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!
Previously on Drag Race the dolls were gagged to discover poor Kornbread had to exit the competition after her ankle went creek. Before they were immediately put the task of making a series of PSAs for the fake Save a Queen Foundation a charity to help the ever growing sea of first boot queens to achieve success. Desperate to have their breakout moment, both Bosco and Camden work their arses off and thankfully starred in the challenge. On the flipside, Jorgeous was trapped in her head and struggled throughout the shoot, while Orion just seemed stoned. Ultimately Bosco took out her first victory of the season while Jorgeous and Orion faced off in the lip sync. And well, I pity the next queen to face off against Jorgeous, as she is a damn star. And as such, Orion was sent home. Again.
Backstage the dolls were well and truly reeling from how epic Jorgeous’ performance was in the lip sync and after a stint in the bottom, she assured them that she is ready to fight. Before dropping a joke about dropping out of school for drag, so she can’t lose. The girls then sat down to kiki, congratulating Bosco and Camden for slaying the challenge while DeJa pointed out that Daya was pressed about not being in the top. With Daya cutting her off and telling her she was not disappointed and simply wanted feedback to know how to elevate and land in the top with them. And well, the dolls are getting more pressed with each passing week. Particularly our queen of safety, Daya.
The next day things were far more zen with Camden ready to keep her momentum going before talk turned to how sickening their spring runways were. Before we could learn anything more Ru dropped by to talk shit about Michelle, sharing she has been under the influence of Glambien and obsessively shopping. And well, now that she is clean and sober, Ru would like them to whip up a runway using her leftover purchases from Glamazon Prime.
Immediately, the Pit Crew dropped their boxes off before the dolls ripped anything and everything open to find something they could use for their outfits. Camden got skincare, Kerri got school supplies, Daya got oven mitts and Angeria got condoms while Maddy got a blow-up doll. And me thinks this runway could be a big mess. Poor Willow meanwhile couldn’t open the boxes because of her hands and instead focused on just going through the dregs of what was left. Daya meanwhile was desperate to make it to the top this week, going with a mad, pink baby-doll. Willow shared that she too was going to whip up a baby doll idea, leading to Daya calling her over from across the room with the threat that SHE is doing a baby doll and has claimed the concept. No discussions.
Kerri was terrified, given sewing is not her gig and instead focused on why Michelle was allegedly buying all this crap. On the Flipside, Jasmine had all the plans and was very excited to knock it out of the park. Talk turned to the last sewing challenge as the dolls realised Maddy had to lip sync and as such checked in with how she was doing. And to quote Dorinda, she was not well, bitch.
Ru brought Carson along for a walkthrough, first dropping by to praise Jorgeous for slaying her lip sync last week. She opened up and suggested she would love to do something different and dark, and most importantly, make sure it fits. Particularly in the bodice. Kerri was up next and had already pulled together a concept, opening up about how being bullied while growing up has left her so focused on always looking good and fearing rejection. Maddy too had a big gown half done, sharing she was going with a country patchwork story and well, Carson and Ru weren’t buying it. Though she did vow to give the judges what they want from her. Angeria meanwhile was going for a sculptural fashion number, though the judges already were terrified by her choice of fabrics.
Camden too came in with a strong concept and when Ru felt she needed no advice on that, instead suggested she go with a bigger lip as hers disappear on the runway. I shit you not. Jasmine meanwhile was inspired by Sex and the City 2, which is never a good style choice. Willow was up next, delighting the judges with her plan to be a long-armed glamour monster of a child’s nightmares and well, again, I love her. Daya meanwhile was very confident in her concept and skills, gloating to Ru about how she makes most of her outfits. Though did tone it down and asked the judges what they need to see from her, with Carson telling her to stop doing Crystal make-up looks and instead, encouraged her to show them who SHE is.
Oh and then Ru and Carson had a fight which was demented, camp and well, I loved it.
With the judges out of the room, the girls split up to work on their garments with Willow getting stuck in her head, as her hands worked less and less. Kerri meanwhile was teaching Angeria about a step and repeat before Jasmine rubbed salt in Daya’s wounds, asking her whether she was happy with the judges critiques. Daya then spiralled and rambled about not being stuck in Crystal’s shadow, while she struggled to get out of Crystal’s shadow. Kerri meanwhile told us that Daya’s anger was only because she was desperate and encouraged us not to worry. Which does feel strangely soothing.
Gorgeous meanwhile was busy working on a big, fluffy purple gown which shed more and more with every moment, looking like she just trimmed Grimace’s pubes. As such, she decided to give up on the outfit, grabbing some of Angeria’s scraps and starting from scratch.
Elimination Day rolled around with Jorgeous admitting that she pulled her dress together in a matter of hours before she started to beat her mug. Speaking of beating her mug, Camden was ready to give the biggest lip Ru had ever seen while Kerri, Jasmine and Angeria spoke about who they felt was going to be in the bottom. With them tragically thinking Willow will be read for filth. Bosco and Daya meanwhile were praising DeJa for her killer drag shape while Angeria jokingly wondered why no one was praising her.
As Jorgeous straight up started to dance.
Kerri opened up about how she was kicked out of home at 15. Her father used to ask her to leave the room due to her feminine energy and ugh, he sounds like a toxic prick. Thankfully because of the way he treated her, she learnt that he was a horrible person and was ok without her family. Jasmine shared that she was outed by one of her father’s friends, with her father trying to make him stop doing drag. Thankfully, his girlfriend wasn’t a moron and told him to stop being stupid and treat her son like a human.
Maddy then opened up about how she told her dad that she was a drag queen just before she left for the competition, with her admitting he is ok with it and proud of her for following her passions. Talk turned to her mother, who she hasn’t really seen since she was 18 and opened up that she was essentially raised by her grandmother who lived in the next door trailer. Oh and then Camden said she came out while getting dropped off at boarding school. Which Bosco clarified was ballet boarding school, so it was unlikely to be a shock for her father.
Ru, Michelle and Carson were joined by Queen Taraji P. Henson on the judges panel where Lady Camden was a pastel, fairy delight, complete with a massive lip which truly did transform her face. Jasmine meanwhile truly looked like the fifth doll in the second Sex and the City movie which honestly, is not a compliment. Daya was meanwhile the nightmare version of Kita Mean’s promo image, Maddy was super country cute complete with her boyfriend while Willow was the sexiest monster I’ve ever seen. And again, I love her. Willow is fucking fierce. Bosco was blue and horny and well, looked sexy despite some interesting fit around the hips. DeJa meanwhile improved on Jinkx’s promo look – you know the one – while Angeria was absolutely perfect, serving cocktail realness. And then Jorgeous gave a sexy, slutty mini-dress, looking like Shakira while Kerri was hot despite the fact her outfit had SO much going on.
Daya, Willow, Bosco and Kerri were sent to safety, much to Daya Betty’s absolute disgust. While Kerri too was disappointed to once again be safe, she was at least grateful for another week in the competition. Unlike Daya who scowled and stomped in, quietly sulking on the side. Bosco meanwhile was confused about where the dolls on the mainstage would place. Which led to Daya ranting about how hard she worked this week, while Jasmine just draped fabric around her perfect body. Which is clearly why she is in the bottom. As Bosco told her, reading my mind. Daya admitted that she thought she would be in the top but knew Lady Camden would likely take out a win.
Oh and then she spoke about hating listening to people bitch and moan as she proceeded to bitch and moan. Again.
Willow on the flipside was thrilled to be safe, given she was so worried she would be in the bottom. She then said she had the best concept on the mainstage, eliciting eye rolls and shadiness from Daya. Bosco opened up about being proud of her look, explaining that she was leaning into the fact the challenge was to make shit without fabric and as such, didn’t do a garment that looked like it was made from fabric.
On the mainstage, Camden was busy receiving universal praise for everything she did, and for looking like an absolute star. With Ru particularly thrilled by her massive lips. Jasmine meanwhile was read for filth, misunderstanding Carson’s request for her to take off the hat as a joke. Maddy and her blow-up doll were deemed confusing, despite it looking cute and exactly on the narrative she was going with. While Taraji loved the comedy, she wished the look was more polished. DeJa’s look was beloved, except for the messy headpiece and fan. Angeria again received universal praise for literally everything she did, charming the judges with her descriptions and is this another win for her? Jorgeous also received universal praise with the judges living for the look despite its simplicity. Being a humble queen, Jorgeous thanked Angeria for sharing her scraps with her and ugh, it is too precious.
