Previously on Australian Survivor 24 castaways arrived on the beaches of Samoa divided into Heroes or Villains depending on either how they play the game – for our 11 returnees – or how they intended to, for our newbies. Or their profession, in the case of our journos and real estate agents. As quickly as she came back for her redemption, poor Jackie was medevaced. She was followed by a string of newbies as Anjali, Michael, Mimi, Rogue and Sarah soon followed. George then set his sights on his nemesis Simon, but after a surprise individual immunity challenge we lived through the best tribal council of all time which cost Fraser his spot.
Iconic scream queen Sharni was next to go (back to Yabbie Creek, darl) before the swap (thankfully) cost Paige her spot in the game. We then suffered the tragedy of losing sweet Jordie before my dear friend and legit hero Benjamin Law was shown the door. Internal battles between the Spice Girls caused Stevie to be blindsided just ahead of the merge, before George’s instincts proved correct as Flick turned on them while Matt stayed loyal, allowing the OG Villains to take control and boot David from the game.
For her deception, Flick became Australia’s first ever Queen of the Jury before a lack of mateship sent Sam out. George then broke our hearts by turning on Shonee before the Villains turned their attention back to eliminating Heroes in the form of Shaun and Hayley. George and Simon’s feud finally came to a head with the King booting sweet, power-bottom Simon before Nina became the first Twine to join the jury.
The final four were gagged by Jonathan when he announced that they would be eliminating a juror with Matt and Gerry pushing to get rid of Shonee, given she was 100% in Liz’s corner. Which should have been a warning to George that he would not be making it to the final tribal council again, with the final three newbies banding together to send him to the ALL RETURNEE jury. At the final tribal council Liz well and truly rose to the occasion, laying out a comprehensive, nearly watertight argument why she deserved the win. Before the jury awarded her unanimously, making her our second Olympian to take out the crown. I mean, if presenting to the jury was an Olympic sport, she would come out on top while Sharn, famed barrister and two-time runner-up wouldn’t even qualify.
While the edit may not have shoved it down our throats, there is a very clear reason why Liz was not only the final woman and villain standing, but our newly minted Sole Survivor. And that is because she not only played a hell of a social game but also knew when to make the right moves. It may not have been the most exciting television watching the newbies ride it out with George at the end, however it made the most sense to use him as a shield as he will always be easy to eliminate at the end (another reason Sandra should actually always make it to the end, but people get too excited) as their best shot was with each other.
Despite Matt opting to eliminate Shonee from the jury for being a locked in Liz vote, he clearly underestimated the bonds she made and how well she would be able to articulate her game. Which is why he landed in second and she joins our iconic pantheon of winners. As the fireworks settled, I pulled her in for a massive hug – did you know I was a champion pole vaulter and we became friends on the circuit? – and thanked her for keeping us fed this season. More important than winning the title, she also managed to put an end to the long running Survivor curse and that is worth celebrating, with a glorious Liz Parciuttov & Asparagus Pizza.
This pizza is so delicious, it is hardly a surprise it had the power to end the curse. The earthiness of the asparagus works perfectly with the salty tang of the prosciutto and the creamy ricotta to deliver a pizza fit for the newest queen.
Liz Parciuttov & Asparagus Pizza Serves: 4.
Ingredients 2 bases as per Pizsa Zsa Gabor ⅔ cup ricotta kosher salt and pepper, to taste 1 bunch of asparagus, trimmed and cut into lengths 1 lemon, zested 2 tbsp chives, thinly sliced ½ cup parmesan cheese, grated 6 slices of prosciutto, roughly chopped
Method Prep the bases as per Zsa Zsa’s instructions and preheat the oven to 180°C.
Spread a thin layer of ricotta over the bases, followed by a sprinkle of salt and a good whack of pepper. Add the asparagus, lemon zest, chives and parmesan, before topping with the prosciutto. Transfer to the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until golden and crisp.
Serve and devour triumphantly, knowing you’re the one person great enough to break an epic(ish) curse.
Previously on All Winners the dolls put on a charity variety show for their penultimate challenge. And given it was going to be an epic show, Ru was generous enough to give out THREE stars each for the top two. Meaning whoever landed in the top got an express pass to the finale. Shea did an original song and was 100% Janet while Monet was the Phantom of the Opera, snatching their place in the top two, booking a ticket to the finale alongside Jinkx. As the person with the most stars, Monet had to break the tie between Jaida and Trinity. And while it was heartbreaking to watch for poor Jaida, Monet selected her twinner to join her. But don’t despair, because Jaida and the rest of the bottom four would ALSO compete for a crown. That of Queen of She Already Done Had Herses.
