Previously on Drag Race UK after the top four slayed the final challenge by putting on an epic show with their eliminated sisters. You know, Just May, Starlet, Copper, Sminty, Baby, Le Fil, Dakota and Pixie! They stomped the runway in Grand Finale Eleganza and despite everyone nailing the assignment, only two were able to continue on in the competition as the four badge queens stuck around, eliminating Jonbers and Peppa to watch on from the back of the stage.
Danny and Cheddar took their places to lip sync for the crown to Dame Shrley Bassey’s This is My Life and well, the entire performance was an absolute slay. Cheddar leant into the emotion, was dainty and ethereal while Danny gave bold, brassy and all the fire to snatch the crown. Both of the queens were in the pocket from start to finish, well and truly proving why this is the strongest top two in any franchise of Drag Race. Ever. And while it should have been a double crowning, sadly Ru opted to stick with only one winner, handing the crown to Danny Beard and relegating Cheddar to the hall of four badge runner-ups alongside the icons Bimini and Ella.
Which honestly, is pretty damn good company.
While Cheddar was disappointed as she found me backstage, she held her head up high reminding me that as she said to Ru and Michelle, she is a star. And the win wouldn’t change that. Which TBH, made me feel a little bit better.
Like many a UK finalist before her Cheddar never really put a foot wrong, giving a collection of perfect runways that always had a message, bringing humour and charm to all that she did and well, to quote Ru, always being so damned polished. As such, I was thrilled to honour her win-worthy run with a big fat bowl of Bacon Cheddar Gorgeous Dip to help dull the disappointment.
This copycat of my favourite dip growing up may not be as classy as Cheds, but it sure as hell is just as delicious. Rich, salty and smacking you in the face with all the flavour, you could eat the entire vat and never regret it.
Previously on Survivor South Africa the tribes were gagged to learn they had merged while at tribal council. And not just that, they had also been gifted a new and improved camp. Despite being one big happy family, the internal battles of OG Masu continued to dominate the new tribe as Toni rallied an army to counter the early power of the Breakfast Club. Which for the record didn’t even survive a tribal council given they booted Chappies first. After Phil peed his way to individual immunity, both sides tried to rally the numbers with Marian, Meryl and Steffi coming out on top as Toni was booted and anointed as the second most important placing behind a Fourth Place Robbed Goddess, the Queen of the Jury.
Back at camp Tejan was a little embarrassed to have burnt his idol, admitting he was completely shocked by the fact Toni was the ultimate target. Steffi meanwhile felt she had no other choice but to vote out Toni, given her earlier alliances were clearly the best path forward.
The next day the tribe were well and truly drained, with Tejan in particular feeling like his days were numbered. Meryl pulled him aside to check in and see why they are no longer getting along. He told her that Steffi was the one that was feeding information to him and Toni and while it is true, she did not believe him for a second. Marian and Shane meanwhile caught up with Marian quickly pushing for Dante to be the next one out, given he is too close to Felix and Toni has already pledged her vote for him to win. She then caught up with Phil and Meryl, with both of the women trying to avoid being the first person to float Dante’s name. Though they eventually all agreed that he needs to go. Particularly because Meryl is exhausted by babysitting his mood swings.
After Meryl disappeared, Marian locked in her alliance with Phil. Despite the fact neither of them really know if they can trust each other. Meryl found Dante by the well with the latter quickly floating Dino as their next target, given everyone is slowly building their trust with him and he is concerned that everyone’s interests are growing more and more individual, rather than supporting his.
The tribe reconvened with Nico for the latest immunity challenge where they would have to race to collect three keys from the top of the dunes, then use said keys to unlock three chests to release puzzle pieces and then solve a puzzle. Oh and in addition to immunity, the victor would get to smash some Chinese takeout. Obviously Dante got out to an early lead before Tejan overtook him, while Steffi and Dino nipped at their heels. Tejan and Dante started working on their puzzles as everyone slowly started to join them. Out of nowhere, Meryl flew through her puzzle and jagged herself individual immunity before anyone even realised she had made it to the end.
She broke down, proud of winning immunity on Day 22, which is when she was voted out on her first season. Oh and it’s also her son’s birthday. Nico being messy took the kind moment and gave her the chance to pick three people to join her at reward with her smartly taking everyone that didn’t get to eat at the Merge Feast, who conveniently, were also the three people she felt like she needed to talk to about the upcoming tribal council.
Back at camp, Meryl discovered she had the choice to either smash the Chinese food or to take blankets for all the tribe. Ultimately choosing to take blankets, meaning everyone also got a fortune cookie. Meryl and Steffi floated who they think should be the next to go, suggesting Dante and Tejan. While Meryl assured them that she only voted against Toni for revenge and she invited them on reward to apologise to them and build trust. Meanwhile by the shelter, Dante and Shane caught up with Tejan about the fact his alliance clearly isn’t looking out for him given he wasn’t told about anything at the last vote. Though given Dante was super forceful about it, Shane was fairly confident that there was no way they were getting Tejan across the line.
Meryl and Co. returned from reward with the blankets, sharing that they gave up the chance for food for them. And when the response was a resounding meh, she instantly regretted her decision. Meryl then read the note about the fortune cookies, with Dino sure that the cookies lead to a trip to the Outpost. Which was 100% true, with Meryl hilariously getting it, meaning she is very likely to jag herself another advantage. Jealous of her swag, Marian whispered to Phil about Meryl’s growing power and suggested that they need to blindside her sooner rather than later. Steffi, Dante and Shane caught up on the beach with Steffi pretending she thought everyone was locked in on the easy Dino vote. And while she sold it, Dante was still nervous about whether he could trust what everyone was saying and that it wouldn’t be a surprise Tejan vote instead.
The next morning Dante quadrupled down on his focus to get rid of Dino while Shane was concerned that Tejan had disappeared to go hunting for an idol. Felix meanwhile was stuck in the middle of both of his alliances and as such, approached Meryl about identifying a third option. Which is all well and good if she didn’t see it as him pushing his own agenda. Steffi and Marian caught up with Meryl to talk about the vote, with Steffi well and truly ready to get rid of Dante. Marian meanwhile quietly grew more nervous about Meryl’s trip to the Outpost. Steffi caught up with Dino to talk about the upcoming vote, assuring him that the plan is to get rid of Dante, while he grew more and more nervous about the fact he could be the one getting played.
Meryl finally arrived at the Outpost where she discovered that if she was willing to give up her vote at the upcoming tribal council, she would get a 50:50 coin. Which duh, you know she is willing to add to her haul.
Back at camp Steffi had turned her attention to Shane, talking about getting rid of Dante next, while he was worried about upsetting Dante, despite him being a massive threat to his own game. Shane then caught up with Tejan, who was nervous about Shane just being on the wrong page about the Dante vote. Dino and Phil were also busy catching up, worried about the Dante vote being a smokescreen and that everyone is just planning to blindside them. And while Phil was confident he was safe, there was a nagging pit in his gut about Dino’s safety.
Meryl returned from the Outpost and caught everyone up on her story, telling them she had two bags to choose from and that she clearly chose the wrong one which led to her losing her vote at tribal council. Oh and Dante whispered to Marian about the fact nobody believed him about Rob running things on his original season, which cost him the game and handed Rob victory, which is why he is so fixated on getting rid of Dino.
At tribal council Tejan spoke about the fact the tribe is being led by a controlling alliance and that those that aren’t in charge need to realise that goats are not going to be earning the win this season. He then suggested the women are in charge, with Meryl pointing out that they are also horribly outnumbered, and that Tejan is clearly just scrambling. Tejan then outed Steffi for backstabbing Toni and lying to her about Dante and Meryl getting votes. This made Dante nervous, who got up and started whispering to people, with Marian telling Tejan to stop being a hypocrite while also assuring Dante he was safe and to stick to the plan. Marian and Tejan then started fighting, which made her far more likely to turn on him while Dante was concerned that anything could happen, while Steffi assured everyone that they should hold firm.
With that the tribe voted and Dante was gagged to be blindsided from the game and from my perspective, I was heartbroken to have lost our final speedo zaddy of the season. Given we’ve been down this path before, Dante knew to follow the sound of my tears to Ponderosa, where I pulled him in for a massive hug and told him how proud of him I was this season. But also, that I really loved his speedo and that I think he should design a line. And while he was sceptical, he was happy to drown his sorrows with a vat of Salsanté Verde Villiers.
You should know by now that while most people have their condiments on something, around here, we are fast and loose with the rules. And when they pack as much of a punch as this, why wouldn’t you shot it. I mean, Jaida has Tajin, let me have this, ok?
Salsanté Verde Villiers Serves: 6.
Ingredients 5 garlic cloves 2 handfuls flat-leaf parsley 1 handful fresh basil 1 handful fresh mint ⅓ cup capers ¼ cup gherkins 1 tbsp Dijon mustard 3 tbsp red wine vinegar ½ cup extra virgin olive oil salt and pepper
Method Pop everything in a blender or food processor and blitz until combined with only smaller chunks remaining.
Season to taste before devouring, either in shot form, or on a perfectly cooked steak. Your choice!
Previously on Drag Race España the dolls starred in los Javis’ neauvo rusical Holy Drag Camp! And well, while we literally saw the entire show, the quality held up and I kept my complaining to a minimum. Despite having a killer voice, Juriji struggled while Jota disappeared into the background as her sisters shone. Oh and Onyx was just there, but given her character was a painting, there wasn’t much she could actually do to stand out. While Sharonne continued to deliver killer performances, it was Estrella who was rewarded for killing each week as she took out her first victory of the season. Juriji and Jota landed in the bottom too and while Jota put everything on the line, Juriji absolutely slayed the lip sync, saved herself and sent sweet, young Jota packing.
Backstage Diamante couldn’t give a shit to have lost their youngest sister, while Juriji paid tribute to Jota’s bravery and how talented she is at such a young age. Despite not lip syncing, Onyx was disappointed to have received negative critiques from the judges, while Sharonne desperately tried to remind them how talented both the bottom queens are. While Diamente, again, just wanted Juriji to wake up and put up, though was hopeful lip syncing was the push she needed. Everyone pivoted to praising Estrella on her well deserved win, before Diamante gave them all one final wake up Pearl moment, which is a pretty confident thing to do for safe.
They then all made out and snuggled and yeah, my basement was and continues to be, flooded.
The next day the dolls were doing their best animal impersonations, which is a vibe, before speculating what challenge they would be facing this week. Supremme soon arrived to put them out of their misery by immediately throwing them into this week’s Mini Challenge where they would have to recite poetry in front of a big fan. More importantly, the Pit Crew arrived in mesh underwear, so obviously I stopped paying attention on anything else. After they all hornily reached into the Pit Crew’s sacks to grab a poem, they had 20 minutes to merrorise the poem and get into some quick drag before the Pit Crew wheeled out said fan to blow on their face while they recited their erotic poetry.
As is oft the case when the Pit Crew around, we all proved to be winners, though apparently it was Onyx that took out victory for keeping her dignity, winning a huge haul of sex toys.
Supremme then dropped the big news though, as the dolls learned that for this week’s Maxi Challenge they would be playing Snatch Game! The dolls quickly split up to start prepping their looks before Supremme dropped by to learn who everyone would be playing with Diamante hilariously doing wrestling mask RuPaul – don’t get this franchise cancelled, Diamante! – Marina will be playing Antonia Dell’atte, Onyx shared she would be doing Jauna de Loca or Valencia’s neighbour, which got a big reaction from Jruiji, given the latter is her number one choice. Sharonne will be playing Veronica Forque – who died after the show was shot, thus her receiving a tribute at the top of the episode – while Drag Sethlas will be Carmen Lomana, Estrella meanwhile was playing Paquita Salas and Venedita will be Miguel Bose.
