Previously on Survivor 18 new castaways were marooned on the islands of Fiji to start the (shortened) adventure of a lifetime. After losing back to back – or it is Baka to Baka – challenges, Baka went to tribal and tragically booted sweet Morriah from the competition. That departure set off a chain reaction of females getting targeted, with Justine, Nneka and Lindsay all following her out the door.
After a brief reprieve to blindside Geo from the game, the three tribes were dissolved and we entered the earn-the-merge phase of the game. Gabler led the charge against his nemesis Elie, booting her from the game before the Gaia tribe was formed. At that point Dwight was blindsided, seemingly with Jeanine’s idol in his pocket before Jeanine was booted to become the Queen of the Jury. In a split tribal council James and Ryan were booted back-to-back before Noelle proved too great a threat to leave in the game, before Sami’s double dealing saw him joining the jury right behind her.
At the final six things got feisty as Jesse pulled out Cody’s idol and played it on Owen to spook Karla into playing hers, allowing the tribe to blindside Cody from the game in a brutal fashion. That left Karla in danger at final five after Jesse played Jeanine’s idol to save himself, sending Queen Karla to the jury. Tragically that was as far as Jesse’s journey went though, as Cassidy took out final immunity, pulled Owen to the end with her and left Gabler to eliminate the biggest threat in the fire challenge.
The jury grilled the final three to figure out who they felt was most deserving of the win and while they each argued compelling cases, it was clear they were vibing with Gabler’s charming answers. Which ultimately left Owen finishing in third place and Cassidy as a very capable runner-up.
Thankfully despite sharing his plans to donate the entire prize to charity with us earlier in the episode, Gabler kept it a surprise to the jury meaning people couldn’t use it as a way to invalidate his win. As Gabler clearly articulated throughout the season, he played a stealth game, popping up to take out his rivals when needed and dropping back down to hide when he didn’t need to make a play. And while that isn’t always exciting to watch, it is effective and add in the fact he is a fun character, he makes a worthy entrant in the winner’s circle.
Plus the way he donated the prize to Veterans in Need in his fathers name had me crying. By the time he sweetly dedicated the win to everyone in the cast and how they all gave him something to learn and grow from, which is what compelled him to give back, I was a blubbering mess as I toasted his victory with a piping out tray of Mike Gabler Cheese Balls.
Gloriously gooey mac and cheese formed into perfect balls, chilled, coated and fried until crunchy, these are the perfect dish for providing you with culinary comfort or to mark a hard fought victory.
Mike Gabler Cheese Balls Serves: 6.
Ingredients 500g macaroni pasta ¼ cup butter 2 ¼ cups flour 3 cups milk 1 cup cream 2 tbsp dijon mustard 1 cup cheddar cheese, grated ⅔ cup gruyere cheese, grated ⅓ cup parmesan cheese, grated salt and pepper, to taste 3 eggs, whisked 2 cups panko breadcrumbs vegetable oil, for fryin’
Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and cook macaroni according to packet directions. While the pasta is cooking, melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat and stir in ¼ cup of flour to make a roux. Remove from the heat and whisk in milk, cream and mustard before returning to the heat and simmering until thickened. Add ¾ of each of the cheeses and season to taste. Pour into a lined baking sheet and allow to cool before covering and popping in the fridge for an hour or two to firm up.
When you’re ready to go, take ¼ cup of mixture and roll into balls and place on a lined baking sheet. Roll each in the remaining flour, followed by the whisked egg and finally the breadcrumbs.
Pop about 2 inches of vegetable oil in a deep saucepan over medium heat and once scorching, fry each ball for about five minutes or until golden and crunchy. Remove to drain on some paper towel before repeating the process until done. Then devour, greedily.
Previously on Survivor the non-merged tribe officially merged and immediately new factions were formed. Jeanine was feeling left out given her closest ally was blindsided, though Noelle and Dwight assured her that it will only free her up to play a better game. Sadly for her though, Jesse and Cody were becoming nervous of their fellow Vesi’s growing power and were ready to make a move. After Gabler took out immunity and James found the Knowledge is Power advantage, chaos ensued leading to many a name being thrown out and advantages trading hands to avoid being stolen by James, resulting in Dwight’s exit.
With poor Jeanine’s idol in her pocket, no less!
Back at camp Cody and Jesse were thrilled to have taken control with the Cocos, but were kinda shocked that Sami had joined them. Unaware that he is somehow now in the majority. Talk turned to the fact that James’ Knowledge is Power led to a game of advantage roulette and how confusing it was, with Jeanine particularly heartbroken to lose not just an ally but her idol. Sami tried to play damage control with Owen and Jeanine, assuring them that he only flipped because he knew it was a done deal and as such, he wanted to earn the majority’s trust. Oh and he assured Jeanine that now she is idolless it only makes working with her more enticing. Sami then spread the word that Jeanine’s idol went out of the game alongside Dwight before Jesse surprised us by announcing that he had actually collected Jeanine’s idol and given he also has Cody’s, he is holding all the power now. Specifically two idols.
Secretly, which is important given the Knowledge is Power is in play.
The next day Karla and Jesse were bonding over their Latino heritage before Owen opened up to them about how he was originally born in Korea and adopted at 4 months old. He spoke about how growing up he felt like an outsider and that being left out of two votes in a row, it was bringing up trauma. Though trust and believe he was going to try and find those cracks and take control with some other underdogs. He immediately caught up with Noelle and Jeanine to talk about who to align with, with Jeanine hopeful in their chances with Gabler while Noelle wasn’t so sure the seven that voted together the night before will stick together for long. Jesse, Karla, Cassidy and James caught up, hopeful that they would be able to stick together, with James wanting them to target Owen next given he voted for him at the first merge tribal.
The groups game together, with Karla opening up about her dreams about Probst making ramen during a gross food challenge and then crowd surfing. While it was weird, it got everyone talking about food and how damn hungry they were, fantasising about new food combinations and well, this is why Probst drags me to Fiji twice a year, I guess. Rather than just talking about food, Ryan went to go find some, fishing for hours to feed the tribe and make sure everyone was well fed. And therefore a little reliant on him. He opened up to Gabler about how proud of himself he is, particularly for a kid that grew up with CP and as such he is hopeful being a provider counteracts the fact he is a massive physical threat. After locking in his place in the alliance of seven, Sami approached the outsiders to try and align with them, given going to the end with the others is far more risky. He then returned to Jesse and James to keep them feeling about aligning with him, but trust, he was ready to make a move.
The tribe reconnected with Jeffrey where they would each have to balance a ball on a disc on the end of a tall pole, with the last one standing taking out immunity and guaranteeing their place in the top ten. Before getting to the challenge though, Jeff offered the tribe a bag of rice if five people were to sit out of the challenge and if nobody takes it, it will only be more expensive. Thankfully James, Sami, Jesse, Cassidy and Karla opted to sit out for the rice, despite James trying to assure Owen that he is TOTALLY safe if he were to sit out. Which is definitely not the case. The six players lined up for the challenge with Jeanine and Noelle dropping back to back when adding their third length of pole. Gabler dropped on the next round, Ryan dropped on the next before Cody dropped out of nowhere on the next transition, handing Owen a much needed victory.
Back at camp Owen was thrilled to have some much needed safety because despite the fact the 7 may not stay aligned, he is still on the bottom. As evidenced by James assuring him he is good. Gabler meanwhile was just trying to keep himself safe, hanging around Ryan and James as they locked in the vote against Jeanine. Ryan went person to person to fill them in on the vote, trying to get things unanimous before disappearing to fish for everyone to remind them how great eating is. Cody and Jesse meanwhile were confident that getting rid of Jeanine was the best for everyone, while Sami kicked it into high gear to save his fellow Baka, as such, floating Ryan as another option.
