Georgia Ray Julep

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Brains V Brawn, Drink, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor the tribes switched up, shunting the previously liberated Cara back to the Brain slums though thankfully stacking it with her friends. She and the Brawns first planned to take out Georgia, but Cara messed things up  – or cooked it, if you will – and booted Daini by mistake. Meanwhile Hayley was very busy being a boss after blindsiding Joey, threatening the Brawn majority that she will happily idol out one of the OG Brawns if they don’t join her and the Brains. And since Wai and Andrew were both immune at the double tribal council, the Brawns had a 50:50 shot of getting things right. As such, Simon and co jumped ship and booted Shannon while Laura was the victim on Brains given Georgia was on medical leave and Rachel was also immune. But Laura got lucky, given the two tribes were solely booting one person and SImon went to town turning everyone on Shannon and she exited the game.

The next day things were relatively calm over in Camp Brawn, with Simon grateful to have won the battle with Shannon. While Flick was the only one to not vote in the majority, she was quickly bonding with Andrew and Wai, perfecting their shelter and keeping the camp functioning. Like a social Queen. Meanwhile Simon and Dani pulled Hayley aside to solidify their bond, with Simon sharing that he is so glad that she didn’t waste her idol because they’re all solid and Flick is screwed. Essentially. Sadly for him, the Brains are not on board with things as Hayley got to work building a bond with Flick to lock in the majority instead. And you know, get rid of Chelsea, Dani and Simon.

While Flick was obviously gutted to lose her ally Shannon, she had already moved on and was ready to jump ship and lock things in with the Brains. And well, the way she and Hayley spoke about the stupidity of Dani and Simon thinking an alliance of seven is better than their new one of five was just peak Survivor slash Queen players. Long may they rule, despite Simon’s speedo.

We checked in with the Brains where Kez was busy brushing her teeth with charcoal while Laura was just shocked to still be in the game after the last tribal. Laura clearly saw the breakdown of the alliances within the tribe and while there were no ins, she was ready to continue building relationships until one appeared. And well, maybe something is, as she and Kez went for a walk to chat. Which immediately made Cara and George very nervous, particularly the former given she straight up made a mistake and cost Daini the game. Something that enraged Kez.

My love Jonathan returned for the reward challenge where three people from each tribe would have to hold a pole across their shoulders with weights routinely added throughout the challenge. For tacos and margs, so you know the rewardless Cara was desperate for the Brains to pull something out. Gerald, Emmett and Kez stepped up for their tribe, battling Baden, Simon and Chelsea for the Brawns. Under George’s orders, the Brains opted to load most of the weight on Chelsea to eliminate her early, while Gerald was weighed down by the Brawns. After George decided Chelsea was struggling enough and likely to drop soon, he directed the tribe to focus on Simon to eliminate another threat. Which was wise, given Chelsea was the first one to drop at 35 minutes. She was quickly joined by Baden, leaving Simon as the sole person fighting for Brawn. Proving that George truly is an asset. Kez was the first one to drop for Brains, followed by Gerald who dropped out of nowhere after a lapse in concentration. Emmet and Simon continued to fight for over an hour, reaching 90kgs until Simon dropped and handed Brains victory.

And Queen Cara, the first bit of luxury in over two weeks.

The Brains were thrilled to discover their taco cart back at camp, with Cara in particular grateful for actual food. George meanwhile was just thrilled to knock back some margies, like the iconic Shonella themselves. While everyone joyously ate their tacos, the tribe got an even more joyous surprise to see Georgia return to camp, delighted that she was feeling better. Before plying her with tacos and margaritas, two of the worst things for an upset stomach. She reunited with Laura and Rach, ready to fight for their lives while Emmett, Gerald and Kez doubled down on the fact that one of them needed to go. ASAP.

Jonathan returned for this week’s immunity challenge where the tribes would need to push a sled through obstacles and fill it with sand bags they collect along the way, before using said sand bags to knock down a series of targets and snatch immunity. Brawn got out to the earliest of leads, collecting all of their sandbags and barrelling to the end while Emmett desperately tried to collect them, practically single handedly, for the Brains. While Emmett continued his heroics for the Brains, Dani slayed on the slingshot, knocking out two tiles before their rivals even made it to the end. As Gerald desperately tried to close the gap, Simon traded in for Brawn and cracked their third. Then Emmett traded out for Gerald and damn, he is a beast, knocking out three of the tiles just before Simon took out immunity for the Brawns. Just.

Back at camp things were feeling a little bit tense with Emmett frustrated to lose again, despite being immensely glad to be in the majority. Which really helps to dull the pain. He pulled the Brawn plus Cara and George majority aside and decided that since they continue to fail at taking out the minority, they will just vote for one person and hope for the best that it is the right one. Quickly locking in Georgia as the easy vote.

Returning to the camp, Georgia pulled Emmett aside to see what she could possibly do to save herself. She immediately questioned why he aligned with George and Cara, with Emmett admitting that they are volatile and as such, she proposed he joined with the Brain girls to take one of them out instead. Georgia continued to play into all of their fears and stroked their egos, with Kez joining and agreeing that she’d prefer some more stability in her allies. Particularly given Simon will come for her eventually. Sadly for the ladies, Emmett was having none of it and told them as much, apologising and wandering off while they prepared for their inevitable doom.

