Previously on Survivor the final six grew more and more nervous about making it to the end, as everyone sized up who would make the easiest opponents in the final three. With Omar outed as a strategic mastermind at the previous tribal council, Maryanne was also focused on usurping his power and concocted a plan to take him out using her extra vote to swing a 3-2-2 vote. And while everyone continued to panic about her plan and who to take out should it fail, she stood firm and held everyone together to perfectly execute it and take Omar out of the game. In a very iconic fashion.
We followed the final five not back to camp, but instead to a new rain soaked beach to set up a new camp for the remaining days. Tarpless and with nothing, let’s just say the final five were well and truly gagged. Ultimately though, nothing could bring Maryanne down after taking out Omar with a massive move. Sadly she was the only one as Romeo was annoyed to have received votes, while Jonathan sassed out Lindsay for voting for him, despite the fact they both turned on each other. And ugh, this isn’t a good look for Jonathan.
Romeo meanwhile was an icon and interrupted the fight to announce that since they’re all being honest with each other, he has an idol and will be playing it at the next tribal council. So yeah, good luck to the rest of ya’s. Essentially.
The next day Jonathan was still focused on getting rid of Lindsay with the boys, while Maryanne was busy assuring Lindsay that Mike would be playing his idol for her at tribal council and as such, they would both find a way to keep going. Mike and Lindsay then caught up, with Mike assuring Lindsay that he will totally play the idol for her at tribal council and while it is the same promise he gave Maryanne, it was the only glimmer of hope she had, so she took it.
The tribe then received treemail, complete with a clue for an advantage at the upcoming immunity challenge. And while Lindsay was first to solve it, she could not find the advantage while the rest of the tribe worked together to solve the clue to block her. While Maryanne desperately tried to undermine the boys so that Lindsay could find the advantage before anyone else, guaranteeing the girls make it to the final four together. And what do you know, Queen Maryanne was successful, as Lindsay snatched the advantage and was that much closer to the end. Much to her and Maryanne’s delight.
While Jonathan looked to be boiling with rage.
The final five met up with Probst in the middle of a clearing for an epic immunity challenge where they would each have to race out to six stations to collect puzzle pieces before solving said puzzle. And while it sounds easy, the stations were guarded by obstacles and the pieces tied up by multiple knots. For Lindsay, she would only have to untie a single knot at each station, while the rest would have to work through six. Oh and the victor would also win a huge dinner of pasta, garlic bread, salad, cake and wine. So yeah, they were all very pumped.
Despite Lindsay’s advantage, she spent most of the challenge nipping at Jonathan’s heels as he absolutely destroyed the obstacles. While it is always hard to keep track of who is in the lead, Jonathan was the first to start working on the puzzle with Lindsay in a very close second place. Mike quickly joined them, while Romeo and Maryanne closed out the pack. While Jonathan and Lindsay were piece for piece at the start, Mike quickly closed the gap as he and Lindsay battled for first place. He continued to methodically work through the puzzle and despite a late-breaking push from Lindsay, he managed to snatch immunity. And tragically, doom one of our queens.
Mike started to break down over his win, overwhelmed to finally jag individual immunity and make his kids proud. Oh and then Jeffrey gave Mike a chance to fuel one of his competitors, with him stupidly opting to give Jonathan food which is a wild choice given he is the biggest competition to win final immunity challenge, assuming he survives the night. Even if they are aligned.
Back at camp the boys went off to smash their feast, pledging their undying loyalty to each other while Lindsay spat fire about how terrible Jonathan is to Maryanne and Romeo. As the boys ate, Mike meanwhile was debating who he should play his idol for at the upcoming tribal to stack the final four with the people he wants. As such, he assured Jonathan he would be playing his idol for him too and just like that, he has now pissed off two potential jurors. The hungry trio meanwhile were busy locking in their votes for Jonathan, with Maryanne assuring them both that there is no way Mike would go back on his word to her. Despite knowing for a fact he also gave his word to Lindsay.
Lindsay meanwhile caught up with Mike to play on his emotions, begging him to stick to his word and not betray her, and while her argument was compelling – and frankly, so great – the fact that she can talk her way into anything, shows how big of a threat she is. Mike then caught up with Maryanne, with her trying to convince Mike to stick to his word to her so that she could protect Lindsay. Though when she caught up with Romeo, he cautioned her that both Jonathan and Lindsay are threats. Leaving Maryanne to worry who Mike would be playing his idol for, given everything hinges on his decision. And could make or break all of their games.
At tribal council Lindsay caught the jury up on her final advantage, while Jonathan spoke about how much they were all struggling. Lindsay admitted to knowing she is likely to go home tonight due to her allegiance to Omar, while Jonathan tried to downplay how much everyone wants Lindsay to go. Maryanne spoke about trying to find the balance between her emotions and playing intelligently, while Lindsay shared how she spent the entire afternoon scrambling and pleading her case, before a quick pivot as she tried to downplay her threat level.
Jonathan stepped up to praise Lindsay for the game she played, while Lindsay said she is continuing to fight for her place in the game until the moment her torch is snuffed. Jonathan spoke about finding the balance between playing a good game and minimising your threat level, with Mike assuring everyone that if you have a solid alliance, it makes working around that a lot easier. Maryanne opened up about her need to not only find people she thinks she can beat to face off against at the end, but that also think they could beat her. And well, Lindsay was just happy that if she is getting booted for being unbeatable, that is the best way to go out.
With that the tribe voted, Mike made a big show of playing his hidden immunity for Maryanne for being so loyal to him. Romeo then announced that he would not be playing his fake idol and instead, threw it into the fire while Maryanne quietly sat on her hidden immunity idol. Jeffrey then finally read the votes with poor Lindsay tragically felled by a united tribe for being too much of a threat.
As she promised at tribal council, she was super chill and excited to be taken out for being too much of a threat, as the other option is making it to the end, getting no votes and having a shocking legacy. I pulled her in for a massive hug and assured her that she left a massive mark on the seasons and truly did play out of the best games this season and as such, is a shoe in for another go. But until then, she always has Chinese Handsay Dolapiewich.
