Minnie Cooperstown

Drink, RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under, RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under 2, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Drag Race Down Under the dolls hosted a cute little brunch in duos. While Molly tried to do a little bit of sabo, by pairing herself with her bestie Hannah while making sure every other pair had a contender. And well, not. Despite Yuri disappearing for half the day to go to hospital, she and Spaknie absolutely slayed their set – CUM (which is generally the culprit of all eye irritations in my house, but I digress) – while Pomara and Bev just felt like they were at two different venues. As such Spankie and Yuri took out a very well earned joint victory while Bev and Pomara faced off in the lip sync, with Pomara tragically shown the door.

Backstage Bev was well and truly in her feels, though was giddy to have survived. She was feeling like everyone was ready for her to go next, though was ready to gag them. Speaking of gag, she opened up about her and Pomara not getting along in the challenge and while she wasn’t comfortable then, she assured her sisters she was ready to speak up as needed. She congratulated Spankie and Yuri on their joint victory, with Spankie giddy to be the first two-time winner of the season. While Hannah questioned whether she is maybe cursed and is the reason she and Molly didn’t win. Oh and then she questioned whether her topping Spankie would look like a Chihuahua doing a Great Dane which adds nothing to the story, but is a very important visual.

The next day the dolls were full of energy and having the best damn time, while Hannah admitted she continues to have a steely focus on hitting the top. She opened up about being emotionally drained, leading to a beautiful discussion amongst the girls about mental health and the general pressure of the competition. Ru then dropped by and gagged them once again with the news that for this week’s Maxi Challenge they would be playing the Snatch Game. As she left, the dolls split up to talk characters with Spankie bringing Dame Edna to the stage and yes, that is perfect for her. Yuri is going with my girl Courtney Love, Minnie is doing Ellen while Molly is going with zaddy Orville Peck, which made Spankie particularly nervous.

Ru returned for a walk through with Hannah debating between Liza and Drew Barrymore, though ideally will follow Alexis rather than Willow. Bev was thinking she would go with Val Garland, until Ru questioned whether anyone found her funny in her real life. Kween Kong was going with Nene Leakes, opening up to Ru that she was hoping to get out of her head, let go and finally have some fun. Minnie was excited by Ellen which thrilled Ru, though I wish she went with the one she was joking about, Mr G. She then threw Bev under the bus, telling Ru she was gagged by Bev lying about getting along with Pomara on the mainstage and well, there is going to be drama once again.

After Ru departed, Yuri was looking forward to being messy, Hannah was a mix of emotions while Kween opened up about her talk to Ru making her feel seen and ready to shine. She opened up about her upbringing and life, feeling guilty about leaving her family behind to start her career and succeed, always worrying about making it up to them. Hannah then brought up Bev seeming a little down, with her calling out Minnie for throwing her under the bus in front of Ru and telling her it hurt her feelings.

We ventured to the Snatch Game set where Rhys and Raven joined the dolls to compete, where Minnie was confusing and Kween was a zaddy and selling Nene’s energy. Yuri was a delightful mess, Bev was a little confusing but so committed while Hannah stole the damn show as Liza. Molly was hilariously off character, while Spankie was a killer Dame Edna. But make no mistake, this was Hannah’s breakout challenge. I mean, her Liza was a masterclass and so much damn fun. I mean, she even followed in Jinkx’s trajectory of singing covers of Ru’s songs. And it was perfect. Though Yuri and Spankie were also super fun. And while Minnie and Molly were a mess, Bev was forgettable, which is the far greater sin in Snatch Game.

Elimination Day arrived with the dolls recapping their performances, with Hannah thrilled to clearly be getting her first win while Bev was feeling fine. Which elicited eyerolls from everyone. Minnie meanwhile knew that she bombed, though was hopeful her runway would be able to save her. As they split up to beat their mugs, Spankie suggested they do impersonations of each other with Hannah and Spankie nailing each other. Molly did a pitch perfect Minnie, but more importantly, was brave to do it. Kween read Yuri for filth, by saying her sitting there was a Yuri impression and again, Kween is my life and loins at this point.

