Previously on Survivor 18 new castaways were marooned on the islands of Fiji and immediately decided they wanted to emulate Kaôh Rōng and find out just how much can go wrong in a single season. Breaking records, poor Bruce hit his head in the marooning challenge and while he made it back to camp, he was promptly medevaced that night. Matthew then fell off a rock and dislocated his shoulder the next day before Brandon got heat exhaustion in the first immunity challenge, the latter sending Ratu to the first tribal council. And while Brandon was the obvious target, he had found the hidden immunity idol and as such, sent Maddy out the door as the first (official) boot with his single vote.
We then experienced yet another dark timeline where a string of young, iconic women went back-to-back-to-back, with Helen, Claire and Sarah rounding out an iconic pre-merge. Matthew’s lingering shoulder pain saw him quit-evaced before the tribes faked merge. This saw the demise of Josh, who had been the main target of multiple tribes for about 4 episodes.
We then saw nature heal, albeit in a heartbreaking fashion, as sweet Matt became the King of the Jury, partly due to his love Frannie winning immunity. Brandon and Kane soon followed before Frannie was felled for being too much of a threat. We then lost zaddy Danny before Jamie just missed her spot in the finale. After Lauren lost final five immunity, she was booted for her underdog story. Heidi then took out her first win of the season at the final immunity challenge however wanting a hero moment for her resume, sent Yam Yam and Carolyn through to final tribal council and faced off against young Carson for the final slot. And beat him in record breaking time to book her slot.
Despite playing a strong game and being beloved by literally everyone, Carolyn didn’t muster a vote at final tribal council – rude – while Heidi jagged one from her ally Danny, leaving Yam Yam to be crowned our King. And while I was disappointed for Carolyn, Yam Yam equally has my heart and played such a smart disarming game that he easily booked himself a spot as one of the top tier. Plus, he is fun, entertaining, silly and represents the sassy, curvy, queer men, so for that, I booked my stan card pre-season.
Most importantly, however, is the fact that for the first time since San Juan Del Sur, I picked the winner pre-season and for that alone, he is worthy of a piping hot dish of Candied Yam Yams Arocho.
While the concept of this dish always filled me with equal parts disgust and intrigue, however after trying it, I instantly fell in love. Earthy and sweet, this dish has everything. Kinda like our new King.
Candied Yam Yams Arocho Serves: 8-12.
Ingredients 2kg sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 3(ish)mm coins ½ cup pecans, roughly chopped ½ cup muscovado sugar 80g unsalted butter 1 tsp cinnamon ¼ tsp cayenne pepper a pinch of nutmeg a pinch of ground ginger kosher salt and pepper, to taste 1 tsp vanilla extract 4 cups mini marshmallows, more or less as needed
Method Preheat the oven to 180C.
Butter a large baking dish – 2.5-3L – and layer the discs of sweet potato, followed by some pecans after every layer or two, then some more sweet potato and continue the process until it is all gone.
Combine the sugar, butter, cinnamon, cayenne, nutmeg and ginger in a saucepan with a good whack of salt and pepper. Place over medium heat and cook, stirring, until it starts to boil. Once it has come together, remove from the heat and stir through the vanilla. Pour over the potato and pecan, cover with foil and pop in the oven to bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to cook uncovered for about 20 minutes, or until the potato is tender.
Remove from the oven and scatter over the marshmallows and return to the oven to cook for 15 minutes, or until the top is golden and melted. Leave to rest for about 5 minutes before slicing and serving, perhaps with a Turkey Wellington.
Previously on Survivor the final four arrived at the top of the mountain – literally and figuratively – to compete in the epic final simmotion immunity challenge. And despite us, or at least me, rooting for Carolyn to dominate the challenge, she was the first to go before Heidi surprised herself with the win. Despite having a guaranteed spot in the final three, Heidi decided the best shot at taking out the win, was to pull a Chris Underwood and go to fire against Carson and just like him, she re-earnt her place in the final three – in record time, no less – as Carson found himself becoming the final juror.
The final three woke up early on Day 26, overwhelmed to make it to the end, while Yam Yam was just nervous about sounding stupid at the final tribal council. With Carolyn assuring him, she will sound stupider. Yam Yam opened up to us that he feels he played a strong game, but he knows that it doesn’t really matter what he thinks though and as such, he needs to use his words like weapons to win the jury over. The jury, though, praised him for perfectly riding the middle and winning everyone over, always making them feel like they were part of his plan so they wouldn’t turn on him.
As they sat down for breakfast, Heidi shared that she is proud of how she played, particularly since she took a massive risk at the end to solidify her resume. With the jury just hoping she can reiterate her game, should she want their vote. Carolyn meanwhile was nervous about her self-confidence getting her down. She admitted to us that she is so shocked to have made it to the end, given she never even expected to make the merge. And now her biggest challenge is to convince the jury that being emotional was the smartest way for her to play. Which they seem to agree with, so let’s all hope she doesn’t overthink it and secures the crown like she – and us – deserve.
At the final tribal council Jeffrey reminded everyone how the night would proceed, before Kane kicked things off by assuring the final three all votes were up in the air and as such, they should answer honestly. He then asked what they felt the jury perceives them, with Yam Yam joking that they all love him and see him as happy go lucky, though suggested that they perceived he followed Carson when in fact the Tika trio were a strong alliance. While Heidi tried to call bullshit, Yam Yam pointed out that following Soka was what they wanted them to think at the merge. Heidi meanwhile spoke about playing a social game, though knew she had to do the fire making challenge to have a shot. Carolyn admitted she was shocked to make it to the end, given she was the weird kid that was underestimated and by forming solid bonds with Carson and Yam Yam, she was able to thrive.
Carson admitted he knows how great Yam Yam and Carolyn are, so asked Heidi to explain how she played, admitting that everyone in Soka was strong and as such, come merge, she had to navigate around that perception to survive. Heidi continued to try to undermine Yam Yam, before Danny asked how Yam Yam used Carson, with him admitting he didn’t use Carson but in fact used EVERYONE to make it further. Danny then asked Heidi how she used shields, with her wisely saying she hid behind him specifically to make it further.
Frannie meanwhile took things to the social side – queen – asking them how they leveraged or managed emotion to navigate the game. Right on cue, Carolyn started to get emotional, talking about her journey with addiction and how seeking treatment taught her how to feel her emotions and while she knew that made her game difficult at times, she also used it to sell her choices. Yam Yam admitted while he is emotional, he struggled with the players that kept their guards up like Brandon and Jamie, however he was perceptive enough to learn when people lied to him and as such, navigated around their tells. While Heidi continued to give a textbook performance, saying that her game was more than just about winning but representing people that are different. Because as a latina woman in science, she works with all men and is always expected to keep her emotions in check. And yes, Heidi, work.
Sweet Matt then thanked them all for being themselves and told them that he is proud.
Talk turned to the challenges with our resident beast asking how they felt about them, with Carolyn shocked by how badly she bombed each and every challenge. She admitted her letter from home broke her heart, given her son told her he hoped she would win challenges and while it broke her, she knew to only speak positively about herself. Heidi then praised Carolyn for being an inspiration and for never giving up and ugh, it is so sweet. Carson asked Heidi about the final immunity challenge, admitting that she felt like she had no chance at winning if she didn’t win fire, though knew that taking out the brains of the operation was her best shot. Oh and if they vote for her, they could break another record if they vote for her, as she’d be the first Puerto Rican and oldest female to win. Yam Yam meanwhile opened up about his physical family and how channelling them is what helped him win immunity.
Oh and if they vote for him, he’d be the first Puerto Rican male to win.
Carson directed things to strategy, dropping stats about how well Carolyn played with her admitting that having a tight alliance helped her make it to the end. She pointed out that nobody expected she had the idol and while Yam Yam suggested she played it needlessly, she reiterated she trusted him but not the others and as such, she preferred a guarantee. Danny then questioned why he was the target, with her admitting he appeared to be running things and as such, she knew taking him out would help set her up. Yam Yam meanwhile spoke about his social game and the ability to win people over it. More importantly, that is what helped him stay abreast of everything and know the best path forward. While Heidi with the worst voting record – 67% – spoke about being forced into adapting her game, though when she played from the bottom she realised how much bigger than the money the game can be. She then gave a great speech about coming to America with nothing and how proud of herself she is with the life she has built.
With that the jury finally voted and tragically, for some reason, none of those people felt it appropriate to vote for Carolyn as she landed in third. Obviously I stormed the set and ushered Carolyn aside, bursting into tears in her arms and screaming about how disappointed in the jury I was. I mean, Carson was stage-moming hard all throughout the final tribal council and nobody gave us who would have been the greatest winner of all time. Even better than Sandra and Parvati. Carolyn being Carolyn however, took it in her stride and while she admitted she was disappointed that she was proud of the winner, and more importantly, herself and as such, she gladly sat down to celebrate with a big, fat Turkarolyn Wigerllington.
This poultry take on the beef wellington is just as rich and luscious as the OG. Rich, earthy and a little kick of spice thanks to the chorizo, it is the perfect way to refresh a festive meal.
Turkarolyn Wigerllington Serves: 6-8.
Ingredients 4 sheets puff pastry ½ cup cranberry sauce ½ cup parmesan cheese 4-8 sage leaves 1.5kg turkey breasts, sliced into 1cm thick steaks 500g fresh chorizo, skins removed and discarded 1 cup breadcrumbs 1 bunch spinach, roughly chopped and wilted 2 tsp cinnamon 1 tsp chilli flakes 1 egg
Method Preheat the oven to 160C and line a couple of baking sheets.
Place the pastry on a bench and smear with some cranberry sauce before sprinkling with parmesan cheese and placing 1-2 sage leaves in the middle. Divide the turkey breast in the middle on top of the sage.
Combine the chorizo, breadcrumbs, spinach, cinnamon and chilli in a bowl, scrunching together with your hands. Divide into four and form into little sausages, placing lengthways in the middle of the turkey.
Whisk the egg and brush the edges of all the pastry. Fold in the ends and then roll into a large parcel, pressing the edge to seal. Transfer to the baking sheets, seam down, and repeat with each wellington.
Pop the wellingtons in the oven to bake for 80 minutes, or until the pastry is golden and puffed. Remove from the oven and rest for ten minutes before serving with your favourite sides – Simon Potato Baker Denny for life – and devouring, like the queen that you are regardless of the jury.
