Previously on Survivor the final five faced off in an epic, multi-level immunity challenge which briefly reminded me of the majesty of Vanuatu. Knowing it was likely him or Lauren going home without immunity, Carson secured victory – thanks 3D printing! While he and Yam Yam were off enjoying the reward, Lauren tried to get under Carolyn’s skin and told her that Yam Yam was considering taking her out at the previous tribal council. After everyone came together, Carson desperately tried to keep his island parents together while the girls tried to woo Carolyn to their side. Thankfully though, sweet Carson proved all the more convincing, keeping Tika strong as the tribe banded together to eliminate the final Ratu, Lauren.
Forgoing any tribal council fallout, the final four arrived at the top of a mountain for their final immunity challenge, with Carolyn already in tears, shocked to have made it all the way to the end (basically). But to immunity, the also iconic simmotion challenge where, as Probst explained, with a hand tied behind their backs, they will drop balls into a shoot and catch them at the end with the last person without dropping snatching victory. Taking out immunity and the power to select one person to join them in the final three, because that, sadly, is still a thing.
The challenge got underway with everyone still in play by the time they added their second ball. This got Carolyn screaming, as Yam Yam stayed stoic and focused. Tragically Carolyn dropped her ball after a very close near miss, leaving the trio to power ahead as they added their third balls. And then a fourth, which quickly cost Yam Yam his place and then Carson, handing Heidi her first individual immunity and guaranteed her spot in the final three. Well, unless she elects to go to fire. Which she admitted she is seriously considering doing.
Back at camp the group praised each other for fighting so hard, while Heidi was thrilled to be solo but holding all the power. She asked everyone if they particularly wanted to make fire, reiterating that she is seriously considering going herself to build her resume. But first, they split up to practise. Carson knew that as the biggest threat it was highly likely he would be one of the people making fire and while he could do it at home, he was worried that his insecurities would make it hard for him to win the challenge. Yam Yam meanwhile was methodical as he practised, admitting that winning the challenge is just another notch on his belt and would almost be a hero moment.
Carolyn caught up with Yam Yam, asking if he truly thinks Heidi sees Carson as the biggest threat and as such would even send him into fire. Carolyn admitted that while she has been practising fire for years at home, she has tried to keep it secret. The duo then hilariously built fires, critiquing why theirs was superior. Yam Yam pointed out that the one guarantee they have is that Carson sucked making fire on day one and as such, pulled him aside to give him tips so he didn’t embarrass himself in front of the jury. Carson then broke down in tears over his kindness as Yam Yam continued to coach him, assuring us that even if Carson were to beat him in the challenge, it wouldn’t bother him. And ugh, give each of the Tikas a million. The tribe came together back at camp with Heidi super confident in her fire making skills, still debating whether it is a good give up immunity. Knowing that both Yam Yam and Carolyn are good, but Carson is a wildcard and as such, didn’t know whether it was a risk worth taking.
At tribal council the jury were gagged to see Heidi had immunity, though I think it had more to do with them likely about to see a Tika showdown. Heidi opened up about considering it being the best idea for her game to make fire, with her still unsure which way she is actually going to go. Yam Yam shared that he is a pyromaniac, so assured Heidi he would gladly make fire though he also would love safety. Carolyn agreed that when Heidi checked in, everyone was pretty comfortable with making fire, with Carson speaking up to share that he doesn’t feel comfortable. And as such, his pitch was for Heidi to put herself in fire and prove herself. But first, she sent Carolyn through to the final three, who was shocked to have made it to the end, given throughout school she was always called the weird outsider and now she has proven that she is enough, just as she is. And ugh, I love her.
Heidi then pivoted and told Carson that he would be making fire before admitting that she would be giving immunity to Yam Yam and facing off against him, given she knows he is the biggest competitor. And as such, wants to be the person to eliminate him. She and Carson took their places at the fire making tables and quickly got to work, with Heidi getting a flame within seconds. She tried to build it bigger and bigger before it went out, as Carolyn and Yam Yam encouraged Carson to stick at it. He finally got a flame, slowly adding kindling to keep it alight as Heidi’s began to roar and lick at the rope, burning through and booking her place in the final three. And sending Carson out of the game as a robbed goddess.
As Jeff confirmed that Heidi broke the record for the quickest fire making challenge, Carson sweetly held his head high. He opened up about spending most of the day in tears, though was grateful to have proven he can make fire and essentially, do anything he puts his mind to. As he made it back to Ponderosa, I gave him a massive hug – strongly holding back my own tears – telling him that being a fourth place robbed goddess, at least in Australia, is the highest honour. And as such, he should be very proud, as he smashed his Bacon & Cheddar Cornsonbread Garrett.
On their own, each bacon, cheddar and cornbread are perfection, but when they triumphantly come together, it is like an Avengers level majestic dish. Absolutely hulking with flavour, to continue the Marvel theme.
Bacon & Cheddar Cornsonbread Garrett Serves: 6-8.
Ingredients 1 ½ cups coarse polenta 600ml buttermilk 300g bacon streaky bacon, diced 4 shallots, thinly sliced 2 ½ cups vintage cheddar, grated 400g canned corn kernels, drained ¾ cup flour 1 ½ tsp baking powder 150g unsalted butter, melted 3 eggs kosher salt and pepper, to taste
Method Place the polenta and buttermilk in a large bowl, stirring until well combined. Cover and leave to soak for a few hours – stirring each hour – to soften.
When the polenta is almost squishy and glorious, preheat the oven to 160C.
Pop a skillet over medium heat and fry the bacon until golden and crisp. Spoon ¾ of the bacon into the polenta, along with the shallots and 2 cups of the cheese. Stir to combine before stirring through the corn, flour, baking powder, butter and eggs with a good whack of salt and pepper.
Transfer the batter to a lined 20cm cake tin, sprinkle with the remaining cheese and bacon, and pop in the oven to bake for 40 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for five minutes before transferring to a plate and devouring, with a generously slathering of butter.
Previously on Survivor our icon Carolyn was inspired by the release of the remake of The Little Mermaid, designing impressive statement jewellery using the shells of lobsters and prawns. Actually, maybe it isn’t inspired and more she went on a Mad Max style adventure through the ocean. After Yam Yam took out his first immunity challenge of the season – the iconic Last Gasp – the tribe were split on who was the most threatening. You had Ratus and Sokas looking to put aside their differences to take out Carson while the Tika couldn’t trio couldn’t decide which side was more dangerous, and then of course, who was worse for their game on Soka. With Queen Carolyn ultimately coming out on top and playing an idol to save her baby Carson, completing her revenge arc as Danny made his way to the jury.
Back at camp Heidi was way more chill about being on the outs at tribal council, with everyone more focused on Carolyn’s iconic – though needless – idol play. Despite it not changing the outcome, Carolyn was proud of the fact it kept the Tika trio safe to the top six. She then regaled everyone with her tales of finding the idol and while it was cute, Yam Yam was worried she was showing everyone just how smart she is and as such, feared she is fast becoming the biggest threat. Sensing the idol would be rehidden, Heidi woke up early to go hunting. Though sadly for her, Carson spotted her stirring and as such, he woke everyone up and told them they too should go out and look. While Lauren was more focused on luring Carolyn into climbing trees to collect her coconuts. The Ratus caught up with Carson and Yam Yam back at camp, with Lauren floating the idea of getting rid of Carolyn next, like her coconut collector means nothing to her. While Carson had absolutely no interest in turning on his island mama, he also knew he had to pretend to be keen in order to blindside one of them.
The tribe caught up with Probst by the beach for an epic team reward where two blindfolded members would push another person around, strapped inside a ball before solving a table maze. With the two free people still blindfolded. And given it was for a massive afternoon of food and massages, everyone was fired up. Carolyn and Heidi were pushing Jamie on one team, while Yam Yam and Lauren rolled Carson for the other. And from the jump, the latter trio got out to an epic lead as Carson calmly directed his team mates to the end before solving the maze before the other trio barely made it through the course.
We followed the victors to their reward where Yam Yam was delighted to finally have a reward, smashing food and living his absolute best life. As they sat down to enjoy their massages, the boys continued to paint Carolyn as a massive target to Lauren and while Carson assured us it was just to lull her into a false sense of security, Yam Yam was definitely feeling like it may actually be time to make a move on Carolyn. Speaking of our icon, she, Heidi and Jamie were dejected to be slumming it at camp. But instead of wallowing, they got to work figuring out which of the victors needed to go next, with Jamie pushing for Carson. And while Carolyn knows she can’t beat him, she also felt it wasn’t the right time. As Jamie went idol hunting, Carolyn and Heidi caught up with the duo agreeing they feel like they can’t trust Jamie and Lauren, and as such, know they need to hold firm. For now.
After the groups came back together, Yam Yam burped in Carolyn’s face – as requested – before Carolyn and Carson caught up to fill each other in on the conversations they had missed. Agreeing that either Jamie or Lauren need to go, given Heidi gives them an easier path to the end. Yam Yam meanwhile caught up with Jamie and floated the idea of getting rid of Carolyn at the next vote instead and while Jamie was still more nervous about Carson, she was happy just as long as one of the Tikas went and as such, gladly locked in on the vote. And Yam Yam, please don’t do this to me, ok?
The tribe caught up with Jeffrey once again as he explained that to snatch immunity, they would have to balance a ball on a disc that is held flat by two ropes with the last person standing winning. Jamie was the first to drop, quickly followed by Carolyn and Carson, before Yam Yam just missed out on going to the next stage. Heidi and Jamie moved further away from their discs before resetting and battling it out until Heidi couldn’t hold it any longer, handing Lauren immunity.
Back at camp everyone split up to scramble, with Carolyn and Heidi concerned about the fact nobody was talking to them. As such, they locked in their votes against Jamie. Heidi meanwhile was hopeful that she was being told the truth, but knew that worst case, she has her idol. While Carolyn was looping in the boys, Heidi stumbled upon them, with everyone agreeing to get rid of Jamie. Hopeful that even if she has an idol, she is so confident in the boys voting with her that she doesn’t play it. Yam Yam caught up with Lauren and Jamie to lock in the Carolyn vote and while I think the plan is to only make them think they are working together, he then caught up with Carson and floated that maybe they would turn it into a reality. And ugh, I hate it here. While King Carson calmly tried to steer him back to their original plan, Jamie. As Yam Yam debated the merits of trusting his brain and his heart.
At tribal council Probst was gagged to discover the tribe had brought everything with them, assuming they will be sent to a new beach for the rest of the game. Yam Yam joked about holding on to the rice as an immunity idol, while Carson just felt anxious about being vulnerable. Jamie mentioned that they still have to try and navigate around advantages, which Yam Yam agreed complicated everybody’s decision making. Jamie meanwhile wanted to jazz up her resume – her words – while Yam Yam admitted he is getting more and more confused about who would be best to go to the end, which complicates who he is working with. While Carson just worried about going through a break-up this close to the end. Yam Yam admitted he is getting more and more emotional when it comes to the votes, knowing his head needs to win at this point, which obviously made Carolyn nervous.
Our Queen spoke about the fact she has clearly played an emotional game, but that also doesn’t mean that she can’t be strategic. But yeah, you know she is emotional about the vote. Yam Yam then plainly said that the person leaving tonight is the one that needs to leave for the sake of everyone’s game. And ugh, I want to vom. With that the tribe voted, Heidi played her idol for herself before it thankfully turned out not to be my sweet icon Carolyn going home as the boys stayed loyal, joining Carolyn and Heidi to send Jamie off to the jury.
As she arrived at Ponderosa, I pulled Jamie in for a massive hug and just embraced her kind, loving, exuberant spirit. And then realised the producers have really been trolling her for the entire season through no fault of her own, so stealthily covered her ears and told her fellow jurors to break the fake idol information to her gently. Sadly I forgot as soon as I uncovered her ears, carelessly lol-ing about her closest ally making her the producers’ target of the season. Thankfully, though, she is a delight, so took it in stride and calmly sat down to smash a fresh Jaime Lynormandy Pearuiz Cake.
