Samantha Bellinitines

Drag Race España, Drag Race España 2, Drink, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Drag Race España the dolls put on a little talent show. Though not until after reading each other for filth, where Sharonne destroyed the competition and took out victory. In the talent show, Ariel was there, Samantha was messy and Sharonne was an absolute star. After demolishing both challenges and the runway, Sharonne took out victory while Samantha and Ariel landed in the bottom. And after another wild Samantha lip sync, she managed to save herself while Ariel exited the competition. And my basement became just that little bit less flooded.

Backstage Samantha was gagged to not only have lip synced again but to have survived over Ariel and as such, she was fired up to really shine. Drag Sethlas meanwhile was super gagged that Ariel went out so soon before Diamante interjected to explain that she feels like Samanatha lost the lip sync and that she should have been the one to go instead. Thankfully before it descended into chaos, Onyx cut through the shade and got the dolls to focus on Sharonne’s well deserved victory and led the girls in congratulating her.

The next day the dolls were going a little batty, impersonating animals and living their best lives. Things were still a little awkward between Samantha and Diamante as everyone spoke about how much they missed Ariel (for her cleaning services), before Supremme dropped by to task them with this week’s mini challenge. Where they would do some very quick, quick drag and complete the look with some shower caps. Which made sense when the Pit Crew were wheeled out to creampie them. El Gran Juego de la Loca style. As is oft the case when they are wheeled out, it doesn’t really matter what the queens were doing because the pit crew are muy guapo.

Ultimately though Onyx and Diamante took out victory and while I don’t know how exactly they got there, I do know what they won. As did all of us. While they also got the chance to decide teams in this week’s Maxi Challenge, improv-ing their way through an episode of Putricia’s Diario which seems to be a little like Sally Jesse Raphael. Though obviously far more wild.

As Supremme exited, Onyx and Diamante joined up to go through the scenes and figure out which parts were best slash they should take for themselves. Then surround themselves with the people they wanted, leaving the dregs for the final team. That led to Diamante, Estrella and Sharonne forming one team, Sethlas, Marina, Venedita and Jota Cara formed the dregs group, while Samantha, Juriji and Onyx were the final team. The dolls split up with the two former groups vibing well and very confident in their chances of taking out the win, while Team Onyx worried Diamante would be overshadowed by her loud sisters. While the leftover group were just ready to prove themselves.

The dolls quickly made it to the set to film Putricia’s Diario with Supremme where Diamante was immediately overshadowed by her sisters as they bounced off each other and lived their best lives. Except for when Estrella kept eating raw onion like Tony Abbott. She didn’t live for that. The team of leftovers were strong from start to finish, slapping it out like likeable Will Smiths and being equally camp and demented, just as the challenge required. Though given Venedita got to make out with the Pit Crew, she is the winner in my eyes. Rounding out the show, Samantha was committed and wild as an ageing dominatrix on Team Onyx. While Juriji writhed around in flan – only flans, geddit – Onyx was barking mad and tragically getting scene partners seemed to hurt Smanatha, as she struggled to keep up.

Dia de eliminacion arrived with Diamante happy with her strategy to pick a strong team, knowing it should be enough to keep her safe. Which is not a sentiment echoed by all of the queens who felt she was overshadowed. Before it could blow up the dolls split up to beat their mugs with Jota, Estrella, Marine and Onyx kiki-ing together, with Estrella struggling to buy any of Jota’s stories and well, it is a level of pettiness I live for. Venedita and Sharonne meanwhile were kiki-ing quietly, bonding over how hard they have worked and how much they love their careers. Sharonne opened up about how drag also gave her the flexibility to look after her sick father over the last decade as well and it was a sweet moment and I ship them hard. Oh and I love Sharonne’s dad dying on gay pride. I mean, iconic.

Supremme, Ana and the Javiers were joined by Eduardo Cassanova for my favourite runway theme across all the franchises – Night of 1000 Almodovar’s leading ladies! Drag Sethlas was stunning in a floor length red gown in honour of Tilda Swinton. Estrella chewed up the stage in honour of Kika – prosthetic teeth, get it? – Samantha Ballentines was a camp star in honour of Woman on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. Venedita Von Dash was iconic in honour of Bad Education and honestly, it was perfection from start to finish. Diamante slayed as The Skin I Live In, literally, as she bled all over the stage. Sharonne was a stunning old dame from High Heels, Jota was an avant garde delight in black and red in honour of Kika. Juriji was a perfect vamp as she served Penelope Cruz in Broken Embraces. Marina was a sexy tigress in honour of The Skin I Live In, while Onyx was a bit sloppy as Kika.

Ultimately Sethlas, Juriji, Marina and Onyx were deemed safe and sent backstage to untuck before the judges heaped praise on Estrella for all that she did from the challenge to the runway. Samantha meanwhile was somehow read for filth for not giving enough on the runway, despite looking the best she has looked. Venedita was praised for knocking each and everything out of the park. Diamante meanwhile was read for being overshadowed in the challenge, despite them loving her runway. Sharonne delighted the judges by staying in her runway character, though given how they ate up everything she served this week, it shouldn’t be a shock they loved her. Oh and then Jota was read for filth for getting lost in the challenge and not adapting the look well enough.

Backstage Marina was complaining about her team and the lack of connection she had with them. While Juriji just quietly, calmly took it all. And then lay in some calmly cold reads and ugh, I live for her! Particularly the way she effortlessly made them all giggle mid-fight about Marina’s farting, Marina included, which is iconic. Before Onyx told them to shut up and celebrate being safe. The tops and bottoms returned to the work room where Samantha shared that once again she is bottom while Diamante knew she would be the one facing off against her. Jota meanwhile admitted her team was a mess before they all put it to bed by having a drink.

Ultimately Venedita took out her first victory of the season before Sharonne and Estrella were sent to safety. When it came to the bottoms, it was Diamante that narrowly avoided lip syncing leaving Jota to face off against the undefeated lip sync assassin Samantha Ballentines. But as soon as Un año de amor by Luz Casal started, it was Jota’s spot to lose as she leant into all the emotion and hit every lyric. While Samantha gave us calm, muted comedy and was as iconic as usual, Jota pulled a Sasha Velour and flooded the stage with roses and honestly, had the judges feeling all the feels they were straight up crying. As such, Jota lived to fight another day while the iconic Samantha was finally felled.

Backstage Samantha was as upbeat and charming as she usually is, even before I praised her for such an iconic run, Despite her track record. There is no denying that Samanatha left her mark on the competition and her brand of silliness will truly be missed. And when we have that feeling, there will always be room for a Samantha Bellinitines or two!

I know I have the reputation for sucking alcohol out of a deodorant, but this drink it straight up the greatest thing. Even before it dulls all of your pains. The sweetness from the peach mix with the fizziness of the sparkling to sooth the soul and make everything alright.

Enjoy!

Samantha Bellinitines
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
4 peaches, peeled and pitted
1 tbsp sugar syrup 
2 cups sparkling wine

Method
Pop the peaches in a blender and blitz with the sugar syrup for a minute or to before straining into a bottle and chilling for an hour or so.

When you’re ready to drank, pour 1 tbsp of puree into a champagne flute and top with sparkling. Down and repeat until buzzed. Or satiated.


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Jenny Pimm’s Punch

Drink, Survivor, Survivor 42, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor Ika were coming to terms with voting out Zach at their first tribal council. Though their pain or concerns or guilt were nothing compared to how Maryanne was feeling, who upon discovering Zach had been booted, opened up about her passionate love for him. While Jeff waited to explain the challenge, she regaled everyone with a tale about how he is essentially every skinny white guy she has ever loved and it when they locked eyes on the beach, she dared to dream that she may get the win and the guy. Sadly it didn’t translate into winning the immunity challenge as Taku lost, went to tribal council and booted Marya from the game. Thankfully keeping Zach and Maryanne from falling in love too soon.

The next day the Taku tribe were feeling good to have voted together and to be able to stay united, though Lindsay was nervous about the fact Maryanne had an extra vote. Well, unless they use it for the advantage of their alliance. The group then went for a group idol hunt, with Queen Maryanne stumbling across the Beware Advantage too. While she was nervous about the risk, she assured us that she would rather go down in flames than not take any and all advantages that come her way. That being said, she was terrified by the thought of not having a vote until the idol is activated.

Over at Vati Daniel lost his shoes, while Hai and Lydia read him for filth for being so hapless. Daniel reminded us that the tribe is split up into two loyal duos, with him and Chanelle stuck in the middle as another duo by default. Daniel dropped by the Jenny and Mike duo, with Daniel asking for another chance to read Mike’s idol note to confirm the fine print. And upon discovering the fact voting out Mike won’t get rid of all the idols, he decided to not take a shot at Mike and then returned everything to Mike. Well, after losing the idol and joining together to retrace his steps and find it while Mike just tried to stay calm and not cuss him out.

The tribes reconnected with Probst where Maryanne creatively made up her favourite story about the bunny in the mailbox to explain why she will continue to say her phrase every damn week until her idol is activated. But back to the immunity challenge where the tribes would collect a ladder from the ocean floor, use the ladder to collect a key and then retrieve sandbags which they have to land on five ledges. First to win getting a toolkit and fruit to sweeten the deal, with second getting some fruit in addition to their safety. 

As soon as the challenge started the surf went absolutely wild, with Jonathan straight up swimming his tribemates back as they veered off course. Vati and Ika both struggled to even make it to their buoys, with Taku only surviving thanks to the sheer heroics of Jonathan who single handedly released their ladder and carried it to the pole before swimming off to collect his tribemates once again before pulling even further ahead. Ika eventually released their ladder, though they were quickly swept off course. Jonathan straight up landed each of his sandbags and won immunity for Taku before Probst decided to press pause on the challenge before someone drowned. For the first time in history, Probst decided that they would be skipping the key portion of the challenge and as such, the last two tribes would fight it out at landing sandbags only.

After receiving their keys, the exhausted tribes raced to collect said sandbags and while Hai landed Vati’s first, Rocksroy evened things up. He then got his eye in and continued to land them back to back leaving him and Mike to fight to land the final bag before Drea and Chanelle switched in, with Drea narrowly eking out the win and sending Vati to their first tribal council. Before sending everyone off, Probst singled out Jonathan for his rightly dominating performance. Oh and he then gagged Taku with the chance to send someone on a summit, opting for Chanelle and their very own Omar.

Back at Vati, Jenny was nervous about Chanelle risking her vote and potentially making their 4-2 majority a 2-2 tie. Jenny and Mike quickly locked in their votes, well Jenny’s vote, for Lydia while Daniel caught up with Lydia and Hai, with that duo locking in the vote for Jenny. While Hai was nervous about trusting Daniel, he was confident he would be on the right side of the numbers. Daniel dropped by Mike and Jenny and assured them that he will be voting with them, despite being very nervous about the fact they only have a vote between them. Meaning they are very much relying on Chanelle to play it safe.

Speaking of Chanelle, she and Omar were bonding on their trek and vowing not to screw each other over with their choices with Chanelle particularly reiterating the fact she can not afford to lose her vote at the upcoming tribal. Though both of them continued to say they’d love to take an advantage, which ended up with both of them losing their votes.

We dropped back to Vati where Daniel assured Lydia that while Mike and Jenny pitched for him to join her, she had nothing to worry about. Which is far less committal than what he told Jenny. Daniel was walking on the shore as Chanelle returned with the latter quickly admitting she may be without a vote and as such, they needed to convince Hai to split the votes on Jenny and Mike to navigate around her potential lack of vote. But given she is normally calm, her paranoia made Hai nervous and he began to question her motivation.

