Previously on Survivor the final five settled into their new beach before facing off in earning an advantage in and then competing in the latest immunity challenge. While Karla managed to jag herself the upper hand it was Owen who took out the win, meaning the target was firmly placed on both her and Jesse’s back as the two biggest jury threats left in the game. As the rest of the tribe tried to figure out who was the better option, they floated the idea of painting a target on Gabler and Cassidy’s backs instead. At tribal council Jesse made a show of playing Jeanine’s long-lost idol for himself and while Karla worked tirelessly to make someone else a target, the rest of the crew rightly banded together to send her out of the game in fifth place.
We followed the final four as they met up with Probst for the final immunity challenge of the season where they would race to move a bowl using tongs through a spring maze and balance it on the top of the structure. First to build their tower, winning immunity and deciding who would be sitting next to them at the final tribal council. Cassidy obviously got out to the earliest of leads as Gabler and Owen nipped at her heels. As Gabler took the lead, his tower started to wobble in the breeze due to it being off centre, with it dropping down to three bowls and handing the joint lead to Cassidy and Owen. The duo picked up the pace to pull ahead before Owen dropped a single bowl, twice, eventually knocking his stack and giving Cassidy plenty of breathing room to land her final bowl and snatch final immunity.
Proving the fact that when one Queen falls, another rises. All hail Queen Cassidy.
While the boys were heartbroken to lose the challenge, Cassidy was so proud to be living her dream and hopefully be an inspiration to little girls like those that came before her were for her. Oh and she tellingly suggested this could be a million dollar necklace, soooo, she is taking Owen and hoping Gabler will eliminate Jesse in the fire challenge, right?
Back at camp attention immediately turned to who would be better to take on Jesse in the fire challenge. Owen felt taking him on would be best for his game, while Gabler was fairly confident he would be better at it. Well, I assume. Owen admitted to us that he was feeling defeated by the game but desperately practised and after getting a roaring fire, immediately went to Cassidy to assure her that he can easily beat Jesse. Speaking of Jesse, he was well and truly terrified about his chances given he can’t really make fire. Bless him though, he knew his only shot at winning the fire challenge was to face off against Cassidy so he approached her to suggest that the only way she has a shot at winning is to eliminate him.
Which she obviously saw right through.
Jesse broke down in confessionals, knowing his time is seeing more and more likely to come to an end, disappointed to not be able to win a challenge – and the money – for his kids. Cassidy approached Gabler to check in with him before straight up auditioning him in fire making, though sadly, it didn’t appear to be going very well. Gabler then opened up to us in confessional that he plans to donate the entire prize to charity should he win and damn, that would be a wild flex and I love it. Oh and poor Cassidy continued to debate who would have the better shot at taking out Jesse, and not just that, who would take him out but also wouldn’t be able to use the challenge win to push them over the line to victory.
At tribal council Cassidy spoke about how proud she is to have taken out the most important win of the season, flexing that this is also her third immunity win, equalling the most for the season. She opened up about being the most popular person in camp and how it is also a burden, given if she makes the wrong move, it could cost her. Jesse pointed out he suggested she should face off against him to win in fire, with her calmly articulating that she is confident in the game she played and as such, didn’t need it to prove anything further. With it clear Jesse would be making fire, both Gabler and Owen agreed they wanted to be the one to earn their spot at tribal council. Which Cassidy said was all well and good, but the only thing she cares about is making the decision which is best for her game. With that, she took Owen through to the final tribal council, leaving Gabler to be their potential saviour against Jesse.
The duo took their places at the fire making stations and got to work building their stacks. Gabler quickly got a small flame which quickly grew as Jesse got his going. Gabler methodically added sticks and nurtured his flame while Jesse’s whimpered out. Gabler’s continued to grow as Jesse got another flame which continued to grow, though tragically it wasn’t enough as Gabler earnt the third spot at fire making challenge – in a record breaking amount of time. Poor Jesse, the jury and us at home were heartbroken by the loss as Jesse fought back tears, sharing with Probst that he feels like he disappointed his family by coming this close and losing. Gabler sweetly assured him that they would all be so proud of him as he continued to cry about how disappointing it was for the money to slip through his fingers. Cassidy jumped in and assured him that he was only targeted because he was unbeatable and ugh, I too am now crying. Particularly as the jury applauded him as his torch was snuffed.
He was obviously gutted to come so close to victory as he arrived at Ponderosa, but I pulled him in for a massive hug and assured him that he will go down as one of the great players. And like Karla, is guaranteed another shot at the title (though given he is such a threat, winning may prove even more difficult). As such, he was quickly perked up as we toasted his killer run with a big fat Jesse Picolopez Cone.
Piccolo cones are fast becoming my jam. Small enough to not feel guilty, big enough to fill you with joy. Add in the fact these babies are full of flavour and you’ve got a snack you’ll keep going back to.
Jesse Piccolopez Cone Serves: 1 robbed goddess and his unwavering cheerleader.
Ingredients 1 batch Cookara & Kayream Ice Cream 24 mini waffle cones, store bought because duh 200g white chocolate 1 cup crushed oreos
Method Whip up the ice cream as per star of Season 2 of The White Lotus Kara Kay’s recipe and transfer to a piping bag and pipe into the cones before transferring to the freezer to set for a couple of hours. If you don’t have something to sit the cones upright in, simply semi-freeze the ice cream first and then fill the cones when it is firm.
While the cones are setting, melt the chocolate in the microwave in 10-second bursts. Dip each ice cream in the chocolate, sprinkle with some crushed oreos and return to the freezer to set for half an hour.
Previously on Survivor South Africa the tribe battled it out in an early morning reward challenge for lunch, some family love – via Skype, thanks pandemic – and an advantage at the upcoming immunity challenge. Phil emerged as a bit of a beast, quickly taking it out before Tejan invited himself along with the advantage Meryl gave him. Phil then parlayed that advantage into his second immunity win of the season, leading to a little bit of chaos back at camp as everyone tried to make the most of the pivotal final 7 vote. Eventually it came down to a battle of Felix and Tejan, with Felix giving an impassioned performance at tribal council, leading to Shane switching his vote and sending Tejan out of the competition.
The next day Marian and Dino caught up to lament their losses, unsure who flipped and voted out Tejan. That being said, Felix felt like both of them had a hand in saving him and as such, that was probably a good thing. While Phil had told them he was in on their final four, they both agreed that there is no way he actually meant it and given he now has a hidden immunity idol, it is even more critical that they weaken him. Phil woke up and grew nervous about people exiting camp, finding Marian and Dino to recap the last tribal council. Phil tried to pretend he didn’t lead the vote against Tejan, despite Marian clearly hearing him telling Killarney to get rid of him. Phil admitted to us that he and Marian are loyal to each other above anyone else, though he didn’t plan on going to the end with her. Which is convenient, as she shared with us that she no longer wants to play the game with him. At all.
Back at camp Felix was asking Shane why the plan was to get rid of him the night before, with Shane admitting to him that he was one of the Tejan votes. And as such, he should now know that he can be trusted. Felix meanwhile only cared about the fact that his alliance with Dino and Phil was clearly done. Speaking of that duo, Phil and Dino were busy catching up solo, with Dino going in on Phil to try and get him to admit that he was the one orchestrating the vote against Tejan. Dino could tell their alliance was done, while Phil was blissfully aware as he went to catch up with Felix and make sure the trio were still tight. Though like Dino before him, Felix did not really buy that Phil was still being truthful with him.
Shane meanwhile was focused on splitting up Phil and Felix, not really caring who to take out. He then shared with us that his current plan was to take Killarney to the end, despite being confident he could beat anyone left in his ideal final four. Said group then caught up to lock in the fact they can’t trust Phil or Felix, with Killarney thrilled to be in on the plan and move ahead. Dino meanwhile was confident that Marian and Shane had his back and that Killarney saw him and her as a pair, making him feel safe about letting Shane and Killarney drive the next vote to split up Felix or Phil and keep the target off his back.
Dino and Felix caught up, with Dino admitting that he was one of the votes against him though that he always had his back and never intended to get rid of him. And while Felix said he believes him and was grateful for the honesty, I am not so sure.
The tribe joined up with Nico where they faced off in a reward challenge in duos where they would need to release sandbags, shoot them at a net, manoeuvre them over said net and then shoot them into baskets. For a full on spa reward, with lunch and drinks included. Killarney and Shane, Phil and Felix and Marian and Dino got to work on the challenge with the last pair quickly falling behind. Phil and Felix started to pull ahead of Shane and Killarney, while Dino and Marian desperately tried to close the gap. Philix made it to the final part of the challenge well ahead, landing three points before anyone even joined them. While everyone eventually made it to the end, the lead proved too much as Philix landed their final four bags and jagged themselves a massive victory.
As they arrived at their reward, they immediately started smashing the food before trying to plot a way to the end. Phil told Felix they can’t afford any more paranoia at tribal council as it just makes everyone paranoid and distrustful. They seemingly were still tight with Dino, as they debated who was the smartest to eliminate out of Shane, Marian and Killarney, ultimately settling on Shane as their number one target. Though given Felix felt something was off between him and Phil, me thinks this alliance is well and truly about to completely implode. After washing away a month of the game, Philix enjoyed their massage before assuring each other they had to stick together.
Back at camp the losing quartet were disappointed to lose out on reward, though were well and truly ready to lock in their final four. Dino pointed out that he is guaranteed a visit to the Outpost the next day, sure that it will give them something powerful to use at the upcoming vote. Killarney admitted to us that she doesn’t trust Marian and Shane, though knows that the four of them all need to work together to move forward, so trusts them for now given nobody wants mutually assured destruction. Killarney pointed out Phil is the biggest threat and while Marian agreed he is a problem, his alliance with Felix makes him another one to focus on.
At that point Marian spotted Phil’s bag and decided to rifle through it, finding the idol and sharing its existence with everyone. And pointing out that should he be aligned with Killarney, he surely would have told her. Dino then decided to go through Phil’s bag in the hope of finding a note that outlines what his idol is, putting a stop to their fears that it is an idol nullifier or something more dangerous. After the group once again reiterated their final four, Phil and Felix returned to camp and were immediately embraced so everyone could smell their abundance of cleanliness. That night Phil told Dino about his idol, with Dino making him paranoid about people going through his bag while they were out at reward. Dino then pulled Felix aside and assured him they were good, though he wasn’t so sure he could trust Phil. And while Felix also was a bit confused, he knew he could trust that Dino wanted to stay in the game. Which is helpful. To a point.
The next day Dino was sure that Philix were ready to turn on him, while Marian was looping in Phil on the fact everyone wants Felix gone. Though admitted that Dino is always nervous about going home too. Phil tried to convince her to help keep Dino calm, pointing out that Dino is due at the Outpost so should feel safe. Marian took the information back to her alliance, saying that Phil appears to be in on the plan to take out Felix, though the group were still nervous about trusting him.
We finally made it to the Outpost where Dino was gagged to find champagne and strawberries and chocolate, as he watched a video announcing he had won an epic river safari holiday. And an extra vote, meaning this final six tribal council just got even more exciting for them. Oh and he got to take a bowl of fruit back for the tribe, which is helpful to create a lie about having to choose between the extra vote and food for the tribe. But he promised that he planned to tell Marian the truth in the hope of building some trust.
