Lydia Mered-velveth Cupcakes

Baking, Cake, Dessert, Snack, Survivor, Survivor 42, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor after farewelling the last remaining other target in Swati, Tori was feeling very nervous on Ika and as such, beasted her way through the immunity challenge to guarantee her safety. Oh but not until after all of the idols were activated as Drea found Ika’s and Mike begrudgingly said his phrase. Knowing her vote was critical, Lydia didn’t bother to risk hers on her journey up the mountain with Rocksroy. Which was the right move, given she, Hai and Mike held all the power as Vati went back to tribal council and Daniel was booted from the game. Though not before Chanelle threw a random vote at Mike, making her all the more untrustworthy heading into the merge. Oh and Omar has no vote and Hai, Lindsay and Drea got an amulet advantage, in addition to the trio of idols activated last week.

Or non-merge, as the last season celebrated.

After tribal council, the Vati tribe were gagged to have pulled off the Daniel blindside, with Chanelle particularly thrilled to have bested Daniel in their feud. Though sadly for her, she threw out a vote against Mike to protect herself against any Shot in the Darks being played and thought he would be cool with it. Which he is NOT. Despite them hugging it out. Oh and while Hai would take a bullet for Lydia and Mike, Chanelle, not so much. So yeah Chanelle, you in danger girl. Meanwhile over at Ika Rocksroy was busy doing work around camp and picking fruits, while Tori tailed him like a hawk to try and find out what happened on the summit. Which annoyed the hell out of him as she wouldn’t accept his answers. Oh and as they fought, Drea and Romeo hid behind the bushes eavesdropping, agreeing that Tori is sketchy and not to be trusted. In the slightest.

We got to get a little whisper sesh from Jeff who explained that the merge twist would play out the same as last season, except for the fact they will know that the person going to exile will have a massive power and the victors are allowed to opt to go to exile instead of one of the sit outs. To further that sense of deja vu, the challenge was the same as last year too, where they will dig out a rock and then push it through obstacles to release a pair of keys and climb a wall before solving a puzzle. And the victors would get a massive Applebees feast, alongside a merge buff and immunity from the upcoming tribal council. Well, unless the exilee turns back time, that is. Lindsay and Rocksroy ultimately ended up pulling the grey rocks and landing on the sit out bench. 

Jonathan, Tori, Maryanne, Hai and Lydia formed the orange team, while Chanelle, Drea, Mike, Omar and Romero were on blue. And almost immediately, Jonathan took the lead for the orange tribe, coaching them through building a ramp and getting a massive lead as they quickly released their first key. While the blue team tried to close the gap, there is no denying this was team orange’s to lose as the group literally climbed Jonathan to get up the wall before he effortlessly pulled himself up. As Rocksroy and Lindsay rightly marvelled at his prowess. Maryanne and Lydia looked very zen as they calmly sorted their puzzle pieces while Drea held up blue as she struggled to climb the ball and ugh, it was tough to watch. Thankfully Mike and Romeo literally put their bodies on the line and they worked together to get up the ball and yeah, it was heartwarming.

Obviously the headstart proved insurmountable for the blue team as the orange group took out victory and the win, which likely means one of the five will be going home tonight giving this immunity means nothing. The group then cursed Lindsay, selecting her to join them on reward while sending Rocksroy to exile for two days. With only the game changing twist which will make him immune, for comfort.

The victors were giddy as they arrived at their island Applebees, smashing their burgs and delighting in the fact they had officially made the merge. Which is a lie they are tragically unaware of, while Jonathan admitted that he had considered opting to go to Exile which would have kept everyone that won safe. But before we could think about what could have been, Tori talked a bunch of shit about Rocksroy and their OG tribe and then aired all their dirty laundry. Which may endear her to them, or piss everyone off.

Meanwhile the losers ventured to the eventual merge camp where they were thrilled to smash the pity rice they received from Jeff before Drea rightly clocked the merge twist, which is honestly, so damn iconic. Drea then caught up with Mike and suggested that maybe since they both have idols, they should work together and as such, combine their individual alliances to take control. Leaving Chanelle and Tori well and truly on the outs in the process. 

We checked in with Rocksroy as he arrived at his desolate island where as predicted by Tori, he was absolutely thrilled to set up camp, whipping up a fire and shelter. And well, he was loving to have all this alone time to just live his best life and see all the vibrant colour the world has to offer (because he has a degenerative eye disease). Oh and he found the hourglass and hammer, but there were no instructions so he just moved them into his shelter.