Knowing he had to play things carefully, he floated whether getting rid of Ryan makes sense to Karla. And while she was obviously keen, she knew it would be a tough sell with the rest of the alliance. Particularly since he is spending his afternoon fishing, rather than strategising with his allies. The Ryan vote spread like wildfire with Jeanine growing hopeful that she would be saved, until Cody and James started to turn things back around. James then went person to person, with Cassidy in particular frustrated to see yet another woman voted out particularly since she is clearly a sitting duck and they will be able to get rid of her whenever. Oh and Ryan has burnt her multiple times, whereas Jeanine hasn’t.
At tribal council Jeff spoke about how each season has a unique vibe, with Gabler talking about theirs being focused on the social connections. While Karla countered that while the social games have been subtle, eventually someone has to make moves to claim victory. Ryan meanwhile suggested everyone was laying low for now and just enjoying themselves, while Owen admitted he doesn’t care what happens as long as he is voting with the group. Sami pointed out that the last two votes have been blindsides, while Cassidy reminded everyone that subtle games aren’t weak and James suggested everything is fluid within the game.
Jeanine opened up about trying to go with the momentum and keep navigating around the uncertainty, while Gabler was concerned about how quickly things change. Cody admitted he is nervous whenever he feels safe, while Ryan reminded everyone he caught 21 fish today. Jeanine spoke about not feeling safe, at all, given she was on the bottom last tribal, though was hopeful to trust her gut before Cody spoke about distances and reading body language and well, I was confused. As was Sami, given he was expecting everything to blow up pretty soon whether they were feeling safe or not. With that the tribe voted and despite their best efforts to feel Ryan, poor Jeanine found herself exiting the game as the Queen of the Jury.
Which, as you know, is my favourite placing.
As soon as she arrived at the freshly transformed Ponderosa, I pulled her in for a massive hug and congratulated her on a game well played. I told her that I was concerned that the women were having such a tough time this season due to the back-to-back success of Erika and Maryanne, and as such, there is an element of her being screwed by what was fresh in everyone’s mind. Which proved to be enough to dull the pain. Although maybe it was the piping hot Pork Jeanine Schzheng that made her feel better?
Delicate, melt in your mouth pork, coated in a gloriously crunchy crust, this little schnitty is perfect – particularly with some Dwight Moorshroom Gravy to wash it down! Add in a little mash and you have a comforting meal, easy enough to slot into your mid-week rotation.
Pork Jeanine Schzheng Serves: 2.
Ingredients 2 pork steaks, flattened to about 2cm thick 1 cup panko breadcrumbs 1 sprig rosemary, finely chopped 2 sprigs thyme leaves 3 garlic cloves, minced salt and pepper, to taste 1 egg, whisked flour, for dredging olive oil, for fryin’ lemon, mash and Dwight Moorshroom Gravy, to serve
Method Take the pork out of the fridge and leave to come to room temperature while you prepare your crumb. Combine the breadcrumbs, rosemary, thyme and garlic in one bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper, the egg in another and flour in a third.
Dip the pork in the flour, followed by the egg and finally the crumb.
Heat a lug of oil in a large skillet and cook the schnitzels for a few minutes, or until golden and crisp. Flip and cook for a further few minutes or until golden, crisp and perfectly cooked through.
Serve immediately with a squeeze of lemon, some mash and a generous amount of Dwight’s gravy. And then devour.
Previously on Survivor South Africa the rapidly expanding jury was filling up with members of the former Masu tribe as everyone started turning on each other, rather than going after their pre-merge counterparts. While Steffi and Marian were locked in with each other, their other ally Meryl was not so solid and was ready to make a move, resulting in the blindside of Steffi. That obviously led to Marian seeing red, as she spit fire on her way to aligning with Dino. After taking out immunity, Marian was nervous about Meryl skipping out on tribal council with her pass. This led to an epic planning where Dino and Co. convinced her that they needed her vote, sending Marian out of tribal council while the rest of the tribe brutally blindsided Meryl.
Back at camp Marian was thrilled that Meryl had fallen into their trap and sent her back to camp before the vote. The remaining tribe soon joined her with Shane thrilled that the move brought the tribe together, with Marian congratulating everyone for pulling it off. With Killarney still sure that it was all her plan, which obviously annoyed Phil, given he, Felix and Dino are the ones that actually put in the work. Talk turned to how well Meryl took her blindside, with everyone agreeing her positive attitude is indicative of how great the season has been.
The next day Felix woke up his tribemates with news of an upcoming reward challenge, leading to speculation about why the challenge was starting so early in the day. Begging the question, is it a tough challenge or an epic reward? Like say, the loved ones visit. This got everyone hopeful about potentially spending some time with their loved ones. Killarney opened up about the recent loss of her mother and her partner in the space of a month just before the game and while she is still struggling with her grief, she is proud of how hard she has fought despite it. And oh god, I’m crying before we even got to the challenge!
After drying my tears, the tribe caught up with Nico where they learnt they would have to race on a balanced rig to spell out the name of the season without knocking it over. With the winner getting a big schnitty reward, alongside a cheeky call with their loved one and an advantage in the upcoming immunity challenge. This got Marian crying, while everyone agreed that seeing their loved ones would be the biggest advantage they could ask for. With that, the challenge kicked off with Phil absolutely powering ahead with Killarney nipping at his heels. Well, until she knocked her blocks off. While Felix and Tejan closed the gap, it was all for naught as Phil quickly took out the win.
Nico obviously decided to give him a little dilemma, offering him the chance to take two people on reward with him but only if he was willing to forfeit the food and advantage. The tribe kindly all told him to play it smart and hold on to the entire reward, while Tejan clarified how using the reward invite works and if he would simply be joining Phil on the reward, rather than taking it away from him. After the assurance both of them would get to go, he played his token and headed out for a little bit of love. And a share in the advantage. As they exited, Dino started to break down over the thought of his fiance sitting at her computer, about to be told they wouldn’t be talking and ugh, it is all too sad. And that is before Killarney even started worrying about how to keep her head in the game while still mourning.
Phil and Tejan arrived at their reward, giddy to smash some food before getting their video call. Oh and the advantage for the upcoming immunity challenge. While Phil didn’t want him to get the advantage, he was glad to have Tejan there with him and to have the chance to talk about potentially aligning. Hoping to split the immunity challenges between them and make a move against Dino and Marian as the last big threats left in the game. And while Phil hated the idea of turning on his friend, he knew it would be necessary eventually.
Speaking about Dino, he and Marian were talking about the threat Tejan poses to their games with Killarney joining the fray and agreeing that an immunity run could screw everyone up. Dino opened up to us about how he wants to progress with his biggest threats – Marian, Phil and Felix or Shane. Speaking of the latter two, they were bonding and floating the idea of working together while back with Marian and Dino, she didn’t want Killarney or Tejan getting anywhere near the end with her. Shane joined them, as Marian speculated who would take her to the end if she was in the final four with Phil, Shane and Dino.
Back at reward, Phil was first up to call his family and immediately started sobbing as he saw his wife and kids. He opened up to them about how tough the game has been, though assured them that he is focused and fighting through, sticking to everything they planned before heading out. He tagged out with Tejan who truly lit up when his partner, niece and nephew popped his sweet angel dog on screen. And ugh, his partner is so cute, telling him to just focus and make it further than he did in his first season. The duo then bonded over the chance to see their family, with Tejan thrilled by how much the reward has given him. And hoping it pays dividends in the long run. In my heart, for his dog.
The next day everyone started speculating about the immunity challenge, while Marian grew focused on getting rid of Felix to bring Phil back to her loving arms. She then told Dino that Felix has been throwing his name around, while Dino told her that he in fact was throwing out her name. Felix meanwhile genuinely started throwing out Marian’s name, given it frees up Shane to align with him and take control with the goats. Felix and Tejan then floated the idea of getting rid of Marian, with Dino assuring them that getting rid of Killarney is all that she really cares about at this point.