We quickly pivoted to set where Jedet and Eva Hache were lined up to star as guests, and while it is always harder to get the references in foreign franchises, it was clear that Sharonne and Juriji were slaying the game. While Onyx was well and truly bombing, alongside Diamante, who made RuPaul as proud as Trixie before her. And while the rattlesnake noise tells me she was bombing, I lived for Drag Sethlas vocal fry as Carmen Lomana. Oh and Venedita’s wackadoo, anti-vaxxer was hilarious in a way that transcended language.
Dia de eliminacion arrived with Diamante terrified about landing in the bottom, while the dolls were proud of how funny Juriji proved to be. They then split up to get prepped for the runway and for some of them, hopefully save themselves from their terrible performances. Onyx opened up to Juriji and Drag Sethlas about her depression and the struggle to accept her weirdness as her strength. Marina and Estrella joined the conversation, talking about how great it is that they can all be themselves and are celebrated for it and ugh, again, they are all too sweet.
Supremme, Ana, y los Javis were joined on the panel by Goya winning actress, Maria Leon for the Spanish Dolls runway where Marina opened the show as a neon, plastic disco delight and damn, she looked good. Diamante was a voodoo ragdoll, Sethlas went nude, serving genderless Barbie realness, while Onyx was perfection as a porcelain doll. Sharonne was serving perfect face as a pillow doll before revealing herself as Teela from Masters of the Universe. Juiji was a glam, goth porcelain doll, Venedita was perfection as a Matador souvenir doll, while Estrella was a creepy, crazed paper doll before revealing herself to be a sexy blow-up doll.
Ultimately Marina was sent to safety alongside Estrella before the judges read Diamante for being terrible in Snatch Game, which is something she freely agreed with. The judges wished Sethlas chose her other Snatch Game option, before Onyx was read for being completely stuck in her head, though they loved her runway. Sharonne once again received universal praise for everything she did this week, particularly for nailing the characterisation of Veronica. Juriji too received universal praise, with the added bonus being that she surprised the judges with how good she was. Oh and they lived for everything that Venedita did this week too.
Backstage the safe dolls were busy chatting away when the tops and bottoms joined them to talk things through, with Diamante sure that she would lip syncing. While Sharonne admitted the choice between Sethlas and Onyx joining her is a tough one, with both sure it would be them. Juriji meanwhile was proud to show off her skills while the dolls questioned if there was anything Venedita can’t do!
Despite Juriji and Venedita giving very strong performances, it was Sharonne who took out her second win of the season. At the other end of the pack, Sethlas narrowly avoided the bottom leaving Diamante and Onyx to lip sync for their lives. As soon as Arrasando by Thalia kicked off, both the dolls went off. They hit every lyric and danced around stage and while Diamante gave the more traditional, ballroom-style lip sync, I was living for Onyx’s silliness and campy moves and as such, I was absolutely heartbroken when she was told to sashay away.
Like Onyx, I am riddled with self-doubt and each day is a struggle to self acceptance so when we met up backstage, I quickly pulled her in for a massive hug. I mean, yeah, I also find Onyx ridiculously attractive, so the hug was just as good for me as it was for her, but I knew she needed to remember that she is talented, loved and to know other people could see it. And while it may not seem like it, I feel my Sichuanyx Chilli Oil truly proved it to her.
As hot and spicy as Onyx herself, this oil packs such a deep, earthy punch. Perfect for dipping, drizzling and in a state of disappointment, I guess, drinking, the oil’s warmth carries on long after it passes your lips and acts as a delicious hug for everything that passes. Food wise, obvi, because it is spicy.
Sichuanyx Chilli Oil Makes: 1 ½ cups.
Ingredients 1 cup vegetable oil 1 cinnamon stick 4 star anise 2 bay leaves 2 tbsp Sichuan peppercorns 2 tbsp chilli flakes 1 tbsp chilli powder 1 tsp salt
Method Pop the vegetable oil, cinnamon, star anise, bay leaves and Sichuan peppercorns in a saucepan over low heat. Cook for about half an hour, or until lightly fragranced. Crank the heat to high and cook for a a couple of minutes before removing from the heat.
Combine the chilli flakes and powder, and salt in a bowl and strain the oil over to combine. Stir and leave to infuse for a couple of hours before serving. Or devouring.
Previously on Survivor, the Vati, Ika and Taku’s were dismantled however like last year, Jeffrey wanted to play things a little coy and delayed the merge. Through the power of a terrible twist that was once again trying to masquerade as time travel. After Jonathan doomed his group by leading them to victory, Rocksroy went to hourglass island where he rightly opted to give himself immunity. After Tori cussed him out for stripping her of her immunity, she then went and won it back in the first individual immunity. Which doomed everyone’s plans as she was public enemy number one, meaning out of nowhere, Lydia found herself felled and just missed the jury.
The tribe returned from tribal council, grateful to have officially made the merge and to be a part of the jury. Though according to Mike, that is as far as Romeo, Chanelle, Tori and Maryanne will go since they are left right out. Chanelle caught up with Hai, heartbroken to realise she hasn’t played the killer game she thinks she has after being left out of the last vote. Drea meanwhile was ready to drop Romeo like a newborn giraffe due to his growing shiftiness, while Lindsay was assuring Maryanne that they are still aligned and she will look out for her. Despite that assurance, Maryanne was still gutted to be on the bottom of the tribe and opened up about how it reminded her of being left out in school as a weirdo.
The next day Mike was working hard to get to know his fellow tribemates, knowing that as the old guy of the tribe, he needs to make sure people like him. And given he kindly sat and learnt about religion from Omar as he prayed and instantly made him fall in love with him, I think he’s going to be ok. At the very least, he warmed my cold dead heart.
My love Probst appeared to hide a little beware advantage on the sit out bench as the Kula Kula tribe arrived for the reward challenge. After telling us he’d be disappointed if the advantage went unfound like it did last season, he explained to the tribe that in teams of two they would swim out and retrieve five buoys in an obstacle course and then shoot them into a basket. Oh and the winners get PB&J and chips. And while Drea was chosen on one of the teams, she shared that she hates PB&J and as such, she was offered to tap out with Maryanne. Obviously Drea quickly snatched another advantage while Maryanne obviously lost the reward given she went to Drea’s former team which was decidedly lacking in Jonathan’s, who quickly got his team out to a lead. While Omar quickly shot four of the five baskets in a row, he then missed while Joanthan tagged out with Rocksroy and quickly shot all of their baskets in a row.
Meaning Maryanne shoulda just sat out and at least got an advantage.
Back at camp the victors were thrilled to discover their sandwiches and quickly smashed them, while the losers bonded over how much fun they had in the challenge. And how damn close it was. The groups combined and rehashed the order they wanted to take the outsiders out before Omar shared with us that he was also keeping said outsiders happy, pretending to try and keep them safe so he always has options should the alliance break.
Drea meanwhile was going hunting for her advantage, which was five paces away from the well hidden under a coconut. And that she needed to cover her tracks or get caught red handed. Which is what happened, since the producers hid the damn advantage in a pot of red paint like icons. While she desperately tried to clean her hands, she learnt that her latest haul is the Knowledge is Power advantage, which would grant her the power to steal one of the other idols – or any old advantage – in the game. As she returned to camp, Tori was worried she was bleeding when she saw the red on her hands. And while she lied and said she was painting something, the fact that their tribe flag was yet to be touched and all the paints were sealed, she knew there was something dodgy going on.
The tribe met up with Probst for the latest immunity challenge where they would each balance on a narrow perch and hold a buoy between sticks. Well, everyone that chose to compete because Probst was willing to give them a bag of rice if enough people were willing to sit out of the challenge. The tribe offered two people, which annoyed Probst who then offered nine. Lindsay and Drea said they were happy to sit out, with Maryanne agreeing that she would also be willing to sit out, leading to Jonathan getting Probst to offer the big bag of rice if four people sit out. Which was enough to get Maryanne crying and make people feel bad about her choosing to sit out when she is on the bottom, leading to Omar agreeing to forgo the challenge too. And damn, she is going to emotionally blackmail herself to victory, isn’t she?
Turns out Hai should have been one of the people sitting out given he dropped within a second, quickly followed by Rocksroy and Mike. Romeo soon followed while the remaining trio made it to ten minutes. Tori and Jonathan started to wobble though managed to save themselves before Chanelle dropped out of nowhere. While Jonathan saved himself multiple more times, he eventually dropped and handed Tori her second immunity in as many episodes. Once again throwing the majority’s plans into chaos.
Back at camp Hai was thrilled to have jagged the rice without having to sit out and gladly started locking in the vote against Chanelle, since Tori had immunity. He and Mike went person to person while telling Chanelle that the actual plan was Romeo, in the hope she wouldn’t play her Shot in the Dark. While Mike assured him it was all a ruse, Romeo started to get nervous and checked in with Drea to find out why things changed between them since the merge. Tori told him that Rocks told her that his name was floating around, leading to him telling Rocks what she said and well, his paranoia started to drive everyone insane. As such, Hai tried to flip the vote on him and while everyone was keen, Mike was very against it and desperate to keep the target on Chanelle. Since she has been nothing but shady to him all game.
At tribal council Jonathan spoke about the fact he was very firm about the people sitting out of the challenge being off limits in the vote. Tori mentioned that while she is safe, it is always hard to not be in the majority since they want to focus on making unified choices. Romeo told everyone they need to stop deluding themselves before Hai clapped back and spoke about not wanting to align with paranoid people. Like Romeo. Drea talked about how aligning with people is dangerous given their bad moves can reflect on you too, before Chanelle and Mike spoke about being unsure who they can trust and what is the right choice to make.
Talk then turned to being in a car and well, it was wild and confusing, though I live for Maryanne talking about holding on to the little middle seat to try and stay in the game. But yeah, who cares about cars, you know they are cursed in Survivor like pizza is on this blog. In any event, the tribe put the car talk into park and voted, with Romeo narrowly avoiding the boot as Chanelle was sent out of the game to become the Queen of the Jury.
As she arrived in the empty Ponderosa, I quickly congratulated her on a game well played. I mean, sure, she tanked it a little after her trip to ship-wheel island, but she still managed to navigate to the jury and most importantly, rule over it as the Queen. With that, I toasted to her success and filled up our royal cups with a fresh batch of Trufelle Howaioli.
At this point in my life, my mantra could easily be, if there is truffle in it, it is in me. Does it make sense? Not so much. But given how good this truffle aioli is, who cares? Creamy and packing a beautiful punch of truffle, I’m in heaven.
Trufelle Howaioli Makes: 1-2 cups.
Ingredients ½ cup Shayonnaise Swain ½ cup sour cream 1 tbsp white truffle oil, plus more for drizzlin’ 3 garlic cloves, minced 1 lemon, zested salt and pepper, to taste ½ cup parsley, roughly chopped ¼ cup rosemary, finely chopped
Method Pop everything in a jug or bowl. Stir until well combined. Adjust seasoning according to taste.\
Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race: UK vs the World, the top eight – it is true, despite the fact they only started with 9 – threw a ball to celebrate all things Mama Ru, with the final category requiring them to whip up an outfit that Ru herself would wear. Given it was a design challenge, Cheryl, Baga and Juju were absolutely terrified. Though the latter was confident with her plan to just pick a colour she knew Ru vibes with and to hope for the best! As she spiralled backstage, Mo encouraged Cheryl to focus on the task at hand and well, it was super sweet. On the mainstage Michelle told Juju to hurry up and arrive, while Jimbo and Janey received universal praise and rightly landed in the top. With Janey taking out victory in the lip sync and eliminating Cheryl from the competition.