The winners and losers reconnected at camp with Omar ready to befriend anyone and everyone to keep himself safe at the first tribal council. Lindsay meanwhile wanted to check in with Hai and Drea to discuss their amulet advantages and see whether they will stick together. And while they all said they would, Hai was nervous the women would eventually turn on him. Mike and Maryanne caught up, assuring each other they will work together before the iconic Maryanne started bonding with Romeo and assured him that the little people need to stick together. Oh and then she bonded with Tori too and while she looks well connected, I’m worried it will come back to bite her.

Mike and Jonathan meanwhile watched the sunset together on the beach, bonding over being gentle giants and agreeing to look after each other and ugh, I love them. And more importantly, how much they love each other.

The next day the tribe went hunting for food, collecting crabs and before Jonathan snatched an octopus, then almost grabbed a shark and well, it was iconic. While he is clearly a threat, Hai was still keen to work with him and use him as a meatshield. With everyone bonding around camp, Hai spoke about how he met his boyfriend which led to Romeo pulling him aside and opening up about being gay and wanting to be as open and honest as he is and ugh, I love them. Hai encouraged him to share his story and love himself as Romeo spoke about his fear of people not loving him or worse, needing to silence himself to be accepted. And ugh, once again, I’m crying.

Omar soon joined the boys and talk returned to the game, with Hai telling them both that Chanelle can not be trusted. Which confirmed to Omar that he doesn’t have a vote. And well, she doesn’t care enough for him to let him know he doesn’t have a vote and as such, he was ready for her to go too.

The next day Omar charmed Mike by telling him that he is saving himself for marriage and well, he is ready to marry his partner ASAP. Lydia and Maryanne bonded over being the younguns with the old lady gang names, while Hai officially locked in his alliance with Jonathan. They then pulled in Lydia, Omar, Drea, Mike, Lindsay and Rocksroy, and just like that, they had a majority. Oh and Chanelle or Tori are their number one targets, with Maryanne identified as the next to go from Taku. Though only because Jonathan didn’t want his new allies to think he wasn’t willing to offer someone up.

Oh and then Chanelle walked up to try and find some allies, with them all pretending they have no plans to take her out. Which made Chanelle more and more nervous as they assured her they will not take her out. As Hai, Jonathan, Drea and Omar caught up to further solidify their bond, Omar admitted that he may not have a vote at the upcoming tribal council. Though after confirming they are tight, Drea shared that she has an extra vote and would be willing to give it to him, should they need it.

We ventured back to Exile Island where Jeff arrived to announce the twist to Rocksroy, who was honestly buzzing with joy to be left on his lonesome for a couple of days. Probst then explained the twist to him and while he was nervous about potentially pissing a bunch of people off, he obviously then smashed the hourglass and earnt himself immunity. And guaranteed his place in the merge. And most importantly, left Tori in jeopardy.

The castaways joined Jeff for the first individual immunity of the season where they were gagged to learn about Rocksroy’s power and the fact that the winner’s of the last challenge are now at risk and would be competing in the immunity challenge to guarantee their safety. Which obviously delighted Chanelle, Drea, Omar, Mike and Romeo. Tori on the other hand was irate and told Rocksroy that she was pissed he took away her safety after she gifted him an advantage. Which only made everyone even more weary of her.

But back to the challenge, where they would each have to balance a table using a rope and walk back and forth along a lane, spell out immunity using wooden blocks. With the first person to finish guaranteeing their place in the merge and a spot on the jury at the minimum. Fuelled by her simmering rage for Rocks, Tori got out to an early lead in the challenge alongside Jonathan, until Hai picked up the pace and took out the lead. Until he dropped and handed the lead back to the duo. Then Jonathan dropped, giving Tori plenty of time to calmly walk the course and jag immunity. Despite a late breaking pursuit from Lindsay. And then Maryanne.

Back at camp everyone congratulated Tori on taking out immunity and assured Rocksroy there are no hard feelings. Before everyone quickly split into factions to come up with a plan, with Jonathan assuring Rocksroy he already has an alliance and has nothing to worry about. After Romeo and Tori bitched about the meatheads in the game, Romeo led the charge to get rid of Jonathan. While Maryanne, Hai and Drea weren’t overly keen, Maryanne also just didn’t want to lose her place in the game. Lydia tried to pitch Jonathan to Lindsay and Chanelle, which made go into protection mode and suggested Maryanne would be a better option because she is super strategic.

Chanelle meanwhile saw through her plan to protect herself and Jonathan, which made her more focused on rallying the troops to keep the vote on Jonathan. While Omar desperately worked to protect Jonathan, which gave him a crack as Lydia admitted that she isn’t sure about this new majority alliance. And as such, he went person to person to turn the tribe against her instead. Which obviously pissed off Hai.

