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 OG Masus continued to fight it out for power, unaware that the Yontau boys appeared to be quietly playing them off against each other. After an epic reward and immunity challenge which left Dino cursed from winning the game while taking out a car, the gloves came off as Meryl, Steffi and Marian’s alliance splintered. While the latter two had rallied the troops to get rid of Meryl, she had managed to charm enough people – or scare them due to her copious amount of advantages – as the tribe narrowly blindsided Steffi from the game.
Back at camp the mood was very tense as Marian well and truly felt left out and stupid for not taking the idol when she had the chance at the Outpost. Meryl meanwhile was busy trading off the advantage to Tejan as promised, with him thrilled to split the alliance up. As he anticipated, Marian was cussing out Phil for blindsiding her before going person to person to throw Meryl under the bus by outing all of her advantages. And while it was hardly news to Felix, it definitely was to Dino as he questioned whether he should have taken the other shot at the last tribal council.
The next day Meryl was feeling a little nervous after breaking up with her original alliance and joining with the people willing to save her. Marian caught up with Dino to find out what the vote was about and whether he would be willing to work with her, rather than Meryl. With Dino admitting that Meryl’s advantages really change things, and to us, now that Marian is isolated, he felt that they have far more to offer each other moving forward. Dino then showed her the advantage and offered to hand it over to her to build trust, before him sharing that he would be so proud to see her win the season and to be the ambassador of the game, rather than a goat floating along and sneaking out a win despite not doing anything.
Tejan and Meryl meanwhile were busy bonding over being the biggest threats, agreeing that now they only really have each other. Tejan asked how she felt about Dino, Phil and Felix, with her grateful to have been saved though that she was wary given they have been aligned from the start. We then dropped by the trio, who were catching up about the state of affairs within the tribe and to quickly prove that Meryl’s trust was misplaced as they immediately locked in a plan to get rid of her next. Knowing that everyone will be willing to join them. As such, Phil and Felix would stick to her like glue while Dino would keep things casual while rallying everyone else on the plan.
Back at the shelter Shane and Marian were catching up, with the latter trying to convince him that Dino can be trusted to get them further. While Shane was still focused on getting him out ASAP, given he is the only other truly strategic player outside of Marian. Though given he is kinda volatile, Marian girl, you’re in danger. Meryl and Phil dropped by camp, where Marian continued to give her the silent treatment which started to make Meryl upset given it is clear that their friendship is over. She approached Marian and asked what was going on and why she hadn’t looked her in the eye, which Marian denied while noticing that Meryl’s facade is starting to crack and that other people have also noticed.
Killarney was busy whispering to Dino saying that she was disappointed by the Steffi blindside, but was ready to make a move on Meryl. Which obviously puzzled him, given she is a good 18 hours late. Killarney then dropped by Tejan and Shane to tell them the plan is to get rid of Meryl and trust and believe, she is the one driving it. While Shane worried who the hell he is aligned with.
The next day Marian was still nervous about the state of all the shattered alliances. Particularly since her one consistent ally, Shane, is still focused on getting rid of Dino before Meryl. Marian tried to calmly explain that Meryl is feeling comfortable right now and as such, now is the time to blindside her, while Shane was just worried about her potential naivety in trusting Dino’s lies.
We finally got a sighting of sweet, zaddy Nico as the tribe reassembled for the latest immunity challenge where everyone would start behind a locked gate and manoeuvre a key through a peg puzzle before unlocking said gate and completing a block puzzle. Dino made quick work releasing his key and started work on his block puzzle in an instant. Felix and Phil soon joined him before Meryl and Shane broke through the gate and started on the second puzzle. After releasing her key, Marian casually sauntered through the gate before casually solving the block puzzle in no time at all and won individual immunity. While Killarney remained locked behind her gate and everyone was dumbfounded how she did it some quickly.
Back at camp Marian was giddy with her newfound safety, though was nervous about the prospect of Meryl playing her tribal council pass and ruining the blindside. Though she admitted that getting rid of Tejan wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world. Tejan meanwhile knew that he was also on the block, catching up with Felix to assure him that there are far bigger threats to worry about than him. Meryl meanwhile was floating playing the tribal council pass to Phil, who casually reminded her that they need her as a number which lead to her suggesting they send Marian back to camp without her vote instead. She quickly caught up with Phil, Dino and Tejan to talk about the genius plan, while Dino felt very awkward about being so active against her.
Killarney meanwhile was sauntering about, worried about all the whispering, while Tejan was loving being part of the plan. Sadly for him, it wasn’t the actual plan, which made Dino worry about whether they should let him be involved. Despite the fact he is a big risk of screwing up whatever the plan is. After Meryl filled Felix in on the plan, he caught up with Phil and Dino, with all of them feeling a little bit awkward about how easily things have come together for them given it makes them think something is wrong. Oh and then Phil told Marian about the tribal council pass plan and she was so excited to see it all come together, while Meryl started contemplating playing her 50/50 coin to exhaust all her little trinkets. And presumably lessen her target.
At tribal council Tejan was feeling confident in his place in the game given Marian and Meryl are now feuding. Meryl admitted that she has been a target for some time now, while Marian was sick of her pretending to be the victim when she could have just spoken to her allies if she was concerned. Marian spoke about how happy she was to save herself by winning immunity, particularly given the duo have so much tension between them now. She continued to play up being left out and having no strategic conversations today, while Meryl admitted she didn’t really talk to anyone either.
Talk turned to blending in, with Killarney hoping to slink through rather than stick out, while Dino spoke about them needing to outlast more than anything else in the motto. Though he would also like to see someone worthy take out the title this season. Meryl spoke about playing like a goat being a proven strategy, though that there is so much time left in the game that those who are deemed a goat now, could quickly make a name for themselves. Killarney brought up the fact that everyone values different things, while Meryl opened up about thinking about the jury while Marian said you should be mindful, rather than worried.