The tribe reconnected with Nico for the latest immunity challenge where everyone would have to stand on a ledge and balance a block of wood between a beam and their heads. With Phil and Tejan getting to start the challenge five minutes after everyone else, which is an epic advantage. Before the duo even started Marian lost her focus and dropped out of the challenge. Tejan dropped as quickly as he started, before Shane dropped out of nowhere. After fifteen minutes, Killarney dropped, soon followed by Dino leaving Felix – who was shocked not to be the first out – and Phil to battle for immunity. Eventually though, the advantage proved to be too much to overcome as Felix dropped his block and handed Phil immunity yet again.
Back at camp everyone congratulated Phil on his challenge win, with Killarney growing nervous about his new found beastly ways. Marian meanwhile was worried about how close Felix and Phil were getting, catching up with Dino and Shane to talk about who they should target with Marian wanting to get rid of Felix, while Dino knew Tejan and Killarney were also a risk as the remaining goats. As Phil, Felix and Killarney went down to the beach to fish, they noticed a symbol on a rock with Phil quickly pouncing on it and jagging a clue to a hidden immunity. Though tragically, he could not find it. While he was searching, Killarney admitted that she was finally ready to trust that Felix wants to work with her. And given she allegedly orchestrated the Steffi and Meryl blindsides, she felt he was lucky to have her.
Phil gave up on his search and joined up with Marian and Dino to plan the vote ahead, with them suggesting getting rid of Felix given his final four is clearly him and the goats. Speaking of Felix, he was busy catching up with Shane, who spilled the beans about Dino and Marian coming for him. Which obviously filled him with dread. Felix and Tejan then caught up, debating how much they can trust Shane while he was wondering how he can work the information if it comes out. Shane then caught up with Tejan, talking about the impending chaos, while Phil continued to desperately hunt for his idol.
Felix caught up with Phil, with Dino soon joining them to block any chat. After Felix wandered off to hunt for the idol, Dino checked whether Phil was ok with the thought of Felix going, with him admitting that he still wants to work with him but also wanted to get the trio to the end together. Phil and Felix caught up while Dino continued the hunt for the idol, before Killarney asked permission to start hunting for the idol. She then threw Phil under the bus, sharing that he found an advantage on the beach which made Dino fearful that it meant the boys had already commenced turning on him.
The next day Dino continued to worry about his place in the game, getting up early to look for the idol in the hope that Phil hadn’t found it yet. Marian meanwhile caught up with Phil and told him that Killarney told her he found a clue and while he tried to tell her his clue told him it was at the Outpost, she knew it was a lie and quickly became wary of him. Phil finally told Dino about the clue in the hope that he could help him, with Dino sadly deciding it meant he had found the idol already. And Phil girl, you’re in danger. Well, when you next lose immunity.
Tejan and Felix meanwhile were hanging out by the shore, speculating about what was going on with the tribe with Felix growing paranoid. Though admitting he would prefer to be paranoid, rather than getting voted out. Felix and Phil caught up, with the former sure that he was the target for the rival faction and as such, they needed to lock in the vote against Tejan. Despite the fact Phil was ready to turn on Dino but 24 hours earlier. The trio then caught up, with Phil trying to bring them together and block out all the noise floating around camp in the hope of dealing with whatever else they were planning down the track.
After splitting up, Phil finally found what he was looking for. Well, kind of, as he got another clue, directing him to look for said idol at tribal council. Sadly for him, Shane saw him find it and as such, quickly took the information back to Marian and given Phil is clearly the biggest threat, they decided that they needed to take a shot at Felix to weaken him. Marian and Dino caught up, with the former pointing out that Phil is on his way to winning the game and as his biggest threats, they need to take out the people he wants to take to the top three until they can take a shot at him. Shane filled Tejan in on the plan, who was annoyed as he wanted to take out Dino or Marian instead. After talking to Dino, Tejan approached Felix to tell him of everyone conspiring against him, seemingly unaware it could cost him the game. But since he made a fake idol, maybe he will get lucky.
At tribal council Felix admitted to feeling very nervous about the upcoming vote, while Marian said it was a very confusing day at camp as everyone came up with rival plans. Tejan admitted he was very much a target, with Felix laughing about it all being a lie, given he knows for a fact he is the target. He then spoke about wanting to take a goat to the end, while Marian and Dino started whispering about who to vote for between Tejan and Felix. Tejan admitted that he thinks he has been perceived as a goat, while Dino said that he would far prefer to eliminate the goats, Cirie style, given the goats take up a seat at final tribal council and makes it just that much harder to get to the end.
Felix said he was debating between sticking with what he knows and changing things up, while Tejan mentioned that the biggest threats need to worry because the leftovers could band together and take control. Felix continued his fight to say, reiterating that him being there the next day is best for most people’s games. Tejan then unveiled his fake idol, with everyone knowing it is fake. Felix pointed out that Tejan’s game has been to float along in the middle, so while people think they have him, they can’t trust he will stay with them. Phil whispered to Killarney to put down Tejan, while Marian confirmed with Dino that they were voting for Felix before they headed off to vote. And promptly voted Tejan out, despite him not playing his fake idol because he felt everyone had his back.
Tejan was in good spirits as he arrived at Ponderosa, despite the blindside. He knew that he was a target and while his decoys and plans didn’t come together, he was happy that he exhausted all of his options and went out swinging. While a game like Tejan’s is not over showy TV, he expertly navigated the middle and reduced his target, which carried him all the way to the top 7. And that in and of itself, is enough to justify a piping hot Itejan Weddillay Soup.
While this little number is traditionally a hybrid of cheap meats and veggies – or marriage, if you will – the resulting soup acts like a bowl of love. Warm, hearty and oh-so-soothing, it is the perfect way to cure a cold, miserable day.
Itejan Weddillay Soup Serves: 6-8.
Ingredients 250g beef mince 250g pork mince 1 onion, diced large handful of flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped 3 eggs 3 garlic cloves, minced ¼ cup panko breadcrumbs ⅔ cup parmesan cheese, grated 1 tsp kosher salt, plus extra to taste pepper, to taste 3L chicken stock 2 cups baby spinach 1 chilli, thinly sliced (and seeds removed if you can’t handly the heat)
Method Pop the minces, onion about ⅔ of the parsley, an egg, the garlic, breadcrumbs and ½ cup of the parmesan in a large bowl with the salt and a good whack of pepper. Scrunch until well combined. Using wet hands, form into 1 tbsp sized meatballs and pop on a lined baking sheet.
Bring the stock to the boil over medium heat and once rollicking, maintain at a light boil. Gently drop in the meatballs and cook for about five minutes, or until tender and cooked. Whisk the remaining parmesan and eggs in a jug before pouring in the mixture, stirring, aiming to make thin strands of egg. Add in the spinach and chilli and cook for a further couple of minutes before removing from the heat and stirring through the parsley and seasoning to taste.
Allow to cool for a couple of minutes before serving and devouring, with extra lashings of cheese for good measure.
Previously on Survivor South Africa 146 castaways lined up to play across 8 seasons and while their were countless iconic moments – Chappies nude scenes, for instance – and blindsides, only 8 people walked away as winners while 136 exited the game as losers. Well, assuming my maths is correct. Which, TBH, it probably isn’t. In any event, it did lead us here, with zaddy Nico, to welcome back 20 castaways returning for a shot at redemption. Or more likely, to get their torch snuffed once again.