At tribal council Hai admitted that this vote is very defining to their season, particularly since the game has been so fluid thus far. Romeo meanwhile spoke about trusting his gut and reading the cues, with Drea countering that sometimes people are just too nervous to make a move even if they want to. While Hai wanted to take this moment to take control of the game. Lydia once again spoke about how playing Survivor has helped her accept all parts of herself. Jonathan wanted to be able to say that he did all that he could do in the game when it was over, while Omar tried to be chill despite knowing people would come for him eventually. While Rocksroy spoke about his nerves over missing two days of the game.

Maryanne said that she planned to make the decision that will help protect her long term, which Drea said is not the right way to approach the game. Maryanne then tried to get her to agree they are on the same page, which Drea, again, iconically refused to agree. Maryanne spoke about being nervous about how charming and chatty she is while Hai spoke about everyone having a different perception of the game. Oh and then a beetle landed on Rocksroy, which is important, if you ask me.

With that the tribe voted, as Lindsay, Jonathan and Maryanne all received a few votes before the rest piled up on Lydia and sent her from the game. Just missing the jury, tragically. Despite the brutal way she went out – the twist, again, is not great – Lydia was still super calm and zen, happy to have been given the opportunity to play the game. I pulled her in for a massive hug and assured her that while it sucks to go out in such an unfair twist, it does put her in the epic company of Sydney and she can always use it to justify needing a second go at the game. With that, he laughed and cried before smashing some Lydia Mered-velveth Cupcakes

I know, I know – red velvet is just chocolate, but the elegant drama they bring to the looks department always make me excited to eat them. Delicate and fluffy, these babies are the ultimate way to sweeten the bitter after-taste of getting the boot. Or a rough day, TBH.

Enjoy!

Lydia Mered-velveth Cupcakes
Serves: 12.

Ingredients
150g flour
1 ½ tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp bicarb soda
¼ tsp kosher salt
¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
150g raw caster sugar
1 large egg
1 tbsp vanilla extract
100ml buttermilk
50ml vegetable oil
1 tsp champagne vinegar
1 tbsp red gel food colouring
100g butter, softened
225g icing sugar
100g cream cheese, softened

Method
Preheat the oven to 160C and line a cupcake tin with cases.

Combine the flour, cocoa, bicarb and salt in a bowl and pop the unsalted butter and raw caster sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat the unsalted butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce to low and beat in the egg, vanilla, buttermilk, oil and vinegar until just combined. Fold the wet ingredients through the dry until just combined, before mixing through the food colouring. Again, until just combined but also a consistent colour.

Divide the batter amongst the cupcake cases and pop in the oven to bake for about 15 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.

While they are chillin’, beat the butter and icing sugar on medium, or until pale and fluffy. Add in the cream cheese and beat for another minute or so, or until just combined. But for realsies, because the longer you beat cream cheese, the softer it gets.

Once the cakes are cool, piping the icing on top (or dollop with a spoon and hope for the best) before devouring. 


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The Blacaforenast Cake

Baking, Cake, Dessert, Drag Race España, Drag Race España 1, Snack, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

While it feels like a nearly weekly occurrence since the start of the pandemic, the establishing shots of a new Werk Room fill me with so much joy. Particularly when they’re as bright and fun as our newest iteration to join the franchise, Drag Race España. 

Side note, remember when there was such a time as off season? Gagged.

But anyway, on to what you’re waiting for! We first met Arantxa Castilla La Mancha in full technicolour delight and given she is a passionate fan of Hannah Montana, I live for literally everything she stands for. Particularly since she has such a fun and stupid energy. She was joined by Sagittaria who looked like Else and Aquaria’s baby, though I’m fairly certain that is the point. Next up was Hugáceo Crujiente who looked like a work of bloody art – complete with frame – and I live for everything about her weird artsy vibes. Carmen Farala arrived serving muscle Joslyn Fox with a Jersey tan and Teresa Guidice’s wig and I hate how flooded my basement got. 

Oh and please note, her name is Farala not Farala – just to get the pronunciation correct. 

Pupi Poisson yodelled her way into the Werk Room and my heart and already, I know she is an icon. As well as Arantxa’s auntie and the most charming, shady queen in the bunch. Killer Queen was up next serving superhero realness and is a literal doctor, so I’m ready to get married because she is stunning. But then I’d need to keep Dovima Nurmi as a side piece as he is hot and in drag, a sexy vamp. Oh and she has a history with Sagittaria that didn’t end well, but they chose to hang out in the Werk Room because it is always better the devil you know. You know?

Inti made an iconic entry in all red, carrying your dad’s underwear and I live. Particularly since she has such a cool vibe which hits the exact Indigenous futuristic notes she is wanting too. Drag Vulcano looked like a glamorous, warrior porcupine and could choke me out of drag. And rounding out the cast is The Macarena who is just so delightfully positive, camp and wacky, so she too has me absolutely living. Particularly since she arrived with a tupperware container of pork rinds and some vegan snacks if the queens were that way inclined.

