast becoming the biggest threat. Sensing the idol would be rehidden, Heidi woke up early to go hunting. Though sadly for her, Carson spotted her stirring and as such, he woke everyone up and told them they too should go out and look. While Lauren was more focused on luring Carolyn into climbing trees to collect her coconuts. The Ratus caught up with Carson and Yam Yam back at camp, with Lauren floating the idea of getting rid of Carolyn next, like her coconut collector means nothing to her. While Carson had absolutely no interest in turning on his island mama, he also knew he had to pretend to be keen in order to blindside one of them.
The tribe caught up with Probst by the beach for an epic team reward where two blindfolded members would push another person around, strapped inside a ball before solving a table maze. With the two free people still blindfolded. And given it was for a massive afternoon of food and massages, everyone was fired up. Carolyn and Heidi were pushing Jamie on one team, while Yam Yam and Lauren rolled Carson for the other. And from the jump, the latter trio got out to an epic lead as Carson calmly directed his team mates to the end before solving the maze before the other trio barely made it through the course.
We followed the victors to their reward where Yam Yam was delighted to finally have a reward, smashing food and living his absolute best life. As they sat down to enjoy their massages, the boys continued to paint Carolyn as a massive target to Lauren and while Carson assured us it was just to lull her into a false sense of security, Yam Yam was definitely feeling like it may actually be time to make a move on Carolyn. Speaking of our icon, she, Heidi and Jamie were dejected to be slumming it at camp. But instead of wallowing, they got to work figuring out which of the victors needed to go next, with Jamie pushing for Carson. And while Carolyn knows she can’t beat him, she also felt it wasn’t the right time. As Jamie went idol hunting, Carolyn and Heidi caught up with the duo agreeing they feel like they can’t trust Jamie and Lauren, and as such, know they need to hold firm. For now.
After the groups came back together, Yam Yam burped in Carolyn’s face – as requested – before Carolyn and Carson caught up to fill each other in on the conversations they had missed. Agreeing that either Jamie or Lauren need to go, given Heidi gives them an easier path to the end. Yam Yam meanwhile caught up with Jamie and floated the idea of getting rid of Carolyn at the next vote instead and while Jamie was still more nervous about Carson, she was happy just as long as one of the Tikas went and as such, gladly locked in on the vote. And Yam Yam, please don’t do this to me, ok?
The tribe caught up with Jeffrey once again as he explained that to snatch immunity, they would have to balance a ball on a disc that is held flat by two ropes with the last person standing winning. Jamie was the first to drop, quickly followed by Carolyn and Carson, before Yam Yam just missed out on going to the next stage. Heidi and Jamie moved further away from their discs before resetting and battling it out until Heidi couldn’t hold it any longer, handing Lauren immunity.
Back at camp everyone split up to scramble, with Carolyn and Heidi concerned about the fact nobody was talking to them. As such, they locked in their votes against Jamie. Heidi meanwhile was hopeful that she was being told the truth, but knew that worst case, she has her idol. While Carolyn was looping in the boys, Heidi stumbled upon them, with everyone agreeing to get rid of Jamie. Hopeful that even if she has an idol, she is so confident in the boys voting with her that she doesn’t play it. Yam Yam caught up with Lauren and Jamie to lock in the Carolyn vote and while I think the plan is to only make them think they are working together, he then caught up with Carson and floated that maybe they would turn it into a reality. And ugh, I hate it here. While King Carson calmly tried to steer him back to their original plan, Jamie. As Yam Yam debated the merits of trusting his brain and his heart.
At tribal council Probst was gagged to discover the tribe had brought everything with them, assuming they will be sent to a new beach for the rest of the game. Yam Yam joked about holding on to the rice as an immunity idol, while Carson just felt anxious about being vulnerable. Jamie mentioned that they still have to try and navigate around advantages, which Yam Yam agreed complicated everybody’s decision making. Jamie meanwhile wanted to jazz up her resume – her words – while Yam Yam admitted he is getting more and more confused about who would be best to go to the end, which complicates who he is working with. While Carson just worried about going through a break-up this close to the end. Yam Yam admitted he is getting more and more emotional when it comes to the votes, knowing his head needs to win at this point, which obviously made Carolyn nervous.
Our Queen spoke about the fact she has clearly played an emotional game, but that also doesn’t mean that she can’t be strategic. But yeah, you know she is emotional about the vote. Yam Yam then plainly said that the person leaving tonight is the one that needs to leave for the sake of everyone’s game. And ugh, I want to vom. With that the tribe voted, Heidi played her idol for herself before it thankfully turned out not to be my sweet icon Carolyn going home as the boys stayed loyal, joining Carolyn and Heidi to send Jamie off to the jury.
As she arrived at Ponderosa, I pulled Jamie in for a massive hug and just embraced her kind, loving, exuberant spirit. And then realised the producers have really been trolling her for the entire season through no fault of her own, so stealthily covered her ears and told her fellow jurors to break the fake idol information to her gently. Sadly I forgot as soon as I uncovered her ears, carelessly lol-ing about her closest ally making her the producers’ target of the season. Thankfully, though, she is a delight, so took it in stride and calmly sat down to smash a fresh Jaime Lynormandy Pearuiz Cake.
Rich and sweet pears and the dense crumb of the cake pair perfectly for either an afternoon treat or a decadent dessert. Better still, this cake is super easy to make but will always have you looking like a pro in the kitchen.
Jaime Lynormandy Pearuiz Cake Serves: 8.
Ingredients 150g butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing ¾ cup raw caster sugar 2 eggs 1 ½ cups flour 1 tbsp baking powder ½ cup sour cream 500g pears, peeled, cored, roughly diced ½ cup walnuts, roughly chopped ⅓ cup sultanas 1 tsp mixed spice ½ tsp cinnamon ⅓ cup brandy 2 tbsp maple syrup icing sugar and/or double cream, for sprinkling or dolloping respectively
Method Preheat the oven to 180C and rub some butter around the edge of a 23cm springform pan and place a disc of baking paper on the base.
Cream the butter and caster sugar in a stand mixer on medium until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, allowing the mixture to come back together in between. Fold through the flour and baking powder, and once together, fold through the sour cream. Return to the mixer on low and beat for a further minute. Remove from the mixer and fold through the pear, walnuts, sultanas, mixed spice and cinnamon. Transfer the batter to the prepared tin and pop it in the oven to bake for 45 minutes, or until an insert skewer comes out clean.
While the cake cooks, combine the brandy and maple syrup in a small saucepan over low heat and cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes, or until combined.
Once the cake is done, use the skewer to pierce holes over the surface before pouring over the syrup. Leave to rest for about 15 minutes before transferring to a wire rack and removing the sides of the tin. Serve barely warm with a dusting of sugar or dollop of cream, and devour joyously.
Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race the producers once again proved to be shady little icons, as the top six starred in Wigloose! The Rusical, mere moments after Anetra sent Marcia Cubed home in the lip sync of the season. After everyone kind of knocked it out of the park and slayed the runway, leaving Ru to jump on the shade train and task his dolls with identifying who should go home for him. Luxx gave an elaborate Ted Talk about how wonderful and unique everyone is except for Loosey, Loosey and Anetra said Salina, Salina returned serve and identified Loosey while Mistress wanted to put an end to Sasha’s meet and greet. Sasha on the other hand wanted to cut Luxx or Loosey for being her biggest threats. Ultimately though another emerged as Anetra took out her second victory, before Loosey defeated Salina and sent her back to WeHo.
Backstage the dolls were disappointed to have lost Salina, well mainly just Sasha, who considers her a friend and shared how proud of her she is. They discovered her mirror message was about her deserving to go home, which obviously made Loosey feel a certain way, given her name was said multiple times too. And you know she felt it just sucked. As they sat down, Mistress laughed about how she could have been mean but didn’t, so hello congeniality era, yet again. Luxx meanwhile doubled down on EVERYTHING she said, with Loosey trying to be calm as she said she will obviously disagree. She bit her tongue as best she could, with Luxx shutting it down, reminding them the end is in sight and that she will be doing nothing but focusing on making it.
The next day the tension was put aside as Mistress assured them she will be winning this week before Ru dropped by to briefly distract them with a little Spill The Tea mini challenge, complete with Norvina. Basically it is a quiz where they have to answer questions guessing who the group thinks will be the most likely answer. If that makes sense, because I really struggled to think that one through. In any event, it was a little bit shady and a whole lot of fun, with everyone kinda feeling their oats and laughing it up, with Loosey even saying she will be the next to go home just to guarantee her victory in the challenge.
After Norvina was swept away, Ru announced that for this week’s maxi challenge the dolls would makeover teachers in honour of his High School drama teacher. And as the winner of the mini challenge Loosey had the power to pair up the queens with their teachers and while she had the opportunity to be shady, she literally paired them up with their most similar person. Well everyone except Luxx, meaning she is either winning or sending Loosey home and there is no in between.
The duos split up to get to know each other with Anetra’s teacher – Mrs Mahoney – a Drag Race superfan absolutely adorable, despite being nervous to walk the stage. Loosey praised Mrs Wallace for being so smiley and happy and they are super similar, so this should be easy for Loosey. Mistress and Miss Tang were essentially twinning and I love that for them, particularly as her teacher broke down as Mistress thanked her for living proudly and vibrantly for her students. Sasha and Mrs Marchbanks – who watches Drag Race with her husband – were ready to go OTT and pad for the Gods, while Luxx just seemed a little awkward, despite Mrs Reyes giving her full control over everything. While Luxx worked on the outfits and completely forgot they needed to form a relationship too. Mistress’ daughter quickly learnt to be as shady as her mama, challenging Loosey’s daughter to a walk off. And while I’d love to say Mistress and her baby won, Loosey’s daughter kinda served. But trust, Mistress was focused on winning when it counts.
Ru dropped by to kiki with the queens with Sasha first up introducing her daughter Ferocity Colbybanks and talking through their sexy Hawaiian looks. Mistress rightly played on her daughter’s name, christening her Madame Thang, with her sharing she will also be whipping up two velvet gowns. Which will be super easy to hide a kitten heel under, just in case Madame can’t walk. Oh and Madame Thang is adorable and I love her. Anetra and her daughter were awkward and giggly, and I love them. As does Ru, so lets hope they both walk that fucking duck. Luxx and Mrs Reyes – aka Asia Azul – were very mismatched and while I want Mrs Reyes to kill it because she is adorbs, I have a bad feeling. While Lala and Loosey LaDuca were going with the vibe of rich ladies at the beach, with Ru getting shady and asking Loosey how she felt about queens saying she should go home. And what do you know, she would have Ru believe that she is completely unbothered.
Oh and before Ru departed she announced that in addition to walking the runway, the newest queens would also be lip syncing. So they have even more work to do. Loosey and Lala were first up to talk through lip syncing and Mrs Wallace is such a delight, I want only good things for her. Sasha was delighted her daughter knew who Leiomy is, Mistress went full Abby Lee on her daughter while Anetra tried to help her find her duck walk. And well, poor Luxx’s teacher was giving mum dancing and it was so sweet and she needs to win just because of that.
Elimination Day arrived with everyone split up to get their daughters in drag, wth Anetra proud hers wants a resting bitch face. They then bonded over wanting to find a place to escape reality, before Anetra asked if she believes people can unlearn bigotry and even just hearing Mrs Mahoney talk about how she definitely thinks things can always get better, I am filled with hope. Luxx’s teacher asked if she had experienced homophobia, with her opening up to Luxx that she left her church because she couldn’t stand them not accepting her children. Like a damn boss. Mistress’ daughter was nervous about walking the runway but distracted herself by getting shady, asking everyone to talk about their track records. With Loosey continuing to believe mini challenges matter. Mistress pointed out that Lala looks exactly like Loosey before they taught the dolls some slang. While poor Asia Azul looked bored and sad. While Loosey felt Mistress’ teacher looked like a Disney Villain, which is basically Mistresses vibe, so win.
Ru, Michelle and Ross were joined on the panel by Hayley Kiyoko as Sasha and Ferocity Colby walked the runway looking absolutely perfect. They were twinning, they were glam and oh so confident, and I love it. Loosey and Lala gave girls-trip realness, Mistress and Madame were full on glamazons before Luxx and Asia looked beautiful but gave zero family resemblance. And well, then Anetra and Alektra gave sexy Dr Evil and Mini Me realness and well, crown them now.