At tribal council Hai sassed Probst out for not giving any of them rice to start the game with while Chanelle lied about playing it safe on her journey, rather than taking a risk. Which is exactly what she did. Hai was confident that while there would be a line drawn in the sand tonight, he is sure they will be able to come back together as a tribe. Oh and then Daniel opened up about being in a constant state of panic, admitting that Chanelle and Mike calm him down. Which made Hai very, very nervous. He then straight up saw Chanelle mouth Lydia’s name to Daniel, while Jenny was talking about her own nerves because there is always the chance people don’t believe she is telling the truth about her journey.

With that the tribe voted where Chanelle learnt that she had lost her vote, resulting in a 2-2 vote between Lydia and Jenny. Probst then announced that there were no more votes in the urn and as such, everyone but Jenny and Lydia would vote again for one of the duo. Which again, came back as a tie. This meant that those people that voted had to come up with a unanimous decision about who goes home and since Mike and Chanelle didn’t vote, their opinions did not matter and the other two would need to make a decision. And if they couldn’t, Lydia and Jenny would be immune and the rest would draw rocks.

Daniel opened things up by saying that he desperately wants to avoid drawing rocks, before trying to blame his vote solely on Chanelle. Which irked both Chanelle and Mike. Mike tried to implore them to make a decision and go back to camp as a strong five, with Hai admitting that he will not be budging from Lydia and would prefer to draw rocks. Daniel continued to throw Chanelle under the bus and completely blew up their alliance, before Hai and Lydia convinced him to flip and save Lydia, changing his vote to tragically boot the iconic Jenny from the game. And honestly, dooming his own.

As Jenny arrived at Loser Lodge, she was obviously disappointed to go out due to a series of errors made by those in her alliance. Particularly when she could have convinced everyone to turn on Daniel and not only keep a 3-2 majority, but also keep the appearances of them being united. Thankfully, I was able to wheel out my old ‘at least you went out during an iconic tribal’ line and as such, she quickly perked up. Though how could you not, when downing some Jenny Pimms Punch with a dear friend.

Pimms Punch is arguably the most delicious, refreshing drink. Picture it, outside on a cool summer afternoon watching the sunset, with a sweet, warming Pimms in your hand. It. Is. PERFECT.

Enjoy!

Jenny Pimm’s Punch
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
2 cups Pimm’s
3 cups lemonade, chilled
3 cups dry ginger ale, chilled
½ cup mint, washed and roughly torn
1 lebanese cucumber, halved and sliced
1 orange, sliced
200g strawberries, halved
4 cups ice

Method
Combine everything in a jug. Stir. Down.


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Jasmine Kennedie

Drink, RuPaul's Drag Race, RuPaul's Drag Race 14, TV, TV Recap

Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race the dolls went back to the ‘60s in honour of the iconic girl groups of the era. As she could not sing any damn notes, at all, Jasmine was focused on remembering the choreography while the iconic Kerri was read for only serving looks. And for being too damn churchy. Despite Bosco and Willow slaying the game, Daya took out the win – after straight up refusing to do any other song. While the rest of the queens were shocked DeJa was in the top, rather than the bottom it was Jasmine and Kerri that landed in the bottom. And despite turning a show, Jasmine won the lip sync and sweet, iconic Kerri went home.

Backstage Jasmine was relieved to still be in the competition though was heartbroken it came at the cost of Kerri, who inspired her to finally live her truth. She opened up to her sisters about how much of a fan she was of Kerri prior to the show, with Bosco trying to remind her it is a competition and sending people home is something they have to do to move on. The dolls sat down and congratulated Daya on her victory with Angeria trying to downplay her bitchiness, while Daya reiterated she is competitive but is sorry she has come down as pretty awful. While Willow admitted she was just glad nobody realised how competitive she is too. Bosco admitted that the safe girls through DeJa was going to be in the bottom, leading to DeJa desperate to finally get a win and to prove herself.

The next day Ru dropped by almost immediately to put the girls through their paces photobombing some famous menzeses. Daya was up first trying to fist Lil Nas X, Angeria was hilarious as she tried to get Becks, Camden spanked Borat, Willow was a demented Marie Lou Redden on Jack Gyllenhaal’s dog. Bosco, Gorgeous and Jasmine were all good in their pics while DeJa was unhinged trying to finger bang Shawn Mendes. But obviously none of it mattered as Willow was head-stand and shoulders above the rest.

Ru then announced that for this week’s Maxi Challenge, the dolls would be split into two groups to discuss men on duelling Drag Con Panels. And as the winner of the Mini Challenge, Willow was able to select her group, immediately picking DeJa, Angeria and Camden. Leaving Bosco to be stuck with Jasmine, Jorgeous and Daya. The latter of whom was enraged, yet again, to be stuck with her team.

The groups split up to get to work with Willow suggesting DeJa should be the A-Team’s moderator, before Angeria asked whether the panel was meant to be in character or if they should show themselves, with Willow encouraging her to think of it as chatting with her friends. Team Leftovers started by teaching Jorgeous what the word moderator meant before Jasmine requested to be the moderator, which annoyed the hell out of Daya. Obviously. She tried to dance around the fact she thought it was a bad idea, instead asking if Bosco thinks she, Bosco, would be better. Essentially jumping on her with Jorgeous as soon as Bosco said she’d be interested in doing it, with Jasmine admitting its probs for the best. Bless.

Ru dropped by to chat with the dolls, with Team Willow opening up about talking about their fathers as it is a universal topic for them. DeJa opened up early, talking about not being in touch with her father. Angeria admitted she had done a panel before in a pageant and while she lost, it taught her to not waste time and to get to the point. Ru encouraged them to think it is like kiki-ing with your friends – good job Willow! – though was worried that Camden wasn’t believing in herself. Team Bosco mainly focused on the tensions between Daya and Jasmine, with Ru asking Jasmine how she intends to make sure everyone gets a turn in the spotlight. While Ru encouraged them to really open up with each other and find the stories that pack the most punch, Bosco was reminded they need to keep it funny.

Elimination Day arrived with the dolls getting ready for their panels with Team Bosco feeling more confident in their plan thanks to their rehearsal. Camden meanwhile was thinking she would look just like her mother on the panel, while DeJa was happy that Willow chose her in the team because she had been wanting to get a chance to work with her. While Camden was narrating her own nature doco, Willow let rip an epic burp and freed Angeria of Camden’s watchful eye.

Ru, Michelle and Carson were joined on their panel by Nicole Byer for the Dragcon Panels with DeJa opening the show looking like a dream and super confident. All in all the group were fun, bouncing off each other well and being oh so charming. Willow was hilarious, Angeria was cute and fun while poor Camden worried about her performance, though honestly, confusing Blake Shelton for Blake Lively was comedic gold. When they turned to talking about their fathers, all the dolls gave a lot of heart and honestly, it was really great to see. 

When it came to the other team, Bosco was far and away the star of the show, hilarious from start to finish giving one liner after one liner and ugh, it was fun. Jasmine tried her best to avoid going off on tangents, Jorgeous was cute and fun – though clearly nervous – while Daya lit up when it came to talk about the men of WWE though beyond that, she was just there, while Bosco slayed.

On the Shoulder Pad runway DeJa looked perfect as a footballer in Chanel, Camden was adorable as a sexy nutcracker, Willow was a punky CEO from the future, Angeria was a perfect houndstooth harlequin. Bosco was stunning in a sexy raincoat over a metalic stripper outfit, while Jorgeous was shimmering in blue though not really giving shoulder pads, moreso puffs while Jasmine was sexy in a lime neon jumpsuit. And Daya looked like an extra from Mad Mex, the Mad Max dinner theatre that serves solely Mexican food.

After Angeria and Camden were sent to safety, DeJa received universal praise for being a warm and effective host, though Michelle wanted her to be a little looser. Oh and she looked a million bucks on the runway. Willow was read for not giving enough shoulder pad on the runway though they lived for everything she did on the panel. Michelle read Bosco’s look for being a little basic, though everyone lived for how she slayed the game on the panel. Jorgeous was read for being more puff than pads (told ya) and for being in her head on the panel. Jasmine received universal praise for her look, though was read for blending into the crowd in the panel despite looking like magician Nancy Reagan, the throat GOAT. And then Daya was praised for being there.

Backstage Angeria and Camden quickly speculated who they felt would be in the top and bottom, with Angeria immediately locking in the correct placements and speculating DeJa may finally take out a win after her strong week. Though they lived for how wise Willow was and generally feeling like Bosco was just an absolute star. While kiki-ing about the fact it was now at the point of nitpicking, the tops and bottoms joined them with Jasmine quickly admitting she is in the bottom though was ready to just prep for the lip sync.

Poor Jorgeous started to break down about being in the bottom too, wanting to prove she could apply what the judges have been trying to tell her. As the girls rallied around her, they reminded her the judges just want the best for her. Oh and then Daya admitted that she gets why she was in the bottom because the rest were all strong. After Willow opened up about her father’s death, Angeria’s parents popped up on screen and well, they were absolutely adorable as was Angeria’s reaction and how happy her sisters looked for her. Angeria congratulated Bosco and DeJa for being such stars as the moderators, with Jorgeous grateful Bosco forced her to open up on the mainstage. While Jasmine was just glad the team talked her out of being their moderator. Nicole joined them for a chat and ugh, it was super cute and honestly, is Nicole the greatest person to grace the planet?

The dolls returned to the mainstage where Bosco took out another very well deserved victory while Willow and DeJa were sent to safety, with Daya narrowly avoiding the lip sync leaving the assassins to face off to Something’s Gotta Hold on Me by Etta James. And well, they sure did put on a show! Kicking and flipping around the stage, they were fun and fierce and well it was the best. They bounced off each other and worked together to charm the judges before Jasmine straight up did the splits every four counts and well, it was perfect. Earning them a very well deserved double shantay.

Backstage Jasmine and Jorgeous were feeling their oats, thrilled to have turned a show for the queens and still be stuck at the top eight. Which obviously annoyed the embodiment of saltiness, Daya. Which Jasmine admitted only made her feel better, given she is looking forward to lip syncing against anyone and sending them home. After the dolls praised Bosco for her win, DeJa opened up about how frustrating it has been to be so close to so many wins but admitted she is still proud of Bosco. While Bosco worried that they’ve done so well, that it is hard to meet Ru’s growing expectations.

The next day Ru arrived and cut off Jasmine mid-stream to task the dolls with a little mini challenge where they pulled together a cute little outfit made out of bubble wrap. Jorgeous was a sexy, skanky mess, Camden looked like drunk lady at the end of the races, Angeria gave full glamour – of course – Willow was a sexy pool noodle, Daya Betty scared me, DeJa was an 80s delight, Bosco was a red hot dominatrix rocker and Jasmine was a demented delight. While Angeria was full glamour, it was Bosco that took out victory before Ru gagged the queens with the news that they would finally be playing the snatch game.

Everyone was a mix of excited and terrified as they quickly split up to prep their characters with Camden playing William Shakespeare, Willow locked in Drew Barrymore and Bosco would be Gooping it up as Gwyneth Paltrow. Ru dropped by to kiki with the queens with Jorgeous doing Ilana Glazer as Ilana in Broad City. Despite Ru trying to push her into Aubrey Plaza. Daya locked in Ru’s sweetheart Ozzy Osbourne, though admitted she is very nervous despite the fact she can hide behind Ozzy’s stumbling, rambling demeanour. Angeria is doing the icon herself, Tammie Brown and damn she was excited to walk the children in nature. Jasmine is playing devil incarnate Betsy DeVos, DeJa is going with Lil Jon, while Camden was going to mock herself as William Shakespeare. Though will make it Joanna Lumley.

The queens joined Ru for Snatch Game, with contestants Dove Cameron and the iconic Raven. Camden started strong, Jasmine was boring despite trying hard, Angeria was hilarious, Jorgeous was just bad bad bad – but so cute. While Willow’s Drew accent was on point, but just struggled while DeJa was demented from the start. Bosco’s Gwyneth was so stoned she had no energy while Daya sadly started strong. Then it all turned to shit as only DeJa continued to get consistent laughs, along with Raven and Dove while the rest just fell flat, flatter and flattest. While Raven looked ready to jump up and slap them all.

