Previously on Drag Race France the top three competed in an epic final challenge which involved learning languages, lip syncing, dancing and kiki-ing. In addition to stomping the runway in a gown, worthy of a crown. Aka the usual set-up. While Paloma struggled through rehearsal, she turned it out when taking the stage, embracing her charm and living her best life. Soa slayed literally any and all moment, while La Grande Dame was just so beautiful. And cool.
As has been the tradition of the season, La Grande Dame, Soa and Paloma were all fiercely talented icons. Though tragically, Nicky and Co. had to make a decision and while I already spoiled La Grande Dame as one of our runners-up, she shared the position with the owner of my heart Soa De Muse.
Despite a rocky start after her first win, there was no denying she was compelling as all hell and it was more of a situation of when rather than if she would bounce back. From giving killer, hilarious confessionals and being charming as all hell in the challenges and the Werk Room, she was well and truly the breakout star of the season.
And will make a very worthy winner of Drag Race France vs. The World.
As she exited the stage, I pulled her in for a massive hug and while I wanted to tell her she was the ultimate robbed goddess of the season, I couldn’t do it. Because France’s top three were all iconic talents in their own ways, which made it such a joy of a season to watch.
Instead, I reminded her that she is a star and while she didn’t leave with the crown, the season is only the beginning for her and I can’t wait for the globe to fall in love with her. Just like I have. Then I stopped myself short of calling her the second coming of Ru and simply served her a big, fat Soavlaki De Muse to show her my devotion.
You know I have a passion for sticking meat in my mouth, particularly if there is dough somehow involved. And this one is even more fun than usual. Packing a punch of garlic, you’re hit with a fresh kick of flavour that has you begging for more. Like us with Soa on our screens, you know?
Method Combine the olive oil, garlic, lemon zest and juice, oregano, thyme, cumin, chilli and paprika with a good whack of salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add the meat and onions and stir until well coated. Cover and pop in the fridge for a few hours, or ideally overnight.
To make the kebabs, preheat the oven to 180C. Thread the lamb onto metal skewers, trying to avoid overpacking them. Arrange the onion on a lined baking sheet before laying the skewers on top. Transfer to the oven and bake for about 20-30 minutes, or until browned on the outside. Add the haloumi in for the last 10 minutes to crisp up on the outside.
To assemble, smear the pita bread with a little bit of tzatziki, followed by the chips, tomato, lettuce, meat and finally the haloumi. Wrap into a tight cylinder and then devour greedily.
Previously on Survivor South Africa the two tribes competed as individuals for the chance to be the hero that secures immunity for their entire tribe. After Toni managed to wheel and deal across both tribes to get Dino and Phil to step out of the challenge and give Masu immunity, Marian jumped ship with her diplomatic immunity to give herself a little bit of safety. Felix meanwhile was torn between voting out previous season ally Dante and current season ally Dino, while Toni tried to consolidate her power. Both tribes attended tribal council and despite planning to target a myriad of people, the iconic Palesa was booted. And then the tribes merged at tribal.
The newly formed Salan tribe arrived at their new camp, gagged for the night time surprise and by the fact they had a new shelter and bowls. Felix and Dante meanwhile only had eyes for each other, overjoyed to be reunited. Though given Marian could see how thrilled they were, the question really is, how long until the icon splits them up? Oh and all Steffi wanted is a little feast.
The next day Shane ventured to check treemail and found a little breakfast treat for each of them, in the form of protein shakes and a couple of bananas. Which obviously upset everyone, given they were expecting a feast. As they sat down to sadly eat their breakfast, Tejan accidentally took Steffi’s bowl. And let’s just say, there were a few fireworks.
The tribe quickly ventured to meet Nico for a little reward challenge to earn their merge feast. With everyone having to use marbles and slingshots to break plates. With everyone getting to jag a meal once they’d busted all of their plates. Felix quickly earnt a plate of ribs, Steffi opted for a covered item which tragically ended up being a bowl of rice, Shane knocked out his plates but stuck around to help Marian as Phil jagged rice and spices for the tribe. Shane got his burger while Marian ate breakfast, while Dino got a guaranteed visit to the Outpost on Day 32, while Tejan got spag bol and wine. Dante got beer and biltong – yuck – before everyone came in to help the remaining trio, with Killarney getting donuts, Meryl getting a bag and Toni left with a single egg. Which TBH, is better than rice. Oh and Meryl’s bag gave her the chance to invite herself on a future reward. And we learnt that Phil’s tribe reward also came with a key to a chest that was waiting for them back at camp.
With that, they headed home and learnt that Phil’s other reward was a chest full of beers and soft drinks and well, everyone was thrilled. Dante was feeling confident of his place in the tribe, given he has the Breakfast Club alliance and Felix, who he wants to take to the end. He pulled Felix aside and floated the idea of getting rid of Toni first, given it neutralises a lot of counter alliances and maintains his power. Marian meanwhile caught up with Steffi, complaining about Toni having no interest in playing with her though was grateful to be getting intel from her via Steffi. That night Steffi and Toni caught up, with the former assuring Toni that they are a tight alliance but that she needs to keep playing both sides so that nobody thinks she is about to defect to her side of the tribe.
The next day Dino grew worried about Felix defecting from their alliance with Phil, with the trio going for a walk to catch-up. Felix quickly assured them he is true to them, rather than Dante and that he is simply trying to gather intel to protect all of them. Toni joined them, with her assuring them they also have Steffi and Tejan, which made Dino nervous given they clearly weren’t on board at the previous tribal council.
The tribe rejoined Nico for their first individual challenge of the season where they each had to stand on a small tilted platform leaning over the water and hold on to a rope, with the last person standing winning immunity. As soon as the challenge kicked off, Phil pissed his pants before Felix dropped out of nowhere. After transitioning to the second rope, Dino and Killarney dropped out, quickly joined by Dante, Meryl, Marian, Toni and Tejan, leaving only Steffi and Phil to battle it out for immunity. Well, until Steffi dropped out of nowhere and handed piss-pants individual immunity. Which makes it all worth it, right? I mean, Fabio pissed in a challenge and won the season, so maybe it is luck?
Back at camp everyone congratulated Phil on his hard-fought win before Dino and Toni caught up about the vote ahead. And while Toni was sure she had Steffi and Killarney, Dino wasn’t so sure and as such, planned to catch up with Steffi. Tejan meanwhile was feeling nervous about everything, so excused himself to go hunting for a hidden immunity idol. Which he promptly found, completely unnoticed by the rest of the tribe. Dino caught up with Steffi and assured her that he is happy to vote for whoever she wants to to build trust. Which obviously meant she wanted to get rid of Toni or Tejan, given that is where Toni’s loyalty lies. Toni meanwhile was catching up with Shane to see what his plans were, pitching that the tribe bands together to get rid of Dante, while Shane suggested to us he was just planning to get rid of the person that poses the biggest threat to derailing his plan to the end.
Toni then caught up with Phil, Tejan and Felix to suggest a split vote between Dante and Meryl to guarantee that if an idol is played, Dante is weakened. Steffi, Marian and Meryl meanwhile caught up to discuss plans, with them locking their votes against Toni. Which made Marian thrilled, given she felt the skin plotting was unnecessary pre-merge. The broader Breakfast Club then caught up and locked in their plan against Toni. While Dino, Felix and Phil then caught up, sharing that Toni wants to split votes while Dino tried to direct them in the direction of their surest bet. Whatever that may be.
At tribal council Felix spoke about how excited he was to finally make it to the merge, while Phil was thrilled to be at tribal council with immunity. Shane spoke about how his former decisions could impact his post-merge game while Tejan was sure this tribal council would establish the balance of power. Steffi spoke about everyone just trying to look out for themselves until the power becomes obvious, while Shane wanted to take out someone that will disrupt his game. Meryl meanwhile was booted at the merge on her season and as such, was just trying to lay low and let other people make the decisions tonight. While Dante spoke about everyone also having to navigate egos this season, while Toni wanted to focus on trust.
