Michaela Bradshortcake

Baking, Dessert, Snack, Survivor: Game Changers – Mamanuca Islands, Sweets, TV Recap

Previously – slash a minute ago – on Survivor, it became exceedingly more obvious that Sarah was sliding her way to victory, despite Cirie’s killer display. While everyone was against Brad for the entire episode, Andrea stuck her neck out one time too many and found herself sent to the jury.

We arrived back at camp where Aubry apologised to Brad for being the only person remaining that voted for him last tribal. She then acknowledged the elephant in the room, that if you align with her you end up voted out … or near death. She then broke down about having had such a rollercoaster day what with winning immunity and being blindsided, before winning Tai’s affection back and making Cirie wary of Tai’s social game.

Probst quickly returned for the second immunity challenge of the episode, the Darrah Johnson-Shane Powers memorial pour-water-in-the-hole-to-float-a-key-high-enough-to-retrieve-it. Don’t blame me for the title, I was experiencing PTSD by proxy for Cirie.

Michaela got out to a quick lead, followed closely by Troyzan, Aubry and Brad, who made quick work using the key to unlock their puzzle pieces. Given how confusing the puzzle was, Sarah, Tai and Cirie all caught up before Brad found a hole that he couldn’t fill. Michaela thought she had it, which she didn’t before kicking the puzzle … giving enough time for Brad to fill that hole and snatch immunity.

Brad then celebrated and / or through a tantrum, almost channelling Mr. This-Is-My-Island, Troyzan.

Back at camp the Troyzan and Tai were feeling uncomfortable, since the target was immune … despite both of them being in possession of an idol, or two if you’re Tai. Tai approached Aubry about needing to make some moves if they are going to make it to the end, both agreeing that Sarah is currently the one to beat.

Aubry then told Cirie, who went straight back to Sarah who refused to believe that Aubry was telling the truth. Wanting to solidify her loyalty, Sarah decided to give up the extra vote advantage to Cirie. Cirie, being the crafty kween that she is, debating the merits on hanging on to it, or playing it despite the fact Sarah didn’t want to, to protect Sarah from herself and Tai.

Cirie then clued Michaela in on what was happening, with both of them agreeing that Cirie needed to use Sarah’s vote steal to steal Sarah’s own vote to take out Tai … by lulling him into a false sense of security to not play an idol by saying she is doing it to save him. This is some next level inception bullshit right here and if she pulls it off, she is the first in line to Sandra’s throne in the line of procession.

Giving future players a masterclass on how to manipulate people, Cirie pulled Tai aside and played him like a fiddle. I mean, the voice quivering, the panic, the concern?! I love Cirie.

We then arrived at tribal council where Sarah spoke about the mad scrambling that occurred post challenge. Cirie and Brad agreed that everyone was lying to someone and that they need to cut through that, to which Michaela disagreed. Tai then acknowledged that he always gives people the benefit of the doubt and that it could lead to his downfall.

Troyzan sounded like he’s been hurt one too many times in the game, which after being schooled by Kim I assume he has. Michaela then brought up the ‘we’ again before we headed off to vote … but wait, Cirie pulled out the vote steal! Sadly for her, she didn’t read the fine print saying that it could not be transferred.

She was then chastised by Probst and Sarah, for outing the fact she was going to make a huge move but actually couldn’t. And as has become the tradition of Game Changers, Sarah then whispered something in Tai’s ear, before Cirie pulled Sarah aside to tell her she was trying to use it to save her, which Michaela jumped up to agree with. Troyzan then tried to eavesdrop, earning the wrath of Michaela who did not have time for his shit.

Aubry then joined the fray and things started to calm down and everyone returned to their seats … until Sarah got back up to  talk to Tai, with Cirie whispering in the other ear. Cirie then went to Michaela, while Tai went back to talking to Sarah … before the latter decided to just use the advantage, take Tai’s vote and get this over with.