Shane was waiting by the sign as Dino returned, desperate to get any and all intel from the trip to the Outpost. Though given he was kinda intense, if I was Dino I’d consider flipping the vote on Shane instead. Returning back to camp, he unveiled the fruit and nuts and said the only other thing he got was a video from home. Which Felix quickly deduced was bullshit, given they always get something at the Outpost. Phil pulled Dino aside to catch up with him, lying and telling him that he got to practice part of the upcoming immunity challenge, which he quickly bought with both of them trying to assure each other that they trust each other. We then learnt that Dino snuck some chocolates back for Marian and Killarney and while the latter wasn’t sure why Marian got a treat too, she was solid with Dino. Marian then explained that they had implemented a Boston Rob style buddy system to keep an eye on Killarney, given her penchant for flipping and as such, this little pair were going to be spending a lot of time together.
The tribe reunited with Nico for the latest immunity challenge where they would have to race to launch balls into a shoot and run through netting to the other end to catch it. Once they’d successfully caught them, they then dig under a log before taking their final balls to solve a puzzle. Felix and Dino got out to the earliest of leads, while Phil nipped at their heels. Felix was first to make it to the puzzle, with Dino and Phil quickly joining him while Shane trailed behind. As the boys worked on their puzzles, Marian and Killarney continued to stumble at the end before Phil put everyone out of their misery by taking out immunity. Meaning they now have one less option on the split vote.
Back at camp Dino was concerned about Phil and his idol, now that he can use it for someone else should he want to make a move. Dino obviously was feeling like the biggest threat, as such caught up with Shane and Killarney to loop them in on the extra vote. As Killarney went to babysit Felix, Dino floated the idea of splitting the vote between Felix and Killarney to Shane. Who was obviously thrilled by the idea, given he won’t get his hands dirty should something fail. Felix and Phil meanwhile caught up, with Phil suggesting their only hope would be to rope in Killarney. Which obviously made Felix nervous that Phil intended to take Killarney to the end before Dino joined and told them to vote for Shane.
Killarney and Marian caught up at the shelter with Killarney assuring her to just play along with any and all plans Felix and Phil pitch to her while they are desperate. Back at the boys club, they floated the idea of a 2-2-2 vote, given everyone would get rid of Killarney in a tie. Though Dino cautioned them not to approach Marian about voting out Killarney, given they appear to have grown close. I mean, haven’t they noticed the girls hanging out together?
Phil and Dino then caught up with Marian, with the former suggesting that Killarney makes the most sense at the upcoming tribal council. While Marian was obviously keen on getting rid of Felix instead. Phil and Dino caught up, with Phil ready to make a move against one of his allies and feeling like getting rid of Felix is the safer option, as Dino going would make Felix nervous. While Dino was just constantly nervous. Phil meanwhile was feeling ready to play his idol, offering to do it for Dino as a way to build trust before blindsiding him next. Sadly for him, Dino was sceptical, given he had previously floated giving him the idol outright, leading to Dino and Marian coming up with a rival plan to play a fake idol nullifier to spook Phil into sticking with them.
At tribal council Dino admitted he was very nervous about the vote again, not wanting to join the jury any time soon. Phil was glad to wear immunity once again, while Felix spoke about his own nerves and the need to figure out who you should face off at final tribal. Killarney admitted that she has a few ideas about who she would like to face – lol – while Marian spoke about keeping her options open, given her priority is still surviving long enough to plead their case. Shane reiterated it is always hard to figure out who to trust, while Dino felt that everyone feels they have a case, while some are starting to feel desperate about needing to make a big move for their resume. Marian mentioned that tonight’s the night to make a move, given all the advantages are due to expire, with Shane agreeing big moves will definitely impress the jury and tonight could get confusing.
With that, Marian pulled out her fake idol nullifier and assured everyone that she knows where the idol is and has a good idea who it will be played on. As such, she will nullify the idol of the person she votes for to guarantee they go home. With that the tribe voted before Phil played his idol on Dino before the votes rolled up three-three between Felix and Killarney. After Nico pointed out there was no such thing as an idol nullifier, the tribe revoted where Felix was unanimously eliminated from the game. While Dante mimed to Marian to get rid of Dino ASAP from the jury. While Felix was disappointed to find himself out of the game, he was thrilled to have a far superior run on his second try. And to play such a solid social game. As such, their were no tears as we laughed the night away, toasting his success over a batch of Pfefferlix Godlo.
While Christmas is still a few months away, I would gladly smash a pfeffernusse any day. Spicy and sweet, they’re the perfect little snack to add a little joy to any occasion.
Pfefferlix Godlo Serves: 8.
Ingredients 2 ¼ cups flour ½ tsp baking soda ¼ tsp kosher salt ¼ tsp white pepper 1 tbsp ground cinnamon ¾ tsp ground cloves ⅛ tsp ground allspice ⅛ tsp ground cardamom ⅛ tsp ground ginger ⅛ tsp ground star anise pinch of ground nutmeg ¼ cup almond meal ½ cup muscovado sugar ⅓ cup honey 75g unsalted butter 3 tbsp double cream 1 egg 2 ½ cups icing sugar
Method Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, pepper, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, cardamom, ginger, star anise, nutmeg and almond meal in a large bowl and set aside. Then pop the muscovado, honey, butter and double cream in a saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved and the butter melted. Remove from the heat to cool slightly.
Pour the liquid into the dry ingredients and stir until well combined before finally folding through the egg. Transfer the dough – which is wet and sticky – to a piece of cling and wrap into a disc. Transfer to the fridge to chill overnight.
When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 170C.
Remove the dough from the fridge and cut it in half. Roll each piece into a 3cm thick sausage before cutting them into 3-4cm lengths. Roll each piece into a ball and pop on a lined baking sheet. Once done, pop the biscuits in the oven to bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and after five minutes, transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
To glaze, whisk the icing sugar with a couple of tablespoons of boiling water until smooth, adding more water if you’d prefer a lighter consistency. Dip each cookie in the glaze and return to the wire rack to set. Before devouring, greedily though in a festive manner.
Previously on Survivor South Africa after losing the first two immunity challenges, the Masu tribe were feeling deflated. But boy were they busy. Dante was trying to improve on his last game, playing out in front and keeping his options open, while Meryl, Steffi and Marian had formed a tight trio. Over at Yontau, Dino fell asleep and into the fire which was far from the most dramatic thing as Pinty and Tania continued to feud. At tribal council the tribe was split over who to get rid of, ultimately trusting in Pinty pulling her head in (or wanting a bigger target around), as Tania was booted from the game. Potentially due to the Survivor Pizza Curse.
Things were far more zen the next day as Seamus and Phil caught up, agreeing that Pinty is kind of out of control and Tania was correct about everything she said. Though Phil admitted that he kept Pinty for the sole purpose of using her abrasive behaviours as a shield. Speaking of Pinty, she caught up with Thoriso to put the target on Seamus instead, given he played the idol he found with Tevin, even though he clearly didn’t need to (ignoring the fact it expired that night and he also had first boot trauma). And while Thoriso agreed they were a dangerous duo, she felt that Tevin was a far bigger threat than Seamus and as such, he should be their priority.
Over at Masu Toni was still fuming over Dante taking control of the tribe, while Marian approached her to clear the air. Like a boss, she told her to never use her skin as a reason to boot her again, while Toni explained she was trying to give people a gentler reason to get rid of her. Which doesn’t make much sense, but hey, she accepted it. Marian realised that Toni was feeling like she had no room to play, given she had been backed into a corner, so she tried to make her feel heard and loved. And like she had options. And you know, stick with the Masu tribe come the surely-impending swap. Before both of them locked things in officially, knowing the pre-mergers will definitely be out for blood come the merge.
Palesa meanwhile was cosying up to Dante as they both assured each other that they were keen to work together and were glad they didn’t feel the need to talk constantly. Which was all a ruse as Palesa shared with us that she knows Dante is a massive threat and clearly working at dismantling everyone else’s options and as such, she was biding her time until she could start dismantling his, instead.
The tribes met up with Nico for the latest reward-immunity combo where they would face off one at a time, running down an alley opposite their rival and attempting to pull a trigger before them. First tribe to five winning immunity and a huge bounty of comfort items. And ingredients to make toasties. Steffi and Shona were first and while Shona boldly tried to tackle her, Steffi Steffi-ed and quickly scored the point. Meryl then destroyed Pinty, Tejan continued the streak over Seamus before Queen Palesa scored Masu’s fourth point over Queen Killarney. Dante then ran for the win against Felix, which he narrowly did. Much to the agony of Yontau.
Back at Masu the tribe were completely overjoyed, sitting around smashing their sandies and feeling like real people again. On and then Steffi found the hidden immunity idol while the tribe were in food comas, proving she learnt a lot from King Chappies in his short time on the island.
The mood, however, was far more sombre over Yontau, embarrassed by how badly they lost. Felix tried to give them a pep talk and encouraged everyone to believe in themselves since they have been excelling when they work together. Killarney meanwhile was nervous after she bombed her point, which proved to be a good read as Pinty approached Tevin to float the idea of voting her out. Which he was obviously keen to do. When she made the same pitch to Seamus, she was far less successful as he pointed out both of them also lost their points and as such, they shouldn’t target her for that. He then approached Tevin, Dino, Thoriso and Felix to float getting rid of Pinty instead. Given she is still abrasive. While they appeared to be making headway, Dino grew nervous, given it is obvious Tevin and Seamus are leading the tribe and given he is injured, he doesn’t want to draw attention to himself and instead would like to keep targets like Pinty around.
Thoriso too was feeling like Tevin was more of a problem, though knew she couldn’t be the one to float his name to Felix, Phil or Seamus. And what do you know, she is in luck as Phil approached Felix about prioritising getting rid of Tevin. Given Pinty will Pinty every day until she is gone. Speaking of which, she then caught up with Felix and opened up about how frustrated she is by Tevin and Seamus being out in front and as such, she wanted to get one of them out ASAP as she was feeling nervous about trusting the boys.
Killarney meanwhile was hanging out with the boys who told her that she is their pawn, though not to worry as they were planning to end Pinty’s reign of terror. As Tevin and Seamus were bonding with Shona over her being voted out on Day 9 on her first season, Phil noticed how tight their hold had gotten over the tribe. As such, he approached Dino and Felix to seriously work on flipping the vote on Tevin to continue dismantling the Philippines alliance. Tevin and Seamus meanwhile were successful in locking in their numbers with Shona, as Phil continued to work the boys and assure them that saving Pinty will only make her more and more loyal.
Oh and then Tevin found the hidden immunity idol.
Phil and Pinty finally caught up with Pinty herself pitching the idea of splitting up Tevin and Seamus, which obviously worked given that was his plan himself. She then filled in Thoriso on the change in plan, who was frankly thrilled. And lol, what do you know, Seamus was keen to do a Shona and stash a hidden immunity idol at tribal council for down the road. And well, I look forward to seeing the other person’s face when the first one to do the fake play steals their thunder. So. Many. Lols.
At tribal council Seamus admitted it was difficult to lose, though was confident they were the stronger, more cohesive team. Phil spoke about how disheartening it can be to lose, though was glad they were ready to keep pushing forward. Throiso reiterated that everyone working together is their collective goal, with Shona agreeing that they wanted to get as many of the tribe members as far as possible. Tevin agreed that was his strategy on the first go around and while it may be boring TV it works, despite the fact that it got him blindsided his first go around. Dino meanwhile wanted to keep his options open while Tevin focused on the unpredictability of the game.
Talk turned to Pinty being the star of the last tribal council, with her agreeing that she is still on the block this one though felt Killarney is more of a weakness for the tribe. This fired Killarney up, who called Pinty out for being a difficult personality to deal with and that nobody won their point and as such, her argument was moot. As Pinty tried to defend herself as the strongest woman, she threw Shona and Thoriso under the bus, leading to Pinty backpedalling and praising them for trying. Unlike Killarney. Who well and truly was over her pitch and encouraged everyone to ignore her scrambling for the desperation it is.