Rich and sweet pears and the dense crumb of the cake pair perfectly for either an afternoon treat or a decadent dessert. Better still, this cake is super easy to make but will always have you looking like a pro in the kitchen.
Jaime Lynormandy Pearuiz Cake Serves: 8.
Ingredients 150g butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing ¾ cup raw caster sugar 2 eggs 1 ½ cups flour 1 tbsp baking powder ½ cup sour cream 500g pears, peeled, cored, roughly diced ½ cup walnuts, roughly chopped ⅓ cup sultanas 1 tsp mixed spice ½ tsp cinnamon ⅓ cup brandy 2 tbsp maple syrup icing sugar and/or double cream, for sprinkling or dolloping respectively
Method Preheat the oven to 180C and rub some butter around the edge of a 23cm springform pan and place a disc of baking paper on the base.
Cream the butter and caster sugar in a stand mixer on medium until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, allowing the mixture to come back together in between. Fold through the flour and baking powder, and once together, fold through the sour cream. Return to the mixer on low and beat for a further minute. Remove from the mixer and fold through the pear, walnuts, sultanas, mixed spice and cinnamon. Transfer the batter to the prepared tin and pop it in the oven to bake for 45 minutes, or until an insert skewer comes out clean.
While the cake cooks, combine the brandy and maple syrup in a small saucepan over low heat and cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes, or until combined.
Once the cake is done, use the skewer to pierce holes over the surface before pouring over the syrup. Leave to rest for about 15 minutes before transferring to a wire rack and removing the sides of the tin. Serve barely warm with a dusting of sugar or dollop of cream, and devour joyously.
Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race the producers once again proved to be shady little icons, as the top six starred in Wigloose! The Rusical, mere moments after Anetra sent Marcia Cubed home in the lip sync of the season. After everyone kind of knocked it out of the park and slayed the runway, leaving Ru to jump on the shade train and task his dolls with identifying who should go home for him. Luxx gave an elaborate Ted Talk about how wonderful and unique everyone is except for Loosey, Loosey and Anetra said Salina, Salina returned serve and identified Loosey while Mistress wanted to put an end to Sasha’s meet and greet. Sasha on the other hand wanted to cut Luxx or Loosey for being her biggest threats. Ultimately though another emerged as Anetra took out her second victory, before Loosey defeated Salina and sent her back to WeHo.
Backstage the dolls were disappointed to have lost Salina, well mainly just Sasha, who considers her a friend and shared how proud of her she is. They discovered her mirror message was about her deserving to go home, which obviously made Loosey feel a certain way, given her name was said multiple times too. And you know she felt it just sucked. As they sat down, Mistress laughed about how she could have been mean but didn’t, so hello congeniality era, yet again. Luxx meanwhile doubled down on EVERYTHING she said, with Loosey trying to be calm as she said she will obviously disagree. She bit her tongue as best she could, with Luxx shutting it down, reminding them the end is in sight and that she will be doing nothing but focusing on making it.
The next day the tension was put aside as Mistress assured them she will be winning this week before Ru dropped by to briefly distract them with a little Spill The Tea mini challenge, complete with Norvina. Basically it is a quiz where they have to answer questions guessing who the group thinks will be the most likely answer. If that makes sense, because I really struggled to think that one through. In any event, it was a little bit shady and a whole lot of fun, with everyone kinda feeling their oats and laughing it up, with Loosey even saying she will be the next to go home just to guarantee her victory in the challenge.
After Norvina was swept away, Ru announced that for this week’s maxi challenge the dolls would makeover teachers in honour of his High School drama teacher. And as the winner of the mini challenge Loosey had the power to pair up the queens with their teachers and while she had the opportunity to be shady, she literally paired them up with their most similar person. Well everyone except Luxx, meaning she is either winning or sending Loosey home and there is no in between.
The duos split up to get to know each other with Anetra’s teacher – Mrs Mahoney – a Drag Race superfan absolutely adorable, despite being nervous to walk the stage. Loosey praised Mrs Wallace for being so smiley and happy and they are super similar, so this should be easy for Loosey. Mistress and Miss Tang were essentially twinning and I love that for them, particularly as her teacher broke down as Mistress thanked her for living proudly and vibrantly for her students. Sasha and Mrs Marchbanks – who watches Drag Race with her husband – were ready to go OTT and pad for the Gods, while Luxx just seemed a little awkward, despite Mrs Reyes giving her full control over everything. While Luxx worked on the outfits and completely forgot they needed to form a relationship too. Mistress’ daughter quickly learnt to be as shady as her mama, challenging Loosey’s daughter to a walk off. And while I’d love to say Mistress and her baby won, Loosey’s daughter kinda served. But trust, Mistress was focused on winning when it counts.
Ru dropped by to kiki with the queens with Sasha first up introducing her daughter Ferocity Colbybanks and talking through their sexy Hawaiian looks. Mistress rightly played on her daughter’s name, christening her Madame Thang, with her sharing she will also be whipping up two velvet gowns. Which will be super easy to hide a kitten heel under, just in case Madame can’t walk. Oh and Madame Thang is adorable and I love her. Anetra and her daughter were awkward and giggly, and I love them. As does Ru, so lets hope they both walk that fucking duck. Luxx and Mrs Reyes – aka Asia Azul – were very mismatched and while I want Mrs Reyes to kill it because she is adorbs, I have a bad feeling. While Lala and Loosey LaDuca were going with the vibe of rich ladies at the beach, with Ru getting shady and asking Loosey how she felt about queens saying she should go home. And what do you know, she would have Ru believe that she is completely unbothered.
Oh and before Ru departed she announced that in addition to walking the runway, the newest queens would also be lip syncing. So they have even more work to do. Loosey and Lala were first up to talk through lip syncing and Mrs Wallace is such a delight, I want only good things for her. Sasha was delighted her daughter knew who Leiomy is, Mistress went full Abby Lee on her daughter while Anetra tried to help her find her duck walk. And well, poor Luxx’s teacher was giving mum dancing and it was so sweet and she needs to win just because of that.
Elimination Day arrived with everyone split up to get their daughters in drag, wth Anetra proud hers wants a resting bitch face. They then bonded over wanting to find a place to escape reality, before Anetra asked if she believes people can unlearn bigotry and even just hearing Mrs Mahoney talk about how she definitely thinks things can always get better, I am filled with hope. Luxx’s teacher asked if she had experienced homophobia, with her opening up to Luxx that she left her church because she couldn’t stand them not accepting her children. Like a damn boss. Mistress’ daughter was nervous about walking the runway but distracted herself by getting shady, asking everyone to talk about their track records. With Loosey continuing to believe mini challenges matter. Mistress pointed out that Lala looks exactly like Loosey before they taught the dolls some slang. While poor Asia Azul looked bored and sad. While Loosey felt Mistress’ teacher looked like a Disney Villain, which is basically Mistresses vibe, so win.
Ru, Michelle and Ross were joined on the panel by Hayley Kiyoko as Sasha and Ferocity Colby walked the runway looking absolutely perfect. They were twinning, they were glam and oh so confident, and I love it. Loosey and Lala gave girls-trip realness, Mistress and Madame were full on glamazons before Luxx and Asia looked beautiful but gave zero family resemblance. And well, then Anetra and Alektra gave sexy Dr Evil and Mini Me realness and well, crown them now.
The judges gave Sasha nothing but praise for giving complete family resemblance and clearly vibing. Ferocity meanwhile loved being padded. Loosey was praised for looking alike, though Michelle felt they weren’t on the same page on the runway while Ross wished that Lala’s shoes had been stoned for the occasion. Mistress was beloved for dripping in chemistry and attitude, before Luxx was praised for making Asia look so stunning – and giving off Jennifer Coolidge – before being read for doing absolutely nothing to give resemblance. Oh and then Anetra was praised for knocking everything this week completely out of the park, particularly for inventing the arm foreskin. And by the time she praised her teacher for bringing all the queerness to the classroom, it was clear it was another win for her.
Before sending the queens backstage, Ru put the teachers through their paces in their first lip sync for their lives to Ru’s Champion and well, they were all so amazing and living their best lives. And yeah, I love them. Particularly since Mrs Reyes is basically Jennifer Coolidge when she moves too.
Backstage the dolls toasted themselves for making the top five before Luxx announced that she knows she will be lip syncing. But trust and believe, she is ready for a fight and good luck to whoever she faces. She then pointed out Loosey is likely lip syncing with her, with Loosey agreeing, though quickly pointing out that she disagrees completely with the judges opinions and thinks she doesn’t belong in the bottom. Luxx accepted all of her critiques, though pointed out her teacher was living and having star quality is clearly their family resemblance. She then asked Loosey why she was shady with the allocations, with her trying to say it was because she was competition before admitting it was also because she was rude to her, leading to some epic tension. For ages. Before Mistress turned things positive, praising Anetra and Sasha for doing so well.
Talk turned to the teachers with Luxx living for how lovely Asia is as a parent, protecting her queer kids and supporting them to live their authentic lives. Loosey asked her sisters about their drag families, with Sasha pointing out they can provide all the love and support that queer people often miss out from their bio families. Sasha then got a call from the iconic Kerri Colby and ugh, I love her so much. And how much she is riding for Sasha to take out the win, which is correct. Loosey was up next with a call from her family and friends, breaking down as she got the unconditional love and support she had clearly needed. She then opened up how hard it is to be away from her family, apologising for being robotic due to being so focused on the competition.
The teachers dropped by to join their mothers who brought a lovely energy to the room, with Mistress explaining why Loosey and Luxx were rehearsing. Sasha’s teacher thanked her for making her dreams come true and then asked to stay in touch and ugh, I am so damn jealous she gets to be Sasha’s friend.
Ultimately Mistress and Sasha were sent to safety before Anetra rightly took out her third win of the season, leaving Loosey to lip sync for her life against her nemesis Luxx. And well, maybe she shouldn’t have set up Luxx, because she can turn it. That being said, you know that Loosey felt she didn’t belong in the bottom and was angry. So angry, she was ready to demolish Hayley Kiyoko’s For the Girls. As Loosey fought valiantly, giving camp and sass, Luxx was all fire, giving tricks, energy and all the sex and ugh, it was good. But sadly, once again track record took precedence as Luxx was sent to safety leaving Loosey to exit. In tears.
As she found me back in the Werk Room, I pulled her in for a massive hug and praised her for giving such a dominating performance across the season. While her sisters – and maybe the producers – kinda trolled her or didn’t give her the flowers she often deserved, there is no denying she is a killer queen. Just sadly sometimes she was a little too polished, which appears to be triggering for Ru. I assured her that she did an amazing job throughout the season and reminded her that while queens like her often get trolled in regular seasons, they are usually the ones that dominate All Stars. Which is something I definitely see in her future, like a young DeLa for instance. And with that reference of BenDeLaChrist, she was once again her happy bubbly self and ready to tackle the world with a belly full of Loosey LaDucanut Cake.
Coconut has a very special place in my heart and I’ve spent years hunting for the ultimate coconut cake recipe, with this coming the closest to perfection I personally can muster. Sweet and flavourful, with a gorgeously light icing coated in chewy coconut, it is truly glorious.
Loosey LaDucanut Cake Serves: 2 dear friends, 1 being a future All Stars winner.
Ingredients 550g unsalted butter, at room temperature 2 cups raw caster sugar 5 eggs, at room temperature 3 tsp vanilla extract 1 tsp coconut essence 3 cups flour 1 tsp baking powder ½ tsp baking soda ½ tsp kosher salt 1 cup milk 300g shredded coconut, toasted 450g cream cheese, at room temperature 1 tsp almond extract 450g icing sugar
Method Preheat the oven to 180C and grease two round 23cm cake tins.