Despite snatching Tai’s vote, Sarah didn’t join Aubry and Michaela in voting out Tai, instead joining Brad and Troyzan to blindside Michaela. While it wasn’t as exciting as her previous exit, the tribal build up was even more exciting and she ended with you do you, boo … which is amazing.

Make no mistake, Michaela is a total sass queen … but she was feeling a little bit salty, having been booted from Survivor twice in the space of a few months. That being said, it is hard to stay salty when you fill up on my Michaela Bradshortcake!

 

 

I know that the doll/TV show firmly pushes for the strawberry version of these delights, I have a strong aversion to the feel of them on my tongue and therefore avoid them at most costs. I mean, I’ll eat them but they are not my first through fifth choice.

Plus, how do you go wrong with apple, walnut and cinnamon? Exactly, you can’t – enjoy!

 

 

Michaela Bradshortcake
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
3-4 apples, cored and finely diced
juice of a lemon
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup raw caster sugar
2 cups flour
1 tbsp baking powder
kosher salt
85g cold unsalted butter
1 ½ cup double cream
½ cup walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
1 egg

Method
Combine the apples, lemon juice, cinnamon and ¼ cup raw caster sugar to combine. Cover and allow to steep for an hour or so.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Combine the flour, remaining sugar, baking powder and a pinch of salt in a large bowl. Using your fingertips, rub the butter through the flour mixture until it resembles wet sand. Add 1 cup cream and walnuts, and stir with a fork until it just starts to come together.

Form the dough into large lime-sized balls and press to flatten on a lined baking tray, repeating the process until done.

Whisk the egg, brush each biscuit/scone and bake until golden brown, or about 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool for half an hour.

When ready to serve, whip the remaining cream in a bowl until soft peaks form. Half the biscuit and top with some apple and cream. Close the biscuit … and because I really like to load up on the toppings, add some more apple, cream and a pinch of cinnamon.

Then devour, obviously.

 

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Andrea Gumboehlke

Main, Poultry, Survivor: Game Changers – Mamanuca Islands, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, Officer Sarah shared information of her vote steal advantage with kween Cirie, winning her and I over. Wanting in on the action Sierra then shared information about the legacy advantage with Sarah, which backfired as Sarah targeted her to get a hold of the advantage – successfully blindsiding Sierra and securing the advantage for herself over Sierra’s closest ally Brad.

Maku Maku returned to camp where Aubry, Andrea, Cirie and Michaela were shocked about why Sarah pretended to be shocked about Sierra getting the boot. This made Andrea nervous and immediately want to target her, on the flipside Cirie was keen to keep her on side and take her to the end as a goat.

The next day Sarah then explained how the legacy advantage worked, none the wiser that we already know about said advantage from Jessica and my wet-dream Kengel last season. Her reenactment of her shocked face was on point though, before gloating about her total of two advantages. Which she plans to use to get rid of Andrea ASAP.

Given that it is a double boot, Probst jumped straight into the action for the first immunity challenge of the episode – the classic house of cards challenge … though this time it was on a balancing table.

Aubry got out to an early lead after finally joining the season, casually chatting about her boyfriend (the insufferable) Cochran. Michaela and Andrea caught up, before quickly dropping out. Brad dropped his stack, as did Cirie and Sarah, while Aubry continued to dominate with a slow and steady wins the race mentality. Michaela and Troyzan caught up, then dropped … seriously this is boring commentary, no? Despite needing to take cards off to get enough height, Aubry took out the challenge – and almost Probst with that hug – breaking the time record by over ten minutes.

The tribe returned to camp, mystified by Aubry’s mad skillz and probably wondering why she was allowed to enter the game on day 33. Cirie and her mob got together to lock in the vote against Brad. Proving to still be as tone deaf as always, Michaela went to find Brad and direct him to stop looking for an idol and to instead go fishing.