With that the tribe voted and feeling paranoid, Tejan needlessly played his hidden immunity idol as majority or the tribe banded together to get rid of Toni to become the Queen of the Jury. Which is important. While she was obviously heartbroken to be out of the game despite fighting so hard to get out of the minority, she was proud to be the one to set the tone of the jury. Oh and since burgers are almost as cursed around here, she could kinda sorta blame my Poutoni Tebburger for her downfall.
There is nothing better than a little bit of poutine action and since I have a passion for making foods into burgers or pizzas, you know this moment was kind of inevitable. I mean, how could you not love a little cheeseburger covered in some gravy? Exactly!
Method Combine the beef mince with a good whack of salt and pepper, and scrunch with your hands until it all comes together. Form into two equal discs and pop in the freezer while you prep the rest of the stuff.
When you’re ready to go, pop a skillet over medium heat and once scorching, pop the patties on and flatten with a spatula. Cook for a couple of minutes, or until nice and charred on the base before flipping over. Place a slice of cheese on both of the patties and cook for a further couple of minutes or until cooked through.
To assemble, split the buns and lightly toast. Smear mayo on the base of each, followed by the pickles, the pattie, lettuce, fries, curds and a good drizzle of the gravy before closing the burger. And smashing, gloriously!
Previously on Drag Race España the dolls starred in three commercials to entice people to Spain. And while all the duos leaned heavily into the sexy-Spanish stereotype, Sethlas and Marina were sadly just one, horny note. Sharonne and Estrella meanwhile gave light and shade, while Juriji and Venedita were delightful bimbos. After receiving their critiques, Supremme asked everyone to name who they think should go home, which opened a can of worms, which exploded backstage as Juriji fought for Sethlas and Marina. Sadly for them, they should have focused on the lip sync as the duo landed in the bottom with Marina narrowly saving herself and sending Sethlas home. In tears.
Backstage Marina was feeling her oats to have survived the lip sync, treating the moment as a warning to all of her remaining sisters. Estrella led the dolls in praising Sethlas for being suchan inspiring kind doll, but that wasn’t enough to cut through the tension between Juriji and Marina who well and truly hate each other and had zero problem showing it. Sharonne and Estrella instead tried to distract everyone by congratulating themselves on yet another win and well, it is Sharonne’s crown to lose at this point, right?
The next day things were less tense between Marina and Juriji as the latter opened up about why she was upset that people said she should go home, because despite positive feedback the vibe is that her sisters don’t like her drag or value her. Marina pointed out that that isn’t what they meant and while Juriji apologised for unintentionally fanning the flames, Estrella called her arrogant and well, that was a pivot I wasn’t expecting.
Supremme dropped by, tragically without the zaddy Pit Crew for a little puppet mini challenge. Because everybody loves puppets! Or sticking their hand inside a glory hole, I don’t know. One by one the dolls picked their puppets with Venedita dragging up puppet Marina, Sharonne got Estrella, Juriji got Venedita, Marina got nemesis Juriji, leaving Estrella to play Sharonne and ugh, I love it. After madly beating their puppet mugs, Venedita took to the stage and while she definitely had Marina’s voice down, the jokes kinda went nowhere despite calling out her farts. Juriji had Venedita’s look down and was cute before Sharonne arrived and finally had us laughing as she read puppet Estrella for absolute filth. Estrella somehow absolutely bombed as Sharonne, going from bad, so-bad-its-good to just bad again. Oh and then Marina was shady but not great at bringing the jokes.
Obviously Sharonne took out victory as the only funny person in the challenge and as such, she won the power to set the order in this week’s maxi challenge, the roast! And not just any roast, roasting their Season 1 sisters Dovima, Pupi, Sagittaria, Killer Queen and victor, Carmen Farala. Aka the OG top five.
The dolls took their seats to throw some cross-season shade before Sharonne paired the queen for a get to know you session. Sagittaria gave Venedita some shady things to pick on about her sisters, while Carmen advised Sharonne to go early in the set up to leave someone else to go first in case they bomb. Estrella meanwhile was thrilled to be getting so much advice from Pupi while Dovima and Marina just appeared to have a super zen vibe. Killer Queen meanwhile advised Juriji to contextualise the roast as a Christmas dinner and well, I am nervous for her.
Dia de élimination arrived with Sharonne finally setting the order, with Marina requesting first position – which is super brave – though ultimately, she was given last place instead. Wait, no, it was a joke – she is first! But damn, she was about to throw a tantrum if she wasn’t. Sharonne took out second, with Estrella going in third, Venedita asking for fourth, leaving Juriji to accept closing the show.
With that out of the way, the dolls split up to beat their mugs, with Juriji opening up to Venedita about how her grandfather used to make cabinets with the queen once owning one. That meanwhile was an introduction to her close bond with her grandmother and how she was like a second mother to her and well, it was heartbreaking to hear that her grandmother passed away from COVID within 24 hours and that Juriji was carrying so much guilt for not having one final dinner with her. The positive however, is that this loss finally gave her the confidence to accept herself as she came out as trans and started the confirmation process. And ugh, I love her so much.
Supremme, Ana y los Javis were joined by Anabel Alonso on the panel as the top five arrived to read their first season counterparts for filth. Marina opened the show and while she started out slow, she quickly found her rhythm and brutally read everyone for filth and had the judges in hysterics. As expected Sharonne was solid and charming as hell, though probably would have benefitted from going first herself. Estrella meanwhile was all energy and even when her jokes fell flat, her charm carried her through. Venedita meanwhile tried her best but struggled to keep the momentum going before Juriji was cute though felt a little flat for the end of the show.
On the Spanish Heroines runway, Juriji stole the show as a crotchet queen in honour of her grandmother and ugh, I love it. Marina meanwhile honoured the fight of trans women and looked perfect doing it before Estrella honoured the power of female journalists and well, work, I love it! Sharonne meanwhile was a bright and sunny housewife in honour of her mother and ugh, again, it was glorious. Venedita closed the show looking perfect as she paid homage to unsung female artists throughout history and TBH, the dolls all knew what needed to be done.
Juriji opened up to the judges about her grandmother, with them loving everything about the look she served this week. Complete with Ana in tears. While they thought she was funny in the roast, they did worry she was too calm and came across as flat. Marina meanwhile received universal praise for both her runway and surprising them with her confidence – and brutality – during the roast. Estrella was once again beloved, though they wished she had more light and shade in the roast as it erred on the side of one, loud note. Sharonne too received universal praise, though almost is a victim of her own success because they always expect her to be good so she can’t really surprise them anymore. Oh and then Venedita’s roast was read for filth, though they admitted her runway was perfect.
Backstage Venedita immediately got comfortable before admitting she knows she is lip syncing. Talk turned to how strong everyone’s runways were this week and how the judges loved them showing their heart. Despite having such a perfect look, Juriji knew that she too would be lip syncing with Venedita, which is something Estrella agreed with.
Ultimately Marina’s surprise performance was enough to pip the comedy queens at the post and take out victory, while Venedita and Juriji landed in the bottom as expected. And while Juriji felt all the emotion of Fuego, she was no match for the fire of Venedita who was focused on making it through. She gave full burlesque fantasy and perfectly bounced off Juriji who served a wig reveal that would make Roxxxy Andrews proud. Sadly though, said reveal and flipping around the stage wasn’t enough to save herself as Venedita live to see another day and Juriji was tragically eliminated.
Backstage Juriji had the same zen vibe that she has carried through the entire competition as I pulled her in for a massive hug. On top of praising her for a job, very well done, I reminding her that I was so proud of her for being 100% her. A little bit kooky, very camp and absolutely delightful, she went through the competition doing her and appeared to be having a lot of fun doing it. Rightfully earning her not a crown, but a Lamb Yiroji Der Klee.
