Previously on Survivor after Heidi defeated Carson in fire and locked in the final three, the trio awoke the next morning to watch their final sunrise in Fiji and celebrate making it to the end. While Yam Yam was nervous about saying something stupid, sweet Carolyn assured him she will always sound stupider. At final tribal council the jury, under Matt’s leadership, were sweet and kind, asking leading questions to get the best out of each and every member of the final three. Despite Carson acting like the proudest stage mom towards Carolyn the entire time and Frannie praising her for changing her life, our sweet icon couldn’t muster a vote and landed in third place.
As Jeffrey tallied the votes there were one a piece for each Yam Yam and Heidi before the rest piled up on Yam Yam, leaving fire queen Heidi to finish as the runner-up thanks to her number 1, Danny. As Probst and Co reset for the After Show, I pulled Heidi aside and while I was still gutted for Carolyn, I held Heidi tight and praised her for a strong game with such a delightfully splashy finish.
While I have been a diehard Tika stan from the beginning, there is no denying how much of a dominating presence this season. Whether the edit showed that or not. She formed a tight pair with Danny early on, but her bonds with Frannie and Claire helped her control the premerge phase. Once the tribes came together, despite not realising Tika were playing them, it was Heidi that helped the Soka tribe winning out over Ratu, paving her way to the end. And TBH, if Tika weren’t lighting in a bottle, she would have easily run off with the season like the modern era Kim Spradlin.
Instead, she had to settle for being the runner-up and a big plate of Heidi Lagarissoles-Greenblatt as her prize.
While rissoles cop a lot of flack for being a basic meal, there is something so life affirming about them. Maybe because you can literally pop anything in – well, almost – and be guaranteed a delicious, warming meal.
Heidi Lagarissoles-Greenblatt Serves: 4-6.
Ingredients 500g chicken mince 3 garlic cloves, minced 1 zucchini, grated ½ cup peas ¾ cup breadcrumbs 1 lemon, zested 2 tbsp parsley, roughly chopped 1 egg kosher salt and pepper, to taste olive oil
Method Combine the mince, garlic, zucchini, pea, breadcrumbs, zest, parsley and egg in a large bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper. Scrunch until well combined. Using wet hands, form into 12 equal sized patties, place on a lined plate and transfer to the fridge to chill for half an hour or so.
Pop a good lug of oil in a skillet over medium heat and once nice and hot, cook the rissoles four at a time for about 5 minutes before flipping and cooking for a further few minutes, or until cooked through. Repeat the process until done.
Serve with salad or a little mash before devouring, like a solid runner-up.
Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race the top four returned to the Werk Room ready for a triumphant final lap on their way to the finale before Ru gagged them with the fact there would only be a top three this year. Meaning after the rumix and film clip, one of the dolls would claim a final win and another would suffer the unkindest cut of all. Obviously Sasha was perfection from start to finish, while Luxx’s songwriting skills took her through to the finale with Sasha. At the other end of the pack, Mistress getting in her head and Anetra’s not-sure-why were all it took to land them in the bottom. Thankfully forcing Mama Ru’s hand as she finally dished out a double save to keep our very deserving top four intact.
Before we get to the finale though, we have to reunite and sadly the only way out of a season is through. As such, the dolls all took their places on the Ace Theatre stage in alphabetical order – that is Amethyst, Anetra, Aura, Irene, Jax, Loosey, Luxx, Malaysia, Marcia Cubed, Mistress, Princess, Robin, Salina, Sasha and Sugar and Spice, the latter two being out of order on a technicality since they were treated as a sole entity. After reminding us that American politics is a total dumpster fire riddled hellscape, Ru addressed Mistress’ passion for kleptomania – relatable – with her admitting to taking books, earrings and some wigs. Before she gagged us with the fact that Anetra stole things from the set too. In the form of lightbulbs.
Given reunions are generally pretty talk heavy and boring, we will stick to the highlights. The first being how delightful Sugar and Spice were! The former was proud to have learnt how strong she is which Spice tried to reiterate, until she lost her train of thought. Mistress admitted that while she didn’t vibe straight away, she was thrilled by how quickly they won her over and is proud to now have them as her daughters. We then got a supercut of the eras with Irene relishing her screen time era while Sugar was in her nail era, despite not wearing nails. Talk turned to the dolls passion for making it a top two each week before it turned into reading Loosey for always thinking she should win. Until Sasha reminded the dolls that in most of these battles, she took out the win which is all that truly matters.
It then turned into a compliment sandwich as Amethyst spilt the tea that before being cast, Loosey spoke about winning everything if she ever competed when working together at da clurb, before my dear friend Kevin Bacon dialled in to praise Loosey for her Dragloose performance. Oh and then the dolls read Loosey for not letting loose when singing her song, let loose.
We addressed the lip syncs of the season, with Sasha and Anetra’s from Lalaparuza still amazing everyone. Anetra was also present in the best of the season, with Marcia Cubed and hot damn, I still wish it was a double save. Irene praised Anetra for being a killer performer, and I love how wholesome it is. They pivoted back to the Lalaparuza, choices, with Malaysia still pretending she wasn’t going for the easy kill in Marcia. Talk then turned to everyone not thinking Mistress beat Jax in the lip sync and ugh, I love her confidence and also now think how boring this season would have been without her.
Robin and Amethyst’s history came up again with the former thinking Amethyst was a little deluded, while they both reiterated the importance of not shitting where you eat. Talk turned to crushes on the season with Aura admitting she is hot for Princess, despite the fact she is getting married.
Coco Montrese dialled in to ask Marcia about her make-up skills, with her proud of how much she has improved. Oh and she is releasing a make-up line, with Aura asking if it would just be eye liner. Which is a hilarious read. Asia dialled in to ask Sasha who her favourite drag performer is, with her opting for Monica Monroe. DeJa called in to ask Robin for a Best Buy discount – like an icon – Aquaria asked why Irene trolled the dolls online all season, with Irene essentially admitting she just wanted to be involved. Which is awkward since Mistress blocked her. Maybe. Derrick asked Loosey if she blames it on the edit. Robin’s mother asked Mistress why she came for her daughter in the first episode, with Mistress reminding them she was just in her chaotic era and nothing more. Aura’s mum asked Spice why she wanted Aura in the bottom in Snatch Game, given she would have been sent home if she faced off against her baby.
We finally got to see more of the reading challenge and damn, Salina was glorious. Ru opened the library for the eliminated dolls, with Sugar hilariously reading Robin’s screen time before Spice asked to read Sugar. Princess read Aura for being a torn bottom and Loosey for her lack of taste, while Irene read Sasha for being beautiful. Oh and Salina hates Irene, apparently based on her epic eyerolls. Talk turned to the many gates of the season ad yeah, the dolls loved to fight. And I love them for that. Malaysia admitted she just didn’t realise Luxx was trolling her during Metalgate, Loosey admitted she didn’t have a bump during Babybumpgate and Loosey just felt like Mistress was just always coming for her during Heavengate. While Anetra just loved everyone else’s drama. Oh and things turned to 40-inch gate with Luxx finally admitting she just likes to round up.
Ru turned our attention to some of the best looks we didn’t get to see from the eliminated queens with Amethyst living for her rip it to shreds look, Aura’s Bey runway was stunning, Malaysia’s glove look was perfect Mrs Clause, Irene’s Miss Cleo puffer look was stunning, with Sugar thanking her for all her looks and admitted she looked forward to her posting them each week. Oh and then Maddy Morphosis dialled in to announce Salina won the Golden Boot of the season – for the metal street sign look – with her thrilled to finally win something.
Talk returned to the hateful drag bills with Robin speaking at Yale Law given most of the lawmakers have graduated from there, and Yale wanted to take a stand. Irene reminded everyone that the laws are not just targeting drag queens and they are actually designed to hurt the trans community, with Sasha agreeing that she feels particularly targeted and nervous about the bills, but also reminded her sisters that it means they are doing something right because they have them scared. Thus legislating against people living their lives and bringing joy to the world. Oh and then the queer Connecticut Caucus dialled in to thank their queens, with Loosey breaking down to see how much support they have from their little state.
Ru offered everyone a chance to clear the air, with Irene asking Mistress if she made up that Loosey said she was shocked Irene had had filler given she was saggy. Anetra admitted that in addition to the lightbulbs, she also stole Amethyst’s baby – for Snatch Game – before talk turned to social media backlash, with Mistress thanking the sisters that spoke out when she and Luxx were getting hate. We then got a recap of the top four’s run, most importantly being the moment Anetra walked that fucking duck into our hearts. Luxx’s stunning Visage couture runway perfection, Mistress’ camp ridiculousness in Daytona Wind and Sasha in the rumix, since they had to narrow it down to just moment. Despite the fact she slayed each and every week.
Once the dolls finished their kiki, I confidently stomped onto stage – maybe channelling Anetra’s duck – and tapped Luxx on the shoulder to let her know it was her time for a celebratory catch-up. Of course she wondered why the future winner of the season wasn’t saved for last, until I explained that I based the last two dates on wins – All Winners All Stars style – meaning since Anetra and Sasha had more, she had to settle for the reunion. And while she didn’t love my TEDTalk style explanation, her mood drastically improved upon seeing the Luxx Tiknoir Lasagdon come out of the oven.
While this number is new to my heart – thanks again, Alan Carr! – there is no denying its perfection. The fusion little UK number is the perfect combination of spicy, sweet and comforting, which coincidentally is how I would describe Luxx’s run this season.
Heat a lug of oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat and saute the onion, garlic and ginger for five minutes, or until soft and sweet. Add the garam masala, cumin, paprika and chilli powder and cook for a further minute to release the flavours. Add the chicken mince and cook, breaking up lumps with the wooden spoon for a few minutes, or until browned. Stir in the canned tomatoes, 2 tablespoons of the butter, muscovado sugar, ½ cup of milk and the Greek yoghurt. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for about ten minutes to reduce slightly. Season to taste and stir in the lime zest and juice. Remove from the heat.
Meanwhile, melt the remaining butter in a saucepan over low heat. Once foamy, stir in the flour and cook for a couple of minutes. Remove from the heat, season and whisk in the remaining milk, before returning to the heat and bringing to the boil for a couple of minutes. Remove from the heat.
To assemble, add enough meat sauce to cover the base of a large baking dish. Layer over a third of the pasta, followed by a third of the bechamel and then, you guessed it, a third of the cheese. Repeat the process from meat, to pasta, bechamel and cheese until you finish with a cheesy top before transferring to the oven to bake for 40 minutes, or until cooked through. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for a further half an hour before devouring, like an icon.