Previously on All Stars the dolls starred in live sketch comedy show RDR live (and despite having three SNL cast members appearing across the season, hilariously none guest judged the episode). After rehearsal, Lala approached Heidi about forming a little bit of an alliance, making Heidi far and away the most protected person on the cast should she ever land in the bottom. One of her OG allies Jimbo absolutely slayed the challenge with light and shade – as did Heidi herself, Jessica and Jaymes – while Kahanna was one note and Naysha just got lost. Ultimately Jimbo took out victory – that runway – and faced off against UK vs. the World nemesis, Pangina, who obviously won the lip sync, leaving Naysha to be sent home by the girls.
Backstage Jimbo was well and truly feeling her oats after taking out the win – murder by lip sync, be damned – while Jessica was gutted to have lost her sister Naysha. Who reminded the dolls that she will always be prettier than them via mirror message, so she is ok to be eliminated. After sitting down to receive her flowers from the dolls, Jimbo revealed she also voted for Naysha given Kahanna just won the week before. On that note Kahanna counted the lipsticks – eventually – gagged to see three votes for her, with Jessica admitting that she just couldn’t bring herself to vote for her Puerto Rican sister. And she did not give a shit about what anyone feels about that decision. MKD then admitted to being the other one that voted for her, opening up that she reacted to Naysha’s emotional plea in Untucked and while Kahanna assured her dolls there is no bad blood, Mrs. Kasha Davis, you in danger girl. And I hate that for us.
The next day the dolls were excited to potentially be lip syncing for $30K this week. Well, if they win, that is. Everyone asked Jaymes about her kerchief, with her admitting it is hankie code for bondage, which made Kahanna wet. Alexis asked everyone if they had been in a swing, with her arm shooting straight up before Jaymes admitted she had, while Heidi offered that she had pushed someone in one, as she is what? A dom top. Ru dropped by to announce that for this week’s Maxi Challenge they would be throwing a little ball. Specifically the Supermarket Ball, first they would be stomping the runway in a Legen-dairy Queen look, the second would be Fruity Patootie and finally they would design and make a Supermarket Supermodel Eleganza look for the third runway. Using only supermarket supplies. Carried in by an epically large Pit Crew and hot damn, my basement is flooded. I mean, it was Spain up in here.
After aggressively rifling through the goods the dolls split up to figure out what the hell they would design, with Jimbo worried about looking messy while MKD admitted the only balls she has dabbled in are Mr Davis’. She ran her ideas by Heidi to try and lock her plan, desperate to prove herself and get out of the safe zone. Jessica meanwhile was drowning in diapers, giddy for her first go at a ball. Jaymes meanwhile was hoping her one sewing class would have her shining, while Lala was drowning in PTSD, knowing she can’t do a viral fuck-up again. And while she assured us she learnt to sew, she forgot to add thread to the machine, so yup. Kandy meanwhile was just confused about what happens in a supermarket, and therefore unsure what to serve and straight up drawing stick figures and shapes for her design.
The Miss Congenialities caught up to reconfirm their alliance and while Heidi cautioned they need to keep it quiet, they got interrupted every ten seconds and ugh, dolls, this ain’t going to work. Kandy meanwhile spiced things up, pointing out Alexis is constantly horny and ready to have the dolls come over for a chicken dinner. While MKD admitted she made out with Darienne back in the day. Ru dropped by to Kiki as Jimbo told her about her weird ideas, leaving Ru in hysterics, despite Jimbo deciding to serve high fashion instead. Darienne’s plan was to serve colour, Alexis was hoping to survive the ball this time – or at least not go blind – with a hyper fashion look while Jessica was just ready to surprise Ru. With diapers. Kahanna was going with some yellow, assuring Ru that from here on out, she will be voting based on revenge – watch out MKD. Heidi’s plan was tequila sunrise, before sobbing as she opened up to Ru about losing her grandmother and how she didn’t get to say goodbye due to COVID.
Elimination Day arrived with Kandy putting on a brave face despite her nerves, given her look is a bit of a mess. She was hopeful she could be safe however, given Darienne’s look is just a little bit messier. As Lala and Jaymes beat their mugs, Jimbo asked if Lala planned to serve something iconic again and while Kandy admitted she didn’t even notice how bad the bag look was before they took the runway, Lala obviously called shady boots. MKD showed off an image of her husband, with Alexis admitting she was desperate for a relationship while Darienne scoffed, talking about her passion for being single. With everyone talking about how important it is to be ok on your own, before Alexis encouraged them all to love themselves because Alexis. Heidi brought it back to the competition, talking about how there is usually a unanimous vote early on, with everyone dancing around the fact they came to play this season and it is very unlikely there will be one. Essentially.
Ru, Michelle and TS were joined by Lemon, sorry, Jojo Siwa as Jimbo opened the Legen-dairy Queen runway with a mod inspired milk bubble look. Kahanna had her udders out as a slutty cow, Jaymes was iconic serving milk and cookies with hands all over her body before Kandy served glam spilt milk. Alexis ate grass as she stomped the runway as a biker cow, Lala gave bondage cow, Darienne was fold after fold of satin, Jessica was the most glamorous bowl of cereal, MKD gave sour cream – my fave – while Heidi rocked sexy milk man and ugh, she looked good.
When it came to Fruity Patootie, Jumbo served queer icon Warhol, Kahanna served full banana – split me – Jaymes gave us a lemon showgirl number, Kandy popped our cherry as another showgirl, Alexis was stunning as a blueberry, Lala gave slutty caramel apple, Darienne gave messy gown before revealing her banana split bodysuit.Jessica went on a picnic of açai to day drink, MKD served banana Mame before Heidi stole the show as a gloriously plump strawberry.
In their Supermarket Supermodel Eleganza looks, Jumbo stunned in a full lettuce and artichoke gown, Kahanna was a Swedish superhero, Jaymes was stunning in a sexy housewife number, Kandy shimmered in silver – aka foil fire blankets – Alexis gave shimmer and fringe and it was alright before Lala gave Grace Jones realness in cream, getting redemption but probs not the win. Darienne was an absolute mess in strips of colour with crinkled foil trailing behind her. Jessica Wild was perfection as a pink garden nymph while MKD was worse than Darienne selling cake. And so much, too much, colour. While Heidi was a mess, but was lucky to walk after MKD.
Kahanna, Jaymes, Alexis and Heidi were sent to safety before Jimbo received universal praise for each and every look, despite the made look being lettuce glued on a bodysuit. Kandy was read for giving the same silhouette, though they lived for her confidence and the fact her made look mixed things up. Lala meanwhile received all the praise, with the judges in particular proud of her design look. Darienne on the other hand was read for messing up all the details, aside from a solid middle look. Jessica rightly received all the praise for everything she served before MKD was read for only serving sour, not sour cream and while her middle look was perfect, they all agreed her design look was an absolute mess. Completely. Ultimately it was Jessica that took out victory before Jimbo, Kandy and Lala were deemed safe, tragically leaving Darienne and MKD up for elimination.
Backstage Kahanna praised everyone for surviving the ball with them agreeing Jimbo and Kandy would be in the top, while Kahanna didn’t buy Jessica would be in there with them. They all agreed MKD would be in the bottom, though couldn’t agree whether Darienne was a mess. Alexis praised Heidi for her Legen-dairy look, which triggered Heidi, who felt she deserved to be in the top. And with the lack of sleep and stress, she had had it. Officially. Alexis then felt tipsy before borrowing Kandy’s first neckpiece to do a little impersonation. She then realised she had to go back out to the stage though, so her sisters over blushed their cheeks like Kandy to go back out in solidarity.
As the tops and bottoms joined them, they were confused by their Kandy inspired makeup while the safe girls were gagged by Jessica taking out the win. Jimbo checked in with Heidi to see if she was feeling ok, with the soft and supple queen barely containing her disappointment and ugh, I hate it. They opened up that MKD and Darienne are up for elimination, before Jessica pulled Darienne aside with Ms Lake pointing out her looks weren’t reviled like MKD’s final look and as such, she shouldn’t go. And if she stays, she will have her back. Alliance style. Heidi meanwhile was sassily reading Jimbo’s dairy look. MKD was next to talk to Jessica, admitting while she bombed on the third look, she feels like she deserves to stay – I agree – though assured Jessica she has a loving family waiting for her back at home and as such, she is happy either way. Which disappointed Jessica, given she wanted to see her fight.
Back with the dolls Kandy joked about whether anyone felt they should have been in the top, with Heidi not having her jokes, telling her the dolls will be gagged tonight as she will be quitting. While Kandy tried to assure her she is amazing and will get her time to shine, she was well and truly ready to walk as she felt she has shown enough. Jojo then dropped by backstage and while she was at an 11, I think that was just her, as she thanked the dolls for showing people their talent and for helping make it easier for queer kids. With Kandy in turn thanking her for coming out so visibly and making other kids feel ok to be queer.
With that the dolls voted before Jessica took her place on the stage before Canada vs. the World winner Ra’Jah was announced as the assassin. As soon as Kim Petras Coconuts kicked off, Jessica revealed her epic bouncing kitties under her coat, which obviously had Ru and Michelle in hysterics. While Ra’Jah was just straight up living her best life, turning a show, because that is what does. But Ru loves a bouncing titty, so you know Jessica took out victory and the epic $30K tip. Which broke our little accountant Kandy’s heart to learn she’s back down to only a $10K kitty. Darienne and MKD took their places on stage before Jessica pulled her lipstick out of her wrist, surprisingly not the titty, eliminating MKD from the competition and ugh, I hate it here.
As Mrs. Kasha Davis arrived in the Werk Room, I pulled her in for a massive hug, selfishly, to be held as I sobbed and sobbed over my loss. Well hers, but mine and ours. Through tears, I told her how sad it was to see her go so soon, particularly since I’ve been waiting years and years for what should have been a triumphant return. Given MKD is wise, however, she assured me that she knows how talented she is and as such, is ok going home. And well, I guess that should be ok with me, given she is and forever will be a camp, sweet icon who is more than worthy of a delicious Chocolate, Hazelnut & Mrspresso Eskashagot Davis or six.
I first encountered this little delight at Agnes Bakery, and knew I would have to try a copycat at home. And while, yes, they are a little more flaky than my hand rolled number, they are still delicious. Like a nutella mocha, this melts in your mouth and keeps you coming back for more.
