Previously on Australian Survivor despite having the worst luck of the entire cast – including Jackie, who literally injured herself in the first challenge and was evacuated – Simon somehow managed to snatch himself a car and ugh, he was loving it. As was I, given he has become so hapless you can’t help but root for him. After being invited on his celebratory reward, Hayley outed George’s $60K win at the auction to Simon, Nina and a very loyal Matt. And she was ready to destroy George at the earliest opportunity. While he was back at camp dressing as Shonee to win back Liz. After Nina became the first Twine to win individual immunity, George set his sights on finally putting Simon out of his misery. That is until Hayley told him to split the vote, allow her to protect her little puppy for another round and send Shaun from the game.
On the way back to camp George was seething about Nina flipping on him, telling Hayley his reads are spot on and that he will get rid of her ASAP as revenge. While Hayley praised him for his skillful reads, knowing how wrong they were. She on the other hand was nervous about getting to the end without moves, so wanted to get a big scalp on her resume, though didn’t want to appear like she screwed everyone to get there. After George berated Nina for flipping, she continued to deny it before pulling Hayley aside to praise her for the move and assuring her that whatever she says won’t change his mind, so Hayley at least is all good. And well, if she goes next, it is another name Hayley can claim. In reality though, she wanted revenge against Hayley – who she thinks is actually in control – and as such, got to work turning George against Hayley. She pulled him aside and told him that Hayley told her about the $60K he won at the auction and that he best beware, leading to a rare moment of humility where the king apologised.
Oh and then he pulled Liz aside to let her know that Hayley is out for him, so everyone needs to turn on her. Which apparently is logic.
The next day George was still filled with rage against Hayley, though tried to pretend he wasn’t aware she was after him. Simon meanwhile proved himself to be quite aware, thanking Hayley for saving him while she just wanted him to realise she actually wants him around. George meanwhile was catching up with Liz to talk more shit about Hayley under the guise of being worried about Matt, while he admitted that Hayley took the real world into the game and as such, he needed to get rid of her ASAP.
The tribe joined JLP in the jungle for an epic challenge for an overnight spa reward where all they would have to do is build a tower using blocks while standing on a balance beam. TBH, it was a pretty straight forward challenge with Hayley, Simon and Liz all powering along until the girls dropped out of nowhere, followed by Simon, opening things up again. It went back and forth as the wind picked up and screwed each and every one of them until Queen Liz got her eye in and scored herself the reward. Jonathan obviously let her choose someone to come with, selecting George since they still had drama to work through before Liz chose girl power, dooming Hayley and giving Princess Nina some glam time.
The trio arrived at the spa, delighted to smash all the food in sight while Liz assured us the duo were only invited to reward to get her to the end and not because she likes them. As Nina questioned how she could pay her back for the kindness, Liz promised she had a few different ways. Talk turned to the game with the trio strong in the fact they want to get to the end together, with Hayley their first target. Oh and then George modelled his buff skirt and showed off his foreskin, and again, my basement is far more flooded than it should be. They then shaved off, getting their stories straight for Hayley and while I want to warn her, maybe she should have turned on George rather than Shonee last week. But whatever, I’m not bitter.
Back at camp meanwhile Simon and Hayley were nervous about the trio on reward and how it could impact their games. Hayley was obviously nervous for her own longevity, while Simon was concerned about getting George out. Annoying Hayley, given Gerry and Matt are clearly in his pocket and that is near impossible. Matt, bless him, asked Simon to explain why getting rid of George is best for them, with Simon clearly articulating that George is a threat to everyone and as such, they all at least need to try to open things up for themselves. While Matt agreed George is definitely more likely to win, he reiterated that now is just not the right time for him to make a move. That night Simon got creative in his pursuit of securing some power, emptying out half the rice so that everyone would be fatigued so he had a better shot at the immunity challenge. And while, sure, that makes sense, why, Simon? That could easily backfire on you.
Over at the spa, the trio woke up early the next morning to work through their stories ahead of blindsiding Hayley, should she not win immunity. While back at camp Simon was nourished for the challenge ahead while everyone else complained about being starving. Speaking of said challenge, the tribe reconnected by the beach where they would race to build a fire in a drum and then fill a hole riddled bucket with water from the ocean to raise it until it burns through a flag. Matt and Haley were first to get flames, before Hayley’s just as quickly went out. Simon then got to work on his fire as Matt got to work filling his drum, confident in the fire’s strength. As Simon made a break, Liz decided to abandon her own chances and opted to help Matt to raise his flag and while she well and truly helped, his fire was a bit of a bust as Simon closed the gap and snatched immunity just ahead of Matt. Which feels poetic as a newfound Simon stan, TBH.
Back at camp George was thrilled by Simon taking out immunity, ready to blindside Hayley. Given her passion for a split, George was ready to tell her to split the vote on Liz and Nina, when in actuality, the vote was against her. Liz meanwhile filled Gerry in on the plan before dropping by George and Hayley to pretend she was super annoyed by George and Nina for ruining her reward. As Nina scurried around pretending to look for an idol to sell the story, Hayley realised that they could in fact blindside George if she, Nina and Simon worked together. And well, can they pull this off? Because I love it. Hayley pretended to follow Nina idol hunting, floating the idea with her and just like that, Nina holds all the power to decide who goes home between the King and Queen. Oh and then the duo caught up, assuring each other they are in it to the end, while both dropped some secretive hints that they’re about to get rid of each other.
At tribal council Liz spoke about her spa being a transformative experience, allowing her to reset and refocus on the task at hand. She admitted she invited George to clear the air, while she simply wanted to block Nina from finding an idol. Nina meanwhile played her part dutifully, pointing out George was out to get her after the previous tribal council before George warned everyone that they need to be careful about making a move, because if they bomb, they are next on his hit list. Oh and he just wants people to own their moves, rather than hide in the shadows. Liz spoke about being comfortable with those left behind at camp, while Simon was just desperately trying to find friends, despite the fact people clearly don’t want to work with him. Ever.
Gerry meanwhile just wasn’t interested in hearing anyone’s plans as he is comfortable with his place in the game. While Simon was grateful to be immune, he doesn’t have power and as such, he needs people to be willing to work with him. Like Nina, who is clearly tonight’s target. George argued it is a balance of finding people that want to work with you, though also having friendships. Hayley pointed out that friendships and alliances are different, agreeing that she prioritises alliances while George was hoping to ride his alliance all the way to the end of the game. And as such, is wanting to target people that go rogue and punish them for deviating from his plan. Essentially. Hayley meanwhile planned to vote out someone she doesn’t want to see at the end, while Liz was focused on getting rid of a silent threat.
With that the tribe voted as Queen Hayley was blindsided from the game, holding her head high as she congratulated them on a killer move. Wishing and hoping that exile would not be around to save her again. As she arrived at the Jury Villa, I pulled her in for a massive hug and praised her for proving herself to be the most skillful winner to return to the game. In Australia, at least. Despite being the biggest target on her tribe, she managed to lay low and work her way into a position of power until she reunited with George. Which should have been something both tribes were nervous about, since when they did come back together they dominated and made it deep. Sadly though, George wasn’t interested in losing a second time and as such, had to dethrone the queen. So to dull the pain, I toasted her run with a delicious Hazeleynut Leake Bark.
There is nothing quite like a chocolate bark and while this one is rather simple, it is super tasty and oh so good. A little bit nutella-y, a little fruit and nut, it is the perfect gift to congratulate your bestie, or cheer you up when you need to eat your feelings.
Hazeleynut Leake Bark Serves: 2 queens.
Ingredients 200g milk chocolate ¼ cup dried cherries 1 ½ tsp kosher salt ¾ cup toasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped
Method Melt the chocolate in a double boiler until shiny and smooth. Fold through the dried cherries and salt and pour out on a lined baking sheet before sprinkling with the hazelnuts.
Transfer to the freezer to set for an hour before breaking into shards and packaging. Or devouring.
Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race the dolls were tasked with selling us on their own versions of heaven in a trio of afterlife infomercials. Sasha rightly leant into the fact she is essentially already a god, snapping her neck to the best ‘mercial of the week. Loosey got redemption from week one as she slayed as God-Dolly, while at the other end of the pack Princess Poppy was read for being basic and poor Amethyst just wasn’t funny. Despite selling herself as a comedy queen. Ultimately neck-snapping earned Sasha the win, while Amethyst found herself in another lip sync – to Di Ross, no less – as she did everything right to earn her safety, tragically sending Princess out of the competition. As she exited, flipping everyone the bird, accompanied by a burp.