That being said, Ru was still tempted to make her lip sync, just because she wants to see her perform.
The tops and bottoms ventured backstage to untuck with Jasmine quickly claiming the fact she was in the bottom. Jorgeous meanwhile proudly spoke about how much the judges lived for her outfit as Daya and Jasmine looked on with simmering rage. Angie too proudly spoke about being in the top before Maddy pretended the judges lived for her before admitting the judges hated it. When she said she thought she’d be lip syncing tonight against Jasmine, and then Jasmine got angry at her for saying that she was ready to fight. Shadilly saying she is not bothered at all. While DeJa non-chalantly announced Maddy is here, she’s not queer and they need to get used to it.
Jasmine continued to rant, telling Maddy she is so much better than her and well, it was not cute. Maddy meanwhile tried to apologise and again, Maddy is kind and sweet and Jasmine does not look good in this moment. But you know who does? Taraji, who dropped in to kiki with the girls, telling them not to be stressed as this is not the last drag show and they are winners for being here and as such, they need to remember they are all stars. Not to be confused with All Stars. And well, it was glorious. I want Taraji to give me a pep talk because she is GOOD.
Ultimately Angeria was deemed only safe – robbed – as was Lady Camden, handing Jorgeous her first victory of the season. Much to her own shock and delight. And Daya Betty’s simmering rage at the back of stage. When it came to the bottoms, DeJa was narrowly sent to safety, leaving Jasmine and Maddy to battle to my girl Beyonce’s Suga Mama. And while I desperately wanted Maddy to own it from start to finish, Jasmine was feeling her oats, giving Queen Bey realness as she flipped and fucked the floor while Maddy dragged her massive gown around the stage as she served perfectly demented comedy. Sadly though, that wasn’t enough and we tragically lost our fierce straight sister Maddy.
For realsies. As she too came up chocolate, with her candy bar.
As Maddy re-entered the Werk Room, she followed the sound of my wailing sobs, assuming it was still Daya crying about being safe. Thankfully she was relieved to see me, her dear friend, instead and pulled me in for a massive hug. I explained that she was such a kind, bright spark this season and after also losing Kornbread but a week earlier, I was struggling with my emotions. Turning the tables, she reminded me that she is a sickening queen and that being eliminated does not change that. Plus, she will have a hell of a run on All Stars. As such, she took me over to the grill and with a laugh, was delighted to see a very Guy Fieri inspired Maddy Mormemphosis Burger awaiting her.
A little bit smokey, with some creamy-tang thrown in by way of the slaw, this burger is the perfect, quick pick-me-up. Add in some bacon and well, I simply don’t know how this one doesn’t leave you with a smile.
Maddy Mormemphosis Burger Serves: 4.
Ingredients 500g beef mince 1 small onion, finely diced 2 garlic cloves, minced 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce ½ tsp smoke essence salt and pepper, to taste olive oil, for brushin’ 8 slices streaky bacon 4 slices American Cheese 4 Briocher Bünsbergs ¼ cup Shayonnaise Swain ¼ cup barbecue sauce 1-2 cups Benjamin Slaw
Method Place the beef mince, onion, garlic, Worcestershire and smoke essence in a bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper. Scrunch together with your hands until well combined before dividing into four patties. Place on a lined plate, cover with cling and pop in the fridge to chill for an hour or so.
When you’re ready to go, heat a skillet over medium heat and once nice and hot, cook the bacon until golden and crisp. Remove from the pan to drain on some paper towel before adding a lug of oil to just coat the base – you may not need much, given the bacon should be fatty. Add the burgers and cook for a couple of minutes before flipping and cooking for a further couple of minutes. Pop a slice of cheese on each pattie and cook for a further minute or so, or until melted.
To assemble, smear mayo on the base of the buns, followed by a patty, two slices of bacon, barbecue sauce to taste and then a heaping of slaw.
Serve immediately with a side of fries and devour.
Previously on Survivor, the tribe turned up to the latest immunity challenge where Jeff gagged them with a(nother) twist. They were split into two groups of five and each group would compete for their own immunity and then vote a person out. Oh and the person that lasts the longest overall would win a reward for their group. After Erika took out immunity over Ricard, Shan, Heather and Naseer, she noped out of the challenge handing reward and immunity to Xander. The losers ventured back to Ua to strategise with Shan wanting to target Heather and Ricard planning to get rid of Naseer. And after Naseer told Heather that she would definitely be going home, it motivated Ricard to loop Erika and Heather in, with them banding together to eliminate Naseer.
The victors returned to camp and as they joyfully smashed their stew, Xander was thrilled to hold the balance of power in their group given he has immunity, an idol and an extra vote. Evvie meanwhile wasn’t overly nervous since they have a good bond with Deshawn and was formerly very tight with Xander. As such, the duo put their differences aside and decided that targeting Liana would be their best bet for moving forward. Deshawn meanwhile was floating not voting out Evvie to Danny, who obviously quickly shut things down. Danny then approached Liana to lock in the vote for Evvie while Liana was nervous about what exactly Xander would do with the idol knowing that if that happens, it may end up sending her home.
Liana then boldly approached Xander and asked him to join the Evvie vote and even had the nerve to suggest that he should hand over his idol until after tribal council to make her feel comfortable with the plan, which he wisely shut down with a hell fucking no.
Xander and Evvie then caught up with Deshawn and Danny, suggesting that Liana threw their names out there and while Deshawn was all in on aligning with them to get rid of her, Danny still looked well and truly pissed. As such he pulled Xander aside and told him that Evvie is far more threatening than Liana and if they want to work together, he thinks getting rid of them is the better idea first and then they can look at Liana.
As the group arrived at tribal they were gagged to discover Naseer had immediately joined the jury. Danny spoke about how stressful it is given Xander is the only person safe. Xander meanwhile focused on how great the stew was before Deshawn brought things back to the game, pointing out that it is a tough choice given the group is so small and he had wanted to work with the person that he thinks is getting booted. Liana spoke about the calmness of the smaller tribal, though admitted it feels so much more dangerous. Xander admitted that having immunity gave him a little extra power while Evvie admitted that everyone was being particularly cagey back at camp. Including them.
Everyone in the tribe spoke about how they are fairly confident their plan is the one that is going to succeed which made Deshawn point out that means someone is clearly lying in the situation. Evvie then likened tribal council to being on a rollercoaster and how the fun part is surviving the chaos and fighting through your fear about dying, while Deshawn pointed out that is what is about to happen to someone’s game. Which obviously meant it was time to vote, with poor Evvie realising they were the one blindsided from the game.
While it was a bit chaotic getting everything together in Ponderosa, I was thrilled to be there to support my dear friend Evvie. Well, after supporting Naseer because I have a process and like me mid-breakdown, they just need to trust the process.
I first met Evvie when she started her PHD during one of my many scams while pretending to be a college Professor. I also coached Lori Loughlin’s daughters in rowing, but that is another story for another time. In any event, as it usually does, the college soon realised I have no qualifications to be a professor and I was quickly fired, though Evvie being kind, we kept in touch and soon became the best of friends. As such, I knew the only thing that could cure her post-boot blues were a big, hot Cheevieburger Nachoda.
You know I love burgers and will find anyway to turn a dish into one and well, this little number thankfully turned out delightfully. Salty pickles, creamy cheese and the whack of onion team perfectly with the corn chips and well, just make it and find out how great it is.
Cheevieburger Nachoda Serves: 4.
Ingredients 2 tsp olive oil 500g beef mince ½ tsp Worcestershire Sauce salt and pepper, to taste 1 bag corn chips 8 slices American cheese 1 small onion, diced 1-2 tomatoes, diced 1-2 cups shredded iceberg, washed and dried 2-4 dill pickles, sliced 2 tbsp American mustard 2 tbsp ketchup
Method Heat a lug of olive in a large skillet over medium heat and cook the mince and Worcestershire, breaking it up into largish chunks – I failed at that – with the back of a wooden spoon. Season, reduce heat to low and leave warm.
