Salsanté Verde Villiers

Condiment, Dip, Sauce, Survivor South Africa, Survivor South Africa: Return of the Outcasts, TV, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previously on Survivor South Africa the tribes were gagged to learn they had merged while at tribal council. And not just that, they had also been gifted a new and improved camp. Despite being one big happy family, the internal battles of OG Masu continued to dominate the new tribe as Toni rallied an army to counter the early power of the Breakfast Club. Which for the record didn’t even survive a tribal council given they booted Chappies first. After Phil peed his way to individual immunity, both sides tried to rally the numbers with Marian, Meryl and Steffi coming out on top as Toni was booted and anointed as the second most important placing behind a Fourth Place Robbed Goddess, the Queen of the Jury.

Back at camp Tejan was a little embarrassed to have burnt his idol, admitting he was completely shocked by the fact Toni was the ultimate target. Steffi meanwhile felt she had no other choice but to vote out Toni, given her earlier alliances were clearly the best path forward.

The next day the tribe were well and truly drained, with Tejan in particular feeling like his days were numbered. Meryl pulled him aside to check in and see why they are no longer getting along. He told her that Steffi was the one that was feeding information to him and Toni and while it is true, she did not believe him for a second. Marian and Shane meanwhile caught up with Marian quickly pushing for Dante to be the next one out, given he is too close to Felix and Toni has already pledged her vote for him to win. She then caught up with Phil and Meryl, with both of the women trying to avoid being the first person to float Dante’s name. Though they eventually all agreed that he needs to go. Particularly because Meryl is exhausted by babysitting his mood swings.

After Meryl disappeared, Marian locked in her alliance with Phil. Despite the fact neither of them really know if they can trust each other. Meryl found Dante by the well with the latter quickly floating Dino as their next target, given everyone is slowly building their trust with him and he is concerned that everyone’s interests are growing more and more individual, rather than supporting his.

The tribe reconvened with Nico for the latest immunity challenge where they would have to race to collect three keys from the top of the dunes, then use said keys to unlock three chests to release puzzle pieces and then solve a puzzle. Oh and in addition to immunity, the victor would get to smash some Chinese takeout. Obviously Dante got out to an early lead before Tejan overtook him, while Steffi and Dino nipped at their heels. Tejan and Dante started working on their puzzles as everyone slowly started to join them. Out of nowhere, Meryl flew through her puzzle and jagged herself individual immunity before anyone even realised she had made it to the end.

She broke down, proud of winning immunity on Day 22, which is when she was voted out on her first season. Oh and it’s also her son’s birthday. Nico being messy took the kind moment and gave her the chance to pick three people to join her at reward with her smartly taking everyone that didn’t get to eat at the Merge Feast, who conveniently, were also the three people she felt like she needed to talk to about the upcoming tribal council.

Back at camp, Meryl discovered she had the choice to either smash the Chinese food or to take blankets for all the tribe. Ultimately choosing to take blankets, meaning everyone also got a fortune cookie. Meryl and Steffi floated who they think should be the next to go, suggesting Dante and Tejan. While Meryl assured them that she only voted against Toni for revenge and she invited them on reward to apologise to them and build trust. Meanwhile by the shelter, Dante and Shane caught up with Tejan about the fact his alliance clearly isn’t looking out for him given he wasn’t told about anything at the last vote. Though given Dante was super forceful about it, Shane was fairly confident that there was no way they were getting Tejan across the line.

Meryl and Co. returned from reward with the blankets, sharing that they gave up the chance for food for them. And when the response was a resounding meh, she instantly regretted her decision. Meryl then read the note about the fortune cookies, with Dino sure that the cookies lead to a trip to the Outpost. Which was 100% true, with Meryl hilariously getting it, meaning she is very likely to jag herself another advantage. Jealous of her swag, Marian whispered to Phil about Meryl’s growing power and suggested that they need to blindside her sooner rather than later. Steffi, Dante and Shane caught up on the beach with Steffi pretending she thought everyone was locked in on the easy Dino vote. And while she sold it, Dante was still nervous about whether he could trust what everyone was saying and that it wouldn’t be a surprise Tejan vote instead.

The next morning Dante quadrupled down on his focus to get rid of Dino while Shane was concerned that Tejan had disappeared to go hunting for an idol. Felix meanwhile was stuck in the middle of both of his alliances and as such, approached Meryl about identifying a third option. Which is all well and good if she didn’t see it as him pushing his own agenda. Steffi and Marian caught up with Meryl to talk about the vote, with Steffi well and truly ready to get rid of Dante. Marian meanwhile quietly grew more nervous about Meryl’s trip to the Outpost. Steffi caught up with Dino to talk about the upcoming vote, assuring him that the plan is to get rid of Dante, while he grew more and more nervous about the fact he could be the one getting played.

Meryl finally arrived at the Outpost where she discovered that if she was willing to give up her vote at the upcoming tribal council, she would get a 50:50 coin. Which duh, you know she is willing to add to her haul.

Back at camp Steffi had turned her attention to Shane, talking about getting rid of Dante next, while he was worried about upsetting Dante, despite him being a massive threat to his own game. Shane then caught up with Tejan, who was nervous about Shane just being on the wrong page about the Dante vote. Dino and Phil were also busy catching up, worried about the Dante vote being a smokescreen and that everyone is just planning to blindside them. And while Phil was confident he was safe, there was a nagging pit in his gut about Dino’s safety.

Meryl returned from the Outpost and caught everyone up on her story, telling them she had two bags to choose from and that she clearly chose the wrong one which led to her losing her vote at tribal council. Oh and Dante whispered to Marian about the fact nobody believed him about Rob running things on his original season, which cost him the game and handed Rob victory, which is why he is so fixated on getting rid of Dino.

At tribal council Tejan spoke about the fact the tribe is being led by a controlling alliance and that those that aren’t in charge need to realise that goats are not going to be earning the win this season. He then suggested the women are in charge, with Meryl pointing out that they are also horribly outnumbered, and that Tejan is clearly just scrambling. Tejan then outed Steffi for backstabbing Toni and lying to her about Dante and Meryl getting votes. This made Dante nervous, who got up and started whispering to people, with Marian telling Tejan to stop being a hypocrite while also assuring Dante he was safe and to stick to the plan. Marian and Tejan then started fighting, which made her far more likely to turn on him while Dante was concerned that anything could happen, while Steffi assured everyone that they should hold firm.