Backstage the dolls were delighted to see Princess Poppy’s meaningful mirror message – aka scribble – while Salina joked about being shocked Amethyst survived. As they sat down the dolls checked in on Sugar who admitted she was shocked to not vibe with the girls in her group and be clocked by her sisters before talk turned to Sasha’s epic win. Which was only celebrated for a second before Luxx and Loosey argued about who was second. Which was obviously Loosey, but whatever I live for the delusion and confidence Luxx displays as it is iconic.
The next day Spice continued to lean into her new mother’s shade, checking if Amethyst was into baseball because if she is, she best be aware of the three strike rule. Ru then dropped by – short episodes, remember – to announce that this week the dolls would be playing the Snatch Game. And given there are so many of them, they will be split in half to compete in two rounds. Ru exited as the dolls split up to talk through their characters with Marcia Cubed going with Tim Gunn, Loosey pivoting from Dolly to Joan Rivers, Spice is going with my bestie Miley while Sugar is doing the iconic Trisha Paytas. Aura is doing Bretman Rock, Mistress is doing Rosie, Malaysia is doing Spicy Santana while Salina is doing the Virgin Mary.
We ventured to set where Bruno and Calex from the Pit Crew took their place at the Snatch chairs – flashing their snatch, no less – where Marcia slayed as Tim, Luxx was cute as Amanda Lepore, Malaysia was fun as Saucy, Mistress was a classic as Rosie, Anetra did Gorden Ramsey’s fake-sister, Robin gave the Grand Dame – as she deserved – before Salina slayed the game as Virgin Mary. Most importantly, Bruno proved he was more than his package, giving jokes. But when it comes to the contestants it was Marcia’s show, who was pitch perfect as sweet Tim while Mistress spat joke after joke as Rosie, despite not really sounding like her.
Bruno and Calex traded out with Bryce and Asaf, who is just, swoon. Loosey was perfection from start to finish as Joan, Sasha was a glorious Jan Crouch, Jax was the stupidest Mona Lisa, Sugar was all energy as Trisha, Amethyst was hilarious as Tan Mom, Spice gave Miley’s voice while Aura may or may not have been good as Bretman, I don’t know. But she was sadly devoid of jokes. More so than Marcia in the first panel, Loosey was perfection. Like, could compete with Jinkx, DeLa and Ginger Minj, good. At the other end of the pack, Aura was boring and the poor twins struggled to get any traction or went off on tangents, and there was no in between. While Amethyst got some redemption after last week and who knew Sasha had this many jokes?
Elimination Day arrived with Loosey and Anetra talking about their coming out journeys, with the former opening up about being post-school and how despite still living in the town she grew up in, she is more confident. She then spoke about being bullied and how teachers even joined in but she found comedy and used it to protect herself and make friends. Oh and ideally weaponised it.
Ru, Michelle and Carson were joined by Hunger Games icon Amandla Stenberg as the dolls stomped the Beautiful Nightmare runway. Marcia served in a pastel dental monster, Luxx dragged a brick giving sexy drowning victim, Malaysia was a sexy dead showgirl, Mistress was a gothic spider queen, Anetra gave sexy redback, Salina gave sexy zombie, Robin was a glam, ballerina spider, Loosey gave slutty Mrs Voorhees the second – aka Jason’s wife – Sasha was a sexy tree witch, Jax served snake snack, Sugar was a creepy porcelain doll, Spice was a murder porcelain doll while Amethyst gave Gaga getting stabbed on stage and bleeding out while Aura was glam as she bled out from an exposed back allusion.
Luxx, Malaysia, Anetra, Robin, Salina, Sasha, Jax and Amethyst were sent to safety as Marcia received universal praise for her Tim Gunn and while Michelle loved her giving more make-up, Ru wanted her to give draggier looks. Mistress received praise for the runway and for bringing fun to Snatch Game while Loosey rightly was named one of the best Snatches of all time and praised for looking perfect on the runway. Sugar meanwhile was read for being disruptive on the panel, while Spice was read for giving chaos only and despite having a stunning runway, Aura’s Snatch Game was read for being rigid and directionless.
Backstage Amethyst was far and away the happiest to be safe, finally ending her string of bottoms while Jax was desperate for another dance challenge to get back to the top. Amethyst then suggested the producers will be pulling the trigger on the Sugar and Spice lip sync, before the girls talked about the importance of getting the vibe and flow of Snatch Game right. Malaysia started to break down, shocked to have not been in the bottom and desperate to end her string of safety. The tops and bottoms joined the dolls with Mistress acting as the spokesperson, praising Loosey for being perfection while sharing that she and Marcia were also in the top. After Marcia suggested she was in second place, Mistress obviously took issue leading to a fight between the dolls. Because apparently being second place is now very important.
Focused turned to the bottoms with Aura expecting to be lip syncing while Sugar and Spice felt like they would be going in together as the judges have had enough of them. They then threatened to exit together should one be eliminated, leading to their sisters desperately trying to talk them out of it and get them to see they could flourish solo. Sugar then spoke about how they have experienced a lot of trauma growing up and how the exclusion made them even closer. As Spice exited in tears, Sugar opened up about how they were pushed out of their family leading to the dolls rallying around the twins and assuring them they are loved and have a family in them. Meanwhile Amethyst and Robin were looking after Spice and desperately assuring her that they will look after her if she is the one to stay.
Oh and then poor Amandla entered the super emotional Werk Room and praised the dolls for being stars and ugh, she is so damn sweet.
Obviously Loosey took out victory as Marcia and Mistress were sent to safety before Aura narrowly joined them, giving us what the producers wanted as soon as they were cast – a twins only lip sync. Once Pat Benetar’s You Better Run kicked off it was clear the dolls came prepared with duo choreography for every song as they gave matching moves and complimentary gags and while both were silly, entertaining and hit every lyric, Sugar‘s choreography was all about falling over and as such, she tragically found herself falling out of the competition. See what I did there?
Backstage I pulled sweet Sugar – no pun intended, surprisingly – for a massive hug and assured her that she should be nothing but proud of herself. While she was obviously disappointed to be out so soon, I reminded her that her placement in the show isn’t a reflection of her talent and TBH, she will always be remembered as one half of the twins. And as she went home early, she will likely become a robbed goddess particularly since she was so damn sweet and you can’t help but love her. As such, she was confident and ready to take on the world solo for a little bit thanks to a big bowl of Sugared Nuts.
While these are conveniently called sugared nuts, they obviously also have a little bit of spice added to kick the flavours up a notch. Earthy, sweet and oh so delicious, this slight tweak on Nigella’s edible gift is the perfect way to spread cheer and good will or just turn a mood around.
Sugared Nuts Makes: 4 cups.
Ingredients 1 cup walnuts 1 cup cashews 1 cup pistachios 1 cup macadamias 1 ½ tsp garam masala 1 tsp celery salt ½ tsp chilli flakes 2 tbsp olive oil 2 tbsp muscovado sugar 3 sprigs rosemary leaves, finely chopped 2 tsp kosher salt
Method Put a large frying pan over medium heat and line a baking sheet.
Pop the nuts in the warm pan and toss for a few minutes – not like that – until starting to warm and get lightly toasted. Add the garam masala, celery salt and chilli flakes and toads to coat.
Add the oil, sugar and rosemary, and gently stir with a spatula to coat until the sugar is melted and everything is rich and dark but not burnt. Pour onto the lined baking sheet, sprinkle with the kosher salt and leave to set for about half an hour before packaging. Or you know, serving and immediately devouring.
Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race, Ru dropped by to see if the dolls could help her get rid of Miichelle’s leftover Glamazon purchases by upcycling them to create sickening looks on the runway. Jasmine was an absolute mess, Daya felt it was her time to shine after blocking Willow from serving a baby doll look and Maddy was a patchwork delight, albeit a little sloppy. Jorgeous meanwhile threw an outfit together in minutes and took out her first victory of the season, much to the absolute rage of the safe Daya. Who had more than a lot of emotion for being safe. Jasmine and Maddy faced off in the lip sync after a massive fight in Untucked with straight icon Maddy tragically going home.
Backstage Jasmine was super sassy about her performance in the lip sync, gloating about how easy it was beating Maddy. Just like she said she would. Jasmine was feeling her oats after showing off how good she was and while she was in the bottom, Willow did admit she was great. And knew she’d be thrilled to get the last word in the argument with Maddy. As the dolls gathered to reflect on the week, Camden admitted she was fired up for the win and that fire remains given how close she was this week. While Camden congratulated Jorgeous on her win, Daya called her out for throwing it together at the last minute and winning. While Jorgeous shadily told us that maybe she should have steamed her garment and done some different make-up if she wanted to make it to the top too.
As they split up to de-drag, Jasmine and DeJa congratulated Jorgeous on her win and asked if she was ok about the Daya situation, with her opening up about how much it sucked to be made to feel like shit when she should be feeling good. But all of them agreed Daya needed to shut up. And stop giving Crystal in every damn look.
