Previously on Australian Survivor 24 castaways were dropped in the outback, far from the tropical islands we’ve grown accustomed to – thanks COVID! One by one they were felled as – yep, doing it – Phil, Janelle, Gavin, Benny, Mitch, Joey, Daini, Shannon, Georgia, Rachel and Simon headed home before the two tribes merged and formed the Fire tribe.
Instead of the Beauty tribe, which will always be a sore point to me.
Kez was the first victim of the new tribe before Chelsea was medevaced, leaving Baden to become the King of the Jury. He was quickly joined by Gerald, Laura, Emmett, Andrew, Dani, Wai and Cara, leaving Flick as the lone Brawn standing against George and Cara.
And by standing, I mean hunching painfully in a brutal final immunity challenge where the trio faced off for over five hours before Hayley took out victory and gave her the power to eliminate the final juror. Which obviously became Flick.
After a hard fought final tribal council where both George and Hayley clearly articulated their games, proving just how good they both were, the jury favoured Hayley’s more well rounded approach and awarded her the title of Sole Survivor. And, you know, the half mill.
As you can imagine, Hayley was buzzing as I sidled on to set to congratulate her, pulling me in for a massive hug. You see, Hayley and I are former colleagues and dear friends – you know how painful I can be, which is an asset to a researcher – so I was so excited to be there to share in her win.
Hayley dominated the game and made massive moves throughout the season, and while she was briefly voted out, she used that to her advantage, expertly adapting her play to make it to the end and rightfully take out the game. The only way I could truly do justice to such an epic, entertaining and at times chaotic run was gifting her a triumphant Haylal Snack Peake.
While I was late to the party when it came to the majesty of the HSP, I have well and truly made up for lost time when it came to the holy grail of food. The chips are crispy, the chicken is packing a punch, a little charred and oh so juicy that by the time you get to the garlicky sauce and gooey cheese, there is no denying this is made for winners.
Haylal Snack Peake Serves: 4.
Ingredients 1 cup Greek yoghurt 6 garlic cloves, minced 1 tsp ground coriander 2 tsp ground cumin 2 tsp paprika 1 tsp cayenne pepper 2 tsp tsp onion powder ½ tsp black pepper 3 tbsp tomato paste 2 tsp salt 1 lemon, zested and juiced 3 tbsp olive oil 1kg chicken thighs, no skin, no bones (no jokes about me normally loving a bone) 1 batch Jud Beerza Battered Fries 2 cups grated cheddar ¼ cup smokey BBQ sauce ¼ cup garlic sauce ¼ cup sriracha small handful flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
Method Start by mixing up the yoghurt through olive oil together in a large bowl until well combined. Add the chicken and toss with your hands, making sure that every piece is sopping with the marinade. Cover and pop in the fridge for six hours. Overnight is ideal, but like you, I don’t have time for that so six will do, ok?
Preheat the oven to 220°C.
Grab a bunch of metal skewers and a baking dish that they can precariously balance either side on so they are elevated. I’m not the best at explaining, but it will make sense in a bit. Remove the chicken from the fridge and thread on to two parallel skewers, jamming the thighs close together so they look like baby kebab sticks (I obviously couldn’t be bothered to Google it).
Once they’re all on skewers, line the baking dish and balance the ends of the skewers on the sides of the dish so the chicken is elevated from the base. Pop the dish in the oven and bake for half an hour, or until brown and glorious. Remove from the oven, baste with the juices and return to the oven for twenty minutes. Remove from the oven again when it is charred, baste and leave to rest for five minutes.
While you work on the fries, stand the skewers upright and carve the chicken from them like the do at a kebab shop (side note: how hypnotic was watching that, drunk at 2am?) and leave to rest in their juices.
To assemble, pop your chips in a bowl, top with the cheese and follow with a generous helping of the chicken. Drizzle with the sauces, add a bit more cheese and a sprinkle of parsley to feel healthy.
Then devour like you haven’t had a decent meal in 48 days but are also thrilled to be victorious.
Previously on Australian Survivor the top eight fought it out for a car, with Dani taking out the reward but unwittingly cursed her own game. At the immunity challenge Hayley took out her first victory over queen Flick, much to the delight of Hayley. Everyone was finally realising that Cara and George only cared about each other, with Emmett trying to rally everyone together to target them. Thankfully Queen Cara found a hidden immunity idol which they were able to use as leverage to try and woo Wai and Hayley back to their side to boot the conveniently vulnerable Emmett. Which is exactly what they did, continuing George and Cara’s epic streak of somehow evading certain doom.
The next morning the dwindling tribe slowly started their day with Wai and Andrew catching up about her flip, with Wai explaining that she is simply at the point of voting to make it to the next step rather than joining with anyone per se. Hayley joined them to explain the flip, with Andrew annoyed by the fact they rightly made a move to better their place in the tribe given the alliance he wanted them to join left them at the bottom. George obviously arrived on the scene to make it awkward enough for them to stop the conversation, leading to Andrew catching up with Dani and bitch about the fact Hayley continues to flip every few votes, rather than brainstorming ways for them to move forward.
Speaking of hustlers trying to make their way to the end, George and Cara took a moment to celebrate their status as the underdogs and the fact that they have an idol in their back pocket to help propel them to the final two.
The tribe joined Jonathan for the latest reward challenge where they would break into two teams to release poles from a frame, cross a balance beam, retrieve sandbags, cross a mud pit and then add sacks to the end of their poles and shoot the sandbags into the sacks. First team to land three securing a massive Italian feast. Oh and the person that doesn’t compete gets to bet on who they think will win and joins them if they are correct. Andrew, Hayley and George were facing off against Flick, Dani and Wai, with Cara backing the girls to take out victory and score the four of them some food.
While the girls got out to an early lead, Hayley and the boys quickly managed to close the gap. Well, until George crossed the balance beam in a positively glacial pace and the girls pulled away again. Wai struggled over the mudpit, giving the other team the slightest of leads as they got to shooting their baskets. Sadly for them, Dani quickly got her eye in, landing two baskets before Andrew landed his first. Eventually Andrew closed the gap, leaving the teams desperately fighting for victory before Dani landed her final basket and sealed victory for the team.
Dani, Flick, Wai and a very lucky Cara arrived at their massive feast, delighted by the overwhelming smell of garlic. The girls toasted their success, with Dani quickly suggesting that they push for an all female final five and while Cara and Wai agreed that they want to see a girl win, me thinks they aren’t at the point of turning on George yet. Wai admitted that she has been playing it day by day and really only decided to get rid of Emmett on the way to tribal council. Dani told Wai that George had told them that Hayley and Wai were going to vote out the Brawns next, which Wai immediately denied.
Dani then pushed for Cara to stop playing George’s game and instead make a move to get to the end. This fired Cara up who said that they are both making decisions and she is trying to temper the chaos that he loves. Though she did admit that she would turn on him, but only when it was at the point that she didn’t immediately become the next to go home. And given he is the only one that hasn’t lied to her, she needs to build trust with others before that will ever happen.
The next day George decided to dress up for the latest immunity challenge, while Cara, Hayley and George caught up by the fire. Cara admitted that she was confident with their trio, but was worried Wai would quickly flip on them should something spook her and as such, George needs to be quiet and listen to Wai when she floats plans and start relying on Hayley to help get the information to her. Wai joined them and explained that she would like to see Flick be the next one booted from the game, given she is protective of Andrew. Cara pointed out that that makes her and George vulnerable the further they move along the game, but didn’t push her point and wisely left Wai to talk through her logic.
Meanwhile Flick and Andrew were catching up about the Italian reward, with Flick explaining that she and Dani pushed to see whether anyone would be interested in getting rid of George. Flick explained that while Wai would easily flip, there is no way that Cara will follow along with any of them. Andrew reiterated that he doesn’t want to play for the others and the only way to break up George and Cara is to win immunity challenges and force their hands.
The tribe caught up with my love Jonathan for the latest immunity challenge where they would each hold a platform for themselves to stand on using a rope and ring above their heads. Last one standing taking out immunity, obvi. Bucking tradition, George didn’t drop within the first seconds of the challenge, instead Cara dropped after a few minutes with Wai just behind. After a long battle, George and Dani were the next to drop, leaving Hayley, Andrew and Flick to once again battle it out for immunity. After 90 minutes, Jonathan made the trio go down to holding the ring with only one hand which quickly took out Flick before Andrew dropped out of nowhere, handing Hayley her second victory in a row.
Back at camp Andrew regretted his choice to go down to his left hand rather than his right before saltily suggesting the majority should instead be tending the fire rather than him and Dani. Speaking of the minority, they caught up to try and figure out who the majority would target with each of them listing compelling reasons why it would be them. As such, they locked in their votes for George and as such, Dani decided to try and flip Wai to help their cause.
Meanwhile George wanted to take out Andrew however was more concerned about doing something that would cause Wai to flip given he worried that would spell his doom. As such, he caught up with Hayley, Cara and Wai, talking about how Andrew just flipped out at him, suggesting that Wai is the most dangerous person and as such, needs to go. Surprisingly, Wai bought all of it and all of a sudden was less protective of Andrew, instead ready to join the others to vote him out.
