Lemon & Sminty Drop

Drink, RuPaul's Drag Race UK, RuPaul's Drag Race UK 4, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Drag Race UK the dolls were paired up to make complimentary looks ready for the bingo hall out of a box of colour-themed goodies. While Sminty and Le Fil panicked about their options, they ultimately slayed – obviously – while Jonbers and Peppa went the opposite route, living for their options and concept though ultimately unable to execute their vision in time. Oh and while I felt Cheddar and Copper looked perfect as good vs evil, though Cheddar looked like a snazzy rock while Copper gave Barbarella realness. Dakota and Baby though were the clear standouts and took out the win, while Peppa and Copper were singled out as the worst of their pairs and forced to face off in the lip sync. Tragically sending Copper out of the competition.

Backstage Peppa was feeling humbled by her appearance in the bottom before she followed it up by praising her dear sister Ginger. And by Ginger, she was talking about Copper. Sminty meanwhile could get her name right, though was feeling awks to have called her an old maiden, particularly since she was heartbroken to have lost her warm presence. Cheddar felt badly to have not been in the bottom with her partner, while Danny questioned if Jonbers was just grateful that Peppa had to lip sync from their pair, essentially saying that she thinks Jonbers got bloody lucky.

Things were far more chill the next day as Dakota proudly unveiled her second badge leading to shady little Sminty questioning whether it means she is no longer Da-coaster. Before Baby could unleash on her sisters for ruining her first win in the Girl Groups challenge again, Ru arrived to lead the girls in a booty-tastic quick-drag game of Musical Chairs. Zaddy Brit Crew was brought out to adjudicate as the dolls twerked their way around the booty chairs until Danny exited first. Just as she predicted. She was followed by Cheddar, Dakota, Le Fil, Baby, Peppa and Jonbers before Pixie took out the win over Sminty. Which seemed right, given they both had cheeto dust on as foundation.

And for her troubles, she would be picking teams for this week’s Maxi Challenge where the dolls would appear in the new UK chat show Catty Man. So basically, Bossy Rossy, but hopefully with funny improv? Pixie is smart, so obviously she grabbed Cheddar and Danny, then assigned Dakota, Le Fil and Baby to Group 2 leaving Peppa, Jonbers and Sminty as the last group. After Ru departed the groups split up, de-dragged and kikied about how the groups were formed with Group 2 thinking it was all kind and fair. While Pixie admitted to her co-stars that she put the final group together knowing it is likely to bomb. Badly. They took their places around the werk room to read the overview of the scenes, with Group 1 getting a great psychic, attempted murder narrative. Group 2 would be dealing with a case of swapped tonges while Group 3 aka Group Pixie-designed-to-bomb would be confronting a catfish.

We ventured straight to set where Cheddar, Pixie and Danny were first to chat with Catty Man himself and my dear friend, Alan Carr. And well, they were perfection from start to finish. Cheddar was a camp, heartbroken, vamp, Danny was the most ridiculous psychic and having the most damn fun. And by the time Pixie arrived, pitch perfect, I don’t see how any of the other teams could top them. Insert a because they’re all bottoms joke here yourselves, please. Dakota’s fake voice was madness and had everyone, herself and Alan included, in hysterics. Baby was hilarious and charming, though more importantly, was sitting spread eagle on the chair while Le Fil was a doddering, doctor, delight. Rounding out taping, Peppa was ready to run out and get married; sweet, loved up and oh so cute, Sminty meanwhile got a bit swallowed up by the scene. Particularly once Jonbers arrived, giving sexy, stupid and so much fun. While Sminty just stayed on stage until the lights went out. Shocked and confused.

Elimination Day arrived with Sminty clearly having exited the Catty Man set and joining her sisters to prep for the runway, while Pixie and Danny spoke about who they think will win a badge out of the two of them or whether it would be a group win. Because yeah, they felt what we saw, I guess? Le Fil and Dakota meanwhile were talking about how excited they were for the runway. Dakota opened up about how important her hair was to her growing up and how nice it will be for her to pay homage to her grandmother who let her embrace her desire for long, billowing locks. Le Fil too felt like hair was so important to her, given being male is so important in her culture and that growing out her hair as an adult feels like coming into her own. Peppa meanwhile spoke to Cheddar about how she would proudly honour her blackness with braided hair, while Cheddar opened up about losing her hair after getting sick as a teen and while it led to a lot of insecurities, shaving it all off made her fully come into her own.

Ru, Michelle and Alan were joined by Alison Hammond as Danny kicked off The Mane Event runway looking mad as she walked the dog with her shock of red hair. But given she called her dog, Divina Dog Campo – the red dog with a silver leash, it’s a win for me. Cheddar slayed as the sexiest Cheshire Cat known to man, complete with a rainbow furball. Pixie gave the Birth of Venus and looked oh so glamorous, Dakota was stunning as she honoured her grandmother’s hair-doll curtains she destroyed growing up, Baby was sexy in an architectural gown made of dreads before Le Fil was stunning, giving all the hair we’ve collectively lost down the drain. Black Peppa was stunning in a gorgeous braided regal gown, Sminty was perfection as a sexy-moth while Jonbers was gorgeously camp as Lady Di’s step mother, though make it furkini sexy.

Dakota, Peppa and Jonbers were sent to safety before Cheddar received universal praise for the challenge and even more for the runway. Danny’s performance in the challenge was completely beloved as was her bringing glam on the runway. And well, Pixie too received top marks for all that she did this week. Because honestly, any of the three could win this. Baby meanwhile was read for letting her nerves get to her and serving only one note, though obviously they all lived for her runway despite Ru wanting it to be elevated. They felt Le Fil was a little bit flat and gave the much needed shade to the challenge (though no personal light), though they loved her filthy concept on the runway. Then poor Sminty was read for just disappearing in the challenge but damn were they in love with her runway, Mothy Kendoll, in honour of her mother.

Backstage Dakota was so grateful to be safe despite being nervous about the challenge, while Jonbers wished she was able to have been in the top. As the tops and bottoms joined the girls, Danny broke down about how much it meant to her for Ru to call her a comedy legend who was perfect. Pixie broke down about how much the judges loved her look, while Cheddar praised Pixie for doing so well in the challenge, before loading praise on Danny, which made her a little sad. Talk turned to the bottom with everyone speculating whether the fact that Sminty’s runway being the best of the night would be enough to save her from being the absolute worst in the challenge. While Baby opened about struggling with her emotions throughout the competition, though both she and Sminty vowed to give it their all in the lip sync.

Ultimately Cheddar was deemed safe before Danny took out victory – much to Pixie’s clear disappointment, despite the pride for her sister – before Pixie joined them. At the other end of the pack, Le Fil narrowly avoided lip syncing, leaving Baby and Sminty to battle it out to Mel and Kim’s Respectable, with both of the dolls absolutely slaying, giving camp, comedy and hitting every damn line. But damn, let’s just say that Baby’s attitude was unbeatable, giving all the sass before straight up stripping down to a thong. And well, like me, that was enough for Ru to give her the win, tragically eliminating Sminty from the competition.

Thankfully in the most iconic way possible, sad twerking at the door on the way out.

By the time she arrived backstage, I had fully converted myself into an old timey mobster-talent agent-esque character, telling her, “kid, you did GREAT! That exit just secured your career and made you a STAR baby.” While I quickly came back into my own, Sminty’s willingness to make fun of herself and give us a Vanjie style moment made an already delightful run completely iconic. Which is all I needed to justify toasting her success with a fresh, punchy Lemon & Sminty Drop.

This delight is actually Lady Sonja Tremont Morgan’s signature drink, but TBH, I feel like she and Sminty would be the best of friends so I am sure she is happy to share. Sharp, tart and earthy, this refreshing little drop is both celebratory and refreshing. Like the new legend, Sminty.

Enjoy!

Lemon & Sminty Drop
Makes: 1.

Ingredients
½ lemon
1 sprig mint
ice
1-2 shots blue raspberry vodka
soda water

Method
Squeeze a quarter of the lemon into a tall glass and muddle with the mint.