Place the corn chips in four bowls and heat for a minute or so in the microwave, top with a couple of slices of American Cheese, followed by the mince, onion, tomatoes, lettuce, pickles, mustard and ketchup.
Previously on Australian Survivor the top five fought hard to snag immunity and guarantee this safety, with Hayley once again coming out on top. As such, the tight Brains alliance decided to load all their votes on Flick and rid themselves of the final Brawn. That is until George realised Flick wasn’t hunting for an idol, and as such, he grew paranoid that she already has one. With that he joined Cara and loaded their votes on Wai JIC. While Flick thought she was gagging the rest of the tribe as she played her idol, her sole George vote was rendered useless as the beautiful Queen Wai was sent from the game.
The next day George was lounging about quietly in camp before Cara snuck up and scared the shit out of him. The duo then mucked around all cute like, as they praised their unbreakable bond, grateful to have had each other to navigate the game. Cara desperately wanted the two of them to make it to the end together, but also knew that that would be a very difficult task.
And well, already this feels like the ads about turning on each other won’t be like SuE’S bIG m0v3!?
Meanwhile Flick and Hayley were tending to camp as Flick shared with us that she is pretty much just planning an immunity run to the end because, well, that’s her only real option. Despite that, she pulled Hayley aside and once again pitched that the two of them join together and break up the duo of George and Cara. And given George is the chattiest of Kathy’s, she thinks he is the biggest threat to both of their final tribal councils. Once again, Hayley agreed that it was a wonderful idea despite intending to stick with the duo should Flick not win the next immunity since she can easily beat the others in the final immunity challenge.
Undeterred, Flick approached Cara and pointed out that she needs to make a move for the jury by taking out George if she wants any chance of winning. And well, Cara was not interested at all. As such, she went for a walk with George with them having a good old laugh about not voting each other out next which TBH does make me more and more nervous. As does the fact George just wants anyone but Flick to win immunity. Which is where this is ending up, right?
The duo quickly worked out that should Flick be immune, it would likely finish in a tie between Hayley and George meaning the duo would need to compete in a fire challenge to continue in the game. Knowing that George has no fire skills at all, Cara pulled him aside and coached him how to use a flint and while it was a bit slapstick at the start, she did prove to be a decent teacher.
Dear Jonathan arrived for the massive final four immunity challenge where the group would face off by racing over a net to collect balls which they will use to release puzzle pieces. They would then build a ladder with the puzzle pieces, untie a bucket and then fill it with water and walk it through hurdles before using the water to release even more balls which they then have to land in a ball puzzle.
Desperate, Flick got out to an early lead, whipping through the challenge as the others just tried to keep up the pace. Hayley overtook her with some killer throws however, quickly building her stairs as Flick and Cara lagged slightly behind. George eventually joined the fun on the stair puzzle as Cara joined Hayley on the bucket section. Well, briefly. As Hayley started landing her balls while Flick finally finished with her stairs. Hayley had landed three balls by the time Flick closed the gap and joined her at the puzzle. As Hayley landed her fourth ball, Cara joined the fun and quickly landed a ball just after Flick. Flick and Cara methodically landed their balls as Hayley grew more and more desperate before Flick slipped in and snatched immunity.
Back at camp Flick was thrilled to finally have a bit of power in the game, before realising that the final immunity challenge is usually endurance and as such, Hayley is the biggest threat to her game. With that in her mind, she approached Cara and quickly locked her in on the Hayley vote.
But all was not lost yet, as Hayley realised she was the biggest threat and Cara and George flipping Flick would send her home immediately. Hayley pulled Flick aside and shared how grateful she was to have spoken the day before, doubling down on the need to get rid of George if any of them want to have a chance at winning. Obviously Flick agreed with this plan too, so off Hayley trotted to chat to Cara where she learned that Flick was playing her and was planning to vote her out as the only threat to winning final immunity. Which obviously panicked Hayley, asking Cara if she was truly considering turning on her. Rather than say, pointing out that Cara needs Hayley there in the final challenge if Cara wants any chance of winning, given Flick has the jury stacked in her favour.
As Cara laughed about the absurdity of Flick suggesting Cara help her win the next challenge, she rightly pointed out that Hayley would take her to the final two if it was the three girls at the end. Hayley reiterated how important it is for Cara to make a move and get rid of George to give herself a shot, but she just wasn’t sure whether she could do it emotionally. Hayley then found George and made the exact same plea to him, pointing out that if he is in the final three with Flick and Cara, he has no shot of making it to the end and has to settle for third place. She then locked in her vote for Cara and told him that she hopes he joins her but understands if he doesn’t. And then up and left him.
George and Cara then caught up, pledging their love for each other and praising each other for the games they have played. They then joined Hayley and the trio gave each other a group hug to celebrate their successes before heading to tribal council for their official break up.
At tribal council the jury were delighted to see Flick wearing immunity before she shared that it is nice to feel calm and secure after a good week or two of being the target. George admitted that without immunity, Flick would be a goner but instead, one of the close trio is going out. Hayley admitted that while she, Cara and George all have different compelling stories, they need to get to the final two and given neither of them are great in challenges, they need her. She pointed out that Flick is definitely going to win in the final two, given the jury loves her, but their chances are better against her and whoever is in the final three with her and Flick would be the one she would choose to take.
George reminded Cara that Hayley is the ultimate challenge threat, while Cara simply praised Hayley’s killer pitch. George tried to create doubt, pointing out that Hayley winning final immunity is guaranteed if she gets there with Hayley pointing out that that isn’t the worst thing, given Flick beats anyone at the end. Flick pointed out that she will be going strategic with her vote, while George and Cara both said that they would be sticking with their final two leaving poor Hayley to once again reiterate that they need to think beyond three now and instead look to two and who they would have the best shot against.
With that the tribe voted and both George and Care turned on each other, with Hayley banding with George to send Cara out of the game to join the far-better-than-winning Fourth Place Robbed Goddesses Club.
As Cara walked into Jury Villa, I couldn’t contain myself any longer and ran out to pull her in for a big hug. You see, the empath Real Estate community is quite small and as such, Cara and I quickly bonded and became the best of friends. I didn’t tell you I was a Sydney Real Estate Tycoon? Oh, I was. Anyway, Cara and I are dear friends, so I was gutted to see her felled so close to the end. Until I remembered the aforementioned placement as a FPRG, after which, I toasted to her success and whipped up a comforting Cara Spaghettchison & Meatballs.
Despite my passion for all things balls, I never got the appeal of Spaghetti and Meatballs as a kid. I think it probably has something to do with the fact I felt there was less sauce involved and as such, resented it. But then I woke up to myself and realised that those big juicy balls, dripping in sauce and covered generously with the sharpest parmesan are perfection. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Cara Spaghettchison & Meatballs Serves: 4.
Ingredients 250g beef mince 250g pork mince 10 garlic cloves, minced 1 egg, whisked ¼ cup grated parmesan, plus extra for serving ¼ cup breadcrumbs small handful Italian parsley, roughly chopped 100ml milk salt and pepper, to taste olive oil 1 onion, diced 1 carrot, peeled and grated 1 celery stalk, diced 1 tsp dried oregano 1 tsp dried basil 500ml passata 100ml water 1 tsp raw caster sugar 500g dried spaghetti
Method Preheat the oven to 180C.
Start by combining the minces, four garlic cloves, the egg, parmesan, breadcrumbs, parsley and milk in a large bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper. Scrunch together until well combined before rolling into 12 large meatballs. Place on a lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat a lug of olive oil in a dutch oven and saute the onion, carrot and celery over medium low heat for five minutes, or until soft and sweet. Add the remaining garlic and cook for another minute before stirring in the oregano, basil, passata, water and sugar. Bring to the boil before reducing heat to low and simmering for 15 minutes.
Once glorious and thick, stir through the meatballs, pop on a lid and simmer for a further 15 minutes.
While that is simmering, cook the spaghetti as per pack instructions before draining, serving and topping with the big, saucy balls. And then coating in parmesan.