Things were far more jubilant the next day with Jorgeous finally able to feel thrilled with her victory as Daya continued to give a bitter face. While Daya apologised for ruining her moment, it wasn’t a very good one and well, maybe she should have just not.
Before anyone could call her out, Ru arrived to announce that for this week’s maxi challenge they’d be starring in the new soap The Daytona Wind, about the duelling drag dynasties, the Davenports, O’Haras and the Michaels. With the soap directed by Ruple herself and as Jorgeous won, she was allowed to allocate the roles and damn I hope she screws over Daya. And looks after Camden, who is very confident given she went to acting school, and I don’t want that confidence to be misplaced. Like Juju, Gorgeous wanted the dolls to do well and to speak up when they saw the roles they wanted.
As they read through, the dolls calmly put their name down with Kerri suggesting she would pick one with fewer lines given it gives you the chance to go big and steal the scene. Like a more bang for your buck situation. DeJa meanwhile was very relaxed when Jorgeous told her she also wanted the same role, given it was her choice and immediately moved on. Which I hope Baga watched to learn about the concept of grace. They continued through the script with everyone snatching at roles until there was only one left, which Camden got stuck with given she was still on page one. But again, she took it in her stride and just hoped for the best. But given she loves Angeria and their roles get to make out, she was thrilled.
Bosco, Willow and Daya caught up to work through their scene with Daya continuing to be desperate for some face time with the judges and given she and Willow were bouncing off each other well, maybe she’ll get her wish. And well, Bosco is a star so I’m sure she will shine too. Kerri, Jorgeous and DeJa were doing well too, until DeJa told them to try going off book with DeJa immediately forgetting every single one. While Jorgeous was just terrified about bombing another acting challenge.
The dolls met Ru on set to film the show, reminding them to find their angles rather than emotions because that is what Joan Collins would want of them. DeJa, Jorgeous and Kerri were up first with Ru giving some great direction to get them as camp and southern as possible, with DeJa struggling while Kerri was a delight and Jorgeous was a campy, soap STAR. Jasmine served Alyssa Edwards realness and she, Angeria and Camden were perfect. Mainly because Jasmine’s accent was just too much and so ridiculous, in all the right ways. With Bosco rightly describing it as so bad it is the best thing she’s ever seen.
Daya and Willow arrived on the scene and were amazing from start to finish, with Ru wanting to bequeath Willow a daytime emmy. Which you know fired up Daya, making it more ridiculous and so fun. Which is new for Daya on the show. Bosco then knocked it out of the park before Angeria and Camden slayed their love scene. And well, I ship them. Despite Angeria feeling herself fading throughout the shoot.
Elimination Day arrived with everyone but Angeria thrilled to watch the video back, as Willow and Kerri checked in to make sure she was ok with Willow worried she isn’t remembering how damn special she is. Daya gave a far better apology to Jorgeous, with Bosco joining in to casually agree that the competition doesn’t necessarily bring out the best aspects of her personality either.
Talk turned to the chaps runway with Bosco bringing up kinks, asking if anyone is into the leather community with Camden admitting how much she loves going to the Folsom Street Fair. Once again, Angeria had no idea what the fair was and when the girls clarified what it was, she was desperate for a ticket. The dolls brought up Maddy again, with Jasmine admitting she felt bad about the fight though was thrilled to get a lovely note from her before she left. Daya then offered that maybe she could catch up with her next week after she herself is eliminated.
Ru, Michelle and Ross were joined on the judges panel by the iconic TS Madison as the dolls rocked the Chaps on the Runway runway. Willow was a sexy, stunning latex wedgie vixen complete with high-pigtails. Bosco was a sexy pink hippy leather daddy, DeJa wore a vibrant blue leopard print chaps bodysuit while Kerri gave a stunning hair chap look and Jorgeous was just shimmering in crystal and lace. Angeria was perfection in a golden shimmering disco chap while Jasmine was a blue and yellow graduate, Camden was a sexy, stunning rocker complete with a fall-on-your-face-fake-out, losing her wig and becoming Freddie Mercury. While Daya gave Carmen San Dieg-ho, again serving Shannel’s eyes.
Ru announced that while watching the dailies, she felt something was missing in all of their performances so she asked the editors to work overtime in post. And by that, the name The Daytona Wind made a lot more sense as Ru’s heavy-handed additions of farts elevated the script and frankly, was perfection. Jasmine’s ridiculous acting was joyous, Angeria was delightful as always despite how she felt while Camden was an absolute star. While Willow gave perfect bimbo, Daya truly did get her moment in the show and well, it was stunning.
DeJa, Kerri and Angeria were sent to safety, leaving Daya to finally receive critiques for the first time since week two. When she was eliminated. Backstage the trio were absolutely gagged to be deemed safe, unsure how they avoided being the bottoms of the week. Admitting they all struggled with the challenge, they quickly deduced that those left on the stage were the top six of the week and that there must not be any bottoms (we’re all bottoms). Angeria opened up about how being in the top each week made the pressure get to her, though was grateful for Jasmine getting her out of her head before filming. Kerri felt she was going to slay, but realised the judges just wanted to challenge her and push her out of her comfort zone. Admitting that being pretty, you really don’t usually have to work as hard.
Back on the mainstage, Ru announced they were the top six and that because everyone did such a good job this week that nobody would be going home. Instead, the top two will lip sync for the win. Jorgeous received universal praise for the look despite not giving much chap, though Michelle felt she could have given more in the show despite hitting every damn beat. Jasmine received universal praise for her runway and demented accent before the judges gave Camden even more glowing praise, particularly for the best runway reveal ever. Daya finally got her moment in the sun, with the judges living for everything she did with Ru decreeing this the week she finally showed up and that she is so proud of her. As always Willow was universally beloved, though Michelle read her for being too similar to Moira Rose. Oh and once again, Bosco was beloved for knocking it out of the park with her ending role.
The top six returned to the Werk Room and immediately confirmed the safe girls’ suspicions, with Angeria admitting she was gagged since she knew she belonged in the bottom while Jorgeous was ready to get grumpy. Daya opened up about her glowing praise, grateful for her moment and taking another in Untucked as she monologued about her skills. Jorgeous finally got to step in and talk, glad to finally not bomb an acting challenge while Kerri asked Camden if she was ready to lip sync for her win and ugh, I love them both.
Camden opened up about how gagged the judges were by her reveal with Jasmine agreeing that like Jorgeous, she was glad to finally slay an acting challenge. Which irritated Daya, despite the fact she wouldn’t shut up. Daya continued to get frustrated, asking the safe girls who they felt would be in the top and when they agreed Bosco and Camden should be lip syncing for the win, she got even more annoyed. They then made things worse by saying it could be Jasmine, pissing off Daya since they were once again overlooking her.
Angeria thanked Jasmine for getting her out of her head with Angeria opening up about how much she is missing her mum. Camden opened up that she wanted to lip sync to the song because it was one of her mum’s faves and was even wearing one of her mum’s chokers. DeJa spoke about feeling horrible for how she has treated her mother in the past before TS dropped by to kiki with the girls, agreeing that for the LGBTQIA+ community, the support of your family is critical. TS asked the dolls what they want out of the experience with Jasmine opening up about wanting financial stability and how the pandemic left her struggling to put food on the table. She then told Jorgeous she was fierce and then left.
DeJa then asked the dolls if anyone had considered transitioning, with Bosco announcing that yes she has thought about it and definitely thinks she wants to push the dial a little more to the feminine side of non-binary (which she did post-filming!). Jasmine started to sob as she opened up about the fact she was going to start hormones before the competition, though got scared, however seeing Kerri thrive just made her feel like she couldn’t hold it in anymore. She then came out as trans, grateful to feel safe enough to talk about it and like Bosco, have a supportive partner to go on the journey with. She spoke about how Kerri is an inspiration for her and who she wants to be, leading to Kerri sobbing over how happy she is for her sister.
After that deeply personal, empowering conversation, the dolls returned to the mainstage where Jorgeous and Jasmine were sent to safety while Camden was announced as one of the Top 2 queens. Bosco too was sent to safety, leaving Willow and Daya for the final spot, as Daya was placed in the top while Willow was sent to safety. As soon as One Way or Another kicked off however, it was clear the Top 2 was as far as Daya was getting because Camden was absolute fire. She was charming, camp, stupid and splitting and kicking all over the stage and ugh, it was just an absolute joy to watch. And rightly handed her her first win of the competition.
