Previously on Survivor 18 new castaways were marooned on the islands of Fiji and immediately decided they wanted to emulate Kaôh Rōng and find out just how much can go wrong in a single season. Breaking records, poor Bruce hit his head in the marooning challenge and while he made it back to camp, he was promptly medevaced that night. Matthew then fell off a rock and dislocated his shoulder the next day before Brandon got heat exhaustion in the first immunity challenge, the latter sending Ratu to the first tribal council. And while Brandon was the obvious target, he had found the hidden immunity idol and as such, sent Maddy out the door as the first (official) boot with his single vote.
We then experienced yet another dark timeline where a string of young, iconic women went back-to-back-to-back, with Helen, Claire and Sarah rounding out an iconic pre-merge. Matthew’s lingering shoulder pain saw him quit-evaced before the tribes faked merge. This saw the demise of Josh, who had been the main target of multiple tribes for about 4 episodes.
We then saw nature heal, albeit in a heartbreaking fashion, as sweet Matt became the King of the Jury, partly due to his love Frannie winning immunity. Brandon and Kane soon followed before Frannie was felled for being too much of a threat. We then lost zaddy Danny before Jamie just missed her spot in the finale. After Lauren lost final five immunity, she was booted for her underdog story. Heidi then took out her first win of the season at the final immunity challenge however wanting a hero moment for her resume, sent Yam Yam and Carolyn through to final tribal council and faced off against young Carson for the final slot. And beat him in record breaking time to book her slot.
Despite playing a strong game and being beloved by literally everyone, Carolyn didn’t muster a vote at final tribal council – rude – while Heidi jagged one from her ally Danny, leaving Yam Yam to be crowned our King. And while I was disappointed for Carolyn, Yam Yam equally has my heart and played such a smart disarming game that he easily booked himself a spot as one of the top tier. Plus, he is fun, entertaining, silly and represents the sassy, curvy, queer men, so for that, I booked my stan card pre-season.
Most importantly, however, is the fact that for the first time since San Juan Del Sur, I picked the winner pre-season and for that alone, he is worthy of a piping hot dish of Candied Yam Yams Arocho.
While the concept of this dish always filled me with equal parts disgust and intrigue, however after trying it, I instantly fell in love. Earthy and sweet, this dish has everything. Kinda like our new King.
Candied Yam Yams Arocho Serves: 8-12.
Ingredients 2kg sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 3(ish)mm coins ½ cup pecans, roughly chopped ½ cup muscovado sugar 80g unsalted butter 1 tsp cinnamon ¼ tsp cayenne pepper a pinch of nutmeg a pinch of ground ginger kosher salt and pepper, to taste 1 tsp vanilla extract 4 cups mini marshmallows, more or less as needed
Method Preheat the oven to 180C.
Butter a large baking dish – 2.5-3L – and layer the discs of sweet potato, followed by some pecans after every layer or two, then some more sweet potato and continue the process until it is all gone.
Combine the sugar, butter, cinnamon, cayenne, nutmeg and ginger in a saucepan with a good whack of salt and pepper. Place over medium heat and cook, stirring, until it starts to boil. Once it has come together, remove from the heat and stir through the vanilla. Pour over the potato and pecan, cover with foil and pop in the oven to bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to cook uncovered for about 20 minutes, or until the potato is tender.
Remove from the oven and scatter over the marshmallows and return to the oven to cook for 15 minutes, or until the top is golden and melted. Leave to rest for about 5 minutes before slicing and serving, perhaps with a Turkey Wellington.
Previously on Survivor the final five faced off in an epic, multi-level immunity challenge which briefly reminded me of the majesty of Vanuatu. Knowing it was likely him or Lauren going home without immunity, Carson secured victory – thanks 3D printing! While he and Yam Yam were off enjoying the reward, Lauren tried to get under Carolyn’s skin and told her that Yam Yam was considering taking her out at the previous tribal council. After everyone came together, Carson desperately tried to keep his island parents together while the girls tried to woo Carolyn to their side. Thankfully though, sweet Carson proved all the more convincing, keeping Tika strong as the tribe banded together to eliminate the final Ratu, Lauren.
Forgoing any tribal council fallout, the final four arrived at the top of a mountain for their final immunity challenge, with Carolyn already in tears, shocked to have made it all the way to the end (basically). But to immunity, the also iconic simmotion challenge where, as Probst explained, with a hand tied behind their backs, they will drop balls into a shoot and catch them at the end with the last person without dropping snatching victory. Taking out immunity and the power to select one person to join them in the final three, because that, sadly, is still a thing.
The challenge got underway with everyone still in play by the time they added their second ball. This got Carolyn screaming, as Yam Yam stayed stoic and focused. Tragically Carolyn dropped her ball after a very close near miss, leaving the trio to power ahead as they added their third balls. And then a fourth, which quickly cost Yam Yam his place and then Carson, handing Heidi her first individual immunity and guaranteed her spot in the final three. Well, unless she elects to go to fire. Which she admitted she is seriously considering doing.
Back at camp the group praised each other for fighting so hard, while Heidi was thrilled to be solo but holding all the power. She asked everyone if they particularly wanted to make fire, reiterating that she is seriously considering going herself to build her resume. But first, they split up to practise. Carson knew that as the biggest threat it was highly likely he would be one of the people making fire and while he could do it at home, he was worried that his insecurities would make it hard for him to win the challenge. Yam Yam meanwhile was methodical as he practised, admitting that winning the challenge is just another notch on his belt and would almost be a hero moment.
Carolyn caught up with Yam Yam, asking if he truly thinks Heidi sees Carson as the biggest threat and as such would even send him into fire. Carolyn admitted that while she has been practising fire for years at home, she has tried to keep it secret. The duo then hilariously built fires, critiquing why theirs was superior. Yam Yam pointed out that the one guarantee they have is that Carson sucked making fire on day one and as such, pulled him aside to give him tips so he didn’t embarrass himself in front of the jury. Carson then broke down in tears over his kindness as Yam Yam continued to coach him, assuring us that even if Carson were to beat him in the challenge, it wouldn’t bother him. And ugh, give each of the Tikas a million. The tribe came together back at camp with Heidi super confident in her fire making skills, still debating whether it is a good give up immunity. Knowing that both Yam Yam and Carolyn are good, but Carson is a wildcard and as such, didn’t know whether it was a risk worth taking.
At tribal council the jury were gagged to see Heidi had immunity, though I think it had more to do with them likely about to see a Tika showdown. Heidi opened up about considering it being the best idea for her game to make fire, with her still unsure which way she is actually going to go. Yam Yam shared that he is a pyromaniac, so assured Heidi he would gladly make fire though he also would love safety. Carolyn agreed that when Heidi checked in, everyone was pretty comfortable with making fire, with Carson speaking up to share that he doesn’t feel comfortable. And as such, his pitch was for Heidi to put herself in fire and prove herself. But first, she sent Carolyn through to the final three, who was shocked to have made it to the end, given throughout school she was always called the weird outsider and now she has proven that she is enough, just as she is. And ugh, I love her.
Heidi then pivoted and told Carson that he would be making fire before admitting that she would be giving immunity to Yam Yam and facing off against him, given she knows he is the biggest competitor. And as such, wants to be the person to eliminate him. She and Carson took their places at the fire making tables and quickly got to work, with Heidi getting a flame within seconds. She tried to build it bigger and bigger before it went out, as Carolyn and Yam Yam encouraged Carson to stick at it. He finally got a flame, slowly adding kindling to keep it alight as Heidi’s began to roar and lick at the rope, burning through and booking her place in the final three. And sending Carson out of the game as a robbed goddess.
As Jeff confirmed that Heidi broke the record for the quickest fire making challenge, Carson sweetly held his head high. He opened up about spending most of the day in tears, though was grateful to have proven he can make fire and essentially, do anything he puts his mind to. As he made it back to Ponderosa, I gave him a massive hug – strongly holding back my own tears – telling him that being a fourth place robbed goddess, at least in Australia, is the highest honour. And as such, he should be very proud, as he smashed his Bacon & Cheddar Cornsonbread Garrett.
On their own, each bacon, cheddar and cornbread are perfection, but when they triumphantly come together, it is like an Avengers level majestic dish. Absolutely hulking with flavour, to continue the Marvel theme.
Bacon & Cheddar Cornsonbread Garrett Serves: 6-8.
Ingredients 1 ½ cups coarse polenta 600ml buttermilk 300g bacon streaky bacon, diced 4 shallots, thinly sliced 2 ½ cups vintage cheddar, grated 400g canned corn kernels, drained ¾ cup flour 1 ½ tsp baking powder 150g unsalted butter, melted 3 eggs kosher salt and pepper, to taste
Method Place the polenta and buttermilk in a large bowl, stirring until well combined. Cover and leave to soak for a few hours – stirring each hour – to soften.
When the polenta is almost squishy and glorious, preheat the oven to 160C.
Pop a skillet over medium heat and fry the bacon until golden and crisp. Spoon ¾ of the bacon into the polenta, along with the shallots and 2 cups of the cheese. Stir to combine before stirring through the corn, flour, baking powder, butter and eggs with a good whack of salt and pepper.
Transfer the batter to a lined 20cm cake tin, sprinkle with the remaining cheese and bacon, and pop in the oven to bake for 40 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for five minutes before transferring to a plate and devouring, with a generously slathering of butter.
Previously on All Stars the dolls starred in live sketch comedy show RDR live (and despite having three SNL cast members appearing across the season, hilariously none guest judged the episode). After rehearsal, Lala approached Heidi about forming a little bit of an alliance, making Heidi far and away the most protected person on the cast should she ever land in the bottom. One of her OG allies Jimbo absolutely slayed the challenge with light and shade – as did Heidi herself, Jessica and Jaymes – while Kahanna was one note and Naysha just got lost. Ultimately Jimbo took out victory – that runway – and faced off against UK vs. the World nemesis, Pangina, who obviously won the lip sync, leaving Naysha to be sent home by the girls.