Though at least they could tell they were bombing and becoming DeJa’s extras, which helps?

Elimination Day arrived with DeJa thrilled to know she clearly is going to win, given everyone else sucked. Jorgeous meanwhile was prepared to lip sync again, while Bosco agreed that she felt she bombed. Daya asked Jorgeous who she thought she’d be lip syncing against, with her thinking it would either be Willow or Jasmine. Willow and Angeria meanwhile were trying to process the collective of bombs, while the former tried to focus on her runway which she is her favourite given she will be celebrating mushrooms, thanks to her passion for fungus.

Dove Cameron joined Ru, Michelle and Carson on the judges panel as the queens tried for rudemption on the Holy Couture runway. DeJa was a mess, serving Joan (Jett) of Arc which made the look a little better. Jasmine was stunning serving Gemini realness with a reveal, Angeria was a Southern Belle at church, Willow was dementedly stunning as a bleeding fungus, Daya was a mess as Cruella de Vil does Madonna does Lady Gaga. in a wedding gown, literally falling to her knees on the runway. Though unlike Camden, accidentally. Jorgeous was a stunning green Pope complete with a blunt, Camden was a jumble of the Spice Girls while Bosco was the sluttiest nun in the best way possible. 

Michelle interrupted proceedings to reiterate how great the dolls have been this season, though was super confused about what happened on Snatch Game. DeJa meanwhile was praised for being the only funny person on the panel and for looking a million bucks. Jasmine was praised for the choice of Betsy DeVos, though read for not bringing anything funny despite looking stunning on the runway. Angeria recieved universal praise for the runway though was read for making an entertaining queen one note, despite having fun. Willow was praised for giving Drew, though read for being absolutely boring. Obviously they lived for the runway though. Daya was read for doing everything people would expect, while the judges loved Jorgeous’ runway though hated her bland Snatch Game. Camden’s runway was read for being basic and off theme, while her Snatch Game performance was there and that is about it. Bosco’s runway meanwhile was beloved, though they felt she got in her own way as Gwyneth.

Backstage DeJa was obviously thrilled to be edging closer and closer to a win, unless of course, Ru and Michelle opt to go without a winner for the second time after UK. While her sisters were disappointed in themselves, they were proud of her performance and for her finally taking out victory. Camden joked about more than two people lip syncing, with Willow telling her to shut up before she jinxed them all. Everyone channelled Michelle and tried to figure out what exactly went wrong with the challenge, while Jasmine flitted around in the background to get out of her outfit and prep for the lip sync.

As Jorgeous opened up about being completely exhausted, her family popped up on screen to give her a pep talk and ugh, I love them all. Particularly her smoking hot grandma! With that, she immediately started to break down, sobbing over how much she misses them while her sisters rallied around her and reminded her that she needs to love herself. While Bosco just desperately wanted to get Jorgeous’ brother’s number. Angeria tried to distract everyone and ask if they had fun and while a few of them did, Angeria admitted that while she had fun she normally doesn’t and as such, she should stop enjoying herself if she wants to make it to the end. Willow then realised that she jinxed them, given she predicted there would be a challenge everyone bombs back in the Daytona Wind.

Dove Cameron dropped by to see how the dolls were feeling, with Jasmine ready to show her how great she is at lip syncing. Before Dove encouraged everyone to embrace delusion like Jasmine, given she lives for ignoring reality herself.

Obviously DeJa took out victory before Ru gagged the rest of the dolls with the fact that they’re all in the bottom and as such, would be facing off in a lip-sync lalaparuza smackdown for survival. Backstage things were tense for everyone not called DeJa, with Bosco ashamed of them all while Jasmine was confused, and on brand, Daya was enraged and ready to take it out on Jasmine. Daya felt her performance was safe and as such, was annoyed that she has to lip sync against them when they’ve been consistently mediocre the last few weeks. Ignoring the fact that she was eliminated in week two and brought back through no merit process at all. Thankfully Jasmine did not care, given she knows she can turn a show and ugh, I need her to send Daya home.

The next day the dolls quickly split up to get in their best lip syncing attire, while DeJa was living her best life beating her mug and getting glammed up for her time in the audience. Camden meanwhile was heeding the warning from Ru, and ready to turn it out while Angeria and Willow discussed their strategy with Angeria assuring us that she will be doing the park and bark, which is as iconic as it sounds. Daya meanwhile was stirring the pot, telling Bosco that she knew she was angry about the bottom seven too however Bosco shut it down and assured her she was disappointed in herself and that’s it. But trust and believe, she will turn out a show.

While Willow worried that Bosco was too nervous to do herself justice, Daya just shared she doesn’t want to do anything against Jorgeous and Jasmine because she can not do what they do. DeJa meanwhile was living it up speculating about the structure of the battle, making her sisters more and more annoyed/nervous. Jasmine asked Daya why she says ‘no offence’ before being a bitch, with Daya admitting she is just opening up about her fears or stresses. While Jasmine questioned whether maybe she just does it so she doesn’t have to listen to other people’s opinions. Oh and Camden was a mixture of excitement and terrified, while Jorgeous was ready to dominate anyone and everyone.

It was just family on the judges panel as Ru, Michelle, Carson and Ross lined up to witness the lip sync lalaparuza smackdown. After learning the rules, DeJa was sent backstage to chill out and watch the show unfold. The Pit Crew was wheeled out to pick a ball, coming up with Jasmine Kennedie who was then given the opportunity to select her opponent, hilariously going with Daya. Which in turn meant Daya was given the power to select the song, going with Respect by Aretha Franklin. While it pains me to admit it, Daya did a very good job. Both lip syncing AND standing in front of Jasmine at every opportunity so the judges couldn’t see her. Which proved a winning strategy as she was sent to join DeJa backstage while Jasmine was left to fight another round.

Willow was next to have her ball drawn, who in turn chose to face off against Bosco as she hoped she would pick a song she’d like to do, rather than wanting to eliminate her. Bosco then selected for them to lip sync to Never Too Much by Luther Vandros. Just as Willow wanted, and well, clever girl! Willow focused on the emotion of the song, while Bosco served 100% sex and while both of them slayed the game, Willow’s strategy proved a winning one as she took out victory. Given the last three would be lip syncing against each other no matter what, the Pit Crew pulled a ball to decide who would select the song with Jorgeous, obviously, selecting Radio by Beyonce. And then demolishing Camden and Angeria, saving herself and sending the duo through to round two.

Lady Camden was the first ball out of the cage for the second round, settling on Bosco who in turn chose for them to lip sync to Don’t Let Go by En Vogue as Bosco was hoping to avoid any possible stuntery from Camden. Sadly for her, Camden can still turn a show without stunts and as such, took out victory and sent Bosco through to the final round. Angeria and Jasmine then took the stage to battle to the remaining song, Love Don’t Cost A Thing by J-Lo and well, it was a SHOW. Jasmine was doing her usual fierce schtick, while Angeria was living her best life and pulled all the focus and as such, took out victory.

Bosco joined Jasmine on stage for the final lip sync of the evening where Ru gooped them with the news they’d be facing off to my dear Diana Ross’ Swept Away for survival. And damn, did the dolls fight! Despite of – or because of – it being their third lip sync of the evening, both of the dolls had an epic fire within themselves as the served camp and emotion and while Jasmine slayed THAT too, Bosco rightly took out victory and saved herself while the iconic Miss Kennedie, Alyssa Edwards Jr was finally felled.

Backstage Jasmine was disappointed to have been eliminated, sure, but was also proud of her growth throughout the season. And for showing how talented she is. And for coming into the woman she has always been. Aka Jasmine had an epic journey this season and while Daya wasn’t feeling her, I lived for how entertaining and goofy she was and as such, toasted her inevitable All Stars crown with a delicious Jasmine Kennedie!

A little bitter – just to remind her of Daya – spicy and sweet, this take on a Jasmine Cocktail (yes, I struggled to shoe-horn a name) is the perfect way to kick off your evening.

Enjoy!

Jasmine Kennedie
Serves: 1.

Ingredients
ice
3 tbsp gin
1 tbsp select aperitivo
1 ½ tsp triple sec
2 tbsp lemon juice
a dash of sugar syrup
twist of lemon, to serve

Method
Half fill an old-fashioned glass with ice before adding the gin, aperitivo, triple sec, lemon juice and syrup.

Stir, add a twist of lemon and down. Then repeat as required/appropriate.


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French Maryatini Sherron

Drink, Survivor, Survivor 42, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, 18 new castaways joined Jeffrey in Fiji for another fun season of phrases, risk and tricks. Most importantly, we met Maryanne, the sweetest, most energetic person to ever set foot on the island. After Jackson was sadly medically evacuated prior to the first immunity challenge, the three tribes battled it out with Ika sadly losing after botching the puzzle. Back at camp, chaos erupted as Zach and Romeo formed a skinny bros alliance, Romeo also joined up with Drea and Rocks, while Rocks aligned with Swati. Knowing he was on the block, Zach played his shot in the dark however tragically it didn’t save him as the tribe banded together to boot him for the game.

We returned to Ika where the tribe were thrilled to still have fire despite their lack of flint, while Romeo was heartbroken to have lost his fellow skinny bro. He was thankful however that Tori had been lulled into a false sense of security after they saved her, making her an easy target for the future. She meanwhile opened up to us about the fact that part of her was disappointed to have lost Zach at tribal council and to not be the one out of the game sleeping in a real bed, which made her worry about her own strength to stick things out.

The next day Jenny and Chanelle from Vati went hunting for something to eat when they stumbled upon a crab and well, neither of them were confident in their survival abilities. Or sure how to pick them up. Though bless Chanelle, if no one else was going to step up, she was willing to and as such, she snatched it and whipped up a New Orleans style boil. Well, except for Hai, who was struggling with her veganism and was unsure how he would be able to sustain himself without hurting his core beliefs. Eventually he reckoned with the fact he needed to eat and as such, hoped to one day be able to forgive himself. Which I hope he did, very quickly.

We checked in with Taku where Maryanne was living her best life swinging around the machete and entertaining the tribe. While they were also kinda struggling with the fact her calmest level was at a casual 100%. Omar opened up to the tribe about being a Muslim, sharing that he would be going off to do prayers from time to time and as such, he isn’t looking for an idol. Then Maryanne weaved him a prayer mat and ugh, I love her so much and this is just perfect. Particularly because Jonathan offered to teach him about christianity if he teaches him about being a Muslim and ugh, Taku is just so kind and sweet.

Back at Ika meanwhile, it was all about the game as Drea was thrilled to have her extra vote. And already willing to drop her alliance with Rocks and Romeo, and instead, wanted to form an all female alliance. While Tori and Swati obviously agreed to the plan to her face, they instead realised that targeting Drea would be in all of their best interests, given she is so good at pulling people in.

We checked back in with Vati where Mike was collecting firewood while desperately hunting for an idol before he straight up discovered the beware idol, meaning we learnt the first of the three weird activation phrases. And Mike would be waiting voteless until the other idols were found. Back at Taku Jonathan and Omar continued to grow their bromance, with this time Jonathan coaching Omar in cutting up coconuts before he straight up started making Omar friendship bracelets and AGAIN, I love and ship them. Jonathan was meanwhile living for everyone in the tribe, though admitted he was struggling to bond with Marya. And just like that, she opened up about how she was playing the game for her brother who was the first healthcare worker to die of COVID in the US and ugh, I love that she is playing the game for his memory and well, let’s hand all of Taku a tied win.