Previously on Australian Survivor Simon was still blissfully under the assumption that he had an idol in his possession. And while we may not know what, if anything, he found in the cookie jar, one thing we can be certain of is that the producers are going to love however it blows up in his face. Hayley meanwhile successfully threw an immunity challenge, desperate to break the (Australian) winner’s curse. And since Rogue was on her tribe, she felt it was kind of a safe bet. Sadly Shaun got a clue to an idol from David and Sam, and while the trio of allies vowed to find and use it together, Shaun jagged it for himself – his first real one! – and decided now might be the right time to turn the tide against Hayley. Thankfully for our Queen, RogueRogued and offended her tribe one final time and got herself booted. Though not before doing a you-can’t-fire-me-I-quit plea to be booted.
The next day the Villains were enjoying the peace of a restful sleep after their first night off while Jordie and Fraser bonded over wanting to be arseholes instead of being on 24/7. And by being on, essentially they wanted to do nothing, stop helping and piss by the shelter, which speaks to my desire to retire by 40 on a deep, deep level. Simon however was not being lazy, lopping bamboo and being useful while Jordie and George joined him to help out and reinforce the shelter. Jordie opened up to us about how bossy Simon can be and while they both wanted George out, his temper is making working with Simon difficult. Right on cue, Simon yelled at George for getting distracted too easily and well, it was awkward and everyone just looked like they were embarrassed. For Simon.
Jordie realised that the boys were a tight four, while the girls and George were also bonded and as such, caught up with George to float the idea of working together to protect each other from their factions. Despite the fact Jordie knew it could come back to bite him, should they get caught.
Meanwhile over at the Heroes camp, the tribe were thrilled to be free of Rogue’s attitude and feeling well and truly zen again. Hayley was thrilled to have broken the curse, while Benjamin and Sharni were busy bonding while tidying and being super helpful and ugh, it is so damn wholesome. We then got a deep dive on Benjamin and his career, though I was across most of it given he is my hero. Being kind and crafty, he suggested the tribe whip up a fake idol together and while you would assume it was to benefit the entire tribe come swap, it made David, Flick and Sam feel like they cannot trust him. David and Sam caught up with Shaun, who was wisely keeping the fact he has the real idol a secret before the brainstrust went hunting along the shore. While Shaun giggled about outsmarting them, knowing that playing like a hero didn’t exactly serve him well during his first season.
The tribes joined up with my love JLP for the reward challenge where they would battle in pairs to knock barrels off a deck, with the first tribe to three scoring a tower of baked goods. And well, let’s just say, when I saw I snag roll I practically creamed my jeans, while Liz questioned whether the bread was ciabatta or sourdough, while Shonee was just looking for assurances it all came with a balsamic glaze. Like damn icons. First up were Stevie and Simon versus Shaun and Ben with the Heroes taking the point due to Simon not letting Stevie toss anything. Sam and Hayley then faced off against Jordie and George with George’s fire to best Hayley taking out the point for the Villains. Shonee and Fraser took on sweet Gerry and Matt with the Heroes quickly putting Shonee out of her misery before Paige and David defeated Sarah and Liz, handing the reward to Heroes.
Ideally for us to discover the pastries are actually raw when they return to camp.
Back at camp they learnt the producers had once again trolled them, this time spreading 11 treats out in front of them with the person who read the note – Sam – getting to decide who got to eat what. Hayley got a croissant, Paige got the meat pie, Sharni got a full loaf of bread, Gerry got a snag roll – lucky king – David got a choccie cake, Flick got a cupcake, Nina got a donut, Benjamin got a party pie, Matt a lamington, Shaun got a spongelog – and the realisation that Sam is out of his depth in the game – while Sam kept himself a slice of gluten free toast. Aka loyal to an absolute fault.
After smashing the food, Hayley got back to work hunting for an idol while Shaun watched on. Realising he had to do something to distract Sam and David from the fact he actually had the idol, Shaun told them he caught Hayley catching the idol and as such, they spread it like wildfire throughout camp. Hayley being the best player in the camp, pulled Shaun aside realising something was off between them and tried to find what the problem was. Which thankfully, finally made Shaun realise that it is stupid to vote out Hayley already, given she is a clear threat and as such distracts from the fact he is ten feet and looks stunning in a speedo.
The tribes caught up with Jonathan again for the immunity challenge where the tribes would race to push a heavy cart through a course to collect fire making equipment before lighting a fire to release a bag of coconuts. Aka the final four firemaking challenge on a massive scale. Despite being far weaker on paper, the Villains got out to an early lead before everyone fought over wood. With Stevie climbing it to make things hard for the Heroes like a damn icon. Deciding they had enough, the Villains powered to the end of the course while the Heroes focused on getting as many supplies as possible. The villains were first to make it to the end with Stevie getting to work on the fire as the rest of the tribe tried to figure out the best place to build the bonfire in the conditions. After lighting the torch, the Villains built a tall structure in a race against time as the Heroes closed the gap. Though way too slowly as the Villains took out the win before the Heroes even lit their fire.
Back at camp Sam was busy speculating whether they take out Ben for being shifty – which I repeat, he wasn’t – or Gerry for having an injured foot. Ben, Shaun, Flick, Sharni and Nina caught up by the well, agreeing how difficult the upcoming vote will be given they don’t have a Rogue. Nina suggested getting rid of Gerry would make sense given he is injured and while everyone felt bad about losing such a sweet man, Sharni tried to rationalise it as something that may save him from further injury in the long run. But damn does she hate the idea. After everyone disappeared, Sharni admitted she won’t be writing Gerry’s name down to Nina with her suggesting they get rid of Ben instead, for being shifty. This plan spread like wildfire and while Hayley was not a fan of the idea, given she and Ben are so close, she knew she wasn’t safe enough to make any demands.
Sadly for her laying low wasn’t keeping her safe anyway as Sam, David and Matt decided now would be a perfect time to blindside Hayley, given everyone is distracted, so got to work trying to find two more to get rid of her. While Nina gave some non-committal assurances, Shaun was not so thrilled about blindsiding his new ally and despite pretending it doesn’t bother him, it spurred him into action. First he told Flick what was happening before the duo approached Sam and David, assuring them that while Hayley needs to go before the merge, now is not the right time and as such, they need to see sense and not cause more chaos than they need to.
At tribal council David was surprised they were back at tribal council, while Flick spoke about how much more difficult tonight’s tribal council is compared to the last one, given they all get along. Ben was hopeful everyone was on the same page, though was nervous about blowing things up, given the last vote actually created some harmony. Hayley spoke about being worried that the upcoming vote won’t create the factions they think, while sweet Gerry was concerned his injury would be his undoing, given everyone is friendly. Ben felt like everyone should be nervous, while Gerry was the only one willing to cop to feeling like he will be receiving votes tonight.
Gerry spoke about being strong in challenges and at camp, with Shaun reiterating he has done so much for all of them and while he is still strong, he has an injury and anything will make you a target. After pointing out Gerry can’t vote for himself, Hayley begged him not to vote for her – lol – before Jonathan dropped the bomb that while they are voting someone out tonight, it is actually to send them to the Villains tribe. And should they survive their exile for two days – aka, through the next tribal council – they will return back to the Heroes camp with a tonne of intel. Which is a good twist (finally), as it could actually go either way for the person voted out and the tribe as a whole, meaning the way forward is murky.
This gagged the tribe with Shaun suggesting they get to whispering to figure out who to vote for, while Hayley suggested they should vote for a clearly loyal person, given they will give the Villains nothing and the Heroes everything upon their return. Ben meanwhile wanted to send someone that would cause chaos, while Gerry told them to focus on sending an asset. Nina meanwhile pointed out that while you want to send a spy that won’t be offended, there is still the risk that the person could just be voted out by the Villains next. Hayley smartly asked whether the Villains would know how it all transpired, with JLP assuring them it will only be what the Heroes tell them.
Paige meanwhile suggested she would be happy to go, while everyone else whispered to lock in the Gerry vote. As Nina jumped on the Paige bandwagon, telling the tribe it was easy, Paige continued to push to go for the star moment, while Sam suggested they vote someone that makes sense to have been voted out that they’d also be willing to lose given it isn’t a guarantee they come back. Which obviously made Gerry nervous as he asked who Sam was suggesting then. And ugh, Sam, you were so damn close to making a compelling argument, why did you have to go and tell the person you’re about to vote as a spy that they are expendable? With that the tribe voted, sending sweet Gerry over to the Villains for the weekend. And thanks to Sam’s blunder, he was taking a little bit of a bruised ego which should thankfully make things a little interesting.
As Gerry arrived at the Villains camp, everyone was fast asleep as he quietly crawled into the shelter to try and gently wake someone up. As he alerted Simon – who hilariously thought it was Sam – he pulled him in for a hug, while the rest of the tribe awoke to welcome him. Well except for George, who was annoyed that he scored a better spot in the shelter and after sassing him out, told us that it was critical that he makes sure he woos Gerry before Simon does. And well, who is going to tell him it may be too late already?
We checked in with the Heroes where Sharni was regalling the Meat Tray with stories of waking up and punching a crab. And while they seemed close, Sharni shared that she was just flexing her acting muscles – or chops, even – given she is so annoyed with them for risking Gerry despite Paige wanting to go to the other tribe. While Shaun tried to explain that voting for Gerry made the most sense, it didn’t make Sharni feel any less annoyed by how it all went down behind his back.
We returned to the Villains camp where Simon interrupted George and Gerry bonded, while George stared daggers at him. Fraser joined the conversation to see if he knew he was copping votes the previous night, with the sweet man proving to have a few sly tricks up his sleeve as he expertly spun a lie. And well Gerry, he was just feeling all the love from the tribe and was grateful for how friendly and kind they all are and as such, his loyalty was already wavering. Particularly since they were happy for him to be expendable. We then learnt about Gerry’s life on Fraser Island and all the hardship he has experienced and ugh, just like Sharni, I want only good things for him. As Simon continued to suck up to Gerry, George went person to person, pointing out how obvious Simon was being to try and woo him as a number. And George, maybe stop complaining and start befriending?
The tribes reunited with Jonathan for the latest reward challenge with George sassily asking the Heroes to explain why they voted out Gerry before learning that one at a time they would face off one on one to knock their opponent’s idol off a disc. With the first tribe to three getting a huge collection of supplies and a piping hot lasagne. Or not, who knows? It could be frozen. Sam and Simon were first to do battle with Simon tragically dropping his, leading to a smug little dance from Sam. Shonee was next up against Flick, with our Queen tying things up before George and Hayley faced off, with Hayley obviously putting Heroes back out in front. Jordie and Shaun were up next with Jordie wisely tossing his in the air as he slapped Shaun’s to the ground, once again tying things up leaving Simon and David to battle out for reward with Simon botching the toss strategy as the Heroes jagged the win.
But hey, at least George got some intel from Hayley that he should trust Gerry.