Backstage Jimbo was well and truly feeling her oats after taking out the win – murder by lip sync, be damned – while Jessica was gutted to have lost her sister Naysha. Who reminded the dolls that she will always be prettier than them via mirror message, so she is ok to be eliminated. After sitting down to receive her flowers from the dolls, Jimbo revealed she also voted for Naysha given Kahanna just won the week before. On that note Kahanna counted the lipsticks – eventually – gagged to see three votes for her, with Jessica admitting that she just couldn’t bring herself to vote for her Puerto Rican sister. And she did not give a shit about what anyone feels about that decision. MKD then admitted to being the other one that voted for her, opening up that she reacted to Naysha’s emotional plea in Untucked and while Kahanna assured her dolls there is no bad blood, Mrs. Kasha Davis, you in danger girl. And I hate that for us.
The next day the dolls were excited to potentially be lip syncing for $30K this week. Well, if they win, that is. Everyone asked Jaymes about her kerchief, with her admitting it is hankie code for bondage, which made Kahanna wet. Alexis asked everyone if they had been in a swing, with her arm shooting straight up before Jaymes admitted she had, while Heidi offered that she had pushed someone in one, as she is what? A dom top. Ru dropped by to announce that for this week’s Maxi Challenge they would be throwing a little ball. Specifically the Supermarket Ball, first they would be stomping the runway in a Legen-dairy Queen look, the second would be Fruity Patootie and finally they would design and make a Supermarket Supermodel Eleganza look for the third runway. Using only supermarket supplies. Carried in by an epically large Pit Crew and hot damn, my basement is flooded. I mean, it was Spain up in here.
After aggressively rifling through the goods the dolls split up to figure out what the hell they would design, with Jimbo worried about looking messy while MKD admitted the only balls she has dabbled in are Mr Davis’. She ran her ideas by Heidi to try and lock her plan, desperate to prove herself and get out of the safe zone. Jessica meanwhile was drowning in diapers, giddy for her first go at a ball. Jaymes meanwhile was hoping her one sewing class would have her shining, while Lala was drowning in PTSD, knowing she can’t do a viral fuck-up again. And while she assured us she learnt to sew, she forgot to add thread to the machine, so yup. Kandy meanwhile was just confused about what happens in a supermarket, and therefore unsure what to serve and straight up drawing stick figures and shapes for her design.
The Miss Congenialities caught up to reconfirm their alliance and while Heidi cautioned they need to keep it quiet, they got interrupted every ten seconds and ugh, dolls, this ain’t going to work. Kandy meanwhile spiced things up, pointing out Alexis is constantly horny and ready to have the dolls come over for a chicken dinner. While MKD admitted she made out with Darienne back in the day. Ru dropped by to Kiki as Jimbo told her about her weird ideas, leaving Ru in hysterics, despite Jimbo deciding to serve high fashion instead. Darienne’s plan was to serve colour, Alexis was hoping to survive the ball this time – or at least not go blind – with a hyper fashion look while Jessica was just ready to surprise Ru. With diapers. Kahanna was going with some yellow, assuring Ru that from here on out, she will be voting based on revenge – watch out MKD. Heidi’s plan was tequila sunrise, before sobbing as she opened up to Ru about losing her grandmother and how she didn’t get to say goodbye due to COVID.
Elimination Day arrived with Kandy putting on a brave face despite her nerves, given her look is a bit of a mess. She was hopeful she could be safe however, given Darienne’s look is just a little bit messier. As Lala and Jaymes beat their mugs, Jimbo asked if Lala planned to serve something iconic again and while Kandy admitted she didn’t even notice how bad the bag look was before they took the runway, Lala obviously called shady boots. MKD showed off an image of her husband, with Alexis admitting she was desperate for a relationship while Darienne scoffed, talking about her passion for being single. With everyone talking about how important it is to be ok on your own, before Alexis encouraged them all to love themselves because Alexis. Heidi brought it back to the competition, talking about how there is usually a unanimous vote early on, with everyone dancing around the fact they came to play this season and it is very unlikely there will be one. Essentially.
Ru, Michelle and TS were joined by Lemon, sorry, Jojo Siwa as Jimbo opened the Legen-dairy Queen runway with a mod inspired milk bubble look. Kahanna had her udders out as a slutty cow, Jaymes was iconic serving milk and cookies with hands all over her body before Kandy served glam spilt milk. Alexis ate grass as she stomped the runway as a biker cow, Lala gave bondage cow, Darienne was fold after fold of satin, Jessica was the most glamorous bowl of cereal, MKD gave sour cream – my fave – while Heidi rocked sexy milk man and ugh, she looked good.
When it came to Fruity Patootie, Jumbo served queer icon Warhol, Kahanna served full banana – split me – Jaymes gave us a lemon showgirl number, Kandy popped our cherry as another showgirl, Alexis was stunning as a blueberry, Lala gave slutty caramel apple, Darienne gave messy gown before revealing her banana split bodysuit.Jessica went on a picnic of açai to day drink, MKD served banana Mame before Heidi stole the show as a gloriously plump strawberry.
In their Supermarket Supermodel Eleganza looks, Jumbo stunned in a full lettuce and artichoke gown, Kahanna was a Swedish superhero, Jaymes was stunning in a sexy housewife number, Kandy shimmered in silver – aka foil fire blankets – Alexis gave shimmer and fringe and it was alright before Lala gave Grace Jones realness in cream, getting redemption but probs not the win. Darienne was an absolute mess in strips of colour with crinkled foil trailing behind her. Jessica Wild was perfection as a pink garden nymph while MKD was worse than Darienne selling cake. And so much, too much, colour. While Heidi was a mess, but was lucky to walk after MKD.
Kahanna, Jaymes, Alexis and Heidi were sent to safety before Jimbo received universal praise for each and every look, despite the made look being lettuce glued on a bodysuit. Kandy was read for giving the same silhouette, though they lived for her confidence and the fact her made look mixed things up. Lala meanwhile received all the praise, with the judges in particular proud of her design look. Darienne on the other hand was read for messing up all the details, aside from a solid middle look. Jessica rightly received all the praise for everything she served before MKD was read for only serving sour, not sour cream and while her middle look was perfect, they all agreed her design look was an absolute mess. Completely. Ultimately it was Jessica that took out victory before Jimbo, Kandy and Lala were deemed safe, tragically leaving Darienne and MKD up for elimination.
Backstage Kahanna praised everyone for surviving the ball with them agreeing Jimbo and Kandy would be in the top, while Kahanna didn’t buy Jessica would be in there with them. They all agreed MKD would be in the bottom, though couldn’t agree whether Darienne was a mess. Alexis praised Heidi for her Legen-dairy look, which triggered Heidi, who felt she deserved to be in the top. And with the lack of sleep and stress, she had had it. Officially. Alexis then felt tipsy before borrowing Kandy’s first neckpiece to do a little impersonation. She then realised she had to go back out to the stage though, so her sisters over blushed their cheeks like Kandy to go back out in solidarity.
As the tops and bottoms joined them, they were confused by their Kandy inspired makeup while the safe girls were gagged by Jessica taking out the win. Jimbo checked in with Heidi to see if she was feeling ok, with the soft and supple queen barely containing her disappointment and ugh, I hate it. They opened up that MKD and Darienne are up for elimination, before Jessica pulled Darienne aside with Ms Lake pointing out her looks weren’t reviled like MKD’s final look and as such, she shouldn’t go. And if she stays, she will have her back. Alliance style. Heidi meanwhile was sassily reading Jimbo’s dairy look. MKD was next to talk to Jessica, admitting while she bombed on the third look, she feels like she deserves to stay – I agree – though assured Jessica she has a loving family waiting for her back at home and as such, she is happy either way. Which disappointed Jessica, given she wanted to see her fight.
Back with the dolls Kandy joked about whether anyone felt they should have been in the top, with Heidi not having her jokes, telling her the dolls will be gagged tonight as she will be quitting. While Kandy tried to assure her she is amazing and will get her time to shine, she was well and truly ready to walk as she felt she has shown enough. Jojo then dropped by backstage and while she was at an 11, I think that was just her, as she thanked the dolls for showing people their talent and for helping make it easier for queer kids. With Kandy in turn thanking her for coming out so visibly and making other kids feel ok to be queer.
With that the dolls voted before Jessica took her place on the stage before Canada vs. the World winner Ra’Jah was announced as the assassin. As soon as Kim Petras Coconuts kicked off, Jessica revealed her epic bouncing kitties under her coat, which obviously had Ru and Michelle in hysterics. While Ra’Jah was just straight up living her best life, turning a show, because that is what does. But Ru loves a bouncing titty, so you know Jessica took out victory and the epic $30K tip. Which broke our little accountant Kandy’s heart to learn she’s back down to only a $10K kitty. Darienne and MKD took their places on stage before Jessica pulled her lipstick out of her wrist, surprisingly not the titty, eliminating MKD from the competition and ugh, I hate it here.
As Mrs. Kasha Davis arrived in the Werk Room, I pulled her in for a massive hug, selfishly, to be held as I sobbed and sobbed over my loss. Well hers, but mine and ours. Through tears, I told her how sad it was to see her go so soon, particularly since I’ve been waiting years and years for what should have been a triumphant return. Given MKD is wise, however, she assured me that she knows how talented she is and as such, is ok going home. And well, I guess that should be ok with me, given she is and forever will be a camp, sweet icon who is more than worthy of a delicious Chocolate, Hazelnut & Mrspresso Eskashagot Davis or six.
I first encountered this little delight at Agnes Bakery, and knew I would have to try a copycat at home. And while, yes, they are a little more flaky than my hand rolled number, they are still delicious. Like a nutella mocha, this melts in your mouth and keeps you coming back for more.
Chocolate, Hazelnut & Mrspresso Eskashagot Davis Serves: 8.
Ingredients 1 batch David Croissant dough 1 cup dark chocolate, finely chopped 1 cup hazelnuts, half blitzed and the other half roughly chopped ¼ cup espresso ¼ cup muscovado sugar 1 tsp cinnamon
Method Prepare David’s recipe all the way through the lamination and final resting process. When that is almost complete, combine the dark chocolate, blitzed hazelnuts, coffee, muscovado sugar and cinnamon in a bowl.
Preheat the oven to 220C.
Roll the dough out until about half centimetre thick – or thicker, given it is tough and I am lazy – smear the chocolatey paste over the top to coat before rolling up from the short end to form a sausage. Cut into 2cm thick discs and pop on a lined baking sheet, before pressing some of the chopped hazelnuts into the top.
Open your oven and with a wet hand, sprinkle in a little water. Transfer the escargot to the oven, spritz with a little more water and close, immediately dropping the temperature to 180C. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden and crisp, spinning the tray halfway through cooking.