Mike meanwhile was busy locking in allies with his new found idol, opening up to his existing pal Jenny before he pulled Daniel aside to loop him in too. Sadly for Mike, however, he buried his idol in the middle of the jungle but couldn’t remember where. Thankfully he and Daniel eventually found it, with him suggesting Mike shouldn’t say the phrase until the other tribes say there’s so that he can maintain an air of mystery. Daniel then immediately told Chanelle and shared he never wants the idol activated and planned to keep Mike from getting his vote back. And worst case, would be willing to vote him out instead.

The tribes caught up with my love Probst before Maryanne opened up about a love of her own, Zach, who is every white guy she has ever loved. And oh my god, can she do what Billy couldn’t in Cook Islands?

After a pep talk about holding out for love, Jeff told the tribes that to snag immunity they would each have a single caller with the rest of their tribemates blindfolded to collect puzzle pieces and then solve it. Oh and first and second place would also get fishing gear. Drea, Lydia and Jonathan were callers for each of their tribes and well, honestly, it was hard to figure out what was happening at any given moment. Vati got their first two bags back-to-back with Ika and Taku getting only their first soon after. Vati then completely dropped out of it while the other tribes powered ahead. Eventually they all caught up at the puzzle – which yes,  often happens – before Taku started to struggle while Vati absolutely dominated again and snagged the first immunity challenge before Ika narrowly secured the second, sending Taku to tribal council.

Back at camp Jonathan and Omar pledged their undying loyalty to each other before quickly locking in the target on Marya and Maryanne before debating who makes the most sense. While Maryanne is more of a long term threat, both of them agreed that she was more helpful in challenges at the moment and as such, is more valuable to them. While Jonathan assured Maryanne they definitely weren’t voting her out, Omar and Lindsay were assuring Marya that she is not the target. Though maybe not well enough as she assured us that she would be playing her shot in the dark just in case. While Maryanne was trusting Jonathan, she was still nervous and as such, went hunting for an idol anyway.

Before quickly getting caught by Lindsay and Marya.

At tribal council Omar spoke about how exciting it was to be in tribal council, though was heartbroken to be voting out a member of their family. Marya agreed they’ve all opened up to each other and are bonded for life, while Omar admitted that given they are close, the shot in the dark makes him nervous. Jonathan spoke about how the tribe needs strength, but admitted that strength is varied and as such, they need a mix to move forward. Lindsay spoke about battling her own paranoia while Maryanne was concerned about which plan to go with given any number of Shot in the Darks could be played. And while she loves Zach, she doesn’t want to join him in Ponderosa just yet.

She then regaled Probst and the tribe with a tale of her love with Zach and how it will be discussed at the reunion. Ideally, when they get engaged. While everyone smiled, Marya was stuck in her nerves and opened up about coming to the game for the journey and to finally put herself first and not be a mum over Marya. With that the tribe voted and love will have to wait another day, as while Marya played her Shot in the Dark, it didn’t bring her safety and instead, she was booted from the game. Hopefully to tell Zach that Maryanne is single and READY to mingle.

Before she could get to him, I pulled her aside and congratulated her on being so open and kind during her short journey. While she didn’t end up burying her necklace on the island in honour of her brother, she was ultimately proud of herself and what she did manage to achieve in her short time on the island. She was also very proud of being able to join me for a drink, specifically a French Maryatini Sherron or three.

There is something so gloriously delicious about a French Martini, which is made all the more sweet by the fact it is super easy to make. The sweetness of the Chambord and the light tang of the pineapple work together to give you a freshly, elegant drink.

Enjoy!

French Maryatini Sherron
Serves: 1.

Ingredients
40 ml vodka
20 ml Chambord 
60 ml pineapple juice
ice
raspberries, to garnish

Method
Pop the vodka, Chambord and pineapple juice in a cocktail shaker over ice, close and shake vigorously for a minute or so. Or until foamy.

Strain into a martini glass. Top with a few raspberries and then down.


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Amy Melong Ball

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Blood V Water, Drink, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor Nina struggled with her guilt after joining her alliance to get rid of her mother, though was emotionally getting ready to take absolute control of the game. The Blood tribe dominated the next immunity challenge – why couldn’t this challenge have been an episode earlier?! – sending the new Water tribe to tribal council. And Sophie into paranoia mode as she spent the afternoon stressing out about Sam voting her out again and hunting for an idol. This sadly led to her sister KJ breaking down given she was quickly becoming more and more at risk of becoming collateral damage amongst her chaos. After Sam and Sophie got into a(nother) massive fight at tribal, we learnt Sophie didn’t actually find an idol and as such she was voted out for good. This time by her own sister.

Back at camp KJ was sad to have voted out her little sister, though the tribe kindly rallied around her to make sure she was ok before she quietly cried by the fire, vowing to make her sister proud. And well, we need to protect KJ at all costs because she is one of the sweetest, kindest people to grace the planet.

The next day things were far more chill as the tribe snuggled together and bonded, with KJ feeling relaxed now that she only has to worry about herself. Sam meanwhile was worried about what sort of a relationship she could have with KJ moving forward before she caught up with Chrissy, who suggested Michelle and KJ should be the next two to go. So maybe she won’t have to worry if Chrissy gets her way. Either way Sam didn’t appear to be sold on the idea before she moved on to Khanh in the water, who admitted he was kind of shocked he wasn’t blindsided at the last tribal council given it would have been the perfect cover for them to use. Sam opened up to us about loving Khanh and enjoying working with him, though admitted she wasn’t sure if he and his idol would end up being an asset or a curse for her game.

Meanwhile over at Blood, Nina and Jordan were swapping war stories while poor Amy was just feeling left right out, unsure how to read any of the relationships in the new tribe and missing the good old days. Like when Sandra was here, I assume. She had a quick chat with Mark about relationships on Blood, with Amy disappointed that her relationship with Jordan had changed now that his cousin was around. Speaking of Josh, we finally heard from him and learnt he was loving being reunited with his cousin, despite how much of a target it puts on their backs. We also finally got his backstory and learnt about him being a pilot, which would have been useful information before Jonathan ran his mouth about his profession every damn challenge.

Josh realised that he couldn’t rely solely on his cousin however, so approached Nina about firmly up their alliance. Which she was happy with. For now.

The tribes met up with Jonathan for the latest reward challenge where they would face off, two by two, on a pontoon where one person from each tribe would have to try and pull a pole through a knot to knock their rival off the edge. With the first tribe to three getting a feast of fish and chips, which had Chrissy speechless, which is a feat in itself. Mark and Croc were first to battle trying to knock off Jordie and Jesse, and since Jordie got Sandra out, I look forward to him going into the drink. Which tragically meant Mark saved him and took out the first round for Blood. Sam and Chrissy were up next against Shay and Mel, with Nina and Mark assuring Mel to just hold firm until Chrissy tires. Which didn’t happen as her fire for food was enough to send Shay into the water and tie things up. 

KJ and Ben were up next against Amy and Josh with the newly introduced pilot besting Ben out of nowhere, despite the latter’s prowess at furiously pulling on his pole. From Jonathan’s mouth to my ears! Josh and Jordan teamed up against Khanh and Croc in the next round with Jordan narrowly taking out victory for Blood after a very hard fought battle before poor Croc lost his grip. Much to his absolute dismay.

Back at camp the Blood tribe were delighted to find their bountiful feast of fish and chips, despite the fact I hate the idea of salad also being brought into the equation. We then learnt that Shay had been vegan for over six years but recently started eating fish again and as such, she was pumped to eat anything and everything in sight. Cutlery be damned. Jordie meanwhile was smashing lemons, while Josh was busy stressing about Mel’s bond with Mark given she isn’t as strong as other people. And he just doesn’t really click with her. Oh and then we got a bunch of flight puns and while I normally live for a pun, I wasn’t feeling it because I live in hope we’ll one day meet the twins.

We then ventured back to the Water tribe with Chrissy frustrated to still have an empty, ever shrinking belly. She opened up to Croc about how exhausted she is and how much she is missing her babies and ugh, watching her hold back tears was difficult. Khanh noticed how everyone was feeling down, sharing with us that he didn’t really care about missing out on the food given all he cares about is immunity. Oh and when you start losing rewards, you see who is really struggling with their emotions and as such, it paints a target on other people’s backs. Chrissy meanwhile tried to get Ben to believe in himself, rather than treating himself so harshly whenever he loses. While Khanh and Sam floated the idea of going after him at the earliest convenience because of his post-loss mood.

And please Khanh, don’t make me lose one of my speedo zaddies so soon!

The tribes reunited with Jonathan in the middle of the bush for the next immunity challenge where the tribes would have to walk through a floating obstacle one at a time carrying a spool before stacking them on the end of the apparatus. With the first tribe to balance all of their spools taking out victory. Amy quickly whipped through the course for the Blood tribe while Michelle took the slow and steady approach for Water. Sam quickly tried to close the gap with Shay and from there, everything appeared to be pretty even until Jordie placed his spool off centre, leading to Jordan almost knocking off their stack and having to wait for things to stabilise before he continued. And then it ended up dropping completely as soon as he re-started, giving Water a huge advantage, allowing them to take things slow as Blood started over once again. Which proved too much to come back from as Ben placed the final Water spool and took out immunity for his tribe.

And more importantly, earned his redemption from the reward loss.

Back at camp the tribe were gutted to have lost the challenge, none more so than Jordan even though it was all actually Jordie’s fault. But whatever. Thankfully, he was feeling a-ok despite the fact the OG Blood tribe were outnumbered, given his cousin is very well connected. Josh crossed over to talk to Dave and Jordan to float the idea of getting rid of Mel, given she is very non-committal whenever he tries to talk to her about alliance. Since they had no other real options, they readily agreed and the idea quickly whipped all through camp as everyone got on board.

When Jordan went to loop in his dear friend Amy, she decided enough was enough and as such, she wanted to split up the last remaining duo in the tribe as they had gotten so cocky. Amy went to Dave and Mel, quickly getting them on board with her plan to take out Jordan before approaching Mark to gauge his interest. Who obviously said he was keen but reminded her they still needed another person to pull it off and as such, she approached Shay. Who tragically went straight back to Josh and filled him in on her plan to split up the cousins.

Josh immediately pulled all the boys aside to catch up with Jordan – who was bathing in his speedos like a king – and quickly flipped the vote on Amy instead of Mel. Feeling confident, the cousins pulled in anyone and everyone in the tribe, locking in the OG Water tribe to vote for Amy while the OG Blood would vote for Mel. However thankfully when Nina found out, she wasn’t really into the idea of getting rid of Amy and as such, she was thrilled when Amy approached her to get rid of Jordan. Particularly since if she wants to be Josh’s number one, she needs to get rid of his cousin to lock in his loyalty to her.

At tribal council Jordan freely admitted that his stumble in the challenge could have painted a target on his back, with Josh doubling down on the strategy of keeping the best challenge performers in the competition despite his cousin allegedly causing their loss. Dave jumped in and defended Amy, pointing out she was far and away the best in this challenge, which Josh really didn’t seem interested in listening to. Amy opened up about her difficult position post-swap, though was hopeful she was able to make friends before talk turned to making moves and taking risks, because they all need a resume to take out the win.

Jonathan reminded them all of Sandra’s advice to focus on making decisions that are best for their individual games which Nina agreed was the greatest advice, given a compelling argument can quickly cloud your judgement and distract from what you need to do. Mel meanwhile focused on the fact the game will soon change again when the tribes merge and as such, they need to start making decisions based on what will help them later. Nina agreed that it is a massive complication and there are so many moving parts, leading to Josh and Jordan both talking about sticking to their word. Though Nina assured us that she knows who she wants to wake up with the next morning and that decision is what is best for her game.

With that the tribe voted and while I was hopeful Amy’s plan against my speedo king would come together, she was tragically booted from the game ending our week of hard losses. Like her brother, Amy is an absolutely delightful icon and obviously, we are the dearest of friends. While I was kicked off Masterchef during Khanh’s season and wiped for the record, we became super close before I met Amy and became even closer with her. Maybe because my parents were going to call me Amy if I were a girl.

