Previously on Australian Survivor, 24 players returned to the game looking for revenge, redemption or both. Or in Shane and Jericho’s case, to prove they’re the Sandra Diaz-Twine of Australian Survivor. Sadly neither earned the title this go around as Shane and Jericho went out back-to-back, echoing the US All Stars. Once the former winners were out of the way, Daisy was the first to be brutally blindsided from the game with an epic play between David and Mat. She was then followed by Season 2(/4) icons Michelle and Henry.
After those tragic eliminations, Shonee kicked off an epic revenge arc, destroying all the people that thought she was weak, starting with Lydia followed by Abbey and my love John. After that arc finished, Mat fell followed by Phoebe, Flick and Nick, who narrowly missed becoming the first juror for a second time.
Once the tribes came together, David pretended to be on the outs with his swap tribe before blindsiding Locky and taking control post merge. While Harry was the next to go, the game took a heartbreaking turn as Lee was pulled due to a family emergency. His exit was followed by the most overly-complicated non-eliminations before Zach was officially (eventually) felled. Jacqui was then cut for turning on her allies, followed by the tragic exit of our Queen Shonee. A.K. was the next to exit before Brooke’s immunity run cost Tarzan his place before Queen Brookewas also cut.
After winning the final immunity challenge, David eliminated his biggest competitor Moana, setting the stage for him to battle against former runner-up Sharn. While she improved on her previous performance in front of the jury, Sharn’s messier game wasn’t respected as everyone but her bestie Moana joined together to crown David the Sole Survivor.
Which given he managed to play one of the most dominant, American-series-esque games of Australian Survivor with a massive target on his back, it is what he deserves. David came in with his loss and Pia’s subsequent win fresh in his mind, with him clearly learning from her game to perfect his own. Not just a showy gamer this time, David worked on perfecting his social game which ultimately protected him and made the jury want to award him the prize. And me, some Fried Davioli Genat.
The only thing I love more than a Golden God nude scene is fried food, so these little morsels were the perfect way to honour his victory. Glorious cheesy pasta, coated in crumb and fried until the inside is gooey? Sign. Me. Up.
Fried Davioli Genat Serves: 4.
Ingredients 1 cup buttermilk 1 tsp freshly ground pepper 2 cups panko breadcrumbs 500g packet cheese ravioli vegetable oil, to shallow-fry 1 cup Spicy TomaJones Sauce, to serve ½ cup freshly chopped parsley, to serve ¼ cup grated parmesan, to serve
Method Place the buttermilk in a bowl and the breadcrumbs and pepper in another. Dip each ravioli in the buttermilk, followed by the peppered crumb. Transfer to a lined plate and repeat the process until they’re all good to go.
Pour about 3cm deep worth of oil in a dutch oven oven medium heat until nice and hot. Working a few at a time, add the ravioli and cook for a couple of minutes each side, or until golden (god) and crisp. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate and repeat the process until done.
Serve immediately with some Spicy TomaJones Sauce by its side, covered with a winning sprinkle of parsley and parmesan. Then devour, victoriously.
Previously on Australian Survivor the Final Three arrived at the final immunity challenge, ready to face a no doubt brutal and traumatic bout of endurance to win their way to the final tribal council. Though not before their loved ones were wheeled out to make us all cry. While it was sweet to see everyone soften at the sight of their families, reminded of what they are playing for, Moana wins best family thanks to the iconic one-two punch of Queen Vinnie who is pure joy and love personified and her sweet wife Isabella. Tragically though, Moana was the first to fall out of the challenge and after David eventually took out the final victory, she was sent to become the final juror of the season.
The final two awoke on Day 50, shocked to have made it all the way to the end while Dave was still feeling guilty about having to blindside his friend Mo. Despite it not really being a blindside since she was one of two options. In any event, David reiterated how much he wants to win before listing his entire resume and hot damn, this is going to be a complete and utter blow-out, isn’t it? I mean, I forgot about the fire from scratch thing it was that long ago.
As they settled in for their final breakfast and mimosas – treat yo’ ‘self – by the shore, Sharn told us how big of a mistake Dave made by taking her to the end, given she is the first and only player in Australian Survivor to make it to 100 days in the game. Which yeah, it is super impressive. She spoke about how hard the first loss was on her and she assured us that she had a fire in her belly and was not going to lose again. And oh Sharn, I am starting to feel bad about you losing again.
At tribal council Sharn kicked things off with her opening statement, reminding them that she is the only person to have played 100 days in the game and the only one in their season that has never had their torch snuffed. She said that after the winners were booted first, she knew that runner-ups would be targeted soon after and as such, she kept things quiet. She highlighted that she played both sides all season, told them that not going to rocks was a huge move and her plan as the puppet-master was to ride the Golden God before turning him into her golden ticket. And well, it all just felt a little bit too staged no?
David followed that up with a super sweet, relatable speech, fanning over the jury and charming the shit out of everyone. He admitted to being the mole, he told them how he found his idols – playing Phoebe in the process – blindsided Locky out of a necessity, voted Harry out because he wanted more days played than him before switching tacts and apologising for voting out Tarzan because he loves him, but loves his family more. Oh and then he welled up talking about how much of a beast Brooke was and how much he loved Mo. Hell, is Sharn going to vote for him too?
Things turned over to the jury, with Locky asking Dave why his desire for a big game disappeared at the merge and he started to hide in a big alliance. Dave explained that being the Golden God got him to tenth last time, and as such he had to pull his head in if he wanted to make it to the end. Shonee then savaged Sharn by asking why she would bother voting for Sharn this time, when she didn’t the last time she was in this situation. Sharn spoke about how well she played this time and built up the alliance that dominated the merge, but didn’t really add anything else. A.K. spoke about the fact Sharn talked him out of going to rocks, and suggested that she can pick rocks for a chance to win his vote. Or leave it up to her game alone and damn, Sharn, the fact Zach laughed should tell you everything about the lack of votes coming your way.
After what felt like an eternity, Sharn opted to back herself and her game and as such, lost another vote.
Brooke decided to add some messiness to the proceedings, asking Dave why Sharn doesn’t deserve to win. Ignoring the question, he spoke about how he was the idol whisperer of the season before circling to the point, I think, by saying his relationships are what brought him to the end. Harry dragged Sharn for constantly pretending to be in alliances with people and pretending she was going to flip and while she tried to highlight it as good gameplay, Brooke reminded her that she burnt a lot of people in the process and as such, she was too focused on going to the end, rather than winning.
Oh and then Tarzan reminded Sharn that she told him to vote Mo in the near-rock tribal and while she tried to pretend that she was testing Tarzan’s loyalty, he thankfully pushed and said it wasn’t a test because if he did, Moana would have gone. This pissed off Moana who joined Tarzan in dragging her and while Sharn tried to dance around it and said it turned out to be her biggest move, Mo pointed out it was actually just her doing nothing. Harry then told her to keep telling herself that – slay – before Moana pointed out that Dave voting her out proved him to be weak, given he preached non-stop of competing against the best. She then asked the boldest question, asking whether he felt she played the bigger game. David expertly praised her and her game, apologising for ruining her dreams, reminding her that taking her to the end weakened his chances and ultimately they are playing for the title of SOLE survivor.
Dave then listed why everyone played killer games, praising them for their moves which is the exact reason why he made sure they all ended up on the jury. I mean, hot damn – that is a Todd Herzog level tribal council performance!
With that speech sealing the deal, the jury voted and then because of COVID-19, we awkwardly got to experience the single weirdest winner reveal of all time – potentially until Winners at War, I guess – as Andrew G was wheeled out to talk to Jonathan who was trapped in the US because of travel restrictions, before he tallied re-written votes in the US … which ultimately crowned David the winner of the game. Much to poor Sharn and her family’s bitter disappointment via satellite from their lounge room.
Tragically poor Sharn’s biggest fears came to a reality and while once again she came second, she does hold a tonne of records which prove her to be one of our best players. Despite how messy her second game may have been as her fears started to play on her mind. As such, I am so glad I was able to be on hand to once again provide her culinary comfort with a hearty batch of Lamb Sharnk Coombes Pies!
Now lamb shanks and I have a complicated past. I mean, despite what you may think, I’m not a fan of sucking meat off a bone (well, in the kitchen). But in pie form? Sign me up! Earthy, rich and encased in a gorgeously buttery pastry, there is no better may to eat your feelings.
Lamb Sharnk Coombes Pies Serves: 4-8.
Ingredients ½ cup flour 1 tsp salt 1 tsp pepper 4 lamb shanks 2 tbsp olive oil 2 carrots, finely sliced 4 celery stalks, finely sliced 2 onions, diced 8 garlic cloves, minced ¼ cup tomato paste 1 ½ cup red wine 1 ½ cup beef stock 6 sprigs thyme, leaves removed 2 bay leaves 2-4 sheets shortcrust pastry 1 egg, beaten lightly 2 sheets butter puff pastry
Method Preheat the oven to 180C.
Combine the flour, salt and pepper in a large bowl and toss through the shanks to coat. Heat a good lug of the oil in a dutch oven over medium heat and add the shanks, cooking for five minutes or until nice and caramelised on the outside. Transfer to a plate to rest.
Add the remaining oil to the dutch onion and saute the carrot, celery, onion and garlic for five minutes, or until nice and soft. Add the tomato paste and cook for a further minute. Repeat the process with the wine, followed by the stock before adding the thyme, bay leaves and shanks to the pan, covering and popping in the oven to cook for 2 ½-3 hours, or until the meat is falling off the bone.
Once cooked, remove from the oven – leaving it on – and carefully remove the meat from the bone and roughly chop into largish chunks. Return the meat to the pan, remove the bay leaves and cook over medium heat until the sauce has reduced.
To assemble, line 8 individual pie dishes with a square of shortcrust pastry to fit the mould. Line each and fill with some baking weights. Pop them on a baking sheet and transfer to the oven to cook for ten minutes, or until the pastry is starting to cook. Remove from the oven and remove the baking paper and weight combo.