Backstage the top four were giddy to be eligible for the final crown and $200k, though given the bottom four are still in it for $50k, none of them were overly sad. Raja asked Monet how it felt to have the most stars, while she calmly explained it just means she is better than the rest of her sisters. Monet apologised for crushing Jaida’s dream, explaining she went with Trinity because she won more challenges. And they have seen some shit. While Jaida charmingly cussed her out for going with someone she has known for years, over someone she met on the first day of the season. The Vivienne was just giddy to be in the running for some money after winning a web series on her season, Jinkx gently told everyone she wants it the most and then Monet and Trinity gagged nobody by admitting they had an alliance.
LalapaRuza Day arrived with everyone a little subdued before talk turned to who they think will win the She Already Done Had Herses Crown, with Raja backing herself, while The Viv and Yvie pointed out they have each won a couple of lip syncs in their time.
Ru dropped by to thank the girls for building the legacy of the show before giving the girls one final Mini Challenge with the Pit Crew. Which was actually just getting into 15 minute quick drag and rocking a soul training. Jaida was obviously adorable and charming and looked stunning while doing it, Raja gave stoned aunty realness in all the right ways, Monet was hilarious, Shea was sexy AF, Trinity was a creepy mess and I LIVE, Jinkx did a Natasha Lyonne reprise while Yvie was a purple Diana Ross and The Viv was ultimate chav queen and ugh, I love them all. Which is the sentiment Raja shared, feeling like the 8 of them were destined to be here in this moment together and how she is reinvigorated by knowing them. AND AM I CRYING?!
We pivoted to the mainstage where it was family only as Ru, Michelle, Carson and Ross took their seats as the dolls stomped the Grand Finale Eleganza Runway. Jaida was stunning in a shimmering, dripping white delight in honour of old Hollywood black excellence, Raja was captivating as an iridescent insect queen and was fucking fierce. The Viv gave a sexy black showgirl ball gown, in stark contrast to her original finale gown. Yvie gave three tier cotton candy cake, Jinkx was a stunning medieval maven, Monet was perfection in a futuristic Wakandan nude illusion, Shea was a frilled warm toned delight while Trinity gave baby pink princess realness.
The judges obviously felt Jaida was absolute perfection on the runway, as she was every damn week. And funny, charming, naughty and delightful. Raja rightly was praised for being the look queen of the season and for being such a joy to watch, each and every week. The Vivienne was praised for being such a powerhouse, serving stunning looks and slaying as a performer. They lived for Yvie giving something different each week and just being so good. Jinkx was universally beloved for just being so damn good at every thing she did. Monet was praised for bringing the soul and having the best time. Shea was praised for always having a message and elevating every damn moment, while Trinity was rightly praised for being 100% joy all season, and for leaning into the stupid and being kind with all her sisters.
Ru once again thanked the dolls for all that they have done, squeaking out a tear as she praised them for being heroic beacons for the community. A sobbing Monet then thanked Ru for giving them this show and the platform, and for the love she has given them all throughout the years.
And again, I’m crying.
We then got another live performance from Ru with some creepy/sexy clowns. And now I’m horny crying and so uncomfortable with myself.
Thankfully we moved on with Jaida, Raja, The Vivienne and Yvie returning to the stage for the She Already Done Had Herses Lip Sync Smackdown Lalaparuza For The Crown. Zaddy Alex dragged out the wheel with The Viv selected to compete in the first round, before Alex’s second spin chose her opponent as Yvie. Bruno and Bryce returned with The Viv selecting Bryce’s box, meaning she and Yvie would be lip syncing to Push It by my girls Salt’n’Pepa. Much to her regret, knowing this is right in Yvie’s wheelhouse.
As soon as the song kicked off it was clear the fear was very well founded as Yvie had all the energy and perfect moves for the song. Backflipping around the stage and being an all around star. That being said, The Viv was hilarious, giving iconic comedy and playing to her strengths, mocking what Yvie was doing and living her best life. Tragically though, it wasn’t enough, as Yvie progressed to the final round, leaving The Viv to finish in 7th/8th place. Which really doesn’t show how damn well she performed this season, because she ate. And was more than deserving of her participation sceptre.