The castaways jetted in on speed boats where we learnt that the Yontau would be made up of pre-merge boots like Shona who was not thrilled to be on a tribe with chaotic players like Tania and Pinty. Thankfully the iconic Tania was ready to learn from her mistakes and take the back seat, while Killarney was thrilled to be a mystery to her fellow castaways given she played so long ago. And trust and believe, she will be using it to her advantage. Over on Masu who all made it to the merge on their first go around, Steffi wasn’t thrilled to be competing with Chappies given he was a dirty little food thief, while Meryl was thrilled to be reunited with her former ally Dante. Despite the fact it clearly makes them both targets. PK was nervous to see Tevin on the rival tribe, given he had already blindsided him once before while Marian and Shane were thrilled to be reunited. And hopeful their season was old enough that they would be considered unknowns.
And did I mention Queen Palesa is back? Because, work.
The two tribes’ boats docked on the shore and met up with Nico where Seamus was thrilled to be back and glad that he can’t place worse than his first go around, which is a very good point. Thoriso is glad to be a returnee despite not making the merge or playing well, while Tejan was nervous to be back after 11 long years. And Chappies was shitting his pants with excitement to be back after a matter of months, though also knew it was concerning as he is very fresh in people’s minds. Tevin meanwhile was ready for revenge on the two people that voted him out, while Marian pointed out that while she made the merge, nobody made the finale and as such, they all have something to prove. And yes, Queen Marian.
Oh and then Nico dropped the goss that they’d be playing for 2 million rand and well, they were overjoyed. Particularly Chappies, since it makes his loss make more sense, since he was destined for the double prize. Obviously.
Nico then warned them that they would have to earn that increased prize with the most intense season ever. And to prove it, they were put to the test in their first reward challenge for a flint. And said challenge would be a repeat of the Season 7 – and many US and Australian seasons too – classic where in pairs, they would have to race and collect a ring from a pole and get it back to their tribe pole, with the first team to three winning. And if the boys start pulling at each other’s clothes Australian style, we win.
Killarney and Thoriso were first up facing Palesa and Steffi, the latter of whom had an injured ACL and was worried she wouldn’t be able to replicate her dominant performance on her first season. Thankfully for her and Masu, she still made easy work of the challenge and jagged their first point without even breaking a sweat. Chappies and Dante faced off against Felix and Seamus and damn did they put up a fight. While Seamus was first to the ring, Chappies brutally tackled him before they all snuggled in a puddle and while their pants stayed on, I still ship them. Oh and then Dante made a break and scored a second point for Masu. But never forget the cuddle puddle. Tevin and Pinty battled Toni and Tejan to keep them in the game, which they did as Tevin darted out of the fray and scored the first point for Yontau. Meryl and Marian then played for the game against Tania and Shona and while they were confident, Tania and Shona put up a valiant fight, wrestling their rivals until they dragged them to the Masu pole and scored reward for their fellow post-merge returnees.
We followed Yontau back to camp where the tribe were shocked by how minimal their supplies were, while Thoriso was busy focusing on the fact their trees had symbols on them. Hopeful they would lead her to an idol. While Dino was just terrified about how little they had. Meanwhile at Masu, Dante was hoping to learn from his mistakes and keep all his options open and build relationships with everyone. The first apparently being with Chappies as the duo bonded over being strong challenge beasts and honestly, a little bit of fangirling. And since Chappies knows Steffi from outside the game, he was confident they would be a strong trio. Speaking of Steffi, she and Marian were gossiping about PK, Tevin and Toni all having matching tattoos and being close, and as such, decided they should get rid of PK ASAP. Which I assume means Marian is also in the alliance with Steffi, Chappies and Dante, whether she likes it or not. Toni and PK meanwhile pulled Tejan in and were ready to pull in Palesa as their fellow Season 6 player.
Over at Yontau Tania was trying to fight her instincts and stay calm, which meant she immediately approached Thoriso and Pinty to align. Then Killarney. Completely aware that she was sliding back into panicked Tania. Dino and Seamus meanwhile were bonding over how weird it was to be back, with Seamus opening up about how hard he was on himself after being booted first and how it has taken him a long time to heal. Back at camp Shona was suggesting they watch the sunset, though she cautioned they avoid smashing an unripe pineapple as they relaxed, in case it makes their stomachs sore. Which in turn made Pinty slip back into her old ways and get angry, before she went for a walk and calmed down, knowing she needs to keep it in check if she wants to win.
We returned back to Masu where Meryl, Marian and Steffi snuck away to lock in an alliance, with Shane and Dante pulled in with their pairs. And then Chappies became their arbitrary sixth person after Steffi pulled him in. Which made her nervous, given she didn’t want her loyalty outside of the game – since they know each other – to ruin how she plays. Meanwhile Dante was on the hunt for an island wife with PK, as Marian was thrilled to date Dante. We then learnt that she and PK briefly dated a decade ago and while he thinks everything is all good between them, she was more than ready to cut him and get her revenge for being sketchy to her. Which is the kind of drama I live for.
The next day the Masu six were left alone at camp, shocked by their luck to openly strategise against the other four and figure out how to dismantle their bonds and take complete control. Meanwhile Palesa, Toni and PK were down by the beach with Toni feeling nervous about their position in the game and unsure how they will survive should they lose the first challenge. That being said, PK is busy painting the target on his back and that is enough for her to feel a little at ease given he clearly would go first.
We returned back to Yonatu where Tevin was ready to make a name for himself and not get stuck into his perceived trio with Toni and PK. As such, he approached Seamus and quickly locked him in as a number.
Back at Masu Shane was feeling confident in his alliance with Marian, despite the fact they haven’t even spoken. She then pointed out a symbol on a tree next to camp, leaving him to dig around the roots to see if he could find anything, while she darted off to loop in Dante.
The tribes then received treemail directing them to select two people to go on a journey to the Outpost where they would have to negotiate for supplies. Which obviously made everyone super nervous and paranoid. After much deliberation, Yontau selected to send Seamus and Thoriso to go on their behalf while Masu opted for Shane and Steffi. The latter of whom being selected by drawing the short straw. Much to Toni and Palesa’s disappointment.
As the foursome arrived at the Outpost they learnt they would be able to select two supplies for each tribe, with Shane offering for them to go first in the hope they selected flint and he and Steffi could jag what they wanted. Sadly for them Seamus bluffed and immediately selected rice, leaving Masu to get lentils and pap, while Yontau opted for the flint as their second choice. Before being dismissed, they read another note announcing that the four of them would now have to vote for somebody back at camp to receive the Outpost’s idol, the catch being it was only valid for the first tribal council. And should it be a tie, the tied players would draw rocks. And should the owner of the idol win immunity, they would still attend tribal council and play it at the other tribe’s tribal council. Which is quite the power, TBH.
The couples tried to outsmart each other, with Masu willingly pointing out their weakest while Yontau wisely opted to keep things quiet. Despite the fact Thoriso would have liked to keep to give Steffi and Shane something to keep her options open with them moving forward, but Seamus wasn’t interested. Which begged the question, has he learned as much from his first experience as I thought? Steffi and Shane received a heroes welcome as they arrived back at camp with all the food, while Palesa wondered what else they won at the Outpost. While they were tragically honest about the idol vote, proving it is never good to do these things. Back at Yontau, however, everyone believed every word Thoriso and Seamus said, so maybe sometimes you can win.
That night at Masu, Chappies got up to his usual overnight fun and started digging for an idol before he was quickly joined by Steffi. Sadly for the duo, however, Dante woke up and saw them, quickly looping in Palesa. Which you know can only mean trouble. The next morning, Dante pulled the Season 6 crew aside to let them know about Chappies and keep the target on him, as everyone agreed they didn’t want to deal with all that paranoia. Though Toni did admit that if Chappies isn’t being paranoid, someone else probably would be instead. But she is happy to have a target on someone else’s back. Meanwhile at Yontau Tevin, Dino, Pinty and Seamus caught up to see what they would do should they go to tribal council and while nobody was willing to name a name – despite the obvious Tania – they all appeared to be a little frozen by going out early their first time and are trying to hold firm until something big happens.