I bet you thought I was going to take the easy route with a cheeky sandwich, but surprise, I pivoted! And when the pivot tastes as good as a slightly tweaked version of Brendan Pang’s Chinese Hand Pies, you really can’t go wrong. Spicy, warming and packing a kick, these are, in a word, perfection.
Chinese Handsay Dolapiewich Serves: 4.
Ingredients 2 cups plain flour, plus extra for dusting 2 tsp kosher salt, plus extra 1 cup water 500g beef mince 3 celery stalks, finely sliced 4 spring onions, finely sliced a large handful of coriander, finely chopped 1 tbsp light soy sauce 1 tbsp dark soy sauce 1 tbsp oyster sauce 1 tsp Shaoxing rice wine 1 tsp ground white pepper ½ tsp raw caster sugar ½ tsp sesame oil ½ tsp Chinese five spice vegetable oil, to fry
Method Combine the flour and salt in a bowl and slowly mix in the water with a fork until combined. Dust the bench with a little bit of extra flour and turn out the dough and knead until nice and elastic. Oil a bowl and pop in the dough, cover with some cling and leave to rest for half an hour or so.
Pop all the other ingredients in a large bowl with a good pinch of salt and scrunch with your hands – or use a wooden spoon, I don’t mind – until well combined. Cover and pop in the fridge for the flavours to meld until the dough is ready.
To assemble, divide the dough into 8 equal parts and roll out until they are 15cm rounds and divide the filling between each disc. To close, gently stretch the dough around to seal at the top, pleat into a circle to give the look of a money bag.
Heat a couple of tablespoons in a large frying pan over medium heat and once nice and hot, add four to the pan, pleated side down and press with a spatula to flatten. Cook for five minutes or until nice and golden before flipping and cooking for a further five minutes. Remove from the pan and leave to rest on some paper towel while you cook the others.
Serve immediately, dripping in Sechuanyx Chilli Oil and devour.
Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race, 14 regular seasons ran their race, alongside 6 All Stars seasons, 3 UK seasons and a single Down Under season. Alongside seasons that we can not mention in Thailand, Holland, Canada and Spain. Because yes, FINALLY, Ru, Michelle, Carson and Ross have granted our wishes, and assembled 8 of Ru’s winner to compete for the ultimate crown. So yeah, yeah, Blu and Willow may already have grown the winner’s circle this reason, we’re about to receive the one queen to rule them all, as the Queen of all Queens. Aka Jinkx Monsoon.
First up we re-met Shea Coulee who is just as damn iconic as always and ugh, I am already overwhelmed by how much I love the dolls. We then got a recap of her two iconic runs, thankfully not having to rehash her crushing heartbreak when Sasha destroyed her in the Charlie Hides induced lip-sync for the crown. Anyways, her entrance paid homage to Coco Montrese, so yeah, I still love her. And love how desperate she is for her second crown. She was quickly joined by the delightful icon, Jaida Essence Hall who thankfully is coming for a victory lap after winning via zoom. Oh and remember how she destroyed Season 12 and charmed us while she did the damn thing?
Yvie Oddly made her triumphant return with a signature cackle and looking like a damn star. Her mug was perfect, her look was perfect, she was magnetic (and perfect). Oh and then she licked her nip, so just like that, she is my frontrunner. Despite her flopping hair. SheDevilByNight herself, Trinity the Tuck returned and once again, despite myself, I can’t help but love her because she truly is born for this race. And ready to uncouple from her twinner, Monet. Speaking of the sponge queen, Monet came in dripping in cash and looking the best she ever looked and ugh, I love her. And hot damn she is ready to come in and fight, you can feel it through the screen.
Continuing working in reverse chronological crowning order, the dolls were joined by the icon herself, Ms Jinkx Monsoon and ugh, I fucking love her so much and am so excited to see her in all her HD glory. I mean, watching the recap of her first season, she is so damn perfect. I mean, Little Edie was just so beautiful. And out of respect for DeLa, Ru should crown her on the spot. Then stop the damn press because Raja is here and ugh, I now am straight up crying. Raja is iconic, beautiful, hilarious and I live for everything she serves. And then wait, we’re jumping out of order and crowwing international borders as The Vivienne crossed the pond to serve UK realness, and well, wasn’t it a pleasant reminder how UK is just the greatest franchise of all time?
They were then joined by a surprise ninth queen, who it turns out was the best non-winner – other than Juju – Raven, who returned as a double first alternate. Though given she won an Emmy, I guess she qualifies? Wait, no – it was a long con as Ru dropped by to welcome the dolls, promptly kicking her out, without nary an apology for crowning my nemesis over her in Season 2.
With the riff-raff kicked out, Ru announced that nobody else will be leaving before the end of the competition as because they are all winners, they won’t be eliminated. Instead, the competition is based on a points system with each episode culminating in a top two, with each earning a star before they lip sync for their legacy. Where the winner would snatch $10k and the power to block another queen from winning a star the following week. And since the four queens with the most stars at the end of the season would compete in a lip sync smackdown for the crown, that is quite the power. Oh and this year the winner will be crowned Queen of all Queens and will score $200k for their troubles.
Oh and if that isn’t enough, the dolls then were put to the test in a good ol’ fashioned reading challenge. Up first was Shea who was hilariously reading Raja for being a drunk, Jinkx for sucking the d and Viv for showing diversity. Jaida was so charmingly aggressive, Yvie was inspired and cute, Trinity was solid, Monet was off the cuff and delightful, Jinkx was on fire from start to finish, with impeccable timing and ugh, good luck girls – because she will slay this competition. Raja then straight up spelt boogers at the girls and left and damn, I love. Oh and then The Viv just destroyed with the roasting skills of a UK queen. Rightly so though, it was Jinkx Monsoon that took out victory.