Fill the glass with ice, pour in the vodka and top with soda water and the remaining lemon to garish. Then, down.


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Yuraita Guaii

Condiment, RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under, RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under 2, Sauce, TV, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previously on Drag Race Down Under the dolls played the Snatch Game and thankfully raised the low bar – outside Anita and Etcetera, obvi – from last season that even famed nice person Bindi Irwin had to rubbish. Continuing in the tradition of celebrated producer Alexis Michelle and Queen of All Queens Jinkx, Hannah slayed with a member of the Garland-Minneli clan. And while Yuri and Spankie were just as good, Minnie was far and away the weakest as Ellen despite the fact she would have killed as her back-up, Jeanne Little. Ultimately Hannah won, while Bev narrowly saved herself after a painfully boring Snatch Game, sending the iconic Minnie home.

Backstage the mood was sombre outside of Bev, who was thrilled to take the title of lip sync assassin after eliminating a second icon. They then discovered that Minnie’s exit message thanked Spankie, Yuri and Kween for being so kind, which obviously pissed off the dolls she called bitches. Essentially. Thankfully Hannah pivoted and said she would cry into her tears, while Spankie was delighted that Minnie did one final pot stir. Talk turned to their track records, where everyone noticed only Bev and Kween were without wins, and while everyone seemingly knew Kween’s victory was inevitable, Bev was also ready to prove herself despite everyone sleeping on her.

The next day Yuri was ready to have fun and be silly, while Beverly reiterated that she is here to prove herself. And did a very long monologue about how hard she will fight. Which led to everyone taking micro-naps, while Yuri summed things up simply by pointing out that Bev had been in the bottom the most and well, that’s just that. Before anyone could pick their jaws up from the floor, Ru dropped by to open the library – or libo, I assume – for the reading challenge. Bev kicked things off very sexual, until Kween read her as not interested. And I love every moment of it. Yuri was so silly and charming, despite hating every moment of it. Molly was hit and miss, but at least it was funny. Kween then arrived and destroyed literally everyone and everything and while I normally just focus on her looks, she is just so fucking good. Spankie did some accurate word association before Hannah closed the show very strongly. But yeah, Kween was the only person that could have won that – she was amazing.

Oh and for this week’s Maxi Challenge, the dolls would be keeping the shade alive as they diss their bandmates on their verses on the new song Bosom Buddies. Then record the song with Michelle before performing them on the mainstage. And well, Bev was ready to shine. Ru then gave them the chance to choose their own groups, with Kween quickly grabbing Hannah and Spankie and well, just like that, it was decided. Leaving the rest as the leftover group. But given Bev was feeling like the dancing diva of Brisbane, she was ready to drag them over the line. Kween, Hannah and Spankie locked in the name BAB’Z – or Bad Ass Bitchez – living for the song, while over with the other dolls, Molly and Bev were worried about how many words Yuri was hoping to spit while dropping the beats.

As BAB’Z were living their best lives, being silly and camp and building their chemistry, Beverly whipped Molly and Yuri into shape learning the choreo. And by choreo, Molly felt like it was a bit of a show choir, asHannah tried to hide her giggles from the other side of the room. While Kween and Spankie just lived for their general dynamic. When Bev, Molly and Yuri asked the other girls to do their choreo live in front of everyone, it led to a delightful blow-up between Kween and Bev as they both triggered each other and went to 1000 with everyone else kinda unsure how it escalated to that point.

BAB’Z were up first to record with Michelle with Hannah delighting as Michelle read her via lyrics, though ultimately slayed. Spankie meanwhile has some damn pipes and nailed every note, while Kween was perfect from start to finish as she channelled that rage from her fight with Bev. The Hung Divas – which is an iconic name, TBH – traded out with Bev giving delightfully ocker rap, with not much sass according to Michelle. Yuri meanwhile was on the struggle bus from start to finish but since I love her, it was charming. And then Molly gave Mr. G vibes as she nailed it in one take only. Much to Bev and Yuri’s nerves.

We cut to rehearsal where Kween was ready to slay as she whipped BAB’Z into shape, giving charm and flips and kicks. And well, when she shared that she was galvanised, happy and ready to finally shine in the competition, I wanted to cry tears of joy. On the flipside, watching Yuri struggle in The Hung Divas’ rehearsal made me sad because I love her. While Bev grew more and more desperate about trying to nail the choreo.

Elimination Day arrived with Bev confronting Kween about their drama the day before, with her explaining that their group felt like they were the unwanted outcasts and she was trying to playfully challenge them. In turn Kween called her out for projecting on her and whispering and taking things a little too seriously. Eventually though, they both apologised and were ready to move on. As they split up to beat their mugs, Kween started to spiral, stressed about the drama and worried about her issues with Bev while Spankie tried to encourage her to breathe and push it aside so she could star. And while she assured us that she will do what needs to be done, given it is what she always does, I am still heartbroken to see her sad at a time when she is clearly poised to shine.

And shine she did, as BAB’Z opened the show and absolutely slayed. They felt like a cohesive girl group, they all shon and sold their personalities. They were camp, they were funny and well, did what needed to be done. When it came to The Hung Divas they all gave killer bright looks and their song was super fun, despite Yuri clearly not being the strongest of dancers. But when she is clearly having fun, does that matter? Given I love Yuri, I vote no.

On the Belts, Buckles and Chains runway, Kween opened the show in a sexy belted, bondage outfit in honour of Mean Girls and her niece. In all the right ways. Spankie gave a sexy, slutty Barbie and well, I love it despite knowing Michelle will hate the lack of pants and its bagginess. Hannah was gothic and sexy, serving Gaultier realness. Bev meanwhile gave Britney’s denim outfit, after dark, Yuri was perfection as a chained snake while Molly closed the show giving yellow and black rocker madam, but make it Elvira.

The judges lived for everything Kween served this week, with Rhys particularly loving the fact she finally owned herself and her place in the competition. Spankie was read for an ill fitting look, though given Rhys and Ru felt it was on brand, they loved it as much as her performance on the girl group. And well, Hannah received universal praise for everything she did this week too. Even charming as she explained her low-rent lyrics. Bev received wall to wall praise much to her delight, while Yuri was read for struggling with her inner sabo-teur, though the judges explained that they love her. While Molly was praised for nailing the runway and rehearsal, despite there being some stumbles in the main performance.

Backstage the dolls were feeling a little confused about who would be in the bottom, given they all received wonderful critiques. Though Molly and Yuri were fairly sure they would be the ones lip syncing. While Bev suggested that maybe they would all be saved for doing well, which is nice, despite Yuri just wanting to feel her feels. The ring of a phone interrupted them as Sophie Monk dialled in – not Courtney Act, FYI – to send her love and give them a pep talk and well, despite myself, I can’t help but love that icon with all my damn heart.

#JusticeForBardot.

Ultimately BAB’Z were deemed the winners of this week’s challenge while Bev was sent to safety alongside them, leaving Yuri and Molly to lip sync for their lives to Chains by mother tucking Tina Arena. And while it was tragically a remix, both the dolls served the hell out of the song, giving emotion, camp and hitting every damn lyric. But when the song kicked it into the epic Tina money-notes, it became Molly’s show as she gave us everything. And then some. Which tragically cost my love Yuri her place, as she exited the competition.

She was crying, the dolls were crying, I was crying and then she gave us iconic words to live by, live fast, eat arse. Which honestly, is now my motto. 

Backstage I managed to spot Yuri enter the Werk Room through my tears and immediately pulled her in for a massive hug. There was something just so lovable about Yuri, as she exudes joy and fun throughout the competition. Kinda like a young, kiwi Katya? No matter what it is that made me get a stan card, Yuri now has a fan that will fight anyone that talks shit about her. And while she may have been nervous about my energy, she appreciated the sentiment as I ranted about how robbed she was before dishing up a big bowl of Yuraita Guaii.

While paneer is great, as are all curries, raita is truly the heart and soul of any and all visits to an Indian restaurant. Poppodum too dry? Raita. Curry too hot? Raita. Need something in your mouth? Raita. Spicy, creamy and oh so fresh, it is, to me, perfect.