Using a stand mixer, cream 350g of the butter and the raw caster sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. About five minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, allowing the batter to come back together before adding the next, followed by 2 teaspoons of the vanilla extract and the coconut essence. It may look curdled at this point, but keep calm and carry on.
Remove from the stand mixer and sift in the flour, baking powder and soda, followed by the salt – which probs won’t sift – before folding into the batter, slowly adding milk as you go until it is all just combined. Return to the mixer and beat on low for a minute or two to ensure it is all together. Remove again, fold through 120g of the shredded coconut until just combined.
Divide the batter between the pans and transfer to the oven to bake for 45 minutes, or until golden and an inserted skewer comes out clean. Transfer to a baking rack to cool for half an hour before turning out and cooling completely.
As the cake gets chills, cream the cream cheese and remaining butter with the remaining vanilla and almond extract for a couple of minutes. Slowly add in the icing sugar and mix until smooth and combined.
When the cakes are cold enough to not ruin your hard work, pop a cake on a serving platter and spoon some icing on top to give about ½ centimetre layer once the second cake is stacked on top. Ice the top and sides of the cake before pressing with the remaining shredded coconut (and any extra, if desired) to coat the cake. Then devour, greedily.
Previously on Survivor the three tribes were well and truly settling into island life. Despite being left out of the Helen vote, Sarah was assured by her fellow Tikans they are a solid four and will stick together to the end. Though she was still concerned about what would happen should they return to tribal council. After a bunch of shenanigans with cages, keys and fake idols, the tribes came together for the latest immunity challenge where you know Claire sat out once again. Sadly for her, however, it made her a target once Soka lost immunity and everyone realised she was disposable. While Frannie and Heidi tried to sway their respective partners to target Josh instead, the terrible timeline continued as we lost yet another iconic woman to the pre-merge.
The next day the new Soka tribe did a little sunrise meditation session to work through losing Claire. Not that Josh really needed it though, given he was firmly the swing vote between two pairs within the tribe. Sadly though, that wasn’t how things actually were with the two pairs actually keen to work together to take him out and go into the merge as two powerful duos. We ventured to Tika where the foursome were wandering around the jungle and discovered a new X made of sticks added to the cage, with everyone speculating what it could mean. We then learnt Carolyn is playing 5D chess, hiding the X on the cage and marking an X over where she hid the fake idol to trick someone into finding it. And ugh, I love her so much. The group went back to camp speculating what the X could mean as Sarah discovered Carolyn’s fake idol without anyone noticing. Even Carolyn, though she was grateful somebody found it.
The tribes met with Probst for the first reward challenge of the season where they would race up a ladder, over a cargo net and then shoot sandbags at a target. The trick being that every person on the tribe each needs to hit one of the targets in order to take the win. That being for either a massive or decent tarp, in addition to assigning which person from each tribe goes on the next journey. Danny got Soka out to the lead, followed by Carson for Tika while Brandon eventually connected to keep Ratu in it. Soka continued to power ahead as Ratu overtook Tika as Carolyn struggled to make the shot. Ultimately Soka took out victory before Carolyn finally connected leaving Tika and Ratu to battle for second with Ratu taking it out before Yam Yam even got a chance to toss his sack.
With the challenge out of the way things got interesting as Soka sent Josh, Carson and Jaime on their journey where they bonded as they trekked up a mountain. When they reached the pinnacle, they split up and made their way to a table where they were each given a hidden immunity idol to use up to the merge. The catch being they will not be going home to their tribes, instead pulling out a new buff with Josh joining Tika, Jaime going to Soka and Carson heading over to Ratu. Josh was first to meet his new tribe as Yam Yam, Carolyn and Sarah were gagged to have a new member. Despite welcoming him with open arms, Yam Yam was heartbroken to have lost Carson given they had become so close. The OG Tika’s tried to get to know Josh with Sarah thinking he was a surgeon, though he promptly lied about it and said he was a personal trainer. Sadly for him, Yam Yam could see right through his lie and he and Sarah secretly picked apart his timeline and confirmed they couldn’t trust him.
Over at Ratu Carson was regaling the new tribe with the journey that brought him here and while I love Carson, the fact that his first move to ingratiate himself was to throw Yam Yam under the bus as the leader breaks my heart. Sad to have lost his closest ally, Matthew pulled Carson aside to fill him in on what has been going on within the tribe to try and build trust. And while he left out the fact Jamie’s idol is fake, I love how hard he is playing. Soka were equally gagged to see Jaime arriving at their camp and while I would assume she is completely screwed, she is so kind and upbeat, I don’t see them wanting to get rid of her too easily. The OG Soka’s were concerned about her having an idol and spoiling their plans, so Danny got to work looking through her things though decided she was all good. Despite the fact she has one real and one fake idol.
The new tribes reconvened with Jeffrey for the latest immunity challenge where they would dive into the ocean one at a time, climb a tower and leap off to grab a key before swimming to a balance beam and walking over it. Once the four keys were collected, they would unlock puzzle pieces and solve said puzzle. Because, duh. Josh got Tika out to an early lead until Brandon powered across the balance beam and snatched the lead. While Danny was left right out. Lauren missed her key, meaning Brandon had to double back to collect one, given Soka and Tika time to close the gap. Well, Soka at least, as Yam Yam got stuck on the balance beam. Heidi and Matt got to work on the puzzle for Soka as Kane and Carolyn raced to make it to the end of the course, before Kane started struggling on the beam. Once Soka confirmed their win, Ratu and Tika powered through their puzzle before Lauren and Carson pulled ahead, securing immunity for Ratu and sending Tika back to tribal council. Just.
Back at camp the tribe were dejected by the loss, with Yam Yam disappointed but ok, given Josh is a super easy target as the newbie. Sadly Yam Yam told Carolyn she would be the decoy vote and while she said she was ok at the moment, she was super annoyed by it and sick of being told to accept being the secondary target. Yam Yam and Sarah pulled Josh aside to loop in him, assuring him that they desperately want to work with him and get rid of Carolyn. Though Sarah admitted she was a little concerned about him having an idol and assured us that should he play one, she will be playing hers. Josh then went to Carolyn and straight up told her that not only is she their target, but that he has an idol and would play it on her while they put their votes on Sarah and get her out of the game. Giving Carolyn the choice to send Josh out of the game or tell him where to actually play the idol and blindside Sarah.
At tribal council Josh spoke about how shocked he was to have been swapped to the new tribe and while he was an easy target, Sarah and Yam Yam spoke about how keeping him around could help build an alliance with his friends in Soka. Yam Yam spoke about how he may not feel like he is friends with his OGs anymore, which upset Carolyn given it felt like he was over her and wanted her out. As they started to fight, Josh admitted he was living for the chaos, though knew that the fight could all be a cover to make him feel safe. Carolyn felt that her loyalty was being ignored, as Sarah and Yam Yam spoke about aligning with Soka meaning Carolyn was clearly the target. If it isn’t an act. With that the tribe voted and Josh played his idol on himself while Sarah and Carolyn held onto theirs – whether Sarah’s was real or not doesn’t matter here, TBH – before Carolyn and Josh’s votes sent Sarah from the game. To Yam Yam’s shock and horror.
As often happens, Sarah found her way to Loser Lodge by following my tears of rage. This time due to having lost yet another iconic woman pre-merge. I mean, in the words of Taylor Armstrong – enough. I pulled her in for a massive hug and told her that the small starting tribes seem to have run their course, given time and time again, women and minorities are going out with just a few votes for no other reason than there aren’t enough people around to strategise with (or vote out). Add in a sea of advantages and well, refer back to Taylor ok? That being said, the new era has given us plenty of icons for another Second Chances season and that is enough to celebrate with a big batch of Golden Sarup & Wadamom Dumplings.
These fluffy dumplings are the perfect, soothing dish to warm your soul. Sticky and sweet with a beautifully spiced kick, they melt in your mouth and take away the pain of yet another season of femicide (thank f- Liz overcame this trend).
Golden Sarup & Wadamom Dumplings Serves: 6.
Ingredients 100g butter, diced 1 ⅓ cups muscovado sugar ¼ cup golden syrup 1 ⅓ cups flour 1 ½ tsp baking powder 1 tsp ground cardamom ¼ tsp cinnamon ⅔ cup milk Vanilla Ice Cream, to serve
Method Place 60g butter, 1 ¼ cups of muscovado sugar and the golden syrup in a large frying pan with 2 cups cold water and cook over a low heat for about 5 minutes, or until the sugar has dissolved. Crank the heat up to medium and bring to the boil, and cook for a few minutes until it reduces before removing from the heat.
Combine the flour, cardamom, cinnamon and butter in a bowl and, using your fingers, rub the butter through until it resembles wet sand before stirring through the remaining muscovado. Make a well in the centre, pour in the milk and stir with a wooden spoon until it comes together as a wet dough.
Return the caramel to a medium heat and carefully drop in a few tablespoons of batter at a time, leaving a little bit of space to allow them to puff up as they cook. Cover with a lid or some foil, reduce to low and simmer for 15 minutes, or until they are cooked through.
Serve immediately with a generous coating of the caramel and a hearty dollop of ice cream.
Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race the dolls marked Ru’s big 200th with a celebratory ball. First up they were tasked with updating Ru’s famous racer suit, before throwing it back with a look inspired by their favourite ball. Given crystal is the traditional gift, the dolls were tasked with designing their final looks using a range of stones and glassware. While everyone looked good in the first category, it was really only Sasha that reinvented it by turning it into an epic gown. That was but the start of her dominance, as she served a dime bag in honour of the Bag Ball and gave a beautiful coral number, which rightly scored Sasha her second win. At the other end of the pack, Salina’s personality was beloved, but the looks, not so much, while Spice’s tied fabric together and filled Michelle with rage. Thankfully it was her final time triggering Michelle, as she trotted off into the sunset one last time.
Backstage the dolls were heartbroken to have lost Spice, though Salina admitted she was chill in the lip sync given she was clearly winning it. Sasha was thrilled to be the first queen with two wins while once again Loosey grew pressed since nobody was praising her for having three wins. Two of those being mini’s, which mean nothing, just as Art said. Though she mentioned she was completely fine, despite the fact she was pressed during untucked which elicited a tonne of giggles from Mistress. Marcia too opened up about being disappointed to not win the last challenge, with Loosey checking with Mistress whether she would yell at her too which led to Mistress once again destroying her in a fit of giggles. While Loosey shared with us that she just wanted respect for winning some of the most iconic challenges.
The next day Anetra tried to smile away her resting bitch face before Ru dropped by to announce that for this week’s challenge the dolls would be doing 1 on 1 interviews for her questionable news and current affairs show 50/50. Marcia and Sasha would kiki with the iconic Charo, Anetra, Loosey and Malaysia would suffer through Frankie Grande while Luxx, Mistress and Salina would interview Love Connie. And yeah, Sasha and Marcia got super lucky as the others are duds (by comparison only, for Love Connie). Oh and after doing their live interviews, the dolls would stomp the Night of 1000 Beyonces runway and ugh, I am living.
The teams split up to divide their interview formats with Salina focused on getting a win, while Loosey was trying to lead Team Frankie to victory by offering them a consistent approach and diverse discussion points. While Sasha and Marcia were just having fun kikiing before placing bets on who else would do well. And well, they were concerned about how team Love Connie would do. After catching them kiki, Mistress dropped by to be shady to Marcia and hot damn, I love her.
Team Love Connie were first to shoot with Salina proving that improv and interviewing are two vastly different things and while she was confident, she was a little out of her depth. Luxx meanwhile was effortlessly cute and charming as they careened around the carpark in a golf cart and while Mistress started off with a little stumble, before she relaxed and started giggling, though not really leading the interview. Sasha and Marcia were delightful from start to finish, though working with Charo makes it an easy job. They were embracing her energy and clearly having so much fun and it just translated into wonderful TV. Despite Marcia not really understanding anything she said. When it came to Team Frankie Grande, Loosey got a little bit of redemption as she knocked it out of the park, Anetra was fun and confident while Malaysia and Frankie completely botched making pizzas as Malaysia faded fast. Oh and despite all preparing to ask diverse questions, they only touched on Frankie getting married.