Chocolate, Hazelnut & Mrspresso Eskashagot Davis Serves: 8.
Ingredients 1 batch David Croissant dough 1 cup dark chocolate, finely chopped 1 cup hazelnuts, half blitzed and the other half roughly chopped ¼ cup espresso ¼ cup muscovado sugar 1 tsp cinnamon
Method Prepare David’s recipe all the way through the lamination and final resting process. When that is almost complete, combine the dark chocolate, blitzed hazelnuts, coffee, muscovado sugar and cinnamon in a bowl.
Preheat the oven to 220C.
Roll the dough out until about half centimetre thick – or thicker, given it is tough and I am lazy – smear the chocolatey paste over the top to coat before rolling up from the short end to form a sausage. Cut into 2cm thick discs and pop on a lined baking sheet, before pressing some of the chopped hazelnuts into the top.
Open your oven and with a wet hand, sprinkle in a little water. Transfer the escargot to the oven, spritz with a little more water and close, immediately dropping the temperature to 180C. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden and crisp, spinning the tray halfway through cooking.
Remove and allow to cool for about 15 minutes before devouring, gleefully.
Previously on Survivor our icon Carolyn was inspired by the release of the remake of The Little Mermaid, designing impressive statement jewellery using the shells of lobsters and prawns. Actually, maybe it isn’t inspired and more she went on a Mad Max style adventure through the ocean. After Yam Yam took out his first immunity challenge of the season – the iconic Last Gasp – the tribe were split on who was the most threatening. You had Ratus and Sokas looking to put aside their differences to take out Carson while the Tika couldn’t trio couldn’t decide which side was more dangerous, and then of course, who was worse for their game on Soka. With Queen Carolyn ultimately coming out on top and playing an idol to save her baby Carson, completing her revenge arc as Danny made his way to the jury.
Back at camp Heidi was way more chill about being on the outs at tribal council, with everyone more focused on Carolyn’s iconic – though needless – idol play. Despite it not changing the outcome, Carolyn was proud of the fact it kept the Tika trio safe to the top six. She then regaled everyone with her tales of finding the idol and while it was cute, Yam Yam was worried she was showing everyone just how smart she is and as such, feared she is fast becoming the biggest threat. Sensing the idol would be rehidden, Heidi woke up early to go hunting. Though sadly for her, Carson spotted her stirring and as such, he woke everyone up and told them they too should go out and look. While Lauren was more focused on luring Carolyn into climbing trees to collect her coconuts. The Ratus caught up with Carson and Yam Yam back at camp, with Lauren floating the idea of getting rid of Carolyn next, like her coconut collector means nothing to her. While Carson had absolutely no interest in turning on his island mama, he also knew he had to pretend to be keen in order to blindside one of them.
The tribe caught up with Probst by the beach for an epic team reward where two blindfolded members would push another person around, strapped inside a ball before solving a table maze. With the two free people still blindfolded. And given it was for a massive afternoon of food and massages, everyone was fired up. Carolyn and Heidi were pushing Jamie on one team, while Yam Yam and Lauren rolled Carson for the other. And from the jump, the latter trio got out to an epic lead as Carson calmly directed his team mates to the end before solving the maze before the other trio barely made it through the course.
We followed the victors to their reward where Yam Yam was delighted to finally have a reward, smashing food and living his absolute best life. As they sat down to enjoy their massages, the boys continued to paint Carolyn as a massive target to Lauren and while Carson assured us it was just to lull her into a false sense of security, Yam Yam was definitely feeling like it may actually be time to make a move on Carolyn. Speaking of our icon, she, Heidi and Jamie were dejected to be slumming it at camp. But instead of wallowing, they got to work figuring out which of the victors needed to go next, with Jamie pushing for Carson. And while Carolyn knows she can’t beat him, she also felt it wasn’t the right time. As Jamie went idol hunting, Carolyn and Heidi caught up with the duo agreeing they feel like they can’t trust Jamie and Lauren, and as such, know they need to hold firm. For now.
After the groups came back together, Yam Yam burped in Carolyn’s face – as requested – before Carolyn and Carson caught up to fill each other in on the conversations they had missed. Agreeing that either Jamie or Lauren need to go, given Heidi gives them an easier path to the end. Yam Yam meanwhile caught up with Jamie and floated the idea of getting rid of Carolyn at the next vote instead and while Jamie was still more nervous about Carson, she was happy just as long as one of the Tikas went and as such, gladly locked in on the vote. And Yam Yam, please don’t do this to me, ok?
The tribe caught up with Jeffrey once again as he explained that to snatch immunity, they would have to balance a ball on a disc that is held flat by two ropes with the last person standing winning. Jamie was the first to drop, quickly followed by Carolyn and Carson, before Yam Yam just missed out on going to the next stage. Heidi and Jamie moved further away from their discs before resetting and battling it out until Heidi couldn’t hold it any longer, handing Lauren immunity.
Back at camp everyone split up to scramble, with Carolyn and Heidi concerned about the fact nobody was talking to them. As such, they locked in their votes against Jamie. Heidi meanwhile was hopeful that she was being told the truth, but knew that worst case, she has her idol. While Carolyn was looping in the boys, Heidi stumbled upon them, with everyone agreeing to get rid of Jamie. Hopeful that even if she has an idol, she is so confident in the boys voting with her that she doesn’t play it. Yam Yam caught up with Lauren and Jamie to lock in the Carolyn vote and while I think the plan is to only make them think they are working together, he then caught up with Carson and floated that maybe they would turn it into a reality. And ugh, I hate it here. While King Carson calmly tried to steer him back to their original plan, Jamie. As Yam Yam debated the merits of trusting his brain and his heart.
At tribal council Probst was gagged to discover the tribe had brought everything with them, assuming they will be sent to a new beach for the rest of the game. Yam Yam joked about holding on to the rice as an immunity idol, while Carson just felt anxious about being vulnerable. Jamie mentioned that they still have to try and navigate around advantages, which Yam Yam agreed complicated everybody’s decision making. Jamie meanwhile wanted to jazz up her resume – her words – while Yam Yam admitted he is getting more and more confused about who would be best to go to the end, which complicates who he is working with. While Carson just worried about going through a break-up this close to the end. Yam Yam admitted he is getting more and more emotional when it comes to the votes, knowing his head needs to win at this point, which obviously made Carolyn nervous.
Our Queen spoke about the fact she has clearly played an emotional game, but that also doesn’t mean that she can’t be strategic. But yeah, you know she is emotional about the vote. Yam Yam then plainly said that the person leaving tonight is the one that needs to leave for the sake of everyone’s game. And ugh, I want to vom. With that the tribe voted, Heidi played her idol for herself before it thankfully turned out not to be my sweet icon Carolyn going home as the boys stayed loyal, joining Carolyn and Heidi to send Jamie off to the jury.
As she arrived at Ponderosa, I pulled Jamie in for a massive hug and just embraced her kind, loving, exuberant spirit. And then realised the producers have really been trolling her for the entire season through no fault of her own, so stealthily covered her ears and told her fellow jurors to break the fake idol information to her gently. Sadly I forgot as soon as I uncovered her ears, carelessly lol-ing about her closest ally making her the producers’ target of the season. Thankfully, though, she is a delight, so took it in stride and calmly sat down to smash a fresh Jaime Lynormandy Pearuiz Cake.
Rich and sweet pears and the dense crumb of the cake pair perfectly for either an afternoon treat or a decadent dessert. Better still, this cake is super easy to make but will always have you looking like a pro in the kitchen.
Jaime Lynormandy Pearuiz Cake Serves: 8.
Ingredients 150g butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing ¾ cup raw caster sugar 2 eggs 1 ½ cups flour 1 tbsp baking powder ½ cup sour cream 500g pears, peeled, cored, roughly diced ½ cup walnuts, roughly chopped ⅓ cup sultanas 1 tsp mixed spice ½ tsp cinnamon ⅓ cup brandy 2 tbsp maple syrup icing sugar and/or double cream, for sprinkling or dolloping respectively
Method Preheat the oven to 180C and rub some butter around the edge of a 23cm springform pan and place a disc of baking paper on the base.
Cream the butter and caster sugar in a stand mixer on medium until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, allowing the mixture to come back together in between. Fold through the flour and baking powder, and once together, fold through the sour cream. Return to the mixer on low and beat for a further minute. Remove from the mixer and fold through the pear, walnuts, sultanas, mixed spice and cinnamon. Transfer the batter to the prepared tin and pop it in the oven to bake for 45 minutes, or until an insert skewer comes out clean.
While the cake cooks, combine the brandy and maple syrup in a small saucepan over low heat and cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes, or until combined.
Once the cake is done, use the skewer to pierce holes over the surface before pouring over the syrup. Leave to rest for about 15 minutes before transferring to a wire rack and removing the sides of the tin. Serve barely warm with a dusting of sugar or dollop of cream, and devour joyously.
Previously on Survivor Jeffrey wheeled out the annual Angelina Keeley Memorial Rice Bartering at the immunity challenge and despite Danny encouraging everyone to power ahead without going for the food, four people sat out and secured the bag. As Danny assured them they wouldn’t be voted out. After Frannie secured another win, the tribe got to scrambling back at camp as Tika continued to play the other factions off against each other. Ratu meanwhile were focused on advantage roulette to fight a Knowledge is Power play, with Lauren handing her extra vote to Jamie to play while Jamie in turn handed her unbeknownst-to-her fake idol to Kane. Who promptly walked out the door with it in his pocket, which upset her given she still, somehow, thought it was real.
Back at camp Frannie too was shocked by Kane’s departure, given she had been expecting Jamie to go home. Danny assured her it just came together too late to let her know, however she took it as a sign she should continue to worry about Tika. Lauren too was confused given she has no idea about the plan, worried about the dwindling numbers of Ratu members and what it means for her game. Carson on the other hand was busy doing damage control with Jamie, telling her that Kane told everyone about her idol and as such, that is why he was ultimately voted out. She then obviously vowed to us that she would find a new idol – or come clean about Kane taking it with him to the jury – to get the target off her back, unaware it was a fake anyway.