Their getting to know you was interrupted by Supremme de Luxe, welcoming her queens to the competition and introducing the dolls to the first two members of the oversized, gorgeous Pit Crew as they were challenged to a photoshoot while riding a mechanical bull. Last in was first up as The Macarena kissed the bull and fell off immediately before serving glamour in the pillowed floor. Sagittaria fought to stay on before getting into a rhythm and serving pure sex. Dovima was awkward, Inti was one with the bull (and was lucky enough to have long enough legs to keep them firmly on the ground). Carmen popped her balls, and that is enough to snatch the win in my eyes. Pupi had the time of her damn life, Killer Queen wisley needed the Pit Crew to ‘assist’ mounting the bull, Hugáceo was thrown around like a ragdoll and Vulcano shockingly didn’t pop the air mats with her headpiece, which Arantxa desperately needed as she ungraciously flipped around the arena. While having the best time, obviously. Ultimately Supremme is as big a fan of balls as I am, handing Carmen victory before dismissing the girls to de-drag.

As the queens removed their entry looks, we learnt that Dovima superglued stuff to her face while Sagittaria just completely got naked in the background. The dolls were gagged by Arantxa’s boy look while we uncomfortably watched The Macarena seemingly give birth while removing her tucking tape. Back with Arantxa we learned that she doesn’t tuck and instead uses an intricate system of tight panties, while Macarena was having a deep and meaningful with Inti and Vulcano about how she used to be very self-conscious but learnt to love herself and now lives for being naked. 

And well, let’s just say I love all the queens already.

Supreme returned to the Werk Room with some more of the Pit Crew to announce that this week’s Maxi Challenge would required the girls to serve glamour using wagons of trash and as Carmen won the mini challenge, she would be able to pick her box of trash before the rest of the queens fought it out for theirs. Quite literally. More importantly we learnt that Killer Queen only runs for drag and buffets and honestly, I feel we connect on a deep level.

The queens split up to start prepping their looks with everyone playing around with their junk, while Killer Queen straight up whipped out the sewing machine and immediately started assembling her outfit like a damn icon. Supremme arrived to talk to the less organised dolls, with Carmen talking about how confused she is about everything and is struggling to even think, overwhelmed by having to  make an outfit in front of fashion designer Ana Locking. Sagittaria was hiding her nerves a bit better, while Dovima was straight up stressed. Until they started talking about their fight over a man and damn, I need all the details immediately.

Día de Eliminación arrived with the queens all upbeat despite the fact one of them would be going home by the end of the day. Macarena was hoping to just not to shit her pants before they were distracted with talk about plastic surgery – shading Carmen as the most silicone of the group. Macarena shared that they identify as non-binary, with Arantxa, Hugaceo and Inti shared that they too are non-binary. Carmen spoke about making dolls out of random objects as a child, Inti shared their mum identified them as an artist, rather than queer while Sagittaria and Hugacaeo shared touching stories about their mothers too. And well, Macarena ran her mouth a lot, much to Carmen’s chagrin. Oh and Pupi was going the Monet route and covering her shows in sponges, knowing that her look is definitely going to be a mess. And Sagittaria, Hugaceo and Arntxxa were kikiing, with the latter admitting that she has already learnt the lip sync, unsure whether she should trust her instincts with the look she pulled together.

Supreme was joined by Ana Locking, Javiers Ambrossi and Calvo and guest judge and my dream boyfriend, Jon Kortarjaren for the first runway de España. Inti slayed in a monochromatic drape number with pink and purple tassels around her hair. Arantxa was a bright, mod delight complete with bubble guns. Hugaceo was breathtaking in a blue and white gown with her face blending into the fabric of her look. Killer Queen was pretty, floral perfection, with an ode to Marie Antoinette. Sagittaria was breathtaking in a gown of black balls and hoops, serving space age sexbomb. The Macarena was a bright confectionary delight with a flamingo nesting on her shoulder. And carrying a rubber ducky just because. Dovima was a black and green furry sea creature bondage dream. Pupi Poisson was a hot mess with her cleaning products look, but her polish and humour on the runway was charming. Carmen once again looked full woman, ready for a casual lunch with the cast of RHONJ down by the Shore. While Drag Vulcano was a shimmering silver delight in a bodysuit with pinwheel flower embellishments.

Drag Vulcano, Arantxa, Killer Queen and Inti were sent to safety before the judges gushed about everything that Hugaceo did, with Ana in particular living for her fashion aesthetic. Sagittaria too received universal praise before the judges read Macarena for being a little basic and unfinished. Dovima was read for her runway walk, with Jon reminding her to not go so far that she ends up making her life too hard. Pupi was praised for turning up on the show given her legacy, though the judges didn’t like anything about her outfit. Oh and Carmen too received universal praise, with the judges loving her energy.