This infuriated Georgia, who was ready to do anything to tear him down and beat the patriarchy. The Brains girls opted to try and get Cara out no matter what, with Rachel deciding their best hope would be to pull Kez over to their side to at the very least, tie things up. Rachel and Laura pulled her aside, with Kez admitting that she is annoyed to be aligned with Cara given she ended Daini’s game. And just like that, the girls went in, playing on all of Kez’s fears and desires to try and pull her over to their side.

Emmett meanwhile started to worry that something was up, so pulled Kez aside to play into all of her fears of ruining the Brawn majority. Though given Kez gave zero fucks about taking out Cara since she isn’t actually Brawn, she shared that she would rather go to rocks than let Cara survive.

At tribal council George spoke about intra-tribal divisions as opposed to the fact there are alliances. Rachel obviously called bullshit before Emmett smugly spoke about not breaking when the girls came to him to make a deal. This infuriated the girls with Laura and Rach going in on his arrogance, calling him out for hating on George and Cara but solely sticking with them for the numbers. This irked the hell out of Emmett, who assured George and Cara that he never talked shit about them and wanted to go to the merge strong with them. Which Cara and George ate up.

Rachel spoke about the frustration of putting it all on the line to win despite being on the bottom, with Emmett telling her that if she really tried to win they wouldn’t be back here. Which is both smug and infuriating. Cara started to feel bad, telling Rachel that if maybe they approached someone else, like her, they would have had a different outcome. Laura pointed out that they went to the people who they actually thought would be open to something with them, while Kez said that she was always willing to jump the fence should it be beneficial for her. She spoke about being playdough and while Jonathan suggested Laura try and mould her, Laura calmly pointed out that she is not willing to tell a woman what to do with her autonomy.

Given that very pointed dig, Emmett started to panic, reiterating how important it is for them to stick together if they want to make it to the merge together. But Rach and co continued to be iconic, pointing out that Emmett is controlling things and to paraphrase them, is dominating decisions as the dominant, white heterosexual male. Again, to paraphrase. With that, the tribe voted, Queen Kez stood firm and poor Georgia found herself booted from the game mere moments after making her triumphant medical return.

While I was heartbroken to see my fellow Queenslander Georgia walk into Loser Lodge, I was thrilled that she was able to see out the game rather than medevaced. Despite being joyously reunited and catching up, things got super awks between us when she asked where her Georgia Cheeseburgers were and well, I didn’t bother to make her any. Instead, we downed a couple of Georgia Ray Juleps, which thankfully washed away the post-boot pain and the awkwardness.

Despite being well-known as someone who would suck the alcohol out of a deodorant, that doesn’t factor in when I say that this little baby is a pure delight. Sweet and fruity with a punch of mint, this is a refreshing way to bring a little life back to your soul.

Enjoy!

Georgia Ray Julep
Serves: 1.

Ingredients
90ml cognac
20ml peach liqueur
1 tsp sugar syrup
a dash or two of bitters
8 mint leaves

Method
Place all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker and give a quick shake.

Pour into an old fashioned glass filled with crushed ice.

Down, triumphantly.


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Rob Cestroynino

Drink, Survivor, Survivor: All Stars, Survivor: Amazon, Survivor: Island of the Idols

The Island of the Idols is nearly upon us, the pre-season has finally commenced in earnest and with it Rob Cesternino is helping us prepare for the game ahead. And finally, I’ve been able to convince him to drop by and collaborate on our coverage.

While I will defend Jenna Morasca’s win until my dying breath, Rob without a doubt is in the top tier of Survivor players and along with Cirie is the one true answer for the best player to never win. Unless you factor in Australian Survivor, in which case you can loop in Queen Shonee because she is a bloody icon.

But alas, I’ve digressed.

Rob’s dominance in Amazon truly changed the entire way people played the game – watch out 80% of the Game Changers cast – and without him, I honestly don’t think Survivor would still be on the air. So basically, we should all be grateful to the podcaster extraordinaire.

Like me Rob believes that Sandra will own the statue island, while Janet and Elaine will battle it out for the status of number one icon of the season. And that Tom is going to flame out spectacularly at his second tribal council. I don’t know why, it just feels right. Though maybe it is the Rob Cestroynino talking.

 

 

While a rob roy brings up memories of the terrifyingly boring film – to tween Ben, at least – of the same name, the drink is something that I will never pass up. A classic combination of whiskey and vermouth with the punch of bitters and the sweet addition of cherry? Swoon.

Enjoy!

 

 

Rob Cestroynino
Serves: 1.

Ingredients
2 shots scotch
1 shot dry vermouth
a splash of bitters
2 maraschino cherries, to garnish
ice, to serve

Method
Combine everything but the cherries in a cocktail shaker.

Shake. Pour in an iced glass. Garnish with cherries.

Down.

 

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Emma Thompsold Fashion

Drink, Oscar Gold, Oscar Gold XCI: Call Me By Your Gold

In honour of my multi-hyphenate friend Brad’s A Star is Born’s success this last year, I knew that there was only one person I could entrust to kick off this year’s Oscar Gold celebration, Call Me By Your Gold – the delightful Emma Thompson.