Nico bought up the potential of another idol being in play, with Seamus nervous about having to split votes so soon while Dino and Phil tried to distract and keep playing up the tribal unity. With that the tribe voted and they were anything but unified as the votes landed four a piece between Tevin and Pinty before the final vote blindsided Tevin from the game. With an idol in his pocket.
Despite the fact he experienced the same fate on his second go around, Tevin exited with his head held high and was proud of what he achieved. Which I guess is easier to deal with when you’re constantly targeted for being a threat. I guess. As he re-entered loser lodge, I pulled him in for a massive hug and told him how disappointed I was to see him go. And then got a little cheeky and pointed out that his exit really improves Toni’s standing in the game and as such, we should all be grateful. Though, maybe that was the Chocolate Biscottevin Naidu.
So crunchy you could chip a tooth, these biscotti are so damn tasty. Sweet and delicate chocolate, cooked to a perfect crisp with lightly toasted hazelnuts? Perfection. Perfection, I tell you!
Chocolate Biscottevin Naidu Serves: 8.
Ingredients 2 ¼ cups flour, plus extra for dusting ¼ cup good quality cocoa powder 1 tsp baking soda 1 tsp kosher salt 325g chocolate, roughly chopped 5 eggs, 4 whole plus 1 separated 1 tsp vanilla extract 1 ½ cups raw caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling 225g blanched hazelnuts, roughly chopped
Method Preheat the oven to 160C and line two baking sheets with baking paper or silpat.
Combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt and half the chocolate in a food processor and blitz until combined and chocolate is in smaller chunks.
Meanwhile whisk the four eggs, vanilla and the raw caster sugar in a stand mixer on medium until it forms light, creamy ribbons. Trade in the paddle attachment and fold in the flour mixture, remaining chocolate and hazelnuts until just combined.
Transfer the dough to a floured surface – very floured – and split into four. Roll each portion into a log and place on the lined baking sheets. Whisk the remaining white and brush over each, followed by a generous sprinkle of sugar. Pop the logs in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes, or until firm to touch. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about half an hour.
Once they are cool enough to cut, transfer to a cutting board and slice into 1.5cm slices using a serrated knife. Line the biscotti flat on the lined baking sheets and return to the oven to cook for another 20 minutes. Remove when nice and crisp, and transfer to a wire rack to cool. Or just devour piping out, fresh from the oven. Because these are good.
Previously on Drag Race España the dolls got creampied by the Pit Crew before they were tasked with a little improv. In the form of starring as guests on Putricia’s Diario for the Maxi Challenge. While Samantha’s look was iconic, her performance didn’t go anywhere while Jota was overwhelmed by her sisters. In her performance, Venedita stole the show from start to finish and rightfully took out the win. Poor Jota landed in the bottom with lip sync veteran Samantha Ballentines, and rightly chose to focus on the emotion of the song which was key to saving herself as Samantha sashayed away.
Backstage the dolls were in their feels, while Jota was just glad to survive and ok that Samantha had gone given she wasn’t exactly thriving in the competition. That being said, she and Estrella were definitely going to miss her motherly ways and all that they have learnt from her in such a short amount of time. Though Estrella was thrilled to not be in a house with her and Macarena, given they both finished in tenth place and it is clearly cursed. Everyone gathered around to swap stories about Samantha before Estrella went on a shady rampage, telling the dolls that Jota should not have even lip synced and explained why Onyx was far worse. Before a fight broke out, the dolls congratulated Venedita on a well deserved win and all appeared to be forgotten.
The next day Estrella confronted Marina for trying to take her farting crown from her which led to Marina trying to explain her fight with Juriji to the other girls and well, nobody seemed interested at all. Though they did end up making up so I guess that is a win? Before Diamente could act on her desire to mount Onyx, Supremme dropped by with the Javiers to announce that for this week’s Maxi Challenge, they would be putting on a little rusical, Holy Drag Camp! Which is a riff on the Javiers’ Goya winning film Holy Camp, inspired by their stage show Holy Camp. So yeah, this is los Javis inception moment. And I am horny for it.
Supremme bid the dolls adieu before the Javiers gathered them to lock in the roles, with Drag Sethlas and Diamante fighting for the same role before Sethlas pulled a Camden and realised she could slay another role and bounced out. Marina meanwhile was ready to take the lead role, Onyx was cast as a painting while Sharonne was typecast as the old queen. Oh and then Estrella and Jota also fought for a role, until Estrella auditioned and made Jota shit her pants about living up to the performance. And as such, she quickly opted to take the last free role.
The queens quickly joined Carlos Marco on the Mainstage to record their songs with the quartet of muses – Vendetta, Drag Sethlas, Juriji and Jota – mostly knocking it out of the park. Drag Sethlas was demented and hilarious, Sharon hit EVERY note, Estrella was delightful and cute, Onyx was awks, Marina seemed sedated and Diamante was very energetic. When it came to rehearsal, Sharonen and Estrella were clearly the stars while Onyx and Diamante were kinda just there. Oh and the muses were a mess.
Elimination Day arrived with everyone feeling the pressure of the upcoming opening and closing night of their rusical. Well, except for Diamante, who was more focused on getting spit roasted by the Javis. Which is super relatable. She then did a hard pivot, opening up to Juriji about her difficulties growing up and how she struggled fitting in as an immigrant and ugh, they are so damn sweet I can’t handle it.
Supremme, Ana and Los Javis were joined by La Prohibidia on the judges panel for the debut performance of Holy Drag Camp! The muses opened the show in the most demented way possible, with Jurij’s voice knocking it out of the park while Sethlas was hilarious. While Marina felt a bit flat, Diamante did her best to pull her through the show before Sharonne and Estrella arrived and lifted the energy. They were stupid, fun and oh so delightful. Onyx meanwhile was just there, but given the role, I’m not sure what else she could have done anyway. Wait, then Marina got a solo number and well, she can sing and really leaned into the emotion of her role and ended up slaying.
After watching the entire rusical, uncut, the dolls stomped the Two looks in One runway where Juriji was a disco Marie Antoinette. Onyx cracked out of a space egg and into a glamorous alien, Venedita was a rainbow troll that transitioned into full glamour before Jota went from a tree to Botticelli, however said reveal took an ever to do and ended up super awkward. Sharonne went from a white bird to a metallic phoenix, Drag Sethlas went from baby to doll to bride and well, she stole the runway. Particularly after she added her fourth sexy honeymoon look. Diamante served Kinder Surprise realness, Marina was inspired by Priscilla, going from dancing queen to a supermodel and Estrella was show stopping as she cycled through the iconic looks of Marilyn Monroe and well, it was a good week for Estrella.
Ultimately Jota, Onyx, Sharonne, Marina, Estrella and Juriji were deemed the tops and bottoms of the week. After Sethlas, Venedita and Diamante exited to untuck, Juriji was read for getting lost in the rusical whenever she wasn’t singing. Though everyone admitted that they loved her runway. Juriji broke down as she opened up about never feeling good enough which led to an epic pep talk from the judges and ugh, I love them. Onyx was read for being there in the rusical and for only doing one look on the reveal runway. Jota was read for revealing too soon on the runway and kinda botching it, and for struggling with her lines in the rusical. Once again, Sharonne received universal praise for everything she served this week, while the judges absolutely lived for Marina dominating week. That being said, their love for the duo was nothing compared to Estrella who was universally beloved and then she had everyone in tears as she thanked Javier Calvo for giving her a gay man to look up to on TV and ugh, now I’m crying too.
Backstage Venedita was showing off a third reveal she had prepared for if she had to lip sync before the tops and bottoms joined them and well, Onyx and Jota were not happy. Onyx was angry to be in the bottom despite such a strong look while Jota felt she wasn’t the worst. While Estrella and Marina celebrated being in the top, Juriji started to sob over landing in the bottom and disappointing herself. And yeah, the dolls were definitely going through it.
Ultimately Marina and Sharonne were deemed safe as Estrella took out her first win of the season before Onyx was sent to safety, leaving Juriji and Jota to fight for safety to Baloncesto by La Prohibida. And yeah, Juriji is a damn star, as she perfectly stripped down and leant into the sexiness of the song while Jota lost her wig and started to look desperate as she went from camp, to a late breaking run of sexiness while Juriji just stayed in the pocket. Which was enough to save herself as Jota was booted from the competition.
While Jota was heartbroken to leave the competition, I was quick to remind her that despite a short run, she was memorable and charming. Which is what I say to all young stars in the hope that they will like me and make me look cool. But seriously, how the hell did Jota do what she did at only 19? Want to know what I was doing at 19? Vomming in public toilets before I even made it out for the night because I had no stamina. As such, we laughed and cried, while I wished to be young again before we split a batch of Melta Carajomenta.
Melting moments, in addition to being delicious, hold such a memorable place in my heart. From my sister bringing extras home from the cafe she worked at when I was a kid, to my friend being obsessed with them as a dessert for after our pastel de carne breaks at work, melting moments are perfect. And sweet. And delicate.
Melta Carajomenta Serves: 6.
Ingredients 330g butter, softened 1 tsp vanilla extract 1 ⅓ cup icing sugar 1 ½ cup flour ½ cup cornflour 1 lemon, zested and juiced
Method Preheat the oven to 160°C.
Pop 250g of the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer with the vanilla extract and half a cup of icing sugar and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Fold through the flour and cornflour until just combined.
Using your hands, roll the dough into tablespoon sized balls and pop on a lined baking sheet. When you’ve formed an even amount of balls, this is very important, press them down with a fork to flatten slightly. Pop the baking sheet into the oven to bake for 15 minutes, or until lightly golden and cooked through. Remove and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
While the biscuits get chill, cream the remaining butter and sugar together in a stand mixer with the lemon zest and juice until light and fluffy. To assemble, pipe some icing on the base of half the biscuits before sandwiching with the other half. Close, dust with some icing sugar and devour. Triumphantly.
Previously on Australian Survivor Blood and Water pulled a Spicys as two became one, reuniting loved ones and forming the Lava tribe. Which yes, is a worse name than Fire. At the first reward challenge Khanh won $60K which came with a secondary prize of painting an even bigger target on his back. At the immunity challenge KJ proved herself an undercover challenge beast, despite being narrowly pipped at the post by young, sweet Jesse. While scrambling, Mark and Sam had a domestic about voting out either Khanh and Shay with Mark being very insufferable as he patronised his wife into turning on her ally. Ultimately it worked though, as Sam stuck with her husband and sent Khanh from the game to become the King of the Jury.
Back at camp Chrissy worried about how she would be able to pull off dinner without their resident Masterchef, while Mark and Sam took a quiet moment to apologise to each other. Though given Mark gave her more of a sorry not sorry, my alliance is better than yours and your bestie needs to go so suck it up, oh and you can thank me when we get to the end, I don’t think this is the end of their family feud.
The next day the sausage fest was hanging with KJ and Shay, with the latter two clearly just looking to get to 7th and 8th place or hoping to immunity their ways to the end. Mark was still feeling very pleased with himself and super confident that nothing will break it up, which hopefully means something is going to break them up soon. If not a blindside, potentially Chrissy’s mashed beans which look like severe gastrointestinal distress waiting to happen. While Mark was feeling confident, Chrissy and Dave caught up to gossip about the marital issues while Sam complained about losing Khanh to Mel and Michelle. Particularly since she still (rightly) thinks Shay is the biggest threat.