On the Cirque Du So-Gay runway, Minnie slayed the runway as the rollergirl clown while Kween was the sexiest bearded lady, complete with a full, shimering bush. Spankie slayed in a harlequin mime number, Yuri was a sexy showgirl in white, complete with a tattooed burlesque show. Bev went full sexy lion, lion-tamer, owning the big top, Molly was perfection as a fairy floss mime-clown, while Hannah gave sexy-jester realness.

Kween was sent to safety solo before Minnie was praised for her runway, though read for absolutely bombing Snatch Game. Spankie was praised for doing well, despite Michelle wanting more, while her runway was praised for her growth. And by that, I assume Michelle meant pants. Yuri was praised for leaning into the stupid and agan, slaying the runway. While Bev’s runway received universal praise, her Snatch was read for absolute filth for just missing every damn mark. She then opened up about feeling like an imposter, before Ru encouraged her to kill the inner saboteur and slay. Molly’s runway was beloved, though her Orville was read for being nothing. While Hannah received effusive praise for literally everything she did this week, from the runway to her Liza. And well, that praise was deserved.

Backstage Kween’s peace and quiet was interrupted by the rest of the dolls with everyone congratulating Hannah on slaying the game. Bev opened up about feeling the pressure of the competition, while Minnie started to break down, feeling bad for having upset Bev and stressed about it playing on her mind when she clearly has to lip sync. Molly meanwhile was nervous about lip syncing because Minnie is beloved by the judges.

Obviously Hannah took out victory while Spankie and Yuri were deemed safe. On the flipside, Molly narrowly avoided lip syncing, leaving current feuders Minnie and Bev to battle for safety. To Lady Gaga’s Dance in the Dark, no less. While Minnie delighted in clown comedy, Bev was desperate to save herself, giving all the emotion and slaying every damn lyric and well, it was good. Good enough to give her another week and tragically send the legend that is Minnie Cooper home. Thankfully with a lot of love from her sisters.

While I was tempted to start a feud with her when she walked backstage – I crave the attention, you know – I couldn’t do that to such an icon. Instead, I pulled Minnie in for a massive hug and reiterated how damn proud of her I am. Not only is she a killer performer that has well and truly earned her legacy, she also knew the assignment when coming on reality TV and gave us camp, gaggy moments and a lot of heart. I then asked her if she had any other potential people she was tossing around for Snatch Game and upon hearing she opted against doing Jeanne Little, who she would have demolished the competition with, I lost it. There were tears, rage screams and well, I am ashamed at how much it hurt. Thankfully after her holding me in her arms and assuring me it was ok, and downing a Minnie Cooperstown, everything was all good.

This little drink is the perfect pick-me-up when you’re feeling down, earthy, sweet and packing a minty punch, it is a symphony of flavours that fill your heart with joy.

So, enjoy!

Minnie Cooperstown
Serves: 1.

Ingredients
45ml gin
25ml red vermouth
35ml dry vermouth
a couple of dashes of bitters
2 mint leaves

Method
Combine everything in a cocktail shaker with ice and stir to chill. Strain into a glass and down.

And then repeat, as necessary (in a responsible manner).


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La Grande Damarretto Cake

Baking, Cake, Dessert, Drag Race France, Drag Race France 1, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Drag Race France the top four were given one final hurdle before battling for the crown and oh boy, was it a doozy – making over their besties! And while there are normally more than a few questionable choices, the quartet all served it as they stayed true to themselves while looking out for their friends. While that doesn’t help a competition format reality show, Nicky solved the little deadlock with a classic lip sync lalaparuza. As such, Soa defeated Lolita and booked the first spot in the top three. She was followed by Paloma before La Grande Dame narrowly completed the top three as Lolita Banana was tragically felled.

Backstage the top three were well and truly gagged to have made it to the end, before toasting to Lolita’s epic run to the top four. Though they didn’t spend too much time thinking about it, given they had a big week ahead if they wanted to snatch the crown. The next day the top three returned excited and ready to claim their crown. But after Nicky arrived to announce their final Maxi Challenge, they were a little less excited and erring more on the side of nervous. First up they would have to learn the lyrics to RuPaul’s Catwalk, in ENGLISH, then learn extensive choreography and perform it live on the mainstage. Then stomp the runway in front of fashion icon Olivier Rousteing.