As such, it was so wonderful to be there for my girl when she arrived in Loser Lodge. While she was disappointed to go so soon, I reminded her that in many ways, being swap-screwed is the best way to go, given it is one of those instances where there is really nothing you could do. And you know, blame your demise on that. With that, we had many a laugh before toasting her success with a big ol’ Amy Melong Ball.

While this may not be my favourite cocktail, it is so camp and kitsch that I will never turn it down. I mean, it is called a melon ball and the garnish IS A MELON BALL.

Enjoy!

Amy Melong Ball
Serves: 1.

Ingredients
ice 
60ml Midori
30ml vodka
orange juice
melon balls, to garnish

Method
Fill a glass with ice and pour in the midori and vodka before topping with orange juice (which I may have forgotten about and just doubled the recipe).

Stir, garnish with some melon and down.


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Irish Shandy Meldrum

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Blood V Water, Drink, TV, TV Recap

As my love Jonathan reminded us, previously on Australian Survivor we staged a brutal, epic battle between brians and brawn to see who would reign supreme. Which, spoiler alert, was a brain who was also super strong which kinda means you need a little bit of yin and yang to win, no? On and said all rounder, was the iconic Hayley who managed to navigate around George’s wild game, being booted and coming back from redemption and Cara’s passion for cooking plans. 

But I’ve digressed. Like early season Probst transferring the final tribal council votes, Jonathan then literally jumped in a leftover Mad Max car from the BvB opening and drove himself through the outback from the desert of Cloncurry into the stunning oasis that is the land of the Gudjala People near the township of Charters Towers. Eventually he pulled up, issued his 47 days line and well, I have goosebumps!

First we met brothers Jordie and Jessie who look equal parts goofy and athletic, though they assured us that they were competitive best mates. Jessie is the one they’d get to lead them into a battle, while Jordie would be best for leading to the pub. And just like that, I live for Jordie. Sisters KJ and Sophie were up next with Sophie sharing how direct she is, while KJ is sneaky. And given Sophie is proudly controversial and outspoken, I have a feeling KJ will be making it further.

Ex-Rooster Michael Crocker – aka Croc – and his sister-in-law were ready to fight, well he was. She is proudly uncoordinated, thinks that tribal council is called tribunal and most importantly, is giving off big Cara energy and well, I love her already. Chrissy is life, long live Chrissy. King Khanh from Masterchef was joined in the game by his equally iconic sister Amy and well, I am ready for Khanh to come in and play as equally cutthroat as Sandra.

Speaking of former players, Andy is back looking for redemption alongside his sister Kate and ugh, I hate how triggered I am by Andy because I want to like him, however I know we’d have the same trajectory if I played the game and that makes me sad. Thankfully his sister Kate seems super sweet and ready to help him navigate the social aspect better than his first season. They were joined by Mark and Sam who met on season 2, fell in love and are now married with a super cute son. And damn, I hope we get the chaotic, controlling Sam from her first season because she was FUN.

Then, the moment we’ve all been waiting for – SANDRA AND NINA, officially, confirmed, here. Australia! They quickly jumped in a chopper and as the 22 other castaways – or peasants – climbed rocky terrain to meet Jonathan by a watering hole before it landed unveiling the Queen to her subjects. Or, well, fellow competitors. While Chrissy incorrectly identified Sandra as Oprah at first, the cast were gagged to see the Queen down under alongside her daughter. We then got a supercut of Sandra’s greatest hits including dumping the fish, burning a hat and eating sugar and gah, I just love her so much. And Nina seems so bubbly and fun and ugh, I. Am. Ready.

I mean, Sandra is ready to beat her own daughter down.

After everyone calmed down, Jonathan quickly painted a target on Sandra’s back, pointing out she is the queen. Thankfully, Nina quoted Sandra’s I don’t know about that when Sandra said she was confident in her chances, so maybe she will have trouble getting her third win. Particularly since Croc admitted to being a bit nervous to face off against former players, though was ready to fight them which you know means, get rid of them ASAP.

Surprising everyone on the shore but not a soul watching, Jonathan split everyone up from their loved ones putting one on each of the tribes. Before they were immediately tasked with battling it out in the first reward challenge of the season for a welcome fire pit. Which is a pretty epic way to start the game, TBH. One by one, each pair would face off racing down a slide into the water to grab a ring, which they need to drag over to a long, hard pole. First up were Jesse and Jordie with Jesse whipping down the slide before his big brother dragged him all the way to his pole, scoring the first point for the Water tribe. Because yes, we’ve gone from Brains, Brawn and Fire to Blood and Water.

KJ and Sophie were up next with the latter ready to destroy her sister, which she did, after a brutal fight, tying things up between the tribes. Andy kindly helped his sister up the stairs before scoring the second point for his tribe. What looked to be the most mis-matched pairing in Croc and Chrissy was actually a decent fight as Chrissy threw her body around and nearly dragged her brother-in-law over to her pole before he got a second wind and tied things up between the tribes. Then Sandra faced off against Nina and well, these two are just the best. I mean, neither were tall enough to grab the ring off the hook at first and then fought tooth and nail until Nina pulled the ring out of her mum’s hands and snatched victory for the Water tribe.

We followed the Water tribe back to camp where Chrissy realised that she is a little over her head given she hates the outdoors and is already losing her fake tan. Andy meanwhile rallied the group and congratulated them on their killer win. Which Chrissy struggled to celebrate given she is without her support system in Croc. Thankfully she is so charming and hilarious, I see her doing well after that initial shock wears off. The tribe sat in the water and did a quick getting to know you session, with Andy this time opting to go the honest route. Though given the editors gave him the joker music, I’m scared for him. As Mark opened up about his life, Jordie outed his brother Jesse as a huge fan of Mark and well, his edit is already night and day with Andy in how likeable and magnetic he is coming across. While Mark is a literal soldier, Andy took the lead on building their shelter which filled Mark with absolute joy as the target was firmly being painted on Andy, rather than him.

Meanwhile over at the Blood tribe, Jesse was mostly disappointed about losing to his brother rather than losing the challenge. More importantly, he is a superfan that is in awe of Sandra and I love him for it. Jesse and Jordie forever! After everyone else introduced themselves, the tribe got to work building the shelter as Sandra worried about a target being painted on her back. Jesse admitted that it would take him a while to get comfortable in front of her given he is such a fan, with Sandra calmly reminding him that she is just a person that is looking to fit in and ugh, I love her.

Sandra admitted that she knows the odds are against her as the queen, particularly given how physical Australian Survivor is, but as always, she will bide her time until she can take control and win.

The next day the tribe were trying to get comfortable, while Sophie quickly realised she was in the middle of the bush. Which is what happens when an animal licks you on the face while you sleep, to be honest. We then learnt a little more about her, a former WAG and super successful business woman and most importantly, she is bi so I will stan her until my dying breath.

Over at the Water tribe, most of them settled down for breakfast as Queen Shayelle – aka Slayelle – wandered around camp, collecting firewood and being an absolute provider. Though she did open up about feeling overwhelmed being apart from her partner Ben and ugh, I love her too. Which has nothing to do with the fact that she is so strong she could murder me with her bare hands. Honest. She started to bond with Briana who is kind and bubbly, though Shay quickly pegged her as a threat given her likability will take her far and as such, she will need to be cut eventually.

While collecting paperbark, Shay found the first clue of the season and quickly pulled Briana aside to fill her in on the deets. With said deets being that the hidden immunity idol is literally stuck to the front of Jonathan’s podium at tribal council. The first catch being they need to snag it in front of the tribe to activate it and the second being that there was a second clue hidden somewhere in their camp. Which was promptly found by tribunal queen Chrissy in front of most of her tribemates. Though given she is unsure about what tribal council is, I assume Shay and Briana are all good, right?

The tribes reconvened with my love Jonathan for the first epic immunity challenge where we learnt poor Alex had somehow sustained an injury and had to be supported (or carried) as they arrived at the challenge. His ‘in-law’ Jay was rattled by how pained his (ex-)girlfriend’s brother was, though it was quickly dropped to make way from some brief shade amongst loved ones. After which Jonathan explained that the tribes would have to race over a ramp carrying a battering ramp before smashing some walls, climbing over a ladder and then smashing a series of targets. And since Alex was injured, he was sitting out of the challenge with the Blood tribe also having to sit someone out to make things fair, with Andy’s sister Kate volunteering.

Which is iconic, since Sandra stayed silent, desperate to prove herself in a challenge and I live for that fire.

The tribes both shot out of the gate at the first obstacle with the Water tribe getting out to the earliest of leads on the walls until Croc took control, directing the Blood tribe and pushing them ahead. The Water tribe continued to struggle with the second wall as the Blood tribe whipped up the tower and started to toss their hammers at the targets, after a wistful look back at Shay from Ben and honestly, swoon. I ship the shit out of them. Croc and Jordan tossed hammer after hammer, only taking out one before Jay and Ben traded out and quickly knocked out two more. All while the Water tribe continued to work at their second wall before Mark straight up charged at it himself. Sophie switched out with Jay before she and Ben took out the last two targets and snatched immunity for their tribe.

Most importantly, keeping Sandra in the game for one more episode.

Back at camp the tribe discovered their fire had gone out in their absence which is just rubbing salt in the wounds at this point. Chrissy was worried about Alex, having quickly bonded with him and loving how kind and calm he is. As Mel tried to give him a consult, thankfully being a chiropractor, Chrissy and Jordie spoke about how nervous they are for him. Andy meanwhile was relishing the thought of going to tribal council, though tried to play things cool. As the tribe caught up in the water, Andy floated the idea of booting Alex which honestly makes sense given he can barely walk but given the looks on everyone else’s faces, I’m not sure it will be this cut and dry.

Shay and Briana meanwhile went for a walk to come up with a game plan for snatching the idol before Chrissy, to ideally get out the icon. They caught up with Nina, Khanh and Jordie by the well, with everyone agreeing that Chrissy is a liability to the tribe and needs to go. Nina however was just agreeing to their face, having learnt from her mother not to idly sit by and make decisions that benefit other people’s games and as such, knowing that she can’t work with Andy, she wanted to get rid of him instead. As such, she pulled Mark aside to talk things through with him before getting Mark to straight up suggest they get rid of Andy instead and ugh, how are the Diaz-Twine’s this damn good at the game?!

Jordie snuck up on them like a larrikin before quickly switching into game mode, willing to jump on board to get rid of Andy. Nina decided she would work on KJ and Mel, while Jordie would get Josh and Alex on board while all of them tell Andy that Alex will get the boot and ugh, I feel bad for him.

Speaking of Josh and Alex, they were catching up with Chrissy with Alex sharing how heartbroken he would be to be the first boot. Meanwhile Nina was busy pulling KJ and Mel in on the plan before finding Khanh and easily getting him on side too. She then caught up with Andy, Mark and Jordie, calmly talking about getting rid of Alex at tribal council before Andy threw out the idea of splitting the vote between Alex and Chrissy. Which only made Nina more concerned about Andy, and therefore confident in her decision.

At tribal council Alex spoke about how disappointed he was to be injured before the first immunity challenge and how big of a target it has put on his back. Out of nowhere, Shay and Chrissy jumped up to claim the immunity idol, with the former circling the podium as Chrissy calmly snatched it out from underneath her rival. And ugh, Slayelle, I was rooting for you! Jordie pointed out that that really shows what kind of game they’re playing, while Andy suggested the idol hasn’t changed anything for him. Which is something everyone agreed with, while Briana suggested that sometimes knowing there is an idol in the game means they have to burn some votes to get rid of it, threatening my love Chrissy.