Backstage the safe queens celebrated not being the first boot before trying to guess who would be joining Carmen in the top. Inti suggested that Macarena would be joining her while Killer felt Pupi would definitely be at the bottom. But as you know, we’re all bottoms. The other dolls joined them with Hugaceo suggesting Carmen will win, while Pupi acknowledged she’d be in the bottom, as did Dovima. For not being able to get out of her head. And then Macarena gagged the girls by pointing out that she is probably in the bottom too.

Ultimately Carmen was sent to safety, handing Hugaceo the first win of the season to their adorable delight. Sagittaria was deemed safe before Supremme gagged us all by saving Pupi, leaving Macarena to battle Dovima to I Will Survive but not that I will Survive. The Monica Naranjo version. In any event, both of the queens immediately felt every lyric and worked overtime to avoid being the first one sent home. Then Dovima pulled out a damn whip, Macarena lost her wig and it was all over. Though I feel that the lip sync was a very hard fought draw, Dovima’s better outfit clearly managed to save her as The Macarena became the first queen eliminated.

I was so heartbroken to see my dear friend The Macarena walk back into the Werk Room and immediately pulled her in for a hug. And gave her the usual first-boot-of-a-franchise pep-talk. You know, the one where I tell them that as THE Porkchop, they will always be remembered while everyone else will fade into obscurity. Plus, if you speak about your penchant for nudity on camera, the world is going to love you. Particularly if you are nude while eating a The Blacaforenast Cake. There is a massive market for it.

Rich and fudgy, tart and sweet; a black forest cake is one of the greatest inventions. Like a slab of fruit and nut chocolate, this cake has it all. And what it lacks in nuts, Carmen is willing to flash hers. And well, so is my nude friend The Macarena.

Enjoy!

The Blacaforenast Cake
Serves: el español Porkchop y their also nude friend.

Ingredients
1 ½ cups raw caster sugar
125g unsalted butter, diced
⅓ cup cocoa powder
½ tsp bicarb soda
400g dark chocolate, chopped
1 ½ cups flour
1 tbsp baking powder
2 eggs, whisked
600ml thickened cream
2 tbsp kirsch
400g pitted sour cherries, drained but saving the ju-uice, buuuddddy
1 tbsp arrowroot
1 tbsp icing sugar
maraschino cherries, to top

Method
Preheat oven to 160C.

Combine the caster sugar, butter, cocoa and bicarb with 60g of the chocolate and a cup of water in a large saucepan. Place over medium heat and cook, stirring, until it boils. Reduce to low and simmer for a couple of minutes, or until it is homogenous and combined. Remove from the heat and let it cool for a couple of minutes.

Whisk in the flour, baking powder and eggs until well combined. Pour into a lined 22cm cake tin and bake for about 30 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Once rich but cooked, removed from the oven and allow to cool slightly in pan before transferring to a wire rack to finish the job.

To make the ganache, bring half the cream in a saucepan over medium heat and once shimmeringly hot, remove from heat and whisk through the chocolate until smooth and silky.

While that rests, combine the cherry juice with the arrowroot in a small saucepan and cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes or until viscose and shiny. Then leave that to rest.

Finally, beat the remaining cream with the icing sugar until stiff peaks form. And when one of us is nude, the peaks are definitely stiff.

To assemble, cut the cake into four layers. Place the bottom on a plate, drizzle with a third of the kirsch, followed by the syrup and whipped cream. Sprinkle with cherries and repeat layering process until you’ve got the last piece of cake on top. Spread with the ganish until covered and smooth. 

Top with maraschino cherries and devour, triumphantly, in the nude. Like a damn icon.


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Anzach Kozyrskcuits

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: All Stars, Baking, Dessert, Snack, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor a BBQ reward had everyone fighting hard, slipping and sliding to snatch something to eat. After David, Moana, Zach, Brooke and Sharn dominated the others, they headed off to smash their feast before learning that they also won letters from home. While I thought that would be all the tears I would cry this episode, Lee was pulled away from camp to learn that his mother had suffered a massive stroke. After telling everyone what had happened, the tribe rallied around him as they farewelled him from the game to go be with his family. With his mother tragically passing away before he made it back to Brisbane.

Before we could process what happened, Jonathan returned to our screens for the next immunity challenge where they were required to tread water in the shallows while holding a ball in a shoot above their heads. With the last one standing, or treading more accurately, snatching immunity. Moana quickly dropped out, followed by Zach, Jacqui and AK, all within the first five minutes. Tarzan was next to go while the other four fought hard for over thirty minutes.