Fill each dish with some of the shank mixture and brush around the rim of each dish with some egg, followed by closing with the puff pastry and cutting a little slit into the top. Brush the pie tops with more egg and transfer to the oven to bake for about half an hour, or until golden and puffed.
Previously on Australian Survivor, 24 All Star players returned to the game with Lydia out for revenge, Henry lived to be messy, Brooke was a challenge beast and David claimed a suite of idols. Amongst the chaos Queen Shane followed Tina Wesson’s first-to-worst trajectory (despite almost avoiding it), followed by Jericho, Daisy – in a brutal blindside from Dave – Michelle and Henry before Shonee kicked off an epic revenge arc by eliminating Lydia, Abbey and John back-to-back-to-back. They were followed by Mat, Phoebe and Flick before Nick tragically missed the jury.
Locky ultimately became the first to go post-merge, followed by Harry and the tragic exit of Lee. Zach, Jacqui, Shonee and AK soon followed before Brooke’s immunity run forced the dominant majority alliance to turn on each other to boot Tarzan. Which was tragically followed by Brooke losing immunity and heading to the jury as one of our icon fourth placed robbed-goddesses, leaving Moana, Dave and Sharn to battle it out for victory.
The final three awoke on Day 49, with Dave shocked to still be in the game despite entering All Stars with a huge target from his previous season. Though thankfully, he learnt from his previous mistakes and this time forged strong bonds to keep him in the game. He then praised Moana and Sharn for being such strong competitors, though reminded himself that he is not there to make friends and he is playing to reunite his family and move back to Australia. And yeah, there is no way he is losing right?
Wait, no – we do get to hear from the other two. Sharn spoke about how important it is to win final immunity and to get to choose your opponent. While she only made it to the end with the help of her allies, the alliance would break tonight and as such, she needs to make sure she has control. Rightly, she congratulated herself on making it to the final three twice in a row and as such, she more than anyone, knows the pain of losing and as such, she isn’t going to suffer through that again. We finally checked in with Moana, who shared that she came into All Stars to pick up where she left off, after having to exit the game because she was sick. She highlighted that she played a stealth, strategic game and has never been in any real danger because she has been across literally everything that happened in camp. Which again, is true.
The final three arrived on a very windy cliff where they met Jonathan who explained that they would each stand on small pedestals with one hand holding an idol on a post and the other pulling a ring, pulling them in the other direction with the last one standing taking out immunity. As is tradition, Jonathan then wheeled out everyone’s families to distract them and make their heart break before physically destroying them. Sharn’s kids all still look exactly like their father, though hopefully the kids didn’t get his personality. But I can’t even be mean because her oldest son was super sweet about her and now I am crying. Then Jonathan wheeled out Moana’s wife of 53 days and her sister Vinnie and hot damn, I’m sobbing. Vinnie is life, Mo’s wife is hot – it is perfect. Oh and then Vinnie hugged Dave as Isabella’s crying made her sad and damn, I forgive the final three for making the merge boring. Can Vinnie be a write-in winner? I mean, Edge of Extinction is a thing, so anything goes now. Oh and then Dave’s wife and daughter arrived and see, he isn’t an arrogant jerk, he is delightful and such a kind family man. Also, can we circle back to the fact Moana’s wife is straight up beautiful? As beautiful as Dave’s sons calling him to wish him luck.
After drying their tears and hugging their families, the final three climbed up to their craggy perches while their poor families sat on a cliff and quietly wished that the challenge would be as short as possible. Well except for Vinnie and the younger kids who disappeared and honestly, Vinnie better be getting good money to babysit those kids because she is precious and needs to be protected at all costs. Anyway, as Australian Survivor is wise enough to stick with endurance challenges for final immunity, they aren’t the most exciting to recap. That being said, Jonathan said ‘It’s All Stars Baby’ in Caitlyn Jenner’s voice and honestly, I live. Moana started to struggle early in the challenge, but she showed so much personality in her interactions with her wife and now I am rooting for her.
Sharn spoke about it being more difficult than her OG final immunity challenge, while David spoke about how much he wants it and as such, while it is painful, he won’t back down. After more than an hour, out of nowhere Moana slipped off the pegs and literally fell out of the challenge, panicking everyone and leading to her wife heroically coming to rescue her and honestly, I ship them so hard. Left alone in the challenge for a further hour, David decided to try and make a deal with Sharn, suggesting that no matter what, they’re going to the end because they both want to face off against the best in the final tribal council. Sharn agreed how much of an honour it would be to go to the end with him, however neither seemed to be willing to back down. A torrential downpour then rolled in for dramatic effect and while David looked to be struggling, it was Sharn that collapsed out of nowhere, handing David immunity. And more likely, the title of Sole Survivor.
At tribal council David spoke about how amazing it was to see all of their families and compete in the final immunity challenge, though was saddened to be bringing an end to one of his closest allies’ games. Moana highlighted how close she and Dave have been from the start which immediately led to Sharn cutting her off and talking about how she was just as close with Dave. She then pointed out that she isn’t really loyal to her bestie Moana by saying that she and Dave agreed that they wanted to go to the end together during the immunity challenge. Obviously because this is All Stars and they need to have the best facing off. Moana laughed at the thought and pointed out that they all made deals with each other and as such, that deal means nothing. She then pointed out that she has played a strong game and more importantly, she doesn’t address a jury for a living.
Sharn laughed about her previous final tribal – lol – before smartly pointing out that the duo had played similar games, while her game and David’s are clearly distinguishable and as such, the jury can easily pick a winner. Oh and then Moana got sassy and honestly, where was she all season – she said that Sharn had her shot in front of the jury and now it is time she has hers. Oh and if Dave thinks she is an easy beat, take her to the end and prove it. With that David voted and tragically Moana was sent from the game as the final juror, not because she was the weaker opponent, but because she was the stronger one.
As soon as I saw Moana enter the Jury Villa, I ran to her to give her a massive hug and to praise her for playing such a dominant game alongside David. Yes, yes, I spent a lot of time complaining about how boring their alliance made the show, but that doesn’t take away from their stellar, controlling games. That being said, David had something working in his favour that Moana tragically didn’t and that was the fact I planned to make Moana a pizza. Yes, the Fame Hungry Survivor Pizza curse strikes again and it is my fault Mo lost the prize and instead had to settle for a Buffaloana Chicken Hopizza.
Like burgers, buffalo chicken is one of those things I am very passionate about shoe-horning into other culinary forms. From burgers to meatballs, buffalo chicken just works in so many forms and despite being the curse that ended Mo’s game, there is no denying this is perfection. And maybe a little worth it.
Buffaloana Chicken Hopizza Serves: 6.
Ingredients 1 cup hot sauce 2 tbsp butter 3 cups shredded roast chicken (or Chooke) salt and pepper, to taste 2 bases as per Pizsa Zsa Gabor ½ cup passata handful of fresh Italian herbs, roughly chopped 1-2 cups mozzarella cheese, grated 2-4 celery stalks, thinly sliced 1-2 carrots, thinly sliced ⅔ cup blue cheese, crumbled Michelle Branch Dressing, to serve
Method Prep the bases as per Zsa Zsa’s instructions.
When they’re almost finished proving, combine the hot sauce and butter in a saucepan and melt over low heat until combined. Remove from the heat and fold through the chicken. Season to taste, probably more pepper than salt, in my opinion.
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
To assemble, smear the bases with passata and herbs. Top with the mozzarella, carrot and celery, followed by the spicy chicken and blue cheese. Transfer to the oven and bake for fifteen minutes, or until bubbly and golden.
Devouring immediately with a good lashing of ranch dressing in honour of my menu choices ended my favourite potential winner (of the final three).
Previously on Australian Survivor, Brooke was all alone, with only the love and dreams of the nation to keep her company. Well, that and the immunity necklace, which she won for a record breaking fifth time, despite the fact we’re all forgetting the pre-merge victory. Back at camp David and his bland (well, dominant) alliance realised that they needed to flip on themselves, splitting down gender lines with Tarzan pushing to get rid of Sharn and Moana suggesting they get rid of Tarzan in the hope that David could defeat Brooke at the next immunity challenge. Ultimately though, David sided with the girls, while Brooke tried to vote for Dave – despite his idol – and poor Tarzan was booted from the game.
The next day Sharn was doing ASMR about Tarzan to David to make sure he knows just how much she really, truly valued him and everything he did. Though love me, David, LOVE ME is all I heard. Thankfully Brooke was acting as the voice of the public, calling out Moana and Sharn for playing a boneheaded game and not trying to take a shot at David when they had the chance. Though once again, she was hopeful to win immunity, fuck up their plans and force them to send him out of the game and start writing her winner’s cheque.
Meanwhile Dave joined Brooke near the shelter and after coughing like you would pre-COVID, sat down with her to ask if she is still hellbent on facing off against him. Brooke laughed it off, saying she literally has no options and nobody wants to work with her, so he is safe … unless he is interested in working with her. Knowing that he is completely falling apart after back-to-back seasons, he said that he would be interested to work together since whoever loses the next challenge is going home. But if they work together, they can save themselves and make this interesting.
After putting the idea out into the universe, Dave approached Moana to reiterate the importance of getting rid of Brooke at the next tribal council. Moana then spoke about how much she, David and Sharn need to win the game, which honestly annoys me, because this game shouldn’t be about need. I mean, that is what GoFundMe or my fellow high school alumni Celeste Barber is for!
We then got some generic filler supercuts with Brooke reminding us that Sharn and Moana dogged her at the last tribal council, Dave reminded us that he is playing his game for his kids and to be able to spend more time with them. He then started to cry about spending so much time away from them playing two seasons and just like that, I am back to wanting Dave to win. Or well, being ok with it … if Brooke can not.