Oh and obvs they will be having a little madeleine lunch with Nicky, as the French are wont to do.

After Nicky disappeared, they split up to speculate how painful their choreography would be, with everyone hoping for some camp disco moves. While La Grande Dame was only confident in her old white man moves. Thankfully they didn’t have to wait long to find out as they quickly joined Nicolas Huchard on the mainstage to rehearse. And let’s just say, the performance is going to be very, very detailed and very, very intense. While Soa was in her element, Paloma was feeling super anxious and struggled to get it down and bring enough attitude. While Grande Dame was mildly confident, given she wasn’t the weakest. Well, unless this is a fakeout edit and Paloma is going to absolutely demolish the final performance.

Soa was first to kiki with Nicky, already feeling like a winner to have made it to the end. But hopeful to keep that fire and take the crown in honour of her dear friend Mrs Rose. La Grande Dame was next to drop by, simultaneously shocked to be there and proud of all that she has achieved. She revealed that she came to the competition because she had a difficult time growing up and wanting to show her mother another side of herself after difficult years apart, due to her queerness. Paloma meanwhile spoke about how the competition has made her feel like less of an imposter and that she has a place in the world. And ugh, I honestly love them all.

Nicky, Daphné and Kiddy were joined by Nicolas and Olivier on the judging panel as the top three took the stage for their performance of Catwalk and while Paloma looked tentative in rehearsal, she hit the stage with a fire and was so damn charming. La Grande Dame served non-stop moody glamour; ethereal and damn fierce. Soa meanwhile had all the energy, hitting every move and giving us sex from start to finish.

The Dragnifique runway was opened by our eliminated queens where La Kahena was a pretty princess in nude before stripping near nude and showing bum. So swoon. Lova gave showgirl glamour, La Briochée was a patchworked voodoo-Dorothy delight, Kam was peach-puff perfection while Elips was so gorgeous in a black, shimmering jumpsuit. Big Bertha went from red vamp, to revealing a bodysuit carving up her meat while Lolita was gorgeous in a gaudy quinceanera kinda way. When it came to the top three, Paloma was perfect in a moody red gown, complete with Bette Midler Hocus Pocus wig. Soa was sexy in a bead and leather outfit, giving structure and skin in equal measure while La Grande Dame was camp as hell in a shimmering lilac gown of frills and ruching.

Paloma received universal praise for all that she sold on the runway and for the diversity of her performances throughout the season. And for having so much fun. Paloma opened up to the judges, explaining how she wants her potential victory to inspire people to follow their dreams. Soa was praised for looking stunning on the runway, and for kicking off the season in such a strong fashion with her talent show performance. Oh and never mind her killer track record and dominating each lip sync she appeared in. She thanked the judges for their kindness and for embracing her. La Grande Dame meanwhile received praise for giving constantly evolving glamour on the runway and mixing it with such fun humour. And frankly, a whole lot of stupidity.

Nicky then wheeled out the baby pictures, with Paloma encouraging her younger self to stand firm and love herself and trust that everything will work out, despite the trauma and upheaval that is sometimes thrown her way. Soa told her baby self to use the pain that comes her way as fire to make something of herself and to fight. And again, I love her so much. La Grande Dame meanwhile told her even younger self that while life may be strange and confusing at times, to always keep hope and focus on her happiness.

Before they ventured to untuck, Nicky then announced that the queens had privately voted prior to the show with Elips crowned the first Miss Sympathie. Backstage the finalists reunited with their eliminated sisters, toasting to a killer season before Grande Dame shared that watching her sisters leave in tears was the hardest part of the entire competition for her.

The girls returned to the mainstage to lip sync for the crown to Dalida’s Mourir sur scène. And given the dolls are icons, none of them really tried to steal the spotlight from anyone else, calm and confident in their skills as they all turned a killer show. Soa was obviously moody and fierce, Paloma served all the emotion while Grande Dame was stunning and on every lyric. Complete with glitter. Sadly, while everyone nailed the performance (and the season more broadly), Nicky had to pick a winner. And tragically, that was not La Grande Dame who finished as one of the two runner-ups. This is going to become quite repetitive, but the top three were so damn strong that any of them could have taken out the crown and while I’m thrilled for the winner, both La Grande Dame and the as yet unmentioned here other runner-up were worthy.