Yiros are one of the most comforting food, maybe because they are literally aggressively flavoured meat, punchy sauces and chips. I mean, what more could you want.
Lamb Yiroji Der Klee Serves: 6.
Ingredients ½ cup olive oil 8 garlic cloves, finely chopped 2 tsp chilli flakes a handful of mint, roughly chopped 2 lemons, zested and juiced salt and pepper, to taste 1kg lamb, cut into large chunks 1 batch Pita Andre Bread 1 batch Jud Beerza Battered Fries 1 cup Greek yoghurt 2 tbsp tahini 2 tomatoes, diced 1 cup salad leaf
Method Combine the oil, 7 of the garlic cloves, chilli flakes, mint and half the lemon in a large bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper. Add the lamb, toss to coat and covering. Pop in the fridge and leave to marinate for five-six hours, or ideally, overnight.
Preheat the oven to 220C and line a baking sheet. Oh and make the Pita Andre Bread as per his instructions and get the Jud Beerza Battered Fries on.
Thread the lamb onto pairs of skewers and position on the baking sheet, leaving the meat elevated. Pop the lamb in the oven and leave to bake for 20 minutes or so, or until starting to char on the outside. Remove from the oven, push it off the skewers and roughly chop. Transfer to a bowl so it can baste in any leaking juices.
Combine the yoghurt, tahini and remaining garlic and lemon in a bowl. Season to taste.
To serve, smear the sauce on the pita bread, top with lamb, fries and some tomato and lettuce. Then devour, greedily.
Previously on Australian Survivor 24 people were dumped in the middle of the Australian bush, with a single loved one. Who they were immediately separated from and forced to compete against for 47 days. After battling it out on the edge of a cliff for final immunity, Shay took out the challenge leading to Josh’s demise before Chrissy, Shay and Mark argued their case in front of the jury. Despite all playing markedly different, deserving games, the jury weren’t a massive fan of Shay’s challenge beasting her way out of the bottom and she was left without receiving a single vote and finishing as the co-runner-up of the season.
Alongside queen, icon, legend Chrissy Zaremba.
Despite not knowing anything of the game before landing in the bush, Chrissy’s personality overcame every obstacle, winning hearts until she found her feet and became an absolute power player.
While I would have loved her to flip on alliances sooner, that only would have made for exciting TV, rather than really serving her game and as such, I was shocked to see her miss out on picking up any votes at tribal council. I mean, she routinely was making decisions on who to vote out, set herself up well with everyone and eliminated people that were threats to her game.
And more importantly, she articulated it perfectly at final tribal council. As such, I pulled her in for a massive hug, apologised she didn’t get the respect put on her name that she deserves and toasted her success with a piping hot Chipsy Zarembutty.
There is nothing I love more than a hot-chip sandwich. I mean, fresh soft bread, butter dripping down your fingers and gorgeously seasoned chips are the ultimate combination. Add in a little smokiness – thanks, Masterchef! – and you’re in heaven.
Chipsy Zarembutty Serves: 2.
Ingredients 4 slices bread 200g butter, softened 50ml buttermilk smoking gun and smoking chips, to taste 2 cups thick-cut Jud Beerza Battered Fries, still nice and warm and heavily salted
Method Preheat the oven to 60C.
Combine the butter and buttermilk in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until soft and fluffy. Cover with cling and fill the bowl with smoke from the smoking gun. Set aside for five minutes to infuse before repeating the process again, twice if required, depending on desired taste.
Cook the chips as per Jud’s recipe, though thicker.
To serve, smear the bread with the smokey butter and generously heap the chips on the bottoms. Close the sandwiches with the remaining, thickly butter bread, and devour. Like a queen.
Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race: UK vs the World the dolls joined together to rumix Ru’s song Living My life in London in honour of their very own hometowns. Neglecting the fact London is not Ru’s hometown, but I digress. Janey tried hard but sadly couldn’t sing. Lucky for her, there was post production and that little issue didn’t end up weighing her down. Sadly in the performance, she got a little bit lost while Juju was praised for finally looking as stunning as we’ve come to expect from her. And well, Mo was praised for being the best. Ultimately it was team U.S.A. that landed in the top, with Juju winning the lip sync and tragically sending the iconic Janey home.
Backstage the dolls were thrilled to have made it to the end, once again for Baga and Mo. And again, again and again for Juju. After a brief moment praising Janey for her killer run, they quickly moved on to praising themselves for surviving. Blu pointed out that now every country had scored a win this season, except for Canada since Jimbo was clearly throwing lip syncs to avoid having to eliminate anyone. While resting in the shade, Juju asked Mo who she chose to go home,with her admitting that she also selected Janey. Though mainly because she had an alliance with Blu, which was news to Juju and Baga.
More importantly, as they de-dragged Blu asked Juju if she was looking forward to being a runner-up again and well, I live.
The next day, the jubilant top four returned with Juju proud to finally jag her second win in Drag Race herstory while Baga reminded them that badges don’t mean shit in the competition and the judges will take the entire season into consideration. Or as is now tradition in the UK, they’ll ignore the people with the most wins and crown Ru’s fave. Speaking of Ru, she dropped by to congratulate her top four queens and announce that they would be stomping the Grand Finale Eleganza Extravaganza runway before copping a roasting from the judges and the eliminated queens before they would compete in a lip sync smackdown for the crown.
Which made Baga realise that she is not going to be winning this season.
The dolls immediately split up to get ready, with Juju particularly proud of the diversity of the final four, despite the fact they are only from the UK and the US. Blu pointed out that while Juju was loving them now, she was very shady when they started the competition, while Baga was overwhelmed to be facing off against legends like Mo and Juju. She then opened up about her insecurities about her make-up ability and looks and ugh, is this the late breaking winner’s edit for Baga?
Blu admitted that she’s really happy with her run this season, proud of her performance and glad to have grown so much in the competition. Mo spoke about how this time she feels calm and content, arriving ready to shine rather than worrying about the competition. Juju meanwhile opened up about her own pride, going from her very, very slow start to ultimately triumphing and giving the judges the good Juju they’ve come to love.
The eliminated queens kicked off the Grand Finale Eleganza runway, with Lemon looking like a star as a giant maple leaf at the Victoria’s Secret show. Chez was a floral delight complete with her signature dab, Jimbo was dark and shimmering with a moose headpiece, Pangina was perfection as a golden, Thai-Elizabethan delight while Janey was beautiful in her tulip skyscape gown. When it came to the top four, Baga looked glamorous in an Elizabeth Taylor inspired number, with a weird but cool headpiece. Blu was a frilly, sky blue Bo Peep, Juju was stunning in a red sparkly peplum number while Mo, obviously, stole the show in a silver boned bodice with a massive orange train.
The judges lived for everything Baga did in the season, simply because she continued to be quintessentially her. And while she didn’t elevate from the start, she kicked things into high-gear after Snatch Game. And the finale runway? Michelle lived for the fact she finally accepted being beautiful rather than doing more caricature work. Baga thanked Ru for changing her life, vowing to always come back whenever she is asked. Like Juju. She opened up that the world needs more joy and her motivation in life is solely to make people laugh.
Blu was praised for her epic growth between seasons. She gave consistently strong performances, was hilarious in the variety show and owned Snatch Game, all while giving elevated looks each week. And more importantly, she played the game. Blu opened up that when she saw the cast, she assumed she was a filler queen and as such, she was inspired to dig her heels in and prove why she deserves to be here. She opened up that the world needs drag for representation and that she wants to continue to be a light for queer kids.
Juju was read for not giving classic Juju at the start of the competition, but when she chose to arrive at the competition, she once again starred and lived up to her legacy. Juju opened up that she saw a picture of her mother who abandoned her just before she arrived in the competition and has been struggling with her childhood emotions. But once she realised that she had a loving family in her sisters, she got out of her head and starred. Juju believes drag is important because it gives people hope, and is beautiful and love. And ugh, she knows how to give a finale speech!