With that the tribe voted and Dante was gagged to be blindsided from the game and from my perspective, I was heartbroken to have lost our final speedo zaddy of the season. Given we’ve been down this path before, Dante knew to follow the sound of my tears to Ponderosa, where I pulled him in for a massive hug and told him how proud of him I was this season. But also, that I really loved his speedo and that I think he should design a line. And while he was sceptical, he was happy to drown his sorrows with a vat of Salsanté Verde Villiers.

You should know by now that while most people have their condiments on something, around here, we are fast and loose with the rules. And when they pack as much of a punch as this, why wouldn’t you shot it. I mean, Jaida has Tajin, let me have this, ok?

Enjoy!

Salsanté Verde Villiers
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
5 garlic cloves 
2 handfuls flat-leaf parsley 
1 handful fresh basil 
1 handful fresh mint 
⅓ cup capers 
¼ cup gherkins
1 tbsp Dijon mustard 
3 tbsp red wine vinegar 
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper

Method
Pop everything in a blender or food processor and blitz until combined with only smaller chunks remaining.

Season to taste before devouring, either in shot form, or on a perfectly cooked steak. Your choice!


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Avacadavid & Mangoodchild Salad

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Blood V Water, Salad, Side, Snack, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor Josh was seething after Jordan was booted by the minority, though for some reason, he focused his attention on taking out Sam. Now in the top eight with two hidden immunity idols, Mark and Sam’s power continued to grow as Mark took out individual immunity. Giving himself immunity in three forms and finally waking up their allies to take a shot. After flipping to the new purga-three plus Dave, Josh encouraged them to play their idol for Sam, but they didn’t, leaving her to be tragically booted from the game while Mark lived to fight another three tribals minimum.

Back at camp everyone tried to soothe Mark’s pain and while he accepted Josh’s hug, he pushed away Shay and KJ when they tried to offer him sympathy. As he stared into the fire, Dave assured Shay he was the one that pulled Josh over to their side. Mark then snapped out of his trance and snapped at Josh to come and explain himself to him, with Josh telling him that everyone was nervous of the marrieds and their collection of idols were proving too threatening. Oh and then Mark lost even more charm, telling Josh that Jordie is a non-entity in the season while reminding us that Jordie is just a gardener, while he is a trained killer. Which honestly, is a shit brag. Reminding me how much I wish Sam outlasted Mark.

The next day Jordie and his crew were living their best lives, as Dave whipped up a bush fig compote. All under the scowling eye of Mark. After he went to sulk and fish, Jordie celebrated finally taking out revenge on Sam for taking out his brother. Knowing that Josh was still a massive wild card, Jordie pulled him aside to find out how he was feeling. And while Jordie was still shocked that nobody believed him about Mark’s two idols, he was glad that Josh now identified him as a massive threat and as such, wanted to work with him to take out Mark so they both have a better shot.

Mark meanwhile was still in his feelings over letting Sam go when he could have saved her, opening up about wanting to let his game go for her. Begging the question, why did they have to side with his alliance at the merge, over hers. Oh and then the winner’s music intensified, so I guess I have to accept that this is the only way we can honour Sam’s killer game.

Oh and then he and Josh caught up, brainstorming ways to keep themselves alive but trust and believe, this was just a winner’s edit.

The tribe met up with Jonathan where they would each face off holding a rope while they lean over the water, with the last person standing jagging a trip to the Survivor spa. Complete with shower, bed and surf and turf. Though more importantly, a bed. Before taking their places, Shay pledged to take Chrissy and KJ with her should she win and as such, Chrissy was positively giddy as she leant over the water. While she struggled almost instantly, Jordie tried to give her a pep talk while Shay assured her that she or KJ would win her the reward. Which obviously meant KJ was the next to go, leaving their chances resting on Shay’s shoulders. After half an hour, Dave dropped followed by Mark. The boys then made a deal with Shay, who agreed to take them with her despite the fact she already promised the girls. And when she picked the boys over the girls, KJ was ready to destroy her while Chrissy pretended she was all good.

The trio arrived at their outdoor spa and immediately started trimming and plucking anything and everything in sight. They then smashed their feast, followed by the boys marvelling at their luck to convince Shay to take them with her despite her promise to the girls. They started talking about how much calmer things feel now that Sam is out of the game, while Josh continued to assure us that he knows Mark only has one idol. Which he does not, he has two. Though thankfully, he still sees the sole idol as an issue and as such, locked in a plan to get rid of Mark with a split on Dave or Chrissy, given they don’t really care either way.

Though don’t assume that means Josh is working with them long term, only long enough to lessen his threat level. Begging the question, is he actually wise?

Meanwhile back at camp, the losers were heartbroken, though none more so than Chrissy, who was as keen for the spa as we both were for zaddy JLP. KJ joined the rage, frustrated by the fact Shay straight up promised to take her on reward and then backflipped. Dave (rightly) pointed out that Jordie wisely set up this current predicament, getting himself a reward while making Shay look like even more of a target. As such, they locked in their votes against Jordie.

The next day we checked in on the spa going trio where Shay was busy shaving her legs as the boys had some pillow talk about protecting each other. And I guess more importantly, protecting each other from the upcoming vote.

The two groups reconvened with Jonethan for the latest immunity challenge where they would race over a net to collect sandbags before carrying them over obstacles and then tossing them into a bucket to release puzzle pieces and, wait for it, then solve a puzzle. Mark, Jordie and Josh got out to the slightest of leads, but then I spotted a horse in the background and well, I blacked out. Until Jonathan spoke about toss after toss and well, swoon. Fuelled by the rage of missing out on a shampoo, Chrissy took out the lead while the boys continued to nip at her heels. While everyone caught up at the puzzle, the five word phrase proved super difficult allowing Josh enough time to take out victory.

Back at camp Josh pulled Chrissy aside to lock in a split vote against Mark to, at the very least, get rid of his idol given it puts them on an equal playing field. Josh then suggested they push for the new majority to vote for Mark, push Mark to play his idol and then decide who goes out of the group. And while Chrissy pushed hard for it to be Jordie, Josh fought just as hard for another target. Given Jordie continues to be a distraction for people wanting to boot him instead.

While Shay was feeling safe thanks to alliances made at the reward, she caught up with KJ to assure her that they are still tight and while she disappointed KJ with her decision, it is truly best for both of their games. KJ rightly saw that as a decent take, reminding Shay that the boys are all busy targeting each other and as such, they should just take a step back and let them take each other out so they can get to the end.