Remove and allow to cool for about 15 minutes before devouring, gleefully.
Previously on Survivor our icon Carolyn was inspired by the release of the remake of The Little Mermaid, designing impressive statement jewellery using the shells of lobsters and prawns. Actually, maybe it isn’t inspired and more she went on a Mad Max style adventure through the ocean. After Yam Yam took out his first immunity challenge of the season – the iconic Last Gasp – the tribe were split on who was the most threatening. You had Ratus and Sokas looking to put aside their differences to take out Carson while the Tika couldn’t trio couldn’t decide which side was more dangerous, and then of course, who was worse for their game on Soka. With Queen Carolyn ultimately coming out on top and playing an idol to save her baby Carson, completing her revenge arc as Danny made his way to the jury.
Back at camp Heidi was way more chill about being on the outs at tribal council, with everyone more focused on Carolyn’s iconic – though needless – idol play. Despite it not changing the outcome, Carolyn was proud of the fact it kept the Tika trio safe to the top six. She then regaled everyone with her tales of finding the idol and while it was cute, Yam Yam was worried she was showing everyone just how smart she is and as such, feared she is fast becoming the biggest threat. Sensing the idol would be rehidden, Heidi woke up early to go hunting. Though sadly for her, Carson spotted her stirring and as such, he woke everyone up and told them they too should go out and look. While Lauren was more focused on luring Carolyn into climbing trees to collect her coconuts. The Ratus caught up with Carson and Yam Yam back at camp, with Lauren floating the idea of getting rid of Carolyn next, like her coconut collector means nothing to her. While Carson had absolutely no interest in turning on his island mama, he also knew he had to pretend to be keen in order to blindside one of them.
The tribe caught up with Probst by the beach for an epic team reward where two blindfolded members would push another person around, strapped inside a ball before solving a table maze. With the two free people still blindfolded. And given it was for a massive afternoon of food and massages, everyone was fired up. Carolyn and Heidi were pushing Jamie on one team, while Yam Yam and Lauren rolled Carson for the other. And from the jump, the latter trio got out to an epic lead as Carson calmly directed his team mates to the end before solving the maze before the other trio barely made it through the course.
We followed the victors to their reward where Yam Yam was delighted to finally have a reward, smashing food and living his absolute best life. As they sat down to enjoy their massages, the boys continued to paint Carolyn as a massive target to Lauren and while Carson assured us it was just to lull her into a false sense of security, Yam Yam was definitely feeling like it may actually be time to make a move on Carolyn. Speaking of our icon, she, Heidi and Jamie were dejected to be slumming it at camp. But instead of wallowing, they got to work figuring out which of the victors needed to go next, with Jamie pushing for Carson. And while Carolyn knows she can’t beat him, she also felt it wasn’t the right time. As Jamie went idol hunting, Carolyn and Heidi caught up with the duo agreeing they feel like they can’t trust Jamie and Lauren, and as such, know they need to hold firm. For now.
After the groups came back together, Yam Yam burped in Carolyn’s face – as requested – before Carolyn and Carson caught up to fill each other in on the conversations they had missed. Agreeing that either Jamie or Lauren need to go, given Heidi gives them an easier path to the end. Yam Yam meanwhile caught up with Jamie and floated the idea of getting rid of Carolyn at the next vote instead and while Jamie was still more nervous about Carson, she was happy just as long as one of the Tikas went and as such, gladly locked in on the vote. And Yam Yam, please don’t do this to me, ok?
The tribe caught up with Jeffrey once again as he explained that to snatch immunity, they would have to balance a ball on a disc that is held flat by two ropes with the last person standing winning. Jamie was the first to drop, quickly followed by Carolyn and Carson, before Yam Yam just missed out on going to the next stage. Heidi and Jamie moved further away from their discs before resetting and battling it out until Heidi couldn’t hold it any longer, handing Lauren immunity.
Back at camp everyone split up to scramble, with Carolyn and Heidi concerned about the fact nobody was talking to them. As such, they locked in their votes against Jamie. Heidi meanwhile was hopeful that she was being told the truth, but knew that worst case, she has her idol. While Carolyn was looping in the boys, Heidi stumbled upon them, with everyone agreeing to get rid of Jamie. Hopeful that even if she has an idol, she is so confident in the boys voting with her that she doesn’t play it. Yam Yam caught up with Lauren and Jamie to lock in the Carolyn vote and while I think the plan is to only make them think they are working together, he then caught up with Carson and floated that maybe they would turn it into a reality. And ugh, I hate it here. While King Carson calmly tried to steer him back to their original plan, Jamie. As Yam Yam debated the merits of trusting his brain and his heart.
At tribal council Probst was gagged to discover the tribe had brought everything with them, assuming they will be sent to a new beach for the rest of the game. Yam Yam joked about holding on to the rice as an immunity idol, while Carson just felt anxious about being vulnerable. Jamie mentioned that they still have to try and navigate around advantages, which Yam Yam agreed complicated everybody’s decision making. Jamie meanwhile wanted to jazz up her resume – her words – while Yam Yam admitted he is getting more and more confused about who would be best to go to the end, which complicates who he is working with. While Carson just worried about going through a break-up this close to the end. Yam Yam admitted he is getting more and more emotional when it comes to the votes, knowing his head needs to win at this point, which obviously made Carolyn nervous.
Our Queen spoke about the fact she has clearly played an emotional game, but that also doesn’t mean that she can’t be strategic. But yeah, you know she is emotional about the vote. Yam Yam then plainly said that the person leaving tonight is the one that needs to leave for the sake of everyone’s game. And ugh, I want to vom. With that the tribe voted, Heidi played her idol for herself before it thankfully turned out not to be my sweet icon Carolyn going home as the boys stayed loyal, joining Carolyn and Heidi to send Jamie off to the jury.
As she arrived at Ponderosa, I pulled Jamie in for a massive hug and just embraced her kind, loving, exuberant spirit. And then realised the producers have really been trolling her for the entire season through no fault of her own, so stealthily covered her ears and told her fellow jurors to break the fake idol information to her gently. Sadly I forgot as soon as I uncovered her ears, carelessly lol-ing about her closest ally making her the producers’ target of the season. Thankfully, though, she is a delight, so took it in stride and calmly sat down to smash a fresh Jaime Lynormandy Pearuiz Cake.
Rich and sweet pears and the dense crumb of the cake pair perfectly for either an afternoon treat or a decadent dessert. Better still, this cake is super easy to make but will always have you looking like a pro in the kitchen.
Jaime Lynormandy Pearuiz Cake Serves: 8.
Ingredients 150g butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing ¾ cup raw caster sugar 2 eggs 1 ½ cups flour 1 tbsp baking powder ½ cup sour cream 500g pears, peeled, cored, roughly diced ½ cup walnuts, roughly chopped ⅓ cup sultanas 1 tsp mixed spice ½ tsp cinnamon ⅓ cup brandy 2 tbsp maple syrup icing sugar and/or double cream, for sprinkling or dolloping respectively
Method Preheat the oven to 180C and rub some butter around the edge of a 23cm springform pan and place a disc of baking paper on the base.
Cream the butter and caster sugar in a stand mixer on medium until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, allowing the mixture to come back together in between. Fold through the flour and baking powder, and once together, fold through the sour cream. Return to the mixer on low and beat for a further minute. Remove from the mixer and fold through the pear, walnuts, sultanas, mixed spice and cinnamon. Transfer the batter to the prepared tin and pop it in the oven to bake for 45 minutes, or until an insert skewer comes out clean.
While the cake cooks, combine the brandy and maple syrup in a small saucepan over low heat and cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes, or until combined.
Once the cake is done, use the skewer to pierce holes over the surface before pouring over the syrup. Leave to rest for about 15 minutes before transferring to a wire rack and removing the sides of the tin. Serve barely warm with a dusting of sugar or dollop of cream, and devour joyously.
Previously on Survivor Jeffrey wheeled out the annual Angelina Keeley Memorial Rice Bartering at the immunity challenge and despite Danny encouraging everyone to power ahead without going for the food, four people sat out and secured the bag. As Danny assured them they wouldn’t be voted out. After Frannie secured another win, the tribe got to scrambling back at camp as Tika continued to play the other factions off against each other. Ratu meanwhile were focused on advantage roulette to fight a Knowledge is Power play, with Lauren handing her extra vote to Jamie to play while Jamie in turn handed her unbeknownst-to-her fake idol to Kane. Who promptly walked out the door with it in his pocket, which upset her given she still, somehow, thought it was real.
Back at camp Frannie too was shocked by Kane’s departure, given she had been expecting Jamie to go home. Danny assured her it just came together too late to let her know, however she took it as a sign she should continue to worry about Tika. Lauren too was confused given she has no idea about the plan, worried about the dwindling numbers of Ratu members and what it means for her game. Carson on the other hand was busy doing damage control with Jamie, telling her that Kane told everyone about her idol and as such, that is why he was ultimately voted out. She then obviously vowed to us that she would find a new idol – or come clean about Kane taking it with him to the jury – to get the target off her back, unaware it was a fake anyway.
The next day the tribe met up with Probst for a reward challenge where they would have to spin in a frame to wind in a buoy, collect balls on a balance beam and then land said balls on a trough. For an epic overnight reward at the sanctuary, complete with tacos and margs in honour of Shonee, one assumes. Obviously Frannie powered ahead from the start as Danny nipped at her heels. The balance beam was a great equaliser with everyone catching up before Frannie once again pulled ahead and promptly jagged reward before anyone else even landed a ball. Probst being Probst he told Frannie the reward also included letters from home, and that she would be able to invite someone to enjoy it with her, with her picking Carolyn. After Carolyn sobbed through her thanks, Probst let her pick another, going with Lauren before Probst gave her just one more spot with her selecting Heidi. Leaving Jamie and the boys to head back to camp.
Back to camp where things were well and truly bleak. It was cold and rainy as Yam Yam smarted about missing out on yet another reward, admitting he is just so hungry and is emotional knowing that a letter from his husband is sitting somewhere on the island while he was stuck at camp missing him. Thankfully Jamie and Danny sweetly assured him it will be ok, letting him feel his emotions and assuring him that they were there to support. Given they were all bitter though, Frannie was now definitely public enemy number one.