Before they headed off to vote, Meryl stood up and played the tribal council pass to send Marian back to camp. Sadly for Meryl, Marian then bequeathed individual immunity to Shane on her way out the door which is not something anyone considered. With that the tribe finally voted and despite her initial nerves before tribal council, Meryl stood firm and held on to her 50/50 coin, which sadly became a memento, as the tribe banded together to blindside her from the game.
Thankfully she took the exit on her chin, thrilled by the excitement of it all and kinda knowing her days were numbered anyway given she was far and away the biggest threat in the game. That being said, I didn’t take it with as much grace, screaming and crying that my dream final three had broken up, with two of them exiting the game back-to-back. After sweet Meryl pulled me in for a hug, she reminded me it is just a game and she holds no ill will. Which was enough to eventually dry my eyes and whip her up a victorious batch of Rice Paper Meroll Szolkeiwicz.
There is nothing better than a fresh rice paper roll. While it works essentially with any and all ingredients you want, these little Peking duck numbers are some of my faves. Sweet, spicy and packing a herbaceous punch, they are the perfect way to eliminate post-boot pain.
Rice Paper Meroll Szolkeiwicz Serves: 4-6.
Ingredients 12 rice paper rounds 80g vermicelli, soaked, drained and roughly chopped ¼ iceberg lettuce, finely shredded ¾ cup coriander, roughly chopped ¾ cup mint leaves 1 lebanese cucumber, sliced 1 carrot, peeled and grated 1 red capsicum, sliced ¾ bunch chives, sliced 2 peking duck breasts, sliced
Method Start by prepping everything you need first as you’ll need to power on once you get started. Working one at a time, dip a rice paper round in a shallow bowl of warm water until soft before transferring to a dry, clean tea towel.
Place a small amount of vermicelli in the centre, followed by lettuce, coriander, mint, cucumber, carrot, capsicum and chives, before layering a few slices of duck. Roll one edge over, fold in both of the ends and continue to roll until it is sealed. Repeat until done.
Then devour, slathered in sriracha, hoisin or soy.
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 Survivor South Africa the original Yontau members had their backs against the wall on each of the post-swap tribes. At new Yontau, Dante was busy targeting Dino who was quickly winning everyone else on the tribe over, while his only ally Phil worried about becoming collateral damage. On Masu, Toni took the chance to take control of the tribe, forming bonds with Steffi and Tejan, and pulling in Killarney to get revenge on her Yontaus. Which tragically cost Thoriso the game, despite the fact she knew being loyal to Felix would lead to her demise.
The next day things were very very awkward for Felix at Masu, given he was all alone. And while he desperately wanted to seek revenge, he knew he had to bide his time to really achieve his goals. Toni and Tejan meanwhile were locking in a vote against Killarney should they return to tribal council, with her assuring Felix that she will be protecting him. Despite the fact he is a number for Dante and Co. meaning it may not be in her best interests, given she is so well connected outside of Dante. Tejan meanwhile caught up with Felix and assured him that he will (also) be protecting him throughout the game and while he was super friendly to his face, Felix was ready to smack him and desperate to stop having to be nice to those in power.
Over at Yontau Phil and Dino were just desperately waiting for the merge, hoping it can save them from being on the wrong side of the numbers. Dante meanwhile was busy plotting how to get rid of Dino, even though he doesn’t have any numbers or power. His plan was to get Meryl to tell Dino about the (expired) idol and that he would be playing it, though given he was so strong with how he floated the plan with Meryl, Marian and Palesa, it was starting to become clear that he won’t have any allies left come merge. Oh and Marian was planning to pass off her diplomatic immunity to Steffi should Masu lose the upcoming challenge.
The tribes reassembled with Nico for the latest immunity challenge, this time played as individuals with everyone standing on a perch over the water holding a ball above their head. Last one standing winning tribal immunity, before both tribes attend tribal council and vote someone out of the losing tribe. Oh and the last one standing from each tribe will venture to the Outpost. Everyone was still standing after 15 minutes, leading to Nico upping the ante and forcing them to hold the ball over their heads, rather than balancing it on them. Almost immediately it cost Felix his place, quickly followed by Dante. They obviously started gossiping about their respective tribes and who they should target at the upcoming vote, which could be good news for Dino, given he and Felix are tight.
Shane was next to drop who suggested they vote out Dante, wait no, Dino. Palesa dropped out of nowhere and added to the Dino pile on before the pain became too much for Marian and she joined the pile on. After struggling for what felt like eternity, Killarney finally dropped leaving three per tribe to fight for immunity. Well, until Meryl dropped out of nowhere, leaving Phil and Dino to fight for their safety. While Toni started assuring Dino that he can drop and the Masu tribe will look after him and Phil, and help them take out someone. Dino eventually fell out of the challenge, handing Phil the trip to the Outpost. Marian meanwhile started floating the idea of using diplomatic immunity and guaranteeing another one of their numbers are safe. And while Dante was very against it, Meryl was all for it and suggested they band together to get rid of Palesa, given how close she is becoming with Dante. Out of nowhere, Phil dropped handing Masu immunity before Tejan, Steffi and Toni debated who should go, giving it to Toni as the only one yet to visit.
After Nico handed immunity off to Masu, Marian pulled out her Diplomatic Immunity and used it to join the Masu tribe and save herself at the vote ahead. As Toni and Phil headed off to the Outpost, Dino was feeling nervous again while Palesa admitted both tribes attending tribal council truly changes things as their fates are no longer just in their tribe’s hands.
Back at Yontau Palesa was growing more and more nervous about the vote, feeling like she had to pledge her allegiance to an alliance ASAP. She caught up with Meryl and Dino about Marian playing the Diplomatic Immunity with Dino concerned about her influencing things at Masu. Which was making Meryl super excited. Speaking of Marian and Masu, everyone was quite sombre which was confusing to Tejan given they are all likely to have made it to the merge. Steffi opened up to us about being disappointed by Marian’s arrival, wanting to have used the swap to build her resume on her own. Which is something Marian picked up on, given everyone was pretty damn frosty since she arrived.