Back at the ever improving Heroes camp, derpy Sam was thrilled with their latest haul as he carved up one of the three lasagnes for the tribe to devour. The spirits were obviously very high, but only got higher as Matt discovered pictures from home. We met David’s girlfriend who made him break down in tears, while Matt showed off a picture of him proposing to his girlfriend – post nervous poo – Hayley showed the day she bought a house, Benjamin spoke about his high school sweetheart Scott, we met Sharni’s grandfather, Sam’s girlfriend, Sandra got a photo cameo, Megan Gale graced our screens, Flick’s boyfriend made a return before Paige sobbed talking about her grandmother who passed away a few months earlier and ugh, I’m crying too.
Meanwhile the Villains were busy working, with Stevie getting them all on firewood duty while George quickly started working on Gerry. He pulled him aside and told him that Hayley told him to trust Gerry before Geroge spilled the tea on what was going on within the tribe, before they both offered up their allies and vowed to work together. While sweet Gerry proved to also be shrewd, knowing that he now holds the power to choose between George and Simon. And without the heroes realising, he can return to them with a new tribe of allies to bring them down. And FUCK YES, rise King Gerry.
The tribes joined JLP on a beach for the next immunity challenge where the heroes announced that they got photos from home. Which made Gerry look ready to kill. But back to the challenge, where they would race out to a boat, row it into shore and drag it up the beach before crawling under a net and tying their paddles into a pole to release a key which they would use to unlock blocks which they would then use to solve a word puzzle. While the tribes were neck and neck at the start, Shaun being a man mountain let the Heroes take the lead as he propped up the net and let the tribe breeze through. The Villains desperately tried to close the gap with once again, the puzzle proving to be the great equaliser. The Villains were first to get their letters ready while the Heroes figured out the phrase. Clearly out of their depth, the Villains vowed to just copy off the Heroes as Ben straight up signed the answer to Paige to slow them down. With the Heroes solving the puzzle a fraction ahead of the Villains.
Back at camp Simon was well and truly over the losses, while the tribe tried to rally and keep morale up. As everyone split up, Simon quickly locked in the plan to vote out George with Fraser however it was all reliant on Gerry. But given he had clearly warmed to Geroge, Simon instead tried to woo Sarah to his side. She was obviously in on the plan, telling Simon she knows he is a snake and as such, wants to get rid of him as quickly as possible. Simon took the information back to Fraser with the duo celebrating how easily it came together, as George watched on, assuming they were coming for him.
George caught up with Shiz by the well with George talking about how horribly Simon treats him and as such, he is willing to get rid of him ASAP. While George was confident they had Sarah and Gerry in their corner to make a move, Shiz both cautioned him that Sarah isn’t as loyal as he thinks and as such, suggested that maybe they should consider targeting her instead. And while Geroge was happy with the plan, he was also worried that she would push him down the stairs quicker than you can say Miss Greece. As such, George approached Gerry to let him know about the plan with Gerry quickly jumping on board. Talk turned to who would be the best person to rope in as a fifth, with them settling on Stevie, given he is another old boy. Sadly Stevie was not thrilled to blindside Sarah at first, given he is very close with Simon, though knew that getting rid of her takes him one step closer to the switch.
Stevie wisely caught up with Gerry to talk through what they should do, with Gerry reminding him that things change minute by minute and he needs to go with the flow. Stevie then approached Fraser to check if they are voting for George or Sarah, with the eavesdropping Simon wondering how Sarah became an option all of a sudden and grew all the more confused as they headed out for their date with JLP.
At tribal council Gerry spoke about how welcomed he was by his fellow Villains, while George spoke about how great it was to get a new member, particularly one that slotted right into the tribe. Shonee felt like Gerry fit in with them, given they are kind of lovely despite their love for some cheeky villanousness. George reiterated how grateful he was to have Gerry in his corner, while he was focused on making sure that the person they vote out tonight is the biggest risk to flip on the tribe post swap. As hell froze over, Simon agreed that was the wisest move while Jordie implied a tribe swap was imminent which upset JLP, given he sets the rules. While George, Simon and Jordie appeared to be on the same page, Stevie spoke about being worried about just following, rather than making the move that benefits him. Jordie spoke about voting for the shiftiest while Sarah was focused on sticking with the people she trusts. As George stared at Simon and Jordie, willing them to flip and take her out.
With that the tribe voted, George held onto his idol and once again, Simon got cold feet ahead of the vote, joining with the Shiz crew to blindside Sarah. As she arrived at Loser Lodge, Sarah quickly proved how she became a champion beauty queen, acting poised and charming as I pulled her in for a hug. I congratulated her on playing a solid game, telling her that if this had been a season of just newbies, I truly believe she would have taken it all the way and well, that was enough to cheer her up before I served up a fresh batch of piping hot Chicken and Sarah Marschkroom Baos.
There is nothing I love more than a glorious steamed bun, and this lighter chicken version is truly delicious. Sweet and earthy, it warms even the coldest of villains. And could even guarantee nobody is pushed down the stairs, or anything.
Chicken and Sarah Marschkroom Baos Serves: 4.
Ingredients 7g sachet dry yeast ¾ cup warm water 2 cups flour 1 cup cornflour 5 tbsp raw caster sugar ¼ cup vegetable oil 2 ½ tsp baking powder canola oil 5 garlic cloves, minced 1 tbsp minced ginger 2 cups shiitake mushrooms, sliced salt and pepper 500g chicken mince ⅓ cup chopped chives 1 tbsp truffle oil
Method In the large bowl of an electric mixer, dissolve the yeast into the water and let it rest until it is foamy and glorious.
While that is frothing away, sift the flour, cornflour and sugar together. When the yeast is ready, add the flour and oil.
Using a dough hook, turn the mixer on to the lowest setting and leave to knead for about 5 minutes or until a small ball is formed. Place in a large oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth and allow to prove for 2 hours.
While the dough is working on proving itself to you, get to work on the meat mixture.
Heat a lug of canola oil in a large frying pan and saute garlic and ginger for a minute or so, or until nice and fragrant. Add the mushrooms and cook for five minutes or so, or until soft. Remove from heat, season and allow to cool completely. Once chill, combine the shiitakes, mince, chives, and truffle oil in a bowl and scrunch until well combined.
After the dough has made something of itself, return it to the bowl of the mixer, add the baking powder and knead it again on the lowest setting until it is smooth again, adding water a teaspoon at a time if it looks too dry. Trust your gut here people, I did. Cover with a damp cloth and leave to rest for 15 minutes.
While resting, cut out ten 10x10cm squares of baking paper and add water to the steamer and bring to the boil.
When ready, roll the dough out into a long tube and divide into ten pieces. Flatten each piece into a 12cm diameter disc, leaving more dough towards the centre, add a good chunk of the filling and bring the dough together to close the bun at the top. Place on a square of parchment and repeat the process until all done.
Steam the buns for 12 minutes over high heat, three or four at a time depending on the size of your steamer, making sure the water does not touch the buns. Then devour, gleefully, with your fave condiments.
Previously on All Winners the dolls were challenged with creating viral TikTok dances to sell their brand. Before that star-rich Trinity joked about wanting another star to poor single-starred Shea and Monet. While the last girl without being blocked Raja just desperately wanted to join the club. While everyone was strong in selling themselves and their brand, it was Jinkx with the least dance moves that stole the show as she hilariously made a sandwich. After following Ru’sMonet shone brightly, while Yvie gave moves that will totally be going viral. And obviously Raja was an icon. Because she is. Ultimately though it was Jinkx and Monet that landed in the top before they slayed the iconic spoken word lip sync from Designing Women. Monet’s usual schtick was enough to snatch the win over her sister before she gladly blocked an equally happy Raja.
Backstage the dolls were living their best lives, none more so than Monet who was just excited to finally have another star. And ever the competitive optimist, now she was looking to finish with the most. The Viv was proud of her sisters for serving spoken word, with Trinity more jealous that she couldn’t participate rather than not jagging a win. Talk turned to how Raja would take the fact there is no plunger secret, which obviously cued her entry. And damn was she hilarious as she entered pissed, frustrated and so cute as she called them all cunts. I feel like a broken record, but the moment was iconic. Trinity then pointed out that Jinkx and Jaida are now in front with three stars each before congratulating Jinkx on winning 4 mother tucking challenges. Shea and Monet meanwhile were talking about their uphill battle to make it to the end before Jinkx sweetly dropped by and told them that if anyone could win the last two challenges and make it, it is Shea.
And Monet, which obviously made Shea feel less special.
The next day Kennedy Davenport hijacked Rumail to announce that the Kennedy Davenport Center Honors nominees were about to be named. Which was all explained when Ru arrived, as for this week’s Maxi Challenge they were all tasked with roasting their fellow nominees – or sisters – in honour of the iconic Kennedy Davenport. In front of Ronan Farrow, no less. More importantly, the order would be decided by fate as the pit crew arrived for a little mini challenge where the queens would have to pop a balloon against one of the zaddies bums. With the colour of the confetti in their balloon deciding their position. In the challenge, obviously.
Jaida topped her way to 7th place, Trinity thrust into 5th, Jinkx struggled her way into 4th – insert they’re all bottoms joke here – Monet quickly fucked into 6th, Yvie jagged 2nd, Shea busted into 3rd, while Raja brought sexy back before dominating her man into first. Leaving The Viv to close the show without even needing to pop her cherry. Though bless, she was still allowed.
After everyone had a cigarette and calmed down, they split up to work on their sets with Jinkx confident to be playing within her wheelhouse. Though kindly asked her sisters if there was anything off limits she should avoid. Jinkx admitted she was struggling to write for The Viv, while The Viv was more concerned about her jokes getting lost in translation. Shea, Trinity, Yvie and Jaida caught up, with Shea scared about getting enough stars by the finale, while Jaida and Yvie were terrified about popping their roast cherries. Though Yvie was ready to do her best. Jinkx and Monet joined the fray, with the latter reminding everyone she won the All Stars roast. And that Trinity lost. Badly. She meanwhile was nervous about overcoming one of her weaknesses, with Jinkx offering to pay her back for her design challenge kindnesses and help her out in any way possible.
Shea was first to run through her set with Ross and Solomon Georgio and was so damn charming. While Jaida just tried to flatter her way through it all, Monet was in her element, Raja was cruel and totally silly and I love it. The Vivienne unwisely looked to be reading Ru, while Jinkx was having the time of her life. Trinity slowly started to get out of her head and power through the nerves, while Yvie was just being Yvie. In the highest of all compliments.
Performance Day arrived as everyone split up to beat their mugs, with Yvie ready to be read though unsure what people will be able to find to say about her. Monet meanwhile wanted everyone to go in on her, hard, while Shea was just terrified given if she doesn’t win this challenge, it is highly unlikely she has a path to get to the end. Monet and Trinity meanwhile pulled themselves aside to strategise who to block and while they thought they were being super subtle, everyone knew what was up. And well, Jinkx was thrilled to call them out about it. Again. Raja and Yvie meanwhile wanted to catch their way up, while Jinkx grew panicked about potentially being blocked tonight, given it could cost her making it to the end. And she really wants to beat her competition bestie Monet in the end.