Shay then caught Jordie up on the plan before they checked in with Dave to assure him the plan is still to get rid of Mark and they don’t need to worry about a vote split, given it is unlikely he will play his idol this round. Which Dave readily agreed to. Sadly for Jordie, however, Dave had plans of his own and as such, was ready to get rid of Jordie with the help of Chrissy and KJ. Meanwhile Mark was trying to figure out his plan forward, approaching Shay whether now was the right time to play the idol with her assuring him that he should. Which is obviously what she would be telling him, since she wants to flush it. Though somehow, he felt he outsmarted her in the situation?

At tribal council Shay spoke about how wonderful it was to have a shower while Dave called it out as a risky move. While KJ and Chrissy rolled their eyes at each other. Dave spoke about the importance of forming alliances at rewards, as Chrissy spoke about how disappointed she was to be left behind after Shay promised to take her, Dave jumped in to continue to talk about how stupid it was though pointed out it was a brilliant play be Jordie to avoid getting his hands dirty. That pissed off Jordie, who pointed out that the biggest threat in the game is definitely Mark and as such, they need to strike at him ASAP to at least flush one of the idols out. Given nobody believes there is a second. Again, when there is.

Josh implored everyone in the tribe to vote with their best interests in mind, while Mark continued to lie about his second idol and warned everyone that he has three opportunities to play his idol. And when he plays it and who for are questions that still remain. Dave reiterated that there are still a tonne of targets left in the game, while Jordie reiterated just how uncertain the vote ahead is. With that, the tribe voted and Mark played an idol for himself, leaving the votes to pile up two each for Jordie and Dave. With that, the tribe re-voted and for some reason, booted Dave from the game.

As soon as I saw Dave enter Jury Villa, I bit my tongue to stop myself from asking just why he named himself Juicy Dave before pulling him a hug and congratulating him on making it so far. I was heartbroken to see Briana go – again, I would suffer the same fate if I played – but glad that he tried to do her proud and as such, toasted his success with an Avacadavid & Mangoodchild Salad.

Sweet juicy – geddit – mango, creamy avo, salty bacon and the zingy dressing work together to form what is arguably the greatest salad of all time. Whether it ruins your chance at joining the property market or not.

Enjoy!

Avacadavid & Mangoodchild Salad
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
6 rasher streaky bacon, cut into strips
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp thickened cream
salt and pepper, to taste
2 baby cos, leaves torn, washed and dried
2 mangoes, peeled and diced
2 avocados, peeled and diced

Method
Fry the bacon in a small skillet for a few minutes, or until brown and crisp. Transfer to a plate lined with baking powder.

Pop the olive oil, lemon zest and juice, dijon mustard and thickened cream in a jar with a good whack of salt and pepper and shake until well combined.

To assemble, pop the lettuce in a bowl, followed by the mango and avocado, sprinkle over the bacon and drizzle with the bacon. Then, obviously, devour.


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River Mediterranean Salad

RuPaul's Drag Race UK, RuPaul's Drag Race UK 3, Salad, Side, Snack, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Drag Race UK the dolls were tasked with promoting the new home assistant, Draglexa. And girl, it was a mess. While it often feels like everyone is getting the shady edit during the filming segments, this one didn’t appear to go badly … until their commercials were played for the judges and the rattlesnake sound came out. To the point where Ru gave no one the win. Feeling extra shady, the queens were asked to announce who should go home with the dolls split on sending Scarlett and Charity home. This pissed off Scarlett, who stormed out of untucked, followed by the lip sync which was a rematch against Charity with the latter tragically felled from the competition.

Backstage Scarlett looked like she was returning from war, heartbroken to have sent her sister home though proud to show the fire within herself. River tried to keep things positive by immediately going shady and asked if anyone thought Charity should have stayed, with most of the dolls agreeing that Ru made the right decision. Scarlett complained that everyone suggested she should go home before the lip sync, with Ella trying to remind her they had to answer a question and nobody hates her, so she needs to stop moping around. Choriza spoke about the fact that wins aren’t automatically granted anymore, leaving Vanity to ask whether Choriza will stop relying on comedy and show some diversity. And well, things were about to go south before Krystal suggested they de drag and go the fuck to sleep.

The dolls were feeling far more jovial the next day, conga-ing into the new week with them acutely aware that they need to bring it this week given they kinda bombed the last challenge. Scarlett meanwhile was still feeling salty about getting flagged as the person that should go home and then a myriad of other grievances, leading to Krystal rightly calling her out for bouncing between the things that were upsetting her and damn, how is she only 19?

The fights were interrupted by Ru who dropped by to open the library and damn, that is just what they need, no? Choriza kicked off the reading challenge landing some sick burns, getting the queens mixed up the entire time. Vanity went in on Ella for being bland and Scarlett for saying like a lot. River mocked Choriza being horny and Scarlett for interrupting, Krystal was savagely hilarious, Ella was witty and lovable, Scarlett went IN on everyone for her revenge while Kitty was wild and demented and I live for her. Rightly so, Choriza took out victory before the dolls learnt that this was only just the beginning, for this week, they’d be playing Snatch Game.

The dolls split up to talk about their chosen characters, with Vanity sharing she would be playing Jocelyn Jee Esien while Krystal would be rocking Charity Shop Sue. Ru arrived to kiki with the girls with Choriza sharing that she would be playing Margarita Pracatan aka a singing version of her, who used her charm to get by. Oh but Ru would prefer her to play Cher and well, I’m confused. Ella meanwhile was going to play Mystic Meg, though Ru preferred her back-up character of Nigella Lawson, so she too was likely to change things up. Scarlett planned to do Danny Dyer, so obviously Ru wanted her to do Tilda Swinton or Macaulay Culkin. Kitty thought she would play Cilla Black, so Ru tasked her with playing the GC despite that being played by her sister Cheryl in Sheeeeason One. River was going to play Amy Childs from TOWIE, but Ru surprisingly didn’t give her a new character to do instead.

We immediately pivoted to the Snatch Game set where Judi Love and Nadine Coyle were ready to play with the dolls. Ella, Scarlett and Kitty all opted to change to Ru’s suggested characters, while Krystal, Vanity, River and Choriza held their ground on their OG choices. From the very first moments it was Ella’s show, bringing the sultry smut of Nigella that was always destined for Snatch Game greatness. Kitty was delightful and demented, Scarlett screamed her way through the challenge – in a good way – while on the other end of the panel, River, Choriza and Krystal just kinda got lost in the pack. Most importantly, Ella DID say meek-ro-wa-vay and that alone is worthy of victory.