The judges gave Sasha nothing but praise for giving complete family resemblance and clearly vibing. Ferocity meanwhile loved being padded. Loosey was praised for looking alike, though Michelle felt they weren’t on the same page on the runway while Ross wished that Lala’s shoes had been stoned for the occasion. Mistress was beloved for dripping in chemistry and attitude, before Luxx was praised for making Asia look so stunning – and giving off Jennifer Coolidge – before being read for doing absolutely nothing to give resemblance. Oh and then Anetra was praised for knocking everything this week completely out of the park, particularly for inventing the arm foreskin. And by the time she praised her teacher for bringing all the queerness to the classroom, it was clear it was another win for her.
Before sending the queens backstage, Ru put the teachers through their paces in their first lip sync for their lives to Ru’s Champion and well, they were all so amazing and living their best lives. And yeah, I love them. Particularly since Mrs Reyes is basically Jennifer Coolidge when she moves too.
Backstage the dolls toasted themselves for making the top five before Luxx announced that she knows she will be lip syncing. But trust and believe, she is ready for a fight and good luck to whoever she faces. She then pointed out Loosey is likely lip syncing with her, with Loosey agreeing, though quickly pointing out that she disagrees completely with the judges opinions and thinks she doesn’t belong in the bottom. Luxx accepted all of her critiques, though pointed out her teacher was living and having star quality is clearly their family resemblance. She then asked Loosey why she was shady with the allocations, with her trying to say it was because she was competition before admitting it was also because she was rude to her, leading to some epic tension. For ages. Before Mistress turned things positive, praising Anetra and Sasha for doing so well.
Talk turned to the teachers with Luxx living for how lovely Asia is as a parent, protecting her queer kids and supporting them to live their authentic lives. Loosey asked her sisters about their drag families, with Sasha pointing out they can provide all the love and support that queer people often miss out from their bio families. Sasha then got a call from the iconic Kerri Colby and ugh, I love her so much. And how much she is riding for Sasha to take out the win, which is correct. Loosey was up next with a call from her family and friends, breaking down as she got the unconditional love and support she had clearly needed. She then opened up how hard it is to be away from her family, apologising for being robotic due to being so focused on the competition.
The teachers dropped by to join their mothers who brought a lovely energy to the room, with Mistress explaining why Loosey and Luxx were rehearsing. Sasha’s teacher thanked her for making her dreams come true and then asked to stay in touch and ugh, I am so damn jealous she gets to be Sasha’s friend.
Ultimately Mistress and Sasha were sent to safety before Anetra rightly took out her third win of the season, leaving Loosey to lip sync for her life against her nemesis Luxx. And well, maybe she shouldn’t have set up Luxx, because she can turn it. That being said, you know that Loosey felt she didn’t belong in the bottom and was angry. So angry, she was ready to demolish Hayley Kiyoko’s For the Girls. As Loosey fought valiantly, giving camp and sass, Luxx was all fire, giving tricks, energy and all the sex and ugh, it was good. But sadly, once again track record took precedence as Luxx was sent to safety leaving Loosey to exit. In tears.
As she found me back in the Werk Room, I pulled her in for a massive hug and praised her for giving such a dominating performance across the season. While her sisters – and maybe the producers – kinda trolled her or didn’t give her the flowers she often deserved, there is no denying she is a killer queen. Just sadly sometimes she was a little too polished, which appears to be triggering for Ru. I assured her that she did an amazing job throughout the season and reminded her that while queens like her often get trolled in regular seasons, they are usually the ones that dominate All Stars. Which is something I definitely see in her future, like a young DeLa for instance. And with that reference of BenDeLaChrist, she was once again her happy bubbly self and ready to tackle the world with a belly full of Loosey LaDucanut Cake.
Coconut has a very special place in my heart and I’ve spent years hunting for the ultimate coconut cake recipe, with this coming the closest to perfection I personally can muster. Sweet and flavourful, with a gorgeously light icing coated in chewy coconut, it is truly glorious.
Loosey LaDucanut Cake Serves: 2 dear friends, 1 being a future All Stars winner.
Ingredients 550g unsalted butter, at room temperature 2 cups raw caster sugar 5 eggs, at room temperature 3 tsp vanilla extract 1 tsp coconut essence 3 cups flour 1 tsp baking powder ½ tsp baking soda ½ tsp kosher salt 1 cup milk 300g shredded coconut, toasted 450g cream cheese, at room temperature 1 tsp almond extract 450g icing sugar
Method Preheat the oven to 180C and grease two round 23cm cake tins.
Using a stand mixer, cream 350g of the butter and the raw caster sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. About five minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, allowing the batter to come back together before adding the next, followed by 2 teaspoons of the vanilla extract and the coconut essence. It may look curdled at this point, but keep calm and carry on.
Remove from the stand mixer and sift in the flour, baking powder and soda, followed by the salt – which probs won’t sift – before folding into the batter, slowly adding milk as you go until it is all just combined. Return to the mixer and beat on low for a minute or two to ensure it is all together. Remove again, fold through 120g of the shredded coconut until just combined.
Divide the batter between the pans and transfer to the oven to bake for 45 minutes, or until golden and an inserted skewer comes out clean. Transfer to a baking rack to cool for half an hour before turning out and cooling completely.
As the cake gets chills, cream the cream cheese and remaining butter with the remaining vanilla and almond extract for a couple of minutes. Slowly add in the icing sugar and mix until smooth and combined.
When the cakes are cold enough to not ruin your hard work, pop a cake on a serving platter and spoon some icing on top to give about ½ centimetre layer once the second cake is stacked on top. Ice the top and sides of the cake before pressing with the remaining shredded coconut (and any extra, if desired) to coat the cake. Then devour, greedily.
Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race the dolls marked Ru’s big 200th with a celebratory ball. First up they were tasked with updating Ru’s famous racer suit, before throwing it back with a look inspired by their favourite ball. Given crystal is the traditional gift, the dolls were tasked with designing their final looks using a range of stones and glassware. While everyone looked good in the first category, it was really only Sasha that reinvented it by turning it into an epic gown. That was but the start of her dominance, as she served a dime bag in honour of the Bag Ball and gave a beautiful coral number, which rightly scored Sasha her second win. At the other end of the pack, Salina’s personality was beloved, but the looks, not so much, while Spice’s tied fabric together and filled Michelle with rage. Thankfully it was her final time triggering Michelle, as she trotted off into the sunset one last time.
Backstage the dolls were heartbroken to have lost Spice, though Salina admitted she was chill in the lip sync given she was clearly winning it. Sasha was thrilled to be the first queen with two wins while once again Loosey grew pressed since nobody was praising her for having three wins. Two of those being mini’s, which mean nothing, just as Art said. Though she mentioned she was completely fine, despite the fact she was pressed during untucked which elicited a tonne of giggles from Mistress. Marcia too opened up about being disappointed to not win the last challenge, with Loosey checking with Mistress whether she would yell at her too which led to Mistress once again destroying her in a fit of giggles. While Loosey shared with us that she just wanted respect for winning some of the most iconic challenges.
The next day Anetra tried to smile away her resting bitch face before Ru dropped by to announce that for this week’s challenge the dolls would be doing 1 on 1 interviews for her questionable news and current affairs show 50/50. Marcia and Sasha would kiki with the iconic Charo, Anetra, Loosey and Malaysia would suffer through Frankie Grande while Luxx, Mistress and Salina would interview Love Connie. And yeah, Sasha and Marcia got super lucky as the others are duds (by comparison only, for Love Connie). Oh and after doing their live interviews, the dolls would stomp the Night of 1000 Beyonces runway and ugh, I am living.
The teams split up to divide their interview formats with Salina focused on getting a win, while Loosey was trying to lead Team Frankie to victory by offering them a consistent approach and diverse discussion points. While Sasha and Marcia were just having fun kikiing before placing bets on who else would do well. And well, they were concerned about how team Love Connie would do. After catching them kiki, Mistress dropped by to be shady to Marcia and hot damn, I love her.
Team Love Connie were first to shoot with Salina proving that improv and interviewing are two vastly different things and while she was confident, she was a little out of her depth. Luxx meanwhile was effortlessly cute and charming as they careened around the carpark in a golf cart and while Mistress started off with a little stumble, before she relaxed and started giggling, though not really leading the interview. Sasha and Marcia were delightful from start to finish, though working with Charo makes it an easy job. They were embracing her energy and clearly having so much fun and it just translated into wonderful TV. Despite Marcia not really understanding anything she said. When it came to Team Frankie Grande, Loosey got a little bit of redemption as she knocked it out of the park, Anetra was fun and confident while Malaysia and Frankie completely botched making pizzas as Malaysia faded fast. Oh and despite all preparing to ask diverse questions, they only touched on Frankie getting married.
Elimination Day arrived with Sasha assuring them that she was the OG Sasha, implying that Beyonce may or may not have been inspired by her to invent the character of Sasha Fierce after seeing her perform. And while Mistress thinks it is a lovely fairytale, of course Bey is a Sasha stan.
It was family only on the panel as Ru, Michelle and TS took their places as Luxx opened the Night of 1000 Beyonces runway with a glamorous recreation of Beyonce at the Kennedy Centre Honours. Mistress was hilarious as Bey at the Grammys in the Destiny era, complete with puppet Michelle and Kelly on her shoulders. Salina was golden in a Grammys look, Sasha gave sexy BET awards realness and Marcia served a velvet gown from Bey at a charity event (which looked nice but is hardly an iconic look). Anerta gave her Virgin Mary On the Run tour look, Malaysia was sexy in the global citizen look while Loosey gave the VMA pregnancy reveal look. Without the baby bump.
Marcia and Anetra were sent to safety before Luxx received praise for how effortlessly she bounced off Love Connie’s energy and for looking stunning on the runway. Mistress was read for bombing the challenge, though given the puppets on her shoulders, it should save her from a lip sync. Salina was praised for looking pretty, though read for constantly cutting off Love Connie during the interview. Once again, Sasha received wall to wall praise for everything she gave this week, particularly her warmth in the interview. Malaysia’s look was universally beloved, though her interview was read for being an absolute mess. While the judges loved everything Loosey did. Despite her not asking why the witch doctor would want to kill Frankie, which to be fair, should be obvious, no?
Backstage Marcia and Anetra were happy to be safe, despite Marcia feeling like she needed to prove herself with a win while Anetra just wanted to get that momentum back. They spoke about how stressed Mistress seemed throughout the challenge, while both of them felt like they did well in the challenge, despite their initial fears. The tops and bottoms joined them, with Mistress joking about being in the top which Marcia hilariously thought was serious. She reminded them she isn’t delusional and knew she bombed, so knows she and Malaysia would be lip syncing. Loosey reminded her they said a lot more than her challenge as she told her she appreciates her trying to cheer her up, but doesn’t want to hear it. Malaysia spoke about being disappointed to finally be in the bottom, while Salina was heartbroken to once again be in the bottom. Particularly since she now can’t say she only sucked at design challenges.
Mistress started to break down about disappointing her hometown and bombing in such a major way, while Malaysia agreed she feels the same but if they lip sync, they need to slay. Mistress was sad it would be the two big girls lip syncing, though they vowed to turn the show. Luxx spoke about how shocked she was to kill the challenge before she was surprised by a video message from home and ugh, they are so sweet and I am crying right along with her. She opened up about how great it was to see them and be reminded that she has so many people rooting for her back home. TS then dropped by and gave all of the disappointed girls a hell of a pep talk, reminding them they are here because they belong here and to always believe in themselves. Oh and then she made Sasha cry, thanking her for being such a beacon for the trans community and ugh, I love them all.
Ultimately Luxx was sent to safety before Sasha took out her third win of the season, much to Loosey’s absolute rage to only be safe. While Mistress was thrilled to narrowly scrape by with that distinction, as Salina once again landed in the bottom, this time against Malaysia. To Queen Bey’s Single Ladies, no less. So you know it was a SHOW. Salina gave so much fire as she aggressively hit every lyric and move while Malaysia was all the emotion and damn, if we were getting a double shantay, now would have been the one. Sadly it wasn’t, as Salina once again saved herself and sweet Malaysia exited the competition.
Backstage Malaysia was rather disappointed to be out of the competition, though I pulled her in for a massive hug and reminded her that she consistently slayed. And as such, should be very proud of her performance. She surprised herself in a design challenge and was always solid, with her only stumble really coming at the point of the competition where there is just no room forever. Given that peptalk rivalled TS’s in power, she quickly cheered up and we got to planning her future All Stars dominance over a Malayswiss Babyroll Foxx.
