Previously on Drag Race España the dolls starred in a rusical which obviously lasted a full 15 minutes, because this is Spain. Pink Chadora and Clover Bish were a solid duo of Dorothy’s in the club scene take on The Wizard of Oz, though once again it was Pitita that shined amongst the trio of friends. At the expense of the others. Visa in particular, who was also read for her runway while Clover was read for blending in despite being the lead. Further cementing her place as the frontrunner, Pititia took out her third win, enraging Visa who felt she was being favoured. Her mood definitely didn’t improve when she landed in the bottom opposite Clover – who is experiencing the opposite of favouritism – who promptly sent her home.
Backstage Clover was fondly remembering Visa and her potty mouth. After reading her mirror message the dolls all spoke about their love for Visa, while Clover was glad they could turn a show for them in the lip sync. Pitita on the other hand, wasn’t so sad, given Visa read her in Untucked. Thankfully though, that was only in a confessional because the mirror lit up revealing each of the eliminated queens. The top seven were gagged, taking their places around the table to kiki as the six eliminated queens sashayed back into the Werk Room one by one and while they all looked an-gry and Visa straight up threatened revenge, I’m hoping they are all lovely and supportive.
The next day the reunited cast returned to the Werk Room with everyone as kind and excited as I hoped, as everyone welcomed them back. Well until Visa jumped in, assuring the dolls she has more to show and that she is ready to fight. She then caught everyone up on the fact she read Pitita for being favoured by the judges given she can’t lip sync and they don’t want her eliminated. And while she was looking for a fight, Pitita was confident in her skills and was rather unbothered by the entire thing and well, I love the drama but was glad when Supremme dropped by and put an end to things. She welcomed back her fallen daughters explaining that for a chance to return to the competition, they would be paired with a surviving queen to perform a comedy set with the one in the winning duo returning to the competition. Oh and to really up the stakes, she shared that two of the surviving queens would be going home in a threeway lip sync.
The eliminated queens were called forward to select partners with Visa opting for Pitita – for reasons beyond my comprehension if she wants back in, but whatever – The Macarena selected Pink, Kelly went with Vania, Chanel locked in with Hornella, Chuchi picked Bestiah while Maria partnered up with Pakita. Leaving poor Clover in the cursed spot of being the solo host, who generally ends up in the bottom in the US seasons. But as she rides solo, if she wins, she alone can decide who makes a triumphant return to the contest.
As they split up to work on their set, Visa admitted she chose Pitita to clear the air and become friends. But mainly since they have drama, it should make for an exciting watch for the judges. And if she is favoured, that should help her. Though when clearing the air, Pitita carefully worded her apology, meaning Visa wasn’t thrilled by it and well, the feud lives, sadly. After 10 minutes of fighting that ended with them agreeing to use the rage, we checked in with Bestiah and Chuchi and while the former was disappointed to be paired with her, they were super zen and focused. Well, until Clover dropped by to kiki, no doubt sick of being lonely. The dolls told her that they hoped that since nobody expects them to excel at comedy, that surprising them is all it should take to survive.
The Macarena and Pink were glad to already be comfortable reading each other, while Hornella felt that as a duo, they were a ticking time bomb. Hornella and Chanel meanwhile were trying to make the best of things, though Chanel admitted to being the gift Hornella didn’t really want. Oh and then Clover dropped by to needle them for information, and I love that vibe for her. Vania and Kelly meanwhile were dirty and giggling and ugh, just seeing their chemistry you know they are the ones to beat. Once again begging the question, why did Visa and The Macarena pick people they didn’t vibe with? Oh and Pakita and Maria were drama-free sweethearts and I only want good things for them.
Dia de eliminacion arrived with the dolls talking about how they are handling the pressure as they beat their mugs, with Pitita once again getting attacked, this time by Pink Chadora, who decided she also helped her and as such, Pitita needed to learn to thank others and credit them on the runway. Clover being an icon, ran to the drama to see it all unfold and ideally, use it to fuel her set. The Macarena joined in on the pile up with Pink calling Pitita her external saboteur and well, isn’t continuing to fight with her keeping her in her mind and as such, weakening you for the challenge ahead? But whatever.
Supremme, Ana y los Javis were joined on the panel by Eva Soriano as Clover stomped onto stage to open the Reinas de la Comedia show with charm and energy. Maria started with an awkward little song before Pakita popped out of her dress like a baby and while I thought it made zero sense because of the language barrier, the judges also looked pretty confused, rather than amused. Clover was cute as she read her sisters before Bestiah and Chuchi did a solid performance as influencer mean girls, reading for filth and shocking the judges and their sisters equally.
Each break Clover went from strength to strength, reading Hornella and Chanel before the dolls were cute with their kiddy schtick. Sorry, vicious kiddy schtick. Vania and Kelly meanwhile were perfection from start to finish giving dirty, gossiping housewives that had the energy of Detox and Tatianna, which is a smart choice on their part. Most importantly, they had everyone in stitches from start to finish. The Macarena y Pink Chadora had some strong reads, though kinda felt like they forgot about the challenge half way through and just started to yell at each other and let’s just say, everyone was awkward. Pitita and Visa closed the show and while they started strong, it derailed quickly and while they thought the fake out fight and storm out was cute, Pitita girl, you are in danger. So thankfully Clover closed the show strongly.
On the Peluca Palooza runway, Pink looked devilishly good in red. Ironically. Pitita gave pink Diana Ross realness and was absolute perfection, Bestiah looked like Club Kid Sulley, though stacked it and bled through what should have been a triumphant walk. Vania gave plait, plait, plait and looked camp and fun in equal measure. Hornella meanwhile gave full glam and full bush and damn, she really is overdue for a win because she hasn’t really faltered. Oh and Clover was lovely in lilac serving bearded anime icon while Pakita was drowning in all my hair that is stuck in the drain.
The judges felt Pakita’s look was creative and different from what her sisters offered, however felt the comedy was not great. Bestiah was praised for playing to their strengths and selling their chemistry, and for looking stunning on the runway, despite the blood stains. Hornella was read for not maintaining the momentum of their solid start in the performance, though the judges agreed she was perfect on the runway. Vania and Kelly received universal praise for all that they did, maintaining the laughs from start to finish and for looking stunning on the runway. Pink meanwhile was read for having no chemistry or jokes, despite a beautiful runway while Pitita too was read for giving such an awkward performance. While they obviously loved her runway. Clover on the other hand received universal praise and ugh, I am so proud of her and glad that she got the chance to shine.
Backstage The Macarena felt bad about bringing Pink down in the challenge, while Visa was shocked that she and Pitita didn’t shine. Which the latter felt was a deliberate attack against her. Pakita meanwhile thought she was definitely in danger, though admitted she just hoped Maria enjoyed herself, before the dolls congratulated Clover on a solid MC gig and for finally snatching her moment.
Ultimately Clover was sent to safety – robbed – before Vania and Kelly were deemed the winners of this week’s challenge, seeing zaddy Kelly skate her way right back into the competition like a damn icon. Pink learnt that she was one of the dolls lip syncing tonight before Hornella and Bestiah were sent to safety, leaving Pakita and Pitita to face off against Pink. And given Pakita was up against the two front runners, it was obvious she would be going home.
As soon as she sashayed away, I pulled her aside and pulled her in for a massive hug; grateful for not just being a stunning, sweet soul but also a sickening performer who truly belonged at the end of the competition. But alas, Drag Race producers love to both gag and goop in equal measure, and as such, we were robbed of her being a finalist. And instead, had to celebrate the only way I know, a gloriously rich pasta dish like Bakitad Orzo and Meatballs.
Not only is this dish gloriously comforting and delicious, but given that it is baked, it is super easy. Which as I get older, definitely becomes a priority. Sweet, rich and a little spicy, it is the perfect dish for the middle of the week or a glorious weekend meal.
Bakitad Orzo and Meatballs Serves: 4.
Ingredients 2 tbsp butter, melted 2 tbsp olive oil 6 garlic cloves, minced kosher salt and pepper, to taste 2 tbsp tomato paste 400g tin diced tomatoes 2 ½ cups chicken stock 500g orzo 500g beef mince 250g pork mince 1 egg, beaten ½ cup panko bread crumbs ¼ cup fresh basil, roughly chopped ¼ cup flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped 1 tsp chilli flakes ½ tsp oregano ¼ tsp thyme ¼ tsp rosemary 3 cups spinach ½ cup parmesan cheese
Method Preheat the oven to 180C.
Combine the butter, oil, ½ of the grated garlic, ½ teaspoon of kosher salt, a good whack of pepper, tomato paste, diced tomatoes, 1 cup of the chicken stock and orzo in a casserole dish, stirring well. Cover with some foil and bake for 20 minutes.
While that gets juicy, combine the minces, egg, bread crumbs, half of the basil, the remaining garlic, two teaspoons salt, chilli, oregano, thyme and rosemary in a large bowl. Once well combined, form into golf-ball sized balls and leave to rest on a plate.
Remove the orzo and stir through the remaining stock, basil, parsley and the spinach and parmesan, before dotting the balls on the top. Return to the oven to back for a further 20 minutes, or until cooked through
Serve immediately with some parmesan and fresh herbs, devouring like an icon.
Previously on Drag Race España the dolls threw a little ball, and by little, you know it was a mammoth undertaking which nearly broke all of our sweet icons. Dedicated to los Colores, Sabores and Regiones of Spain. The latter being one that needed to be prepared in the Werk Room, where the dolls would do a modern take on their traditional dress. Poor Chanel lacked cohesion, Kelly lacked polish and Clover was apparently sloppy – Liza Minelli, lies – while Pakita and Pitita slayed each and every category, with the latter ultimately scoring her first win of the season. Thankfully the judges came to their senses when it counted, saving Clover and leaving Kelly and Chanel to lip sync for their safety. With our skating queen slaying her fellow zaddy Chanel, who sashayed away to await a chance to return.
Backstage the dolls toasted Chanel’s run, while Kelly was obviously thrilled to have done enough to save herself and more focused on that. The Macarena was obviously thrilled to be continuing to extend her record, before everyone praised Pitita for dominating the ball. Well, except for Pakita, who just wanted to bring her down next week, given she felt – rightly – she was just as good as Pitita in the ball.
The next day the dolls were already un poco cansado from the competition, but assured each other they were primed and ready to fight. Talk turned to fact they were expecting an acting challenge right about now, which obviously summoned Supremme quicker than you could say Candyman three times. She promptly wheeled out the zaddy Pit Crew – seriously, Espana, thank you – with all the dolls having to pop a balloon against the zaddies bodies to decide on teams for the as yet unconfirmed challenge.
Macarena rimmed her way to team blue, Bestiah but to but her way to yellow, Vania fucked her way to pink, as did Kelly before Pink went crotch to crotch for pink, which is fitting. Pitita fisted to yellow, Pakita got zaddy to bite her balloon on her way to yellow, Hornella got back to fucking – God does want that, after all – on the way to pink before Clover pegged her way to blue. And then Visa pounded over to blue too. Supremme then announced that the three groups would each star in a short horror film with Team Rosa getting El Guarranato, Drag Rec would star team yellow, and blue would perform in Las Otras.
After Supremme and the Pit Crew disappeared the groups split up to work through their scenes with Team Rosa thrilled by theirs, feeling like the parts were almost written for them. So instead they turned their attention to talking smack about their sisters. Despite feeling like Pitita would do a bad job – given she wouldn’t be able to look glam – Pitita and Co were confident in their lines and ready to stay on top. Given the trio currently have the best track records. Macarena, Clover and Visa meanwhile were just vibing, giggling at their script and calmly dividing up the roles.
Team El Guarranato were first to film with Supremme and Paco Plaza where Kelly struggled to find her character. Pink was obviously a camp delight, Vania was a giddy little pig while Hornella played mad scientist to perfection. With an out of control moustache only adding to her performance. Team Las Otras were committed and fun, despite not really performing to the correct cameras. Oh and shout out to Maria Edilla who gave a star turn in a cameo performance. Rounding out filming, Team Drag Rec were hopefully getting the fake out edit as while they got the most direction and rattlesnakes, they appeared to be the most cohesive and funny to me
Dia de eliminacion arrived with everyone ready to throw down, shading each other’s scene while pumping themselves up. Eventually they parked their feuds to go beat their mugs as Kelly told Bestiah about how people have jerked off while watching her perform. Hornella, Pakita and Clover joined the conversation, opening up about how traumatic it is to be blatantly objectified while working and how scared it makes them feel to not even be able to go about their jobs without being made to feel uncomfortable. Visa and Pitita meanwhile were bonding over their families, with Patita gagged by her life, learning that Visa’s abusive father died a month after being in an explosion at home. And how she has tried to work through the trauma of grieving someone she may not have really liked.
Because obviously España is going to give us emotion.
Supremme, Ana y los Javis were joined by Paco Plaza on the judges table as the dolls stomped the Mi Peor Yo runway with Vania serving sexy purple spider queen. Kelly Roller was a black and gold roller girl, Hornella was a locked up glamazon, complete with rose reveal worthy of Sasha Velour while Pink Chadora served messed up Virgin Mary realness. The Macarena gave redemption to her first runway, complete with a snatched wig for the drama. Clover slayed with a stunning afro look which speaks to me on a deep level, given I am a curly icon and feel the ode to styling. Visa was then literally fire as a demon doll before she set herself aflame in honour of her dad’s tragic accident. Pitita meanwhile served full gothic glamour in honour of Max – black and white forever – Bestiah was a demented delight spewing up a bloody head before Pakita closed the show with a gorgeous Barbie look before she removed her wig to serve all the drama.