Oh and then Ru dropped the tea that their first Maxi Challenge would see them write their own verses on Ru’s new track Legends. Oh but not until they meet one final legendary queen. Mother tucking Naomi Campbell and ugh, chuck a phone at me, I’m done. This is the greatest episode of all time. Oh and then Naomi gave them a runway walk masterclass and well, I live.
Naomi loved Jaida’s glide, Raja needed to do nothing new – except to not work with Tyra, I assume. She lived for Jinxk’s silly, fun, drama, loved The Viv’s smoothness and Trinity’s shoulders. Naomi lived for Monet but wanted her to cut out knocking her boots together, while she was delighted by Yvie’s mess and attitude. And then, most importantly, Shea got to receive praise from her teacher Naomi, for doing such a damn good job. Naomi was crying, Shea was crying and well, now I’m crying. This is just too much. STOP IT RIGHT NOW.
The dolls finally got to venture backstage and untuck, with Yvie once again getting fully nude before everyone split up to write their verses. Shea was feeling her oats, Raja was living for her regalness, while Jinkx wanted to share her middle-aged self with everyone and prove she is a front runner. While Jaida considered doing something new, given there is no risk of being sent home. The Viv meanwhile opened up about feeling like she is the underdog given she is representing an entire franchise and NO, Viv, you are a star and you need to believe in yourself.
The dolls returned to the Mainstage to work on their choreography with everyone sharing their ideas, leaving them with a wealth of knowledge to choose from. Thankfully Shea worked through the ensuing chaos, stepping up to give them some clarity, editing everything back and straight up stamping herself as a contender for the crown.
Performance day rolled around with The Viv still nervous about making her US MainStage debut while Jinkx just wandered around being weird and ugh, I love it. Jaida meanwhile thanked Shea for stepping up and choreographing the first challenge, admitting that should she win, she will be worried about her choice of blocking. Though felt it would kinda, sorta be a compliment. That being said, Monet and Trinity were in a corner, locking in an alliance to look out for each other, make sure while everyone is coming for everyone, they can ride through and protect each other. While Jinkx wandered into the scene and asked if they were forming an alliance, like a damn icon.
The dolls opened up about their seasons, with Raja talking about her ugly crying on Season 3 while the queens praised her for being a star on America’s Next Top Model. Remember, that? Jaida meanwhile admitted that her pandemic crowning may have sucked, but she is so thrilled that it led her to this exact point, grateful to have new sisters who love and respect her and ugh, the fact they’re all crying, it is so beautiful. Oh and then Raja offered to make out with her, while Monet promised to block her. So swings and roundabouts or something, I guess?
Ru, Michelle and Carson were joined by the one and only Cameron D – minus Destiny – for the debut All Winners runway and ugh, I live. Cameron. Mother. Tucking. Diaz. I. Can’t. First, the dolls took to the stage for their remix and well, they proved why they won the damn crown. Raja was a star, Jinkx knocked it out of the park, Monet was perfection, Trinity and Yvie were 100% them – in a good way – Viv hit every damn note, Jaida was a charmer and then, well, Shea shut it down. And likely scored her spot in the top two for the week. As she deserves.
On the I’m Crowning runway Raja was straight up perfection serving queer Louis the 14th and oh, it was stunning. Jinkx was stunning a Mary Queen of Scots, before dropping an Angelina leg. Repeatedly. And it was gorgeous. Monet rocked trans tracksuit queen realness and I love it, while Trinity was all drama in a velvet gown that covered the entire stage. Yvie was a. May. Zing. In a dripping crayon gown, while The Viv was gorgeously delightful, in a full body cream earthy gown. Jaida gave all the drama in purple, complete with a baby crown while Shea gave full Nubian queen and yeah, congrats on winning the first challenge.
Raja received universal praise for the detail she brought to her runway and the artistry she brought to the performance. Jinkx’s praise was for giving glamour alongside all the comedy and for being smutty as hell in the performance. Monet was beloved for giving all the energy and selling everything she did, from head to toe. Trinity was praised for the drama she brought to the runway and her magnetism in the performance, the judges loved everything Yvie served and for being her, while the Viv rightly was praised for doing the UK oh-so-proud. They lived for Jaida being so damn delightful, while the judges praised every single thing that Shea gave this week.
Backstage the dolls were gagged to be so exhausted already and having to navigate an entire season together. Yvie joked about slaying Untucked more than any challenge on her first season before everyone rallied around, thanking Shea for carrying them with the choreo. The dolls praised Jinkx for just being Jinkx as she stomped the runway in front of Naomi Campbell, admitting that only Shea can really give runway out of any of them anyway. Raja gave proud aunty, thanking them for giving them everything before Jaida and Yvie thanked her for being such an icon, particularly because she leveled-up her already perfect Marie Antoinette runway.
Oh and then she gave a delightful speech about being an icon and well, I love her. So damn much.
Talk turned to who would be in the top, with everyone narrowing things down to Monet, Shea and Jinkx while they Monet tried to make sense of them. Jinxk pointed out that Monet and Trinity had conveniently created an alliance, annoying the duo but making everyone’s ears prick up. Viv interrupted proceedings to thank them for being so welcoming, admitting she was nervous to cross the pond but was grateful for how welcoming they have all been.
Oh and then Cameron Diaz arrived and hot damn, I near fainted. She thanked them for being so delightful, giving all the references and ugh, why did she have to retire? She then thanked them for their public service – no joke – while the queens sobbed over how much of a stan she is. Monet then lead the dolls in thanking Cameron for getting all of them and the art, before Cameron admitted she essentially threatens her friends who guest judge to not fuck it up and to learn about what they are charged with doing.
Ultimately it was Monet that joined Shea in the top before they battled for the power to block someone else’s star to Old MacDonald. No tea, all collusion. But since it is the Ella Fitzgerald version, it was kinda perfect. Shea was delightful and hit every lyric, Monet was demented and hilarious from start to finish and ugh, I worry for anyone lip syncing against either of them because it was a damn show. But rightly Shea took out the first win of the season, meaning Monet was immune from the block – werk – before Shea rightly, wisely, blocked Monet’s alliance partner slash twinner, Trinity. Setting the tone for an absolute battle royale. I mean, they are SISTERS?!