Jaida and Raja took to the floor where Bruno returned to unveil their song, Let’s Hear It for The Boy and well, these two killed it. As you would expect. Raja lived every damn moment of the song, exuding joy and once again proved she is still a total star. While Jaida hit every lyric and kicked and flipped around the stage, there was no competing with Aunty Raja’s comedy, fun and general vibe. As such, she progressed to lip sync for the She Already Done Had Herses Crown while the newest icon Jaida sashayed away. No doubt with a new, massive following of fans and confidence in herself as a performer. And ugh, fuck I love Jaida. Particularly because she wanted Raja to buy her a wine AND farted in Michelle’s direction as her exit line.
We then pivoted to the top four as Jinkx, Monet, Trinity and Shea arrived for their first round of lip syncs with Alex’s wheel selecting Jinkx for slot number one, facing off against Shea Coulee. Jinkx then got lucky with Bruno’s box, scoring my girl Lady Gaga’sJudas as their song. Both of the dolls were nervous to be facing off against their sister, which was correct given they were both absolute fire. Jinkx served witchy vamp while Shea was desperate not to suffer the same fate as her last lip sync for the crown, serving a sexy reveal and being an all around bad arse. But yeah, there was no taking my eyes off Jinkx and the magnetic fire she had. Carrying her all the way to lip syncing for the crown. Much to her shock. With Shea being such a talented star, she was just overjoyed for her sister and grateful for her third journey in the competition. And well, if you do not stan Shea, please go to another website, because we stan Shea in there ‘ere parts.
The twinners took the stage and learnt from Bryce’s box that they’ll be lip syncing to – vom – So What by Pink. And despite that, they both served. While I hate that song they were both on fire. They had the attitude and all the right vibes, were absolutely hilarious and bounced off each other so damn well. I mean, it was a SHOW, as Trinity flipped around the stage, Monet was jump splitting and both had perfect comedic timing. And well, if there could be another double crowning moment to face Jinkx, I would take it, but ultimately Ru selected Monet to proceed to lip sync for the crown. And Trinity being Trinity, she was just absolutely charming and gracious in defeat and well, stan her too because she had been an absolute joy this season.
AND OH MY GOD TRINITY AND SHEA WERE FELLED BY A LIP SYNC FOR THE CROWN A SECOND TIME.
Raja and Yvie returned to the stage to lip sync for the secondary crown of the season to Sisters Are Doing it For Themselves. And based on the song alone, you should already know that my favourite Raja ate. Then came back for second and thirds. Yvie is obviously a killer lip syncer and performer, giving acrobatic perfection in every corner of the stage AND a fake-out failed wig reveal. But Raja is just SO enchanting, feeling every lyric and not only having the best time, but dragging you along for all the joy. And well, that was all it took to give Aunty Raja the Queen of She Already Done Had Herses Crown. And again, I AM CRYING.
Raja started to sob as she thanked Ru for putting her life on the trajectory it has had, with Ru praising her spirit and for being such a star. And well, she loves Yvie just as much. Which is why she also got a sceptre, as Ru reminded her that this stage is forever hers, no matter what adversity she may face. Oh and Raja was just grateful for the cashola.
Jinkx and Monet took to the stage for the final lip sync for the title of Queen of All Queens, to Swish Swish by Katy Perry – vom – and my dear Nicky Minaj. And well, Jinkx was desperate for the crown, while Monet vowed to leave everything on the stage to snatch it from her. Monet slow flossed, Jinkx served Carole Baskin realness, Monet flung cash, Jinkx stayed in the comedic pocket, Monet vogued and well, it was a show as both the dolls fought valiantly. Though ultimately, obviously, it was Jinkx that took out the victory and watching her breakdown over the honour was just beautiful. As is her love for her fellow sisters.
And seeing how happy Monet was for her sister was just beautiful, because she, like everyone else in the cast, is an absolute star and easily could have snatched the crown. Since she totally dominated the lip sync. I mean, did you see the lipstick she had prepared with Jinkx’s name written on it? Iconic.
Conveniently, the queen that won the most challenges also went on to win the season, so thankfully I didn’t have to sit around awkwardly with a runner-up, alone in the VIP style and instead got to have a true celebration.
As soon as Jinkx exited stage, I pulled her in for a massive hug and told her just how proud of her I was. While Jinkx had always been a massive favourite to take out an All Winners season as we all dreamed of getting one, so managed to not only live up to the expectations but exceed them with flying colours. Every week, she was consistently perfect and showed just how versatile a performer she is. And that, to me, is more than enough reason to split an Everything but the Kitchen Sinkx Monsoon salad.
This classic Meatball Shop salad truly proves the Springfield you don’t make friends with salad mantra wrong. It is fresh, zingy, hearty and oh so delicious. And the perfect way to honour the inaugural Queen of all Queens. (Because we better get another winner’s season ASAP)!