White chocolate and raspberry is one of my favourite sweet combinations, and adding it into the swiss roll setting is near perfection. Spongy cake, tart raspberries and the sweet white chocolate work together perfectly to elevate even the most disappointed soul.
Malayswiss Babyroll Foxx Serves: 6-8.
Ingredients 160g white chocolate, roughly chopped 4 eggs, at room temperature 100g raw caster sugar 1 tsp almond essence 75g flour 1 tbsp baking powder 300ml double cream 1 vanilla pod, split, seeds scraped 200g fresh raspberries
Method Preheat the oven to 160C and line the base and sides of a 24cm x 35cm swiss roll tin with baking paper, leaving a few centimetres to exceed over the edges.
Pop half the white chocolate in a bowl and gently melt in a double boiler. Remove from the heat and let it cool a little. While that is happening, combine the eggs, sugar and almond essence in the bowl of a stand mixer and add the almond essence and beat on medium for about 5 minutes, or until pale and thick. Carefully fold through the cooled melted chocolate, followed by the flour and baking powder. Transfer the cake to the lined pan and pop in the oven to bake for 15 minutes, or until cooked through and spongy.
Once the cake is done, remove from the oven and flip out onto a piece of baking paper sprinkled with a little extra sugar. Remove the tin and carefully peel away the paper from the base of the sponge. Loosely roll up the sponge and sugared paper before leaving to cool completely on a wire rack.
While the cake is getting chill, slowly melt the remaining chocolate and leave to cool like you did the first batch. Lightly whip the double cream and vanilla seeds to form soft peaks before folding through the melted chocolate. Unroll the sponge and the cream mixture, leaving a 1cm border around the edges for spread Scatter over the raspberries before carefully re-rolling the sponge to form a delicious scroll.
Allow to cool completely – and set – before devouring, knowing you’re a talented icon.
Previously on Survivor 18 castaways were once again marooned in the islands of Fiji for a season of shenanigans and scheming. And while Jesse and Karla kinda dominated everyone, they were eliminated back-to-back resulting in a wild final tribal council where Cassidy was robbed and the jury awarded Gabler victory. Before he promptly gave all the money away to charity, which was lovely, but also kinda ended the season in an odd way. So basically, it happened and we were there.
But that is then and this is now, and I am obviously going to roll right past things and embrace more Probst time. We kicked things off with Carolyn learning a little bit about how to deliver confessionals and while it was all about herself, she seemed a little confused about what she was meant to do, so I love her already. We then cut to three boats speeding to a shore where we learnt young Carson has been studying for a shot to play for years and years. A lady named Claire meanwhile was hoping to translate being a venture capitalist into winning the money, while Jaime will use her yogi skills to build bonds while Yam Yam just can’t wait to shit in the ocean. Oh and Frannie loves tests, while Bruce is exploding with excitement.
But more importantly, Yam Yam is pumped for aqua dumps.
The boats arrived on a beach to meet Jeff where Jaime immediately fell in the ocean, while Matt and Frannie were shocked by how real it felt. And well, everyone was just a tad bit excited. Jeff gave us some flashbacks to past maroonings and victories, reminding them they have to both build a society and be strategic enough to make it to the end and convince people to give them money. Yam Yam was first to speak officially, saying he wants castaways to bring it and give it their all and that he is just pumped to hold their puke bags as they’re family now. Frannie agreed that they’re bonded for life while Matthew was just anxious, rather than fearful. Which is relatable AF.
After introducing Ratu in orange, Soka in green and Tika in purple, Jeff explained that their first reward challenge would see pairs from each tribe race through obstacles to collect puzzle pieces, then two people will solve said puzzle before three people would each release a ring from a pole – swoon – with the first tribe to finish getting supplies and second place getting to pick whether to do the sweat or swoon challenge back at camp, while last place would have to suffer through the other. On the second obstacle, Bruce smacked his head on a piece of wood and started flowing blood as Probst told him to let him know if they needed to pause the challenge. The other tribes continued to power ahead, as Tika pulled up the rear while Bruce was completely covered in blood.
Everyone was working on their puzzles before Bruce fell to the ground as Probst finally called pause on the challenge as medical checked his vital signs. Everyone cheered as he sat up and gave them a sign and ugh, it was beautiful to see. He then called the challenge back on as the tribes powered through the puzzles, with Tika somehow first to finish theirs. The other tribes then cheated on the puzzle as Carolyn struggled to release the rings, leaving Soka to power through the rings and win their supplies. Before Ratu burnt through theirs, handing them the choice of the additional challenges while Carolyn was just exhausted and the tribe was left with the dregs. After handing out maps to their camps, Probst ominously advised Bruce that the medical team would continue to monitor him over the next day.
We followed Soka to their new camp, where the tribe were still super excited about literally everything. Matt meanwhile admitted to us that he was a little bit nervous to hit the beach, since he is fresh out of a break up and wanting to find himself. They went into the ocean to wash off the mud and make introductions with everyone vibing and having a nice time and ugh, I love it. Despite the fact Danny wished there was an asshole that would make it easier to get rid of people when the time comes. Josh, Frannie and Claire went for a walk looking for firewood as they came across a locked birdcage with an idol – or at least, something – in the middle of the jungle. They pulled everyone aside to show them and well, just the sight of it seemed to make everyone a little nervous.
At Ratu the tribe read the challenges in front of them where they would either have to work collecting 100s of coconuts at opposite ends of the beach in under 4 hours, while the savvy challenge would be to solve a puzzle in 15 minutes. Matthew pointed out the other tribe were kind of down and out already with Bruce’s injury, so sweetly suggested the brawn challenge makes the most sense for them. Matthew and Brandon got to work on the coconut challenge as the other four started sorting their camp. We bounced over to Tika where Helen was delighted to learn they jagged the puzzle with Carolyn and Yam Yam quickly dapping out. As such Carson and Helen stood up to the puzzle and straight up solved it within a matter of minutes, as the rest of the tribe wandered around and discovered their cage. And while Yam Yam knew it was an advantage, he desperately wanted it to be candy. While Carolyn wanted to break in without a key.
And I ship both of them already.
Back at Ratu Brandon and Matthew were straight up exhausted by the challenge, though continued to power ahead in the hope of getting their supplies. The rest of their tribe came across the cage, which they quickly agreed to ignore and do as much work as possible for the duo working hard for their supplies. And while they were cramping up and ready to quit, the duo managed to finalise it with a matter of minutes remaining. And well, they were just overjoyed.
Carson and Yam Yam were busy trying to make fire back at Tika, with Yam Yam proving to have done more practice as he ignited a roaring blaze. He opened up to us about how thrilled he is to be from Puerto Rico, given he is used to living in humidity, meaning he is ready to live on an island for a month. Everyone then got to know each other with the biggest takeaway being that Carson gained 30 pounds to come out here and oh god, was he a child?
Over at Soka it was Heidi that quickly got a fire going, surprising and delighting her tribe with her boss behaviour and ugh, I love her and look forward to her dominating. Ideally with Yam Yam and Carolyn. Speaking of love, Matt and Frannie were weaving palm fronds and being all cute and flirty, and ugh, I ship these nerds so hard.
That night as Tika was getting ready for bed they noticed that Bruce was very lethargic and quiet, prompting them to call medical back to camp. He told them that he had developed a massive headache, which had gotten progressively worse over the course of the afternoon, which was unfortunately a sign of concussion. Which sadly pulled him from the game as Jeff arrived at camp to talk him through the process. He was crying, the tribe were crying, I was crying and ugh, I need him to get another shot ASAP. While Yam Yam assured him that they will bring it home for him.
After getting discharged from hospital, I pulled him in for a massive but gentle hug, assuring him that we will see him get a real shot at the game into the future (which has been confirmed by Jeff even). Given I didn’t have much to go on from his 10 minutes pre-injury, I focused my attention on running through strategies for his return, so if he wins, I can take credit. That or my Briuce Sperreault Cheesecake, that is.
A little bit cheesecake, a little bit bread and butter pudding, this spicy little number is an absolute delight. The smooth cream cheese and rich brioche work perfectly to create a decadent dessert which is surprisingly easy.
Briuce Sperreault Cheesecake Serves: 8.
Ingredients 250g cream cheese, at room temperature 250g sour cream ⅓ cup raw caster sugar 1 tbsp vanilla bean paste 3 eggs ½ cup milk ½ cup hazelnuts, roughly chopped 100g chocolate, roughly chopped 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon 400g brioche, cut into thick slices 100g butter, at room temperature
Method Preheat the oven to 160C and line a square baking dish with some baking paper.
Using a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese and sour cream with half the sugar until smooth. Add the vanilla, followed by the eggs, one at a time and then the milk, in a slow steady stream, waiting until everything has come together before making the next addition.
Combine the hazelnuts, chocolate, cinnamon and remaining caster sugar in a small bowl. Butter the brioche and gently sprinkle with a little bit of the nut mixture before sandwiching together and repeating the process until you have a series of the sweetest sandwiches around. Then cut the sandwiches into triangles.
Arrange the sandwiches cut-side down in the lined dish before pouring over the cheesecake mixture. Cover with cling and leave to soak for about 15 minutes. Transfer to the oven and bake for 50 minutes or until the cheesecake is set and golden. Remove to cool in the pan for about 15 minutes before dusting with icing sugar and serving, ideally with some vanilla ice cream, before devouring.
Previously on Australian Survivor on the bottom with dwindling options, Shaun revealed his idol to Simon, anointing him his closest ally as they locked in a plan to blindside George. After Simon won immunity and climbed Shaun like we all want to, George was spooked by their growing closeness. The Vigilantes planned to split the vote on Nina and Shaun given Sam is not exactly the most strategic person. That is until Simon left the group and they agreed to load all their votes on Sam, to navigate around a Simon flip. Sadly for George, Hayley was also planning on making a move against him, telling Nina the real plan and advising her to use any idols they had on Sam given they won’t be doing a split. With Shaun’s idol in hand, Nina improved their chances further by jagging a second. Despite having three out of their four people immune, however, the Heroes and Simon botched the double idol play resulting in Sam’s exit.
The next day Shiz were busy hunting for crabs and doing best friend shit, with Shonee particularly thrilled to have all the power in the game on top of having a bestie. She spoke about how close they are before venturing to the ocean to plot who would be the smartest people to take to the end, agreeing Gerry is easiest to beat in challenges while Simon is a bit of a joke. The one person they know they can’t hang with, however, is George, given everyone will assume they rode his coattails. And they were happy to lose to each other, but not him. Oh and then Shonee wandered off and found yet another idol which honestly is just Queen shit. As is her plan to use it to have a fun little blindside.
Shaun and Nina however were feeling far less zen, bonding over how screwed they kind of are after their spectacular blunder with the idols. They agreed the smartest thing to do was keep quiet about Hayley leaking information, given it means they could still use her in the future. Simon meanwhile was explaining why he moved to Hayley – unaware she also tried to flip – while George went person to person talking about how stupid Simon is. Seeing this, Nina decided it was in her best interests to throw him under the bus, approaching the Vigilantes to work with them to get rid of Simon the instant he doesn’t have immunity. Oh and then she and Shaun decided they probably still need an idol to seal the deal, despite not having the best track records.
With the duo off hunting for idols, the Vigilantes discussed who would be the smartest to take out next and while Hayley and Matt felt Simon was easy – given that is what George wants – Shonee knew it was a bad idea, given Shaun and Nina have more friends on the jury and Simon’s gameplay has been far from winning. The Spice Girls and Hayley caught up with Shonee calmly trying to explain why they need to put Simon on the backburner, particularly since the immunities get less physical as they go along, meaning he will get less and less threatening.
Shonee and Liz then sneakily ate rice by the shelter as everyone else was away, unaware that George was lurking behind and heard them refer to themselves as Shiz rather than the Spice Girls. And well, let’s just say, he was pissed. Later that night, George woke up and paced the shoreline as he simmered in rage, before Gerry woke up and joined him. George unleashed about how hurt he was and floated making a move sooner rather than later. And oh God, please don’t break up yet, I can’t handle it!