Backstage Daya was thrilled to make it to the top, despite the fact Camden demolished her out of the win. Camden too was rightly feeling her oats while DeJa congratulated them both on a job well done, as Jasmine suggested she should have been in the top two over Camden. She was proud that once again Ru told them how good they are which made Willow joke that eventually there will be a challenge they will all bomb. And oh God, is that a premonition? As the dolls de-dragged, DeJa checked in with Jasmine to see how she was doing, as Jasmine admitted she felt she did a better job than Daya in the challenge though given she came out in Untucked, it probably was best she didn’t have to lip sync after such a cathartic moment. While everyone once again reiterated how proud of Jasmine they were.
Then Kerri and Angeria started wrasslin’ and well, I love the dolls!
The next day Willow was shocked by how real the competition was feeling, with Bosco admitting that she now wants the money and will gladly become their friends AFTER the show. Which was the perfect transition as Ru arrived to open the library. Which is what Bosco feels she was born for. Kerri was up first and was surprisingly cutting and hilarious, Angeria was brutal, Camden called Jorgeous a waste of time and Willow a hunchback while DeJa went in on Kerri’s safe streak. Jorgeous went in on Jasmine for proving white do crack, while Jasmine read Kerri for a lack of dancing skills and Daya’s two-faced ways. Willow was hilarious as she called Jorgeous Serena ChaCha, Daya was solid and then Bosco stole the show with smart reads including the dolls being Ru’s pallbearers on the mainstage so they could let her down on the runway one last time.
Obviously Bosco took out victory, though Camden was commended for being super shady too. But more importantly, Ru announced that for this week’s Maxi Challenge the dolls would be forming ‘60s girl groups with everyone allowed to form the three bands themselves. The dolls split up to listen to the songs to decide what they wanted, with Daya desperately focused on getting the Bad Boy song. Sadly four of the girls wanted that one, leading to a stand-off for the band. And guaranteeing Daya does not win fan favourite or Miss Congeniality. Eventually DeJa took a step back, leading to Bosco and Willow sticking with Daya in one band, while DeJa joined Jasmine and Jorgeous as the Ru-nettes while Kerri, Camden and Angeria formed the Ru-premes.
While Daya was confident in their chances of taking out a win, DeJa had already moved on and was ready to slay with the Ru-nettes. Shang-ru-las be damned! Though given Jasmine is straight up tone deaf, DeJa you may be in danger girl! While Kerri was just excited to knock it out of the park and get her first Grammy.
We first followed the Ru-premes as they joined Michelle to record their song, with Angeria selling confidence and giving all the Diana Ross. Kerri meanwhile was pitchy on her first run, leading to her getting in her head and damn, I hope this is a fake-out. When the Shang-ru-las stepped up to record, Bosco was hilarious while Daya was super confident and tragically seemed to knock it out of the park. None of the Ru-nettes were singers however, filling Michelle with nerves for them. Though when DeJa slayed from start to finish, things looked up. Wait, no, Jorgeous and Jasmine could not sing. At all.
Thankfully they were better when it came to choreography, though not by much as DeJa got stuck in the details as they ran through their moves and frustrated the hell out of her dancer sisters. Willow, Daya and Bosco were super together, nailing it from start to finish while the girls finally realised that Willow is a damn dancer! Camden meanwhile took control for their band, choreographing a simple routine so everyone could shine and while Angeria struggled anyway, I am confident their charm will sell the shit out of things. Despite the other girls looking on in fear for their chances.
Elimination Day rolled around with the dolls splitting up to get in their ‘60s looks, while they kikied about their favourite songs, with the dolls mainly focusing on Destiny’s Child while Camden spoke about her love of Spice Girls. And how girl power got her through high school. Angeria spoke about her love for En Vogue, while Kerri opened up about how her family didn’t let her embrace any music and she was forced into listening to church music only. Which made her even more obsessed with that kind of music.
Talk turned to the reading challenge and how amazing Bosco was before Daya confronted Jasmine for calling her two faced. And while she was super cut, Jasmine straight up listed all the things she said behind her back and how she had never said anything to her. With Daya admitting she would have, but Jasmine was preparing to lip sync for her life at the time. And while Daya was getting pressed, Jasmine reiterated that she never even tried to apologise, just make herself the victim.
Ru, Michelle and Carson were joined on the panel by Alec Mapa as the girl groups took the stage with the Shang-ru-las up first. And as much as I hate to say it, Daya did a killer job. Though not as good as Bosco and Willow, thankfully. The Ru-nettes did well, in no small part due to Jorgeous getting to speak all her lyrics instead of singing. That being said, this was well and truly DeJa’s performance. Closing the show the Ru-premes were so, so charming with Angeria and Camden in particular knocking it out of the park.
On the Heart On runway, Willow was stunning as she dropped all of her panties, Daya looked a mess as Jojo Siwa and Pink’s daughter, while Bosco was perfection in all white with her hole out and a heart in her hand. DeJa was a sexy nurse in an episode of Sailor Moon, Jorgeous was full on Victoria’s Secret realness, though made it carnivale. Jasmine gave a red, velvet gown with some hearts pinned on her hips while Angeria was a star as a high-headed checkerboard while Kerri was a dripping heart and veins while Camden was perfection as cupid, shot by her own arrow.
Willow, Bosco and Jorgeous were sent to safety, leaving Daya to receive universal praise for her performance as the one that stole the limelight. Which is not how I saw it. They also lived for her runway. DeJa too received universal praise before Jasmine was read for not finding a key, though praised for her commitment. Angeria returned to her place in the top as the judges loved everything she served, before Kerri was read for being too churchy for the challenge rather than giving girl groups. And well, she wasn’t very fun and they felt her outfit needed work. Camden meanwhile was read for blending into the background, though praised for looking like a star on the runway. Though reminded to bring the energy she served last week, every week.
Backstage Bosco was just thrilled to definitely not be lip syncing, given her outfit is quite immobile. Talk turned to the reading challenge with Bosco happy with everything people said about her, while laughing about how pressed Daya Betty was about being called two-faced. They agreed that Daya clearly is feeling the pressure of the competition, though were glad she is in the top to get praise. And to hopefully take the edge off. They speculated about the dolls placements, agreeing DeJa may be in the bottom as would be Jasmine. Unsure whether Kerri or Camden would be joining them, unaware that both were in the bottom, while DeJa was high.
Talk turned to Jasmine’s coming out, with Bosco and Willow talking about how hard not being able to do drag was throughout the pandemic given it was an outlet for their gender expression. Willow admitted that after years of focusing on her health concerns, she finally feels able to explore who she really is and what she loves about her body, including how she identifies.
The tops and bottoms joined the party and gagged the dolls with the fact DeJa was one of the tops. Kerri shared she was read for being too churchy and that she will definitely be lip syncing. Daya was thrilled to share that she was definitely in the top, thanking Bosco and Willow for helping get her over the line. Jasmine praised Daya for breaking through, though Angeria joked that it was all anger. Camden agreed she was in the bottom, though hopeful she would avoid the lip sync with Jasmine assuring her that she will be the one lip syncing, not Camden. While Angeria was once again thrilled to be in the top, further cementing herself as THE front runner.
Jasmine and Kerri once again caught up with Jasmine thanking her for being such an inspiration, ready to slay and be the woman she was born to be. The tops and safe dolls caught up, with Daya admitting she was deliberately selfish this week because she wants to win and well, she doesn’t care what anyone has to say about it.
Returning to the stage, somehow Daya Betty took out her first victory, proving tantrums do pay off, while Angeria and DeJa were deemed safe. As was Camden, narrowly, leaving Jasmine and Kerri to lip sync for their life to a weird remix of Toni Braxton’s iconic Unbreak My Heart. And well, it was a show. Jasmine kicked off a shoe and didn’t even bat an eyelid as she served with only a shoe, jumping and splitting all over the stage. Kerri meanwhile gave all the charm and emotion, and while I lived, it proved to be not enough against Alyssa Edwards Jr, leaving the iconic and powerful Kerri Colby to sashay away with only her chocolate bar for company.
Kerri was heartbroken to be eliminated from the competition, though was accepting that she did the worst in the challenge. Plus, Kerri had such a strong impact on so many of her sisters, it was hard for her to not feel the obvious love the world has for her. Which I reiterated to her backstage before sharing a fresh bowl of Kerri Columbines to sweeten her power.
While Columbines were tragically discontinued in the early ‘00s, they have such a special place in my hearts. Sure, they are just chewy caramels but the memories attached are so joyous. You see, every time my grandparents would come to visit we would arrive home from school to discover a bag of the pink and blue wrapped delights at the foot of our beds. It was such a small thing, but it still makes me happy so I was glad to make a copycat for the iconic Kerri.
Kerri Columbines Serves: 4 excited grandkids in the ‘90s or 2 dear friends in the (20)20s.
Ingredients 225g butter 450g muscovado sugar 395g can sweetened condensed milk 1 cup light corn syrup ½ tsp kosher salt 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Method Pop everything but the vanilla extract In a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly until it reaches 112-116C on a candy thermometer. Cook for a further couple of minutes at that temperature before removing and gently stirring in the vanilla.