Speaking of Frannie, she was busy giddily smashing the margs and getting into the food as Carolyn gushed about how sweet she was to have immediately chosen the mums. Frannie spoke about how much she looks up to Carolyn, seeing someone that doesn’t care about fitting in and is true to herself. We then got a supercut of everyone reading their letters, learning just how iconic Lauren is as a powerful single mother that has fought so hard to get to where she is. Carolyn had everyone laughing as she joked about her son not loving writing, shocked that he pulled together a par for her. Despite knowing Frannie was a threat, Carolyn also knew that she couldn’t bring herself to get rid of her – yet – and as such, suggested they get rid of Danny ASAP. Assuming Heidi was on board with them, which she said she was, however I don’t trust it.
Back at camp they were pulling together their counter plan, locking in the vote for Frannie with Danny suggesting they use flushing Jamie’s idol as a fake plan. Seeing her moment, she came clean about her (fake) idol going out in Kane’s pocket and while she felt everyone believed her, they didn’t, locking in a plan to get rid of Jamie instead, should Frannie win immunity. The victors returned to camp the next day with Jamie quickly filling the girls in on her lost idol, and while she once again felt liberated about letting the truth out, everyone thought she was lying and also decided she needed to go ASAP.
Probst made his triumphant return for the immunity challenge where they would be bound and forced to slither through the sand, dragging a buoy along with their mouths. They would then guide the buoy through a rope obstacle before, yep, solving a puzzle. Danny powered ahead like a sexy seal before untying himself and getting to work on his buoy as Carson and Heidi nipped at his heels. As is oft the case, everyone caught up at the puzzle before Carson’s 3D printer came in for the win as he powered through it and quickly jagged himself immunity. As Mama Carolyn looked on with pride, like the sweet icon she is.
Back at camp Frannie was feeling excited to have to play herself out of elimination, given she has been immune at every tribal council she has attended. She, Carolyn, Heidi and Carson locked in the vote for Danny before immediately flipping it to a split between Danny and Jamie, eliminating the latter if she doesn’t play her idol. Danny, Lauren, Yam Yam and Jamie meanwhile were locking in the vote against Frannie, though Yam Yam was still nervous about Jamie too. As such, he approached Carson to see what the best idea was, with them agreeing Jamie and Frannie are both dangerous, though Carson cautioned the latter is growing close with Carolyn and as such, they need to get rid of her to keep Carolyn in their pocket. Which isn’t guaranteed, if Carolyn is annoyed – which she will be – but whatever.
Danny meanwhile looped Heidi in, though told her he doesn’t even need her vote to get rid of Frannie but cautioned she should jump on board. She immediately took this to Carolyn who grew very nervous, looping in Frannie before they tried to rally the girls to get rid of Heidi given she has been controlling the vote at the last few tribal councils. Knowing they needed one more, she approached Carson who was worried about a last minute change as Carolyn assured him that sometimes last minute plans are the best.
At tribal council Frannie admitted it would have been better to be taken on reward rather than have won it, given she couldn’t keep everyone happy. Danny spoke about how Frannie winning challenges is fast making her a legend, though admitted that all the winning also makes her a threat. Oh and yeah, I’m ignoring Probst trying to make full-tilt boogie a thing. Yam Yam spoke about the fact that it is sometimes more important to lose a few battles to win the war. Jamie once again told the truth about her fake idol, eliciting eyerolls from everyone that clearly didn’t believe her. She then spoke about how the new era of Survivor keeps things fresh week to week, with alliances almost obsolete.
Danny spoke about how everyone has grown so close, though they are still focused on playing the game, voting out their friends or not. While Carson admitted today was the most stressed he has been all season, and that is when he has immunity. Heidi meanwhile was worried about how many plans have blown up, knowing all it takes to be eliminated is a wrong word at the wrong time. And with that the tribe voted and tragically Carolyn was unable to sway the tribe as her bestie challenge beast Frannie was sent to the jury. To reunite with her sweet boyfriend Matt, who was gutted to see her eliminated but no doubt thrilled to reunite with her.
Before the lovebirds could reunite however, I pulled her in for a hug and through quiet sobs thanked her for being such a joyous part of the season. Proving you can be both a nerd and strong, and dorky and cool, I ship the hell out of her and Matt so much, because they proved that there are still such delightful people in the world and humanity isn’t doomed. Yes, I love them that much. And I look forward to their inevitable return on a Blood Vs Water season and their eventual progression into the modern era Romber. But until then, I thanked her for being an icon and plotted how to tackle her return as we smashed big bowls of Frannberry Ice Creamarin.
This festive feeling ice cream is such a delightful surprise. A little sweet, a hint of spice and tart in all the right ways, even though it may not be something you’d run to on paper, I promise it is delicious.
Frannberry Ice Creamarin Serves: 6-8.
Ingredients 2 cups double cream 1 ¾ cups raw caster sugar 6 egg yolks ¼ tsp kosher salt 4 cups cranberries 1 orange, zested and juiced 1 cinnamon quill
Method Combine the double cream and half a cup of the sugar in a heavy based saucepan and bring just to the boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and keep covered.
In a large bowl of the stand mixer, beat the yolks with a quarter of a cup of sugar with the salt on high speed until thick and voluminous. This should take about 3-4 minutes. Reduce to low speed and slowly pour in the hot cream before transferring the combined mixture back to the saucepan. Cook over low heat, constantly stirring, until it reaches 75C and has thickened. Pour the custard through a sieve into a heatproof bowl and leave to cool completely to room temperature.
While it gets chill, combine the remaining sugar, cranberries, orange juice and zest and the cinnamon in a large saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for a couple of minutes before discarding the cinnamon and transferring to a blender. Blitz the mixture until smooth before straining through a sieve into the bowl of custard. Stir until combined and leave to cool again.
Once it has returned to room temperature, transfer to an ice cream maker and churn as per packet instructions before transferring to an airtight container and popping in the freezer to chill for at least 4 hours. And then devour.
Previously on Drag Race España doce chicas nuevas y La Macarena arrived, and instantly put on a massive talent show. There was charm and shade, so struggles to find a key in live songs and some poignant piano turned Wizard of Oz hell. Most importantly, Drag Chuchi served body, though sadly not much else, Maria on the other hand lacked precision while Bestiah slayed from start to finish and jagged the first win. Landing in the bottom it was the body versus the bawdy dame, with the former winning as Chuchi sent Maria home to be the next The Macarena. Mercifully saving The Macarena from becoming the Francesca Hogi of Drag Race. Well, maybe, depending on the teased return challenge.
Backstage the dolls were all heartbroken to have lost a sister, which Chuchi was shocked to have even been in the bottom while Chanel hoped it would bring her back down to earth and force her to be a little mas humble. Talk turned to The Macarena surviving her first first episode, while Kelly admitted she was just grateful that two people did worse than her so she didn’t have to lip sync. Bestiah on the other hand was thrilled to have taken out the first win of the season, with Hornella agreeing the game is now well and truly afoot and well, all the dolls were ready to fight.
The next day the queens arrived in formation, ready to slay another week as they worried what exactly it could entail. Once again they praised Maria for being a killer queen – not to be confused with Killer Queen – before talk turned to The Macarena’s opening anus and who exactly the trade of the season is. With Kelly – and most of us – crushing on Chanel Anorex, while Pakita felt Clover was the hottest. Before the dolls could act on any of their feelings, Supremme arrived to announce that for this week’s Mini Challenge, they would be facing off in placing flags of Eurovision songs on a map held up by the zaddy Pit Crew. The first round was hit and miss with only Pakita, Pink, Clover, The Macarena, Kelly and Hornella making it through to the next round guessing an artist based solely on their songs. Which ultimately led to The Macarena taking out victory, much to literally everyone’s chagrin.
And for winning, she would get to select a rival team captain for this week’s Maxi Challenge where they would do a live dance performance. After anointing Vania a rival leader, The Macarena selected Clover, Visa, Chanel, Bestiah and Pink, while Vania enlisted Kelly, Chuchi, Hornella and Pakita, leaving Pitita to round out her team. The groups immediately split up to talk through their plans, with Bestiah concerned about The Macarena and Pink Chadora bringing them down with their complete lack of skills. While Clover was selected to lead the choreography, as The Macarena continued to annoy her sisters by pointing out she is still in charge. The other group were far more zen as they came up with a name and elected Pakita as their lead singer. Aka the low rent version of Clover, according to Kelly. They quickly pivoted to the mainstage to learn their choreography with The Macarena’s Team Glitterazo confident to slay while Las Muerta Haris looked like they were having the absolute best time. Despite Carmelo, the choreographer, not having much faith in them slaying. That being said, I would argue both teams were struggling.
Dia de eliminacion arrived with the dolls all pumped to perform, even Pink Chadora, who knows dancing is not her strong point. Although, that was mainly just an act in front of the queens, as you know she was actually nervous. Kelly meanwhile got shady with The Macarena for having so much chaos in their team, while the other team were proud of how zen they were. And how much Chuchi focused on getting them over the line. As they split up to beat their mugs, the dolls spoke about the discrimination they’ve experienced for showing their feather side, while Chuchi opened up about trying desperately to stay in the closest growing up. Meanwhile Bestiah and Vania were having a quiet moment in the corner of the room, bonding over their difficult experiences coming out to their families and while Vania’s have come around, it is heartbreaking to see them still carry around this trauma.
Supremme, Ana y los Javis were joined by Eurovision icon Soraya as the dolls stomped onto the stage for their dance battles with Team Glitterazo demolishing from start to finish as Clover absolutely owned the performance and Pink was surprisingly killer. Las Muerta Haris, meanwhile, elicited awkward faces from the judges, despite being rather cohesive and on point.
Pink opened the Spain in Eurovision runway with an iconically camp satin purple jumpsuit and robe. The Macarena looked like Diana Ross and Marilyn Monroe’s love child before Chuchi was cute in a suite of reveals to cover an entire band, however it was a little clunky, which sucks, given it was a fun concept. Vania was a camp Grecian delight, Visa was a glittering, shimmering beauty, complete with a sickening rocker reveal, Hornella was a vamp delight inspired by the same look The Macarena was as Kelly took the stage with signature roller skates revealing from a bed through to an ice skater’s gown. Pakita meanwhile was stunning in a little black dress giving all the 80s, as she did reveal after reveal. Bestiah was a vision in a gorgeous red gown before revealing a shimmering silver one underneath. Clover too gave fringed fun, shimmying her way across stage and looking perfect. Chanel was stunning as a shimmering sea witch, whether it was on theme or not, before Pitita stole the show in a stunning rainbow gown.