The tribe met Jonathan for the latest epic immunity challenge which would play out across three stages. The first would see them race to land three sandbags on a disc with the first six to finish moving on. In the next stage they would have to toss sandbags to knock rungs off a ladder and then use them to build a bridge with the first three to finish going to the final round where they would be tethered to a spinning platform and have to stack 10 discs into a tower with the first to finish winning. Simon was the first to move on to the second round, followed by Gerry, Matt, Liz, Shaun and Hayley. In the second round Shaun pulled out in front as Hayley and Simon nipped at his heels, while George whispered to Nina that he just doesn’t want either of the boys to win. Sadly for him however, they made it to the final round with Hayley. Simon got out to an early lead, while Shaun continued to botch the balancing as Hayley quietly worked away. Until she dropped, giving Simon plenty of breathing room to place the final disc and secure immunity. Again.
Back at camp everyone gave Simon some half hearted congratulations before he, Nina and Shaun went for a walk to the well, leaving the Vigilantes to lock in the split vote between Nina and Shaun. The minority meanwhile focused on hunting for an idol as Simon went back to chat with the Vigilantes, with him suggesting they work together for this vote and that he will just lock in who he will vote for when the time comes. Obviously George hated that idea, given he wants control, so he agreed to work with Simon once again and not come for him until the OG Heroes are gone. But only if he votes for Shaun.
George returned to the shelter to fill Shiz in on the plan and while they were happy with things, they went into the ocean to wash off together and talk about how happy they would be if the other person won. Sadly George watched on, growing more and more jealous of their closeness until he suggested to us that Shonee is so dangerous to his game that maybe now is the time to take the shot. And ugh, I fucking hate it here.
As the tribe gathered to eat dinner, the girls fed each other as George looked on angrily. He pulled Gerry aside to float the idea of getting rid of Shonee and while he was keen on it, he cautioned that now is not the right time and told George they just need to hold firm for a few more rounds. As such, George pulled Hayley aside to get a different answer with her obviously thrilled by the idea, wanting to play a fun, messy game. Which obviously filled George with joy as he suggested to her that while Liz will be angry, he will happily beg for her forgiveness tomorrow. He went back to Gerry to fill him in, who in turn told Matt, while George went to rope in Nina. Horrifically, it all fell into place very quickly as everyone was ready to get rid of Shonee ASAP, given she is such a massive threat. While she spoke to Matt about feeling nervous, given she has been the one to blow up 3-3 votes from the minority in the past.
At tribal council – where I was ready to vom and cry all at once – Simon spoke about how immunity is the only thing that saved him tonight, meaning either Shaun or Nina are going home. Nina played coy about hearing word of people jumping ship as Shaun whispered to her asking what George had wanted to talk to her about back at camp, with her just assuring him they are fine. Liz spoke about the alliance being solid and steamrolling to the end, while Shonee was equally as confident as George spoke about sticking to a deal that was cut post immunity challenge. Matt, Simon and Shonee all mentioned they heard about the deals, while Matt and Shonee agreed George’s deals are always solid. George spoke about how they need to make moves when they have numbers, while Shonee whispered to Liz whether they should be worried. With Liz assuring her they are fine.
Talk turned to timing, with Shonee reiterating that it is too early to make a move and doing it too soon often screws you out of alliances and stops you from making it to the end. Nina joked about them definitely being at the right point of the season to make a move, so to join her, while George spoke about how making moves at the right time is simply when you have the numbers. Nina whispered to Shaun that it won’t be him going home tonight, making him confident enough to speak up and tell the majority that if they don’t know how they are proceeding beyond the six, then they are likely not making it to the end. With that the tribe voted and despite our queen feeling uncomfortable about a 3-3 vote, she held firm onto her idol and was tragically blindsided from the game. As Liz looked on enraged – just like me! – while George thought winking at the jury would make them like him, rather than hate him.
While Shonee was her usual positive, delightful self as she arrived at the Jury Villa, I was an absolute mess. I was screaming, I was shaking, I had had it. Officially. I went full Laura Dern in Enlightened on poor Sam and Flick – coincidentally created by King Mike White – until Shonee arrived and pulled me, her number one cherub in for a hug. After a day or so – just ahead of the next boot, TBH – I stopped crying long enough to congratulate her on such a strong game. Despite this being her lowest placement, she absolutely dominated the game and proved she is far and away the best player of the franchise. She then got me talking about pilates, which is now my personality – I do it with David Wenham, which is a true sentence – giving me enough strength to toast her third game with a delicious Lemonee Buttell Cake. In preparation for her fourth, winning game.
Like Shonee, this cake is near perfection. Sweet, a little zesty and a hint of salt, working together to give you a joyous (viewing) experience. Oh and the lemon butter creates a glorious, gooey centre which is just perfection.
Ingredients 300g raw caster sugar 2 lemons, zested and juiced ¾ tsp sea salt 3 eggs, at room temperature, 2 separated 227g unsalted butter, melted and cooled 330g flour 2 ½ tsp baking powder 250g cream cheese, softened 225g icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
Method Preheat the oven to 170C and line a 22cm round pan with baking paper, leaving an overhang to help remove the cake later.
In a large bowl, combine the caster sugar with half the zest and ½ tsp of salt using your fingers until it is a fragrant, yellow mixture. Add the whole egg, half the lemon juice and cooled butter and whisk to combine before folding through the flour and baking powder until just combined. Transfer to the lined pan, smoothing out the top.
Using a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese and icing sugar together until it forms a smooth, soft batter. Add the egg yolks, remaining salt, lemon zest and juice, and beat until smooth. Pour on top of the cake and transfer to the oven to bake for 45 minutes, or until the edges have browned and the centre is puffed. If it is still a bit under, cover with foil and cook for another 10-15 minutes to set completely.
Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes or so before removing to cool completely. Then simply sprinkle it with some icing sugar and devour it in honour of our queen.
Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race instead of delivering a maxi challenge, Ru gave the dolls a reprieve in the form of a lip sync lalaparuza. Which obviously is only a reprieve for the dolls that win their first round. Everyone else, however, had a fight. Despite some of the queens selecting opponents they felt would be the easiest to beat, sweet Anetra focused on battles. Though after watching her lip sync with Sasha in the first round – which should have been a double shantay – who can blame her confidence. Ultimately it came down to three girls where it came down to Anetra to choose one sister to save, sending sweet Spice to safety and fellow lip sync assassin Jax out of the competition.
The next day the dolls were thrilled to have survived the lip sync lalaparuza, with Marcia particularly happy to be safe on the first round. And to not have to see Jax lip sync a sixth time. Anetra meanwhile was thrilled to have faced off against the Simone Biles of drag and come out on top. While Spice wanted to clarify what she said about entering her top era last week, explaining that she actually meant this week while Mistress joked she was thinking about entering her congeniality era.
Before Malaysia could malfunction at that suggestion, Ru dropped by to challenge the dolls to a little mini challenge where they would have to get into quick drag and photobomb some iconic moments from throughout the series to celebrate the 200th episode. Salina slayed Laganja’s entry, Anetra bombed into Willow Pill’s bubble bath, Malaysia joined Vanjie’s exit, Spice hung with Gaga, Luxx grunted through knocking off Ornacia and Vivacious in their opening shoot, Mistress caught Morgan’s ping pong balls, Marcia creeped on Jinkx’s crowning, Sasha creeped on Ru at the Despys and Loosey hung onto Serena in the tank photoshoot mini challenge. Obviously though it was Anetra that took out the win, given it was iconic and hilarious.
Given the episodes are still only an hour we couldn’t dwell on things, so Ru announced that for this week’s maxi challenge they’d be throwing a 15th anniversary ball. And since that is traditionally marked by crystal, welcome to the Crystal ball! First category the dolls would have to update Ru’s iconic opening racing suit for Start Your Engines. Next up, the dolls would pull inspiration from their favourite balls of yore in the My Favourite Ball runway and close out the show in the Crystalised Eleganza look which they make from scratch. Emphasis on scratch, given it will be fully crystalised. Oh and Loosey is confident, given she makes all her own costumes, so she wants her sisters to know she is the one to beat despite Sasha being right there.
And frequently thinking she should be ranked higher than the judges place her.
After Ru departed, the dolls went nuts grabbing supplies, literally breaking glassware in the process. Mother Sasha was confident in her ability to know fashion and herself, rather than being worried about her lack of sewing skills, while Anetra planned to crystalise Kennedy’s dead chicken. Ru returned with Carson to kiki with the girls, with Spice getting read for giving too much of the same thing and asked to mix it up a little. Mistress meanwhile was sassy as she showed off her big gown moment and while other dolls were going that route too, hers would stand out for being nice. Salina was giving too much and was reminded to edit and sell it on the runway, rather than getting lost in her head. She then opened up about how difficult she has found the emotions of the competition.
Ru and Carson disappeared leading to the girls reading Loosey for being heartbroken over losing the acting challenge. And while Mistress was trying to have a bit of fun, Loosey worried she was trying to get in her head.
Elimination Day arrived with the dolls talking about their siblings, with Salina opening about her queer brother before Anetra spoke about not having talked to her mum after she kicked her out for allegedly making everyone in her uncomfortable for being herself. And ugh, her mum is a dumb bitch and I hate her for doing that to Anetra and making her lose her siblings that she so dearly loves. The positive though is that she reconnected with her birth father who has become her biggest supporter and even bought her her first sewing machine. Talk turned to iconic moments of the past, with the dolls throwing out Shangela and Mimi’s fight, anything Alyssa has ever done, Bianca’s Judge Judy, opulence and Ongina coming out as HIV positive. While Spice was grateful Rebecca Glasscock wore jeans on entry, so she and Sugar could trot in rocking mini skirts.
Ru, Michelle and Carson were joined by Emmy winner Julia Garner on the panel to judge their 200th episode ball. Well, after Ru debuted her new song Cake and Candy. And while she gave us nothing – obviously – the sexy dancing bakers flooded my basement as they gave everything. Kicking off the Start Your Engines category, Mistress gave a classic racer suit full of all the big girls catchphrases. Spice meanwhile turned it into a mini skirt and avoided strutting, while Luxx made things edgy, Marcia slayed in a pastel mod vibe, Salina was street and sexy, Malaysia was glam and gorgeous in pink while Loosey slayed as Barbie and Princess Peach’s lovechild while Sasha turned it into a glamorous gown, while Anetra was fluro and represented her heritage in all the right easy.
Mistress kicked off the My Favourite Ball runway celebrating the ball ball like a sexy club kid beachball, Marcia gave canvas milkmaid in honour of the bag ball, Malaysia was beautiful in a hair gown for the hair ball while Spice gave little furballs for the ball ball. Salina gave palm tree cash for the money ball, Loosey looked like a hippy made out of doggy bags for the bag ball, Luxx was architectural in a hair ball number while Sasha celebrated weed in the sexiest way for the bag ball while Anetra was sickening and sweet for the Sugar Ball.
Closing out the show Mistress’ gown truly was perfection, not like something she made in under 24 hours. Spice looked like she just extended her usual look, Marcia gave a slutty Marie Antoinette, Malaysia too gave a perfect gown, Salina looked beautiful in her gown – despite it not fitting great – while Loosey mocked herself in a gorgeous runner-up evening wear gown. Luxx gave ice fairy and oh god, how did she make that in 24 hours?! Sasha too was stunning, giving a golden coral goddess while Anetra slayed in a gown complete with beaded exposed spine.
Marcia Cubed, Malaysia and Luxx were sent to safety before the judges praised Salina’s first two looks and how she sold them, though read her final gown for just not having the fit down. Spice was praised for her first look, read for giving furball before Michelle read her for filth for the final outfit, though loved how hard she tried not to trot. Mistress received wall to wall praise for all three of her looks, before Loosey was read for her middle look. Sasha then received all of the praise for thinking outside the box on all of her looks, and for looking stunning while doing it. She opened up about House Colby and how it saved her life and ugh, I love her so damn much. While the judges lived for two out of three of Anetra’s look, particularly her final look which was stunning. Though Michelle cautioned her to try not give so much resting bitch face on the runway.
Backstage the dolls – well Marcia and Luxx, anyway – weren’t loving the fact they were only safe which honestly is kind of fair, given the looks they both pulled together in a day. Malaysia was happy with her collection, though kinda was in her feelings about just wanting to have that star moment, given she is still without a win. Marcia felt she deserved the win while Luxx was enraged that her creative look didn’t get the props it was due, as Malaysia tried to suggest it could have just been that she just didn’t give the judges eleganza. Which was sweet, but obviously meant nothing to Luxx. Just like Art.