Speaking of something big, the tribes met up with Nico for the first immunity challenge where we learnt Seamus and Thoriso were way smarter than their post merge counterparts, loading their votes on Tevin while the Masus voted for Tania. Who tragically lost the following rock draw, giving Tevin all the power at the upcoming tribal council whether they win immunity or not. But back to the challenge, where they would have to break through a reed wall, use a monkey fist to release puzzle pieces, build a ladder, unlock or unite other ladders and then maneuvre their way through and over obstacles to light a flame at a tower at the end of the course.
Yontau got out to the earliest of leads, no doubt with the fire to guarantee one of them doesn’t go out pre-merge again (yet). After Pinty whipped through the knots, PK opted to unlock the ladders which only put them further behind. As Masu desperately tried to close the gap, Yontau slotted the final ladders in and lit their torch and secured themselves immunity. Guaranteeing one of the post-mergers would become a first boot. Just like Seamus in the Philippines.
Back at camp Yontau were living their best lives, with Tania more than happy to shamelessly celebrate the fact their rivals finally get to feel what it is like to truly be an outcast in the game. Seamus put his foot in his mouth again, pointing out that Masu tried to give their weakest player the idol and the strategy backfired anyway, before Phil and Shona stepped to say it was the other tribes perception and that they all love Tania and know she is a powerhouse. Proving to be far more adept than she is given credit for, Tania admitted that she knows she was likely going to be the first boot from their tribe, though is grateful nobody ever made her feel she would be. Which earned a lot of sympathy, and likely change some people’s minds. Assuming she is playing 5D chess like I’m implying. Tevin brought up the idol of it all, asking the tribe what they think he should do and while he appeared open to ideas, he is totally protecting PK, right?
We caught up with Masu where Shane was heartbroken to have lost immunity while Marian was frustrated that the tribe weren’t working together. More specifically, PK’s ego was the thing that got in the way of their victory. She and Meryl knew Tevin would likely be playing his idol for PK and Toni, leading to them joining up with Dante, PK, Toni and Tejan, with Toni and Dante floating getting rid of Chappies and splitting the vote on Shane. Which didn’t make Meryl and Marian feel comfortable, though they kinda felt like there was no other option.
As Dante, Marian and Meryl caught up with Steffi and Chappies to lock in the vote against Shane. Though it was very clear Dante was still ready to cut Chappies. Shane then caught up with Meryl and Steffi to loop then in on how sketchy he feels Dante is – since Shane has been watching him like a hawk – wanting to flip the vote on him instead. And while he assured them this would be the only thing he orchestrates, Meryl now felt he was a little too sketchy. Particularly as he continued to push for Dante. While poor Chappies admitted he was just trying to stay calm and hold firm.
We checked back in with Yontau were the tribe seemed to agree that Tevin should give his idol to Palesa, while Felix put his neck on the line to try and advocate for Dante. Which Tevin admitted was a good idea, given how loyal he is.
At tribal council Shane spoke about how difficult this season is, particularly since everyone is trying to rectify their mistakes from previous games. Shane then admitted that battle lines have been drawn since day two, while Toni wished she realised that had happened. She then spoke about focusing on Survivor 101 and sticking to their word, reminding them that flipping and lying so soon paints a target on your back. Steffi spoke about losing the challenge because they were fractured, while Tejan cautioned them not to give too much away, given they have an audience. Chappies reiterated that Tevin could throw a spanner in the works, while Meryl pointed out he has three Season 6 castaways he would clearly protect with the idol. While Toni and Marian awkwardly whispered before getting caught by Nico.
Nico then explained how the idol process would work, with Masu voting before Tevin would go and anonymously vote for who he would give immunity to. Oh and to help make his decision, he was able to ask his own questions of the tribe. He then opted for chaos, asking Steffi and Shane why they told the Yontau duo to vote for Tejan to get immunity. Which made everyone annoyed, asking why that was left out of their post-Outpost recap and why they decided he was on the bottom. Until Marian thankfully calmed them all down and reminded them that Tevin just wanted to create drama and as such, they all need to calm down.
With that the tribe voted before Tevin voted for the immunity and headed back to camp. Nico then collected the votes and announced that Palesa was immune before the votes rolled in between Shane and Chappies with Shane throwing out a single vote for Dante. Which ultimately saved himself from a tie and sent Chappies from the game as the first boot. With not even a single nude season to his name. Tragically.
Chappies was heartbroken as he arrived back at Loser Lodge, though admitted he was still happy to have gotten a second chance to play the game. I reminded him that I still loved him – despite the lack of nudity – and while he is the first boot, it happened because he came in with such a massive target on his back. And well, if it was good enough for Tina Wesson to go from first to worst, it should be good enough for him. Particularly knowing how she dominated on her third go. With that, he was well and truly perked back up and gladly toasted him success over a big bowl of Cheeseburger Chappies.
There is nothing I love more than turning a cheeseburger into another style of food and well these little babies are one of the best you can have. Yeah sure, these lean more towards the side of being a croquette, but who cares when they taste this good? Nobody.
Cheeseburger Chappies Serves: 2 dear friends.
Ingredients 500g beef mince ½ cup American Cheese, grated 4 dill pickles, finely chopped 1 tsbp ketchup 1 tbsp American mustard ½ tsp onion powder ½ tsp garlic powder salt and pepper, to taste 2 cups flour 1-2 eggs, lightly whisked 2 cups panko breadcrumbs olive oil for drizzlin’ or olive oil spray
Method Pop the mince, cheese, pickles, ketchup, mustard, onion and garlic powders in a large bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper and scrunch until well combined. Form the mixture into chips and place on a lined baking sheet. Cover and place in the fridge to set for an hour or so.
Preheat the oven to 200C.
Place the flour in a bowl, the eggs in another and the breadcrumbs in a third. Take the chips out of the fridge and working one at a time, dip in the flour, then the egg followed by the panko until well coated. Repeat the process until done.
Once all the chips are gorgeously covered, pop them back on a lined baking sheet, drizzle or spray with oil and transfer to the oven to bake for half an hour, or until golden and crisp on the outside.
Once cooked, served immediately with your fave burger condiments before devouring.
Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race the Season 14 queens came together to rehash the drama of the season. Obviously most of it revolved around Daya Betty and her bitterness, until Jorgeous stopped punching the ghosts and instead gave her a one-two punch with Jasmine. Not to be outdone by her queer sisters, Miss Maddy Morphosis was a shade canon and ideally, booked herself a ticket on an upcoming All Stars season. I mean, he did win the golden boot of the season. Most importantly of all though, is the fact that Kornbread dressed as Willow’s entrance look which was V important, alongside the fact we are down to five and finally ready to crown a winner.
We kicked off proceedings with a Viva Drag Vegas runway where June was absolute perfection, dripping in gold. Alyssa gave jungle flamenco and was oh so expensive. Kornbread was once again a star as beauty AND the beast, Orion was a glamour dragon, Maddy rocked lady Elvis chic, Kerri came as her iconic, mother-tucking Tranos meme, Jasmine gave full baby Alyssa Edwards realness, DeJa served Alexis Mateo realness and Jorgeous was a classic silver showgirl. Then the top five arrived with Angeria stunning and stopping the show in blue, Bosco was a glamour demon, Daya gave bubblegum burlesque realness, Lady Camden was a perfect pink horse and cart before Willow stole the show in red with a blade for an arm.
Oh and then Ru straight up lowered from the ceiling surrounded by a fan of chocolate bars and the zaddy pit crew. And this, is queer culture people.
Ru opened the show announcing that once again it is chocolate, before getting to the format of this ‘ere finale where the top five would face off in a Showgirl Showdown. First the dolls would each do a solo performance to a song they feel speaks to their vibe. From that, Ru and Michelle – or just Ru, TBH – would select a top two with that duo then lip syncing for the crown. Oh and then Michelle arrived and gave Ru the key to the city in honour of April 22 being declared RuPaul day in Las Vegas. Everybody say love!