The foursome split up, with Dani hunting for an idol before catching up with Wai and checking whether there is any point talking to her with Wai admitting that she is always open to talk, but she will also always be frank. Dani implored her to play her own game before they split up, with Wai admitting that she could ultimately go with either side, however going with George keeps a bigger target around.
Speaking of Geroge, he was eavesdropping on the minority trio and discovered that they haven’t had any success in finding the idol and as such, they’re good to go. Wai finally admitted to us that she doesn’t buy that Andrew was going to turn on her. As George praised Hayley for becoming the Queen of the tribe, Wai quietly looked on and really started to think voting out George would be best for her game. But TBH, she seemed like she was flip-flopping back and forth every few minutes.
At tribal council the tribe were surprised by a table with four urns sitting next to them which JLP explained would provide one of them safety once they are voted out. The catch being, they need to select the correct urn otherwise they’re booted for good. Hayley admitted that it is always nerve wracking to see someone come back after they were booted. Cara agreed that getting a second chance helps put a fire in your belly before George said that at this point in the game, you should just keep voting people out until it sticks. Dani opted to tell the majority alliance that they each need to start thinking about their individual games, unaware that sticking as a four for now – until say, top five – is the best option for all of them.
Andrew spoke about his nerves at the vote ahead, while Flick sold herself as a number that the majority alliance can use if and when it’s needed. Andrew played up George’s penchant for doing what is best for himself, though George admitted that even if he is the last man standing, there is no way he is a physical threat. Dani shadily said that once it is just him and the girls, they can come together and take him out then. George spoke about always feeling nervous, with everyone agreeing that only Hayley should actually feel ok. Wai shared that this tribal council doesn’t feel simple and easy for her and as such, anything could happen.
With that the tribe voted and George found himself becoming the last man standing as not only was Andrew booted but he also selected one of the unlucky urns and as such, officially exited the game and joined the jury. Given Andrew has been pretty even tempered throughout the entire game, despite being irritated by George, he took his boot in stride, with a big beaming smile.
Even when I smuggly made fire with a flint to prove that I am the ultimate survivalist, threatening to come for his gig. Given we’ve been friends for years – influencers and Youtubers go hand in hand, you know – he quickly told me I wouldn’t last a night in the wilderness without a bed or shower (so true) and as such, I should head into the kitchen and make us some Andrew Pucles Chips to smash while we catch up.
So, you know, I did.
Tangy and salty, crisp on the outside while gooey on the inside, these delights are oh so moreish. Though I do caution you, you will need a drink because these fried coins of perfection will make you thirsty. I recommended pairing with an icy IPA.
Andrew Pucles Chips Serves: 2 best mates.
Ingredients vegetable oil, for frying ½ cup flour ½ cup buttermilk 1 tsp smoked paprika 1 tsp chilli powder 1 tsp oregano ¼ tsp cayenne pepper salt and pepper, to taste 2 cups dill pickles, sliced into coins and well drained
Method These babies are pretty easy to make, so you can do everything all at once.
Start by heating 2 inches of oil in a pot over medium-high heat until it is about 180C.
Combine the flour, buttermilk, paprika, chilli, oregano and cayenne in a bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper until smooth.
Pop half the pickles in the batter and toss to coat. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to the hot oil one at a time and fry until golden and crisp. About a minute either side. Transfer to a paper towel and repeat the process until all cooked.
Previously on Australian Survivor Brains and Brawns were offish no more, tragically not joining to form the Beauty tribe which would have just been the ultimate chef’s kiss. Emmett won immunity and his confidence expanded to new heights, leading to his super majority planning to target Hayley. Thankfully George grew tired of the status quo and decided that now would be the best time to work with the Brains to ensure Hayley plays her idol correctly. Speaking of idols, Kez found another one in front of George which immediately made her the target in his eyes. With that he told Hayley to play her idol for Laura and poor Kez was idolled out of the game, sneakily – and legally, apparently – passing her idol off to Flick on the way out the door.
Though I’m unsure if anyone actually picked up on that.
The shoulda been Beauty tribe awoke the next morning feeling relatively calm despite the epic tribal council the night before. That calmness was broken by George, who was thrilled about how everything went down perfectly and how he is orchestrating everything perfectly and that he should be the spy. V loudly. He and his number two Cara caught up over breakfast to come up with the next plan, identifying getting rid of another Brain as the priority. And to successfully continue to play the middle, they needed to bring Baden along for the ride to make things happen.
Speaking of Baden, he was happy with his standing in the tribe given he is close to George and while playing in the middle can oft be dangerous – and get you run over, right Jules? – it is keeping Baden safe. For now. Given the Brawn alliance want to take him out immediately after Hayley. Baden therefore wanted to keep a close eye on George, given his protection can only last for so long. And well, he can’t trust George’s plans don’t run much deeper and eventually leave him out in the cold.
Dani meanwhile was doing yoga with Chelsea and Flick by the billabong before Dani questioned whether Hayley was tipped off ahead of tribal council. Which she obviously was. Flick meanwhile feigned confidence in the fact it was just a lucky guess, but Dani just wasn’t ready to let it go. And became really fired up that she needed to fight in the immunity challenge, just to make sure one of the Brains didn’t jag it.
Speaking of the immunity challenge, the tribe caught up with my love Jonathan where the castaways really had a battle ahead of them. But you know, since he was offering up three immunity necklaces it was worth it. Oh and in addition to the immunity, the trio would be the only ones to cast a vote at the next tribal council. Which is huge. First they would barrel roll down a course in honour of FFGCSDT with the first eight moving to the next round where they have to cross a balance beam, untangling a rope and releasing a monkey fist to cross a wall, with the first five up and over moving on to a table maze with the first three to finish jagging immunity.
Hayley got out to an early lead with Emmett and Andrew nipping at her heels before Dani fell off hard in front of Gerald’s barrel. Ultimately Hayley was first across, with Emmett, Baden, Chelsea, Andrew, Laura, Dani and Cara joining her in the next round. Emmett was first through to the table maze, giving him a massive lead in the last stage before he was finally joined by Laura. Eventually Andrew and Dani joined him just as Emmett landed his second of three balls. Baden eventually made it to table maze and given nobody but Emmett was having any real success, it was still anybody’s game. Emmett ultimately snagged the first immunity and to put you out of your misery, he was quickly followed by Andrew and Dani. Giving Brawns a massive advantage at the upcoming tribal council if it is as it appears.
Back at camp George wasn’t worried about the upcoming tribal, given he is good with everyone that is immune. Hayley meanwhile, was terrified given two of them are out for her blood. Speaking of Dani and Emmett, they caught up by the well to quickly lock in the vote for Hayley before Emmett suggested that maybe Baden is a better option, given Cara and George are tight with him and he may be able to swing them back to the OG Brains. Dani admitted that ultimately she doesn’t really care who goes out of the Brains, given she just wants the Brawns to do well.
And now Dani is more focused on getting a lid on the snitches.
The Brains meanwhile were busy catching up by the billabong, with Andrew feeling helpless given his vote kind of just means nothing. The group admitted that Hayley is pretty much screwed, with her approaching George to see if she can make something work. He obviously told her there is no hope swaying Dani, so instead she made the big play, approaching Dani and straight up outing George as the double agent in the hope of uniting the tribe against him instead.
Despite the fact Dani has been burnt by Hayley and she has been holding a massive grudge, Hayley knew exactly what to say to get through to Dani. Playing into her intelligence, before outing George and Cara and then doubling down on the fact she has been very open about her game the entire time and won’t just stick with tribal lines. And you know, wants the winner of the season to have played a big, risky game like the one Dani has been playing. This was enough to woo Dani, who was happy to work with her and use her as a spy moving forward before Emmett joined and immediately pitched the same thing, knowing that Hayley would feel like she owes them her life should she stay.
Hayley left them to chat and while Emmett was 100% with keeping Hayley, that made Dani nervous about following through with it given she can clearly win people over very quickly. And leaving that in the game is dangerous for everyone.
At tribal council Emmett was still trying to play the role of David and was back to coming off as more arrogant than charming. Dani too was full of confidence, while Andrew was fully just going with the flow given he knows his vote pretty much means nothing. Baden was pretty nervous, given he is one of the four targets for the majority duo, in the trio – confusing no? George was glad to be in the majority, while Hayley was nervous about navigating the vote ahead given she can’t even throw a vote on someone else as a hail Mary to save herself. While Baden was just feeling hopeless, Hayley admitted that she was more than happy to beg and had approached Emmett and Dani. The question being whether it hurt or hindered her case.
Jonathan then dropped another bomb on the group, explaining that while the trio are the only ones with the chance of voting, only one of them actually would. The trio would now compete in a firemaking challenge with the winner going on to cast the sole vote and while Emmett was confident, Andrew is a straight up survivalist and as such, the Brains were full of hope. And Dani appeared to just focus on being a smartass given nobody even considered her taking it out.
And. I. Live.