As soon as La Grande Dame stepped offstage for the crowning, I pulled her in for a massive hug and marvelled how someone so young could do what she did. I then went on a rant about my own fading youth and asked her to give me hers, before I snapped out of it and congratulated her on a job well done with a glorious La Grande Damarretto Cake.

The only thing elegant or decadent enough for La Grande Dame’s aesthetic is this barely-tweaked Nigella number. Rich, dense and velvety smooth, it is essentially the perfect cake. And I’d be willing to fight anyone that disagrees.

Enjoy!

La Grande Damarretto Cake
Serves: 8-12.

Ingredients
100g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
100g unsalted butter, softened 
4 eggs, at room temperature
125g raw caster sugar
100g almond meal
2 tbsp cocoa powder, plus extra for dustin’
¼ cup amaretto liqueur
2 tsp vanilla extract

Method
Preheat the oven to 160C and line the base of your springform cake tin with baking paper.

Melt the butter and chocolate together in a double boiler until smooth and glossy, before removing from the heat to cool.

Whisk the eggs and sugar until thick, glossy and doubled in volume. Combine the almond meal and cocoa, before folding through the sweetened eggs.

Mix the amaretto and vanilla with the melted chocolate, then fold through the batter until well combined. Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin and transfer to the oven to bake for 20 minutes, or until it is coming away from the edges and is cracked on the top. It should be dense and moist, but only just cooked through with a few crumbs left on an inserted skewer.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, before unclamping the tin and gently transferring the cake to a plate. Sprinkle with a little extra cocoa before devouring, triumphantly. Despite not winning. 


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Boozy Rajafresca

Drink, RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars, RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars 7, TV, TV Recap

Previously on All Winners eight iconic victors of seasons past returned to the mainstage to compete for the chance to be crowned the one, true, Queen of all Queens. After kicking off the season with a killer rumix where Shea and Monet slayed in front of Cameron Diaz, the dolls backed it up with Snatch Game. And not just any Snatch Game, a double dose of Snatch, where each queen was tasked with delivering not one, but two performances. While Jinkx obviously delivered a masterclass duo of performances alongside Trinity, Raja was the surprise package and stole my heart with her hilarious turns. Ultimately though it was Jinkx and Trinity that landed in the top making Shea’s choice to block Trinity a smart one. Well, until Jinkx won the lip sync and returned the favour, blocking Shea the very next week.

Backstage Jinkx was feeling her oats post-win and ugh, I love to see it. She then explained that she blocked Shea this week because she already has a star and given Shea is that good, it is unlikely she will stumble again. And as such, they all need to do what they can. And well, everyone agreed they would have made the same decision, while Yvie would have lingered on Monet to make her shit herself. Which, lol. Shea arrived and started to play mind games with the dolls, pretending the platinum plunger comes with a special power and given Trinity is hilarious, she jumped onboard and well, again, this is the greatest season of all time.

Oh but don’t worry, Inspector Jaida is on the case and she will get all the answers for us. Whatever that means.

The next day Monet welcomed the trio of starred girls, while Trinity was a little disappointed that she should, technically, have a damn star by now. Soooo, Jaida and Trinity are the top in the ball, I’m guessing? Before I could make any more predictions, Ru arrived to play a little game of hung man with the dolls and the Pit Crew. And well, like The Viv, I’m dripping. Or in Ginger Minj speak, my basement is flooded. Jinkx took out the only puzzle with the answer of Vanna White Party. Which led into this week’s Maxi Challenge, the BALL. First category the dolls would be walking the runway in game show hostess glam for Vanna White Realness. The second category would feature Wheel of Fortune’s famous Before and After, like Diana Ross Matthews. Or in my mind RuPaul Simon, because seeing that duo would be hilarious.