My love Jonathan arrived for the penultimate immunity challenge of the season and hot damn, it’s a doozy! The final four would race to roll a ball down a shoot, race through obstacles and catch it before it hits the ground. They would then shoot the ball into a cup before shooting coconuts at a wall to break two tiles, then crawl under a ladder dragging a bag, building a ladder and scaling a wall before collecting three bags each containing a ball. Which they would then guide to the top of an upright maze to land them in three holes. And then they win immunity. As has become the way, David and Brooke were neck and neck at the start of the challenge with Brooke the first to catch her ball on the obstacle. Sadly while she struggled to land her ball in the cup, David made it past the first obstacle and quickly landed his ball. He then continued to extend his lead, crashing through the first tile as Brooke landed her ball. She quickly cracked her first tile, evening things up and making things more interesting than Jonathan’s spicy commentary. That being said, I do love David busting nut after nut. Brooke cracked her second tile just before David, as they went neck and neck under the net.
Oh and Sharn and Moana were absolutely nowhere. That isn’t relevant, but lol.
David made it over the wall first and had a slight lead going into the maze, before Brooke caught up. Both of them shaking from fatigue as they worked on the maze as Brooke landed her first ball which was quickly followed by David’s first. Brooke tried to play it fast to get a lead, though dropped right at the top giving David a lead as he landed his second. And while she fought valiantly, he landed his third and secured immunity. Back at the start of the challenge, Sharn and Moana were just thrilled to be able to stop while David and Brooke hugged, both crying as he congratulated her on being a beast and apologised for crushing her dreams. Well since it is obvious that Brooke is joining the elite group of fourth place robbed goddesses, I guess I am thrilled that it is Dave that will be taking out the win.
The final four returned to camp where David couldn’t wipe the smile off his face, praising Brooke on her continued challenge prowess. She then went to quietly reflect on the end of her game, while Dave worked to assure Sharn and Moana that they too are safe. Knowing that she needs to dig deep, Brooke caught up with Sharn by the fire and suggested that she is ending her own game by voting out Brooke, given that Moana and David will both take the other to the end over her. This made Sharn paranoid and contemplated her options, giving Brooke enough ammunition to approach Moana and let her know that Sharn, once again, is playing both sides. Because Brooke wants to battle Moana at final tribal council
While they were chatting, Moana and Dave caught up about the fact that they don’t have anything to worry about given at worst, it will be a tie and she and Brooke will need to face off in a fire challenge. That being said, Moana was hopeful that her real world friendship would be enough to stop Sharn from flipping. Brooke didn’t even need to talk to Moana, as Sharn’s growing cockiness at the thought of having the game locked up made Moana nervous about what her friend was planning. As such Moana approached Brooke to find out what Sharn was playing at, with Brooke pointing out that Moana truly needs to make sure she is in the final three with two other people that want to take her to the end and keeping her in the game means both she and Dave would take her, guaranteeing her a shot at final tribal. Which honestly is the best possible pitch because Moana is literally the only person that would be guaranteed to make the end in that situation. And realistically won’t go if she is in the final three with David and Sharn who would take each other, for some weird reason in Sharn’s case.
At tribal council – which was interrupted by another confusing, meandering presser from the PM (just tell us to stay inside and act like we hate COVID like Jacinda, please) – David spoke about his shock at making it to this point, a guaranteed shot at the final immunity challenge. While he was elated, he was kind of surprised that nobody went after him despite the mammoth target on his back. Continuing to play to the jury and the audience, David rightly lavished Brooke with praise and said that playing against her has been the biggest honour and joy for him. On the flipside, Brooke was disappointed to have lost immunity though took it with grace. But not lying down, advised Moana and Sharn that whoever joins her tonight will be the one she takes to the end. She then read them both for filth, pointing out they both told her that they can’t win at the end against Dave, and nor can they beat him at final tribal and as such, they’re stupid not to at least try going against her.
This annoyed Sharn who said that while that was Brooke’s pitch, she never actually said that she didn’t think she could beat Dave and lol. I mean, I loved Sharn in her first season but how in the hell can she not see that she has – to quote Spencer – zero percent chance of winning the game? Brooke called her out for lying and told her that she has admitted that she has no chance against Dave, then went in on her and continued to paint her as a shady liar. Brooke then heaped praise on Dave as the best Survivor player in the world, trying to scare Moana into action. This led Sharn to step in and fight, reminding everyone (read: Moana) that this is the only path for Brooke and honestly, she will win final immunity if she gets there. Sadly that logic is flawed, given she has said time and time again that Dave will win in the end, so if she does win final immunity, she will take anyone but him. And while they’re both kind of guaranteed to lose unless they are against each other, they surely have a better chance against Brooke.
Moana jumped in and said that while Brooke doesn’t think either of them have the ability to beat Dave, it is up to them to prove her wrong. And while I admire the confidence, I don’t know if they are accounting for who is sitting on the jury. That being said, if Moana didn’t think she could beat everyone left, she would have blindsided them. Sharn agreed that she also thinks she can win – lol – before David admitted that he is fully aware that should he lose final immunity, he knows that he is going to come in third. Smelling blood in the water, Brooke said that taking someone strong to the end is the boldest play you can make and already, she would award Dave the title knowing what he is visibly done. Though she knows that he has played harder than that and will have a compelling case.
Moana said she was confident in the direction she has chosen to take, while Brooke said that people have suggested they may vote with her, they all need to realise that loyalty won’t get you to the end. More specifically, it won’t give you money to buy your family a house, Mo. With that the tribe voted and tragically Brooke was finally felled from the game, though thankfully she joined the illustrious ranks of our fourth place robbed goddesses – Flick, Michelle, Shonee and Luke.
Through tears, I stood at the doors of Jury Villa and applauded our newest queen as she arrived to officially join the ranks of the iconic fourth placers. Please note that every fourth placed robbed-goddess has also played the game twice, which is a testament to their skillz and charm. Given I was overwhelmed by emotion (and knowing that Brooke’s loss likely put us on the trajectory we’re currently on in corona-ville) and I knew Brooke would be in need of some much needed nourishment, I quickly whipped up a Roast Chooke Jowett and toasted on playing the best losing game of the season.
Like her underdog journey, there is something so nourishing and wholesome about a perfectly roasted chicken. Your home is filled with a gorgeous aroma, there are leftovers for days and honestly, you feel a little bit smug because it always seems much more daunting than it is. Essentially, it is a culinary hug, which is what Brooke deserves.
Roast Chooke Jowett Serves: 4-6, depending on the amount of leftovers you want.
Ingredients 1 large free-range chicken 2 medium onions, peeled and halved 2 carrots, peeled (or just washed, no judgement) and cut into 3cm lengths 2 sticks of celery, just into 3cm lengths 1 bulb of garlic, peeled and bruised olive oil 1 bunch of mixed fresh herbs, ideally thyme, rosemary and sage 1 lemon, pierced with a skewer salt and pepper, to taste 1 tbsp flour, ¼ cup vermouth and 2 cups of chicken stock, should you want to make an accompanying gravy
Method Preheat the oven to 240°C and take the chicken out of the fridge for about half an hour to come to temperature.
Throw the onion, carrot, celery and garlic in a large baking dish with a drizzle of olive oil and toss to combine. Grab the chicken and shove the herbs and lemon inside the carcass. Drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper, rubbing over to make sure it is well coated. Place the chicken on top of the vegetables, reduce the oven to 200°C and transfer to the oven to cook for 1 hour and 15-30 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken.
Remove chicken from the oven, transfer to a plate, cover and rest for fifteen minutes at which point, mash all the veggies in the pan juices should you be making a gravy. Add the flour and cook over medium heat on the stove until bubbling. Whisk in the vermouth and stock and cook, stirring, until a thick, glorious gravy is formed. Season with pepper.
Serve the chicken with your fave roast veggies, drowned in gravy with some white crusty bread for sopping up – like a queen – as you devour.
Previously on Australian Survivor, soon-to-be two-time runner-up Sharn and her allies Moana, Tarzan and David were still, sadly, controlling the game. This left A.K. and Brooke on the outs with essentially no options. After Brooke secured yet another immunity win, she essentially sealed poor A.K.’s fate. As such, he searched high and low for an idol and when Moana refused to stop tailing him, he decided to literally empty out the entire water well like a damn icon. At tribal council, Jonathan unveiled yet another twist where the person that felt likely to be voted out was able to raise their hand for a chance to battle with fire instead of reading the votes. As such, A.K. raised his hand while he and Brooke forced everyone to agree to making Moana his challenger. Sadly for them, Moana dominated, sending A.K. from the game and leaving Brooke all on her lonesome.
The next day Sharn was boring the hell out of everyone, discussing how to do her hair and giddily dancing around to celebrate making it to the final five again. Mainly shocked that nobody had even attempted to take her out, and as such, now she could turn her attention to figuring out who to face off against in the end. She then creepily stumbled upon David doing a weird breathing exercise, interrupting his meditation and floating the idea of going to the end together. You know, because it is All Stars and it would be an All Star move to face off against an All Star player in the All Star final tribal council. And lol, remember when I was heartbroken by the thought of Sharn losing twice? Now it is the only thing keeping me going through the corona-crisis.
They rejoined the rest of the tribe to celebrate making it as far as they have, with Sharn staring lovingly at David before Tarzan praised himself for being viewed as one of the greatest players ever. Again, lol. He then told a boring story about the beginning of each of his alliances which honestly were ‘we spoke to each other’, ‘I love David’ and ‘Sharn knows things’. Either this is bland filler before Brooke exits, or I am depressed. Probably both. Speaking of Brooke, Tarzan gently reminded us of the importance of Brooke losing immunity which is the only thing actually keeping the audience going at this point. To try and guarantee he isn’t the one that goes should Brooke win immunity, he went fishing with David and honestly wooing him is a foregone conclusion, so why not try and align with someone else.
That being said, I ship them and hope they strip off again. I mean, Tarzan cried tears of joy thinking about being alone with Dave on Day 50. Which, swoon.
Back all alone at camp, Brooke was clearly on the outs and knew that bonding with these people is a total waste of time, so instead she focused on clearing her mind and making sure she is ready to immunity her way to the end. For herself, for Vakama and most importantly, for the people trying to find a COVID-19 vaccine.