Enjoy!

Yuraita Guaii
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
1 ½ cups Greek yoghurt
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp ginger, minced
2 tbsp coriander, roughly chopped
2 tbsp mint, roughly chopped
1 lime, zested and juiced
½ tsp garam masala
1 lebanese cucumber, seeded and diced
1 tomato, diced
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Pop everything in a bowl. Stir. Serve. Devour, obvi.


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Minnie Cooperstown

Drink, RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under, RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under 2, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Drag Race Down Under the dolls hosted a cute little brunch in duos. While Molly tried to do a little bit of sabo, by pairing herself with her bestie Hannah while making sure every other pair had a contender. And well, not. Despite Yuri disappearing for half the day to go to hospital, she and Spaknie absolutely slayed their set – CUM (which is generally the culprit of all eye irritations in my house, but I digress) – while Pomara and Bev just felt like they were at two different venues. As such Spankie and Yuri took out a very well earned joint victory while Bev and Pomara faced off in the lip sync, with Pomara tragically shown the door.

Backstage Bev was well and truly in her feels, though was giddy to have survived. She was feeling like everyone was ready for her to go next, though was ready to gag them. Speaking of gag, she opened up about her and Pomara not getting along in the challenge and while she wasn’t comfortable then, she assured her sisters she was ready to speak up as needed. She congratulated Spankie and Yuri on their joint victory, with Spankie giddy to be the first two-time winner of the season. While Hannah questioned whether she is maybe cursed and is the reason she and Molly didn’t win. Oh and then she questioned whether her topping Spankie would look like a Chihuahua doing a Great Dane which adds nothing to the story, but is a very important visual.

The next day the dolls were full of energy and having the best damn time, while Hannah admitted she continues to have a steely focus on hitting the top. She opened up about being emotionally drained, leading to a beautiful discussion amongst the girls about mental health and the general pressure of the competition. Ru then dropped by and gagged them once again with the news that for this week’s Maxi Challenge they would be playing the Snatch Game. As she left, the dolls split up to talk characters with Spankie bringing Dame Edna to the stage and yes, that is perfect for her. Yuri is going with my girl Courtney Love, Minnie is doing Ellen while Molly is going with zaddy Orville Peck, which made Spankie particularly nervous.

Ru returned for a walk through with Hannah debating between Liza and Drew Barrymore, though ideally will follow Alexis rather than Willow. Bev was thinking she would go with Val Garland, until Ru questioned whether anyone found her funny in her real life. Kween Kong was going with Nene Leakes, opening up to Ru that she was hoping to get out of her head, let go and finally have some fun. Minnie was excited by Ellen which thrilled Ru, though I wish she went with the one she was joking about, Mr G. She then threw Bev under the bus, telling Ru she was gagged by Bev lying about getting along with Pomara on the mainstage and well, there is going to be drama once again.

After Ru departed, Yuri was looking forward to being messy, Hannah was a mix of emotions while Kween opened up about her talk to Ru making her feel seen and ready to shine. She opened up about her upbringing and life, feeling guilty about leaving her family behind to start her career and succeed, always worrying about making it up to them. Hannah then brought up Bev seeming a little down, with her calling out Minnie for throwing her under the bus in front of Ru and telling her it hurt her feelings.

We ventured to the Snatch Game set where Rhys and Raven joined the dolls to compete, where Minnie was confusing and Kween was a zaddy and selling Nene’s energy. Yuri was a delightful mess, Bev was a little confusing but so committed while Hannah stole the damn show as Liza. Molly was hilariously off character, while Spankie was a killer Dame Edna. But make no mistake, this was Hannah’s breakout challenge. I mean, her Liza was a masterclass and so much damn fun. I mean, she even followed in Jinkx’s trajectory of singing covers of Ru’s songs. And it was perfect. Though Yuri and Spankie were also super fun. And while Minnie and Molly were a mess, Bev was forgettable, which is the far greater sin in Snatch Game.

Elimination Day arrived with the dolls recapping their performances, with Hannah thrilled to clearly be getting her first win while Bev was feeling fine. Which elicited eyerolls from everyone. Minnie meanwhile knew that she bombed, though was hopeful her runway would be able to save her. As they split up to beat their mugs, Spankie suggested they do impersonations of each other with Hannah and Spankie nailing each other. Molly did a pitch perfect Minnie, but more importantly, was brave to do it. Kween read Yuri for filth, by saying her sitting there was a Yuri impression and again, Kween is my life and loins at this point.

On the Cirque Du So-Gay runway, Minnie slayed the runway as the rollergirl clown while Kween was the sexiest bearded lady, complete with a full, shimering bush. Spankie slayed in a harlequin mime number, Yuri was a sexy showgirl in white, complete with a tattooed burlesque show. Bev went full sexy lion, lion-tamer, owning the big top, Molly was perfection as a fairy floss mime-clown, while Hannah gave sexy-jester realness.

Kween was sent to safety solo before Minnie was praised for her runway, though read for absolutely bombing Snatch Game. Spankie was praised for doing well, despite Michelle wanting more, while her runway was praised for her growth. And by that, I assume Michelle meant pants. Yuri was praised for leaning into the stupid and agan, slaying the runway. While Bev’s runway received universal praise, her Snatch was read for absolute filth for just missing every damn mark. She then opened up about feeling like an imposter, before Ru encouraged her to kill the inner saboteur and slay. Molly’s runway was beloved, though her Orville was read for being nothing. While Hannah received effusive praise for literally everything she did this week, from the runway to her Liza. And well, that praise was deserved.

Backstage Kween’s peace and quiet was interrupted by the rest of the dolls with everyone congratulating Hannah on slaying the game. Bev opened up about feeling the pressure of the competition, while Minnie started to break down, feeling bad for having upset Bev and stressed about it playing on her mind when she clearly has to lip sync. Molly meanwhile was nervous about lip syncing because Minnie is beloved by the judges.

Obviously Hannah took out victory while Spankie and Yuri were deemed safe. On the flipside, Molly narrowly avoided lip syncing, leaving current feuders Minnie and Bev to battle for safety. To Lady Gaga’s Dance in the Dark, no less. While Minnie delighted in clown comedy, Bev was desperate to save herself, giving all the emotion and slaying every damn lyric and well, it was good. Good enough to give her another week and tragically send the legend that is Minnie Cooper home. Thankfully with a lot of love from her sisters.

While I was tempted to start a feud with her when she walked backstage – I crave the attention, you know – I couldn’t do that to such an icon. Instead, I pulled Minnie in for a massive hug and reiterated how damn proud of her I am. Not only is she a killer performer that has well and truly earned her legacy, she also knew the assignment when coming on reality TV and gave us camp, gaggy moments and a lot of heart. I then asked her if she had any other potential people she was tossing around for Snatch Game and upon hearing she opted against doing Jeanne Little, who she would have demolished the competition with, I lost it. There were tears, rage screams and well, I am ashamed at how much it hurt. Thankfully after her holding me in her arms and assuring me it was ok, and downing a Minnie Cooperstown, everything was all good.

This little drink is the perfect pick-me-up when you’re feeling down, earthy, sweet and packing a minty punch, it is a symphony of flavours that fill your heart with joy.

So, enjoy!

Minnie Cooperstown
Serves: 1.

Ingredients
45ml gin
25ml red vermouth
35ml dry vermouth
a couple of dashes of bitters
2 mint leaves

Method
Combine everything in a cocktail shaker with ice and stir to chill. Strain into a glass and down.

And then repeat, as necessary (in a responsible manner).


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Rice Paper Meroll Szolkeiwicz

Main, Poultry, Snack, Street Food, Survivor South Africa, Survivor South Africa: Return of the Outcasts, TV, TV Recap

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.

Enjoy!

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.


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Salsanté Verde Villiers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy!

Salsanté Verde Villiers
Serves: 6.