When it came to the films, El Guarranato was super creepy with all the dolls and clowns in the opening. And while Kelly had herself in hysterics, she wasn’t exactly great. Pink and Vania on the other hand definitely were giving camp silliness at the right level. Though it was Hornella who ultimately ended up stealing the scene, giving passion, drama and comedy in equal measure. Drag Rec meanwhile proved my suspicions correct as the trio of Bestiah, Pitita and Pakita stayed on top, giving us everything and more and making for an actually enjoyable scene. In Drag Race. Which, yeah, is impressive. While Las Otras – the only reference I actually know, tragically – was silly and camp in all the right ways, despite it making absolutely no sense whatsoever.
After the judges praised everyone for doing well, they promptly sent Vania, Hornella, Pink and Bestiah to safety. Kelly was praised for being a delight on set and though read for playing the straight role in the scene as a bit too straight. And for giving a pedestrian look on the runway. The Macarena received wall to wall praise for her performance in the scene and for leaning into her past failures to serve a killer runway. Clover meanwhile was read for slipping in and out of character, though praised for a stunning runway. Visa was praised for the humanity she brought to the runway, despite being lost in the scene. Pitita, obviously, received universal praise for all that he did, from giving AMC’s own Nicole Kidman in the scene and giving a stunning cigar on the runway. And Pakita will make a very deserving runner-up, again, beloved but just a little less than Pitita.
Backstage the safe girls were busy celebrating, none more so than Bestiah who was sure she was going to bomb the challenge. They all agreed that any of the tops could take out the win, though were very concerned about how Kelly would avoid elimination once again. Speaking of the other dolls, volven backstage with Kelly admitting she will totally be in the bottom, but was simply hopeful it wasn’t against Clover who would clearly win. Pakita admitted the win is down to her and Pitita, who was shocked by how much they loved her. Being a humble queen, she praised The Macarena for her star moment, who admitted that it was nice to get praise, finally, after five episodes over two seasons. While Cloved was fired up and oh god, for Kelly’s zaddy sake, I hope it is Visa in the bottom with her instead. Because you know Clover will absolutely demolish.
Ultimately Pitita took out her second win of the season, sending Pakita and The Macarena to safety alongside her. At the other end of the pack, it was Visa that narrowly avoided lip syncing. And as predicted by both myself and Kelly, Clover came to play. As soon as Ay Mama by Rigoberta Bandini began she was right in the pocket. She gave emotion, drama and skin, and despite a sore ankle, used literally every corner of the stage as she fed us. Kelly meanwhile was not to be counted out, proving why she is an absolute legend as she skated her way across the stage once again. Tragically for her, it wasn’t enough as Clover was sent to safety leaving Kelly to roll out of the competition. Well, until a cameo or the return challenge, that is.
As she hot wheeled into the Werk Room, I pulled her in for a massive hug – or as massive as it could be around her broad, strapping shoulders – and assured her that she was robbed. Though I pointed out that out of the dolls eliminated thus far, I feel like she has the best shot of making a triumphant return. Full disclosure though, I was also thinking with my peen. It was enough to cheer her up however, so we quickly pivoted to kikiing and coming up with a gameplay as to how she can win the crown as a returning queen. Aka Chris Underwood-ing it. And while I don’t want to toot my own horn, I feel Kelly Rissoller play a critical role.
Emphasis on toot, given these babies are packed full of beans, filling the rissoles with a delightful earthy flavour that pairs perfectly with the tang of onion and the kick of chilli. Aka, a perfect trinity.
Kelly Rissoller Serves: 4-6.
Ingredients 400g can black beans, drained 500g beef mince 5 garlic cloves, minced 2 tbsp hot chilli sauce ½ cup breadcrumbs 1 onion, diced 1 tsp cumin ½ tsp ground coriander seeds 1 egg, whisked kosher salt and pepper, to taste
Method Pop the black beans in a bowl and gently mash them so you have a combination of whole and split beans. Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl and scrunch to combine using your hands. Divide into 12 small patties, place on a lined plate, cover and pop in the fridge to set for half an hour.
When you’re ready to go, pop a skillet over medium heat and once nice and hot, brush with some oil and add the patties – four at a time – and cook for 5 minutes. Flip and cook for a further few minutes, or until nice browned and cooked through.
Serve immediately with salad and salsa, or my fave, mash. Either way, devour.
Previously on Australian Survivor we witnessed a tribal council so epic, I don’t even understand how we attack recapping it. Before we got to that point, Gerry survived his 48 hours at the Villains tribe before opting to return to the Heroes, despite not really vibing with them. The Villains then went on to lose another immunity challenge with Simon locking in the numbers to get rid of George as soon as they returned to camp. Sadly for him, Jordie was ready to make a move on Simon and get rid of him and his attitude, given it was way too toxic for most of the tribe. While everything looked set to send Simon out of the game with an (alleged) idol in his pocket, JLP surprised everyone with an individual immunity challenge at tribal council, which Simon promptly won. With his back against the wall, George blew everything up, telling Simon that Jordie had betrayed him and told everyone about his idol, while he would be playing his idol for himself. He then fractured Simon and Stevie’s bond, begging Simon to save sweet Stevie by playing his idol for him, and after breaking Stevie’s heart by refusing, the Spice Girls gagged the tribe by voting out Fraser instead.
The next day things were, how do you say, tense? Except for Stevie and Shiz, as he pulled the girls aside to share how grateful he is to them for saving him as he broke down in tears and ugh, it was beautiful. And what a full circle moment, since Shonee blindsided him their first season and he spent the first week hungry for revenge.
Everyone came back together, hanging out in silence before Simon felt slapping Jordie over the back of the head was the best way to de-escalate the tension. Jordie once again proved to be mature, biting his tongue before Simon finally asked him to talk and then promptly berated Jordie for making the choices he made. While all Jordie knew was that he was absolutely screwed, though given he has Alex’s sister/Jay’s ex Sam Frost waiting for him at home, pregnant with their first child he has all the motivation he needs to dig deep and embrace the chaos. As such, Jordie caught up with Shiz by the well to bond over the trauma of tribal council while Shonee admitted that they need to work together because she actually trusts him.
Oh and then our Queen straight up pocketed a hidden immunity idol without a note or anyone noticing, despite it being right in front of all of them.
We did a check in with the Heroes where the tribe was so zen, they were straight up playing cricket and living their best lives. Gerry however wasn’t loving it, admitting that he only came back to the tribe for Sharni given they are so tight, however he knows he feels better among the Villains. The tribe caught up to grill him and while they were trying to be chill, Paige grew pretty tense in her line of questioning and as such, Gerry let slip that while he is with them, if they cross him, he will fight back. He then called out Sam for his stupid comment at tribal before Benjamin asked him why he voted for him, with Gerry pointing out he has a silver tongue. Which led to Ben asking him what, if anything, he told the Villains with Gerry iconically pointing out he didn’t really need to say anything, given the Villains cantell the alphas are on the top.
Benjamin admitted that he was grateful for Gerry pointing it out, given it clarified a few things in his head and ideally some others. Since he knows he is on the bottom, and wants to get himself into a better position. As he was whipping up food for the tribe, he found the Heroes version of Simon’s non-idol and while he was smart enough to realise that without a note, he has nothing, he viewed it as a clue and got to work hunting. All around the coconut hidden near their well. And damn, please find it my King – I need mum and dad to both jag idols in the one episode.
The tribes joined Jonathan in the jungle for the latest immunity challenge where Simon and George aired their dirty laundry for the Heroes. After George finished things by letting them know Simon still has an idol, JLP announced that in pairs the tribes would hold three blocks off the ground between their feet with the last tribe to have a block elevated taking out the win. So yeah, congrats Villains, Shonee has you! But if you want to talk about the challenge, David and Sam, Sharni and Paige and Ben and Gerry held up the blocks for the Heroes, while Jordie and Simon were paired, as were George and Stevie while Shiz were clearly poised to be the winning pair.
Nearly instantly Gerry dropped out for the Heroes while Simon fought back tears as he dropped after ten minutes. George and Stevie soon followed, leaving Shiz to fight for their safety while the Heroes had two pairs going strong. And by strong, not really as Sam dropped leaving Sharni and Paige to fight for the Heroes. After an hour Paige developed a cramp and started to hold back tears as Shonee calmly told Liz to keep it together. JLP noticed our Queen was holding firm, asking how she went last time she did this challenge with Shonee pointing out she did two hours and she could easily do it again. Not that she needed to, as Sharni and Paige dropped after an hour as Liz told the Heroes they have plenty of excess meat they can cut off. Before she and Shonee held the idol arm in arm and skipped out of the jungle.
While in contrast, Paige bitterly whispered to anyone that would listen about it being Sharni that dropped the block, not her. And who cares, you lost?
Back at camp Flick tried to lift everyone’s spirits, congratulating them on fighting so hard while Sharni agreed that when pain comes into it, it is all mental. Everyone split up to start scrambling, with Paige’s approach being to burst into tears to Nina, Flick and Hayley. And while they all tried to make her feel better, they also didn’t care who dropped the block, just that they were going to tribal council. The meat heads meanwhile quickly locked in the vote for the only queer, minority male on the tribe with Sam pretending it is because he is shifty. Which, ugh. They then loudly – and TBH, aggressively – pulled Gerry over, with Sam essentially telling him that he has to vote with them given he is close to the bottom. They locked in Sharni too, though warned her Gerry could be collateral damage should Ben play an idol. While they looped in the rest of the girls on the plan, Sam was shockingly astute enough to be nervous that said plan could easily fall apart.
Hayley caught up with Shaun only to be interrupted by Ben and while they pretended they were keen to get rid of Gerry, Ben knew he was in trouble and got back to hunting. Before finally, FINALLY, jagged the legit hidden immunity idol. And just like that, I can breathe. Sadly for him, it was all caught by Matt. Who immediately took the information back to Sam. Which, eyeroll. The duo then went person to person, telling them this means they should stick to the plan. Sadly when the information got back to Sharni, she only just learnt that it was a confirmed split vote on Gerry and as such, was not on board. Knowing he didn’t exactly want to burn the idol too soon, Ben caught up with Paige, who once again accused Sharni of throwing the immunity challenge. And as such, Ben had some leverage he felt he could use that night.
At tribal council Paige continued to push the narrative that she didn’t drop the block as Sharni started to straight up shoot her daggers while Flick cautioned Paige to hold her tongue. While Sharni calmly spoke about being super comfortable in the challenge, she then pointed out that Paige is playing a blame game when they should have celebrated the fact they made it an hour. While Paige denied blaming Sharni, Ben spoke up and called Paige on her lie and that she straight up accused Sharni of throwing the challenge. When she once again denied it, Ben got up to talk to the returnee females to tell them Paige was right and that they should change the vote from him to Sharni instead. He then flagged it with Shaun, while Sharni spoke about her disappointment about how things are blowing up on her.
Gerry spoke about feeling like he hasn’t had much luck with the Heroes, while Sharni spoke about the fact she has been nothing but honest with everyone and has been upfront about the fact she won’t write Gerry’s name down. Benjamin then pointed out that it is important that honesty and loyalty doesn’t make them naive before making a pitch to the tribe that they are now coming up to an important phase of the game and as such, they need hardened players around to survive further. Meaning this honest, loyal game isn’t really going to serve them any longer.
With that the tribe voted, Ben wisely played his idol – to mine and Hayley’s delight – leaving Sharni to tragically be eliminated. Much to Paige’s shit eating grin and my utter heartbreak for mother. As soon as she arrived at Loser Lodge I pulled her in for a massive hug and shared how disappointed I was that she and Ben ended up on opposite sides of the vote, given Paige would have been such a lovely pre-swap boot. But alas, she always has her successful acting career which I see prospering after she joins the latest Neighbours reboot. Alongside me, of course! Which is what I pitched to her as we smashed a freshly made Sharlami Vinson.
I know, I know – making salami from scratch is a big ask, when it is so easy to buy from the deli. But it is something I encourage everyone to try at least once in their life for a special occasion like a date with Sharns. Spicy, smokey and packed full of flavour, this simple little number is a delight.
Method Combine the Morton Cure and salt with two tablespoons of water to dissolve before adding the pepper, mustard seed, chilli and smoke.
In a large bowl, combine the mince with the spicy cure mixture and scrunch with your hands until it has come together.
Pop two long pieces of cling film on the bench and form the meat into a firmly packed cylinder in the middle of each. Tightly wrap with the cling to form a salami shape. Wrap the cylinders in foil before transferring to the fridge to chill for 24 hours to cure.
Once it has adequately cured, preheat the oven to 160C.
Carefully remove the salami from the wrapped and place on a lined baking sheet. Transfer to the oven to bake for about an hour, or until cooked through. Then either allow to cool completely or devour it still warm.
Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race, which started out as a teeny, tiny show whose first challenge was filmed in the car park behind WoW opposite the Jim Hensen offices – which I’m not sure is a legit fact, but for some reason I think it is so let’s run with it – turned into a global phenomenon. Icons were born, legends were made, moments were gagged, we were left gooped and Ruple and Co. became bonafide Emmy powerhouses. But most importantly, it gave us back rolls, Alyssa’s secret, do-wa, Aja jumping from there, a confession to killing Judy Garland and a Snatch Game throwbackto that moment, absolving said veteran of said murder. But that was then and this is now, as Season 15 is ready to take its lap. Sadly without chocolate.
First to enter for this fifteenth (main franchise) crown was Irene Dubois looking like a ginger COVID virus and well, she is hot out of drag and is Bosco’s drag sister, so I love her. She was followed by Luxx Noir London looking like Bowie and Dynasty era Joan Collins had a baby whose hair was inspired by Ariana Grande. So again, I love her. As the duo got shady, Aura Mayari arrived and gave glamour as she vogued her way into the Werk Room and straight into my heart. And loins, out of drag obviously. Giving cousin IT by Cher from Clueless, we met Marcia Marcia Marcia and after she flicked her hair back to reveal she was rocking the iconic broken nose look, I live for her.
