Lydia Lassila

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders, Drink, Snack, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor 11 champions, 11 contenders, a three-time loser and a washed-up gladiator were sent to the islands of Fiji and forced to compete against each other in the ultimate game of survival. Thus the name, Survivor. Anyway, Matt D, Russell, Damien, Steve K, Jenna, Moana, Anita, Zach, Paige, Jackie, Tegan and Heath were all voted out and based on the preview, we’re about to merge yo! Oh and I should explain that Queen Shane was in the power position at the new Champions, while Benji and Robbie had joined the Champion girls on the new Contenders to eliminate Heath at the last tribal council. So yeah, it seems like shit is about to go down.

Getting straight into the action, the tribes met Jonathan in the middle of the jungle where the Champions were shocked to discover that Heath had been booted at the previous tribal council. Mat spoke about his fears for the Champion girls who all seemed awkward about him mentioning it, before Sam tried to downplay the sitch. Thankfully it didn’t really matter, as everyone was told to drop their buffs because this is a damn merge yo! Benji was proud about how he has played thus far, Steve was nervous though thrilled to be in his colour and Shonella were just thrilled to be united as icons deserve to be with icons.

Once everyone was draped in new, fresh buffs Jonathan announced that in lieu of a merge feast they’d be participating in a Survivor Auction, with Shonee thrilled about the possibility of having a burg. Which is super relatable. First up was a choccie milk – not the Choccie Milk – which was purchased by Sam for $80. Sam, Benji and Shane went hard for a covered item, with Shane spending $250 dollars to … exit the auction and sit at a beggars table, forced to request scraps from everyone. And given Sam gave her a sip of milk straight up, it seemed she is the true winner. Poached eggs, toast and tomato went to Fenella for $200 – with Shane going halfsies – Sharn snagged a pav, not parvlova, for $320, Brian also spent $320 on a hidden bowl of rice, $460 snagged Benji a burger, fries and coke, and Shonee dropped $500 on a huge fucking lolly jar. Oh, and a clue to a hidden immunity idol. Brian snagged a bed with Shane for three nights, Lydia evidently got a pizza without fanfare and then bam, it was all over.

The newly merge tribe returned to camp with Shane thrilled to have made it so far and to be that much closer to victory. And willing to get as cutthroat as she needs to be, vowing to do whatever it takes to win. She then bonded with Fenella and hot damn, I hope Shanella are the final three. Shonella went for a walk into the jungle with Fenella spilling the tea on Robbie’s vapid concerns – though if he is nude, who cares, you know – and Shonee whinging about the trauma of listening to discussions about workout efficacy. Meanwhile Robbie and Benji followed Mat around like lost puppies, hoping to throw enough metaphors about battle and sport analogies to win him over. While Mat pretended to want to protect them for protecting Sharn and Lydia, I feel like that is not going to happen.

Mat approached Sharn to see what exactly they had promised to stay in the game, with Sharn pointing out she was desperately but her allegiances have not changed. Lydia checked in with Mat and dictated that Fenella needed to be the next person out, with Mat agreeing and turning his attention on keeping Brian on his side and making sure he doesn’t flip. Sadly he was sharing a bed with Shane and I ship them taking over. Before we got to see if Brian and Shane could take over, Sam and Lydia went for a late night wander to reconnect, with Sam highlighting how big a target she has resting on her back now that the merge has arrived.

The tribe went wandering for pawpaws the next day, much to the disgust of Shonee who used the alone time to snatch her clue and find out if I was right about it being for a hidden immunity idol. While I was tragically wrong, it did allow her the chance to steal someone’s vote at tribal and hot damn, I want Shonee to win. Particularly after she threw out that the prisoners are about to overthrow the guards.

We arrived at the first individual immunity challenge where the new Koro Savu tribe would all be required to hold on to a long hard pole as long as possible. Like Brooke, Parvati, Ozzy and a slew of other icons of the game. As soon as the challenge started, Shane opted out and decided to save her energy until she needed it – iconic – followed closely by Monika who requested a ladder as she was too scared to belly flop onto sand. Brian too couldn’t see himself winning so instead checked out, giving Shane the opportunity to float a Lydia blindside with Brian and Monika on the loser bench and pull in Shonee and Fenella. After an hour the remaining participants moved to the narrower footholds, with Robbie, Steve, Benji and Shonee all quickly dropping out.

