Previously on Australian Survivor we witnessed a tribal council so epic, I don’t even understand how we attack recapping it. Before we got to that point, Gerry survived his 48 hours at the Villains tribe before opting to return to the Heroes, despite not really vibing with them. The Villains then went on to lose another immunity challenge with Simon locking in the numbers to get rid of George as soon as they returned to camp. Sadly for him, Jordie was ready to make a move on Simon and get rid of him and his attitude, given it was way too toxic for most of the tribe. While everything looked set to send Simon out of the game with an (alleged) idol in his pocket, JLP surprised everyone with an individual immunity challenge at tribal council, which Simon promptly won. With his back against the wall, George blew everything up, telling Simon that Jordie had betrayed him and told everyone about his idol, while he would be playing his idol for himself. He then fractured Simon and Stevie’s bond, begging Simon to save sweet Stevie by playing his idol for him, and after breaking Stevie’s heart by refusing, the Spice Girls gagged the tribe by voting out Fraser instead.
The next day things were, how do you say, tense? Except for Stevie and Shiz, as he pulled the girls aside to share how grateful he is to them for saving him as he broke down in tears and ugh, it was beautiful. And what a full circle moment, since Shonee blindsided him their first season and he spent the first week hungry for revenge.
Everyone came back together, hanging out in silence before Simon felt slapping Jordie over the back of the head was the best way to de-escalate the tension. Jordie once again proved to be mature, biting his tongue before Simon finally asked him to talk and then promptly berated Jordie for making the choices he made. While all Jordie knew was that he was absolutely screwed, though given he has Alex’s sister/Jay’s ex Sam Frost waiting for him at home, pregnant with their first child he has all the motivation he needs to dig deep and embrace the chaos. As such, Jordie caught up with Shiz by the well to bond over the trauma of tribal council while Shonee admitted that they need to work together because she actually trusts him.
Oh and then our Queen straight up pocketed a hidden immunity idol without a note or anyone noticing, despite it being right in front of all of them.
We did a check in with the Heroes where the tribe was so zen, they were straight up playing cricket and living their best lives. Gerry however wasn’t loving it, admitting that he only came back to the tribe for Sharni given they are so tight, however he knows he feels better among the Villains. The tribe caught up to grill him and while they were trying to be chill, Paige grew pretty tense in her line of questioning and as such, Gerry let slip that while he is with them, if they cross him, he will fight back. He then called out Sam for his stupid comment at tribal before Benjamin asked him why he voted for him, with Gerry pointing out he has a silver tongue. Which led to Ben asking him what, if anything, he told the Villains with Gerry iconically pointing out he didn’t really need to say anything, given the Villains cantell the alphas are on the top.
Benjamin admitted that he was grateful for Gerry pointing it out, given it clarified a few things in his head and ideally some others. Since he knows he is on the bottom, and wants to get himself into a better position. As he was whipping up food for the tribe, he found the Heroes version of Simon’s non-idol and while he was smart enough to realise that without a note, he has nothing, he viewed it as a clue and got to work hunting. All around the coconut hidden near their well. And damn, please find it my King – I need mum and dad to both jag idols in the one episode.
The tribes joined Jonathan in the jungle for the latest immunity challenge where Simon and George aired their dirty laundry for the Heroes. After George finished things by letting them know Simon still has an idol, JLP announced that in pairs the tribes would hold three blocks off the ground between their feet with the last tribe to have a block elevated taking out the win. So yeah, congrats Villains, Shonee has you! But if you want to talk about the challenge, David and Sam, Sharni and Paige and Ben and Gerry held up the blocks for the Heroes, while Jordie and Simon were paired, as were George and Stevie while Shiz were clearly poised to be the winning pair.
Nearly instantly Gerry dropped out for the Heroes while Simon fought back tears as he dropped after ten minutes. George and Stevie soon followed, leaving Shiz to fight for their safety while the Heroes had two pairs going strong. And by strong, not really as Sam dropped leaving Sharni and Paige to fight for the Heroes. After an hour Paige developed a cramp and started to hold back tears as Shonee calmly told Liz to keep it together. JLP noticed our Queen was holding firm, asking how she went last time she did this challenge with Shonee pointing out she did two hours and she could easily do it again. Not that she needed to, as Sharni and Paige dropped after an hour as Liz told the Heroes they have plenty of excess meat they can cut off. Before she and Shonee held the idol arm in arm and skipped out of the jungle.