Though not as much as I love people clocking her as looking like (a) Jan.
As she was busy regalling her new sisters with her love of Ariana Grande and serving it on Broadway thanks to her BFA (like Jan, TBH), we were joined by Anetra who is giving off fun punk showgirl vibes and well, I love her energy so much and feel like she is going to slay. Which I hope isn’t the kiss of death because my support usually curses trajectories. They were joined by Malaysia Babydoll Foxx serving the sluttiest depression kitty I have ever seen and I love her. LOVE. She is charming, cute and has a voice like velvet. Princess Poppy arrived serving Art Simone’s twink sister in the best way possible. Though her sticking her ears inside themselves scares me because I’m a child. Then Sasha Colby happened and well, yeah, I stand by what I said earlier, crown her. Now. She was serving as a Hawaiian warrior queen and had the energy that she was ready to have fun and slay.
We then had Ornacia make her triumphant return and ugh, I LIVE. Wait, no it is Ariana Grande. Whistle tone queen, icon, legend and well, let’s just say, I’m as gagged as the dolls.
As Marcia started to hyperventilate, Ariana gave the dolls a hug and thanked them for bringing so much joy to the world. While Luxx in turn thanked her for Break Free which TBH, is correct. Ariana regalled everyone with tales of her previous time on the judging panel and encouraged them to take in every moment and enjoy the journey. Ru then stole her thunder, dropping by to welcome his newest daughters to the race and officially announce the doubled up prize. Oh but first, they would have to compete in a little throwback Mini Challenge doing a sexy photoshoot washing the car. With the Pit Crew, so swoon.
The boys started spraying themselves as they washed the car before Irene dropped by and bathed in it, living her bukkake dream and TBH, that is the only way to do it. Luxx meanwhile got wet in all the wrong ways though thankfully still served. Aura was ready to touch them all and ugh, it was hot and I love it, while Marcia served good girl gone bad. Backstage Marcia was thirsty for boy Irene while Luxx was scared of her, meanwhile Anetra was drowning out in the carpark and had Ru cackling. Malaysia was heartbroken to ruin her good drag but hot damn did she serve while Poppy got her holes filled and Sasha tried to give supermodel, despite not loving the fact she didn’t get said moment.
As everyone dedragged they all clocked Aura as the trade of the season – including Aura – and were positively shocked that Marcia looks exactly the same in and out of drag. Talk turned to what the other group would look like before Ru interrupted them talking about Irene’s passion for reading everyone to announce that she took out the win in the Mini Challenge. Much to Luxx’s surprise. Ru then filled the dolls in on the fact their first Maxi Challenge would be a little talent show titled One Night Only (said with jazz hands, obvi). And in addition to their individual performances, they would have to choreograph an opening number together.
The group quickly ventured backstage and talked through their skills, with Marcia pushing to take the reins in the choreography and while Aura tried to add to it, Mother Sasha quietly watched on, knowing that she would end up fixing whatever they came up with and get her new kids over the line. As the kids continued to fight back and forth for control Irene joined Sasha in asking one of them to just back out and let the other take the lead so they don’t get stuck with two different choreographies.
As Group 1 descended into chaos, the crew reset the Werk Room just in time for Salina EsTitties arrived giving banjie energy and was totally jacked up on Mountain Dew and I live for it. She was quickly joined by Amethyst serving 2000 pop tween, claiming herself as the first viral TikTok queen to make it to Drag Race. Jax arrived ready to cheer the house down and called herself the Simone Biles of drag, so yeah, I stan. They were joined by Loosey LaDuca who looks like a campy, nice version of Sh3rry Pi3 in blonde. Which isn’t a read, despite how it may sound. Mistress Isabelle Brooks was up next serving short, goth Eureka and I love everything about her. Robin Fierce joined them looking like a stunning woman in tan and ugh, I love her. Oh and she and Amethyst have a past and while I was ready to ship, she told me I can’t, so that is that. We then got a double arrival as Sugar and Spice trotted in serving actual dolls and while Amethyst thought she was the TikTok superstar, these girls are the thing.
Though Mistress will not give them the pleasure of knowing she knows them.
As the dolls recovered from learning they are only bedroom queens, Sugar opened up about wanting to be part of the drag community and wanting friends which is equally sweet and heartbreaking. We then got another Ornacia entry, this time with the legit Vivacious who announced Ru’s arrival to welcome the rest of her daughters to the competition and put them to the test in their Mini Challenge, the drag race wind machine photoshoot classic. Salina was up first and served sex and speeding as her face blew away, Amethyst gave Timezone realness while snacking on leaves before Jax was all erotic, no auto. Mistress was smizing the house down, Loosey lived her Tippi Hedron fantasy through feathers while Robin was perfection, whether the fan gave her a beard or not.
As the twins made it to the stage for their shoot, the other girls kikied about Sugar and Spice being inexperienced with Mistress opening up about how underwhelming they are to her. And while everyone reminded her they were cute and sweet, she felt like not knowing what wig glue is was a mortal sin. And well, I’m here for the shade. Sugar meanwhile was having fun on the bike, serving silly and ridiculous before Spice ripped off her wig against Ru’s advice, serving hairography with a shower cap. They rejoined the dolls as everyone dedragged with Sugar and Spice gagging over their sisters and praising them for looking so different out of drag. Mistress kinda admitted to reading them and threw down a challenge for them to impress her, while they just spewed talk at the girls, trying to make friends and well, I love everything about them despite myself.
Ru made yet another return to announce Loosey took out victory in the Mini Challenge, which emboldened her to declare she will be the first person to win every challenge. Which already ius not the case. Ru then gave them a spiel about the talent show before sending them off to the rehearsal space, where the other dolls finally appeared to be making progress. Well, until Ru dropped by to kiki and threw the two groups together. The factions lined up like the jets and sharks, ready for two to become one and put more choreographers amongst the queens before Ru announced that unlike last year, one of them will be going home before the end of the week.
After Ru departed the groups introduced themselves and sat down to get to know each other, with Sugar and Spice monologuing about their lives and while they annoyed everyone else, I love their lack of self awareness. Also Sugar kinda looks like young(er) Austin Butler minus the lingering accent work. Group 1 then got up to show their newest sisters their choreography with Mistress laughing through it with her soon-to-be-bestie Sugar. While Marcia tried to push through, Malaysia cut her off and then everyone started to fight before Mistress cut them off and asked them to focus on the task at hand because dancing is her weakness and she doesn’t want to bomb. Then she and Irene got sassy and Sugar and Spice started quietly laughing together.
Elimination Day arrived with the dolls finally unpacking their gear and finding a station with everyone laughing it up and being silly. Sugar and Spice meanwhile just focused on beating their mugs because they take so damn long. Irene meanwhile measured up her wig against Luxx’s to confirm whether her entry was 40 inches. Defeated, Luxx then joined the twins to get ready, bonding over being social media queens and how it really is the only way they can start when they aren’t old enough to go to a club. Sugar then noticed Mistress and Irene were sitting together and was shocked that the enemies elected to get ready together, leading to the older girls explaining shade and how being a working queen works. Loosey, Anetra and Amethyst meanwhile were talking about their talents with Loosey opening up about her original song, while Anetra was keeping her cards close to her chest. Oh and then we learnt Irene is making ice water.
While Sugar and Spice were still nowhere near being ready to go on while everyone put on their finishing touches.
Ru, Michelle, Ross and Ariana took their places on the panel as the dolls made their debut for the opening number which was a campy, pageant delight and ugh, I’ve missed this show (in the two weeks we went without it). Malaysia meanwhile opened up the individual performances, lip syncing the house down to an original song and while it was repetitive, Bryce came out in gold speedos, so I love it. Spice meanwhile was silly and cute, having Ru and the dolls in hysterics, so well done babe. Luxx hit every line and lyric on her lip sync and was honestly just a delight. Though the gradual split really made me love her. Mistress went boxing for her lip sync which was a win when she pulled out a RuPaul chocolate bar and nearly slid off the stage.
Loosey gave us something different by singing live and while I wanted to live for it, to quote the great Coco Montrese, find a key. Anyone will do. Marcia danced her way into my heart as a horny nerd sexing it up for a portrait of Ross. Robin was energetic and worked every corner of the stage as we went back to lip syncs before Irene bombed, hard, while making a glass of iced water and while I knew what she was going for, that wasn’t it. Anetra then followed it up by bringing the house down as she duck walked all over the stage as she lip synced to her original song – Walk the Duck – before straight up moving into karate chopping through boards. AND THEN KICKING A BOARD IN HALF.
Poor Sugar had to follow that up and while her lip sync was fun and silly like the sweet version of her sisters, she didn’t karate chop. Despite that, the fact she and her sister served it wore down Mistress which is a great win. Princess Poppy meanwhile gave parasite puppet lip syncing realness and it was perfect, before Salina gave red carpet lip sync into street glamour before referencing Will Smith’s slap so if Anetra doesn’t Anetra, I’d say this was a win. Amethyst then won my heart lip syncing to All Around the World as a drunk mum with a baby tethered to her back before Aura gave a fierce lip sync and while she had all the attitude, it felt a little flat by comparison. Mother Colby then lip synced to Zombie in a straight jacket and ugh, she is perfection. It was moody, it was fierce, it was powerful and well, the kids best watch out. And then Jax came out and lip synced before skipping with her own ponytails, which is yet another win for me.
And that was before she backflipped from the back of stage to the front, proving she really is the Simone Biles of drag.
When it came to the Who Is She? runways, Irene came in goth alien dominatrix, Luxx gave glamour pastel vixen going from the races to the boudoir before Aura gave all black Rita Repulsa, in all the right ways. Marcia gave sexy pastel prep, Anetra was an iridescent warrior, Malaysia gave sexy angel lounge singer in the hottest club in heaven before Princess Poppy gave lollipop ballerina delight. On and then Sasha gave the ultimate flex, rocking the gown she won Miss Continental in. Salina gave blue jean baby, Amethyst was a slutty, lilac Sailor Moon, Jax was NYC street in all the right ways before Loosey gave a glamorous gown version of Britney in Toxic. Mistress was iconic in a bejewelled, red cowgirl corset, Robin was an ice queen in shimmering baby blue, Sugar gave slutty Belle and ugh, I hate that I love Spice gave the other side of the look – kinda – with whore Ariel.
Luxx, Aura, Malaysia, Princess Poppy, Sasha, Mistress, Robin, Sugar and Spice were all sent to safety before Irene was praised for looking good on the runway though read for giving absolutely no humour in her performance. Marcia received universal praise for giving humour and dancing perfection, though told to give more than a streak of lip gloss when it comes to make-up. Anetra rightly was universally beloved for being perfection from start to finish, despite only learning to duck walk today. Amethyst was read for showing the baby too early in her performance, though she was praised for looking cute. Despite her lack of padding. Jax too got wall to wall praise, particularly for rolling her eyes while effortlessly doing acrobatics meaning poor Loosey was read for her performance, despite looking stunning.
Backstage the safe girls celebrated making it through the first week, particularly Princess and Robin who were shitting their pants. Talk turned to who was the best with everyone agreeing Anetra owned the show, while Poppy lived for Jax. Robin in turn congratulated the twins for surprising everyone with their sickening performances, with everyone rallying around and finally welcoming them into the drag family. This turned into a conversation about the stigma about the social media dolls and while Luxx pointed out social is a live portfolio, Malaysia explained she only questioned if they could translate their talents to the stage. Talk turned to how great Sasha’s performance was, with her opening up about her trauma while praising her father for raising her.
The dolls started to open up about who they knew before the season which was only an excuse to bring up the fact Robin and Amethyst briefly dated back home. That obviously summoned the tops and bottoms with Irene praising the tops for killing it before Amethyst announced she is definitely in the bottom, though hopefully not against her sister Loosey. That led to Loosey breaking down, heartbroken to have bombed, leading to the girls rallying around and praising her for killing it and pointing out they really only wanted her to lip sync so she could make the performance bigger. That led to Irene admitting that she will totally be the one in the bottom with Amethyst given they just hated her performance.
After everyone agreed that Anetra would totally be winning, Ariana dropped by to kiki with the girls and literally gave them the sweetest advice and well, I guess I’m all in on being an Ariana stan now? She bid the girls adieu, leaving Irene and Amethyst to rehearse their lip syncs and get their heads in the game.
Ultimately Marcia and Jax were sent to safety as Anetra took out the first victory of the season while at the other end of the pack it was Loosey that was saved, leaving Amethyst and Irene to battle it out for safety to my girl Ariana’s 7 Rings. While Irene leant into her alien kooky aesthetic, it was clear the song was perfect for Amethyst and her general vibe. Irene twerked and gave sex, which sadly wasn’t enough as Amethyst was saved and poor Irene joined the Porkchop Club.
Backstage Irene was rightly disappointed to be gone so soon and not get to show the world more, though I reminded her – as I do each season – it is more memorable to be a first boot than saying a mid-comp queen, giving you an air of mystery and an underdog spirit. Which seemed to be the pep talk she needed, thanking me for always supporting her – I am Bosco’s drag great-grandmother thrice removed, so we’re family – as we sat down to smash a heart bowl of Irene Hamdubois Helper.
Not to be confused with Australian hamburger helper – which is essentially seasoned breadcrumbs – this tweaked version of Half Baked Harvest’s take on the American classic is near perfection. Packing a punch of spice (sadly without sugar) and heat, while velvety smooth and creamy, it is an easy mid-week number to warm the cockles of your soul in winter.