Backstage Janey and Jimbo were on cloud nine after their wins, while Juju was just thrilled to be saved, despite it meaning poor Cheryl had to go. Blu opened up about how heartbroken she was to lose such a bright spark like Cheryl, though admitted it was the fair thing to do given she was far and away the worst in the challenge. The dolls sat down to kiki with Juju thanking Janey for the save, before talk turned to who Jimbo picked with her admitting that she chose Jujubee for being the biggest competition. After a hilarious bit pulling yet more food out of her cleavage. Annoyed, Juju then told the girls that she and Jimbo had actually made an agreement to save each other during Untucked with all the dolls completely gagged by how shady Jimbo seemingly was. And well, Jimbo girl, you’re in danger. Unless Baga wins, since she confirmed with Jimbo that their alliance was for realsies after they all split up.
Things were far more zen the next day with Janey proudly showing off her badge to her sisters, while Blu was just jealous she too couldn’t go from bottoming to the top like she does on her favourite weekends. Blu continued to produce the season, asking Juju how she felt about Michelle critiquing her for not going arriving yet with Juju admitting that she has officially woken up thanks to the statement and was ready to turn it out. Monique interrupted proceedings to ask the dolls to start calling her Mo, as she wanted to officially change her name to reflect a more genderless aesthetic. And I live. Particularly since Juju then asked for them to call her Amber.
Before anyone else could jump on the trend, Ru arrived to open the library – now in three different languages! Maybe four, depending on how much Jimbo learnt from Rita Baga, I guess. Janey was up first and savaged Baga’s plastic surgery, Pangina was adorable as she destroyed Jimbo’s lip syncing skills before Jimbo was brutal, first with Ru, then Pangina and finally Mo, for being a whore, smelling and being a whore respectively. Baga went for Jimbo’s age while Mo was just terrible. Like so terrible it became good and then bad again. Thankfully Juju followed and had everyone in hysterics with her filthy, brutal reads. I mean, is she wrong to call Baga Princess Di-arrhoea?! Then Blu went IN on the girls, while wanting Janey to come in her. Despite Blu’s last ditch push for victory, Juju won her THIRD reading challenge – damn you, Yar-lexis for ruining her perfect record – and well, it was very well deserved.
Ru then announced that for this week’s challenge, they would be putting on a rusical for the judges called West End Wendys: the Comeback!, a harrowing tale of washed up performers competing in a Broadway themed talent show. For you guessed it, a comeback! And as Juju won the challenge, she was given the honour of casting the whole damn thing.
As soon as Ru disappeared the dolls sat down to listen to the rusical with all of them agreeing there were no bad parts. Given Juju wanted to be kind, she offered to let everyone pick their parts, after she had taken her role. However when Juju admitted she wanted the role of Lally Bowelz, Baga got very, very angry. And it was not a very, vey good look. Given Baga was so fixated on the one role she couldn’t have, Mo and Janey got shady and made Baga audition and read her for filth, despite doing Liza on the reg in her shows.
While Baga continued to mutter about wanting to be Lally, Pangina snatched up former child-star Widdle Orphan Fannie, Blu was typecast as slutty-nun Mariah Gon Trappy, Mo was ready to go sweet as Dr Spank-n-Spurter, Janey jumped at the chance to play Meryl Streep while Jimbo jagged Dodo the Dog. Leaving an irate Baga with the worst role of Tracey Fatberg. With Mo hilariously calling out Baga for being super bratty and as such, tough titties girl, you need to move on.
The dolls split up to get prepared with Baga continuing to be irate while Jujubee finally realised Baga was actually being serious when talking to Blu and well, it was funny just not a joke.
The queens joined Johannes Radebe to work on their choreography with Pangina up first and well and truly feeling the pressure. Though she shouldn’t be nervous given she is an absolute hilarious star. Baga was up next and still pressed about her role, and that was before she found out she had a tonne of steps to learn and not enough brain capacity to do it. Juju went next and appeared to struggle her way through the choreography, though I’m desperately hoping it is a fake-out edit. Though at least she appears to have charmed her way into getting Johannes as a boobyprize, I guess.
Blu proved the role of a horny nun is the one she was born to play, while Mo was asked about her ability to pull off tricks and despite her past performances on the mainstage, she was ready to cartwheel and split everywhere. Just after she stretches, because something definitely went cleek during rehearsal. Janey was thrilled to challenge herself as Meryl, though was wishing for more dance given that is her background. And well, rehearsal was rough because she was told to stop holding back on the dance as she was clearly coming across as flat. And this better be a fake-out. Jimbo closed out rehearsal and opened up about a neck injury which was news to all the girls, though given she was barely moving, I kinda believe her.
Elimination Day arrived with the general vibe being much betta, as Mo asked Baga whether she had calmed down. Juju checked in with Jimbo to see how her injury was, with Jimbo admitting that it felt better though she had considered lying and telling the girls she was still injured to lull them into a false sense of security. And well, Pangina just felt the entire thing was all kinds of shady.
Ru, Michelle and Graham were joined on the judging panel by Viscount Bridgerton himself, Jonathan Bailey, for the world premiere of West End Wendys: The Comeback. And well, it continued in the tradition of Drag Race UK rusicals of being equal parts fun, camp and stupid. Pangina was demented and perfect, despite hating her role Baga was solid and sold it and Juju was solid though I feel she shouldn’t have taken such an in demand role, because I definitely think someone could have done more with it. Sadly, liek Baga. Blu was hilariously horny and oh so good, while Mo was sexy, camp and delightful, even as she tripped mid-cartwheel, before Janey stole the damn show as Meryl Streep. I mean, she had the mannerisms and energy, and was just so damn magnetic. And well Jimbo was a glorious dog, though got lucky with the Defying Gravity parody song because there wasn’t much else.
On the Dot Dot Dot Runway, Jimbo was an alien delight in a black-spotted green raincoat. Juju was trapped in a spotted snake with clashing colours and Blu wore a horny, velvet dress with a bunch of spotted faces all over it. Janey was in a glamorous Mugler-inspired yellow spotted gown, feeling her Catherine Zeta-Jones realness, Mo gave sexy Sulley from Monsters Inc. realness while Pangina stole the damn show in a gorgeous white gown splattered in rainbow dots, complete with a chinese lantern inspired headpiece which words do not do justice. Baga then gave Pretty Woman at the polo, but sloppier.
Blu and Baga were sent to safety before Jimbo was read for not going far enough with the role, though the judges did live for her impeccable runway. Juju was praised for doing a good job, though read for not giving enough as Baga smirked from the back. Oh and the judges hated her look and felt it was far and away the weakest, leading to Ru encouraging her to step it up because they love her. Janey received universal praise for everything she gave in the performance and for making it effortless. Graham felt there was something wrong with the outfit, though couldn’t articulate it. Mo was praised for her magnetism, though they wished she didn’t get in her head when she makes mistakes. And they LIVED for her runway. Pangina too received universal praise from start to finish, both the performance and the runway. Ultimately Janey and Pangina were deemed the top two while Mo was sent to safety, leaving Juju and Jimbo in the bottom together.
Backstage Janey and Pangina were thrilled to still be sitting in the top while Baga was still not over getting a shit role that she didn’t want and as such, was glad to be safe. While Juju quietly cried, Pangina went to her side and called Baga out for being a brat and told her the tantrum was not cute which led everyone to jump on and agree with her. Leading to Baga apologising to everyone and vowing to be better.
Juju meanwhile started straight out sobbing, disappointed to not be able to knock it out of the park given she thought she did good. And this time, she can’t lip sync her way out of it like she has in past seasons. Jimbo seemingly missed the judges critiques, saying she shouldn’t be in the bottom and as such, she was shocked. With Baga admitting to us that Jimbo deserved her place in the bottom, despite the fact they were besties.
When Pangina and Jimbo caught up, she talked round and round in circles while Pangina wished she would get to the point. And when she did, she just pointed to her killer track record and the fact Juju isn’t hitting her marks. Juju meanwhile was telling Janey that she still has a fight in her and doesn’t want to go home, before pointing out Jimbo had picked two lipsticks to go home and that they were hers and Janeys. Though Janey questioned whether voting out Jimbo is playing the same shady game she played. The safe girls agreed Jimbo’s track record was flawless, though Mo admitted she just doesn’t trust Jimbo. Juju then told Pangina she will always have fight in her and honestly, did better than Jimbo in the challenge they’re being judged on this week while Jimbo reiterated to Janey how much she wants to be here.
After picking their lipsticks, Janey and Pangina legged it to the mainstage where they battled to We Like To Party (Vengabus) by The Vengaboys which was, in a word, ICONIC. I mean, I once taught my niece the worst dance to the song and she still does it and well, she too is an icon, so this all makes me so happy. But I digress. Both the queens gave a killer performance, though it was truly Pangina’s show. I mean, she jerked off when the vengabus was coming, she vogued the house down and even rocked out streamers. While Janey gave great disco moves that were perfect for the song, there was no taking my eyes off Pangina, who rightly took out the win. And then gooped the queens – and the judges – by sending Jimbo home.
As she vowed to get Ru and her little dog (Michelle) too, begging the question, did she create exit lines based around each questions or did she just get lucky that it coincided with her performance as Dodo.
While Jimbo opened up and shared the answer to my query when we caught up in the Werk Room, like Bebe, out of respect to DeLa, I will never share the response. Though I will share how grateful she was to have a dear friend like my waiting to cheer her up. As you know, Jimbo and I have long been the dearest of friends after fighting over the same jumbo breastplate in a store. While yes, we both ended up in jail for 24 hours, that time bonded us for a life and knew the only thing that could dull the pain of being this year’s robbed queen is a fresh, zingy Nam Jimbo Dressing.
While this is normally something you’d serve with some sort of Thai finger food, Jimbo and I play by different rules and as such, are completely down to have something as delicious as this as a drink. Hot and spicy, tangy and packing a herbaceous punch, it truly does engage all your senses.
Nam Jimbo Dressing Makes: ½ – 1 cup.
Ingredients 2 green chillis, tailed and chopped 6 garlic cloves, sliced 2 shallots, roughly chopped 2 limes, zested and juiced 2 tbsp peanut oil 1 tbsp fish sauce 1 tbsp grated palm sugar ¼ cup fresh coriander, roughly chopped
Method Ok, so this is another tough one so like Scar always says, be prepared.
Pop everything in a blender, blitz and pour into a serving bowl. Or you know, shot down like a bologna slingin’ icon.
Previously on Canada’s Drag Race the dolls faced up to Snatch Game. Though not before reading each other for absolute filth after Brooke opened the library. While Icesis took out victory in the reading challenge, she was less successful in her impersonation of La Veneno, despite it being hilarious. Not so hilarious however was poor Suki who struggled to translate her sense of humour to Yoko Ono. Ultimately Synthia slayed as Rachel Zoe and took out a very well-earned victory. On the flipside, Eve’s perfect Bernie Sanders lacked any jokes, landing her in the bottom with Suki who was tragically eliminated from the competition.