Mo received universal praise for the entire run, particularly because she is a star and brought look after perfect look. I mean, the Butch Queen runway flooded all of our basements. She opened up about how her tough childhood made her quite guarded, though was grateful that she finally was able to build a relationship with her mother. She agreed that the world needs drag more than ever because it is the love language. While she now has sisters all over the world that may not speak the same tongue, but they do speak the same language. And shut it down, because THAT was a speech.
Alan sent in a video message, Billy Porter sent his love and gave full Mo realness, and it was so damn wholesome that even when Naomi Campbell dropped by, she couldn’t even bring herself to throw a phone.
Backstage the final four spoke about how proud they were of each other, particularly for being so open on the mainstage. Juju revealed that her mother didn’t just abandon her and her sisters, but it happened six months after her father’s death and that trauma is still triggering for her. Mo and Blu just wanted to cry but were interrupted by the eliminated queens, with Lemon desperately wanting to hear what happened during the season. You know, since Pangina cut her journey short.
Janey stepped in and pointed out that Blu eliminating Pangina was the biggest gag of the season, particularly her reaction to it. While Pangina joked that she didn’t wail, she did say that Blu assured her that she wouldn’t eliminate her. Which she vehemently denied. Pangina said that she didn’t eliminate Jimbo as competition but because she was the worst in that week’s challenge. This led to Jimbo calling bullshit on that, saying that Pangina didn’t listen to her in the deliberations. She then listed everything she hated about Pangina for fun, but said she was simply letting it out into the universe. Lemon asked what everyone learnt, admitted she learned nothing while Jimbo learned forgiveness – lol – while Pangina grew and was glad to get to know her sisters.
My friend-again Elton dropped by to explain the rules of the lip sync smackdown for the crown, with a wheel spin deciding the match-ups before the winners of the first round battling for the crown. Lemon then brought out the wheel and spun it, landing on Mo. Who then picked to face off against Baga Chipz, which she admitted was a strategic choice. Shellshocked, Baga was then allowed to pick which box to open to select their song, which ended up being Domino by Jessie J. Which delighted Mo. Obviously, Mo entirely demolished the lip sync from start to finish, giving killer moves, nailing the lyrics and well, showing her heart. That being said, Baga put up a huge fight, serving comedy and camp and honestly, her granny moves were completely magnetic.
Ultimately though, Mo took out victory and moved on to lip sync for the crown while Baga was eliminated. As the crew scurried out to reset for the next battle, I yanked Baga off stage and pulled her in for a massive hug and congratulated her on her performance throughout the season. No matter what way you cut it, Baga is a star and while that sometimes can go to her head, that magnetism is not something you can buy. You can reward it with a big ol’ bowl of Baga Curry Chipz, however.
I know this may not sound appetising to anyone outside the UK, but curry chips are kind of amazing. Sweet and spicy and oh so warming, the sauce is the perfect counterpoint to the crunchy chips. And whether you like to admit it or not, it is delicious.
Method Heat the butter in a large saucepan over a medium heat and saute the onions, garlic and ginger for ten minutes or so, or until soft and fragrant. Stir in the curry powder, turmeric, raisins, vinegar and star anise and cook off for a minute. Slowly stir in the stock, bring to the boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for half an hour.
Remove the star anise and mix the cornflour with a couple of tablespoons of water until smooth. Stir into the sauce and cook for a further five minutes or so, or until thickening. Remove from the heat and stir in lemon juice to taste.
Cook the fries to your liking before topping with a large heaping of the sauce and then devour. I promise, you’ll feel much betta. Much betta indeed.
Previously on Survivor the three tribes converged with Jeff, not to merge, but to live through a complicated double-episode to get to merge. You see, the tribeless castaways were split into groups, competed in a challenge and exiled Erika who then had the power to flip the results of the challenge meaning she and the losing group were all immune and guaranteed passage to the merge while the former victorious six were to compete in the first immunity challenge of the season. Ricard won immunity which led to bedlam back at camp as Liana and Shan’s super majority planned to get rid of former Yase Evvie. Sadly for them, the plan went awry as Xander passed his idol to Tiffany so that Liana couldn’t steal his idol, which made everyone nervous enough to split the votes between Evvie and Sydney. And while Xander didn’t play his idol, Sydney did play her Shot in the Dark but sadly came up short as she exited the competition.
And then the remaining castaways officially merged to form the Viakana tribe.
Back at camp Xander and Evvie were thrilled by how expertly they got Liana to burn her advantage and save themselves. He was less thrilled about the fact Evvie had shared the information about his idol with Deshawn on their little adventure, making him question whether he can trust Evvie and Tiffany moving forward. Evvie meanwhile was heartbroken to have lost their relationship with Liana, given she was the one they vibed with best on OG Yase.
The next morning Evvie caught up with Deshawn as the first step of their apology tour, assuring him that there are no hard feelings between them. When they made it to Shan, she admitted that she thought Yase were a tight knit group so was shocked by how quickly Liana flipped on them. Tiffany and Liana meanwhile were catching up while Xander assured Shan that he and Liana have no connection moving forward while Evvie too was scrambling to try and make new bonds. Deshawn, Erika and Heather meanwhile went for a walk to get water with Deshawn assuring them that he isn’t buying the Yase trio apology and bonding tour and as such, he is ready to push them out of the game one after the other, after the other.
Jeffrey returned for the first post-merge reward challenge where they were promptly divided into two teams to compete. Oh and since the numbers were uneven, one person got to sit out on a bench where Jiffy had hidden an advantage. But back to the challenge, where each group would leap from a ramp before diving to retrieve puzzle pieces. They then load the pieces into a boat, row them to a pontoon and then solve the puzzle. While Erika drew the odd rock to sit out, Xander took pity on her, offering to trade out with her and forgo his chance at a sweet grilled cheese reward. Oh and he didn’t even find the poorly hidden advantage, which given he is a super fan, I find disappointing.
But anyway, the yellow team got out to an early lead thanks to Liana and Shan however it quickly was blown by poor Heather slowing things down. Proving that she only gets airtime when she is bombing a challenge. Both tribes, sorry groups, were neck and neck as they made their way to the puzzle deck and then, given Evvie had practiced the exact puzzle at home, they solved it in a matter of minutes and won reward for them, Erika, Ricard, Danny and Deshawn.
Back at camp Erika was positively giddy to see their bountiful feast and quickly packed up to eat it away from the jealous eyes of the losers. Who coincidentally all lost but a week before. Tiffany was angry, Shan and Liana were crying while Xander tried to make sure they were all ok. Making an extremely quick turn around, Shan dried her tears and was feeling galvanised in the game, focused on the fact she is here to win rather than eat toasties. Shan took a plan to Liana and Naseer before roping in Xander, who admitted that he likes missing out on winning rewards because being left with the losers, they are normally emotional and open to flipping.
Not upset by the loss was Naseer who was staying positive because he just didn’t want to ruin his day. Instead he collected a bounty of papaya and cheered up his group. That is until the winners returned and Ricard tried a piece of papaya, leading to Shan flipping out on him for daring to eat food that was meant for the losing group. And while I would be just as angry as Shan, it was a bit OTT. And well, Ricard just wasn’t very bright when he could have waited until nobody was looking to avoid pissing people off.
The tribe reconvened with Jeff for the immunity challenge where everyone would have to balance on their tippy toes to hold a block between their head and a beam above them. But to make things interesting, Jeff told them that they could sit out for a single portion of rice or they could negotiate a number of sit outs for Jeff to give them three-days worth of rice for the tribe. After settling on five people, Shan and Naseer were willing to give up their shot until nobody joined them. With that Xander asked Jeff to bring it down to four, assuring the group that he would sit out if just one other person joined him which was enough to get Ricard to step out.