Elimination Day arrived with Sasha assuring them that she was the OG Sasha, implying that Beyonce may or may not have been inspired by her to invent the character of Sasha Fierce after seeing her perform. And while Mistress thinks it is a lovely fairytale, of course Bey is a Sasha stan.
It was family only on the panel as Ru, Michelle and TS took their places as Luxx opened the Night of 1000 Beyonces runway with a glamorous recreation of Beyonce at the Kennedy Centre Honours. Mistress was hilarious as Bey at the Grammys in the Destiny era, complete with puppet Michelle and Kelly on her shoulders. Salina was golden in a Grammys look, Sasha gave sexy BET awards realness and Marcia served a velvet gown from Bey at a charity event (which looked nice but is hardly an iconic look). Anerta gave her Virgin Mary On the Run tour look, Malaysia was sexy in the global citizen look while Loosey gave the VMA pregnancy reveal look. Without the baby bump.
Marcia and Anetra were sent to safety before Luxx received praise for how effortlessly she bounced off Love Connie’s energy and for looking stunning on the runway. Mistress was read for bombing the challenge, though given the puppets on her shoulders, it should save her from a lip sync. Salina was praised for looking pretty, though read for constantly cutting off Love Connie during the interview. Once again, Sasha received wall to wall praise for everything she gave this week, particularly her warmth in the interview. Malaysia’s look was universally beloved, though her interview was read for being an absolute mess. While the judges loved everything Loosey did. Despite her not asking why the witch doctor would want to kill Frankie, which to be fair, should be obvious, no?
Backstage Marcia and Anetra were happy to be safe, despite Marcia feeling like she needed to prove herself with a win while Anetra just wanted to get that momentum back. They spoke about how stressed Mistress seemed throughout the challenge, while both of them felt like they did well in the challenge, despite their initial fears. The tops and bottoms joined them, with Mistress joking about being in the top which Marcia hilariously thought was serious. She reminded them she isn’t delusional and knew she bombed, so knows she and Malaysia would be lip syncing. Loosey reminded her they said a lot more than her challenge as she told her she appreciates her trying to cheer her up, but doesn’t want to hear it. Malaysia spoke about being disappointed to finally be in the bottom, while Salina was heartbroken to once again be in the bottom. Particularly since she now can’t say she only sucked at design challenges.
Mistress started to break down about disappointing her hometown and bombing in such a major way, while Malaysia agreed she feels the same but if they lip sync, they need to slay. Mistress was sad it would be the two big girls lip syncing, though they vowed to turn the show. Luxx spoke about how shocked she was to kill the challenge before she was surprised by a video message from home and ugh, they are so sweet and I am crying right along with her. She opened up about how great it was to see them and be reminded that she has so many people rooting for her back home. TS then dropped by and gave all of the disappointed girls a hell of a pep talk, reminding them they are here because they belong here and to always believe in themselves. Oh and then she made Sasha cry, thanking her for being such a beacon for the trans community and ugh, I love them all.
Ultimately Luxx was sent to safety before Sasha took out her third win of the season, much to Loosey’s absolute rage to only be safe. While Mistress was thrilled to narrowly scrape by with that distinction, as Salina once again landed in the bottom, this time against Malaysia. To Queen Bey’s Single Ladies, no less. So you know it was a SHOW. Salina gave so much fire as she aggressively hit every lyric and move while Malaysia was all the emotion and damn, if we were getting a double shantay, now would have been the one. Sadly it wasn’t, as Salina once again saved herself and sweet Malaysia exited the competition.
Backstage Malaysia was rather disappointed to be out of the competition, though I pulled her in for a massive hug and reminded her that she consistently slayed. And as such, should be very proud of her performance. She surprised herself in a design challenge and was always solid, with her only stumble really coming at the point of the competition where there is just no room forever. Given that peptalk rivalled TS’s in power, she quickly cheered up and we got to planning her future All Stars dominance over a Malayswiss Babyroll Foxx.
White chocolate and raspberry is one of my favourite sweet combinations, and adding it into the swiss roll setting is near perfection. Spongy cake, tart raspberries and the sweet white chocolate work together perfectly to elevate even the most disappointed soul.
Malayswiss Babyroll Foxx Serves: 6-8.
Ingredients 160g white chocolate, roughly chopped 4 eggs, at room temperature 100g raw caster sugar 1 tsp almond essence 75g flour 1 tbsp baking powder 300ml double cream 1 vanilla pod, split, seeds scraped 200g fresh raspberries
Method Preheat the oven to 160C and line the base and sides of a 24cm x 35cm swiss roll tin with baking paper, leaving a few centimetres to exceed over the edges.
Pop half the white chocolate in a bowl and gently melt in a double boiler. Remove from the heat and let it cool a little. While that is happening, combine the eggs, sugar and almond essence in the bowl of a stand mixer and add the almond essence and beat on medium for about 5 minutes, or until pale and thick. Carefully fold through the cooled melted chocolate, followed by the flour and baking powder. Transfer the cake to the lined pan and pop in the oven to bake for 15 minutes, or until cooked through and spongy.
Once the cake is done, remove from the oven and flip out onto a piece of baking paper sprinkled with a little extra sugar. Remove the tin and carefully peel away the paper from the base of the sponge. Loosely roll up the sponge and sugared paper before leaving to cool completely on a wire rack.
While the cake is getting chill, slowly melt the remaining chocolate and leave to cool like you did the first batch. Lightly whip the double cream and vanilla seeds to form soft peaks before folding through the melted chocolate. Unroll the sponge and the cream mixture, leaving a 1cm border around the edges for spread Scatter over the raspberries before carefully re-rolling the sponge to form a delicious scroll.
Allow to cool completely – and set – before devouring, knowing you’re a talented icon.
Previously on Australian Survivor on the bottom with dwindling options, Shaun revealed his idol to Simon, anointing him his closest ally as they locked in a plan to blindside George. After Simon won immunity and climbed Shaun like we all want to, George was spooked by their growing closeness. The Vigilantes planned to split the vote on Nina and Shaun given Sam is not exactly the most strategic person. That is until Simon left the group and they agreed to load all their votes on Sam, to navigate around a Simon flip. Sadly for George, Hayley was also planning on making a move against him, telling Nina the real plan and advising her to use any idols they had on Sam given they won’t be doing a split. With Shaun’s idol in hand, Nina improved their chances further by jagging a second. Despite having three out of their four people immune, however, the Heroes and Simon botched the double idol play resulting in Sam’s exit.
The next day Shiz were busy hunting for crabs and doing best friend shit, with Shonee particularly thrilled to have all the power in the game on top of having a bestie. She spoke about how close they are before venturing to the ocean to plot who would be the smartest people to take to the end, agreeing Gerry is easiest to beat in challenges while Simon is a bit of a joke. The one person they know they can’t hang with, however, is George, given everyone will assume they rode his coattails. And they were happy to lose to each other, but not him. Oh and then Shonee wandered off and found yet another idol which honestly is just Queen shit. As is her plan to use it to have a fun little blindside.
Shaun and Nina however were feeling far less zen, bonding over how screwed they kind of are after their spectacular blunder with the idols. They agreed the smartest thing to do was keep quiet about Hayley leaking information, given it means they could still use her in the future. Simon meanwhile was explaining why he moved to Hayley – unaware she also tried to flip – while George went person to person talking about how stupid Simon is. Seeing this, Nina decided it was in her best interests to throw him under the bus, approaching the Vigilantes to work with them to get rid of Simon the instant he doesn’t have immunity. Oh and then she and Shaun decided they probably still need an idol to seal the deal, despite not having the best track records.
With the duo off hunting for idols, the Vigilantes discussed who would be the smartest to take out next and while Hayley and Matt felt Simon was easy – given that is what George wants – Shonee knew it was a bad idea, given Shaun and Nina have more friends on the jury and Simon’s gameplay has been far from winning. The Spice Girls and Hayley caught up with Shonee calmly trying to explain why they need to put Simon on the backburner, particularly since the immunities get less physical as they go along, meaning he will get less and less threatening.
Shonee and Liz then sneakily ate rice by the shelter as everyone else was away, unaware that George was lurking behind and heard them refer to themselves as Shiz rather than the Spice Girls. And well, let’s just say, he was pissed. Later that night, George woke up and paced the shoreline as he simmered in rage, before Gerry woke up and joined him. George unleashed about how hurt he was and floated making a move sooner rather than later. And oh God, please don’t break up yet, I can’t handle it!
The tribe met Jonathan for the latest epic immunity challenge which would play out across three stages. The first would see them race to land three sandbags on a disc with the first six to finish moving on. In the next stage they would have to toss sandbags to knock rungs off a ladder and then use them to build a bridge with the first three to finish going to the final round where they would be tethered to a spinning platform and have to stack 10 discs into a tower with the first to finish winning. Simon was the first to move on to the second round, followed by Gerry, Matt, Liz, Shaun and Hayley. In the second round Shaun pulled out in front as Hayley and Simon nipped at his heels, while George whispered to Nina that he just doesn’t want either of the boys to win. Sadly for him however, they made it to the final round with Hayley. Simon got out to an early lead, while Shaun continued to botch the balancing as Hayley quietly worked away. Until she dropped, giving Simon plenty of breathing room to place the final disc and secure immunity. Again.
Back at camp everyone gave Simon some half hearted congratulations before he, Nina and Shaun went for a walk to the well, leaving the Vigilantes to lock in the split vote between Nina and Shaun. The minority meanwhile focused on hunting for an idol as Simon went back to chat with the Vigilantes, with him suggesting they work together for this vote and that he will just lock in who he will vote for when the time comes. Obviously George hated that idea, given he wants control, so he agreed to work with Simon once again and not come for him until the OG Heroes are gone. But only if he votes for Shaun.
George returned to the shelter to fill Shiz in on the plan and while they were happy with things, they went into the ocean to wash off together and talk about how happy they would be if the other person won. Sadly George watched on, growing more and more jealous of their closeness until he suggested to us that Shonee is so dangerous to his game that maybe now is the time to take the shot. And ugh, I fucking hate it here.
As the tribe gathered to eat dinner, the girls fed each other as George looked on angrily. He pulled Gerry aside to float the idea of getting rid of Shonee and while he was keen on it, he cautioned that now is not the right time and told George they just need to hold firm for a few more rounds. As such, George pulled Hayley aside to get a different answer with her obviously thrilled by the idea, wanting to play a fun, messy game. Which obviously filled George with joy as he suggested to her that while Liz will be angry, he will happily beg for her forgiveness tomorrow. He went back to Gerry to fill him in, who in turn told Matt, while George went to rope in Nina. Horrifically, it all fell into place very quickly as everyone was ready to get rid of Shonee ASAP, given she is such a massive threat. While she spoke to Matt about feeling nervous, given she has been the one to blow up 3-3 votes from the minority in the past.
At tribal council – where I was ready to vom and cry all at once – Simon spoke about how immunity is the only thing that saved him tonight, meaning either Shaun or Nina are going home. Nina played coy about hearing word of people jumping ship as Shaun whispered to her asking what George had wanted to talk to her about back at camp, with her just assuring him they are fine. Liz spoke about the alliance being solid and steamrolling to the end, while Shonee was equally as confident as George spoke about sticking to a deal that was cut post immunity challenge. Matt, Simon and Shonee all mentioned they heard about the deals, while Matt and Shonee agreed George’s deals are always solid. George spoke about how they need to make moves when they have numbers, while Shonee whispered to Liz whether they should be worried. With Liz assuring her they are fine.