Sharn was next to go, quickly followed by Brooke leaving Queen Shonee to face off against David. Knowing that they were screwed should she win immunity, AK pulled Brooke aside and told her not to tell Shonee when she was close to dropping in the hope of saving themselves. Sadly for them, she and David managed to hold on for ninety minutes before David started to struggle. And then dropped his ball after two hours, handing Queen Shonee her second immunity.

Back at camp the tribe congratulated Shonee on her victory before she shared that she is so good at swimming because she treads water while chatting with her friends at the pool every day. After throwing some shade at the people that call her weak, she caught up with AK and Brooke to figure out a plan while David, Zach and Tarzan tried to figure out who to get rid of after the tie between Brooke and AK. With them favouring Brooke, given she is the bigger beast in challenges. With that Sharn approached Shonee, Brooke and AK to make sure that they weren’t looking for idols, though admitted that she would be interested to talk. AK suggested that she could pick their target and join them to get rid of that person, sending them home without needing to revote.

Unsure whether Sharn would follow through, AK got to work chatting to Zach and David to find a way to get them to not split the votes between him and Brooke. And instead join them to get rid of Brooke. She, meanwhile, was focused solely on keeping their alliance together. Wait, no, she pulled Shonee aside to see if she would join her in writing down AK’s name and sending him home to avoid a tie.

At tribal council Jonathan caught the jury up on the Lee situation before Moana spoke about how they aren’t simply targeting OG Vakamas, and instead are trying to get rid of threats. And while David tried to echo the sentiment, AK called bullshit and said that he and Brooke are screwed. Brooke admitted to wearing her vote-out outfit – so she looks good getting her torch snuffed – before Shonee went in, telling the majority how funny it is how many different agendas their alliance is managing. Jacqui tried to downplay things, reminding everyone that they are all cogs in a wheel and it only functions when they stick together. AK laughed about how great it will be when they need to turn on each other, before Brooke called out Dave – a physical threat – for targeting her for being a physical threat. She then savaged Dave and told him to lift his game, which was a-maze-ing.

Jonathan then put a spanner in all their works, telling everyone that tonight, the three highest vote getters at tonight’s tribal council would be going to Exile Beach. Joined by three people after the next tribal council, before the six battle in a series of challenges until one person is eliminated. Which is convoluted, however I will forgive it because they had to drag things out another episode after Lee’s family tragedy.

With that the tribe voted and as expected AK and Brooke were sent to exile, while they stuck together with Shonee and the trio selected a frustrated Moana to join them. And when they arrived at Exile, her mood did not improve one bit as she silently put herself to bed as the other two snuggled in together. The next morning the trio awoke to a beautiful sunny day, while Moana was miserable, hiding in the jungle before rallying and encouraging her fellow exiles to make the camp as nice as possible. And then bonding with the duo so that should they all make it back, they are two people that she can have in her back pocket.

Back in the main game the tribe were eating a breakfast of sandy rice, giving Shonee the giggles while the boys grew annoyed at Jacqui. Who I assume, they assume put the sand in it. Despite being down 5-1, Queen Shonee was hopeful that her positive attitude and friendly nature would help her avoid going to exile for the second time. She bonded with Dave, swapping celebrity stories, however he knew her game and didn’t want to give her a further in. As such, he worked on Zach and Tarzan to confirm that they will still send Shonee to Exile before planting the seeds that Zach should sacrifice himself to save the rest of the alliance. And more importantly, Dave.

Jonathan returned for the next immunity challenge where the tribe would hold onto a long pole tethered to a board where they must balance three balls in holes one at a time. And then return to the end of their pole without dropping any. I’d like to say the challenge was exciting, but honestly, it was brutal to watch as everyone dropped their balls over and over again, until Sharn finally snagged victory and put everyone out of their misery.

Back at camp David got to work trying to avoid going to exile, while Sharn tried to figure out who to send to exile with Shonee. With Zach seemingly still keen to be one of them and Tarzan unlikely to win a challenge, so therefore safe, David and Jacqui were the only other options. Poor, sweet Zach – who would have thought – was keen to be part of the A team, as David tried to pretend that Jacqui would be a better member of the team, despite him having a better challenge record. David and Sharn caught up, with Sharn pointing out that David would be a good option to win the challenge with him trying to defend himself by pointing out that he is sick and weakened. Eventually they and Jacqui agreed that Jacqui was the better option and hot damn, why aren’t they targeting him?

Alone at camp with Sharn and Tarzan, Jacqui told them that she doesn’t want to go to Exile and as such, she and Sharn floated the possibility of blindsiding David instead. Sharn then told Tarzan that she has plenty of plans for how to navigate that moving forward and while he agreed nobody wants to face David at the end, why do I think this isn’t going to end well for Sharn? Oh, because Tarzan took said intel straight back to David, that’s why.