While most people these days love Em for her work in Harry Potter or for making you sob listening to Joni Mitchell in Love Actually, I love her for being a total baller slash he only person to win a writing and acting Oscar.

Which B-Coops – who I really need to catch one day soon – is aiming to do this year.

I’ve known Em since the late ‘80s when she made her film debut in The Tall Guy opposite my then boyfriend and oft lover Jeff Goldblum. I was instantly won over by her wit and charm, vowed to make her a star and then, mere years later, she had an Oscar under he belt and was working towards her second.

To say she is one of my greatest success stories, really is an understatement.

Given how in demand she is, we don’t get to enjoy each other’s company as much as we’d like, so she jumped at the chance to hang-out and set the tone for this year’s Oscar Gold celebrations.

While we’re no experts on the technical or short film categories, we agreed that Avengers: Infinity War should snag Marvel their first win in Visual Effects given First Man has been pretty much left out of discussions at the Oscars. For Live Action Short we think Skin will snatch the crown – which Jonathan Penner was nominated for in the ‘90s – and nothing is beating Bao for Animated Short.

For her Original Screenplay, I see The Favourite bringing it home for Australia while Emma thinks Adam McKay will snag his second win for Vice. In her home category of Adapted Screenplay we agree that Bradley is a shut out and it is a three horse race between BlackkKlansman, If Beale Street Could Talk and Can You Ever Forgive Me? While I am firmly behind Spike Lee finally getting some – well deserved – competitive wins under his belt, Emma thinks Can You Ever Forgive Me? will surprise again after snatching the Guild.

At least I think that is what she predicted. My mind is fuzzy after partaking in one too many Emma Thompsold Fashion.

 

 

There is no better way to kick off a party than by downing a cheeky old fashioned. Strong and sweet, it is the perfect thing to get you just relaxed enough to get into the party season.

Enjoy!

 

 

Emma Thompsold Fashion
Serves: 1.

Ingredients
ice
¼ cup bourbon
½ tsp sugar syrup
2 dashes bitters
1 orange twist, to garnish

Method
Fill and old fashioned glass with ice.

Top with bourbon, sugar syrup and bitters.

Stir, garnish with a twist of orange.

Down.

 

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Davie Sazerickenbacker

Drink, Survivor, Survivor: David vs. Goliath, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor 20 new castaways arrived on a boat where Probst split them into two tribes based on whether they were successful or not, which is really harsh when you lay it out plainly, no? For 35 days they were hammered by the weather, to the point a wild wave took out poor Pat as he was thrown about a boat off camera. With that alliances shifted throughout the game with Jessica, Jeremy voted out before Bi quit and the tribes switched up. That lead to Natalia, Queen Natalie and Lyrsa heading out the door before the tribes merged – you get what I’m up to now right? – and Elizabeth, John, Dan, Alec, Carl, Gabby and Christian headed to the jury, leaving Angelina, Nick, Davie, Kara, Mike and Alison to battle it out for the win.

The day after Christian got the boot, everyone woke as early as possible and commenced the hunt for a rehidden idol, clearing learning from Ben’s win. Mike knew how big the stakes were, Alison felt she was on the hot seat and needed to save herself before Angelina finally fulfilled her premiere confessional by finding the clue to the hidden immunity idol. She was instructed to find a ladder, dig it up and prob it against a huge rock. Sadly after she undug her ladder and hid it for later, she discovered she lost the clue and tragically had to make her move ASAP. So back she went to find the ladder and climbed the rockwall behind the well … and then got stuck. Surprisingly no one realised she had gone, so she returned to the well to discover Nick, Davie and Alison, breaking down to say she fell from a tree as a cover. Dr Alison checked her for bruises, Nick hugged and damn, she is an icon and I love her.

My boy Probst returned for the final six immunity challenge where they would race through obstacles, release a stair puzzle, solve said puzzle, ascend said stair puzzle and solve another 63 piece puzzle. Immunity came with a side of spaghetti, GB and cake, so er’ryone was even more excited. Hopefully Angelina can handle it after her injury. It was neck and neck at the start until Kara and Davie started to pull away from the pack, with Angelina, Nick and Mike closing the gap and poor Alison painfully struggling to throw things. Kara began to pull away further, with Mike, Angelina and Davie following closely behind. Given it is a ridiculously huge puzzle of the logo everyone eventually closed the gap, though it appeared Kara and Angelina were in front. Though I’m not Christian, so what would I know? Turns out nothing, as Nick snagged immunity and continued the ‘no double winners’ streak.

Obviously Probst gave him the opportunity to share his reward with one other person, selecting Angelina to join him since she is vego and can eat the crap he isn’t interested. Probst then obviously gave him another person to share it with, with Davie telling him he got the family reward so he doesn’t need to share it with him leaving Mike ‘also a vegetarian’ White to snag an invite and TBH, secure a Jabeni final three alliance – #JabeniStrong – no? An emaciated Alison started to breakdown, desperate to have something to eat and finally get a win in the game which is sad and all, but you’ve got a couple of days left at which point you should be ok to suck it up.