With that, the trio got to work with the firemaking challenge and well, the confident look on the faces of the Brains appeared to be misplaced. While Andrew quickly up the base of his fire, he immediately broke his flint. While Emmett and Dani calmly powered on, Emmett lit all of his kindling in a massive flame … which quickly went out. Andrew frantically struck his flint as Dani quietly got a spark and instead of taking the slow and steady approach, loaded up everything on the flame in the hope the massive flame would last long enough to burn through the rope. Which it did, shocking everyone, including herself.
After warning Jonathan that some things in the tribe were heading in a way she didn’t like, this vote was about nipping things in the bud and as such, she was thrilled to have all the power. She then quickly voted, Jonathan grabbed the urn and the tribe were gagged to learn that Baden was the one voted out of the game. However all was not as it seemed, as Baden arrived at a table announcing that he isn’t actually out out of the game and instead he is to head off to a place called Redemption Rock – the love child of redemption island and pride rock, I assume – to await a chance to return to the competition.
We followed Baden over to Redemption Rock where he was gagged to find a bunch of meager supplies, which he quickly put to use making a fire as a kangaroo watched on menacingly.
Menacingly because of night vision, but whatevs.
The next morning Baden was still processing the massive chain of events that led to his boot before taking in his surroundings, which turned out to be a stunning, massive gorge. He made himself at home, perfecting camp before working though his plans for when he returns to the game. Because you best believe he is fired up to return and cause as much damage as humanly possible.
Speaking of fire, Andrew was waking up the tribe as he tended to theirs, no doubt trying to prove his worth as a survival expert after being schooled by Dani the night before. Emmett reminded us that we’ve been sleeping on Dani’s mad skills and was grateful that despite the twist, they still managed to get rid of a Brain.
Sadly, a Brawn had also left the game as we learnt that Chelsea was taken away from tribal council by a medic and the tribe were worried about if/when she will return to camp. But I’m going to jump forward a little bit, say 24 hours, and let you know that poor Chelsea was in such a state that she had to be medevaced from the game officially.
I’ve known Chels for years and years, meeting on the MMA circuit before I was banned from the sport for illegal moves. Despite being shamed out of the community, Chelsea stood by me and we became the firmest of friends and as such, when she was down and out – literally – I knew I had to repay the favour and nurse her back to health with my copycat Taco Bellsea Hackips.
While these would have been the perfect accompaniment to Kez’s dish, I would argue they’re still pretty delightful as a solo artist. Crispy chips, heavily spiced with a whack of flavour? I mean, you can’t argue against that.
Previously on Australian Survivor the Brawns continued their reward streak and to make matters worse for Andrew, he got whacked in the nads while losing another challenge. Meanwhile Simon found not one but two idols in the space of mere minutes and obviously grew in confidence. Shocking everyone Brawn turned things around, bucking tradition and winning their second immunity challenge. Back at camp George decided his best chance of survival was to target Laura while Joey locked the alliance’s vote on George. Until, you know, he walked into camp wearing an idol, and as such, Joey flipped things on Mitch instead, booting him from the game and flushing George’s idol with it.
We first checked in with the Brawns tribe where spiders were nesting in Shannon’s knickers. While that alone is concerning, the scariest part is the fact they were holding their own shape. Before we could explore that further, Flick explained that the tribe were living their best lives, focused on training to keep their winning streak up. Speaking of winning, Simon was thrilled to secure himself a path to the endgame with his two idols. That being said, Gerald knew about the idols and was extremely focused on getting him out toot suite. Gerald checked in with my Queens Kez and Flick, spilling all the deets on the idol. And just like that, the trio got to work planning to raise Simon up so that he was so confident that they could blindside him.
Over at Brains the tribe were soberly eating their prison food, with Rachel only happy with the fact she drew a line in the sand with George at the last tribal council. And well, let’s just say that George now had Rachel in his sights. His first move was to confront her in front of everyone and when she was unapologetic, they fought. With Laura and Rachel then muttering about him. It was a move, but I never said it was a wise one. We finally go to learn more about Cara, who in addition to real estate and her empathic abilities, is an expert in meteorology. And well, she and George have really been vibing and she is confident in her abilities to temper his worst impulses and keep things tight, hopefully going to the end together.
Joey meanwhile was growing cocky, catching up with Laura and Andrew to laugh about how screwed the minority are now that they’ve taken control. Which is never an endearing look.
Jonathan made his triumphant return to our screen for the reward challenge where the tribes would weave through a series of obstacles while tethered to a rope before digging up sandbags and tossing them to smash six targets. For choccy milk and lamingtons, which again, bloody iconic combo from the reward team. Brains quickly got out to an early lead, given their smaller bodies made it easier to work through the obstacles. Sadly Cara started to struggle, tying things up for the tribes. And well, then George and Wai literally tied themselves into a knot and well, all appeared to be lost for the Brains. As Rachel screamed at George from the side of the course, Emmett started to taste the chocolate milk in his mind. Then Joey and Andrew happened, smashing target after target in quick succession before Brawns had a last minute surge, stealing victory out from underneath the Brains.
Wanting to create some drama, Jonathan offered the Brawns the chance to invite one of the Brains over to share the reward with the Brawns opting for Joey, hoping his big mouth will give them enough information to create drama post swap.
The Brawns and Joey arrived at their bush cafe, with Joey continuing to be loud and energetic, unaware that they invited him over solely because of that. As everyone smashed their lamingtons and milk, Simon asked the obvious question, how in the hell did he land on the Brains tribe? While Simon softened him up with compliments, the girls went in for the kill, asking what happened at the previous tribal council and why George didn’t go since he clearly hates him. And well, once he popped he didn’t stop. Making Flick a very happy girl with all the free flowing information.
Back at Camp Brains, the tribe were heartbroken to have come so close to winning again with Wai promising to try her best in the next challenge. As everyone assured her that she is valued, Rachel opened up and said that George bitching about the tribe in front of the Brawns isn’t helpful before a challenge and creates disharmony, distracting from the task at hand. This obviously pissed off George, who stormed off with Georgia sent to follow him and try to keep him in check. The one positive of the scene is that we then finally learnt more about Georgia, who was using her forensic psychologist background to try and understand George a bit better. Sadly for her, all it did was piss him off, making her the new biggest target in his eyes.
Jonathan returned for the immunity challenge where the Brains were delighted to see a puzzle was in the mix, while the Brawns were obviously terrified. For the challenge, the tribe would paddle a boogie board out to an apparatus to release five keys before getting wheeled back in, one at a time. They would then use the keys to release puzzle pieces and then, you know, solve the puzzle. Importantly, Simon is in his speedo. As is oft the case, the Brawns got out to a sizable lead at the start of the challenge, powering through the physical side of things. While George reminded the Brains not to worry, given they have a puzzle to sort things out again. Sadly with Wai on the bench they had no real leader in the puzzle which allowed Simon to direct his tribe to yet another victory.
Back at camp the tribe joined together to lament their loss, while George knew that his luck was about to run out. Joey meanwhile was feeling super confident, joyfully swimming in the billabong with Georgia and Laura, talking about how much better things will be once George is gone. That being said, this is Survivor and when people’s backs are against the wall, they get crafty. George joined with Cara, Baden and Wai, identifying Georgia as their best chance to get out. But to do that, he needs some luck. As such, he and Cara went hunting for idols and while the cool kids mocked them from the billabong, Queen Cara took the throne, finding her first idol. And you best believe she was ready to do whatever necessary to keep her alliance safe.
Cara, George, Wai and Baden caught up again, with George quickly suggesting she play the idol for him given he is their only target and as such, they can take out Georgia instead. That however made Cara nervous that the other alliance could opt to change the vote to her and as such, she wasn’t sure whether it was worth the risk.
Laura meanwhile started to grow suspicious about George or Cara finding the idol, rallying the troops to float the idea of splitting the vote JIC. That being said, there is no way they can do that without flipping someone over. And instead of getting Baden or Cara, Joey decided the Wai was the best idea, given she is logical. He, Cara and Hayley pulled her aside and while they were confident they did enough to charm her over to their side, she wasn’t sure who to go with. You know, since the person that saved her on day two is also the most volatile person in the game.
She took the information to George and admitted she was thinking about flipping and as such, he emotionally begged her to cast him aside after this tribal council, not before. With that Cara, Baden and George got together, with George assuring her that he wants her to play the idol for herself and only herself. Before they decided the wisest move was to put on a massive display of pass-the-parcel with the idol and once they’re all confused, hope Wai is spooked back to their side.
At tribal council Cara kicked off the proceedings by wearing her hidden immunity idol, with George suggesting he may have something up his sleeve too. Joey wasn’t sure what the plan was with Cara’s idol, though he desperately just wanted to get rid of George. Aka the bad egg. Cara then continued to earn her Queen crown, admitting the tribe have nothing in common and as such, she is struggling to deal with the people that aren’t wanting to work together to let people flourish. As Wai started talking, the theatre commenced, with Cara whispering in Baden’s ear before passing the idol over to him.