At tribal council Sharn spoke about the complexity of deciding how to send half the tribe to exile, versus booting a single person from the game. Jacqui admitted that she was keen to go to Exile for her resume to begin with, however the closer it got to the point of going, she got nervous. On cue David coughed to remind everyone how weak he is, before Zach admitted that he is still happy to go to exile. He then pointed out that Jacqui and Shonee are the best at challenges and as such, they would be the ones to join him. Sharn tried to play tough, reminding everyone that they all have their own votes and people shouldn’t fall in line if they don’t want to.

Shonee then admitted that she is going kicking and screaming and looked forward to spending more time with Jacqui on Exile, given she hasn’t really done anything to avoid it. Jacqui tried to defend herself and pointed out that she has done things to protect herself, leading to David pointing out just how strong she is at challenges. Zach reiterated how excited he was to build his resume, unaware that being voted out twice and sent to exile isn’t the best way to charm the jury. Unless of course, you’re Shonee – who I would gladly look the other way for. 

Sick of all the challenge talk, Jonathan announced that this little twist will work differently than they are expecting, with the exiled group competing in two challenges, with three people earning their way back into the game and joining the other people in the game to vote to boot one of the remaining people on Exile. Shonee tried to use this to point out that all the ex-Vakama people could technically make themselves safe and as such, the Mokutas would be the only people eligible to vote for and as such, sacrificing yourself is pretty stupid. Though Zach, bless, was undeterred. With that, the tribe voted and as expected sent Shonee and Jacqui to exile, with a tie for third between David and Zach. As such, that meant Sharn and Tarzan were required to revote and with her back kind of against the wall, Sharn opted not to rock the boat and sent Zach to Exile.

The exile crew were stirred awake by their new friends, a jubilant Zach included. He then regaled them with tales about how excited he was to volunteer and use going to exile as a way to boost his resume, while AK looked on in concern that someone could be stupid enough to volunteer. I mean, if it was such a great look for the resume, wouldn’t everyone have been pushing for it?

Back at the actual camp, the non-exiled trio were happily lazing about, with Sharn explaining to us that she kept Dave around because she wants to blindside him, not have him exit via a twist. Which sure, sounds great, but I feel like this is revisionist history right there. David was thrilled that he was able to convince Zach to volunteer, before pulling Sharn aside to thank her for protecting him the night before, hoping to make her feel guilty about potentially turning on him. He then suggested to the other two that they need to be careful of the five from exile returning to camp and turning against them, with Jacqui in particular a concern, given she didn’t have a choice in going.

Speaking of Jacqui, she was trying to put on a brave face on Exile while Zach continued to talk about how great their predicament is. This made Jacqui even more furious, annoyed by how stupid Zach is to not see that he is Dave’s puppet and is being groomed as the ultimate goat at final tribal. Thankfully Queen Jacqui was treating this as a wake-up call and she planned to use it to her advantage and turn on the boys as soon as she could. Seeing how enraged Jacqui is, Shonee decided to continue on a charm offensive and endear herself to Jacqui. And use that to flip her to their side. Moana meanwhile was feeling vulnerable, worried about a challenge dictating her fate and as such, was resolved to fight for her family even more.

With that Jonathan returned for the first exile challenge where the first two to make a stick long enough to collect a flint, and then use said flint to build a fire high enough to burn through a rope – deep breath, long sentence, no? – secure their safety and return to the main game. Moana got out to an early lead, thanks in no small part to the constant coaching of David and Sharn. As everyone struggled, Moana got to work on her fire, quickly getting a flame as her coaches cheered from the side. Zach and Brooke battled to release their flints, both anxiously dragging it towards them as Moana’s fire burnt through the rope and secured her safety. She started to break down, overwhelmed by saving herself, as the rest of the group battled it out for second place. Zach was next to get his flint as his allies cheered and coached from the sidelines, much to Jacqui’s chagrin. Brooke quickly joined him after releasing her flint, slowly building a fire while Zach feverishly worked on his, hacking his hands in the process. The duo were neck and neck as their flames built before Brooke’s started licking at the ropes and burnt through just ahead of Zach’s.

Brooke and Moana returned to camp with Sharn, Tarzan and David, talking about how thrilled they are to be back in the game. Well Moana at least, who they all love, while poor Brooke was feeling left out, despite being proud of herself. Meanwhile Zach returned to exile far less jubilant, as he, Jacqui, Shonee and AK lamented their loss. While Zach was confident in his allies saving him no matter what, he knew that winning the challenge is what he needs to build his resume, otherwise offering himself up is a bust. On the flipside, Shonee was still trying to work Jacqui to try and get her to turn on her allies. She and Jacqui caught up and spoke about the last vote, with Shonee telling her that she only voted for her to go to exile because she wanted to spend time with her and hated the thought of hanging with Dave. She then pointed out how her allies were barely cheering her on at the last challenge and as such, they should work together to guarantee their safety even if they lose the challenge.