Back at camp the winning trio went to the well, where there feast was laid out in front of them and Angelina desperately tried not to think about the idol that is hidden around her. While Alison, Kara and Davie sulked over some rice, they all spoke about being concerned by Nick referencing Jabeni strong. Back at the well Angelina turned conversation to the final three and discussed who to target, with Nick desperate to get rid of Alison while the others focused on Davie, concerned Alison would have an idol. With that Angelina shared that she had found the clue but struggled to find an idol, so the trio searched high and low before Mike pointed out the obvious place it would be hidden. And just like that, Angelina is the only woman to find an idol this season.

Everyone reconvened at camp to scramble before tribal with Alison pulling Angelina aside to see whether she could save her. Angelina explained that she has the power to save her given she has been in control, though wasn’t sure if she would which seems unnecessarily gloaty. Meanwhile Mike and Kara caught up, with Mike explaining that the other two want to target a breaking down Alison but he believes Davie is finishing strong and as such, desperately needs him gone. Kara was completely on board, so Mike approached Angelina to see if she would join them and avoid it going to a tie.

At tribal council Nick spoke about the joy of winning immunity before Angelina spoke about a tonne of names being thrown out, which is hard given only five people can receive votes. Like me Alison called bullshit, pointing out it is either her or Davie tonight, which the latter agreed with since they very well could have gone last week. Angelina slyly took ownership of her game, saying she could have gotten Alison out at the last two tribal councils but she didn’t. Nick was glad people were on the same page as him, Mike was hoping he was on that page and Davie gave a lowkey threat, saying that should someone be hurt by their blindside, it could cost people the win. With that, the tribe voted, Angelina held onto her hard won immunity idol and poor Davie found himself blindsided from the game. Though promising to vote for whoever orchestrated the blindside, despite his threat. Which Mike obvi was keen to point out was him.

Given his promise on the way out the door, Davie was impressed that the tribe felt he had to be blindsided and was thrilled to have made an impact. Though maybe it has more to do with the fact that he is a super positive person, rather than actually being thrilled about it rather than say, winning. But I guess, when smashing a tray of Davie Sazerickenbacker, you’d be feeling a little happy too I guess.

 

 

I’ve only recently gotten into the sazerac – thanks Martha and Snoop! – but damn if I’m not all in, balls deep on this potent little drink. Sour, sweet and packing a punch, you don’t need to many to be filled with joy. Liquor induced or otherwise.

Enjoy!

 

 

Davie Sazerickenbacker
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
½ cup rye whisky
1 tsp muscovado sugar
3 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
½ tsp absinthe
lemon peel

Method
I used the very specific method outlined on Esquire – though with some slight tweaks to ingredients – and while it sounds a bit redic, I encourage you to follow them exactly as it’s delicious. Place the sugar in an old-fashioned glass with a few drops of water to dissolve. Fill it with ice, whiskey and the bitters, and stir to combine.

Divide the absinthe between two additional old-fashioned glasses and roll it around to coat the inside of the glasses, disposing – gasp – anything else. Divide the whiskey between the glasses, add a twist of lemon and down.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

 

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Pear and Gin Spritz

Drink

Hot damn has it been a busy week?! I mean, triple boots on Australian Survivor, a new celeb feud, hosting my besto AND kicking off a countdown for Survivor David vs. Goliath – it is exhausting. So exhausting that I needed to pour myself a nice tall glass of Gin.

As in, my dear friend from across the ditch Gin. Not the booze … (though I assume you can tell where this is going).

While I’ve only known Gin for a decade or so, our friendship blossomed quite quickly and we’re truly as close as two friends could ever be. You see, she was support act for Jay Brannan’s 2008 Sydney gig where I was selling the shit out of his merch and revelling in the glory of an AAA pass. Which isn’t something rare for me, obviously. But I still relish the opportunity to talk down to people and flaunt the access over gen pop.

Anyway, I was wandering the corridors for shits and giggles, stumbled into Gin backstage and we got to talking. One thing led to another, and I left the gig with a new BFF and an offer to drop by whenever I was in NZ.

Which I later learnt is pretty much a law of being Kiwi. To invite relative strangers into your home.

Thankfully I didn’t know that then, took her up and her offer and we solidified our bond as besties. Which is why she happily jumped on a plane to drop by, reconnect and split a Pear and Gin Spritz or seven.

 

 

Is this a blatant attempt to work through some of the leftover granita I had locked away in the freezer? Sure. But daaaaaamn, does it just work. A little tart, a little sweet … add in the earthiness of gin and you have a real treat.

Turns out I’m Dr. fucking Seuss now, so enjoy!

 

 

Pear and Gin Spritz
Serves: 1.

Ingredients
⅔ cup Granita Berkett
½ cup soda water
1 shot gin
dash of bitters

Method
Place a mound of granita in a glass.

Top with soda water, gin and bitters, in that order, before downing. Gleefully.

 

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Granita Berkett

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders, Dessert, Snack, Sweets, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor the Champions continued to dominate – much to the disgust of Zach – before a twist allowed Mat to win himself an individual reward and share it with someone from the Contenders tribe. Since she can’t stop running her mouth, he decided to take Paige and further alienate her from the tribe. While it worked in fueling Anita’s rage, the focus should definitely be on the fact that Zach is the absolute worse. Meanwhile over at the Champions, Shane felt nervous and found herself a hidden immunity idol just in the nick of time as she and Jackie blew the immunity challenge. At tribal council, Moana’s illness started to get to her and she requested to leave, however Sharn convinced her to let the tribe vote instead with them respecting her wishes whilst also flushing Shane’s idol out of the game.