Closing out the ball the dolls would be rocking Realness of Fortune Eleganza. Aka a garment made from scratch with the dolls spinning a wheel to pick their inspiration city. Jinkx got the lavender fields of Provence, Shea won White Cliffs of Dover, Monet jagged the Emerald Isle, Jaida got the Black Sand Beach, Raja got Gold of the Golden Pagoda, Yvie won $500 and then $1000 before getting bankrupted before The Viv finally won money on the show, $1000 dollars, then $500 and then finally got a city with the Blue Hole of Belize before Trinity got bankrupted. This left Yvie to get the Pink City of Jaipur and Trinity getting the straggler of the Red Square of Russia.

With everyone’s colours sorted, the dolls split up to collect their supplies before The Vivienne admitted she would be playing it safe with the design. Given she doesn’t really wear blue, ever. Trinity meanwhile was slowly making a ruffle and driving everyone mad, while Monet admitted she hasn’t made a dress since the infamous sponge look. Raja meanwhile was feeling a little nervous given this is one of her strengths and she doesn’t have a fat arse blunt or two bottles of wine, which makes up her usual process. Jinkx was in a battle with the sewing machine and honestly was not feeling fortunate. That being said, she was glad to have lucked out by blocking one of the sewers and had settled for the critique of, it’s a dress. Since that would be a step up for her in design challenges. Shea meanwhile was worried how to bring a non-bridal white look, given she already served it in All Stars 5.

Ru dropped by to check in on her daughters with Jinkx outlining her strategy and admitting she is still terrible at sewing. But, she hoped to braid her way into a gown. Monet was feeling her 70s oats and ready to Survivor the competition to the crown. Jaida was ready to pull off a very technical dress, given she made her entire Season 12 wardrobe. Yvie meanwhile was trying to punk up pink, like Pink or the girl from my school that looks like Pink. Allegedly.

After Ru departed, Jaida started to worry she may have been too ambitious with her design, though doubled down on the fact she was here to cement her legacy, not rest on it. And yes, I love Jaida’s entire vibe. Oh and then everyone thirsted over Monet’s booty which, I get it as a fellow booty queen. Shea meanwhile decided to lean into bridal despite having served it once before, while Trinity was continuing to work out a full on gown and ugh, she is so damn talented. Yvie meanwhile made a seam and Raja a vagina. While Jinkx was getting into the Season 5 mindset, stressed about the mess she was in until Trinity dropped by, gave her a pep talk and some ideas and well, I love to see it.

Runway Day arrived with Jinkx perking up after a spank from Trinity before the dolls started beating their mugs. While The Viv was not impressed by any of the doll’s accent work, Trinity and Monet were doubling down on their alliance before Jinkx dropped by to shade their not-so-secret alliance. And then was promptly offered a spot in the alliance and while she didn’t sign up to an official deal, she reminded the girls that she appreciates what both of them have done for her throughout the competition. Given they didn’t get an agreement, Trinity approached Shea to see if she wanted in on the game and well, Shea was not into it either. So when Jaida approached, she outed Trinity’s approach to building an alliance, with Jaida just as disinterested in joining. But also a little confused and just wanting to do her best.

Ru, Michelle and Carson were joined by Kirby Howell-Baptiste on the panel as the dolls kicked off the Realness of Fortune Ball with their Vanna White Realness looks with Vanna White watching from the wall, stunning in a shimmering black gown and ugh, I love her. Perfection. Iconic. Again, best season ever. Jinkx was stunning, also in black, gagged to see Vanna on the runway. Shea and Monet were perfect in white, Jaida was adorable in a stunning silver gown, complete with lighting up the letters as she walked along. Raja almost died when she saw Vanna White in her perfect purple gown. Yvie was full Yvie, noticing Vanna at the very last minute while The Viv gave all peach in a velvet gown – completely unaware who Vanna was – and Trinity was a sparkling beauty, giving full pageant perfection.

On the Before and After runway, Jinkx was perfection as Whatever Happened to Baby Jane Fonda, Shea was a sexy Gold Tooth Fairy, Monet gave Bob the Drag Queen Elizabeth realness, serving neon paint in the palace. Jaida’s Bag Lady in Red was stun. Ning and ugh, I love her. Raja’s Olivia Newton-John Waters was so damn gorgeous and camp. Yvie was hilarious as Cardi Bea Arthur and ugh, it was hot and oh so golden. The Vivienne meanwhile was amazing as Princess Diana Ross before Trinity stole the show as RuPaul Charles II, which was a dandy delight.