Irene Hamdubois Helper Serves: 4.
Ingredients 2 tbsp olive oil 1 onion, diced 6 garlic cloves, minced 500g beef mince kosher salt and pepper 1 tbsp tomato paste 1 tsp chilli powder 1 tsp smoked paprika 1 zucchini, grated 1 carrot, grated 500g small shell pasta 2 cups beef stock 300ml cream 1 cup cheddar cheese, grated ½ cup parmesan cheese, grated chopped fresh parsley, to garnish
Method Heat the olive oil in a dutch oven over medium heat and saute the onion for five minutes or so, or until soft and sweet. Add the garlic and cook for a minute before adding the mince and breaking up with a wooden spoon until browned, or about 10 minutes. Season with a good whack of salt and pepper to taste.
Stir in the tomato paste, chilli and paprika and cook for a minute before stirring through the zucchini, carrot and pasta to coat. Stir in the beef stock and cream, bring to a gentle boil and reduce heat to low to simmer until the pasta is cooked through. Once the pasta is al dente, stir through the cheeses, adjust the seasoning – you’ll probably need more pepper, less salt – and cook until everything has combined.
Serve piping hot with some token parsley for the appearance of health and devour, happily.
Previously on Survivor South Africa the rapidly expanding jury was filling up with members of the former Masu tribe as everyone started turning on each other, rather than going after their pre-merge counterparts. While Steffi and Marian were locked in with each other, their other ally Meryl was not so solid and was ready to make a move, resulting in the blindside of Steffi. That obviously led to Marian seeing red, as she spit fire on her way to aligning with Dino. After taking out immunity, Marian was nervous about Meryl skipping out on tribal council with her pass. This led to an epic planning where Dino and Co. convinced her that they needed her vote, sending Marian out of tribal council while the rest of the tribe brutally blindsided Meryl.
Back at camp Marian was thrilled that Meryl had fallen into their trap and sent her back to camp before the vote. The remaining tribe soon joined her with Shane thrilled that the move brought the tribe together, with Marian congratulating everyone for pulling it off. With Killarney still sure that it was all her plan, which obviously annoyed Phil, given he, Felix and Dino are the ones that actually put in the work. Talk turned to how well Meryl took her blindside, with everyone agreeing her positive attitude is indicative of how great the season has been.
The next day Felix woke up his tribemates with news of an upcoming reward challenge, leading to speculation about why the challenge was starting so early in the day. Begging the question, is it a tough challenge or an epic reward? Like say, the loved ones visit. This got everyone hopeful about potentially spending some time with their loved ones. Killarney opened up about the recent loss of her mother and her partner in the space of a month just before the game and while she is still struggling with her grief, she is proud of how hard she has fought despite it. And oh god, I’m crying before we even got to the challenge!
After drying my tears, the tribe caught up with Nico where they learnt they would have to race on a balanced rig to spell out the name of the season without knocking it over. With the winner getting a big schnitty reward, alongside a cheeky call with their loved one and an advantage in the upcoming immunity challenge. This got Marian crying, while everyone agreed that seeing their loved ones would be the biggest advantage they could ask for. With that, the challenge kicked off with Phil absolutely powering ahead with Killarney nipping at his heels. Well, until she knocked her blocks off. While Felix and Tejan closed the gap, it was all for naught as Phil quickly took out the win.
Nico obviously decided to give him a little dilemma, offering him the chance to take two people on reward with him but only if he was willing to forfeit the food and advantage. The tribe kindly all told him to play it smart and hold on to the entire reward, while Tejan clarified how using the reward invite works and if he would simply be joining Phil on the reward, rather than taking it away from him. After the assurance both of them would get to go, he played his token and headed out for a little bit of love. And a share in the advantage. As they exited, Dino started to break down over the thought of his fiance sitting at her computer, about to be told they wouldn’t be talking and ugh, it is all too sad. And that is before Killarney even started worrying about how to keep her head in the game while still mourning.
Phil and Tejan arrived at their reward, giddy to smash some food before getting their video call. Oh and the advantage for the upcoming immunity challenge. While Phil didn’t want him to get the advantage, he was glad to have Tejan there with him and to have the chance to talk about potentially aligning. Hoping to split the immunity challenges between them and make a move against Dino and Marian as the last big threats left in the game. And while Phil hated the idea of turning on his friend, he knew it would be necessary eventually.
Speaking about Dino, he and Marian were talking about the threat Tejan poses to their games with Killarney joining the fray and agreeing that an immunity run could screw everyone up. Dino opened up to us about how he wants to progress with his biggest threats – Marian, Phil and Felix or Shane. Speaking of the latter two, they were bonding and floating the idea of working together while back with Marian and Dino, she didn’t want Killarney or Tejan getting anywhere near the end with her. Shane joined them, as Marian speculated who would take her to the end if she was in the final four with Phil, Shane and Dino.
Back at reward, Phil was first up to call his family and immediately started sobbing as he saw his wife and kids. He opened up to them about how tough the game has been, though assured them that he is focused and fighting through, sticking to everything they planned before heading out. He tagged out with Tejan who truly lit up when his partner, niece and nephew popped his sweet angel dog on screen. And ugh, his partner is so cute, telling him to just focus and make it further than he did in his first season. The duo then bonded over the chance to see their family, with Tejan thrilled by how much the reward has given him. And hoping it pays dividends in the long run. In my heart, for his dog.
The next day everyone started speculating about the immunity challenge, while Marian grew focused on getting rid of Felix to bring Phil back to her loving arms. She then told Dino that Felix has been throwing his name around, while Dino told her that he in fact was throwing out her name. Felix meanwhile genuinely started throwing out Marian’s name, given it frees up Shane to align with him and take control with the goats. Felix and Tejan then floated the idea of getting rid of Marian, with Dino assuring them that getting rid of Killarney is all that she really cares about at this point.
The tribe reconnected with Nico for the latest immunity challenge where everyone would have to stand on a ledge and balance a block of wood between a beam and their heads. With Phil and Tejan getting to start the challenge five minutes after everyone else, which is an epic advantage. Before the duo even started Marian lost her focus and dropped out of the challenge. Tejan dropped as quickly as he started, before Shane dropped out of nowhere. After fifteen minutes, Killarney dropped, soon followed by Dino leaving Felix – who was shocked not to be the first out – and Phil to battle for immunity. Eventually though, the advantage proved to be too much to overcome as Felix dropped his block and handed Phil immunity yet again.
Back at camp everyone congratulated Phil on his challenge win, with Killarney growing nervous about his new found beastly ways. Marian meanwhile was worried about how close Felix and Phil were getting, catching up with Dino and Shane to talk about who they should target with Marian wanting to get rid of Felix, while Dino knew Tejan and Killarney were also a risk as the remaining goats. As Phil, Felix and Killarney went down to the beach to fish, they noticed a symbol on a rock with Phil quickly pouncing on it and jagging a clue to a hidden immunity. Though tragically, he could not find it. While he was searching, Killarney admitted that she was finally ready to trust that Felix wants to work with her. And given she allegedly orchestrated the Steffi and Meryl blindsides, she felt he was lucky to have her.
Phil gave up on his search and joined up with Marian and Dino to plan the vote ahead, with them suggesting getting rid of Felix given his final four is clearly him and the goats. Speaking of Felix, he was busy catching up with Shane, who spilled the beans about Dino and Marian coming for him. Which obviously filled him with dread. Felix and Tejan then caught up, debating how much they can trust Shane while he was wondering how he can work the information if it comes out. Shane then caught up with Tejan, talking about the impending chaos, while Phil continued to desperately hunt for his idol.
Felix caught up with Phil, with Dino soon joining them to block any chat. After Felix wandered off to hunt for the idol, Dino checked whether Phil was ok with the thought of Felix going, with him admitting that he still wants to work with him but also wanted to get the trio to the end together. Phil and Felix caught up while Dino continued the hunt for the idol, before Killarney asked permission to start hunting for the idol. She then threw Phil under the bus, sharing that he found an advantage on the beach which made Dino fearful that it meant the boys had already commenced turning on him.
The next day Dino continued to worry about his place in the game, getting up early to look for the idol in the hope that Phil hadn’t found it yet. Marian meanwhile caught up with Phil and told him that Killarney told her he found a clue and while he tried to tell her his clue told him it was at the Outpost, she knew it was a lie and quickly became wary of him. Phil finally told Dino about the clue in the hope that he could help him, with Dino sadly deciding it meant he had found the idol already. And Phil girl, you’re in danger. Well, when you next lose immunity.
Tejan and Felix meanwhile were hanging out by the shore, speculating about what was going on with the tribe with Felix growing paranoid. Though admitting he would prefer to be paranoid, rather than getting voted out. Felix and Phil caught up, with the former sure that he was the target for the rival faction and as such, they needed to lock in the vote against Tejan. Despite the fact Phil was ready to turn on Dino but 24 hours earlier. The trio then caught up, with Phil trying to bring them together and block out all the noise floating around camp in the hope of dealing with whatever else they were planning down the track.
After splitting up, Phil finally found what he was looking for. Well, kind of, as he got another clue, directing him to look for said idol at tribal council. Sadly for him, Shane saw him find it and as such, quickly took the information back to Marian and given Phil is clearly the biggest threat, they decided that they needed to take a shot at Felix to weaken him. Marian and Dino caught up, with the former pointing out that Phil is on his way to winning the game and as his biggest threats, they need to take out the people he wants to take to the top three until they can take a shot at him. Shane filled Tejan in on the plan, who was annoyed as he wanted to take out Dino or Marian instead. After talking to Dino, Tejan approached Felix to tell him of everyone conspiring against him, seemingly unaware it could cost him the game. But since he made a fake idol, maybe he will get lucky.
At tribal council Felix admitted to feeling very nervous about the upcoming vote, while Marian said it was a very confusing day at camp as everyone came up with rival plans. Tejan admitted he was very much a target, with Felix laughing about it all being a lie, given he knows for a fact he is the target. He then spoke about wanting to take a goat to the end, while Marian and Dino started whispering about who to vote for between Tejan and Felix. Tejan admitted that he thinks he has been perceived as a goat, while Dino said that he would far prefer to eliminate the goats, Cirie style, given the goats take up a seat at final tribal council and makes it just that much harder to get to the end.
Felix said he was debating between sticking with what he knows and changing things up, while Tejan mentioned that the biggest threats need to worry because the leftovers could band together and take control. Felix continued his fight to say, reiterating that him being there the next day is best for most people’s games. Tejan then unveiled his fake idol, with everyone knowing it is fake. Felix pointed out that Tejan’s game has been to float along in the middle, so while people think they have him, they can’t trust he will stay with them. Phil whispered to Killarney to put down Tejan, while Marian confirmed with Dino that they were voting for Felix before they headed off to vote. And promptly voted Tejan out, despite him not playing his fake idol because he felt everyone had his back.
Tejan was in good spirits as he arrived at Ponderosa, despite the blindside. He knew that he was a target and while his decoys and plans didn’t come together, he was happy that he exhausted all of his options and went out swinging. While a game like Tejan’s is not over showy TV, he expertly navigated the middle and reduced his target, which carried him all the way to the top 7. And that in and of itself, is enough to justify a piping hot Itejan Weddillay Soup.
While this little number is traditionally a hybrid of cheap meats and veggies – or marriage, if you will – the resulting soup acts like a bowl of love. Warm, hearty and oh-so-soothing, it is the perfect way to cure a cold, miserable day.
Itejan Weddillay Soup Serves: 6-8.
Ingredients 250g beef mince 250g pork mince 1 onion, diced large handful of flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped 3 eggs 3 garlic cloves, minced ¼ cup panko breadcrumbs ⅔ cup parmesan cheese, grated 1 tsp kosher salt, plus extra to taste pepper, to taste 3L chicken stock 2 cups baby spinach 1 chilli, thinly sliced (and seeds removed if you can’t handly the heat)
Method Pop the minces, onion about ⅔ of the parsley, an egg, the garlic, breadcrumbs and ½ cup of the parmesan in a large bowl with the salt and a good whack of pepper. Scrunch until well combined. Using wet hands, form into 1 tbsp sized meatballs and pop on a lined baking sheet.
Bring the stock to the boil over medium heat and once rollicking, maintain at a light boil. Gently drop in the meatballs and cook for about five minutes, or until tender and cooked. Whisk the remaining parmesan and eggs in a jug before pouring in the mixture, stirring, aiming to make thin strands of egg. Add in the spinach and chilli and cook for a further couple of minutes before removing from the heat and stirring through the parsley and seasoning to taste.
Allow to cool for a couple of minutes before serving and devouring, with extra lashings of cheese for good measure.
Previously on Survivor South Africa the two tribes competed as individuals for the chance to be the hero that secures immunity for their entire tribe. After Toni managed to wheel and deal across both tribes to get Dino and Phil to step out of the challenge and give Masu immunity, Marian jumped ship with her diplomatic immunity to give herself a little bit of safety. Felix meanwhile was torn between voting out previous season ally Dante and current season ally Dino, while Toni tried to consolidate her power. Both tribes attended tribal council and despite planning to target a myriad of people, the iconic Palesa was booted. And then the tribes merged at tribal.
The newly formed Salan tribe arrived at their new camp, gagged for the night time surprise and by the fact they had a new shelter and bowls. Felix and Dante meanwhile only had eyes for each other, overjoyed to be reunited. Though given Marian could see how thrilled they were, the question really is, how long until the icon splits them up? Oh and all Steffi wanted is a little feast.
The next day Shane ventured to check treemail and found a little breakfast treat for each of them, in the form of protein shakes and a couple of bananas. Which obviously upset everyone, given they were expecting a feast. As they sat down to sadly eat their breakfast, Tejan accidentally took Steffi’s bowl. And let’s just say, there were a few fireworks.