Ru, Michelle and Ross were joined by Ronan Farrow on the judges panel as the dolls made their way to the stage to open the Kennedy Davenport Center Honors Hall of Shade. Where icon Peppermint’s daughter Wintergreen gave the introductory address, a monologue delivered by Kennedy herself during her runs on the show. Which was everything. Raja opened the show and as usual, she was absolutely delightful and living her best life, as she just straight up vibed. Yvie went low and was oh so good and Shea was stunning as she charmingly destroyed her sisters before Jinkx absolutely dominated from start to finish, weaving big dicks and incest into an epic set. I mean, that timing! Trinity meanwhile did a killer job with zinger after zinger before Monet read her for filth for it, and then eviscerated all of her sisters. And it was so damn good. Jaida was cute and charming, despite her nerves. Well, until she just started reading herself, then she was gold. Before The Viv closed the show in brutal fashion. And it was perfect.
On the All Glowed Up runway Raja was stunning as an iridescent butterfly, Yvie was perfection as an illuminated mushroom patch, Shea was a gorgeously shimmering sunflower and Jinkx was a gloriously burning witch and ugh, it was amazing. Trinity was a neon carnival delight, Monet served sexy solar system realness, Jaida was a beautiful mermaid, though after dark, before The Vivienne closed the show as a gorgeous rainbow angel.
Before critiquing the dolls, Ru announced that this week the rules would be changing and nobody would be getting blocked. Since they want everyone on a level playing field for the final challenge. More importantly, the judges lived for how mean Raja was in the roast and for looking architectural and stunning on the runway. Yvie received praise for sticking to her vibe and serving a gorgeous runway. Shea meanwhile received universal praise for her stunning runway and for bringing power to her roast. Jinkx was obviously universally beloved, even though the judges had epically high expectations for her. Oh and they lived for her concept on the runway. Trinity too was universally beloved, from the roast to the runway and well, this was redemption. The judges lived for everything Monet gave them in the roast and for serving something classy and creative on the runway. While Jaida was clearly nervous in the challenge, they lived for how she powered through but more importantly, they thought her runway was absolutely perfect. Oh and the obviously adored The Viv for being dominant in every facet of the week.
Backstage Trinity was thrilled to finally deliver in a roast on the show while Wintergreen straight up shot the show in drag. Until the girls convinced her to join them for a kiki, and encouraged her to take Wintergreen out on the road. Wintergreen in turn praised the girls for all that they do and how hard they work. Everyone donned their dressing gowns, grateful to be out of the runways given they were so uncomfortable. Yvie thanked everyone for being such killer artists and making them all better. Everyone praised Trinity for finally turning things around, while she pointed out that everyone is great. Particularly Shea, who didn’t even have notes. Shea in turn pointed out that while she is last place when it comes to stars, she has had such a fun journey with everyone that it doesn’t even matter to her.
Ronan Farrow then dropped by and well, I want his suit so badly. It was killer. As was Jinkx wanting to bone him. So badly.
Ultimately it was Jinkx and Trinity that landed in the top before battling it out to Ava Max’s Kings & Queens. And well, Jinkx was a camp and poppy delight and it was oh so unexpected, I lived for every damn minute out it. Trinity was obviously on point with the comedy and all the lyrics, but there was no taking your eyes off Jinkx. I mean, she even did a damn cartwheel. Almost. Which proved to be enough to give her the ultimate win and net her another $10K.
Given how well she did in the challenge, it was kind of awkward to pull The Vivienne aside for some commiserations. Given she did THAT. That being said, she was disappointed to not land in the top, though the sight of her favourite scouser – me – made her feel so much better. I reminded her that like Raja, Shea and Monet before her, the number of wins and stars really don’t matter, given she has been so damn strong all season. I mean, the level of talent has been insane and The Vivienne has been the one to shine brightest. Which gave me the perfect excuse to reward her fire with equally fiery The Vivikorean Fire Pockets.
Another Brendan Pang number from Masterchef, these barely tweaked delights are the ultimate snack. Earthy, sweet and oh-so-spicy, they are the perfect snack for a cold rainy day or with an ice cold beer in the sweltering heat. So, like, whenever, I guess?
The Vivikorean Fire Pockets Serves: 4.
Ingredients 2 cups plain flour, plus extra for dusting 1 cup water salt, to taste 500g chicken mince 4 shallots, finely chopped 2 garlic cloves, minced 2 tbsp gochujang 1 tbsp light soy sauce 1 tsp rice wine vinegar 1 tsp ground white pepper 1 tsp Korean chilli flakes ½ tbsp minced ginger ½ tsp raw caster sugar ½ tsp sesame oil 1 cup grated vintage cheddar vegetable oil, for fryin’
Method Combine the flour and water in a bowl with a good pinch of salt, mixing with a fork until it has all come together. Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead until nice and elastic. Transfer to an oiled bowl, cover and leave to rest for about half an hour.
Pop the chicken, shallots, garlic, gochujang, soy, vinegar, pepper, chilli, ginger, sugar and sesame oil in a larger bowl and scrunch with your hand until well combined.
Divide the dough into 8 portions and working one at a time, roll them out into a 20cm round. Place a couple of tablespoons of filling into the centre and top with a tablespoon of cheese. Working with your index finger and thumb, fold the dough towards the centre on top to enclose, pleating as you go until sealed. Place on a lined plate or baking sheet and repeat the process until done.
When it comes time to cook, heat a couple of tablespoons of the vegetable oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Once nice and hot, place half the pockets in, pleated side down, and cook for about five minutes, or until golden and crisp. Flip and repeat the process for another five minutes. Transfer to a lined plate and add a little extra cheese to gently melt over the pleats and repeat the process with the remaining pockets.
Then obviously, serve immediately with a drizzle of Korean chilli oil. Before devouring. Greedily.
Previously on Survivor despite blowing up his game at tribal council as he threw anyone and everyone under the bus, Daniel opted against apologising to his former allies. While they were all busy forming bonds with each other despite the fact they had just tried to vote each other out. Taku continued their winning streak before Ika narrowly lost the immunity challenge, leading to absolute chaos back at camp. Despite wanting to work together, both Tori and Swati busily tried to turn the tribe on the other. Then at tribal council, Swati played her Shot in the Dark and once again, it came up without safety and she found herself booted from the game. While a shocked Rocksroy looked ready to explode with rage.
Back at camp Tori was very grateful to still be in the game while Rocksroy tried to stay calm and find out what the hell changed between camp and tribal council to result in Swati going home. Romeo explained that she was busy playing both sides with Rocksroy appearing to be genuinely grateful to them for taking her out, while suggesting he can ride their social coattails through the game as a strong four. Which is something that Tori has zero interest in, instead looking to jump ship ASAP as she pulled faces about him in the dark.
The next day Maryanne was busy gloating about how great she is at Mario Kart at Taku, with her and Lindsay’s incessant conversation driving Jonathan absolutely mental as he desperately wished for a moment of peace and quiet. And well, the editors definitely picked the best clip to highlight this because even I was confused and frustrated and i’m a Chatty Cathy myself! Instead of completely blowing up, he got to work fishing and chopping wood until Maryanne popped her foot under the bamboo he was cutting and she made a very big deal about it. While they tried to clear the air, it was clear things were going nowhere so Jonathan instead suggested they just move on. And then went to the well with Lindsay and suggested they get rid of Maryanne should they go back to tribal council, given she is annoying. Which is what Maryanne was telling Omar she was worried about at that very moment, while he just wished everyone would get along!
Meanwhile over at Vati Hai was nervous about lingering tensions, knowing that he is still well and truly on the bottom of the tribe. Daniel and Chanelle were busy assuring each other that their last tribal council won’t come between them as they know they need each other, while Hai and Lydia caught up to figure out how they will get themselves out of the minority and make the merge. Just like that, Daniel tried his hand at fishing which allowed Hai and Lydia to question how he was able to fish for the tribe given he keeps sitting out of the swimming challenges due to his dislocated shoulder. Which well and truly pissed off Mike once the duo pointed it out to him.
Back at Ika, Drea and Romeo were busy trying to find their as-yet-unfound idol, with Romeo opening up to us about how he wanted to align with Drea initially because he wants to support strong women in honour of his mum. And the women he coaches to pageant glory back at home. Right on cue Drea then found the Ika idol, celebrating how advantage rich with advantages she is and knowing that Maryanne already has the Taku idol, it means she could have an active idol very quickly.
To womp-womp that though, we pivoted back to Vati however, where Mike was assuring the tribe that he has no plans to activate his idol at the immunity challenge given the idol is automatically powered at the merge and at which point he also gets his vote back. Which must be in very fine print because that has never been mentioned before.
We obviously then headed to meet up with Probst for the immunity challenge where Maryanne opened the show with her bunny line. Drea skillfully spoke about her potato-ness before Mike gagged even me by saying his damn line, activating all of their idols and locking in everyone’s vote for the tribal council ahead. But first, the immunity challenge, where each tribe would race up and over a net and untangle ropes to release a key. Then unlock a machete, chop free some sandbags and then knock over targets. Oh and the winning tribes would also get a tarp.
Following Sandra’s lead, Daniel once again sat out as Ika got out to a very early lead as Taku nipped at their heels. While calling out Jonathan for being a beast last week, it was Tori that absolutely dominated the challenge, burning through the key and machete portion giving Ika a huge advantage shooting at the targets. As Omar made Taku fall further and further behind, Ika took out the first immunity while Vati started shooting at their targets. Sadly for them, Taku finally joined them with Jonathan quickly knocking out the targets and narrowly taking out immunity for the tribe.
Ika then got to select someone from Vati to go on the special journey, opting for Lydia, with their very own Rocksroy offering to be the one to join her.
Back at camp Hai reminded everyone that they are a family and to keep that in mind while they scramble. Daniel admitted that he felt nervous and asked for everyone to meet with him, which is a sentiment that Chanelle echoed. As Hai and Daniel caught up, the former admitted that he believes Chanelle is the least trustworthy of the two and that she is the most likely to flip come merge. Mike and Chanelle meanwhile were busy locking in the vote against Daniel. We finally got a clearer picture of things as Mike and Hai caught up, debating the merits of each of them while they both agreed that it is critical that Lydia holds on to her vote on the journey.
Speaking of which, Rocksroy and Lydia were in awe of their surroundings as they climbed the mountain, with Lydia sharing that the game has truly changed her as a person and made her feel more confident in her own skin. At the top Rocksroy tried to find out who would be the target on Vati, while Lydia tried to dance around the facts and admitted that she wouldn’t be shocked if she was in trouble again. Both of them admitted to us that neither had any interest in sharing too much information about their respective tribes and as such, the awkward as hell conversation made a lot more sense. After splitting up, the duo faced their dilemma with Rocksroy worried about Lydia’s nerves getting the best of her and as such, opted to protect his vote. Which is the same decision she made, given her PTSD from their last tribal.