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

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

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


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Tandooria Chickeland Pizza

Main, Pizza, Poultry, Snack, Street Food, Survivor South Africa, Survivor South Africa: Return of the Outcasts, Treat Yo' Self Week, TV

Previously on Survivor South Africa the pre-merge returnees on Yontau managed to avoid the first tribal council. Sadly for them, it gave them plenty of time to create drama in the absence of scrambling. We had Pinty overeating and yelling at people, Tania righteously standing up to her bullying and most importantly, Thoriso lying about Tevin finding an idol. Though she was safe, given Tania kindly took the fall for her. After Yontau won immunity, Toni tried to rally the troops against Marian. Sadly for her, the threat of the Season 6 alliance loomed large and instead they blindsided Toni’s bestie PK.

Back at camp Tejan was disappointed to be on the wrong side of the numbers while Toni started to flip out on the alliance for making the wrong decision by voting out PK instead of her. This annoyed Dante who then yelled at her to calm down given she and PK being close is what put them in this position. She then pulled herself aside to try and calm down, with Meryl going to comfort her. Despite not really wanting to hear what was bothering Toni. They rejoined the tribe where Toni continued to talk about them making a bad decision before Marian spoke up and called her out for saying she is the weakest in the tribe, when she would actually describe Toni as such.

We then checked in with Yontau where Tevin was leading a discussion about where to sleep which obviously pissed off Pinty, given people now wanted to take her place by the fire when they spent the first few nights in the shelter. And well, everyone was kinda over her shit. Or maybe it is just me.

The next day we learnt Dino had fallen asleep and fell into the fire, burning his hands quite badly, though thankfully able to continue in the game. Though he will have to sit out some of the challenges. In non-burn related drama, Tania continued to complain about Pinty to Tevin and while he cautioned her to not let it bother her, otherwise she will be the one painting a target on her own back. And while she agreed that was the best move, she also worried she wouldn’t be able to stay quiet. Particularly since the rest of the tribe were also frustrated by Pinty’s attitude. Proven by the fact her allies Tevin and Seamus already questioned how long they’d be able to babysit her and keep her anger at bay.

Back at Masu things were slightly less dramatic as Toni and Dante apologised to each other, before they started a new argument and grew angrier and angrier. Toni exited camp in a rage, deciding that the best case was to swap ASAP and play at the bottom of a new tribe rather than deal with them anymore. On the flipside Meryl, Marian and Steffi hung out by the well, thrilled at their ability to play in the middle of the tribe and ready to go to the end together.

We finally checked in with my love Nico who returned for the latest immunity challenge where two people from each tribe would hold on to nets while the rest of their tribe would try and weigh down their rivals’ with sandbags. Dante and Steffi faced off against Thoriso and Felix as sack-holders, with the latter quickly becoming a target and dropping his bags first. This made Yontau turn their attention to Dante, who was loaded up while Steffi relaxed without a sandbag in her basket. As Dante struggled, Thoriso tried to stay zen and keep her tribe in the game. After Dante dropped, the girls battled it out as Thoriso edged closer and closer to the ground, eventually dropping and handing immunity to Masu.

The victors headed off to enjoy their breakfast reward, feeling nourished and energised. While they all tried to play it calm as they searched for an idol hidden at their table. Before throwing caution to the wind and openly hunting in front of each other. Sadly for them, it was pointless as everyone left empty handed.

Back at camp Yontau were on edge about their first tribal council, with Phil wanting to focus on keeping the tribe unified rather than strong. Which means Tania and Pinty are well and truly in trouble. Tevin pulled Tania aside to encourage her to clear the air with Pinty and lessen the target on her back, though given she wasn’t really interested in hearing what Tevin had to say, it could spell trouble for Tania. That being said she did try to talk to Pinty to apologise, while Pinty straight up ran away to leave Tania to further spiral in front of the tribe.

Felix admitted that he sees Pinty is quite the bully and is making camp difficult for everyone else, while Pinty tried to suggest Tania was making decisions based on her unstable emotions. Which is not cool. Everyone in the tribe quietly admitted both of them are causing chaos, though given they haven’t been to tribal council yet, the uncertainty of tribal lines made them nervous about which person was the safer option to take out.

The next day Tania was ready to fight and save herself by shutting up, while Killarney, Shona and Thoriso worried about her unpredictability. Right on cue Tania hid in the bushes behind them as they locked in the vote against her, but agreed they couldn’t be bothered dealing with the fallout of telling her. Not to worry though, as she then followed them back to camp and immediately didn’t shut up, calling them out for not having courage and tried to tell them that that will be what costs them the game. Rather than say approaching them with a counter plan.

Thoriso caught up with Seamus to fill him in on Tania’s latest chaotic moves, while Shona quietly put finishing touches on a fake hidden immunity idol which she planned to leave at tribal council for future use, should she need it. Seamus then caught up with Pinty, talking about the fact they were both the first boots from their tribe in their season, with Pinty trying to snatch the idol away from him to guarantee her safety. Meanwhile, out of nowhere, Phil and Felix started to float the idea of flipping the vote on Seamus instead. Oh and Tevin calmly watched on leaving Tania one final chance to flip the vote on Pinty, in which case he would gladly flip to get rid of her too.

At tribal council Tevin spoke about not loving being back at tribal council, particularly since nobody in their tribe has had the pleasure of enjoying the individual game. He spoke about Seamus having the idol and being glad he is guaranteed to survive a tribal council. Dino spoke about the obvious drama back at camp, identifying Tania as the biggest problem. This gave her the chance to throw Pinty under the bus, talking about how Pinty’s attitude is causing most of the drama. Pinty fought back, saying that Tania called her a greedy fucking pig, which was untrue due to the addition of fuck. As Tania remained calm, Pinty continued to fight back and was pretty harsh to poor Tania, which was really uncute.

Tania spoke about it needing to be either her or Pinty that goes home tonight, given their tension is an issue. And since most of the tribe walks around Pinty on eggshells, she thinks it should be her. Pinty continued to get super sassy as Tania made a last ditch plea, reminding people that one vote could mean everything in this game. Sadly though, it was all for nought, as Seamus played the idol on himself and the tribe banded together to get rid of Tania. Presumably to keep Pinty’s attitude around as an easy target for a swap. I assume.

As Tania arrived at Loser Lodge, I pulled her in for a massive hug and assured her that she can exit the game with her head held high as once again, she stuck to her morals. And well, I can totally relate to not being able to hold my tongue when someone is being a jerk. I then had to admit something to her. Something tragic, which explains why the tribe opted to keep Pinty over Tania – the damn pizza curse. Despite loving Tania, I thought maybe someone iconic like her would be able to overcome it, but alas, instead, I cursed her game with my Tandooria Chickeland Pizza.

Hot and spicy, with a healthy slathering of raita, this little fusion is near perfection. Add in some chilli and sweet capsicum, and well, it is as wonderful as my love Tania.

Enjoy!

Tandooria Chickeland Pizza
Serves: 2-4 dear friends, or Pinty.

Ingredients
2 bases as per Pizsa Zsa Gabor
⅓ cup passata
oregano and basil, roughly chopped, to taste
4 tbsp tandoori paste
1 cup natural yoghurt
500g chicken breast, diced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, sliced
1 red capsicum, sliced
mozzarella, to taste
2 tsp mint, roughly chopped
½ tsp chilli flakes
1 lebanese cucumber, seeded and grated
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Prep the bases as per Zsa Zsa’s instructions and preheat the oven to 180°C.

Combine the tandoori paste, two tablespoons of the yoghurt and chicken in a bowl, tossing to coat and leaving to marinate for 15 minutes. Once done, heat a lug of olive oil in a frying pan and cook the chicken until crisp and gorgeous.

Smear passata over the prepared bases, sprinkle of the herbs, onion, capsium and chicken, followed by a generous dose of mozzarella. Transfer to the oven and bake for fifteen minutes, or until bubbly and golden.

While that is getting all hot, combine the yoghurt, mint, chilli flakes, cucumber and a good whack of salt and pepper.

Once the pizza is ready, drizzle with the raita and devour, greedily. Though not like a greedy little pig.