Backstage Pythia was heartbroken to lose her fellow Montreal sister while Eve relished her time in front of the mirror, dramatically reading the message and cleaning it away while the rest of her sisters praised Suki for being such a bright spark in the competition. The dolls sat down to kiki and praised Synthia for her very well earned victory, while Kimora was just gagged to not be safe rather than gagged by being in the top. Adriana spoke about how surprised she was to not lip sync, which Eve agreed with given she felt Adriana did far worse than her. Which, TBH, is true, to an extent.
I mean, Bernie was on point. Just not funny, not even in a bad way.
The next day the dolls were living their best lives thanks to the joy of still being in the competition, meaning Kendall thought it would be a good idea to stir some drama and ask Eve if she still thinks she didn’t belong in the bottom. While she still felt she didn’t belong in the bottom two, Traci arrived to distract them with some sexy teacher, sex-education quick drag before we could getting any real drama. After slapping on a coat of paint, Kimora and Icesis were up first looking like the horniest librarians and living for their condoms. Synthia and Gia were demented in a Drop Dead Gorgeous/Banana kinda way which somehow worked. Eve and Kendall looked like they were on different shows, while Pythia and Adriana were charming and amazing. Ultimately Synthia and Gia took out victory, complete with $5K of condoms from Trojan.
But enough about the frangas, Traci then announced that for this week’s Maxi Challenge the dolls would be required to form country girl groups and write and record their own lyrics to the TayTay-esque revenge anthem – Bye Flop! For winning the mini challenge, Synthia and Gia were deemed team captains with Synthia opting to form her band with Kendall, Kimora and Eve while Gia, Pythia, Icesis and Adriana made their rivals. With that, the bands split up to get a feel for the song, with Eve suggesting that Team Synthia should be called the Dosey Hoes and assured them that they will easily dominate their rivals. Meanwhile Icesis was also nervous about how their group would go, given Pythia and Adriana were nervous and a little timid.
Traci returned to kiki with the girls with Team Synthia locking in the name Dosey Hoes before Kimora shared that her verse will be about cheating scum. Which is v. TayTay. Eve spoke about her extensive song writing experience and assured Traci that she was ready to shine. We were then reminded that Kendall and Synthia have a history working in a group together and ugh, their confidence will get them, won’t it? Team Gia introduced themselves as the Giddy Girls and while they were all nervous about the song, they seemed ready to come together and make it work. Whatever it may end up being.
The Dosey Hoes were first up to record their verses with the iconic Bif Naked and poor Eve appeared to get in her head from the start and hold back during her performance. Kimora meanwhile was stupid and fun in all the right ways, completely slaying in the process. Kendall gave twang and only twang, while Synthia gave twang and killer vocals. Meanwhile the Giddy Girls knocked it out of the park from the get go. Gia was feeling her oats, Icesis gave rap queen while Adriana was dropping so many languages that while she appeared to struggle, I can see her slaying. And well, Pythia was just the best and I love her. As does Bif, who wanted to join their band.
When it came to choreography, the Dosey Hoes followed Kendall’s lead who gave everyone simple but impactful moves and well, they were really sweet so I love them. Kimora however just wished they had a choreographer because there appeared to be too many cooks in the kitchen. And Eve wasn’t sure she could slay some moves, but annoyed Synthia who just wished she had solutions as well as complaints. As for the Giddy Girls, Gia meanwhile was feeling the pressure of being the team captain as nobody wanted to commit to making a suggestion leaving her to feel solely responsible for whatever ends up happening.
Elimination Day arrived with Adriana ready to top again before the dolls split up to get ready for their performance. Kimora educated the girls about country music’s roots in the black community. Talk turned to Icesis’ drag family with her admitting that her little brother is her drag daughter and ugh, they are so damn cute and I love them both. Synthia opened up about the fact her dad is gay and that they both came out of the closet at the same time, and how she worries about her dad’s confidence. But ultimately hopes the experience of Drag Race helps him come out of his shell.
Bif Naked joined Brooke, Brad and Traci on the judges panel for the debut performances of Bye Flop! with the Giddy Girls first to drop their single. From the very start they were delightfully country and totally cohesive, and well, they slayed the entire performance, hitting every lyric and making the choreography look amazing despite its simplicity. The Dosey Hoes meanwhile came out fighting, bright and fun, selling the hell out of the performance despite not being as strong as a group.
The dolls followed up their performances by walking the Monochromatica runway, serving futuristic pop princess realness. Adriana was gorgeous in a bright blue Gaga inspired number. Icesis was a golden delight, Pythia was sea-sickening in a lime jellyfish look while Gia was a gorgeous lilac robot. Synthia was a delight in a velvet, mushroom pink gown while Kendall served sexy hip-hop Big Bird, Eve looked perfect in a blue, robot bodysuit while Kimora was gorgeous in a white gown, channelling all of the divas.
Ultimately the Giddy Girls took out victory in this week’s challenge with Gia ultimately taking out the win, after Brooke did a cute little moment pretending that she didn’t. Obviously this led to another pageant speech from Gia before the rest of her band were sent to untuck with her.
Left to face the judges, Synthia admitted that she felt pressure in the challenge being the team leader. While she was praised for slaying the performance, the judges felt she didn’t give enough on the runway. Nor did she help her sisters learn their choreography. Kendall was read for giving current pop star, not futuristic, as was her verse for being basic, despite selling the hell out of it. Eve was praised for looking good on the runway, though her performance was read for just being a mess given she missed all the choreography and appeared bored. And the fact the judges have given her a tonne of feedback and she just doesn’t seem to be getting it. While Kimora received universal praise for just being fun and looking like a treat. Despite showing her panties at the back.
The victors were feeling their oats as they untucked before the losing team arrived to fill them in on the tea. Kimora pointed out her look was praised, though the judges hated her VPL. Kendall said she did well despite them hating her verse while Eve was disappointed to get the same critique from the judges week after week. Leading to Synthia trying to perk her up, which obviously made the situation worse. Synthia meanwhile was nervous that she would be in the bottom simply because she was the team captain.
Ultimately Kimora and Kendall were deemed safe, leaving Synthia to battle Eve to survive on account of her being the team captain. Just as she feared. As Bif Naked’s I Love Myself Today kicked off both of the dolls were ready to fight, though poor Eve just felt a little flat. As Synthia gave it her all, Eve hit every lyric and gave us the moments we needed but you could tell the weeks of tough critiques were still playing on her mind. As such, Synthia was sent to safety while poor Eve found herself exiting the competition.
I followed the sound of the bark crying to find Eve mournfully packing her bags and after scaring her upon slinking in, I pulled her in for a hug and reminded her how damn talented she is. While she was disappointed to not get a truly victorious moment in the competition, I reminded her that she provided countless memorable moments, slayed the rusical and did give a great, thespian style impersonation of Bernie Sanders. And while that didn’t get her the win, it makes her good enough TV for an All Stars redemption, which honestly, is better than winning sometimes. With that, we laughed, we cried and toasted her success with a cool jug of Eve 6000 Island Dressing.
Full disclosure, given I hate seafood I spent most of my life needlessly hating on Thousand Island Dressing. Then I learnt it is similar to Mac Sauce and have essentially been bathing in it every since. Tangy, sweet and gorgeously creamy, it is the perfect accompaniment to fish, chips, burgers and post-boot pain.
Eve 6000 Island Dressing Makes: 1 ½ cups.
Ingredients 1 cup Shayonnaise Swain ½ small onion, finely diced 2 tbsp ketchup 2 tbsp gherkin relish 1 tsp champagne vinegar ½ tbsp sweet paprika ¼ tbsp kosher salt pinch of freshly ground pepper
Method Place everything in a bowl and mix until well combined.
Transfer to a jar and pop in the fridge for a few hours to let the flavours develop before serving.
Previously on Survivor things were starting to look up for Genie on Ua as she stumbled upon the re-hidden threesome idol. Sadly for her, she took the information to Ricard and Shan and the three agreed to leave it where it is until they knew Luvu had found theirs. Or at least, that is what they told her as they immediately went to grab it and try their luck at immunity. Thankfully for them, Naseer found the third idol, activating them all and giving everyone their votes back. Sadly for Ua, they lost yet another immunity challenge and after Shan and Liana bonded on a journey, Shan left Liana to snag an advantage and joined Ricard to boot Genie from the game. But girl, they have drama.
That night Shan and RIcard returned to a very quiet Ua, heartbroken to have just booted Genie with Ricard more shocked that she was shocked to go. Shan admitted to him that she thought the two of them were tight but shared with us that she needed someone like Ricard to keep her focused on the game, rather than a kind player like Genie who reminds her of home. The duo then spoke about the awkwardness of the extra vote, with us learning that Shan only passed the extra vote to Ricard so that he could vote out Genie should Shan not get hers back with the idol. And ugh, should they merge tomorrow, I am not confident this duo is going to stick together based on this little fight.
The next morning Shan asked for her advantage back one final time with Ricard sassing her out for asking for it back, rather than quietly giving it back like they agreed. And again, this isn’t going to end well for this duo.
We next checked in with Yase where they found treemail announcing that merge was upon them, but first there will be fun. Which, ugh, appears to be another twist. That being said, the Yase four are pretty tight and feeling their oats, ready to dominate. Except for the fact it is actually a trio with Xander left right out. Meanwhile Sydney was nervous to merge over at Luvu, given they haven’t had the opportunity to test their bonds and nothing this season has come to them easily. Which feels eerily like foreshadowing for their downfall, no?
Jeffrey arrived to loop us in on the twist of the merge, with the castaways split into two groups for an epic challenge. The winning group would then send someone away to an island where, dun, dun DUN, they would be faced with a never before seen power that could change the course of the game. So basically, just another week of Survivor 41, no?
After dropping their buffs the TBC merge tribe were gagged to learn that they would need to earn their way into the merge with two teams facing off to dig up a massive boulder and push it through a course to release keys before, you know the drill, unlocking puzzle pieces and solving it. The first team, not tribe, to win would get to enjoy a feast and earn their merge buff. AND not need to participate in the first individual immunity, given they are already immune. Oh and to make it even more complex, only ten would be competing with two people drawing grey rocks and sitting out with one of them sent on a journey and the other lucky person joining the immune merged team.
Remember how simple it was to follow in Borneo?
Ultimately it was Naseer and Erika sitting out of the challenge as Xander, Heather, Liana, Tiffany and Shan battled Deshawn, Sydney, Danny, Yvvie and Ricard. Try as Xander may, the rival blue group got out to an early lead collecting two keys before the yellow group finally joined the fray. As the yellow group fought hard to close the gap, the blue team edged closer and closer to solving their puzzle, narrowly snatching victory and guaranteeing their safety at the first tribal council. Oh and a feast. But not before they decide who to take with them out of Naseer and Erika, while the other person would go to a separate island for two nights by themselves with only a major decision for company.
Obviously they didn’t want to make a decision, so instead did rock, paper, scissors which resulted in Naseer joining them and Erika stuck by herself, as the losing group returned to Luvu in preparation for their eventual merge there. When it was just Erika and Jeff, she admitted that she always assumed she was on the bottom of the group and as such, knew that she would be the one to go to the island but kind of appreciated the fact that they feigned rock, paper, scissors as the reason she went there.
We followed the victors to the merge feast with Evvie giddy to eat and officially be immune at the first vote. The group spoke about how hard this season has been on everyone, particularly since they have been given zero food. Talk turned to how the season is progressing, with Danny admitting to us that the rock paper scissor lie was all a cover to protect a male, given the other tribes have decimated their men. The Luvus praised Erika’s survival skills and pretended like she would be fine and ugh, why do I get the feeling that this choice will doom them all?