Yeah he took it as a threat and it was, but Monica would totally go fish for everyone as she is such a nice, neat lady.

Andrea tried to get Aubry and Cirie to turn on Sarah as the biggest threat over the boys, which backfired as Cirie went to Sarah and floated the idea of getting rid of Andrea instead of Brad.

With that little bit of confusion, we arrived at tribal where Aubry spoke about the ‘we’ being a bit more solid these days, to which Sarah agreed that if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. On the flipside, Troyzan argued that given he has zero options (or chance at winning) – sorry Kass, he took your Spencer-appointed title – if anyone flipped to him, they’d have the most loyal ally ever. Forever, BFFs.

While Aubry agreed, she noted that with eight people left there is still a lot that could happen. Cirie and Andrea spoke about the lack of pre-tribal scrambling … which I assumed was just cut because of the double boot. Brad agreed that he didn’t scramble with Andrea, figuring that since he’s voted against her twice now, she wouldn’t be interested. Sarah then started her jury speech a few tribals too early and reiterated that when she was a juror, she rewarded gameplay and would like the jury to reward her for voting all of them out. Which Aubry countered with the fact you need to make an emotional connection, which is what she lacked in Kaoh Rong and lost her the game.

As they went to vote, Brad gave a last ditch plea for the majority to think about the fact that one of them will go out fifth, inevitably regretting not taking out their alliance earlier. Whether it was Brad’s work or not, Cirie, Sarah and Michaela all flipped to the minority to take out Andrea … blindsiding Aubry and earning Cirie and playful tickle on the way out the door.

Say what you will, girl sure can handle a blindside with grace and a smile.

Given that both Dre Dre and i are beloved members of the media, it is obvious that we’d be the dearest of friends. And so I knew that despite loving the chance to be slaughtered by kween Cirie, she would be sad and in desperate need of a Andrea Gumboehlke.

 

 

Hot and spicy, yet creamy and smooth – this baby has everything you need to be a successful Survivor contestant slash friend.

Enjoy!

While it is obvious … who will join me next?

 

 

Andrea Gumboehlke
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
kosher salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp paprika
½ tsp cayenne pepper
1kg boneless chicken thighs
vegetable oil
500g smoked chorizo, cut into thick coins
⅓ cup plain flour
2 onions, diced
4 shallots, thinly sliced
2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
2 green capsicum, diced
6 cloves of garlic, minced
4-6 cups chicken stock
2 bay leaves
4 sprigs fresh thyme, chopped
1 cup okra, thickly sliced
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp hot sauce
1 tsp filé powder

Method
Combine 1 tablespoon of salt with the pepper, paprika and cayenne and toss through the thighs, until coated.

Heat a good lug of oil in a large dutch oven and add the chicken and chorizo, stirring to brown the edges but don’t worry about being too pedantic. Transfer the browned meat to a plate to rest and bring the liquid to the boil.

Add the flour and whisk until it is chocolate coloured, 15 minutes should do. Reduce the heat to low and add the onions, before cooking for ten minutes. Add the shallots, celery, capsicum and garlic, and cook for a further ten minutes.

Whisk in the broth, add the bay leaves, thyme and reserved meat and bring to the boil. When going nuts, reduce heat to low and simmer for about an hour.

Stir in the okra, Worcestershire, hot sauce and filé powder, and cook for a further hour. Remove from the heat, season to taste … and then devour with steamed rice and plenty more hot sauce.

 

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Sierra Dawn-Hummus

Condiment, Dip, Snack, Survivor: Game Changers – Mamanuca Islands, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, Brad, Sierra, Tai and Troyzan were feeling helpless as kween Cirie kept her mafia in line. Thankfully for them, Andrea decided that she needed to take out Zeke – aka one of their own – before he got the chance to flip the tables on them, sending him out of the game as the fourth juror.

We opened up after tribal, as we usually do, with Tai and Brad confused about what happened to save him. Tai doubly so, since his alliance had all voted for him rather than Zeke.