Sam meanwhile was worried that Mark may be as blinded by his allies as Mark felt she was by Khanh. As such, she caught up with Jordie and Dave to line up some targets, quickly locking in Shay as the most threatening. Speaking about Shay, she was growing more and more nervous about Sam coming after her and starting shadowing her in the most hilarious way possible. Talking to Jordan? Shay will give Jordan a shoulder massage! As Sam straight up walked away, Shay tried to get Jordan to see the importance of keeping some singles around otherwise all the duos will end up screwing themselves over as they’ll have no way to work out of it.
Jordie and Jesse caught up with Josh in the water, congratulating themselves on controlling the game while Jesse assured them that Sam just gets nervous and to not worry about her blowing up any of their games. Particularly since Jordie was more focused on getting rid of Mark should their alliance part ways. And the first part of his plan was to out his idol to Josh. Sadly for Jordie, however, Josh didn’t seem to worry Mark was keeping the idol a secret and was very nervous about the idea of turning on him. Particularly coming up with enough votes to split between Mark and someone else.
The tribe met up with Jonathan for the latest immunity challenge where they would each have to fill a leaky drum with water to level a table to build a puzzle on. Leave your bucket to lose too much water and the table drops and you have to start over. Which is very clever, TBH. Everyone had slightly different strategies; sorting pieces first, stockpiling extra water and just trying to stay calm and methodical. While Josh and Shay were neck and neck at the start, Josh dropped his table leaving Shay to power ahead and jag herself immunity just before Josh or Mel could catch her.
Kinda proving Mark should have listened to his wife last night, no?
Back at camp Sam thankfully was completely enraged by the fact Shay had immunity and as such, worked to try and take out who she felt was the head of the alliance, aka Josh. Not Mark. Particularly since he talks to everyone in the alliance except her, meaning she knows she is on the bottom in his eyes. While she warned Mark that Josh is the biggest threat to their game, he assured her the time isn’t right to turn on him. Meanwhile Josh was filling in his cousin Jordan on where things stand, with them agreeing that Jordie and not Mark is a threat given Jordie is clearly ready to flip.
But first, they had to get rid of some of the floaters and as such, when Jordie dropped by they locked in a split vote between Mel and Michelle.
Josh then went to the other floaters and told them they would all be splitting the vote between the twins, with people not realising they could easily take control if they stopped just doing what they were told. He then went one further and spoke to Michelle about the vote and let her know it would be split between her and Mel and while she thanked him for his honesty, she told us that Josh will regret telling her. Oh and when Mark confirmed for Mel that she was the target, both twins were ready to fight.
With that Mel and Michelle decided that they should bring all the girls together and load all their votes on Josh instead and since the boys were splitting the votes, they would take control. The twins rallied the girls to float said plan and while everyone appeared interested, Sam’s nervous face made me nervous that this won’t come together. Shay agreed that this is the right time to make a move against the men, which got Sam fired up given she doesn’t want the men to dictate the future of the game. Though was worried that getting rid of Josh, which is good for her game, would ruin Mark’s, and she may not have the numbers to get much further should it blow up.
Shay encouraged Mel to talk to Chrissy and KJ about locking in the vote on Josh and while Chrissy knew he was a threat, she still wanted a little more time to think. Meanwhile Michelle pulled Jordan aside to ask why they were targeting her and her sister, with Jordan assuring her there is no right or wrong that she did and it is all just part of the game. But he just wants her to hold her nerve and stay strong aka she is the back-up plan, not the target. While all the girls worried about when the right time would be to target the boys should they not act now.
At tribal council Khanh looked like a total snack on the Jury Bench – well said, Jordan – while Josh straight up admitted to being part of the majority which is controlling the game. Dave said the alliance is really zen and makes all decisions by committee, with Mark agreeing it makes the most sense so no one person is the target. Michelle jumped in to talk about the stupidity of targeting herself and Mel, with the latter joining in to remind people they need to build a resume if they want to win and targeting those on the bottom will never build the resume.
Josh blamed Sandra for our current predicament, reminding them she told them all the strong people would go come merge and as such, they know they have no other choice but to band together. When Jonathan asked Mel what would be the smarter decision, she told everyone that Josh is a far bigger threat and as such, they need to get rid of him. She then doubled down, pointing out he knows the game just as well as she does, plus he is strong and is playing a strong social game. While Sam tried to be non-committal, Mel continued to play to the people on the bottom of the tribe and told them they have to make a move before it is too late and as such, they need to wake up and fight. Now.
With that the tribe voted and tragically the twins plan did not come to fruition as Mel found herself booted from the game. Though lucky for her, she now gets to hang out with Khanh on the jury which would be way more fun.
As soon as Mel arrived at Jury Villa, I pulled her in for a massive hug and told her how heartbroken I was to see her go so soon. Particularly since I worried it means we’re getting the opposite of last season with a male-dominated endgame with an alliance that holds out. Maybe I’m wrong and Sam will flip everything next week, but the one thing that mattered most to Mel, was that I stop rambling and get to baking. You see, we’ve been the best of friends since I started going to her clinic, so she knew I would be packing a fresh batch of Melinzer Chiang Cookies to cheer her up.
These simple little cookies are so good (and so much fun). Buttery, spiced shortbread with a good whack of jam doing a peek-a-boo through heart cutouts? Sign me up. And now you, I advise.
Melinzer Chiang Cookies Serves: 6-8.
Ingredients 160g plain flour, plus extra for dusting 2 tsp ground cinnamon ⅛ tsp nutmeg ⅛ tsp ground clove 100g butter, at room temperature 60g almond meal 100g raw caster sugar 1 egg ⅓ cup raspberry jam icing sugar, for sprinkling
Method Combine the flour and spices in a bowl before massaging through the butter with your fingertips, like you would do damper or scones. Add the almond meal, sugar and sugar and mix together by cutting through with a knife until it comes together in large clumps. Turn the mixture onto a floured surface and knead for a couple of minutes, or until it comes together. Form into a disc, wrap in cling and pop in the fridge for half an hour or until chill.
Once chill, roll out the dough on a lightly flour surface until it is about 5mm thick. Cut out an even number of round pieces of dough, then use a small shape – ideally heart, obvi – to form a window in half the cookies. Transfer to a lined baking sheet before popping in the fridge for half an hour to chill.
Preheat the oven to 160C.
Once the biscuits are chill, transfer them to the oven to back for 12-15 minutes, or until lightly golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
When it comes time to assemble, spoon a little jam on the whole biscuits, close with the cut-outs and then dust with icing sugar. Before devouring, giddily.
While Ru has expanded his reach across the globe, jetting Down Under and across the pond to the UK for local versions of Drag Race, that world domination is not enough. No, no – this time, Ru is taking it to the world, assembling a cast of iconic All Stars from across the globe in sunny old England for the chance to become the first Global Drag Race Superstar. Queen of the World, or something of that ilk, you know?
First to return to the UK Mainstage – literally – was one Ms. Baga Chipz, serving people’s princess realness and reminding us how great she did on Season 1 despite how annoying her confidence can come across. She was quickly joined by her fellow Frock Destroyer Blu Hydrangea who was looking like an exploded highlighter and ugh, I loved her Mary Berry Snatch Game so damn much. And in contrast to Baga, I am living for her newfound confidence. Blu congratulated Baga on not looking like a mess this time and while they were thrilled to be in each other’s company, they were soon delighted to be joined by their Essex sister Cheryl Hole. Thankfully vowing to be mediocre through and through.
They briefly started speculating about their international sisters before zaddy Janey Jacké arrived representing Holland and ugh, she is such a damn serve. I love her so much. The UK trio welcomed her with open arms and ugh, this congeniality is so glorious. The quartet were joined by Canada’s drag clown Jimbo, giving the kids a toastie – literally – and just being demented, and well, I’m already in love with this season. Particularly since Jimbo reminded us that Michelle was the guest judge when she went home and she is more than willing to confront her. But enough about that, Lemon is back and well, I look forward to her channeling Jojo Siwa at every opportunity.
Things took a massive turn as Pangina Heals the HOST of Thailand arrived to represent her country and ugh, she is perfection. And more importantly, she is such a damn superfan and looks ready to slay and have the best time. Oh and did we know Thailand lights contestants on fire? Beause slay! While the girls were gagged to be competing against a host, Cheryl was just glad to see someone else that hasn’t won a challenge. Yet. Next up was the ICONIC Monique Heart and well, she was feeling her oats as much as I feel her oats. While Blu shaded her for competing for the third time, Monique quickly mocked her for losing and wearing a glowstick. Before it could descend into chaotic fighting, Jujubee arrived to round out the cast and I don’t care how often they bring her back because she is the best.
I mean, can’t she just be the Tim Gunn/Christian Siriano in every Werk Room globally? Where do I start THAT petition?
After a brief getting to know you, a siren sounded before Ru arrived on a cherry picker to welcome them all into the competition. She then announced that this year, the winner would not only claim the crown but also get to record a duet with her, the one and only Ruple Charles. But first, they would have to show off their talent in a Royal Command Performance and then, Ru warned them, they would be the ones to eliminate their sisters.
With that out of the way, the dolls exited the mainstage and headed back to the Werk Room to claim stations and de-drag. More importantly, Cheryl was adorably showing Pangina her station from Season 1 as Baga and Jimbo were clowning up, breaking the room and claiming a corner together. Meanwhile the US girls were busy reading everyone for filth and ugh, this chaos makes me so happy. Not to be outdone, Blu was talking to Cheryl about how the US girls really changed the vibe of the room while poor Chez just wanted everyone to get along. Thankfully Baga decided to do some diplomacy, brewing tea for her sisters and teaching the international girls all of the local slang and explaining important things like the tube or Prince Andrew and pizza shops.
Elimination Day arrived with the girls quickly splitting up to get ready with Jimbo finding a toastie on her shoulder while Cheryl and Janey were just excited to get things started. Blu meanwhile approached Monique to explain that they met before Blu got famous and she was quite rude to her, with Monique quickly apologising to try and smooth things over. Janey and Pangina were meanwhile worried about being the sole representative of their countries, with Pangina trying to put it out of her mind and just do herself proud. More importantly, she is able to take criticism as well as she takes penis, which is something I’d get put on a T-shirt if I would gracefully take criticism.
Cheryl, Lemon and Juju were bonding in another corner, with the latter explaining this time feels different for her and despite it being her fourth time, she is still nervous. Chez was just grateful to now have them as her friends before talk turned to Jimbo and Lemon’s bond ,with Lemon confessing they aren’t actually close. Chez promised them that despite the competition being hosted in the UK there isn’t a hierarchy. While Juju reminded her she isn’t bothered because it has been UK vs the World for centuries.
And ugh, what. A. Read. Give Juju a damn crown!
Talk turned to the local drag scenes, with everyone pointing out UK is all about comedy while Canada is eclectic and Holland is straight up fierce. Oh and I stopped listening because Pangina’s friend owns a shrimp farm and then she explained that they don’t eat their shrimp on account of it being bad luck. Which is probably the greatest sentence I’ve ever read.
Ru, Michelle and Graham were joined by the one and only Melanie C aka Sporty mother-tucking Spice on the judges panel before Lemon opened the show performing an original song. It was high energy and ridiculous as she kicked and flipped herself around the stage before finishing with a slightly taller version of the ‘is she gonna jump from there moment’. And IT was ICONIC. Monique was serving a red leather clad love child of Tina Turner and Prince and ugh, perfection. She IS the moment, let me tell you. Brown cow, stunning.