Before getting to the critiques, Supremme told all the dolls that the judges were concerned about their sloppiness, asking them to remember where they are and to bring some polish. And for heaven’s sake, brush. Their. Wigs. Despite this warning from the judges, Team Glitterazo took out victory with Pink Chadora taking out the ultimate win, despite the fact Clover Bish was right there, since her outfit was subpar, apparently. After they were shooed off stage Chuchi was read for lacking edit and polish on the runway, despite being good with the dancing. Vania was read for getting lost in her head and not being polished with her mug, Hornella was praised for being camp and fun, Kelly was praised for enjoying herself and looking stunning, Pakita’s looks were beloved before they read her for bombing the performance, while Pitita’s passion for highlighter was a dud, despite them judges loving everything else she served.
Backstage the victors were thrilled to have made it through another week, with The Macarena particularly excited to have crushed her episodic record. Pink meanwhile was shocked to have taken out the win, despite not being a good dancer. With Bestiah hoping it will bode well for her when she faces something she isn’t strong with. The bottom group joined them with Chuchi confident she would be lip syncing again due to serving four ugly outfits, while Vania apologised for letting her team down and landing them in the bottom.
Ultimately Pitita, Hornella and Kelly were sent to safety before Pakita narrowly joined them, leading Vania to lip sync for her life against Drag Chuchi. As La noche es para mi by Soyara kicked off Chuchi looked to have almost given up and while she turned a show, there was no denying it was Vania that was bringing all the fire. And camp comedy, which was enough to take out victory and send poor Drag Chuchi out of the competition.
As she arrived backstage, I pulled her in for a long hug, assuring her that while she didn’t get to slay the competition, she did show that she is a sickening performer. And well, she is hot, so me and the fandom will always remember her as a robbed goddess and land her a place on All Stars, kinda like Milk. Which surprisingly was enough to perk her up, even before the Drag Chumchi Pancakes were done.
Kimchi pancakes are such a glorious little snack. A little spicy, a little tart and oh so comforting, they warm the soul and delight your taste buds. Which is just how Drag Chuchi makes me feel, TBH.
Drag Chumchi Pancakes Serves: 4.
Ingredients 1 egg 1 tsp kimchi brine ¼ cup soy sauce ¼ cup water ¾ cup flour 1½ cups kimchi, roughly chopped 4 shallots, sliced grapeseed oil, for fryin’ 3 tbsp rice wine vinegar
Method Whisk the egg, brine, a tablespoon of the oil and water in a bowl, followed by the flour. Fold through the kimchi and half the shallots until just combined.
Heat a lug of the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat and add a couple of quarter-cups of batter into the pan and cook for a couple of minutes. Flip and cook for a further few minutes before removing to a wire rack and repeating the process.
Combine the remaining soy sauce and vinegar in a bowl and serve alongside the pancakes with the extra shallots sprinkled over the top. And devour while piping hot.
Previously on Drag Race España 12 reinas nuevas arrived in the Werk Room, ready to prove that they and Supremme are the greatest international franchise. Starting with a stunning display of nudity on the first runway, courtesy of Marina. The dolls dazzled and delighted, with camp fun and a whole lot of heart – and drama, thanks to Marina and Juriji – before it was whittled down to just four. Well, three after Marina was eliminated in the final episode. Ultimately though, despite Marina starring in this here recap, it was Sharonne who dominated from start to finish and rightly landed herself the crown.
It is lights up in the Werk Room for another year, however, as Pink Chadora arrived looking like a floral bimbo queen and instantly I fell in love and saw a place for her in the Barbie movie, so fit her in please Margot! She was joined by Hornella Góngora who gave Jessica Rabbit realness in all the right ways. After they became the fastest of friends – bonding over Hornella’s papaya – Pakita arrived serving smut and sex as a fluffy devil and well, my basement is flooded and I am struggling to breathe. Bestiah rock’n’rolled her way into the competition looking like a cartoon high school baddie and again, I am in love. She was followed by Pitita serving old Hollywood glamour in a hard pivot, which I’ve come to love from España.
The fivesome’s kiki was interrupted by the arrival of Spanish Ginger Minj, Maria Edilia with an epically long entry line that won over my heart. Representing the Canary Islands this year was Drag Chuchi who served golden stilt realness and looked like he could choke me out of drag. So yeah, she is my new fave. Vania Vainilla arrived serving goth showgirl realness, but then Pitita explained her anus was closed for renovations and that information became more important than any new arrivals could ever be. Clover Bish became the second cis female to compete globally, looking like Adore Delano does Cher Horowitz and well, I love her. As does Pitita, busted anus or not. Channelling Trixie entering All Stars, Kelly Roller arrived serving roller Barbie and well, I live. Particularly seeing her out of drag, as once again, my basement is flooded.
Chanel Anorex was next to join the fray looking like the love child of a bull and the green goblin, but surprise surprise, was a zaddy out of drag, so I stan. Rounding out the cast was Mexico’s finest Visa arrived, serving ancient goddess realness and ugh, it was perfect. Wait, hang on, there is another doll this season as The Macarena returned for another shot at the crown which gagged everyone. Who were obviously super shady about having a repeater in the class. Before they could completely break The Macarena, Supremme arrived to welcome her newest girls. With a cheeky little roll around the hay mini challenge. Aka a photoshoot with each serving barnyard chic, based on the animal they pulled out of the zaddy pit crew’s sack.
After getting into animal quick drag, the dolls joined the zaddies on set as Pitita gave the most demented rat, channelling the icon herself – and newest three timer – Jimbo. Kelly Roller buzzed her way into my heart as a rollerskating bee, The Macarena was an unhinged hen that would make Detox proud while Maria Edilia was an adorable, smutty little piggy. Clover gave hot cow, Chanel was a wild, junky boro, Bestiah bounded into our hearts as a bunny, Vania was a horny horse and wisely got the Pit Crew to ride her, so yeah, that is a win for me. Pink Chadora meanwhile was a glamour fly, before Visa gave party ladybug and Hornella served an even hornier cow than those that came before her. Chuchi meanwhile gave sexy sheep, wisely getting the Pit Crew involved too before Pakita stole my heart as she showed us just how hungry a wolf can be. Ultimately though there could only be one winner and that was rightly Hornella, because it was completely unhinged.
Before departing Supremme announced that for their first maxi challenge they would be throwing a little Talent Show! But more importantly, they all dedragged to flood my basement while checking in on how The Macarena feels to be back. And decide whether a single episode even gives her an upper hand. The Macarena meanwhile was busy bonding with Clover and Chuchi, with the old hands telling Clover to stand firm and know she belongs. Oh and then they all bonded over not getting laid without eyebrows, which makes me and my Eugene Levy’s feel really good right about now!
Dia de eliminacion arrived with everyone excited for their first challenge, while The Macarena was just hoping to avoid the bottom. Talk turned to everyone being talented singers, which made Pink nervous about it landing her in the bottom. They then pivoted to who they see as the biggest threat – already – as everyone agreed it was Pitita, while she in turn was nervous about Hornella. As they split up to beat their mugs, the dolls bonded over their partners with Pink Chadora thrilled to have sucked the same dick for 15 years. Like an icon.
Supremme, Ana y los Javis were joined by zaddy Paco Leon on the judges panel as Visa opened the Supremme Eleganza Talent Extravanganza with a killer, camp Mayan gymnastic act in ropes. She spun, she split, she sung, sha danced and it was amazing and I love her. Bestiah then calmly sat with her talent, playing the piano and singing and well, it was beautiful, lack of camp be damned! Wait, no, it turned it a punk rock performance with backup dancers rocking in like the monkeys in Wizard of Oz. It was wild and a bop and this is why España is my favourite franchise. Vania meanwhile gave boudoir glam as she taught tantric, complete with fire and rotating through the Pit Crew like magic. Or Khalessi’s power. Clover then listened to our lord and saviour Anetra and walked the fucking duck. And it was glorious.
Like the Pit Crew’s speedos.
Maria meanwhile served typing lip sync before getting with her boss and well, it made no sense which is why I kinda love it. Pink Chadora meanwhile sung an original song about farming, Bambi or global warming. Either way, there were dancing carrots and therefore, I love it. The Macarena served sexy Britney as she sang her original song, despite a missing key here or there. Pitita gave camp, mime, chic complete with snacks both food and in the form of sexy sailer back-up dancers. So again, I live. Drag Chuchi meanwhile served drama as she lip synced about Dia De Los Muertos before it too turned sexy. Hornella Góngora then sang Dancing on My Own as two zaddies danced live and made out. So yep, you guessed it, another win.
Kelly Roller was thankfully on brand skating her way across stage as she lip synced looking ready to compete in the Hunger Games and while I live, that is mainly because she went off the stage. Sometimes on purpose. Pakita then gave an emotional performance singing before stripping off and pole dancing and well, I love it. Chanel Anorex then closed the show giving sexy snow beast before lip syncing to Cannibal as the back-up dancers coated her in red paint. So yep, I did stan it because it was amazing.
On the Spain is Different runway, Bestish was a glamour serrano ham, ready for battle in all the right ways. Hornella was a shimmering red Goya delight, Vania was a gaudy (in a good way) pink and purple puffy star and looked to be having the most fun possible. Pink Chadora was a ruffled, leather femme fatale, ready to take you as soon as you start something. Drag Chuchi gave disco ball comes disco diva, looking stunning in the process. And serving all the body. Chanel gave camp icon ready for a day at the races or fresh from an easter hat parade. Complete with high heeled crocs. Pitita gave us Alaska’s trashbag look, though upcycled with a tonne of cash. Maria gave camp, vamp ladybug, Pakita was the most camp, giving the sun and moon, dripping in tinsel like a glam car wash. Again, in a good way. Clover looked ready to sing cabaret at a rich fundraiser in a shimmering black gown, The Macarena served drama as she gave bleeding, murdered art before Visa served shimmering tower, into a chameleon and well it was batshit, so I love it. While Kelly walked the runway selling herself as an 80s theatre icon.