Michaela was feeling uneasy about how quickly their new majority had turned on each other, though Cirie was able to reassure her and push forward with splitting up the Sierra-Brad pair to ensure nobody flips on her.

Speaking of Sierra, she was feeling like she had nothing to lose and approached Sarah to find a way in which concerningly involved her sharing the fact she owned a legacy advantage and that she would give it to Sarah if she were to be voted out. I mean, why tell her she would get it if she booted you … that is damn tempting!

Speaking of temptations, Probsty appeared for the reward challenge where they competed for a good old fashioned, U S of A BBQ – obvi, with all the fixin’s – and LOVE. Yep, it is the loved one’s visit!

Breaking down before her partner even came out to be creeped on by Sierra – but damn, she right – Sarah’s man was here and provided an update on how her son was going. Keeping with the crying theme, Andrea’s mum arrived and told a story of Andrea’s deceased sister who had encouraged her to apply.

Thankfully Aubry and her sister were just adorkable and didn’t make me cry.

Sierra’s dad made his second loved one’s appearance talking about the high level of competition this season, despite having zero intell on what had actually gone down. Michaela and her mum were completely adorable and went a long ways to humanise her to her tribemates.

Troyzan was concerned that his brother wouldn’t RSVP yes to the invite, though obvi he did. Making chickens everywhere jealous, Tai’s partner Mark was here and shock of all shocks was a total daddy. And I hate the term daddy.

Rounding out the visits, the swellest, runner-up to ever exist, the neat lady herself MONICA f*^%#@)g CULPEPPER appeared to remind us about how much the Culpepper’s are couple goals and Cirie’s recently graduated son … who I was expecting to be the King of loved ones, HB. As sweet as the son was, I live for Cirie treating HB like an employee to conserve energy.

With that, the tribe was split into three teams to compete in an aquatic obstacle course before digging a gap under a log to climb under before untangling some knots to release keys that open a chest of bags to knock down a tower.

Brad, Andrea and Aubry got out to an early lead, which never really dissipated securing my girl Monnie with some more screen time, isn’t that neat? Obviously Probst gave them the chance to share their reward, which they gave to the obvious choices of Cirie and Sarah. I mean, they both need to see and/or hear about their sons. Brad and Mon quickly got to work hosting the BBQ and running strategy, I assume after decorating the table and being adorbs.

Back and camp Michaela was feeling sore – maybe or maybe not because she quick a wooden crate after losing – about not being chosen, talking to Tai about how much she wanted to see her mum. Up from the beach, Sierra and Troyzan reaffirmed their allegiance to each other and plotted to use Michaela’s anger to flip her to them, Tai and Brad.

Not mucking about, Probst returned for the immunity challenge where they had to balance on a narrow perch whilst holding a buoy between two sticks. Yep – poles, balls … we’re in for some good cum-entary.  Aubry and Sierra quickly dropped out, followed by Andrea, Sierra, Cirie and Troyzan. Sadly, no ball dropping jokes or mentions of keeping your pole firm to work the balls.

Nothing – I’ve had it!

After a long struggle, Michaela finally dropped leaving us with a battle between Tai and Brad, with the latter taking out their first ever individual immunity victory ever. I assume, because that is totally something my neat lady Monica, would do. Hashtag, what would Monica do.

Back at camp everyone congratulated Brad on his victory, despite the fact it ruined the majority’s plan to boot him. They quickly flipped the plan to Sierra, with Tai and Michaela secretly playing the middle weighing up whether to target Sierra with the majority or Andrea with the current minority.

Aubry and Sarah went for a walk to discuss getting rid of Sierra, with Sarah confirming my earlier concerns for the legacy advantage discussion and saying that she wants to get rid of her, without her realising she is involved to ensure she gets the legacy advantage. NEVER tell anyone you have an advantage if you’re desperate.