The next day the tribe met up with Probst for a reward challenge where they would have to spin in a frame to wind in a buoy, collect balls on a balance beam and then land said balls on a trough. For an epic overnight reward at the sanctuary, complete with tacos and margs in honour of Shonee, one assumes. Obviously Frannie powered ahead from the start as Danny nipped at her heels. The balance beam was a great equaliser with everyone catching up before Frannie once again pulled ahead and promptly jagged reward before anyone else even landed a ball. Probst being Probst he told Frannie the reward also included letters from home, and that she would be able to invite someone to enjoy it with her, with her picking Carolyn. After Carolyn sobbed through her thanks, Probst let her pick another, going with Lauren before Probst gave her just one more spot with her selecting Heidi. Leaving Jamie and the boys to head back to camp.
Back to camp where things were well and truly bleak. It was cold and rainy as Yam Yam smarted about missing out on yet another reward, admitting he is just so hungry and is emotional knowing that a letter from his husband is sitting somewhere on the island while he was stuck at camp missing him. Thankfully Jamie and Danny sweetly assured him it will be ok, letting him feel his emotions and assuring him that they were there to support. Given they were all bitter though, Frannie was now definitely public enemy number one.
Speaking of Frannie, she was busy giddily smashing the margs and getting into the food as Carolyn gushed about how sweet she was to have immediately chosen the mums. Frannie spoke about how much she looks up to Carolyn, seeing someone that doesn’t care about fitting in and is true to herself. We then got a supercut of everyone reading their letters, learning just how iconic Lauren is as a powerful single mother that has fought so hard to get to where she is. Carolyn had everyone laughing as she joked about her son not loving writing, shocked that he pulled together a par for her. Despite knowing Frannie was a threat, Carolyn also knew that she couldn’t bring herself to get rid of her – yet – and as such, suggested they get rid of Danny ASAP. Assuming Heidi was on board with them, which she said she was, however I don’t trust it.
Back at camp they were pulling together their counter plan, locking in the vote for Frannie with Danny suggesting they use flushing Jamie’s idol as a fake plan. Seeing her moment, she came clean about her (fake) idol going out in Kane’s pocket and while she felt everyone believed her, they didn’t, locking in a plan to get rid of Jamie instead, should Frannie win immunity. The victors returned to camp the next day with Jamie quickly filling the girls in on her lost idol, and while she once again felt liberated about letting the truth out, everyone thought she was lying and also decided she needed to go ASAP.
Probst made his triumphant return for the immunity challenge where they would be bound and forced to slither through the sand, dragging a buoy along with their mouths. They would then guide the buoy through a rope obstacle before, yep, solving a puzzle. Danny powered ahead like a sexy seal before untying himself and getting to work on his buoy as Carson and Heidi nipped at his heels. As is oft the case, everyone caught up at the puzzle before Carson’s 3D printer came in for the win as he powered through it and quickly jagged himself immunity. As Mama Carolyn looked on with pride, like the sweet icon she is.
Back at camp Frannie was feeling excited to have to play herself out of elimination, given she has been immune at every tribal council she has attended. She, Carolyn, Heidi and Carson locked in the vote for Danny before immediately flipping it to a split between Danny and Jamie, eliminating the latter if she doesn’t play her idol. Danny, Lauren, Yam Yam and Jamie meanwhile were locking in the vote against Frannie, though Yam Yam was still nervous about Jamie too. As such, he approached Carson to see what the best idea was, with them agreeing Jamie and Frannie are both dangerous, though Carson cautioned the latter is growing close with Carolyn and as such, they need to get rid of her to keep Carolyn in their pocket. Which isn’t guaranteed, if Carolyn is annoyed – which she will be – but whatever.
Danny meanwhile looped Heidi in, though told her he doesn’t even need her vote to get rid of Frannie but cautioned she should jump on board. She immediately took this to Carolyn who grew very nervous, looping in Frannie before they tried to rally the girls to get rid of Heidi given she has been controlling the vote at the last few tribal councils. Knowing they needed one more, she approached Carson who was worried about a last minute change as Carolyn assured him that sometimes last minute plans are the best.
At tribal council Frannie admitted it would have been better to be taken on reward rather than have won it, given she couldn’t keep everyone happy. Danny spoke about how Frannie winning challenges is fast making her a legend, though admitted that all the winning also makes her a threat. Oh and yeah, I’m ignoring Probst trying to make full-tilt boogie a thing. Yam Yam spoke about the fact that it is sometimes more important to lose a few battles to win the war. Jamie once again told the truth about her fake idol, eliciting eyerolls from everyone that clearly didn’t believe her. She then spoke about how the new era of Survivor keeps things fresh week to week, with alliances almost obsolete.
Danny spoke about how everyone has grown so close, though they are still focused on playing the game, voting out their friends or not. While Carson admitted today was the most stressed he has been all season, and that is when he has immunity. Heidi meanwhile was worried about how many plans have blown up, knowing all it takes to be eliminated is a wrong word at the wrong time. And with that the tribe voted and tragically Carolyn was unable to sway the tribe as her bestie challenge beast Frannie was sent to the jury. To reunite with her sweet boyfriend Matt, who was gutted to see her eliminated but no doubt thrilled to reunite with her.
Before the lovebirds could reunite however, I pulled her in for a hug and through quiet sobs thanked her for being such a joyous part of the season. Proving you can be both a nerd and strong, and dorky and cool, I ship the hell out of her and Matt so much, because they proved that there are still such delightful people in the world and humanity isn’t doomed. Yes, I love them that much. And I look forward to their inevitable return on a Blood Vs Water season and their eventual progression into the modern era Romber. But until then, I thanked her for being an icon and plotted how to tackle her return as we smashed big bowls of Frannberry Ice Creamarin.
This festive feeling ice cream is such a delightful surprise. A little sweet, a hint of spice and tart in all the right ways, even though it may not be something you’d run to on paper, I promise it is delicious.
Frannberry Ice Creamarin Serves: 6-8.
Ingredients 2 cups double cream 1 ¾ cups raw caster sugar 6 egg yolks ¼ tsp kosher salt 4 cups cranberries 1 orange, zested and juiced 1 cinnamon quill
Method Combine the double cream and half a cup of the sugar in a heavy based saucepan and bring just to the boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and keep covered.
In a large bowl of the stand mixer, beat the yolks with a quarter of a cup of sugar with the salt on high speed until thick and voluminous. This should take about 3-4 minutes. Reduce to low speed and slowly pour in the hot cream before transferring the combined mixture back to the saucepan. Cook over low heat, constantly stirring, until it reaches 75C and has thickened. Pour the custard through a sieve into a heatproof bowl and leave to cool completely to room temperature.
While it gets chill, combine the remaining sugar, cranberries, orange juice and zest and the cinnamon in a large saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for a couple of minutes before discarding the cinnamon and transferring to a blender. Blitz the mixture until smooth before straining through a sieve into the bowl of custard. Stir until combined and leave to cool again.
Once it has returned to room temperature, transfer to an ice cream maker and churn as per packet instructions before transferring to an airtight container and popping in the freezer to chill for at least 4 hours. And then devour.
Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race the top five played a little quiz game for the power to assign teachers for this year’s makeover. Despite having to read herself for the win, Loosey paired everyone with people that made sense for each of them. Well, except for Luxx, who she decided to take revenge on for reading her for filth all season. While Loosey and her new sister looked like legit twins, the judges felt they had no chemistry on the runway. Luxx gave nothing to build their family resemblance, though her new daughter did look like Jennifer Collidge which should count for something. Ultimately Anetra was perfect from start to finish, which handed her her third win of the season while Luxx and Loosey faced off in the lip sync, with Luxx coming out on top and sending Loosey out in fifth place.
Backstage the dolls soon discovered Loosey was completely annoyed to be eliminated, while Luxx found it hilarious that Loosey was eliminated after trying to play dirty. Mistress on the other hand was just proud of Loosey for finally admitting she was playing the game, in addition to being stiff competition. Luxx admitted she was heartbroken to have been in the bottom so close to the end, while everyone was just excited to have made it to the top four. Anertra was proud of herself for being neck and neck with the one and only Ms Colby, while Sasha herself was just hoping for no last minute goopery costing her place in the competition.
The next day Ru dropped by to announce that for their final maxi challenge, the dolls would be writing and recording verses on Ru’s song Blame It On the Edit before filming the film clip with Miguel Zarate (swoon). And sitting with Ru and Michelle for a tic tac lunch, like icons. Oh and then he announced that only three of them will be going through to the finale, which obviously left them gagged. Just as Sasha feared. After Ru left, the dolls split up to listen to the song and work on their lyrics. Mistress was obviously super confident given she is shady as hell, while Sasha is glad she knows words. Anetra was planning to lean into her brand – voguing and sex – while Luxx felt like she had it in the bag, so went aside to have a nap like Pearl and Jinkx before her.
Sasha was first up to chat with Ru and Michelle, welcoming them to the meet and greet before talking about her epic career leading to this point. She admitted that she has struggled throughout the season, not wanting to do too well given she didn’t want the girls to hate her. She opened up about how her lack of support from her mother is what makes her worry about gaining people’s approval. She then went very deep, talking about how she was left everything after her father died, and how that was almost a seal of approval. And ugh, crown her.
Speaking of crowning her, Sasha’s co-winner Anetra was up next, talking through growing up Mormon and how drag is what opened her up to every colour of the rainbow. Michelle then gushed about how good her and Marcia’s lip sync was – shoulda been a double save – labelling it the greatest of all time. She spoke about how she learnt to vogue in Vegas, while Ru praised her for always bringing something to the challenges that only she can. Oh and you best believe winning would mean everything to her, and prove everything was worth it.
Mistress was next up, talking about what made her such an outspoken icon and how that got under Loosey’s skin. Who she in turn felt was different on camera to what she was like when the red light went out. She spoke about how she came to the competition wanting to prove why she deserves the crown, and that she desperately wants to make everyone proud. Particularly Mama Chavelle, winner of Season 16. Oh and you best believe she is now in her top three era. She tapped out with Luxx who spoke about how she came to the competition ready to serve looks at every moment. Oh and she opened up about going to Cicely Tyson high school and honestly, I am jealous as all hell. She spoke about how her parents taught her to be confident and proud of herself, and you know she took that and ran and now, is always ready to prove a bitch wrong.