Vania, Pitita, Pink, Chanel, Clover and Visa were sent to safety before Bestiah received universal praise for her looks and for slaying the talent show. Hornella was praised for singing live and holding their attention, despite being pitchy. Chuchi was read for not giving enough Canary Islands in the talent show and for being hit and miss with her looks. Maria was read for messing up the sync of the lip sync of her talent show. Pakita received wall to wall praise for all the diverse things she showed this week. The Macarena was read for being pitchy throughout the performance, though was praised for fitting everything to her body. Despite the exposed corset. Kelly too was read for her nerves and the moment where she fell from the stage, despite them loving her runway.
Backstage the safe girls celebrated making it through another week, with Pink in particular happy to survive on something she was scared of. Clover meanwhile felt she and Visa were robbed of a place in the top, while the others were a little shocked it wasn’t Vania winning, though agreed out of the dolls left, it should be Bestiah snatching the first victory. The tops and bottoms soon joined them with Maria opening up about clearly being in the bottom, while The Macarena was concerned about history repeating itself. Chuchi on the other hand was proud of her performance, despite being read for it.
Ultimately the dolls proved to be right as Bestiah took out victory after Hornella, Pakita and Kelly were sent to safety. Despite her fears, The Macarena narrowly avoided the lip sync as she was sent to safety, leaving Maria and Chuchi to battle it out to Despechá by Rosalía and while I’d like to say it was a battle, it erred more on the side of a bloodbath as Chuchi stripped down to pasties – top and bottom – shaking and flipping all over stage completely nude. And well, maybe I am distracted by the flooded basement, but she rightly earned her safety as sweet Maria became the The Macarena of the season. Or is she, given Supremme’s cryptic video at the end? Dun, dun, DUN.
Despite whatever it is Supremme has planned for the eliminated dolls this season, I pulled Maria in for a massive hug as soon as she returned to the Werk Room. While we were tragically robbed of seeing everything she has to offer, I once again rolled out the platitude that first boots are always more memorable than early boots and as such, she is now as iconic as the future winner of the season. Plus, being the first boot doesn’t appear to have stopped Jaymes Mansfield from becoming an All Star now, does it? After that, she was feeling very pleased with herself and was thrilled to join me in toasting her speed run with a piping hot bowl of Instant Mariamen Edilia.
Like Tayce before me, 2 Minute Noodles are one of my favourite foods (of childhood, at least) and this little copycat is an elevation that warms your soul. Sweet, smooth and earthy, the miso broth adds the perfect kick for any mood.
Method Combine the miso paste and stock in a large saucepan over medium heat, and cook, stirring, until it comes to the boil. Reduce heat to low, add the noodles and simmer for a couple of minutes, say two, until they are soft and tender.
Remove from the heat, stir in the parsley, stir and then devour. Joyously.
Previously on Survivor the three tribes dropped their buffs ready for the dragged out, needlessly complex earn the merge episode which is essentially just a split into two tribes with a joint tribal council, but whatever. Thankfully Carson’s passion for 3D printing guaranteed he and Carolyn were safe, though tragically their bestie Yam Yam wasn’t so lucky. And given everyone was worried about Josh having an idol – despite Carolyn assuring them he doesn’t – he quickly became a target. Yam Yam in turn tried to turn things on Kane which was ultimately unnecessary as the group threw caution to the wind, banded together and sent Josh out of the game. Meaning we’ve still only lost minority players or females thus far.
Back at camp Yam Yam quickly told everyone he loves them despite copping some votes and while he was feeling the pressure now that he has had his name out there, he quickly got back to joking about and charming the hell out of everyone and well, we need to protect him and Carolyn at all costs.
The next day everyone came together to pick a tribe name and while nobody bought the fact Yam Yam was actually a Fijian word that would be perfect for the tribe, they did love his suggestion of Va Va meaning 4-4. And by coming together, it was everyone but Matt and Frannie who were on a private date being cute as shit, celebrating the fact he finally has his vote back in addition to having his idol. He then caught up with Brandon, Yam Yam and Kane, with Brandon telling everyone about the fact the cages had two idols – one real, one fake – which made Matt realise he had been played since there was only one in the bag when he snatched his. Slowly he pieced together that Danny must have the real one, offering to show the boys his fake to prove his theory.
Meanwhile Danny was busy catching up with Carson, locking in the next vote as Lauren since she has an extra one. And while Carson was quiet and non-committal, Kane outright shut him down when he approached him with the idea, since the extra vote in the hands of an ally would be super powerful for them later in the game. Begging the question, did I know they were aligned with Lauren? Kane then approached Matt and Frannie about Danny’s plan, suggesting that while Danny is fixated on getting rid of her, it may actually be the perfect time to blindside him instead. And after they pulled in Carson, he realised that he, Carolyn and Yam Yam are sitting pretty in this impending feud between Ratu and Soka.
The tribe came together with Probst where they would each stand on a beam and hold a long pole above their head and balance a ball with the last one standing securing immunity. Oh and since Jiffy Pop can’t go a week without some rando twist, they will be split up into groups of five – why did we merge again? – with a person winning immunity from each group. And the person winning the whole challenge earned immunity for their entire team too. Oh and sadly, only those eligible to be eliminated will be the only ones voting too, meaning someone is about to get screwed to rule as the King or Queen of the Jury. When they split up into groups, Carson was the odd one out, meaning he got to bet on who would win and tie his fate to theirs. Confused? Same. Oh and the winning group would also get PB&Js, because why not.
In any event, Carson locked in with Heidi, Kane, Danny, Frannie and Carolyn, which seemed like a shitty idea as Carolyn became the first to drop. She was followed out by Lauren on the other team, before the remaining people transferred to a narrower portion of the beam. Which immediately cost Kane, followed by Heidi and Danny leaving Carson’s fate in Frannie’s hands. While she continued to power on, Jamie dropped before everyone transitioned to the narrowest portion of the beam. Just like Kane, that transition cost Matt and Yam Yam leaving Frannie and Brandon to battle for their group’s safety. The duo fought valiantly for a little while longer before Brandon dropped, meaning Frannie earnt her group immunity, but left her boyfriend in danger and ugh, I have a horrible feeling this is not going to end well for my sweet angel Matt.
The winners were sent back to camp to smash their sandies as the losers were sent to a different camp to scramble. Meaning in addition to the winners not having a vote, they also don’t have sway, which is infinitely worse. Back at camp, the group joyously smashed the food before talk turned to the upcoming vote, with Frannie and Danny talking about how much nobody wants Matt to go but accepted that it is clearly either him or Yam Yam going. Which obviously scared Carolyn, as she definitely didn’t want to lose her bestie. And just to up the tension for them, there was also an ominous note sitting on the table telling them they couldn’t open it until everyone was done eating.
Before we could address the note we ventured over to the losers’ camp where Brandon was feeling bad to have let his team down, though was thrilled to still be immune in addition to having his vote. Particularly since he also has Lauren and Jamie there who will totally stay Ratu strong. Matt meanwhile knew he was screwed and asked to talk to everyone, though pulled Jamie and Brandon aside to casually mention they may have a crazy plan to get rid of Lauren but if not, he is happy to work with them to take out Yam Yam. Despite the fact Yam Yam is the only one he actually wants to work with. Sadly for Matt, Yam Yam was busy throwing his name out to Lauren, filling him in on the fact Danny and Matt have been throwing out her name because of the extra vote and as such, she was ready to bounce him ASAP.
Back with the victors Frannie opened the note to announce a new advantage locked in the cage with keys hidden around the jungle. The catch being, you could only grab a second key once you’ve tried your key and found it didn’t work. Instantly everyone ran off to look with key after key coming up short before Heidi finally put us out of our misery, unlocking the cage and snatching it for herself. It being the new Control the Vote Advantage, meaning she can choose one player at the upcoming tribal council to force to vote the way she wants. Meaning she could be the one to save both Yam Yam and Matt, if she wants to be my best friend.
We returned to Playa de Loser where Matt was missing his boo Frannie, gifting us a heartbreaking recap of their love, instantly filling me with even more anxiety that it is soon to be ending. Matt and Yam Yam caught up as the former Ratu hung out by the well, with Yam Yam pointing out that if they can get the other group to split their vote, they will be able to force a tie, meaning they just may be able to survive. Sadly for them the trio were busy planning to load all their votes on one person, either Yam Yam as it won’t piss as many people off or Matt to weaken Soka. Wait, no, Lauren wants them to split so we may be saved!
Frannie and Heidi caught up at the winners’ beach to talk through the advantage, trying to figure out the best way to use it to take control. While everyone was onboard with telling Matt and Yam Yam to vote together, Heidi admitted to Kane that since Matt is so well liked, she is just as concerned about him getting too far as she is about breaking up Ratu.
At tribal council Jamie spoke about how wild it is to once again be in a small group and potentially screwed if your allies are on the wrong side. Almost speaking for the audience about how tired we are of the constant tribal council twists. Matt spoke about the fact he didn’t have his bags or any tricks that may be in them, and when Frannie admitted she hadn’t packed it, he pulled out a papaya to ask Jeff for mercy and to cancel tribal council. When that didn’t work, Matt lay out that it is him and Yam Yam on the block, with the latter admitting he was also very nervous. Lauren and Jamie downplayed it, talking about how one advantage could screw them out of the game, but if they do stay, they also need to think about the six people not voting.
Matt tried to remind everyone how strong of an ally he is, with Brandon admitting he would love to work with him before pointing out he even voted for Yam Yam just the week before. Yam Yam wisely pointed out he has zero allies, while Matt has options, meaning if he is kept, he is more likely to stay loyal, while Matt would flip right back. Matt then was a beautiful angel, breaking down as he talked about his anxiety and nerves before playing the game, and how proud of himself he was to overcome it and play a strong game. As sweet Frannie looked on, beaming with pride. Jeff then called out Yam Yam for deflecting with humour – why show his game, Jeff – with him too breaking down about how growing up as a queer kid in Puerto Rico, he never dreamt he could be here and he now he isn’t ready to go.
As they were about to go out to vote, Heidi stood up and snatched Lauren’s vote, instructing her to vote for Yam Yam. After clarifying whether Heidi controlled one or two of her votes, Lauren kicked off the voting, wisely holding on to her extra as the group united to break up mum and dad, sending Matt out to become the King of the Jury. Which feels so wholesome and lovely I could almost burst. But fuck am I going to miss our sweet king. As soon as her arrived at Ponderosa, I pulled him in for a massive hug and thanked him for playing such an exceptional game and for repping for all the nerds with anxiety. As is becoming a trend this season, I reiterated that due to the twist there was truly not much he could have done to save himself, but I am grateful that someone as kind as him is the one setting the tone of the jury. Which is perfectly shown with a big, fat plate of Matt Cornflakinship Brownies.