The tops and bottoms joined them with the girls not shocked to hear Sasha was beloved for giving vastly different looks. Salina shared how disappointed she was to be in the bottom, despite the judges not really hating anything, just the details. Spice just laughed about how the judges found her funny for not trotting and charming the shit out of them. Oh, but she knew she was in the bottom. Loosey shared she was hit and miss with the judges and then when Malaysia pointed out she had no idea what her middle look was about, Loosey cracked it and the duo started fighting. With Malaysia hilariously just finishing things by telling her the look sucked. Basically. Anetra’s final look was beloved though Michelle hated the colour of her first look, with Spice asking them to consider how green feels about Michelle, since she always comes for it.
Talk turned to Spice potentially going home, with everyone talking about how much she has grown and they love her. And I LOVE it. Oh and then Julia Garner dropped by and spat Anna Delvey lines, so I LIVE for that.
Ultimately Sasha took out her second victory of the season, as Anetra and Mistress joined her in the top before Loosey narrowly avoided the bottom, leaving Salina and Spice to battle it out. And as soon as Lil Nas X’s That’s What I Want kicked off, it was clear Salina was surviving, but honestly, I could watch Spice read the phonebook because she is just so silly and joyous and ugh, I love what I love. Though yeah, Salina served a moment, hitting every lyric, finding the perfect balance between comedy and emotion and well, it was only fair she lived to see another day as Spice sadly sashayed away. Via extensive trotting, as Ru and Michelle finally embraced it and cackled along with her.
As she entered the Werk Room, I pulled Spice in for a massive hug and thanked her for being such a glorious ball of joy throughout the season. While the judges never seemed to get her (or Sugar’s) vibe, the fact that her sisters quickly went from hate to love proves that the duo are legit. And absolute delights, so I’m glad that translated to the audience. Given she and Sugar are already uber social media famous – like me, don’t ya know! – it isn’t like she needed much of a pep talk, so instead I toasted her run with a piping hot Pumpkin Spice Bundt.
This spicy number is the perfect addition to any occasion, despite the fact I used a haunted house bundt tin. The earthy pumpkin pairs perfectly with the combination of spices, leaving a moist, cake that melts in your mouth and fills you with glee.
Pumpkin Spice Bundt Serves: 8.
Ingredients 2 cups muscovado sugar 115g unsalted butter, softened ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil 2 eggs, at room temperature 1 ½ cups pumpkin purée ½ cup sour cream 3 cups flour 2 tsp baking powder 1 tsp baking soda 1 ¼ tsp kosher salt 1 tbsp ground cinnamon 1 tsp ground cardamom ¼ tsp ground allspice ¼ tsp nutmeg ¼ tsp ground black pepper
Method Preheat the oven to 170C, and butter and flour a 12 cup bundt pan.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the muscovado sugar, butter and olive oil on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add an egg, allowing the batter to come back together before adding the second. Pour in the pumpkin purée and sour cream, and mix until combined.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cardamom, allspice, nutmeg and pepper in a large bowl. Remove the other bowl from the stand mixer and fold the dry ingredients through until just combined. Pour the batter into the bundt tin, tapping on the bench to remove any bubbles. Pop the tin on a baking sheet if it isn’t stable (the haunted house is far from structurally sound) and transfer to the oven to bake for an hour, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 20 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Once chill you can either make a little glaze – maple is a particularly good choice – or simply dust with icing sugar before devouring. Either way, you’ll love it.
Previously on Australian Survivor seven groups of castaways were marooned across Samoa, Fiji, Cloncurry and Charters Towers – well, after a terrible season in the Great Australian Bite and an ok season of celebrities – ready to battle each other and the elements to prove themselves. And in doing so, became heroic competitors or iconic villains. After a supercut of past maroonings and some star moments of our returnees old and new, we cut back to where it all began in Samoa ready to put good and evil to the test. Despite the fact Sandra kinda already proved that villains are always more likely to take out victory.
We first got a glimpse of our Heroes as they wandered through the bush with Shaun reminding us he is a total zaddy and Hayley hoping good will triumph like it did on her first season, before jumping in the Season 1 trucks that were left in the bush like a cast off from Jurassic Park. They were joined by my personal hero Benjamin Law and AFL’er David Zaharakis before we met Rogue Rubin who is an animal activist and all around badass. Mateship King Sam returned to drop his fave word alongside Nina, daughter of aforementioned Villain Queen Sandra and Flick, who tragically lost her mother during filming of Brains V Brawn and ugh, I’m crying just remembering how heartbreaking it all was.
We traded the good for evil where we reconnected with Jordie and the absolute Queen and saviour Shonee who was, is and always will be an absolute icon. I. Con. Hook the Shontent directly into my veins. She is here to fight against heroes and inflation and is ready to be cheeky and have fun and again, I love it. Simon and Jackie parkoured on to the truck alongside real estate agent Fraser who is ready to lean into stereotypes but let’s be honest, I’m only here for Anjali, former real housewife, when it comes to villain newbies. She is the moment and I love it, though let’s be honest, that probs just cursed her to become the first boot. We then got our first taste of George’s return to hog airtime, leaning into his self-appointed kingdom and dropping his key catch phrases and ugh, am I going to like it?
Almost as much as scandalous beauty queen Sarah who iconally wants Miss Greece to know if she had pushed her down the stairs, she wouldn’t have gotten up.
The two trucks converged on a narrow street before pulling up with Jonathan – ahhh, swoon town – along the beach at the site of their epic first challenge. But first, we had some introductions to get to! Jonathan doubled down on the characteristics of heroes and villains before George explained he is not actually a rulebreaker. Oh and he has been working out and got a bad immunity idol tattoo. Hayley immediately got shady, mocking said tatt – sweet baby George, no – and ready to get the job done. Again. We met lifeguard Matt who is like a human puppy before Queen Anjali spoke about how boring heroes are and that they are set up for a fall given they’re already on top. And well, she is ready to get the taste of hero blood and come out on top.
And again, Anjali came here to feed us and I love that mother is mothering so hard.
After collecting their buffs from Jonathan he explained that their first reward challenge would be rather simple. In front of them were a field of supplies and each tribe would simply grab what they need and take it to the top of a tower before going and collecting a torch at the end of the course, with the first tribe to light a fire getting to keep everything they collect and flint, while the losers would start with nothing. Despite saying it was rather simple, as soon as the challenge kicked off young Matt went from human-puppy to scrappy fighter, trying to tackle all the villains and stopping them from collecting anything. While the rest of the Heroes powered ahead, working in unison and being generally heroic, Simon likewise leant into his tribe designation, climbing the platform and stealing everything the heroes placed.
Obviously that annoyed Sam – that is NOT mateship, mate! – who climbed up on the tower to stop him and save what they were collecting before Summer Bay icon Sharni Vinson stepped up – geddit? I have so many jokes lined up – to help him given Simon was crafty. While that battle was playing out aloft, Jordie and Matt were still wrestling – swoon – over supplies, with Jordie taking the time to get to know him and welcome him to the game. Which honestly, is pretty damn heroic for a villain like him. The Heroes continued to pull away as the Villains were comically messy, my favourite moments being when Liz tossed wood at the wall and Anjali getting rice thrown at her head. As Shaun ventured out to grab the torch and light the Heroes way to victory, Simon gave one last burst of entertainment as he ran interference by grabbing him off the platform. Sadly though it was only a slight delay, as Shaun quickly jumped up and secured the win.
We followed the Villains back to camp where the mood was decidedly dejected, with Anjali in particular annoyed by the fact the Heroes predictably won. As they settled in, Jordie asked everyone to do introductions, with Michael coming out as a journo while Anjali spoke about her extensively impressive career. Jordie was much more impressed, however, with Mimi who is in luxury car promotions, while Shonee was smitten with Liz the Olympian. Talk quickly turned to the fact that Simon is a chippy and as such, the tribe asked him to pull together a shelter while he opened up to us about knowing he can’t hide his skills, so was planning to be helpful and humble. Despite being good at everything. Sadly though he already was growing frustrated by people not helping out around camp as Shonee laughed with Anjali about having no skills in construction.
That being said, it was George already working on building relationships that was drawing Simon and Jordie’s ire rather than our Queens. Despite quickly falling in love with Shonee, George decided his best ally would probably be Jackie given she is a poker player and as such, knows how to play hard and fast. He then told Anjali how much he loved her on Dateline before roping her in to form a tight little threesome. And just like that, George is lining up allies. Or you know, painting a target on Anjali and Jackie’s backs. Either or, depending how the rest of the tribe feel about him.
Over at the far more stocked Heroes camp, the tribe plopped their bounty under the flag with sweet Matt particularly thrilled to be so Survivor rich. Benjamin suggested they go around and share with Paige opening up about living on a cattle station, David mentioned he was fired from the AFL and Queen Sharni tragically didn’t name drop Irene. Which to me, is a bit of a butter fingers of the mind move, darl. Being Heroes, they all rallied around to get camp sorted with Gerry ominously reminding Hayley to be humble in victory (he is totally orchestrating her blindside in the future, right?). She opened up about being the obvious first target and how nervous it makes her, so as such, she got to work charming the hell out of people. She bonded with Gerry and Matt while Shaun quietly got into Rogue’s ear about Hayley being a winner amongst them and as such, a massive target.
Unaware that he was working against her, Hayley calmly planned to find division and exacerbate it to save herself. And well, Rogue was making it a super easy job for her. She told Gerry she has been closer to death than him since a lion biting her butt is worse than a plane crash, checking whether Shaun was cut or uncut – babe, we love all dicks, who cares – and then the kicker, telling Nina she didn’t need to explain U.S.A. to her like an idiot AND that she is more African American than her, since she lives part time in the US. Which begs the question, was there a way that those interactions could have been edited to make it sound that bad because I don’t even know how you could Frankencut normal sentences to say those things. In any event, congrats Hayley for breaking the returning winner curse – love you Shane and Jericho! – Rogue has your back!
But seriously, looping back, cut or uncut, Shaun can sit on my face so just no, Rogue. He is my hero.
Despite the lack of anything, things were pretty swell at Villains camp the next morning as Jordie tried his darndest to get fire going as the tribe rallied around cheering him on. While they weren’t having much success, it was bringing them together. Well, except for Michael who excused himself to go hunting for an idol by himself. Sadly though, he wasn’t as stealth as he thought he was, getting caught by Jordie who also pointed him out to Mimi. After we learnt more about his career as a journalist, Michael bonded with Stevie and assured him he will stop at nothing to win and well, unless they are aligned, that isn’t the best pitch.
Michael then approached Shonee and Fraser to build his alliance before throwing out George as the potential first target for their tribe. Before even losing immunity. After assuring Fraser that Liz is good, she dropped by and agreed George was super annoying and as such, she would be willing to get rid of him. But more importantly, she was just keen because he is annoying, nothing else. Like a damn Queen. While Michael rallied his numbers, Jordie quietly watched how intense he was and decided he needed to go ASAP. After Simon freed himself from Michael’s grasp, he caught up with Jordie and the duo agreed that Michael is just as much of an issue as George. Though the question was whether George could be taken out later if they don’t strike immediately making use of Michael and his numbers before cutting him too. Since Simon learnt George couldn’t be left for later in their first season.
The tribes came together with Jonathan for the first immunity challenge of the season where they would race through a series of obstacles of mud and sticks before searching through coconuts for a hammer which they would use to knock rungs into a ladder. They would then ascend said ladder and throw additional hammers at tiles with the first tribe to crush all five taking out immunity.
The Heroes got out to an early lead while Jackie and George were pulled from the course on the first obstacle to see the medic, after landing awkwardly in the mud. While the rest of her tribe tried to close the gap, Zaddy Shaun demolished their sticks and made life easy for the rest of his tribe. Somehow the Villains battled on as the tribes drew neck and neck searching through the coconuts before the Heroes took the lead back on assembling their ladder. Wait, no, Jordie was a boss as he assembled the ladder and took the lead for the Villains before Shaun swapped out for Sam and evened things up again. Both tribes were neck and neck throwing the hammers at the tiles, knocking them out one at a time before the Heroes once again pulled away and narrowly secured immunity for their tribe.
After the Heroes exited the Villains learnt that they would be two people down for the afternoon scramble as Jackie and George were taken to the hospital to receive further testing. Which either dooms them or helps them dodge the bullet, depending on whether the tribe wants to turn their attention elsewhere just in case the duo aren’t options.
Fast forwarding a little bit, after a quick X-ray at hospital it became very clear that Jackie at the very least would be unable to continue in the game due to a fracture in her collarbone and as such, I hightailed it over to cheer her up.