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Boozy Rajafresca

Drink, RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars, RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars 7, TV, TV Recap

Previously on All Winners eight iconic victors of seasons past returned to the mainstage to compete for the chance to be crowned the one, true, Queen of all Queens. After kicking off the season with a killer rumix where Shea and Monet slayed in front of Cameron Diaz, the dolls backed it up with Snatch Game. And not just any Snatch Game, a double dose of Snatch, where each queen was tasked with delivering not one, but two performances. While Jinkx obviously delivered a masterclass duo of performances alongside Trinity, Raja was the surprise package and stole my heart with her hilarious turns. Ultimately though it was Jinkx and Trinity that landed in the top making Shea’s choice to block Trinity a smart one. Well, until Jinkx won the lip sync and returned the favour, blocking Shea the very next week.

Backstage Jinkx was feeling her oats post-win and ugh, I love to see it. She then explained that she blocked Shea this week because she already has a star and given Shea is that good, it is unlikely she will stumble again. And as such, they all need to do what they can. And well, everyone agreed they would have made the same decision, while Yvie would have lingered on Monet to make her shit herself. Which, lol. Shea arrived and started to play mind games with the dolls, pretending the platinum plunger comes with a special power and given Trinity is hilarious, she jumped onboard and well, again, this is the greatest season of all time.

Oh but don’t worry, Inspector Jaida is on the case and she will get all the answers for us. Whatever that means.

The next day Monet welcomed the trio of starred girls, while Trinity was a little disappointed that she should, technically, have a damn star by now. Soooo, Jaida and Trinity are the top in the ball, I’m guessing? Before I could make any more predictions, Ru arrived to play a little game of hung man with the dolls and the Pit Crew. And well, like The Viv, I’m dripping. Or in Ginger Minj speak, my basement is flooded. Jinkx took out the only puzzle with the answer of Vanna White Party. Which led into this week’s Maxi Challenge, the BALL. First category the dolls would be walking the runway in game show hostess glam for Vanna White Realness. The second category would feature Wheel of Fortune’s famous Before and After, like Diana Ross Matthews. Or in my mind RuPaul Simon, because seeing that duo would be hilarious.

Closing out the ball the dolls would be rocking Realness of Fortune Eleganza. Aka a garment made from scratch with the dolls spinning a wheel to pick their inspiration city. Jinkx got the lavender fields of Provence, Shea won White Cliffs of Dover, Monet jagged the Emerald Isle, Jaida got the Black Sand Beach, Raja got Gold of the Golden Pagoda, Yvie won $500 and then $1000 before getting bankrupted before The Viv finally won money on the show, $1000 dollars, then $500 and then finally got a city with the Blue Hole of Belize before Trinity got bankrupted. This left Yvie to get the Pink City of Jaipur and Trinity getting the straggler of the Red Square of Russia.

With everyone’s colours sorted, the dolls split up to collect their supplies before The Vivienne admitted she would be playing it safe with the design. Given she doesn’t really wear blue, ever. Trinity meanwhile was slowly making a ruffle and driving everyone mad, while Monet admitted she hasn’t made a dress since the infamous sponge look. Raja meanwhile was feeling a little nervous given this is one of her strengths and she doesn’t have a fat arse blunt or two bottles of wine, which makes up her usual process. Jinkx was in a battle with the sewing machine and honestly was not feeling fortunate. That being said, she was glad to have lucked out by blocking one of the sewers and had settled for the critique of, it’s a dress. Since that would be a step up for her in design challenges. Shea meanwhile was worried how to bring a non-bridal white look, given she already served it in All Stars 5.

Ru dropped by to check in on her daughters with Jinkx outlining her strategy and admitting she is still terrible at sewing. But, she hoped to braid her way into a gown. Monet was feeling her 70s oats and ready to Survivor the competition to the crown. Jaida was ready to pull off a very technical dress, given she made her entire Season 12 wardrobe. Yvie meanwhile was trying to punk up pink, like Pink or the girl from my school that looks like Pink. Allegedly.

After Ru departed, Jaida started to worry she may have been too ambitious with her design, though doubled down on the fact she was here to cement her legacy, not rest on it. And yes, I love Jaida’s entire vibe. Oh and then everyone thirsted over Monet’s booty which, I get it as a fellow booty queen. Shea meanwhile decided to lean into bridal despite having served it once before, while Trinity was continuing to work out a full on gown and ugh, she is so damn talented. Yvie meanwhile made a seam and Raja a vagina. While Jinkx was getting into the Season 5 mindset, stressed about the mess she was in until Trinity dropped by, gave her a pep talk and some ideas and well, I love to see it.

Runway Day arrived with Jinkx perking up after a spank from Trinity before the dolls started beating their mugs. While The Viv was not impressed by any of the doll’s accent work, Trinity and Monet were doubling down on their alliance before Jinkx dropped by to shade their not-so-secret alliance. And then was promptly offered a spot in the alliance and while she didn’t sign up to an official deal, she reminded the girls that she appreciates what both of them have done for her throughout the competition. Given they didn’t get an agreement, Trinity approached Shea to see if she wanted in on the game and well, Shea was not into it either. So when Jaida approached, she outed Trinity’s approach to building an alliance, with Jaida just as disinterested in joining. But also a little confused and just wanting to do her best.

Ru, Michelle and Carson were joined by Kirby Howell-Baptiste on the panel as the dolls kicked off the Realness of Fortune Ball with their Vanna White Realness looks with Vanna White watching from the wall, stunning in a shimmering black gown and ugh, I love her. Perfection. Iconic. Again, best season ever. Jinkx was stunning, also in black, gagged to see Vanna on the runway. Shea and Monet were perfect in white, Jaida was adorable in a stunning silver gown, complete with lighting up the letters as she walked along. Raja almost died when she saw Vanna White in her perfect purple gown. Yvie was full Yvie, noticing Vanna at the very last minute while The Viv gave all peach in a velvet gown – completely unaware who Vanna was – and Trinity was a sparkling beauty, giving full pageant perfection.

On the Before and After runway, Jinkx was perfection as Whatever Happened to Baby Jane Fonda, Shea was a sexy Gold Tooth Fairy, Monet gave Bob the Drag Queen Elizabeth realness, serving neon paint in the palace. Jaida’s Bag Lady in Red was stun. Ning and ugh, I love her. Raja’s Olivia Newton-John Waters was so damn gorgeous and camp. Yvie was hilarious as Cardi Bea Arthur and ugh, it was hot and oh so golden. The Vivienne meanwhile was amazing as Princess Diana Ross before Trinity stole the show as RuPaul Charles II, which was a dandy delight.

Closing the show with their made looks, Jinkx managed to sew her gown and well, it was a gown. Which is what she wanted. Shea was a sexy New Orleans bride, Monet was having fun as a disco diva, Jaida was insanely talented, serving architectural perfection, Myanmar Golden Pagoda Raja was fucking stunning, Yvie was dramatic in blushing pink while The Vivienne was gorgeous in baby blue before Trinity too gave insane perfection in what she whipped up in a day.

The judges lived for Jinkx’s first two looks for being right in the pocket, while they were glad she was able to pull together the outfit. Which led to her praising Trinity for having her back. Shea received universal praise for the looks, whether the Vanna White look gave Vanna White or not. Monet was praised for giving fun and wit, while Jaida rightly received all the praise for everything she did, but more importantly for making the look she did in the space of a day. Raja too received universal praise for each look, despite the fact they wanted more John Waters in the middle look. Which, lies. Yvie was praised for thinking outside the box for each category while The Viv was beloved, despite not giving much Vanna like Shea. And then Trinity received top marks, bought the vowels and shut it down with each category.

As the dolls untucked Jaida was confident in her performance, though nervous given a lot of her sisters also served killer looks. The Viv was already keen for another ball while Jinkx was just thrilled to see Vanna live, in the flesh. While Yvie caught her ring in her outfit, the dolls praised Shea for giving full wedding glam while they were busy thirsting over Monet’s wig colour. Viv added some shade asking whose outfit they would want to wear, with pretty much everyone wanting to try on Raja’s though Jinkx feeling The Viv was more her vibe. They then gushed over Viv’s make-up before they were gagged to learn Jaida even made her damn boot covers. Which is ridiculous and talented. Oh and then everyone gagged Yvie given they were so proud of her for making her Cardi Bea Arthur look and well, it was too much.