Sarah then shared this news with Michaela, potentially swinging her back to their side.

At tribal council Andrea spoke about the loved ones visit and how she was concerned that she had to leave people out, which Aubry agreed with. Probst threw some shade at Culpepper’s first big win of his Survivor career, Sierra tried to throw Andrea under the bus as the threat, who in turn turned the attention on the underdogs, who could sneak by and take the win.

Sarah was confident in the majority but elusively questioned whether the deck had been reshuffled … again. Michaela agreed that “we” is always changing in Survivor, spooking Andrea. Sierra and Andrea then acknowledged that it was one or the other, as they headed to vote.

After a lot of we talk in the confessionals, Sierra found out she was not a part of the Trump-esque piss-play as she was booted from the game. Despite not covering her tracks as well as she could have, Sarah acted shocked enough for Sierra to will her the legacy advantage … though looked to spook Andrea in the process.

My dear barrell racing queen took her exit in her stride, despite the obvious disappointment. While I found Sierra dragging the hateful morons to the end of Worlds Apart completely awful, Joegel convinced me she was ok and we’ve been friends ever since.

Given that she has been relatively dominant this season, I felt I needed to make my shade up to her so whipped up a delightfully charming Sierra Dawn-Hummus.

 

 

I’m not the biggest fan of hummus, but throw in some some pumpkin and i’m on that like white on rice … or more easily to understand, a fat kid on cake. Sweet, earthy and spicy, this is the perfect dip to work through the pain of a second career boot.

Enjoy!

 

 

Sierra Dawn-Hummus
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
half a butternut pumpkin, seeded and cut into 1-2cm dice
olive oil
400g can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
3 tablespoons tahini
3 cloves garlic, peeled
zest and juice of 1 lemon
¼ teaspoon cumin
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Place the pumpkin on a lined baking tray with a good lug of olive oil and bake for about half an hour, or until golden and caramelised.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about fifteen minutes. Transfer to a food processor and blitz with the remaining ingredients until smooth. Season and quickly blitz again and serve with a sprinkling of cumin … before devouring.

 

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Zekeshuka Smith

Breakfast, Main, Survivor: Game Changers – Mamanuca Islands, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, Zeke and Andrea continued to feud, Debbie was confident that the power alliance of six would hold strong with Sarah on board … which of course meant it didn’t, with Sarah joining with Aubry and Cirie to mend the previously mentioned feud and blindside my dear Debs.

Back at camp, Brad congratulated the ex-minority on a killer blindside before – shockingly – privately telling us that he and his alliance were now kinda, sorta definitely screwed. Sarah was very quick to take the blame/credit for flipping, hoping the jury would reward her for making a move to better herself.

The new minority then joined together to congratulate each other in hushed tones and received kisses from the kween … which hopefully aren’t mob related, giving how Aubry views her.

Jiffy Pop quickly arrived for the reward challenge where – again, shockingly (which is clearly my descriptor for the recap) – the tribe was split into two teams to compete for an overnight resort and feast reward.

While Michaela got the orange team out to a quick lead in a challenge she dominated last season, the blue team quickly caught Brad up when pulling him up – yes, up – the wall to grab numbered puzzle pieces. Troy caught the orange team up, before Sarah brought the blue back in front … though thankfully for both teams, the physical aspect was completely irrelevant, as they struggled with the word puzzle FOR CLOSE TO AN HOUR.

Thankfully Andrea put us out of our misery and picked up on Jeff’s exceedingly more obvious clues, solving the puzzle and snagging victory for herself, Brad, Sarah, Aubry and Zeke.

At reward the victors quickly snagged themselves a drink and gorged on the feast splayed out on a lazy susan. Is that last part important? No … but they made a point to acknowledge it. Continuing in his tradition from last season, Zeke and Brad started discussing football which immediately made Andrea wary.