Over at Yontau Dante and Shane were worried about two tribes reconvening at tribal council, particularly given they have no idea what is happening over at the Outpost. Shane suggested they go hunting for another idol, given Dante is unlikely to play the idol for anyone other than himself. Completely unaware Dante’s idol is dead. Felix and Marian were catching up at Masu, with Felix worried about which side to go with between his current ride or die Dino and Dante, his ride or die from their OG season. Steffi meanwhile was disappointed to have let Toni go to the Outpost, with Marian catching up with her to see if she was ok. Which put a target on Steffi’s back, just as she feared, as Felix, Tejan and Killarney speculated why Marian came over and what her agenda could be. Particularly focused on her potentially just being there to gather intel ahead of the suspected merge. With Marian just trying to assure Steffi their OG alliance is still solid, despite Steffi warning her that should there be another tribal immunity, there is no guarantee Marian will be safe.
Bouncing back to Yontau, Meryl shared her fears about Marian leaving to Dino, opening up about how difficult it is to be aligned with Dante given he is volatile and takes a lot of her energy. Thinking Dante is immune, she then floated the idea of getting rid of Palesa and while Dino was obviously keen for anyone else to be a target, he argued that Palesa is far nicer to him than Shane and would rather get rid of him. Meryl then shared that eventually, sooner rather than later, she will turn on Dante, but right now, she would rather target his potential number Palesa. Speaking of Palesa, she caught up with Dino and the duo put everything on the table, outlining their numbers on either tribe and how they can navigate the merge. With Palesa obviously doubling down on getting rid of Shane in the hope of getting in with Toni’s post merge numbers.
We finally arrived at the Outpost where Phil was desperate for a little bit of safety. Sadly for him, the advantage on offer was for two half idols should they correctly guess who will be voted out at the next tribal council. Which are huge stakes, but could screw over one of them should their alliance not last long. As such, the duo sat down to talk about the upcoming vote and spilled the tea on the rumours floating around each tribe. Their initial plan was to split the vote between Dante and Shane, while Phil suggested getting rid of Meryl to really make Dante feel isolated. Ultimately switching back to Shane at the last minute, while hyping up the hatred for Dante to make him play the idol.
Sadly for their idol chances, it was at that moment that Shane found a hidden immunity idol. Wait, no, it was Diplomatic Immunity and since Marian had already used it, it was null and void.
The mood around camp in general was very tense, with Shane sharing his Diplomatic Immunity find with Meryl and suggesting that while it is expired, he can use it to create a little chaos. Concerned about everyone being kinda safe based with their idols or the assumptions of people having one, Meryl was considering playing her tribal council pass, given it is likely going to come down between her and Palesa as the safe options.
Phil returned from the Outpost and told a little half-truth story about the half-idol, before he pulled Dino aside and suggested they get rid of Shane. Though he didn’t give all the truth. Palesa meanwhile was concerned about working with Dino and Phil, though knew she had to make a decision and felt they were safe given they were connected with Toni. As such, they were all planning to load all their votes on Shane.
Toni returned to Masu and filled them in, kinda, on the Outpost and suggested they all vote out Dante. Marian felt she was shifty and Killarney could tell she was lying, while she disappeared to fill Steffi in on the true plan to get rid of Shane instead. Sadly for her, Steffi didn’t love the idea and as such, was planning to mix things up herself. She pulled Killarney aside and suggested they join with Marian and Shane, and along with Felix, can take control of the game.
Over at Yontau Dante was still pushing for the vote against Phil, while Meryl quietly pulled him aside and suggested they team up to get rid of Palesa without Dante knowing. Not only does it keep them both safe, it weakens whatever Dante is planning moving forward and as such, they were both on board. Phil and Dino caught up about Meryl and debated whether they can trust her, with the latter concerned about what she can do moving forward and feeling like she is the far smarter move than the already abrasive Shane. Phil took that suggestion to Palesa, agreeing that she is totally more dangerous come merge and as such, was locked in on taking out Meryl. Shane then caught up with Phil to float the idea of getting rid of Palesa and assured him that he has never lied to him. He then spoke about Dante saying he has an idol, though admitted he is yet to see it. Oh but he has one. Which pushed Phil over the edge, given so many people are claiming to have an idol now.
Back at Masu Marian caught up with Steffi and Felix, worried about the perceived abundance of advantages and suggested maybe they vote for Palesa instead. Particularly since it weakens Shane. They rejoined the rest of their tribe and suggested the idea, which annoyed Toni given she was desperate to get rid of Shane. Steffi made sure that Toni was very vocal about her plan coming out on top, in the hope it would make everyone concerned about navigating around her throughout the season.
Meryl and Dante meanwhile caught up with the latter very nervous about going home, debating who would be best to target to keep them safe, given Marian would be annoyed if Shane goes, while Meryl ws nervous about how dangerous Palesa is. Particularly since she has been playing such a social game this season.
At tribal council Palesa was nervous about preemptively playing a merge game, as Marian mouthed to Dino to play his idol for Shane. Dante was concerned about the previous relationships coming into play and muddying the waters, while Shane suggested the increased prize money would make things more complicated. Relationships be damned. Phil spoke about being a free agent coming in and glad to build new bonds to push ahead, while Dino was nervous about navigating through the future merge phase.
After everyone started whispering amongst themselves, Nico grew sick of it and suggested everyone get up to gossip. Marian rallied her former allies to join the Palesa vote, while Meryl was worried about the votes being split between her and Shane. There were whispers of Shane, Palesa and Meryl and well, it was all confusing. While everyone was just nervous, as Tejan questioned why they are now planning on turning on one of their own. He then blew things up and asked people to clarify the plan, with Shane pulling out his pouch and suggesting he has an idol, while Steffi begged for them to just damn vote already. Tejan talking about being annoyed but feeling like his hands are tied and as such, he was fine to just get it over with.
With that the tribe voted, Dante outed his idol had expired, as did Shane and his expired pass while Dino held on firm to his real one. As Nico read the votes, much to Tejan and to my horror, they piled up on Queen Palesa and tragically booted her from the game. Just before the merge, which officially went down at tribal council.