Talk turned to timing, with Shonee reiterating that it is too early to make a move and doing it too soon often screws you out of alliances and stops you from making it to the end. Nina joked about them definitely being at the right point of the season to make a move, so to join her, while George spoke about how making moves at the right time is simply when you have the numbers. Nina whispered to Shaun that it won’t be him going home tonight, making him confident enough to speak up and tell the majority that if they don’t know how they are proceeding beyond the six, then they are likely not making it to the end. With that the tribe voted and despite our queen feeling uncomfortable about a 3-3 vote, she held firm onto her idol and was tragically blindsided from the game. As Liz looked on enraged – just like me! – while George thought winking at the jury would make them like him, rather than hate him.
While Shonee was her usual positive, delightful self as she arrived at the Jury Villa, I was an absolute mess. I was screaming, I was shaking, I had had it. Officially. I went full Laura Dern in Enlightened on poor Sam and Flick – coincidentally created by King Mike White – until Shonee arrived and pulled me, her number one cherub in for a hug. After a day or so – just ahead of the next boot, TBH – I stopped crying long enough to congratulate her on such a strong game. Despite this being her lowest placement, she absolutely dominated the game and proved she is far and away the best player of the franchise. She then got me talking about pilates, which is now my personality – I do it with David Wenham, which is a true sentence – giving me enough strength to toast her third game with a delicious Lemonee Buttell Cake. In preparation for her fourth, winning game.
Like Shonee, this cake is near perfection. Sweet, a little zesty and a hint of salt, working together to give you a joyous (viewing) experience. Oh and the lemon butter creates a glorious, gooey centre which is just perfection.
Ingredients 300g raw caster sugar 2 lemons, zested and juiced ¾ tsp sea salt 3 eggs, at room temperature, 2 separated 227g unsalted butter, melted and cooled 330g flour 2 ½ tsp baking powder 250g cream cheese, softened 225g icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
Method Preheat the oven to 170C and line a 22cm round pan with baking paper, leaving an overhang to help remove the cake later.
In a large bowl, combine the caster sugar with half the zest and ½ tsp of salt using your fingers until it is a fragrant, yellow mixture. Add the whole egg, half the lemon juice and cooled butter and whisk to combine before folding through the flour and baking powder until just combined. Transfer to the lined pan, smoothing out the top.
Using a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese and icing sugar together until it forms a smooth, soft batter. Add the egg yolks, remaining salt, lemon zest and juice, and beat until smooth. Pour on top of the cake and transfer to the oven to bake for 45 minutes, or until the edges have browned and the centre is puffed. If it is still a bit under, cover with foil and cook for another 10-15 minutes to set completely.
Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes or so before removing to cool completely. Then simply sprinkle it with some icing sugar and devour it in honour of our queen.
Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race instead of delivering a maxi challenge, Ru gave the dolls a reprieve in the form of a lip sync lalaparuza. Which obviously is only a reprieve for the dolls that win their first round. Everyone else, however, had a fight. Despite some of the queens selecting opponents they felt would be the easiest to beat, sweet Anetra focused on battles. Though after watching her lip sync with Sasha in the first round – which should have been a double shantay – who can blame her confidence. Ultimately it came down to three girls where it came down to Anetra to choose one sister to save, sending sweet Spice to safety and fellow lip sync assassin Jax out of the competition.
The next day the dolls were thrilled to have survived the lip sync lalaparuza, with Marcia particularly happy to be safe on the first round. And to not have to see Jax lip sync a sixth time. Anetra meanwhile was thrilled to have faced off against the Simone Biles of drag and come out on top. While Spice wanted to clarify what she said about entering her top era last week, explaining that she actually meant this week while Mistress joked she was thinking about entering her congeniality era.
Before Malaysia could malfunction at that suggestion, Ru dropped by to challenge the dolls to a little mini challenge where they would have to get into quick drag and photobomb some iconic moments from throughout the series to celebrate the 200th episode. Salina slayed Laganja’s entry, Anetra bombed into Willow Pill’s bubble bath, Malaysia joined Vanjie’s exit, Spice hung with Gaga, Luxx grunted through knocking off Ornacia and Vivacious in their opening shoot, Mistress caught Morgan’s ping pong balls, Marcia creeped on Jinkx’s crowning, Sasha creeped on Ru at the Despys and Loosey hung onto Serena in the tank photoshoot mini challenge. Obviously though it was Anetra that took out the win, given it was iconic and hilarious.
Given the episodes are still only an hour we couldn’t dwell on things, so Ru announced that for this week’s maxi challenge they’d be throwing a 15th anniversary ball. And since that is traditionally marked by crystal, welcome to the Crystal ball! First category the dolls would have to update Ru’s iconic opening racing suit for Start Your Engines. Next up, the dolls would pull inspiration from their favourite balls of yore in the My Favourite Ball runway and close out the show in the Crystalised Eleganza look which they make from scratch. Emphasis on scratch, given it will be fully crystalised. Oh and Loosey is confident, given she makes all her own costumes, so she wants her sisters to know she is the one to beat despite Sasha being right there.
And frequently thinking she should be ranked higher than the judges place her.
After Ru departed, the dolls went nuts grabbing supplies, literally breaking glassware in the process. Mother Sasha was confident in her ability to know fashion and herself, rather than being worried about her lack of sewing skills, while Anetra planned to crystalise Kennedy’s dead chicken. Ru returned with Carson to kiki with the girls, with Spice getting read for giving too much of the same thing and asked to mix it up a little. Mistress meanwhile was sassy as she showed off her big gown moment and while other dolls were going that route too, hers would stand out for being nice. Salina was giving too much and was reminded to edit and sell it on the runway, rather than getting lost in her head. She then opened up about how difficult she has found the emotions of the competition.
Ru and Carson disappeared leading to the girls reading Loosey for being heartbroken over losing the acting challenge. And while Mistress was trying to have a bit of fun, Loosey worried she was trying to get in her head.
Elimination Day arrived with the dolls talking about their siblings, with Salina opening about her queer brother before Anetra spoke about not having talked to her mum after she kicked her out for allegedly making everyone in her uncomfortable for being herself. And ugh, her mum is a dumb bitch and I hate her for doing that to Anetra and making her lose her siblings that she so dearly loves. The positive though is that she reconnected with her birth father who has become her biggest supporter and even bought her her first sewing machine. Talk turned to iconic moments of the past, with the dolls throwing out Shangela and Mimi’s fight, anything Alyssa has ever done, Bianca’s Judge Judy, opulence and Ongina coming out as HIV positive. While Spice was grateful Rebecca Glasscock wore jeans on entry, so she and Sugar could trot in rocking mini skirts.
Ru, Michelle and Carson were joined by Emmy winner Julia Garner on the panel to judge their 200th episode ball. Well, after Ru debuted her new song Cake and Candy. And while she gave us nothing – obviously – the sexy dancing bakers flooded my basement as they gave everything. Kicking off the Start Your Engines category, Mistress gave a classic racer suit full of all the big girls catchphrases. Spice meanwhile turned it into a mini skirt and avoided strutting, while Luxx made things edgy, Marcia slayed in a pastel mod vibe, Salina was street and sexy, Malaysia was glam and gorgeous in pink while Loosey slayed as Barbie and Princess Peach’s lovechild while Sasha turned it into a glamorous gown, while Anetra was fluro and represented her heritage in all the right easy.
Mistress kicked off the My Favourite Ball runway celebrating the ball ball like a sexy club kid beachball, Marcia gave canvas milkmaid in honour of the bag ball, Malaysia was beautiful in a hair gown for the hair ball while Spice gave little furballs for the ball ball. Salina gave palm tree cash for the money ball, Loosey looked like a hippy made out of doggy bags for the bag ball, Luxx was architectural in a hair ball number while Sasha celebrated weed in the sexiest way for the bag ball while Anetra was sickening and sweet for the Sugar Ball.
Closing out the show Mistress’ gown truly was perfection, not like something she made in under 24 hours. Spice looked like she just extended her usual look, Marcia gave a slutty Marie Antoinette, Malaysia too gave a perfect gown, Salina looked beautiful in her gown – despite it not fitting great – while Loosey mocked herself in a gorgeous runner-up evening wear gown. Luxx gave ice fairy and oh god, how did she make that in 24 hours?! Sasha too was stunning, giving a golden coral goddess while Anetra slayed in a gown complete with beaded exposed spine.
Marcia Cubed, Malaysia and Luxx were sent to safety before the judges praised Salina’s first two looks and how she sold them, though read her final gown for just not having the fit down. Spice was praised for her first look, read for giving furball before Michelle read her for filth for the final outfit, though loved how hard she tried not to trot. Mistress received wall to wall praise for all three of her looks, before Loosey was read for her middle look. Sasha then received all of the praise for thinking outside the box on all of her looks, and for looking stunning while doing it. She opened up about House Colby and how it saved her life and ugh, I love her so damn much. While the judges lived for two out of three of Anetra’s look, particularly her final look which was stunning. Though Michelle cautioned her to try not give so much resting bitch face on the runway.
Backstage the dolls – well Marcia and Luxx, anyway – weren’t loving the fact they were only safe which honestly is kind of fair, given the looks they both pulled together in a day. Malaysia was happy with her collection, though kinda was in her feelings about just wanting to have that star moment, given she is still without a win. Marcia felt she deserved the win while Luxx was enraged that her creative look didn’t get the props it was due, as Malaysia tried to suggest it could have just been that she just didn’t give the judges eleganza. Which was sweet, but obviously meant nothing to Luxx. Just like Art.
The tops and bottoms joined them with the girls not shocked to hear Sasha was beloved for giving vastly different looks. Salina shared how disappointed she was to be in the bottom, despite the judges not really hating anything, just the details. Spice just laughed about how the judges found her funny for not trotting and charming the shit out of them. Oh, but she knew she was in the bottom. Loosey shared she was hit and miss with the judges and then when Malaysia pointed out she had no idea what her middle look was about, Loosey cracked it and the duo started fighting. With Malaysia hilariously just finishing things by telling her the look sucked. Basically. Anetra’s final look was beloved though Michelle hated the colour of her first look, with Spice asking them to consider how green feels about Michelle, since she always comes for it.
Talk turned to Spice potentially going home, with everyone talking about how much she has grown and they love her. And I LOVE it. Oh and then Julia Garner dropped by and spat Anna Delvey lines, so I LIVE for that.
Ultimately Sasha took out her second victory of the season, as Anetra and Mistress joined her in the top before Loosey narrowly avoided the bottom, leaving Salina and Spice to battle it out. And as soon as Lil Nas X’s That’s What I Want kicked off, it was clear Salina was surviving, but honestly, I could watch Spice read the phonebook because she is just so silly and joyous and ugh, I love what I love. Though yeah, Salina served a moment, hitting every lyric, finding the perfect balance between comedy and emotion and well, it was only fair she lived to see another day as Spice sadly sashayed away. Via extensive trotting, as Ru and Michelle finally embraced it and cackled along with her.
As she entered the Werk Room, I pulled Spice in for a massive hug and thanked her for being such a glorious ball of joy throughout the season. While the judges never seemed to get her (or Sugar’s) vibe, the fact that her sisters quickly went from hate to love proves that the duo are legit. And absolute delights, so I’m glad that translated to the audience. Given she and Sugar are already uber social media famous – like me, don’t ya know! – it isn’t like she needed much of a pep talk, so instead I toasted her run with a piping hot Pumpkin Spice Bundt.
This spicy number is the perfect addition to any occasion, despite the fact I used a haunted house bundt tin. The earthy pumpkin pairs perfectly with the combination of spices, leaving a moist, cake that melts in your mouth and fills you with glee.
Pumpkin Spice Bundt Serves: 8.