We jumped forward to Day 46 where Brooke had decided forging bonds could be helpful and as such approached Moana and Sharn to charm them. And when Sharn disappeared, Brooke floated the idea of the two of them sticking together and facing off in the final two. And knowing that Brooke has no other options, Moana saw the value in keeping her around to guarantee that she makes it to the end by surrounding her with people that want to face off against her at the end.
Waking us up from the padding, my love Dr Jonathan arrived to cure us of boredom with the immunity challenge. Sadly even the challenge feels like it’s been done multiple times this season, with each castaway solving a word puzzle on a shelf attached to a trip hazard. Most importantly, they have to spell Australian Survivor: All Stars. Did you know that this is AlL St@Rs?! Thankfully Brooke quickly got out to an early lead and literally beasted through the entire thing, never once dropping and secured immunity in a blink and you’ll miss it victory like Queen Shonee before her. I mean, those two are the poster children for yoga and pilates, right?
Back at camp Brooke was rightfully giddy to have won immunity and more importantly, thrilled to see Shonee’s reaction to it at tribal council. Well, maybe not more importantly, given she is about to Shi Ann the shit out of the boring alliance. And like Shi Ann, she wanted to go straight for the top and target Dave (because Shi Ann rightly knew Amber was in charge). While Brooke basked in her victorious glow, the alliance hung around, scared to throw out a name, while David shared with us how grateful he was to have an idol in his hot, hot hands.
The group realised that they needed to split up to actually make a difference, so they dropped Tarzan off on Brooke with the trio agreeing that he needs to go if they want to have any chance of beating Brooke at the next immunity challenge. This of course made Dave upset – something about wanting Tarzan deep in his endgame – but he was too nervous to rock the vote. Tarzan opted to go idol hunting before Sharn returned to praising everyone for being so good at the game, before her paranoia got to her and she realised that piling the votes on Tarzan risks her getting voted out should Dave play the idol. As such, Sharn suggested to Moana that they pull Brooke in and get her to join them and vote for Dave, hoping to flush the idol and get rid of the Golden God in one move. And obviously she was keen. Hella keen. Wanting to keep things interesting, Tarzan pulled Dave aside and rightly pointed out that should he go tonight, that the girls will gun for him next. Which made David nervous enough to consider the plan Sharn feared coming to fruition, playing his idol for Tarzan and getting rid of Sharn ‘never coming second again’ Coombes.
At tribal council the jury were delighted to see Brooke was once again rocking the immunity necklace, which sadly only makes her more of a target. Brooke spoke about her pride at winning before talk turned to the fact that the alliance, finally, is crumbling. Sharn said it was something they always had to consider, Tarzan mentioned he hoped to have done enough while David shared that they had to be naive if they didn’t consider Brooke beasting to the end. Tarzan spoke about being really tight with two people in his alliance, leading to Sharn feeling nervous about being the last person to join the alliance. David tried to downplay their closeness, pointing out that loyalty is more important and at this point, they need to think about the next two votes as well.
David spoke about his own nerves, knowing that Brooke is targeting him and tried to rally troops against him. Brooke agreed that, duh, she wants him out before subtly pleading with Sharn and Moana to see sense and join her. To counter that David spoke about the importance of keeping him around to beat Brooke in a challenge, before countering himself by talking about her lack of strategy outside of winning challenges. With that the tribe voted, David hobbled like an old man to play his last idol for himself, which was burned as Tarzan exited the game. Hugging and praising everyone like the sweet man that he is.
While Tarzan was part of the dominant alliance that oft makes a season a tad boring, that doesn’t take away from the fact he is arguably the sweetest man to ever play the game. I mean, from laying down his game from Tessa the first go around to now, he has continually should kindness and warmth and just seems like the best guy. As such, I didn’t yell at him for not turning on Sh-oana and instead gave him a triumphant Marknana “Tarte Tarzan” Herlaar.
As sweet as its namesake, this phallic twist on the classic tarte tatin is near perfection. The mushy banana and sticky sweetness of caramel are always two of the best friends. Add a melt in your mouth pastry and well, you’re in heaven.
Marknana “Tarte Tarzan” Herlaar Serves: 4.
Ingredients 2 sheets puff pastry, rolled together to form a slightly thicker, larger square 180g raw caster sugar 50ml water 25g unsalted butter 4 bananas, sliced lengthways heavy cream, for serving
Method Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Combine the sugar and water in a heavy-based frying pan over medium heat until the sugar has completely dissolved. Simmer for 5 minutes or until a light caramel colour. Add the butter and stir until melted.
Pour the caramel into a tarte tatin dish and top with the bananas, sliced side down. Top with the pastry and fold or roll the edges in to form a rustic circle. Making sure you keep the pastry seals in the banana and caramel.
Pop in the oven to bake for 25 minutes, or until the pastry is golden and crisp.
Allow to cool for five minutes before flipping onto a plate and serving immediately, with a gorgeous drizzle of thickened cream. Then devour.
Previously on Australian Survivor, Sharn decided it would be a good idea to continue playing in the middle, despite how much heat it was clearly causing her. She continued to make more and more promises to Vakama, followed by pledging her undying loyalty to Moana and David and given each alliance will make up a bulk of the jury, she is pretty much a non-entity. After Brooke took out immunity again, David and Shonee became the respective targets for each side. Knowing he was in danger, David showed off his idol to woo or intimidate Sharn. While Shonee played for the jury, calling out Sharn for flip flopping and making promises to them, screwing her should she choose to not flip. Which she obviously didn’t, sending the iconic Shonee to the jury (again).
The weather was miserable the next day, no doubt in retaliation for the heinous boot of Queen Shonee. Sadly Moana has no clue, however, and was thrilled by the turn of events, glad that her bestie Sharn proved to David and Tarzan that she was loyal to them until the end. Despite how boring that may be for us at home. Sharn and Moana caught up in the shelter, with Sharn breaking down over missing her family and hoping to prove to her kids that she can win, given she came so close last time. She then spoke about her uncertainty in trusting David, though was hopeful that him showing her the idol was honest on his part. She then mentioned – again – how close she came to winning last time and hot damn, she is losing again at final tribal, isn’t she?
Brooke meanwhile was thrilled to have made it as far as she has, disappointing me by not acknowledging the tragedy of losing Shonee. Wait, no, she and AK were well pissed, heartbroken and desperately want to get revenge on Sharn, post haste and damn – GET THEM BROOKE! I mean, she then cut laps of the beach to psych them out. The Queen is dead, long live the Queen. Tarzan continued to play his own game, picking about 20 pawpaws for everyone and then wandering around aimlessly. And for some reason, I am shocked by this completely expected behaviour. AK thankfully was still simmering in his juices, handing some salty sass to Moana and Sharn. Continuing the whip around, Moana too was thrilled about how close her allies all are to her, though she was starting to get nervous about the growing bond between Sharn and David. Moana pulled her aside to casually test her loyalty, and when she didn’t mention knowing about Dave’s idol, Moana seemed to be pissed. But alas, no, she told Sharn to continue playing Dave while she works on Tarzan. And the four can continue voting out the minority.
Are the greatest endgame EVER ads the new Sue’s big move?
My dear sweet Jonathan returned for the latest immunity challenge which was a beast of a challenge where the tribe would race to swim out to a pontoon, run through obstacles, leap up a ladder, collect a monkey fist from a tower, slide down, get to the shore use the monkey fist to release puzzle pieces and – deep breath – solve the puzzle. David tragically got out to an early lead, though our new Queen Brooke was nipping at his heels. And thankfully overtook him at the monkeyfist. While Sharn, Tarzan and Moana caught up with the leaders, AK became paralysed with fear at the top of the ladder. Which led to some sweet cheering from Brooke while she desperately tried to snag her puzzle pieces, eventually resulting in him jumping and getting back in the challenge.
Despite Brooke earning good karma with her kind cheering, David, Moana and Tarzan reeled in their puzzle pieces in quick succession, while the other three just tried to snag the pieces. Out of nowhere AK snagged his puzzle pieces, with a massive comeback. Sharn started to get salty about not being able to catch up since she and Brooke were so far behind, which seemed to be enough to give Brooke a boost. Almost instantly she snagged her bag, before getting to work at the puzzle table and quickly solving the word phrase that had stumped everyone, winning yet another immunity. And more importantly proving Sharn to be a very unreliable narrator.
Back at camp everyone pretended to be happy for Brooke while she casually laughed about spoiling their tribal council plans. Well, until she realised that her victory put a nail in AK’s coffin and it started to make her feel guilty. Moana, Sharn and David all casually whispered about obviously voting AK, hoping that the next tribal will be their chance to get her out. Which again, I hope is wrong. Moana started to get nervous about them potentially having an idol and saving AK, but everyone felt there would be no benefit to split the votes. Meanwhile alone at the shelter Brooke and AK agreed to vote for Sharn before hunting for idols, hoping that their votes would be enough to get rid of her. Sadly for AK though, Moana decided to channel Andrea and babysit him the entire time, putting salt in the wound that is his likely elimination.
He then also straight up tipped out all of the water from the well to get rid of his shadow, which worked as Moana went to camp to dob on him. This bought him ten minutes of peace for hunting, which tragically proved fruitless. Though David did follow him and Brooke into the jungle to check in on them and nervous about them finding the idol, asked them who they were planning to vote for. Wisely they filled him in on the plan to vote Sharn, suggesting that if they didn’t split it would be a bad idea, and as such, he simply needs to vote for Sharn to guarantee his safety. Sharn then started to sense danger and panicked to Moana and Tarzan, which the former quickly seemed to allay. Though Sharn did say she never wants to be on the jury, and honestly, it seems more and more likely that she won’t, and she will be roasted at final tribal council twice, instead.
At this tribal council though, AK sadly spoke about the inevitability of getting voted out at this tribal council. He then spoke about his fear at the challenge and how brutal it was to watch his chances slip away from that moment. Through tears, he then spoke of his pride at Brooke and her achievements and oh my god, I think I love AK. Sharn pretended that his boot isn’t inevitable, and commenced trying to soften her flip flopping by explaining that everything she did to humiliate the minority and get their hopes up, was all done for the alliance. Moana and Tarzan tried to pull out a bit of a cheeky stick to the plan before Jonathan pointed out that if they don’t have a plan B, they’re handing the power over to AK and Brooke. Sharn tried to lowkey threaten her allies to not turn on her, while David was simply hopeful that everyone would stick together.