Palesa didn’t need a map to find me hiding in Loser Lodge, following the sound of my screaming tears, heartbroken she missed out on the chance to take out a well deserved victory. Despite playing a very strong game her first go, she came in and completely changed the way she played, learning from her mistakes and changing strategy to keep everyone on their toes. And without a twist, I firmly believe she would have made it through the week unscathed. But alas, twists twisted and as such, we had to drown our sorrows with a Palesar Taulad.
While I experienced a slight trauma upon the discovery on the abundance of anchovies washing through a caesar salad, I quickly moved on after realising it tastes good. Creamy, salty and oh so crunchy, this salad is a sensory delight.
Palesar Taulad Serves: 2 icons feeling the blues.
Ingredients 4 streaky bacon rashers, diced 2 eggs 20g butter 2 garlic clove, minced 3 slices sourdough, cut into a 1cm dice 1 cos lettuce, washed, dried and roughly chopped ½ cup parmesan cheese, shaved ¼ cup Caesharonne Salad Dressing
Method Pop a skillet over medium heat and get a pot of water on another hob and bring to the boil. Once the skillet is hot, add the bacon and cook, stirring, until nice and crispy. Remove from the skillet with a slotted spoon. Once the pot of water is boiling, gently add the eggs and hard boil.
Moving back to the skillet, add the butter and garlic and saute for a minute. Add the bread and cook, agitating frequently, until they become golden brown – or in my case, brown brown – and crisp.
Combine the lettuce, parmesan, bacon and croutons in a bowl with the dressing and toss to coat. Remove the eggs from the pot, peel and cut into quarters and toss over the salad. Then devour, joyously.
Previously on All Winners the dolls put on a charity variety show for their penultimate challenge. And given it was going to be an epic show, Ru was generous enough to give out THREE stars each for the top two. Meaning whoever landed in the top got an express pass to the finale. Shea did an original song and was 100% Janet while Monet was the Phantom of the Opera, snatching their place in the top two, booking a ticket to the finale alongside Jinkx. As the person with the most stars, Monet had to break the tie between Jaida and Trinity. And while it was heartbreaking to watch for poor Jaida, Monet selected her twinner to join her. But don’t despair, because Jaida and the rest of the bottom four would ALSO compete for a crown. That of Queen of She Already Done Had Herses.
Backstage the top four were giddy to be eligible for the final crown and $200k, though given the bottom four are still in it for $50k, none of them were overly sad. Raja asked Monet how it felt to have the most stars, while she calmly explained it just means she is better than the rest of her sisters. Monet apologised for crushing Jaida’s dream, explaining she went with Trinity because she won more challenges. And they have seen some shit. While Jaida charmingly cussed her out for going with someone she has known for years, over someone she met on the first day of the season. The Vivienne was just giddy to be in the running for some money after winning a web series on her season, Jinkx gently told everyone she wants it the most and then Monet and Trinity gagged nobody by admitting they had an alliance.
LalapaRuza Day arrived with everyone a little subdued before talk turned to who they think will win the She Already Done Had Herses Crown, with Raja backing herself, while The Viv and Yvie pointed out they have each won a couple of lip syncs in their time.
Ru dropped by to thank the girls for building the legacy of the show before giving the girls one final Mini Challenge with the Pit Crew. Which was actually just getting into 15 minute quick drag and rocking a soul training. Jaida was obviously adorable and charming and looked stunning while doing it, Raja gave stoned aunty realness in all the right ways, Monet was hilarious, Shea was sexy AF, Trinity was a creepy mess and I LIVE, Jinkx did a Natasha Lyonne reprise while Yvie was a purple Diana Ross and The Viv was ultimate chav queen and ugh, I love them all. Which is the sentiment Raja shared, feeling like the 8 of them were destined to be here in this moment together and how she is reinvigorated by knowing them. AND AM I CRYING?!
We pivoted to the mainstage where it was family only as Ru, Michelle, Carson and Ross took their seats as the dolls stomped the Grand Finale Eleganza Runway. Jaida was stunning in a shimmering, dripping white delight in honour of old Hollywood black excellence, Raja was captivating as an iridescent insect queen and was fucking fierce. The Viv gave a sexy black showgirl ball gown, in stark contrast to her original finale gown. Yvie gave three tier cotton candy cake, Jinkx was a stunning medieval maven, Monet was perfection in a futuristic Wakandan nude illusion, Shea was a frilled warm toned delight while Trinity gave baby pink princess realness.
The judges obviously felt Jaida was absolute perfection on the runway, as she was every damn week. And funny, charming, naughty and delightful. Raja rightly was praised for being the look queen of the season and for being such a joy to watch, each and every week. The Vivienne was praised for being such a powerhouse, serving stunning looks and slaying as a performer. They lived for Yvie giving something different each week and just being so good. Jinkx was universally beloved for just being so damn good at every thing she did. Monet was praised for bringing the soul and having the best time. Shea was praised for always having a message and elevating every damn moment, while Trinity was rightly praised for being 100% joy all season, and for leaning into the stupid and being kind with all her sisters.
Ru once again thanked the dolls for all that they have done, squeaking out a tear as she praised them for being heroic beacons for the community. A sobbing Monet then thanked Ru for giving them this show and the platform, and for the love she has given them all throughout the years.
And again, I’m crying.
We then got another live performance from Ru with some creepy/sexy clowns. And now I’m horny crying and so uncomfortable with myself.
Thankfully we moved on with Jaida, Raja, The Vivienne and Yvie returning to the stage for the She Already Done Had Herses Lip Sync Smackdown Lalaparuza For The Crown. Zaddy Alex dragged out the wheel with The Viv selected to compete in the first round, before Alex’s second spin chose her opponent as Yvie. Bruno and Bryce returned with The Viv selecting Bryce’s box, meaning she and Yvie would be lip syncing to Push It by my girls Salt’n’Pepa. Much to her regret, knowing this is right in Yvie’s wheelhouse.