Jordie spoke about the battle between everyone’s minds ahead of tribal council, admitting that it was hard to vote out someone you like even though they are injured. Briana continued her attack and straight up called out Chrissy for being a weak link in the challenge and let’s just say, the icon was not happy about it. On the flipside, Andy praised everyone for being so great and putting in so much effort. But he was also very ready to get rid of Alex given he is injured. Chrissy reiterated that Alex is likely in a little bit of trouble, while Nina admitted she was parking Alex’s injury and instead wanted to come out of tribal council knowing who she can trust. While Andy assured everyone that if he spoke to them today, he wants to work with them.

With that the tribe voted and despite Alex literally spending most of the day in excruciating pain, Chrissy (needlessly) played her idol on herself and Princess Nina got her way as Andy found himself becoming the first boot. 

And ugh, I feel so bad for the guy. Despite Nina and Mark already proving to be an iconic duo. 

I was surprisingly overwhelmed to see Andy arrive at Loser Lodge, knowing how hard it would have been to come back after his first season only to try and adapt his game, only to quickly be cut from the game. Again, because I fear I would fare similarly should I ever accept Jonathan’s standing invitation to compete. I pulled him in for a hug, told him how proud of him I was and reminded him that he was just blindsided by Sandra’s daughter, which as a superfan, should be an honour. After which I toasted to his Survivor career with a fresh Irish Shandy Meldrum.

My brother went through a period of advocating for the majesty of a shandy, though in my opinion, they generally end up ruining both the lemonade and the beer. But by adding a bit of whiskey, it truly makes it sing. Or at the very least, it makes it pack more of a punch which is honestly what you want after becoming the first boot.

Enjoy!

Irish Shandy Meldrum
Serves: 1.

Ingredients
¼ cup Irish whiskey
½ cup beer, ideally IPA for the flavour
½ cup lemonade

Method
Pour the shot into a glass, followed by the beer and then lemonade.

Then down, in honour of our first boot.


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Georgia Ray Julep

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Brains V Brawn, Drink, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor the tribes switched up, shunting the previously liberated Cara back to the Brain slums though thankfully stacking it with her friends. She and the Brawns first planned to take out Georgia, but Cara messed things up  – or cooked it, if you will – and booted Daini by mistake. Meanwhile Hayley was very busy being a boss after blindsiding Joey, threatening the Brawn majority that she will happily idol out one of the OG Brawns if they don’t join her and the Brains. And since Wai and Andrew were both immune at the double tribal council, the Brawns had a 50:50 shot of getting things right. As such, Simon and co jumped ship and booted Shannon while Laura was the victim on Brains given Georgia was on medical leave and Rachel was also immune. But Laura got lucky, given the two tribes were solely booting one person and SImon went to town turning everyone on Shannon and she exited the game.

The next day things were relatively calm over in Camp Brawn, with Simon grateful to have won the battle with Shannon. While Flick was the only one to not vote in the majority, she was quickly bonding with Andrew and Wai, perfecting their shelter and keeping the camp functioning. Like a social Queen. Meanwhile Simon and Dani pulled Hayley aside to solidify their bond, with Simon sharing that he is so glad that she didn’t waste her idol because they’re all solid and Flick is screwed. Essentially. Sadly for him, the Brains are not on board with things as Hayley got to work building a bond with Flick to lock in the majority instead. And you know, get rid of Chelsea, Dani and Simon.

While Flick was obviously gutted to lose her ally Shannon, she had already moved on and was ready to jump ship and lock things in with the Brains. And well, the way she and Hayley spoke about the stupidity of Dani and Simon thinking an alliance of seven is better than their new one of five was just peak Survivor slash Queen players. Long may they rule, despite Simon’s speedo.

We checked in with the Brains where Kez was busy brushing her teeth with charcoal while Laura was just shocked to still be in the game after the last tribal. Laura clearly saw the breakdown of the alliances within the tribe and while there were no ins, she was ready to continue building relationships until one appeared. And well, maybe something is, as she and Kez went for a walk to chat. Which immediately made Cara and George very nervous, particularly the former given she straight up made a mistake and cost Daini the game. Something that enraged Kez.

My love Jonathan returned for the reward challenge where three people from each tribe would have to hold a pole across their shoulders with weights routinely added throughout the challenge. For tacos and margs, so you know the rewardless Cara was desperate for the Brains to pull something out. Gerald, Emmett and Kez stepped up for their tribe, battling Baden, Simon and Chelsea for the Brawns. Under George’s orders, the Brains opted to load most of the weight on Chelsea to eliminate her early, while Gerald was weighed down by the Brawns. After George decided Chelsea was struggling enough and likely to drop soon, he directed the tribe to focus on Simon to eliminate another threat. Which was wise, given Chelsea was the first one to drop at 35 minutes. She was quickly joined by Baden, leaving Simon as the sole person fighting for Brawn. Proving that George truly is an asset. Kez was the first one to drop for Brains, followed by Gerald who dropped out of nowhere after a lapse in concentration. Emmet and Simon continued to fight for over an hour, reaching 90kgs until Simon dropped and handed Brains victory.

And Queen Cara, the first bit of luxury in over two weeks.

The Brains were thrilled to discover their taco cart back at camp, with Cara in particular grateful for actual food. George meanwhile was just thrilled to knock back some margies, like the iconic Shonella themselves. While everyone joyously ate their tacos, the tribe got an even more joyous surprise to see Georgia return to camp, delighted that she was feeling better. Before plying her with tacos and margaritas, two of the worst things for an upset stomach. She reunited with Laura and Rach, ready to fight for their lives while Emmett, Gerald and Kez doubled down on the fact that one of them needed to go. ASAP.

Jonathan returned for this week’s immunity challenge where the tribes would need to push a sled through obstacles and fill it with sand bags they collect along the way, before using said sand bags to knock down a series of targets and snatch immunity. Brawn got out to the earliest of leads, collecting all of their sandbags and barrelling to the end while Emmett desperately tried to collect them, practically single handedly, for the Brains. While Emmett continued his heroics for the Brains, Dani slayed on the slingshot, knocking out two tiles before their rivals even made it to the end. As Gerald desperately tried to close the gap, Simon traded in for Brawn and cracked their third. Then Emmett traded out for Gerald and damn, he is a beast, knocking out three of the tiles just before Simon took out immunity for the Brawns. Just.

Back at camp things were feeling a little bit tense with Emmett frustrated to lose again, despite being immensely glad to be in the majority. Which really helps to dull the pain. He pulled the Brawn plus Cara and George majority aside and decided that since they continue to fail at taking out the minority, they will just vote for one person and hope for the best that it is the right one. Quickly locking in Georgia as the easy vote.

Returning to the camp, Georgia pulled Emmett aside to see what she could possibly do to save herself. She immediately questioned why he aligned with George and Cara, with Emmett admitting that they are volatile and as such, she proposed he joined with the Brain girls to take one of them out instead. Georgia continued to play into all of their fears and stroked their egos, with Kez joining and agreeing that she’d prefer some more stability in her allies. Particularly given Simon will come for her eventually. Sadly for the ladies, Emmett was having none of it and told them as much, apologising and wandering off while they prepared for their inevitable doom.

This infuriated Georgia, who was ready to do anything to tear him down and beat the patriarchy. The Brains girls opted to try and get Cara out no matter what, with Rachel deciding their best hope would be to pull Kez over to their side to at the very least, tie things up. Rachel and Laura pulled her aside, with Kez admitting that she is annoyed to be aligned with Cara given she ended Daini’s game. And just like that, the girls went in, playing on all of Kez’s fears and desires to try and pull her over to their side.

Emmett meanwhile started to worry that something was up, so pulled Kez aside to play into all of her fears of ruining the Brawn majority. Though given Kez gave zero fucks about taking out Cara since she isn’t actually Brawn, she shared that she would rather go to rocks than let Cara survive.

At tribal council George spoke about intra-tribal divisions as opposed to the fact there are alliances. Rachel obviously called bullshit before Emmett smugly spoke about not breaking when the girls came to him to make a deal. This infuriated the girls with Laura and Rach going in on his arrogance, calling him out for hating on George and Cara but solely sticking with them for the numbers. This irked the hell out of Emmett, who assured George and Cara that he never talked shit about them and wanted to go to the merge strong with them. Which Cara and George ate up.

Rachel spoke about the frustration of putting it all on the line to win despite being on the bottom, with Emmett telling her that if she really tried to win they wouldn’t be back here. Which is both smug and infuriating. Cara started to feel bad, telling Rachel that if maybe they approached someone else, like her, they would have had a different outcome. Laura pointed out that they went to the people who they actually thought would be open to something with them, while Kez said that she was always willing to jump the fence should it be beneficial for her. She spoke about being playdough and while Jonathan suggested Laura try and mould her, Laura calmly pointed out that she is not willing to tell a woman what to do with her autonomy.

Given that very pointed dig, Emmett started to panic, reiterating how important it is for them to stick together if they want to make it to the merge together. But Rach and co continued to be iconic, pointing out that Emmett is controlling things and to paraphrase them, is dominating decisions as the dominant, white heterosexual male. Again, to paraphrase. With that, the tribe voted, Queen Kez stood firm and poor Georgia found herself booted from the game mere moments after making her triumphant medical return.

While I was heartbroken to see my fellow Queenslander Georgia walk into Loser Lodge, I was thrilled that she was able to see out the game rather than medevaced. Despite being joyously reunited and catching up, things got super awks between us when she asked where her Georgia Cheeseburgers were and well, I didn’t bother to make her any. Instead, we downed a couple of Georgia Ray Juleps, which thankfully washed away the post-boot pain and the awkwardness.

Despite being well-known as someone who would suck the alcohol out of a deodorant, that doesn’t factor in when I say that this little baby is a pure delight. Sweet and fruity with a punch of mint, this is a refreshing way to bring a little life back to your soul.

Enjoy!

Georgia Ray Julep
Serves: 1.

Ingredients
90ml cognac
20ml peach liqueur
1 tsp sugar syrup
a dash or two of bitters
8 mint leaves

Method
Place all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker and give a quick shake.

Pour into an old fashioned glass filled with crushed ice.

Down, triumphantly.


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Maxi Shiely Temple

Drink, RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under, RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under 1, TV, TV Recap

Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under the queens found themselves creating and marketing their very own yeasty spreads. Which really exemplifies why people don’t understand the attraction of any and all of the -mites. I mean, who even says, mmm, yeast! That being said Elektra somehow managed to make hers seem appealing, as she slayed the game and proved her doubters – aka Scarlet – wrong. At the other end of the pack, Ru expected more from Maxi while Etcetera went too far but wasn’t funny enough. As such, Elektra earnt her first victory while Maxi and Etcetera battled to survive with the iconic Etcetera going home.

Backstage the queens honoured the delight that is Etcetera, with Maxi admitting that she knew she had to pull out every damn trick she had if she wanted to compete with the whippersnapper. Scarlet was shocked to land high, while Karen from Finance was frustrated that beyond week one, she has been flatlining through the competition. Art tried to perk her up and say that she has a name to live up to, while some of the others don’t have a reputation that the judges are holding them against. Oh and speaking of no name – allegedly – Elektra was feeling her oats and agreed that she far and away had the best commercial. Which led to Art pointing out that they all packed what the packed, so the rest of the competition is going to be what it is. Elektra kikied with Kita and willed a double elimination to get rid of some more Aussies. Oh and she’d love one of them to be Scarlet.

But wouldn’t we all.

The next day the queens were feeling far more friendly, talking about their general horniness and how they’d love a Mini Challenge featuring 100 pit crew members pulling down their pants. Which, same. After briefly trying to set up the revirginized Art and Kita as a lovely drag power couple, they were interrupted by Aunt or Auntie Donna and I don’t actually know who they are, but work. More importantly, Ru arrived and proved Karen is part psychic, wheeling out ten gorgeous men with the queens needing to guess what animal the men are packing in their pouches. In any event, I want all ten of them and my basement is no longer just flooded, there is a tsunami and I’m sorry to all the things that will suffer water damage for the rest of their lives. 