Elimination Day rolled around with Ella proud to have slayed the Snatch Game, though felt a couple of the girls should be worried. Vanity meanwhile was triggered by the fact she had to play a character, given she had to play the character of a straight kid growing up. Kitty meanwhile shared that she never had to come out, given her parents always said she could bring a girl or boy home. Choriza meanwhile shared that she came out at 11, though it wasn’t until she was 18 that she realised that her father was holding her sexuality against her and always appeared to be angry with her. Krystal shared that she and her father never saw eye to eye, though Drag Race helped him understand who she was as a person. River meanwhile struggled with feeling that being gay is disgusting, with Ella reminding them that as queer kids, you’re constantly in a state of stress. With Scarlett agreeing that that is why she acts the way that she does now, while Ella shared that she just desperately tried to fit in and be straight.

Ru, Michelle and Graham were joined on the judging panel by the iconic Lulu – CHAMPAGNE FOR LULU – for the Feeling Fruity runway. Choriza was up first serving the most iconic Carmen Miranda inspired peach look, Krystal was the sexiest dragonfruit to grace the planet, Scarlett wore lime, though looked like an iceberg lettuce instead. River looked like a cup of Runts, Ella was a sexy, vampy watermelon, Vanity was a gorgeous African mama in a coral gown while Kitty was the juiciest cherry crossed with Little Red Riding Hood.

And Poison Ivy.

The judges lived for Choriza’s runway look, though they felt she needed to give more in Snatch Game. Krystal was praised for pushing herself in Snatch Game, though read for kind of missing the mark. And the fact she was repeating a silhouette on the runway. The judges lived for Scarlett screaming her way through Snatch Game, though was read for dressing as a lettuce. River meanwhile, was read for sticking in early-TOWIE Amy Childs and getting swallowed up by her sisters, while Michelle felt her look was crafty. Ella received universal praise for knocking Nigella out of the park and looking like a star on the runway. Vanity was read in the same way Krystal was, though was praised for looking beautiful on the runway. And Kitty, like Ella, received universal praise for start to finish. And had the judges in hysterics on the runway to boot.

Backstage Kitty was on cloud nine, thrilled to finally have her breakthrough moment in the competition. Ella too was proud of herself for nailing Snatch Game and surprising everyone with her improv skills. Choriza meanwhile was heartbroken to be read for just being there while River was disappointed to be down, but by no means was she ready to go out. Oh and Krystal was sure it would be her lip syncing, given she set such a high standard for herself in the first week’s of the competition. While Scarlett was thrilled to turn things around and prove herself again, leading to the dolls rallying around each other and ugh, I love the girls.

Ultimately Scarlett and Kitty were deemed safe, handing a well deserved victory to Ella. Vanity was sent to safety while Krystal narrowly avoided the bottom, leaving my faves River and Choriza to lip sync to Lulu’s Shout. And while I love everything about Lulu, I hate everything about this dark, dark timeline – NOT MY FAVES. 

Things only got darker as both Choriza and River were wacky and charming, but that lip sync kind of felt flat, despite Lulu living. And then when Choriza changed her wig on stage – not a reveal, changed – the timeline went pitch-black as Ru opted to send BOTH of them home. 

Some people say that you could hear my screams from outer-space at that moment, which reminds me, bravo to the editors for hiding it. And security for stopping me from getting to the mainstage as I tried to storm the get and force Ru and Michelle to change their damn minds. I could have handled one going, but both of my icons? I don’t think.

Eventually the security and on-set psychologists were able to get me calm enough to proceed with the usual culinary comfort but we agreed that it was best to do them one at a time to avoid me being triggered. As such, River was first up and immediately pointed and shuffled her way into my arms to try and lighten the mood. And while it didn’t change the sad outcome, it truly did help and I mustered a weak smile. Think SJP’s first little joke in Mexico in the SATC movie. That was my level of trauma.

After breathing my way through the pain, I was able to praise River on being one of the breakout stars of the season with her kindness, charm and raw talent. And then I realised, while she may have lost this season, she will undoubtedly win her next. Right? Right, Ru? RIGHT? With that, I was able to whip up a River Mediterranean Salad and toast to her success.

While I used to subscribe to the Springfield view of salad, this little number is a game-changing delight. Plus, it is great for a lazy person. Decadent and simple, the feta and crackers elevate the store-bought ingredients to give you a perfect mid-week (get it?) meal.

Enjoy!

River Mediterranean Salad
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
½ cup roasted capsicum, drained and torn into strips
1⁄2 cup green Sicilian olives, rinsed
⅓ cup sundried tomatoes, drained
200g Danish feta, diced
2 cups mixed salad leaf, washed and drained
1 cup rosemary and garlic crackers
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 lemon, juiced
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
I am lazy when it comes to salad – probably because I’d rather be having fries but I’m north of 30, so shouldn’t – so this one is pretty basic.

Chuck everything in a bowl. Toss. Serve.

Then devour. Always devour.


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Turkita Mean Tostadas

Main, RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under, RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under 1, TV, TV Recap

Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under, Ru and Michelle made the perilous trip to the southern hemisphere and after two weeks in quarantine, joined Rhys Nicholson on set to join ten of the best Aussie and Kiwi queens. One by one the departed, with Jojo tragically robbed first though winning the honour of being the Down Under Pork Chop.

She was followed by Art Simone, but that meant nothing, because after Coco was felled in Girl Groups, Art was returned to the competition in a pile of trash. Which honestly is how the fandom reacted to the lack of explanation about her return.

We then suffered a major emotional blow, as the delightfully, iconic Anita Wigl’it was tragically felled. By Karen dressed as Schapelle Corby, no less. This set off a chain of events I’d rather forget as Etcetera Etcetera, Maxi Shield and Elektra Shock left back-to-back-to-back, leaving the top four – of Karen from Finance, Art, Scarlet and Kita Mean – to battle it out for the crown.

Which Anita’s business partner and Elektra’s boss, the lovely and supremely talented – not that Supremme – Kita Mean to take out the first title of Down Under’s Next Drag Superstar. And keep it firmly on New Zealand soil.

While she was overwhelmed by the experience at the start, Kita grew from strength to strength throughout the competition and by the time it came to the finale, there was no other person that should have been crowned.

Which is convenient, since she was.

After taking out victory, I pulled her into my arms and grabbed her by the face and through gritted teeth, told her that she is the most damn talented queen I’ve ever seen and I am so proud of everything she has achieved and I can’t wait for her to take over the world.

And did I mention I love you Kita?!

If that intense display didn’t sink in, I hope that my Turkita Mean Tostadas convinced her.

Inspired by those made by the iconically flavour-packed Half Baked Harvest number, these tostadas are the perfect way to honour a victory. Hot, spicy and layered with creamy, sweet and tangy flavours, they’re damn near perfect. Just like Kita’s run.