Speaking of the challenge, Jonathan returned and announced that the final challenge would see each of them holding a weight via a rope and keep it between a coloured zone. With the last person standing returning to the game and the remaining trio becoming the only option for the rest of the tribe. AK and Shonee both struggled early in the challenge while Zach grew cocky, hopping on one leg until his allies told him to pull his head in. As they both continued to struggle, AK suggested he and Shonee drop at the same time, with the icon refusing. While they tried to fight through it, AK couldn’t hold out any longer and became the first person to drop. While Zach and Jacqui stood like statues, Shonee fought with all her might before just dipping out of the coloured zone and eliminating herself from the game. After thirty minutes, chatting about how both trust their allies but won’t give in, the duo started to struggle and in turn, bicker amongst themselves. Well until Zach dropped after 45 minutes, that is, sending Jacqui back to the tribe and filling Shonee’s face with a huge grin.

Back at camp David assured Zach that his alliance has his back and that they would all be joining together to get rid of Shonee. After joining together and outlining that they would force the minority to vote with them to ensure Shonee goes, Jacqui decided to head back to camp for a little more food. As she wandered back, Shonee and Brooke caught up, with Shonee updating her ally on her growing bond with Jacqui and how she believes that if they stick together, they could sway Jacqui to vote Zach as well and send him from the game. With Brooke and AK keen, Shonee caught up with Jacqui with the latter suggesting to turn on Zach before Shonee even floated the idea.

With the foursome locked in, Jacqui wanted to do damage control with Moana before even turning on her. While Moana wasn’t interested in turning on her alliance, she was happy with the idea of getting rid of Zach and freeing up David as a shield for her and Sharn. She filled in Sharn, who agreed that Jacqui’s plan was best for the three of them, but wisely she suggested that she and Moana pretend that they didn’t know about it, making it Jacqui’s move for her resume. And more importantly, keeps David’s wrath solely focused on her only.

At tribal council Zach spoke about trusting in his alliance to keep him safe as payback for protecting them at the last one. Jacqui was proud of herself for earning her safety, while Tarzan agreed that he would be voting to save Zach before David spoke about being across everything that happened on Exile. Tarzan agreed that the alliance didn’t suffer any damage after the twist, before AK hinted that he became aware of some cracks while on exile, though pretended that he got caught out and as such, shut them down. Brooke too acted defeated – shit position, ay – as the majority continued to say the exact same thing in slightly different ways before Shonee played dejected, appealing to Jacqui’s friendship. AK tried to plead with them to make moves before it was too late, while Jacqui pretended that she was happy with the status quo. Shonee and AK pretended that they will be voting for each other before Dave told them that while it sucks, a lot can change in a few days and to hold their head up high, clearly hoping to scoop AK up as an ally for his eventual flip.

With that the tribe voted and David was shocked and frankly, enraged to discover that he had been outplayed as Jacqui became the first one to flip, joining with Brooke, Shonee and AK to send Zach out of the game and over to the jury.

While Zach was embarrassed that his misplaced trust and confidence was his ultimate undoing, I quickly changed the subject and told him to focus on what is truly important. The fact that he got his redemption! I mean, Zach and I were essentially sworn enemies after he trolled me for trolling him during his first season. But showing his genuine, soft side this season, I was reminded of the man I befriended when we both worked on Gladiator. As such, I was thrilled to reward his kind heart and better showing with a batch of Anzach Kozyrskcuits.

Hard or chewy, there is nothing better than an Anzac biscuit. Sweet, earthy and super easy to make, you can tell why these were sent to people in war zones as they have a remarkable way of bringing you even just a moment of unadulterated happiness.

Enjoy!

Anzach Kozyrskcuits
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
1 ¼ cups flour, sifted
1 cup rolled oats
½ cup raw caster sugar
¾ cup desiccated coconut
150g unsalted butter, chopped
2 tbsp golden syrup
1 ½ tbsp water
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda

Method
Preheat the oven to 170C. 

Combine the flour, oats, sugar and coconut in a large bowl and stir to combine. Meanwhile place the golden syrup and butter in a saucepan and melt over low heat, stirring sporadically to combine. Remove from the heat.

Mix the water and bicarb together in a cup and add to the golden syrup and butter. Once the bubbling has subsided, add to the dry ingredients and stir until combined.

Roll the mixture into golf-ball sized, balls, and place on lined baking sheets, pressing down the tops to form discs.

Transfer to the oven to bake for 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for five to ten minutes before devouring at their peak chewiness.


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