Meanwhile the losers back at camp were looking like absolute crap. I mean, no offence … but they truly looked wrecked. Troyzan made a game reappearance and lamented being on the bottom with Tai – which sounds great – neither acknowledging their idols to the other.

The victors returned to camp looking refreshed like the after-shots of a makeover however Aubry too was starting to worry about Zeke and Brad’s bonding. Andrea and Cirie quickly went aside to discuss making a move against Zeke, which Cirie was completely on board with given the fact he knows more about the game than her despite it being her fourth time out.

Cirie then tackled their biggest hurdle and pulled Officer Sarah aside to get rid of Sarah’s closest alliance on the island. Sarah then shared her vote steal advantage with Cirie as a way to throw the target off Zeke … before sharing with us that she is willing to flip back to the other side if it she thought it was better for her.

The next day Zeke was feeling uncomfortable by the eerie calmness of camp before going on a walk with Sarah and outlining how the remainder of the game would play out for them. Potentially proving Cirie’s point, Zeke then told her that he wanted to propose a final five alliance between them, Brad, Troyzan and Michaela … before running straight to the boys to tell them he’s saved them from the next day.

Wanting to help put us out of our misery, Jeff returned for the immunity challenge where they each have to line up blocks on a moving bar set up over a trip obstacle, that will ultimately – hopefully – knock a gong at the end. While everyone got out to a strong start, Brad was the first to drop all of his blocks before Andrea just edged out in front with Sarah and Michaela and snatched individual immunity again.

Back at camp, Andrea was feeling confident enough from her victory to take out Zeke, rather than sticking with the easy option of Sierra. While she could quickly get Cirie on board, they were both concerned about how to convince Sarah it was the best way.

Sierra then appeared as they started to talk about potentially getting her on board to vote for Zeke, which she obviously agreed to before they even finished their sentence. Sarah then dropped by to test their fears and while she wasn’t thrilled about it, she semi-agreed to the plan despite not liking Andrea’s cockiness.

With that, Andrea approached Aubry and Michaela who were thrilled and concerned about the plan respectively. Michaela and Sarah then spoke about their concerns with the plan and confirmed themselves as the swing votes at tribal.

At tribal Sarah confirmed she was the reason Debbie was voted out, resulting in her flipping the bird from the jury box. Tai lamented feeling uneasy for the first time in his two seasons, while Brad and Sierra were concerned about being the newest bottom. Andrea and Michaela spoke about the new majority sticking together, with the latter adding that now isn’t the right time to make a move given how close the numbers were.

There was talk of the heart and relationships, the need to make friends, constantly running the numbers, bottoming and treating people like chess pieces leaving me mildly confused as they headed to vote. Thankfully though it didn’t take long for the confusion to dissipate as the votes rolled in for Zeke and he found himself becoming the fourth member of the jury as Michaela – not Sarah – sobbed from the bench.

As you know, I’ve known Zeke for a couple of years after I began coaching his improv group – hey, when you know Teens and Ames it is your civic duty – so he was so thrilled to see a familiar face in loser lodge – again – after his back-to-back losses.

Thankfully though Zeke is such a positive guy and knows that it is just a game, so we didn’t dwell on his Game Changers experience and instead focused our energy on devouring some Zekeshuka Smith.

 

 

I was thrilled it was Zeke booted – like sad for him, but thrilled for me – because I was actually nursing a huge hangover from fake partying with Debbie and this baby is the perfect hangover cure.

Hot, rich and topped in par-cooked eggs if you are still nursing a headache after this, I don’t know what you should do. Maybs get taken out to pasture – who knows?

Enjoy!

 

 

Zekeshuka Smith
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
olive oil
1 onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 capsicum, diced
1 jalapeno, thinly sliced
2 merguez sausages, sliced
1 tbsp smoked paprika
2 tsp ground cumin
2 x 400g cans crushed tomatoes
salt, pepper and sugar, to season
a handful of baby spinach
8 eggs
a handful of feta cheese, crumbled
Parsley, to sprinkle

Method
Heat a lug of olive oil in a large pan and sweat the onion and garlic for about five minutes. Add the capsicum, jalapeno and sausage and cook for a further five minutes. Add the spices and cook for a minute before adding the tomatoes and a good whack of salt and pepper, and a pinch of sugar. Bring to the boil and reduce heat to low.