Enjoy!

Turkita Mean Tostadas
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
extra virgin olive oil
500g turkey mince
1 onion, chopped
400g tinned diced tomatoes
2 chipotle chillis in adobo, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp chilli powder
2 tsp ground cumin
salt and pepper, to taste
12 corn tortillas
1 cup Mexican cheese, shredded
1-2 avocados, mashed
1 lime, juiced
1 cup iceberg lettuce, shredded and washed
coriander leaves and sour cream, for serving

Method
Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Heat a good lug of oil in a large skillet over medium heat and sweat the onions for a couple of minutes. Add the turkey and break up the mince with your wooden spoon until it is cooked through. Add the tinned tomatoes, chipotles, garlic, chilli powder and cumin with a good whack of salt and pepper and cook for ten minutes or so, or until reduced. If it gets too dry, add water in ¼ cup increments throughout the process.

Meanwhile run the tortillas with a little bit of olive oil and place on a lined baking sheet. Transfer to the oven and bake for five minutes, or until crisped and lightly browned.

To assemble, place a sprinkle of cheese on top of six tortillas and top with the remaining six. Bake for another couple of minutes or until the cheese is melted.

Remove from the oven and plate your cheesy shells before topping with the meat mixture, mashed avo, extra cheese, sour cream, lettuce and coriander.

Devour, ravenously, like you just won Drag Race.


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Coco Jumbalaya

Main, RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under, RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under 1, TV, TV Recap

Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under the queens were put through their paces in the inaugural Down Under Snatch Game. And while Anita slayed the game and stamped herself as a frontrunner, pretty much everyone else bombed. Hard. There was a Dolly without an accent, a Coolidge without the jokes, Lizzo without energy and Bindi Irwin without the Bindi, despite the fact the bogan take was still funny. Ultimately the latter two performances landed Coco and Art in the bottom two, and the remaining girls – and us at home – gagged, gooped and broken as Art was shockingly eliminated from the competition. Sobbing her way out the door.

Backstage the queens were in absolute shock, not only to have lost Art but I assume trying to grapple with the raw emotion they just experienced. Karen was speechless to have lost her bestie slash fellow front-runner, while on the flipside Coco was glad that winning the lip sync proved some drunk bogan lady married to her boss who said she would never compare to Art wrong. The one thing everyone could agree on is how the  departure of such a big name means the competition is well and truly wide open, with Etcetera desperate to leverage that opening – who wouldn’t – to put herself at the front of the pack.

The next day things were less shell shocked as the girls celebrated still being in the competition, with Kita pointing out she is now terrified to lip sync against either Coco or Elektra given they can both turn it the hell out. Bless, Etcetera suggested they could just both land in the bottom together and send each other home and save everyone else the worry!

They were interrupted by Ru who dropped by to put the queens to the test as full-bushed, sexy lifeguards. Etcetera was obviously demented and syched for the Gods before popping her balloon titties mid-rescue. Karen served clown realness with the fullest of full bushes, while Kita was giving the Pit Crew something to suck on. Elektra was hilarious, giving pube reveals as she saved all the lives. Coco meanwhile was giving me life as a slutty lifeguard. Anita then came out as lifeguard Yetta and I still stan her, while Maxi burnt her feet on the sand and Scarlet popped both tits and stole the show as the dumbest lifeguard of all time. 

Ultimately – and somewhat obviously – Scarlet and Elektra took out joint victory in the mini challenge. As such, the duo were team captains in a girl group battle for the premiere of the maybe-gonna-be-a-hit song Queens Down Under. You know, the iconic one from the one trailer the show got. Not that I’m bitter or anything. With the two pulled aside, Scarlet grabbed Etcetera Etcetera, Coco Jumbo and Anita for her team while Elektra went with Karen and Kita, with Maxi joining them by default. Which didn’t bother her in the slightest. Like a damn icon. Anyway the queens would write their own verses, record them with Michelle and then debut them on the mainstage with their own choreo. Because we are not ready for Jamal Simms to land Down Under, as much as I want him to.

The groups quickly split up with Elektra desperate to prove why she is here and show off her dance background, while over on team Scarlet she was focused on killing it with sharp choreography despite Etcetera and Anita wanting to take it easy so they could all shine. That being said the choreography is the least of their problems, given Coco was on struggle street with the first part of the process, her lyrics. Things were then interrupted by a massive blow up between Karen, Elektra and Kita but psych, it was fake to get into the other girls heads. But nobody really batted an eyelid after the initial excitement died down.

Another siren went off with Drag Race songwriter Leland and Troye Sivan Zooming in to encourage the girls. And just as I was about to write it off as a boring way of including celebrity guests in this COVID world, Troye Sivan dropped all the ways he wants it up the arse in such a filthy way, I blushed, flooded my basement, took notes on new positions and then silently pledged to stan that hero until the end of times. They then encouraged everyone to give all the personality in their performances, but nothing will ever show more personality than the mouth of my King.

Team Elektra – aka Three and a Half Men – was first to record their lyrics with Michelle. Karen kicked things off very flat, before Kita absolutely blew Michelle away with her energy and lyrics before Elektra knocked out some hilariously self-deprecating lyrics ripping on her basic drag. And then Maxi, girl, you in danger – she struggled to find a beat, let alone stay on the beat. Instantly making her teammates shit themselves. Though not in the Scaredy Kat way.

Team Scarlet introduced themselves as the Outback Fake-Hoes – is that a play on Queen Sandra’s favourite chain?! – with Anita continuing to knock everything out of the park, Etcetera feeling her oats while working her way further into my heart. Scarlet too was great but then again, anyway looks perfect next to Coco who really struggled to find any key, despite how much I love her charm and how hot she is as a boy.

Three and a Half Men were first to learn the choreography with everyone feeling great about Elektra’s work and grateful about how patient she was while teaching everyone. Backstage she shared that she hasn’t taught dancing in such a long time, opening up about how she lost her dance studio and then her home. The rest of the dolls rallied around her as she broke down about her pain and loss and ugh, now I am an Elektra stan as well as my lusting after her.

The Outback Fake-Hoes were less streamlined in their rehearsal process as Scarlet tried to be nice and let everyone have an opinion. Etcetera used the opportunity to help by leading from behind, which led to them spending most of the time fighting over what to do while poor Coco and Anita stood off to the side of stage, looking on in utter confusion.

But will it all be a massive fake out?!