As soon as the song kicked off it was clear the fear was very well founded as Yvie had all the energy and perfect moves for the song. Backflipping around the stage and being an all around star. That being said, The Viv was hilarious, giving iconic comedy and playing to her strengths, mocking what Yvie was doing and living her best life. Tragically though, it wasn’t enough, as Yvie progressed to the final round, leaving The Viv to finish in 7th/8th place. Which really doesn’t show how damn well she performed this season, because she ate. And was more than deserving of her participation sceptre.
Jaida and Raja took to the floor where Bruno returned to unveil their song, Let’s Hear It for The Boy and well, these two killed it. As you would expect. Raja lived every damn moment of the song, exuding joy and once again proved she is still a total star. While Jaida hit every lyric and kicked and flipped around the stage, there was no competing with Aunty Raja’s comedy, fun and general vibe. As such, she progressed to lip sync for the She Already Done Had Herses Crown while the newest icon Jaida sashayed away. No doubt with a new, massive following of fans and confidence in herself as a performer. And ugh, fuck I love Jaida. Particularly because she wanted Raja to buy her a wine AND farted in Michelle’s direction as her exit line.
We then pivoted to the top four as Jinkx, Monet, Trinity and Shea arrived for their first round of lip syncs with Alex’s wheel selecting Jinkx for slot number one, facing off against Shea Coulee. Jinkx then got lucky with Bruno’s box, scoring my girl Lady Gaga’sJudas as their song. Both of the dolls were nervous to be facing off against their sister, which was correct given they were both absolute fire. Jinkx served witchy vamp while Shea was desperate not to suffer the same fate as her last lip sync for the crown, serving a sexy reveal and being an all around bad arse. But yeah, there was no taking my eyes off Jinkx and the magnetic fire she had. Carrying her all the way to lip syncing for the crown. Much to her shock. With Shea being such a talented star, she was just overjoyed for her sister and grateful for her third journey in the competition. And well, if you do not stan Shea, please go to another website, because we stan Shea in there ‘ere parts.
The twinners took the stage and learnt from Bryce’s box that they’ll be lip syncing to – vom – So What by Pink. And despite that, they both served. While I hate that song they were both on fire. They had the attitude and all the right vibes, were absolutely hilarious and bounced off each other so damn well. I mean, it was a SHOW, as Trinity flipped around the stage, Monet was jump splitting and both had perfect comedic timing. And well, if there could be another double crowning moment to face Jinkx, I would take it, but ultimately Ru selected Monet to proceed to lip sync for the crown. And Trinity being Trinity, she was just absolutely charming and gracious in defeat and well, stan her too because she had been an absolute joy this season.
AND OH MY GOD TRINITY AND SHEA WERE FELLED BY A LIP SYNC FOR THE CROWN A SECOND TIME.
Raja and Yvie returned to the stage to lip sync for the secondary crown of the season to Sisters Are Doing it For Themselves. And based on the song alone, you should already know that my favourite Raja ate. Then came back for second and thirds. Yvie is obviously a killer lip syncer and performer, giving acrobatic perfection in every corner of the stage AND a fake-out failed wig reveal. But Raja is just SO enchanting, feeling every lyric and not only having the best time, but dragging you along for all the joy. And well, that was all it took to give Aunty Raja the Queen of She Already Done Had Herses Crown. And again, I AM CRYING.
Raja started to sob as she thanked Ru for putting her life on the trajectory it has had, with Ru praising her spirit and for being such a star. And well, she loves Yvie just as much. Which is why she also got a sceptre, as Ru reminded her that this stage is forever hers, no matter what adversity she may face. Oh and Raja was just grateful for the cashola.
Jinkx and Monet took to the stage for the final lip sync for the title of Queen of All Queens, to Swish Swish by Katy Perry – vom – and my dear Nicky Minaj. And well, Jinkx was desperate for the crown, while Monet vowed to leave everything on the stage to snatch it from her. Monet slow flossed, Jinkx served Carole Baskin realness, Monet flung cash, Jinkx stayed in the comedic pocket, Monet vogued and well, it was a show as both the dolls fought valiantly. Though ultimately, obviously, it was Jinkx that took out the victory and watching her breakdown over the honour was just beautiful. As is her love for her fellow sisters.
And seeing how happy Monet was for her sister was just beautiful, because she, like everyone else in the cast, is an absolute star and easily could have snatched the crown. Since she totally dominated the lip sync. I mean, did you see the lipstick she had prepared with Jinkx’s name written on it? Iconic.
Conveniently, the queen that won the most challenges also went on to win the season, so thankfully I didn’t have to sit around awkwardly with a runner-up, alone in the VIP style and instead got to have a true celebration.
As soon as Jinkx exited stage, I pulled her in for a massive hug and told her just how proud of her I was. While Jinkx had always been a massive favourite to take out an All Winners season as we all dreamed of getting one, so managed to not only live up to the expectations but exceed them with flying colours. Every week, she was consistently perfect and showed just how versatile a performer she is. And that, to me, is more than enough reason to split an Everything but the Kitchen Sinkx Monsoon salad.
This classic Meatball Shop salad truly proves the Springfield you don’t make friends with salad mantra wrong. It is fresh, zingy, hearty and oh so delicious. And the perfect way to honour the inaugural Queen of all Queens. (Because we better get another winner’s season ASAP)!
Everything but the Kitchen Sinkx Monsoon Serves: 6.
Ingredients ¼ cup olive oil, plus extra for frying 1 large portabello mushroom, stem removed and cap cut into a large dice ¾ tsp kosher salt ½ bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into 5cm lengths 1 romaine lettuce, trimmed, washed and torn into small pieces ½ fennel head, thinly sliced 30ml sherry vinegar 1 tsp Dijon mustard
Method Heat a lug of olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, and cook the mushroom with ½ a teaspoon of salt until it starts to brown and the liquid has evaporated. Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool.
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook the asparagus for a couple of minutes, before draining and running under cold water.
Combine the mushroom, asparagus, lettuce and fennel in a bowl. Whisk the ¼ cup of olive oil with the sherry vinegar, mustard and remaining salt before tossing to coat, serving and devouring. Regally.
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.
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.