Backstage the dolls congratulated Shea on taking out victory, while Trinity was a little bit pressed to have been blocked. Though given Shea explained that she blocked her because she knew she could bounce back and not be phased, she quickly moved on. And ugh, I love how congenial they all are, even if Trinity didn’t realise she essentially got ‘thank you for your patience’-d when you couldn’t be bothered replying to someone at work.
The next day the dolls were still delightful and charming, while Monet was living for her stunning star. Well, before Viv reminded Trinity she won’t have one next episode, since, you know, she was blocked. Monet meanwhile was glad to have not put a bigger target on her back, while Yvie and Jinkx threatened to block the former top two since they already have stars.
Things were interrupted by Ru who quickly announced that not only will they be playing the Snatch Game this week, they’d also be required to give not just one character but TWO. With Ru disappearing, Viv announced she would do the one-two punch of Joanna Lumley and Catherine Tate before pointing out how most of the dolls have won a Snatch Game before. Speaking of winners, Shea would be playing Miss J from Top Model and Elsa from the Tik Tok. And as a geriatric millennial, I totally know who that is! Monet meanwhile was nervous since she has done both good and bad on Snatch Game, before Jinkx announced she would be playing Judy Garland AND Natasha Lyonne and well, YES. Condragulations, Jinxk! Yvie meanwhile was ready to vom, though since she was playing the Boogeyman and Rico Nasty, I think she has learnt to play to her strengths, rather than butchering Whoopi Goldberg.
Ru arrived to talk Snatch with Trinity first up to announce she’d be playing Leslie Jordan and the devil. So an angel and a devil. Raja opened up about how delighted she was to be back, though a little sore from all the exertion. She then read Ru for not giving her the win on her first Snatch Game before announcing she would be playing puppet icon Madame and Diana Vreeland. So, get out of the uber Robbie Turner because you’re about to be taught a lesson.
For Snatch Game number one, Monet went with Mike Tyson, Raja did Madame, Viv went with Joanna Lumley as Patsy, SheDevil by Night went with the Devil, Jinkx slayed as Natasha Lyonne, Yie unveiled Rico Nasty, Shea went with Elsa Majimbo before Jaida debuted her version Prince. And well, I’m wet. But let’s be fair, this was well and truly Monet and Raja’s panel. Though I did live for Jinkx, who likened Jaida fucking Monet as a toddler moving a couch and well, I live. But yeah, Monet’s pitch-perfect Mike Tyson and Raja being a killer icon as a damn puppet stole the show!
For round two, Viv played Nan from Catherine Tate, Yvie debuted her boogeyman – and fucking flooded my basement – Trinity was an itty bitty Leslie Jordan, Jaida went with Lady Chablis, Shea was a star as Miss J, Raja again slayed as Diana Vreeland, Monet went with drag Martin Lawrence before Jinkx stole the show as Judy Garland. I mean, Renee Zellweger eat your heart out because this was the character study we ALL needed. Though Trinity’s Leslie Jordan wearing a condom as a raincoat was pretty damn perfect. But since Jinxk referenced the season 5 makeover and Dave the veteran worrying she killed Judy Garland, there is no blocking her star this week. It was perfect.
I mean, is this my camera, Broom? It’s a set Broom, it’s made of cardboard. I. Con. Ic.
Runway Day arrived with Yvie glad to get her redemption, though everyone agreed the top three are clearly Jinxk, Trinity and Raja and well. It is what they deserve. Raja admitted she felt she would be happy to just be safe, though was thrilled to have defied expectations and slay. Trinity was thrilled to maybe get cash and the chance to block someone, though not get a star. While Shea pretended she was not at risk of getting blocked. Jinxk and Monet kikied, with Jinxk admitting her strategy should she win the lip sync would be to block someone with a star and well, Monet was Ner. Vous.
Ru, Michelle and Ross were joined by the iconic Daphne Guinness – and well, wow – for the Pleather Principal runway where Monet gave full guilded, warrior glamour. Yvie was ani-mazing, Raja was a slutty madame – and I LIVE – while Trinity was a pastel, bimbo delight before The Viv was ravishing in red, serving drama and looking PERFECT. Jinkx was perfect as a dominatrix Mary Poppins before Jaida took us to the snake Matrix while Shea cracked the whip as a Basquiat catwoman.
Monet was praised for her Snatch choices, though they lived for Mike Tyson a little bit more. Oh and they felt her runway was perfect. Yvie’s boogeyman was universally beloved, with her runway even more well received. Raja received universal praise for all that she did this week, none more so than how surprisingly dominant she was in the Snatch Game. Trinity once again was beloved for Snatch Game, particularly well received for making such strong damn choices. The Viv was praised for being SO good and looking even better but it was Jinkx that received the best praise of all for just all around knocking everything out of the park. Ev. Er. Ry. THING. Jaida was praised for her stupidity and having fun, while the judges lived for Shea’s runway more than her very solid Snatch Games.
Backstage Yvie was thrilled to get her redemption, while it was Jinkx who was delighted to hit every single note she wanted to. And, I assume, live up to everyone’s very high expectations. Raja meanwhile continued to run away with the joy of the episode, having everyone in hysterics. Monet threw it down, praising Jinkx for being the absolute blueprint for Snatch Game before everyone devolved into madness as they tried to discuss the strategy of blocking, unsure what would be good for them. The dolls then spoke about their Kiki, Kai-Kai and Marry choices before Daphne Guinness dropped backstage and she autographed Jinkx’s wig that she had modeled after Daphne in her Jinkx colours!
Ultimately Jinkx – of course – and blocked queen, Trinity took out victory for Snatch Game. And while Trinity couldn’t take out a star, she would be able to win the lip sync AND block a sister. But as soon as Adele’sRumour Has It started, while Trinity was coming for two out of the three mocking her plastic surgery, it was Jinxk who well and truly won the lip sync. She was stupid, kooky and oh so fun and rightly earned her star, some coin and well, the chance to hand out the platinum plunger of blockage to Shea. Much to the absolute delight of Trinity. De. LIGHT.