Lydia returned to camp and quickly admitted that she felt there was too much at stake to risk her vote. She then caught up with everyone one by one to figure out what she missed with both Chanelle and Daniel pledging their undying loyalty and praising her for being in charge. Thankfully Hai gave her the real run down and assured her that they are safe and not to worry.
At tribal council Mike admitted that while somebody had to go home tonight, they are still a strong unit. Daniel praised him for being such a team player which is necessary at certain points during the game. Hai said that while they may be tight, somebody has to be being lied to right now given they still need for someone to go home. Daniel pointed out that Mike means the tribe are a team until the end of their lives, not just the game which made Chanelle point out that he is clearly playing into Mike’s affection for him. Lydia meanwhile pointed out that after tonight, each tribe will have four people remaining and should they merge next week, they need to guarantee their four is a solid one. Which is a sentiment echoed by Hai and Daniel, while Mike reiterated that his vote is based on game and he still cares for the person getting booted.
With that the tribe voted and somehow was split 2-2-1 between Chanelle and Daniel, with a random vote cast against Mike. Mike, Hai and Lydia then revoted and officially sent Daniel out of the game. While Mike angrily acknowledged Chanelle’s vote against him.
As soon as Daniel arrived at Loser Lodge, I pulled him in for a massive hug which elicited massive screams from the sweetheart as I held tight on his busted shoulder. Proving definitively that yeah, he hurt! Given Daniel is a delightful superfan, however, he took that and his boot in stride, grateful to not just have had the opportunity to play the game, but also to get culinary comfort from me in the form of some Chicken Dianiel Strunk.
Yeah, yeah, Steak Diane Keaton is great – and oh so kitsch – but have you ever tried it with a chicken rissole? Because damn, does it taste good. Packing a lightly herbaceous punch, the juicy rissoles pair perfectly with the diane sauce to create a delicious and quick meal.
Chicken Dianiel Strunk Serves: 4.
Ingredients 500g chicken mince ½ cup panko breadcrumbs 4 shallots, thinly sliced 1 egg, lightly whisked ¼ cup flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped, plus extra for garnishing 2 tbsp Dijon mustard 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce salt and pepper, to taste 2 tbsp olive oil 1 onion, diced 4 garlic cloves, minced ¼ cup tomato paste ⅔ cup cream roughly chopped parsley, to serve
Method Combine the chicken mince, breadcrumbs, shallots, egg, parsley and half the Dijon and Worcestershire in a bowl. Season with a good whack of salt and pepper and stir until well combined. Divide into 8 rissoles, pop on a lined plate and cover with cling. Transfer to the fridge to set for half an hour or so.
Preheat the oven to 140C.
Once the rissoles are holding it together, heat a lug of olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Cook half the rissoles at a time, cooking for a few minutes before flipping and cooking for a further couple of minutes. Transfer to a lined baking tray and pop into the oven to keep warm.
Add the remaining oil to the pan and saute the onion over low heat for five to ten minutes, or until nice and soft. Add the garlic and cook for a minute before stirring through the tomato paste and the remaining Dijon mustard and Worcestershire with half a cup of water. Cook for a couple of minutes, or until gloriously fragrant, before stirring in the cream.
Remove the rissoles from the oven and pop them into the pan to simmer for a further fifteen minutes, or until the sauce is thick and glorious. Sprinkle with the extra parsley and serve immediately, ideally with a glorious mash for optimal devouring.
Previously on Australian Survivor the final four met Jonathan on a cliff over a watering hole in the middle of the outback, ready to hang over the edge for their final immunity challenge of the season. Because surprise, as we’ve expected, there was going to be a final three this year! As everyone has speculated throughout the season, Shay took out the final endurance challenge of the season, leaving the boys and Chrissy at risk. Despite assuring Chrissy that she had her back, the boys tried to run interference and confusion. Or at least Josh did, as Mark quietly joined the girls to eliminate Josh as the final juror AND Fourth Place Robbed Goddess of the season.
The next day Chrissy was heartbroken to discover that she had burnt her socks while trying to dry them on the fire before Shay interrupted her bickering with Mark to pull them aside for a walk. Mark admitted that he is proud to have made it to the end though is super grateful to Sam, given she played a massive part in him making it all the way. And PREACH, because she was an absolute powerhouse this season. Mark then opened up about his time in the military and how tough it was and that living in the bush had reminded him of some of the situations he had encountered, leading to him breaking down.
And again, congratulations Mark. But damn, Chrissy was so sweet as she told him that he will now have memories of his time on Survivor when he sees a creek, rather than the trauma of war, and helped him process his emotions. So he can win the competition and Chrissy just gets our hearts, I guess?
The trio headed back to camp where they discovered a huge basket of food for the traditional final three feast as we heard from Shay, who was proud to show that women can be strong icons and ugh, I love her. While Chrissy was just completely shocked to have made it to the end, she reminded us that her name has never come up and that proves that she has played a strong game, though the fear is that a jury may not value it enough to reward her with a vote. Though trust and believe she was ready to tell Khanh how bloody good he has looked, rocking his fashions on the jury.
The final three arrived at tribal council where Jonathan introduced the jury and ran through how this evening’s proceedings would go. Each member of the final three would get to make their pitch, followed by the jury asking questions followed by an open forum. Oh and then they will vote for a winner.
Mark kicked things off talking about how stepping out into Samoa changed his life, though lost the game of Survivor, making him and Sam enter this game with a steely focus. He highlighted that he has been playing a strong strategic game from the very first tribal council by taking out Andy as a threat. He then chose to stay away from Sam at the swap before ruining the season for me by taking out Sandra. He then praised Khanh for playing such a strong game which is why he blindsided him at the merge before praising Jesse as one of the biggest threats, which is why he had to go. He then continued the praise game, explaining he has been pumping Josh up all season to have a meat shield at the end of the game and as such, his departure is why he is sitting there.
Shay meanwhile spoke about how she has fought hard throughout the entire season, losing her allies before merge came and at her lowest after being sent to Purgatory. She then fought her way back and has pushed herself all season. Oh and she also won the most immunities throughout the season. Chrissy went a different route, telling the jury that she has played a far stronger game than any of them even realised, relying on her biggest strength, her personality. One by one she formed bonds with everyone in the tribe, before she went against Croc to save Jesse post-swap which ultimately cost him his place in the game, leading to her taking out Ben. She then said that while she loves Josh and sees him as her family, getting rid of him was her big move.
She then finished it off by praising the jury for being icons that taught her a bunch too, just for good measure. And damn, may she will actually take it?
Jonathan then opened the floor to the jury with Khanh questioning Mark over how he felt about screwing his wife over to get to the end with him admitting that they were always playing the game for one of them to win and they had to do what they had to do. Jordie jumped in to question why he made Jordie feel like shit for sending Jesse from the game when he did the same thing, which led to Mark apologising for making him feel a bit shit to get himself further. KJ meanwhile asked Chrissy whether putting the needs of those she loves in the game ahead of herself ruined her game with Chrissy explaining she did end up turning on Josh. In no small part thanks to her kids.
Michelle asked Shay how she would rate her game with Shay giving herself a solid 8 – no 8.5 – explaining that she always played from the minority and as such, she couldn’t pull the big moves like everyone else but she fought tooth and nail to get to the end. Josh meanwhile cussed out Chrissy for voting him out despite the fact he voted against her too. She explained that things felt off with him after the immunity challenge and as such, she knew he was making a move against her. He then asked Mark why he also turned on him with Mark essentially giving him the, too bad so sad, it was what I had to do to give myself the best shot at the win. Since that is why he is here, for his family.
Speaking of family, Sam was up next, who spoke about how much the jury loves the game and while it is obvious she is voting Mark, she wants to know what winning would mean to Chrissy. She opened up about coming into the game having zero clue about the journey she was signing up to and well, yeah, the jury didn’t like it. Jesse followed it up asking Mark how managing his threat level got him to the end, with Mark opening up about trying to make as many friends as possible and then essentially laying as low as possible. And then when Jordie identified him as a threat, he just agreed that he was so that it kind of disarms the issue. Leading to Jordie praising him for being a role model to him and his brother and damn, they really are telegraphing this win, no?
With that the jury voted before Jonathan wheeled out a TV to Skype with their loved ones with poor tired little Harry just wanting to go to sleep while Sam and Mark held back tears over how much they missed their son. Jonathan then wheeled out his dad and stepmother in the flesh before the tears really started flowing. Shay’s parents and Ben arrived on the scene with her mum rocking pink hair like an icon and well, her dad is adorbs, so I love them too. Chrissy’s daughters were then wheeled out and once again, I am crying. I’m also crying to see Croc again, given he was the iconic alpha male winner that we deserve. Most importantly, her daughter Lulu is a Jonathan stan too and well, I love her. Particularly since she felt sad for Chrissy having to sleep in the dirt for almost 50 days.
Chrissy admitted that it is what it is at this point, while Mark was grateful to have his parents here while Shay would be honoured for the jury to crown her as their winner. Sadly for her though, they did not, as the votes all piled up on Mark and handed him the win.
As soon as she wandered out of tribal council, I pulled Shay in for a massive hug and congratulated her on a job well done. While the jury clearly didn’t appreciate her gameplay, there is no denying that she dominated physically and when nobody is willing to play with you on a strategic level, what else do you do? As such, I toasted her success and celebrated her with a piping out Shayelle Larbjoie.
Piping hot and packed with flavour, there is nothing quite like a perfectly cooked larb. And while I may not be perfect (at cooking larb, at least), this is still a glorious punch of flavour. Hot, salty and sweet, it fills your palette with joy. Basically.
Shayelle Larbjoie Serves: 4.
Ingredients ¼ cup jasmine rice 2 tbsp vegetable oil 6 shallots, sliced 500g chicken mince 1 tsp muscovado sugar 2 tbsp fish sauce 2 limes, zested and juiced 1 tsp lemongrass 2 bird’s eye chillies, sliced ¼ cup coriander, roughly chopped ½ cup mint, roughly chopped salt, to taste
Method Place a wok over low heat and toast the dry grains, stirring frequently, for about five minutes, or until golden and fragrant. Transfer to a mortar and pestle, grind and set aside to cool. Add the oil to the wok and fry half the shallots until crisp. Scoop out and transfer to a sheet of paper towel.
Crank the heat to medium and once scorching, add the chicken and cook until browned and crisp. Add in the sugar, fish sauce and lime zest and juice and stir until sticky. Add the ground rice, raw shallots and herbs and cook for a further minute before seasoning to taste.
Serve immediately, with a sprinkling of fried shallots and then devour.