Previously on Survivor, the tribe turned up to the latest immunity challenge where Jeff gagged them with a(nother) twist. They were split into two groups of five and each group would compete for their own immunity and then vote a person out. Oh and the person that lasts the longest overall would win a reward for their group. After Erika took out immunity over Ricard, Shan, Heather and Naseer, she noped out of the challenge handing reward and immunity to Xander. The losers ventured back to Ua to strategise with Shan wanting to target Heather and Ricard planning to get rid of Naseer. And after Naseer told Heather that she would definitely be going home, it motivated Ricard to loop Erika and Heather in, with them banding together to eliminate Naseer.
The victors returned to camp and as they joyfully smashed their stew, Xander was thrilled to hold the balance of power in their group given he has immunity, an idol and an extra vote. Evvie meanwhile wasn’t overly nervous since they have a good bond with Deshawn and was formerly very tight with Xander. As such, the duo put their differences aside and decided that targeting Liana would be their best bet for moving forward. Deshawn meanwhile was floating not voting out Evvie to Danny, who obviously quickly shut things down. Danny then approached Liana to lock in the vote for Evvie while Liana was nervous about what exactly Xander would do with the idol knowing that if that happens, it may end up sending her home.
Liana then boldly approached Xander and asked him to join the Evvie vote and even had the nerve to suggest that he should hand over his idol until after tribal council to make her feel comfortable with the plan, which he wisely shut down with a hell fucking no.
Xander and Evvie then caught up with Deshawn and Danny, suggesting that Liana threw their names out there and while Deshawn was all in on aligning with them to get rid of her, Danny still looked well and truly pissed. As such he pulled Xander aside and told him that Evvie is far more threatening than Liana and if they want to work together, he thinks getting rid of them is the better idea first and then they can look at Liana.
As the group arrived at tribal they were gagged to discover Naseer had immediately joined the jury. Danny spoke about how stressful it is given Xander is the only person safe. Xander meanwhile focused on how great the stew was before Deshawn brought things back to the game, pointing out that it is a tough choice given the group is so small and he had wanted to work with the person that he thinks is getting booted. Liana spoke about the calmness of the smaller tribal, though admitted it feels so much more dangerous. Xander admitted that having immunity gave him a little extra power while Evvie admitted that everyone was being particularly cagey back at camp. Including them.
Everyone in the tribe spoke about how they are fairly confident their plan is the one that is going to succeed which made Deshawn point out that means someone is clearly lying in the situation. Evvie then likened tribal council to being on a rollercoaster and how the fun part is surviving the chaos and fighting through your fear about dying, while Deshawn pointed out that is what is about to happen to someone’s game. Which obviously meant it was time to vote, with poor Evvie realising they were the one blindsided from the game.
While it was a bit chaotic getting everything together in Ponderosa, I was thrilled to be there to support my dear friend Evvie. Well, after supporting Naseer because I have a process and like me mid-breakdown, they just need to trust the process.
I first met Evvie when she started her PHD during one of my many scams while pretending to be a college Professor. I also coached Lori Loughlin’s daughters in rowing, but that is another story for another time. In any event, as it usually does, the college soon realised I have no qualifications to be a professor and I was quickly fired, though Evvie being kind, we kept in touch and soon became the best of friends. As such, I knew the only thing that could cure her post-boot blues were a big, hot Cheevieburger Nachoda.
You know I love burgers and will find anyway to turn a dish into one and well, this little number thankfully turned out delightfully. Salty pickles, creamy cheese and the whack of onion team perfectly with the corn chips and well, just make it and find out how great it is.
Cheevieburger Nachoda Serves: 4.
Ingredients 2 tsp olive oil 500g beef mince ½ tsp Worcestershire Sauce salt and pepper, to taste 1 bag corn chips 8 slices American cheese 1 small onion, diced 1-2 tomatoes, diced 1-2 cups shredded iceberg, washed and dried 2-4 dill pickles, sliced 2 tbsp American mustard 2 tbsp ketchup
Method Heat a lug of olive in a large skillet over medium heat and cook the mince and Worcestershire, breaking it up into largish chunks – I failed at that – with the back of a wooden spoon. Season, reduce heat to low and leave warm.
Place the corn chips in four bowls and heat for a minute or so in the microwave, top with a couple of slices of American Cheese, followed by the mince, onion, tomatoes, lettuce, pickles, mustard and ketchup.
Like Art before her, I’m not going to dwell too much on Scarlet. I mean, damn Ru, why you gotta have four people left in contention for the crown? It really makes my life that much more difficult.
In any event, Scarlet well and truly stormed through the competition, served killer looks and well, that pole dancing was damn impressive.
That being said, it would be remiss to not say that her well-known past performances were horrible and as a white man, it is not my place to forgive her or accept her apologies. But I do hope that she is genuine about making amends and learning from the this because the world needs growth and healing with those she hurt so stupid, racist shit just stops happening.
Which is what I told her as I sat down and slammed a plate of Sticky Meatball Scarlettuce Cups in front of her.
Like at the end of a good night, there is nothing I love more than sweetly, sticky balls. Combining san choy bow and ramen influences, these babies are earthy, spiced and most importantly, easy. Which is what I like to hear when I’ve got sticky balls.
Sticky Meatball Scarlettuce Cups Serves: 4.
Ingredients 500g beef mince 1 tbsp ginger, minced 4 garlic cloves, minced 1 tbsp chilli paste 225g water chestnuts, finely chopped ⅔ cup panko breadcrumbs 4 shallots, thinly sliced salt and pepper, to taste olive oil ⅔ cup plum sauce 100g vermicelli noodles 1 red chilli, thinly sliced 2 baby cos lettuce, leaves broken off and rinsed.
Method Combine the mince, ginger, garlic, chilli, water chestnuts, breadcrumbs and shallots with a good whack of salt and pepper. Scrunch to combine with your hands and mix into golf-ball sized meatballs.
Heat a lug of oil in a wok over medium heat and cook the balls for five minutes or so, tossing infrequently. Add the plum sauce with a cup of water, stir to combine and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and simmer until thick and sticky. My two favourite descriptors.