Previously on Australian Survivor poor George was still left right out despite a string of hero moments in the last couple of immunity challenges. Though thankfully for him, he did manage to find a hidden immunity idol despite Baden finding the clue hidden away at camp. At the immunity challenge Benny became the bane of everyone’s existence due to moving letters – which were incorrect anyway, as an aside – and as such, Simon quickly turned everyone against him. After Big D flipped to the other side in the first round, Shannon and Queen Kez joined their rivals to boot Benny from the game.
We kicked things off at the Brawn tribe where the group were living their best lives as Gerald served his sexiest model poses. All while Simon looked on, heartbroken that he is no longer the zaddy of the tribe. While Gerald was feeling irritated that Shannon flipped the night before, he assured us that he was still loyal to his majority alliance and as such, just wanted Simon to chill out with the grumps and keep things as jovial as possible. That being said, Gerald was also committed to keeping an eye on Simon, given he is clearly on the hunt for an idol and as such, the majority can’t afford to let him get it. Sadly for Simon, as soon as he spotted the idol he was under the watchful eyes of Flick and Kez, so he couldn’t make a grab for it yet.
Though mere moments later, fate clearly intervened as they left and he returned to the tree where it was hidden, grabbed it and was buoyed by hope.
Over at camp Brains, Joey was thrilled to hit double digits though was desperate to score a reward for their tribe given he is so overwhelmed by hunger. That being said, he is sitting pretty in the tribe and doesn’t have to worry about getting the boot and as such, he assured us that he can persevere. We then learnt he works in finance, but that means nothing because he planned to go to the next challenge in drag, wearing his buff as a top and as such, my basement is flooded and I’m questioning everything I know.
The tribes met up with my love Jonathan for the reward challenge which would see them log-roll for a bountiful feast of toasties. Which immediately had the Brains dripping, but hopefully that translates to dripping back at camp as they jaff things up. First to face off were Flick and Hayley with the latter once again defeating a professional athlete in a challenge to give the Brains a lead. Sadly that was it for Brains domination as Emmett destroyed Andrew – who ended up cracking his nads on the log on the way out before Simon straight up challenged Joey to the next round and quickly destroyed him. That left Dani to defeat Cara for the win, which she did though not because she tried to scare her off the log Scooby Doo style.
Back at the Brawns camp the tribe were thrilled to see their newest loot and giddy to get down to whipping up their sandie jays. None were happier than Simon though, given he was sitting pretty with an idol AND then found a second one in their reward as he collected hessian sacks that he could use for fishing. He was confident nobody saw him and returned to camp to smugly eat the sandwich as King Gerald shared with us that he saw the entire thing play out. The rest of the tribe meanwhile fried up their toasties while Daini worried whether he should feel bad for the Brains, rather than protesting a lockdown and making the COVID situation worse.
Speaking of the Brains, George and Cara were bonding over their upbeat vibes while Baden grew tired of being hungry. And you know, the fact that he couldn’t find the idol he has a clue for since he is currently riding solo just like George. If only the duo put their differences aside, aligned and got to work taking over the game. And reading my mind, George decided now was the time to check in with Baden and as such, caught up with him by the billabong to see how he was feeling. As they cracked it out doing yoga, George shared that he had found the idol without a clue and while Baden was glad to be put out of his misery, he was more grateful that George shared intel with him and as such, he too has hope in the game.
My beloved Jonathan met up with the tribes once again where this time they had to race to release a series of balls, catch them, play skee ball, carry it through a mud pit and then land it in a suspended pyramid. And Brains, there is no puzzle, so I worry you’re in danger. That being said, Brains got out to a 5-2 advantage in the ball section of the challenge, so maybe I’m wrong again. Wait, nope. While they were first to get to the skee ball section, Brawn took the lead as George struggled to land his ball. While they eventually got to the final apparatus, they were no match for Brawn who finally snagged their second immunity challenge win with minimal competition.
Back at camp the Brains were heartbroken to have another immunity loss and while George was feeling the heat since he single handedly lost the challenge, he has the idol so was completely unbothered by things. And since the rest of the tribe are focused on taking him and only him out, this isn’t ending well for someone else. Joey meanwhile was confident in his numbers and well, Joey girl, you in danger I guess. He caught up with his allies by the water and quickly locked in the vote for George, while George decided to get politicking, quickly pulling a counter alliance together against Andrew, Joey, Georgia and Laura.
As the rest of the tribe bonded by the fire, George disappeared to go get water and then returned to camp wearing his immunity idol in an iconic, bold move. As everyone started to shit their pants. While everyone tried to act confident that he may not play the idol, he lay in the sun waiting for someone to come and talk to him. While they sat in camp mocking his move. With that, George instead pulled Cara and Wai aside to talk about voting for Joey or Laura. Cara opted to go and try woo Rachael and Hayley, while the cool kids suggested Mitch was a good option to vote out instead. Given he is so focused on being the leader, which is something they don’t want to deal with.
The four then approached Rachel to woo her on side and while Rach was keen, she was also listed as fifth at best before they got to her and that feels obvious. She then caught up with George, who quickly got the politician hat on, assuring her that this is the time to prove loyalty to each other and to show trust. While Rachel was just thrilled to be the swing vote with Hayley, as they appeared to prefer to get the vote off Laura and instead on to someone else. But I’m often wrong, so prepare for Laura to be savagely booted despite us never getting to know her.
At tribal council George was still rocking the idol with an open shirt look and was almost selling it, while Joey was still cranking up the energy to an 11 just like Kate Ceberano in a radio interview (another story for another time). He did admit that things started to get nervous at camp, while Rachel agreed that coming to tribal is a chance to see where everyone stands. Laura admitted there are personality clashes in the tribe, while Cara countered by saying the relationships are fluid and that people continue to evolve. Joey disagreed and said that there are definitely firm names assigned to the alliances, with Rach agreeing things were happening while Mitch felt that his relationships are post-alliance. Which is never a great thing to think in Survivor.
Rachel admitted that the length of time between their first vote and now has complicated things while George charmingly pretended that he didn’t have an idol before reminding everyone that the vote is about drawing a line in the sand and as such, they need to trust who they trust and just embrace it. Mitch reiterated that George is pretty much off the table, while Joey suggested that he doesn’t care about George wanting to make another tribal council about him despite feeling nervous about the power of the idol. Joey then got savage talking about how George saved five people at the first tribal but somehow ended up with no allies and as such, he wasn’t concerned about anything George tries to pull off.
Though George gave zero Fs, given he is playing the game differently to other people and therefore doesn’t care about Joey’s shade. Wai questioned whether the idol would get played while Rachel didn’t worry whether George would play his idol. While George just wanted Jonathan to acknowledge his body-ody-ody. Before Hayley reiterated that trust is all that anyone cares about and as such, that is what it is about tonight. And Andrew just wanted everyone to get along.
With that, the tribe voted, George played his idol – needlessly, might I add – as four votes landed on Laura and the rest on Dr Mitch, sending him from the game. Much to his confusion, shock and the shady commentary about the brutal blindside from Geroge. As Mitch cussed him out as he exited tribal council, unaware that George had nothing to do with the vote.
By the time Mitch arrived in my arms at loser lodge he was a little less angry, I assume because he got to see me, his dear Brisbane friend. You see, I was pretending to lecture as medical school when Mitch was training and while I was swiftly fired in shame, Mitch saw me as the broken person that I am and as such, tried to look out for me. Which eventually developed into a friendship. Aka a tale as old as time. Anyway, I knew that Mitch would be fanging for some comfort after his brutal blindside and as such, whipped up a big batch of our traditional Mitchroom Shawiss Burgers.
I had never thought of popping a mushie on a burger – unless it was the vego star of the dish, obvi – until I experienced the magic, beauty of Five Guys. A glorious place where bags are topped with fries and you get to decide every single element you can add on a burger. And lets just say, mushies, swiss and some onions are a near perfect trio to elevate a burg.
Mitchroom Shawiss Burger Serves: 4.
Ingredients 2 tbsp olive oil 2 onions, sliced 1 cup button mushrooms, roughly chopped 500g beef mince salt and pepper, to taste 4 Briocher Bünsberg ⅓ cup Shayonnaise Swain 4-8 slices swiss cheese
Method In a small saucepan, heat a lug of olive oil over medium heat. Once hot, add the onions and sweat for about ten minutes, or until soft, sweet and caramelised. Reduce heat to low and keep warm, adding dashes of water if they start to catch.