Previously on Australian Survivor, while Blood and Water were still battling it out, Jonathan switched things up and offered an individual immunity for each tribe. As both of them were attending tribal council, meaning hijinks were guaranteed to ensue. On the Water Tribe, things came down to Khanh and Sam, with the former promising his necklace to Sam, who quickly fainted when stepping out of the challenge. On Blood meanwhile, Shay completely dominated her tribe while Jordie tried valiantly to bring her down. With their main target immune, the sausage fest opted to take out Mel over on Blood, while Sam and Jesse were owning Water and ready to finally get rid of Ben. Sadly for them, he had one last shot at redemption as Mel and Ben were able to battle in a fire challenge to return to the game. With Mel ultimately smoking the competition and sending Ben home. For realsies, this time.
The next day the Blood tribe were thrilled to be waking up on Day 26, particularly Mel since she had suceesfully won her way back into the game. Jordie spoke about how great the last 26 days have been, exhausted and overwhelmed but so happy to have made it this far. He encouraged everyone to celebrate their successes given everything could change in a minute and oh God, my newly minted villain king is going, isn’t he? Shay meanwhile was missing Ben though thrilled he is getting some breakfast sausage – OMG, swoon – while Jordie was more focused than ever to get to the end with his brother.
And again, Jordie is toast, isn’t he?
Both tribes joined Jonathan in the middle of the bush where he quickly announced that their tribes are no longer as they have officially merged. Which is convenient as Sam literally brought all her belongings, including a fishing rod like it was 6 year-old me taking my maths book in a fire drill. But I’ve digressed. After everyone hugged and traded out their rancid buffs for fresh, clean numbers, Shay shared she was ready to kick things into overdrive, while Jordie was thrilled to actually be hanging with his bro and Sam was just grateful that she and Mark finally made it to the merge. I assume because it means they can stay together.
With that out of the way, they were tasked with competing in their first individual reward challenge where they would each have to balance a table using a rope and then walk back and forth to collect blocks which they would use to build a pyramid on the balancing board. Oh and the winner would score $60k. Like, what?! That is more than Sharn won over two seasons as the runner-up. Madness!
Madness, but also lols.
In any event, this sort of challenge is never exciting to read about, so I will spare you the they dropped, they dropped commentary and instead will tell you that while Mark got out to an early lead, Shay was playing it fast and loose while Chrissy was surprisingly dominant. Though none of them were competition for Khanh and his steady chef hands, who defied everyone dropping around him and jagged the mega-jackpot reward without dropping once. And sadly made that target on his back just that little bit bigger.
The newly merged tribe arrived at a sandbank in the middle of the river – which TBH, is a bit triggering in Brisbane ATM – for a celebratory feast where they quickly congratulated Khanh on taking out his massive prize, which he was thrilled about despite now being the foremost challenge beast of the season. He was thrilled to be a single in the newly merged tribe, given he doesn’t have to worry about anyone else when playing his game. While everyone was thrilled to be smashing their food, Jordie pulled his brother aside to focus on the game, looping him in on Mark’s idol and catching him up on his sausage fest alliance.
The tribe ventured back to the camp formerly home to the Water Tribe where we finally met Mel and Michelle, who are iconic identical twins who are ready to come and dominate the game. By putting their twin powers to good use, obvi. Sam and Mark too were thrilled to finally redeem their first runs, ready to get some idols and take some names. While Mark oddly stayed quiet about his idol, despite the fact they are straight up married. Sadly for him, Jordie and Sam then caught up by the shelter with Jordie telling Sam about her husband’s idol and well, let’s just say she was pissed. And while Survivor may have brought them together, it may also be the reason for their divorce.
Sam eventually confronted her husband, who thought it was absolutely hilarious she found out from someone else. Giving his mate a smirk on the way out of camp to fight about it. While Sam was happy that Mark’s little snafu had proven himself loyal to Jordie, I can’t help but feel like it makes him look like he has some hardcore trust issues. But whatever.
The tribe reconvened at the shelter to come up with the merge tribe name with both Glitter and Bin Chicken thrown around before they settled on the even worse option of Lava. Which, yuck! Thankfully though Chrissy was well and truly ready to fight for her place in the game, which makes the shit name feel better. Mark caught up with his alliance of five men – the four J names and him – thrilled that with the addition of his wife as their sixth member, they can take control. And with Sam, comes Khanh meaning they should be unstoppable. But you best believe that while Mark was willing to use Khanh, he was still focused on getting him out ASAP. Meaning, maybe not?
The Lava tribe joined Jonathan by a dam for the first individual immunity challenge of the season, the iconic ‘When it Rains it Pours’, most famously won by Shi Ann in All Stars as she briefly blocked Romber’s dominance. You know they one, they hold on to a rope tethered to a bucket of water with the last one standing, dry, winning immunity. Out of nowhere Chrissy was the first to drop out of the challenge, quickly followed by Michelle while Jordie was talking shit at everyone before he and Khanh dropped together, followed by Mark.
After ten minutes, Mel and Josh dropped back-to-back, leaving the rest to battle it out. Five minutes later, KJ fishing for compliments led to Shay dropping out of the challenge, followed by Jordan, while Mark and Jordie grew bored as they waited around and started strategising, debating the merits of voting either Khanh or Shay out. Sam and Dave were next to drop, leaving Jesse and KJ to fight for immunity. Despite putting up a strong effort, poor KJ couldn’t hold on any longer, dropping her rope after 50 minutes and handing immunity to Jesse.
Back at camp Jesse was well and truly feeling his oats, thrilled to be immune though definitely concerned about how exactly he would be taking control of the tribe. He caught up with his former tribemates, with Sam, Mel and Michelle thrilled to band together as the couples to take out the singles. Sam’s husband Mark meanwhile was still solely focused on blindsiding Khanh. He and the boys were thrilled to lock in the vote split between him and Mel, given they can eliminate another pair at worst case. Meanwhile Sam and Jesse were focused on getting rid of Shay instead, locking in their plans and ready to dominate the tribe. After Khanh was looped in, he pulled KJ aside to lock her in as a number against Shay before moving on to Mel and Michelle.
The latter then approached Sam back at camp, with Sam assuring her the plan is still to get rid of Shay though she did think she should check in with Mark. Who then straight up shat all over her plan when they caught up. Mark then went in on Sam’s loyalty to Khanh, ignoring the fact Mark and his alphas are all the more threatening than Khanh and leaving him as a target could help their longevity. Their bickering was interrupted by the arrival of Khanh, who quickly pointed out they were having a domestic and offered to help counsel them. Sadly unaware that Sam was fighting to protect him, while Mark was stubbornly wanting to get him out.
Sam moved on to Jordie to question why nobody is considering Shay as a viable boot option, with Jordie admitting that turning the tribe off voting out Khanh simply seems near impossible. But boy did Sam continue to fight, bless her. Jesse meanwhile had given up fighting Khanh, approaching his brother with each agreeing to stay loyal to their alliances to get the maximum amount of information for them as a pair. And maybe they will be a formidable duo after all?
At tribal council Shay spoke about how difficult it already is to navigate the merged tribe given she hasn’t even had a chance to talk to everyone before firmly calling all the pairs out as threats. KJ agreed that being outnumbered by the pairs is scary, particularly since they’re all so strong. Jesse tried to downplay their advantage, talking about the fact there are so many ways the tribe could split things. Mark spoke about how he and Sam have not seen eye to eye so far, but out of the spirited discussions, the best ideas have risen to the top. Aka his, in his mind. While Sam tried to downplay the fact they were having a domestic and assured everyone she will stick to who she is loyal to. Mark agreed that tonight is a big vote for everyone to prove their loyalty.
Khanh fully accepted the fact he is a massive target, particularly since he just won $60k in a challenge. While he wasn’t sure he could truly trust anyone in his tribe, he opened up to Jonathan about how trust is always a risk in life and sometimes you just have to take the risks to build something great. Shay meanwhile wasn’t having much faith in the tryibe though reminded everyone that she is a safe single vote that can be added to any alliance. Which led to Mark continuing to gloat about how much better his alliance and plans are than Sam’s and ugh, yuck. Khanh meanwhile was just hoping his trust wasn’t blind.
With that the tribe voted and Khanh held on to his idol while Sam tragically sided with her husband’s alliance and booted him from the game. Thankfully to become the King of Jury, which honestly is the only worthy finish for him if he couldn’t take out the win.
As he arrived at the fresh, clean and very empty Jury Villa, Khanh was still taking his shocking blindside in his stride but given he will be the person taking home the second biggest prize of the season, how could you not be happy? Given we’re both highly respected members of the queer cooking community, Khanh and I have long been the best of friends so he was thrilled to see me waiting for him. While normally my meals are a step down from what he makes for himself, after a month in the bush, he was thrilled to see me whipping up something other than rice and beans. This time in the form of my – Diana Chan inspired – Thai Chickhanh Dumplongs.
As you’ve probably noticed (or definitely will have by the end of the season), I am almost as obsessed with dumplings as I am about burgers. I don’t know if it is the fact they are essentially little mouthfuls packed with flavour, but these babies are so good you’ll forget you just got booted and are now responsible for the entire jury.
Method Combine the chicken mince through muscovado sugar in a bowl and stir until well combined. Cover and pop in the fridge for an hour to rest.
Once things are nice and chill, place the wrappers on a clean board and cover with a damp cloth. Working one-by-one, spoon a teaspoon of mixture into the centre of your dumpling wrappers and crimp and fold as desired. Given my lack of skills, I try and hide behind a pleat to cover my bad joins.
Once they’re all done, heat a lug of oil in a large frying pan with a lid over medium heat. Cooking 6-8 at a time, pop the dumplings in the hot oil to fry on the bottom and cook for a few minutes. Add about ½ a cup of water and immediately pop on the lid, cooking for a further five minutes or until cooked through.
Repeat the process until they are all done – they can be frozen uncooked, but I am greedy – before devouring. Ideally with some Nam Jimbo Dressing.
Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under ten queens from across Australia and the ditch – aka glorious New Zealand – entered a camp little Werk Room in Auckland to the sounds of kookaburras. Confusing? Yes. Quintessentially Down Under? You betcha. With that, the queens were immediately tasked with auditioning for the new Taika Waititi movie Thore. While she didn’t wow her fellow queens, Elektra dazzled and took out victory on the first mini challenge of the season. That success didn’t translate to the mainstage however, as she confused the judges with both looks of the Getting to Know You Ball. Jojo had a powerful message but her looks were read as unfinished, landing her in the bottom with Elektra. Meanwhile Trixie and Katya’s friend Karen from Finance was hilarious and polished, taking out the first victory. And then Elektra absolutely destroyed the lip sync and we tragically had to farewell the iconic Jojo, who thankfully will live on in the annals of history as the Down Under Pork Chop.