Ultimately it was Trinity and Jaida who landed in the top with Trinity finally jagging a star, meaning she and Jaida are now part of a five person club. As soon as Beyonce’s Green Light kicked off though, it was very obvious that this was Jaida’s for the taking. While Trinity gave all the sex and comedy in the world, Jaida was on point from start to finish, feeling every lyric, hitting every letter and then playing air sax into a split. And yeah, no surprises that she took out the $10k and then blocked Jinkx. Because obviously.

Backstage Jaida was thrilled to have finally shine, once again asserting her dominance in design challenges. She was feeling vindicated, valedictorian and validation. The dolls congratulated Trinity for taking out her first star from two wins, which was the perfect introduction for Jinkx who joined her sisters and was once again charming and hilarious. And fine about being blocked, unless she wins this week and misses out on being the first queen to win two stars. Which totally means she is winning this week, right? As is Viv who is feeling very hungry for the win and well, let’s see if I’m right. Again, for the record.

In any event, we know that Raja will be robbed which is reassuring, only in its consistency.

The next day Jinkx arrived playing Bing Bang Bong on the ukulele and well, it was just as amazing as you’d expect. Though now we’re all going to have it in our head for days. Jaida meanwhile was being shady, pointing out Monet is the only person with a star that hasn’t been blocked. Well, until Trinity reminded her that she now has a star.

Ru dropped by to explain that for this week’s Maxi Challenge the dolls would be improv-ing their way through the court show, Fairytale Justice. In two teams, the dolls would play out the cases of fairytale miscarriages of justice. And as winners of last week’s challenge, Jaida and Trinity were team captains, with Jaida going with Jinkx, Monet and Yvie while Trinity opted for Shea, Viv and were left with Raja. Team Jaida was covering the case of the three little pigs and the big bad wolf, while Team Trinity would act out Goldielocks’ break and enter at the bears’ house.

Team Jaida were all living for their roles, with Jinkx comfortable to take on any and all feedback and make her character as bizarre as possible. Because you know she is going to go for the win, despite being blocked. Over with Team Trinity, Raja was typecast as a sexy granny, while The Viv was ready to turn out her first ever improv challenge. And given she was going to turn Goldilocks into the fucken’ Chuckie girl, condragulations Viv! The one thing both teams could agree on is that their rival teams were going to turn it out.

Blow the House Down Boots was the first case to be argued with Jinkx delightfully demented, and ugh, I love it. She was vapid, she was wild and horny, and it was perfection. Yvie was the sexiest wolf on earth, Jaida was so fun and ridiculous and then Monet arrived and shut it down playing the straight guy of the scene and while it won’t give her a win, she was hella fun. Particularly when she started slapping the hell out of everyone and everything. As soon as The Vivienne skipped into the scene, it was clear she was going to land in the top. She barely uttered her first sentence before Shea started breaking with laughter. Though Shea did play a fun straight guy, Raja was a hilarious and thirsty grandmother, yelling at Michelle before Trinity arrived and was as manic and stupid as you’ve come to expect. Though it was far and away The Vivienne’s scene, as she cycled through the accents and was completely bonkers and well, it was the best.

Runway Day arrived with The Viv still running through the accents as the groups split up to talk through their performances with Raja praising The Viv standing out in their scene, despite the fact they all did so well. As everyone started to beat their mugs, Jaida was offering out Tajin shots as they kikied about their performances. Raja meanwhile spoke about not wanting to do an old lady again, while Yvie decided to not play a man again. They then got distracted by Jaida’s make-up as she was blending black and white, and joking about going on stage half baked and screaming at the judges for not giving them enough time. Oh and then Jinkx pointed out that they usually block the person that blocked the week before, so good luck to ya Jaida!

Ru, Michelle and Ross were joined by Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman as Jaida absolutely slayed the Spikes on the Runway number in a Grace Jones in Mad Max style look. Jinkx gave the most glamorous echidna known to man while Monet was serving punk Valentina teas and well, it was good. Yvie served sexy scorpion, Trinity was a sexy, staked vampire, while The Viv was perfect in a light blue bodysuit with golden spikes. And it was so stunning. As was Raja’s shimmering mediaeval space warrior. Shea meanwhile was crazed in her hobble skirted purple fairy alien.

Jaida meanwhile received universal praise for all that she served this week, until Jinkx received even more praise for all that she did, and for being such a consummate professional and staying true to who she is. Monet was praised for stealing the show with her entrance, while the judges lived for her runway. They lived for Yvie’s killer runway and was praised for her commitment to the role. Trinity’s interpretation of the runway was beloved for being unexpected and they lived for how much fun Trinity is having this season. The judges had no idea what Shea’s runway was, but they lived for it and the way she made the straight guy Karen-bear role likeable. The Vivienne too received glowing, universal praise, besting even Jinkx with how much the judges lived for her and her instantly iconic runway. Obviously everyone was obsessed with Raja’s runway for the perfection it was and how well she delivered the character in the challenge, with Ru in particular living for her clear rebirth this season.

As the dolls untucked they quickly praised Yvie for looking so stunning on the runway and being so sexy in the challenge. Essentially, they were all horny for Yvie. They were also in agreement about The Vivienne in the top two this week, but weren’t sure who would be joining her because Jinkx, Raja and Yvie all got such good critiques. Which fired Raja up more than anything, given she has slayed each and every week, but has not received a star yet. Talk turned to how grateful Ru is for all of them for coming back before they decided to address the politics of blocking, with Jinkx not wanting to block someone on her team, but also not wanting to block someone without a star, narrowing down the list to Jaida and Monet. While everyone agreed that Monet, girl, The Viv is coming for you. Oh but she was in the bathroom the entire conversation, so who really knows. Jeffrey dropped backstage to kiki with the girls, saving The Viv from actually having to give an answer and well, Jeffrey is so hot, so let’s just enjoy that for all that he is.

Obviously Jinkx and The Vivienne took out victory, robbing Raja of yet another win and leaving us with a 6-way tie with one star. Since Jaida blew it for Jinkx. But whatever, because she was ready to kill Because Love is Gonna Save the Day by Whitney Houston. While The Vivienne also slayed the lip sync and gave all the attitude and emotion, I always have a soft spot for Jinkx’s brand of demented. Sadly for her though, The Viv straight up collected a xylophone from Jaida on the side of stage mid-song and played it to the beat and that was just unbeatable. As such, she took out the win and quickly blocked Monet and it was delightful as they bantered back and forth. Though me thinks Monet was well and truly fuming deep down inside.

As the dolls filed past me to return to the Werk Room, I reluctantly pulled Raja aside and told her that it was her turn. Reluctantly because she arguably should have three bloody stars already and the undisputed frontrunner, but alas, she has taken her sister Raven’s spot as the perennial bridesmaid. I pulled her in for a hug and instantly started ranting and raving about the robbery that we’ve witnessed week after week before she calmly told me that a) I was coming off a bit Tyra (Banks, thankfully) and b) she is having the best time and is just thrilled by the journey, winning be damned. While she was proud to be doing so well and to be performing to a new audience – and in HD – I handed her a big fat blunt and told her that next week WOULD be her week, otherwise I will be forced to key Ru and/or Michelle’s car. A promise I toasted to with a big ol’ jug of Boozy Rajafresca.

In an effort to push her back into the Winner’s Circle, I was inspired by one of her fellow member Aquaria but given Raja likes a tipple like me – and is of legal drinking age, I spiked it! Fresh and fruity with a nice warmth coming through with the addition of chilli (and the vodka, obvi), it is the perfect way to drink away a balmy summer evening.

Enjoy!

Boozy Rajafresca
Serves: 2 dear old friends.

Ingredients
1 batch Aguaria Fresca
½ cup vodka (or more or less, depending on the size of the watermelon and how strong you’d like it)
2 tsp chilli flakes

Method
Combine the Aguaria Fresca in a jug with the vodka and chilli, and give a good stir. Then down, happily.