Things were decidedly more calm at the Champions the next day, as Brian made a full on play for my heart running around in his jocks before pulling them up into a G-string. I hate myself for saying it, but swoon. Lydia then gave us a rundown of the tribe, sharing that Brian pees a lot – in full view, Trump! – Sam is funny and Monika is a bit of a badarse when it comes to hunting and gathering.

Meanwhile over at Casa Contenders, Heath and Shonee discovered a wild pig wandering around their camp. While Heath tried to capture it, Anita was terrified that he would be attacked and begged him to stop. While everyone was fantasizing about eating bacon and neglecting the fact it is cured, Tegan and Heath got together to discuss the tribe dynamics and what their next steps would be. Sadly for them Benji, Robbie and Zach noticed their growing power, and Benji decided to lead the charge to get rid of Tegan and snatch control of the tribe. We then learnt that Benji can deliver a confessional, is a millionaire and is hella successful … begging the question, why exactly are we only meeting him today? Benji then approached Shonee to float the idea of taking out Tegan or Heath, which she appeared to fall for which he then gloated about, laughing how quickly she fell for his lies.

Back at the Champions, Sharn and Shane discussed Moana’s mercy boot and Sharn shared how losing her best friend in the game had made her feel alone. We then learnt more about Sharn’s life at home, being a dominant lawyer and having a beautiful family. Sharn then checked in with Steve and Mat to debate why exactly Shane played her idol for no reason.

Over at the Contenders Tegan and Anita were discussing Zach and his complete lack of human decency before we were shocked by his self-awareness, admitting that his social game is letting him down. He lamented about his need for the idol to Heath. Sadly for the jerk, Heath found the idol clue himself and learnt it was buried under the tribe flag. He shared his clue with Tegan, who quickly rallied the troops to go hunting for pippies and allow Heath to snatch his idol. Sadly for him, Zach elected to stay behind at camp to find the idol to save himself, meandering aimlessly around the camp while Heath clearly seethed. Thankfully for Heath, he soon gave up on the beach and headed into the jungle leaving the gentle giant enough time to dig for the idol and give himself and Tegan even more power.

My love Jonathan returned for the immunity challenge where the tribes would face off in groups of three who would go hunting for a ball in the shallows before passing it off to a fourth person, who would need to shoot it into the goals. Mat – in speedos, swoon – Steve and Brian faced off against Robbie, Heath and Benji, with the Contenders getting the early win. Well, until Fenella couldn’t work the slingshot and sent the ball straight back to Steve, who passed it to Jackie who snatched the first point for the Champions. Zach, Robbie, Anita and Paige struggled against Matt, Sharn, Lydia and Sam, with Lydia throwing them out of the way and passing the ball to Sam who, given she is a physics genius, easily charted its trajectory into the goal. Anita, Tegan, Shonee and Fenella put up a huge fight against Lydia, Shane, Monika and Jackie, and were able to snatch the Contenders their first point. Sadly the boys were also about to snatch a win, with Benji, Robbie, Zach and Heath making quick work of Brian, Steve, Mat and Sam and tying things up. Heath, Tegan, Fenella and Paige put up a huge fight against Sharn, Mat, Lydia and Jackie, however tragically were felled by Jackie and her challenge redemption.

Back at camp, Zach tried to do something different and make friends, so instead of berating people for their loss he congratulated them for trying their best. Anita pulled Tegan and Paige aside to talk about getting rid of Zach, despite his half-arse attempts to be pleasant. Tegan took the info to Fenella, who was all in while Zach and Benji loitered around. Fenella and Shonee caught up with Robbie and Benji to discuss getting rid of Zach, with the boys quickly lying to them about Heath and Tegan actually wanting Anita out instead. Surprisingly Fenella fell for their lies, taking the intel back to Anita who was angry and ready to jump. Meanwhile Health and Tegan spoke about how lucky they were to be in the middle, unaware that Benji had turned everyone against them. Thankfully Shonee seemed to question the boys story and felt that getting rid of Zach is still the smarter move, no matter how confident Benji got.

At tribal council Jonathan congratulated them on almost winning the challenge, before talking about the importance of the social game. Fenella argued that the social game can be played many different ways, before Tegan countered that if you’re not honest it would get caught out so she stands by being her honest self. Zach finally said something right, disagreeing with Tegan because being himself really hasn’t worked out for him thus far. Benji flagged that some people have more influence than others, Tegan was scared that that influence can easily put a target on your back, Anita was confident in her plan, Benji felt confident in his plan and Fenella was uneasy. Jonathan then dropped a bomb on the tribe, telling them that this tribal council would work a little bit different and instead of voting someone out, they’d be sending them to Exile Beach where they would wait for the next person to be voted out before completing a challenge to see who will stay in the game and who will go.