Meanwhile, heat another lug of olive oil in another saucepan or frying pan and once hot, add the mushrooms. Cook for a couple of minutes, or until the mushrooms release all their liquid and suck it back up again.
When you’re almost ready to eat, scrunch the mince in your hands and then form into 4 hockey pucks. Brush the remaining oil in a large frying pan over high heat. Once scorching, sprinkle salt and pepper on the tops of the patties and add seasoned side down in the pan. Immediately flatten with a metal spatula until 1cm thickness and immediately season the other side of the patties. After a couple of minutes, flip the patties, top with swiss cheese and cook for another minute or so until they’re the desired doneness.
To assemble, toast the inside of the buns, spread each side with some mayo, top with the cheesy patty, some onion and the mushroom.
Previously on Australian Survivor – doesn’t it feel good to say that again?! – 24 new castaways Mad Max-ed into outback Queensland to find out whether brains or brawn is what is needed to prevail. They were immediately thrown into a challenge where Brawn destroyed Brains. Though clearly wanting to give the competition a leg up, Simon encouraged the tribe to choose a survival kit as reward because he had fire on lock, which he obviously didn’t. As such, they shivered through the first night. Thankfully for him, he redeemed himself by leading the tribe to victory in the immunity challenge. All hope seemed lost for Wai on the Brains tribe until George found a massive advantage, saved her and four others and then my love Phil found themselves tragically felled as the first boot.
The next day the Brains tribe were slowly trying to process George’s massive move, mainly just glad that they were the ones to survive despite none of the people that remained at tribal being on anyone’s radar. That being said, those that stuck around were angry about how it all played out and as such, vowed to get rid of George at the first possible chance. Wai meanwhile was just shocked to still be in the game and as such, opted to get to work making the most of her second chance by making friendships. First she checked in with George and shared her gratitude that he saved her, with him admitting that he sees potential in her and as such wanted to change both of their destinies. Like a modern day Jesus.
George moved on to Rachel and Georgia and well, Rachel didn’t feel happy about it being saved at tribal given George called her out as weak in explaining his move and as such, she realised that he just wants power and that is it. And well, she isn’t a monarchist, so good luck on him being King. And just like that, she is my queen. Oh and then she went to kiki with Joey and Hayley and well, I ship the hell out of this trio.
Over at the Brawn tribe, poor Simon was still focused on getting fire and well, still wasn’t having much success. I mean, even Queen Dani couldn’t get it going and well, if she can’t, I don’t have hope for any of them. And honestly, everyone’s mood was so down I feel like they mustn’t have any hope either. The Survivor Gods/editors continued to immediately prove me wrong, as Emmett stepped in, confident in his ability to rub sticks together (relatable) which, combined with his plant based diet – direct quote – did the trick as he earnt everyone’s love by building a fire, despite really leaning the David flair for the theatrical in a less charming way.
My love Jonathan made his return to the screens for today’s reward challenge where the Brawns were gutted to see Phil gone, as they bloody well should be. Still grappling with said shock, they learnt that the challenge would see them facing off one at a time under a net to retrieve a sandbag and then wrestle their opponent to land it in their tribe’s square, with the first to three winning. And given it was for a huge fishing kit, spices, bread, honey and let’s say other misc supplies, everyone was well and truly pumped to fight it out.
The first duo to face off were pain researcher Hayley and MMA fighter Chelsea and well Chelsea could murder me in my sleep, so I fear for Queen Hayley. Thankfully she had a huge head start thanks to her speed and hot damn, with grit and determination, she snagged the first point for the Brains. Like a boss. Simon then faced off against Dr Mitch, who was carried with the bag by Simon to score a point for Brawns, no doubt to the chagrin of George. Georgia and Dani fought extremely hard before the prison guard snatched the lead for the Brawns, meaning Baden had to beat Gavin to stay alive. Which he did, after the ultimate battle of the zaddies was barely taken out by the Brains. As such, it was up to Emmett or Joey to snatch victory for their tribe and given the way Emmett cockily showboating almost cost them victory, I don’t see this as a good advertisement for a plant based diet or his stocks in the game.
But anyway, Brawn won again and I need the underdogs to score a win in the immunity challenge otherwise this will get old very quickly.
Back at the Brawn camp, the tribe were giddy from their latest victory and quickly got down to making a cheeky honey sambo as they surveyed the loot. The tribe then went for a swim, with Emmett assuring them that he was never at risk of losing the challenge for them despite everyone feeling nervous about the way Joey tackled him mid-taunt. Janelle meanwhile was the only one that rightly wasn’t having any of it, given his egocentric displays can cost everyone in the tribe. We then finally learnt more about Janelle, who is a hard working cleaner and highly competitive hockey player and well, she is now my new Queen. She then aired her frustrations with Benny and sweet Gerald, suggesting that Emmett, Gavin and Simon have banded together and they all need to watch out so they don’t find their footing and take over. Which is 100% correct.
Over at camp Brains, the tribe were reading George for offering to battle it out against AFL legend player, with Hayley pointing out that volunteering at the last minute when you know you can’t win isn’t helpful and just designed to cause disharmony. And if that isn’t what he wanted, that is what he got as Baden was well and truly sick of him and ready to take him out. George meanwhile was talking about how much quicker than Gavin he would have been in front of Baden, fed-up Baden point blank asked what his strategy was in doing what he did and how he believed he would actually beat Gavin. And when George wouldn’t back down, they started to argue back and forth with Baden ultimately telling him that they need to make decisions for the team and can’t get offended about it. When George countered that they need to end their losing streak, Baden pointed out that losing earlier is certainly not going to help the situation.
And oh was George feeling on the outs after being read for filth.
We pressed pause on the drama as Jonathan returned for the immunity challenge where the tribes would swim out to a deck, climb over some obstacles, release some balls, release a key and then solve a hanging puzzle. With George and Wai taking the hero role of the puzzle, meaning he just might get the chance to prove himself. Brawn obviously got out to an early lead, but given Simon was in budgie smugglers, I am now rooting for them, so yay team! Again, this immediately jinxed them as the Brains caught up and both tribes were neck and neck all the way through the physical part. The Brains started to pull away and quickly released their key and gave them a slight advantage as they headed into the puzzle. Not that they needed though, given Wai took charge and George trusted his gut, proving to be a winning combination as they went piece by piece and quickly scored the win for the Brains.
And joyfully lapped up the praise of their tribe, which was honestly as heartwarming as the end of any Lifetime movie.
Back at camp the Brains were far less joyous with Big D feeling like the target would be on his back given he and Janelle lost the puzzle. Knowing that, he went hard on throwing Janelle’s name out to anyone and everyone that would listen. She too was feeling nervous, particularly because she saw Daini going person to person and whispering. As such, she was fired up and pulled Dani, Benny and Flick aside to further highlight the growing trio of Gavin, Simon and Emmett to knock them down a peg and, you know, stop them from finding their feet. Benny and Flick appeared to be all in on the Emmett vote, leaving Janelle to chat to the other girls and rally them around.
Simon noticed the girls whispering quietly and as such, he, Emmett and Gavin decided to pivot and pull the numbers together to get rid of Shannon instead. For some reason I’m not 100% sure of. As such, the boys decided that they should align with Dani, Chelsea and Flick to guarantee the strongest tribe members gain the numbers. This made Flick feel well and truly in the middle, not wanting to get rid of strength just yet but also not wanting to burn her bridges with Shannon, making her contemplate Janelle as the only other option in her mind.
So to summarise, Dani nervous, suggested Janelle. Janelle nervous, suggested Emmett. Emmett threatened, suggested Shannon. And then Flick circled back to Janelle.
At tribal council Simon was disappointed by their first loss, though ready to deal with the consequences. Which as we know, is never a good thing to say openly. Daini meanwhile wished they had some more smarts amongst them and admitted his vote will be about keeping the tribe strong. Janelle meanwhile was feeling the heat after losing the challenge, with Simon quickly telling her that she said puzzles were her strength and as such, it is on her. This fired her up like a damn icon, as she defended herself and the strengths she brings to the tribe, quickly calling Emmett out for being cocky. This annoyed Emmett, who tried to defend himself but given she is absolutely right, he should be worried.