While in contrast, Paige bitterly whispered to anyone that would listen about it being Sharni that dropped the block, not her. And who cares, you lost?
Back at camp Flick tried to lift everyone’s spirits, congratulating them on fighting so hard while Sharni agreed that when pain comes into it, it is all mental. Everyone split up to start scrambling, with Paige’s approach being to burst into tears to Nina, Flick and Hayley. And while they all tried to make her feel better, they also didn’t care who dropped the block, just that they were going to tribal council. The meat heads meanwhile quickly locked in the vote for the only queer, minority male on the tribe with Sam pretending it is because he is shifty. Which, ugh. They then loudly – and TBH, aggressively – pulled Gerry over, with Sam essentially telling him that he has to vote with them given he is close to the bottom. They locked in Sharni too, though warned her Gerry could be collateral damage should Ben play an idol. While they looped in the rest of the girls on the plan, Sam was shockingly astute enough to be nervous that said plan could easily fall apart.
Hayley caught up with Shaun only to be interrupted by Ben and while they pretended they were keen to get rid of Gerry, Ben knew he was in trouble and got back to hunting. Before finally, FINALLY, jagged the legit hidden immunity idol. And just like that, I can breathe. Sadly for him, it was all caught by Matt. Who immediately took the information back to Sam. Which, eyeroll. The duo then went person to person, telling them this means they should stick to the plan. Sadly when the information got back to Sharni, she only just learnt that it was a confirmed split vote on Gerry and as such, was not on board. Knowing he didn’t exactly want to burn the idol too soon, Ben caught up with Paige, who once again accused Sharni of throwing the immunity challenge. And as such, Ben had some leverage he felt he could use that night.
At tribal council Paige continued to push the narrative that she didn’t drop the block as Sharni started to straight up shoot her daggers while Flick cautioned Paige to hold her tongue. While Sharni calmly spoke about being super comfortable in the challenge, she then pointed out that Paige is playing a blame game when they should have celebrated the fact they made it an hour. While Paige denied blaming Sharni, Ben spoke up and called Paige on her lie and that she straight up accused Sharni of throwing the challenge. When she once again denied it, Ben got up to talk to the returnee females to tell them Paige was right and that they should change the vote from him to Sharni instead. He then flagged it with Shaun, while Sharni spoke about her disappointment about how things are blowing up on her.
Gerry spoke about feeling like he hasn’t had much luck with the Heroes, while Sharni spoke about the fact she has been nothing but honest with everyone and has been upfront about the fact she won’t write Gerry’s name down. Benjamin then pointed out that it is important that honesty and loyalty doesn’t make them naive before making a pitch to the tribe that they are now coming up to an important phase of the game and as such, they need hardened players around to survive further. Meaning this honest, loyal game isn’t really going to serve them any longer.
With that the tribe voted, Ben wisely played his idol – to mine and Hayley’s delight – leaving Sharni to tragically be eliminated. Much to Paige’s shit eating grin and my utter heartbreak for mother. As soon as she arrived at Loser Lodge I pulled her in for a massive hug and shared how disappointed I was that she and Ben ended up on opposite sides of the vote, given Paige would have been such a lovely pre-swap boot. But alas, she always has her successful acting career which I see prospering after she joins the latest Neighbours reboot. Alongside me, of course! Which is what I pitched to her as we smashed a freshly made Sharlami Vinson.
I know, I know – making salami from scratch is a big ask, when it is so easy to buy from the deli. But it is something I encourage everyone to try at least once in their life for a special occasion like a date with Sharns. Spicy, smokey and packed full of flavour, this simple little number is a delight.
Serves: 2 dear friends.
2 tbsp Morton’s Tender Quick Meat Cure
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tbsp black pepper, ground
2 tsp mustard seed, ground
1 tsp chilli powder
3 drops liquid smoke
2kg beef mince
Combine the Morton Cure and salt with two tablespoons of water to dissolve before adding the pepper, mustard seed, chilli and smoke.
In a large bowl, combine the mince with the spicy cure mixture and scrunch with your hands until it has come together.
Pop two long pieces of cling film on the bench and form the meat into a firmly packed cylinder in the middle of each. Tightly wrap with the cling to form a salami shape. Wrap the cylinders in foil before transferring to the fridge to chill for 24 hours to cure.
Once it has adequately cured, preheat the oven to 160C.
Carefully remove the salami from the wrapped and place on a lined baking sheet. Transfer to the oven to bake for about an hour, or until cooked through. Then either allow to cool completely or devour it still warm.
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