While Hayley admitted their game was making her nervous, her alliance have definitely come up with a couple of different plans to counteract whatever they’re doing. George admitted that while he desperately wants to win the game, when watching Wai struggle on day two, he realised that winning at all costs was not him and as such, he is happy to exit the game with his head held high. George admitted there is no hope for him before Wai and Rachel admitted that there is a lot of tension in the tribe, but more importantly, Baden passed the idol off to Geroge. Wai spoke about the alliances changing day by day, admitting it has definitely changed for her from day two to now. This elicited more compliments from George, successfully guilting the hell out of Wai.
With that the tribe voted – Wai for George, calling him out for holding the day two stuff over her head like parents that tell their kids they should be grateful they have a roof over their head – before Cara played her idol for George. And oh God, Queen Cara, no. The votes rolled in for Cara and Georgia, ending in a 3-3 tie. As such, the tribe revoted and poor Queen Cara found her torch being snuffed. But gagatondra, all was not as it seemed, as she found a Brawn buff on her way out the door, directing her to head over to Brawn and join the new tribe.
As she stumbled through the bush in absolute darkness, she eventually arrived at her new camp and proceeded to dive on to her campmates. Startling them awake, either delighting or enraging them. Or potentially a bit of both.
We checked in with team Brains the next day, where George suggested that putting snake skin on a tree was the cause of all of their misfortune. As such, he removed it and tried to stay quiet while the majority rejoiced in their growing power. Joey spoke about the excitement of the last tribal council, despite the fact George was still in the tribe. Joey went to Laura and Andrew, pledging his undying allegiance to them and Georgia, meaning Hayley, Rachel and Wai were just numbers waiting around to be picked off after George and Baden. Speaking of George, he was heartbroken to have lost his best friend Cara, however was immensely grateful that she gave up her game for his.
Oh and now George was over Wai, given she betrayed the good guys.
Despite not being able to look at her for hours and hours, he eventually pulled Wai aside to find out why she turned on him. Wai called him out for being volatile and how it is hard to be around and as such, she opted for the more peaceful path. While George argued that he was iced out by Joey from day one, Wai still couldn’t see the value of realigning with him. Particularly because she doesn’t like to feel indebted to him for the entire game because she is playing her own, damnit. Like a queen.
The next morning Cara was getting a deep dive on the Brawn tribe as Simon sexily walked out of the billabong in a speedo and the rest worked out. Oh and then she got food with flavour, and ate off crockery. There were blankets, dance class and well, the Brains are dead to her. Officially. And she looks forward to spilling the tea on Joey and Laura’s bullshit to everyone that will listen.
With that, she pulled all the Brawns around to talk about how awful they are, while playing up how loyal George is. As she continued to talk smack, Simon quickly deduced that she has no intention of aligning with any Brains and as such, he can pull her in and take control of the tribe. Particularly since she just wants to raise people up. Sadly for him, Shannon also identified her as a priority ally and quickly went walking for firewood for her to bond.
The tribes reconvened to meet Jonathan where the Brains were gagged to see that Cara was still in the game, none more delighted to see her than George. Meanwhile Joey looked ready to kill and Rache continued to try in vain to get George to stop talking shit about the tribe. Cara meanwhile said that she was thrilled to finally be on a tribe with heart, while Simon agreed that she was a very welcome addition. In any event, this week’s reward challenge would require everyone to hold a barrel of water up with a tribe out if any person drops their bucket. Though they can pass their bucket off to others. Oh AND it was for BBQ. As you can imagine, this challenge isn’t overly exciting to write about however after Wai and Shannon tapped out, the latter used it as a chance to woo Cara who was sitting out of the challenge. Sadly for her though, Simon was watching the entire interaction.
Just as I say it isn’t exciting to write about, Chelsea accidently took her hand off a ring while passing one along and got herself eliminated from the challenge. And just like that, Brains were well positioned for victory. She was followed out by Dani before Gerald started to struggle under the weight of two buckets, as did Daini and Flick. After what felt like an eternity of struggle, poor Gerald couldn’t hold on any longer, dropping the buckets and handing Brains their first ever reward. Leaving Cara to once again starve.
Oh and was the snake skin actually cursed? I don’t want to say George was right, but George is probably right.
Back at camp Brains, the tribe were delighted to see their abundant feast awaiting them, quickly firing up the barbie and smashing everything in sight. We then learnt Laura is into angel golden showers, while George was just thrilled by how great he did in the reward. Talk soon turned to Cara surviving the previous tribal council and joining Brawn, with Joey disappointed to not be able to take out another target. As such, Joey followed Baden into the water and quickly got to work teeing up a new alliance. Tragically for the former though, it was right in front of Hayley who decided now was the time to make a move and take control of the tribe.
Slay Queen Hayley.
Over at the Brawn camp, the tribe lamented their loss while Kez encouraged everyone to just keep going. Gerald on the other hand was heartbroken to have lost the challenge for the tribe and as such, felt like a target. Cara tried to rally everyone around, putting her empath powers to use. She then straight up identified Daini’s broken jaw and Shannon’s reproductive concerns and damn, she is a witch. While everyone else was crying, moved by the experience, Simon was more focused on trying to build his own bond with her before they go to the next challenge.
As such, he asked when older women go through menopause, implying she is old and just, no. Simon, no.
My love Jonathan returned for the next immunity challenge where the tribes would race up a ramp to collect ropes, build a bridge with them, cross said bridge, climb a tower and retrieve an idol and then work through obstacles before untying a platform which they need to use to lift the idol up and hook it in a cage. Oh and in addition to the challenge, Jonathan announced that a hidden immunity idol is at the end of the course and if they want it, they can go for it. Though risk annoying their tribe, obvi.
While Brains started strong, the Brawns quickly pulled away before George disappeared to make a snatch for the idol. Sadly for him, Hayley and Gerald quickly joined him, with Queen Hayley snatching it and returning everyone’s focus back to the challenge. While Brawn was still out in front, Hayley worked furiously to make up for slowing them down. Again both tribes somehow caught up at the end, but they were no match for Cara who played a calm, critical role in helping Brawn secure another immunity win.
Back at camp Joey was very blasé about the loss before Rachel encouraged everyone to go for a swim to get all the dust off themselves. As she and the alliance of four caught up, Joey obviously suggested they finally get rid of George. As everyone agreed the tribe will be so much calmer without him, Joey suggested that they split the vote between George and Wai just in case he has an idol. Everyone joined back up at camp, with George congratulating Hayley on snagging the idol and cheekily asking if she would play it for him. Which Joey felt was insufferable, though Hayley did slyly suggest that anything is possible.
Preparing for his inevitable boot, George once again wandered around looking for a miracle. He first tried for the boldest, pulling Joey and Laura aside to float other names that would be decent targets given there are weaker people in the tribe. Like say, Wai or Rachel. Joey and Laura caught up with Hayley to reiterate his pleas fell on deaf ears, however that made her frustrated given the hierarchy of the tribe is blatantly obvious and frankly, boring, if someone doesn’t step up with a big move.
As such Hayley approached Baden, suggesting that instead of following along with orders they instead take control and flip the vote on Joey. While Baden felt it was a bold choice, he was also keen to stir up some drama and force the other group into playing. Next up in her plot was talking to Rachel, who felt it was too risky a move to make. Hayley then went to Wai and knowing that she would be a tough sell, told her about the plan to split the vote on her. As such, she wanted to vote for Joey instead. While Wai was scared about burning more bridges, Hayley pointed out that if George goes, she is clearly next and as such, they will just get picked off one by one. But Wai just wanted a little time to figure out her options.
By the fire George made things awkward, asking Wai if she reflected on the last tribal council and how horrible she made him feel. And ugh, that may have been enough to turn her off joining Hayley, isn’t it? And given Hayley didn’t even get a chance to talk to George, there is no way this plan will come together, is there?
At tribal council Hayley spoke about voting Cara out to try and improve the mood in camp, with Rachel agreeing it definitely improved things as they enjoyed their feast. Georgia spoke about it being hard to vote people out, while Baden shared that he wasn’t concerned about being voted out yet and is doing what he is told. That is, until he needs to turn the tables on someone. Joey admitted to having a solid alliance, while Hayley said that pecking orders always change but she hopes her relationships will make the difference.
Laura spoke about not having a pecking order within the alliance, while Jonathan pointed out that that is what the people on the top say. Wai admitted that there is a plan at this tribal council, while Andrew agreed that something can always happen and people can pull something out of their hats. Hayley shared that she believes the tribe will be united after this vote, before George reiterated that he is an asset to the tribe and he doesn’t believe that would be the case if he goes.
This made Laura smirk and while she agreed that he was good in the reward challenge, he doesn’t contribute much in camp. As George told everyone to look forward, Georgia reiterated past behaviour is the best indicator for where things are going. That being said, Hayley tapped George on the elbow and mouthed to vote for Joey, giving him a cheeky grin, while Hayley said that everyone has had the discussions they needed to to make their decision.
With that, the tribe voted, Hayley stood firm and held on to her idol while the cool kids split the votes on Wai and George, before the votes piled up on Joey and he was booted from the game. As Hayley ascended the throne and George dodged yet another bullet.