He then was really patronising as he mocked her for firing up and as such, I don’t like Emmett and would die for Janelle.
Janelle then pointed out Simon, Emmett and Gavin were already a strong trio which lead to Emmett calling it out and admitting that he knows that his name was thrown around back at camp. This led to more fighting back and forth before Jonathan dragged Flick into it, asking if she was scared of the three votes, with her admitting that yeah, it is a concern but there are nine other votes so at this stage, it isn’t that concerning. Emmett continued to be confident, Shannon admitted that the fact they can’t sit anyone out in the next challenge just changed things for her before Emmett gave a last ditch plea for everyone he trusts to stick to the plan. Basically. Flick meanwhile was focusing on sticking with the majority and guided solely by not wanting to come back to tribal council.
With that the tribe voted and despite it being far closer than anyone in the tribe expected, Janelle was narrowly, and tragically, booted from the game. And damn, you know there are going to be fireworks back at camp as the boys appeared just as shocked to see her go as she was.
As soon as Janelle arrived back at Loser Lodge, I pulled her in for a hug before raging over the fact that OF COURSE, the tribe votes out its oldest woman. You see, I’ve known Janelle for years and we became the best of friends as we systematically dominated the Townsville hockey scene. But that isn’t why I love her. No. I love her because I am convinced she is a time traveller, given she looks EXACTLY like my favourite barista from my favourite cafe in 2007, but as a grown-up. And, you know, I want to annoy her with my love until she admits that she is the second time-traveler to compete in Survivor after Malcolm/Jimmy Tarantino. My go to way to show my love? Whipping up a batch of Croissanelle Dursausage Rolls.
I love croissants and sausage rolls almost equally, but shamefully had never thought to combine them before. But damn, not that I have, I finally know what true joy is. Perfectly seasoned sausage and crumbly pastry? I challenge you to find a better way to dull the post-boot pain.
Ingredients 500g beef mince 500g sausage mince 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs ⅓ cup tomato sauce 4 garlic cloves, minced ½ tsp dried basil ½ tsp dried thyme ½ tsp dried oregano ¼ tsp ground sage ½ tsp chilli flakes 2 eggs salt and pepper, to taste 6 sheets puff pastry, thawed a dash of milk
Method Preheat the oven to 200C and line two baking sheets.
Combine the minces, breadcrumbs, tomato sauce, garlic, herbs, chilli and an egg in a bowl with a large whack of salt and pepper, and stir, scrunching with your hands until well combined.
Cut each sheet of pastry in half, followed by each half into two triangles. Using about a quarter of a cup of the mixture, form into a small sausage and place against the longer end of the triangle. Whisk the remaining egg with the milk and brush the exposed parts of the pastry before rolling from the long end to the tip to form a croissant. Shaping into a half-moon, if you can be bothered. Continue the process until it’s all done.
Brush the assembled pastries with remaining egg wash and transfer to the oven to bake for half an hour, or until golden and crisp.
Then, you know, devour covered in a gallon of tommie sauce.
Like Art before her, I’m not going to dwell too much on Scarlet. I mean, damn Ru, why you gotta have four people left in contention for the crown? It really makes my life that much more difficult.
In any event, Scarlet well and truly stormed through the competition, served killer looks and well, that pole dancing was damn impressive.
That being said, it would be remiss to not say that her well-known past performances were horrible and as a white man, it is not my place to forgive her or accept her apologies. But I do hope that she is genuine about making amends and learning from the this because the world needs growth and healing with those she hurt so stupid, racist shit just stops happening.
Which is what I told her as I sat down and slammed a plate of Sticky Meatball Scarlettuce Cups in front of her.
Like at the end of a good night, there is nothing I love more than sweetly, sticky balls. Combining san choy bow and ramen influences, these babies are earthy, spiced and most importantly, easy. Which is what I like to hear when I’ve got sticky balls.
Sticky Meatball Scarlettuce Cups Serves: 4.
Ingredients 500g beef mince 1 tbsp ginger, minced 4 garlic cloves, minced 1 tbsp chilli paste 225g water chestnuts, finely chopped ⅔ cup panko breadcrumbs 4 shallots, thinly sliced salt and pepper, to taste olive oil ⅔ cup plum sauce 100g vermicelli noodles 1 red chilli, thinly sliced 2 baby cos lettuce, leaves broken off and rinsed.
Method Combine the mince, ginger, garlic, chilli, water chestnuts, breadcrumbs and shallots with a good whack of salt and pepper. Scrunch to combine with your hands and mix into golf-ball sized meatballs.
Heat a lug of oil in a wok over medium heat and cook the balls for five minutes or so, tossing infrequently. Add the plum sauce with a cup of water, stir to combine and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and simmer until thick and sticky. My two favourite descriptors.
Cook the noodles as per packet instructions and drain well to avoid any drippiness.
To assemble, divide a couple of lettuce leaves on a plate, top with noodles and meatballs and garlic with a few slices of chilli. And then, obviously, devour.
Previously on Australian Survivor we had a very convoluted non-elimination journey involving three tribal councils, six exiled castaways, three people saved via challenge and one person booted. With David, somehow, remaining out of the fray despite being the biggest threat and not once winning immunity. After feeling left out of her alliance, Jacqui looked to make a move against David but after looping in Sharn and Moana she learnt that while they were happy with her plan, they would let her act alone, claim the move and unbeknownst to her, take all the wrath of David when his goat Zach was blindsided.
The next day we saw bats – COVID-19 trigger warning – on our way to check in with the tribe where Jacqui was still riding high after her Zach blindside, hungry for more and more to line up and fill her resume. She then dressed in David’s clothes and strutted around camp, anointed herself as the golden goddess and hot damn, why haven’t we seen this Jacqui all season. This is the icon we fell in love with in season 2! Meanwhile elsewhere in camp, Shonee and Brooke were eating scum water from the tribe’s pot, living their absolute best lives. Thrilled to have found a crack by blindsiding Zach, the duo used Jacqui’s pride to their advantage and pulled her aside in the water to praise her on a job well done and to try formulate a plan for the next vote.
On the flipside, David was back at camp feeling absolutely miserable. Annoyed that his meat shield is no longer around to protect him, he was nervous that people would sense weakness and come for him should he not regain control. Or win immunity. As such he continued to foster his relationship with Tarzan, in the hopes that he will protect him and keep their alliance tight. The boys then bonded by stripping off and skinny dipping together, which doesn’t make sense. But it makes me wet, so I don’t care.
They popped their pants on and returned to camp where Moana was desperately trying to hide her joy at losing Zach, while Jacqui continued to monologue about how great her blindside was. Did you know she flipped on Zach? Jacqui orchestrated a blindside? Jacqui voted out Zach, you hear? While Jacqui moved on to the next person to talk about her brilliance, Moana caught up with Dave to share how upset she was that Zach was gone. And then told us how safe she is, because she has surrounded Dave with people that are more loyal to her than him. And hot damn, is she actually playing an amazing game?
My love Jonathan returned for the reward challenge where they would each have to hold a spear over a tile using two handles pulled apart to maintain tension, with the last person standing winning the reward. And it was for an overnight spa reward complete with snacks and alcohol, so you know Queen Shonee needed this victory more than anyone else. Shocking me, Brooke was the first person to drop, followed closely by Tarzan and Jacqui. After fighting for another couple of minutes, Moana and Sharn dropped out of nowhere. After ten minutes, AK blanked and dropped out leaving David and Shonee to battle it out yet again. They continued to fight it out for over half an hour as Shonee offered to take Dave with her, should he want to offer her the same. After forty minutes and a cheeky readjustment, our queen dropped her spear and tragically lost reward. Oh and then David selected Sharn, Moana and Tarzan to join him, leaving her empty handed again.
Talk about rubbing salt in our icon’s wounds.