Cook the noodles as per packet instructions and drain well to avoid any drippiness.
To assemble, divide a couple of lettuce leaves on a plate, top with noodles and meatballs and garlic with a few slices of chilli. And then, obviously, devour.
I have just finally seen the first episode of Drag Race España and while I may have come for Jon Kortajarena – I said what I said – but damn I am glad I went through countless quarantines to venture over for the dolls because they were fierce. I mean, ¡ qué divertido !
(And you know, the fact that it is available on Stan in Australia so I can watch along with the rest of the world. FYI, this is not an ad. For some reason nobody wants me endorsing their products).
But that is enough about the episode until next week – I have a new take on spoilers and not ruining things for people. Instead, I wanted to focus on the other non-Jon reason for months of quarantining – my dear friend Supremme de Luxe.
I’ve known Supremme for years and years after meeting in a Diana Ross & The Supremes message board on the AOL. Does that age me?
Don’t answer that.
Anyway, we quickly became the best of friends – like a non-romantic You’ve Got Mail – and when I finally returned to Spain in the mid-aughts to reclaim my throne as Pedro Almodovar’s muse, we finally met and solidified our bond.
She gave me a call a few months before filming was due to commence and honestly, it kind of broke my heart.
“Hey Ben, I know you’re friends with Fred and Pangina too but couldn’t cover their franchises because of language barriers (read: laziness on my part) and lack of timely local broadcasts on a streaming service you have, but I’d really love it if you could find it in your heart to fit your dear friend Supremme into your schedule.
“Oh and Jon will be there, if you could fit him in.”
With that, I vowed to fit everything in and jumped the next plane to Spain and after weeks of quarantine measures, finally got to hold Supremme in my arms, celebrate the upcoming season and split a delightful Crunchwrap Supremme de Luxe.
It is a fact universally acknowledged that there is nothing better in life than a crunchwrap. Tragically both of the ‘Bells in Brisbane are in the outer suburbs and by the time I get them home, they delights are decidedly lacking in the crunch. Thus why I immediately jumped on the copycat train to experience them in all their crunchy glory as Supremme intended.
This riff on the fast food delight is super cheesy, super crunchy and packs a killer punch of chilli and well, let’s just say that this is what dreams are made of.
Crunchwrap Supremme de Luxe Serves: 2 hungry besties, 4 normal people.
Ingredients 2 cups Chilli Con Kim Carnes 6 large tortillas 1 cup nacho cheese sauce 2 cups tortilla chips (because tostada shells aren’t readily available, and I love Téa Leoni) ½ cup sour cream 1 avocado, mashed 1-2 cups iceberg lettuce, shredded 1 tomato, diced 1 cup Mexican cheese blend vegetable oil, for brushin’
Method Some may call me lazy, but after the pandemic travel and quarantining, I was exhausted upon my arrival in Barcelona and as such, went with the easiest version of the recipe possible.
Once you’ve done the mise en place – did you know je parle français aussi?! – get to work assembling by placing four large tortillas on a bench. Divide the beef mixture amongst them, followed by the cheese sauce, leaving an inch or two bare around the edge. Top with tortilla chips, sour cream, avo, lettuce, tomato and cheese.
Split the remaining large tortillas and use to top the the filling before folding in the edges to create a tight disc. Flip over and leave to settle for five-ten minutes.
Once you’re confident they are closed – you should never be too confident – place a large frying pan over medium heat and once scorching, reduce to low and brush with vegetable oil. Carefully transfer a crunchwrap, seam side down, to the pan and fry for five minutes or so, or until nice and crunchy. Flip and cook for a further five minutes, or until heated through and the cheese is nice and melted. Repeat the process until done.
Previously on Australian Survivor, David secured back-to-back wins in the reward and immunity challenges. Most importantly, he also gave us two beautiful nudes scenes which really does count for something, in my mind. The best of which occurred at the reward, where he had taken his allies Sharn, Moana and Tarzan for an overnight holiday and showered in nature like an actual God. Despite that majesty, the reward meant he left Jacqui alone back at camp with the minority alliance and boy did they work her! At tribal council, Jacqui flipped to their side and they loaded their votes on Moana, while her former alliance all voted for her. While the minority alliance was keen to go to rocks, Sharn convinced them that she would join their side if they let Jacqui go and as such, she headed out to become the queen of the jury.
Back at camp things were decidedly awkward as Sharn tried to act like she was friends with everyone, officially killing off her chances at winning the season. She buddied up to Brooke and Shonee first, the latter of which rightly pointed out that David only wants to keep people he can beat around and as such, she isn’t making it to the end. She then swung by David and Tarzan to pretend that everything that happened at tribal was simply one big act, when in actuality, Tarzan knew she was now lying to them given she mouthed at him to vote Moana in the revote. When I was about to love him, he opted not to call her out and now I am sad and need him to go.
The next day Sharn was still busy buddying up to the Vakama trio when a cow straight up wandered into camp. Obviously Shonee and Brooke approached to see if it would like any pats or better still, to join their alliance and go to the final four with them. Feeling nervous about being replaced by a bovine, Sharn sidled up to David again and reiterated that she is still definitely with him and was solely telling them everything they needed to hear. Which again, is why she lost her first game. And is why she is now the perfect person to take to the end. While David didn’t say that, he did assure her that he is still all in on taking her to the end. And coupled with Shonee’s comment about him only wanting to take people to the end he could beat, that should tell her what he thinks of her current chances.
The tribe all sunbaked by the shore and gossiped before a stewing Tarzan won back my heart, pulling Moana aside to let her know that Sharn was gunning for her at the last tribal council. And given he is so honest, Moana originally wanted to believe him but instead, she and David blindly assured him that Sharn wouldn’t have meant it and he must have misunderstood her.
With them occupied, Brooke and Shonee went hunting for an idol for a little bit before gossiping about Sharn losing five jury votes if she dicks them over. Oh and then Shonee reminded us that she is the reason Sharn lost her first season and should she fuck with her, she will gladly makes sure she comes second again. Elsewhere the erstwhile runner-up approached AK to assure him that she is all in with the alliance and while she is keen to get rid of Dave, she also wants to make sure they do it at the right time.