Joey being the most eager, upbeat and energetic person on the season, he was still peppy and positive by the time we caught up in Loser Lodge. Pulling me in for a hug and ready to celebrate his entertaining, albeit short run. Emphasis on run, which is how we first met. You see, I was formerly a champion marathon runner and had a startling rivalry before my career was derailed by a hit and run – the car hit and I ran away because I wanted to watch TV, true story.
Despite the rivalry, Joey took me under his wing and nursed me back to health to the point I can now go for a bit of huffy puffy at the speed of Kath Day-Knight. Needless to say, that kindness is something I have never forgotten and as such, I was thrilled to be able to celebrate his game with some velvety Nachoey Cheese McCann.
I know American food often gets a lot of shit, but if you’ve read more than five recipes on this patch of cyberspace, you know that I passionately love it. And this gooey cheese is no different! Spicy, creamy and oh so moreish, there is nothing better to eat when you’re down.
Nachoey Cheese McCann Makes: 2 cups.
Ingredients 2 tbsp butter 2 tbsp flour ¼ tsp smoked paprika 1 cup milk 1 cup vintage cheddar cheese, grated 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, grated salt, pepper and cayenne pepper, to taste
Method In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add flour and whisk until fragrant, 1 minute.
Slowly add milk, whisking until no lumps remain. Add cheese and cook until melted, 5 minutes, then stir in salt and a pinch of cayenne. Serve immediately.
Previously on Australian Survivor, Brawn continued to take out victory after victory, with George sure that if he was put into a physical battle he could have changed their losing ways. That being said, he and Wai then single handedly took out immunity for the tribe earning their respect and saving George by the skin of his teeth. Back at camp, Janelle quickly became the target however for some reason Simon wanted Shannon gone instead. While he and the big guys targeted her, Janelle was having none of Emmett’s arrogance and instead tried to flip the vote on him. And while it failed and she found herself booted, she was still iconic and I love and miss her.
The next day the Brawn tribe were warming up by the fire and preparing to plan for the day ahead, while Simon was awkwardly trying to come to terms with the fact his plan is not the one that was executed. He then tried to dig his way out of the hole, putting it down to a simple miscounting situation. While Gavin quietly watched on as he and the rest of the alliance searched their minds for an answer before sharing with us that he booted Janelle because that was the last thing someone told him and as such, he thought it was the plan.
Flick, the other turncoat, was not unwitting and instead was glad to draw a line in the sand and save her friend Shannon, given she knows that going with the boys, she’d be forth at best. She was kiki-ing with Gerald and the girls and honestly, again, I love them all. Particularly since Flick was ready to take out a meathead at the very next opportunity.
Meanwhile over at casa de Brains, Laura was feeling her oats to have had the night off as the team woke up and enjoyed breakfast. That being said, she was starting to get desperate for a fire. Instead of focusing her energy on that, George suggested the group rest up so that they’re best placed to take out victory in the reward challenge and potentially win a flint. Rather than have their strongest player blister their hands and get weak. Given he has zero capital in the tribe, as soon as he disappeared the tribe got to work trying to start a fire. And given Andrew – aka not-Tommy Little – is a straight-up survival expert, I’m not actually sure why they haven’t had fire for the first five days. In any event, as George washed off in the water, Andrew and Baden started a roaring flame and just like that, the Brains are back in the game.
Well, the Brains minus George who was plum tuckered from his walk.
Dear, sweet Jonathan arrived for the reward challenge where the tribes would face off to hold a trough up the longest as the other tribe attempted to fill it with water and weigh it down. All for coffee, tea, sugar and Iced bloody Vovos. Rachel and Baden valiantly held it up for Brains as Daini and Gerald looked super chill and steady for the Brawn. Surprising Dr Mitch I assume, who was super shady about their brain power, Emmett and Simon lead the Brawn tribe to strategically fill the trough as quickly as possible and damn, Brains, you’re in danger. Honestly, it wasn’t much of a contest and once again, Brawn took out the reward giving them the most plush camp in Cloncurry.
Brawn were obviously overjoyed to return to camp to find their afternoon tea set-up, complete with a collage of photos of them with their loved ones. As everyone sobbed, Gerald popped the kettle on and whipped up their drinks before they settled in to talk about their families. Chelsea spoke about her close bond with her dad, Gerald opened up about his pride for his sister, Big D broke down in tears sharing how he and his mum had nothing growing up and her tenacity is what pushes him to work hard.
Kez felt like the reward brought everyone together before we learnt about her journey to becoming a bodybuilder after being bullied throughout school and ugh, I love Queen Kez and her lack of jumper so, so much. Particularly since she stumbled upon an idol clue while collecting sticks in front of everyone and like an icon, she quietly pocketed it and went to the bushes to learn where she needed to look.
Back over with the Brains, the tribe were feeling far from joyous but hey, at least they have fire? Oh and Andrew, who quickly dammed off their water and got to work deoxygenating the water to force the fish into the net and hot damn, they’ve got a bit of fight left in them as they’re heading into the immunity challenge.
Jonathan returned for the next immunity challenge where the tribes would race to solve a giant brain teaser to release a ring, which they would then use to climb a wall before crossing rope steps, knocking over a tower, then immediately rebuilding it on the end of a seesaw. Wai quickly took charge of the brainteaser for the Brains tribe, while the Brawn tribe just straight up struggled. Wai decided the Brains tribe needed a bit of muscle and despite George wanting in, Joey slotted in while Georgia tried to keep him calm. But thankfully for them, he was persistent and Baden finally listened and suggested the tribe switch him out and damn, George immediately solved the puzzle. As such, Brains quickly worked their way through the course and won the challenge, just as the Brawn tribe made it across the rope steps.
And once again, was George the hero of the challenge?!
The defeated Brawns returned to camp and while they appeared down, Flick was pretty pumped to be able to take a shot at Simon, Emmett and Gavin. She was already aligned with Shannon and Kez and as such, the girls got to work bringing in Gerald, Daini and Benny to form a majority alliance. Which they appeared to quickly secure with the vote locked in for Gavin. Shannon was excited to get her revenge on the boys and as such, suggested they talk up voting for Simon to throw the others off the scent.
Meanwhile Simon could see the writing on the wall and as such, got to work trying to flip Big D and take back the numbers and get rid of the eternally charming Shannon. And ugh, poor Big D, he was just feeling both anxious and spicy to find himself in the middle. Speaking of finding, Kez got nervous after witnessing Big D talking to the boys and instead turned her attention to the idol. Which she quickly found, the catch being that it was buried under a rock right in front of everyone in camp.
Unsure what to do, Kez enlisted Flick’s help, pulling her aside and sitting in front of the tomb to collect the idol. The catch being that since she didn’t pack enough clothes, she had to pretend to sunbake in the scorching sun until Flick rescued her and brought her some shoes to finally hide her idol in. And you best believe that she is willing to play it should she feel worried for her girls.
And given Big D is still unsure which side to go with, she just might have to. Particularly since he suggested they instead vote for Kez rather than Shannon and they all just folded to his preference. While Simon and Gavin were confident he was with them, Emmett was still nervous and well, I hate to agree with him but I am nervous. But for my girl Kez instead.
At tribal council Jonathan shaded them for being back so soon before Chelsea spoke about how hard it is to lose being so damn competitive. Shannon admitted that they overcomplicated the puzzle which ultimately cost them the challenge, while Simon doubled down on them voting out Janelle being the right move. Despite not actually voting that way. Kez coyly suggested that there is always a chance of a blindside and that she hopes this tribal council identifies the snake in the grass within their tribe. Emmett agreed that it is challenging trying to find your footing, though he knew who he was voting for and that is half the battle. Big D admitted that he naturally goes for people he vibes with, though in the game he will make his decisions based on strength for the tribe.
Immediately filling Kez with fear.
Emmett was arrogant and cocky about his alliance having the numbers while Simon admitted that there can always be a spanner thrown in the works. That spanner usually being an idol. Big D suggested that the vote would be the one to draw a line in the sand, while Simon shared that he was shocked it wasn’t drawn sooner. Which immediately riled up both Queen Flick and Queen Kez, who said it was pretty obvious that Simon drew a line in the sand, but nobody else was that pigheaded. Essentially. Big D admitted that trust changes throughout the game, while Gavin and Dani were just wanting to prove loyalty.
With that the tribe voted and feeling nervous, Queen Kez pulled out her idol and played it for herself as the rival alliance looked like they were shitting their pants. That being said, it was unnecessary as Big D stuck with the good guys and Gavin was booted from the game by the new 6-person alliance. And ugh, he is so damn sweet it is almost hard to see him go.
As you know, I’m highly influential in the sporting world and as such, have known Gav for years and we’ve been the best of friends. We locked eyes with each other across loser lodge and I pulled him in for a hug, assuring him that being the third boot isn’t anything to sneeze at. Particularly when it comes with a side of sweet, sweet Gavin Fried Wangagreen Tomatoes.