After two hours poor Fenella couldn’t hold out any longer, followed by Mat leaving Sam, Sharn and Lydia to battle it out. While they battled, Shane continued to rally the troops for a Lydia blindside with Steve and Mat seemingly buying in and rallying Sharn for the win. After three hours they dropped to the skinniest foot holds with Sam dropping almost instantly, leaving Sharn and Lydia to battle it out. And battle they did, while Sam tried to keep the Champions from blindsiding Lydia. Which is a possibility, since the rain rolled in and she slid down the pole and handed immunity to Sharn.

Back at camp Shane quickly got to work lining up the numbers, concerned about how focused she was during the challenge when she didn’t even need it. Shane and Monika worked on keeping Mat loyal to the plan, with Shonee being looped in and Sam seemingly on board. Despite thinking that Fenella needs to go. Speaking of which, Robbie, Benji, Sharn and Lydia locked in their plan to take out Fenella, leaving Brian concerned about how to spell her name. Feeling like he may not have the numbers to get rid of Lydia, Mat approached Sharn about turning on her closest ally.

At tribal council Benji downplayed day one alliances, Mat admitted to bonded with Fenella over home designs ala Brad Culpepper before Jonathan pointed out the obvious, that Fenella and the OG Contenders are kinda screwed. Mat agreed that old tribes are dead, though couldn’t seem to remember the new tribe’s name. Sam tried to subtly hint at Mat and Shane that a Lydia blindside wouldn’t work out well for them, before Sharn spoke about her pride at taking out the first victory. Lydia on the other hand sold the challenge as fun, and the nails started to go into her coffin. Brian and Mat alluded to the fake Lydia was a threat, Fenella encouraged people to take out threats while they can while Sharn and Sam tried to defend Lydia and keep the Champions strong. Steve, thankfully, pointed out that getting to the end is the goal and it doesn’t matter how you get there and hot damn, zaddy’s home. Sharn and Lydia tried to downplay their dominance, Shane reiterated why her plan to step out of the challenge was the best move and that she is more than ready to take out the threats and make moves.

Then she led the entire tribe sans Benji and Robbie to prove that stepping down from the challenge was a killer idea, with her loser-bench plan to eliminate Lydia going off without a hitch. Given how competitive Lydia is, she wasn’t exactly thrilled to have been blindsided from the game and miss the jury – right Savage? – however her rage dissipated pretty quickly when she lay eyes on my Lydia Lassila.

 

 

Given it is literally her name, it may not be abundantly clear that this is a lassi. Well, except for the image I guess? Anyway, this is sweet, fresh and insanely delicious, and you should defs whip one up next time you’re angry. Or sad. Or happy. The focus is on making one, I guess?

Enjoy!

 

 

Lydia Lassila
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
2 cups natural yogurt
½ cup milk
2 cups chopped mango
1 tbsp honey
a pinch of ground cardamom

Method
Combine everything in a blender.

Blitz until smooth.

Pour into glasses and top with a sprinkle of extra cardamom.

Guzzle.

 

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Gregk Meatballouganis

Main, Party Food, Snack

Well do I have a gag of the season for you – and surprisingly that is neither what he or I said – I came clean to Greg about only reaching out in ‘88 to try and snatch the rights to his story that eventually lead to Breaking the Surface starring Mario Lopez. And not only that, he laughed, told me he always knew that and was just pleased to have my friendship once again.

After meeting at the University of Miami in the late ‘70s, I was immediately drawn to Greg’s talent on stage and in speedos and I made it my goal to get together and live out our twincest life. I was successful and for a beautiful couple of months, I was known around campus as Greg’s lubed anu … well, let’s just say people knew I was always ready for him to dive in.

As I mentioned, things got ugly when he found out I was mainly pushing him in to diving to make room for me to star on the stage. Thankfully three decades on, he appreciates the fact that it inadvertently motivated him to succeed in diving and as such, he should be thanking me for making him the success that he is.

Which I quickly told him I wouldn’t just appreciate, I required it before he got to eat anything.

He laughed it off as a joke though his thanks and praise seemed genuine enough that I opted against starting another feud and instead, enjoyed his company and reconnected. We laughed, we cried and most importantly, we got to fill our mouths with as many big, meaty balls as our hearts desired. In the form of my Gregk Meatballouganis.

 

 

Honouring both our love for ball play and his father’s Greek heritage, these big morsels are near perfection. Spicy, sweet and packing pockets of creamy feta, these lamb meatballs work well as a snack, in a yiros or – gasp – accompanying a big ol’ salad (what have I become).

Enjoy!

 

 

Gregk Meatballouganis
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
500g lamb mince
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ cup breadcrumbs
1 egg, lightly whisked
1 tsp cumin
½ tsp chilli flakes
¼ cup oregano leaves, roughly chopped
100g feta, crumbled
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Place everything in a large bowl and scrunch until it is well combined and thoroughly mixed.