Ingredients 2 cups muscovado sugar 115g unsalted butter, softened ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil 2 eggs, at room temperature 1 ½ cups pumpkin purée ½ cup sour cream 3 cups flour 2 tsp baking powder 1 tsp baking soda 1 ¼ tsp kosher salt 1 tbsp ground cinnamon 1 tsp ground cardamom ¼ tsp ground allspice ¼ tsp nutmeg ¼ tsp ground black pepper
Method Preheat the oven to 170C, and butter and flour a 12 cup bundt pan.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the muscovado sugar, butter and olive oil on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add an egg, allowing the batter to come back together before adding the second. Pour in the pumpkin purée and sour cream, and mix until combined.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cardamom, allspice, nutmeg and pepper in a large bowl. Remove the other bowl from the stand mixer and fold the dry ingredients through until just combined. Pour the batter into the bundt tin, tapping on the bench to remove any bubbles. Pop the tin on a baking sheet if it isn’t stable (the haunted house is far from structurally sound) and transfer to the oven to bake for an hour, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 20 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Once chill you can either make a little glaze – maple is a particularly good choice – or simply dust with icing sugar before devouring. Either way, you’ll love it.
Previously on Australian Survivor Simon was still blissfully under the assumption that he had an idol in his possession. And while we may not know what, if anything, he found in the cookie jar, one thing we can be certain of is that the producers are going to love however it blows up in his face. Hayley meanwhile successfully threw an immunity challenge, desperate to break the (Australian) winner’s curse. And since Rogue was on her tribe, she felt it was kind of a safe bet. Sadly Shaun got a clue to an idol from David and Sam, and while the trio of allies vowed to find and use it together, Shaun jagged it for himself – his first real one! – and decided now might be the right time to turn the tide against Hayley. Thankfully for our Queen, RogueRogued and offended her tribe one final time and got herself booted. Though not before doing a you-can’t-fire-me-I-quit plea to be booted.
The next day the Villains were enjoying the peace of a restful sleep after their first night off while Jordie and Fraser bonded over wanting to be arseholes instead of being on 24/7. And by being on, essentially they wanted to do nothing, stop helping and piss by the shelter, which speaks to my desire to retire by 40 on a deep, deep level. Simon however was not being lazy, lopping bamboo and being useful while Jordie and George joined him to help out and reinforce the shelter. Jordie opened up to us about how bossy Simon can be and while they both wanted George out, his temper is making working with Simon difficult. Right on cue, Simon yelled at George for getting distracted too easily and well, it was awkward and everyone just looked like they were embarrassed. For Simon.
Jordie realised that the boys were a tight four, while the girls and George were also bonded and as such, caught up with George to float the idea of working together to protect each other from their factions. Despite the fact Jordie knew it could come back to bite him, should they get caught.
Meanwhile over at the Heroes camp, the tribe were thrilled to be free of Rogue’s attitude and feeling well and truly zen again. Hayley was thrilled to have broken the curse, while Benjamin and Sharni were busy bonding while tidying and being super helpful and ugh, it is so damn wholesome. We then got a deep dive on Benjamin and his career, though I was across most of it given he is my hero. Being kind and crafty, he suggested the tribe whip up a fake idol together and while you would assume it was to benefit the entire tribe come swap, it made David, Flick and Sam feel like they cannot trust him. David and Sam caught up with Shaun, who was wisely keeping the fact he has the real idol a secret before the brainstrust went hunting along the shore. While Shaun giggled about outsmarting them, knowing that playing like a hero didn’t exactly serve him well during his first season.
The tribes joined up with my love JLP for the reward challenge where they would battle in pairs to knock barrels off a deck, with the first tribe to three scoring a tower of baked goods. And well, let’s just say, when I saw I snag roll I practically creamed my jeans, while Liz questioned whether the bread was ciabatta or sourdough, while Shonee was just looking for assurances it all came with a balsamic glaze. Like damn icons. First up were Stevie and Simon versus Shaun and Ben with the Heroes taking the point due to Simon not letting Stevie toss anything. Sam and Hayley then faced off against Jordie and George with George’s fire to best Hayley taking out the point for the Villains. Shonee and Fraser took on sweet Gerry and Matt with the Heroes quickly putting Shonee out of her misery before Paige and David defeated Sarah and Liz, handing the reward to Heroes.
Ideally for us to discover the pastries are actually raw when they return to camp.
Back at camp they learnt the producers had once again trolled them, this time spreading 11 treats out in front of them with the person who read the note – Sam – getting to decide who got to eat what. Hayley got a croissant, Paige got the meat pie, Sharni got a full loaf of bread, Gerry got a snag roll – lucky king – David got a choccie cake, Flick got a cupcake, Nina got a donut, Benjamin got a party pie, Matt a lamington, Shaun got a spongelog – and the realisation that Sam is out of his depth in the game – while Sam kept himself a slice of gluten free toast. Aka loyal to an absolute fault.
After smashing the food, Hayley got back to work hunting for an idol while Shaun watched on. Realising he had to do something to distract Sam and David from the fact he actually had the idol, Shaun told them he caught Hayley catching the idol and as such, they spread it like wildfire throughout camp. Hayley being the best player in the camp, pulled Shaun aside realising something was off between them and tried to find what the problem was. Which thankfully, finally made Shaun realise that it is stupid to vote out Hayley already, given she is a clear threat and as such distracts from the fact he is ten feet and looks stunning in a speedo.
The tribes caught up with Jonathan again for the immunity challenge where the tribes would race to push a heavy cart through a course to collect fire making equipment before lighting a fire to release a bag of coconuts. Aka the final four firemaking challenge on a massive scale. Despite being far weaker on paper, the Villains got out to an early lead before everyone fought over wood. With Stevie climbing it to make things hard for the Heroes like a damn icon. Deciding they had enough, the Villains powered to the end of the course while the Heroes focused on getting as many supplies as possible. The villains were first to make it to the end with Stevie getting to work on the fire as the rest of the tribe tried to figure out the best place to build the bonfire in the conditions. After lighting the torch, the Villains built a tall structure in a race against time as the Heroes closed the gap. Though way too slowly as the Villains took out the win before the Heroes even lit their fire.
Back at camp Sam was busy speculating whether they take out Ben for being shifty – which I repeat, he wasn’t – or Gerry for having an injured foot. Ben, Shaun, Flick, Sharni and Nina caught up by the well, agreeing how difficult the upcoming vote will be given they don’t have a Rogue. Nina suggested getting rid of Gerry would make sense given he is injured and while everyone felt bad about losing such a sweet man, Sharni tried to rationalise it as something that may save him from further injury in the long run. But damn does she hate the idea. After everyone disappeared, Sharni admitted she won’t be writing Gerry’s name down to Nina with her suggesting they get rid of Ben instead, for being shifty. This plan spread like wildfire and while Hayley was not a fan of the idea, given she and Ben are so close, she knew she wasn’t safe enough to make any demands.
Sadly for her laying low wasn’t keeping her safe anyway as Sam, David and Matt decided now would be a perfect time to blindside Hayley, given everyone is distracted, so got to work trying to find two more to get rid of her. While Nina gave some non-committal assurances, Shaun was not so thrilled about blindsiding his new ally and despite pretending it doesn’t bother him, it spurred him into action. First he told Flick what was happening before the duo approached Sam and David, assuring them that while Hayley needs to go before the merge, now is not the right time and as such, they need to see sense and not cause more chaos than they need to.
At tribal council David was surprised they were back at tribal council, while Flick spoke about how much more difficult tonight’s tribal council is compared to the last one, given they all get along. Ben was hopeful everyone was on the same page, though was nervous about blowing things up, given the last vote actually created some harmony. Hayley spoke about being worried that the upcoming vote won’t create the factions they think, while sweet Gerry was concerned his injury would be his undoing, given everyone is friendly. Ben felt like everyone should be nervous, while Gerry was the only one willing to cop to feeling like he will be receiving votes tonight.
Gerry spoke about being strong in challenges and at camp, with Shaun reiterating he has done so much for all of them and while he is still strong, he has an injury and anything will make you a target. After pointing out Gerry can’t vote for himself, Hayley begged him not to vote for her – lol – before Jonathan dropped the bomb that while they are voting someone out tonight, it is actually to send them to the Villains tribe. And should they survive their exile for two days – aka, through the next tribal council – they will return back to the Heroes camp with a tonne of intel. Which is a good twist (finally), as it could actually go either way for the person voted out and the tribe as a whole, meaning the way forward is murky.
This gagged the tribe with Shaun suggesting they get to whispering to figure out who to vote for, while Hayley suggested they should vote for a clearly loyal person, given they will give the Villains nothing and the Heroes everything upon their return. Ben meanwhile wanted to send someone that would cause chaos, while Gerry told them to focus on sending an asset. Nina meanwhile pointed out that while you want to send a spy that won’t be offended, there is still the risk that the person could just be voted out by the Villains next. Hayley smartly asked whether the Villains would know how it all transpired, with JLP assuring them it will only be what the Heroes tell them.
Paige meanwhile suggested she would be happy to go, while everyone else whispered to lock in the Gerry vote. As Nina jumped on the Paige bandwagon, telling the tribe it was easy, Paige continued to push to go for the star moment, while Sam suggested they vote someone that makes sense to have been voted out that they’d also be willing to lose given it isn’t a guarantee they come back. Which obviously made Gerry nervous as he asked who Sam was suggesting then. And ugh, Sam, you were so damn close to making a compelling argument, why did you have to go and tell the person you’re about to vote as a spy that they are expendable? With that the tribe voted, sending sweet Gerry over to the Villains for the weekend. And thanks to Sam’s blunder, he was taking a little bit of a bruised ego which should thankfully make things a little interesting.
As Gerry arrived at the Villains camp, everyone was fast asleep as he quietly crawled into the shelter to try and gently wake someone up. As he alerted Simon – who hilariously thought it was Sam – he pulled him in for a hug, while the rest of the tribe awoke to welcome him. Well except for George, who was annoyed that he scored a better spot in the shelter and after sassing him out, told us that it was critical that he makes sure he woos Gerry before Simon does. And well, who is going to tell him it may be too late already?
We checked in with the Heroes where Sharni was regalling the Meat Tray with stories of waking up and punching a crab. And while they seemed close, Sharni shared that she was just flexing her acting muscles – or chops, even – given she is so annoyed with them for risking Gerry despite Paige wanting to go to the other tribe. While Shaun tried to explain that voting for Gerry made the most sense, it didn’t make Sharni feel any less annoyed by how it all went down behind his back.
We returned to the Villains camp where Simon interrupted George and Gerry bonded, while George stared daggers at him. Fraser joined the conversation to see if he knew he was copping votes the previous night, with the sweet man proving to have a few sly tricks up his sleeve as he expertly spun a lie. And well Gerry, he was just feeling all the love from the tribe and was grateful for how friendly and kind they all are and as such, his loyalty was already wavering. Particularly since they were happy for him to be expendable. We then learnt about Gerry’s life on Fraser Island and all the hardship he has experienced and ugh, just like Sharni, I want only good things for him. As Simon continued to suck up to Gerry, George went person to person, pointing out how obvious Simon was being to try and woo him as a number. And George, maybe stop complaining and start befriending?
The tribes reunited with Jonathan for the latest reward challenge with George sassily asking the Heroes to explain why they voted out Gerry before learning that one at a time they would face off one on one to knock their opponent’s idol off a disc. With the first tribe to three getting a huge collection of supplies and a piping hot lasagne. Or not, who knows? It could be frozen. Sam and Simon were first to do battle with Simon tragically dropping his, leading to a smug little dance from Sam. Shonee was next up against Flick, with our Queen tying things up before George and Hayley faced off, with Hayley obviously putting Heroes back out in front. Jordie and Shaun were up next with Jordie wisely tossing his in the air as he slapped Shaun’s to the ground, once again tying things up leaving Simon and David to battle out for reward with Simon botching the toss strategy as the Heroes jagged the win.