Pour the caramel into a lined baking tin and leave to cool completely at room temperature. Once set, use an oiled knife to cut into squares before wrapping in waxed paper or you know, devouring greedily.
The Grammys are so close that I can almost smell their breath – they believe in mints though, so I like it – and while I’m sad That Somebody That I Used to Gold is almost over, getting to see my dear friend Kandi Burruss sure does dull the pain.
Now I know what you’re thinking – how did you catch up with Kandi, since she is still in the Celebrity Big Brother house? Obviously the answer is time-travel, so let’s not focus on that, ok?
I’ve known Kandi for years after meeting in High School. While she was a star in front of the screen, as her dearest friend – and the OG Don Juan, I’ll have you know – I shone by designing all their outfits and choreographing their BET Teen Summit performance.
Yep – I was pretty much this Tina Knowles of Xscape. Don’t tell Mama Joyce.
Anyway now I feel like I should explain why exactly I’ve got Kandi running the odds for Best Alternative Music Album and Best New Artist. You see, I assumed another nameless artist had won a Grammy, turned up at their house and then, when trying to steal it from her bathroom, discovered she in fact had never won a Grammy.
That led to me jumping in the delorean and quickly back-tracking a couple of months to see my girl Kandi, who agrees that Beck will win Best Alternative Album and Dua Lipa will take out New Artist. I then awkwardly rummaged through my bag and discovered I was in the possession of some Kandi Cane Burruss, and pretended that the visit had been planned all along.
Even if she knew that my seasonal snack was inappropriate for the visit, she didn’t say because Kandi is literally the nicest person in the world and I am so damn lucky to have her as my friend. And I’m also lucky to have found a recipe for candy canes online, because there is nothing better than homemade.
Kandi Cane Burruss Serves: 2-12.
Ingredients 3 cups caster sugar
1 cup glucose syrup
¼ cup water
2 tsp peppermint extract
red gel food coloring, to taste
white gel food coloring, to taste
Method Preheat oven to 100C.
Place the sugar, glucose and water in a large saucepan and cook over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Crank to medium-high and bring to the boil, without stirring, and cook until it reaches 140-145C on a candy thermometer.
Remove from the pan immediately and let it settle before whisking in the peppermint extract. Divide the syrup between two lined baking sheets, add a few drops of each colouring to each half, stir until well combined and place in the oven to stay warm.
Working one at a time, pour the syrup on a lined piece of marble – I used a platter – and leave to sit until a skin has formed as it firms up. Spray a spatula with olive oil and knead the candy with the spatula as it cools. Once it is cool enough to handle, knead by hand using food-safe gloves – to protect from the molten hot syrup – and start stretching out the candy, bring the ends together and then twist the candy until it is homogeneous and shiny AF. Once it is cool and barely pliable, pull it into a 5cm wide strand, return to the baking tray and keep warm. Repeat the process with the remaining colour.
This is where I got confused, so hang in there. Cut a 5cm length of each colour – return the rest to the oven – and press them together sideways. Twist and pull the candy to give the spiral pattern until it is about half a centimetre thick. Cut into 20cm lengths, curl into a hook and transfer to a third lined baking sheet to set. Repeat the process until done.
Once set, either devour in one sitting until you vom. Or you can wrap in cling and give them away as gifts. Because there is no way you’d make these any other time than Christmas time.
Previously on Survivor Kara, Alison and Alec were finally thinking about maybe flipping to the Davids. Sadly for them however the Davids had grown weary with the constant promise of being saved, none more so than Nick. This led to the Davids getting together, pooling their resources and sending poor Dan to the jury despite playing his hidden immunity idol which was nullified by Carl.
Back at camp Carl, Nick and Christian were thoroughly giddy by their alliance’s successful double advantage play – yay Nick for breaking the unsuccessful (in US) vote steal curse – leaving the Goliaths to awkwardly congratulate them on blindsiding everyone and taking control. A seething Angelina approached Alison, Alec and Kara to find out why they turned on her at tribal, with them admitting that they did it to continue to string the Davids along. Information that she immediately took back to Christian.
The next morning Nick and Davie got up early to see if they could find the re-hidden idol, with Nick finding it … wait, no. He just found a clue to go wandering in the middle of the night to find it at the far end of the beach near a fire.
Before we got conclusion to that little storyline, my man Jeffrey returned for this week’s reward challenge where the tribe would be split into teams and would race to cross a rope bridge over the water before throwing rungs at a salmon ladder like the laziest Oliver Queen. And TBH, it is only for a picnic and in the words of Shania, that don’t impress me much. Well, unless there is fried chicken in which case I’m all in. Alec, Alison, Christian and Gabby got out to an early lead since Alec is BAE when it comes to challenges. Sadly Alison struggled on the rope bridge, allowing Kara to overtake with Angelina almost lapping her. The team continued to pull away as Alec and the misfits continued to lag until Nick struggled with the rungs leaving Alec to do what he does best, dominating the challenge and snatching the win for his team.
Despite my prediction it would be lacklustre the picnic actually looked amazing, giving Alec the chance to work Gabby and Christian and somehow align. Which Gabby totally saw through, however was totally cool with. While hunting for, I assume, drinks, Alec discovered that on top of the picnic everyone received letters from home. Everyone broke away to read their letters and as is oft the case it was so sweet and pure I’m not even going to try being shady. But damn, Christian is galvanised from the experience.
Meanwhile back at camp the losers were licking their wounds with Nick, Kara and Angelina going fishing to try and have a feast of their own. Which they also failed at, leaving them only with a meagre supply of rice. I assume fueled by hunger, Carl checked in with Kara to see whether she’d be interested in turning on Alec at the next tribal council. Which surely is going to come back to vote him since he is getting way to confident in his place in the tribe. The victors returned to camp with Kara filling Alec in on the plan, which only made his gorging induced sickness worse. That night as the winners continued to nurse their bloated guts, Nick went for a walk down the beach to collect his idol while Alison continued to wander the island vomiting like the airport hotel scene of Drop Dead Gorgeous. Thankfully for him, it was a successful walk as he snatched the idol as the cacophony of vomiting covered for him.
Probsty returned for this week’s immunity challenge were the tribe would be required to balance on a narrow perch while holding handles behind their shoulders until only one remained. Wanting to mix things up Jeff offered people the opportunity to compete in the challenge or sit out and split a giant nachos – I assume Tony Nachos – and devour beer and margs, which Nick, Angelina and Carl all jumped at while the rest stuck with the challenge. Moments in Mike and Davie dropped out of the challenge, leaving Alec, Kara, Alison, Gabby and Christian to fight it out. While Angelina was toasting to the future like a young Shane Gould, Alec was getting eaten by bugs and looking like a babe and out of nowhere, Kara dropped after half an hour. Over an hour later Alison stepped down from the challenge leaving Gabby and Christian to hold out against Alec, who vowed not to lose. There was talk about percentages, tears from Gabby and mind games from Alec before Gabby dropped out of the challenge after two and a half hours. After three hours Christian got board and asked to tell a story, which took over an hour and a half, leading to him talking constantly to drive Alec to insanity and drop out of the challenge. Which worked after five hours and a half hours, handing Christian immunity and postponing tribal council by a day because it took too damn long.
Alec was feeling incredibly vulnerable the next day, wondering how in the hell he was going to save himself. He then broke down knowing he is going and can’t save himself and damn I love him. Meanwhile Carl was locking in said vote for Alec, going through the tribe and confirming their vote. This in turn frustrated Gabby who was concerned about Carl telling Kara – Alec’s closest ally – about the vote, leading to Gabby confronting him and breaking down about how bossy he is towards her. Meanwhile back by the ocean Alec was trying to convince Alison to push for a different target, floating Carl as the best person to take out given he is upsetting people at camp. The Goliaths spread the plan like wildfire, agreeing it was their best hope. Alec then approached Christian to see if he would be willing to join them, which the latter felt was a good idea since the longer Alec is around the longer the target is off his back.
At tribal council Probst praised Christian and Alec on their epic battle in the immunity challenge before Christian showed a moment of delusion, saying he was pushed to stick at it since he will only have one shot to play the game. Alec joined in the challenge talk, saying he got dizzy and just lost focus. Nick, Angelina and Carl were happy with their choice to sit out of the challenge while Alec and Kara threw shade saying you only sit out if you feel safe, which Carl tried to downplay since he never won a reward. Alison wasn’t buying Angelina’s plan to sit out, leading to Angelina spilling the tea about Alec and Kara throwing votes at her last tribal just to save face with the Davids. Talk turned to how in the hell Alec can save himself, with him trying valiantly to save himself by offering his services as a meatshield. Which, yes Alec, yes.