Back at camp however she didn’t pout and instead got to work rubbing it in Jacqui’s wounds instead, and vowed to use her time wisely to keep Jacqui onside. As they all joked about how stupid David is for not leaving Tarzan who they all know would never flip on him, Shonee decided to continue the charm offensive and gave Jacqui an island facial. After finishing the pampering, the group then decided that getting rid of Dave is – finally – their priority and as such, needed to identify the right people to flip. With Jacqui assuring them that Moana and Sharn would definitely be keen.
Speaking of Moana and Sharn, they were stumbling upon their reward with David and Tarzan as the group marvelled at their spoils. Including but not limited to, snacks, champagne and nail clippers, the latter being the most important win for David. Sharn pointed out how desperately Jacqui wanted to attend the reward and as such questioned whether he was playing the game smartly. David then showered and like me, Sharn couldn’t take her eyes off him and honestly, I have never related to her more. We then had a little pow wow with Dave, where he shared that his decision to exclude Jacqui isn’t stupid, given he knows he also can’t trust Sharn, however she is the one that is more likely to stay loyal if he keeps her close. And plus, Jacqui is a lost cause and leaving Sharn back at camp risks losing another ally. The newly scrubbed-up victors then sat around the fire and locked in a plan to blindside Jacqui and oh god, please keep Shonee safe.
The two groups reconvened and met Jonathan for the immunity challenge where they would have to untangle themselves from a rope tangled over a pole, with the first five continuing on to the next stage where they need to walk through some obstacles while balancing a ball on a pole before landing it in a bucket of water. Three would then continue to solve a puzzle, with the winner snagging immunity. Queen Shonee’s challenge streak appeared to end, quickly getting tangled in her rope while Tarzan, Jacqui, Moana and AK pulled away. Ultimately Tarzan made his way to the second stage first, followed by Brooke, AK, Jacqui and David, eliminating Moana, Shonee and Sharn. AK and Brooke whipped through the second phase, getting to the bucket phase while David desperately tried to close the gap. Out of nowhere, Tarzan was the first to land his ball in the bucket, giving him a huge head start on the puzzle. He was soon joined by David and Brooke, eliminating AK and Jacqui. Oh and then David destroyed the puzzle, begging the question, did we know David was a puzzle king?
Back at camp David’s ego was at an all time high, proudly showing off his four immunities, only one of which was a fake. He quickly confirmed that he and his allies would all be blindsiding Jacqui, again missing the meaning of a blindside, given Jacqui is fully aware that she is on the bottom. Sharn pulled Jacqui aside to try and woo her back to the side, with David and Moana quickly joining as the group decided to target Shonee. Sadly for Jacqui however, they were just trying to get her to throw a vote on Shonee so that their four votes would be enough to get rid of Jacqui. Speaking of Jacqui, she went back to the Vakama trio and the four locked in their votes for Moana. Oh and then Jacqui disappeared and the group agreed that no matter what, they are sticking together and if it results in a tie, they will just have to go to rocks. In either a horrible or brilliant move, AK then decided to pull Sharn aside and tell her that the group is completely down to go for rocks, putting the fear in her head. And oh God, this may be brilliant, as Sharn is well and truly susceptible to being panicked into changing a plan.
At tribal council David spoke about feeling salty about the Zach vote, explaining that that is why he chose to leave Jacqui out of the reward. Jacqui pretended that she was over their drama, which led to AK, Brooke and Shonee jumping in one at a time to call out how terrible David’s decision was and that Jacqui is the only one tired of being a minion. Jacqui agreed that she wanted to find her voice in the game which led to Shonee pointing out that nobody in the rival alliance actually wants to take her to the end. Moana called bullshit on the comment, assuring Jacqui that she protects her and one emotional decision doesn’t change where she sits in the alliance. Tarzan wisely pointed out that if Jacqui jumps from one alliance to another, she goes from being on the bottom to being on the bottom.
Each side continued to push for Jacqui’s vote before talk turned to going to rocks, with AK, Shonee and Brooke all vowing to go to rocks, as at least it gives them a chance to take control. Sharn on the flipside was nervous and started to completely unravel, telling people to think things through before playing it fast and loose with their game. With that the tribe voted, David did some weird voicework and played an idol on Tarzan before the votes rolled in four each for Jacqui and Moana, proving to Jacqui that she was right to flip on her allies. Once again the tribe voted and once again, it came back a tie.
And hot damn, did that fill Sharn with dread. She quickly started to panic as Jonathan explained the rock draw rules – to the audience that don’t want original flavour Survivor – with the tribe given the chance to come to a consensus, and if they don’t, the players in the tie become immune with anyone else that is immune, and the rest go to rocks. Aka AK, Brooke, Shonee and Sharn. AK quickly rallied the girls and reminded them that the only way to guarantee a majority, with them all agreeing to go to rocks. This led to a desperate Sharn begging them to change their mind, assuring them that if they flip on Jacqui, she promises to align with them. She begged and pleaded with them for what felt like an eternity until Jonathan told them they needed to make a decision, with them ultimately choosing to trust Sharn and turn on Jacqui, sending her from the game.
It was heartbreaking to be reunited with Jacs at the Jury Villa, given she has spent the last few episodes being the only hope of stopping a steamroll. After peeling myself away from Locky, I pulled Jacs into my arms and told her how proud I am of the game she played and that while she is a juror, she landed there for trying something and that alone is something she should be proud of. Oh and then I whipped her up a Smoke Shacqui Patterson which honestly was her favourite part.
I’ve said it thousands of times but it bears repeating, burgers are the absolute best and well, Shack Shake is one of the ultimate makers. And well, the Smoke Shack is my fave – smoky, spicy and a little bit sweet, it is a dream. Like the one Jacqui is living out surrounded by three guys on the jury.
Smoke Shacqui Patterson Serves: 4.
Ingredients ½ cup mayonnaise 1 tbsp dijon mustard ¾ tsp ketchup ½ tsp pickle brine pinch of cayenne pepper 500g beef mince 8 slices smoked bacon ¼ tsp salt ¼ tsp pepper 4 slices American cheese ⅓ cup cherry peppers, finely diced 4 potato buns
Method Start by combining the mayonnaise, dijon mustard, ketchup, pickle brine and the pinch of cayenne pepper in a bowl. Give a good stir, cover and chill while you prep the rest of the burgers. Ideally an hour or two if you have the time.
Meanwhile, scrunch the beef mince in a large bowl until the meat is starting to come together. Divide into four balls and roll tightly. Place on a lined plate, cover and pop in the fridge.
While the balls are cooling down, heat a large skillet of medium heat and once nice and hot, cook the bacon until crisp. Remove to a plate lined with paper towel and leave to reat.
Immediately take the burgers out of the fridge, place in the skillet and flatten to about one to two centimetre thickness with a metal spatula and sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper. Cook for a couple of minutes before flipping, seasoning with the remaining salt and pepper and topping each with a slice of cheese. Cook for a further couple of minutes before removing from the heat.
To assemble, toast each of the burger buns in a skillet and smear the top and bottom with a little bit of the chilled sauce. Place the cheesy pattie on the base-bun, followed by some of the cherry peppers and closing.
Previously on Australian Survivor physical battles dominated the game, leading to a focus on strength on each tribe. After going on a losing streak, Vakama were determined not to return to tribal council and came to both challenges fired up. After scoring a fish and chip reward – kinda – Mat found an idol in front of the entire tribe, much to Locky’s dismay who finally wanted to be the person to snag an idol. At the immunity challenge – which was again super physical – Michelle quickly dropped out, putting her tribe on the back foot from the start, which tragically led to their loss. Also Shonee sat out on a bench which featured a clue to the hidden immunity idol which see didn’t see, which is just as tragic as you could imagine. Back at camp Henry pushed to get rid of Sharn, which made Nick decide it was Henry’s time to go. While Abbey and the Athletes – who sound like the world’s shittiest band – opted to focus on strength and sent Queen Michelle out of the game.
The next day Mokuta was feeling mighty miserable, which obviously led to John welcoming Lee into the Australian Survivor nudity club. The self-annointed Dumb Dumb Club frolicked, flipped and showed off their gloriously pasty buns and hot damn, I’m drippin’ more than the Fijian skies.