I know, I know – you hear green tomatoes (which you’re inexplicable pronouncing tom-a-toes right now, aren’t you) and think, that is disgusting. But hear me out, because these are delicious. Salt, sweet and packing a kick of heat, they’re the perfect snack for whiling away an afternoon. Or processing post-boot pain.
Gavin Fried Wangagreen Tomatoes Serves: 4 dear friends, two of which are obviously Jessica Tandy and Mary-Louise Parker.
Ingredients 3 firm green tomatoes salt and pepper, to taste 1 cup plain flour 1 tsp cayenne pepper 1 tsp smoked paprika 1 tsp oregano ⅓ buttermilk 1 egg 1 cup polenta 1 cup vegetable, canola or another appropriate frying oil
Method Cut the tomatoes into 1cm slices, sprinkle with a good whack of salt and leave to rest on a chopping board for five minutes.
Meanwhile, place the flour and spices in one bowl with a good whack of pepper, the buttermilk and egg in another and the polenta in yet another.
Bring the oil to heat over medium heat and once nice and hot, dip the salted tomatoes in the flour, then in the egg wash followed by the polenta and into the oil three or four at a time. Cook for three minutes, flip and cook for a further three minutes, or until golden and brown. Transfer to some paper towel to drain and repeat the process until down.
Serve piping hot with a bit of hot sauce and savour every bite.
Previously on Survivor, two became three but the OG Manu’s still couldn’t seem to catch a break, with Wendy isolated with only her chickens for comfort, while the rest were shipped off to a new island and promptly continued their losing streak. When all hope appeared lost, David managed to snatch a come from behind immunity win, sending NuManu back to tribal council. And while it appeared Big Wendy was down for the count, Victoria pulled off an epic blindside by sending Queen Aubry to the Island of Extinction with an extra vote and idol in her pocket. And quickly ascended the throne to become Queen Victoria.
Or Queen Vicky, I can’t decide.
On the Island of Extinction Aubry was feeling the pain of following in JT’s footsteps, by being blindsided with some many advantages in his pocket. Despite being broken, she was hopeful as the only way is up for her, and she is going to wait around and get back when she can.
Before we could learn anything else, Jeff returned for this week’s reward challenge where the tribes would leap over tables, release some sandbags and then throw them at a target until flags are released. Given it is for coffee and snacks, I would literally destroy everyone if I was on that island. Surprisingly all three tribes were neck and neck by the time it came to tossing the sandbags, though hold Wardog’s beer, because he cannot throw and Lesu are back in last. Obviously Joe snagged Kama first place, while Gavin just snatched victory for Manu despite a late push from Lauren.
Back at Kama the tribe continued their vacation courtesy of Joe with Julie really struggling to comprehend what it would mean to lose. She then praised him for being so damn amazing, though reiterated to us that she has zero interest in working with him and is just blowing smoke up his arse. Speaking of Joe, he was breaking down about Aubry being voted out, knowing that the returnees are public enemy number one and he feels super alone. Unlike at home, where fan favourite, game changer SDT is waiting for him. Joe caught up with Julia and pointed out that he isn’t the only threat and that all the strong people will need to band together if they want to have any hope of staying around. Particularly since their winning streak has no doubt pissed people off.
Speaking of which, Lesu were lamenting their loss and wishing that they could be Joe for just one minute. While David was keen to go try and kind food, Lauren and Wardog opted to sit around and complain about being starving and over their shitty camp. If only they could muster enough energy to help him get the massive clam that is on the shore! Instead of helping, Wardog pulled Kelley and David aside to talk about getting rid of Lauren, which made the returnees nervous given he just won’t pick a lane. The only glorious thing to come out of it, is the fact that Kelley and David are now aligned.
Back on the Edge of Extinction, Chris discovered a basket with five maps full of holes. Reem requested everyone stay calm which Keith agreed to however it is Keith, so who knows. After folding the maps, the tribes wandered up the hill before Rick figured out that the reward was back on the beach and that they’ve wasted their time. Despite his location was wrong, Reem discovered the reward in the beach … only for Keith to snatch it from under her, earning him the chance to penalising someone in the upcoming returnee challenge. Pray circle (jerk) for Chris. Particularly after he pointed out that Reem gave the reward away, setting her off on a tirade against him which may get physical. All I know is, I feel sorry for Rick, Chris and Aubry.
Probst returned for this week’s immunity challenge where the tribes would be required to climb a ladder, manoeuvre a bag through a frame, open said bag, release a ball and open a gate. Then solve a puzzle, obvi. Oh and only one tribe would secure immunity, and the other two forced to attend tribal together and get rid of a single player. I have Malcolm PTSD. No surprises Kama snatched an early lead however they all eventually caught up at the puzzle. Despite David thinking he was close to victory, Joe proved adept at puzzles too and solved it just in the knick of time, handing Kama immunity and sending the other tribe to tribal council.
Back at Manu Eric was feeling the loss hard, concerned about the potential for a tied vote and no doubt, concerned Wendy will flip back to her original tribe. Victoria rallied the troops and told them to stick together, while Wendy suggested they don’t target David since he doesn’t have any allies and as such, they should go for Lauren, Kelley or Wentworth. Eric then changed his no rock stance, and told everyone to stick together and threaten to go the rocks, since returnees aren’t likely to waste their shot. Eric and Gavin then went for a chat, reconfirming their relationship and locking in the rocks option. Sadly for them, Victoria is less inclined to go to rocks for these bozos as she is a Queen and wants to win. But thankfully for her, no one appears to have figured that out yet.
Meanwhile over at Lesu Kelley was confident that the other tribe would stick four strong and while targeting the big guys is the best idea, Victoria could be the safest move given they won’t expect it. Wardog had other ideas however, saying that they should vote Wendy because in the event of a time, the others will likely flip on her given they haven’t been together that long. While this is the only correct move for the tribe – outside of pulling Wendy over to their side – Kelley was annoyed that Wardog continues to ignore everyone else and push forward with his ideas. David suggested that he should tell Wendy to vote for someone and hope that it doesn’t go to rocks, while Lauren was confident that they will vote for her and as such she was worried. Even though being the person locked in the tie is literally best case for rocks, which the tribe were keen on.
Wardog went to relax by the beach and questioned going to rocks for Lauren, who is clearly breaking down and as such, went hunting for an idol. The other three figured it out and grew more frustrated with him, deciding they needed to find the idol first. Which Wentworth did, while right next to Wardog. Kelley ran back and filled in Lauren, while Wardog continued to climb trees desperate for the idol. Lauren too wanted to share some intel, sharing that she won’t go to rocks for Wardog and will flip if it comes to it.
The tribes arrived at tribal council and both admitted that they all planned to stick with their tribe, Wardog reiterated that he is ready to battle for his group while Eric admitted that neither knows the others dynamics and as such, it is going to be unpredictable. Kelley offered Manu loyalty were they to flip, which Gavin too offered. Wendy shared that she feels trapped in the middle, with David talking about his love for Wendy while Eric mentioned that Wendy told them otherwise. Kelley started whispering to Wardog while David reminded everyone that he has no qualms going to rocks, which Victoria thought was bullshit. Wendy whispered to David that if he flipped, he’ll be safe, Wardog whispered to David, Gavin whispered to Eric and David asked Wendy to go aside for a little chat. With that the tribes voted and despite all the whispers, the votes rolled in four a piece for Lauren and Wendy. With that the whispering started again, this time with Eric joining Lesu while Kelley and Lauren spoke to Victoria and Gavin to come up with a plan, while poor Wendy sat alone in the middle. Before being booted unanimously.
While she was upbeat upon discovering the Edge of Extinction sign and discovering that she would get a meal to accompany her boat ride, her mood soon deflated.
“This is delicious Ben, what are we eating?”
“Well Big Wendy, I wasn’t sure what to make you originally however I found three chickens wandering the island and was hit with a brain wave.”
You could pinpoint the exact moment her heart broke, and while I kind of feel bad that her rescue was only temporary, when it tastes as good as my Chickwendy Empanadiaz, she can’t really hold a grudge. Right?
In my defense, since Annelie got cage-fight induced amnesia, I have been unable to make another empanada, but when I stumbled upon this recipe, I knew I had to make some tweaks and move past my fears. And oh how glad I am that I did, smokey, sweet and packing a hell of a punch, they’re the kind of thing you can’t stop eating. Ever.
Chickwendy Empanadiaz Serves: 6.
Ingredients olive oil
2 large onions, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1kg chicken thighs, diced
2 cups chicken stock
3 bay leaves
1 green capsicum, diced
1 red capsicum, diced
¼ cup tomato paste
1 tbsp sweet paprika
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp dried oregano
½ tsp cayenne pepper
salt and pepper, to taste
4 sheets puff pastry
1 egg, whisked
Method Heat a good lug of olive oil in a large saucepan and sweat the onions for five minutes, or until translucent. Add the garlic and chicken, and cook for a further five minutes. Add the stock, bay leaves, capsicum, tomato pastes, paprikas, oregano and cayenne, with a good whack of salt and pepper, and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for half an hour, or until the sauce is thickened. Leave to cool.