With that the tribe voted and as Jonathan was just about to read the votes, he offered the person that felt in danger to accept an offer for a trial by fire instead of reading the votes. The remaining four people would then need to select a competitor unanimously, and if not, draw rocks to find out who would be competing. If the volunteer wins, nobody goes home and if the challenger wins, the volunteer leaves. Obviously AK selected to go through with a trial by fire, which gave Queen Brooke the chance to be even more of a bad arse, refusing to budge on anyone but Moana competing against him. Again fearing rocks, everyone bowed down and forced Moana to face off with him. Sadly the badassery was all for nought and while AK worked hard, Moana once again dominated a fire making challenge and sent him out of the game in sixth place.
Given how I fell in love with AK this season, I pulled him in for an epic hug as soon as he got out of the 4WD at the Jury Villa. I apologised for my shadiness his first time playing the game, explaining that I saw a lot of myself in him and it hurt to watch a superfan go out in the way he did. Which I guess, is why his second go was so touching to me. With that, we laughed, we cried and toasted to our newfound friendship with a jug (or two) of Frosé-K.
Being white, gay, in my 30s and basic, I am obviously the perfect kind of person to love frosé. I mean, it is like a rosé slushy – does life get better than that? (The answer is no, no it does not).
Method Pop the strawberries in a blender and blitz to a pulp. Strain through a sieve to remove seeds – which reminds me of a time I was an apprentice in a kitchen and was made to de-seed strawberries. Spoiler alert, I did such a good job the chef questioned why it was a joke. Also, I hate the feel of strawberry seeds on your tongue, which is why it made total sense to me.
In any event, pop the seedless pulp back in the blender with the rosé, sugar and ice. Blitz again until gorgeously slushy.
Pop into a jug or some glasses and down, gloriously.
Previously on Australian Survivor, David secured back-to-back wins in the reward and immunity challenges. Most importantly, he also gave us two beautiful nudes scenes which really does count for something, in my mind. The best of which occurred at the reward, where he had taken his allies Sharn, Moana and Tarzan for an overnight holiday and showered in nature like an actual God. Despite that majesty, the reward meant he left Jacqui alone back at camp with the minority alliance and boy did they work her! At tribal council, Jacqui flipped to their side and they loaded their votes on Moana, while her former alliance all voted for her. While the minority alliance was keen to go to rocks, Sharn convinced them that she would join their side if they let Jacqui go and as such, she headed out to become the queen of the jury.
Back at camp things were decidedly awkward as Sharn tried to act like she was friends with everyone, officially killing off her chances at winning the season. She buddied up to Brooke and Shonee first, the latter of which rightly pointed out that David only wants to keep people he can beat around and as such, she isn’t making it to the end. She then swung by David and Tarzan to pretend that everything that happened at tribal was simply one big act, when in actuality, Tarzan knew she was now lying to them given she mouthed at him to vote Moana in the revote. When I was about to love him, he opted not to call her out and now I am sad and need him to go.
The next day Sharn was still busy buddying up to the Vakama trio when a cow straight up wandered into camp. Obviously Shonee and Brooke approached to see if it would like any pats or better still, to join their alliance and go to the final four with them. Feeling nervous about being replaced by a bovine, Sharn sidled up to David again and reiterated that she is still definitely with him and was solely telling them everything they needed to hear. Which again, is why she lost her first game. And is why she is now the perfect person to take to the end. While David didn’t say that, he did assure her that he is still all in on taking her to the end. And coupled with Shonee’s comment about him only wanting to take people to the end he could beat, that should tell her what he thinks of her current chances.
The tribe all sunbaked by the shore and gossiped before a stewing Tarzan won back my heart, pulling Moana aside to let her know that Sharn was gunning for her at the last tribal council. And given he is so honest, Moana originally wanted to believe him but instead, she and David blindly assured him that Sharn wouldn’t have meant it and he must have misunderstood her.
With them occupied, Brooke and Shonee went hunting for an idol for a little bit before gossiping about Sharn losing five jury votes if she dicks them over. Oh and then Shonee reminded us that she is the reason Sharn lost her first season and should she fuck with her, she will gladly makes sure she comes second again. Elsewhere the erstwhile runner-up approached AK to assure him that she is all in with the alliance and while she is keen to get rid of Dave, she also wants to make sure they do it at the right time.
My love Jonathan arrived for the immunity challenge where each tribemate was required to keep themselves wedged between two frames with the last one standing winning immunity. Aka when you used to try and hold yourself up in a door frame and act super cool in the 90s. Almost instantly, AK dropped – due to an ACL injury, FYI – followed closely by Moana and Sharn, who is just as hapless at the challenge as she is in the game. When trying to transition to a higher section of the frame, we lost our Queen Shonee before Tarzan followed after 15 minutes. The remaining two fought it out for another full 30 minutes before David started to struggle, wriggling around while Brooke sat motionless in the frame until finally, after 75 minutes, David dropped and Brooke snatched yet another immunity.
Back at camp David was feeling salty as everyone congratulated Brooke on how easy she made the challenge look. With him simmering, Shonee, Brooke and AK went for a walk, hoping Sharn would follow so they could fashion a plan. She eventually followed them to the well, with AK pushing everyone to load the votes on David, offering himself as the other groups target as he would rather get idoled out than be a sitting duck. Sharn eventually disappeared to chat with her other allies, while Shonee and AK laughed about how screwed Sharn is at the end, should she flip on them. Meanwhile Sharn and Moana were locking in the vote for Shonee, with Moana pointing out how happy that would make Sharn since she wants revenge on her for losing her first season. WHAT?! I think it was your terrible performance in front of the jury. Oh and then she suggested she is playing a killer, covert game this season.
After locking in the vote, she disappeared to hang with the Vakama trio to make sure they thought she was in with them. That gave Tarzan time to remind David that he is in grave danger tonight and they really need to think about something other than trusting Sharn. With that, David filled them in on his idol and suggested that he go to Sharn and let her know about the idol and promise her that it is the two of them until the end. He then went and did just that as Sharn fangirled over him and congratulated him on a game well played, she then told us that she could see right through his plan and as such, knew it would be safe to target him tonight.
At tribal council AK admitted to regretting turning on Jacqui, as the risk of rocks was less of a risk than trusting Sharn. Shonee and Brooke joined him by explaining that they were super keen to go to rocks, until Sharn promised to work with them. Sharn then admitted to everything in front of the jury, with Shonee pointing out that should she join the jury because of Sharn, it won’t end well for her. Essentially. Sharn then said that she was happy with the decision she has made for the vote ahead before David tried to play into her ego, saying Sharn has played a great game this season and as such, he wants to face her at the end. AK started to try for the same pitch, encouraging her that now is the time to make a big move and that joining them is pretty much the only way for her to do it.
David tried to remind her that he wants to work with her, while AK and Brooke worked harder, reminding Sharn that taking out David would be best for a lot of people’s games, not just the Vakama trio. AK then started to shoot himself in the foot, talking about changing his mind about who he wants to sit with at the end after each tribal council, based on who is left and how the ones that have gone were voted out. David used this to his advantage, assuring them that he has always been solid and hasn’t swayed from who he wants to go to the final four with. A sentiment which was echoed by Sharn and then Moana.
With that they voted and once again Sharn blindly trusted the strongest man in the game to her detriment, sticking with her OG alliance to send our beloved Queen Shonee from the game. And fuck am I completely enraged! I mean, if you listen carefully during the count, you can hear my screaming expletives from the Jury Villa, vowing to ruin Sharn’s life. While I have slightly calmed down since I am now busy worrying about everyone’s life since COVID-19, I am still furious about her decision to end my queen’s game. But I am no longer planning to ruin her life which is growth. Though let’s be honest, even if I did and she sued me, I honestly don’t think I would need to worry about facing her in court. Given she crumbles in front of a jury, right?
I know, I know – it was a long journey to get ro a boring read about her sucking at final tribal council. But I digress.
As soon as I stopped crying enough to see Shonee in the Jury Villa, I pulled her in for a massive hug and muttered repeatedly about her being a precious angel and needs to win this show eventually and that she better not end up like Cirie, just coming back and never getting the win she deserves. Obviously I sounded completely unhinged but Shon being Shon, she held me tight and assured me that everything is going to be ok.
“But cherub, maybe it would be even better with a little snack, no?”
As it is written, so it shall be done and as requested, I gifted her a piping hot, delicious Shoneedi Burgfax.
I will die on a hill that Oporto’s Bondi Burger is one of the great take-away burgers. Breaded, juicy chicken, chilli that knocks your socks off and a gorgeously creamy mayo work together to create not just a delicious burg, but the perfect way to honour an icon like Shonee.
Shoneedi Burgfax Serves: 4.
Ingredients 2 dried habanero chillies, seeded and chopped 2 tsp hot paprika 6 garlic cloves, minced 2 tsp minced ginger ½ tsp raw caster sugar 2 lemons, zested and juiced ⅓ cup vegetable oil 2 chicken breasts, sliced into two fillets each 1 cup flour, for dredging 1 tsp kosher salt 4 burger buns ¼ cup Shayonnaise Swain 1 cup butter lettuce, washed and shredded 4 slices provolone cheese
Method Start by prepping the chilli sauce by combining the habanero, paprika, garlic, ginger, sugar, lemon juiced and oil in a jug and stir until well combined.
Pour half the chilli sauce into a bowl and add the chicken, tossing through until well coated. Cover and transfer to the fridge to marinate for an hour or so.
When you’re good to go, remove the chicken from the fridge and combine the flour and salt in a bowl. One at a time, remove the breast from the chilli sauce, draining off excess liquid before dredging in the flour mixture. Place on a plate and repeat the process.
Pop a large skillet over medium heat and lightly brush with some extra vegetable oil. Fry the breasts for about five minutes each side until golden, crisp and most importantly, cooked through.