Closing the show with their made looks, Jinkx managed to sew her gown and well, it was a gown. Which is what she wanted. Shea was a sexy New Orleans bride, Monet was having fun as a disco diva, Jaida was insanely talented, serving architectural perfection, Myanmar Golden Pagoda Raja was fucking stunning, Yvie was dramatic in blushing pink while The Vivienne was gorgeous in baby blue before Trinity too gave insane perfection in what she whipped up in a day.

The judges lived for Jinkx’s first two looks for being right in the pocket, while they were glad she was able to pull together the outfit. Which led to her praising Trinity for having her back. Shea received universal praise for the looks, whether the Vanna White look gave Vanna White or not. Monet was praised for giving fun and wit, while Jaida rightly received all the praise for everything she did, but more importantly for making the look she did in the space of a day. Raja too received universal praise for each look, despite the fact they wanted more John Waters in the middle look. Which, lies. Yvie was praised for thinking outside the box for each category while The Viv was beloved, despite not giving much Vanna like Shea. And then Trinity received top marks, bought the vowels and shut it down with each category.

As the dolls untucked Jaida was confident in her performance, though nervous given a lot of her sisters also served killer looks. The Viv was already keen for another ball while Jinkx was just thrilled to see Vanna live, in the flesh. While Yvie caught her ring in her outfit, the dolls praised Shea for giving full wedding glam while they were busy thirsting over Monet’s wig colour. Viv added some shade asking whose outfit they would want to wear, with pretty much everyone wanting to try on Raja’s though Jinkx feeling The Viv was more her vibe. They then gushed over Viv’s make-up before they were gagged to learn Jaida even made her damn boot covers. Which is ridiculous and talented. Oh and then everyone gagged Yvie given they were so proud of her for making her Cardi Bea Arthur look and well, it was too much.

Ultimately it was Trinity and Jaida who landed in the top with Trinity finally jagging a star, meaning she and Jaida are now part of a five person club. As soon as Beyonce’s Green Light kicked off though, it was very obvious that this was Jaida’s for the taking. While Trinity gave all the sex and comedy in the world, Jaida was on point from start to finish, feeling every lyric, hitting every letter and then playing air sax into a split. And yeah, no surprises that she took out the $10k and then blocked Jinkx. Because obviously.

Backstage Jaida was thrilled to have finally shine, once again asserting her dominance in design challenges. She was feeling vindicated, valedictorian and validation. The dolls congratulated Trinity for taking out her first star from two wins, which was the perfect introduction for Jinkx who joined her sisters and was once again charming and hilarious. And fine about being blocked, unless she wins this week and misses out on being the first queen to win two stars. Which totally means she is winning this week, right? As is Viv who is feeling very hungry for the win and well, let’s see if I’m right. Again, for the record.

In any event, we know that Raja will be robbed which is reassuring, only in its consistency.

The next day Jinkx arrived playing Bing Bang Bong on the ukulele and well, it was just as amazing as you’d expect. Though now we’re all going to have it in our head for days. Jaida meanwhile was being shady, pointing out Monet is the only person with a star that hasn’t been blocked. Well, until Trinity reminded her that she now has a star.

Ru dropped by to explain that for this week’s Maxi Challenge the dolls would be improv-ing their way through the court show, Fairytale Justice. In two teams, the dolls would play out the cases of fairytale miscarriages of justice. And as winners of last week’s challenge, Jaida and Trinity were team captains, with Jaida going with Jinkx, Monet and Yvie while Trinity opted for Shea, Viv and were left with Raja. Team Jaida was covering the case of the three little pigs and the big bad wolf, while Team Trinity would act out Goldielocks’ break and enter at the bears’ house.