Janey gave a lip sync number complete with multiple reveals and while I live for her, the first few looks were not great. The entire performance led to Baga deeming it a glorified strip show. Speaking of Baga she performed her song Much Betta when I think she was actually meant to lip sync, but God was it ridiculous and entertaining despite the fuck-ups. Speaking of ridiculous, Jimbo came out as a pregnant alien ghost with an empty briefcase of talent before birthing slices of devon and throwing them everywhere. It was demented, crazy and completely hilarious, having everyone in stitches. Except Cheryl who was just confused. Which was also an understandable reaction.
Cheryl was classic Chez, slaying as she lip synced to her hilarious song, hitting every moment and serving as she finished with a death drop. Jujubee then sang a ballad and while it was decent, I just kept waiting for an iconic ‘sensible 74’ moment. Pangina meanwhile dominated from start to finish, giving comedy and narrative and the sharpest dancing I’ve ever seen on the mainstage. Blu then did a cheer routine to her original song complete with a duo of mannequin dancers tethered to her arms and legs and it was a totally stupid pop delight. I mean, she offered to blow Ru and read her mannequin sister for stepping on her toes. Perfection!
On the I’m a Winner Baby Runway Lemon was a grown-up version of her baby pageant girl from Canada Season 1, looking as golden as her gown. Monique was gorgeous in a lush green gown while Janey was perfection in a sparkling, red nude illusion. Baga meanwhile was a literal Oscar and while it was scary, she sold it. Speaking of scary, Jimbo was the scariest black and white queen and it was completely stunning. Chez meanwhile popped some gold stars on a white gown and while it was basic, she gave us a perfect mug and an absolutely massive bouffant. Juju gave a generic beaded purple pageant gown while Pangina stole the show in a shimmering white Thai inspired gown. And it. Was. Stunning. Before Blu came out looking like a licorice all sort that she described as a BDSM troll that just fucked a highlighter which is truly the only way to describe it.
Ru then announced that this season, the rules will revert to the All Stars 2-through-4 format where the top 2 will lip sync for the win and the right to eliminate one of the the bottom queens. Monique, Cheryl and Jujubee were quickly sent to safety before the judges praised Lemon for opening the show so strongly, though Mel C would have loved for her to serve more face as she looked bored. With the runway, Michelle wished she had just taken things further. Janey received universal praise for her runway though the judges felt her talent was a bit subpar. The judges lived for Baga’s comedy leading to Mel C serving some epic shade against Vicky B’s vocals and Baga’s terrible lip syncing skills. While they were just all super confused by her runway.
They loved everything Jimbo served, particularly for giving the most bizarre and unique talent of all time. And a perfect runway. Then came Pangina, who rightly had the judges living for everything she did from being vulnerable and open, to showing she is SO damn talented. Blu too received all praise, with the judges thrilled by how filthy she is. That being said, they felt her runway didn’t make sense for the theme, though Mel threw shade at Geri which truly does make me feel much betta!
Ultimately Jimbo and Pangina were deemed the top two before Baga and Blu were sent to safety, leaving Lemon and Janey in danger. Backstage Jimbo and Pangina giddily grabbed a drink before the queens gathered around to congratulate them before Pangina thanked Cheryl for not being as annoying as she thought she was on TV. Lol. While Pangina was thrilled to prove herself, Jimbo was just happy to get to clown in front of Ru and have the time of her life. Chez praised Lemon for killing the performance before Lemon opened up about how disappointed she was to land in the bottom, particularly since she was in the bottom in the first episode of her original season.
While Lemon was heartbroken, Janey was steady and accepted that the competition is so tight that it is truly just nit picking. The dolls split up to plead their case with Jimbo praising Lemon for doing a good job though admitted that she has to hear out Janey and can’t just tell her she is going to save her, even if she wanted to. Pangina and Janey continued to bond and despite Pangina feeling the reveals were quite boring, Janey was confident in the fact she gave something original while Lemon didn’t.
As the rest of the girls jokingly speculated who each winner would send home since the duos were obvious. When Pangina caught up with Lemon, the latter reiterated how much she wants to stay in the competition. Pangina congratulated her for killing her performance and assured her that friendships will not play into her decision making. While Jimbo monologued about her options as poor Janey just desperately tried to get a word in.
After Pangina and Jimbo selected their lipsticks, they made their way to the mainstage to lip sync to Say You Will Be There by the Spice Goils. And damn, Pangina is a star. She hit the lyrics, she gave high energy choreography, comedy and literally saved Jimbo from falling over mid-performance. Multiple times. It was, in a word, amazing. Particularly since Jimbo was hilariously just wandering the stage like a drunk aunt at a wedding, tripping over everywhere. While I lived for Jimbo, it was well and truly clear that Pangina deserved her victory. And while she didn’t want to have to make the decision, heavy is the head that wears the crown and as such, poor Lemon was booted from the competition.
Backstage I reminded Lemon that she is such a damn icon, that when it comes to All Stars it often is better to get eliminated as a robbed-queen before you end up becoming the villain. As such, I tied up my hairwa and pulled her into the kitchen to toast her enduring success – and iconically short run – with a big batch of Lemon Crisps.
While I wouldn’t call Lemon Crisps the most iconic biscuit of the Arnott’s range, they too still have a place in her heart. Packing a zesty punch, these little copycats are the perfect way to work through your sadness and/or eat your feelings.
Lemon Crisps Serves: 6-8.
Ingredients 185g butter, softened ½ cup raw caster sugar 1 egg, at room temperature ½ tsp vanilla essence 2 cups flour 1 tsp baking powder 1 lemon, zested and juiced 1 cup icing sugar
Method Preheat the oven to 160C.
Cream 125g of the butter with the caster sugar on medium speed, or until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and mix for a further minute, or until combined. Remove from the stand mixer and fold through the flour, baking powder and lemon zest until a dough forms. Form a rectangular slab, wrap in cling and transfer to the fridge for half an hour.
Once the dough is super chill, get it out and roll into a 5mm rectangular slab. Cut into 10cmx4cm rectangles, prick each rectangle with a fork and transfer them all to a lined baking sheet. Pop the baking sheet/s into the oven and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until lightly browned and crisp. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.
As they are cooling down, beat the icing sugar and remaining butter until smooth and fluffy. Add the lemon juice and beat until combined, adding extra sugar should it start to split.
Once the biscuits have cooled, pipe the icing on to half the biscuits and use the other half to close. Then devour, ignoring the fact you’re a first boot and remembering you’re an icon.
Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race, seven brand spanking new queens arrived in the Werk Room to start their campaign for the next crown. Feeling inspired by All Stars, Ru tasked the dolls with putting on a cheeky little talent show to help the judges get to know them. While there was the usual mix of lip syncs and dancing, Kerri skipping her way into my heart and Willow Pill’s take on self-help lip sync were stand outs for doing something different. As was Orion, who did comedy and stood out for a tragic lack of jokes. Ultimately, Kornbread slayed lip syncing to her original song and took out the first victory, while June landed in the bottom with Orion for missing the small details on her look. She didn’t miss the details in her lip sync however, slaying the performance and sending a heartbroken Orion – who also killed the lip sync – home.
Backstage the first group were heartbroken to watch Orion leave the competition in tears, while June was just thrilled to show out in front of the judges and able to save herself. While Kornbread, the icon, made jokes about her not knowing how to clean properly as she washed away the mirror message. The dolls sat down to kiki, congratulating Kornbread on her victory before talk turned to the as yet unveiled new group of queens. Bosco admitted that she would be shocked to find anyone as threatening as the queens in their group while June just didn’t want anyone to touch her stuff while they were taking the episode off. Which is relatable.
The next day Jorgeous was the first one to arrive from group two, serving sexy, Latina showgirl come pocket twink out of drag. She was quickly joined by DeJa Skye, a curvy, neon clown and ugh, her charm is so damn infectious. Jasmine Kennedie looks like the biological child of Laganja and Alyssa in drag and is the sweetest nerd out, so you know my basement is flooded. Before anyone else arrived, the dolls noticed that some other queens had clearly already moved in, though thankfully for June, stopped short of touching her aforementioned stuff.
Up next was Maddy Morphosis in a Guy Fieri inspired look which feels right for our first cisgender, straight queen. Not that she was going to be talking about her sexuality any time soon. Angeria Paris Van Michaels immediately won my heart as a mix of Jaida, Ginger Minj and Kennedy Davenport, with the voice of Chi Chi thrown in for good measure and ugh, she is perfect and magnetic and I can’t take it. Lady Camden arrived giving us ‘90s pop realness and given she is originally from the UK, you know she is going to slay. And I live, despite Maddy calling her Old Spice. And ugh, she is going to hook up with Country Spice aka Angeria, and I look forward to that sex tape. Rounding out the cast is Daya Betty serving mullet, rocker queen. And most importantly, she is related to – and sounds exactly like – Crystal Methyd.
The dolls were interrupted by Ru, who arrived to officially welcome them to the competition by way of announcing that someone has already left the competition and that one of the seven of them will be following her tomorrow. But before they could stress about things they were whisked to set for a photoshoot in a giant bowl of tic-tacs. Though not until Ru gave a killer performance of fake-cussing out the crew in the vein of Ellen.
Speaking of crew, DeJa had the pit crew in hysterics as she rolled like a rotisserie chicken. Angeria meanwhile sexed it up and snacked her way through the shoot. Jorgeous was silly and charming – and ready to bottom – Jasmine looked like she was in a hair commercial and Maddy was rained on by tic tacs before finding a buried hat. Allegedly belonging to Santino. Daya was camp, ridiculous and a little possessed while Camden literally had tic tacs in every possible orifice. Ultimately though, it was Angeria who took out a very well deserved first victory.
Before bidding them adieu, Ru announced that they too would be competing in the Charisma Nerve and Talent Show as they giddily split up to claim a station. Daya was shocked by Angeria out of drag while Jorgeous thought DeJa could pass as one of her tios while Camden was gagged to still be pulling more tic tacs out of her varied holes. Maddy meanwhile looked like a farmer, delighting all the dolls. Daya asked everyone about whether they are gold star gays with Daya admitting to knowing about how Maddy identifies like a shady icon.
Ru returned to pow-wow with the dolls with Angeria admitting her name comes from her college girlfriend and sharing that her talent would be performing an original song. Daya delighted Ru with the knowledge her drag name comes from the fact she is diabetic. More importantly, she will be lip syncing to Pink and well, that makes her entry look make so much more sense. Despite Ru not loving the fact it won’t tell the judges anything about her. Camden meanwhile will be performing ballet on the mainstage despite the fact Ru finds it boring. DeJa will be teaching people how to cheer but assured us that she will make it funny, which generally means it won’t land with the judges. Maddy was next to drop by to chat to Ru, admitting that she would be playing guitar for her talent before the other queens were gagged when Ru outed Maddy as straight.
¡ Escándalo !
Elimination Day arrived with Camden already shitting bricks at the thought of Ru watching her. DeJa asked the dolls how long it takes to beat their mugs, with Maddy admitting that it usually takes her three hours but in a pinch, she can do it in 90 minutes. Despite her fears that the other queens might not be as welcoming because she is straight, Maddy was thrilled to be embraced by her new sisters who were thrilled to have a straight cis male in the competition. Maddy meanwhile just wanted to show that people can do whatever it is they want and people should follow their passions despite how society may perceive it and ugh, I love Maddy.
Oh and then Alicia mother tucking Keys popped up in the revenge of the queens mirror to give them some love and encouragement before they took the stage like a proud mama.