As everyone ventured backstage, I quickly caught them between the mainstage and the Werk Room to explain that I have quotas to meet and since Broom is not eliminating them this season, I’ll be catching up with them in reverse alphabetical order, based on those with the least stars every second week. Super simple to follow, no? In any event, they got it and as such, Yvie was primed and ready as I screamed her name like I was Frau Farbissina and pulled her aside to give her a regal peptalk.
I gushed – both literally and figuratively – about how great her Snatch Games were and that she clearly came back ready to slay the game and have fun doing so. Her confidence glow-up since winning was evident and her energy has already been so much fun to watch, and did I mention her sexy Boogeyman? Anyway, her run thus far more than earnt her a Birryvie Tacoddly to celebrate her strong start and fuel her for the rest of her run.
While some may argue a meal this good could give her an unfair advantage as she progresses through the competition, I don’t really mind. Because it is, so damn good. Hot and spicy, dripping in cheese and packing a sharp punch from the salsa, it is the perfect combination of flavours.
Birryvie Tacoddly Serves: 4.
Ingredients 2-3 cups Birriana Goodchild, shredded with an equal amount of the braising liquid ⅔ cup coriander, roughly chopped 1 onion, finely diced 1 lime, zested and juiced plus extra to serve salt and pepper, to taste 12 small tortillas 3 cups shredded Mexican cheese, or regular mild cheese like mozzarella
Method Prepare your birria as per Brianna’s recipe (or get a store-bought portion, I don’t mind).
Next, combine the coriander, onion and lime zest and juice with a good whack of salt and pepper in a small bowl. Cover and leave to reast for half an hour so the flavours can mingle and the juice cuts through the onion a little bit.
When you’re ready to go, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Dip a tortilla in the braising liquid and pop in the pan to char a little bit. About 30 seconds or so. Flip the tortilla, sprinkle with some cheese, followed by the beef and then close over to form a taco. Cook for a couple of minutes untl the cheese is gooey. Flip and cook for another minute.
Remove from the pan and repeat the process until done, keeping the cooked ones in a light oven to stay warm.
Once they’re all done, serve with a generous spoon of the coriander salsa and some extra braising liquid, for dippin’ and some lime wedges. Then devour, messily. Just like Yvie would like.
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 RuPaul’s Drag Race: UK vs the World the final four stomped the runway alongside their fallen queens, showing off their Grand Finale Eleganza. As Cheryl, Jimbo, Pangina and Janey took their seats side of stage, Lemon gave us her best game show assistant and spun the wheel to kick off the lip sync smackdown for the crown. As soon as Mo was selected, she knew she wanted to face off against Baga and while the latter served her best camp fun, she was no match for Mo and was eliminated from the competition in third/fourth place.
With Mo backstage to prepare for the final lip sync, Blu and Juju took their places at the front of the stage to face off to The Reflex by Duran Duran and well, it was a damn fight. Blu had all the energy, working the stage and giving a diverse, hilarious performance. Juju meanwhile was feeling her ‘80s oats, giving all the swagger and serving full Duran Duran realness. Which is the highest compliment I could bestow on anyone, since they are a total pack of babes.
Despite giving us a very fun performance, it was Blu who progressed to the final lip sync while Juju was tragically eliminated. Once again, in third/fourth place. Like the consistent icon that she is.
As the crew once again ushered everyone aside to prepare the set for the final showdown, I tapped Juju on the shoulder as she happily jumped into my arms for a hug. “I’m so glad you’re back to cook for me again! You truly make every sense for me, now,” she said. Which honestly is the highest praise I could receive from the ultimate bridesmaid of the franchise. Which was enough for me to try my hand at whipping her up a batch of Jujubeef Dim Sims (and start thinking of other recipes I can whip out for her next appearance).
Maybe it is the ‘90s nostalgia of the kinda dim sims we used to get at the local Chinese restaurant of my youth, but there is honestly nothing better than a dim sim. I mean, these are a tonne of dumplings I’d pick first, but these have such a soothing joy. Plus, if they pack heat, I eat – so win.
Heat the vegetable oil in a wok over medium-high heat and cook the mushrooms for a couple of minutes. Add in the cabbage and cook for a further two minutes, or until just wilted. Transfer to a large bowl and mix with the beef mince, egg, shallots, ginger, garlic, white pepper, salt, soy sauce and sesame oil until well combined.
To assemble, place the wonton wrappers on the bench and place a heaped spoon of filling in the centre of each. Working one at a time, brush the edges of the dough with water and holding in the palm of your hand, push the dough up around the edges, pinching around the opening to firmly hug the filling with an opening at the end.
That was a bad way to describe folding a dim sim, wasn’t it?
While steaming is the healthier – and arguably best – way to cook the dumps, place the dim sim on a baking tray, exposed end up, and repeat the process until done. Spray with cooking spray and pop in the oven to bake for fifteen minutes, or until cooked through and crunchy.
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 Australian Survivor, 24 new castaways were dropped into the middle of the lush, Australian bushland. While they entered the game as 12 pairs, Jonathan quickly split them up to form two tribes of individuals. Each had to face off in the first reward challenge where Nina beat her mother – Queen Sandra – to secure reward for her tribe. The Water tribe however bombed the following immunity challenge, while a poor, injured Alex looked on from the sidelines. Back at camp, Andy quickly suggested everyone should band together to get rid of him, however Nina had other ideas as she effortlessly rallied the tribe against Andy. At tribal, Shayelle and Briana were beaten to the idol by Chrissy which was ultimately pointless given Andy was booted anyway.
The next day Shayelle was worried about how her partner Ben was faring over on the other tribe, so focused her energy on leading the tribe in some yoga as a distraction. Because she is an actual yogi, rather than a Henry yogi. While everyone was living for her calming energy, Chrissy was more focused on the fact she was a goddess and instead decided she would try and beef her up in the jungle.