The tribe quickly ventured to meet Nico for a little reward challenge to earn their merge feast. With everyone having to use marbles and slingshots to break plates. With everyone getting to jag a meal once they’d busted all of their plates. Felix quickly earnt a plate of ribs, Steffi opted for a covered item which tragically ended up being a bowl of rice, Shane knocked out his plates but stuck around to help Marian as Phil jagged rice and spices for the tribe. Shane got his burger while Marian ate breakfast, while Dino got a guaranteed visit to the Outpost on Day 32, while Tejan got spag bol and wine. Dante got beer and biltong – yuck – before everyone came in to help the remaining trio, with Killarney getting donuts, Meryl getting a bag and Toni left with a single egg. Which TBH, is better than rice. Oh and Meryl’s bag gave her the chance to invite herself on a future reward. And we learnt that Phil’s tribe reward also came with a key to a chest that was waiting for them back at camp.
With that, they headed home and learnt that Phil’s other reward was a chest full of beers and soft drinks and well, everyone was thrilled. Dante was feeling confident of his place in the tribe, given he has the Breakfast Club alliance and Felix, who he wants to take to the end. He pulled Felix aside and floated the idea of getting rid of Toni first, given it neutralises a lot of counter alliances and maintains his power. Marian meanwhile caught up with Steffi, complaining about Toni having no interest in playing with her though was grateful to be getting intel from her via Steffi. That night Steffi and Toni caught up, with the former assuring Toni that they are a tight alliance but that she needs to keep playing both sides so that nobody thinks she is about to defect to her side of the tribe.
The next day Dino grew worried about Felix defecting from their alliance with Phil, with the trio going for a walk to catch-up. Felix quickly assured them he is true to them, rather than Dante and that he is simply trying to gather intel to protect all of them. Toni joined them, with her assuring them they also have Steffi and Tejan, which made Dino nervous given they clearly weren’t on board at the previous tribal council.
The tribe rejoined Nico for their first individual challenge of the season where they each had to stand on a small tilted platform leaning over the water and hold on to a rope, with the last person standing winning immunity. As soon as the challenge kicked off, Phil pissed his pants before Felix dropped out of nowhere. After transitioning to the second rope, Dino and Killarney dropped out, quickly joined by Dante, Meryl, Marian, Toni and Tejan, leaving only Steffi and Phil to battle it out for immunity. Well, until Steffi dropped out of nowhere and handed piss-pants individual immunity. Which makes it all worth it, right? I mean, Fabio pissed in a challenge and won the season, so maybe it is luck?
Back at camp everyone congratulated Phil on his hard-fought win before Dino and Toni caught up about the vote ahead. And while Toni was sure she had Steffi and Killarney, Dino wasn’t so sure and as such, planned to catch up with Steffi. Tejan meanwhile was feeling nervous about everything, so excused himself to go hunting for a hidden immunity idol. Which he promptly found, completely unnoticed by the rest of the tribe. Dino caught up with Steffi and assured her that he is happy to vote for whoever she wants to to build trust. Which obviously meant she wanted to get rid of Toni or Tejan, given that is where Toni’s loyalty lies. Toni meanwhile was catching up with Shane to see what his plans were, pitching that the tribe bands together to get rid of Dante, while Shane suggested to us he was just planning to get rid of the person that poses the biggest threat to derailing his plan to the end.
Toni then caught up with Phil, Tejan and Felix to suggest a split vote between Dante and Meryl to guarantee that if an idol is played, Dante is weakened. Steffi, Marian and Meryl meanwhile caught up to discuss plans, with them locking their votes against Toni. Which made Marian thrilled, given she felt the skin plotting was unnecessary pre-merge. The broader Breakfast Club then caught up and locked in their plan against Toni. While Dino, Felix and Phil then caught up, sharing that Toni wants to split votes while Dino tried to direct them in the direction of their surest bet. Whatever that may be.
At tribal council Felix spoke about how excited he was to finally make it to the merge, while Phil was thrilled to be at tribal council with immunity. Shane spoke about how his former decisions could impact his post-merge game while Tejan was sure this tribal council would establish the balance of power. Steffi spoke about everyone just trying to look out for themselves until the power becomes obvious, while Shane wanted to take out someone that will disrupt his game. Meryl meanwhile was booted at the merge on her season and as such, was just trying to lay low and let other people make the decisions tonight. While Dante spoke about everyone also having to navigate egos this season, while Toni wanted to focus on trust.
With that the tribe voted and feeling paranoid, Tejan needlessly played his hidden immunity idol as majority or the tribe banded together to get rid of Toni to become the Queen of the Jury. Which is important. While she was obviously heartbroken to be out of the game despite fighting so hard to get out of the minority, she was proud to be the one to set the tone of the jury. Oh and since burgers are almost as cursed around here, she could kinda sorta blame my Poutoni Tebburger for her downfall.
There is nothing better than a little bit of poutine action and since I have a passion for making foods into burgers or pizzas, you know this moment was kind of inevitable. I mean, how could you not love a little cheeseburger covered in some gravy? Exactly!
Method Combine the beef mince with a good whack of salt and pepper, and scrunch with your hands until it all comes together. Form into two equal discs and pop in the freezer while you prep the rest of the stuff.
When you’re ready to go, pop a skillet over medium heat and once scorching, pop the patties on and flatten with a spatula. Cook for a couple of minutes, or until nice and charred on the base before flipping over. Place a slice of cheese on both of the patties and cook for a further couple of minutes or until cooked through.
To assemble, split the buns and lightly toast. Smear mayo on the base of each, followed by the pickles, the pattie, lettuce, fries, curds and a good drizzle of the gravy before closing the burger. And smashing, gloriously!
Previously on Survivor South Africa 146 castaways lined up to play across 8 seasons and while their were countless iconic moments – Chappies nude scenes, for instance – and blindsides, only 8 people walked away as winners while 136 exited the game as losers. Well, assuming my maths is correct. Which, TBH, it probably isn’t. In any event, it did lead us here, with zaddy Nico, to welcome back 20 castaways returning for a shot at redemption. Or more likely, to get their torch snuffed once again.
The castaways jetted in on speed boats where we learnt that the Yontau would be made up of pre-merge boots like Shona who was not thrilled to be on a tribe with chaotic players like Tania and Pinty. Thankfully the iconic Tania was ready to learn from her mistakes and take the back seat, while Killarney was thrilled to be a mystery to her fellow castaways given she played so long ago. And trust and believe, she will be using it to her advantage. Over on Masu who all made it to the merge on their first go around, Steffi wasn’t thrilled to be competing with Chappies given he was a dirty little food thief, while Meryl was thrilled to be reunited with her former ally Dante. Despite the fact it clearly makes them both targets. PK was nervous to see Tevin on the rival tribe, given he had already blindsided him once before while Marian and Shane were thrilled to be reunited. And hopeful their season was old enough that they would be considered unknowns.
And did I mention Queen Palesa is back? Because, work.
The two tribes’ boats docked on the shore and met up with Nico where Seamus was thrilled to be back and glad that he can’t place worse than his first go around, which is a very good point. Thoriso is glad to be a returnee despite not making the merge or playing well, while Tejan was nervous to be back after 11 long years. And Chappies was shitting his pants with excitement to be back after a matter of months, though also knew it was concerning as he is very fresh in people’s minds. Tevin meanwhile was ready for revenge on the two people that voted him out, while Marian pointed out that while she made the merge, nobody made the finale and as such, they all have something to prove. And yes, Queen Marian.
Oh and then Nico dropped the goss that they’d be playing for 2 million rand and well, they were overjoyed. Particularly Chappies, since it makes his loss make more sense, since he was destined for the double prize. Obviously.
Nico then warned them that they would have to earn that increased prize with the most intense season ever. And to prove it, they were put to the test in their first reward challenge for a flint. And said challenge would be a repeat of the Season 7 – and many US and Australian seasons too – classic where in pairs, they would have to race and collect a ring from a pole and get it back to their tribe pole, with the first team to three winning. And if the boys start pulling at each other’s clothes Australian style, we win.
Killarney and Thoriso were first up facing Palesa and Steffi, the latter of whom had an injured ACL and was worried she wouldn’t be able to replicate her dominant performance on her first season. Thankfully for her and Masu, she still made easy work of the challenge and jagged their first point without even breaking a sweat. Chappies and Dante faced off against Felix and Seamus and damn did they put up a fight. While Seamus was first to the ring, Chappies brutally tackled him before they all snuggled in a puddle and while their pants stayed on, I still ship them. Oh and then Dante made a break and scored a second point for Masu. But never forget the cuddle puddle. Tevin and Pinty battled Toni and Tejan to keep them in the game, which they did as Tevin darted out of the fray and scored the first point for Yontau. Meryl and Marian then played for the game against Tania and Shona and while they were confident, Tania and Shona put up a valiant fight, wrestling their rivals until they dragged them to the Masu pole and scored reward for their fellow post-merge returnees.
We followed Yontau back to camp where the tribe were shocked by how minimal their supplies were, while Thoriso was busy focusing on the fact their trees had symbols on them. Hopeful they would lead her to an idol. While Dino was just terrified about how little they had. Meanwhile at Masu, Dante was hoping to learn from his mistakes and keep all his options open and build relationships with everyone. The first apparently being with Chappies as the duo bonded over being strong challenge beasts and honestly, a little bit of fangirling. And since Chappies knows Steffi from outside the game, he was confident they would be a strong trio. Speaking of Steffi, she and Marian were gossiping about PK, Tevin and Toni all having matching tattoos and being close, and as such, decided they should get rid of PK ASAP. Which I assume means Marian is also in the alliance with Steffi, Chappies and Dante, whether she likes it or not. Toni and PK meanwhile pulled Tejan in and were ready to pull in Palesa as their fellow Season 6 player.
Over at Yontau Tania was trying to fight her instincts and stay calm, which meant she immediately approached Thoriso and Pinty to align. Then Killarney. Completely aware that she was sliding back into panicked Tania. Dino and Seamus meanwhile were bonding over how weird it was to be back, with Seamus opening up about how hard he was on himself after being booted first and how it has taken him a long time to heal. Back at camp Shona was suggesting they watch the sunset, though she cautioned they avoid smashing an unripe pineapple as they relaxed, in case it makes their stomachs sore. Which in turn made Pinty slip back into her old ways and get angry, before she went for a walk and calmed down, knowing she needs to keep it in check if she wants to win.
We returned back to Masu where Meryl, Marian and Steffi snuck away to lock in an alliance, with Shane and Dante pulled in with their pairs. And then Chappies became their arbitrary sixth person after Steffi pulled him in. Which made her nervous, given she didn’t want her loyalty outside of the game – since they know each other – to ruin how she plays. Meanwhile Dante was on the hunt for an island wife with PK, as Marian was thrilled to date Dante. We then learnt that she and PK briefly dated a decade ago and while he thinks everything is all good between them, she was more than ready to cut him and get her revenge for being sketchy to her. Which is the kind of drama I live for.
The next day the Masu six were left alone at camp, shocked by their luck to openly strategise against the other four and figure out how to dismantle their bonds and take complete control. Meanwhile Palesa, Toni and PK were down by the beach with Toni feeling nervous about their position in the game and unsure how they will survive should they lose the first challenge. That being said, PK is busy painting the target on his back and that is enough for her to feel a little at ease given he clearly would go first.
We returned back to Yonatu where Tevin was ready to make a name for himself and not get stuck into his perceived trio with Toni and PK. As such, he approached Seamus and quickly locked him in as a number.
Back at Masu Shane was feeling confident in his alliance with Marian, despite the fact they haven’t even spoken. She then pointed out a symbol on a tree next to camp, leaving him to dig around the roots to see if he could find anything, while she darted off to loop in Dante.
The tribes then received treemail directing them to select two people to go on a journey to the Outpost where they would have to negotiate for supplies. Which obviously made everyone super nervous and paranoid. After much deliberation, Yontau selected to send Seamus and Thoriso to go on their behalf while Masu opted for Shane and Steffi. The latter of whom being selected by drawing the short straw. Much to Toni and Palesa’s disappointment.
As the foursome arrived at the Outpost they learnt they would be able to select two supplies for each tribe, with Shane offering for them to go first in the hope they selected flint and he and Steffi could jag what they wanted. Sadly for them Seamus bluffed and immediately selected rice, leaving Masu to get lentils and pap, while Yontau opted for the flint as their second choice. Before being dismissed, they read another note announcing that the four of them would now have to vote for somebody back at camp to receive the Outpost’s idol, the catch being it was only valid for the first tribal council. And should it be a tie, the tied players would draw rocks. And should the owner of the idol win immunity, they would still attend tribal council and play it at the other tribe’s tribal council. Which is quite the power, TBH.
The couples tried to outsmart each other, with Masu willingly pointing out their weakest while Yontau wisely opted to keep things quiet. Despite the fact Thoriso would have liked to keep to give Steffi and Shane something to keep her options open with them moving forward, but Seamus wasn’t interested. Which begged the question, has he learned as much from his first experience as I thought? Steffi and Shane received a heroes welcome as they arrived back at camp with all the food, while Palesa wondered what else they won at the Outpost. While they were tragically honest about the idol vote, proving it is never good to do these things. Back at Yontau, however, everyone believed every word Thoriso and Seamus said, so maybe sometimes you can win.