To assemble, split the buns – my favourite part – and spread each side with mayo. Place the lettuce on the bottom followed by a chicken breast, cheese and a generous spoon of the reserved chilli sauce.
Previously on Australian Survivor we had a very convoluted non-elimination journey involving three tribal councils, six exiled castaways, three people saved via challenge and one person booted. With David, somehow, remaining out of the fray despite being the biggest threat and not once winning immunity. After feeling left out of her alliance, Jacqui looked to make a move against David but after looping in Sharn and Moana she learnt that while they were happy with her plan, they would let her act alone, claim the move and unbeknownst to her, take all the wrath of David when his goat Zach was blindsided.
The next day we saw bats – COVID-19 trigger warning – on our way to check in with the tribe where Jacqui was still riding high after her Zach blindside, hungry for more and more to line up and fill her resume. She then dressed in David’s clothes and strutted around camp, anointed herself as the golden goddess and hot damn, why haven’t we seen this Jacqui all season. This is the icon we fell in love with in season 2! Meanwhile elsewhere in camp, Shonee and Brooke were eating scum water from the tribe’s pot, living their absolute best lives. Thrilled to have found a crack by blindsiding Zach, the duo used Jacqui’s pride to their advantage and pulled her aside in the water to praise her on a job well done and to try formulate a plan for the next vote.
On the flipside, David was back at camp feeling absolutely miserable. Annoyed that his meat shield is no longer around to protect him, he was nervous that people would sense weakness and come for him should he not regain control. Or win immunity. As such he continued to foster his relationship with Tarzan, in the hopes that he will protect him and keep their alliance tight. The boys then bonded by stripping off and skinny dipping together, which doesn’t make sense. But it makes me wet, so I don’t care.
They popped their pants on and returned to camp where Moana was desperately trying to hide her joy at losing Zach, while Jacqui continued to monologue about how great her blindside was. Did you know she flipped on Zach? Jacqui orchestrated a blindside? Jacqui voted out Zach, you hear? While Jacqui moved on to the next person to talk about her brilliance, Moana caught up with Dave to share how upset she was that Zach was gone. And then told us how safe she is, because she has surrounded Dave with people that are more loyal to her than him. And hot damn, is she actually playing an amazing game?
My love Jonathan returned for the reward challenge where they would each have to hold a spear over a tile using two handles pulled apart to maintain tension, with the last person standing winning the reward. And it was for an overnight spa reward complete with snacks and alcohol, so you know Queen Shonee needed this victory more than anyone else. Shocking me, Brooke was the first person to drop, followed closely by Tarzan and Jacqui. After fighting for another couple of minutes, Moana and Sharn dropped out of nowhere. After ten minutes, AK blanked and dropped out leaving David and Shonee to battle it out yet again. They continued to fight it out for over half an hour as Shonee offered to take Dave with her, should he want to offer her the same. After forty minutes and a cheeky readjustment, our queen dropped her spear and tragically lost reward. Oh and then David selected Sharn, Moana and Tarzan to join him, leaving her empty handed again.
Talk about rubbing salt in our icon’s wounds.
Back at camp however she didn’t pout and instead got to work rubbing it in Jacqui’s wounds instead, and vowed to use her time wisely to keep Jacqui onside. As they all joked about how stupid David is for not leaving Tarzan who they all know would never flip on him, Shonee decided to continue the charm offensive and gave Jacqui an island facial. After finishing the pampering, the group then decided that getting rid of Dave is – finally – their priority and as such, needed to identify the right people to flip. With Jacqui assuring them that Moana and Sharn would definitely be keen.
Speaking of Moana and Sharn, they were stumbling upon their reward with David and Tarzan as the group marvelled at their spoils. Including but not limited to, snacks, champagne and nail clippers, the latter being the most important win for David. Sharn pointed out how desperately Jacqui wanted to attend the reward and as such questioned whether he was playing the game smartly. David then showered and like me, Sharn couldn’t take her eyes off him and honestly, I have never related to her more. We then had a little pow wow with Dave, where he shared that his decision to exclude Jacqui isn’t stupid, given he knows he also can’t trust Sharn, however she is the one that is more likely to stay loyal if he keeps her close. And plus, Jacqui is a lost cause and leaving Sharn back at camp risks losing another ally. The newly scrubbed-up victors then sat around the fire and locked in a plan to blindside Jacqui and oh god, please keep Shonee safe.
The two groups reconvened and met Jonathan for the immunity challenge where they would have to untangle themselves from a rope tangled over a pole, with the first five continuing on to the next stage where they need to walk through some obstacles while balancing a ball on a pole before landing it in a bucket of water. Three would then continue to solve a puzzle, with the winner snagging immunity. Queen Shonee’s challenge streak appeared to end, quickly getting tangled in her rope while Tarzan, Jacqui, Moana and AK pulled away. Ultimately Tarzan made his way to the second stage first, followed by Brooke, AK, Jacqui and David, eliminating Moana, Shonee and Sharn. AK and Brooke whipped through the second phase, getting to the bucket phase while David desperately tried to close the gap. Out of nowhere, Tarzan was the first to land his ball in the bucket, giving him a huge head start on the puzzle. He was soon joined by David and Brooke, eliminating AK and Jacqui. Oh and then David destroyed the puzzle, begging the question, did we know David was a puzzle king?
Back at camp David’s ego was at an all time high, proudly showing off his four immunities, only one of which was a fake. He quickly confirmed that he and his allies would all be blindsiding Jacqui, again missing the meaning of a blindside, given Jacqui is fully aware that she is on the bottom. Sharn pulled Jacqui aside to try and woo her back to the side, with David and Moana quickly joining as the group decided to target Shonee. Sadly for Jacqui however, they were just trying to get her to throw a vote on Shonee so that their four votes would be enough to get rid of Jacqui. Speaking of Jacqui, she went back to the Vakama trio and the four locked in their votes for Moana. Oh and then Jacqui disappeared and the group agreed that no matter what, they are sticking together and if it results in a tie, they will just have to go to rocks. In either a horrible or brilliant move, AK then decided to pull Sharn aside and tell her that the group is completely down to go for rocks, putting the fear in her head. And oh God, this may be brilliant, as Sharn is well and truly susceptible to being panicked into changing a plan.
At tribal council David spoke about feeling salty about the Zach vote, explaining that that is why he chose to leave Jacqui out of the reward. Jacqui pretended that she was over their drama, which led to AK, Brooke and Shonee jumping in one at a time to call out how terrible David’s decision was and that Jacqui is the only one tired of being a minion. Jacqui agreed that she wanted to find her voice in the game which led to Shonee pointing out that nobody in the rival alliance actually wants to take her to the end. Moana called bullshit on the comment, assuring Jacqui that she protects her and one emotional decision doesn’t change where she sits in the alliance. Tarzan wisely pointed out that if Jacqui jumps from one alliance to another, she goes from being on the bottom to being on the bottom.
Each side continued to push for Jacqui’s vote before talk turned to going to rocks, with AK, Shonee and Brooke all vowing to go to rocks, as at least it gives them a chance to take control. Sharn on the flipside was nervous and started to completely unravel, telling people to think things through before playing it fast and loose with their game. With that the tribe voted, David did some weird voicework and played an idol on Tarzan before the votes rolled in four each for Jacqui and Moana, proving to Jacqui that she was right to flip on her allies. Once again the tribe voted and once again, it came back a tie.
And hot damn, did that fill Sharn with dread. She quickly started to panic as Jonathan explained the rock draw rules – to the audience that don’t want original flavour Survivor – with the tribe given the chance to come to a consensus, and if they don’t, the players in the tie become immune with anyone else that is immune, and the rest go to rocks. Aka AK, Brooke, Shonee and Sharn. AK quickly rallied the girls and reminded them that the only way to guarantee a majority, with them all agreeing to go to rocks. This led to a desperate Sharn begging them to change their mind, assuring them that if they flip on Jacqui, she promises to align with them. She begged and pleaded with them for what felt like an eternity until Jonathan told them they needed to make a decision, with them ultimately choosing to trust Sharn and turn on Jacqui, sending her from the game.
It was heartbreaking to be reunited with Jacs at the Jury Villa, given she has spent the last few episodes being the only hope of stopping a steamroll. After peeling myself away from Locky, I pulled Jacs into my arms and told her how proud I am of the game she played and that while she is a juror, she landed there for trying something and that alone is something she should be proud of. Oh and then I whipped her up a Smoke Shacqui Patterson which honestly was her favourite part.
I’ve said it thousands of times but it bears repeating, burgers are the absolute best and well, Shack Shake is one of the ultimate makers. And well, the Smoke Shack is my fave – smoky, spicy and a little bit sweet, it is a dream. Like the one Jacqui is living out surrounded by three guys on the jury.
Smoke Shacqui Patterson Serves: 4.
Ingredients ½ cup mayonnaise 1 tbsp dijon mustard ¾ tsp ketchup ½ tsp pickle brine pinch of cayenne pepper 500g beef mince 8 slices smoked bacon ¼ tsp salt ¼ tsp pepper 4 slices American cheese ⅓ cup cherry peppers, finely diced 4 potato buns
Method Start by combining the mayonnaise, dijon mustard, ketchup, pickle brine and the pinch of cayenne pepper in a bowl. Give a good stir, cover and chill while you prep the rest of the burgers. Ideally an hour or two if you have the time.
Meanwhile, scrunch the beef mince in a large bowl until the meat is starting to come together. Divide into four balls and roll tightly. Place on a lined plate, cover and pop in the fridge.
While the balls are cooling down, heat a large skillet of medium heat and once nice and hot, cook the bacon until crisp. Remove to a plate lined with paper towel and leave to reat.
Immediately take the burgers out of the fridge, place in the skillet and flatten to about one to two centimetre thickness with a metal spatula and sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper. Cook for a couple of minutes before flipping, seasoning with the remaining salt and pepper and topping each with a slice of cheese. Cook for a further couple of minutes before removing from the heat.
To assemble, toast each of the burger buns in a skillet and smear the top and bottom with a little bit of the chilled sauce. Place the cheesy pattie on the base-bun, followed by some of the cherry peppers and closing.