As the four sit-outs joined the bench the rest of the tribe stepped up to their frame with Deshawn, Erika and Tiffany all dropping within seconds, begging the question, why didn’t they just offer to begin with. Danny soon followed, leaving Liana, Heather and Evvie to battle it out for victory. Just like that, I jinxed Liana and after three minutes, only two remained. Wait, no, make that after just four minutes, Evvie took out a much needed immunity victory.
Back at camp Evvie was overjoyed to have spoiled everyone’s plan to get rid of her, which meant that Liana was ready to pivot to force Xander to burn his idol and for the group to boot Tiffany instead. Shan, Naseer, Danny and Ricard caught up to lock in a split vote between Tiffany and Xander. Well, until Danny and Shan caught up with the former suggesting that they should instead split the vote between Tiffany and Naseer to blindside him before he realises he is on the bottom of their alliance. They were joined by Deshawn who quickly grew frustrated with Shan’s bossy demands, pushing instead to get rid of Xander first because he is more threatening. And, you know, Naseer is a good provider and completely non-threatening.
After the duo hashed out their differences, Shan looped in Erika and Ricard before Xander joined them and was fed the lie that the plan was to split between Naseer and Tiffany. Well until Shan looped in Naseer, who was annoyed to have his name out there and as such, Shan found Xander and told him that instead, they are now going to get rid of Heather. When Shan caught up with Erika and Heather to tell them the plan, Queen Heather emerged and flipped out on Shan for putting her name out there giving she is screwed should there be an idol-palooza.
Oh and Tiffany was just wandering around to anyone and everyone to find a friend.
At tribal council Shan shared that she stepped out of the challenge because she just wanted everyone to be able to eat. Xander agreed that he wanted to ensure people that are struggling without food got to enjoy something – a genius reminder that some are starving and a few people are banking up the rewards – while Naseer just wanted everyone to be happy rather than safe. Heather and Tiffany both admitted that they didn’t step down because they feel like they could be on the block tonight. Danny meanwhile was feeling like the divisions weren’t clearcut and given how wild things played out at the last tribal council, he is ready to explode with nerves.
Then Shan said that she was just waiting for a comment to drop before everyone went nuts with paranoia. Evvie admitted that they have not been approached by anyone ahead of tribal council, while Danny said that he isn’t buying that they are feeling defeated given the Yases made a huge theatrical play about loyalty at the last tribal council before running around camp the next day swearing they were out to get one another. While Evvie argued that they were left to die by Xander and Tiffany at the last tribal council, I don’t think it was enough to convince Danny they were actually against each other.
Erika admitted that things are still new for the merged tribe and as such, even when plans are set, there is uncertainty right up until the torch is snuffed. Just as Jeff was sending everyone off to vote, Heather jumped up and started whispering to anyone and everyone to push the vote on Naseer while Ricard continued to tell Xander he should play his idol. When Shan learnt that Heather was planning to flip the vote to Naseer, she instead told everyone they should band together to get rid of Heather instead. While everyone else was on board with that plan, Deshawn wasn’t happy and then was patronised by Shan while Ricard just opted to beg Xander to burn his idol.
With this week’s annoying whispers out of the way, the tribe voted and despite all the chaos and showboating of tribal council, Tiffany – the original target – found herself exiting the game to become the Queen of Ponderosa. And boy did my heart break.
As Tiffany arrived at Ponderosa, I started to sob until she pulled me in for a hug and assured me that everything will be ok. That set me off on an epic rant, as it reminded me that actually, not everything will be ok because the intended Queen of the Season has had to settle for ruling Ponderosa. I mean, sure, that is one of the best places to land but given how iconic and entertaining Tiffany has been thus far, I wanted better for her. Instead, she got rewarded with a delicious Falafel Tiffanyiros Seely.
I have a passion for any food that you can add fries into, so a yiro that includes both regular fries and halloumi fries is perfection. The salty cheese, the spicy falafel and the creamy raita go perfectly to turn a day around. And make you feel like a winner.
Falafel Tiffanyiros Seely Serves: 4.
Ingredients 1 cup Jud Beerza Battered Fries 1-2 cups Jack Falafelee 4 fresh Pita Andre Breads ½ cup Greek yoghurt 125g Greek feta cheese, crumbled 1 Lebanese cucumber, deseeded, grated and drained 1 garlic clove, minced juice and zest of a lemon salt and pepper, to taste 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 200g halloumi, cut into batons 2 tomatoes, roughly diced 1 red onion, finely chopped 1 baby cos, leaves torn and washed
Method Start by prepping the fries, falafel and pita breads as per Jud, Jack and Peter’s recipes. Or, you know, get the store bought ones prepped.
Combine the yoghurt, feta, cucumber, garlic and lemon juice and zest. Season to taste, cover and pop in the fridge to chill.
Next heat a lug of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat and once hot, fry the halloumi for a few minutes each side until crisp and golden on each side.
To make your yiro, smear some tzatziki on your pita, top with some chips, halloumi, tomato, onion and parsley, followed by some falafel and another slather of tzatziki.
Wrap tightly and devour, like the Queen of Ponderosa.
Previously on Australian Survivor 24 castaways were dropped in the outback, far from the tropical islands we’ve grown accustomed to – thanks COVID! One by one they were felled as – yep, doing it – Phil, Janelle, Gavin, Benny, Mitch, Joey, Daini, Shannon, Georgia, Rachel and Simon headed home before the two tribes merged and formed the Fire tribe.
Instead of the Beauty tribe, which will always be a sore point to me.
Kez was the first victim of the new tribe before Chelsea was medevaced, leaving Baden to become the King of the Jury. He was quickly joined by Gerald, Laura, Emmett, Andrew, Dani, Wai and Cara, leaving Flick as the lone Brawn standing against George and Cara.
And by standing, I mean hunching painfully in a brutal final immunity challenge where the trio faced off for over five hours before Hayley took out victory and gave her the power to eliminate the final juror. Which obviously became Flick.
After a hard fought final tribal council where both George and Hayley clearly articulated their games, proving just how good they both were, the jury favoured Hayley’s more well rounded approach and awarded her the title of Sole Survivor. And, you know, the half mill.
As you can imagine, Hayley was buzzing as I sidled on to set to congratulate her, pulling me in for a massive hug. You see, Hayley and I are former colleagues and dear friends – you know how painful I can be, which is an asset to a researcher – so I was so excited to be there to share in her win.
Hayley dominated the game and made massive moves throughout the season, and while she was briefly voted out, she used that to her advantage, expertly adapting her play to make it to the end and rightfully take out the game. The only way I could truly do justice to such an epic, entertaining and at times chaotic run was gifting her a triumphant Haylal Snack Peake.
While I was late to the party when it came to the majesty of the HSP, I have well and truly made up for lost time when it came to the holy grail of food. The chips are crispy, the chicken is packing a punch, a little charred and oh so juicy that by the time you get to the garlicky sauce and gooey cheese, there is no denying this is made for winners.
Haylal Snack Peake Serves: 4.
Ingredients 1 cup Greek yoghurt 6 garlic cloves, minced 1 tsp ground coriander 2 tsp ground cumin 2 tsp paprika 1 tsp cayenne pepper 2 tsp tsp onion powder ½ tsp black pepper 3 tbsp tomato paste 2 tsp salt 1 lemon, zested and juiced 3 tbsp olive oil 1kg chicken thighs, no skin, no bones (no jokes about me normally loving a bone) 1 batch Jud Beerza Battered Fries 2 cups grated cheddar ¼ cup smokey BBQ sauce ¼ cup garlic sauce ¼ cup sriracha small handful flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
Method Start by mixing up the yoghurt through olive oil together in a large bowl until well combined. Add the chicken and toss with your hands, making sure that every piece is sopping with the marinade. Cover and pop in the fridge for six hours. Overnight is ideal, but like you, I don’t have time for that so six will do, ok?