With that Alicia joined Ru, Michelle and Carson on the judges table as Jorgeous kicked off the pageant with a lip sync / dance where she hit every damn line as she split and flipped all over the stage. Jasmine followed by slaying an equally tight dance as she humped the floor and kicked to the sky before doing a backflip IN HEELS. Daya Betty then did a Pink lip sync and while I loved the nesting top hats and confetti, it just felt a bit basic. Plus, Pink. Camden meanwhile served Centre Stage realness, complete with camp comedy and ugh, I loved it. I mean, she incorporated the Macarena into ballet. What’s not to love? DeJa meanwhile was a bit awks, though like Orion last week, I admire her going for something different.
Maddy meanwhile gave moody guitar blues complete with a Lady Gaga in House of Gucci look and I loved it. She was followed by Angeria and her total bop, complete with costume AND wig reveals, popping and locking and straight up having the entire crowd singing along with her original song.
On the Sickening Signature Drag runway Jorgeous was stunning in a shimmering purple gown come stoned bodysuit. DeJa was a Southern bombshell in a figure hugging lace number. Jasmine was a vision in the gold version of THE J Lo dress. Maddy slayed as Marie Antoinette, post guillotine. Angeria meanwhile was perfect in a shiraz coloured gown that fit like she was poured into it. Camden was an iridescent peacock while Daya was laced into her scrap dress which sadly was starting to come apart at the seams.
The judges lived for everything Jorgeous served this week from perfect looks to her killer, energetic performance. DeJa received praise for her look though was rightly read for missing that big swing that was her talent. Jasmine on the flipside also received universal praise for everything she served this week before Maddy was praised for giving the biggest gag on the runway. Despite Michelle advising her to work on the make-up. Oh and they loved the guitar though felt it could have been more. Angeria was universally beloved for everything she gave this week, breaking down to get such high praise for her song from Alicia Keys. Camden got perfect scores for being polished, camp and letting the judges know EXACTLY who she is. While the judges felt that Daya didn’t show enough of herself in the talent show.
Backstage Maddy was thrilled to be the second Arkansas queen in the series and to kill the first runway. Angeria meanwhile was excited to have killed the first challenge AND runway, while Daya knew that she could be in trouble. Camden on the other hand was just ready to kiki with her sisters.
Daya opened up about how proud of herself she is, despite the outfit falling apart and the judges not really knowing who she is. The dolls rallied around and reminded her how great she looks and to not take it to heart. Maddy too was nervous about potentially lip syncing, while Angeria wished that she could see just how great she is. Plus, they all lived for her runway. Jorgeous meanwhile was feeling her oats, so thrilled that the judges were living for her. DeJa on the flipside was happy with her runway, though was very disappointed about how her talent show went. As she broke down, Camden stepped in, encouraging her to have expectations for herself by all means, but not let them make her be hard on herself.
Which is just perfect life advice, no?
Camden opened up about realising that she needed to show who she was rather than giving a perfect ballet performance. Angeria cautioned her that she needs to let her walls down so that people can fall in love with who she is as well as for being a sickening performer. Things took a very deep turn as Camden opened up about how much she struggled to embrace herself, with Daya reminding her that her younger self would be so proud of how talented she is. Jasmine then broke down over how empowering it is to come into your power when you come out as the girls bonded over their journeys to self-acceptance.
Maddy acknowledged that she obviously has lived a different experience and admitted that while she felt she was a good ally growing up, doing drag opened her eyes up to how difficult it can be. Maddy then shared that pride is such a great way for queer kids to learn all the varied ways you can live your life, while growing up straight you don’t get to see any other options of how to be. She shared that she hopes to show people that you can step out of your comfort zone and do things that aren’t stereotypically straight. Though also cautioned that not all straight people should be doing drag because it isn’t just silly fun with your friends and you need to have a passion for the art form and to support the community that is welcoming you.
Ultimately Jorgeous and Camden were sent to safety before Angeria took out a very well earned victory. After Jasmine was sent to safety, Maddy narrowly avoided the bottom as DeJa and Daya were tasked with lip syncing for their lives to Fallin’ by Alicia Keys. Both the dolls immediately snapped into the emotion of the song, hitting every lyric and giving it their all. Sadly for Daya’s nip slips – which I’m always a fan of – DeJa was mixing up her performance with drama and physical comedy which was enough to save herself, making Daya the other First Boot of the season.
Obviously Daya was disappointed to not live up to the standards of the Haus of Methyd in the competition, her sweetness shone through and she was glad to be able to show a little bit of herself in the brief time she had. I pulled her into my arms, gave her the usual pep talk and reminded her that she is a star and I know she is destined for greatness. And I truly believe she will make the most of any and all opportunities that are thrown her way into the future. With that out of the way, all I could really do to support was serve up a batch of Dayoyo Bickiettys and call it a day.
Not to be confused with an equally iconic Melting Moment, yo-yos are a little less prim and proper in their construction but by no means are they lacking in flavour. While Christina Tosi rightly describes milk powder as the MSG of baking, I would argue that custard powder has a similar effect. Smooth, rich and delicious, these are a perfect way to work through post-boot pain.
Dayoyo Bickiettys Serves: 6-10.
Ingredients Biscuits 185g salted butter, at room temperature ⅓ cup icing sugar 1 ½ cups flour ⅓ cup custard powder Frosting ½ cup icing sugar 2 tbsp salted butter, at room temperature 1 tbsp custard powder 1 tsp vanilla essence
Method Preheat the oven to 180C.
To make the biscuits – or bikkies if you’re trying to get more Australian slang in your life for 2022 – cream the butter and icing sugar together in a stand mixer for a couple of minutes, or until light and fluffy.
As an aside, I use salted butter with these because it cuts through the sweetness nicely, but you do you boo.
Sift in the flour and custard powder into the bowl and fold until just combined. Form into large macadamia nut sized balls and place on a lined baking sheet, gently flattening with the back of a fork. Transfer to the oven and bake for about fifteen minutes, or until lightly golden. Remove from the oven and place on a rack until cooled completely.
To assemble, cream all the frosting ingredients together until smooth and fluffy. Dollop a teaspoon or so on the base of a bikkie and close with another to form a little yo-yo. Repeat the process until you’re all done.
Previously on Survivor South Africa, Chappies and Paul decided to align with Santoni due to the fact that she was the weakest person on their tribe and as such, was the most likely to be sent to Immunity Island and score some loot. Meanwhile at Zamba, Shaun was trying to win back people’s hearts in the hopes of finding some allies. After Vuna lost the immunity challenge, Santoni was sent to Immunity Island and boy did she score loot, winning a clue to an idol hidden at tribal council and finding another clue directing her where to find the idol at BOTH camps. Back at Vuna, Mike was looking like a lock to be voted out but thanks to some handy work from Anesu and Carla, they saved him and booted Pinty from the game.
Back at camp Carla was thrilled to have successfully pulled off a blindside, while Anesu was sad that she had to get rid of her friend to keep the tribe in harmony. As Paul and Chappies were on the outs, searching for the cause of the blindside and identified Mike as the crafty master manipulator. But since he wasn’t, all it did was piss off Carla who was the actual manipulator, given it is sexist to just assume it was a male.
The next day Paul and Chappies were still angry about the blindside, though Mike was hopeful that they’ll quickly be able to get rid of Chappies and therefore don’t have to worry about it. Speaking of Chappies, he caught up with Santoni who quickly spilled the beans on one of her idol clues to build trust, but wisely kept the other deets to herself. Like the icon she is. With that, they started searching for their tribe’s idol, three steps in all directions from the well but apparently came up short. Or long. The one thing I know is that they didn’t find a damn thing!
Over at Zamba Thoriso was telling the other girls that she needs them to prove trust to her, annoying Nicole, given Thoriso is the one on the outs and as such, needs to prove herself to them. While I hate to see icons argue, their awkward banter led to them suggesting they could form a girl band. And I live for the suggestion.
My love Nico arrived for this week’s reward challenge, but before it could happen, he gagged them with three simple words – drop your buffs! Shocked and confused, the castaways all grabbed new buffs out of an urn, with new Vuna made up of Anesu, Tyson and Kiran with Renier, Nicole, Thoriso, Dino, Qieän and Marisha. While Chappies, Shaun, Santoni, Wardah, Carla, Amy, Anela, Paul and Mike formed Zamba.
With that, they were tasked with facing off against each other, one at a time, to grab a sandbag and drag it into their zone of a ring, with the winner of each round scoring an item for their tribe. First up were Nicole and Carla for a hammock, with Santoni filling Paul in about the idol to relay a message to the other tribe while watching the challenge. Oh and Nicole won the hammock for Vuna. Paul then faced off against Tyson for chairs and while they battled, Paul filled Tyson in about said idol which Dino spotted just before Tyson lost the chairs for the tribe. Round three was for blankets, with Chappies quickly snagging victory, despite a cut hand. the Tarp was a hard fought battle between Wardah and Marisha and damn, as Marisha dragged them both to her zone. The fifth round was a sponsored high protein pack AND a tribe advantage for the next immunity challenge, with Dino battling Anela. They hugged, they grappled, but ultimately it was Anela’s round, as he quickly took out the win for Zamba.
New Zamba returned to camp, with the former Vuna members shocked to discover how nice their new digs are. Shaun took them to find the well, while Anela quickly looted the reward for any clues, and upon finding nothing, opted to snatch a few extra protein bars for himself. Without even getting caught. At Vuna, Dino introduced the OG trio to his fellow former Zamba tribe members. Tyson meanwhile was feeling nervous by the huge numbers disadvantage, but thankfully he snatched the idol in record time. Sadly for him though, the tribe noticed he was gone and Renier quickly deduced that the chat at the challenge was about an idol clue. He returned to camp, then went for a walk on the beach with Anesu who assured him that the idol was well hidden by his bulge. And just like that, the minority trio have a little bit of hope.
Back at Zamba, Mike started to work on Chappies and Paul to make sure that they wouldn’t flip to the OG Zamba trio and completely blow up his game. Carla meanwhile was not feeling keeping them on side and as such, Mike wasn’t sure how to keep the numbers if she didn’t want to stay Vuna strong.
The next day Amy pulled Chappies aside and told him that Mike was telling them to target him or Paul, quickly building an alliance between the trio, Paul and Chappies. Oh and Santoni, who was thrilled that Amy was keen to join them as she was going to go wherever the numbers are, but was glad the numbers stayed with her friends.
At the immunity challenge, the tribes raced out into the water, climbing over obstacles to collect five rings. And then toss the rings onto a post in the water. Oh and because Zamba won an advantage, they only had to collect four of their five rings. Shaun and Renier were neck and neck grabbing the first rings, as were the second, third and fourth duos, giving Zamba a handy lead when it came to tossing. Sadly for them, Chappies and Anela struggled big time and didn’t score their first point until Vuna had their fifth back. Both tribes continued to be neck and neck until Kiran got his eye in, taking the lead and quickly securing immunity for his tribe.
New Vuna opted to send Amy to Immunity Island, where she quickly accepted the challenge to solve a square puzzle in a very short timeframe. Just as quickly as she accepted the challenge, she lost it and with it, the chance to loot three items from the other camp was gone and instead, she lumped her tribe with being looted of three items.