Elimination Day rolled around with Etcetera stumbling upon a note in Coco’s workstation telling her to ‘watch out.’ While everyone was speculating about who could possibly have written it, Kita lamented sadly that she wished it was her to cause some drama. That being said, it was painfully obvious that it was Art. Which is the perfect kind of messy I love and now miss.

UPDATE: Art has confirmed it was she who left the note. Like a shady little producing icon!

Ru, Michelle and Rhys strapped themselves in – with Rhys fearlessly ripping on Ru and Michelle with hilarious results, swoon – as Outback Fake-Hoes took the stage. Anita’s filthy lyrics delighted the judges, Scarlet hit every beat of the choreography, Etcetera oozed charm and Coco really kicked it into gear from rehearsal, though still seemed out paced by her team. Three and A Half Men kept things more even as Karen served Australian Trixie, Kita was an absolute high-energy delight, Elektra was an absolute star and Maxi was the exact right kind of slutty-demented, working around any of her perceived weaknesses with ease thanks to her killer characterisation.

Am I now a Maxi stan as well? This is getting exhausting.

On the Bogan Prom Realness runway Etcetera was a total slapper in a pink juicy tracksuit fresh from gittin’ her nails done. Coco was full bush after pulling herself away from the man she was doing in the shrubs, Anita was demented and truly sold bogen chic. Scarlet slayed in a goon sack gown with ciggie necklace, offering gobbies to her teacher to further lock up this week’s victory in my eyes. Elektra was a total golden bogan babe with a tonne of accessories and then some. Kita meanwhile went a different route, serving neon rocker realness. Maxi was a damn star as the bogan chaperone, while Karen was a mess as her ruffly daughter, in the greatest way possible.

Ultimately Etcetera and Karen were sent to safety, leaving the judges to read Coco for messing up the performance despite looking like perfection. Ru liked her look on the runway but wished it was more elevated. Anita meanwhile was praised for not letting her stumbles in the performance hold her back and therefore slaying from start to finish. Particularly with her filthy lyrics. Scarlet received universal praise for everything she did, with Ru feeling more in touch with Australiana from witnessing her runway. Elektra was read for trying to be the Beyonce of the group, with them not loving the fact she is continuing to be basic on the runway. Kita was universally beloved, despite the fact she didn’t really serve the category. Maxi was read for struggling with the record, though praised for being so damn stunning and magnetic. With Michelle reminding her she is so much more than funny to boot, and encouraging her to lean into her beauty.

As the queens untucked Coco resigned herself to her fate in the bottom two, while Elektra gagged her team with the knowledge that she too is in the bottom. The only thing more annoying than being in the bottom for Elektra though, was how smug Scarlet was to receive universal praise.

Back on the Mainstage Anita and Kita were quickly sent to safety as Scarlet took out her first victory of the season, despite the fact Ru made it sound like she had already won multiple. Meanwhile Elektra was gagged to find herself in the bottom with Coco, thanks to her basic runways while a shocked Maxi was sent to safety. And as suggested at the start of the episode by Etcetera, both of the potential assassins were ready to fight tooth and nail to survive to Peaches & Herb’s Shake Your Groove Thing. Elektra once again let out her full Beyonce while Coco felt the song and damn they bounced off each other so damn well. Elektra gave the most fluid death drops to ever grace the mainstage, was high-kicking and an absolute ridiculous delight and damn, this is where she shines as the hilarious, scrappy fighter.

Despite Coco’s magnetism, Elektra bouncing in a split for an entire verse was too fierce to overcome as she once again saved herself, sending my love Coco out of the competition. While my arms were wide open ready to embrace my northern-ish NSW friend, she was less happy to see me on account of the fact I forced her to dress as a gorilla in week one.

As one of her dearest friends, Coco came to me for advice on how best to impress Ru, Michelle and my king Rhys, and I suggested celebrating the jewel of Coffs, the big banana. Other than the iconic Maccas you’d stop at on a drive to Sydney at Christmas when it was still in the ‘90s location, but I digress. You see, my young gay loins were well and truly girded in the coastal hub when I saw the Wallabies in the pool while staying at a resort in Coffs Harbour. The moment went on to inspire the scene in the second Sex and the City movie but also washed away any doubts of potential heterosexuality and ignite my passion for a big banana.

It was a truly touching coming of age story, in more ways than one, and Coco agreed to do me proud. And well, we all watched episode one so the less I say about it the better, though I do think the judges would have loved to hear my touching story. 

After apologising profusely for being out of touch – who knows how to do human interaction after COVID?! – Coco warmed to my tears and was just grateful to have a friend by her side. I reminded her that she gave good talking-head for the three episodes she was in and was a babe out of drag and as such, will always be beloved by the fandom. And will probs win an All Stars season if and when it happens, I can just feel it in me waters. With that, we sat down to dinner hand in hand and giddily ate up our friendship while smashing a fresh Coco Jumbalaya.

Ya ya yi, you thought I was going to cocoa our jumbo, didn’t you? While it was the more obvious option when creating a recipe for a friend as sweet as Coco, I instead wanted to highlight her spicier side. Like Coco, this baby as the rich velvety sweetness of the tomato and capsicum with some delightful depths from the chorizo and chilli kicking it into gear.

Enjoy!

Coco Jumbalaya
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 red capsicum, sliced
2 chorizos, skin removed and filling pinched out into small meatballs
500g chicken breasts, diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp Cajun seasoning
1 tsp chilli flakes
salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup basmati rice
400g tin diced tomatoes
1 cup vegetable or chicken stock

Method
Heat a good lug of olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat and saute the onions and capsicum for five minutes or so, or until soft and sweet. Add the chorizo and cook for a further couple of minutes, or until they release some of their flavourful oils. Stir the chicken through the pan and cook for another five minutes, or until starting to brown on the outside.

Add the garlic, spice, chilli and a good whack of salt and pepper – more so off the pepper, but that’s my preference – to the pan and stir for a minute or so before stirring in the rice. Pour in the tomatoes and stock, stir to combine and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and simmer, partly covered for 15 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the rice is plump and rouged.

Serve immediately and devour, thinking of the biggest bananas you’ve been lucky enough to see.

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Leemon & Porkarseldine Pasta

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: All Stars, Pasta, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor the remaining Vakama were sitting ducks after losing Locky at the merge tribal council. Like Shonee before him, David was once again all about revenge though this time, he was taking it back to his previous season and eliminating anyone that wronged him. And well, Harry was the last target remaining. Knowing this, Harry appealed to Lee and Zach to try and get them to flip to the Vakama side and take control. After suffering through last season’s final immunity challenge again, Harry was once again bested, this time by Brooke. At tribal council, he worked hard to appeal to the boys’ need to play a better game this time around, however they chose to stick with their alliance for the time being and sent Harry from the game.