Erika meanwhile arrived on the island to discover her meagre supplies, though quickly got to work trying to get herself sorted. She shared how her upbringing set her up to fight for what she wants, with Survivor almost like a love letter to the skills her parents gave her. Oh and she is ready to fight after this experience and will return to the game with a new attitude.
We followed the losers back to camp with Xander feeling broken after the challenge, bruised, battered and knowing his only chance to survive the next tribal council is immunity or by playing his idol. As he went off to get water with Heather, Shan asked Liana whether she got the advantage from last week, right in front of Tiffany. Much to Liana’s frustration. With that, the duo went for a walk and Liana explained her advantage to Shan, with the latter explaining she needs to steal Xander or Naseer’s idol ASAP. With that, they locked in their alliance and returned to camp to eat some rice as Tiffany realised that she is on her own in this new group. As such, she was playing everyone and trying to bond with anything.
First up Tiffany pulled Liana aside to find out what the advantage is, with Liana irked by her intensity despite the fact she assured her that she won’t tell anyone. Oh and because Liana kept her advantage a secret from her, now Tiffany is out for blood. Like a Queen.
The winning group returned to camp where everyone giddily introduced themselves despite Evvie thinking they’d all be angry that they just smashed a tonne of food while they ate a tiny bit of rice. Xander meanwhile quickly caught up with Naseer, pledging his undying loyalty to him and reminding him that the men need to stick together. Danny joined the conversation and assured him that Erika will definitely be the first to go. Sydney meanwhile was catching up with Tiffany and Evvie, also floating getting rid of Erika as the best idea. Everyone looped in everyone, which ended up making Liana, Shan and Xander scared that everything sounds too good to be true.
Shan meanwhile went for a walk with Liana and quickly pulled Deshawn and Danny aside, suggesting that they form an alliance and push for another person of colour to join the winner’s circle.
We returned to poor Erika where her loneliness was interrupted by Jeffrey who dropped by to check on her set-up and have a chat. She explained that tending the fire is the only thing that has kept her sane, explaining to Jeff that otherwise she would have curled into a ball and cried, having epic FOMO while also worrying about how much catch-up she has to do when she returns to camp. But Jeff being Jeff explained that that may not actually be the case, given her stint on exile actually comes with an epic power. She can either choose to keep everything the same and return to the game tomorrow, compete in the immunity challenge and potentially be the next one voted out OR she could smash an hourglass and undo the last 24 hours and switch the result of the last challenge, meaning those that are currently immune would now be in danger while she and the losing group would be immune.
With that, Jeffrey departed and left Erika to mull over her decision. But given it guarantees she would make the top 11, we all know which decision she is making despite the potential backlash she will face. As the rain pelted down upon her later that night, she valiantly tried to keep the fire going before waking to a clear sky with the fire alight and ready to return to the game and take control with the full knowledge of what she can do.
The rest of the non-tribe arrived at the top of a mountain to meet Jeff before he brought Erika back to the game to the applause of her fellow competitors. Which quickly stopped after she spoke about feeling left behind as everyone bonded back at camp. And, you know, announced that she had the chance to reverse the outcome of the last challenge. Which she obviously opted to do, as Ricard, Sydney, Deshawn, Evvie and Danny looked on, completely enraged, while Naseer sweetly looked gagged. And obviously the five losers were thrilled to now be guaranteed a spot in the merge.
Deshawn tried to downplay his frustrations before Probst introduced the immunity challenge he would now need to compete in, where they would each have to build a block tower using only their feet before slotting a flag in the middle. First person to finish snagging immunity. Ricard calmly worked away on his tower while Sydney and Evvie took an early lead, powering through their first two levels. Evvie’s toes took her to the third level as Deshawn, Ricard and Naseer joined Sydney in nipping at their heels. After Evvie popped their final block on the tower, they tragically knocked them off with the flag leaving Sydney and Ricard to battle for the win, which the latter took out as he landed his flag seconds ahead.
Before bidding the castaways adieu, Probst reminded them that everyone would be going to tribal council and voting that night, however it is only the five losers eligible to receive votes. Oh and the Shot in the Dark scrolls have been bumped up to 12, with 2 safe scrolls, meaning everyone could potentially play it and two people get saved.
Back at camp the almost-merged tribe quickly congratulated Ricard on his victory before Erika spoke about the harsh experience of exile. Liana was grateful to be safe at the upcoming tribal council, though was more excited about potentially using her epic Knowledge is Power advantage, despite how easy it could be to misplay given she can only ask specific questions. And Shan outed it in front of Tiffany meaning everyone could easily work around it. Meanwhile Danny, Ricard, Shan, Sydney and Deshawn were catching up, with the former struggling to process how they managed to go from feasting and immune to the few eligible people to go home later tonight. Well, not Ricard or Shan, but you know what he meant.
While Deshawn understood his frustrations, he also wanted Danny to move on so they could come up with a plan. Ricard meanwhile suggested that they load all their votes on Evvie, given Naseer has an idol. Despite bonding with Evvie on their journey, Deshawn was onboard and happy to take them out if it keeps him around one more day. Danny took the plan to Liana and while she was concerned about flopping on Evvie too soon, she admitted that she is most closely aligned with Shan so caught up with her to see what she wanted to do. While she continued to push away from Evvie and downplayed them as a threat, Shan was just as strong about their need to split up Evvie and Xander.
Tiffany and Xander meanwhile were catching up assuring each other that they will protect Evvie with the idol if required. Evvie joined them and broke down over potentially going home, before they looped them in on the fact they plan to play the idol on Evvie should it be needed. The only wrinkle being Liana’s Knowledge is Power advantage, but given Tiffany looped them in on everything, they came up with a plan to protect the idol from being stolen.
Ricard meanwhile was catching up with Erika, Deshawn was looping in Naseer as Xander caught up with Danny and Sydney, letting them know that he plans to play his idol to save Evvie and as such, they need to come up with a different plan. He then opened up about Liana’s advantage and shared that she kept it from the rest of the Yase tribe, meaning she has well and truly turned on them. Danny was then very messy, going straight to Liana with the information and ugh, I love him. This freaked out Liana who went for a walk with Shan to confirm they have a clear understanding of the wording of the note and a loophole is totally blowing this for her, isn’t it?
Liana caught up with Evvie and Xander with the latter tucking the idol in his pants and talking about how the idol will be on his person all night, so Evvie will definitely be safe and they will all boot Deshawn. With that, Liana went to Danny, Deshawn and Shan to share that Deshawn is the target but it isn’t a worry, given she will be stealing Xander’s idol at tribal council. Sydney meanwhile was paranoid about the duelling plans, given she could become collateral damage. While Xander assured her that she will be safe, she ventured to see Liana and Shan who assured her the same thing and damn, why do I have the feeling we could be losing our salty icon?
At tribal council Danny spoke about how finally attending tribal council is more epic than his days in the NFL. Sydney meanwhile was thrilled to be doing something different with new faces around despite the non-merge hurdle. Liana spoke about the surreal nature of living through the pre-tribal scramble while Tiffany tried to articulate why it is such a mess. Talk turned to the Shot in the Dark among the bounty of advantages throughout the season with Shan admitting it creates chaos but ultimately, relationships are all that truly matters. With Deshawn one-upping her and agreeing that the relationships he has built are all that matters to him.
Evvie admitted to being nervous since they are the only non-Luvu eligible to be booted tonight but they were confident that Xander would have their back. With that Xander outed his idol and shared that he would definitely be playing it for them, which Liana agreed was because the Yase tribe protect their own – lol – as Evvie spoke about how they have protected Xander all game despite him not having a vote for such a long time. This made Deshawn call bullshit on their bond, sharing that Evvie told him everything about Xander’s idol on their adventure to the Advantage Island Treetop Walk. This made Xander nervous about their relationship, with Evvie desperately assuring him that they are still solid. Liana piped up to agree that the duo are tight, which is why she plans to play her Knowledge is Power advantage on Xander, requesting his idol.
With that he handed over his fake idol before we learnt that all of his advantages had been handed off to Tiffany prior to tribal council, meaning he had nothing to steal and the trio would live to fight another day. Evvie thanked Liana for showing them that she can’t be trusted and as Liana simply reminded them that the game is cutthroat, Shan started talking about how Evvie is clearly in possession of the idol and as such, they need to come up with a new plan.
This set off an epic chain of whispers with Shan rallying a group to vote Syd, Evvie and Xander meanwhile were pushing for Naseer to join them to vote out Deshawn. Just as quickly as it popped off, it all went quiet as Shan pushed for them to vote and get it over with. This frustrated Deshawn who congratulated Xander and Evvie on their move, but admitted that given his name is on the block, he isn’t so eager to vote just yet. He then started whispering with Shan and pushed to keep the vote on Evvie since Tiffany heard their plans, while Tiffany, Xander and Evvie looped Sydney in on the fact the rest of the tribe now planned to vote her out. With that, she was keen to join them in voting for Deshawn as Tiffany suggested she could play Xander’s extra vote to get things across the line.
Deshawn meanwhile spoke about the fact Tiffany outed their plan before the super-group beckoned Naseer to loop him in on the new plan to split the vote on Evvie and Sydney since they only have one idol in their possession. Eventually everyone settled down and agreed they were ready to vote, after which Sydney shared that she had played her Shot in the Dark, which tragically left her Not Safe. Tiffany then tried to play Xander’s idol until he stepped in and assured her not to play it, much to Evvie’s simmering rage. Probst then finally started counting the votes with them piling up evenly on Deshawn, Evvie and Sydney before Evvie was gagged to discover Sydney had been booted from the game.
Much to the simmering rage of Sydney, while Evvie now praised Tiffany and Xander for holding their nerve with the idol. A complete backflip from their rage moments before.
But back to Sydney, my Queen. While I am heartbroken to have lost young-Sandra way too early, I was thrilled to be on hand to cheer her up before she departed Loser Lodge before I help the crew re-merch for Ponderosa. I’m going to forego the backstory about how we met – sassy people just find their peers, ok? – but I will assure you that Syd and I are the dearest of dear friends – we even got vaccinated together when she flew home! I pulled her in for a hug and while she immediately told me to calm down and that she is glad to be free of her tribemates, I held her long enough to get her admit she was gutted to be out of the game. Though thankfully a take away jar of Sydney Segarlic Sauce was enough to keep the disappointment at bay.
Sweet, earthy and a little tart, kebab sauce is one of my favourite things for a HSP – thankfully 41 filmed before Hayley dominated Brains V Brawn, so I had some spare. I mean, garlic, lemon and the joy of creamy, white liquids? Hook it into my veins.
Sydney Segarlic Sauce Makes: 1 cup.
Ingredients 6 garlic cloves, minced ⅓ cup plain yogurt ⅓ cup Shayonnaise Swain 1 lemon, zested and juiced 1 tbsp mint, roughly chopped pinch of salt and pepper, to taste
Previously on Australian Survivor the tribes battled it out in a dusty immunity challenge with Simon narrowly besting his former tribemate Emmett. While Simon was supported by the rest of his tribe to get to the end and score the win, it was truly a one man show on Brains. Speaking of Emmett, he wasn’t too bothered to lose the challenge given he was leading the Brains tribe’s majority alliance. With an iron fist, if you ask the Brains trio. Speaking of them, they decided their best hope was to woo Kez to their side, given she desperately wants Cara out and Emmett isn’t listening to her. While she vowed to go to rocks to get what she wanted, she ultimately stayed with the alliance and joined them to boot Georgia from the game.