The top four came together on set to work through the choreography and given Sasha is serving Barbwire realness, you know she is winning. Everyone admittedly looked amazing, though Mistress kinda got stuck in her head, worried about learning it all in time and ugh, it sucks to see someone so confident get so nervous. Without any time to process things, the back-up dancers were brought in and the dolls were put through their paces in front of the red light. Luxx was perfect from start to finish, while Anetra was surprisingly nervous. Most importantly, Luxx lost a nail in her outfit and ugh, she is hilarious and I am going to miss her when the season is over. They traded out with Sasha and Mistress and similar to the others, Sasha was perfect at every damn moment, while Mistress was so focused on the choreography, she didn’t give the attitude.
Elimination Day arrived with the dolls splitting up to prepare for the final runway, with everyone shocked by how quickly the challenge has gone. Luxx and Sasha were obviously thrilled to have nailed the challenge, while Mistress vowed not to let the choreo get her down. Anetra too was nervous, given it took her some time to get it down, though was confident she did enough in the end. Mistress asked everyone to talk through their first impressions, with Anetra loving Luxx from the start while the dolls were all shocked by how kind and down to earth Sasha is, given she is as sickening as her legacy. Mistress always knew Anetra would be a silent assassin, while everyone was gagged by how much she has grown as she came into her own around the dolls. Anetra meanwhile loved that while Mistress is obnoxious, she showed she also had a massive heart too.
Talk turned to all of the feuds and damn, these girls really fed us with the drama. Well, Luxx at least, who found herself at the centre of all the -gates. Before they turned their attention to the fact one of them will win, with everyone confident they deserve to make it to the top but also nervous about falling so close to the end.
It was family only on the judges panel as Ru, Michelle and Ross took their places on the panel as Anetra opened the Drag Excellence runway looking stunning in a fitted blue velvet gown in honour of her Asian heritage. Luxx meanwhile was perfect in a shimmering white gown with a huge, curly wig. Sasha meanwhile was glorious in a silver crystal gown, referencing her Hawaiin heritage in the best ways possible. Before Mistress closed the show in a fringed, crystal cheetah print gown and ugh, I love it. Particularly since she wore it in a pageant previously, meaning she is the Kate Middleton of drag. When it came to the film clip, we may be able to Blame it on the Edit because everyone was stunning. Anetra was fierce as hell and v on brand, Luxx was full chanteuse, Sasha was sexy and perfect in every moment, while Mistress rapped the house down and delivered all the attitude.
After thanking the top four for all nailing the challenge, the judges praised Anetra for combining old and new on the runway and looking beautiful. They praised her for getting stronger from week to week, and truly shine when she let them in. Oh and Ru was proud of her, no doubt for showing off her branding prowess by always walking the duck. Luxx was praised for having such impeccable taste and always looking perfect. And showing off everything she has to offer. They all spoke about Sasha’s legacy and how somehow she exceeded all expectations week after week, and constantly slayed. And more importantly, she showed her massive heart and how she is always giving back to her sisters and the community and AGAIN, crown her. While Mistress was beloved for always giving polish and charm, truly showing Houston excellence at every moment. Though also being a versatile and intelligent performer each week.
Ru pulled out a picture of 5 year old Isiah, asking Anetra what she would tell herself, asking him to hold on through the dark days, knowing that one day the world will be safe for you to shine. And it will be so much better than she can even imagine. Luxx told baby Justin that all his dreams will come true, he just needs to know that everything that comes his way is what makes him who he is. Sasha told baby Sasha that she is a stunning woman, and that trusting her instincts will be what makes her dreams come true so just hold it down and know that you are loved. While Mistress told herself that despite how confusing life will be most of the time, that fire within will be what keeps him holding on to hope and that eventually, he will find his tribe and achieve the world.
Backstage the dolls were gagged by the fact one of them will still go home, with Mistress in particular nervous about struggling through the challenge given she has slayed all season long. The dolls rallied around her, agreeing she has done so well that it would suck to be in the bottom. Luxx was fairly confident she would not be in the bottom, despite Mistress reminding her she is kinda delusional. Sasha praised them all for being different and giving something unique, while they reflected on how great they have been throughout the season. Mistress’ least favourite moment was calling Marcia’s drag cheap and her favourite was proving herself in the Snatch Game. Anetra called Luxx’s highlight wearing her Ru look, while she loved saying Loosey should go home. While Sasha pointed out Mistress struggled with Love Connie, while her least favourite was the standup challenge. Everyone agreed that Anetra’s favourite moment should have been her ninja realness in the talent show, though.
Ultimately Sasha took out her fourth win of the season and booked her place in the finale, before Luxx was sent through to join her. Meaning Anetra and Mistress would have to face off for the final spot to Kelly Rowland’s – I don’t care about David Guetta – When Love Takes Over and ugh, they were stunning. Both of the dolls leant into the passion of the song, hitting every lyric, being silly when required and obviously serving tricks as Anetra walked the duck once again, as Mistress tried to swat her out of the competition. It was cute, it was fun and well, thankfully Ru went back on her word, going with a double shantay and keeping both of the girls in the running moving on to the finale.
Despite the fact all the dolls were kept in place, I had already gotten busy in the kitchen, so tapped Mistress on the shoulder and told her that I’d like to pre-emptively celebrate her run in the competition. And given the number of wins was the fairest way to decide who would be first, she was the first I’d be catching up with. While she questioned whether that meant I didn’t think she would win, I pulled her in for a massive hug to stop her questioning, instead getting her to focus on how good her run was. As despite only getting one win, there is no denying how good she has been each and every week. Which alone makes her more than worthy of a shot at the crown and a piping hot batch of Mistress Isamaple Crookies.
These cookies are the perfect little snack – Halloween decorations, or not. The delicate flavour of the maple works perfectly with the crunchy cookies to provide the ultimate all rounder snack. Perfect for celebrating a queen that is good at nearly everything.
Mistress Isamaple Crookies Serves: 8-12.
Ingredients 300g flour 1 tsp cinnamon 1 tsp baking soda 1 tsp kosher salt, plus a pinch for icing 150g unsalted butter, at room temperature 200g muscovado sugar 1 egg, at room temperature 160ml maple syrup 2 tsp vanilla extract 1 cup pecans, roughly chopped 115g icing sugar any sprinkles you feel inspired by, for decoratin’
Method Sift the flour, cinnamon and baking soda into a bowl, and add the salt. Meaning in a stand mixer, cream 120g of butter and the muscovado sugar on medium for a couple of minutes, or until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides, add the egg and mix for a further minute on low. With the mixer running, add half the maple syrup and vanilla extract, mixing until just combined. Remove from the stand mixer and fold through the dry ingredients and pecans before returning to the mixer and beating for a minute or so, until well combined. Form the dough into a disc, wrap in cling wrap and transfer to the fridge to chill for a couple of hours.
Preheat the oven to 180°C and line two baking sheets.
Once the dough is chill, using an ice cream scoop, roll out 1-2 tablespoon balls of dough and pop on a baking sheet, allowing plenty of room for spread. Once all rolled out, pop the sheets in the oven and allow to bake for about 15 minutes, or until lightly browned and cooked through. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the tray for a couple of minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
While the cookies get chill, pop the remaining butter and maple syrup in a small saucepan and whisk over a low heat until combined. Whisk in the icing sugar and a pinch of salt and stir until it has come together again. Drizzle the warm glaze over the cookies, add sprinkles for fun and allow to set for five minutes before devouring. Like a winner.
Previously on Survivor the three tribes were well and truly settling into island life. Despite being left out of the Helen vote, Sarah was assured by her fellow Tikans they are a solid four and will stick together to the end. Though she was still concerned about what would happen should they return to tribal council. After a bunch of shenanigans with cages, keys and fake idols, the tribes came together for the latest immunity challenge where you know Claire sat out once again. Sadly for her, however, it made her a target once Soka lost immunity and everyone realised she was disposable. While Frannie and Heidi tried to sway their respective partners to target Josh instead, the terrible timeline continued as we lost yet another iconic woman to the pre-merge.
The next day the new Soka tribe did a little sunrise meditation session to work through losing Claire. Not that Josh really needed it though, given he was firmly the swing vote between two pairs within the tribe. Sadly though, that wasn’t how things actually were with the two pairs actually keen to work together to take him out and go into the merge as two powerful duos. We ventured to Tika where the foursome were wandering around the jungle and discovered a new X made of sticks added to the cage, with everyone speculating what it could mean. We then learnt Carolyn is playing 5D chess, hiding the X on the cage and marking an X over where she hid the fake idol to trick someone into finding it. And ugh, I love her so much. The group went back to camp speculating what the X could mean as Sarah discovered Carolyn’s fake idol without anyone noticing. Even Carolyn, though she was grateful somebody found it.
The tribes met with Probst for the first reward challenge of the season where they would race up a ladder, over a cargo net and then shoot sandbags at a target. The trick being that every person on the tribe each needs to hit one of the targets in order to take the win. That being for either a massive or decent tarp, in addition to assigning which person from each tribe goes on the next journey. Danny got Soka out to the lead, followed by Carson for Tika while Brandon eventually connected to keep Ratu in it. Soka continued to power ahead as Ratu overtook Tika as Carolyn struggled to make the shot. Ultimately Soka took out victory before Carolyn finally connected leaving Tika and Ratu to battle for second with Ratu taking it out before Yam Yam even got a chance to toss his sack.
With the challenge out of the way things got interesting as Soka sent Josh, Carson and Jaime on their journey where they bonded as they trekked up a mountain. When they reached the pinnacle, they split up and made their way to a table where they were each given a hidden immunity idol to use up to the merge. The catch being they will not be going home to their tribes, instead pulling out a new buff with Josh joining Tika, Jaime going to Soka and Carson heading over to Ratu. Josh was first to meet his new tribe as Yam Yam, Carolyn and Sarah were gagged to have a new member. Despite welcoming him with open arms, Yam Yam was heartbroken to have lost Carson given they had become so close. The OG Tika’s tried to get to know Josh with Sarah thinking he was a surgeon, though he promptly lied about it and said he was a personal trainer. Sadly for him, Yam Yam could see right through his lie and he and Sarah secretly picked apart his timeline and confirmed they couldn’t trust him.