Previously on Australian Survivor a BBQ reward had everyone fighting hard, slipping and sliding to snatch something to eat. After David, Moana, Zach, Brooke and Sharn dominated the others, they headed off to smash their feast before learning that they also won letters from home. While I thought that would be all the tears I would cry this episode, Lee was pulled away from camp to learn that his mother had suffered a massive stroke. After telling everyone what had happened, the tribe rallied around him as they farewelled him from the game to go be with his family. With his mother tragically passing away before he made it back to Brisbane.
Before we could process what happened, Jonathan returned to our screens for the next immunity challenge where they were required to tread water in the shallows while holding a ball in a shoot above their heads. With the last one standing, or treading more accurately, snatching immunity. Moana quickly dropped out, followed by Zach, Jacqui and AK, all within the first five minutes. Tarzan was next to go while the other four fought hard for over thirty minutes.
Sharn was next to go, quickly followed by Brooke leaving Queen Shonee to face off against David. Knowing that they were screwed should she win immunity, AK pulled Brooke aside and told her not to tell Shonee when she was close to dropping in the hope of saving themselves. Sadly for them, she and David managed to hold on for ninety minutes before David started to struggle. And then dropped his ball after two hours, handing Queen Shonee her second immunity.
Back at camp the tribe congratulated Shonee on her victory before she shared that she is so good at swimming because she treads water while chatting with her friends at the pool every day. After throwing some shade at the people that call her weak, she caught up with AK and Brooke to figure out a plan while David, Zach and Tarzan tried to figure out who to get rid of after the tie between Brooke and AK. With them favouring Brooke, given she is the bigger beast in challenges. With that Sharn approached Shonee, Brooke and AK to make sure that they weren’t looking for idols, though admitted that she would be interested to talk. AK suggested that she could pick their target and join them to get rid of that person, sending them home without needing to revote.
Unsure whether Sharn would follow through, AK got to work chatting to Zach and David to find a way to get them to not split the votes between him and Brooke. And instead join them to get rid of Brooke. She, meanwhile, was focused solely on keeping their alliance together. Wait, no, she pulled Shonee aside to see if she would join her in writing down AK’s name and sending him home to avoid a tie.
At tribal council Jonathan caught the jury up on the Lee situation before Moana spoke about how they aren’t simply targeting OG Vakamas, and instead are trying to get rid of threats. And while David tried to echo the sentiment, AK called bullshit and said that he and Brooke are screwed. Brooke admitted to wearing her vote-out outfit – so she looks good getting her torch snuffed – before Shonee went in, telling the majority how funny it is how many different agendas their alliance is managing. Jacqui tried to downplay things, reminding everyone that they are all cogs in a wheel and it only functions when they stick together. AK laughed about how great it will be when they need to turn on each other, before Brooke called out Dave – a physical threat – for targeting her for being a physical threat. She then savaged Dave and told him to lift his game, which was a-maze-ing.
Jonathan then put a spanner in all their works, telling everyone that tonight, the three highest vote getters at tonight’s tribal council would be going to Exile Beach. Joined by three people after the next tribal council, before the six battle in a series of challenges until one person is eliminated. Which is convoluted, however I will forgive it because they had to drag things out another episode after Lee’s family tragedy.
With that the tribe voted and as expected AK and Brooke were sent to exile, while they stuck together with Shonee and the trio selected a frustrated Moana to join them. And when they arrived at Exile, her mood did not improve one bit as she silently put herself to bed as the other two snuggled in together. The next morning the trio awoke to a beautiful sunny day, while Moana was miserable, hiding in the jungle before rallying and encouraging her fellow exiles to make the camp as nice as possible. And then bonding with the duo so that should they all make it back, they are two people that she can have in her back pocket.
Back in the main game the tribe were eating a breakfast of sandy rice, giving Shonee the giggles while the boys grew annoyed at Jacqui. Who I assume, they assume put the sand in it. Despite being down 5-1, Queen Shonee was hopeful that her positive attitude and friendly nature would help her avoid going to exile for the second time. She bonded with Dave, swapping celebrity stories, however he knew her game and didn’t want to give her a further in. As such, he worked on Zach and Tarzan to confirm that they will still send Shonee to Exile before planting the seeds that Zach should sacrifice himself to save the rest of the alliance. And more importantly, Dave.
Jonathan returned for the next immunity challenge where the tribe would hold onto a long pole tethered to a board where they must balance three balls in holes one at a time. And then return to the end of their pole without dropping any. I’d like to say the challenge was exciting, but honestly, it was brutal to watch as everyone dropped their balls over and over again, until Sharn finally snagged victory and put everyone out of their misery.
Back at camp David got to work trying to avoid going to exile, while Sharn tried to figure out who to send to exile with Shonee. With Zach seemingly still keen to be one of them and Tarzan unlikely to win a challenge, so therefore safe, David and Jacqui were the only other options. Poor, sweet Zach – who would have thought – was keen to be part of the A team, as David tried to pretend that Jacqui would be a better member of the team, despite him having a better challenge record. David and Sharn caught up, with Sharn pointing out that David would be a good option to win the challenge with him trying to defend himself by pointing out that he is sick and weakened. Eventually they and Jacqui agreed that Jacqui was the better option and hot damn, why aren’t they targeting him?
Alone at camp with Sharn and Tarzan, Jacqui told them that she doesn’t want to go to Exile and as such, she and Sharn floated the possibility of blindsiding David instead. Sharn then told Tarzan that she has plenty of plans for how to navigate that moving forward and while he agreed nobody wants to face David at the end, why do I think this isn’t going to end well for Sharn? Oh, because Tarzan took said intel straight back to David, that’s why.
At tribal council Sharn spoke about the complexity of deciding how to send half the tribe to exile, versus booting a single person from the game. Jacqui admitted that she was keen to go to Exile for her resume to begin with, however the closer it got to the point of going, she got nervous. On cue David coughed to remind everyone how weak he is, before Zach admitted that he is still happy to go to exile. He then pointed out that Jacqui and Shonee are the best at challenges and as such, they would be the ones to join him. Sharn tried to play tough, reminding everyone that they all have their own votes and people shouldn’t fall in line if they don’t want to.
Shonee then admitted that she is going kicking and screaming and looked forward to spending more time with Jacqui on Exile, given she hasn’t really done anything to avoid it. Jacqui tried to defend herself and pointed out that she has done things to protect herself, leading to David pointing out just how strong she is at challenges. Zach reiterated how excited he was to build his resume, unaware that being voted out twice and sent to exile isn’t the best way to charm the jury. Unless of course, you’re Shonee – who I would gladly look the other way for.
Sick of all the challenge talk, Jonathan announced that this little twist will work differently than they are expecting, with the exiled group competing in two challenges, with three people earning their way back into the game and joining the other people in the game to vote to boot one of the remaining people on Exile. Shonee tried to use this to point out that all the ex-Vakama people could technically make themselves safe and as such, the Mokutas would be the only people eligible to vote for and as such, sacrificing yourself is pretty stupid. Though Zach, bless, was undeterred. With that, the tribe voted and as expected sent Shonee and Jacqui to exile, with a tie for third between David and Zach. As such, that meant Sharn and Tarzan were required to revote and with her back kind of against the wall, Sharn opted not to rock the boat and sent Zach to Exile.
The exile crew were stirred awake by their new friends, a jubilant Zach included. He then regaled them with tales about how excited he was to volunteer and use going to exile as a way to boost his resume, while AK looked on in concern that someone could be stupid enough to volunteer. I mean, if it was such a great look for the resume, wouldn’t everyone have been pushing for it?
Back at the actual camp, the non-exiled trio were happily lazing about, with Sharn explaining to us that she kept Dave around because she wants to blindside him, not have him exit via a twist. Which sure, sounds great, but I feel like this is revisionist history right there. David was thrilled that he was able to convince Zach to volunteer, before pulling Sharn aside to thank her for protecting him the night before, hoping to make her feel guilty about potentially turning on him. He then suggested to the other two that they need to be careful of the five from exile returning to camp and turning against them, with Jacqui in particular a concern, given she didn’t have a choice in going.
Speaking of Jacqui, she was trying to put on a brave face on Exile while Zach continued to talk about how great their predicament is. This made Jacqui even more furious, annoyed by how stupid Zach is to not see that he is Dave’s puppet and is being groomed as the ultimate goat at final tribal. Thankfully Queen Jacqui was treating this as a wake-up call and she planned to use it to her advantage and turn on the boys as soon as she could. Seeing how enraged Jacqui is, Shonee decided to continue on a charm offensive and endear herself to Jacqui. And use that to flip her to their side. Moana meanwhile was feeling vulnerable, worried about a challenge dictating her fate and as such, was resolved to fight for her family even more.
With that Jonathan returned for the first exile challenge where the first two to make a stick long enough to collect a flint, and then use said flint to build a fire high enough to burn through a rope – deep breath, long sentence, no? – secure their safety and return to the main game. Moana got out to an early lead, thanks in no small part to the constant coaching of David and Sharn. As everyone struggled, Moana got to work on her fire, quickly getting a flame as her coaches cheered from the side. Zach and Brooke battled to release their flints, both anxiously dragging it towards them as Moana’s fire burnt through the rope and secured her safety. She started to break down, overwhelmed by saving herself, as the rest of the group battled it out for second place. Zach was next to get his flint as his allies cheered and coached from the sidelines, much to Jacqui’s chagrin. Brooke quickly joined him after releasing her flint, slowly building a fire while Zach feverishly worked on his, hacking his hands in the process. The duo were neck and neck as their flames built before Brooke’s started licking at the ropes and burnt through just ahead of Zach’s.
