Previously on Survivor 18 new castaways were marooned on the islands of Fiji, ready to repeat all the tricks of last season. But hot damn did they have more success. Despite tragically losing Jackson before the first immunity challenge, the Ika tribe arrived at tribal council ready to play. Sadly for Zach, that was as far as his game went. More importantly, it also broke Maryanne’s heart as he was the literal embodiment of every white man she has ever loved. We then lost Marya, Jenny and Swati in quick succession, before Daniel blew up his game and set up the demise of Vati post-merge.
Speaking of which, the fake merge cost Lydia her game before Chanelle became the queen of the jury. Ika lost Rocksroy and Tori in a double tribal council before Omar took control by getting rid of Hai and Drea. In turn, that painted a target on his back and got him booted by Maryanne’s epic 3-2-2 play. This then led to Lindsay getting booted before the fire making challenge took out Jonathan, leaving Romeo, Mike and Maryanne to face the jury at final tribal council.
Despite Romeo putting in a strong showing, he came out of the experience with nary a vote while Mike’s subpar performance scored him only one as the jury gave Maryanne a resounding win for not only a game well played, but for dominating final tribal council.
After the cast finished filming the on island reunion, I quickly pulled Maryanne aside to toast her success. While she had a wild yet somehow quiet game at the start, she expertly read the room and was able to reset once she realised how she was being perceived, leading her on a path to greatness. Pulling off some epic moves at the right moments to not only get her to the end, but earn her the win. More importantly, she also was an epic and engaging character that will go down in the pantheon of legends. But for now, we’ll always have Maryanne Picoketchutney.
I always had a fear of the bright yellow pickle that lived in my fridge as a child, but thankfully with time comes wisdom and as an adult, my love affair began. Super tart, a little bit sweet and lightly spice, this is the perfect accompaniment for any occasion. Particularly a win.
Maryanne Picoketchutney Makes: 1.5L.
Ingredients 500g cauliflower, cut into small florets 200g zucchini, cut into a fine dice 100g green beans, trimmed and thinly sliced 1 onion, diced 2 tbsp sea salt 600ml malt vinegar 3 tbsp English mustard powder 1 tbsp coriander seeds 2 tbsp yellow mustard seeds 2 tsp cumin seeds 1 tsp turmeric ¼ cup plain flour ⅔ cup raw caster sugar 2 bay leaves
Method Combine the cauliflower, zucchini, beans and onion in a bowl with the salt. Cover and leave to steep at room temperature overnight. In the morning, rinse under cold water and drain.
Whisk 100 ml of vinegar with the mustard powder, coriander, mustard and cumin seeds, turmeric and flour to form a paste.
Combine the rest of the ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat, whisking until the sugar dissolves. Whisk in the mustard mixture and cook for a couple of minutes, or until starting to thicken. Add the drained vegetables and cook for a further couple of minutes.
Ladle the mixture into sterilised jars and seal immediately, storing in a cool dark place until opened. Then devour, immediately.
Previously on Survivor Omar continued to take control of the post-merge game, quietly pulling Mike aside to warn him about Hai no longer having his back. All while Hai was gratefully reflecting on how close he and Mike had gotten in the game. After Lindsay won an overnight reward, she selected Omar and Mike to join her, giving Omar plenty of time to completely turn Mike against Hai. After Lindsay took out immunity, the tribe wanted to finally take a shot and get rid of Jonathan before he had the chance to go on an immunity run. Luckily for him, Omar’s mist proved too powerful as he swayed she tribe to blindside Hai instead.
Back at camp the tribe were thrilled to have come together for the blindside, and while Mike in particular was thrilled to get his revenge on Hai for playing him – which I repeat, did not happen – everyone just quietly added that yeah, yeah, it was good. That being said, Romeo was also particularly smug to have gotten rid of the only person that was targetting him, knowing that the underdogs are almost at the point where they can take control. While Lindsay was just thrilled that her and Drea’s amulets were now a steal a vote.
The next day things were far more chill as Drea was regaling everyone with tales, while Maryanne shocked them with the fact that she loses toenails at least twice a year. Which yeah, is wild but it is Maryanne, so I love her. And the fact that like Romeo, she is readying herself to take control and earn the win. Sadly for her, while she and Romeo talked about gaining power, the rest of the tribe hung on the beach bitching about Romeo and how they are going to get rid of him for doing absolutely nothing to help around camp. Instead snacking on leftover rice and jumping on board with any and all plans screw everyone else over. The beach crew then locked in a final five alliance and while it all looked kosher, Mike assured Omar that he still wants Drea gone as she is the biggest threat left in the game.
Which made Omar nervous, given Mike clearly is growing mad with power.