Everything but the Kitchen Sinkx Monsoon Serves: 6.
Ingredients ¼ cup olive oil, plus extra for frying 1 large portabello mushroom, stem removed and cap cut into a large dice ¾ tsp kosher salt ½ bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into 5cm lengths 1 romaine lettuce, trimmed, washed and torn into small pieces ½ fennel head, thinly sliced 30ml sherry vinegar 1 tsp Dijon mustard
Method Heat a lug of olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, and cook the mushroom with ½ a teaspoon of salt until it starts to brown and the liquid has evaporated. Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool.
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook the asparagus for a couple of minutes, before draining and running under cold water.
Combine the mushroom, asparagus, lettuce and fennel in a bowl. Whisk the ¼ cup of olive oil with the sherry vinegar, mustard and remaining salt before tossing to coat, serving and devouring. Regally.
After kicking off this year’s Oscar Gold celebrations – The Goldfather, FYI – with my delightfully acerbic friend Diablo Cody, I decided day two required some quiet, respectful dignity. And what is more quiet or inspiring of respectful dignity, than a dearly departed friend?
As such, I whipped out the delorean, set a course for 1963 to escort my dear friend Henry Mancini to collect his third Oscar.
I first met Henny in the mid-50s while working together in the music department of Universal Pictures – I played recorder, triangle, tambourine and, obviously, yazz flute. We became the fastest of friends, and I eventually became his muse.
Now at the risk of confusing the timeline, I grew up to my present self and met my husband in this timeline, then took him back in time to get Hen the Oscar he so sorely deserved … as he never won in the OG timeline. When I got back in time, I convinced Mickey Rooney to take on the racially appropriated role in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Thanks to Mick, it got greenlit – why Aud wasn’t enough is beyond me, but whatevs – and I got Hen the job doing the score.
He then witnessed my husband and my love, and wrote us a song to mark the occasion. It was Moon River, I encouraged him to use it in the film … badda bing, badda boom, two Oscars in one year. Aren’t I all sickening with this love talk?
Henry was mildly confused when I arrived with in ‘63, though lapped up my excuse that I was so moved by his inevitable third Oscar. I mean, he lapped it up like it was a plate full of my Hamry Asparagus Aramancini.
Now I know I only just posted another arancini recipe a couple of days ago … but get off my back. I mean, creamy risotto, rolled into balls, crumbed and baked? How could you resist? Plus – ham and asparagus is super different to mushroom and gorgonzola.
¿ Por que no los dos ?
Oh … and enjoy.
Hamry Asparagus Aramancini Serves: 4-6.
Ingredients 4 cups chicken stock olive oil 2 tbsp butter 1 onion, diced 4 garlic cloves, minced 1 bunch asparagus, cut into 2-3cm lengths 1 ½ cups arborio rice ½ cup dry vermouth ⅔ cup parmesan, grated salt and pepper, to taste 200g ham, diced 150g vintage cheddar, cubed 2 cups panko breadcrumbs ½ cup flour 1 egg 2 tbsp milk
Method Bring the stock to the boil in a saucepan, reduce heat to low and simmer. Meanwhile, heat a lug of olive oil and the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and chilli and sweat for 5 minutes, or until soft and sweet. Add the asparagus and cook for a couple of minutes, or until soft bright green. Stir for a couple of minutes, or until the rice starts to get translucent around the edges.
Stir through the vermouth, followed by half a cup of the warm stock and stir until the liquid has just all absorbed. Add another half cup of stock and repeat the process until it is all gone, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, add the parmesan and seasonings, and stir to combined. Allow to cool completely.
Preheat oven to 180°C.
To assemble, place the breadcrumbs in one bowl, the flour in another and whisk the egg and milk in another. With wet hands, take 1-2 cup of risotto in your hands, form a ball while squeezing out all the air. Form a whole in the centre, press the cheddar inside, enclose and roll. Repeat until they’re all done.
When you’re ready to crumb, roll each arancini in flour, followed by egg wash and then the breadcrumbs. Repeat the process and place on a lined baking sheet. Drizzle with oil and place in the oven to bake for fifteen-twenty minutes, or until golden and crisp.
It has been a very busy Grammy Gold thus far, what with Elts and I tenuously rekindling our friendship, Salt-n-Pepa were here and pushed their way to my kitchen with a shoop to talk about sex – obviously – and Grammy predictions, before my chum Zach Braff scrubbed in for a wee catch up.