The next day Shonee was feeling completely isolated as the last rascal standing, though was glad to still have two friends in Brooke and AK. But Shonee being Shonee, she didn’t rest on her laurels and got to work making new friends with all the oldies that she has nothing in common with. She and Jacs spoke about their Sunday morning routines before she stumbled upon the fact that she and Tarzan are both from Toowoomba. And just like that, our queen has another bestie.

Speaking of Tarzan, he was busy collecting water with Lee who was thrilled to once again be edging closer to the end of the game. We then saw a clip of him in the final two when his family came out before the votes were read and I know where this is going, so I freely admit to being sick with dread.

Before we got to the tragedy, Jonathan returned for the reward challenge which is honestly a horrible pivot. The tribe would be split into two groups and face off one at a time, slide down a slide into a mud pit, wrestle for a ball and then shoot said ball into a basket. It was for a BBQ, so everyone was obviously thrilled. But honestly, Shonee cried over a sandy, so I assume their standards have dropped a bit. David and Tarzan were the first to face off, with David scoring the first point for himself, Brooke, Sharn, Zach and Moana. Which honestly seems pretty unfair. Sharn extended the lead with a huge over-the-shoulder shot while Jacqui wrestled her. Lee closed the gap slightly with a victory over Zach before Brooke defeated Shonee and extended the lead again. Up next, David scored another point for his team before AK even realised what had happened. Oh and then Moana put her footballing career to use, destroying Jacqui and securing reward for herself, Sharn, Brooke, David and Zach.

At reward the victors were thrilled to discover a tonne of food and drink before Zach worked to steal my heart, stripping off at reward and flashing his butt as he scrubbed away with mud. They joyously smashed food and returned for seconds before discovering letters from home. Sharn got a sweet acrostic poem from her kids before Moana broke down over a letter from her sister Vinny who she is the full time carer for, who drew their entire family and a letter from her wife, who she married just before playing the game. Zach’s sweet streak continued as he sobbed over his letter from his fellow animal sanctuary lover. Brooke meanwhile was thrilled to get to learn a bit about her tribemates, hoping it may give her a chance to find an in. We then learnt that David wears a flower in his hair at challenges for his daughter and that he is playing the game so that he can afford to move back home to live closer to his sons. And hot damn, I am now crying and do not even mind if David walks his way to the end.

Back at camp Tarzan, Lee and AK were washing the mud off and cleaning their clothes, with Tarzan and Lee nuding up and washing each other’s back. The joyous portion of the game however was interrupted as Lee was summoned off camera by a producer where he learnt that his mother had suffered a massive stroke and was unlikely to survive. Tarzan found him in the jungle where Lee broke down in his arms as he told him what happened before announcing that he would be leaving the game. Tarzan and Jacqui took him back to camp where he told Shonee and AK what happened before the victors were brought back to camp to say goodbye. The tribe huddled around him, hugging each other and sobbing over his pain and honestly, this is the most beautiful thing that I have ever seen on Survivor. Even more than Deitz’s son in Second Chances.

Tragically his mother Beth passed away by the time he had made it to the Fijian airport, so I’m going to drop any pretenses of catching up.

Lee came into his second season a changed man, sure he was still a loyal provider, but he was also ready to play the game this time and I was loving watching where it was going. Hopefully he gets another shot to show off his growth, but in the meantime, we should all whip up a Leemon & Porckarseldine Pasta in honour of him being an all around nice guy.

The whack of lemon punches through the saltiness of the pork, leaving you a smooth, creamy bowl of comfort. Plus the broccolini and a little bit of chili join the fun to make it even better.

Enjoy!

Leemon & Porkarseldine Pasta
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
500g Italian pork sausages
2 leeks, trimmed, washed and sliced
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp chili flakes
2L chicken stock
500g penne
1 bunch broccolini, trimmed, cut into thirds
300ml cream for cooking
1 lemon, zested and juiced
⅓ cup grated parmesan, plus more to serve
torn basil leaves, to garnish

Method
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat and squeeze the sausage meat out of the casings to create a series of small meatballs. Cook, stirring, for five minutes or until browned. Add the leek to the pan and cook for a further few minutes or until softened. Add the garlic and chili and cook for a further minute to take the edge off.

Add the stock and bring to the boil before adding the stock, reducing to a simmer and cooking for about 15 minutes or until tender and the stock has reduced. Add the broccolini and cook for a few minutes or until the broccolini is cooked through. 

Reduce heat to low, tir in the cream, lemon zest and juice and the parmesan with a good whack of better and salt if you need. Cook until the sauce thickens up, about five minutes, before serving with some parmesan and basil.

Then devour.


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Vinegarette Strokes

Condiment, RuPaul's Drag Race UK, RuPaul's Drag Race UK 1, Sauce, TV, TV Recap

Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK the queens were tasked with starring in a sumptuous costume drama which was much betta than an acting challenge in the UK. Downtown Draggy led to a couple of killer performances as Baga slayed her way to victory ahead of Divina. Sum Ting lucked out by being on the winning team, while Blu was a little bit beige and Scaredy Kat was one note, landing them in the bottom on the losing team. With the latter sashaying away from the competition.

The queens returned to the Werk Room to discover Scaredy’s shady ageist mirror message, though praised how brave she was for coming into the competition as such a newbie. Everyone congratulated Blu on her killer performance, before she shared that lip syncing has lit a fire in her belly and she is ready to show everyone what she is made of. Talk turned to Baga’s killer performance before Cheryl checked in with everyone to see who they thought was the best Bond girl, with Vinegar, for some reason, thinking it was her. Before anyone could smack her down, Blu and Crystal checked if Cheryl was ok after everyone called her fake, with her admitting that she feels like she is being kicked while she is down. Though plans to shit on everyone. I assume not literally, but who knows.

The next day Ru arrived to test the girls skills on the pole, with a maypole quick-drag mini challenge. As the queens cobbled together chaste, country outfits, Baga looked like Vinegar’s Bond Girl look – aka a librarian – as they commenced skipping around the maypole, until Divina’s dance break saw her pound the puss straight into the floor. She was followed by The Vivienne twerking, Crystal going balls to the pole – literally – with some pole dancing, Baga went crab walking, Blu was terrifying in the best way possible, Sum Ting channelled a sumo, Vinegar served tatas and the Cheryl deathdropped and owned the room like the second coming of Alyssa Edwards. Which is particularly awkward given last week. Rightly Chez took out victory, which gave her an advantage heading into the main challenge – designing a high fashion look made out of junk. FROM RAVEN’S TRUNK.