Meanwhile over at Vakama the mood was just as low, though tragically far more clothed as Locky worked his arse off to keep the tribe afloat in the torrential ran. Add to that the fact he is sitting pretty in the majority alliance AND is falling for Brooke, and you could say that Locky is on cloud nine. Wait, scrap that, he is fixated on the fact that Mat has an idol and as such, he decided to start wearing it around camp to taunt poor love struck Locky. As Mat desperately wants to make him look as silly as possible.
We returned to Mokuta where the rain had stopped, the clothes were tragically back on and the tribe were doing some home improvements like a less chic version of Brad and Monica Culpepper. Well except for Henry, who was busy doing his best Coach impersonation while Nick worried about how to deal with him after spooking him at the last tribal council. With that Nick started to do damage control as Henry ranted and raved about how to save himself and play like he has no other option, while Nick sat in the shelter looking like he is about to shit himself. Based on the conversation Nick decided that Henry’s next target is going to be Shonee, so instead of trying to manage him, approaches the rest of the tribe to warn them how dangerous Henry is, so that everyone manages the situation on his behalf.
Speaking of Henry, he was reflecting on his first time in the game and remembering his mother, who passed away just before he went out. Not one to be down for count, Henry channelled his grief and as Nick feared, started working his way round the tribe to show how strong he is and play up how weak our icon Shonee is.
My love Jonathan arrived for the reward challenge – sadly clothed – where each tribe would face off one-or-one to knock an idol of the other’s handle with the first to four scoring victory. For a huge pack of cones, so you know Harry is excited. Mat and Henry were first to face off, with Henry chasing him down like prey and quickly snagging the point. Abbey made quick work of Moana, Queen Shonee was felled by Phoebe, Zach destroyed AK before Henry’s tricky juggling skills scored Mokuta the victory over David. Before the tribe headed out to smash their ice cream, Locky and Phoebe interrupted the proceedings and told Jonathan that they would like to use their previous reward and join then at the ice cream shop. Thankfully Jonathan is a messy icon, and asked them which two people they would like to send, outing their lie that it had to be used by them to the rest of their tribe.
At reward Harry was well and truly in his element, making ice creams and running around like a delirious child. Speaking of deliriousness, Henry was thrilled to show off his strength, so was working overtime to make as many friends as possible while they were all sugared up. Meanwhile Locky and Phoebe were filling everyone in on how much better the Mokuta camp is before Locky split up to gather intel from his rivals. While the tribe, smartly, stayed quiet. Making it super awkward, and honestly, painted a target on his back. Meanwhile my queen Shonee was loving the sugar but more importantly, loved finding a hidden immunity idol clue under a log. Redeeming herself for the day before. She bided her time until the tribe cleared out to wash their hands before she learnt that the idol was hidden under the well. She went for a wander into the jungle to find the well and got to work lifting it out of the way, grabbing the idol and then returning the well to its place.
Oh and she was wandering around in a jumpsuit and slides.
Terrified about being caught, she panicked about whether the well looked weird before her best friend Nick stumbled upon her. After confirming that the well looked normal, she looped her ally in on the intel and honestly, their happy dancing was too pure for this world and I ship the hell out of them.
The delicious Jonathan returned for the immunity challenge where the tribes were required to build a staircase out of heavy logs before collecting a hammer, pounding in some stakes, releasing a tunnel, climbing through a mud pit and some obstacles before shooting some baskets from a deck using a catapult. Mokuta got out to an early lead on the log stairs while Vakama struggled to grip their logs, given they were wet and slippery. I mean, I’m sad I have to use Jono’s smutty puns, but they also make me so proud of him. While I was welling up with pride, Vakama started to close the gap when it came to shooting baskets, thanks to Lee’s extremely steep learning curve. With both tribes even on nothing, Henry swapped in for Mokuta while Locky started to score basket after basket. Ultimately scoring a huge come from being immunity for Vakama while Henry narrowly avoided a nudie run, scoring one basket for the tribe.
Back at camp Nick quickly made it his priority to rally the troops against Henry, however was banging his head against a brick wall given all of the athletes are so passionate about keeping the strength. Thankfully Lee surprised me and was receptive to the idea of getting rid of Henry, and the plan quickly evolved to splitting the votes between him and Zach and getting rid of Zan Hen. Sadly for them however Abbey and Lydia weren’t feeling the plan, and Henry was busy winning over John by the fire. With Zaddy John, tragically agreeing to join him to vote out Shonee. They quickly pulled in Zach before taking the athletes aside to rope them into the plan, unaware that Harry – who invited himself along – is actually aligned with Shonee.
Harry took this information back to his fellow rascals, with Shonee quickly letting him know that she found an idol and as such, she will use it if she gets even a hint of danger. Wanting to keep the idol for a rainy day however, they split up to change the tide of the vote and continue to highlight Henry as the biggest threat. While they started to make inroads, Lydia warned Henry that people are nervous about his erratic gameplay and it would be wise to play an idol should he have one. With that, he decided to quickly throw together an idol and then plant and find it in front of everyone at tribal council. Which hopefully would be enough to force Shonee to play her real one. And given she is the CEO of the tribe, why wouldn’t she?
At tribal council Nick admitted that the tribe is still not really cohesive but hopefully after tonight, they actually will be. He used it as a rallying cry against Henry, highlighting the importance of predictability to the game. Abbey spoke about playing emotionally, Lee said that try as they might, they can’t separate their hearts from the game. Jonathan asked Lydia if they were strictly targeting the weakest, which she tried to dance around and said that she is solely focussed on doing what the majority want. Obviously Zach was all in on keeping the tribe strong before Shonee reminded everyone that they have actually won the same amount of the challenges and as such, they shouldn’t be so focussed on losing two immunity challenges in a row. John lied and said literally anyone could go tonight before Henry weighed in and said that that is a lie and in fact he or Shonee would be going tonight. Though he at least can add some strength to the tribe.
Shonee countered that she has something far more important and that is loyalty and doing what she says. Henry tried to counter it, challenging people to give him a chance. Nick tried to bring things back to making a logical decision and getting rid of the erratic players, while Henry’s eyes darted around looking for his fake idol amongst the trees. Shonee appeared to grow more and more nervous and as they were about to vote, Henry showed off his erratic behaviour, making a huge deal about finding his fake immunity idol. Shonee and Nick were unconvinced about his display and tried to calm the tribe, but they were all extremely nervous as they headed out to vote. Given she was too stressed to be blessed, Shonee played her idol and challenged Henry to play his, should it be real. Which it wasn’t so he didn’t, and as such, he found himself voted out of the game after Queen Shonee negated the majority of votes that were cast against her.
Whether it was in his best interests or not, Henry played his heart out and that is something I will always love about him. Plus, he is a total babe, despite not getting in on the nudity action. I took him in my arms as he arrived at Loser Lodge before sitting him down and berating him like Tyra did Tiffany for daring to try and target the one true Queen of Australian Survivor, my Shonee.
Emotionally spent, the only thing I could do was apologise for being not mad, disappointed in him and serving him a piping hot bowl of you-should-have-aligned-with-Shonee Henry Gorenicholson.
With as much fire as Henry had right out of the gate, this quick throw together meal appears anything but. Rich, tasty and packing a punch, you can’t be sad with this on your plate. Even if you don’t make the jury and are unlovable.
Henry Gorenicholson Serves: 4.
Ingredients 2 tsp peanut oil 2 shallots, thinly sliced 4 garlic cloves, minced 500g beef mince salt and pepper, to taste 2 bunches bok choy, trimmed and halved 1 red capsicum, thinly sliced 1 bunch broccolini, trimmed and cut into 2cm lengths 2 tbsp kecap manis 1 tbsp sriracha sauce 1 lime, zested and juiced 200g thin egg noodles, cooked as per packet instructions
Method Heat the oil in a wok over high heat and once scorching, add the shallot and garlic and cook for a minute. Add the mince and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon, for a couple of minutes, or until nice and browned. Season with a good whack of salt and pepper, and reduce heat to medium.
Stir through the bok choy, capsicum and broccolini, and cook for a further minute or so. Add the kecap manis, sriracha, lime zest and juice, and stir until sticky and starting to thicken.
Remove from heat and toss through the noodles. Adjust the seasoning and serve immediately.