Over at Ratu Carson was regaling the new tribe with the journey that brought him here and while I love Carson, the fact that his first move to ingratiate himself was to throw Yam Yam under the bus as the leader breaks my heart. Sad to have lost his closest ally, Matthew pulled Carson aside to fill him in on what has been going on within the tribe to try and build trust. And while he left out the fact Jamie’s idol is fake, I love how hard he is playing. Soka were equally gagged to see Jaime arriving at their camp and while I would assume she is completely screwed, she is so kind and upbeat, I don’t see them wanting to get rid of her too easily. The OG Soka’s were concerned about her having an idol and spoiling their plans, so Danny got to work looking through her things though decided she was all good. Despite the fact she has one real and one fake idol.
The new tribes reconvened with Jeffrey for the latest immunity challenge where they would dive into the ocean one at a time, climb a tower and leap off to grab a key before swimming to a balance beam and walking over it. Once the four keys were collected, they would unlock puzzle pieces and solve said puzzle. Because, duh. Josh got Tika out to an early lead until Brandon powered across the balance beam and snatched the lead. While Danny was left right out. Lauren missed her key, meaning Brandon had to double back to collect one, given Soka and Tika time to close the gap. Well, Soka at least, as Yam Yam got stuck on the balance beam. Heidi and Matt got to work on the puzzle for Soka as Kane and Carolyn raced to make it to the end of the course, before Kane started struggling on the beam. Once Soka confirmed their win, Ratu and Tika powered through their puzzle before Lauren and Carson pulled ahead, securing immunity for Ratu and sending Tika back to tribal council. Just.
Back at camp the tribe were dejected by the loss, with Yam Yam disappointed but ok, given Josh is a super easy target as the newbie. Sadly Yam Yam told Carolyn she would be the decoy vote and while she said she was ok at the moment, she was super annoyed by it and sick of being told to accept being the secondary target. Yam Yam and Sarah pulled Josh aside to loop in him, assuring him that they desperately want to work with him and get rid of Carolyn. Though Sarah admitted she was a little concerned about him having an idol and assured us that should he play one, she will be playing hers. Josh then went to Carolyn and straight up told her that not only is she their target, but that he has an idol and would play it on her while they put their votes on Sarah and get her out of the game. Giving Carolyn the choice to send Josh out of the game or tell him where to actually play the idol and blindside Sarah.
At tribal council Josh spoke about how shocked he was to have been swapped to the new tribe and while he was an easy target, Sarah and Yam Yam spoke about how keeping him around could help build an alliance with his friends in Soka. Yam Yam spoke about how he may not feel like he is friends with his OGs anymore, which upset Carolyn given it felt like he was over her and wanted her out. As they started to fight, Josh admitted he was living for the chaos, though knew that the fight could all be a cover to make him feel safe. Carolyn felt that her loyalty was being ignored, as Sarah and Yam Yam spoke about aligning with Soka meaning Carolyn was clearly the target. If it isn’t an act. With that the tribe voted and Josh played his idol on himself while Sarah and Carolyn held onto theirs – whether Sarah’s was real or not doesn’t matter here, TBH – before Carolyn and Josh’s votes sent Sarah from the game. To Yam Yam’s shock and horror.
As often happens, Sarah found her way to Loser Lodge by following my tears of rage. This time due to having lost yet another iconic woman pre-merge. I mean, in the words of Taylor Armstrong – enough. I pulled her in for a massive hug and told her that the small starting tribes seem to have run their course, given time and time again, women and minorities are going out with just a few votes for no other reason than there aren’t enough people around to strategise with (or vote out). Add in a sea of advantages and well, refer back to Taylor ok? That being said, the new era has given us plenty of icons for another Second Chances season and that is enough to celebrate with a big batch of Golden Sarup & Wadamom Dumplings.
These fluffy dumplings are the perfect, soothing dish to warm your soul. Sticky and sweet with a beautifully spiced kick, they melt in your mouth and take away the pain of yet another season of femicide (thank f- Liz overcame this trend).
Golden Sarup & Wadamom Dumplings Serves: 6.
Ingredients 100g butter, diced 1 ⅓ cups muscovado sugar ¼ cup golden syrup 1 ⅓ cups flour 1 ½ tsp baking powder 1 tsp ground cardamom ¼ tsp cinnamon ⅔ cup milk Vanilla Ice Cream, to serve
Method Place 60g butter, 1 ¼ cups of muscovado sugar and the golden syrup in a large frying pan with 2 cups cold water and cook over a low heat for about 5 minutes, or until the sugar has dissolved. Crank the heat up to medium and bring to the boil, and cook for a few minutes until it reduces before removing from the heat.
Combine the flour, cardamom, cinnamon and butter in a bowl and, using your fingers, rub the butter through until it resembles wet sand before stirring through the remaining muscovado. Make a well in the centre, pour in the milk and stir with a wooden spoon until it comes together as a wet dough.
Return the caramel to a medium heat and carefully drop in a few tablespoons of batter at a time, leaving a little bit of space to allow them to puff up as they cook. Cover with a lid or some foil, reduce to low and simmer for 15 minutes, or until they are cooked through.
Serve immediately with a generous coating of the caramel and a hearty dollop of ice cream.
Previously on Australian Survivor Gerry was feeling betrayed after landing in isolation after George and Liz switched their votes from Simon, leaving him plenty of time to swap stories with Nina about their relevant final three deals with George. At the immunity challenge for four, Matt just snatched victory ahead of sweet Simon, who felt like his time would surely now be up. Back at camp George was ready to repeat the previous tribal and split the vote between Simon and Nina. Nina meanwhile was not interested in going down without a fight, trying to woo Matt and Gerry to her side to take out the king with Simon. Sadly though it was clear it didn’t work at tribal council as Gerry spoke George had been mentoring him before it finished on a tie between Nina and Simon, with our sweet, iconic bottom finally exiting the game.
The next day the final five were delighted to find a little breakfast treat with the warning that they will need all the energy they can to make it to the end of the game. While everyone smashed muffins and coffee, George appeared to be most excited by the bag of sugar. Matt meanwhile was all jacked up on caffeine and sugar, buzzing and feeling like he can finally think again. And by think, run around the camp screaming and belly flopping into the ocean. The fivesome then had a lovely moment together, bonding in the shallows and celebrating how far they have come. George and Gerry caught up privately, locking in going to the final three with Matt, while George spoke about being grateful to have found a lifelong friend in Gerry. But then ominously pointed out he would be happy to finish in fourth. Or third, or second. Meaning it is pretty clear Nina is next, right?
That afternoon the boys caught up to lock in their vote against Nina, as she hung in the hammock while Liz wandered around camp. She had finally realised that George’s relationship with the boys was becoming a massive threat to her game after the last tribal council, identifying Matt as her biggest physical threat and George as the most likely to win. Which again came infuriatingly too late. Trying to restore the jacuzzi alliance, Liz instead caught up with Nina by the shore and locked in the plan to vote out Matt should he not win immunity. Knowing that if she appeared positive it could prove a spoiler, Nina pretended to be disappointed as she caught up with her fellow former Heroes, leaving Liz to catch up with George and lock in the vote against Matt. You know, if he doesn’t win immunity.
Meaning it is very, very obvious that Matt is winning immunity.
The tribe met Jonathan by the beach for the final five immunity challenge where they would have to race to drop a ball in a shoot, race to collect it at the other end of a disc before walking over obstacles and collecting two more. Before then navigating them up an upright maze and into a hole, with the first to land them all taking out immunity. Nina and Liz took an early lead, with Liz powering ahead as Matt overtook Nina and worked to close the gap. While George and Gerry were stuck collecting their balls, with the former cursing it as a stupid challenge. Liz had a massive head start as she got to work on the maze before dropping, leaving enough time for Matt to join her. He too struggled, allowing Nina to join them followed by George as Gerry was still stuck on the first obstacle. Eventually Liz landed her first ball, followed closely by Nina. As George tried some wild tricks, Liz landed her second ball, making me realise how very wrong I was about Matt. As George magician-ed the ball to the top, Gerry joined the fray before Nina dropped her second ball as Liz powered through, landed her third and jagged herself immunity. Like a damn queen.
Back at camp the tribe quickly congratulated Liz on her victory before everyone scattered to work through plans for the upcoming tribal council. She sat by herself in the hammock, talking through all the scenarios by herself, knowing that trusting in Liz is kinda her last option and as such, she needs to be solid. Matt meanwhile checked in with George to see if he wanted to talk, with George assuring him that the only option is Nina tonight and as such, they need to load their votes on her and not worry. While Matt worried about Liz turning on them, George assured her she had no other options. Just as she and Nina caught up by the well to lock in their votes against Matt, while she worried about George’s growing closeness with Gerry. Liz caught up with George to tell him that voting out Matt is literally the only correct option moving forward, as George panicked about upsetting Gerry. Leading to Liz telling him to stop being soft and letting Gerry play into his emotions, and instead get cutthroat and play to win.
Which is energy I would have loved at any of the last four tribal councils.
Sadly for Liz, her pep talk actually triggered George, reminding him that he voted out his closest ally in fourth in his first season and that being cutthroat is what led to his loss. Which I would argue wasn’t the case, but it definitely didn’t help. Though he knew that by going to the final three with Matt and Gerry, he was essentially handing himself third. As such, he approached Nina to affirm that he would reignite the jacuzzi alliance. Matt then dropped by Nina, asking how she was feeling as Nina outlined that she, Liz and George were targeting Matt and while he knew she was trying anything to survive, he was very nervous. He then approached George and Liz to tell them what Nina said, leading to them vehemently denying it and ugh, I feel like it may be the thing that causes them to just vote her out.
Matt then approached Gerry to loop him in, with Gerry calmly telling him George knows he is playing for third with them, though he was happy to finish there. As Liz and George continued to bicker in the shelter, Liz pointed out he needs to stop being emotional and to just get rid of Matt. George then caught up with Nina, with her expertly telling him that she is voting Matt because that is the only plan anyone has given her and if he has a different one, she is willing to hear it. Sadly for her, as they spoke it became more and more clear that George will continue to be a swing vote until the very last moment.
At tribal council Nina spoke about how there is a high likelihood that she will be going home given she is literally the only person left from outside of the major alliance. While she has appealed to people to make a move, she feels like everyone is just holding on to their ticket to the finale and not letting go. Liz praised her for never giving up and always trying to find a way to survive, before talk turned to Matt’s challenge prowess, with George admitting it is a concern given he only makes it to the end if someone takes him. Liz praised him as her biggest challenge competitor, leading to Matt pointing out that Liz is also a huge physical threat, seemingly not realising she is immune so it literally doesn’t matter at this point.