Back at Zamba, Mike quickly got to work on Santoni and Wardah to support him in getting Chappies and Paul to stick Vuna strong, despite their tensions. Santoni immediately got to work, though sadly for them she fought for herself – icon – taking the information to the boys and Shaun, telling them she trusts neither Carla nor Mike. She left and Mike joined them, asking Chappies and Paul to come join old Vuna to talk things through, with Mike making a very compelling case to Chappies and Paul that they need numbers after the merge and can’t let this stage stuff things up for them. Chappies and Paul agreed to stick with them and threw out Anela as the best target, but given they then headed to tribal, it really can’t be that simple, right?
At tribal council Anela admitted to feeling nervous to be in the minority but reminded them that they all should all be treating this as a fresh start, Paul preached Vuna strong while Carla played things a little more coy, saying that she was hoping that things were mended. Which immediately made Shaun pose the question to his new tribemates, whether they should just start fresh with new allies. Wardah spoke about the fact that you really can’t be sure you can trust someone after only 24 hours, though Anela rightly pointed out that clearing the air today was a reactive move and as such, how genuine can it be? This annoyed Carla, who admitted that there was a clear rift and as such, she continued to work on mending things because it clearly hadn’t worked the day before.
Mike grew nervous and jumped in, asking Chappies if he was sticking Vuna strong which he agreed that he would be sticking to the plan, like a young Keith Nale. To round things out, Amy admitted to being disappointed not to have a vote, Chappies spoke about voting with the majority while Paul was focusing on strength and building trust. With that, the tribe voted and it turns out Chappies and Paul weren’t actually Vuna strong as they joined with the OG Zamba peeps and Santoni to send Mike from the game.
Poor Mike never really found him footing in the game, despite landing in the majority at the previous tribal council. And sadly for him, that was enough to keep the target on him this week despite a killer argument to Chappies about why they should stick together.
I’ve known Mike for years, working together at Woolworths which I assume, is why he mentioned needing to be a salesman to get deals over the line.When I saw him enter Loser Lodge, I was sad for my friend but glad that I was the one to cheer him up and remind him that luck plays a huge part of the game. And when it doesn’t go your way, that is when you need Mikaron Laws.
There is nothing better than a freshly cooked macaron, particularly after a crushing blindside. Melt in your mouth cookie, rich velvety ganache. What more could you want?!
Mikaron Laws Serves: 2 salesmen about town.
Ingredients 135g icing sugar 135g almond meal 20g Dutch cocoa powder 2 tbsp water 130g raw caster sugar 95g egg whites 60ml double cream 70g 70% dark chocolate ½ tsp vanilla extract pinch of sea salt
Method Preheat the oven to 160°C and line two baking sheets with greaseproof paper.
Combine the icing sugar, almond meal and cocoa in a food processor and blitz to form a fine powder without needing to sieve. Transfer to a bowl.
Combine the water and caster sugar in a small saucepan and place over medium heat to make a syrup. Bring to the boil and once rollicking, start whisking 45g of egg whites in a stand mixture on medium speed. When the syrup hits 118°C, turn the mixer up to high and slowly pour the syrup into the whites in a slow, steady stream. Continue to whisk until you have a thick, glossy mixture that has started to level out in the bowl, rather than form peaks.
Meanwhile combine the remaining egg with the dry ingredients, folding until well combined. Remove the meringue from the mixer and fold half of it through the almond mixture to loosen. Once combined, lightly fold through the rest.
Transfer to a piping bag and using a 10mm round nozzle, pipe the mixture into small 5cm-ish circles, leaving space for growth. Once the mixture is fully piped, tap the trays on the bench and level the tops of the macarons before transferring to the oven to back for 15 minutes.
Once cooked, remove from the oven to cool completely.
While they are chilling, combine the cream, chocolate and vanilla in the top of a double boiler and cook until melted and combined. Remove from the heat, whisk in the salt and leave to cool.
Once everyone has cooled down, spread the filling on the base of half the biscuits before using the others to complete your macarons. Then and only then, may you devour.
Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK the top four were cast in the iconic new soap Beastenders. And despite many a wobbly bit during the shoot, everyone slayed. Of course that didn’t stop Ellie and Lawrence from fighting with each other, given they are giving off big sibling energy. When it came to judging, Tayce was read for being too sexy on the runway, while Ellie didn’t take comedy far enough. Shocking nobody, Bimini won her fourth badge, while Tayce and Ellie landed in the bottom, before Ru deemed them all too good, saving them and sending them through to the final as a foursome.
The top four returned to the Werk Room after the shocking non-elimination, giddy to officially be the final four. Tayce was particularly thrilled to survive lip syncing four times, while Ellie was proud to make it to the end despite no wins. Lawrence congratulated her on making it, despite the fact she tried to throw her under the bus on the runway. Ellie thanked Lawrence and admitted that she inspired her to start drag and as they all hugged, all appeared to be right in the world. We then got a supercut reminding us that Bimini fought her way to the top and grew the entire time, Ellie was proud of herself, Lawrence was desperate to be the first big girl winner and make Scotland proud.
And Tayce, she knows she is an icon and is simply ready to show it.
The next day the queens were still on cloud nine about making it to the end, with Bimini worried about her chiropractic bill post show given she is holding up FOUR badges now. Ru interrupted their kiki to announce that for their final challenge they would be writing their own verse for the rumix of A Little Bit of Love, then learn choreo and you guessed it, perform it live on stage. After lunching with Ru and Michelle on the mainstage, of course. After Ru departed the girls quickly started writing their verses, with Ellie going the shady route which made Lawrence very concerned, given it is completely against the ethos of the song. Thankfully she got Tayce and Bimini involved and they agreed the song needs to be positive and fierce. Read: cohesive. Speaking of Bimini, she was very confident – as she should be – given she can perform the house down and can turn a funny verse.
And Lawrence meanwhile was stuck in his head trying to write the lyrics.
Tayce was up first for her tic tac luncheon, charming her way through the interview and dropping the epic reveal that her dad is the guitarist of mother fuckin’ WHAM! No wonder she was always encouraged to rock a wig and turn a look like the iconic toddler she no longer was. Talk turned to what she has learnt in the competition, with Ru admitting that she has grown so dramatically from the start of filming, through lockdown to now. Ellie was up next, still gagging Ru with how young she is. Ellie admitted that she has always wanted to make life fun and not stick around in situations that suck. She then taught Ru and Michelle the Ellie Diamond 8-count choreo and the judges were both living. Not to mention the fact she played the game strategically in the comedy challenge with the judges telling her not to feel bad about it for a minute.
It was clear from the first moment Lawrence arrived that he is still Ru’s favourite, with Ru looking on proudly talking about her first time in drag and the overall transformation it has built in her. Lawrence admitted that she loves Scotland and wants to make them proud, particularly since Scottish people often end up being the brunt of jokes in movies. And ugh, then came the queen of my heart Bimini with her admitting that she surprised even herself with how well she has done in the competition. She admitted to struggling with self-doubt through the break, but built herself up and after re-starting filming on a very special day for her, she vowed to fight. Michelle spoke about seeing the moment in Snatch Game where she realised Bimini was in it to win it. Oh and then she spoiled how we met each other – at journalism school, but we’ll get to that later – and spoke about her history with depression and how she has overcome it through yoga, meditation and Oprah.
And again, give. Her. The. Damn. Crown.
The queens they met Jay Ruvell to work on the choreography with two beautiful dancers who had all the girls’ basements floodin’. Or drippin’ if you will. While Lawrence was shitting bricks, Tayce was living her absolute best life and served that rehearsal like it was the opening ceremony of the Olympics and she was Nikki Webster. Bimini obviously destroyed her solo moment, reminding me of Katya in the finale of All Stars 2. Ellie was confident in her own choreo, Lawrence warmed into her performance after a little bit of encouragement from Ellie and fuck, how can you not love all of them? Particularly Tayce who was DTD (dance, duh) and seriously was soaking in every moment and her joy was SO DAMN INFECTIOUS.
Coronation Day finally arrived – I mean, they had a damn seven month lockdown – with the girls excited to have made it, despite the fact Lawrence’s body was completely falling apart. Bimini asked the girls what they all thought of each other when they arrived, with Ellie intimidated by Tayce and Lawrence, and wanting Bimini to brush her wig. Tayce and Bimini praised Ellie’s level of polish for such a young girl, while Bimini was just thrilled that she has earnt people’s respect and they now believe she deserves the crown. Lawrence spoke about the power of having two Scottish queens in the finale and being able to prove that someone from a small town really can dominate. Tayce meanwhile was thrilled to show the judges what she does best, though pointed out Ellie’s final boy outfit pants are the lowest point in her mind.
When it came time for the dolls to perform, I was barely distracted by the sexy dancers because the top four came to slay. Bimini looked stunning, rapped like a professional and hit every moment of choreo. Ellie proved she can own the stage, spinning all over and mesmerising the judges. Even Lawrence’s fear of dance wasn’t visible, with a verse that fit with the song and a charming performance. And Tayce? You know she owned it, with sharp moves and on point lyrics and well, can we just do a four way crowning? Wait, no – the eliminated queens joined them all on stage for the final chorus and NOW I want a 12 way crowning. Because this cast was absolute fire.
On the Final Four Runway Eleganza Extravaganza, Bimini looked stunning in a slutty white bridal gown. I mean, her make-up was flawless. Ellie was gorgeous in a blush Glinda number, and even twirled her skirt out and squatted in the exact right moment. Lawrence went for Ru’s heart, dressed in purple Drag Race eleganza, complete with her badges used as earrings. And then Tayce slayed in a nude illusion, bird number with a face inspired by Naomi Campbell.
The judges praised Bimini for her epic run, going from bottom two week one to absolutely dominating the competition. They lived for her performance and thought her outfit was glorious. Ellie was praised for her stunning, polished looks and the heart she injects into every one of her looks. Everything Lawrence did, the judges completely ate up despite being a little behind on her steps. Not that they cared, given her personality will drive her career. Tayce FINALLY got the glowing praise she deserved for annihilating the verse and her performance. And looking stunning. Ru then gave her a special shoutout for destroying every lip sync she did in the competition, particularly for injecting herself into such vastly different songs.
Bimini then advised lil’ Tommy to not dye his hair and not let people’s bullshit diminish his shine. Ellie wanted to tell little Elliott that despite his relationship with his father, to not stop believing in finding your Oz. Lawrence encouraged himself to not close himself off because of the bullies, relax, laugh and believe in yourself. And then Tayce told a glorious story about taking a wig from her neighbour as a kid, skateboarding down the street and to enjoy the Maccas she had after it. And then gave a charming speech about not giving trolls time and to practise.
Ru asked the girls to detail why they should win, with Bimini focusing on wanting to be a beacon of queer weirdness and to make everyone she knows proud. Ellie spoke about her ability to do literally everything and never bottoming (except that one time, which she slayed). Lawrence gave a heartfelt speech about wanting to be an escape for people and given Ru beaming as she looked on proudly and the stirring music, I am starting to worry Bimini may not actually have this in the bag. Tayce spoke about never letting people get to her and that she will take that strength into the crown, perform her tits off all over the world and FINALLY put beans on toast with ketchup and butter on the map. Direct quote.
The top four returned backstage to meet the eliminated queens with us finally learning that Veronica survived her rat bite fever – though I knew that already – with Lawrence disappointed she couldn’t make the top with them but knowing she will slay Season 3. Cherry asked them to chat about the biggest gags of the season, with Ginny Lemon getting up and trying to walk out again. She explained she is an icon and has never been eliminated, so the move made sense to her. Bimini was gagged that Joe left twice, A’Whora was shocked by Ellie’s track record and Tia, bless, loved that they all bonded and got to become the best of friends.