I’m not sure if anyone could actually be bothered counting, but Maxi took out victory.

And she didn’t just win a gift card, she also got to pair the queens with their makeover partners from the New Zealand Falcons aka the gay rubgy team of abbsolute zaddies. Again, all six can do whatever they want to me. Maxi first paired Karen with someone that looked pretty similar to her, which she also did for Elektra, Art, Kita and herself, leaving Scarlet with the biggest uphill battle. Though they could pass as a mother and daughter, I guess?

Kita quickly got to work charming her partner, while Scarlet’s partner was adorably excited to try drag for the first time. Karen’s partner had dabbled with his mum’s shoes, Art’s had worn lippy and Maxi quickly realised she had actually picked the biggest battle for herself, despite their resemblance. And oh God, please don’t let it be that storyline where the one that chooses the pairs goes home. Oh and Elektra and her newest family member need to start dating and open an Only Fans – see, I’m cool – because I love them. We then had a montage and while only Elektra’s zaddy could rock a heel, I think this proves rugby players are near perfection. Which, at this point, is all we should care about. Oh and we then learnt that Kita and Scarlet’s partners are dating and damn, why don’t they do an Only Fans while I’m suggesting businesses.

I guess I should talk about the challenge rather than my erotic fan-fiction, so Scarlet and Art were shady about queens not making outfits for their new family members. Though Scarlet felt Art’s custom outfit wasn’t very custom, so was including her in the shade.

Elimination Day rolled around, with Elektra’s daughter worried about having to share the limelight before Maxi finally got confirmation that she would be shaving off her sister’s beard and damn, when it went they’ve got the family resemblance on lock. Elektra and her daughter were bonding over their lives, with him sharing how as a Pacific Islander man he has been taught to try and present as straight and as such, this is so liberating for him to participate and firmly embrace all the colours of the rainbow. Swoon. Meanwhile Art was not sure that Kita was doing enough to take out a win, despite the fact Kita knows that she needs to step out and prove herself. And thankfully, her daughter is ready to take out the win for her.

Karen had half done her sister’s make-up when she realised that Art is only focusing on herself, rather than getting her sister prepped. Scarlet meanwhile was trying to learn her partner’s bone structure, while Elektra was finishing up and teaching her sister as she went. While Art continued to wait for her sister’s eyebrows to dry. Apparently.

Ru, Michelle and Rhys were riding solo for the mainstage runway presentation, with Kita and Feta Mean looking like a Cruella black and white delight as Feta lived her best life. Elektra Shock and ReRe Action were space-age stunning,  Maxi Shield and Cilla Wet were dressed as jellyfish and well, it wasn’t great. Art and Craft Simone rocked Priscilla chic and were totally gorgeous, Scarlet and Sapphire were slutty, sexy showgirls but tragically didn’t do the wagon wheel watusi. Karen was joined by Debbie from reception and it was damn glorious.

Kita and Feta received universal praise for their makeover and the fact they gave all of the personality. Elektra meanwhile was read for filth by Michelle, but loved by Rhys. Maxi was praised for bringing the fun, though read for literally everything else. Art was read for the lack of family resemblance, despite them both looking absolutely stunning. Scarlet was praised for being cute, despite her clearly focusing on herself, rather than her sister. Though she got lucky by how damn charming Sapphire is. And despite them all hating the thick glasses, Karen and her sister were praised for the look while Ru wasn’t sure about how much of a transformation Karen produced.

Backstage the queens and their daughter/sisters/I can’t keep it consistent untucked, with Karen leading a toast to all the iconic rugby players. Art and her sister continued to be funny and charming, before Scarlet spun things around to who would be in the top and bottom. Everyone agreed Kita would be in the top, while Karen assumed she would be there with her and the rest would be in the bottom. Since Elektra was read for make-up, Maxi was read for lacking detail, Scarlet was read for being basic – lol – and Art for not bringing family resemblance.

Back on the runway, as if it were in any doubt, Kita took out her first, very well-earned victory of the competition, while Art and Karen were sent to safety. The bottom three nervously awaited their fates, before Scarlet’s track-record couldn’t even save her as she was forced to battle it out against Maxi, as Elektra was sent to safety. The. Gag.

Anyway, from the moment Kylie’s Better the Devil You Know started, Scarlet kicked straight into dancing diva mode, as Maxi stuck with her hilarious and charming approach. While Maxi lived her best life, Scarlet proceeded to strip and sell sex, which sadly proved to be enough as Maxi was robbed on her way out the door. Much to my bitter rage and disappointment.

I pulled Maxi as close to me as her breast plate would allow and hissed into her ear how wrong her elimination was and that she deserved to stay. But being the absolute delight, she had a quick chuckle, told me to calm my farm and get to work chatting. After I bequeath her a Maxi Shiely Temple, that is.

Maxi and I grew up in the ‘80s pubs, living our best lives on a cheeky pink lemonade and climbing trees set over tables while no adults supervised. It was a wonderful time to be Australian. Now that we’re adults, we like to add a bit of vodka to the mix but that doesn’t change the fact that these spiked Shirley Temples aren’t nostalgic AF.

Enjoy!

Maxi Shiely Temple
Serves: 1.

Ingredients
ice
1 tbsp grenadine
1-2 shots of vodka
lemonade, to top
maraschino cherries, to garnish

Method
Fill the glass with ice. Top with grenadine, vodka and lemonade.

Stir. Add a maraschino cherry or two. And down. Like the damn icon herself.


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Frosé-K

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: All Stars, Drink, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor, Sharn decided it would be a good idea to continue playing in the middle, despite how much heat it was clearly causing her. She continued to make more and more promises to Vakama, followed by pledging her undying loyalty to Moana and David and given each alliance will make up a bulk of the jury, she is pretty much a non-entity. After Brooke took out immunity again, David and Shonee became the respective targets for each side. Knowing he was in danger, David showed off his idol to woo or intimidate Sharn. While Shonee played for the jury, calling out Sharn for flip flopping and making promises to them, screwing her should she choose to not flip. Which she obviously didn’t, sending the iconic Shonee to the jury (again).

The weather was miserable the next day, no doubt in retaliation for the heinous boot of Queen Shonee. Sadly Moana has no clue, however, and was thrilled by the turn of events, glad that her bestie Sharn proved to David and Tarzan that she was loyal to them until the end. Despite how boring that may be for us at home. Sharn and Moana caught up in the shelter, with Sharn breaking down over missing her family and hoping to prove to her kids that she can win, given she came so close last time. She then spoke about her uncertainty in trusting David, though was hopeful that him showing her the idol was honest on his part. She then mentioned – again – how close she came to winning last time and hot damn, she is losing again at final tribal, isn’t she?

Brooke meanwhile was thrilled to have made it as far as she has, disappointing me by not acknowledging the tragedy of losing Shonee. Wait, no, she and AK were well pissed, heartbroken and desperately want to get revenge on Sharn, post haste and damn – GET THEM BROOKE! I mean, she then cut laps of the beach to psych them out. The Queen is dead, long live the Queen. Tarzan continued to play his own game, picking about 20 pawpaws for everyone and then wandering around aimlessly. And for some reason, I am shocked by this completely expected behaviour. AK thankfully was still simmering in his juices, handing some salty sass to Moana and Sharn. Continuing the whip around, Moana too was thrilled about how close her allies all are to her, though she was starting to get nervous about the growing bond between Sharn and David. Moana pulled her aside to casually test her loyalty, and when she didn’t mention knowing about Dave’s idol, Moana seemed to be pissed. But alas, no, she told Sharn to continue playing Dave while she works on Tarzan. And the four can continue voting out the minority.

Are the greatest endgame EVER ads the new Sue’s big move?

My dear sweet Jonathan returned for the latest immunity challenge which was a beast of a challenge where the tribe would race to swim out to a pontoon, run through obstacles, leap up a ladder, collect a monkey fist from a tower, slide down, get to the shore use the monkey fist to release puzzle pieces and – deep breath – solve the puzzle. David tragically got out to an early lead, though our new Queen Brooke was nipping at his heels. And thankfully overtook him at the monkeyfist. While Sharn, Tarzan and Moana caught up with the leaders, AK became paralysed with fear at the top of the ladder. Which led to some sweet cheering from Brooke while she desperately tried to snag her puzzle pieces, eventually resulting in him jumping and getting back in the challenge.

Despite Brooke earning good karma with her kind cheering, David, Moana and Tarzan reeled in their puzzle pieces in quick succession, while the other three just tried to snag the pieces. Out of nowhere AK snagged his puzzle pieces, with a massive comeback. Sharn started to get salty about not being able to catch up since she and Brooke were so far behind, which seemed to be enough to give Brooke a boost. Almost instantly she snagged her bag, before getting to work at the puzzle table and quickly solving the word phrase that had stumped everyone, winning yet another immunity. And more importantly proving Sharn to be a very unreliable narrator.

Back at camp everyone pretended to be happy for Brooke while she casually laughed about spoiling their tribal council plans. Well, until she realised that her victory put a nail in AK’s coffin and it started to make her feel guilty. Moana, Sharn and David all casually whispered about obviously voting AK, hoping that the next tribal will be their chance to get her out. Which again, I hope is wrong. Moana started to get nervous about them potentially having an idol and saving AK, but everyone felt there would be no benefit to split the votes. Meanwhile alone at the shelter Brooke and AK agreed to vote for Sharn before hunting for idols, hoping that their votes would be enough to get rid of her. Sadly for AK though, Moana decided to channel Andrea and babysit him the entire time, putting salt in the wound that is his likely elimination.

He then also straight up tipped out all of the water from the well to get rid of his shadow, which worked as Moana went to camp to dob on him. This bought him ten minutes of peace for hunting, which tragically proved fruitless. Though David did follow him and Brooke into the jungle to check in on them and nervous about them finding the idol, asked them who they were planning to vote for. Wisely they filled him in on the plan to vote Sharn, suggesting that if they didn’t split it would be a bad idea, and as such, he simply needs to vote for Sharn to guarantee his safety. Sharn then started to sense danger and panicked to Moana and Tarzan, which the former quickly seemed to allay. Though Sharn did say she never wants to be on the jury, and honestly, it seems more and more likely that she won’t, and she will be roasted at final tribal council twice, instead.

At this tribal council though, AK sadly spoke about the inevitability of getting voted out at this tribal council. He then spoke about his fear at the challenge and how brutal it was to watch his chances slip away from that moment. Through tears, he then spoke of his pride at Brooke and her achievements and oh my god, I think I love AK. Sharn pretended that his boot isn’t inevitable, and commenced trying to soften her flip flopping by explaining that everything she did to humiliate the minority and get their hopes up, was all done for the alliance. Moana and Tarzan tried to pull out a bit of a cheeky stick to the plan before Jonathan pointed out that if they don’t have a plan B, they’re handing the power over to AK and Brooke. Sharn tried to lowkey threaten her allies to not turn on her, while David was simply hopeful that everyone would stick together.

With that the tribe voted and as Jonathan was just about to read the votes, he offered the person that felt in danger to accept an offer for a trial by fire instead of reading the votes. The remaining four people would then need to select a competitor unanimously, and if not, draw rocks to find out who would be competing. If the volunteer wins, nobody goes home and if the challenger wins, the volunteer leaves. Obviously AK selected to go through with a trial by fire, which gave Queen Brooke the chance to be even more of a bad arse, refusing to budge on anyone but Moana competing against him. Again fearing rocks, everyone bowed down and forced Moana to face off with him. Sadly the badassery was all for nought and while AK worked hard, Moana once again dominated a fire making challenge and sent him out of the game in sixth place.

Given how I fell in love with AK this season, I pulled him in for an epic hug as soon as he got out of the 4WD at the Jury Villa. I apologised for my shadiness his first time playing the game, explaining that I saw a lot of myself in him and it hurt to watch a superfan go out in the way he did. Which I guess, is why his second go was so touching to me. With that, we laughed, we cried and toasted to our newfound friendship with a jug (or two) of Frosé-K.