This bit of intel seemed to terrify Benji, Zach, Paige, Fenella and Shonee, confirming the facts the girls were actually going to flip on Tegan. Tegan was confident about the people she gave her word to and Paige wanted to flip the vote to Zach before Tegan uttered a stick to the plan, instantly cursing her like Keith Nale. With that, the tribe voted as Zach continued to win the hearts of women and normal people across the country telling Tegan that arrogance and ignorance are two very unattractive qualities in a woman while voting her out. The votes rolled in and poor Tegan found herself shipped off to Exile Beach and hot damn I can’t wait to see this revenge plot play out!

We checked in on Tegan the next day who was well and truly on struggle street all alone on Exile Beach. While she fought back tears, she set herself up a camp, started fire and reminded herself that she needs to fight, get back in the came and get her revenge on Benji. And hopefully, I assume, explain how stupid it is to elect to go by known dog’s name Benji, from one Ben to another.

We then dropped by the Champions where Brian continued his play for my heart, joking around and almost kissing Sam. I’d ship that. Lydia shared how well she is going in the game, getting along with Mat and Steve, and altogether loving island life. Mat then got Steve to give him a shave with fire and while it makes me extremely anxious, I’d also ship this.

Things were also quite relaxed at the Contenders where the tribe did some yoga and debated whether they were bruised or dirty. Oh wait, no it isn’t – Heath is seething after Tegan’s blindside, while Zach and Robbie desperately tried to win him back. Though given they only said that winning immunity would save him from the next vote, he wasn’t thrilled. And I am living for him. Fenella, Shonee and Anita were feeling bad about upsetting him too, while Benji found it hilarious and looked forward to sending him to exile while everyone else thought it was smarter to send Paige instead. Thankfully Heath has his idol and definitely won’t be taking his ally out of the game, instead playing to blindside someone who she can beat.

My boy Jonathan returned for the reward challenge where the Champions learnt about the Exile Beach redemption twist, much to their nonchalance. The challenge would see groups from each tribe carrying weights while running around a ring to catch the other tribe. They were playing for care packages from home, which thankfully elicited a more chalant reaction. Can I use it like that? Anyway, Robbie, Fenella and Benji were up first against Brian, Sam and Sharn with the Champions making quick work of the challenge while Benji struggled to breath and Fenella pushed through despite it not being a washing up challenge. Mat, Steve – in speedos, hot damn – and Lydia quickly took out Zach, Anita and Shonee … and can Steve just wear speedos for the rest of the season? He and Mat then gave Anita a peptalk after she fell in the water, couple that with the shaving scene and Steve telling his fellow Champions he loves them and I could marry him right now. Soz Mish. Oh – Heath, Paige and Zach destroyed Lydia, Shane and Jackie … but Steve, you know? Despite a strong start from Zach, Paige and Fenella, they quickly lost steam, allowing Brian, Sam and Sharn to close the gap and take out victory, despite Zach’s abnormal kindness as Paige broke down for losing.

The Champions returned to camp unwrapped their gifts and proceeded to breakdown. Lydia got a photo from home and her Olympic kangaroo that lives in their room, Brian got his daughter’s bunny – which looks like my niece’s, begging the question … are we related? – and a photo of his mum and kids, Mat too got a family photo and a poem written by his mum about the love between his parents and hot damn if the story about their deaths didn’t break your heart. As an aside – I need Chloe Maxwell and Mish for the family visit ASAP. Monika got a teddy bear made by her husband with a recorded message, Sharn got a photo album, Shane got a book, Sam got an image of his cats and childhood inventions and Steve got my tears going again, looking at the letters from his kids and MICHELLE BRIDGES SIGHTING. What I wouldn’t give to hold Steve as he cried. Not even in a creepy way though, he just needs it. I mean, breaking down while talking about needing love and acceptance. I can’t …

Jonathan returned – or at least I think he has, I can’t see through the tears – for the immunity challenge where the tribes would be required to hold weights tethered to a trough over their heads with the first tribe to drop returning to tribal. Mat, Steve and Lydia proceeded to coach their fellow Champions, while Shonee definitely was not struggling despite what Jonathan said. After five minutes Anita dropped out of the challenge, handing her bag off to Robbie while Zach sweetly – WTF – coached Paige into fighting through the pain. Jackie became the first Champion to drop out, followed closely by Paige and Shonee as Steve did a guided meditation with the Champions before Monika couldn’t take it any longer. After twenty minutes poor Fenella couldn’t hold on any longer, passing out her bag before the boys started pulling off risky moves that didn’t pay off, as Robbie dropped his bag and sent the Contenders back to tribal council.

Things were looking up over at Exile, with Tegan galvanised to push through and destroy whoever comes back into the game. Ideally, another Contender to exact her revenge.

Speaking of which, the Contenders were all miserable about their latest loss. Well except for Benji, who was thrilled to get rid of Heath and him eliminate Tegan at the challenge. Heath however was planning to target Anita to ensure Tegan’s return. He went to Zach to start planting the seeds, with Zach agreeing that they need to keep strength if they want to have a chance against powerhouses like Sharn and Lydia. Heath then approached Paige about taking out Anita, who was all in despite not realising that she is the next weakest. Heath went to Benji to tell him that Zach and Paige were in on the Anita vote, while Benji agreed he was still keen to take out Heath. Benji approached Shonee and they affirmed the vote for Heath. Well, until Shonee spoke to Fenella who was desperate to take out Zach since she hates him. Though given that Anita is still all in with Benji’s lies, she quickly got them back on taking out Heath and breaking up the couple that never turned on them.