The peace of the outback was disturbed the next day as Gerald snored by the fire as George wandered around wide eyed, glad to still be in the game. Though he admitted that it isn’t luck that got him this far, it was his hard work to finally win some people over. On the outside are his remaining nemesis, Laura and Rachel. And frankly, he doesn’t care who goes next out of the pair of them.
Rachel meanwhile was collecting a tonne of wood despite being tired and on the outs. While Laura was sleeping. We then finally got an intro package for Queen Rach, who was Queenslander of the Year last year and is essentially an icon. She then took that positive attitude to the billabong, teaching Cara how to fish and damn, is this what hope feels like?
Meanwhile over at Brawn Hayley was feeling her oats, in charge and generally living the dream, forming a tight bond with the girls and generally being the boss. They were fishing, tending the fire and making friendship bracelets and honestly, I am just as jealous as Simon to be missing out on the experience. Speaking of Simon, Hayley can see how large his target is and as such, got to work finding cracks to get him out before they get to merge. While Dani and the boys bonded in the shallows – Simon in his speedos, swoon – Hayley realised building a relationship with her would be critical to her long term game and as such, got to work bonding with Dani.
The duo caught up and went fishing, while Hayley started soft, asking about the Brawns on the other tribe, she then got straight to the point, asking Dani when she thinks would be a good time to get rid of Simon. With Dani straight up spilling her entire strategy to align with the alpha and then cut them from the game. A move that she called ‘The Sandra Bullock’, which is as iconic as her asking Hayley if she’d be interested in helping to pull off the move. Which Hayley giddily responded by announcing that blindsides are even sweeter when the person thinks they’re in control.
Iconic, brutal, stunning. I love them.
Hayley then went for a cheeky little wander, lamenting about the pain of not seeing or hearing from their loved ones. And right on cue, she discovered letters from home in treemail, instantly reducing everyone to tears. We learnt about Hayley’s beautiful boyfriend Jimmy who was ready to propose when she returned home. Andrew meanwhile got a cute painting from his nephew, Wai heard about her cat, Dani’s partner roasted her for being stubborn and then Baden sobbed over missing his daughters and ugh, I’m not crying. You’re crying. I mean, one of them sees his face in the moon each night AND HOPES HE CAN SEE HERS.
It. Is. Too. Damn. Precious.
Over at the Brains, we learnt about George’s beautiful bond with his dog, Emmett missing his fiance and well Rach, she finally had her fire back. Ready to fight for her wife back at home. As such, she pulled Cara and George aside to talk. But sadly, we weren’t privy to that as Emmett, Gerald and Kez realised that losing challenges isn’t the worst thing right now and as such, they should consider throwing a challenge to get rid of another Brain or two.
My love Jonathan finally returned for the immunity challenge where the tribes would face off sliding a series of blocks to untangle ropes and releasing a key. These tribes would then traverse a series of obstacles, collect some balls, wade through a mud pit and then slide some balls down a ramp to land in a dish. Queen Wai obviously directed the Brawn tribe to quickly untangle the ropes and release the key while the Brains grew more and more confused. Even without Emmett trying to throw the challenge, the Brawns tribe powered all the way to the end of the course and landed their balls in arguably the biggest blowout of all time.
As the tribes celebrated together everyone tried to whisper to each other with Andrew telling Laura to just get to merge while Hayley encouraged Rach to throw all the mud around and make a mess. While Emmett and Kez could barely hide their excitement to be going back to tribal council. So, maybe they did throw it?
Back at camp Emmett was pumped to continue the decimation of the Brains before firing up some rice and relaxing. Despite knowing full well that the Brains still have enough people to take control of the tribe if they put their differences aside. That being a pretty bloody big if. After quickly locking in Rachel as the bigger target, with the girls loading their votes on Laura as a back-up. Emmett then shifted his focus to the next step once Cara and George left, that being to flip Laura and then take out Cara and George.
Knowing that she is screwed, Rachel opted to put her emotional feelings about George and Cara aside and instead try and work with them to make a big move against Emmett and weaken the Brawn tribe at large. Obviously Laura was on board, so wIth that, Rachel powered off to find George and pitch him the plan with him calmly agreeing that he knows what happens next if they don’t mix things up. George then shared that he wanted to split the vote the way the majority did so that he could ultimately make the decision to flip on someone like Emmett without anyone knowing it was coming. And buy him more time to figure out which option is best for his game, with or without Cara’s support.
At tribal council Gerald admitted that nothing has really changed with the power dynamics of the tribe, with Rachel agreeing that she and Laura are definitely the dead women walking. George meanwhile spoke in political speak, confusing Rachel and Laura about whether he would flip. Emmett admitted he is just wanting to get to the merge and take control, though also alluded to the fact that he is always going to put Brawns first. Rachel pointed out that Brains currently have the majority if they were merging and coming back together is better for all of them. While George agreed that Laura and Rachel made some valid points, Emmett and more so Gerald, made some very complimentary arguments to bring them together.
Laura called it out for what it is, blowing smoke up Cara and George’s arse leading to Kez needing to step in and point out that Brawn is also a fractured tribe and they actually need some Brains to help get further as they navigate their own complex dynamics come merge. Aka the Simon and Emmett faction versus her, Flick and Gerald. With that the tribe voted and despite the promise that big things were happening this week – SuE’s bIG mOvE, right? – the majority held together and Rach was tragically booted from the game.
As soon as I saw her turn the corner into Loser Lodge, I burst into tears, heartbroken to see my fellow Queenslander of the Year booted from the game. And by fellow, it happens in like a decade, remembering I invented time travel. That is not what I win for either. But anyway, Rach and I are dear friends and I was so disappointed that she couldn’t turn things around, particularly since we’re so close to the merge.
Given Rach is an absolute delight however, she took it in her stride and calmly held me until I stopped crying. After that, we did the usual laugh, cry and reconnect before I searched the fridge and found enough ingredients to whip her up a Chipotle Ranchel Dipnie.
I know ranch is often looked at as a pretty basic dip/dressing/condiment – at least by me and my paranoia, I guess – but I am basic and proud. Add in a little chipotle, however, and you elevate it into the stratosphere. Fresh and tart, but packing a good whack of heat, this delight will have you slathering it on anything. Or gulping down like water.
Chipotle Ranchel Dipnie Makes: 1 cup
Ingredients 2 chipotles in adobo, finely chopped ⅔ cup Shayonnaise Swain ¼ cup buttermilk 2 tbsp champagne vinegar 3 garlic cloves, crushed 1 tbsp chives, thinly sliced ½ tsp paprika salt and pepper, to taste
Method Now try and keep up because this is tough. Place everything in a jar.
Or refrigerate until ready to serve with something else. But, why?
Previously on Australian Survivor the Brawns continued their reward streak and to make matters worse for Andrew, he got whacked in the nads while losing another challenge. Meanwhile Simon found not one but two idols in the space of mere minutes and obviously grew in confidence. Shocking everyone Brawn turned things around, bucking tradition and winning their second immunity challenge. Back at camp George decided his best chance of survival was to target Laura while Joey locked the alliance’s vote on George. Until, you know, he walked into camp wearing an idol, and as such, Joey flipped things on Mitch instead, booting him from the game and flushing George’s idol with it.
We first checked in with the Brawns tribe where spiders were nesting in Shannon’s knickers. While that alone is concerning, the scariest part is the fact they were holding their own shape. Before we could explore that further, Flick explained that the tribe were living their best lives, focused on training to keep their winning streak up. Speaking of winning, Simon was thrilled to secure himself a path to the endgame with his two idols. That being said, Gerald knew about the idols and was extremely focused on getting him out toot suite. Gerald checked in with my Queens Kez and Flick, spilling all the deets on the idol. And just like that, the trio got to work planning to raise Simon up so that he was so confident that they could blindside him.
Over at Brains the tribe were soberly eating their prison food, with Rachel only happy with the fact she drew a line in the sand with George at the last tribal council. And well, let’s just say that George now had Rachel in his sights. His first move was to confront her in front of everyone and when she was unapologetic, they fought. With Laura and Rachel then muttering about him. It was a move, but I never said it was a wise one. We finally go to learn more about Cara, who in addition to real estate and her empathic abilities, is an expert in meteorology. And well, she and George have really been vibing and she is confident in her abilities to temper his worst impulses and keep things tight, hopefully going to the end together.
Joey meanwhile was growing cocky, catching up with Laura and Andrew to laugh about how screwed the minority are now that they’ve taken control. Which is never an endearing look.
Jonathan made his triumphant return to our screen for the reward challenge where the tribes would weave through a series of obstacles while tethered to a rope before digging up sandbags and tossing them to smash six targets. For choccy milk and lamingtons, which again, bloody iconic combo from the reward team. Brains quickly got out to an early lead, given their smaller bodies made it easier to work through the obstacles. Sadly Cara started to struggle, tying things up for the tribes. And well, then George and Wai literally tied themselves into a knot and well, all appeared to be lost for the Brains. As Rachel screamed at George from the side of the course, Emmett started to taste the chocolate milk in his mind. Then Joey and Andrew happened, smashing target after target in quick succession before Brawns had a last minute surge, stealing victory out from underneath the Brains.
Wanting to create some drama, Jonathan offered the Brawns the chance to invite one of the Brains over to share the reward with the Brawns opting for Joey, hoping his big mouth will give them enough information to create drama post swap.
The Brawns and Joey arrived at their bush cafe, with Joey continuing to be loud and energetic, unaware that they invited him over solely because of that. As everyone smashed their lamingtons and milk, Simon asked the obvious question, how in the hell did he land on the Brains tribe? While Simon softened him up with compliments, the girls went in for the kill, asking what happened at the previous tribal council and why George didn’t go since he clearly hates him. And well, once he popped he didn’t stop. Making Flick a very happy girl with all the free flowing information.
Back at Camp Brains, the tribe were heartbroken to have come so close to winning again with Wai promising to try her best in the next challenge. As everyone assured her that she is valued, Rachel opened up and said that George bitching about the tribe in front of the Brawns isn’t helpful before a challenge and creates disharmony, distracting from the task at hand. This obviously pissed off George, who stormed off with Georgia sent to follow him and try to keep him in check. The one positive of the scene is that we then finally learnt more about Georgia, who was using her forensic psychologist background to try and understand George a bit better. Sadly for her, all it did was piss him off, making her the new biggest target in his eyes.
Jonathan returned for the immunity challenge where the Brains were delighted to see a puzzle was in the mix, while the Brawns were obviously terrified. For the challenge, the tribe would paddle a boogie board out to an apparatus to release five keys before getting wheeled back in, one at a time. They would then use the keys to release puzzle pieces and then, you know, solve the puzzle. Importantly, Simon is in his speedo. As is oft the case, the Brawns got out to a sizable lead at the start of the challenge, powering through the physical side of things. While George reminded the Brains not to worry, given they have a puzzle to sort things out again. Sadly with Wai on the bench they had no real leader in the puzzle which allowed Simon to direct his tribe to yet another victory.
Back at camp the tribe joined together to lament their loss, while George knew that his luck was about to run out. Joey meanwhile was feeling super confident, joyfully swimming in the billabong with Georgia and Laura, talking about how much better things will be once George is gone. That being said, this is Survivor and when people’s backs are against the wall, they get crafty. George joined with Cara, Baden and Wai, identifying Georgia as their best chance to get out. But to do that, he needs some luck. As such, he and Cara went hunting for idols and while the cool kids mocked them from the billabong, Queen Cara took the throne, finding her first idol. And you best believe she was ready to do whatever necessary to keep her alliance safe.