Team Jaida were all living for their roles, with Jinkx comfortable to take on any and all feedback and make her character as bizarre as possible. Because you know she is going to go for the win, despite being blocked. Over with Team Trinity, Raja was typecast as a sexy granny, while The Viv was ready to turn out her first ever improv challenge. And given she was going to turn Goldilocks into the fucken’ Chuckie girl, condragulations Viv! The one thing both teams could agree on is that their rival teams were going to turn it out.

Blow the House Down Boots was the first case to be argued with Jinkx delightfully demented, and ugh, I love it. She was vapid, she was wild and horny, and it was perfection. Yvie was the sexiest wolf on earth, Jaida was so fun and ridiculous and then Monet arrived and shut it down playing the straight guy of the scene and while it won’t give her a win, she was hella fun. Particularly when she started slapping the hell out of everyone and everything. As soon as The Vivienne skipped into the scene, it was clear she was going to land in the top. She barely uttered her first sentence before Shea started breaking with laughter. Though Shea did play a fun straight guy, Raja was a hilarious and thirsty grandmother, yelling at Michelle before Trinity arrived and was as manic and stupid as you’ve come to expect. Though it was far and away The Vivienne’s scene, as she cycled through the accents and was completely bonkers and well, it was the best.

Runway Day arrived with The Viv still running through the accents as the groups split up to talk through their performances with Raja praising The Viv standing out in their scene, despite the fact they all did so well. As everyone started to beat their mugs, Jaida was offering out Tajin shots as they kikied about their performances. Raja meanwhile spoke about not wanting to do an old lady again, while Yvie decided to not play a man again. They then got distracted by Jaida’s make-up as she was blending black and white, and joking about going on stage half baked and screaming at the judges for not giving them enough time. Oh and then Jinkx pointed out that they usually block the person that blocked the week before, so good luck to ya Jaida!

Ru, Michelle and Ross were joined by Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman as Jaida absolutely slayed the Spikes on the Runway number in a Grace Jones in Mad Max style look. Jinkx gave the most glamorous echidna known to man while Monet was serving punk Valentina teas and well, it was good. Yvie served sexy scorpion, Trinity was a sexy, staked vampire, while The Viv was perfect in a light blue bodysuit with golden spikes. And it was so stunning. As was Raja’s shimmering mediaeval space warrior. Shea meanwhile was crazed in her hobble skirted purple fairy alien.

Jaida meanwhile received universal praise for all that she served this week, until Jinkx received even more praise for all that she did, and for being such a consummate professional and staying true to who she is. Monet was praised for stealing the show with her entrance, while the judges lived for her runway. They lived for Yvie’s killer runway and was praised for her commitment to the role. Trinity’s interpretation of the runway was beloved for being unexpected and they lived for how much fun Trinity is having this season. The judges had no idea what Shea’s runway was, but they lived for it and the way she made the straight guy Karen-bear role likeable. The Vivienne too received glowing, universal praise, besting even Jinkx with how much the judges lived for her and her instantly iconic runway. Obviously everyone was obsessed with Raja’s runway for the perfection it was and how well she delivered the character in the challenge, with Ru in particular living for her clear rebirth this season.

As the dolls untucked they quickly praised Yvie for looking so stunning on the runway and being so sexy in the challenge. Essentially, they were all horny for Yvie. They were also in agreement about The Vivienne in the top two this week, but weren’t sure who would be joining her because Jinkx, Raja and Yvie all got such good critiques. Which fired Raja up more than anything, given she has slayed each and every week, but has not received a star yet. Talk turned to how grateful Ru is for all of them for coming back before they decided to address the politics of blocking, with Jinkx not wanting to block someone on her team, but also not wanting to block someone without a star, narrowing down the list to Jaida and Monet. While everyone agreed that Monet, girl, The Viv is coming for you. Oh but she was in the bathroom the entire conversation, so who really knows. Jeffrey dropped backstage to kiki with the girls, saving The Viv from actually having to give an answer and well, Jeffrey is so hot, so let’s just enjoy that for all that he is.