Up first was the one and only, the iconic, Angeria Paris Van Michaels! And girl, her original Check My Track Record was perfection from start to finish. She looked perfect, she was silly and camp, she hit every move and every letter. And well, the pit crew in gold lame were just as stunning as I needed them to be. In the Q&A portion of the evening, Angeria leaned into her country charm and was a ball of pure delight. Living for the fame and just loving everything that was coming her way. Oh and then her dad announced she won her first crown in kindergarten and, of course! And then he encouraged parents to just love and support their kids and I love her parents too. We bounced back to Angeria who said that above all else, drag taught her that you can do anything you put your mind to.
When it came to Bosco, her song Devil was creepy and kooky and well, she looked stunning. She slowly revealed herself from being an angel to a full blown – word of the day – demon, complete with bloody mouth and well, I lived for her. She opened up to Ru about how drag helped take her to different places. She shared how shocked she was to leave the race with a sisterhood when she didn’t think that would happen. Bosco’s boyfriend and her dear friend Lucy were there in the crowd and were so silly and cute while Bosco was grateful for drag teaching her exactly who she wants to be.
Daya’s performance was kinda hypnotic, as she emerged from a cocoon to be a full blown blue and orange bug and well, it was stunning. Days spoke about how she grew up determined to take out the win and that Crystal encouraged her to grow a mullet before the show. She told Ru that her passion was to do weird shit and be bold. Her boyfriend Tanner and the third Methyd sister were so proud to see her make it to the finale, before she encouraged everyone watching to always get back up and fight through things.
Lady Camden’s I Fell Down (I Got Back Up) was silly, operatic and well, damn show stopping. She gave high heel ballet, served reveals and well, she needs to be in the top. Camden opened up about her passion for theatrics from her childhood to now and how much she loves Queen. Oh and if she had her time over, she would be herself from the very start. Camden’s mother and drag mother were an adorable comedy duo, bantering with Ru and being cute. Oh and Camden is now vers, or something?
Rounding out the individual performances, Willow’s song I Hate People was wacky and wonderful. And oh so relatable. I mean, who doesn’t hate people? She then revealed two extra heads on her shoulders and a fourth in her panties and well, crown her now. She is a damn star! Her Q&A with Ru was silly, fun and charming, with Ru clearly delighting in her silliness as she introduced the extra faces as Carson, Ross and Michelle in her panties. Oh and she was so proud to have come into the women she is. Her mum and sister were super chill and friendly, giving all the support and I love them. Particularly when the sister read Ru about the H&M disaster. By the time Willow explained drag was just mental illness and rhinestones, there was no way she was losing the crown.
Jaida, Kameron, Trinity, Derrick, Kahana and Naomi – aka the cast of RuPaul’s Drag Race Las Vegas Live – took the stage to perform losing is the new winning and girl, it was a good ad. Particularly as the eliminated queens joined them. Oh and then we celebrated the iconic Queen of Vegas, Hot Chocolate. And ugh, I love her too! Can they do a legends season with her, Bunny, Coco Peru, Dame Edna and Vanessa Wagner?
The top five returned to the stage where they learnt, via roulette wheel no less, that the top two are none other than Lady Camden and Willow Pill. Which makes me infinitely happier with my choice to go alphabetically with recipes, rather than reverse.
As the top two went backstage to get ready for the final lip sync, the eliminated queens were joined by the iconic Symone who looked PERFECT. She was then joined by Lala Ri who looked stunning in a chandelier looking gown with nary a bag in sight as she quickly handed the Miss Congeniality baton over to Kornbread and ugh, I live, I am so happy for her.
But now, for the moment we’ve all been waiting for, Lady Camden and Willow Pill took the stage for their final lip sync. Willow wearing a hilariously oversized pinstripe suit for, no doubt, some reveals. While Camden’s were far better hidden in a royal ballet outfit. As soon as Cher’s version of Gimme Gimme Gimme kicked off, both the queens played into their strengths. Camden was emotional and gave all the clean lines while Willow was stupid and fun, shaking off her jacket and revealing her outfit was just massive pants. She then duck-walked the stage before her final reveal while Camden tried to repeat the Freddy Mercury reveal, this time sadly getting the wigs caught. In any event, they both fought valiantly, bouncing off each other and having the most damn fun.
Sadly though, there can only be one winner – well, except for our twinners Monet and Trinity – and despite a strong showing from Camden, it was Willow Pill who rightly took home the crown.
Despite losing the competition, Camden was an absolute delight backstage. Though since the runner-up now gets cash, I guess that makes sense. Oh and the fact she has won more money than every Drag Race UK winner combined, probably doesn’t hurt. Plus, she had an epic, iconic run and while she started off quiet, once she came out of her shell, she stole the damn show. Making her not only the perfect runner-up or future All Stars winner, but recipient of a congratulatory batch of Crumbed Lady Camdenbert.
Crunchy and crisp on the outside, soft and gooey on the inside, this is the ultimate comfort food. And more importantly super easy – a couple of cut, a quick crumb and fry and you’re in heaven.
Crumbed Lady Camdenbert Serves: 4.
Ingredients ⅓ cup plain flour 2 eggs, lightly whisked 1 cup panko breadcrumbs 200g camembert cheese, cut into 12 wedges vegetable oil, to deep-fry
Method Pop the flour, eggs and breadcrumbs into their own bowls. Coat the camembert in the flour, skating off the excess before dipping in the egg, followed by the breadcrumbs. Pressing firmly to coat, before popping on a lined plate.
Pour about 6cm deep oil in a medium pan and place over medium-high heat, and once hot, cook in batches for a couple of minutes, or until crisp and gooey. Transfer to a paper towel and repeat the process until they are all done. Then devour, regally.
Previously on Survivor despite blowing up his game at tribal council as he threw anyone and everyone under the bus, Daniel opted against apologising to his former allies. While they were all busy forming bonds with each other despite the fact they had just tried to vote each other out. Taku continued their winning streak before Ika narrowly lost the immunity challenge, leading to absolute chaos back at camp. Despite wanting to work together, both Tori and Swati busily tried to turn the tribe on the other. Then at tribal council, Swati played her Shot in the Dark and once again, it came up without safety and she found herself booted from the game. While a shocked Rocksroy looked ready to explode with rage.
Back at camp Tori was very grateful to still be in the game while Rocksroy tried to stay calm and find out what the hell changed between camp and tribal council to result in Swati going home. Romeo explained that she was busy playing both sides with Rocksroy appearing to be genuinely grateful to them for taking her out, while suggesting he can ride their social coattails through the game as a strong four. Which is something that Tori has zero interest in, instead looking to jump ship ASAP as she pulled faces about him in the dark.
The next day Maryanne was busy gloating about how great she is at Mario Kart at Taku, with her and Lindsay’s incessant conversation driving Jonathan absolutely mental as he desperately wished for a moment of peace and quiet. And well, the editors definitely picked the best clip to highlight this because even I was confused and frustrated and i’m a Chatty Cathy myself! Instead of completely blowing up, he got to work fishing and chopping wood until Maryanne popped her foot under the bamboo he was cutting and she made a very big deal about it. While they tried to clear the air, it was clear things were going nowhere so Jonathan instead suggested they just move on. And then went to the well with Lindsay and suggested they get rid of Maryanne should they go back to tribal council, given she is annoying. Which is what Maryanne was telling Omar she was worried about at that very moment, while he just wished everyone would get along!
Meanwhile over at Vati Hai was nervous about lingering tensions, knowing that he is still well and truly on the bottom of the tribe. Daniel and Chanelle were busy assuring each other that their last tribal council won’t come between them as they know they need each other, while Hai and Lydia caught up to figure out how they will get themselves out of the minority and make the merge. Just like that, Daniel tried his hand at fishing which allowed Hai and Lydia to question how he was able to fish for the tribe given he keeps sitting out of the swimming challenges due to his dislocated shoulder. Which well and truly pissed off Mike once the duo pointed it out to him.