The other option is to follow Aquaria’s recipe and just pop the vodka and chilli in the blender with everything else and then blitz. It doesn’t really matter how you get there, all that matters is the refreshment.


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Corn, Capsicum and Halomar Zahlad

Main, Salad, Side, Snack, Survivor, Survivor 42, TV, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previously on Survivor Jeffrey decided to get shady and returned the Do or Die Twist to the game, which yes, we all hate. So thankfully, it was once again a total bust and Queen Lindsay lived to fight another day. Sadly, it wasn’t a good episode for all our queens as Drea trusted Omar with information about her Knowledge is Power advantage. And then our King brutally neutered its power and blocked every single one of her plans before uniting the tribe to get her out of the game.

Back at camp Lindsay was thrilled to have overcome the Do or Die drama, with the tribe all genuinely appearing to be glad she was saved. Though maybe that is because Omar set off some epic drama at tribal council to get rid of Drea and well, that always makes a survivor feel good. None more so than Lindsay, who now  has an idol because the final amulet is gone and Mike feels like he owes Omar, making him grateful. And for everyone else, Omar painted the biggest target on his back since Drea pointed out he is the one that orchestrated her demise, so that is a win for everyone. Oh and Mike has zero intention of protecting Omar, instead wanting to get rid of him before he could cross him too. 

As everyone slept, Mike and Maryanne caught up, with Mike reiterating that Omar is only looking out for Omar. Maryanne meanwhile was already well on the journey of wanting him gone, since the jury had just watched Omar pull off an epic move and now was the frontrunner to win, should he make it. Instead, she planned to use her extra vote to have her moment in the sun and usurp his place in power. And yas, Maryanne, work!

The next day Maryanne caught up with Omar, Lindsay and Romeo, with Maryanne sharing how paranoid Mike was becoming while Lindsay instead focused on how necessary it was to take out Jonathan. Said duo meanwhile were down by the shore to talk through their options before Omar joined them, unaware that Jonathan is well and truly ready to get rid of both him and Lindsay. And put an end to the Taku domination.

Just like that the tribe met up with Jeffrey for another reward challenge where they would have to untangle a spool of rope until they could make it to a series of obstacles, which they would then traverse before, you guessed it, solve a puzzle! Oh and more importantly, the winner could choose between chicken and veggies or a cake and cookies feast.

As the challenge got underway, Jonathan got out to an early lead while Maryanne axed herself multiple times and almost took out a camera person, laughing in delight the whole time. Lindsay started to close the gap with Jonathan before everyone caught up at the puzzle. Because yeah, it is a puzzle. Somehow, out of nowhere, Omar found his rhythm and quickly solved the puzzle, taking out victory. And dare I say it, grew the target on his back. We then got a touching moment where Omar shared that he powered through the challenge to make his niece proud. Sadly though, the joy quickly turned to shade as Jeff told him he could pick two people to join him for chicken, or three if he goes with cake. So he obviously went with cake, selecting Romeo, Maryanne and then Mike.

Which only fired up the challenge beasts even more. (I assume).

The victors disappeared down the beach to enjoy their feast, Romeo in particular, given he has not had a reward all season. While Omar spoke about feeling guilty about not picking Jonathan, he shared with us that he is thrilled to be making things more difficult for the beast. Speaking of Jonathan, he and Lindsay were both pretending to still be aligned as they smashed all their rice. When the two groups came back together, Lindsay and Mike went for a walk, with Lindsay assuring him that as long as Jonathan doesn’t have immunity, he is fine. 

Mike went back to Jonathan to loop him in on Lindsay’s idol – oh, she told him about her idol – and told him that they need to guarantee she doesn’t take out immunity this week so that she can’t use said idol to protect Omar. He then ran to Maryanne to push for her to take out Omar too, assuring her that he would play his idol for her at the final five, unaware that she has her own idol and as such doesn’t need him. But in any event, she is thrilled to get rid of Omar. Mike then told Maryanne about Lindsay’s amulet idol and given she wasn’t aware of things, she was also ready to get rid of her instead since she is clearly just a goat to Lindsay.

The tribe reconnected with Probst for this week’s immunity challenge where they would each race through obstacles collecting puzzle steps, build a ladder, collect a bag of balls and then land said balls on a table maze. Jonathan obviously got out to an early lead, while Lindsay and Romeo nipped at his heels. Lindsay and Omar took over and started to pull away and got to work on their balls, with Lindsay whipping through and starting on the maze ahead of everyone. Eventually Jonathan, Omar and Mike joined her, with Jonathan landing his first ball just ahead of Lindsay. As they tried to manoeuvre their second ball towards the final slot, Lindsay dropped before Jonathan dropped just at the very end. Which gave her enough time to land her ball and take out her second individual immunity.

Back at camp everyone congratulated Lindsay on her win, while she was just thrilled to come out on top of Jonathan. Speaking of Jonathan, he was nervous about Lindsay playing her idol on Omar, so instead, he and Mike planned to take out Romeo. Lindsay assured Jonathan that Mike was the target before she caught up with Maryanne and Romeo to lock in the vote against him. While Omar took care of Mike. The duo then caught up, with Lindsay assuring Omar she has no intention of playing her idol as she doesn’t want it back in circulation.

Sadly for both of them, Maryanne was still pushing ahead with the Omar plan and caught up with Mike to talk through the plan. And Mike had changed his mind and wanted to play it safe and target Romeo and get rid of him instead. As such, Maryanne approached Romeo and looped him in on the extra vote and set in motion the plan to band together to get rid of Omar. Maryanne returned to Mike and Jonathan, telling them that with her extra vote, they could split the vote between Romeo and Omar, blindsiding Lindsay and Omar and sending the latter from the game. Barring any shenanigans at tribal council, obviously.

Right on cue the tribe arrived at tribal where Omar spoke about worrying that this one could be as wild as the last. Romeo spoke about the dynamics changing as everyone looked towards making decisions of who to sit with at the end, rather than how to get there. Lindsay agreed that they need to start looking at threats, while Omar mentioned he has been looking at threats for the entire game and now there are just less places to hide. Maryanne meanwhile spoke about feeling less on the bottom and that she was finally able to think, while Lindsay admitted she is feeling confident with the plans she is involved in. But can never guarantee she is the right plan. 

Mike reiterated his passion for trust while Omar agreed that you always run the risk of someone not believing what you’re saying and changing the plan, even when you’re telling the truth. Jonathan spoke about the fact that somebody is being lied to tonight and as such, someone is going to be sad back at camp. Maryanne spoke about the fact that due to the Shot in the Dark, you can no longer rely on a unanimous vote, proving its fundamental weakness. But whatever.

With that, the tribe voted – Maryanne twice – before she pulled off the epic 3-2-2 vote against Omar, getting rid of the biggest threat. And landing a big, juicy entry on her own resume. And while it is always painful to be voted out right before the finale, Omar was still overjoyed as he entered Ponderosa. Because as the victim of an epic move, he is always going to be remembered as the biggest threat of the season that needed a big move to get rid of him. As such, we giddily smashed a Corn, Capsicum and Hallomar Zahlad and started planning his strategy for his inevitable second season.

Salty, sweet and packing a herbaceous punch, this salad hits all the right notes (and then some)! Plus, since it is salad, you never have to feel guilty about smashing a massive bowl. Right?

Enjoy!

Corn, Capsicum and Halomar Zahlad
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
2 corn cobs, husks and silk removed
250g haloumi, thinly sliced
3 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
2 tbsp coriander, roughly chopped
2 tbsp mint, roughly chopped
1 tbsp oregano, roughly chopped
¼ cup olive oil
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
salt and pepper, to taste
2 cups rocket, washed and rinsed
1 cup grape tomatoes, cut into halves or quarters depending on the size
⅔ cup chargrilled capsicum, drained and cut into strips

Method
Pop a cast iron griddle pan over a medium heat. Once scorching hot, brush with olive oil and pop the corn on the pan, cooking, turning occasionally, for about ten minutes, or until nice and charred. Remove from pan to cool.