Well, after I stupidly pulled her in for a massive hug and made her fracture just that little bit more painful. After apologising with some pain meds, I gently grabbed her by the hand and told her how heartbroken I was to see her return cut short so damn soon. Jackie had such a spark in her first season and in her brief time out in Samoa, it was clear she was back and ready to take it all the way. Though sadly Australian Survivor is going to Australian Survivor with some brutal challenge set pieces, which tragically cost her the game. Though I did assure her that like Shonee, her third time will be for the win. Which perked her up, alongside a piping hot batch of Jackie Glaziered Muffins.
Yes, yes, these are clearly Halloween muffins, but the season was filmed around the holiday, so it made sense to us. Plus, they taste perfect, so who cares, you know? Sticky and spicy with a gooey, sweet glaze – remember, Jackie’s exit came early so I didn’t get to cool them as much as required – they are a decadent cake to eat away the *technically* first boot pain.
Jackie Glaziered Muffins Serves: 6-12.
Ingredients 140g butter, plus extra for greasin’ 1 cup golden syrup 1 cup muscovado sugar 1 cup Guinness 1 tbsp ground ginger 2 tsp ground cinnamon ¼ tsp ground cloves 2 cups flour, plus extra for greasin’ 2 tsp baking soda 1 ¼ cups sour cream 2 eggs 1 ½ cups icing sugar ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
Method Preheat the oven to 180C and grease some skull muffin tins with a little bit of butter and flour. Or, you know, a Texan muffin tin if you don’t want to be festive.
Combine the butter, syrup, sugar, Guinness and spices in a pan and melt over a low heat. Once shiny and combined, remove from the heat and whisk in the flour and baking soda, in a gentle fashion, until smooth. Next, whisk in the sour cream, followed by the eggs until smooth.
Divide the batter between the skulls, giving the pan a little tap on the bench to work through any bubbles. Place the pan on a lined baking sheet and transfer to the oven to bake for 30-45 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. If using a textured pan like the skulls, you’re better off cooking a little further to leave a drier crumb to make it easier to turn out.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Combine the icing sugar and lemon juice in a bowl and stir until smooth. Spoon over the muffins once completely cooled, or if going for the melting in the Samoan heat until the skulls get a macabre Halloween vibe, leave them a little bit warm.
Previously on Drag Race France the top four were given one final hurdle before battling for the crown and oh boy, was it a doozy – making over their besties! And while there are normally more than a few questionable choices, the quartet all served it as they stayed true to themselves while looking out for their friends. While that doesn’t help a competition format reality show, Nicky solved the little deadlock with a classic lip sync lalaparuza. As such, Soa defeated Lolita and booked the first spot in the top three. She was followed by Paloma before La Grande Dame narrowly completed the top three as Lolita Banana was tragically felled.
Backstage the top three were well and truly gagged to have made it to the end, before toasting to Lolita’s epic run to the top four. Though they didn’t spend too much time thinking about it, given they had a big week ahead if they wanted to snatch the crown. The next day the top three returned excited and ready to claim their crown. But after Nicky arrived to announce their final Maxi Challenge, they were a little less excited and erring more on the side of nervous. First up they would have to learn the lyrics to RuPaul’sCatwalk, in ENGLISH, then learn extensive choreography and perform it live on the mainstage. Then stomp the runway in front of fashion icon Olivier Rousteing.
Oh and obvs they will be having a little madeleine lunch with Nicky, as the French are wont to do.
After Nicky disappeared, they split up to speculate how painful their choreography would be, with everyone hoping for some camp disco moves. While La Grande Dame was only confident in her old white man moves. Thankfully they didn’t have to wait long to find out as they quickly joined Nicolas Huchard on the mainstage to rehearse. And let’s just say, the performance is going to be very, very detailed and very, very intense. While Soa was in her element, Paloma was feeling super anxious and struggled to get it down and bring enough attitude. While Grande Dame was mildly confident, given she wasn’t the weakest. Well, unless this is a fakeout edit and Paloma is going to absolutely demolish the final performance.
Soa was first to kiki with Nicky, already feeling like a winner to have made it to the end. But hopeful to keep that fire and take the crown in honour of her dear friend Mrs Rose. La Grande Dame was next to drop by, simultaneously shocked to be there and proud of all that she has achieved. She revealed that she came to the competition because she had a difficult time growing up and wanting to show her mother another side of herself after difficult years apart, due to her queerness. Paloma meanwhile spoke about how the competition has made her feel like less of an imposter and that she has a place in the world. And ugh, I honestly love them all.
Nicky, Daphné and Kiddy were joined by Nicolas and Olivier on the judging panel as the top three took the stage for their performance of Catwalk and while Paloma looked tentative in rehearsal, she hit the stage with a fire and was so damn charming. La Grande Dame served non-stop moody glamour; ethereal and damn fierce. Soa meanwhile had all the energy, hitting every move and giving us sex from start to finish.
The Dragnifique runway was opened by our eliminated queens where La Kahena was a pretty princess in nude before stripping near nude and showing bum. So swoon. Lova gave showgirl glamour, La Briochée was a patchworked voodoo-Dorothy delight, Kam was peach-puff perfection while Elips was so gorgeous in a black, shimmering jumpsuit. Big Bertha went from red vamp, to revealing a bodysuit carving up her meat while Lolita was gorgeous in a gaudy quinceanera kinda way. When it came to the top three, Paloma was perfect in a moody red gown, complete with Bette Midler Hocus Pocus wig. Soa was sexy in a bead and leather outfit, giving structure and skin in equal measure while La Grande Dame was camp as hell in a shimmering lilac gown of frills and ruching.
Paloma received universal praise for all that she sold on the runway and for the diversity of her performances throughout the season. And for having so much fun. Paloma opened up to the judges, explaining how she wants her potential victory to inspire people to follow their dreams. Soa was praised for looking stunning on the runway, and for kicking off the season in such a strong fashion with her talent show performance. Oh and never mind her killer track record and dominating each lip sync she appeared in. She thanked the judges for their kindness and for embracing her. La Grande Dame meanwhile received praise for giving constantly evolving glamour on the runway and mixing it with such fun humour. And frankly, a whole lot of stupidity.
Nicky then wheeled out the baby pictures, with Paloma encouraging her younger self to stand firm and love herself and trust that everything will work out, despite the trauma and upheaval that is sometimes thrown her way. Soa told her baby self to use the pain that comes her way as fire to make something of herself and to fight. And again, I love her so much. La Grande Dame meanwhile told her even younger self that while life may be strange and confusing at times, to always keep hope and focus on her happiness.
Before they ventured to untuck, Nicky then announced that the queens had privately voted prior to the show with Elips crowned the first Miss Sympathie. Backstage the finalists reunited with their eliminated sisters, toasting to a killer season before Grande Dame shared that watching her sisters leave in tears was the hardest part of the entire competition for her.
The girls returned to the mainstage to lip sync for the crown to Dalida’s Mourir sur scène. And given the dolls are icons, none of them really tried to steal the spotlight from anyone else, calm and confident in their skills as they all turned a killer show. Soa was obviously moody and fierce, Paloma served all the emotion while Grande Dame was stunning and on every lyric. Complete with glitter. Sadly, while everyone nailed the performance (and the season more broadly), Nicky had to pick a winner. And tragically, that was not La Grande Dame who finished as one of the two runner-ups. This is going to become quite repetitive, but the top three were so damn strong that any of them could have taken out the crown and while I’m thrilled for the winner, both La Grande Dame and the as yet unmentioned here other runner-up were worthy.
As soon as La Grande Dame stepped offstage for the crowning, I pulled her in for a massive hug and marvelled how someone so young could do what she did. I then went on a rant about my own fading youth and asked her to give me hers, before I snapped out of it and congratulated her on a job well done with a glorious La Grande Damarretto Cake.
The only thing elegant or decadent enough for La Grande Dame’s aesthetic is this barely-tweaked Nigella number. Rich, dense and velvety smooth, it is essentially the perfect cake. And I’d be willing to fight anyone that disagrees.
La Grande Damarretto Cake Serves: 8-12.
Ingredients 100g dark chocolate, roughly chopped 100g unsalted butter, softened 4 eggs, at room temperature 125g raw caster sugar 100g almond meal 2 tbsp cocoa powder, plus extra for dustin’ ¼ cup amaretto liqueur 2 tsp vanilla extract
Method Preheat the oven to 160C and line the base of your springform cake tin with baking paper.
Melt the butter and chocolate together in a double boiler until smooth and glossy, before removing from the heat to cool.
Whisk the eggs and sugar until thick, glossy and doubled in volume. Combine the almond meal and cocoa, before folding through the sweetened eggs.
Mix the amaretto and vanilla with the melted chocolate, then fold through the batter until well combined. Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin and transfer to the oven to bake for 20 minutes, or until it is coming away from the edges and is cracked on the top. It should be dense and moist, but only just cooked through with a few crumbs left on an inserted skewer.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, before unclamping the tin and gently transferring the cake to a plate. Sprinkle with a little extra cocoa before devouring, triumphantly. Despite not winning.
Previously on Survivor after farewelling the last remaining other target in Swati, Tori was feeling very nervous on Ika and as such, beasted her way through the immunity challenge to guarantee her safety. Oh but not until after all of the idols were activated as Drea found Ika’s and Mike begrudgingly said his phrase. Knowing her vote was critical, Lydia didn’t bother to risk hers on her journey up the mountain with Rocksroy. Which was the right move, given she, Hai and Mike held all the power as Vati went back to tribal council and Daniel was booted from the game. Though not before Chanelle threw a random vote at Mike, making her all the more untrustworthy heading into the merge. Oh and Omar has no vote and Hai, Lindsay and Drea got an amulet advantage, in addition to the trio of idols activated last week.
Or non-merge, as the last season celebrated.
After tribal council, the Vati tribe were gagged to have pulled off the Daniel blindside, with Chanelle particularly thrilled to have bested Daniel in their feud. Though sadly for her, she threw out a vote against Mike to protect herself against any Shot in the Darks being played and thought he would be cool with it. Which he is NOT. Despite them hugging it out. Oh and while Hai would take a bullet for Lydia and Mike, Chanelle, not so much. So yeah Chanelle, you in danger girl. Meanwhile over at Ika Rocksroy was busy doing work around camp and picking fruits, while Tori tailed him like a hawk to try and find out what happened on the summit. Which annoyed the hell out of him as she wouldn’t accept his answers. Oh and as they fought, Drea and Romeo hid behind the bushes eavesdropping, agreeing that Tori is sketchy and not to be trusted. In the slightest.
We got to get a little whisper sesh from Jeff who explained that the merge twist would play out the same as last season, except for the fact they will know that the person going to exile will have a massive power and the victors are allowed to opt to go to exile instead of one of the sit outs. To further that sense of deja vu, the challenge was the same as last year too, where they will dig out a rock and then push it through obstacles to release a pair of keys and climb a wall before solving a puzzle. And the victors would get a massive Applebees feast, alongside a merge buff and immunity from the upcoming tribal council. Well, unless the exilee turns back time, that is. Lindsay and Rocksroy ultimately ended up pulling the grey rocks and landing on the sit out bench.
Jonathan, Tori, Maryanne, Hai and Lydia formed the orange team, while Chanelle, Drea, Mike, Omar and Romero were on blue. And almost immediately, Jonathan took the lead for the orange tribe, coaching them through building a ramp and getting a massive lead as they quickly released their first key. While the blue team tried to close the gap, there is no denying this was team orange’s to lose as the group literally climbed Jonathan to get up the wall before he effortlessly pulled himself up. As Rocksroy and Lindsay rightly marvelled at his prowess. Maryanne and Lydia looked very zen as they calmly sorted their puzzle pieces while Drea held up blue as she struggled to climb the ball and ugh, it was tough to watch. Thankfully Mike and Romeo literally put their bodies on the line and they worked together to get up the ball and yeah, it was heartwarming.
Obviously the headstart proved insurmountable for the blue team as the orange group took out victory and the win, which likely means one of the five will be going home tonight giving this immunity means nothing. The group then cursed Lindsay, selecting her to join them on reward while sending Rocksroy to exile for two days. With only the game changing twist which will make him immune, for comfort.
The victors were giddy as they arrived at their island Applebees, smashing their burgs and delighting in the fact they had officially made the merge. Which is a lie they are tragically unaware of, while Jonathan admitted that he had considered opting to go to Exile which would have kept everyone that won safe. But before we could think about what could have been, Tori talked a bunch of shit about Rocksroy and their OG tribe and then aired all their dirty laundry. Which may endear her to them, or piss everyone off.