Back at Ika, Drea and Romeo were busy trying to find their as-yet-unfound idol, with Romeo opening up to us about how he wanted to align with Drea initially because he wants to support strong women in honour of his mum. And the women he coaches to pageant glory back at home. Right on cue Drea then found the Ika idol, celebrating how advantage rich with advantages she is and knowing that Maryanne already has the Taku idol, it means she could have an active idol very quickly.
To womp-womp that though, we pivoted back to Vati however, where Mike was assuring the tribe that he has no plans to activate his idol at the immunity challenge given the idol is automatically powered at the merge and at which point he also gets his vote back. Which must be in very fine print because that has never been mentioned before.
We obviously then headed to meet up with Probst for the immunity challenge where Maryanne opened the show with her bunny line. Drea skillfully spoke about her potato-ness before Mike gagged even me by saying his damn line, activating all of their idols and locking in everyone’s vote for the tribal council ahead. But first, the immunity challenge, where each tribe would race up and over a net and untangle ropes to release a key. Then unlock a machete, chop free some sandbags and then knock over targets. Oh and the winning tribes would also get a tarp.
Following Sandra’s lead, Daniel once again sat out as Ika got out to a very early lead as Taku nipped at their heels. While calling out Jonathan for being a beast last week, it was Tori that absolutely dominated the challenge, burning through the key and machete portion giving Ika a huge advantage shooting at the targets. As Omar made Taku fall further and further behind, Ika took out the first immunity while Vati started shooting at their targets. Sadly for them, Taku finally joined them with Jonathan quickly knocking out the targets and narrowly taking out immunity for the tribe.
Ika then got to select someone from Vati to go on the special journey, opting for Lydia, with their very own Rocksroy offering to be the one to join her.
Back at camp Hai reminded everyone that they are a family and to keep that in mind while they scramble. Daniel admitted that he felt nervous and asked for everyone to meet with him, which is a sentiment that Chanelle echoed. As Hai and Daniel caught up, the former admitted that he believes Chanelle is the least trustworthy of the two and that she is the most likely to flip come merge. Mike and Chanelle meanwhile were busy locking in the vote against Daniel. We finally got a clearer picture of things as Mike and Hai caught up, debating the merits of each of them while they both agreed that it is critical that Lydia holds on to her vote on the journey.
Speaking of which, Rocksroy and Lydia were in awe of their surroundings as they climbed the mountain, with Lydia sharing that the game has truly changed her as a person and made her feel more confident in her own skin. At the top Rocksroy tried to find out who would be the target on Vati, while Lydia tried to dance around the facts and admitted that she wouldn’t be shocked if she was in trouble again. Both of them admitted to us that neither had any interest in sharing too much information about their respective tribes and as such, the awkward as hell conversation made a lot more sense. After splitting up, the duo faced their dilemma with Rocksroy worried about Lydia’s nerves getting the best of her and as such, opted to protect his vote. Which is the same decision she made, given her PTSD from their last tribal.
Lydia returned to camp and quickly admitted that she felt there was too much at stake to risk her vote. She then caught up with everyone one by one to figure out what she missed with both Chanelle and Daniel pledging their undying loyalty and praising her for being in charge. Thankfully Hai gave her the real run down and assured her that they are safe and not to worry.
At tribal council Mike admitted that while somebody had to go home tonight, they are still a strong unit. Daniel praised him for being such a team player which is necessary at certain points during the game. Hai said that while they may be tight, somebody has to be being lied to right now given they still need for someone to go home. Daniel pointed out that Mike means the tribe are a team until the end of their lives, not just the game which made Chanelle point out that he is clearly playing into Mike’s affection for him. Lydia meanwhile pointed out that after tonight, each tribe will have four people remaining and should they merge next week, they need to guarantee their four is a solid one. Which is a sentiment echoed by Hai and Daniel, while Mike reiterated that his vote is based on game and he still cares for the person getting booted.
With that the tribe voted and somehow was split 2-2-1 between Chanelle and Daniel, with a random vote cast against Mike. Mike, Hai and Lydia then revoted and officially sent Daniel out of the game. While Mike angrily acknowledged Chanelle’s vote against him.
As soon as Daniel arrived at Loser Lodge, I pulled him in for a massive hug which elicited massive screams from the sweetheart as I held tight on his busted shoulder. Proving definitively that yeah, he hurt! Given Daniel is a delightful superfan, however, he took that and his boot in stride, grateful to not just have had the opportunity to play the game, but also to get culinary comfort from me in the form of some Chicken Dianiel Strunk.
Yeah, yeah, Steak Diane Keaton is great – and oh so kitsch – but have you ever tried it with a chicken rissole? Because damn, does it taste good. Packing a lightly herbaceous punch, the juicy rissoles pair perfectly with the diane sauce to create a delicious and quick meal.
Chicken Dianiel Strunk Serves: 4.
Ingredients 500g chicken mince ½ cup panko breadcrumbs 4 shallots, thinly sliced 1 egg, lightly whisked ¼ cup flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped, plus extra for garnishing 2 tbsp Dijon mustard 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce salt and pepper, to taste 2 tbsp olive oil 1 onion, diced 4 garlic cloves, minced ¼ cup tomato paste ⅔ cup cream roughly chopped parsley, to serve
Method Combine the chicken mince, breadcrumbs, shallots, egg, parsley and half the Dijon and Worcestershire in a bowl. Season with a good whack of salt and pepper and stir until well combined. Divide into 8 rissoles, pop on a lined plate and cover with cling. Transfer to the fridge to set for half an hour or so.
Preheat the oven to 140C.
Once the rissoles are holding it together, heat a lug of olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Cook half the rissoles at a time, cooking for a few minutes before flipping and cooking for a further couple of minutes. Transfer to a lined baking tray and pop into the oven to keep warm.
Add the remaining oil to the pan and saute the onion over low heat for five to ten minutes, or until nice and soft. Add the garlic and cook for a minute before stirring through the tomato paste and the remaining Dijon mustard and Worcestershire with half a cup of water. Cook for a couple of minutes, or until gloriously fragrant, before stirring in the cream.
Remove the rissoles from the oven and pop them into the pan to simmer for a further fifteen minutes, or until the sauce is thick and glorious. Sprinkle with the extra parsley and serve immediately, ideally with a glorious mash for optimal devouring.
Previously on Australian Survivor Josh wasn’t feeling Jordie anymore and as such, their respective duos battled for Mark and Sam’s love. Chrissy and Jordie were paired together and won a reward, giving them the power to select a few people to join them. After smashing their KFC, Jordie shoved an immunity idol clue down Jesse’s pants without anyone else spotting them, though I did and it flooded my basement. Jordie started a streak as he took out immunity, leaving his brother Jesse in danger. Well until he found the idol. Sadly however, he passed it over to Sam to sneak it into camp, before she blindsided him from the game and held on to his idol after promising to give it to Jordie ASAP.
Back at camp she did not immediately hand off the idol as everyone rallied around Jordie to make sure he was ok after losing his brother. Sam meanwhile was super proud of her very shady, very bold and very impressive move because it was the first thing she did that wasn’t shared with someone else. Sam and Mark pulled Jordie aside to make sure he was ok, and more importantly, they wanted to confirm that Sam could keep the idol. Instead of returning it per Jesse’s wishes, she promised to keep the votes off him, given either of them outing the idol essentially renders it useless. And honestly, if she pulls this off and doesn’t win, there is something wrong with the world.