But hey, at least George got some intel from Hayley that he should trust Gerry.
Back at the ever improving Heroes camp, derpy Sam was thrilled with their latest haul as he carved up one of the three lasagnes for the tribe to devour. The spirits were obviously very high, but only got higher as Matt discovered pictures from home. We met David’s girlfriend who made him break down in tears, while Matt showed off a picture of him proposing to his girlfriend – post nervous poo – Hayley showed the day she bought a house, Benjamin spoke about his high school sweetheart Scott, we met Sharni’s grandfather, Sam’s girlfriend, Sandra got a photo cameo, Megan Gale graced our screens, Flick’s boyfriend made a return before Paige sobbed talking about her grandmother who passed away a few months earlier and ugh, I’m crying too.
Meanwhile the Villains were busy working, with Stevie getting them all on firewood duty while George quickly started working on Gerry. He pulled him aside and told him that Hayley told him to trust Gerry before Geroge spilled the tea on what was going on within the tribe, before they both offered up their allies and vowed to work together. While sweet Gerry proved to also be shrewd, knowing that he now holds the power to choose between George and Simon. And without the heroes realising, he can return to them with a new tribe of allies to bring them down. And FUCK YES, rise King Gerry.
The tribes joined JLP on a beach for the next immunity challenge where the heroes announced that they got photos from home. Which made Gerry look ready to kill. But back to the challenge, where they would race out to a boat, row it into shore and drag it up the beach before crawling under a net and tying their paddles into a pole to release a key which they would use to unlock blocks which they would then use to solve a word puzzle. While the tribes were neck and neck at the start, Shaun being a man mountain let the Heroes take the lead as he propped up the net and let the tribe breeze through. The Villains desperately tried to close the gap with once again, the puzzle proving to be the great equaliser. The Villains were first to get their letters ready while the Heroes figured out the phrase. Clearly out of their depth, the Villains vowed to just copy off the Heroes as Ben straight up signed the answer to Paige to slow them down. With the Heroes solving the puzzle a fraction ahead of the Villains.
Back at camp Simon was well and truly over the losses, while the tribe tried to rally and keep morale up. As everyone split up, Simon quickly locked in the plan to vote out George with Fraser however it was all reliant on Gerry. But given he had clearly warmed to Geroge, Simon instead tried to woo Sarah to his side. She was obviously in on the plan, telling Simon she knows he is a snake and as such, wants to get rid of him as quickly as possible. Simon took the information back to Fraser with the duo celebrating how easily it came together, as George watched on, assuming they were coming for him.
George caught up with Shiz by the well with George talking about how horribly Simon treats him and as such, he is willing to get rid of him ASAP. While George was confident they had Sarah and Gerry in their corner to make a move, Shiz both cautioned him that Sarah isn’t as loyal as he thinks and as such, suggested that maybe they should consider targeting her instead. And while Geroge was happy with the plan, he was also worried that she would push him down the stairs quicker than you can say Miss Greece. As such, George approached Gerry to let him know about the plan with Gerry quickly jumping on board. Talk turned to who would be the best person to rope in as a fifth, with them settling on Stevie, given he is another old boy. Sadly Stevie was not thrilled to blindside Sarah at first, given he is very close with Simon, though knew that getting rid of her takes him one step closer to the switch.
Stevie wisely caught up with Gerry to talk through what they should do, with Gerry reminding him that things change minute by minute and he needs to go with the flow. Stevie then approached Fraser to check if they are voting for George or Sarah, with the eavesdropping Simon wondering how Sarah became an option all of a sudden and grew all the more confused as they headed out for their date with JLP.
At tribal council Gerry spoke about how welcomed he was by his fellow Villains, while George spoke about how great it was to get a new member, particularly one that slotted right into the tribe. Shonee felt like Gerry fit in with them, given they are kind of lovely despite their love for some cheeky villanousness. George reiterated how grateful he was to have Gerry in his corner, while he was focused on making sure that the person they vote out tonight is the biggest risk to flip on the tribe post swap. As hell froze over, Simon agreed that was the wisest move while Jordie implied a tribe swap was imminent which upset JLP, given he sets the rules. While George, Simon and Jordie appeared to be on the same page, Stevie spoke about being worried about just following, rather than making the move that benefits him. Jordie spoke about voting for the shiftiest while Sarah was focused on sticking with the people she trusts. As George stared at Simon and Jordie, willing them to flip and take her out.
With that the tribe voted, George held onto his idol and once again, Simon got cold feet ahead of the vote, joining with the Shiz crew to blindside Sarah. As she arrived at Loser Lodge, Sarah quickly proved how she became a champion beauty queen, acting poised and charming as I pulled her in for a hug. I congratulated her on playing a solid game, telling her that if this had been a season of just newbies, I truly believe she would have taken it all the way and well, that was enough to cheer her up before I served up a fresh batch of piping hot Chicken and Sarah Marschkroom Baos.
There is nothing I love more than a glorious steamed bun, and this lighter chicken version is truly delicious. Sweet and earthy, it warms even the coldest of villains. And could even guarantee nobody is pushed down the stairs, or anything.
Chicken and Sarah Marschkroom Baos Serves: 4.
Ingredients 7g sachet dry yeast ¾ cup warm water 2 cups flour 1 cup cornflour 5 tbsp raw caster sugar ¼ cup vegetable oil 2 ½ tsp baking powder canola oil 5 garlic cloves, minced 1 tbsp minced ginger 2 cups shiitake mushrooms, sliced salt and pepper 500g chicken mince ⅓ cup chopped chives 1 tbsp truffle oil
Method In the large bowl of an electric mixer, dissolve the yeast into the water and let it rest until it is foamy and glorious.
While that is frothing away, sift the flour, cornflour and sugar together. When the yeast is ready, add the flour and oil.
Using a dough hook, turn the mixer on to the lowest setting and leave to knead for about 5 minutes or until a small ball is formed. Place in a large oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth and allow to prove for 2 hours.
While the dough is working on proving itself to you, get to work on the meat mixture.
Heat a lug of canola oil in a large frying pan and saute garlic and ginger for a minute or so, or until nice and fragrant. Add the mushrooms and cook for five minutes or so, or until soft. Remove from heat, season and allow to cool completely. Once chill, combine the shiitakes, mince, chives, and truffle oil in a bowl and scrunch until well combined.
After the dough has made something of itself, return it to the bowl of the mixer, add the baking powder and knead it again on the lowest setting until it is smooth again, adding water a teaspoon at a time if it looks too dry. Trust your gut here people, I did. Cover with a damp cloth and leave to rest for 15 minutes.
While resting, cut out ten 10x10cm squares of baking paper and add water to the steamer and bring to the boil.
When ready, roll the dough out into a long tube and divide into ten pieces. Flatten each piece into a 12cm diameter disc, leaving more dough towards the centre, add a good chunk of the filling and bring the dough together to close the bun at the top. Place on a square of parchment and repeat the process until all done.
Steam the buns for 12 minutes over high heat, three or four at a time depending on the size of your steamer, making sure the water does not touch the buns. Then devour, gleefully, with your fave condiments.
Previously on Canada’s Drag Race vs the World the dolls were thrown into the challenge of all challenge, Snatch Game. Now with a political edge because mother tucking Justin Treudau straight up dropped by to kiki with the girls. And while that adds absolutely nothing to the trajectory of the season, he is a zaddy so it needs to be referenced. In any event, previous Snatch winners Anita and Silky struggled while Stephanie committed the gravest sin of being forgettable. At the other end of the pack Icesis dominated as Donatella Versace – redeeming Dons on Drag Race – alongside Ra’Jah pitch perfect Big Freedia, which landed them in the top two. And after Icesis took out the lip sync she saved Down Under icon Anita and sent Stephanie packing.
Backstage Ra’Jah was gagged that Icesis sent home her Season 2 sister, while Vanity felt she was going to miss Stephanie’s energy. Anita on the other hand was just glad to survive. Ra’Jah and Icesis praised each other for turning a show, before Rita suggested that maybe everyone could take a break on eliminating Canadians for a wee bit. That led to Icesis opening up about wanting to play it fair with the eliminations and as such, saved Anita due to her track record despite her being the worst in Snatch Game. Talk turned to who Ra’Jah had been planning to eliminate and after a little Bebe-esque fake out, she admitted that she had also picked Stephanie’s lip sync, due to the fact they already gave her another chase.
The next day Vanity led the group in congratulating Icesis on her win, while Icesis shaded the US girls for not having scored a win yet. Thankfully that was quickly brushed aside as everyone told Anita she needed to stop coasting – rude – before Brad made his triumphant return to announce that for this week’s Maxi Challenge the dolls would be competing in The Weather Ball. And well, the dolls were excited. Well, some of them. Particularly Icesis, who was ready to take out another victory. First they would stomp the runway in Air Body Lace looks – aka lingerie – followed by serving Arctic Foxy Lady looks before debuting a high fashion look they made for Caught in the Rain Couture. Oh and the materials used will be thoroughly unconventional.
After Brad departed the dolls battled over a table of rainwear and fabrics before splitting up to kiki. Victoria was nervous about things given she has never done a design challenge, while Icesis was con-fi-dent given she won two of the three design challenges in Season 2. Ra’Jah was nervous given she has such a reputation as a seamstress, while Vanity was busy looking for redemption for her flop outfit. And well, now she can sew. Silky was very confident, emphasis on was, given she discovered she had left her patterns at home. Anita too was ready for her redemption after being sent home on a design challenge, while Rita was hoping to be as successful as she was in design challenges rather than how she bombed the ball.
Brad returned to kiki with the girls, with Icesis going with a look serving a fish caught in a net. Silky was confident in her hip hop concept though TBH, should probably focus on cashing the literal cheque she had lying around in her notebook. Anita was going with an asymmetrical blue look with yellow raincoat embellishments, which immediately made Brad talk her out of it. Ra’Jah was going with an architectural rain gown, Rita was going with golden 80s drama, Vanity planned to give ruffles and rain while Victoria was going high concept with the dew hitting an English rose in the morning. Which is just, chef’s kiss.
The dolls got to work applying Brad’s advice, which felt weird to Rita given she can normally rely on designers to do it for her now that she is successful. Icesis meanwhile was busy checking in with Silky to see who she thought would be in the bottom, with Silk mainly concerned about the number of bodysuits floating around the room. Victoria meanwhile was worried about Vanity looking like an ice skater, as Silky got to wandering around the room questioning why everyone was using the same blue fabric. She then checked in with Anita, advising her to take a few moments off the look to make it less circus and more fashion.
Elimination Day arrived with the dolls beating the mugs as Vanity shared how proud she is to have actually sewed an outfit. Anita meanwhile got messy, asking if anyone has actually watched Down Under with Ra’Jah essentially admitting to have only watched Vanity and Victoria’s seasons and nobody else’s. Which is hilarious and iconic, but also super sweet in the end, given she opened up about rooting for Vanity given she saw a lot of herself in Season 11 in Vanity throughout the competition and it made her want to protect her.
Brooke and Brad were joined by Hollywood Jade and the iconic Jeanne Beker as Vanity opened the Air Body Lace runway looking like a Victoria’s Secret glamazon, from Smurfville. In the best way possible. Icesis was glorious in a seductive grape number before Victoria debuted her Drag King persona Victor Stone giving full Fabio and ugh, I’m wet. Ra’Jah meanwhile served sexy Cruella, Rita gave old Hollywood glam before Silky slayed in a canary yellow curtained number and Anita gave blue and white with her tits out.