As sweet as our nerd king, angel zaddy these elevated brownies are all about balance. Crunchy and soft, sweet and salty, everything about them works together to warm your soul and keep the jury in a positive state. I assume.
Matt Cornflakinship Brownies Serves: 8.
Ingredients 375g unsalted butter 150g dark chocolate 5 eggs 200g muscovado sugar 650g raw caster sugar 100g plain flour 50g cocoa powder 1 ½ tsp kosher salt 300ml double cream, at room temperature(ish) 200g cornflakes
Method Preheat the oven to 180C and line a rectangular cake tin.
Start by melted 125g of butter with the dark chocolate, either in a double boiler or using a microwave. Stir until smooth, shiny and combined, and then leave to rest.
Meanwhile using a stand mixer, beat the eggs, muscovado sugar and 150g of the raw caster sugar until light and fluffy, almost pulsating with the volume. With the mixer on low, slowly pour in the butter and chocolate, mixer until just combined. Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold through the flour, cocoa and half a teaspoon of salt until combined. Pour the batter in the pan and transfer to the oven to bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the brownies are just cooked through. Remove and leave to cool.
To make the caramel cornflakes, pop the remaining sugar in a large saucepan over medium heat and stir until it has melted. This will take a while, but is worth it for an angel like Matt. Keep cooking the sugar until it is a deep golden colour. Remove from the heat and add half of the remaining butter and mixing in. Once combined, add the remaining butter and whisk until that is combined. Followed by the cream, carefully, as this will bubble and spit. Once combined, return to the cooktop and heat for 2 minutes, or until it has thickened slightly. Remove from the heat, stir in the remaining salt, followed by the cornflakes.
Immediately pout the cornflake topping over the brownies and smooth the top. Transfer to the fridge to set for a couple of hours before slicing and devouring.
Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race the top five played a little quiz game for the power to assign teachers for this year’s makeover. Despite having to read herself for the win, Loosey paired everyone with people that made sense for each of them. Well, except for Luxx, who she decided to take revenge on for reading her for filth all season. While Loosey and her new sister looked like legit twins, the judges felt they had no chemistry on the runway. Luxx gave nothing to build their family resemblance, though her new daughter did look like Jennifer Collidge which should count for something. Ultimately Anetra was perfect from start to finish, which handed her her third win of the season while Luxx and Loosey faced off in the lip sync, with Luxx coming out on top and sending Loosey out in fifth place.
Backstage the dolls soon discovered Loosey was completely annoyed to be eliminated, while Luxx found it hilarious that Loosey was eliminated after trying to play dirty. Mistress on the other hand was just proud of Loosey for finally admitting she was playing the game, in addition to being stiff competition. Luxx admitted she was heartbroken to have been in the bottom so close to the end, while everyone was just excited to have made it to the top four. Anertra was proud of herself for being neck and neck with the one and only Ms Colby, while Sasha herself was just hoping for no last minute goopery costing her place in the competition.
The next day Ru dropped by to announce that for their final maxi challenge, the dolls would be writing and recording verses on Ru’s song Blame It On the Edit before filming the film clip with Miguel Zarate (swoon). And sitting with Ru and Michelle for a tic tac lunch, like icons. Oh and then he announced that only three of them will be going through to the finale, which obviously left them gagged. Just as Sasha feared. After Ru left, the dolls split up to listen to the song and work on their lyrics. Mistress was obviously super confident given she is shady as hell, while Sasha is glad she knows words. Anetra was planning to lean into her brand – voguing and sex – while Luxx felt like she had it in the bag, so went aside to have a nap like Pearl and Jinkx before her.
Sasha was first up to chat with Ru and Michelle, welcoming them to the meet and greet before talking about her epic career leading to this point. She admitted that she has struggled throughout the season, not wanting to do too well given she didn’t want the girls to hate her. She opened up about how her lack of support from her mother is what makes her worry about gaining people’s approval. She then went very deep, talking about how she was left everything after her father died, and how that was almost a seal of approval. And ugh, crown her.
Speaking of crowning her, Sasha’s co-winner Anetra was up next, talking through growing up Mormon and how drag is what opened her up to every colour of the rainbow. Michelle then gushed about how good her and Marcia’s lip sync was – shoulda been a double save – labelling it the greatest of all time. She spoke about how she learnt to vogue in Vegas, while Ru praised her for always bringing something to the challenges that only she can. Oh and you best believe winning would mean everything to her, and prove everything was worth it.
Mistress was next up, talking about what made her such an outspoken icon and how that got under Loosey’s skin. Who she in turn felt was different on camera to what she was like when the red light went out. She spoke about how she came to the competition wanting to prove why she deserves the crown, and that she desperately wants to make everyone proud. Particularly Mama Chavelle, winner of Season 16. Oh and you best believe she is now in her top three era. She tapped out with Luxx who spoke about how she came to the competition ready to serve looks at every moment. Oh and she opened up about going to Cicely Tyson high school and honestly, I am jealous as all hell. She spoke about how her parents taught her to be confident and proud of herself, and you know she took that and ran and now, is always ready to prove a bitch wrong.
The top four came together on set to work through the choreography and given Sasha is serving Barbwire realness, you know she is winning. Everyone admittedly looked amazing, though Mistress kinda got stuck in her head, worried about learning it all in time and ugh, it sucks to see someone so confident get so nervous. Without any time to process things, the back-up dancers were brought in and the dolls were put through their paces in front of the red light. Luxx was perfect from start to finish, while Anetra was surprisingly nervous. Most importantly, Luxx lost a nail in her outfit and ugh, she is hilarious and I am going to miss her when the season is over. They traded out with Sasha and Mistress and similar to the others, Sasha was perfect at every damn moment, while Mistress was so focused on the choreography, she didn’t give the attitude.
Elimination Day arrived with the dolls splitting up to prepare for the final runway, with everyone shocked by how quickly the challenge has gone. Luxx and Sasha were obviously thrilled to have nailed the challenge, while Mistress vowed not to let the choreo get her down. Anetra too was nervous, given it took her some time to get it down, though was confident she did enough in the end. Mistress asked everyone to talk through their first impressions, with Anetra loving Luxx from the start while the dolls were all shocked by how kind and down to earth Sasha is, given she is as sickening as her legacy. Mistress always knew Anetra would be a silent assassin, while everyone was gagged by how much she has grown as she came into her own around the dolls. Anetra meanwhile loved that while Mistress is obnoxious, she showed she also had a massive heart too.
Talk turned to all of the feuds and damn, these girls really fed us with the drama. Well, Luxx at least, who found herself at the centre of all the -gates. Before they turned their attention to the fact one of them will win, with everyone confident they deserve to make it to the top but also nervous about falling so close to the end.
It was family only on the judges panel as Ru, Michelle and Ross took their places on the panel as Anetra opened the Drag Excellence runway looking stunning in a fitted blue velvet gown in honour of her Asian heritage. Luxx meanwhile was perfect in a shimmering white gown with a huge, curly wig. Sasha meanwhile was glorious in a silver crystal gown, referencing her Hawaiin heritage in the best ways possible. Before Mistress closed the show in a fringed, crystal cheetah print gown and ugh, I love it. Particularly since she wore it in a pageant previously, meaning she is the Kate Middleton of drag. When it came to the film clip, we may be able to Blame it on the Edit because everyone was stunning. Anetra was fierce as hell and v on brand, Luxx was full chanteuse, Sasha was sexy and perfect in every moment, while Mistress rapped the house down and delivered all the attitude.
After thanking the top four for all nailing the challenge, the judges praised Anetra for combining old and new on the runway and looking beautiful. They praised her for getting stronger from week to week, and truly shine when she let them in. Oh and Ru was proud of her, no doubt for showing off her branding prowess by always walking the duck. Luxx was praised for having such impeccable taste and always looking perfect. And showing off everything she has to offer. They all spoke about Sasha’s legacy and how somehow she exceeded all expectations week after week, and constantly slayed. And more importantly, she showed her massive heart and how she is always giving back to her sisters and the community and AGAIN, crown her. While Mistress was beloved for always giving polish and charm, truly showing Houston excellence at every moment. Though also being a versatile and intelligent performer each week.
Ru pulled out a picture of 5 year old Isiah, asking Anetra what she would tell herself, asking him to hold on through the dark days, knowing that one day the world will be safe for you to shine. And it will be so much better than she can even imagine. Luxx told baby Justin that all his dreams will come true, he just needs to know that everything that comes his way is what makes him who he is. Sasha told baby Sasha that she is a stunning woman, and that trusting her instincts will be what makes her dreams come true so just hold it down and know that you are loved. While Mistress told herself that despite how confusing life will be most of the time, that fire within will be what keeps him holding on to hope and that eventually, he will find his tribe and achieve the world.
Backstage the dolls were gagged by the fact one of them will still go home, with Mistress in particular nervous about struggling through the challenge given she has slayed all season long. The dolls rallied around her, agreeing she has done so well that it would suck to be in the bottom. Luxx was fairly confident she would not be in the bottom, despite Mistress reminding her she is kinda delusional. Sasha praised them all for being different and giving something unique, while they reflected on how great they have been throughout the season. Mistress’ least favourite moment was calling Marcia’s drag cheap and her favourite was proving herself in the Snatch Game. Anetra called Luxx’s highlight wearing her Ru look, while she loved saying Loosey should go home. While Sasha pointed out Mistress struggled with Love Connie, while her least favourite was the standup challenge. Everyone agreed that Anetra’s favourite moment should have been her ninja realness in the talent show, though.
Ultimately Sasha took out her fourth win of the season and booked her place in the finale, before Luxx was sent through to join her. Meaning Anetra and Mistress would have to face off for the final spot to Kelly Rowland’s – I don’t care about David Guetta – When Love Takes Over and ugh, they were stunning. Both of the dolls leant into the passion of the song, hitting every lyric, being silly when required and obviously serving tricks as Anetra walked the duck once again, as Mistress tried to swat her out of the competition. It was cute, it was fun and well, thankfully Ru went back on her word, going with a double shantay and keeping both of the girls in the running moving on to the finale.