We then fast forwarded to day 20, with Jonathan opening up abut how exhausted he is while simultaneously wanting everyone to appreciate how much he is sacrificing by not eating more than them but not wanting people to see it, as it is his game plan. He went down to shore to help the tribe fish while Drea told him to help more, leading to them both fighting due to their hanger. While he tried to explain himself to Lindsay and Omar, Lindsay took that back to Drea, Romeo and Maryanne, telling them that she is ready to take him out given he is quite bossy. And to us, shared that his bossiness is becoming dangerously close to ruining her game.
Right on cue, the tribe caught up with Probst for the immunity challenge, once again featuring the Do or Die twist. After explaining how it worked, only Lindsay and Jonathan opted to compete in the challenge where they would stand on a beam and balance as they hold onto handles behind their heads. Last person standing winning immunity, the other facing off with the game of chance. And while Joanthan spent most of the challenge shaking uncontrollably, Lindsay dropped out of nowhere after 12 minutes, handing Jonathan immunity and leaving her place in the game up to fate.
Back at camp Lindsay was regretting her choice to compete in the challenge, with her opening up about her fighting, athletic spirit from childhood. Omar and Maryanne were feeling just as emotional about potentially losing Lindsay too soon, and as such, tried to perk her back up. Drea and Jonathan meanwhile were not bothered about Lindsay potentially going home, partiularly the former who was excited by the prospect of her amulet becoming an idol. To go with her knowledge is power advantage AND extra vote.
Mike meanwhile was the only one focused on the possibility of Lindsay surviving, as such telling Drea that they will just vote out Romeo while rallying everyone else to blindside Drea as their biggest threat. As he caught up with Jonathan and Omar, the latter became keen to vote out Mike instead, though admitted that Drea is just as much of a threat. As he caught up with Drea to float the idea, Drea assured him that Mike’s idol would not be an issue for them, given she has the power to steal it and while they were both giddy about the plan, I’m still worried things will fall apart. Sadly for her, Omar shared everything with Lindsay and the duo realised they could protect Mike by hanging onto the idol for him, neutering both of their advantages and getting rid of either person.
At tribal council Jonathan shared that he competed for immunity because he knows he will now always be a target, while Lindsay admitted that she was blinded by her competitiveness. Mike spoke about how much he admires both of them, while Maryanne reminded her to always keep that competitive edge. Omar meanwhile was happy he sat out, while Maryanne opened up about the varied ways that people communicate while scrambling. Drea meanwhile spoke about her passion for observing literally everyone and everything around camp. Talk turned to the many ways you can miscommunicate around camp with Omar pointing out that there is a time when people need to stop talking, lest they shoot themselves in the foot.
With that, Probst set up the Do or Die boxes and called Lindsay over to the table where she confidently selected the middle box. Probst opened one of the other boxes, revealling a skull before Probst offered her one final chance to swap. With her thankfully sticking to her guns and earning herself immunity. As she returned to her seat, she opened up about how excited she was to evade death and just as Probst was about to send them off to vote, Drea stopped proceedings and asked Mike for his idol with her Knowledge is Power advantage. Sadly for her however, Mike had passed off his idol to Omar before tribal council for safe keeping and as such, Omar successfully neutralised both powers.
With that the tribe finally voted – Drea twice as she used up her extra vote – as the tribe banded together to blindside Drea from the game (well together minus Romeo). Officially turning Lindsay’s amulet into an idol in the process. Drea was delightful and giddy as she exited, praising everyone for being lovely and well, it was so damn wholesome.
She kept that charm up as she entered Ponderosa, pulling me in for a massive hug and sharing how grateful she was that I was on hand to provide her with the culinary comfort I so often provide. And by so often, every week. In return, I praised her for being such a dominant force throughout the season and racking up advantages like it was nothing. As is oft the case, being a dominant force tragically ended up being her downfall however. Meaning I could only toast that success with a big bowl of Madreas Wheeler Curry.
Maybe it is the fact it has been cold and rainy the last few weeks, but there is nothing more smoothing than a rich and earthy madras curry. Packed full of spices, with a light, lingering heat, this is the perfect way to eat your feels.
Method Start by grinding the coriander, fenugreek, mustard seeds, cumin, fennel and pepper in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle. Transfer to food processor or blender, and mix with the cinnamon, clove, chilli, garlic, ginger and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil until it forms a paste. Transfer to a bowl and stir through the turmeric, because it will stain.
Heat the remaining olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat and cook the onion for five minutes or until soft and sweet. Add the curry paste, along with the curry leaves, cardamom and bay leaves, and cook for a couple of minutes, or until fragrant. Stir through the lamb and cook for another couple of minutes to coat.
Stir in the tomatoes, stock and taramrind paste, season and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook, stirring infrequently for about an hour, or until the lamb is cooked through.