Next, fry the haloumi for a couple of minutes each side. Again, hoping to get a good char. Remove from the pan.

Combine the parsley, coriander, mint and oregano in a jug with the olive oil, red wine vinegar and a good whack of salt and pepper. Stir until well combined.

To assemble, pop the rocket in a bowl and sprinkle over the tomatoes and capsicum. Cut the corn off the cobs in chunks and pop over the top, alongside the haloumi. Drizzle with the dressing and devour immediately. Ideally with smug satisfaction.


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Lamb Yiroji Der Klee

Drag Race España, Drag Race España 2, Main, Street Food, TV, TV Recap

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.

Enjoy!

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.


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Shayelle Larbjoie

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Blood V Water, Main, Poultry, Street Food, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor the final four met Jonathan on a cliff over a watering hole in the middle of the outback, ready to hang over the edge for their final immunity challenge of the season. Because surprise, as we’ve expected, there was going to be a final three this year! As everyone has speculated throughout the season, Shay took out the final endurance challenge of the season, leaving the boys and Chrissy at risk. Despite assuring Chrissy that she had her back, the boys tried to run interference and confusion. Or at least Josh did, as Mark quietly joined the girls to eliminate Josh as the final juror AND Fourth Place Robbed Goddess of the season.

The next day Chrissy was heartbroken to discover that she had burnt her socks while trying to dry them on the fire before Shay interrupted her bickering with Mark to pull them aside for a walk. Mark admitted that he is proud to have made it to the end though is super grateful to Sam, given she played a massive part in him making it all the way. And PREACH, because she was an absolute powerhouse this season. Mark then opened up about his time in the military and how tough it was and that living in the bush had reminded him of some of the situations he had encountered, leading to him breaking down.

And again, congratulations Mark. But damn, Chrissy was so sweet as she told him that he will now have memories of his time on Survivor when he sees a creek, rather than the trauma of war, and helped him process his emotions. So he can win the competition and Chrissy just gets our hearts, I guess?

The trio headed back to camp where they discovered a huge basket of food for the traditional final three feast as we heard from Shay, who was proud to show that women can be strong icons and ugh, I love her. While Chrissy was just completely shocked to have made it to the end, she reminded us that her name has never come up and that proves that she has played a strong game, though the fear is that a jury may not value it enough to reward her with a vote. Though trust and believe she was ready to tell Khanh how bloody good he has looked, rocking his fashions on the jury.

The final three arrived at tribal council where Jonathan introduced the jury and ran through how this evening’s proceedings would go. Each member of the final three would get to make their pitch, followed by the jury asking questions followed by an open forum. Oh and then they will vote for a winner.

Mark kicked things off talking about how stepping out into Samoa changed his life, though lost the game of Survivor, making him and Sam enter this game with a steely focus. He highlighted that he has been playing a strong strategic game from the very first tribal council by taking out Andy as a threat. He then chose to stay away from Sam at the swap before ruining the season for me by taking out Sandra. He then praised Khanh for playing such a strong game which is why he blindsided him at the merge before praising Jesse as one of the biggest threats, which is why he had to go. He then continued the praise game, explaining he has been pumping Josh up all season to have a meat shield at the end of the game and as such, his departure is why he is sitting there.

Shay meanwhile spoke about how she has fought hard throughout the entire season, losing her allies before merge came and at her lowest after being sent to Purgatory. She then fought her way back and has pushed herself all season. Oh and she also won the most immunities throughout the season. Chrissy went a different route, telling the jury that she has played a far stronger game than any of them even realised, relying on her biggest strength, her personality. One by one she formed bonds with everyone in the tribe, before she went against Croc to save Jesse post-swap which ultimately cost him his place in the game, leading to her taking out Ben. She then said that while she loves Josh and sees him as her family, getting rid of him was her big move.

She then finished it off by praising the jury for being icons that taught her a bunch too, just for good measure. And damn, may she will actually take it?

Jonathan then opened the floor to the jury with Khanh questioning Mark over how he felt about screwing his wife over to get to the end with him admitting that they were always playing the game for one of them to win and they had to do what they had to do. Jordie jumped in to question why he made Jordie feel like shit for sending Jesse from the game when he did the same thing, which led to Mark apologising for making him feel a bit shit to get himself further. KJ meanwhile asked Chrissy whether putting the needs of those she loves in the game ahead of herself ruined her game with Chrissy explaining she did end up turning on Josh. In no small part thanks to her kids.

Michelle asked Shay how she would rate her game with Shay giving herself a solid 8 – no 8.5 – explaining that she always played from the minority and as such, she couldn’t pull the big moves like everyone else but she fought tooth and nail to get to the end. Josh meanwhile cussed out Chrissy for voting him out despite the fact he voted against her too. She explained that things felt off with him after the immunity challenge and as such, she knew he was making a move against her. He then asked Mark why he also turned on him with Mark essentially giving him the, too bad so sad, it was what I had to do to give myself the best shot at the win. Since that is why he is here, for his family.

Speaking of family, Sam was up next, who spoke about how much the jury loves the game and while it is obvious she is voting Mark, she wants to know what winning would mean to Chrissy. She opened up about coming into the game having zero clue about the journey she was signing up to and well, yeah, the jury didn’t like it. Jesse followed it up asking Mark how managing his threat level got him to the end, with Mark opening up about trying to make as many friends as possible and then essentially laying as low as possible. And then when Jordie identified him as a threat, he just agreed that he was so that it kind of disarms the issue. Leading to Jordie praising him for being a role model to him and his brother and damn, they really are telegraphing this win, no?

With that the jury voted before Jonathan wheeled out a TV to Skype with their loved ones with poor tired little Harry just wanting to go to sleep while Sam and Mark held back tears over how much they missed their son. Jonathan then wheeled out his dad and stepmother in the flesh before the tears really started flowing. Shay’s parents and Ben arrived on the scene with her mum rocking pink hair like an icon and well, her dad is adorbs, so I love them too. Chrissy’s daughters were then wheeled out and once again, I am crying. I’m also crying to see Croc again, given he was the iconic alpha male winner that we deserve. Most importantly, her daughter Lulu is a Jonathan stan too and well, I love her. Particularly since she felt sad for Chrissy having to sleep in the dirt for almost 50 days.

Chrissy admitted that it is what it is at this point, while Mark was grateful to have his parents here while Shay would be honoured for the jury to crown her as their winner. Sadly for her though, they did not, as the votes all piled up on Mark and handed him the win.

As soon as she wandered out of tribal council, I pulled Shay in for a massive hug and congratulated her on a job well done. While the jury clearly didn’t appreciate her gameplay, there is no denying that she dominated physically and when nobody is willing to play with you on a strategic level, what else do you do? As such, I toasted her success and celebrated her with a piping out Shayelle Larbjoie.

Piping hot and packed with flavour, there is nothing quite like a perfectly cooked larb. And while I may not be perfect (at cooking larb, at least), this is still a glorious punch of flavour. Hot, salty and sweet, it fills your palette with joy. Basically.

Enjoy!

Shayelle Larbjoie
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
¼ cup jasmine rice
2 tbsp vegetable oil
6 shallots, sliced
500g chicken mince
1 tsp muscovado sugar
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 limes, zested and juiced
1 tsp lemongrass
2 bird’s eye chillies, sliced
¼ cup coriander, roughly chopped
½ cup mint, roughly chopped
salt, to taste

Method
Place a wok over low heat and toast the dry grains, stirring frequently, for about five minutes, or until golden and fragrant. Transfer to a mortar and pestle, grind and set aside to cool. Add the oil to the wok and fry half the shallots until crisp. Scoop out and transfer to a sheet of paper towel.

Crank the heat to medium and once scorching, add the chicken and cook until browned and crisp. Add in the sugar, fish sauce and lime zest and juice and stir until sticky. Add the ground rice, raw shallots and herbs and cook for a further minute before seasoning to taste.

Serve immediately, with a sprinkling of fried shallots and then devour.


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