When it came to the Arctic Foxy Lady runway, Vanity gave the sexiest ski movie villainess, Icesis was stunning in a high fashion snow woman look before Victoria gave an angry snow queen. Ra’Jah gave sexy diva in fur, Rita served old dame skiing in the 1920s, Silky was all drama as the deity of snow before Anita closed the show looking gorgeous in a shimmering white gown. Vanity’s Caught in the Rain Couture look was kind of a mess before Icesis was perfection as a suffocating sea monster. Victoria’s rose look was perfect from start to finish, Ra’Jah’s dress was polished and creative, Rita looked like the upcycled version of Baga’s brillo dress, Silky slayed as a hip hop Cheetah girl, on her way to the club, before Anita served her stormy look.
Icesis and Ra’Jah were sent to safety – when they should have won, but whatever – before Vanity was praised for serving perfection in the first two categories, though her design look was read for being a mess. Victoria received universal praise for each and every look, with the judges agreeing her Fabio look was far and away the best of the night. Rita was praised for her performances on the runway, though read for not padding enough for the looks or taking things where they needed to go. Silky too received universal praise for each and every look and well, condragulations Silky and Victoria. Silky opened up about particularly needing to hear the love from the judges since she didn’t feel beautiful today. Anita meanwhile was read for her first look though praised for slaying the middle category and doing a solid job on the third look. Despite not serving couture.
Obviously it was Silky and Victoria that landed in the top before Vanity was sent to safety, leaving Rita and Anita up for elimination. Backstage Silky and Victoria were feeling their oats, while Ra’Jah and Icesis admitted that both of them felt like they kinda, sorta should have been in the top. Rita praised Victoria for debuting a Drag King look before Icesis checked in with the bottoms. Rita admitted she isn’t surprised by any of her critiques, though was sad to be in the bottom with her bestie. Anita meanwhile was proud of what she pulled together, though was surprised she was in the bottom rather than Vanity.
Before a fight could erupt, Victoria caught up with Rita who reminded her of how strong her track record has been thus far, which kind of made Victoria question whether she should take out her competition. Silky meanwhile made sure Anita was ok though was worried she wasn’t taking in what the judges told her, which made Anita realise Victoria is her only hope of survival. The safe girls were busy speculating who would be going home, with everyone agreeing it should be Anita though if the dolls were going to be shady, who knows. Anita broke down as she spoke to Victoria about how proud of herself she is and that she wants to fight, while Rita straight up told Silky that should she look out for her this week, she will have her back should the tables be turned. Which she iconically took her up on, given duh, alliances are great.
After Victoria and Silky selected their lipsticks – guaranteed to rhyme with Peter as Victoria pointed out, which made me laugh more than it should have – they headed to the mainstage to battle for the cash tip and the chance to eliminate their sister. As soon as Deborah Cox’s Nobody’s Supposed to be Here kicked off – heck, before for Silk – both of the dolls swung for the fences. They gave all the attitude and emotion, hit every lyric and thankfully, didn’t tear any ACL’s. It was clearly Silky’s show though, giving gospel does flag twirling and ugh, it was perfection. The only thing I wasn’t vibing though, was her tragically eliminating our homegrown hero – because we steal all good Kiwis, duh – Anita from the competition.
As is oft the case, Anita followed the sound of my guttural screams backstage and quickly pulled me in for a hug and assured me that she is ok with her exit. Despite not getting the star moment she deserved – outside of being the only good person in the reading challenge – I reminded her that her perennially delightful personality and charm always shone through, so I am glad the world got to see it. Plus, now she has the added bonus of an underdog storyline for Down Under All Stars which was enough to perk her up alongside my Anita Pike’lits, of course.
Yes, yes – pikelets are nothing more than baby pancakes, but they honestly do taste different. It may be the change in ratio or the fact I feel you can get away with popping more toppings on them, but these little delights are perfect for any occasion.
Anita Pike’lit Serves: 4-6.
Ingredients ¾ cup milk 1 egg 1 cup flour 2 tsp baking powder 1 tbsp caster sugar ¼ tsp kosher salt butter, honey, jam and/or whipped cream, to serve
Method Whisk the milk and egg in a jug, and the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a bowl. Create a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and whisk in the wet ingredients until it forms a smooth batter. Cover and leave to rest for about five minutes or so.
When you’re ready to party, heat a small knob of butter in a fry pan over medium heat. Once hot and foamy, drop 2 tablespoon sized dollops of the batter into the pan. Cook until bubbles appear on the surface, pop and form craters (about a minute) and then flip and cook for a further minute. Repeat the process until done.
Devour with your favourite condiments, which in my opinion should differ based on the occasion; butter and honey for a brunch treat, while go with jam and cream for morning tea or lunch. The important thing is to enjoy them.
Previously on Survivor Baka finally got in on the excitement of bead idol-palooza as Jeanine stumbled across an ant covered note. She immediately looped in Elie and went to their allies to convince them to hand over their beads, while Sami waited until after the idol was powered to tell Gabler just what he had done. After Coco lost their second immunity challenge, Jeanine, Jesse and Geo were selected to go to Journey Island where they all risked their votes before Geo jagged the advantage. And Jeanine popped a bigger target on her back as Sami wondered why she would risk it when she already had an idol. When it came to Coco, it came down to Cassidy and Geo as the targets, and while Ryan thought he was valiantly pretending to be the one to go out, he was blindsided by the departure of his only ally Geo.
The next day Coco discovered treemail announcing the (non-)merge, offering them ten minutes to pack their things and get on a boat to leave camp. While everyone was feeling thrilled to have made it to the next phase, Karla wisley knew that Jeffrey would have some sort of shenanigans to officially make it to the merge and as such, was tempering her expectations. Over at Vesi, Jesse was ready to prove himself while Baka just got to stay at their camp, waiting to greet the other tribes and all their spoils. And while everyone was excited to meet new people, Cody knew it was about to descend into chaos and as such, wasn’t that happy to have new friends.
As everyone got together to kiki and get to know people, Noelle was nervous about the fact they don’t have buffs nor a feast. Because duh, that is the go now, listen to Karla! Owen meanwhile was concerned about all the potential advantages floating around their new mega-tribe. Noelle meanwhile dropped by Elie and Sami to talk about how wild Cody is, sharing an anecdote about him making a hat for tribal council, which did nothing more than announce that Cody is the one that owns the Vesi idol. A little fact Elie quickly took back to Jeanine.
Jeff made an early appearance to announce that once again they need to earn their place on the merge tribe, though this time, there would be no stupid hourglass of doom. The group would be split into two teams for the first opportunity to merge, racing to release a sled buried by sandbags and then drag it through obstacles to collect large blocks. They would then build a staircase to release a key, then climb up a platform, release puzzle pieces and then solve a word puzzle. With the winners officially part of the merge while the losers have to survive the upcoming vote to get there. And given there are 13 people left, someone would land in the middle and be given the chance to bet on the winner and if they were right, they would also be immune and get to partake in the merge feast with them.
Ultimately Noelle landed in the middle, opting to believe in the blue team, made up of Gabler, Karla, Jeanine, Ryan, Jesse and Dwight. Which seemed like a great choice, given they got out to the earliest of leads. Not to be outdone, the red team picked up the pace and overtook them while collecting their blocks. Things got worse for the blue team and Noelle as Karla crushed her hand on a block and started to bleed profusely as she tried to finish out the challenge. As the red team extended their lead and started to work on the word puzzle, the blue team worked together to get the bleeding Karla up the wall. And then completely dominated the puzzle, narrowly taking out immunity just ahead of the red team and proving Noelle was wise to back them. And hopefully Karla would soon get a bandaid.
Back at camp the losing team were heartbroken to be potentially going home tonight, with Elie in particular breaking down about bombing the puzzle. She rallied though and caught up with Owen, suggesting they lie to OG Coco and tell them that Cody is the target, and then split the vote on Cassidy and James, continuing to get rid of Coco. Elie quickly locked in Cassidy and James and while she thought they had bought it all, James felt she was being a little suss and as such, thought she could be the better option.
Meanwhile the victors and Noelle were busy smashing their feast and downing beers, before Karla floated the question of what they should do at tribal council. Ryan immediately suggested they could just lock it in as the final 7 at this point, which obviously annoyed Jeanine, who wanted to stick with her allies. The group pivoted, instead talking about who they wanted to protect with everyone trying to save their OG tribes. Except for Gabler, who admitted that she does not care for Elie and outed her for going through her bag. Which made Jeanine even more furious.
The two groups came together and filled each other in on the plans, with Elie throwing Cassidy under the bus for floating Cody, which was actually her plan. As they caught up with Dwight and Jeanine, the duo filled Elie in on the fact Gabler is coming for her which made her just as furious as Jeanine. Elie obviously went to confront Gabler, denying the fact she looked through his bag, though try as she might, he had no interest in listening. She cut her losses and instead went to confront Sami and Owen for outing her with Gabler and while they both denied it, they also offered to help clear her name. Well, until she was gone, when Sami decided that Elie was too dangerous to last another day.
Gabler then caught up with Jeanine and while she was just as angry, she calmly suggested they talk to Owen and Sami to try and reiterate the importance of staying Baka strong. With Sami eventually getting through to Gabler after Jeanine left, when he reminded him that Jeanine has an idol and as such, could save Elie and screw one of Owen or Sami if he doesn’t pull his head in. Vesi and Coco meanwhile were busy catching up, locking in Elie as the biggest threat. And after Ryan straight up told James and Cassidy that they were Elie’s actual target, it looked like everyone would be coming together to get rid of Elie.
At tribal council the soon to be merged tribe took their seats before Gabler spoke about the chaos of the day, failing to mention the fact that he was the one that kicked it off. Cody agreed that it was overwhelming, while Sami spoke about how nerve wracking it is to be one of the few options to go home within the broader group. Cassidy and Owen were nervous and unsure who to trust, while Jeanine said it was hard to even try and fathom what everyone else’s priorities were. Elie opened up about the fact her name was put out amongst the tribe while Karla spoke about the fact that there are a large number of potential advantages and as such, there is even more they have to worry about navigating. Sami mentioned how difficult a position it can be if you know about an advantage, given there are pros and cons to keeping your mouth shut, while everyone agreed that paranoia – about everything – is the most difficult thing to deal with.
With that the tribe voted and despite the chaotic afternoon pre-tribal, the final plan appeared to be solid as Vesi, Coco and Gabler banded together to boot Elie from the game. While Probst officially welcomed the other five castaways to the merged tribe.
Elie was obviously super disappointed as she arrived at Loser Lodge, particularly given she had only just been talking up how well she had been playing the game. Which I calmly explained is exactly what happens and to not let her down, particularly given she is a lock for a second chances season (sorry Lindsay) given she had an iconic feud with Gabler which cost her her game. Which proved enough to cheer her up as we plotted her second go over some fresh Cherry Eliespresso Biscotti.
While sometimes I worry that they will chip my teeth as I get older, there is nothing better than biscotti. Light and crunchy, these numbers pack a glorious punch of coffee alongside the chewiness of the cherries to create the ultimate textural sensation.
Cherry Eliespresso Biscotti Serves: 4.
Ingredients ¼ cup espresso powder 2 tbsp vanilla extract 2 ½ cups flour 1 cup raw caster sugar 2 tsp baking powder ¼ tsp kosher salt 3 eggs, lightly beaten ¾ cup walnuts, roughly chopped ¾ cup dried cherries
Method Preheat the oven to 180C.
Combine the espresso powder and vanilla in a bowl and whisk to combine. In another bowl, whisk the flour, raw caster sugar, baking powder and salt. Finally, beat the eggs and espresso-vanilla mixture in a stand mixer until thick and golden. Fold through the dry ingredients, walnuts and cherries, and beat until just combined.
Split the dough in half and form into two small, flat loaves. Pop on a lined baking sheet and bake for 20-30 minutes, or until just cooked through. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for half an hour.
Using a serrated knife, slice each loaf into 4mm thick biscuits and place on a lined baking sheet. Once the biscotti are shaped, return to the oven to bake for a further 15 minutes, or until perfectly crisped. Remove from the oven and let it cool completely. Then, devour.