Meanwhile over at the Blood tribe, Sophie was struggling with the heat and completely shocked by life in the jungle. We then learnt that the tribe had still not gotten fire which is quite a concern on Day 3. Thankfully, Briana’s dad Dave finally got a flame as everyone gathered around to block the wind, which instantly changed everyone’s mood as they sat down to a pot of rice. Sophie caught up with Sandra, sharing that a bunch of people would love to learn from her while they are here which made Sandra feel mildly more relaxed about her standing. Though Sophie knew that as great as having Sandra is, she is always a threat. Which should in turn make her nervous. The tribe ventured to the well, worried about who had been voted out at the last tribal council with Kate already having a bad feeling it was Andy. While Sandra warned us that should Nina be voted out, she will be coming for anyone and everyone like the Hulk.
Speaking of Nina she was busy knocking up a washing line on the Water Tribe before they all lazed under the shelter to enjoy some shade. That is, until some of the logs started to snap and they had to rebuild the entire structure. Nina shared that while her mum prepared her for life in the game, she is wanting to play her own game and opened up to her allies that Andy being so keen to be in the presence of her mum is part of what made her nervous about him. Tragically though, while she was vibing on Mark, Alex and Jordie, she was unsure how to feel about Khanh, which is essentially my dream alliance. Particularly as Briana got in her ear talking about how threatening he is.
While that makes me nervous, given the fact that Chrissy is out for Briana’s blood after the way she treated her at the last tribal council, I am hopeful Chrissy will get her revenge before I lose my love Khanh.
Briana meanwhile was living her best life, loving her in-game bestie Shayelle and thinking she is a boss. We learnt a bit more about her, which essentially was that she rollerskates, wears rainbow stripes and is fun. Which is all you need to know – I mean, after the last two years, I’ll take an eternal optimist to bring up my mood! Thankfully, she is self-aware to know her performance at tribal council could be a problem for her game so approached Chrissy in the water to apologise to her and clear the air. And while I thought it was going to be a good thing, her apology was essentially, the game has started and as such, Chrissy was even more annoyed by how intense she is.
The tribes joined Jonathan by a river where poor Kate was heartbroken to see her big brother Andy had indeed been voted out and ugh, watching her hold back tears was heartbreaking. Until she shaded the Water tribe, pointing out he is weirdly good at both puzzles and throwing things and as such, they just made it easier for her tribe to win challenges. Speaking of which, today’s would see people from each tribe racing to climb out of a large, net cube before jumping off and grabbing a flag to secure a point. First to four winning fishing gear and comfort items.
Once again, Sandra refused to sit out of the challenge with Sam taking her place on the sit out bench as Croc and Jesse faced off against her husband Mark and Khanh. And damn, Khanh was a beast as he battled Jesse, climbed out and scored the first point for Water. Kate and Sophie then fought off Nina and Briana and damn, was it a fight as they all scraped and yanked at each other before Nina broke free and snatched another point for the Water tribe. Leading to Sandra apologising to Kate for her daughter’s behaviour.
We then had Mark introduce Khanh to Sam as his boyfriend and just like that, my basement is flooded. I mean, Mark and Sam are so relaxed and fun this year, and I’m living for it!
Up next were Shay and Chrissy fighting Sandra and Amy, with Shay single handedly fighting everyone off and taking out another point for Water. That meant KJ and Khanh faced off against David and Michelle for victory, where David literally tried to rip off Khanh’s shorts who nearly gave full Sugar, before pulling up his pants and securing the win for his tribe. Given this is Blood V Water, Jonathan gave them the opportunity to share their spoils with the other tribe with Water quickly opting to give their loved ones some comfort items while they hung on to the fishing gear.
Back at camp the Water tribe were thrilled by how well they performed in the reward challenge. Well, for a split second before Briana held on to the tackle box with a vice grip to hunt for an idol clue in front of all of the tribe. While she thought she was super smooth and bubbly about it, she was well and truly putting everyone off side as Khanh complained about her intensity. And vowed to keep how at risk she is from her so she continues to annoy the tribe until they boot her from the game.
Meanwhile the Blood tribe were grateful to have been given their comfort items, none more so than Kate who was still heartbroken to have lost Andy. As she walked off to clear her mind, Michelle joined her to make sure she was ok. As they wandered chatting and looking for firewood, Kate spotted Ben, Sophie, Amy, Jordan and Sam plotting by the well, suggesting that if Andy is cutthroat, it is likely Kate is too and as such, they need to keep an eye on her. We then learnt more about Sam who promised us that she has learnt from the mistakes from her first game, vowing to be less anxious and more observant. Oh and she and Mark just want to get to the merge so they can reunite and run the game to the end like Rob and Amber before them.
Back with the rest of the tribe, Croc was asking Sandra about whether there is a point in the game where everyone just loses their mind, with her wisely explaining how everyone gets paranoid at different times and you just need to be agile. Sadly for Croc though, while he was learning from the great, Sam and Sophie are already suggesting he can’t get to the merge and as such, he won’t last long enough to find out more.
The tribes reconvened with Jonathan for the immunity challenge where they would have to drag three barrels over hurdles before grabbing three more barrels, which they thenhad to navigate through a path and up to the top of a platform before rolling them down to knock vases off a series of poles. After Sophie took her place on the bench – Sandra wisely choosing to keep performing in the challenges – both tribes made their way to the second trio of barrels neck and neck. While Water had the slightest of leads, Croc’s leadership, and honestly brute strength, was enough to see them close the gap. Wait, no, Water pulled away again and then knocked over their first vase before Blood even joined the fray. Eventually Blood started rolling too, quickly tying things up as both tribes knocked off their second vases in quick succession. Before Jesse calmly knocked off Blood’s third and secured immunity for the tribe.