Meanwhile the losers ventured to the eventual merge camp where they were thrilled to smash the pity rice they received from Jeff before Drea rightly clocked the merge twist, which is honestly, so damn iconic. Drea then caught up with Mike and suggested that maybe since they both have idols, they should work together and as such, combine their individual alliances to take control. Leaving Chanelle and Tori well and truly on the outs in the process.
We checked in with Rocksroy as he arrived at his desolate island where as predicted by Tori, he was absolutely thrilled to set up camp, whipping up a fire and shelter. And well, he was loving to have all this alone time to just live his best life and see all the vibrant colour the world has to offer (because he has a degenerative eye disease). Oh and he found the hourglass and hammer, but there were no instructions so he just moved them into his shelter.
The winners and losers reconnected at camp with Omar ready to befriend anyone and everyone to keep himself safe at the first tribal council. Lindsay meanwhile wanted to check in with Hai and Drea to discuss their amulet advantages and see whether they will stick together. And while they all said they would, Hai was nervous the women would eventually turn on him. Mike and Maryanne caught up, assuring each other they will work together before the iconic Maryanne started bonding with Romeo and assured him that the little people need to stick together. Oh and then she bonded with Tori too and while she looks well connected, I’m worried it will come back to bite her.
Mike and Jonathan meanwhile watched the sunset together on the beach, bonding over being gentle giants and agreeing to look after each other and ugh, I love them. And more importantly, how much they love each other.
The next day the tribe went hunting for food, collecting crabs and before Jonathan snatched an octopus, then almost grabbed a shark and well, it was iconic. While he is clearly a threat, Hai was still keen to work with him and use him as a meatshield. With everyone bonding around camp, Hai spoke about how he met his boyfriend which led to Romeo pulling him aside and opening up about being gay and wanting to be as open and honest as he is and ugh, I love them. Hai encouraged him to share his story and love himself as Romeo spoke about his fear of people not loving him or worse, needing to silence himself to be accepted. And ugh, once again, I’m crying.
Omar soon joined the boys and talk returned to the game, with Hai telling them both that Chanelle can not be trusted. Which confirmed to Omar that he doesn’t have a vote. And well, she doesn’t care enough for him to let him know he doesn’t have a vote and as such, he was ready for her to go too.
The next day Omar charmed Mike by telling him that he is saving himself for marriage and well, he is ready to marry his partner ASAP. Lydia and Maryanne bonded over being the younguns with the old lady gang names, while Hai officially locked in his alliance with Jonathan. They then pulled in Lydia, Omar, Drea, Mike, Lindsay and Rocksroy, and just like that, they had a majority. Oh and Chanelle or Tori are their number one targets, with Maryanne identified as the next to go from Taku. Though only because Jonathan didn’t want his new allies to think he wasn’t willing to offer someone up.
Oh and then Chanelle walked up to try and find some allies, with them all pretending they have no plans to take her out. Which made Chanelle more and more nervous as they assured her they will not take her out. As Hai, Jonathan, Drea and Omar caught up to further solidify their bond, Omar admitted that he may not have a vote at the upcoming tribal council. Though after confirming they are tight, Drea shared that she has an extra vote and would be willing to give it to him, should they need it.
We ventured back to Exile Island where Jeff arrived to announce the twist to Rocksroy, who was honestly buzzing with joy to be left on his lonesome for a couple of days. Probst then explained the twist to him and while he was nervous about potentially pissing a bunch of people off, he obviously then smashed the hourglass and earnt himself immunity. And guaranteed his place in the merge. And most importantly, left Tori in jeopardy.
The castaways joined Jeff for the first individual immunity of the season where they were gagged to learn about Rocksroy’s power and the fact that the winner’s of the last challenge are now at risk and would be competing in the immunity challenge to guarantee their safety. Which obviously delighted Chanelle, Drea, Omar, Mike and Romeo. Tori on the other hand was irate and told Rocksroy that she was pissed he took away her safety after she gifted him an advantage. Which only made everyone even more weary of her.
But back to the challenge, where they would each have to balance a table using a rope and walk back and forth along a lane, spell out immunity using wooden blocks. With the first person to finish guaranteeing their place in the merge and a spot on the jury at the minimum. Fuelled by her simmering rage for Rocks, Tori got out to an early lead in the challenge alongside Jonathan, until Hai picked up the pace and took out the lead. Until he dropped and handed the lead back to the duo. Then Jonathan dropped, giving Tori plenty of time to calmly walk the course and jag immunity. Despite a late breaking pursuit from Lindsay. And then Maryanne.
Back at camp everyone congratulated Tori on taking out immunity and assured Rocksroy there are no hard feelings. Before everyone quickly split into factions to come up with a plan, with Jonathan assuring Rocksroy he already has an alliance and has nothing to worry about. After Romeo and Tori bitched about the meatheads in the game, Romeo led the charge to get rid of Jonathan. While Maryanne, Hai and Drea weren’t overly keen, Maryanne also just didn’t want to lose her place in the game. Lydia tried to pitch Jonathan to Lindsay and Chanelle, which made go into protection mode and suggested Maryanne would be a better option because she is super strategic.
Chanelle meanwhile saw through her plan to protect herself and Jonathan, which made her more focused on rallying the troops to keep the vote on Jonathan. While Omar desperately worked to protect Jonathan, which gave him a crack as Lydia admitted that she isn’t sure about this new majority alliance. And as such, he went person to person to turn the tribe against her instead. Which obviously pissed off Hai.
At tribal council Hai admitted that this vote is very defining to their season, particularly since the game has been so fluid thus far. Romeo meanwhile spoke about trusting his gut and reading the cues, with Drea countering that sometimes people are just too nervous to make a move even if they want to. While Hai wanted to take this moment to take control of the game. Lydia once again spoke about how playing Survivor has helped her accept all parts of herself. Jonathan wanted to be able to say that he did all that he could do in the game when it was over, while Omar tried to be chill despite knowing people would come for him eventually. While Rocksroy spoke about his nerves over missing two days of the game.
Maryanne said that she planned to make the decision that will help protect her long term, which Drea said is not the right way to approach the game. Maryanne then tried to get her to agree they are on the same page, which Drea, again, iconically refused to agree. Maryanne spoke about being nervous about how charming and chatty she is while Hai spoke about everyone having a different perception of the game. Oh and then a beetle landed on Rocksroy, which is important, if you ask me.
With that the tribe voted, as Lindsay, Jonathan and Maryanne all received a few votes before the rest piled up on Lydia and sent her from the game. Just missing the jury, tragically. Despite the brutal way she went out – the twist, again, is not great – Lydia was still super calm and zen, happy to have been given the opportunity to play the game. I pulled her in for a massive hug and assured her that while it sucks to go out in such an unfair twist, it does put her in the epic company of Sydney and she can always use it to justify needing a second go at the game. With that, he laughed and cried before smashing some Lydia Mered-velveth Cupcakes
I know, I know – red velvet is just chocolate, but the elegant drama they bring to the looks department always make me excited to eat them. Delicate and fluffy, these babies are the ultimate way to sweeten the bitter after-taste of getting the boot. Or a rough day, TBH.
Lydia Mered-velveth Cupcakes Serves: 12.
Ingredients 150g flour 1 ½ tbsp cocoa powder 1 tsp bicarb soda ¼ tsp kosher salt ¼ cup unsalted butter, softened 150g raw caster sugar 1 large egg 1 tbsp vanilla extract 100ml buttermilk 50ml vegetable oil 1 tsp champagne vinegar 1 tbsp red gel food colouring 100g butter, softened 225g icing sugar 100g cream cheese, softened
Method Preheat the oven to 160C and line a cupcake tin with cases.
Combine the flour, cocoa, bicarb and salt in a bowl and pop the unsalted butter and raw caster sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat the unsalted butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce to low and beat in the egg, vanilla, buttermilk, oil and vinegar until just combined. Fold the wet ingredients through the dry until just combined, before mixing through the food colouring. Again, until just combined but also a consistent colour.
Divide the batter amongst the cupcake cases and pop in the oven to bake for about 15 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
While they are chillin’, beat the butter and icing sugar on medium, or until pale and fluffy. Add in the cream cheese and beat for another minute or so, or until just combined. But for realsies, because the longer you beat cream cheese, the softer it gets.
Once the cakes are cool, piping the icing on top (or dollop with a spoon and hope for the best) before devouring.
Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race the dolls bombed Snatch Game, putting on the most awkward version the show had ever seen. While I would argue Angie’s version of Tammie Brown was delightful and Camden’s smutty Skakespeare had its positives, DeJa was the only queen that truly managed to shine. As such, everyone but DeJa had to lip sync for their lives in a lip sync lalaparuza smackdown. One by one, Daya Betty, Willow and Jorgeous managed to save themselves before Camden defeated Bosco and Angeria bested Jasmine. In the final round it came down to Bosco and Jasmine with Bosco getting a song that played into her strengths, slaying the performance and saving herself as one of the lip-sync assassins, Jasmine, was finally felled.
The next day the dolls were thrilled to still have a place in the competition but were emotionally exhausted after everything they went through after disappointing Ru and Detective Visage. And Bosco more specifically was exhausted after having to rub off Jasmine’s extensive mirror message, which is very on brand for the chatty queen, TBH. While Daya was still enraged by Jasmine. This time because she was rooting for her friends, which did not include Daya. Surprisingly, since she is a delight and was always kind to her sister with such lines as, I want to hit her head on the sidewalk.
Before Daya could have a full meltdown, Ru dropped by to announce that for this week’s Maxi Challenge they’d be starring in the romantic musical Moulin Ru! Which obviously had Camden excited, given that is 100% what she does. The dolls would star as Saltine the fading showgirl, Mama Z the bearded queen owner of the club, the Green Fairy aka Kylie Minogue as an absinthe trip and the four Moulin Ru girls, Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve and Talent. Oh and they’d once again have to fight for their parts amongst themselves, rather than anyone assigning roles.
After Ru departed, Bosco was confident in her abilities, before Daya snatched Uniqueness without any battles. DeJa took the role of Nerve, Willow went for the Green Fairy while Angeria and Jorgeous fought over Talent with Angie backing down and taking Charisma instead. Saltine then came down to a battle between Bosco and Lady Camden, with them both digging their heels in until Bosco started reminding Camden that she has the skills to pull off Mama Z as well, while she does not. After DeJa suggested they were just wasting everyone’s time, Camden suggested flipping a coin before Bosco suggested the queens vote which they ultimately went with leading to Bosco getting the part. After a torn Willow was forced to break the tie.
Leading to Camden threatening Bosco that she has to turn it out, otherwise she will be pissed. And damn, both of the girls are fired up!
Things were very tense after the battle, with Jorgeous telling everyone that they need to get rid of the bad feelings because taking that energy into the rehearsal will ruin things for all of them. Bosco and Camden each went into their corners to sulk, with Bosco getting eaten up by guilt before Angeria joined Camden and encouraged her that she also didn’t get a part she wanted. Which did nothing more than fire Camden all the way up to slay Mama Z, as she realised that she really could turn any damn role.
The dolls headed to the mainstage where they learnt Leslie Jordan was their extra special director and argh, he is so cute and I love him! After regaling them with tales of her time as drag queen Baby Wipes in a time before even Ru had started drag, Bosco stayed on stage where she nailed rehearsal as Camden looked on angrily while also trying to stifle a smile. Angeria meanwhile was on struggle street but got there in the end. Willow was starting to regret her choice when she realised how quick her moves were going to become while Jorgeous and Leslie compared height before she slayed the moves. While Daya, obviously, questioned Joregous’ skills. At dancing. Because she hasn’t proven to be one of the best all season.
Oh and then Camden slayed from start to finish.
Elimination Day arrived with the dolls splitting up to beat their mugs while Angeria assured us that she had well and truly rehearsed and was ready to slay. Camden meanwhile was opening up to DeJa about how embarrassed she is over how tense she let things get the day before, though given she was feeling her new role pretty hard, that is a very easy feeling to have. Daya opened up about being a theatre queen, while Jorgeous read her (and musicals in general) for filth for being boring, OTT and too happy rather than ratchet like she likes. Angeria asked Bosco if she is nervous, with her opening up about learning to dance through her grandma who is a former (almost) rockette. Jorgeous admitted that she learnt how to dance from watching Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, which Daya had never heard about. While DeJa admitted she also had never taken a dance lesson in her life, with Jorgeous joking that it showed.