With that the tribe voted and poor Alec’s please fell on deaf ears as he found himself out of the game and joining the jury, aka Elizabeth’s Harem of Hunks. My heart broke for Alec – particularly now after he said fuck it to the NDA – who was sad to be out of the game and desperately wanted to play again. That being said, he took his boot with absolute class and I was so glad I could bring a little (pre-Kara) sweetness back into his world in the form of some Sugared Alecmond Merlino.
Now I know sugared almonds get a bad rap, but who doesn’t love an almond covered in sweet, sweet sugary goodness? Monsters, that’s who! Oh and obviously this recipe is adapted because who in the hell can actually just make these unless they are Willy Wonka?
Sugared Alecmond Merlino Serves: 6-12. Maybe?
Ingredients 3 cups raw caster sugar
1 cups water
2 tsp liquid glucose
a few drops blue food colouring
1 cup whole blanched almonds
Method Combine the sugar and water in a large saucepan over medium heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Crank to high and once boiling, quickly stir through the glucose and continue to cook until it reaches 115C. Remove from heat and leave to stand until it is no longer bubbly.
Pour the syrup into a large wet platter and cool until you can bear to touch it. Transfer to a bowl and knead with a wooden spoon, turning it back and forward until it is white and opaque. You can transfer to a bench and continue kneading by hand if that is easier until it is smooth. Form it into a ball and cover with a wet – but wrung – cloth and leave to cure for an hour or so.
Remove the cloth and knead it again with a few drops of food colouring to give a light pastel hue.
To coat the almonds melt the fondant and dip the – completely dry and peeled – almonds in the fondant one by one, tapping to remove any excess. Place on greaseproof paper and leave to rest for five minutes before flipping and leaving to dry completely.
Previously on Australian Survivor Shonee purchased a jar of lollies and a vote steal at the merge auction, while Benji remained the only person left with an idol after winning immunity at the last channel. I mean, Sharn found a hidden immunity at said challenge, however crapped it out and lead to Benji flushing it out, While she tried to play it on Mat who was getting blindsided by Benji’s insurgence, he managed to take her down and forced her to play it on herself. That of course led to the successful blindside of Mat, leaving Benji to return to camp with a ropeable Sharn, Steve and Shane.
Back at camp things were hella tense and while Benji, Brian, Shonella and Monika were thrilled, zaddy Steve held Shane and Sharn close and comforted them over their loss. Benji then gloated about being the new godfather while Steve and Sharn were in tears, making me hopefully for his downfall after serving his chaos purpose. Thankfully Benji’s hardcore play stoked a fire in Shane and she vowed to channel Russ-hole and sabotage the fire and bring an end to the game. The next day Queen Shonee noted that there was a post blindside shift and while she was worried about it, Queen Shane reminded us not to fuck with Shane Gould and hot damn I need that final two to happen right now.
Everyone tried to pull together, congratulating each other on making it as far as they have until it got hella awkward as Steve and Sharn awoke and Benji tried to be pleasant with them. Sharn then shared about how torn she was, to be screwed by Benji and feeling so alone despite being a strong as shit woman. Albeit, stuck on the bottom. She decided that getting Brian and Monika back on board was her only chance for survival, so approach Grubs to return to the Champion strong mentality and get rid of Benji. While he was awkwardly trying to dance around, she played the bottom perfectly and assured him that Mat’s blindside doesn’t impact on their relationship, and she is willing to use her past with Benji to benefit him and Monika. Sadly Brian saw right through the attempt and vowed not to buy her pledge. Brian took the intel back to the Mighty Ducks alliance and Benji’s ego continued to grow, pushing for loyalty and taking out his ex-ally Sharn.
My boy JoJo and the belly-flop structure of Monika’s nightmare returned for the reward challenge where the tribe would be split in half and race to jump off a tower, grab a ball a shoot as basket, with the first to three snatch fried chicken, chips and softies and DAMN it is worth it, no. Benji and Shane were team captains, with Benji snagging a team of Steve, Fenella, and Shonee leaving Shane to take Brian, Sharn and Monika. Tragically Shane lost the first point to Fenella, despite being a boss. Next up were Benji and Bellyflopika who pencilled dived her way to safety while Benji scored a second point for his team. Brian peed from the platform before battling Steve – and maybe a UTI – who didn’t bellyflop his way to the end, unlike Brian who punched it to the end and got the other team on the board. Lucky he unloaded, right? Shonee and Sharn were next, with Sharn tragically slaying Queen Shonee and tying things up. Shane and Fenella returned to play for victory with Shane nudging the ball out in front and snatching victory like a boss, leaving Fenella desperate for some swimming lessons and Steve in awe of her mad skillz.
Benji and the losers returned to camp with Shonella just glad to get a double portion of rice, while Steve quietly sat and observed what was happening. Benji went for a walk with Shonee, where she shared her vote-steal secret with him, hoping to use it to go from Indian to Chief which is problematic but I feel like it wasn’t meant to be malicious. Meanwhile at the reward, fried chicken proved to be the great equaliser, bringing Brian and Monika back into the Sharn and Shane fold. Shane knew it was her shot and used the time to find a way to undermine the Benji alliance, while Sharn completely missed an idol clue in the ice bucket at the reward. The four agreed to put the previous tribal behind them and to instead focus on taking out the biggest threat in Benji, with Sharn floating a blindside at the upcoming tribal. Shane and Sharn continued to downplay their betrayal to try and bring everyone back together, with them hopeful about succeeding … despite Shane not trusting Brian. Not to be outdone, he made a song and dance about searching for an idol clue, only to casually find an idol at the reward without anyone noticing.
Forgoing any camp action, JoJo returned for the immunity challenge where the tribe were required to bounce a ball on a disc while standing on a box, with Queen Shon hopeful Mat’s departure could even things up for everyone. Tragically Shonee and Monika were out almost instantaneously, before Fenella dropped her ball and joined them. They were then joined by Sharn, leaving Shane and the boys to battle it out for ten minutes. Tragically Queen Shane was next to fall, leaving Brian to try and distract Steve and talk about who is more skilled with balls. Spoiler alert: I am. After an hour, JoJo transitioned them to one hand with Benji dropping, followed closely by zaddy Steve, handing Brian with his first immunity.
Back at camp Benji was feeling super confident about his place in the game, which Sharn pulled Brian and Monika aside to lock in a vote against Benji. Despite Sharn not trusting Brian. The remaining Contenders caught up by the shore, with Benji admitting to feeling nervous about the upcoming vote. He then approached Monika to share that the Contenders were planning to use Shonee’s vote steal and that they would be tying things up if she didn’t jump. Zaddy Steve then got in on the act with Monika filling him in on the plan as they tried to figure out a way to possibly save Sharn. Steve and Sharn caught up, with our two twin-esque heroes struggling to find a way to save her and get to the end. Sharn in particular, struggling with the idea of going out.
The Mighty Ducks alliance were catching up over coconut as Sharn and a sneaky Brian loitered around trying to find some intel. Knowing that Brian is the key to their success, Shonee and Benji pulled Brian aside with Benji saying that Sharn was planning to vote him out … DESPITE THE FACT HE IS IMMUNE. Shonee was obviously ropeable, knowing Benji’s stupidity likely cost them another blindside as they madly tried to pretends she was planning to take him out in the future.
At tribal council Jonathan was quick to remind Sharn of her idol fuck-up at the last tribal council, with Sharn admitting Benji rattled her and cost Mat his game. Benji admitted he only told her to play it for herself to avoid his Mat blindside being ruined. Steve spoke about being heartbroken by the vote, while Benji and Brian gloated about how great a move it was. While Mat was pissed in the jury. Shane gave him kudos for the gameplay but admitted she was pissed … and then sabotaged the tribe but destroying the fire and being an absolute Queen. Reminder: don’t fuck with Shane Gould.
Sharn too was hurt by Benji’s move, Benji tried to downplay the situation as a group move and Shonee explained that had Mat not been destroyed, she and her allies would have been left to wonder who would be next. Sharn spoke about feeling nervous and needing to stay honest, while Benji spoke about finding people to trust and accepting deception is part of the game. Monika spoke about trusting her gut and relying on how she felt when talking to her allies, while Steve shared that it is all about faith and that having faith in people can save you. Before they headed off to vote Shonee played her vote steal, snatching Sharn’s and using it to vote for Sharn … twice. Tragically all it did was tie things up, much to Shonee’s frustration. Though thankfully it lead to the downfall of Benji, ending an epic albeit at times frustrating arc as zaddy Steve giggled like a bae.