Back at camp Briana was ready to cause a little bit of chaos in the hope of saving her game, while Chrissy shared that she is feeling like a hot mess. She admitted to KJ and Mark that she is feeling very nervous, with Mark emphatically telling her not to worry. Chrissy then caught up with Mel, Jordie and Josh to lock in the vote for Briana, knowing that she has been playing too hard too fast and as such they need to take her out. Chrissy assured them that she watched Briana like a hawk yesterday but reminded them that somebody needs to watch her today to make sure she doesn’t find an idol and ruin any plans.
Oh and Chrissy shared she is aligned with KJ, Mark, Mel, Jordie, Josh and Khanh and ugh, why is Nina not included in this majority?!
Speaking of Nina, Briana pulled her and Alex aside to float going after Chrissy which they obviously agreed to. As Briana went person to person to woo them to her side, she got absolutely nothing and as such, grew more and more paranoid. She and Shayelle then went hunting for the idol, leading to the rest of the tribe sending out a search party, arriving just in time to see Shay unhook a hidden immunity idol from the top of a tree. As Briana ran to her to celebrate the moment and I assume, her safety.
While King Khanh threatened to steal it before making the real boss move of picking it up from the ground and handing it to Shay, reminding her it is hers and hers only. In front of everyone. After Briana went back to camp, Khanh and Nina got into Shayelle’s ear and told her that Briana was totally planning to steal the idol from her which is why he jumped in to give it to her. Sadly, the drama only made Shayelle more confused about tribal council given she will clearly either be sending her ally Briana home or instead Chrissy, who brings good vibes to the tribe.
At tribal council Alex opened up about how shocked he was to survive his first tribal council, though he shared how grateful he was, given he feels much better. Josh spoke about how that speaks to their desire for a cohesive tribe rather than tossing him aside at the first sign of injury, which immediately made Briana talk about how much she loves everyone. Though she did admit that she is closest to Shay. As Briana spoke about hoping the tribe valued her, Chrissy said that everyone should be expecting their name to come up and as such, she is nervous. Jordie said that everyone is performing in challenges, so like Josh, his vote would be based on keeping the tribe harmonious.
Chrissy suggested she would have received more votes at the last tribal council if she didn’t find the idol. Mark suggested that this tribal council would be pretty logical and not problematic while Briana assured her allies that she trusts everyone she spoke with (like Andy last tribal, uh oh). Chrissy agreed she could trust her people though wasn’t exactly sure she trusts the plan. Briana then started whispering to Shay to vote for Chrissy before Khanh spoke about being close to a few people, which made Briana more and more nervous. Despite being confident earlier, Briana started to spiral before trying to pull it together. And then immediately threatened the tribe that she was ready to do something crazy.
With that, the tribe voted and nothing crazy happened as the tribe banded together to boot Briana from the game. Well except for Mark who threw a vote on Chrissy, ideally to paint a target on Shay though I feel he is way too nice and was just covering bases in case an idol was played.
But I’ve digressed. Like Andy yesterday, seeing Briana arrive in Loser Lodge was quite triggering because I see a lot of myself in her. I’m a little bit too much and when backed into a corner, try too hard to win people back despite it being the last thing people want. While Bri was disappointed to be out of the game, she was already hopeful to come back, learn from her mistakes and take out the win – which honestly, is the kind of energy the world needs right now. As such, I served up a big bowl of Birriana Goodchild and vowed to send all the good vibes for her second go.
Don’t let the looks fool you! While birria may appear to be a boring old stew, it is actually a feisty bowl of flavour and goodness. Which like Bri, is just what the world needs more off.
Birriana Goodchild Serves: 6.
Ingredients 5 dried guajillo chillies 4 dried ancho chillies 4 dried chiles de arbol ¼ cup apple cider vinegar 400g tinned crushed tomatoes 10 garlic cloves, minced 1 tsp dried Mexican oregano 1 tsp paprika 1 tsp cumin 2 tbsp olive oil 1.2kg beef chuck, cut into a large dice salt and pepper, to taste 1 onion, diced 1L beef stock 2 sprigs thyme leaves 2 bay leaves 1 cinnamon stick ½ teaspoon cloves
Method Place the chillies in a bowl and top with freshly boiled water. Leave to soak for 10 minutes before removing the stems and seeds. Combine the soft chillies with the apple cider vinegar, tomatoes, garlic, oregano, paprika, cumin and 3 cups of the chilli water in a blender and blitz until smooth. Leave aside.
Preheat the oven to 150ºC.
Heat the oil in a dutch oven over medium heat, season the chunks of beef and sear a few pieces at a time, until browned and caramelised on the outside. Remove to rest on a plate and repeat the process until done.
Return the beef back to the pot and top with the chilli mixture, onion, stock, bay leaves, thyme, cinnamon and cloves. Stir and bring to the boil before covering and popping in the oven to cook for about 3 hours, or until juicy and tender.
Remove from the oven and remove the visible bay leaves, cinnamon and cloves – or play it fast and loose like me and eat around the cloves. Serve immediately and devour, glad to have played the game.
Previously on Survivor the tribes officially merged into the new Viakana tribe where instead of the smaller OG tribes joining forces against the dominant Luvu group, Shan whipped a mega-alliance together leaving Evvie, Xander and Tiffany alone on the bottom. Well, that, and the fact that the drama of the previous tribal council made them all targets and they were willing to throw each other under the bus to get further. At the immunity challenge Probst offered up a bag of rice for the tribe should four people step out of the challenge, which Shan, Naseer, Xander and Ricard were willing to do. As such, Evvie destroyed the remaining competition and since they were immune and the tribe feared Xander’s idol, poor Tiffany was booted from the game to become the Queen of the Jury.
Though not before Heather created chaos at the second tribal council in a row.
After tribal council Heather was trying to run damage control with Deshawn after setting things off rather than just sticking with their alliance’s plan. While Deshawn assured her that he loves her, he does need her to stop being messy given it is now causing problems between him and Shan. Deshawn then went to Danny and questioned why he didn’t speak up when Shan suggested Heather be the new target, as Shan bitched to her alliance about how Deshawn needs to stop being difficult and put the alliance first. Evvie meanwhile was just thrilled because any time chaos occurs in the game it only can benefit those on the bottom. Like say, them.