Using meat hands, shape into golf ball-sized balls and place on a lined baking sheet until all the mixture is gone. Transfer to the oven and bake for twenty minutes, or until cooked through and crispy on the outside.

Allow to rest for five minutes before devouring, preferably covered in tzatziki.

 

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Diving in. Aaaaaaaalllllll in.

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

After having a fucking great catch-up with me mate Liam last week, I got to thinking about the need to catch up with one of my dear friends that I used to, well, get intimate with, so to speak – the greatest diver in history, Greg Louganis.

Greg and I studied theatre together – and each other – at the University of Miami, where I pushed him to focus on his immense talent for diving. Mainly because he was really good at theatre and as such, I was threatened and wanted him distracted while I worked on snatching my EGOT.

Anywho he found out my plan, we broke up and didn’t speak until I reached out after the Seoul Olympics incident. And we’ve been the best of friends ever since.

What says you’re one of my best friends (and I hope you never find out I reached out to option your rights and star in the TV movie in place of Mario Lopez)?

Image source: Pascal Rondeau /Allsport.

 

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Stephanie Fried Rice

Main, Side, Snack

It felt like such a relief to be able to just jump in the car and drive a couple of suburbs this week, rather than having to get my people to organise the logistics of transferring major A-list celebrities to-and-from Brisbane Airport without anyone realising they are in town. I don’t want to complain about my blessed life, but sometimes it does get exhausting.

As I mentioned, I was once a swimming trainer – mainly to fulfill my passion for men in speedos and/or super tight pants – here in Brisvegas, as we oft loathsomely say. While my students feature the who’s who of Australia’s swimming elite – obviously though Grant Hackett and I used to booze together and Kowalski and I … well – my personal fave was little Stephy Rice.

I mean, sure, she felt it appropriate to tweet a homophobic sledge at a rugby team in 2010 but she did actually seem remorseful – plus, it’s not like I haven’t forgiven someone for making stupid statements – and apologised profusely. Shockingly I made the mature choice and accepted her apology and moved on … on the express condition that she appear on The Celebrity Apprentice.

While I stacked the cast with an actual businesswoman to shame her out of the competition and my nemesis Dawn Fraser – who hates that we’re close – she somehow won the game. Sure it further inflamed my rage for a couple of hours, but then I had to admire her moxie and we’ve been the dearest of friends ever since.

Sadly for the ailing Australian swim team, I couldn’t convince her to join me in staging a comeback but it was such a treat to catch-up and reconnect. We laughed, I briefly made her cry like she was apologising for a homophobic slur – despite her aggressive suggestions to the contrary, she is obviously voting ‘yes’ in the offensive same-sex marriage postal survey – and we ultimately became closer than ever before.

Though maybe that is just the Stephanie Fried Rice talking?

 

 

There is nothing better than fried rice, particular when it is sans prawns. Spicy, fresh and with a kick of heat, this is the perfect comfort meal to mend friendships and alleviate hunger.

Enjoy!

 

 

Stephanie Fried Rice
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
1 cup long-grain rice, cooked as per packet instructions
2 tsp vegetable oil
2 eggs, lightly whisked
6 rashers streaky bacon, diced
6 shallots, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 carrots, diced
1/2 cup corn kernels, cooked and drained
1/2 cup peas, cooked and drained
1 capsicum, diced
2 tsp char sui sauce
2 tsp tamari
1 tsp rice wine
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Heat half the vegetable oil in a small frying pan, and lightly cook the eggs until they form a delicate omelette. Leave to rest.

Heat the remaining vegetable oil in a large frying pan and add the bacon, frying until crisp. Add the garlic and shallots and cook for a further minute, or until fragrant. Add the carrot, corn and capsicum and cook for a further five minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring, for ten minutes before adding the sauces and a good whack of salt and pepper.

Devour.

 

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Wet Golden Medley

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

I feel like it always bears repeating since it may come off as a lie, but I am huge on the sports scene … and not just from trawling the men’s locker room.

In addition to my years on the tennis circuit, my iron-manning with the Curry-Kenny’s lead to me becoming a swimming trainer. My most notable student being Brisbane’s own Stephanie Rice.

Despite living a couple of suburbs apart, Steph and I haven’t caught up in close to a year. After moving past some mild shock to receive a call from me – rather than my people, obvi – she gladly accepted my invite and agreed to drop by later in the week.

What says thank you for knowing that I really only wanted to see you Olympic medals and bringing them with you?

Image source: Unknown.

 

As you can probably tell, we are very social but the fun isn’t only limited to celebrities! You can follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Tumblr.