The dolls returned to the mainstage where Ru announced that only three of them would be moving on to lip sync for the crown and as such, Ellie Diamond was eliminated in fourth place and sent to the back of stage to join her fellow eliminated sisters. As the crew reset for the final lip sync, I quickly pulled her aside and gave her a massive hug, praising for such a killer run. I mean, look back at everything she served and you see a cohesive point of view that was never anything less than perfection. And as such, she is destined for greatness. Even more greatness than an Ellie Diamonte Carlo, TBH.
While Monte Carlos aren’t my favourite of biscuits, my passion is creating copycats of any and all ones I can find on the shelf for the inevitable day when they are discontinued like my beloved coffee scrolls. And well, these are pretty delish. Coconutty and sweet, they are the perfect substitute for the real thing. Or maybe even better.
Ellie Diamonte Carlo Serves: 6-8.
Ingredients 250g butter, softened 100g muscovado sugar 1 egg 2 tsp vanilla extract 320g flour 1 ½ tsp baking powder 45g coconut 120g icing sugar 2 tsp milk ½ cup strawberry jam
Method Preheat the oven to 180C and line two baking sheets.
Using a stand mixer, cream 190g of the butter and the muscovado sugar on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Add in the egg and 1 ½ teaspoons of the vanilla extract and beat until just combined. Turn off the mixer and fold through the flour, baking powder and coconut before beating on low until just combined.
Roll out teaspoonfuls of the mixture into balls and pressed onto the lined trays. Transfer to the oven and bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the trays for a couple of minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
While the biscuits get chill, cream the remaining butter and vanilla extract with the icing sugar and milk until soft and creamy.
To assemble, dollop a small glob of jam into the centre of half the biscuits before piping the buttercream in a ring around to enclose. Then sandwich with one of the naked biscuits.
Leave to set for about five minutes before devouring, triumphantly.
Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK the queens returned from their seven month COVID hiatus. Yes, SEVEN. MONTHS. In which time Tayce and A’Whora lived together and Ellie had to work the drive through to make ends meet. Tragically poor Veronica contracted COVID (in addition to her previous case of rat-bite fever) meaning we were down a cast member leading to Joe being voted to return to the competition to complete the second girl group for RuRuVision song contest. And as you would no doubt now have stuck in your head, let’s just say BING BANG BONG both groups were amazing. Though the United Kingdolls killed the show and snatched victory. Over on the other team, Tia was deemed too regional, while Joe made jokes about H&M, leading to an epic Ru rant before Joe was eliminated first. Again.
Backstage the girls were well and truly shook about Joe’s second departure, with Tayce in particular shocked by the fact she kind of just gave up in the lip sync. Tia meanwhile was feeling her oats to be the first lip sync assassin in the UK. Obviously that didn’t last long as talk turned to Ru’s epic H&M tirade, with the safe girls particularly surprised that it was bad enough to require an apology on the runway. Sister opted to get shady and pointed out that Tia got the worst critiques from Ru, with Lawrence stepping in to point out she also was told to step it up and given she compiled A’Whora’s ideas, glass houses etc. Pretty much.
Oh and then the editors spoiled that Bimini wins the episode, given she counted herself as winning two challenges with all the other tallies correct. So congratulations, you icon.
The next day Bimini indeed entered the Werk Room with only one badge, before congratulating Lawrence on snagging three wins in a row. While Tayce just wanted her to share the love around from now on. Ellie meanwhile opted to keep things interesting and asked Tia how exactly she plans to up her game on the runway and when the answer didn’t really say much, things got fiery. Thankfully they were interrupted by Ru who arrived to announce that this week’s Maxi Challenge they will be playing the iconique tiara, Snatch Game.
Much to everyone’s delight.
The queens all split up to talk through their characters with Ellie giving off her best Vicky Pollard, while Lawrence gave out advice like she was the second coming of Ru. Bimini meanwhile was making jokes about A’Whora and Tayce’s past before the latter opened up about being terrified of Snatch Game, though that she was confident in her choice of playing Kath herself, Jane Turner. Ru joined the fray to chat through their choices, with Tia bravely telling Ru that she will be bringing it on the runway from now on before announcing she’d be playing Shirley Bassey in the game. Someone she has never done before. Leading to Ru talking her into playing Mel B instead. Ellie was sticking with Vicky Pollard as she spent her childhood bouncing off her twin brother playing the role. This led to Ellie having a wee bit of a breakdown thinking about how important her brother is to her and ugh, I love them all.
Lawrence had Ru smiling before even sitting down at the table before sharing she’d be playing Miriam Margoles. And then had Ru in stitches, leading me to believe she will slay but since the editors spoiled us, we know she doesn’t slay enough for victory. Speaking of said victory, Bimini dropped by to announce she will be playing the iconic Katie Price – who I hooked up with Peter Andre – and ugh, it makes all the sense now. A’Whora meanwhile will be playing Louie Spence and while I don’t know him, he sounds glorious. Not so glorious is A’Whora getting in her head, breaking down about her insecurities and ugh, I love the broken hearted little villainess.
Oh and then Sister apparently never got to chat to Ru or tell us what she was doing.
Thankfully we cut straight to the Snatch Game set featuring Michelle Visage and THE GC herself, Gemma Collins where we learnt Sister would be playing Psychic Sally. Sadly she didn’t tell Tia that changing to Mel B would be a bad idea because as much as I love her, her Mel B was scarily devoid of spice. See what I did there? On the flipside, Tayce was killing the game from the start and immediately made the upcoming Down Under girls question their choices of playing Kath Day-Knight.
While Tayce was good though, it was Bimini’s challenge from the opening seconds giving one liners, dedicated impersonation and had me in absolute hysterics. Speaking of dedicated impersonation, Lawrence was committed to honouring Miriam but completely devoid of comedy. Rounding out the gang, A’Whora was camp and charming, Sister was fun and Ellie was aggressive and confusing. Oh and then Tayce set herself up to yell at Ru for calling her chooky and ugh, give her the damn crown.
Elimination Day arrived with Lawrence and Tia feeling pretty shit about themselves after bombing Snatch Game, particularly since the former is a comedy queen and the latter is yet to score a win. Lawrence opened up about feeling the need to always be strong for her community and hiding behind a mask, with Tia – of course – reminding her that she is worth it and allowed to feel things. Tayce meanwhile checked in with Ellie and her breakdown the day before, with Ellie sharing how much her brother’s support has meant to her and how it got him through a difficult childhood when he was kicked out of home by her father. Until gag of the season, Ellie’s mum turned around and kicked out Ellie’s dad instead when he gave her an ultimatum.
Ru, Michelle and Alan were joined by Jesse Ware to witness the Prehistoric Drag runway where A’Whora opened the show in a full on corset of bones complete with fur and ugh, it is amazing. Tayce meanwhile was stunning as a voodoo priestess complete with guttural screams. Sister looked like Peg Bundy if she was on The Flintstones but with Patsy Stone’s wig, Tia showed body – finally – as a slutty pterodactyl. With a baseball cap like she is Boston Rob. Oh and then Bimini was GORGEOUS as the sexiest, floating bacteria and I think this is the moment we will look back on as when we realised Bimini was winning this season. Poor Lawrence had to follow the ultimate slay giving Roseanne as Peg Bundy in The Flintstones before Ellie gave straight up Pebbles Flintstone.
Ultimately Sister and Ellie were sent to safety, leaving the other girls to be critiqued. A’Whora kicked off the show with the judges admitting that the choice of Louie Spence was brave but that they weren’t sure if it paid off. They did love her outfit though. Tayce meanwhile received universal praise for her Snatch Game, with the judges loving how much fun she was clearly having. And while they loved her runway and the fact she gave something different, Ru clocked her hip pads and you could see the moment she thought Ru was going to yell at her.
Poor Tia was read for being one note on Snatch Game and for giving a sub par outfit, despite finally showing body. This led to Tia breaking down about not proving herself to Ru and damn, I hate to see. Next up Bimini received universal praise for literally everything, from Katie’s wisp, the hilarious one liners and the white-eyed amoeba runway, which is head and shoulders above everything else that has ever appeared on the runway. Oh and then Lawrence, she had the judges laughing when they went to her which only made her performance crueler, given it was a total bomb. Lawrence then started to sob as the judges praised her charisma, with her sharing she built up that persona to survive childhood and it is honestly so relatable.
Backstage Ellie and Sister were congratulating each other on surviving the hardest challenge before the tops and bottoms joined them. Tayce and Bimini were clearly thrilled with their critiques, while Tia was bitterly disappointed to clearly be in the bottom again. Talk turned to Lawrence who immediately started to cry again, struggling to accept that she bombed a challenge. Much to A’Whora’s chagrin, who was annoyed that Lawrence is falling apart at the first sign of weakness.
Obviously Bimini took out her victory not just because of the editors spoiling it at the top of the episode but because I watched her absolutely destroy everyone all episode. Tayce was rightly sent to safety, while A’Whora was gagged to join her, leaving frontrunner Lawrence to lip sync for her life against Tia to Touch Me by Cathy Dennis. And oh girl, did Lawrence light a fire under herself. Serving comedy as she hit every lyric, she commanded your attention and while Tia once again slayed and showed off her legs, she was no match for the triple winner as Lawrence sent her from the competition.
Backstage I pulled Tia in for a massive hug and assured her that while she wasn’t able to take out a win, she truly won people’s hearts and as such, is destined for greatness on All Stars. I mean, she was fun, friendly and gave a hell of a confessional. AND kept her hair the same during the lockdown for continuity when Sister Sister literally replaced her entire face. She is the moment (as is Sister, TBH). As such, I toasted her killer, memorable run with a batch of Tia Biscoffi Donuts.
Biscoff is the new nutella in that we’re all eating it out of the jar like it’s peanut butter – the OG, of course – and injecting it into any and all foods. Specifically donuts like this, which are, in a word, amazing. Like Tia.
Tia Biscoffi Donut Serves: 6-8.
Ingredients 150g water 500g flour 60g raw caster sugar, plus extra for coatin’ 7g dried yeast 4 eggs 4 tsp cinnamon 2 tsp kosher salt 125g unsalted butter softened sunflower oil, for fryin’ 2 cups Biscoff spread, for fillin’ 200g white chocolate 15 Biscoff cookies, for decoratin’
Method Combine the water, flour, sugar, yeast, egg, salt and a teaspoon of cinnamon in the bowl of a stand mixer and best on medium-low speed for about 10 minutes, or until a ball forms. Still going, add the butter in 25g chunks and mix until well combined before adding the next portion. Once everything is in, keep it mixing for about 5 minutes or until smooth and springy when touched.
Transfer to an oiled bowl and cover with cling, and leave to prove for 2-3 hours or until doubled in size. Punch back the dough, return to the bowl, recover with cling and transfer to the fridge to rest overnight.
When it is chilled and well proven – and you’ve had a nice rest – divide the dough into 16 equal portions, roll into balls and place on a lined baking sheet. Leave to prove one final time for a couple of hours, or until doubled.
Combine the rest of the cinnamon in a bowl with about ½ cup of raw caster sugar.
Once they have puffed, place a pot of 15cm of oil over medium high heat and bring to 180C. When the oil is hot enough, cook the doughnuts a couple at a time for a few minutes before flipping and cooking for a further few minutes, or until golden and cooked through. Toss through the cinnamon sugar and transfer to a wire rack while you repeat the process.
Melt the white chocolate, either in a double boiler or in the microwave and allow to cool slightly. Transfer the Biscoff into a piping bag and pipe a couple of tablespoons into the centre of each donut, dip them in the white chocolate and then top with a biscuit and serve immediately and devour, joyously.