Add the spinach and stir to combine before cracking the eggs into the pan, cover and cook for five-ten minutes or until the whites are set and the yolks are perfect. Serve immediately, with feta and parsley crumbled over the top.

Devour with crusty bread.

 

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Debbean Wanner Salad

Salad, Side, Snack, Survivor: Game Changers – Mamanuca Islands, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, the tribes merged and Zeke decided it was the perfect time to turn on his two closest allies Andrea and Cirie. Thankfully for the latter two however, Debbie decided it was the perfect time for the tribe to boot Ozzy, leading the charge to send him to the jury.

Back at camp Debbie basked in the afterglow of tribal, confident that her majority were locked in and would not budge. On the other end of the spectrum, Andrea was feeling uneasy about being left out of the loop and lashed out at Zeke for targeting her. This made Zeke feel unease and trapped with the majority, until Sarah pulled him aside and vowed to work together to sway the game.

Uttering lines being drawn for the 700th time in the episode, Sarah pointed out that the tide always comes up and washes them away. I wonder if she knew that Debs did hers in concrete, making it impenetrable?!

Not wanting to be left out of the fun my boy Jeff arrived to preside over a cheeky team reward challenge for a luxury picnic on the beach – which is an oxymoron, I know. Given that there are an uneven number of castaways, someone was left out and thankfully for our viewing pleasure … it was Michaela, who cussed out her competitors and provided sassy commentary while missing the secret advantage hidden until the sit-out bench.

Oh … and the challenge? The teams had to complete an obstacle course over the water which for the first time ever made me wish this were Australian Survivor because there was blurring aplenty as people lost their clothes over the obstacles.

Brad got his team out to a very early lead against Tai – which was no-doubt cemented by Debbie’s expert crawl across the balance beam – which never really went away. To add insult to injury, poor Cirie struggled to make it to the second platform until Sarah joined her to help her finish the course.

After Brad’s team secured victory, Troyzan returned to the game and joined Sarah, Tai and Zeke to help her finish the course. Which she did and then broke down in tears.

I’M NOT CRYING, YOU’RE CRYING.

To make my face leaks worse, she then spoke about how she pushed herself to prove to her sons that you should never give up. I’m probs paraphrasing here but the tears distracted my vision.

While Brad, Aubry, Andrea, Debbie and Sierra left to enjoy their reward, Jeff summoned a boat to collect the losers when Sarah spotted the secret advantage that Michaela had been sitting on for the last hour, quickly snatching it for herself and cementing this episode as the Sarah show.

Back at camp the losers continued to win me over by holding a Cirie love fest with Sarah talking about how proud of her she was and Tai telling her that her kids would be proud of her achievements. Softening me and the cunning strategist that is Cirie Fields.

Getting us back into the game, Sarah removed herself from the rest of the tribe to discover her secret advantage was the cursed vote stealer – last used by Stephen Fishbach to boot himself from the game – which she vowed to use correctly.

Meanwhile Civil Air Patrol Captain Debbie Wanner and the rest of the victors enjoyed their flight to the luxury beach picnic which truly did look quite amazing. After Brad gloated about his move to split from his alliance of Sarah and Troyzan in the challenge to ensure they’d be able to keep abreast of what was happening in each location.

Andrea then vocalised her pain about Zeke turning on her for no reason, before Sierra ominously claimed that the game was locked down and she was in control.

Back at camp, Cirie got to work winning Sarah back over to her side as she appealed to her need to change how she played the game and make moves to earn her the win. While Sarah wasn’t convinced it is the right time to make a move, she definitely was ready for it … which doesn’t bode well for confident ol’ Sierra.