Preheat the oven to 220°C.
Grab a bunch of metal skewers and a baking dish that they can precariously balance either side on so they are elevated. I’m not the best at explaining, but it will make sense in a bit. Remove the chicken from the fridge and thread on to two parallel skewers, jamming the thighs close together so they look like baby kebab sticks (I obviously couldn’t be bothered to Google it).
Once they’re all on skewers, line the baking dish and balance the ends of the skewers on the sides of the dish so the chicken is elevated from the base. Pop the dish in the oven and bake for half an hour, or until brown and glorious. Remove from the oven, baste with the juices and return to the oven for twenty minutes. Remove from the oven again when it is charred, baste and leave to rest for five minutes.
While you work on the fries, stand the skewers upright and carve the chicken from them like the do at a kebab shop (side note: how hypnotic was watching that, drunk at 2am?) and leave to rest in their juices.
To assemble, pop your chips in a bowl, top with the cheese and follow with a generous helping of the chicken. Drizzle with the sauces, add a bit more cheese and a sprinkle of parsley to feel healthy.
Then devour like you haven’t had a decent meal in 48 days but are also thrilled to be victorious.
Previously on Australian Survivor Brains and Brawns were offish no more, tragically not joining to form the Beauty tribe which would have just been the ultimate chef’s kiss. Emmett won immunity and his confidence expanded to new heights, leading to his super majority planning to target Hayley. Thankfully George grew tired of the status quo and decided that now would be the best time to work with the Brains to ensure Hayley plays her idol correctly. Speaking of idols, Kez found another one in front of George which immediately made her the target in his eyes. With that he told Hayley to play her idol for Laura and poor Kez was idolled out of the game, sneakily – and legally, apparently – passing her idol off to Flick on the way out the door.
Though I’m unsure if anyone actually picked up on that.
The shoulda been Beauty tribe awoke the next morning feeling relatively calm despite the epic tribal council the night before. That calmness was broken by George, who was thrilled about how everything went down perfectly and how he is orchestrating everything perfectly and that he should be the spy. V loudly. He and his number two Cara caught up over breakfast to come up with the next plan, identifying getting rid of another Brain as the priority. And to successfully continue to play the middle, they needed to bring Baden along for the ride to make things happen.
Speaking of Baden, he was happy with his standing in the tribe given he is close to George and while playing in the middle can oft be dangerous – and get you run over, right Jules? – it is keeping Baden safe. For now. Given the Brawn alliance want to take him out immediately after Hayley. Baden therefore wanted to keep a close eye on George, given his protection can only last for so long. And well, he can’t trust George’s plans don’t run much deeper and eventually leave him out in the cold.
Dani meanwhile was doing yoga with Chelsea and Flick by the billabong before Dani questioned whether Hayley was tipped off ahead of tribal council. Which she obviously was. Flick meanwhile feigned confidence in the fact it was just a lucky guess, but Dani just wasn’t ready to let it go. And became really fired up that she needed to fight in the immunity challenge, just to make sure one of the Brains didn’t jag it.
Speaking of the immunity challenge, the tribe caught up with my love Jonathan where the castaways really had a battle ahead of them. But you know, since he was offering up three immunity necklaces it was worth it. Oh and in addition to the immunity, the trio would be the only ones to cast a vote at the next tribal council. Which is huge. First they would barrel roll down a course in honour of FFGCSDT with the first eight moving to the next round where they have to cross a balance beam, untangling a rope and releasing a monkey fist to cross a wall, with the first five up and over moving on to a table maze with the first three to finish jagging immunity.
Hayley got out to an early lead with Emmett and Andrew nipping at her heels before Dani fell off hard in front of Gerald’s barrel. Ultimately Hayley was first across, with Emmett, Baden, Chelsea, Andrew, Laura, Dani and Cara joining her in the next round. Emmett was first through to the table maze, giving him a massive lead in the last stage before he was finally joined by Laura. Eventually Andrew and Dani joined him just as Emmett landed his second of three balls. Baden eventually made it to table maze and given nobody but Emmett was having any real success, it was still anybody’s game. Emmett ultimately snagged the first immunity and to put you out of your misery, he was quickly followed by Andrew and Dani. Giving Brawns a massive advantage at the upcoming tribal council if it is as it appears.
Back at camp George wasn’t worried about the upcoming tribal, given he is good with everyone that is immune. Hayley meanwhile, was terrified given two of them are out for her blood. Speaking of Dani and Emmett, they caught up by the well to quickly lock in the vote for Hayley before Emmett suggested that maybe Baden is a better option, given Cara and George are tight with him and he may be able to swing them back to the OG Brains. Dani admitted that ultimately she doesn’t really care who goes out of the Brains, given she just wants the Brawns to do well.
And now Dani is more focused on getting a lid on the snitches.
The Brains meanwhile were busy catching up by the billabong, with Andrew feeling helpless given his vote kind of just means nothing. The group admitted that Hayley is pretty much screwed, with her approaching George to see if she can make something work. He obviously told her there is no hope swaying Dani, so instead she made the big play, approaching Dani and straight up outing George as the double agent in the hope of uniting the tribe against him instead.
Despite the fact Dani has been burnt by Hayley and she has been holding a massive grudge, Hayley knew exactly what to say to get through to Dani. Playing into her intelligence, before outing George and Cara and then doubling down on the fact she has been very open about her game the entire time and won’t just stick with tribal lines. And you know, wants the winner of the season to have played a big, risky game like the one Dani has been playing. This was enough to woo Dani, who was happy to work with her and use her as a spy moving forward before Emmett joined and immediately pitched the same thing, knowing that Hayley would feel like she owes them her life should she stay.
Hayley left them to chat and while Emmett was 100% with keeping Hayley, that made Dani nervous about following through with it given she can clearly win people over very quickly. And leaving that in the game is dangerous for everyone.
At tribal council Emmett was still trying to play the role of David and was back to coming off as more arrogant than charming. Dani too was full of confidence, while Andrew was fully just going with the flow given he knows his vote pretty much means nothing. Baden was pretty nervous, given he is one of the four targets for the majority duo, in the trio – confusing no? George was glad to be in the majority, while Hayley was nervous about navigating the vote ahead given she can’t even throw a vote on someone else as a hail Mary to save herself. While Baden was just feeling hopeless, Hayley admitted that she was more than happy to beg and had approached Emmett and Dani. The question being whether it hurt or hindered her case.
Jonathan then dropped another bomb on the group, explaining that while the trio are the only ones with the chance of voting, only one of them actually would. The trio would now compete in a firemaking challenge with the winner going on to cast the sole vote and while Emmett was confident, Andrew is a straight up survivalist and as such, the Brains were full of hope. And Dani appeared to just focus on being a smartass given nobody even considered her taking it out.
And. I. Live.
With that, the trio got to work with the firemaking challenge and well, the confident look on the faces of the Brains appeared to be misplaced. While Andrew quickly up the base of his fire, he immediately broke his flint. While Emmett and Dani calmly powered on, Emmett lit all of his kindling in a massive flame … which quickly went out. Andrew frantically struck his flint as Dani quietly got a spark and instead of taking the slow and steady approach, loaded up everything on the flame in the hope the massive flame would last long enough to burn through the rope. Which it did, shocking everyone, including herself.
After warning Jonathan that some things in the tribe were heading in a way she didn’t like, this vote was about nipping things in the bud and as such, she was thrilled to have all the power. She then quickly voted, Jonathan grabbed the urn and the tribe were gagged to learn that Baden was the one voted out of the game. However all was not as it seemed, as Baden arrived at a table announcing that he isn’t actually out out of the game and instead he is to head off to a place called Redemption Rock – the love child of redemption island and pride rock, I assume – to await a chance to return to the competition.