That night at Masu, Chappies got up to his usual overnight fun and started digging for an idol before he was quickly joined by Steffi. Sadly for the duo, however, Dante woke up and saw them, quickly looping in Palesa. Which you know can only mean trouble. The next morning, Dante pulled the Season 6 crew aside to let them know about Chappies and keep the target on him, as everyone agreed they didn’t want to deal with all that paranoia. Though Toni did admit that if Chappies isn’t being paranoid, someone else probably would be instead. But she is happy to have a target on someone else’s back. Meanwhile at Yontau Tevin, Dino, Pinty and Seamus caught up to see what they would do should they go to tribal council and while nobody was willing to name a name – despite the obvious Tania – they all appeared to be a little frozen by going out early their first time and are trying to hold firm until something big happens.
Speaking of something big, the tribes met up with Nico for the first immunity challenge where we learnt Seamus and Thoriso were way smarter than their post merge counterparts, loading their votes on Tevin while the Masus voted for Tania. Who tragically lost the following rock draw, giving Tevin all the power at the upcoming tribal council whether they win immunity or not. But back to the challenge, where they would have to break through a reed wall, use a monkey fist to release puzzle pieces, build a ladder, unlock or unite other ladders and then maneuvre their way through and over obstacles to light a flame at a tower at the end of the course.
Yontau got out to the earliest of leads, no doubt with the fire to guarantee one of them doesn’t go out pre-merge again (yet). After Pinty whipped through the knots, PK opted to unlock the ladders which only put them further behind. As Masu desperately tried to close the gap, Yontau slotted the final ladders in and lit their torch and secured themselves immunity. Guaranteeing one of the post-mergers would become a first boot. Just like Seamus in the Philippines.
Back at camp Yontau were living their best lives, with Tania more than happy to shamelessly celebrate the fact their rivals finally get to feel what it is like to truly be an outcast in the game. Seamus put his foot in his mouth again, pointing out that Masu tried to give their weakest player the idol and the strategy backfired anyway, before Phil and Shona stepped to say it was the other tribes perception and that they all love Tania and know she is a powerhouse. Proving to be far more adept than she is given credit for, Tania admitted that she knows she was likely going to be the first boot from their tribe, though is grateful nobody ever made her feel she would be. Which earned a lot of sympathy, and likely change some people’s minds. Assuming she is playing 5D chess like I’m implying. Tevin brought up the idol of it all, asking the tribe what they think he should do and while he appeared open to ideas, he is totally protecting PK, right?
We caught up with Masu where Shane was heartbroken to have lost immunity while Marian was frustrated that the tribe weren’t working together. More specifically, PK’s ego was the thing that got in the way of their victory. She and Meryl knew Tevin would likely be playing his idol for PK and Toni, leading to them joining up with Dante, PK, Toni and Tejan, with Toni and Dante floating getting rid of Chappies and splitting the vote on Shane. Which didn’t make Meryl and Marian feel comfortable, though they kinda felt like there was no other option.
As Dante, Marian and Meryl caught up with Steffi and Chappies to lock in the vote against Shane. Though it was very clear Dante was still ready to cut Chappies. Shane then caught up with Meryl and Steffi to loop then in on how sketchy he feels Dante is – since Shane has been watching him like a hawk – wanting to flip the vote on him instead. And while he assured them this would be the only thing he orchestrates, Meryl now felt he was a little too sketchy. Particularly as he continued to push for Dante. While poor Chappies admitted he was just trying to stay calm and hold firm.
We checked back in with Yontau were the tribe seemed to agree that Tevin should give his idol to Palesa, while Felix put his neck on the line to try and advocate for Dante. Which Tevin admitted was a good idea, given how loyal he is.
At tribal council Shane spoke about how difficult this season is, particularly since everyone is trying to rectify their mistakes from previous games. Shane then admitted that battle lines have been drawn since day two, while Toni wished she realised that had happened. She then spoke about focusing on Survivor 101 and sticking to their word, reminding them that flipping and lying so soon paints a target on your back. Steffi spoke about losing the challenge because they were fractured, while Tejan cautioned them not to give too much away, given they have an audience. Chappies reiterated that Tevin could throw a spanner in the works, while Meryl pointed out he has three Season 6 castaways he would clearly protect with the idol. While Toni and Marian awkwardly whispered before getting caught by Nico.
Nico then explained how the idol process would work, with Masu voting before Tevin would go and anonymously vote for who he would give immunity to. Oh and to help make his decision, he was able to ask his own questions of the tribe. He then opted for chaos, asking Steffi and Shane why they told the Yontau duo to vote for Tejan to get immunity. Which made everyone annoyed, asking why that was left out of their post-Outpost recap and why they decided he was on the bottom. Until Marian thankfully calmed them all down and reminded them that Tevin just wanted to create drama and as such, they all need to calm down.
With that the tribe voted before Tevin voted for the immunity and headed back to camp. Nico then collected the votes and announced that Palesa was immune before the votes rolled in between Shane and Chappies with Shane throwing out a single vote for Dante. Which ultimately saved himself from a tie and sent Chappies from the game as the first boot. With not even a single nude season to his name. Tragically.
Chappies was heartbroken as he arrived back at Loser Lodge, though admitted he was still happy to have gotten a second chance to play the game. I reminded him that I still loved him – despite the lack of nudity – and while he is the first boot, it happened because he came in with such a massive target on his back. And well, if it was good enough for Tina Wesson to go from first to worst, it should be good enough for him. Particularly knowing how she dominated on her third go. With that, he was well and truly perked back up and gladly toasted him success over a big bowl of Cheeseburger Chappies.
There is nothing I love more than turning a cheeseburger into another style of food and well these little babies are one of the best you can have. Yeah sure, these lean more towards the side of being a croquette, but who cares when they taste this good? Nobody.
Cheeseburger Chappies Serves: 2 dear friends.
Ingredients 500g beef mince ½ cup American Cheese, grated 4 dill pickles, finely chopped 1 tsbp ketchup 1 tbsp American mustard ½ tsp onion powder ½ tsp garlic powder salt and pepper, to taste 2 cups flour 1-2 eggs, lightly whisked 2 cups panko breadcrumbs olive oil for drizzlin’ or olive oil spray
Method Pop the mince, cheese, pickles, ketchup, mustard, onion and garlic powders in a large bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper and scrunch until well combined. Form the mixture into chips and place on a lined baking sheet. Cover and place in the fridge to set for an hour or so.
Preheat the oven to 200C.
Place the flour in a bowl, the eggs in another and the breadcrumbs in a third. Take the chips out of the fridge and working one at a time, dip in the flour, then the egg followed by the panko until well coated. Repeat the process until done.
Once all the chips are gorgeously covered, pop them back on a lined baking sheet, drizzle or spray with oil and transfer to the oven to bake for half an hour, or until golden and crisp on the outside.
Once cooked, served immediately with your fave burger condiments before devouring.
Previously on Survivor the final six grew more and more nervous about making it to the end, as everyone sized up who would make the easiest opponents in the final three. With Omar outed as a strategic mastermind at the previous tribal council, Maryanne was also focused on usurping his power and concocted a plan to take him out using her extra vote to swing a 3-2-2 vote. And while everyone continued to panic about her plan and who to take out should it fail, she stood firm and held everyone together to perfectly execute it and take Omar out of the game. In a very iconic fashion.
We followed the final five not back to camp, but instead to a new rain soaked beach to set up a new camp for the remaining days. Tarpless and with nothing, let’s just say the final five were well and truly gagged. Ultimately though, nothing could bring Maryanne down after taking out Omar with a massive move. Sadly she was the only one as Romeo was annoyed to have received votes, while Jonathan sassed out Lindsay for voting for him, despite the fact they both turned on each other. And ugh, this isn’t a good look for Jonathan.
Romeo meanwhile was an icon and interrupted the fight to announce that since they’re all being honest with each other, he has an idol and will be playing it at the next tribal council. So yeah, good luck to the rest of ya’s. Essentially.
The next day Jonathan was still focused on getting rid of Lindsay with the boys, while Maryanne was busy assuring Lindsay that Mike would be playing his idol for her at tribal council and as such, they would both find a way to keep going. Mike and Lindsay then caught up, with Mike assuring Lindsay that he will totally play the idol for her at tribal council and while it is the same promise he gave Maryanne, it was the only glimmer of hope she had, so she took it.
The tribe then received treemail, complete with a clue for an advantage at the upcoming immunity challenge. And while Lindsay was first to solve it, she could not find the advantage while the rest of the tribe worked together to solve the clue to block her. While Maryanne desperately tried to undermine the boys so that Lindsay could find the advantage before anyone else, guaranteeing the girls make it to the final four together. And what do you know, Queen Maryanne was successful, as Lindsay snatched the advantage and was that much closer to the end. Much to her and Maryanne’s delight.
While Jonathan looked to be boiling with rage.
The final five met up with Probst in the middle of a clearing for an epic immunity challenge where they would each have to race out to six stations to collect puzzle pieces before solving said puzzle. And while it sounds easy, the stations were guarded by obstacles and the pieces tied up by multiple knots. For Lindsay, she would only have to untie a single knot at each station, while the rest would have to work through six. Oh and the victor would also win a huge dinner of pasta, garlic bread, salad, cake and wine. So yeah, they were all very pumped.
Despite Lindsay’s advantage, she spent most of the challenge nipping at Jonathan’s heels as he absolutely destroyed the obstacles. While it is always hard to keep track of who is in the lead, Jonathan was the first to start working on the puzzle with Lindsay in a very close second place. Mike quickly joined them, while Romeo and Maryanne closed out the pack. While Jonathan and Lindsay were piece for piece at the start, Mike quickly closed the gap as he and Lindsay battled for first place. He continued to methodically work through the puzzle and despite a late-breaking push from Lindsay, he managed to snatch immunity. And tragically, doom one of our queens.
Mike started to break down over his win, overwhelmed to finally jag individual immunity and make his kids proud. Oh and then Jeffrey gave Mike a chance to fuel one of his competitors, with him stupidly opting to give Jonathan food which is a wild choice given he is the biggest competition to win final immunity challenge, assuming he survives the night. Even if they are aligned.
Back at camp the boys went off to smash their feast, pledging their undying loyalty to each other while Lindsay spat fire about how terrible Jonathan is to Maryanne and Romeo. As the boys ate, Mike meanwhile was debating who he should play his idol for at the upcoming tribal to stack the final four with the people he wants. As such, he assured Jonathan he would be playing his idol for him too and just like that, he has now pissed off two potential jurors. The hungry trio meanwhile were busy locking in their votes for Jonathan, with Maryanne assuring them both that there is no way Mike would go back on his word to her. Despite knowing for a fact he also gave his word to Lindsay.
Lindsay meanwhile caught up with Mike to play on his emotions, begging him to stick to his word and not betray her, and while her argument was compelling – and frankly, so great – the fact that she can talk her way into anything, shows how big of a threat she is. Mike then caught up with Maryanne, with her trying to convince Mike to stick to his word to her so that she could protect Lindsay. Though when she caught up with Romeo, he cautioned her that both Jonathan and Lindsay are threats. Leaving Maryanne to worry who Mike would be playing his idol for, given everything hinges on his decision. And could make or break all of their games.
At tribal council Lindsay caught the jury up on her final advantage, while Jonathan spoke about how much they were all struggling. Lindsay admitted to knowing she is likely to go home tonight due to her allegiance to Omar, while Jonathan tried to downplay how much everyone wants Lindsay to go. Maryanne spoke about trying to find the balance between her emotions and playing intelligently, while Lindsay shared how she spent the entire afternoon scrambling and pleading her case, before a quick pivot as she tried to downplay her threat level.
Jonathan stepped up to praise Lindsay for the game she played, while Lindsay said she is continuing to fight for her place in the game until the moment her torch is snuffed. Jonathan spoke about finding the balance between playing a good game and minimising your threat level, with Mike assuring everyone that if you have a solid alliance, it makes working around that a lot easier. Maryanne opened up about her need to not only find people she thinks she can beat to face off against at the end, but that also think they could beat her. And well, Lindsay was just happy that if she is getting booted for being unbeatable, that is the best way to go out.
With that the tribe voted, Mike made a big show of playing his hidden immunity for Maryanne for being so loyal to him. Romeo then announced that he would not be playing his fake idol and instead, threw it into the fire while Maryanne quietly sat on her hidden immunity idol. Jeffrey then finally read the votes with poor Lindsay tragically felled by a united tribe for being too much of a threat.
As she promised at tribal council, she was super chill and excited to be taken out for being too much of a threat, as the other option is making it to the end, getting no votes and having a shocking legacy. I pulled her in for a massive hug and assured her that she left a massive mark on the seasons and truly did play out of the best games this season and as such, is a shoe in for another go. But until then, she always has Chinese Handsay Dolapiewich.
I bet you thought I was going to take the easy route with a cheeky sandwich, but surprise, I pivoted! And when the pivot tastes as good as a slightly tweaked version of Brendan Pang’s Chinese Hand Pies, you really can’t go wrong. Spicy, warming and packing a kick, these are, in a word, perfection.
Chinese Handsay Dolapiewich Serves: 4.
Ingredients 2 cups plain flour, plus extra for dusting 2 tsp kosher salt, plus extra 1 cup water 500g beef mince 3 celery stalks, finely sliced 4 spring onions, finely sliced a large handful of coriander, finely chopped 1 tbsp light soy sauce 1 tbsp dark soy sauce 1 tbsp oyster sauce 1 tsp Shaoxing rice wine 1 tsp ground white pepper ½ tsp raw caster sugar ½ tsp sesame oil ½ tsp Chinese five spice vegetable oil, to fry
Method Combine the flour and salt in a bowl and slowly mix in the water with a fork until combined. Dust the bench with a little bit of extra flour and turn out the dough and knead until nice and elastic. Oil a bowl and pop in the dough, cover with some cling and leave to rest for half an hour or so.