Preheat oven to 160°C.
Cut each piece of pastry into 9 equal squares. Place 1 tbsp of filling in each and scrunch the egse to form little half moon pockets. Place on a lined baking sheet, brush with the egg and place in the oven to bake for 20 minutes, or until golden, puffed and crisp.
Devour immediately, in honour of those poor, briefly freed chickens I cooked.
If anyone needs justice for the horror twist that was the ‘synergy’ twist of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 1, it is my dear friend Pandora Boxx. Particularly if you ask her. I mean, not only did she end up with Mimi Imfurst against her will, she couldn’t get out of her head long enough to make it work and she became the first boot.
While it was tragic, it is kind of iconic that she continued her Drag Race Susan Lucci streak.
Given she is all here for wiping everything but Chad’s win from the record, Pand was thrilled to to drop by and help me countdown to All Stars 4 and honour team Latrila coming back for their ru-rudemptions.
I’ve known Pandy for years, meeting at the festival where she saw Darienne Lake performing that inspired her to take a dip into drag. Well with a gentle nudge from me too, of course. I saw her across the field and I was immediately taken by her big expressive eyes, so made a move and offered to split my meal with her.
While the love that bloomed that day didn’t last, her passion for my Bentora Boxx never died.
Is a bento a lazy recipe? Sure. But once you’ve had this, I’m promise you’ll be eating your words and these delights like a giddy school kid. I mean, how can you go past bite sized treats?
Bentora Boxx Serves: 6.
Ingredients 500g chicken mince
1 tbsp paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
½ tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp fresh coriander leaves, roughly chopped
¼ cup panko breadcrumbs
1 cup guacamole
400g can mixed beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup Salsa Struthers
1 batch Tortea Leoni Chips
Method Preheat oven to 1808C.
Combine the mince, paprika, cumin, oregano, cayenne, coriander and breadcrumbs in a large bowl and scrunch with your hands until well combined. Shape into golf-ball sized balls and place on a lined baking sheet. Transfer to the oven to bake for ten minutes, or until cooked through.
To serve, place a couple of balls in each bento with a dollop of guac, some beans and salsa and chips, for dippin’.
Finally! We have a cast – complete with icon Elizabeth ‘flip da ma’fuckin’ bird’ Olson – and we can truly get to countdown to Survivor: David vs. Goliath. And TBH, there is no better way to mark the occasion than by hanging out with my dear friend and ex-lover Fabio.
Cast your mind back to 2010, riding high on the post Heroes vs. Villains wave, Survivor was a hit again, Sandra became the Queen, Parvati was an icon, Russell was an iconic mess … and Nicaragua landed with a thud.
Yes, we can all agree that the Medallion of Power was a joke and the double quit episode a week out from the end destroyed the pace … but I actually kinda loved the season. I mean, it was a trainwreck but that is part of the charm. Holly breaking down, burying shoes and rising from the ashes of her own creation to almost make it to the end was a thing of beauty. As was Jane’s tantrum upon finding out she was about to be booted and a loveable, ditzy underdog being verbally abused by an eventual quitter, only to outlast the rest and secure her vote for the victory.
And I am lucky enough to call said victor my dear friend Fabio aka Jud Birza.
I first met Jud in 2009 when I was searching for someone with the last name Benjamin or the first name Judd, so that we could marry and become either Benjamin Benjamin or Judd Judd like Brady Brady of SATC fame. While he was missing a D, he more than made up for it with another one and we fell into a quick love affair.
While we eventually broke up due to one of my deportations, I suggested Probst give him a chance to carry on Sandy’s legacy. And carry it he did. In my opinion.
Obviously all we could talk about was the iconic Elizabeth Olson and how if there is any justice in the world, she will be out victor. I mean, the cowboy hat, the shit eating grin and the knowledge that if anyone sees it, a team of interns of Sonia Morgan quantities will lose their jobs – this woman needs to win AND be the breakout character of the season.
Well, as far as we were concerned whilst smashing a tonne of Jud Beerza Battered Fries.
Super crispy on the outside, light and crispy on the inside, these are the most fun you can have with beer while cooking off the alcohol. Well, as well as Lucy’s balls obvi. Which reminds me, I need to watch Jud’s post-Survivor film …
Jud Beerza Battered Fries Serves: 6.
Ingredients 1kg russet potatoes, cut into fries 1 cup flour ½ tsp baking powder 1 tsp smoked paprika ½ tsp garlic powder ½ tsp cayenne pepper salt and pepper, to taste 375ml beer vegetable oil, for fryin’
Method Place the cut potatoes into cold water and leave to sit for ten minutes or so. Drain and dry completely.
Combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Slowly whisk in the beer until you’ve got a smooth, thickish batter.
Place the oil into a dutch oven until it is about 10 centimetres deep and and bring to 160C on a fry thermometer. Once at temperature, place a handful of potatoes in the oil at a time and cook until lightly golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and allow to dry on kitchen towels.
Raise the temperature to 180C, dip the par-cooked fries into the batter and cook a few at a time for a couple of minutes, or until golden and crisp. Transfer to kitchen towel and repeat until done.
Sprinkle with kosher salt and devour, immediately.
Previously on Survivor New Zealand, Chani broke their losing streak – and Liam, a fence – snatching a much needed reward of fishing gear. Sadly said gear included a clue to the hidden immunity idol, which Eve stupidly shared with the entire tribe before ultimately grabbing it for herself. And insighting idol envy amongst her fellow castaways. Meanwhile over at Khangkhaw poor Dylan continued to be left right out, though thankfully for him, Chani went back to losing and returned to tribal where Franky and Eve’s idol war resulted in Franky’s blindside.
Back at camp Chani went through the usual motions of being dejected following the loss of a member, none more so than Renee who felt bad about how kind she was on the way out the door. Oh, and she felt super concerned about the boys club ruling the tribe. Thankfully Dave was also disappointed by the outcome, so there just might be hope for her yet. Things were looking up slightly the next day as Liam, Renee, Eve and Dave joined together to brush their teeth using charcoal. Renee then continued to boost spirits, cooking up a delicious snack out of the rice.
Meanwhile over at Khangkhaw Dylan acknowledged that despite living the Survivor dream so far, he is under no delusion that he will go when they go to tribal. To confirm this, Adam ran us through the many faces of Dylan and really highlighted the fact that they aren’t friends. In turn Dylan confirmed that he has noticed that Adam hates him and I’ve just realised that they need to make out and cut the sexual tension. On camera, preferably. In any event, he has Kaysha on his side … though sadly not Lisa and fellow outcast Tara, as they’re less concerned about taking out the ‘jocks’ and more concerned about joining Josh and the zaddies to throw the challenge and finally get some freedom from the gloom.
Matty arrived for this week’s reward challenge where Sassy Dylan – as predicted by Adam – arrived to shade Chani for being sexist before Matt shared that they’d be competing in a muddy sumo challenge for drinking chocolate and biccies, aka smoko. Which TBH, I would love in the 40C heat. Josh – zaddy – made quick work of JT, as did Renee over Tess and Arun over Dylan. Out of nowhere Adam destroyed Dave, followed by Kaysha annihilating Eve before Liam and Matt battled it out and made me wish this challenge had more skin because it was glorious. Before my mind could wander too far, Josh beat Dave, Tess dominated Eve, Arun took one back over Matt, Liam beat Dylan, Kaysha beat Renee, Adam destroyed JT, Liam beat Dylan again and Kaysha bested Renee again before Josh secured victory for Khangkhaw against all odds over Arun.
The victorious Khangkhaw returned to camp and made quick work of the biscuits with Brad and Matt practically creaming their shorts thinking about how good they were. Meanwhile over at Chani everyone was feeling sad about missing out on said biscuits, though vowed that winning immunity is what matters and they need fight. Particularly Renee who feels way down the bottom and doesn’t feel like she has anyone that she can trust.
The next day we joined Kaysha who ran us through the alliances of Khangkhaw which seems eerily like they may be losing immunity. While she was concerned about Brad and Josh’s bromance, it is Tess and Adam that concern her. Feeling like Matt is on the bottom of the five-person alliance, she pulled him aside to continue building their relationship in the hope that she was parlay that into an alliance. That party was put on hold when Brad returned to camp to announce this week’s draw for a visit to The Outpost. Despite insinuating that Kaysha was rigging the draw, Josh pulled the short straw from Khangkhaw while JT did rig it for Arun to go for Chani.
The boys arrived at The Outpost to discover that this week’s visit didn’t come with a challenge and instead issued them a dilemma. They would each select one person from their tribe to not to attend the immunity challenge which in turn, would make them immune should their tribe lose. Josh and Arun then started talking with Arun making quick work of finding out what was going on at Khangkhaw and trying to form an alliance with Josh for down the track. Going one step further, Josh they identified everyone he wants to boot on Khangkhaw, while Arun stayed mum and tried to throw him off the scent. With the excitement out of the way, Josh suggested they both sit themselves out of the challenge with Josh following through and taking himself out, while Arun decided to stick with strength and sit Eve out.