We followed Baden over to Redemption Rock where he was gagged to find a bunch of meager supplies, which he quickly put to use making a fire as a kangaroo watched on menacingly.
Menacingly because of night vision, but whatevs.
The next morning Baden was still processing the massive chain of events that led to his boot before taking in his surroundings, which turned out to be a stunning, massive gorge. He made himself at home, perfecting camp before working though his plans for when he returns to the game. Because you best believe he is fired up to return and cause as much damage as humanly possible.
Speaking of fire, Andrew was waking up the tribe as he tended to theirs, no doubt trying to prove his worth as a survival expert after being schooled by Dani the night before. Emmett reminded us that we’ve been sleeping on Dani’s mad skills and was grateful that despite the twist, they still managed to get rid of a Brain.
Sadly, a Brawn had also left the game as we learnt that Chelsea was taken away from tribal council by a medic and the tribe were worried about if/when she will return to camp. But I’m going to jump forward a little bit, say 24 hours, and let you know that poor Chelsea was in such a state that she had to be medevaced from the game officially.
I’ve known Chels for years and years, meeting on the MMA circuit before I was banned from the sport for illegal moves. Despite being shamed out of the community, Chelsea stood by me and we became the firmest of friends and as such, when she was down and out – literally – I knew I had to repay the favour and nurse her back to health with my copycat Taco Bellsea Hackips.
While these would have been the perfect accompaniment to Kez’s dish, I would argue they’re still pretty delightful as a solo artist. Crispy chips, heavily spiced with a whack of flavour? I mean, you can’t argue against that.
Previously on All Stars, 13 queens made their triumphant returns to the Drag Race stage. Like us, they learnt that there would be a game within a game this year but it was quickly glossed over and forgotten. In the Variety Show Scarlet somehow only bubbled to safe, Yara shook her titties to victory, Ra’Jah sewed a dress in a minute, Trinity bombed her stand-up and Serena sang about her wig line. Given everyone was pretty damn good, Serena and Trinity landed in the bottom, meaning Yara’s tittie shaking meant she could select who should go should she beat the lip sync assassin. While she opted to vote out the threat, Coco won the lip sync and poor Serena became the first boot.
The queens returned to the Werk Room with Trinity grateful to have survived the first elimination before Ra’Jah counted out all the votes. We learnt that Serena was unanimously booted from the competition, as Trinity thanked the girls for rallying around her and believing in her, making her feel all warm and loving. That is until Yara announced that she actually voted for Trinity to leave, which Yara said wasn’t a personal decision. Which really annoyed Trinity and made Yara nervous that she will be viewed as a little less congenial this season and instead, might be a little darker.
The next day things were far less stressful as the queens found Serena’s message, wisely encouraging them to buy one of her wigs. Ra’Jah meanwhile asked the dolls to identify the trade of the season, with Eureka saying it was probably her. Which Ginger agreed with, given she would love to trade Eureka out for someone else. Jan meanwhile was feeling her oats, which Jiggly did not feel. Eureka pointed out it would probably be Trinity, given she has the sense of danger Jiggly said was required. But given she was wearing a brooch, Silky called bullshit on TKB being a legitimate danger to anyone.
Ru interrupted the vigorous debate, arriving to announce that for this week’s maxi challenge the girls would be throwing a cheeky little Blue Ball. Category 1 is Blue Betta Werk, dedicated to blue collar workers, Blue Jean Baby in honour of denim and Blue Ball Bonanza, which the girls need to design using random blue items dumped in the Werk Room, this time sans a buried Art Simone, despite her literally having blue hair.
As soon as Ru departed, the girls started fighting for the blue materials, while Eureka stood back and decided to just run with whatever dregs are left over when they are all done. Jan was opting to re-do the concept she did for the Ball Ball, with Scarlet suggesting that she doesn’t do that and instead trying something new. Jiggly meanwhile was freaking out, given she bombed both of the design challenges in her first season and the only materials left on her table were complete and utter junk. At the other end of the spectrum was Ra’Jah who was feeling confident, despite the fact she went home on a sewing challenge in her original season. Sonique tried to give her a pep talk thinking she was down but Ra’Jah explained she just needed to verbalise it and move on and damn, I love their vibes this season.
Yara meanwhile was living her best life, kikiing with the queens and being stupid while not even touching a sewing machine. You see, her plan was to wait and see what everyone else was making and once they were done, just make something better.
Ru returned to check in on the girls, with Eureka talking about how much she has grown since her last season and was confident that her craftiness will help her turn a decent look in the third category. Jiggly spoke about how zen she is after coming out as trans and how much better she can now approach the competition, despite not being the most confident designer. Ra’jah meanwhile spoke about how she has finally chilled out and is no longer insecure, ready to take on the world.
Elimination Day arrived with Kylie ready to give the three bluest balls Ru has ever seen. Yara meanwhile was busy getting ready as a construction worker for the first category, though was still hiding her third look from everyone else. Driving Eureka and Jan mad as they wanted to find out what she was planning. Silky was hoping to work her way to the top, A’Keria couldn’t find her scissors and Jiggly was hoping to finally serve a slutty San Tropez dress.
Talk turned to the girls’ strategies, with Eureka wanting to see if they were all on the same page while Trinity alluded to the fact it will be obvious who is in the bottom just by looking at their outfits and they should go from there. Like her last season, Ginger said she would be voting with integrity and will vote for people she can stand behind. Jiggly brought up the fact that she has a lot of friends in the competition and she worried that at the end of the day, those relationships will come into play at some point.
Ru, Michelle and Carson were joined on the judging panel by the icon herself, Big Freedia. On the Blue Betta Werk runway, Ra’Jah was stunning as a sexy project manager on the construction site, Kylie was a sexy-street carpenter, Eureka was a glorious crossing guard, Jan was Disney mechanic, Jiggly was stunning taking out the trash while Silky was a sparkly milk maiden. Scarlet served buzzsaw bombshell, A’Keria was a comedy welder, Pandora went from lunch lady to sexy waitress, Yara rocked the bouncy titties on the construction site, Ginger went with Mario realness and poor Trinity did the weaker version of Eureka’s look.
When it came to Blue Jean Baby, Ra’Jah wore the sexiest Canadian tuxedo, Kylie channeled Christina Aguilera and honoured her trans roots, Eureka was a gowned delight, Jan worse a structural star denim number, Jiggly was a sexy skater girl, Silky was a fringed cowgirl, Scarlet was American trash in the best way possible, A’Keria was a sexy, cut out dream while Pandora gave us all the Dolly we could dream, Yara channeled Shakira, Ginger was delightful in a chambray jumpsuit while Trinity gave us the sexiest disco diva.
For the final category, Ra’Jah was perfection in a synched gorgeous gown, Kylie gave sexy beach realness, Eureka looked ready to compete for Junior Miss Grand Supreme, Jan slayed her glow-up in the Ball Ball, Jiggly was tragically a mess, Silky dressed in and looked like a doona, Scarlet was gorgeous in a shimmering fishtail gown and A’Keria was a plastic delight, though it didn’t give her the best shape. Pandora was a delight in a blue ribbon gown despite the lack of shape, while Yara was lost in the streamers at a prom, despite making a decent gown. Ginger was stunning in a blue trench, while Trinity finally nailed it in a Cinderella inspired gown.
Jan, Silky, Scarlet, Pandora, Ginger and Trinity were sent to safety and ventured backstage to untuck and grab their drinks. Scarlet shared her disappointment to be safe yet again as was Jan, given she only used hot glue. The girls agreed Eureka and Ra’Jah would be in the top, with the latter the best shot at taking out victory. When Trinityspoke about being nervous about doing bad, she and Scarlet had beef after the latter said that they would clearly have put in her the bottom if she was bad, given that’s literally how it works. Ginger shared that she was concerned about Jiggly, though admitted that Yara did bomb her first two looks. Despite turning the final look.