At tribal council Robbie lamented how difficult it is to continually lose, particularly since they’ve never had a reward win. Zach spoke about how he can’t stop killing it in challenges, Anita found the game more difficult than she expected and Heath said it was hard but they knew what they signed up for. Talk returned to strength, with Anita sharing that having numbers is also a strength which kinda felt like a threat. Jonathan reminded them all about the fact that Tegan is sitting waiting for one of them at Exile Beach, with Benji pretending that voting out a strong person was a good idea while Zach admitted that he was ok if he had to go to Exile Beach if he needed to. Though quickly assured them he was joking and he wanted to stay.

Heath cautioned the tribe that anyone could win the challenge and that they needed to think carefully about who they all vote for, though nobody seemed moved by his words. Well other than him, as he played his idol based on their general shiftiness, negating every single vote but his which sent Anita to Exile Beach and made everyone else feel completely sick. Good boy Benji, good boy!

Anita rolled into Exile Beach where Tegan was chilling by the fire wondering why she was voted out the previous day. Tegan was shocked to see Anita and they both swore their way through an explanation of what happened, with Anita shocked to discover that Tegan had never planned to turn on her. After they shared their stories and cleared the air, they both agreed that whoever comes back will tear Benji a new one.

They woke up the next morning with Tegan feeling renewed and ready to get back in the game and take everyone down. Not one to leave us in suspense for too long, my boy Jonathan returned to lord over the redemption challenge with both tribes watching on as Tegan and Anita solemnly wandered into the arena. Tegan was a bit passive aggressive about the Contenders and warned the Champions that people are playing really hard, so they need to focus. After some more smack talking the girls learnt they’d be required to build towers out of blocks on the end of a ramp, with each of them required to roll a ball over the ramp to knock down the other’s stack. The first person to build their tower with all the bricks stays alive and the loser is gone for realsies.

Both girls were neck and neck however Tegan managed to knock over Anita’s stack, giving her an early lead. Well, until the wind knocked hers over when it was nearly done. With that, Anita had a huge lead while Tegan was forced to play catch up, which she did snatching victory by a single brink and sending Anita from the game. Well, coupled with Benji’s lies and Heath’s idol.

While Anita was tearful as she left her burning buff and entered Loser Lodge, she was thrilled to see her fellow Queenslander waiting in the wings to cheer her up. We laughed, we cried, we mocked Zach’s fragile masculinity and Benji’s stupidity and most importantly, smashed a big old Granita Berkett.

 

 

Fresh, light and sweet, a granita is the perfect dessert to help wash away the pain of a Queensland summer. Or the burn of being lied to leading to you blindsiding out an ally before being idolled from the game and then losing a challenge to really rub salt in the wounds.

Better still, it is delicious. So enjoy!

 

 

Granita Berkett
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
6 pears, peeled and cored
½ cup blueberries
¼ cup spiced rum
a generous lug of bitters

Method
Combine the pears and blueberries in a food processor and blitz until as smooth as possible.

Sieve the liquid into a jug and add the spiced rum and bitters.

Transfer to a flat, glass dish and place in the fridge until frozen.

Using a fork, scrape the surface to form icicle goodness.

Serve and devour immediately. I mean, it will melt if you don’t.

 

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Liz Bluedbury Peach Mojito

America's Next Top Model, America's Next Top Model 24, Drink

Previously on America’s Next Top Model, following Maggie’s outster the top 14 were given Ty-overs to find their signature looks. Which in the case of Coura, was just her look, meaning she got bupkis. Liz continued to act crazy, Coura and Rhiyan were boring and poor Ivana was eliminated at panel by her inner sabotuer.

Back at the house Brendi K and Liberty debriefed about Liz’s offensive comments about Brendi K’s family backstage, while Liz tried to rationalise her behaviour to Christina. Christina, to her credit, told her it wasn’t appropriate, to put her in Brendi K’s shoes and to apologise. To Liz’s credit, she then went and apologised, and while Brendi said there was no ill will between them, there still totally was.

Their almost-apology was cut short by the arrival of the scripts for this week’s screen test challenge, which Tyra rudely announced off-screen after panel. The girls then split up into groups to rehearse, where Rhiyan was already on struggle street.

The next day, the girls arrived at the studio where MVP Stacey McKenzie was waiting to coach them through filming. After being introduced to their director Anthony Hemingway and co-star Kevin Phillips, the girls learnt that the winner would earn a role in their upcoming TV show. Liz and Rhiyan struggled big time, making Khrystyana even more of a breath of fresh air when she arrived and knocked it out of the park. Erin, Brendi K and Sandra highlighted just how thirsty someone can get after being locked away from people, before Coura arrived and made Liz look good. Jeana, Christina and Liberty also struggled, only for Shanice to wrap things up, change up the script and kill the challenge. Sadly for her though, Khrystyana took out the challenge … which thankfully, did not sit well with Shanice.

Back at the house, Liz was starting to breakdown after being called out for her overwhelming personality. Which is fast becoming a thing. Thankfully before it was escalated further, Tyra-mail arrived teasing the girls spooky photoshoot the next day. Thinking it was time for a nighttime montage, I was surprised to find Rhiyan also having a breakdown in the spa talking to Rio and Kyla about her need to lose weight. Rio then won my heart even more, giving her a pep talk and talking about her concern that she has body dysmorphia.