Arun returned to camp and proceeded to share the dilemma with the rest of Chani, throwing Josh under the bus for taking himself out and telling Eve that she would be left out of the challenge … and would be immune should they lose. While Renee felt even worse about her place, Arun reiterated that Josh seemed not to care whether they win or lose and he felt they were going to throw it. Meanwhile over at Khangkhaw Josh shared that he was resting himself, filling his alliance with glee and making Kaysha realise just how little she meant to the rest of the tribe.
Everyone but Eve and Josh arrived for this week’s elaborate immunity challenge where the tribes were required to run an obstacle course while tethered together to grab balls. Once they had collected all their balls, they were to then use said balls and the chains from their legs to form bolas which they would use to toss at a ladder for victory. Chani got out to a huge lead, though it kind of seemed like Tess wasn’t hiding the fact she was throwing it, so it isn’t much of a surprise. Khangkhaw caught up at the first obstacle where they focused on hindering Chani’s progress. Sadly it was all for nought as they escaped the obstacle and managed to collect all the balls from the second obstacle before Khangkhaw arrived allowing Arun to snag his three bolas before Brad even had a chance to start tossing. Handing Chani their first victory.
Tess was feeling responsible for the loss, which she was, though her mild sadness didn’t fool Kaysha who was livid that she threw the challenge. While she desperately wanted her gone, she knew she didn’t have the numbers so was just hopeful she could flush her potential idol. Adam and Tess caught up to run the numbers with Tess starting to freak out while Adam tried to calm her down and assure her that worst case, they will play the idol to protect her. Meanwhile Dylan tried to do anything to survive just another day, approaching Josh to save him on account of being a superfan which truly is the worst thing you could try and sell. Brad joined Tess and Adam to lock in their vote for Dylan, while Kaysha and Dylan were hoping to convince everyone that he has an idol to force them to split the vote and muster up enough votes to take out Adam. Kaysha joined Matt, Brad and Tara to float the idea of a contingency plan in case Dylan plays his imaginary idol, slowly working them around to targeting Adam which they all appeared to agree with despite saying they couldn’t trust her. While Kaysha went to comfort Dylan, Brad took the plan to Lisa and then assured her that it wouldn’t happen and to still vote Dylan. Which works for her because she is an icon and getting rid of him bring some calm to camp which will allow her to continue laying low.
At tribal council Matt acknowledged their shock to finally arrive at tribal while Lisa said she’d rather not be ticking this off her Survivor bucket list. Dylan was quick to verbalise the fact that he is royally screwed and went in on the tribe for pretending they have been playing the game since day one. Adam mentioned he felt the tribe had one bad egg, whilst not actually saying it was Dylan whom he was sitting next to. This lead to an iconic moment, where Dylan turned to share everything he hated about Adam followed by Adam telling Dylan just why he hated him. In my head, they then made out and it was angry and sensual. Instead Adam shared that Dylan has been trying to get rid Tara, Tess and/or Brad, everyone, since day one. Adam then called him a snake, which Matty Chis shared that that is kind of the point. Adam quickly pointed out that he needs to be smarter about it, thats all and that he is playing the game too.
Lisa joined the fray saying she felt it was just 18 years of super-fandoming exploding in ten days and it may be too much for Dylan to overcome. Kaysha jumped in and broke down about how Dylan was being attacked before acknowledging that she too was feeling nervous. Sadly said nerves were well placed as the tight-five or whatever they’re calling themselves turned on her and sent her from the game as the fourth boot, much to the shock and horror of Dylan.
I was still struggling to comprehend what I was watching via the little camera feed Matt patches me from tribal when she arrived at Loser Lodge. I mean, sure, I should be used to losing one of the strong women based on the way things are going this season … but damn, that was a blindside yo. I continued talking like this for a good hour or so before I realised that Kaysha too was struggling to comprehend what just happened. While she was upset to lose the game, she is such a sweetheart that she couldn’t hold it against any of her tribemates. Though she definitely wanted Dylan to prevail in the battle, somehow. In any event, we were both so sad that we needed something hella comforting which led to us smashing a couple of bowls of Kaytshu Whakaurrau.
Rich creamy curry heaped over fresh, crispy katsu chicken and served on a bed of the fluffiest rice possible. What is there not to love? That, my friends, is comfort food.
Kaytshu Whakaurrau Serves: 6.
Ingredients 2-3 chicken breasts ½ cup flour salt and pepper 1 cup panko breadcrumbs 1 egg, lightly whisked 1 tbsp milk olive oil spray vegetable oil 2 onions, diced 3 garlic cloves, minced 1 tbsp minced ginger 500g chicken thighs, roughly diced 2 carrots, cut into rounds 1 potato, finely diced ¼ cup flour 1 tbsp curry powder 1 tbsp garam masala ¼ tsp cayenne pepper salt and pepper, to taste 1L chicken stock 1 tbsp honey 2 tbsp tamari 1 tbsp ketchup 1 cup long grain rice pickled daikon, to serve
Method Preheat oven to 180°C.
Beat the chicken breasts using the back of a frying pan until they’re roughly 1cm thick. Combine the flour and a good whack of salt and pepper in one bowl, the breadcrumbs in another and the egg and milk in a third. Coat the chicken in the flour, dusting off any excess before coating it in the egg wash, followed by the breadcrumbs. Place on a lined baking sheet and repeat with the remaining chicken.
Spray the chicken with a generous amount of olive oil spray and transfer to the oven for twenty minutes, or until golden, crisp and cooked through. Remove from oven and keep warm while you work on the rest of the components.
Place a good lug of oil in a pot over medium heat and sweat the onion, garlic and ginger for about five minutes, or until soft and fragrant. Add the chicken thighs and cook, stirring, until just starting to brown before adding the carrots and potatoes and cooking for a further couple of minutes. Add the flour, curry powder, garam masala and cayenne with a good whack of salt and pepper and cook for a couple of minutes, or until starting to come together. Stir through the stock, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for fifteen minutes, stirring occasionally.
Prepare the rice as per packet instructions.
When the curry is starting to come together, stir through the honey, tamari and ketchup and cook for a further five minutes. Remove from the heat and stay warm.
To serve, place a generous dollop of rice in a bowl. Slice the katsu into diagonal strips and place on top of the rice before topping with the curry. Serve with pickled daikon and devour, greedily.
The triumphant return of RuPaul’s Drag Race – not to be confused with RuPaul’s Best Friend Race – is but two weeks away. And before we hear someone tell Morgan or Shangie to come on through, on account of coming from season 2, I’ve still got a couple of countdown dates to share with you. And after hanging with Mimi and Latrice, I knew the only way to continue is with a date with the other half of Latrila, my girl Manila Luzon.
I’ve known Manila for years, meeting when she just young Karl in Minnesota – I was living in the neighbouring town of Mount Rose. We were both outsiders in our towns and somehow found each other at the Mall of America, and became the dearest of friends.
We started hanging out all the time and when we came of age, I encouraged her to go into drag. You’re welcome, obviously. Fun fact: I am also the one that told her it was a good idea to form a clique in season 3. My apologies, obviously.
Manila was so thrilled to death drop by and help me countdown to All Stars 3 and make up for not getting anything to eat after her losses.
“Heather, I’m so glad you shoes me to help you countdown. I am so sad you hadn’t bothered to cover my season, despite us being such close friends.”
Obviously she said that in a perfect Imelda Marcos accent.
And glad she was when she saw that I was cooking up her favourite meal, my Manila Lazone Chicken.
Like the lyrics of my girl Miley’s best song, this dish is the best of both worlds – chilling out, taking it slow with a rich, creamy pasta and rocking out the show with so hot and spicy chicken.
Dis good. Dis, real good. So enjoy!
Manila Lazone Chicken Serves: 2-4.
Ingredients 1 tbsp smoked paprika 3 garlic cloves, minced ½ tsp onion powder 1 tsp cayenne pepper couple of sprigs of oregano leaves, roughly chopped small handful of basil leaves, roughly chopped ½ lemon, zested and juiced 500g chicken breasts salt and pepper olive oil 500g linguine ¼ cup unsalted butter 500ml cream ⅓ cup grated parmesan small handful of parsley leaves, roughly chopped
Method Combine the paprika, a clove of garlic, onion powder, cayenne, oregano, basil and juice and zest of the lemon in a large bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper and a lug of olive oil. Mix thoroughly to combine before tossing through the chicken to coat. Cover and leave to marinate in the fridge for an hour or so.
When you’re ready to go, bring a large pot of salted water to the boil over high heat. Cook the pasta per packet instructions.
Heat half the butter in a large skillet over medium heat until foamy and glorious. Add the chicken and cook for five minutes on each side, flipping only once and pouring over the marinade as you go. Remove from the pan and keep warm.
In the same pan, add the remaining butter and sweat the remaining garlic over a low heat for a minute or so. Whisk in the cream and cook for about five minutes, or until slightly reduced. Season well, stir through the parsley and parmesan, and toss through the cooked pasta.
To serve, place a hearty layer of the creamy pasta in a bowl and top with the chicken, sliced in half at an angle. Devour.