As the Brit Crew – swoon – wheeled out Raven on the boot of her car, Ru explained that they would loot the car to create their looks. And as the winner of the mini challenge, Cheryl had 15 seconds to grab stuff before the other girls joined in. Cheryl grabbed a bucket of gloves, before the remaining queens jumped in and tore the car to shreds. I mean, they were literally pulling the fabric off the chairs. Once the car was torched, talk turned to who was feeling confident with Crystal acknowledging that she studied costume design at uni. Divina too was feeling confident, and opting to do corsetry with some laundry bags. Sum Ting ripped up her own jacket to use as a pattern, while Vinegar was modelling her look on a toothbrush. Which made The Vivienne desperately try to hide her laughter. Vinegar admitted that she has all of her costumes designed for her, so was feeling very nervous. On the flipside, Blu was confident in her sewing skills while Cheryl was trying to hide that she has no idea what she is doing with a glue gun. The Vivienne was going to drape videotapes, which sounded terrible, however she was far more concerned with how Sum Ting was going to pull off tailoring on her first try.

Ru made her triumphant ru-turn to check in with the queens, with Divina charged for victory after her breakdown the previous episode. Ru told her not to be so hard on herself, given she slayed the previous challenge. Baga shared her look would be scrubber chic made head to toe of steel wool, before talking about her passion for car boot sales. Cheryl was using rubber gloves as the basis of her skirt before Vinegar outlined her inspirations were toilet seats and toothbrushes. Ru explained that her looks have been a bit hodge podge and she needs to bring a little bit more glamazon.

Crystal shared that she was nervous that her degree would make herself be judged more harshly, while Blu was feeling the pressure to do Ireland proud and threw some light shade at Ru. The Vivienne was far nicer to the head judge, though given Ru heaped her with praise for turning looks every chance she got, of course she would be. The Vivienne explained the differences between UK and US drag, supporting Charlie’s claims that UK queens sing live. And well, Ru thinks that there is going to be something wrong with Sum Ting Wong’s look.

With Ru gone the queens discussed his feedback, with Vinegar mildly offended to be called hodge podge however she was humble enough to ask Crystal for feedback. And feedback she gave, telling her that her looks have been terrible and the one she is putting together is shite and she should probably start from scratch. In a far nicer way. On the other side of the room, Baga and The Vivienne went Thelma & Louise in the car while Divina thought it would be easier to just help Vinegar pack rather than finishing her outfit.

Elimination Day rolled around and Crystal was full of confidence, while Divina couldn’t stop laughing about Vinegar’s outfit. While everyone started to get ready, Vinegar tore up a book to make a new dress before Sum Ting shared that she would be lost without her in the competition, breaking down and hugging in a touching moment of friendship. Honestly. Divina and Blu spoke about the former’s start in drag, with them realising that Blu was in primary school when she started. Divina explained that the internet wasn’t really a thing and there were no make-up tutorials and hot damn, I feel old. The Vivienne, Crystal and Baga discussed Sum Ting’s beige looking outfit, not selling fashion or car boot sale. Everyone then looked at Cheryl’s outfit, realising it is glove fingers glued to bin bags and while she knew it wasn’t the most fashionable moment, it was very Cheryl. Oh and Divina is sick of Baga and The Vivienne’s confidence as it borders on smug.

Ru, Michelle and Graham were joined by Dame Twiggy on the judging panel, with Divina opening the runway slaying as the love child of David Bowie and Vivienne Westwood. Baga’s steel wool look was a bit of a mess, but her charm sold it well. Blu looked like a technicolour baby Chad Michaels in All Stars, Sum Ting channeled Vinegar’s Bond Girl look, The Vivienne was fierce, Vinegar was, I hate to say, just a bloody mess while Cheryl was a fingerbanging bumblebee and Crystal slayed as a work of art goddess. Baga was shocked that three outfits were worse than hers, going to safety with Blu while the rest of the girls were critiqued.

Divina received universal praise for a killer concept that was executed to perfection, Sum Ting was read for filth for a bland look, despite being able to articulate the concept well. The judges ate up everything The Vivienne did, with Michelle appreciating the way she put her own stamp on a look that has been done multiple times. Vinegar was read for filth, though charmed the judges through the process. Cheryl’s performance was praised, despite the fact her outfit was pretty terrible and led to Michelle calling out the girls for not learning to sew before coming into the competition. And then Crystal, obviously, received universal praise.

Backstage Baga was shocked to be safe and praised Blu for killing the competition. The other girls arrived and Vinegar was heartbroken to likely be lip syncing against her best friend. Or you know, Cheryl, the likely lip sync assassin. The Vivienne told Sum Ting she should have taken the other girls advice, which pissed off Sum Ting who was happy to potentially go home, given she loves the outfit. Talk turned to Michelle reading them for being unable to sew, with Cheryl pointing out that that isn’t what she does. The Vivienne agreed that she doesn’t sew either, but she learnt because she knew that she would need to. Somehow Vinegar thought she could read Cheryl’s look too, which was a mood. Particularly since Cheryl was selling her outfit to even her worst critics.

Ultimately Divina was crowned the winner of this week’s challenge for being more fashion than Crystal’s, while Vinegar Strokes was joined in the bottom by Sum Ting Wong. Shocking everyone, including Cheryl. It was the battle of the boleros as the besties lip synced to The Eurythmics’ Would I Lie to You. Despite being up against a West End performer, Sum Ting hit every syllable and owned the lip sync from the very first bar and saved herself, while Vinegar sashayed away.

As you can imagine, I am a dear friend of the total slag that is Vinegar, so I was gutted to see her go so soon. But damn did I enjoy reading her for filth with some casual shade. We laughed, we cried and wondered if maybe she would finally take a bigger role in Jamie before I surprised her with a cooling cup of Vinegarette Strokes.

Sure, a vinaigrette isn’t something you would usually want to chug however it is a bit of a backstage tradition that we started treading the boards together in the west end. Plus, when it taste this good, it really could double as an oily cocktail. Health advice be damned.

Enjoy!

Vinegarette Strokes
Makes: 2(ish) cups.

Ingredients
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
⅓ cup honey
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 shallots, finely sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tbsp thyme leaves
2 tsp rosemary leaves, roughly chopped
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Place everything in a mason jar like a cool hipster, add a good whack of salt and pepper and shake to combine.

Then down if you’re brave or pour over a fresh garden salad if you’re normal.


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