Cara, George, Wai and Baden caught up again, with George quickly suggesting she play the idol for him given he is their only target and as such, they can take out Georgia instead. That however made Cara nervous that the other alliance could opt to change the vote to her and as such, she wasn’t sure whether it was worth the risk.
Laura meanwhile started to grow suspicious about George or Cara finding the idol, rallying the troops to float the idea of splitting the vote JIC. That being said, there is no way they can do that without flipping someone over. And instead of getting Baden or Cara, Joey decided the Wai was the best idea, given she is logical. He, Cara and Hayley pulled her aside and while they were confident they did enough to charm her over to their side, she wasn’t sure who to go with. You know, since the person that saved her on day two is also the most volatile person in the game.
She took the information to George and admitted she was thinking about flipping and as such, he emotionally begged her to cast him aside after this tribal council, not before. With that Cara, Baden and George got together, with George assuring her that he wants her to play the idol for herself and only herself. Before they decided the wisest move was to put on a massive display of pass-the-parcel with the idol and once they’re all confused, hope Wai is spooked back to their side.
At tribal council Cara kicked off the proceedings by wearing her hidden immunity idol, with George suggesting he may have something up his sleeve too. Joey wasn’t sure what the plan was with Cara’s idol, though he desperately just wanted to get rid of George. Aka the bad egg. Cara then continued to earn her Queen crown, admitting the tribe have nothing in common and as such, she is struggling to deal with the people that aren’t wanting to work together to let people flourish. As Wai started talking, the theatre commenced, with Cara whispering in Baden’s ear before passing the idol over to him.
While Hayley admitted their game was making her nervous, her alliance have definitely come up with a couple of different plans to counteract whatever they’re doing. George admitted that while he desperately wants to win the game, when watching Wai struggle on day two, he realised that winning at all costs was not him and as such, he is happy to exit the game with his head held high. George admitted there is no hope for him before Wai and Rachel admitted that there is a lot of tension in the tribe, but more importantly, Baden passed the idol off to Geroge. Wai spoke about the alliances changing day by day, admitting it has definitely changed for her from day two to now. This elicited more compliments from George, successfully guilting the hell out of Wai.
With that the tribe voted – Wai for George, calling him out for holding the day two stuff over her head like parents that tell their kids they should be grateful they have a roof over their head – before Cara played her idol for George. And oh God, Queen Cara, no. The votes rolled in for Cara and Georgia, ending in a 3-3 tie. As such, the tribe revoted and poor Queen Cara found her torch being snuffed. But gagatondra, all was not as it seemed, as she found a Brawn buff on her way out the door, directing her to head over to Brawn and join the new tribe.
As she stumbled through the bush in absolute darkness, she eventually arrived at her new camp and proceeded to dive on to her campmates. Startling them awake, either delighting or enraging them. Or potentially a bit of both.
We checked in with team Brains the next day, where George suggested that putting snake skin on a tree was the cause of all of their misfortune. As such, he removed it and tried to stay quiet while the majority rejoiced in their growing power. Joey spoke about the excitement of the last tribal council, despite the fact George was still in the tribe. Joey went to Laura and Andrew, pledging his undying allegiance to them and Georgia, meaning Hayley, Rachel and Wai were just numbers waiting around to be picked off after George and Baden. Speaking of George, he was heartbroken to have lost his best friend Cara, however was immensely grateful that she gave up her game for his.
Oh and now George was over Wai, given she betrayed the good guys.
Despite not being able to look at her for hours and hours, he eventually pulled Wai aside to find out why she turned on him. Wai called him out for being volatile and how it is hard to be around and as such, she opted for the more peaceful path. While George argued that he was iced out by Joey from day one, Wai still couldn’t see the value of realigning with him. Particularly because she doesn’t like to feel indebted to him for the entire game because she is playing her own, damnit. Like a queen.
The next morning Cara was getting a deep dive on the Brawn tribe as Simon sexily walked out of the billabong in a speedo and the rest worked out. Oh and then she got food with flavour, and ate off crockery. There were blankets, dance class and well, the Brains are dead to her. Officially. And she looks forward to spilling the tea on Joey and Laura’s bullshit to everyone that will listen.
With that, she pulled all the Brawns around to talk about how awful they are, while playing up how loyal George is. As she continued to talk smack, Simon quickly deduced that she has no intention of aligning with any Brains and as such, he can pull her in and take control of the tribe. Particularly since she just wants to raise people up. Sadly for him, Shannon also identified her as a priority ally and quickly went walking for firewood for her to bond.
The tribes reconvened to meet Jonathan where the Brains were gagged to see that Cara was still in the game, none more delighted to see her than George. Meanwhile Joey looked ready to kill and Rache continued to try in vain to get George to stop talking shit about the tribe. Cara meanwhile said that she was thrilled to finally be on a tribe with heart, while Simon agreed that she was a very welcome addition. In any event, this week’s reward challenge would require everyone to hold a barrel of water up with a tribe out if any person drops their bucket. Though they can pass their bucket off to others. Oh AND it was for BBQ. As you can imagine, this challenge isn’t overly exciting to write about however after Wai and Shannon tapped out, the latter used it as a chance to woo Cara who was sitting out of the challenge. Sadly for her though, Simon was watching the entire interaction.
Just as I say it isn’t exciting to write about, Chelsea accidently took her hand off a ring while passing one along and got herself eliminated from the challenge. And just like that, Brains were well positioned for victory. She was followed out by Dani before Gerald started to struggle under the weight of two buckets, as did Daini and Flick. After what felt like an eternity of struggle, poor Gerald couldn’t hold on any longer, dropping the buckets and handing Brains their first ever reward. Leaving Cara to once again starve.
Oh and was the snake skin actually cursed? I don’t want to say George was right, but George is probably right.
Back at camp Brains, the tribe were delighted to see their abundant feast awaiting them, quickly firing up the barbie and smashing everything in sight. We then learnt Laura is into angel golden showers, while George was just thrilled by how great he did in the reward. Talk soon turned to Cara surviving the previous tribal council and joining Brawn, with Joey disappointed to not be able to take out another target. As such, Joey followed Baden into the water and quickly got to work teeing up a new alliance. Tragically for the former though, it was right in front of Hayley who decided now was the time to make a move and take control of the tribe.
Slay Queen Hayley.
Over at the Brawn camp, the tribe lamented their loss while Kez encouraged everyone to just keep going. Gerald on the other hand was heartbroken to have lost the challenge for the tribe and as such, felt like a target. Cara tried to rally everyone around, putting her empath powers to use. She then straight up identified Daini’s broken jaw and Shannon’s reproductive concerns and damn, she is a witch. While everyone else was crying, moved by the experience, Simon was more focused on trying to build his own bond with her before they go to the next challenge.
As such, he asked when older women go through menopause, implying she is old and just, no. Simon, no.
My love Jonathan returned for the next immunity challenge where the tribes would race up a ramp to collect ropes, build a bridge with them, cross said bridge, climb a tower and retrieve an idol and then work through obstacles before untying a platform which they need to use to lift the idol up and hook it in a cage. Oh and in addition to the challenge, Jonathan announced that a hidden immunity idol is at the end of the course and if they want it, they can go for it. Though risk annoying their tribe, obvi.
While Brains started strong, the Brawns quickly pulled away before George disappeared to make a snatch for the idol. Sadly for him, Hayley and Gerald quickly joined him, with Queen Hayley snatching it and returning everyone’s focus back to the challenge. While Brawn was still out in front, Hayley worked furiously to make up for slowing them down. Again both tribes somehow caught up at the end, but they were no match for Cara who played a calm, critical role in helping Brawn secure another immunity win.
Back at camp Joey was very blasé about the loss before Rachel encouraged everyone to go for a swim to get all the dust off themselves. As she and the alliance of four caught up, Joey obviously suggested they finally get rid of George. As everyone agreed the tribe will be so much calmer without him, Joey suggested that they split the vote between George and Wai just in case he has an idol. Everyone joined back up at camp, with George congratulating Hayley on snagging the idol and cheekily asking if she would play it for him. Which Joey felt was insufferable, though Hayley did slyly suggest that anything is possible.
Preparing for his inevitable boot, George once again wandered around looking for a miracle. He first tried for the boldest, pulling Joey and Laura aside to float other names that would be decent targets given there are weaker people in the tribe. Like say, Wai or Rachel. Joey and Laura caught up with Hayley to reiterate his pleas fell on deaf ears, however that made her frustrated given the hierarchy of the tribe is blatantly obvious and frankly, boring, if someone doesn’t step up with a big move.
As such Hayley approached Baden, suggesting that instead of following along with orders they instead take control and flip the vote on Joey. While Baden felt it was a bold choice, he was also keen to stir up some drama and force the other group into playing. Next up in her plot was talking to Rachel, who felt it was too risky a move to make. Hayley then went to Wai and knowing that she would be a tough sell, told her about the plan to split the vote on her. As such, she wanted to vote for Joey instead. While Wai was scared about burning more bridges, Hayley pointed out that if George goes, she is clearly next and as such, they will just get picked off one by one. But Wai just wanted a little time to figure out her options.
By the fire George made things awkward, asking Wai if she reflected on the last tribal council and how horrible she made him feel. And ugh, that may have been enough to turn her off joining Hayley, isn’t it? And given Hayley didn’t even get a chance to talk to George, there is no way this plan will come together, is there?
At tribal council Hayley spoke about voting Cara out to try and improve the mood in camp, with Rachel agreeing it definitely improved things as they enjoyed their feast. Georgia spoke about it being hard to vote people out, while Baden shared that he wasn’t concerned about being voted out yet and is doing what he is told. That is, until he needs to turn the tables on someone. Joey admitted to having a solid alliance, while Hayley said that pecking orders always change but she hopes her relationships will make the difference.
Laura spoke about not having a pecking order within the alliance, while Jonathan pointed out that that is what the people on the top say. Wai admitted that there is a plan at this tribal council, while Andrew agreed that something can always happen and people can pull something out of their hats. Hayley shared that she believes the tribe will be united after this vote, before George reiterated that he is an asset to the tribe and he doesn’t believe that would be the case if he goes.
This made Laura smirk and while she agreed that he was good in the reward challenge, he doesn’t contribute much in camp. As George told everyone to look forward, Georgia reiterated past behaviour is the best indicator for where things are going. That being said, Hayley tapped George on the elbow and mouthed to vote for Joey, giving him a cheeky grin, while Hayley said that everyone has had the discussions they needed to to make their decision.
With that, the tribe voted, Hayley stood firm and held on to her idol while the cool kids split the votes on Wai and George, before the votes piled up on Joey and he was booted from the game. As Hayley ascended the throne and George dodged yet another bullet.
Joey being the most eager, upbeat and energetic person on the season, he was still peppy and positive by the time we caught up in Loser Lodge. Pulling me in for a hug and ready to celebrate his entertaining, albeit short run. Emphasis on run, which is how we first met. You see, I was formerly a champion marathon runner and had a startling rivalry before my career was derailed by a hit and run – the car hit and I ran away because I wanted to watch TV, true story.
Despite the rivalry, Joey took me under his wing and nursed me back to health to the point I can now go for a bit of huffy puffy at the speed of Kath Day-Knight. Needless to say, that kindness is something I have never forgotten and as such, I was thrilled to be able to celebrate his game with some velvety Nachoey Cheese McCann.
I know American food often gets a lot of shit, but if you’ve read more than five recipes on this patch of cyberspace, you know that I passionately love it. And this gooey cheese is no different! Spicy, creamy and oh so moreish, there is nothing better to eat when you’re down.
Nachoey Cheese McCann Makes: 2 cups.