Pop all the other ingredients in a large bowl with a good pinch of salt and scrunch with your hands – or use a wooden spoon, I don’t mind – until well combined. Cover and pop in the fridge for the flavours to meld until the dough is ready.
To assemble, divide the dough into 8 equal parts and roll out until they are 15cm rounds and divide the filling between each disc. To close, gently stretch the dough around to seal at the top, pleat into a circle to give the look of a money bag.
Heat a couple of tablespoons in a large frying pan over medium heat and once nice and hot, add four to the pan, pleated side down and press with a spatula to flatten. Cook for five minutes or until nice and golden before flipping and cooking for a further five minutes. Remove from the pan and leave to rest on some paper towel while you cook the others.
Serve immediately, dripping in Sechuanyx Chilli Oil and devour.
Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race the final five were tasked with writing and recording their own verse for Ru’s new single Catwalk. And star in the music video after designing a runway worthy outfit for the shoot. So like Erika Girardi-Jayne, yeah, they were under a lot of stress. While Daya arguably stomped the competition, Camden giving the judges something different gave her her third and final win of the season. After Bosco was sent to safety, Angeria and Willow were left to lip sync for the last spot in the finale before Ru gagged them by giving us our first top five fighting for the crown.
But before that, the dolls had to reune. Third-but-officially-first boot June came to slay in an all orange number, Angeria was perfection in lilac, Bosco had my heart as a Super Mario boss, Daya was golden, Camden was gothic glamour and Willow was demented and delightful. But it was Kornbread’s look which stole the show, riffing on Willow’s entry line though with ‘angle’ switched out for ‘ankle’ and ugh, I live. Ru opened the show by acknowledging his passion for keeping the girls around and leaving a bunch of episodes without an elimination before an epic recap of the season that was and damn, girl, even I was crying.
Kerri spoke about how universally beloved she is and how amazing it was to open for JLo with Jorgeous and Alyssa. Oh and how weird it is to be recognised, which isn’t overly interesting except for Camden reading Orion for looking like Kelly Mantle on the reunion stage. June was delighted to be a meme queen for her first chocolate moment, though wished she didn’t wear a little pussycat wig when it happened. Kornbread spoke about how heartbreaking it was to be medically removed before shading the girls and assuring them Snacth Game would have been better if she was there. We then recapped Kornbread’s family trauma before learning that the show helped them heal and that they even all attended one of her gigs in South Carolina recently.
We then recapped Jasmine and Kornbread’s drama with the latter admitting that she was not the only person wanting Jasmine to shut up, just the only person not editing themselves on TV. Camden praised Jasmine for taking it with such a good attitude and for becoming a relentless beacon of happiness and joy. As she cockroached through the season.
Speaking of insects, we then addressed the drama between Daya and Jasmine and well Daya looked pissed as they waited for the recap to end. When it did, she admitted that she stands by everything she said, before blaming Jasmine for always poking her at the wrong time. Jasmine then straight up destroyed her, pointing out that she was rude and hateful but Jasmine always only came back in a respectful tone. Jorgeous then jumped in and pointed out that Daya’s attacks were personal and it came across like she had no respect for either of them. While she tried to accept that and explain herself, Alyssa cut her off and called her a bitch which led to Daya breaking down in tears while June jumped in and spoke about how Daya is a genuinely kind person but just may not handle the stress well.
This annoyed Alyssa and Orion before Maddy jumped in to point out a bunch of queens have been shady and were saying the same things that Daya had done and as such, they need to stop being so harsh on her. Which led to Jasmine tearing her a new one before Kerri jumped in, summed it up, pointed out Daya is getting way too much hate and horrible treatment online and then got everyone to be friends again. And Daya acknowledged that she is fairly certain she is just an older version of Jasmine.
We then addressed Alyssa being the trade of the season before she admitted to being single and hung. Which again, is important. Very important.
All loved up, Camden and Angeria spoke about their passion for each other. Which essentially is just their accents. And um, ARE THEY ACTUALLY DATING?! Ru then outed Jorgeous’ showmance with Orion and damn, I’d watch that porno. I mean, they held hands on the bus back to the hotel and ugh, I live. We then pivoted to the Kornbread and Willow platonic love story with Willow admitting that she is going to get Kornbread’s broken ankle tattooed on her arse.
Maddy opened up about how great (and horrible) the fandom had been, though was grateful for the unwavering support of her sisters. With Angie and Alyssa talking about how great it was to show some diversity, before Maddy reiterated that not all straight people should get into drag. Oh and then said that people need to deal with their toxic masculinity to end homophobia and transphobia and, ugh, I love her still. Particularly after we recapped her fight with Jasmine with them admitting that they just leaned into the moment and while it escalated and went off the rails, they were gassing themselves up for the lip sync and loving it. While Willow loved that that is the moment where she realised she was finally on the show.
We then spoke about Jasmine coming out as trans during Untucked and damn, it was still just as emotional, but seeing the dolls rally around each other was just beautiful. Jasmine opened up about how huge the moment was, though she is grateful to finally be living her truth. Kerri joked that she was glad to have another trans sister, before speaking about how she desperately wanted to keep the heart in the moment to make sure Jasmine knew that she was loved and how special she is. Ru then asked about the experiences of all the trans queens in the season with Bosco talking about how she has received nothing but love from the fans. Kornbread said she was nervous about her own coming out, knowing she had to address it with her family while Willow joked that she was glad to now be living her life with even bigger cheeks.
We then addressed the Bosco and Camden Moulin Ru! fight, with Bosco admitting she had no issues and while she was a bitch, she reminded everyone that drag queens are bitches. Bosco then screamed at Camden about how much she loves her and damn, their play-fight was amazing.
Kerri then recapped the myriad of fights of the reunion thus far before they looked into everyone’s runways. And while it was fun, somehow Orion decided to come for Kerri about her ACTUAL J-Lo look. Maddy was then gifted the Golden Boot award for her Maddy and Daddy Morphosis look. Kornbread admitted that she did pay Daya for eating a dragonfly, Orion was disappointed to have missed Girl Groups and Snatch Game and DeJa did a cameo as Lil Jon.
Ru opened the library for the dolls that missed the challenge with Maddy slaying, telling June she should be named February instead and called out Camden for not having a lip. Alyssa then read Orion for being bland and boring, June read Jasmine for being destroyed in the Snach Game lip syncs and Kornbread for shit shoes, then Kornbread read her for filth for literally everything. And well, then Orion bombed. Badly. Leading to Maddy suggesting she should change her name, given you can’t be a story if you can’t read. Oh and Kornbread read DeJa for only having 12 followers.
Daya then closed the show by apologising to Jasmine and Jorgeous but encouraged both of them to call her whenever they needed as her phone is literally always on. With the duo both agreeing that it will take time, but there are no hard feelings. Oh and then Maddy was hilarious, calling Ru heterophobic for putting two design challenges so close together when she would have slayed so many more.
The focus turned to the top five, with Angeria’s low point being Snatch Game while her high point was Ru talking about being consistently impressed by her. Bosco’s low was everyone wanting her to go home but her high point was talking shit about people to victory for all of her wins. Daya’s low point was being sent home first, which was her high point too because it woke her the fuck up. Camden’s low point was looking a mess like the Family Guy creep in the girl group challenge while her high was winning three challenges and surprising everyone. Willow’s low point was Kornbread leaving while her high point was popping spaghetti in the bath. Which is iconic.
And just like that, the reunion was done and I went done the alphabet before hissing at Bosco to get over here and come celebrate her killer run with me. From start to finish, I lived for everything Bosco had to offer from her sass to her chill vibe and kooky aesthetic. And while I don’t want to get into my conspiracy theory that she was only ever eliminated because she had the golden ticket, that dip – and Snatch Game, but they all sucked – was the only real low point of her run and as such, I don’t count her out in the race for the crown just yet. And if she does lose, she’ll alway have Boskorean Beef Dumplings, I guess!
A little bit punchier that a regular dumpling, these babies have a glorious little kick on the inside. While still being juicy, sweet and wrapped in a beautifully pillowy dough. Aka, you know they are good and I love them. Just like Bosco.
Boskorean Beef Dumplings Serves: 8.
Ingredients 500g beef mince 1 onion, finely diced 1 cup wombok, shredded and wilted ½ cup firm tofu, finely diced 100g glass noodles, soaked in boiling water and roughly chopped 5 garlic cloves, minced 1 tbsp soy sauce 1 tbsp sesame oil 1 tbsp gojuchang 1 tsp kosher salt 1 tsp ground black pepper 40 gow gee wrappers
Method Combine everything but the gow gee wrappers in a large bowl and mix together with your hands.
Lay out the wrappers on a bench and place a tablespoon of filling in the centre of each. Dip a finger in water and wet the edges before folding, pleating and mashing them closed – depending on skill level or care for the aesthetic. Repeat the process until they are all gone.
To cook, get a steamer going over high heat and cook the dumplings, 5-10 at a time depending on the size, for about 5-10 minutes, or until the wrapper is gorgeously soft and silky and the filling cooked. Repeat until all dumplings are done, replenishing the water as needed.
Devour immediately with whatever sauce you fancy.
You can also freeze them uncooked in an airtight container and cook them from frozen, giving them an extra couple of minutes in the steamer to defrost.
Previously on Australian Survivor Josh wasn’t feeling Jordie anymore and as such, their respective duos battled for Mark and Sam’s love. Chrissy and Jordie were paired together and won a reward, giving them the power to select a few people to join them. After smashing their KFC, Jordie shoved an immunity idol clue down Jesse’s pants without anyone else spotting them, though I did and it flooded my basement. Jordie started a streak as he took out immunity, leaving his brother Jesse in danger. Well until he found the idol. Sadly however, he passed it over to Sam to sneak it into camp, before she blindsided him from the game and held on to his idol after promising to give it to Jordie ASAP.
Back at camp she did not immediately hand off the idol as everyone rallied around Jordie to make sure he was ok after losing his brother. Sam meanwhile was super proud of her very shady, very bold and very impressive move because it was the first thing she did that wasn’t shared with someone else. Sam and Mark pulled Jordie aside to make sure he was ok, and more importantly, they wanted to confirm that Sam could keep the idol. Instead of returning it per Jesse’s wishes, she promised to keep the votes off him, given either of them outing the idol essentially renders it useless. And honestly, if she pulls this off and doesn’t win, there is something wrong with the world.
The next day everyone was chilling by the fire before Jordie disappeared to reflect on his brother’s departure in the cold light of day. He pulled Shay aside, admitting that he has been on the edge of tears since Jesse’s departure and as such, he needs to move past things and make all the big moves they wanted to make together. And please, please, PLEASE make this the epic revenge arc I’ve been waiting for. Jordie caught up with Michelle and Shay, who agreed they did not want to be sitting ducks and as such, needed to band together with the other singles to take control.
Next in his revenge plan was to sort out the issue of Jesse’s stolen idol, pulling Sam aside to point out a massive hole in her alleged plan. The hole being the fact that her playing an idol for him ruins her trust with her allies. Sadly though, Jordie thought being the only person to know that the Gash-Wales’ have an idol each was powerful. Which it is not. On the flipside, he was also grateful that since Jesse was gone, he now didn’t have to worry about blowing up his game and as such, could play a far riskier game.
Sam and Mark caught up to discuss the fact that she stole Jesse’s idol, with Sam reminding him that Sandra taught them to never let anyone know when you find an idol. This led to her admitting that she had no intention of looking after Jordie and was just trying to keep him happy for as long as possible. Despite the fact he is clearly on the outs of the formerly 8-person alliance anyway, which is now down to 6 with Mark, Sam, Jordan, Josh, Chrissy and Dave. And ugh, Chrissy and Dave, please just damn flip to the singles and give us some fireworks. Sam can’t carry the entertainment on her shoulders much longer!
The tribe arrived at the lake to meet Jonathan for the latest immunity challenge where they would each stand on narrow footholds – that get narrower over time – on a frame and hold on to ropes above their heads. Last one standing taking out immunity. I’ll cut to the chase because surprisingly everyone made it to the third and final foothold before everyone dropped like flies. First was Dave, quickly followed by Josh and KJ, then Mark, Jordan, Michelle before Chrissy asked Josh to help her down. After 70 minutes Sam couldn’t hold on any longer, leaving Shay and Jordie to fight it out for immunity. With the other likely getting booted next. Then out of nowhere, Shay stepped down and immediately fainted, handing Jordie immunity.
Back at camp everyone congratulated Sam, Shay and Jordie on fighting hard in the immunity challenge, though Sam admitted to us how angry she was that he won. That being said, she wasn’t too down as she quickly rallied the alliance together to quickly lock in the vote for Shay. While Sam knew that Jordie will eventually come for her, she was hoping that she would have enough time to get him out before he does too much damage.
Right on cue, Jordie pulled Michelle and KJ aside to rally the singles and take control, preferably taking out Mark, to leave Sam to self-combust. After quickly scoping up Shay, he pulled Dave aside to pitch the plan for the singles alliance to take control given their time is running out. Sadly though, Dave just assured them that he plans to make a move at the next tribal council and as such, they need to ride it out. Even though they could just take control now.
Thankfully with his back against the wall, Jordie finally got messy and outed Sam for stealing his brother’s idol and damn, are we actually in for fireworks? While Dave was shocked by the news he vowed to keep it secret. Given Jordie realised he can’t really trust Dave, he went person to person to out Sam for stealing Jesse’s bag and well, it definitely got a reaction from Chrissy, Josh and Jordan. While he rightly clocked Sam for struggling with chaos (relatable) and looked forward to sowing as much as possible. As Sam spiralled with paranoia, Chrissy assured Mark that she has their back but he needs to keep Sam’s nerves in check otherwise that may change. Essentially. While Dave just looked forward to being the swing vote.