Ru, Michelle and Ross were joined on the panel by the iconic, Academy Award nominated musician-actress Andra Day for the premiere of Moulin Ru! Angeria, Daya, DeJa and Jorgeous started the show strong, though I was honestly more focused on the sexy dancers in corsets with exposed nips. Camden then joined them and bought all the fire; she was camp, giving perfect lines and was a little demented. On the flipside, while Bosco started super strong, Leslie Jordan arrived to play the Duke and well, then my eyes were pulled in only his direction. Oh and Willow stole the show as the green fairy.
On the Mirror Mirror runway Camden was a perfect star nymph, Bosco was an intergalactic, spiky sex-pot tin wo-man. Willow was a ‘70s rock goddess, Angeria was a stunning, shimmering blue mosaic, Daya looked like Lady Kiss – in a good way – while DeJa was a nude-illusion, shimmering, caged Queen as Jorgeous was a shimmering ribcage and looked a dream.
Camden received universal praise for elevating the MC role and totally stealing the show, while her outfit was great, Ross didn’t love the bottom. Bosco meanwhile was read for not taking the roll as far as it needed to go while Michelle just wanted Bosco to show diversity on the runway, despite looking perfect. Willow received universal praise for everything she served this week while Angie was beloved for doing a lot with a small part. Oh and she looked perfect on the runway. Daya was praised for combining performance and energy, and for slaying the runway while the judges felt DeJa started slow, she came to life in the rap. And well her look didn’t meet the criteria. Jorgeous meanwhile was read for losing energy throughout the performance though they loved her runway.
Ru then got shady and asked everyone who should go home this week with Camden casting her vote for Bosco for being the weakest in the rusical, while Bosco suggested Jorgeous should go home for her track record. Before everyone else voted for Bosco to go home. Particularly because she fought so hard for the role and didn’t deliver. Oh and Jorgeous then doubled down and reminded Ru that Bosco was in the bottom three times in a single episode, so maybe they should take that into account too.
Backstage Bosco opened up about being shocked to be in the bottom, though didn’t have any issue with her sisters saying she should have gone home. Before she ran off to prep the lip sync, Angeria and Daya just told her they only said her because of the critiques, while Joregous reiterated she voted for her for how she treated Camden to get the role. She then pointed out that her runway was actually on task, which is what Jorgeous identified as the reason that she too would be lip syncing. Though DeJa felt she could also be there.
Angeria meanwhile worried she would somehow land in the bottom – um, no – while the dolls congratulated Camden on a job, very well done! Though Angeria felt Daya could snatch victory for making the most out of such a small role. While Willow was thrilled to once again be in the top, but knew she wouldn’t be taking out the win. Camden then opened up about the fight with only Daya telling her she was a little bratty, which, lol girl. She was interrupted by a video from her mother who was equal parts creative and sweet, which gave Camden that much needed boost for the rest of the season.
The nervous girls split up to get prepped for the lip sync, leaving the tops to kiki. With Camden wanting them to come up with a strategy for not making things awkward again when assigning roles. Jorgeous asked everyone who they felt was their biggest competition, with DeJa scared of Angeria, Jorgeous and Angeria were nervous about competing against Willow, while Camden was threatened by Bosco – which was reciprocated – though Camden was also nervous about Jorgeous. Distracting from the potential rage from Daya for not being viewed as a threat, Andra Day dropped by to chat with the girls and ugh, she is just so damn cool.
Ultimately Daya and Willow were sent to safety before Camden was handed her second win of the season. Much to her absolute delight. Angeria too was deemed safe before DeJa’s performance saved her from the bottom, leaving Bosco and Jorgeous to battle it out. To my dear Whitney Houston’s Heartbreak Hotel, no less! While Bosco had all of the fire and turned it out, Jorgeous knew she was fighting an uphill battle and well, she scaled said hill and back. Gagging her sisters as she eliminated Bosco from the competition. Well, until she unwrapped her chocolate bar and we finally, FINALLY, struck gold as everyone celebrated her second chance. While she broke down with joy.
Backstage Bosco was thrilled to have been saved by a candybar, particularly since she truly believes she deserves to be here. While she was thrilled, DeJa was annoyed that none of them have a shot at immunity while Jorgeous was just annoyed that there are still so many girls to send home. Bosco assured everyone that she holds no ill will against them for suggesting she should go home, before apologising to Lady Camden for the drama between them. With Camden thankfully copping to her part too and once again, all was harmonious.
The next day Daya continued to be horned up while Angeria praised Jorgeous as the lip sync assassin of the season which for some reason, enraged DeJa, who felt she was the one true assassin. But before we could get answers to who would truly be the best, Ru arrived with Norvina from Anastasia Beverly Hills for a mini-challenge where they would each paint Ru’s face. On a brick wall. Not her mug. Oh and Dolly’s, with DeJa, Gorgeous and Angeria together painting Ru, while Willow, Daya, Camden and Bosco would paint Dolly. And well, they benefited from having an extra person because theirs was drastically better. While Ru was gagged by how busted the girls made her look.
Before departing, Ru announced that for this week’s maxi challenge, the dolls would be roasting the one and only Bossy Rossy. And for winning the mini-challenge, Bosco, Willow, Daya and Camden would decide the order. Which did nothing to ease Jorgeous’ nerves. Trying to make up for last week, Bosco asked the losers where they would like to perform, wanting everyone to do their best. After taking their requests, the victors pulled themselves aside to decide the order with Bosco offering to go first, letting Joergeous have second like she wants with Willow taking third, knowing she would look better after Jorgeous. They then put Angeria in fourth, Daya fifth before Camden debated about risking it and going last. Particularly since DeJa didn’t want that place. Ultimately, she decided to risk it for said biscuit, which made everyone very happy. While Bosco was just glad no one could complain.
The dolls split up to work on their roasts with everyone feeling particularly terrified except for Bosco, who was quietly righting away. Willow threw out some hilariously bad jokes, Daya was charming – gay gasp – as she wrote nothing while DeJa reminded them all to go in hard, then wrote terrible jokes while cracking herself up.
Bosco was first up to rehearse with Dulce Sloan and Michelle with her struggling through with both of them reminding her to go hard and come out guns blazing. Though I hope it is all a massive fake-out and she slays. Willow was too rambling for their liking while Angeria was charming as hell despite the girls not loving all of her jokes. Daya’s fears were allayed as the judges chuckled at the few jokes she had written while DeJa’s jokes were not landing with anyone but herself. Oh and then Camden proved it was the right choice to take a risk as she was hilarious before Jorgeous tried to win them over with compliments rather than telling any jokes. But she was living her best life over her own jokes, despite pretty much just being ready to lip sync.
Backstage Jorgeous opened up and explained she was well and truly over things, and while her sisters tried to remind her she is talented and just needs to get out of her head. She truly just felt defeated and it was hard to watch.
Elimination Day arrived with Camden feeling her oats, focused on trying to keep her confidence and deliver a good set. Bosco meanwhile opened up about feeling good about opening the show while Daya was hoping her second half would be as successful as the half she rehearsed while Jorgeous was only getting further in her head. Bosco tried to remind her that she has proven herself to be a star and as such, she needs to take that energy into the challenge. While DeJa was confident that her track record would continue to improve. Oh and Bosco borrowed one of Daya’s sponges which straight up looked like a chopped off testicle.
Ru, Michelle and Ross were joined by Dulce Sloan on the judges panel for the Ross Matthews Roast, with Bosco slaying from start to finish, reading anything and everything in sight. Jorgeous was iconically bad from the very first moment. It was incoherent and bizarre and I LIVED for every second. Willow was hilarious, smart and such a star, Angeria was solid and super charming, Daya took so long to get anywhere it was an absolute mess before DeJa said hold my beer and was even worse. Which only made Camden funnier than she already was, slaying from start to finish.
On the Tu-tu Much runway Bosco was a star as a bladesaw ballerina covered in blood. Jorgeous was a mess as a biker ballerina, Willow was a camp, judgemental old queen and OH SO PERFECT. Angeria was rocking a beautiful gown made of tutus while Daya looked stunning as a rose gold stilted ballerina – though only because she is so damn tall – while DeJa looked like an extra from the Season 8 promo before Camden was perfection as a classic ballerina.
The judges lived for everything Bosco served up this week, from slaying the jokes and giving such a bold runway. Jorgeous received praise for her runway though was read for struggling in the roast, despite giving a good energy. Willow’s look was beloved and while they loved her roast, they felt she could have gone even further. Angeria was praised for having fun on the roast despite not being the best. Though they lived for her runway. Daya’s look received universal praise though she was read for being bad in the roast. DeJa meanwhile was read for everything she did this week and then when she tried to explain her at-home schtick she was even worse. Thankfully Camden received praise for everything she did. Except for the echo arsehole joke.
Backstage DeJa was ok with the fact she would clearly be lip syncing, though felt bad for putting in jokes that Michelle and Dulce told her were shit. She broke down over messing up so badly and for not delivering what the judges see in her, though more so she was heartbroken to clearly be lip syncing against Jorgeous. Despite the fact that Daya is right there and bombed just as badly. Jorgeous reminded everyone how hard the challenge is though was feeling good given it is over. Angeria meanwhile was worried that Jorgeous was losing her confidence and starting to fade away.
As DeJa continued to sob, Camden tried to remind her how good she is and how she has appreciated how hopeful she has been throughout the season. This snapped DeJa out of it, thanking her sisters for being so kind and grateful to have gotten to know each and every one of them.
The dolls congratulated Camden on clearly making it to the end while looking like such a star on the runway. Angeria meanwhile felt it was awkward to not really know how you were going on stage while Jorgeous just hated every moment of it. Willow was thrilled to have performed ok and for looking amazing on the runway, despite the fact she could barely speak due to her lip prosthetics. She then received a video message from home and ugh, her family are so damn cute and charming, praising Willow for being a star and just making them all so happy and proud. While she laughed and cried, she couldn’t move her face at all because of her lips and it was great.
Dulce dropped backstage to talk to the dolls, congratulating them on performing so well and reminding them that they are lucky to be here. And to just celebrate making it. She then immediately bounced as Willow kissed everyone with her massive lips.
Ultimately Camden was sent to safety before Bosco took out her third win of the season before Willow and Angeria were sent to safety. Ru then gagged Daya, Jorgeous and DeJa with the news that they would all be lip syncing for their lives and not just that, only one of them would be surviving the lip sync. Despite looking terrified, as soon as Olivia Rodrigo’s good 4 u started Daya was ready to save herself. She sold all the emotion, had the lyrics down and made sense with the song. Jorgeous meanwhile gave her usual performance though the style didn’t seem to work with the song while DeJa was just kind there. Despite reminding us she was the only one Ru called a lip sync assassin. As such Daya was deemed safe, leaving both Jorgeous and DeJa to sashay away.
Things started a wee bit more awkward than usual, as DeJa questioned how the lip sync assassin and her apprentice – Jorgeous is nobody’s apprentice – were felled by Daya. And while yeah, we all hated Daya until this very episode, the judging was fairly on point this week. Which is obviously not what I told her, as I cried about them being robbed of their place in the rumix and begging them to come back and slay on All Stars (which both DeJa and Jorgeous could easily win). After perking her back up, I distracted her with a delicious Dejate Skye Loaf and all was right in the world.
I once started a cafe at home in the middle of the suburbs when I was five after whipping up a packet mix version of date loaf. While I literally fled the business before seeing whether it was a success, date loaf won my heart and as such, I dedicated my life to perfecting a recipe. And well, this is it! Sweet, moist and oh so moreish, there is nothing better!
Dejate Skye Loaf Serves: 6-8.
Ingredients 250g pitted dates, roughly chopped 1 cup boiling water ⅓ cup butter, melted ¾ cup raw caster sugar 2 tsp vanilla extract 1 egg 1 ½ cup flour 2 tbsp baking powder 1 tsp bicarb soda 1 tsp mixed spice 1 pinch kosher salt
Method Preheat the oven to 160°C and line a loaf pan.
Pop the dates in a large bowl and pour over the boiling water, leaving to rest for 5 minutes or until nice and plumped. Stir in the butter, sugar and vanilla before quickly beating in the egg.
In a second bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, bicarb, mixed spice and salt. Fold into the wet ingredients until well combined and pour into the lined loaf tin. Tranfer the cake to the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for five minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool complete.
Or, serve a little bit warm with a thick smear of butter.