Talk turned to Jan’s grandfather passing away from COVID and how he was the person that always embraced her talent and as such, she was ready to turn it and have some fun for him. Talk turned to how they should vote, with Trinity saying they should focus on track record while Silky wanted to focus on effort. Trinity said that she was both fangirling over the queens but also saw them as competition, she then apologised to Scarlet for snapping at her and they all came together and ugh, I love the dolls.
Meanwhile on the Main Stage, Ra’Jah received universal praise for each and every look of the ball. Sonique was praised for the first two looks, and the judges were glad the last look didn’t read as messy. Eureka’s first look was beloved, she was praised for doing something different with denim and the fact she gave so much structure to everything. Jiggly’s first look was praised, the second was read as off the rack and the last one, tragically, was read for being a hot mess. A’Keria was praised for giving comedy, despite not screaming welder. She was then read for being basic but praised for having vision. And poor Yara, was read for being a little too much and confusing. Which is totally her brand, right?
Ultimately Ra’Jah took out her very first victory ever, with Kylie and Eureka sent to safety. As was A’Keria who narrowly avoided the bottom, leaving Jiggly and Yara up for elimination.
The girls reconvened backstage with Ra’Jah giddy to share her first victory with the rest of the crew, before pointing out that Yara and Jiggly are in the bottom this week. Ra’Jah pulled Yara aside first, with Yara not looking forward to having to plead her case. As such, she didn’t really do it, but assured her that she will well and truly bring it over the next weeks and will be true to herself. Meanwhile poor Jiggly broke down with the other girls, disappointed that the one challenge she was worried about came up in week two.
Ginger was heartbroken about potentially having to send her friend home, before the girls traded places as Yara cried with the other girls. She was overwhelmed to go from the top to the bottom, not wanting to have to prove herself to them given she is already sickening. Which annoyed Trinity, given she spent the first day playing games rather than sewing. Jiggly meanwhile was charming the hell out of Ra’Jah, offering up alliances and her vote before genuinely asking her to just give her another chance to show how much she has grown.
Jan meanwhile pulled the other girls aside to try and figure out how they should vote, with Eureka worried about the decision to vote for a friend coming to bite her if she is up against someone more likeable later. Ginger then pointed out that Jiggly was better in the first two categories, despite being the worst in the third.
The tops and bottoms made their way outside for voting, with Jiggly taking the chance to run away to the carpark to breathe, sobbing as she shared her disappointed that she can’t even lip sync for her life. As she processed her emotions, the producers gave her a pep talk and ugh, it was hard to watch.
Meanwhile Scarlet was busy being read for having the saltiest face and living in her own fantasy before Jiggly reunited with the dolls. She caught up Ginger, with Ginger trying to lift up her friend while also realising that Jiggly arguably did the worst in the challenge. As both Yara and Jiggly broke down in separate corners of the tent, the queens went to vote one by one, with Trinity backing Jiggly to fight while Ginger sobbed her way through casting her’s against her friend.
Back on the mainstage Ra’Jah learnt that she would be facing off against her season 11 sister slash Drag Race Canada judge Brooke Lyn Hytes to Miss You Much by Janet Jackson. Both girls immediately slayed the game, hitting every lyric and serving full Janet. They were popping, locking, dropping, flipping and splitting and ugh, it was glorious. As such, it was deemed a very hard fought tie, with both Ra’Jah and the group ultimately voting to send the beautiful Jiggly home, bringing tears to my eyes.
Backstage Jiggly was so heartbroken to be the one to go home though wrote the girls a cute message as she processed the emotion. By the time she met up with me, we were both blubbering messes. I was so excited to finally have Jiggly return to the competition, and while she went home early, I tried to remind her that the world already knows that she is a star and doesn’t need to rudeem herself. And while that positivity is uncharacteristic for me, that is the power of a Chickly Caliente Burrito.
Spicy, sweet and oh so delicious, there is nothing better than a burrito. Except for a burrito WITH FRIES IN IT. Aka a cali burrito. Sure, this recipe is nothing more than adding fries to Kenny’s, but when it tastes this good, who cares?
Chickly Caliente Burrito Serves: 4.
Ingredients 200g can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce 2 ¼ tsp ground cumin 2 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped 6 cloves garlic salt and pepper, to taste 1 red onion, quartered ¼ cup oil olive oil 1kg chicken breasts 4 x flour tortillas 1 batch Jud Beerza Battered Fries 1 tsp smoked paprika ½ tsp chilli 1 batch Salsa Struthers 1 batch Lady Gaugamole 1 cup Jack cheese, shredded ¼ cup sour cream
Method Combine the chipotles in adobo sauce with 1 teaspoon of pepper, two teaspoons of the salt and cumin, the oregano, garlic and red onion – minus ½ a cup of red onion – in a blender with the olive oil and blitz to a smooth paste. Transfer to a large bowl, coat the chicken and refrigerate for at least one hour or overnight.
When you’re ready to cook, heat an extra lug of oil in a large skillet over medium heat and fry chicken, a few breasts at a time, for five-ish minutes each side. Remove from the heat and roughly chop into 1cm-ish chunky, shreds. Repeat until the chicken is all done and return to the pan with the remaining marinade and fry for a few minutes. Leave to rest while you prep the rest.
Now would be a good time to make your fries as per Judd’s recipe and then season with the smoked paprika, chilli, and remaining cumin and a good whack of salt.
Then prep your Salsa Struthers and Lady Gaugamole.
To assemble, heap the chicken, fries, salsa and guac in the centre of a large tortilla, top with cheese and sour cream and roll into a burrito. Aka close in the ends, then roll up to close.
Then devour, greedily. Oh and store the excess chicken for the next batch of burritos.
Let me just tell you, one does not know how much Zara Tindall née Phillip’s visit meant to me. And boy does she know how to troll her cousins, which makes me even happier to call her a dear friend.
I arrived at Brisbane Airport driving a Tesla, as per her request, and picked her up from the pick-up zone of a genuinely commercial flight to avoid getting a ticket from the parking machine, to reduce adding to the burden of recycling plants. We then laughed the entire way back to our apartment, knowing that if her environmental heroics surface the very same week of Harry and Wills’ plane faux-pas, she will come out on top.
Shit, she made me promise not to say anything. Can you keep it between us?
In any event, it was such a treat to get to spend a little bit of time with Zars and fondly look back on our time spent together in our youth, when we would compete against each other in dressage events and tut-tut at the epic fails on the polo match.
Sadly at all those cultural events, we never got the chance to relax and gorge on food that we loved so it was a total joy for the two of us to get together and smash some like we would while attending the Gordonstoun School.
While we both grew up enjoying the finer things in life, we still know that there is nothing more enjoyable than some crunchy fries dirtied up with some pepperoni, napoli and tonnes of cheese. I mean, it doesn’t get any better than this.
Pizzara Frillips Serves: 2 regal chums.
Ingredients 1 batch Jud Beerza Battered Fries olive oil 1 onion, roughly chopped 3 garlic cloves, minced 1 tbsp oregano, roughly chopped 1 tbsp parsley, roughly chopped 1 tsp thyme, roughly chopped 1 cup passata pinch of raw caster sugar salt and pepper, to taste 200g pepperoni, sliced 1 cup mozzarella, grated
Method Cook the fries as per Jud’s instructions.
While they’re getting hot, heat a lug of olive oil in a saucepan and sweat the onion and garlic for a couple of minutes over medium heat. Add the herbs, passata, pinch of sugar and a good whack of salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for five minutes.
To assemble slash serve, place the fries in a bowl, top with sliced pepperoni, a generous heap of sauce and an even more generous mound of mozzarella.
Then devour, messily, full of joy. And pomp and circumstance too, obvi.