Ingredients 2 tbsp butter 2 tbsp flour ¼ tsp smoked paprika 1 cup milk 1 cup vintage cheddar cheese, grated 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, grated salt, pepper and cayenne pepper, to taste
Method In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add flour and whisk until fragrant, 1 minute.
Slowly add milk, whisking until no lumps remain. Add cheese and cook until melted, 5 minutes, then stir in salt and a pinch of cayenne. Serve immediately.
Previously on Australian Survivor we finished out All Stars on a bit of a whimper. I mean, sure, David played a dominant game and well and truly earnt victory, but it all ended in the midst of our first lockdown in Australia and well, if JLP isn’t reading the votes, I don’t want a bar of it. So needless to say, I’m thrilled that Osher is fiddler-ing on the roof and JLP’s gunshow is back front and centre for the new season.
Speaking of which, we kicked things off with snapshots of beaches, oceans and belly flops from the days of yore before venturing to the outback for this year’s season where the cast entered Mad Max style, though tragically without a flaming guitar or my dear friend Tina Turner in sight.
We first met Dani, my first queen, who works in a prison and is ready to take on everyone and everything. She was joined by AFL legend Gavin Wanganeen who is a total zaddy and won the Brownlow, so I love him too, even though I don’t know what a Brownlow is. But he can definitely get low on my brown, you know? Next up was Flick, a pro big wave surfer who is bound to be a star if she lives up to my dear friend and fellow big waver Ross’ iconic ways.
In the Brains fleet of cars we were first introduced to George the Labor staffer and honestly, despite myself, I love him already. He is awkward, super upbeat and said ‘putting lipstick on a pig’ so, slay queen. He was joined by Cara the real estate tycoon slash empath which is a combination I am pumped to see playout. And rounding out the little intros was Baden, former cyclist and um, did he get dumped in the wrong tribe? The man has a Commonwealth Games medal!
Finally the tribes met up in the middle of nowhere before drag racing in to find my love JLP by a croc infested stream for the very first challenge of the season. But first, we heard from brainy Rach who felt their strategic prowess will take them far, while Wai was just glad to be around like-minded peers. Simon spoke for the Brawns, calling out the Brains for struggling to walk through the water to meet Jonathan which if true, really doesn’t bode well for their chances. We then met the most adorable person to grace the planet, Gerald, who literally tipped his hat to Jonathan and told everyone that the bush is tough but they’ve all got this. Basically, I think. I was too busy swooning over his sweetness.
I mean, he howdy ma’am’ed Zaddy JLP?!
But enough about that, the tribes would be facing off against each other to release a key by either chopping a log or solving a puzzle before one person ascended a tower to direct their tribe to solve a spinning puzzle which spells their tribe name. Oh and to make things super interesting, they could either select an outback survival kit or a flint. Immediately Gerald, the professional wood chopper, released his key while poor Queen Cara struggled to solve the puzzle. Simon and his nip-slip quickly got to work directing his tribe on the puzzle, though given JLP was already reading them for filth, me thinks this isn’t going to be the blowout we’re expecting given the lead. Cara then tapped out of the puzzle and after a couple of minutes, Dr. Mitch opted that he too was stumped and as such opted to chop through the stump instead while the Brawns solved two of their five puzzle arms.
So basically, I jinxed them, right?
Wai and her delightful quoka T was the caller and screamed at her tribe, telling them to cut the crap and listen to her – essentially – before they closed the gap. Why? Because Wai is my queen and I love her. Brawn then solved another arm and took the lead back, before Brains once again tied things up. It went back and forth until both tribes desperately tried to spell their final arm, until Brawn finally solved their last word and took out the first victory of the season.
We followed Brawn back to camp where we learnt that they opted for the survival kit rather than fire, and by they I mean Simon, who was thrilled to have won the kit for the tribe. The group quickly got to know each other, celebrating their success and for Gavin, downplaying his sporting past. Something he can’t deny? The fact he is an active babe. In any event, given the tribe is made up of an MMA fighter, bodybuilders and a pro surfer, he should just lean into it. Sticking out a little bit, we met model Shannon and I love her already, because she gives zero fucks that she is half the size of the rest of the tribe. Like a bloody icon. As the groups split up to set-up camp, Shannon shared that she wished the tribe chose the fire in the reward challenge as all the boys sat around rubbing their sticks together. Which isn’t the dream I just described.
Meanwhile the Brains were gagged to arrive at camp with next to nothing before everyone introduced themselves, with Hayley thrilled to wind up on such a diverse tribe. As a Pain Researcher, she did a bunch of spreadsheets to analyse past seasons’ gameplay and well, she had me at spreadsheet, so in my eyes, she is the winner. Shut it down right now. Not-Tommy Little who I didn’t catch the name of quickly advised the tribe how to build the shelter as everyone split up and got to work.
Back with the Brawns, the boys were still rubbing their sticks, with the girls quickly growing more and more frustrated with Simon as the one who promised he’d be able to get one going. As the sun went down so did everyone’s mood, as they settled in for a long, cold night shivering under the stars. The one thing providing everyone but Simon comfort no doubt being the fact that his choice put a massive target on his back.
The next day the tribe slowly thawed out, with Kez pissed at herself for not bringing a jacket to the outback. I love her. Over it, Flick quickly directed the tribe to reinforce the walls of the shelter, while the boys tried to mentally get themselves ready to attack the fire again. Oh and we then met Daini, or Big D, who was ready to prove himself because as a bodybuilder, when he is pushed to the limit his brain is at its best. And honestly, I thought I wouldn’t vibe with him but ugh, I love him too.
Over at Brains, Phil was living their best life as they woke up refreshed after fully slotting into bush living. Meanwhile Dr Mitch was quickly finding himself as somebody that the tribe looked up to as he directed them with what jobs they could do to help him set up the camp. On the flipside, he was feeling that Wai was out of her depth and unlikely to last long. Speaking of Wai, she was trying her best to work through her nerves and feeling uncomfortable in her surroundings and I relate to it on the deepest of levels, so I love her even more.
She and George caught up by the well, with George pointing out that Mitch is being a bit of a know-it-all and was dictating rather than helping, all while an idol, clue or some sort of advantage sat behind them both. They returned to camp with George shadily reading Mitch as he quietly worked away, before George was dismissively sent away to get sticks. Though instead, he circled back to the well where he finally noticed an advantage, which he learnt gave him the power to save half the tribe from their first tribal council. Which is huge and ugh, I’m scared for Dr Zaddy.
The tribes reconvened with Jonathan for the first immunity challenge of the season where they had to race over a ramp, across a net, untie a ladder, climb up to a deck, ride a cart down the other side – which looked bloody fun – release balls and then shoot some hoops. Both tribes were neck and neck over the first two obstacles, though poor Wai appeared to be struggling at every step. Everyone arrived at the deck together with the Brains first to have a fun ride down while Brawn got their cart off the track, giving Brains a decent lead retrieving their balls. Eventually both tribes started shooting their balls, but Joey quickly got his eye in and scored the first point for the Brains as George barked at him to trade out. Sadly that meant that not-Tommy Little had to go through the learning curve to get his eye in, which was enough for Simon to get his head in the game and shoot ball after ball, redeeming his fire decision and handing Brawns immunity.
Back at camp Mitch was disappointed to have lost, though tried to use the loss as a teachable moment so the tribe could learn from their mistakes and do better in their future endeavours. He then went for a walk with Cara and Georgia, calling George out for being the know-it-all while Cara wanted to take out Phil – no Cara, no – and Georgia felt Wai was the weakest. They returned to camp to get Baden on board to take out Wai, before Mitch went person to person to spread the word. Though Phil was not loving it, given they could quickly become a target themself if Wai is gone.
Wai thankfully wasn’t taking it lying down, catching up with Hayley and suggesting that maybe they should take out the dominant personalities like say, Mitch. Which Hayley agreed wasn’t the worst idea. George quickly took this spark and ran with it, as he tried to identify who would be the best group to leave behind with Mitch to get rid of him or risk sticking it out at tribal council to get rid of him himself.
At tribal council – which as an aside, is a damn work of art – Joey spoke about how great everyone was, with Phil agreeing that they absolutely froth the tribe. Which is honestly more Australiana than something even Art would say on Drag Race Down Under. Wai meanwhile was nervous about first impressions, though wanted everyone to look beyond that and focus on those that had the best intentions for the tribe. This made Mitch raise an eyebrow, wanting the tribe to stay as strong as possible to avoid coming back, despite the joy of kikiing with JLP obvi. This pissed off George who was annoyed about how focusing on strength would set up a society he doesn’t want to be a part of. And he wanted to give everyone enough time to shine, which Baden said was not what the game was about.
Baden and George then argued back and forth, with George pointing out that the tribe has a dictatorship and he wanted to make decisions that give everyone the chance to shine. This irked Mitch who felt like Geroge was out to get him – which he is – while Wai agreed with JLP that winning challenges isn’t the way to win the game and instead, they needed to be smart. Mitch started to stew about George coming for him, with the latter starting to fire up and really throw down. All with a smile on his face.
Just before everyone went off to vote, George stopped the proceedings to play his advantage, saving himself and taking Rachel, Baden, Cara, Georgia and Wai back with him to camp, leaving Micth at the mercy of Phil, Joey, Hayley, Laura and not-Tommy Little. And well, Mitch was straight up pissed because both of his targets just went back to camp. The remaining six agreed that George just blew up his entire game with literally everyone, while Phil was nervous that they could become collateral damage for the decision. Hayley reminded her tribe that she is an asset to them, while Joey admitted that he was just going to vote for whoever he thinks everyone else will vote for. Which is something Hayley quickly agreed with, I assume because she didn’t feel like the obvious target.
With that, the half-tribe voted and my dear friend Phil found themselves becoming the first boot of the season. And well, let’s just say, I was not bloody happy about it.
Not. At. ALL.
I mean, go on Tenplay, rewatch the episode and as the fourth Phil vote popped up you can hear an odd chop in the audio. That was where they had to cut around my screams from the heart of Cloncurry, enraged at the thought that an easily mid-Jury player and icon was felled by the same stinking twist that robbed us of Michelle Yi in the original Fiji.
As Phil made it back to town, they quickly found me in the kitchen as a small army of locals had corralled around to see what was causing the scene. Phil pushed his way into the kitchen, took me in their arms and wrapped me in a blanket that was freshly crocheted on the drive from tribal council to town. You see, as fellow social media sensations, Phil and I have been the best of friends for years now and they knew that the only thing worse than me playing Survivor and getting booted immediately, was me having to watch it happen to them.
As such, they held my hand as I shakily got to work, while still sobbing, plating up some comforting and brand appropriate Sweet Chili Philly Ferguson.
Given I was so grief stricken, I was thrilled that this dish was so simple. But despite the minimal effort, this one still packs a glorious punch! The tang of the cream cheese and the hit of chilli are the perfect duo for a nostalgic little snack while trying to distract from your heartache.
Sweet Chili Philly Ferguson Serves: 2 dear friends. Inspired by the delightful pre-tubbed dip birthed in the mid-00s & was absolutely ‘uuuge in Tweed.
Ingredients 250g Philadelphia cream cheese, or you know any brand but for the name alone, I was loyal ⅓ cup sweet chilli sauce Jatz to serve, because this is a nostalgic trip and I’d have nothing else
Method Now strap yourself in because this is a tough one, ok?
First, dollop some cream cheese on a plate and then pour over sweet chilli.
Then devour, still raging that George heroically saving Wai burnt my love Phil.