The queens returned to the Werk Room positively heartbroken to have lost Jojo, going through the all too familiar second episode realisation that this is a competition and all but one of them will go home without a crown. The queens admitted that they were all well and truly threatened by Elektra’s lip sync abilities and would stop underestimating her. On the flipside, Karen knew that she had made herself an instant frontrunner, but assured us she was ready to meet the high bar she set for herself. And as her biggest competition, hoped to get into Art’s head and bring her down.
The mood the next day was far more upbeat as the top nine joyously entered returned, thrilled to have lived to see another day. Except for Art, who already was getting in her head as she grew a little bit salty about being pipped at the post last episode. Talk turned to this week’s challenge with Etcetera suggesting that maybe they would be tasked with doing a shoey, leading to the poor Kiwi girls chugging back a beer from someone’s heels. And then Scarlet suggested the Kiwis could bring in a sheep for them to fuck next week and given her past mistakes, that just landed with an ‘ooof.’
They were interrupted by Kylie mother tucking Minogue in lieu of Ru – maybe she was still awaiting her make-up? – who served her best possible RuPaul to tease this week’s challenge. And damn, could it really be happening so soon? Well, yes. Yes it is, as real RuPaul arrived to confirm that this week the queens would be playing the Snatch Game. Or as I wish it was titled Down Under, Skankety Skanks. But alas, it was not meant to be.
The dolls quickly split up with Maxi giddily sharing that she would be playing Magda Szubanski. Art meanwhile was going to challenge herself by not doing Kath Day-Knight – wise move, because Tayce was iconic – and instead portray Bindi Irwin. This of course was made muy awkward when Scarlet announced that she would be doing Bindi too, though she did have Jennifer Coolidge prepped as a back-up. Kita pulled the Kiwi queens aside to help her pick between Carole Baskin and Dr Seuss himself. Karen checked in with Art, concerned about the choice of Bindi while shadily admitting she has prepared multiple great options but wouldn’t be sharing which one she would ultimately do.
Ru dropped by to check in with the girls with Anita announcing that she would be playing ma girl Queen Lizzie. And given how she dragged Prince Andrew in the walkthrough, she is going to slay. Particularly given how ridiculous and hilarious Ru thought she was while they kiki-ed. Coco was up next to be read for last week’s shit outfit before sharing she would be playing Lizzo, with Ru cautioning her not to let her love of Lizzo get in the way of making jokes about her. Etcetera Etcetera was next to face Mama Ru and shared that she would be playing Lindy Chamberlain and oh fuck, God, this is going to be awful or amazing and no where in the middle. Particularly since Art and Karen were gossiping in the corner about the choice being one step too far. Speaking of Art, she shared that she would be playing her own version of Bindi Irwin and while she had Ru in hysterics, it was all at Art’s charm rather than any teased Bindi-isms.
Just like that we opened up on Snatch Game with Michelle and Rhys as our contestants, with Karen unveiled as my queen, Dolly Parton, but with no accent or giggle at all. Art’s take on Bindi was all bogan trash which honestly is how I think she’d like to be if she were liberated off the Australia Zoo compound, Coco was high energy as Lizzo, Anita was ready to slay as Lizzie, Scarlet was solid as Jennifer Coolidge, Elektra was trying her luck with Catherina O’Hara, Maxi was Magda as the incomparable Lynne Postlethwaite, while Etcetera and Kita stuck with Lindy and Dr Seuss and well, the latter started slowly.
Etcetera on the other hand was hilarious in the way that made you so uncomfortable to be laughing so hard, thankfully sticking closer to lines from the famed Meryl movie rather than joking directly about the tragedy. Lucky for Kita, she really warmed up and went from strength to strength, while everyone else was just kind of there because this was well and truly Anita’s show. She was filthy, perfectly timed and just so funny. That being said, Karen and Art were the hardest to watch. Particularly since they came out of the gate so strongly and clearly were overwhelmed by the nerves. Oh and shout out to Elektra for not giving the most Moira Rose performance, but for at least committing to the absurdity of the character and Snatch Game in general.
At the end of the day, Ru declared Jojo the winner as she did not have to endure it. And while it was said in jest, are we in for another lip sync orgy?!
Elimination Day arrived with Scarlet confident it was one of the best Snatch Games of all time, which Art readily agreed with. On the flipside, Anita quietly pulled a face that said she definitely doesn’t agree with the assessment. Before we could dwell on these diametrically opposed views, Scarlet pointed out that she thinks Coco will be in the bottom with Kita sure that she would be the one to join her. Karen perked her up by (rightly) pointing out she only struggled at the start and quickly gained momentum. One thing they could all agree on was that Anita would definitely be taking out victory, while Karen quietly worried that Art didn’t do enough to avoid being in the bottom.
Talk turned to the queen’s families, with Kita happily sharing that her family is so lovely and supportive while Anita broke down sharing how difficult her relationship is with her father, despite having a gorgeously supportive mother and that she uses her upbeat persona to mask her insecurities and pain. And ugh, this has been a good episode if you love Anita like I do because now she must be protected at all costs.
On the Sea Sickening Runway, Art redeemed herself as a gorgeous green sea creature, Kita was slayed as the daughter of Ursula and Elsa. Etcetera Etcetera was once again a star dressed as a ye olde deep sea diver, while Coco gave us straight up sexy Ursula, though we are unsure if she mothered Kita’s look. Anita was a stunning siren on a diet of only seaman (same), Maxi served us glamorous old dame dripping in pearls while Elektra was gorgeous in a tight white gown, draped in a seafoam wig. Which was the only sea reference I could find. Karen rocked a camp shiny shark number, while Scarlet was all of the coral to draw attention to the dying natural wonder of the Great Barrier Reef.
Ultimately Anita was called forward and immediately handed victory in the challenge because, and this is paraphrasing, there was no way anyone could beat her ever and why bother pretending. Kita and Etcetera were next up and were swiftly sent to safety, with the other six shocked to find themselves all up for elimination.
With that, the judges shared that they didn’t think Art’s Bindi Irwin went anywhere – and missed playing off Etcetera’s Lindy asking for help – and she appeared to rely on her funny rather than the character. That being said, they rightfully loved her outfit. Like Coco, they knew that her Lizzo didn’t hit the mark and sadly confirmed that she ended up missing her opportunity. Maxi meanwhile was read for being so into character that she didn’t interact with anyone. Elektra had the opposite problem, with them feeling she gave no Catherine O’Hara but lived for her interaction with them. Karen’s looks were praised while rightly was read for not giving any Dolly (despite it admittedly being super hard). Scarlet was praised for her Coolidge voice, but read for giving nothing more than her Coolidge voice. That being said, they lived for her look.
Backstage Art announced that they couldn’t clock who was the best in the Werk Room because straight up Ru hated all of them other than the safe three. Before you could even bat an eyelash, the queens all got to work learning the lip sync. Well, until Dannii ‘Foster Grants’ Minogue called in for quick kiki with the queens. Art used the opportunity to ask for advice on getting over their stumbles, with Dannii sadly not once mentioning getting behind your Foster’s for a quick cry before pulling yourself together. Etcetera continued to be the most damn charming person to ever grace Drag Race chatting to Dannii and all around being a delight. That being said, she was shady enough to gossip with Karen about how sure they were that Art and Coco would be lip syncing, despite neither living for zaddy Elektra’s look.
Ultimately Scarlet’s look saved her, as did Karen’s, while Elektra was saved despite her basic look, leaving poor Maxi – who did serve us an on point character – gagged to narrowly avoid the lip sync. With the shocked survivors looking on, Art and Coco got prepared to lip sync to Ru’s I’m That Bitch, and girl, did they both serve. Coco gave us all the charm and sex of Lizzo that was missing for her Snatch Game, while Art left literally everything on the floor as she desperately tried to avoid going home. Sadly, Coco truly was that bitch though and felt every lyric, leaving us and the rest of the queens gagged as the iconic Art Simone found herself eliminated from the competition.
With only a soz bitch from Coco.
Let’s just say it wasn’t pretty backstage as poor Art immediately felt the pressure on the nation crashing down upon her. I pulled her into my arms as she quietly sobbed, feeling embarrassed when she should only be feeling disappointment that she got unlucky in the challenge.
“Art, you’re so damn talented and the world is going to love you. You’re a star and honestly, it is sometimes better to be robbed than go far.”
“That means nothing.”
“At least you made it here?”
“How much wood would a wood chuck chuck?”
“That means, NOTHING.” Note: this is the grab they used in the final edit. Did I not tell you I’m a producer like Alexis Michelle?
“Art, I love you. It doesn’t matter where you placed, what matters is you now get to fill your mouth with some Sartay Simone Sausage Rolls.”
“Ok, that means something.”
Nothing turns a mood around – at least not in my household – like a delightful sausage roll. And given I have to mix them up so Alyssa, Fenella and Ross feel special, these little satay numbers are the perfect addition to our flaky fold. Nutty, crisp and with a little zing, they’re the perfect way to cheer yourself up.
Sartay Simone Sausage Rolls Serves: 6-8.
Ingredients 500g chicken mince 1 onion, diced 3 garlic cloves, minced ½ cup crunchy peanut butter 1 cup panko breadcrumbs 1 tbsp fish sauce 1 tbsp chilli paste 1 lime, zested and juiced 2 eggs, whisked salt and pepper, to taste 3 sheets puff pastry, halved sesame seeds satay sauce, to serve
Method Preheat the oven to 200C.
Combine mince, onion, garlic, peanut butter, breadcrumbs, fish sauce, chilli paste, lime juice and zest and an egg in a large bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper, and scrunch together with your hands until well combined. The mixture will run on the moist side, so don’t worry though if you like, add another ¼ cup of breadcrumbs.
Line up the pastry sheets on your bench and divide the mixture among them, form six even sausages down the centre of each rectangle. Brush a little bit of egg on one side of each and roll each one up towards their eggier side.
Cut each length into 2-4 pieces depending on how you’re planning to eat them – lunch, snack etc etc as Lindy Chamberlain – and place them seam side down on a lined baking sheet. Once complete brush with more egg and sprinkle with some sesame seeds.
Transfer to the oven to bake for half and hour or so, or until golden and puffed.
Serve immediately with some satay sauce in honour of our iconic ninth place finisher.
After spending the start of Oscar Gold hang with current nominee Quentin Tarantino, icon Nat Port, the inspiration for this year’s name – Gold Basketball – Kobe Bryant and the stunning screenwriter Di, I thought I should celebrate some of my favourite Anzac victors. And there is no victorious Kiwi that I love more than Bret McKenzie.
I first met Bret on the set – am I Dr freaking Zeuss? – of The Lord of the Rings, and we quickly bonded over our passion, and talent, for songwriting.
While our partnership fell through and he found success with Jemaine Clement instead, after a few years of mediation and a brief stint in prison for me, we put aside our differences and once again became friends.
In no small part to my dear Amy Adams, who wanted us to be friends again.