At tribal council Dave spoke about the tribe being in a state of flux, with Jordie admitting that he is definitely the one sowing most of the chaos. He gloated about having nothing to lose and as such, he is dangerous. Shay joined him in pointing out the majority alliance, calling out Chrissy and Dave for making a bad move and reminded them that as such, they need to think before it is too late for all of them. Sam tried to keep everyone calm, assuring them that holding fast is a move. Jordie pointed out that at some point, someone in the 6 needs to make a move if they want to get it to the end.
Dave congratulated Jordie for fighting so hard, though essentially said it is not happening this round. Shay jumped in to remind people that there are only so many moves left to make in the game before Sam said she wasn’t phased, because this is what people on the bottom are meant to be doing. Jordie then jumped up and whispered to Chrissy and Dave that they will be loading their votes on Mark should they want to jump on board and do something. With that, the tribe voted and despite their best efforts to get rid of Mark, the majority joined together to vote Shay out of the game. Only she wasn’t out of the game, instead she found herself arriving at Purgatory where she would await the chance to return to the game.
At Purgatory Shay quickly got to work on building fire, scared to be all alone with her thoughts and the myriad of creepy crawlies around camp. Again, relatable. Thankfully she did manage to survive the night despite her worst fears, though quickly realised that Purgatory was well and truly bleak. Freshly burnt out, the landscape was barren, while Shay reflected on the fact that while she knew she was voted out as a challenge threat, she was still feeling flat. Though you best believe she was ready to use this experience to make it to the end and hot damn, is this the start of her Hayley arc? Because that shelter was a thing of beauty.
Back at the legit camp, Jordie was frustrated his plan didn’t come together while he and Sam joked about the blow-up at the last tribal council. Though given he assured us that he put votes on Mark last tribal council so that they thought he was the target so he could still blindside her, this may not end well for Sam. He quickly pulled Chrissy and Michelle aside to reiterate to Chrissy how dangerous both Sam and Mark are with their idols and their need to band together. His next stop was Josh, reminding him how dangerous they are and that he doesn’t want Josh to leave making a move too late. Sam meanwhile was busy reminding Dave and Jordan that Jordie is now the biggest threat, given the jury loves him and he is making massive moves. Aka building an unbeatable resume. As Sam wandered around trying to put out fires, she was clearly starting to spiral as her allies whispered about her losing the plot and worrying how they can continue to play a rational game with her in that state.
The tribe joined up with Jonathan for the next reward challenge where they would work through an obstacle course to retrieve a big bag of balls which they would then roll down a wooden frame and land them in holes. The first to land them all scoring a brand new car, with the traditional curse that goes along with it. From the start, Jordie powered ahead and quite frankly, never really stopped. While everyone ended up at the frame together except for Jordan – who was clearly smart enough to not want the win, meaning he’d lose the game – Jordie proved to be too good, scoring himself the car just ahead of Dave. Jonathan then surprised him with the second part of the prize, where he could take the car for a test drive to a drive-in cinema while feasting on nachos. And hopefully, not eating it like Benji. He was then able to select someone to join him, opting with Jordan. Then Dave. And finally Michelle, when he kept offering more spaces. While Sam, as has become tradition, looked enraged to be missing out on food.
After a brief Jordie led infomercial, the quartet arrived at their feast where they thankfully were given four individual trays of nachos rather than having to split it Benji style, which again, is burnt into my nightmares. As the group sat down in front of the TV, they quickly learnt that the movie they got to enjoy was actually videos from home with Jordie’s totally sweet dad kicking off the show. And we then learnt he is a widower and ugh, I love him even more. Speaking of love, Jordan’s older brother is a total babe, Michelle’s mum is an adorable icon before we got to hear from Briana again, making me desperately wish she could trade places with her dad for even just an episode.
With that out of the way, Jordie quickly pitched getting rid of Sam to the group, highlighting how dangerous the marrieds are as a duo and the need to get rid of them. While Dave was definitely on board, Jordan struggled to believe how someone as intelligent as Jesse could let his idol be stolen and as such, continued to question Jordie. Jordie then even suggested everyone split the votes between him and Sam, meaning she either saves herself with said idol and he goes home, or they blindside her with an idol. Either way, everyone else wins.
The tribe came together with my love Jonathan for another immunity challenge where this time, they would stand on a narrow beam and hold a pole over their head on which they need to balance a statue. Chrissy, KJ, Dave, Michelle and Sam all dropped out quickly, Mark soon followed, leaving Jordie, Josh and Jordan to battle it out for immunity. Well until Josh dropped his statue mid-transition, leaving the Jords to fight. As Jordan was coached by Mark through his transition, Jordie was like a statue. Chrissy joined in trying to give Jordan a pep talk while poor Jordie struggled more and more before somehow saving himself from dropping. Well, for a couple of minutes at least as he eventually dropped and handed immunity to Jordan.
Back at camp the tribe were thrilled about Jordie’s impending demise, while Sam worried about him potentially running his mouth and ruining her game. Clearly unaware, somehow, just how much shit he has already spoken about her. As Josh and Mark caught up about how safe their alliance is, Jordie pulled KJ aside to quickly lock her in on the plan to vote out Sam. He then approached his toughest battle, laying out his plan with Josh to try and flip him to their side. Sam looked on angrily, and ugh, if this fully awakens paranoid Sam from her first season, I will be so grateful because she was just so damn iconic.
As Michelle and Dave went to go grab water, she awkwardly asked to go too, then backpedalled and repeated the process a couple of times. She then approached Mark, Jordan and KJ nervously asked what Jordie had planned, while Dave and Michelle discussed the best path forward. Sam joined them as she continued to bounce between every damn conversation before pulling Jordie aside to confront him about trying to rally the troops against her. While Jordie assured her he was just fighting for his life in the game, she asked why he never considered talking to her and Mark. And then when he mentioned she has crossed him multiple times, they agreed to just move on and never work together.
Oh and then Mark essentially told Sam to just calm down.
At tribal council Mark pointed out Shay was missing from the jury bench before JLP brushed him off and let Dave talk about how threatening Jordie is in challenges. As Jordan pointed out the danger lies in his ability to be good in a wide range of challenges, while Sam praised him for being a determined fighter before shading him for not trying to work with her. Jordie spoke about his belief that the majority well and truly is divided, before straight up outing Mark and Sam for each owning an idol. He went in on them, pointing out that as returning players, they already are more threatening and if the tribe continue to let them skate by, they are handing them the game. Dave grew nervous, Mark continued to whisper to Josh that it was all lies while Jesse straight up nodded and admitted the idol information as best he could from the jury bench.
For some reason, Josh was steadfast in his trust of Mark and Sam, and as such, Jordie admitted defeat and essentially told them to just vote him out because he is exhausted. With that the tribe did vote, banding together to eliminate Jordie from the game – or to join Shay on purgatory – before Joanthan offered the cheeky little surprise that they weren’t actually done for the night. As they had to vote yet another person “out of the game”. With that the tribe voted, again, Mark and Sam held firm with their idols and the majority stood firm to send KJ to purgatory. While Michelle gave Josh and Jordan deathies for being absolute idiots.
That night Shay was delighted for a little bit of company, though was stressed by the fact one of her friends was Jordie, given he has proven his ability to beat her in challenges. The next day we checked in with the active players who were busy theorising what Shay’s absence meant for their games, well, except for Sam who was busy trying to do damage control over Jordie outing her idol theft. She caught up with Michelle and assured her that Jesse never put an idol in her bag, proud of herself for coming up with a cunning lie to navigate around it. Next up, she caught up with Mark and realised that she had offered up the chance for people to go through her bag and as such, Mark distracted people while she madly transferred the idol to his bag. Which she successfully did. Though based on Josh’s continued belief that Sam doesn’t have the idol, it was probably unnecessary. Despite the fact he was debating whether he and Jordan should flip on the other couple anyway.
The tribe joined up with Jonathan for the latest immunity challenge where they would each have to race through a mud pit and then toss three rings on three separate hooks with the first three people to land them moving on to the next round where they would have to fling fireballs into a pit, with the first person to land two taking out immunity. Mark was the first to land his ring, followed closely by Jordan and Chrissy before Dave and Michelle joined them. While Mark tossed away, everyone but his wife managed to close the gap before he once again started to pull away, followed closely by Josh and Chrissy. Let’s be honest, I started to zone out so all that matters is Mark, Josh and Jordan made it through to the second round where they would toss their fiery balls into a big old hole, which Mark made quick work of, landing both of his before the cousins even got one.
Back at camp the tribe congratulated Mark on his win, none more so than Mark himself who was thrilled to also have his and his wife’s idols in his position. Despite his joy, he was nervous about Purgatory – or as Chrissy calls it, prejudice, pertreee or perjury – with everyone nervous about the ramifications of not only the people already out coming back, but whoever they send to join them tonight. Sam obviously was focused on keeping the couples tight, with them quickly locking in a split vote between Dave and Michelle. Josh and Jordan meanwhile were nervous about how powerful Mark and Sam were and as such, tried to find a way to flush their idol – note, singular in their mind – without getting their hands dirty, levelling things between them. As such, Josh pulled Michelle aside and suggested she vote Sam along with Chrissy and Dave. And while everyone appeared to be onboard, I don’t dare to dream anything will come of it.
Josh was super proud of his idea, planning to get nice and theatrical at tribal council to make Sam as nervous as possible to force Mark into playing an idol. Dave started the theatre sports nice and early, catching up with everyone but Sam to try and make her as nervous as possible. Before approaching Mark and suggesting an idol might need to be played. Like clockwork, this made Sam extremely nervous, pulling aside the women to try and figure out what was happening. As Dave walked away from camp, Sam raced off after him to stop him from finding an idol, and then confronted him for never wanting to talk strategy with her. Though given he was trying to stress her out, they never resolved anything.
At tribal council Dave continued to try and make Sam nervous, while Josh admitted that the only time any of them can truly feel safe is when they have immunity. Which Mark agreed with before praising his alliance for sticking together as a group of pairs for so long. Sam opened up about Purgatory and the fact that they need to make sure they’re making decisions that help them continue forward when someone comes back to the game. After everyone bitched about people returning to the game – producers, add two more people to the cast and/or do redemption island and call it a day – talk turned to when would be the right time for the alliance to fracture and who they should choose to break-up. Oh and how angry anyone that returns to the game will be.
With that, the tribe voted and despite Sam assuring her that she will never write down her name, Michelle was unanimously booted and sent to purgatory. Which is where we thankfully ventured to as the foursome reconnected with Michelle pointing out that they would be battling it out to return the very next day. Speaking of which, as soon as they woke up Jordie and Shay rallied the group to formulate a plan for their inevitable returns. While KJ worried about her anger when she sees the six left in the game, Jordie was looking forward to making them feel as nervous as possible with his positivity. Oh and they all agreed to pretend to hate each other so that they can work together to destroy everyone else’s games.
Everyone reconnected with Jonathan where Jordie quickly got to work making them all feel like shit with his confidence. But first, the challenge where they would each race to balance a ball on a pole, working through obstacles and extending their pole long enough to reach a gutter and land three in different buckets of water at the end. While Josh congratulated Jordie on his return to the game before they even started, he promised to send him straight back to where he came from. Everyone was neck and neck from the start, but it was in fact Jordie who landed his first ball first. Followed closely by Shay. Jordie then landed his second ball while Michelle and KJ landed their first, followed by Shay getting her second.
As predicted, Jordie was the first to earn his spot back in the game before Michelle and KJ tied things up with Shay, as they all fought for the final two slots. Just like that Shay landed her third ball and joined Jordie back in the game before Michelle went for the win, tossing her ball and missing the bucket which was enough for KJ to narrowly land hers and earn her spot back in the game officially sending Michelle from the game, after what felt like a lifetime of non-eliminations. Particularly between this and Drag Race.
When Michelle arrived at the Jury Villa I immediately pulled her into my arms, thrilled to finally have a new guest to heap in culinary comfort. Despite the fact she played a quiet game, I felt like the trio of her, Sandra and Kate had so much potential and I was heartbroken that Dave’s idol ruined it so early. But I didn’t want to focus on what could have been, instead, I ran straight to the kitchen to grab a big ol’ batch of Michelle Chiangsburger Spring Rolls to dull both of our pain.
I know, I know – enough with the hybrid dishes, already! But when they taste this good, they are hard to pass up. Packed full of all the glorious flavours of a cheeseburger, these little babies trick me into feeling they are healthy given they are bite size. Even though they are definitely not. But again, delicious.
Michelle Chiangsburger Spring Rolls Serves: 8.
Ingredients 500g beef mince 1 onion, diced 2 tbsp parsley, roughly chopped 2 tbsp American mustard 2 tbsp pickles, finely diced ½ cup grated jack cheese ⅓ cup panko breadcrumbs 2 garlic cloves, minced salt and pepper, to taste 1 egg, whisked 20-40 spring roll wrappers olive or vegetable oil, for brushin’
Method Combine the beef, onion, parsley, mustard, pickles, cheese, breadcrumbs and garlic in a large bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper. Scrunch with your hands until well combined.
Working one at a time, place 2-3 tbsp of mixture of filing in the bottom of the spring roll wrapper and form a tight sausage. Brush the rest of the pastry with egg and roll to enclose, folding in each edge followed by rolling it up to close. Repeat the process until all the filling is used, or you run out of pasty (thus the very large window).
To cook, preheat the oven to 180C. Pop the spring rolls on a lined baking sheet and brush with the oil. Transfer to the oven to cook for 20-30 minutes or until golden and crisp.
Then devour them with some kewpie mayo or ketchup, since it is cheeseburger inspired!