Despite the fact all the dolls were kept in place, I had already gotten busy in the kitchen, so tapped Mistress on the shoulder and told her that I’d like to pre-emptively celebrate her run in the competition. And given the number of wins was the fairest way to decide who would be first, she was the first I’d be catching up with. While she questioned whether that meant I didn’t think she would win, I pulled her in for a massive hug to stop her questioning, instead getting her to focus on how good her run was. As despite only getting one win, there is no denying how good she has been each and every week. Which alone makes her more than worthy of a shot at the crown and a piping hot batch of Mistress Isamaple Crookies.
These cookies are the perfect little snack – Halloween decorations, or not. The delicate flavour of the maple works perfectly with the crunchy cookies to provide the ultimate all rounder snack. Perfect for celebrating a queen that is good at nearly everything.
Mistress Isamaple Crookies Serves: 8-12.
Ingredients 300g flour 1 tsp cinnamon 1 tsp baking soda 1 tsp kosher salt, plus a pinch for icing 150g unsalted butter, at room temperature 200g muscovado sugar 1 egg, at room temperature 160ml maple syrup 2 tsp vanilla extract 1 cup pecans, roughly chopped 115g icing sugar any sprinkles you feel inspired by, for decoratin’
Method Sift the flour, cinnamon and baking soda into a bowl, and add the salt. Meaning in a stand mixer, cream 120g of butter and the muscovado sugar on medium for a couple of minutes, or until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides, add the egg and mix for a further minute on low. With the mixer running, add half the maple syrup and vanilla extract, mixing until just combined. Remove from the stand mixer and fold through the dry ingredients and pecans before returning to the mixer and beating for a minute or so, until well combined. Form the dough into a disc, wrap in cling wrap and transfer to the fridge to chill for a couple of hours.
Preheat the oven to 180°C and line two baking sheets.
Once the dough is chill, using an ice cream scoop, roll out 1-2 tablespoon balls of dough and pop on a baking sheet, allowing plenty of room for spread. Once all rolled out, pop the sheets in the oven and allow to bake for about 15 minutes, or until lightly browned and cooked through. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the tray for a couple of minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
While the cookies get chill, pop the remaining butter and maple syrup in a small saucepan and whisk over a low heat until combined. Whisk in the icing sugar and a pinch of salt and stir until it has come together again. Drizzle the warm glaze over the cookies, add sprinkles for fun and allow to set for five minutes before devouring. Like a winner.
Previously on Survivor the three tribes were sitting pretty, confident in the fact they could ride things out to the merge together before starting the next phase of their battle royale. Sadly for them, the producers opted to give us a little format tweak and after sending Jaime, Carson and Josh to journey island, they found themselves returning to a new tribe each. And while that kinda sucked for them, they didn’t go alone, each gifted a hidden immunity idol which would last up until the merge. After Tika tragically lost another immunity challenge, Yam Yam, Sarah and Carolyn were ready to kick Josh to the curb. Well, until Yam Yam and Carolyn started feuding over the latter always being the decoy name, leading to Carolyn flipping to work with Josh to blindside Sarah instead.
Back at camp Yam Yam and Carolyn bickered back and forth about tribal council, with Yam Yam trying to get her to understand that he would have done what she wanted at tribal council if she just told him, while she in turn argued it didn’t seem like that. And told us that she felt more like Yam Yam was upset about being left out, rather than not being told. She explained that she had been made to feel like the third turd of the alliance, before the duo admitted they were just kinda sad that they had issues, questioning if they would be able to move on and come back together. Josh on the other hand was thrilled to have survived against all the odds.
We visited with Ratu the next day where Matthew started to break down to Kane about how much pain he has been in, unsure how he will be able to push through the rest of the game. Kane meanwhile was the absolute sweetest, talking about how proud of him he is as Matthew started to cry again. He also got teary when talking about it to Carson by the well and ugh, I hate where this is going because it feels like this is going to be Kaoh Rong 2.0. Carson meanwhile was thrilled by how much headway he has made within the tribe before he and Kane bonded over being so nerdy and ugh, I just love them both. So, so much.
Checking in with Soka, Danny was leading them through some breathing exercises and just like Kane and Carson, I love him. Because he is so much kookier than you’d expect from a challenge beast. We then learnt that he has a four month old at home and ugh, my basement is flooded. Jaime meanwhile was living for their vibe and so grateful to have landed on Soka, though knew she was clearly on the bottom. As such, she went off with Matt for a wander through the jungle, chatting away, despite Jaime being frustrated by how slowly he is playing the game. She then approached Frannie to let her know she can not read him, with Frannie thrilled she clearly hasn’t figured out how close they are, meaning she can get a read on things and protect him. Given they are clearly falling in love.
Things were still tense over at Tika with Yam Yam asking Josh to stop being angry with him so they could have a fun day. And while he said they could, he kept giving Yam Yam the bitch face – his words – and that annoyed him. But bless, he kept trying. Josh meanwhile was upset because he felt like Carolyn and Yam Yam reuniting may be inevitable and as such, needed to protect himself. He lied to Yam Yam about having a second idol, showing him the note from his last idol to get it over the line. They then bonded over being gay, sharing their childhoods and coming out stories, and well, this is 100% the kind of thing that is more likely to save both of them. Josh meanwhile felt he was sitting pretty now, have bonded with each of them and just needing to decide who to target should they lose the next immunity challenge
Right on cue, the tribes reunited with Jeffrey for said challenge where they would be tethered together and race with a bucket of water over a series of obstacles to release a gate. And then two would solve a table maze, with the first two tribes immune and the loser going to tribal council. Oh, and once again, the victors would get to choose who goes on the next journey. Tika got out to an early lead – YAS – with Ratu nipping at their heels, while Soka fell behind. Everyone evened up at the gate however, so it came down to a race on the table maze with Soka whipping through it and landing their first ball with Ratu nipping on their heels. On their second ball, Soka dropped it, giving Ratu the lead as Tika continued to fall further behind. They raced to take out the win for the extra power with Ratu jagging it just ahead of Soka, while Tika would return to tribal council. Ratu then quickly locked in Brandon as the person from their tribe heading on the journey, with Danny going from Soka and Carolyn from Tika.
Jeff then ominously called in medical to review Matthew’s injury, as he opened up about how he feels like he just can’t recover and the environment of the game isn’t helping. Probst then told him how strong he had been for his tribe, while Matthew was left to figure out what to do.
We checked in on Yam Yam and Josh back at camp where the latter spoke about wanting to hang on to his idol if he could, as the duo promised to work together. Yam Yam then talked smack about Carolyn, saying she is way more strategic than she appears, warning him that she needs to go ASAP. While Josh was just concerned about what Carolyn’s journey may mean for the game.
Speaking of the journey, the trio arrived at the island where they discovered that rather than an advantage they would instead be enjoying a feast at The Sanctuary to encourage them to talk about the season thus far. Carolyn meanwhile was thrilled to be smashing food, despite the fact she still has to contend with tribal council tonight. She opened up to the boys about Josh’s idol from the swap, inadvertently letting them know that Jaime and Carson also have one. Brandon and Danny then locked in an alliance post-merge, with Carolyn hilariously questioning whether they are including her in this, given they were literally talking as if she wasn’t even there. Though given it blessed us with some hilarious reaction shots from her and made her angry when they kept discounting her, it means we could be in for a Shonee-esque revenge arc. Which is always a good thing.
She ventured back to camp where the boys met her on the shore and quickly told them how much she doesn’t want to work with the bro-alliance, signing to Yam Yam that they need to work together as Josh is likely to go with them. And while he felt it was hilarious, he was glad to have his Carolyn back. She told both of them about the meat brigade which is forming, pointing out Josh was included in their plans and that she was told she would be in the alliance if she saved him. This spooked Josh, who pointed out that he has an idol so it isn’t even a question at this point – it is though – before Carolyn wisely asked to see it. And while Yam Yam assured her he had seen the note, when he whipped out the fake, Yam Yam immediately pointed out the beads actually came from treemail. While Carolyn realised it was literally the same note she read two days ago. Oh and then it came apart in Yam Yam’s hands, and he and Carolyn burst out laughing.
The boys spoke about the fact Carolyn may still have an advantage, while Josh pushed to get her out because he is scared she will rally a counter alliance to the bro alliance he isn’t even in. We then learnt a little about Josh’s life which frankly sounds quite horrific, given how many medical emergencies he has experienced and now I need them to protect our zaddy at all costs. Yam Yam meanwhile wasn’t sure who to trust, catching up with Carolyn who pledged her undying loyalty, knowing that the other options out there are frankly crumby. And while he wants to trust her again, he doesn’t really know he can trust either of them.
Before he had to make a decision, Jeffrey arrived on their shores to let them know that tribal council will not be going ahead due to Matthew having to leave the game because of his shoulder injury. And while it breaks my heart for our plant zaddy king, I am glad the Tika trio live to see another day. Since I now also love Josh and his apparent goal to be the US’ Simon, aka suffering from a case of severe bottomness.
I was a wee bit surprised to see Matthew arrive at Loser Lodge in broad daylight, though I put that aside to pull him in for a gentle hug and tell him how heartbroken I am to see his injury take him out of the game. It was so sad to see someone so excited to be in the game and then have that excitement ultimately become their undoing, particularly someone like Matthew who had already proven himself adept at the game. I assured him that like Bruce before him, I will demand to Jess that he gets a second shot, however the tragedy is that like Nina on HvV, he is now at a disadvantage since everyone will know just how good he is at the game. But I guess that’s what our strategy session was for, over some Mater Grinstot-Maylffles.
Sure, the name may not roll off the tongue as much as I would like, however I was in a rush to throw something together due to his surprise exit and wanted to gift him a perfect recipe. Which is exactly how I would describe tater tot waffles. They may just be throwing tots in a waffle iron, but the magical transformation as they cook is breathtaking. Crunch and glorious, they are equally as perfect with bacon and eggs or as the basis of a burger. Aka, they can do no wrong.
Mater Grinstot-Maylffles Serves: 2 queer icons, with long hair and a passion for flannel.
Ingredients 500g tater tots (or Potato Jems, as they are known in Australia)
Method If you’re using store bought gems, allow them to defrost completely otherwise allow the gems to cool if you’ve made them from scratch.
When you’re ready to go, line the games within a waffle iron, close it and place over a medium heat to cook for about five minutes, or until crispy. Flip the iron and repeat for a further few minutes to crisp. Transfer to a plate and repeat the process until done.