Being the dedicated chap I am though, I am not letting this extreme, extreme, fatigue get me down and when my dear friend Nelly Furtado flew in this morning – like a bird, obvs – I excitedly greeted her and got to work catching up and chatting about her Grammy category Best Pop Vocal Performance.
I first connected with Nells in ‘99 while producing the soundtrack to Brokedown Palace. Given that she hit the big time with Whoa Nelly! the following year, I attribute all of her success to my influence … and boy does she know that.
After quickly catching up on what she has been up to – who knew she was releasing another album next month? – we quickly got to work on chatting about our Grammy picks. Shock of all shocks, Nelly firmly agreed Queen Bey would be taking the stage with her in utero destiny’s children for Solo Performance and Sia – I think because she was scared to shade an Aussie while visiting – and Sean Paul for Group Performance.
More importantly, our robust discussion was balanced by a beautifully delicate Nelly Frittato.
Now I know you’re used to me trying to slip my meat into somewhere it isn’t needed – FYI I feel frittatas are a vegetarian meal … even when I add chorizo or bacon – but this time I knew that a meatless option would suffice.
Plus, I had zero reason to make erotic puns to woo her.
Say what you want, the sweet leek and pumpkin perfect cut through the sharp goat’s cheese to really pack a delicious punch. Even without some meat.
Chuck the pumpkin on a baking tray, drizzle with a lug of oil and roast for about ten minutes, or until just tender. Add the asparagus and cook for a further minute or two.
Heat a small knob of butter in a deep skillet over medium heat and saute the garlic and leek asparagus for a couple of minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside ¾ of the mixture in a separate bowl. Spread the remainder over the base of the pan.
In another bowl, beat the eggs, chives and a whack of salt and pepper.
Place the pumpkin and asparagus on top of the leek base, before topping with the remaining leek and crumbling over the cheese. Pour over the egg mixture and bake for 30-40 minutes. Remove and stand for 10 minutes before devouring.
I am almost overwhelmed when it comes to talking about my beautiful, breathtaking and languid friendship with the gorgeous Ang Lee. He has brought me so much joy over the years – adapting books I love, casting men I love and having them flash their buns, which I love.
Ang Lee is both a pimp for my love of celluloid flesh and a saint, which is a stunning combination.
I first connected with the celebrated director while attending the Provincial Tainan First Senior High School where his father, our principal, made him act as my mentor to curb my shameful, wayward behaviour.
Ang was such a kind, gentle soul and I desperately wanted to avoid disappointing him, however me being me, I rubbed off on him and he failed his final exams and couldn’t progress to being a professor. Thankfully it led him to eventually being a director so, in a roundabout way, I am responsible for his lush films and lauded career.
We lost contact after his mandatory military service however reconnected through Em Thomp – my closest boozing bud – while he was making Sense and Sensibility and I became his most trusted advisor, leading to Bana buns in Hulk and Brokeback Mountain.
While it was very hard to be overlooked for the role of Ennis opposite J-Gyll, Ang was kind enough to introduce us on set – he hired me as the resident flannel expert – and we enjoyed a torrid love affair that I ran to the paps about, thus starting all of the Jake gay rumours.
No one was better to discuss this year’s Best Director crop than the two-time winner, so I whipped up my Ang Leek and Asparagus Tarts to fuel our moving discussion about the possibility of our dear friend George Miller finally getting recognised for his work after such a majestically eclectic filmography.
Dark horse pick goes to Adam McKay. I mean, he was robbed for the Anchorman movies.
While asparagus pee is both a blessing (I’m special) and a curse (it is rank), these tarts are well worth it. The sweetness of the leek with the sharp goat’s cheese and earthy asparagus create a delicate little tart that packs as much of a punch as one of Ang’s films.
Melt butter over low heat and saute the leeks until soft, and place into a large mixing bowl.
Trim the ends of the asparagus and cut into 5cm pieces and fry for two minutes on high heat in the same pan, until bright and just cooked. Add asparagus to the leeks and allow to cool.
Once cooled, add in the eggs and cream, season and stir to combine.
Place the puff pastry on a clean surface and cut both into a 3×3 grid, so that each sheet make nine squares. Roughly press each square of pastry into a muffin tin, to create a rustic looking case – I am too lazy to worry about it looking “nice,” as is Ang.
Pour the vegetable/custard mixture even amongst the 18 cases and crumble the goats cheese on top.
Whack in the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until set and golden. Remove from the oven and rest for about 20 minutes before inhaling.