Sensing I was struggling with the lack of eye-candy left in the game Jeff returned for a(nother) classic immunity challenge where everyone has to spell immunity with blocks, balanced on a teetering table. Jeff got to work giving Tai sass for not being able to spell immunity – despite English being his second language – which as dear Joe del Campo can attest, is difficult on no food.

Andrea got out to an early lead before dropping her tower, allowing Troyzan to overtake her and take out his first immunity win of the season as blocks of letters rained down at the other end of the course. Sadly though Fiji does not appear to be his island.

With her ally winning immunity Sierra was feeling extremely confident and quickly threw the target on Andrea, which her alliance was all on board with … despite Michaela’s sass potentially moving the target to her back. Despite Debbie trying to get rid of Michaela, Brad – her nemesis from two episodes ago – was able to convince her that Andrea was the biggest threat at the moment.

Given that she was left out of all the discussion with her own alliance, Sarah started to feel nervous and decided that it was potentially time for her to make a move. She approached Zeke and decided they need to work with Andrea to flip the numbers and take out one of the alliance. Sierra then pulled Sarah aside to run the numbers and propose a final three with them and Debbie, making her feel like maybe she shouldn’t make a move.

Debbie continued to be a dominant strategic force and told Aubry to vote Michaela as a secret cover for their Andrea boot. Aubry didn’t love that and took the information straight back to Andrea, Michaela and Sarah and vowed that this is what happened before she booted Debbie the last time and she was too difficult to trust. This obviously made Sarah’s predicament even more confusing.

Wanting to put us out of our misery, they arrived at tribal and  – after a brief reflection on Cirie’s challenge experience – got to work going back and forth between how the numbers would go down. Debbie spoke about how strong the six were while Troy drew eyerolls talking about how people should be grateful to make it to six.

Zeke then argued that the deck of cards reshuffle after every vote, to which Sarah agreed … somehow upsetting Michaela who would benefit from said reshuffle. Which she did, with the votes rolling in between Andrea and Debbie – as she pulled out another prop and starting snacking on popcorn like the sass queen she is – with Sarah flipping on her alliance to send Debbie out of the game as the third member of the jury … again.

Illuminati confirmed?

As you know, Debs is a dear dear friend of mine and we’ve been lucky to be co-workers at 398 of our previous jobs ranging from when we were street mime in Paris, dance teachers in Stars Hollow, ran as part of Ned Kelly’s gang, were tour guides in Bonny Doon, ran a Japanese cat cafe, were nude models/#girlbosses in San Francisco and invented post-its. Needless to say, girl and I are close as fuck.

While Debs was disappointed to be vanquished by Aubry and her over-confidence for a second time, she was thrilled to be reunited with her favourite recurring co-worker in Ponderosa. Though she may have been thrilled to see the Debbean Wanner Salad.

 

 

Earthy, spicy and a little bit fresh … I honestly don’t think there is a meal that could better represent the wild and exciting nature of my dear friend.

Enjoy!

 

 

Debbean Wanner Salad
Serves: 4 as a main, 6-8 as a side.

Ingredients
400g can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
400g can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
400g can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
400g can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups frozen corn kernels, cooked and left to drain
½ red onion, finely diced
2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
½ red capsicum, finely diced
handful of flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
⅓ cup apple cider vinegar
¼ cup muscovado sugar
½ tsp ground chilli
¼ tsp ground cumin
olive oil
salt and pepper

Method
Combine the beans, corn, onion, celery, capsicum and parsley in a large bowl and toss to combine.

In a large jug, combine the apple cider vinegar, sugar, chilli and cumin with a good lug of olive oil and a good whack of salt and pepper. Add to the bowl and toss to combine.

Transfer the salad to the fridge and allow it to rest and absorb the flavours for a couple of hours … then serve and devour.

 

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