George spoke to the fact he lost Brains Vs Brawn due to only focusing on strategy and not listening to his heart, though he intended to be guided by it this time to make it to the end. He then laid all ownership for building the minority alliance as Shonee looked on, enraged. Gerry tried to pretend their alliance had not had a leader with Jonathan hilariously pointing out that it completely contradicts what George just said. Gerry tried to double down, talking about everyone having a different moment to make the decisions, leading to an epic eye roll from Nina. She then spoke about how her perception is completely different and that is what matters when the power switches to the jury, as to her, Gerry has done nothing but do what he was told and tend to the fire. Essentially.
With that the tribe voted and two votes piled up on Matt and Nina before George proved to listen to his heart as Nina was tragically eliminated from the game. Meaning voting out a close ally cost him a win, as will likely keeping one. As Nina urged Liz to just not let George make it to the final tribal council.
As Nina arrived at the Jury Villa I congratulated her on becoming the first ever Twine to serve on a jury, which is literally all we’ve ever wanted from Sandra given she would give us the most iconic, sassy questions known to man. But that is all I said about her mama, as I pulled her in for a hug and praised her for playing such a strong game. While she and the Heroes may have botched it against Shonee and George – note who was put up front, for a reason – the fact that she managed to be the last one standing proves her impeccable skill at winning people over, gathering the right intel and making sure there was always someone that was a more pressing boot. So while I’m heartbroken we didn’t get the Twine Heroes Vs. Villains bookend we wanted, I am glad I could cheer her up with a Biryanina Twine.
This Indian classic – biryani – is one of those great dishes that are just as tasty as they are simple to make, meaning it quickly finds a permanent place in your rotation. Spicy and soothing, it is the perfect way to wash away the stress of the day. Or celebrate a win (or fifth place, in this case).
Biryanina Twine Serves: 4-6.
Ingredients 1 cup Greek yoghurt ¼ cup korma curry paste 600g chicken breasts, diced 2 tsp olive oil 1 onion, sliced 1 tbsp minced ginger 5 garlic cloves, minced 800g tin diced tomatoes 1 cinnamon stick 2 bay leaves 1 ½ cups basmati rice 1 ½ cups chicken stock a handful of coriander leaves, roughly chopped, plus extra to serve
Method Combine the yoghurt and korma paste in a bowl and stir through the chicken to coat. Cover with cling and pop in the fridge to marinate for a couple of hours.
Once the chicken is well and truly marinated, heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat and cook the onion for 5 minutes or until soft and golden. Add the ginger and garlic, and cook stirring for a couple of minutes before stirring in the tomatoes, cinnamon and bay, cooking for a few minutes.
Stir in the chicken and rice, followed by the stock. Bring to a boil before reducing heat to low and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes or so, or until the liquid is absorbed and rice, soft and tender. Stir through the coriander and remove from the heat. Before serving, with an extra sprinkle of coriander or a dollop of yoghurt and devouring. Greedily.
Previously on Survivor 18 castaways were once again marooned in the islands of Fiji for a season of shenanigans and scheming. And while Jesse and Karla kinda dominated everyone, they were eliminated back-to-back resulting in a wild final tribal council where Cassidy was robbed and the jury awarded Gabler victory. Before he promptly gave all the money away to charity, which was lovely, but also kinda ended the season in an odd way. So basically, it happened and we were there.
But that is then and this is now, and I am obviously going to roll right past things and embrace more Probst time. We kicked things off with Carolyn learning a little bit about how to deliver confessionals and while it was all about herself, she seemed a little confused about what she was meant to do, so I love her already. We then cut to three boats speeding to a shore where we learnt young Carson has been studying for a shot to play for years and years. A lady named Claire meanwhile was hoping to translate being a venture capitalist into winning the money, while Jaime will use her yogi skills to build bonds while Yam Yam just can’t wait to shit in the ocean. Oh and Frannie loves tests, while Bruce is exploding with excitement.
But more importantly, Yam Yam is pumped for aqua dumps.
The boats arrived on a beach to meet Jeff where Jaime immediately fell in the ocean, while Matt and Frannie were shocked by how real it felt. And well, everyone was just a tad bit excited. Jeff gave us some flashbacks to past maroonings and victories, reminding them they have to both build a society and be strategic enough to make it to the end and convince people to give them money. Yam Yam was first to speak officially, saying he wants castaways to bring it and give it their all and that he is just pumped to hold their puke bags as they’re family now. Frannie agreed that they’re bonded for life while Matthew was just anxious, rather than fearful. Which is relatable AF.
After introducing Ratu in orange, Soka in green and Tika in purple, Jeff explained that their first reward challenge would see pairs from each tribe race through obstacles to collect puzzle pieces, then two people will solve said puzzle before three people would each release a ring from a pole – swoon – with the first tribe to finish getting supplies and second place getting to pick whether to do the sweat or swoon challenge back at camp, while last place would have to suffer through the other. On the second obstacle, Bruce smacked his head on a piece of wood and started flowing blood as Probst told him to let him know if they needed to pause the challenge. The other tribes continued to power ahead, as Tika pulled up the rear while Bruce was completely covered in blood.
Everyone was working on their puzzles before Bruce fell to the ground as Probst finally called pause on the challenge as medical checked his vital signs. Everyone cheered as he sat up and gave them a sign and ugh, it was beautiful to see. He then called the challenge back on as the tribes powered through the puzzles, with Tika somehow first to finish theirs. The other tribes then cheated on the puzzle as Carolyn struggled to release the rings, leaving Soka to power through the rings and win their supplies. Before Ratu burnt through theirs, handing them the choice of the additional challenges while Carolyn was just exhausted and the tribe was left with the dregs. After handing out maps to their camps, Probst ominously advised Bruce that the medical team would continue to monitor him over the next day.
We followed Soka to their new camp, where the tribe were still super excited about literally everything. Matt meanwhile admitted to us that he was a little bit nervous to hit the beach, since he is fresh out of a break up and wanting to find himself. They went into the ocean to wash off the mud and make introductions with everyone vibing and having a nice time and ugh, I love it. Despite the fact Danny wished there was an asshole that would make it easier to get rid of people when the time comes. Josh, Frannie and Claire went for a walk looking for firewood as they came across a locked birdcage with an idol – or at least, something – in the middle of the jungle. They pulled everyone aside to show them and well, just the sight of it seemed to make everyone a little nervous.
At Ratu the tribe read the challenges in front of them where they would either have to work collecting 100s of coconuts at opposite ends of the beach in under 4 hours, while the savvy challenge would be to solve a puzzle in 15 minutes. Matthew pointed out the other tribe were kind of down and out already with Bruce’s injury, so sweetly suggested the brawn challenge makes the most sense for them. Matthew and Brandon got to work on the coconut challenge as the other four started sorting their camp. We bounced over to Tika where Helen was delighted to learn they jagged the puzzle with Carolyn and Yam Yam quickly dapping out. As such Carson and Helen stood up to the puzzle and straight up solved it within a matter of minutes, as the rest of the tribe wandered around and discovered their cage. And while Yam Yam knew it was an advantage, he desperately wanted it to be candy. While Carolyn wanted to break in without a key.
And I ship both of them already.
Back at Ratu Brandon and Matthew were straight up exhausted by the challenge, though continued to power ahead in the hope of getting their supplies. The rest of their tribe came across the cage, which they quickly agreed to ignore and do as much work as possible for the duo working hard for their supplies. And while they were cramping up and ready to quit, the duo managed to finalise it with a matter of minutes remaining. And well, they were just overjoyed.
Carson and Yam Yam were busy trying to make fire back at Tika, with Yam Yam proving to have done more practice as he ignited a roaring blaze. He opened up to us about how thrilled he is to be from Puerto Rico, given he is used to living in humidity, meaning he is ready to live on an island for a month. Everyone then got to know each other with the biggest takeaway being that Carson gained 30 pounds to come out here and oh god, was he a child?
Over at Soka it was Heidi that quickly got a fire going, surprising and delighting her tribe with her boss behaviour and ugh, I love her and look forward to her dominating. Ideally with Yam Yam and Carolyn. Speaking of love, Matt and Frannie were weaving palm fronds and being all cute and flirty, and ugh, I ship these nerds so hard.
That night as Tika was getting ready for bed they noticed that Bruce was very lethargic and quiet, prompting them to call medical back to camp. He told them that he had developed a massive headache, which had gotten progressively worse over the course of the afternoon, which was unfortunately a sign of concussion. Which sadly pulled him from the game as Jeff arrived at camp to talk him through the process. He was crying, the tribe were crying, I was crying and ugh, I need him to get another shot ASAP. While Yam Yam assured him that they will bring it home for him.
After getting discharged from hospital, I pulled him in for a massive but gentle hug, assuring him that we will see him get a real shot at the game into the future (which has been confirmed by Jeff even). Given I didn’t have much to go on from his 10 minutes pre-injury, I focused my attention on running through strategies for his return, so if he wins, I can take credit. That or my Briuce Sperreault Cheesecake, that is.
A little bit cheesecake, a little bit bread and butter pudding, this spicy little number is an absolute delight. The smooth cream cheese and rich brioche work perfectly to create a decadent dessert which is surprisingly easy.
Briuce Sperreault Cheesecake Serves: 8.
Ingredients 250g cream cheese, at room temperature 250g sour cream ⅓ cup raw caster sugar 1 tbsp vanilla bean paste 3 eggs ½ cup milk ½ cup hazelnuts, roughly chopped 100g chocolate, roughly chopped 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon 400g brioche, cut into thick slices 100g butter, at room temperature
Method Preheat the oven to 160C and line a square baking dish with some baking paper.
Using a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese and sour cream with half the sugar until smooth. Add the vanilla, followed by the eggs, one at a time and then the milk, in a slow steady stream, waiting until everything has come together before making the next addition.
Combine the hazelnuts, chocolate, cinnamon and remaining caster sugar in a small bowl. Butter the brioche and gently sprinkle with a little bit of the nut mixture before sandwiching together and repeating the process until you have a series of the sweetest sandwiches around. Then cut the sandwiches into triangles.