Brooke and Moana returned to camp with Sharn, Tarzan and David, talking about how thrilled they are to be back in the game. Well Moana at least, who they all love, while poor Brooke was feeling left out, despite being proud of herself. Meanwhile Zach returned to exile far less jubilant, as he, Jacqui, Shonee and AK lamented their loss. While Zach was confident in his allies saving him no matter what, he knew that winning the challenge is what he needs to build his resume, otherwise offering himself up is a bust. On the flipside, Shonee was still trying to work Jacqui to try and get her to turn on her allies. She and Jacqui caught up and spoke about the last vote, with Shonee telling her that she only voted for her to go to exile because she wanted to spend time with her and hated the thought of hanging with Dave. She then pointed out how her allies were barely cheering her on at the last challenge and as such, they should work together to guarantee their safety even if they lose the challenge.
Speaking of the challenge, Jonathan returned and announced that the final challenge would see each of them holding a weight via a rope and keep it between a coloured zone. With the last person standing returning to the game and the remaining trio becoming the only option for the rest of the tribe. AK and Shonee both struggled early in the challenge while Zach grew cocky, hopping on one leg until his allies told him to pull his head in. As they both continued to struggle, AK suggested he and Shonee drop at the same time, with the icon refusing. While they tried to fight through it, AK couldn’t hold out any longer and became the first person to drop. While Zach and Jacqui stood like statues, Shonee fought with all her might before just dipping out of the coloured zone and eliminating herself from the game. After thirty minutes, chatting about how both trust their allies but won’t give in, the duo started to struggle and in turn, bicker amongst themselves. Well until Zach dropped after 45 minutes, that is, sending Jacqui back to the tribe and filling Shonee’s face with a huge grin.
Back at camp David assured Zach that his alliance has his back and that they would all be joining together to get rid of Shonee. After joining together and outlining that they would force the minority to vote with them to ensure Shonee goes, Jacqui decided to head back to camp for a little more food. As she wandered back, Shonee and Brooke caught up, with Shonee updating her ally on her growing bond with Jacqui and how she believes that if they stick together, they could sway Jacqui to vote Zach as well and send him from the game. With Brooke and AK keen, Shonee caught up with Jacqui with the latter suggesting to turn on Zach before Shonee even floated the idea.
With the foursome locked in, Jacqui wanted to do damage control with Moana before even turning on her. While Moana wasn’t interested in turning on her alliance, she was happy with the idea of getting rid of Zach and freeing up David as a shield for her and Sharn. She filled in Sharn, who agreed that Jacqui’s plan was best for the three of them, but wisely she suggested that she and Moana pretend that they didn’t know about it, making it Jacqui’s move for her resume. And more importantly, keeps David’s wrath solely focused on her only.
At tribal council Zach spoke about trusting in his alliance to keep him safe as payback for protecting them at the last one. Jacqui was proud of herself for earning her safety, while Tarzan agreed that he would be voting to save Zach before David spoke about being across everything that happened on Exile. Tarzan agreed that the alliance didn’t suffer any damage after the twist, before AK hinted that he became aware of some cracks while on exile, though pretended that he got caught out and as such, shut them down. Brooke too acted defeated – shit position, ay – as the majority continued to say the exact same thing in slightly different ways before Shonee played dejected, appealing to Jacqui’s friendship. AK tried to plead with them to make moves before it was too late, while Jacqui pretended that she was happy with the status quo. Shonee and AK pretended that they will be voting for each other before Dave told them that while it sucks, a lot can change in a few days and to hold their head up high, clearly hoping to scoop AK up as an ally for his eventual flip.
With that the tribe voted and David was shocked and frankly, enraged to discover that he had been outplayed as Jacqui became the first one to flip, joining with Brooke, Shonee and AK to send Zach out of the game and over to the jury.
While Zach was embarrassed that his misplaced trust and confidence was his ultimate undoing, I quickly changed the subject and told him to focus on what is truly important. The fact that he got his redemption! I mean, Zach and I were essentially sworn enemies after he trolled me for trolling him during his first season. But showing his genuine, soft side this season, I was reminded of the man I befriended when we both worked on Gladiator. As such, I was thrilled to reward his kind heart and better showing with a batch of Anzach Kozyrskcuits.
Hard or chewy, there is nothing better than an Anzac biscuit. Sweet, earthy and super easy to make, you can tell why these were sent to people in war zones as they have a remarkable way of bringing you even just a moment of unadulterated happiness.
Anzach Kozyrskcuits Serves: 6-8.
Ingredients 1 ¼ cups flour, sifted 1 cup rolled oats ½ cup raw caster sugar ¾ cup desiccated coconut 150g unsalted butter, chopped 2 tbsp golden syrup 1 ½ tbsp water ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
Method Preheat the oven to 170C.
Combine the flour, oats, sugar and coconut in a large bowl and stir to combine. Meanwhile place the golden syrup and butter in a saucepan and melt over low heat, stirring sporadically to combine. Remove from the heat.
Mix the water and bicarb together in a cup and add to the golden syrup and butter. Once the bubbling has subsided, add to the dry ingredients and stir until combined.
Roll the mixture into golf-ball sized, balls, and place on lined baking sheets, pressing down the tops to form discs.
Transfer to the oven to bake for 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for five to ten minutes before devouring at their peak chewiness.
Previously on Australian Survivor the remaining Vakama were sitting ducks after losing Locky at the merge tribal council. Like Shonee before him, David was once again all about revenge though this time, he was taking it back to his previous season and eliminating anyone that wronged him. And well, Harry was the last target remaining. Knowing this, Harry appealed to Lee and Zach to try and get them to flip to the Vakama side and take control. After suffering through last season’s final immunity challenge again, Harry was once again bested, this time by Brooke. At tribal council, he worked hard to appeal to the boys’ need to play a better game this time around, however they chose to stick with their alliance for the time being and sent Harry from the game.
The next day Shonee was feeling completely isolated as the last rascal standing, though was glad to still have two friends in Brooke and AK. But Shonee being Shonee, she didn’t rest on her laurels and got to work making new friends with all the oldies that she has nothing in common with. She and Jacs spoke about their Sunday morning routines before she stumbled upon the fact that she and Tarzan are both from Toowoomba. And just like that, our queen has another bestie.
Speaking of Tarzan, he was busy collecting water with Lee who was thrilled to once again be edging closer to the end of the game. We then saw a clip of him in the final two when his family came out before the votes were read and I know where this is going, so I freely admit to being sick with dread.
Before we got to the tragedy, Jonathan returned for the reward challenge which is honestly a horrible pivot. The tribe would be split into two groups and face off one at a time, slide down a slide into a mud pit, wrestle for a ball and then shoot said ball into a basket. It was for a BBQ, so everyone was obviously thrilled. But honestly, Shonee cried over a sandy, so I assume their standards have dropped a bit. David and Tarzan were the first to face off, with David scoring the first point for himself, Brooke, Sharn, Zach and Moana. Which honestly seems pretty unfair. Sharn extended the lead with a huge over-the-shoulder shot while Jacqui wrestled her. Lee closed the gap slightly with a victory over Zach before Brooke defeated Shonee and extended the lead again. Up next, David scored another point for his team before AK even realised what had happened. Oh and then Moana put her footballing career to use, destroying Jacqui and securing reward for herself, Sharn, Brooke, David and Zach.
At reward the victors were thrilled to discover a tonne of food and drink before Zach worked to steal my heart, stripping off at reward and flashing his butt as he scrubbed away with mud. They joyously smashed food and returned for seconds before discovering letters from home. Sharn got a sweet acrostic poem from her kids before Moana broke down over a letter from her sister Vinny who she is the full time carer for, who drew their entire family and a letter from her wife, who she married just before playing the game. Zach’s sweet streak continued as he sobbed over his letter from his fellow animal sanctuary lover. Brooke meanwhile was thrilled to get to learn a bit about her tribemates, hoping it may give her a chance to find an in. We then learnt that David wears a flower in his hair at challenges for his daughter and that he is playing the game so that he can afford to move back home to live closer to his sons. And hot damn, I am now crying and do not even mind if David walks his way to the end.
Back at camp Tarzan, Lee and AK were washing the mud off and cleaning their clothes, with Tarzan and Lee nuding up and washing each other’s back. The joyous portion of the game however was interrupted as Lee was summoned off camera by a producer where he learnt that his mother had suffered a massive stroke and was unlikely to survive. Tarzan found him in the jungle where Lee broke down in his arms as he told him what happened before announcing that he would be leaving the game. Tarzan and Jacqui took him back to camp where he told Shonee and AK what happened before the victors were brought back to camp to say goodbye. The tribe huddled around him, hugging each other and sobbing over his pain and honestly, this is the most beautiful thing that I have ever seen on Survivor. Even more than Deitz’s son in Second Chances.
Tragically his mother Beth passed away by the time he had made it to the Fijian airport, so I’m going to drop any pretenses of catching up.
Lee came into his second season a changed man, sure he was still a loyal provider, but he was also ready to play the game this time and I was loving watching where it was going. Hopefully he gets another shot to show off his growth, but in the meantime, we should all whip up a Leemon & Porckarseldine Pasta in honour of him being an all around nice guy.
The whack of lemon punches through the saltiness of the pork, leaving you a smooth, creamy bowl of comfort. Plus the broccolini and a little bit of chili join the fun to make it even better.
Leemon & Porkarseldine Pasta Serves: 4.
Ingredients 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 500g Italian pork sausages 2 leeks, trimmed, washed and sliced 4 garlic cloves, crushed 1 tsp chili flakes 2L chicken stock 500g penne 1 bunch broccolini, trimmed, cut into thirds 300ml cream for cooking 1 lemon, zested and juiced ⅓ cup grated parmesan, plus more to serve torn basil leaves, to garnish
Method Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat and squeeze the sausage meat out of the casings to create a series of small meatballs. Cook, stirring, for five minutes or until browned. Add the leek to the pan and cook for a further few minutes or until softened. Add the garlic and chili and cook for a further minute to take the edge off.
Add the stock and bring to the boil before adding the stock, reducing to a simmer and cooking for about 15 minutes or until tender and the stock has reduced. Add the broccolini and cook for a few minutes or until the broccolini is cooked through.
Reduce heat to low, tir in the cream, lemon zest and juice and the parmesan with a good whack of better and salt if you need. Cook until the sauce thickens up, about five minutes, before serving with some parmesan and basil.