Now I KNOW i have given Benji a lot of shit but bitch stole my place on the cast and I am hella jealous. I mean, we are both called Ben, have Sideshow Bob hair and a penchant for flaming out, so I assume that is the only reason I wasn’t there. That being said, he managed to keep this season interesting and without his wild, villainous, oft-nude ride, we’d be pretty bored. Which is what I said as I apologised for yelling at him over some Benjami Drops Wilson.
A little bit sour and a little bit sweet, these are the perfect food to honour his sneaky, glorious game. On top of that, they’re fucking delicious. Like the rise of villain Queen Shane “don’t-fuck-with-me” Gould.
Benjami Drops Wilson Serves: 6-12.
Ingredients 250g unsalted butter, softened ¾ cup raw caster sugar 1 tbsp vanilla extract 1 egg zest of a lemon 2 ⅓ cups flour ⅔ cup raspberry jam
Method Cream the butter and sugar in a stand mixer for about ten minutes, or until pale and fluffy. Add the vanilla, egg and zest and beat until just combined. Add the flour, fold through, and then beat for a further minute or so, or until the dough comes together. Cover and transfer to the fridge to chill for an hour.
Preheat oven to 160°C.
Roll the dough into golf-ball sized balls, place on a lined baking sheet and flatten to form small discs. Repeat the process until all the dough is gone. Make an indent in each disc, fill with a small dollop of jam and transfer to the oven to bake for twenty minutes.
When lightly golden, remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly before transferring to a wire rack to finish off. Or just devour, whatever you’d rather.
Previously on Australian Survivor Mat continued to dominate and started to chip away at Benji’s ego. Not to be outdone, Benji wooed Sam to try and take a shot at Mat and finally take control of an episode let alone the game. He and Sam went to work lining up the numbers … only for Mat to dominant in a killer immunity challenge and saving himself. Meanwhile things went from bad to worse for Sam as his plan was exposed and well and truly backfired as he found himself becoming the second member of the jury. Complete with a sympathy hug from little JoJo.
We returned to camp where the newly clean Brian decided to spread the love, relocating in the shelter to be closer to his new friends Shonella. Knowing that Shonella = Life and getting in with them will either be good for the game, or just make you a kween. Well, not as far as Mat or Shane are concerned however, as they grew tired of his comedy routine and spent the evening throwing him daggers and plotting his downfall.
The next day Brian continued his comedy, rocking a snorkel mask to avoid the smoke from the fire, earning the ire of Mat, Steve and Shane. Meanwhile Benji and Shonee were catching-up to find a way to go from being a power-bottom, to a power-top … begging the question, what is wrong with being vers? Anyway – Shonee decided that in order to take out Mat, they would need to pull in Brian so off they went to get things sorted. Benji approached Mat to clear the air from the previous tribal and thank him for saving him at the last tribal. Mat too was feeling paranoid, so thought that in order to move forward he needed to take out the shifty Brian and pulling in Benji would unite him and the outstanding Contenders.
We were also reminded about Mat’s idol, meaning she is going down this episode, no?
Benji and Sharn went into the jungle for a pow-wow, with Sharn immediately assuring him that his Contenders are safe and that she wants to get rid of Brian ASAP. Sharn went for a walk, giddy with her growing power, only to discover a clue for a hidden immunity idol at the next challenge. Kween. Kween Sharn. While Sharn was missing, Benji got to work telling Brian that Mat was targeting him and Monika that Mat asked him to spy on her. Sadly for him, Brian wasn’t buying shit. Well, until he mentioned that Sharn was on board and he and Monika immediately jumped on board and King Brian vowed to take control.
My boy Jonathan returned to the screen for the immunity challenge where the tribe was required to dig under a log, with six moving on to solve a puzzle … with the top three playing Survivor snooker for immunity. Steve and Benji were first through to the second round followed by Mat, Shonee, Brian and Shane, who pulled a come from behind win and killed Sharn’s chance at an idol. Well, unless she is daring. Anyway, Brian, Shonee and Benji moved on to the final stage, and hot damn I need Shonee to snatch immunity just for being a saint. The final round was neck and neck, between the boys and not Shonee, with Benji – UGGGGHHHHH – snatching immunity. Not to be outdone, Sharn was a boss grabbed the hidden immunity idol. Well, boss … until she dropped it in front of the entire tribe.
Back at camp Sharn was forced to attempt some slapstick comedy to deflect from the fact her idol was outed as she crapped it out in front of the tribe. Mat however, was thrilled by the turn of events as it managed to deflect from his idol. Mat, Sharn and Shane got together to lock in the vote for Brian before Mat approached Monika to secure her loyalty, with he vowing that she can act and keep the blindside up. Though sadly for him, Brian doesn’t seem to be her target. Shonella and Benji also agreed to take out Brian to his face, but Benji was itching to finally take a shot at Mat and take control of the game.
The Contender trio caught up to discuss whether Brian and Monika could be trusted, with the duo wandering upon them and vowing their undying loyalty. With the power going to his head, Benji decided that now would be the ultimate time to flush Sharn’s idol. He approached his secret ally and told her that playing her idol would be the best case scenario, to get the target off her back and gain some trust back. Sadly for him, Mat interrupted their pow-wow … though not before making her nervous enough to consider flushing her idol to save herself and not Mat.
Steve also made a Brianside joke, and damn, purple zaddy is life.
At tribal council Jonathan was quick to point out that Mat and his alliance were dominating the game, kinda making him nervous about his place in the game, concerned about how information can travel and how it could bite him. Benji gave a vague explanation about taking out threats, Monika shaded Sharn for her shitty/ing idol find. Brian speculated about the remaining idols left in the game, Mat shaded Russ-hole – rightly – for being overconfident and underestimating his opponents. Monika spoke – AGAIN – about idols placing a target on your back, low-key pushing for her to play the idol and flush it out with the blindside. She then spoke – AGAIN again – saying this vote, for her, is an easy won, Fenella spoke about following the numbers – which Sam and Robbie didn’t buy – while Benji was hopeful that he was trusting in the right people tonight. This appeared to make Mat nervous, with him issuing a veiled threat about being the next out if you make a play and miss.
With that, the tribe voted and Sharn opted to play her not so hidden immunity idol ON MAT leave Benji in utter shock, desperate and shitting himself like Sharn’s idol at the challenge. The votes then rolled in – like Benji’s waves of regret – wait no, Benji told her not to play it on Mat and instead told her to play it for herself to avoid going to a revote. She then played it for herself, confusedly so, as Steve anxiously watched Mat and the votes rolled him, sending him from the game to become the third juror.
Given Mat is arguably one of the nicest people to walk the planet, it was really hard to watch him be so blinded by his confidence and NOT to play his idol, when Sharn’s attempt to play her’s clearly highlighted that something was afoot. Thank being said, it was also really easy to watch his boot because the tribal council was lit and Benji convincing her to revoke her idol play and direct it to herself was masterful, despite me wanting him out next thanks to Shane’s wrath.
Anyway – MAT. I’ve known Mat for years, thanks to my long association with football. I mean, my dad played three – yes THREE – first grade games for the Roosters, I swindled the old lady in the neighbouring corporate box at Seagulls to hand over all of her soft drinks and have the thighs of a front rower. As I was saying, I took Mat and I became friends and because I loved him so, I introduced him to Chloe and hot damn did Jeans West fit best. Given how grateful they were, we’ve been the best of friends ever since and catch-up fortnightly to be besties and smash a shit tonne of Mat Rojersey Caramels.
Are Jersey Caramels something I used to tease my co-worker for eating because they are old people snacks? Sure. But TBH, they are also freaking delicious. Sweet and chewy, this edited version of the most basic recipe I could find on Taste.com is the perfect way to get rid of the bitter taste of a killer blindside.
Mat Rojersey Caramels Serves: 6-12.
Ingredients 395g can sweetened condensed milk 1 cup muscovado sugar 1 tbsp glucose syrup 3 tbsp golden syrup 125g butter, roughly chopped 200g white chocolate, finely chopped icing sugar, for kneading 500g fondant 1 tsp vanilla extract
Method Combine the half of all the condensed milk, sugar, glucose, golden syrup and butter in a large saucepan and cook over low heat until the sugar and butter have melted. Up the heat and bring to a simmer, while stirring constantly, for five minutes, or until the mixture has started to thicken. Remove from the heat and fold through half the chocolate, and pour into a lined square baking pan. Smooth the top and leave to cool for about 20 minutes.
Sprinkle the icing sugar on a clean, dry working surface and knead the fondant until smooth and malleable. Add the vanilla and continue kneading until smooth and well combined. Roll the fondant and carefully lay over the caramel, pressing to join.
Repeat the caramel process with the remaining ingredients and spoon over the fondant. Smooth the top and leave to set for half an hour, before covering with cling and placing in the fridge to set overnight.
Remove and cut into cubes before devouring. Or, you know, just bite off junks. No judgement.
Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race, Ru put the girls through their paces to write a verse on the remix of Category Is, had them guest on his podcast What’s The Tee?, lip-sync to their aforementioned verses on the mainstage and kill the runway. They all slayed which made me extremely relieved when Ru, Michelle et al opted to stick with the final four rather than a final three for this year’s finale.
Oh … but this week is the reunion which means we’ll either get some interesting tee or an hour to catch up on emails ahead of next week’s finale.
Ru started things off asking Alexis why she was happy to read people but couldn’t take it, at all. While she desperately tried to defend herself, the other queens called bullshit. To test if she had learned to take it, as she had said, Ru declared the library open and had the queens read each other, with Charlie and Jaymes actually doing well mocking Aja and Valentina respectively.
As far as reunions go, we’re running at a B- thus far.
We then found out Charlie broke her rib during the cheerleading challenge which she used to justify her lame lip sync. She also blamed diarrhoea, lack of sleep, Trump, not making sushi often, lack of covfefe, the situation in Syria and the song being about masturbation, or something. No one was buying the excuses and while I love me some Charlie, I’m definitely on the side of the other queens. We’ve dropped to a C rating though.
Farrah reenacted her infamous post-Eureka-elimination reaction, instantly giving us a bounce back to a B+. We then got to relive the shitshow that was maskgate before Shea and Sasha started laying into Valentina, which lead to Alexis trying to defend her … earning the wrath of Shea. Valentina’s intense fans were brought up before the queens once again got angry at Valentina for letting her fans viciously troll them.
Rise Villaintina and thank you for making this ru-union worth it.
We then learnt Valentina was a standoffish, aloof psycho, Nina still felt that people other than herself were sabotaging her and Kimora stepped up and became the most rational voice of the reunion, telling Nina to air her issues or shut the hell up. My girl Kris Jenner then called in to congratulate Alexis on how well she played her in the musical challenge, Farrah told some funny jokes … and Valentina was crowned Miss Congeniality by reigning cucu-congeniality.
And this is where it started to earn its A+!
Aja was inspired by my boy Kanye calling out Tay-Tay and called bullshit on Valentina being congenial and told her she is the fan favourite, not Miss Congeniality. Farrah then told Valentina that she was hurt by the way she just stopped communicating with her after the show, despite being so close. Then literally everyone jumped in to talk about how horrible Valentina was to work with, before Trinity pointed out that whatever the title is, taking out fan favourite is like being the true winner of the season. Once again, Trinity is life.
Then … THEN, Mama Ru dropped the bombshell. Instead of next week’s finale being a couple of pre-rehearsed personalised lip syncs and filler performances leading up to the crowning, Peppermint, Sasha, Shea and Trinity would all be involved in a four-way, lip-sync battle royale to decide the winner of the season, putting the fear of yes gawd into Shea – who despite an unrivalled track record, now has an actual hurdle to claiming the crown – and I assume, got Peppermint thinking she should start writing her acceptance speech, given she is a lip sync assassin.
It also made my girl Violet Chachki – who I was watching the episode with – extremely happy that this rule wasn’t in place back in season 7, given Ginger Minj’s abilities. I was quick to point out that she, my dear friend V could still turn out a lip-sync, we both sat silently for a minute, shook, wondering if she had dodged a bullet two years ago.
Not wanting to dwell, I quickly pointed out that her two-in-one runway is an example of how she can create a breathtaking spectacle, and got to work on a breathtaking spectacle of my own – a Violet Crumblchki.
Now I know Violet Crumbles are such a big thing outside of Australia, but they are essentially the same thing as a crunchie. And by that, I honestly could not tell you a difference outside of their names. And the brands.
Either way, you can’t go wrong with honeycomb, cut into pieces and coated in chocolate. Ever.
Violet Crumblchki Serves: 12.
Ingredients 1 recipe of / store-bought honeycomb, which I’d give you if it weren’t going to spoil a later date – mine makes a 30x40cm baking sheet’s worth 400g chopped chocolate, I went dark but you can do milk if you’d rather
Method Break your honeycomb up into bite size pieces, I don’t really care about going for the perfect store-bought look.
Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl suspended over a pot of boiling water, ensuring the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Aka a double boiler. Remove from the heat when the chocolate has just melted.
Line another baking sheet and working piece-by-piece, dip the honeycomb into chocolate and place them on the tray. Once the bases are done, spoon chocolate over the top and smooth out to completely coat them. Place in a cool dry place to set for about an hour, before devouring.
Ok everyone, sit down because do I have some exciting news for you!
Even more exciting than it just being the ninth day of Chrismukkah, today marks our 300th recipe slash documented catch-up on the blog. Can you believe it?
I can’t … but mainly because I spend so much of my time feuding with celebrities, I can’t believe that I can fit in all these social occasions.
Thankfully my dear Mischa isn’t someone that I’m currently feuding with.
Out of all the cast members of The O.C., I knew that Mish was the one I wanted to mark the milestone with … due to us both being proclaimed IT girls in 2003 by Entertainment Weekly.
I first met Mish in ‘99 while working on Notting Hill and The Sixth Sense. While I didn’t notice her on Notting Hill, due to Jules’ neediness and inability to share me, we were able to connect on The Sixth Sense, due to the lesser demands of being a part of Tones’ entourage.
When it came time to cast Marissa, I knew my girl Mish was the only person worthy of the part give her ability to be simultaneously delicate and tough as nails, which my boy Artem can attest to during their time on DWTS.
I hadn’t seen Mischa since the DWTS finale after getting into a little tiff after I ditched her to seduce Nyle DiMarco – who I really want to catch-up with soon. Thankfully she was happy to answer my call and put the situation behind us to celebrate my milestone and Chrismukkah.
Let’s be honest the one-two punch is probably the only reason she forgave my thirst, though she also isn’t one to pass up a celebratory Peppermintscha Barkon.
Like Mish’s explosion onto the teen drama scene in the noughties, the bark is refreshing, beautiful and packed full of everything you needed in life but didn’t realise.
Method Strap yourself in guys, this one’s a toughy – line a baking sheet with baking paper.
Melt the milk chocolate in a microwave – because who can be bothered with damn double-boiling – until just melted. Stir in the peppermint extract and spread out on the baking sheet and chill for about half an hour, to set.
Move quick after adding the peppermint as it can curdle and thicken the chocolate.
When the milk chocolate is almost set, melt the white chocolate -again in the microwave. Fold through half the candy canes and pour over the milk chocolate.
Top with the remaining crushed candy canes and any kitsch edible decorations. My favourite, obviously, is edible glitter.
Chill to set for a couple of hours before breaking into pieces and gifting/devouring.
Whether you want to admit it or not, our dear friend Caitlyn Jenner has had a monumental year since coming out as transgender and working towards being the activist she needs to be, given the role would be thrown at her anyway.
We first met Cait in an Olympic training camp in the mid 70s when Annelie was trying to perfect the correct amount of steroids for me to win discus, without being caught. It worked and Annelie went on to provide supplements to Lance Armstrong, but that is another story for another time.
Our bond with Cait was instant and while she was disappointed in our actions, our wit, charm and aggressive sexuality was too much and a four decade friendship was formed.
Cait first told us she was transgender about 18 months ago when we caught up during a fleeting visit to Malibu to egg Yolanda Foster’s house. We were so happy that she felt comfortable enough to share her truth with us and surprisingly, we didn’t run straight to the paps with the information.
Since then, we’ve acted as a trusting, tender ear while Cait has endured the ups and downs of the media scrutiny in the lead up to her interview with Diane Sawyer and were heavily involved in deciding on the now iconic Vanity Faircover.
Such a stellar year, made Cait deserving of our highest honour, to be the final pre-Christmas hiatus recipe. We like to call it our Cakelyn Jenner.
While you would assume such a landmark year would call for a showy, decadent, Christmas dessert, we wanted the Cakelyn to be a reminder of the true essence of Cait’s year. It was honest and simple; she is a woman, finally able to live as the person she is and that calls for a nice classic sponge.
Cakelyn Jenner Serves: 8
Ingredients 200g self-raising flour
225g salted butter
175g castor sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
300ml thickened cream
Seeds from 1 vanilla bean
½ cup raspberry jam
Method Preheat oven to 175°C.
Grease, flour and line 2 x 8″ cake pans.
Beat butter and sugar together until pale and creamy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla extract and milk and combine.
Sift flour and baking powder into wet ingredients mixture. Gently fold together until just combined. Divide between prepared pans.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until cakes are risen and spring back when touched. Allow to cool on a wire rack.
Once cakes are completely cool, whip cream to stiff peaks and stir through vanilla seeds.
Spread one half of cake with jam. Top with cream and then other cake. Serve immediately.