The next morning the tribe rallied together to watch the sun rise as Shan and Deshawn finally cleared the air, explaining why they had been hurting each other. And then Shan immediately brought up Erika and Heather being dangerous again and suggested they should get rid of them, making Deshawn nervous again. WIth that, he checked in with Evvie to try and rebuild their relationship so that he has options for when the alliance with Shan inevitably explodes. You know, if it hasn’t already.
We then returned to the camp where Naseer was approaching Heather to assure her that there are no hard feelings about her voting for him the night before, which she vehemently denied. Xander watched on relishing the chaos and staying mum over the fact it was in fact him who cast the vote for Naseer before Heather tried to rope Evvie in to back her up. Who immediately threw her further under the bus. And then backed it up and ran her over again.
As the drama subsided the tribe sat down to feast on their rice where Ricard shared that he is hard of hearing, while sharing with us that it is advantageous in the game, given he is used to reading lips and body language. Sadly Shan is so obvious with her moves, that anyone can see what is happening as she pulled Liana, Deshawn and Danny aside to talk strategy directly in front of Xander and Erika. Which immediately made the duo decide to try and rally the rest of the tribe to take control rather than feuding.
The tribe met Jeffrey on a beach where they were gagged to learn that for this week’s twist, they will be split into two groups with one winner from each being immune at their group’s tribal council. Oh and the person that sticks it out the longest also wins stew for their group. Yes, stew. Wait, I missed the main point – for the challenge, everyone would need to stand on a small perch and hold on to a bar behind their head, with the last one standing winning. Erika, Heather, Shan, Ricard and Naseer were set to face off against each other while the rival group consisted of Evvie, Danny, Deshawn, Liana and Xander.
Despite being the last two standing in the last immunity challenge, Evvie and Heather were the first two out after ten minutes. They were followed by Liana and Shan in quick succession, before Danny and Ricard fell out of nowhere, leaving Erika and Naseer fighting out for one immunity and Deshawn and Xander the other. Naseer suddenly dropped, handing Erika immunity, who just as quickly gave up trying for the stew, giving their rivals a feast as Deshawn and Xander continued to fight. As Liana willed the latter to drop, she bitched about hating his face, which is some passionate language for someone you’ve known for 17 days. Which made it all the more funny when Deshawn dropped after 33 minutes handing Xander victory.
Heather, Shan, Naseer, Ricard and Erika were swiftly sent to the former Ua camp to strategise prior to their tribal council with Naseer feeling firmly in the middle of the duos. Shan meanwhile was frustrated that their easy target was now immune. She approached Naseer to get him to join her and Ricard to get rid of Heather, giving she is Erika’s number two. Naseer being too kind, he approached Heather and Erika to let them know that Heather will be going home tonight and while Erika tried to float different options, he continued to give her a big old hell no. Which made Erika decide that the better plan may be to get rid of Naseer.
As Naseer caught up with Ricard, he was puzzled why people are actually thinking of getting rid of a non-threat like Heather out when somebody threatening like Naseer is still around. This led to Ricard catching up with Heather and Erika to float the idea of working together and making Naseer feel calm enough to not play his idol and get blindsided. And while they were down with the idea, Shan was NOT happy about it given she thinks Naseer is a solid number for her and as such, wanted to keep him around. Which made Ricard grow more and more frustrated as the afternoon progressed.
At tribal council Ricard played up how tight he is with Shan and Naseer, with Heather joining in to point out that she is clearly the only option to go and as such, she knows she is going home. Erika jumped in to point out that having no advantages creates barriers to moving forward before Jeff questioned why everyone knows about all the advantages before Shan and Naseer reminded him that they had to say stupid phrases to activate everything. Ricard spoke about the madness of navigating around all those advantages while Naseer spoke about how hard it is going to be to vote out Heather given they are so close.
Heather then gave the performance of a lifetime, breaking down about not being ready to go given she has learnt more and more about herself each day, eliciting sympathy from Erika and an unwitting Naseer. With that the tribe voted and everyone held on to their idols as the votes piled up 3-3 between Heather and Naseer after Shan used her extra vote. They then revoted between the duo with poor, sweet Naseer blindsided from the game. Begging the question, what exactly inspired Shan to waste her extra vote if they were all working together to eliminate him.
In any event, after Naseer exited the jury bench he was awkwardly sent to after his boot and officially entered Ponderosa, I pulled him in for a big hug and sobbed over losing him from the game. But, you know, given he is a total sweetheart he quickly told me that he has had the best time on the show and I shouldn’t be sad. Because he is so happy. Though did admit that he would be happier if I were able to whip him up my famous Naseared Garlic Buttalif Steak.
I’ve had a long, difficult history with steak. As a kid, all I wanted in the meat-family were sausages – and look at me now! – but after a traumatic three week recovery from wisdom teeth surgery without eating (and missing the 2005 Big Day Out), all I wanted was steak. This led to me successfully having my first. I then moved out of home the following year and since my dad is the only person that can cook steak well, I never made it myself. Well until this. Buttery, crusty and packed with flavour, this is the perfect way to try cooking your own steak (if you’re still a child like me.
Naseared Garlic Buttalif Steak Serves: 2.
Ingredients 2 ribeye steaks 1 tbsp vegetable oil 75g unsalted butter salt and pepper, to taste 6 sprigs rosemary 8 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
Method Get your steaks out of the fridge a good half an hour to an hour before cooking, to come to room temperature.
Pop the oil in a heavy-based skillet and place over high heat until scorching hot. Dry each steak with paper towels, season generously (or to taste) and place in the skillet for cook for two minutes or until the seasoning forms a gorgeous crust.
Flip the steak and cook for a minute before adding the butter, garlic and rosemary. Baste the steaks with butter and cook for a further minute or two, depending on doneness.
Remove the steaks from the pan to rest for ten minutes, covered in foil before serving with mash (or your favourite sides) and with the crisp garlic, rosemary and a generous heaping of browned butter.
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.
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.