My love Jonathan arrived for the immunity challenge where each tribemate was required to keep themselves wedged between two frames with the last one standing winning immunity. Aka when you used to try and hold yourself up in a door frame and act super cool in the 90s. Almost instantly, AK dropped – due to an ACL injury, FYI – followed closely by Moana and Sharn, who is just as hapless at the challenge as she is in the game. When trying to transition to a higher section of the frame, we lost our Queen Shonee before Tarzan followed after 15 minutes. The remaining two fought it out for another full 30 minutes before David started to struggle, wriggling around while Brooke sat motionless in the frame until finally, after 75 minutes, David dropped and Brooke snatched yet another immunity.
Back at camp David was feeling salty as everyone congratulated Brooke on how easy she made the challenge look. With him simmering, Shonee, Brooke and AK went for a walk, hoping Sharn would follow so they could fashion a plan. She eventually followed them to the well, with AK pushing everyone to load the votes on David, offering himself as the other groups target as he would rather get idoled out than be a sitting duck. Sharn eventually disappeared to chat with her other allies, while Shonee and AK laughed about how screwed Sharn is at the end, should she flip on them. Meanwhile Sharn and Moana were locking in the vote for Shonee, with Moana pointing out how happy that would make Sharn since she wants revenge on her for losing her first season. WHAT?! I think it was your terrible performance in front of the jury. Oh and then she suggested she is playing a killer, covert game this season.
After locking in the vote, she disappeared to hang with the Vakama trio to make sure they thought she was in with them. That gave Tarzan time to remind David that he is in grave danger tonight and they really need to think about something other than trusting Sharn. With that, David filled them in on his idol and suggested that he go to Sharn and let her know about the idol and promise her that it is the two of them until the end. He then went and did just that as Sharn fangirled over him and congratulated him on a game well played, she then told us that she could see right through his plan and as such, knew it would be safe to target him tonight.
At tribal council AK admitted to regretting turning on Jacqui, as the risk of rocks was less of a risk than trusting Sharn. Shonee and Brooke joined him by explaining that they were super keen to go to rocks, until Sharn promised to work with them. Sharn then admitted to everything in front of the jury, with Shonee pointing out that should she join the jury because of Sharn, it won’t end well for her. Essentially. Sharn then said that she was happy with the decision she has made for the vote ahead before David tried to play into her ego, saying Sharn has played a great game this season and as such, he wants to face her at the end. AK started to try for the same pitch, encouraging her that now is the time to make a big move and that joining them is pretty much the only way for her to do it.
David tried to remind her that he wants to work with her, while AK and Brooke worked harder, reminding Sharn that taking out David would be best for a lot of people’s games, not just the Vakama trio. AK then started to shoot himself in the foot, talking about changing his mind about who he wants to sit with at the end after each tribal council, based on who is left and how the ones that have gone were voted out. David used this to his advantage, assuring them that he has always been solid and hasn’t swayed from who he wants to go to the final four with. A sentiment which was echoed by Sharn and then Moana.
With that they voted and once again Sharn blindly trusted the strongest man in the game to her detriment, sticking with her OG alliance to send our beloved Queen Shonee from the game. And fuck am I completely enraged! I mean, if you listen carefully during the count, you can hear my screaming expletives from the Jury Villa, vowing to ruin Sharn’s life. While I have slightly calmed down since I am now busy worrying about everyone’s life since COVID-19, I am still furious about her decision to end my queen’s game. But I am no longer planning to ruin her life which is growth. Though let’s be honest, even if I did and she sued me, I honestly don’t think I would need to worry about facing her in court. Given she crumbles in front of a jury, right?
I know, I know – it was a long journey to get ro a boring read about her sucking at final tribal council. But I digress.
As soon as I stopped crying enough to see Shonee in the Jury Villa, I pulled her in for a massive hug and muttered repeatedly about her being a precious angel and needs to win this show eventually and that she better not end up like Cirie, just coming back and never getting the win she deserves. Obviously I sounded completely unhinged but Shon being Shon, she held me tight and assured me that everything is going to be ok.
“But cherub, maybe it would be even better with a little snack, no?”
As it is written, so it shall be done and as requested, I gifted her a piping hot, delicious Shoneedi Burgfax.
I will die on a hill that Oporto’s Bondi Burger is one of the great take-away burgers. Breaded, juicy chicken, chilli that knocks your socks off and a gorgeously creamy mayo work together to create not just a delicious burg, but the perfect way to honour an icon like Shonee.
Shoneedi Burgfax Serves: 4.
Ingredients 2 dried habanero chillies, seeded and chopped 2 tsp hot paprika 6 garlic cloves, minced 2 tsp minced ginger ½ tsp raw caster sugar 2 lemons, zested and juiced ⅓ cup vegetable oil 2 chicken breasts, sliced into two fillets each 1 cup flour, for dredging 1 tsp kosher salt 4 burger buns ¼ cup Shayonnaise Swain 1 cup butter lettuce, washed and shredded 4 slices provolone cheese
Method Start by prepping the chilli sauce by combining the habanero, paprika, garlic, ginger, sugar, lemon juiced and oil in a jug and stir until well combined.
Pour half the chilli sauce into a bowl and add the chicken, tossing through until well coated. Cover and transfer to the fridge to marinate for an hour or so.
When you’re good to go, remove the chicken from the fridge and combine the flour and salt in a bowl. One at a time, remove the breast from the chilli sauce, draining off excess liquid before dredging in the flour mixture. Place on a plate and repeat the process.
Pop a large skillet over medium heat and lightly brush with some extra vegetable oil. Fry the breasts for about five minutes each side until golden, crisp and most importantly, cooked through.
To assemble, split the buns – my favourite part – and spread each side with mayo. Place the lettuce on the bottom followed by a chicken breast, cheese and a generous spoon of the reserved chilli sauce.