The next day Liz was still in tears after Shanice refused to let her push in front in the showers, which thankfully was cut off again. This time with the girls leaving for their hellish photoshoot at a haunted house. Sandra bumbled her was through the shoot, Khrystyana slayed again, Rhiyan was a bit too dead, Christina brought it like she was Kirsten Dunst, Rio, as always, killed it, and Brendi K and Jeana did well but that is based of five seconds a piece. Shanice tried to bring more of herself to the shoot, Liberty looked well and Erin survived an outfit designed to kill her.

Liz spent her time backstage complaining about being bullied by the girls, before ultimately pulling out a strong performance in front of the camera. On the flipside, Coura struggled. Badly. And she knew it, fearing she would be the next to go.

That night the drama continued after Liz was awoken by the other girls just after midnight. And while she didn’t really ask them in the best way, this is the first time her rage truly was justified. Despite Khrystyana trying to comfort her after Shanice yelled at her, she packed up her things and left for the night.

She reappeared the next day for panel before the other girls, where she was met with Tyra. They then spoke about Liz’s love for the competition however she said that the house wasn’t good for her mental health … and she was quitting the competition.

It was heartbreaking to see her so emotional when my girl Liz found me even further backstage, but after a Liz Bluedbury Peach Mojito or ten, everything started to feel better.

 

 

Sweet, spicy and bitter all at once, this mojito can cure everything that ails you. I mean, blueberry, rum and the peach from Call Me By Your Name – which is eaten in canon, FYI – this drink is damned near perfection.

Enjoy!

 

 

Liz Bluedbury Peach Mojito
Serves: 1.

Ingredients
2 tbsp blueberries
a couple of mint leaves
1 tbsp lime juice
60ml spiced rum
½ a peach, sliced
ice
tonic, to taste
dash of bitters
1 lime, quartered, to garnish

Method
Place blueberries and mint in a cocktail shaker, and muddle with the lime juice.

Add the rum, peach and ice, and shake with vigour.

Pour into a glass, top with tonic, a dash of quitter’s bitters and a wedge of lime … then guzzle down.

 

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Barney Marnhattan

12 days of Festivus for the rest of us, Drink

After kicking the 12 days of Festivus off on a joyous note with the divine Jason Alexander and then being brought back down to earth when checking in with the deceased Susan Ross’ portrayer Heids, I opted to whip out the time machine and check in with my dearly-departed pal Barney Martin.

While he was technically the second man to play Jerry’s dad, Barns will forever be the Morty in my heart.

I first met Barney on the set of The Golden Girls in the ‘80s and we became the fastest of friends, which led to me putting his name forward when they needed to recast Morts. I also got him cast on Full House with Cand as a gag.

As is oft the case when venturing back to hang with friends that have past, it was both uplifting and melancholic. Though it was exciting to pop on our best Morty Floridian shirts, have a laugh and enjoy a very, very festive Barney Marnhattan.

 

 

As my rapidly bloating liver can attest, 90% of Christmas is drinking so I couldn’t go past adding another festively flavour tipple on the menu. But seriously, how can you go wrong with the sticky sweet cherry and some bitters.

You can’t, so enjoy!

 

 

Barney Marnhattan
Serves: 1.

Ingredients
ice
2 ½ shots of bourbon
1 shot vermouth
a hearty dash bitters
maraschino cherries, to taste

Method
Fill a glass with ice.

Pour over the bourbon, vermouth and bitters.

Stir.

Add cherries.

Down.

Repeat.

 

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Ginnifer Saunders

Ab Fab’s 25th Birthday, Drink

I’m sure it comes as absolutely no surprise that we’re kicking off Ab Fab’s 25th Birthday Party by catching up with the Queen of Ab Fab slash my dearest friend of all, Jennifer Saunders.

I’ve known Jen for years, after meeting in college and living together with our mutual friend Dawn. Fun fact: I actually introduced the girls, helped them sort through their issues AND encouraged them to pursue a career in comedy.

Long story short, you’re fucking welcome.

In addition to inspiring, arguably, the greatest comedy duo of all time, I also inspired Jen and Dawn to write the sketch that inspired Ab Fab. And once more with feeling, inspired.

In. Spir. Ed.

While I was, egregiously, never invited to guest in the show, Jen made it up to me eventually by casting me as Kate Moss in the movie. Yes – I played Kate Moss. Not, Kate Moss.

Jen and I have both been super busy over the last year, so it was great to be able to take the time to mark her special occasion, reconnect and down a dickload of Ginnifer Saunders.

 

 

Technically just a gin and tonic, I always find a way to inject some fruit into the festivities and have all cups run over. With joy. Sweet, sweet, voluminous, joy.

Enjoy!

 

 

Ginnifer Saunders
Serves: 1.

Ingredients
60ml gin
120ml tonic
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
lemon slices, for garnish
2 tbsp raspberries
2 tbsp blueberries
dash of bitters
couple of ice cubes

Method
Combine everything in a shaker.

Shake.

Pour.

Drink.

 

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