Obviously Jinkx and The Vivienne took out victory, robbing Raja of yet another win and leaving us with a 6-way tie with one star. Since Jaida blew it for Jinkx. But whatever, because she was ready to kill Because Love is Gonna Save the Day by Whitney Houston. While The Vivienne also slayed the lip sync and gave all the attitude and emotion, I always have a soft spot for Jinkx’s brand of demented. Sadly for her though, The Viv straight up collected a xylophone from Jaida on the side of stage mid-song and played it to the beat and that was just unbeatable. As such, she took out the win and quickly blocked Monet and it was delightful as they bantered back and forth. Though me thinks Monet was well and truly fuming deep down inside.

As the dolls filed past me to return to the Werk Room, I reluctantly pulled Raja aside and told her that it was her turn. Reluctantly because she arguably should have three bloody stars already and the undisputed frontrunner, but alas, she has taken her sister Raven’s spot as the perennial bridesmaid. I pulled her in for a hug and instantly started ranting and raving about the robbery that we’ve witnessed week after week before she calmly told me that a) I was coming off a bit Tyra (Banks, thankfully) and b) she is having the best time and is just thrilled by the journey, winning be damned. While she was proud to be doing so well and to be performing to a new audience – and in HD – I handed her a big fat blunt and told her that next week WOULD be her week, otherwise I will be forced to key Ru and/or Michelle’s car. A promise I toasted to with a big ol’ jug of Boozy Rajafresca.

In an effort to push her back into the Winner’s Circle, I was inspired by one of her fellow member Aquaria but given Raja likes a tipple like me – and is of legal drinking age, I spiked it! Fresh and fruity with a nice warmth coming through with the addition of chilli (and the vodka, obvi), it is the perfect way to drink away a balmy summer evening.

Enjoy!

Boozy Rajafresca
Serves: 2 dear old friends.

Ingredients
1 batch Aguaria Fresca
½ cup vodka (or more or less, depending on the size of the watermelon and how strong you’d like it)
2 tsp chilli flakes

Method
Combine the Aguaria Fresca in a jug with the vodka and chilli, and give a good stir. Then down, happily.

The other option is to follow Aquaria’s recipe and just pop the vodka and chilli in the blender with everything else and then blitz. It doesn’t really matter how you get there, all that matters is the refreshment.


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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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Blu Skydrangea

Drink, RuPaul's Drag Race: UK vs the World, RuPaul's Drag Race: UK vs the World 1, TV, TV Recap

Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race: UK vs the World nine queens came together from across the road, uniting the best and brightest that Canada, Thailand, Holland and the US have to offer against a trio of UK icons. As quickly as they came together on the stage, poor Lemon was sent packing, quickly followed by the iconic Cheryl Hole. After that, things started to truly get wild as the winner of the first two challenges Jimbo was eliminated by Pangina. In turn, after taking out Snatch Game, Blu took a leaf out of her book and eliminated Pangina for being the biggest threat.

When the US girls took out the final challenge, they both decided to keep things fair(ish) as they both picked Janey to go home. Juju because she felt Janey did the worst in the challenge, while Mo did it to protect Blu. Though since it was Juju who won the lip sync, I will focus on that.

Team US and Team UK took the stage one final time for the lip sync smack down for the crown, with Mo eliminating Baga in the first round before Blu bested Juju and booked her place in the final lip sync. Before charming her way through the final performance with all the camp that British drag has to offer, eliminating Mo and claiming the title of Queen of the World.

While Blue entered the competition feeling like a filler queen, she well and truly stamped her place in the competition, cementing her legacy and booking her place in the Winner’s Circle. All before she stopped looking like she was in school.

Backstage I pulled her in for a massive hug and congratulated her on jagging the win and while her prize may not exactly be the best, she was thrilled to be able to swap smutty jokes with me as the winner. And down round after round of Blu Skydrangeas.

It always feels a little redundant when it comes to talking up alcohol (maybe that should tell me something), but this one is a real winner. Fresh and fruity, it is the perfect way to celebrate victory or dream of a bright, sunny day.

Enjoy!

Blu Skydrangea
Serves: 1.

Ingredients
ice 
30ml gin
30ml lime juice
30ml blue curaçao
15ml cherry liqueur
lemonade, to top

Method
Pop the ice, gin, lime juice, blue curaçao and cherry liqueur in a cocktail shaker and shake until well combined.

Pour into a highball glass and top up with some lemonade. Down and repeat.


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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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