Arrange the sandwiches cut-side down in the lined dish before pouring over the cheesecake mixture. Cover with cling and leave to soak for about 15 minutes. Transfer to the oven and bake for 50 minutes or until the cheesecake is set and golden. Remove to cool in the pan for about 15 minutes before dusting with icing sugar and serving, ideally with some vanilla ice cream, before devouring.
Previously on Australian Survivor the OG Heroes were well and truly screwed as the Vigilantes fed us with their dominance. After spending most of the game as the producers punching bag, Simon was just too giddy to be part of something, while Matt exploded onto the screens as he relished the drama. Echoing her run on All Stars, Shonee was out for revenge against Flick after her protecting her pre-merge was repaid by her trying to spearhead her blindside. Knowing she was screwed, Flick went idol hunting and despite looking all around the spot where it was, didn’t find it. After Liz won immunity, Shaun considered playing his idol for his closest ally, though ultimately held firm as Flick was sent out of the game to become the Queen of the Jury.
The next day we caught straight up with Jonathan for a reward challenge where they would be split up into pairs and forced to stand and hold onto a large pole with the last duo standing taking out the win. For an epic KFC feast in a lush tropical location, so yeah, I am hungry, jealous and my basement is a little flooded. Simon and Nina, Shaun and Sam, Hayley and George, Gerry and Shonee and Liz and Matt took their places with Hayley coaching George on how to handle the pain, given he is a huge KFC stan. Sam was busy wiping sweat off Shaun’s feet as Simon became the first person to drop after just six minutes. Shaun and Sam then followed them out leaving only Vigilantes fighting for the food. After fifteen minutes the duos dropped down to the narrower footholds leading to Shaun whispering to Simon about how the girls will win every upcoming endurance challenge. After twenty minutes Liz dropped, eliminating her and Matt leaving Hayley and George to fight Shonee and Gerry. But given JLP moved them to the narrowest footholds, it wasn’t much of a fight as Gerry dropped handing Hayley and George the reward.
They were then given the chance to select one other pair to go with them, rightfully picking the second place icons to smash chicken. Leaving Liz, Matt and Simon with the minority, who would know doubt use the time to work on a way out of their mess. Well, Shaun or Nina may give it a try, at least. The foursome arrived at a lush picnic area overlooking the ocean, with Shonee thrilled to smash food with cutlery while George was just proud to take out a win. The foursome spoke about the fact their alliance was in it for the long haul, though if they need to get rid of Simon along the way, they aren’t overly concerned, given he is definitely the most likely to flip. They then ventured to a hidden swimming hole, while Shonee reminded us that her bestie was back at camp and as such, she felt like she could relax knowing she was all over it.
Back at camp however she was not all over it, instead napping in the hammock as Shaun and Nina caught up with Simon by the fire to tell him that should the Vigilantes split the vote 4-3, their vote would be on George. And if he flipped to join them, it would be the biggest move of the game. Simon told them that they should probably go hunt for an idol to help with this little plan, which led to Shaun immediately spilling the beans about his. And while he danced around the when of his find, the Heroes trio were thrilled as Simon told them he had a lot to think about and if he kept his word, he hoped they would repay him at final tribal council. Which hardly feels hopeful for their long term survival, no?
The victors returned to camp that night as Simon napped in the hammock. Shaun caught up with him, and admitted how long he has been holding on to his idol. He then lay it on even thicker, telling Simon that he is now the one he is closest to – just like Simon always dreamt – and locking in the plan for them to share the title of King Slayer. Begging the question, how are the producers going to troll Simon this episode?
The next day Simon was hanging with his allies, as George made a lot of pointed statements designed to keep him in their group. He spoke to us about how great everyone is in the alliance and that they bring different things to the table; Gerry is wise, Matt is friendly and the Spice Girls have control. While he knows he and Hayley are only aligned for a time, given they are both each other’s biggest threat. He pulled her aside to loop her in on the fact that he won $60K at the auction, meaning both of them have an uphill battle to get the money from the jury. And while she thought it was done to make her think taking George to the end was a good idea, he actually did it to know at what point she is turning on him when people start talking about his money.
Hayley and Sam were next to catch up, with Sam assuring her he is always open to chatting and his door is not closed to working with her. While Hayley agreed she is willing to do whatever it takes, she knows there are still way too many people in the game that would beat her and as such, she needs to start positioning herself ASAP. As she and Sam rightly identified George as the one to beat, Hayley suggested to us that should one of the OG Heroes win immunity, it may just be time to make that move.
Speaking of immunity, the tribe rejoined Jonathan in a volcanic field where they would each have to hold on to a rope balancing a frame on which they will stack blocks to spell out Heroes Vs Villains. Which means we know that Sam is very unlikely to be immune. Right on cue, Sam dropped instantly, followed by Matt, Shonee and Nina as Simon, Gerry and Hayley got their eye in. Simon then dropped as Shaun got the hang of things before he dropped, putting Liz in front. She then got too confident and dropped a couple. Everyone went back and forth until Shaun rebuilt and pulled ahead, before he dropped again and gave Simon the lead. And when it was nearly all over, he dropped a couple on his last run allowing Shaun to close the gap. Somehow he managed to correct without dropping the entire stack as Shaun dropped all his blocks, giving Simon enough time to take out the win. And put everyone out of their misery.
Sadly for him though, George noticed that he immediately celebrated with the OG Heroes giving the King all the ammunition he needed to reignite their feud. Back at camp though, Simon was feeling unstoppable, completely unaware that George was ready to destroy him. The Vigilantes caught up to lock in their target, with Simon suggesting Sam is not a threat and as such, they need to split the vote between Nina and Shaun. Simon asked to be one of the people voting for the main target in Nina, which confirmed to George that he would be flipping on him. He then pulled Hayley and the Spice Girls aside to change the vote to Sam instead, with the group locking in the plan, as Liz marvelled at how Simon could do that to them. Again.
Hayley meanwhile wasn’t thrilled by how the season was going, feeling like now should be the time for her to pop her head out and make a move. As such, she pulled Nina aside to paint George as the biggest threat that has corrected his game since last time and will beat them all. Nina asked if she was in danger tonight, with Hayley telling her that she is fine and if she had an idol, she wouldn’t need to play it. Nina casually asked who should be playing one then, with Hayley straight up telling her that Sam is the target. And as there is no split, George would then go home, if that was their plan.
Nina then took the information straight back to Sam and while he was open to working with Hayley the day before, his gut told him he couldn’t trust her and as such, he didn’t want to believe it. The duo then approached Shaun and while Nina felt like they should trust in Hayley, he too was unsure whether they could risk it. While vowing to avoid Simon to lessen suspicion that they were working together. Instead the trio got to work hunting for another idol to improve their chances, as Sam missed it just like Flick the week before. Thankfully though, Nina wasn’t so blind and instead found the idol meaning the Heroes minority were just that little bit more confident heading into tribal council. The trio caught up to speculate which one was the actual target and how to use their idols successfully. While by the fire, George and Matt laughed about how powerful they were, as Hayley worried that leaking the information would backfire on her.
At tribal council Shonee spoke about how nerve wracking it can be to take time away from camp, though was confident the allies left behind held it together. Nina awkwardly danced around whether any conversations paid off while George reiterated that everyone aligned in the majority did so to further their games and would be stupid to mess it up. Which Gerry agreed with. George took it one step further, reiterating he would also not be voting for anyone that flipped in the final tribal council, should he land on the jury. Hayley spoke about finding the balance of keeping your game secret from the players while impressing the jury, while Simon spoke about needing to be careful about how you send people out of the game, not wanting to piss them off in the process.
Nina suggested it was a good time to make a move with the minority to pad their resumes, with George telling them it is too late to start playing on Day 33. Shaun agreed you really should have at least one move under your belt by now, while Nina suggested a big enough move would always be impressive. Talk turned to the idols, with Hayley playing it coy, while Sam spoke about how difficult it is to correctly identify who the target is. Even though they were explicitly told. George spoke about how good he is at reading people, filling everyone with terror that he was on to their plans. Sam spoke about how confident the majority is, though alluded to the fact not everyone is on the same page. You know, based on body language. Which piqued George’s interest and made Hayley absolutely terrified, while Shonee casually reminded them they have seven people. And left it at that. While George was just hopeful nobody would be surprised by the outcome. Tonight, at least.
With that the tribe voted as Sam told Nina to play her idol for herself, which she promptly did, followed by Shaun playing his idol for himself, as Sam begged him to play for him. The first four votes piled up on George – with Shonee hilariously pointing out which handwriting was Simon’s – before the rest of the votes piled up on Sam, sending him out of the game and costing Shaun a carton of beer. Meaning that this time it was the OG Heroes that trolled Simon, not the producers.
While I have been a little shady about Sam’s game, it is really hard to find him anything but lovable and charming. I pulled him in for a hug as he arrived at the Jury Villa and thanked him for learning from his first experience in the game and playing with a little bit of strategy. Despite the fact the OG Heroes were expertly outplayed by George and Shonee, it doesn’t take away from the fact he only said mateship once (that triggered me enough to remember, at least) which is more than enough to earn him a big vat of celebratory (for the growth, not the boot) Sam Gingerwebb Ice Cream.
For some reason as a child I absolutely despised gingerbread, however as my palate developed and I became far more sensible. This little number is the perfect use of the flavouring, giving you a spiced ice cream that somehow warms your soul.
Sam Gingerwebb Ice Cream Serves: 6-8.
Ingredients 1 ½ cups milk 1 ½ cups cream 6 egg yolks 125g muscovado sugar ¼ cup golden syrup 1 tsp ground ginger 2 tsp ground cinnamon ½ tsp ground cloves ½ tsp ground nutmeg 1 tsp vanilla extract 1 cup gingerbread biscuits, roughly chopped into chunks
Method Combine the milk and cream in a large saucepan over medium-low heat and cook, stirring, until it just starts to bubble around the edge. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks, sugar, golden syrup, spices and vanilla in a bowl until well combined. Still whisking, slowly pour the hot milk mixture over the spicy egg mixture until combined. Return the mixture to a clean saucepan and cook, stirring, over medium low heat for about five minutes, or until the custard is just starting to thicken. Transfer to a clean bowl and place over ice, stirring occasionally until it has cooled completely.
Transfer to an ice cream maker and churn per its instructions, adding the crushed gingerbread at the first sign of it starting to freeze. Once done, transfer to an airtight container and pop into the freezer to fully set. Then, devour.