After blowing straight across the ditch into his arms in Wellington, I quickly begged him to use whatever sway he has to convince Jacinda to adopt our entire country and call us West Zealand. While he responded with a wry chuckle, I held his head like Gordon Ramsey calling someone an idiot sandwich, looked him dead in the eye and begged him to save us.
He calmly walked me over to his couch, sat me down and talked me through the shame I was experiencing not having Jacinda as Prime Minister before gently reminding me that we have a job to do. And that job is to run the damn odds.
So run the damn odds we did!
For Sound Mixing and Editing we both agree that 1917 is most likely to take it, since they both seem to favour war movies. Though I wouldn’t be surprised to see Ford v Ferrari snatch one or both away from the teams.
For Original Score Hildur Guðnadóttir should pretty much clear a space for her little man because she is a lock for Joker. And lastly, in Bret’s former category, Elts and Bernie have it in the bag for Rocketman and I am so happy that I can actually be happy for him.
With that out of the way we caught each other up on our lives and spitballed ideas for the next Muppets reboot before sitting down to a big, warm Breked McKenziti.
Cheesy and gloopy, yet all together comforting and spicy. A baked ziti is one of the most glorious things. Add in some buffalo chicken, and you’ve got perfection.
Breked McKenziti Serves: 4.
Ingredients 500g ziti, cooked to packet instructions 3 tbsp butter 500g chicken mince 5 cloves garlic, minced 3 tbsp flour 3 cups milk 250g cream cheese, softened ⅓ cup Frank’s Red Hot Sauce 2 tbsp Michelle Branch Dressing ¼ cups chives, roughly chopped 1 cup vintage cheddar, grated
Method Preheat oven to 160° and cook the pasta as per packet instructions.
Meanwhile place a dutch oven over medium heat and melt the butter until foamy. Add the chicken mince and garlic, and cook for a couple of minutes, breaking up the back of the wooden spoon as you go. Add the flour and cook for a further minute, still stirring, until it is a sticky, gloopy mess.
Remove from the heat and stir in the milk until the sauce comes together. Return to the heat and cook for a further couple of minutes, or until slightly thickened. Add the cream cheese, hot sauce and ranch dressing and stir until coming together. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for ten minutes, or until thick.
Add the chives, cooked ziti and cheddar. Stir and transfer to a large baking dish. Sprinkle with a little extra cheese and transfer to the oven to bake for 20 minutes, or until golden and goopy.
Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK the queens were divided into two girl groups and honestly the charts say it all with the Frock Destroyers doing as their name suggests and completely annihilated the competition, stormed the charts and claimed the first ever triple win. Despite being on the losing team, my girl Cheryl finally had her star turn, leaving The Vivienne to lip sync following her first sign of weakness. And lip sync she did, fighting hard to retain her place in the show leaving poor Crystal to be booted from the competition.
Back in the Werk Room, The Vivienne was disappointed that she let herself down, though Blu was glad to see her knocked down a peg. Speaking of Blu the shady little producer asked The Vivienne who she would have picked had she won the reading challenge, with her shocking Chez by saying she would have selected her and then went silent. Much to Divina’s rage, who was sick of The Vivienne sleeping on her and the bounty of skills that she has. Which Baga agreed that Viv was undervaluing. While the drama subsided, The Vivienne approached her to apologise … though Divina felt they were backhanded and shit started to get real. She then listed out that she would have selected everyone but Blu in the challenge before Divina listed her myriad of skills while Baga awkwardly hid behind furniture and hammed it up for the cameras while Blu and Cheryl Hole were stuck watching on like children of divorce.
The next day the mood was less somber, wait no, Divina was still feisty and angry with herself for wasting time giving a shit what The Vivienne thinks. Before it broke into fisticuffs, Ru arrived with the Brit Crew to play a little game of BBC, where they were required to identify if the Brit Crew were rocking boxers, briefs or going commando. I was going to try and keep track of the queens and their scores, but we’re all the winners as the boys kept knocking their junk as they pulled their pants down. The Vivienne did an impersonation of Kim Woodburn though, which is all I took away from things while so light-headed. Ultimately Divina was crowned the victor – added another feather to her cap – gifting her a video call with the iconic Katya.
Before we got the call with Katya, Ru announced that this week’s challenge would require them to film a commercial for a bottled water company. Which terrified Cheryl as she has no idea what to do and didn’t want to go back to the bottom. When she spoke to Blu and they brainstormed an Alyssa-esque diva water to give people the Essex vibe, which The Vivienne shadily tried to talk her out of and told her to step outside of her box. And despite kinda knowing that that is what they were trying to do, Cheryl tried to come up with plan B through Z. Viv and Baga were gossiping about Cheryl needing to finally have a moment this week when Ru arrived to get Blu into piss play, filling her with nerves. Blu’s concept was about bottling her vanity and leaning into the weird creepiness, despite Ru not really loving it. Have a lovely day, though!
Frontrunner Baga’s concept was all about water making people ugly to stop people being horny, which Ru hated and told her to make the damn water chip flavour. The Vivienne’s concept fared much better *insert token Baga GIF*, focusing on rehydrating thirsty women. Cheryl settled on the British version of GoGo Juice for the club kids, which Ru loved … before reminding Cheryl that she is the only queen without a win. Though he turned it around with a peptalk, so yay? Divina was so far ahead of the pack that she was already working on her costume, settling on DD-Sea water. Before I got to reading her lack of knowledge about desalination, talk turned to her and The Vivienne’s feud and her reminding Ru that for some reason people don’t want to acknowledge that she is a threat.
Oh and then Ru dropped that this week’s guest judge is Cheryl Cole and the look on Cheryl Hole’s face was honestly too pure for this world.
With Ru gone, The Vivienne confronted Divina about what she said about her to Ru with Divina pointing out that she was asked and answered a question. To her credit though, The Vivienne shut it down, reminded her that she knows that she is fierce and asked to move forward.
Blu was the first one to film with Graham and straight up masturbated her bottle. Which was a vibe and mood. Cheryl was next, putting the Brit Crew to work with removalists duties and being completely batshit crazy and wild. In the best way possible. The Vivienne slayed as a miserable housewife, complete with chucking her baby and wetting the Brit Crew as much as they do my basement. Divina’s commercial was an epic and appeared to bore everyone, so will likely be amazing. Baga then wrapped things up, stuffing her gob with a tonne of battered sausage, which makes no sense but I think I like. Though maybe that is the Brit Crew’s bulges?
Divina excused herself to make her video call with Katya before being surprised by the icon in the flesh who gave the greatest advice and hot damn I miss her and wish she would return to claim her rightful crown.
The queens danced into Elimination Day before making a hard pivot, talking about alcohol and other drug use. The Vivienne then shared that she was an addict and it took three friends dying to finally wake her up and let her hit rock bottom to get her clean. And now she is two years sober, which is something she should be really proud of. As she should be about her name dropping the organisations local to her that are making a difference.
Pivoting really really hard, the queens graced the Rainy Day Eleganza Runway, with Divina going from the killer in I Know What You Did Last Summer to a stunning bumble bee outfit. Cheryl was at risk of rusting in a stunning metallic number. Baga entered with a bird on her head, in a less SJP style. The Vivienne looked like a sexy Samara from the ring, complete with gloomy cloud while Blu opted with a shiny, sparkly Harajuku look.
We then got to the commercials with Divina’s ad turning out as amazing as I assumed; it had a message, it was funny and she made the Brit Crew squat. Oh and the judges also loved her corseted raincoat reveal. Cheryl also died meeting her namesake, despite telling her that Girl’s Aloud’s breakup ruined her. After gushing at her hero in the most beautiful way, we learnt Cheryl’s commerical was as wacky as it seemed, though again, Brit Crew twerking is always a win. While the ad was panned for not going anywhere, the judges loved her outfit despite it being five inches too short.
Except for Cheryl Cole who was making Cheryl’s life.
Baga commercial was classic Baga AND featured the Brit Crew rubbing their dripping chests and finished with Baga burping. Though Michelle hated it and thought her look wasn’t as polished as the other girls. The Vivienne’s commercial was sexy, smutty and hilarious, and her runway received universal praise. Particularly juxtaposed with her commercial look. Poor Blu’s commercial was rather beige, despite the sexual connotations and political digs. Because it went nowhere. Though her look received universal praise.
Backstage Cheryl was still on cloud nine from meeting her namesake, despite being read by the judges. The Vivienne was glad to bounce back, and Divina was thrilled that she stood by her convictions and stuck with the concept. Baga however had given up, sure that she would be in the bottom two and hadn’t learnt the lip sync song. This enraged Cheryl who felt like she couldn’t handle the heat, before The Vivienne told her some hard truths and made her focus on the task at hand, get her head in the game and learn her damn lip sync.
Ultimately The Vivienne completed the ultimate comeback, snatching the win while Baga narrowly avoided the bottom leaving Blu to battle Cheryl … IN FRONT OF HER SHERO. And holy shit did she deliver! She felt the beat in her pussy, she flipped, she nailed every letter of every syllable in every word, smashed her death drops into the ground and even poor Blu knew it was over halfway through, hugging her bestie and letting her live her best life.
Despite just exiting the competition, Blu was positively jubilant at what she had managed to achieve and as such took it in stride. I guess storming the charts really is a killer silver lining! While I haven’t known Blu as long as the other girls, we have been friends for a few years and actually inspired her first Titanic themed runway. You see, I was working at the Titanic museum in Ireland – pretending to be a descendant of the Captain – and Blu came in with her school group. While the teacher saw right through my lies and outed me in front of everyone, Blu lived for the drama and we became the fastest of friends. The only way I could repay her kindness was by promising to make her a Cordon Blu Hyburgea whenever she wanted.
Cheesy garlicky chicken is amazing, as are burgers. Put those things together and well, I’m in heaven. Kinda like a chicken juicy lucy, this burger is on point – just be mindful not to completely scorch your mouth on the cheese.
Cordon Blu Hyburgea Serves: 2.
Ingredients 500g chicken mince salt and pepper, to taste 2 slices ham, shredded ½ cup swiss cheese, grated olive oil 2 Brichosher Bunsbergs 2 tbsp Shayonnaise Swain 2 tbsp marinara sauce 1 tomato, sliced a couple butter lettuce leaves, washed and dried 2 tbsp parmesan, grated
Method Combine the chicken mince in a bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper. Mix well to combine and divide into four equal portions.
Flatten two portions out, divide the ham and swiss cheese and place in the centre of each. Top with the remaining portions and close to seal.
Heat a lug of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat and once nice and hot, add the patties and cook for five minutes of until cooked through and nicely browned. Flip and cook for a further five minutes to ensure that the cheese is nice and gooey.
To assemble, split the buns and smear each with some mayo and mariana. Layer with tomato and lettuce, sprinkle on some parmesan and finally, top with the patty and close her up.
Serve immediately with freshly cooked fries and, obviously, devour.