Being white, gay, in my 30s and basic, I am obviously the perfect kind of person to love frosé. I mean, it is like a rosé slushy – does life get better than that? (The answer is no, no it does not).

Enjoy!

Frosé-K
Serves: 2 dear friends.

Ingredients
3 cups frozen strawberries
750ml dry rosé wine
2 tbsp raw caster sugar
3 cups ice

Method
Pop the strawberries in a blender and blitz to a pulp. Strain through a sieve to remove seeds – which reminds me of a time I was an apprentice in a kitchen and was made to de-seed strawberries. Spoiler alert, I did such a good job the chef questioned why it was a joke. Also, I hate the feel of strawberry seeds on your tongue, which is why it made total sense to me.

In any event, pop the seedless pulp back in the blender with the rosé, sugar and ice. Blitz again until gorgeously slushy.

Pop into a jug or some glasses and down, gloriously. 


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Marquise au Chocky Gilbert

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: All Stars, Dessert, Snack, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor, 24 All Stars were abandoned on the shores of Fiji looking for revenge, redemption, a combination of the two, or simply to retain their crown in Shane and Jericho’s case. Though sadly for them, their second chance ended before it even began as the Olympian became the first boot and was followed out the door by the cookie monster. They were followed by Daisy, Michelle and Henry in quick succession before the tribes switched things up. After an attempt on her scalp, Shonee took revenge on Abbey, Lydia and John before Mat was bundled in on the deal, I assume solely because he too was an athlete. We then entered the darkest timeline and lost three OGs back-to-back-to-back with Queen Phoebe, fourth place robbed goddess Flick and Nick all just missing the merge. The latter because Jacqui hulked out in the immunity challenge and kept ruining it for the tribe.

We checked in with Mokuta the next morning where Zach was ritualistically carving Nick’s initials into a tree as Sharn reflected on turning on her close ally Nick. Even though it feels like she doesn’t have the right, though maybe I am just bitter. Completely jubilant however was David who had managed to take control of the switched tribe, had an idol that his allies know about – and more importantly, fear – and a secret idol that can keep him safe. Oh and he is going into the merge with a 7-5 advantage based on swap tribes, and an in with the OG Vakama tribe. Not wanting to rest on his laurels, David called an all tribe meeting to plot for the upcoming merge, convincing them to play up that he is on the outs so that he can try and get back in with Vakama, blindside them and fully take control. And drag Zach along for fun.

Forgoing any chatter from Vakama, the tribes joined Jonathan at the top of a hill where after Harry and Shonee processed the pain of losing their bestie Nick, the tribes were officially no more as the tribes merged. AK and Moana were thrilled to have finally been able to make the merge and become an eligible bachelor and bachelorette respectively. Moana was even more motivated to win the money for her family, while David was ready to destroy his competition.

On that note, Jonathan tasked them all with their first individual challenge for an advantage in the upcoming immunity challenge. All they would need to do is hold a clay pot tethered to a rope over a ledge with the last person standing taking out the prize. Almost immediately AK dropped his pot, followed closely by David who immediately started catching up with Brooke and AK. Harry soon dropped out, joining the catch-up while Shonee dropped and was all alone down the other end, silently willing her friends to return to her side. David continued to sell Mokuta’s prearranged lie before Tarzan and Brooke dropped from the challenge. After an hour, Jonathan grew tired and forced everyone down to one hand, leading to Sharn dropping out, followed by Moana, Locky and Zach, leaving Jacqui and Lee to battle it out. After another hour in the sun Jacqui showed her first sign of weakness, while David continued to reel Vakama in with his eyes. Oh and then out of nowhere Jacqui dropped, handing Lee an advantage. Which he won’t learn about until the immunity challenge.

The merge tribe arrived at their new camp – the former Mokuta – with Tarzan thrilled to finally make the merge, Shonee was thrilled to make it again – and be one step closer to some Gucci – and AK was just thrilled about the palatial digs at the new camp. Oh and the huge feast awaiting them by the shore. Locky was screaming, the tribe were grabbing at things, Moana was cracking the booze and Shonee was just thrilled to have cutlery again. After toasting to their successes, Sharn suggested the tribe name of Kalokalo which allegedly means star in Fijian. Everyone agreed, though I assume not because they cared per se and more because they were too interested in smashing the food and eyeing up the competition.

Kalokalo slowly migrated back to the shelter where everyone was mingling, with Brooke chatting to Brooke and Lee, though not that Moana has anything to worry about given she is the Godmother and is fully in control. And she was willing to paint Mokuta as a fractured tribe to stay there. She and Sharn told Brooke about Dave being on the outs, and the need to keep him happy to blindside him. Though really, her plan was to get revenge on Locky who spent the first two weeks of the game targeting her. And voted out her bestie Mat. With that, she pulled Dave aside to lock in the vote against Locky deep in the jungle, with him thrilled by the idea given getting rid of Locky is in his best interests.

Shonee meanwhile was nervous to be in the minority and as such, decided it was time to find two people that she can flip to their side and take control. She caught up with Brooke by the well, who agreed that Dave and Zach were their best hopes and as such, Shonee got to work reminding Zach how much he loves her. She told Brooke that an easy in with Zach is birds, given he has a passion for rescuing birds and has heaps of averies. With that she loves birds and Brooke too now loves birds, regaling him with tales about hand rearing birds and honestly, I can’t actually tell if she bred birds. David could see that they were desperately trying to flip him, glad that Zach too was playing along. As such, he pulled Locky aside to see how they can take control, with Locky spilling Vakama’s entire plan and assuring Dave that Shonee is confident that she will be able to flip back and keep them all safe. Later that night Vakama 2.0, Zach and David caught up to lock in their plan for the upcoming vote, eventually settling on Sharn as Locky wished for chaos, as that is where he does his best work.

Jonathan returned for the first immunity challenge of the season where they would each have to balance on see-saw and take blocks from a dish on one end and stack them on a tray on the other, with the first till nine winning immunity. Well not Lee, as his advantage was to remove a block and only go for eight. The tribe all stepped on to their platforms and while everyone struggled to find their feet, Shonee was like a statue and quickly stacked eight like it was nothing. Sadly she lost her stack though, forcing her to restart. Thankfully she also set off a chain reaction as everyone else lost their balance allowing her to start things up again and build her second tower at lightning speed before everyone followed the trend and dropped again. Ultimately Shonee quickly built her third tower like it was nothing, securing immunity like the freaking icon that she is.

Thanks pilates!

Back at camp the tribe celebrated Shonee’s athletic display of dominance, while the icon was just thrilled to know that there is no way that she is going home. Oh and she let us know that she is just great at balancing and hasn’t even done pilates in over a year. While Locky would have preferred to have won for himself, he was glad that immunity was at the very least in his alliance’s hands and as such, can target Sharn with the help of David and Zach and take control. He then got way to confident and hot damn – Locky, you in danger girl.

Almost like I manifested it, Moana pulled Sharn and Lee aside to lock in the vote for Locky and tee up Sharn to play the fool and pretend to slip that they are targeting AK. With that, she pulled AK aside to let him know that her alliance would be voting for him tonight. And given he has no reason not to trust her, took the information to David and Locky and reconfirmed that they were still on for voting out Sharn, nervous about going home himself should their plans fail. The only person more cocky than Locky at the moment was David, giddy to be in the swing vote position and safely in the majority no matter which side they select.

He caught Zach up on the plan and returned to play mind games with Vakama 2.0 but was proving to be so convincing, that Tarzan started to panic that he had actually flipped. This made him nervous enough to call Moana over and the duo approached him to stress the importance of the upcoming vote to prove their loyalties. Moana was nervous, Locky and Brooke were confident and while it feels obvious, it is so obvious that Locky will go, that maybe I am wrong?

At tribal council Harry spoke about the intricacies of navigating the first post-merge tribal council, before Jonathan threw shade at AK for not making it before. AK spoke about his surprise at how few people approached him after the immunity challenge and truly felt like nothing had changed and everyone was locked in their alliances. David spoke about someone potentially being blindsided, given everyone is keen to make a statement and take out a big player first. Locky admitted to feeling on the bottom as the former Vakama, though was hopeful to have found enough cracks to save them. Sharn spoke about splitting cracks and honestly I get distracted by such innuendo.

Harry continued to prove how dangerous he would be if he gets the chance to plead his case at tribal council, calmly outlining the importance of not only surviving but also impressing the jury enough to win. David agreed but pointed out that you need to get there, oft by making smart decisions, to even get to plead your case. He then spoke about Mayan sacrifice and it got real dark, real quick. Zach had a slip of the tongue, alluding to the vote coming down to old tribal lines. As he desperately tried to play the fool and bumble around who could be aligned, you could see him desperately wanting to crawl back into his avery.

Harry said that they’re at the point where some people haven’t had the chance to play the game yet and as such, looks forward to them showing what they are made off. Locky urged people to step up, while Moana slyly reminded him that she has. Tarzan spoke about the importance of loyalty, while his ally Moana preached the virtues of making the safe move. Locky interjected and told her that there is no way that he will vote for her in the end then. She tried to defend playing it safe, before Locky schooled her about the pre-merge not really counting, since they aren’t around to reward the big moves and as such, she needs to step up. Moana schooled him and asserted that a quiet game doesn’t mean it isn’t a good game. Sharn was confident, Locky was confident and shock horror, David was feeling confident. With that, the tribe voted and poor Locky discovered that his was misplaced as Mokuta 2.0 stuck together to send him out of the game and over to the jury.

Likely not to vote for Moana.

Oh dear, sweet, beautiful Locky – I hate to see him go, but hot damn watching him leave truly floods my basement. He entered Loser Lodge just as it upgraded to the Jury Villa, so I took him into my arms, realised I am devoid of upper body strength and got him to take me in his arms and spin me in a circle like a rom com.

“The King of the Jury needs his queen, and I am forever yours,” I whispered into his ear.

He giggled, maybe awkwardly, maybe a little nervous, I don’t know. What I do know, however, is that Locky is straight up the most interesting player of his archetype besides Malcolm. Good strategically, charming and likeable, athletic and built like a God, he is perfect for this game and could have taken out the season, had Dave and Moana not had control.

His eyes welled up with tears as I told him all this before he started giggling again, this time at the sight of my Marquise au Chocky Gilbert.

 

 

Velvety and smooth, sweet, rich and oh so delicious, the marquise au chocolat melts in your mouth. And is the perfect thing to distract from post boot pain, in bed with your love.

Enjoy!

 

 

Marquise au Chocky Gilbert
Serves: 2 lovers that can also be friends.

Ingredients
255g dark chocolate, cut into pieces
1 tbsp espresso, cooled
1 tbsp amaretto
100g raw caster sugar
5 eggs, separated
175g unsalted butter, melted
cocoa, for dustin’

Method
Line a loaf tin with cling.

Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl with the coffee and amaretto and place in the top of a double boiler – well, if you don’t have steamy, unbridled sexual tension with your mate – and cook, stirring until the chocolate has just melted and everything has come together.

Meanwhile combine the caster sugar in yolks in a bowl and whisk for a couple of minutes, or until light and fluffy. You could do this in a stand mixture, but I like to watch Locky whisk shirtless and I got him to give me a hand. Fold through the chocolate and butter until well combined. Leave to cool.

Finally whisk the egg whites in a stand mixer until stiff peaks form. Fold through the combined chocolate mixture until it forms a homogenous, shiny mixture. Transfer to the lined tin, cover with cling until airtight and place in the fridge to set for a minimum of 12 hours.

Once set, turn out, cut into slices and serve, dusted lightly with cocoa. They devour, on plates, or Locky’s chest. I went with the latter option.

 

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