The next day everyone was chilling by the fire before Jordie disappeared to reflect on his brother’s departure in the cold light of day. He pulled Shay aside, admitting that he has been on the edge of tears since Jesse’s departure and as such, he needs to move past things and make all the big moves they wanted to make together. And please, please, PLEASE make this the epic revenge arc I’ve been waiting for. Jordie caught up with Michelle and Shay, who agreed they did not want to be sitting ducks and as such, needed to band together with the other singles to take control.
Next in his revenge plan was to sort out the issue of Jesse’s stolen idol, pulling Sam aside to point out a massive hole in her alleged plan. The hole being the fact that her playing an idol for him ruins her trust with her allies. Sadly though, Jordie thought being the only person to know that the Gash-Wales’ have an idol each was powerful. Which it is not. On the flipside, he was also grateful that since Jesse was gone, he now didn’t have to worry about blowing up his game and as such, could play a far riskier game.
Sam and Mark caught up to discuss the fact that she stole Jesse’s idol, with Sam reminding him that Sandra taught them to never let anyone know when you find an idol. This led to her admitting that she had no intention of looking after Jordie and was just trying to keep him happy for as long as possible. Despite the fact he is clearly on the outs of the formerly 8-person alliance anyway, which is now down to 6 with Mark, Sam, Jordan, Josh, Chrissy and Dave. And ugh, Chrissy and Dave, please just damn flip to the singles and give us some fireworks. Sam can’t carry the entertainment on her shoulders much longer!
The tribe arrived at the lake to meet Jonathan for the latest immunity challenge where they would each stand on narrow footholds – that get narrower over time – on a frame and hold on to ropes above their heads. Last one standing taking out immunity. I’ll cut to the chase because surprisingly everyone made it to the third and final foothold before everyone dropped like flies. First was Dave, quickly followed by Josh and KJ, then Mark, Jordan, Michelle before Chrissy asked Josh to help her down. After 70 minutes Sam couldn’t hold on any longer, leaving Shay and Jordie to fight it out for immunity. With the other likely getting booted next. Then out of nowhere, Shay stepped down and immediately fainted, handing Jordie immunity.
Back at camp everyone congratulated Sam, Shay and Jordie on fighting hard in the immunity challenge, though Sam admitted to us how angry she was that he won. That being said, she wasn’t too down as she quickly rallied the alliance together to quickly lock in the vote for Shay. While Sam knew that Jordie will eventually come for her, she was hoping that she would have enough time to get him out before he does too much damage.
Right on cue, Jordie pulled Michelle and KJ aside to rally the singles and take control, preferably taking out Mark, to leave Sam to self-combust. After quickly scoping up Shay, he pulled Dave aside to pitch the plan for the singles alliance to take control given their time is running out. Sadly though, Dave just assured them that he plans to make a move at the next tribal council and as such, they need to ride it out. Even though they could just take control now.
Thankfully with his back against the wall, Jordie finally got messy and outed Sam for stealing his brother’s idol and damn, are we actually in for fireworks? While Dave was shocked by the news he vowed to keep it secret. Given Jordie realised he can’t really trust Dave, he went person to person to out Sam for stealing Jesse’s bag and well, it definitely got a reaction from Chrissy, Josh and Jordan. While he rightly clocked Sam for struggling with chaos (relatable) and looked forward to sowing as much as possible. As Sam spiralled with paranoia, Chrissy assured Mark that she has their back but he needs to keep Sam’s nerves in check otherwise that may change. Essentially. While Dave just looked forward to being the swing vote.
At tribal council Dave spoke about the tribe being in a state of flux, with Jordie admitting that he is definitely the one sowing most of the chaos. He gloated about having nothing to lose and as such, he is dangerous. Shay joined him in pointing out the majority alliance, calling out Chrissy and Dave for making a bad move and reminded them that as such, they need to think before it is too late for all of them. Sam tried to keep everyone calm, assuring them that holding fast is a move. Jordie pointed out that at some point, someone in the 6 needs to make a move if they want to get it to the end.
Dave congratulated Jordie for fighting so hard, though essentially said it is not happening this round. Shay jumped in to remind people that there are only so many moves left to make in the game before Sam said she wasn’t phased, because this is what people on the bottom are meant to be doing. Jordie then jumped up and whispered to Chrissy and Dave that they will be loading their votes on Mark should they want to jump on board and do something. With that, the tribe voted and despite their best efforts to get rid of Mark, the majority joined together to vote Shay out of the game. Only she wasn’t out of the game, instead she found herself arriving at Purgatory where she would await the chance to return to the game.
At Purgatory Shay quickly got to work on building fire, scared to be all alone with her thoughts and the myriad of creepy crawlies around camp. Again, relatable. Thankfully she did manage to survive the night despite her worst fears, though quickly realised that Purgatory was well and truly bleak. Freshly burnt out, the landscape was barren, while Shay reflected on the fact that while she knew she was voted out as a challenge threat, she was still feeling flat. Though you best believe she was ready to use this experience to make it to the end and hot damn, is this the start of her Hayley arc? Because that shelter was a thing of beauty.
Back at the legit camp, Jordie was frustrated his plan didn’t come together while he and Sam joked about the blow-up at the last tribal council. Though given he assured us that he put votes on Mark last tribal council so that they thought he was the target so he could still blindside her, this may not end well for Sam. He quickly pulled Chrissy and Michelle aside to reiterate to Chrissy how dangerous both Sam and Mark are with their idols and their need to band together. His next stop was Josh, reminding him how dangerous they are and that he doesn’t want Josh to leave making a move too late. Sam meanwhile was busy reminding Dave and Jordan that Jordie is now the biggest threat, given the jury loves him and he is making massive moves. Aka building an unbeatable resume. As Sam wandered around trying to put out fires, she was clearly starting to spiral as her allies whispered about her losing the plot and worrying how they can continue to play a rational game with her in that state.
The tribe joined up with Jonathan for the next reward challenge where they would work through an obstacle course to retrieve a big bag of balls which they would then roll down a wooden frame and land them in holes. The first to land them all scoring a brand new car, with the traditional curse that goes along with it. From the start, Jordie powered ahead and quite frankly, never really stopped. While everyone ended up at the frame together except for Jordan – who was clearly smart enough to not want the win, meaning he’d lose the game – Jordie proved to be too good, scoring himself the car just ahead of Dave. Jonathan then surprised him with the second part of the prize, where he could take the car for a test drive to a drive-in cinema while feasting on nachos. And hopefully, not eating it like Benji. He was then able to select someone to join him, opting with Jordan. Then Dave. And finally Michelle, when he kept offering more spaces. While Sam, as has become tradition, looked enraged to be missing out on food.
After a brief Jordie led infomercial, the quartet arrived at their feast where they thankfully were given four individual trays of nachos rather than having to split it Benji style, which again, is burnt into my nightmares. As the group sat down in front of the TV, they quickly learnt that the movie they got to enjoy was actually videos from home with Jordie’s totally sweet dad kicking off the show. And we then learnt he is a widower and ugh, I love him even more. Speaking of love, Jordan’s older brother is a total babe, Michelle’s mum is an adorable icon before we got to hear from Briana again, making me desperately wish she could trade places with her dad for even just an episode.
With that out of the way, Jordie quickly pitched getting rid of Sam to the group, highlighting how dangerous the marrieds are as a duo and the need to get rid of them. While Dave was definitely on board, Jordan struggled to believe how someone as intelligent as Jesse could let his idol be stolen and as such, continued to question Jordie. Jordie then even suggested everyone split the votes between him and Sam, meaning she either saves herself with said idol and he goes home, or they blindside her with an idol. Either way, everyone else wins.
The tribe came together with my love Jonathan for another immunity challenge where this time, they would stand on a narrow beam and hold a pole over their head on which they need to balance a statue. Chrissy, KJ, Dave, Michelle and Sam all dropped out quickly, Mark soon followed, leaving Jordie, Josh and Jordan to battle it out for immunity. Well until Josh dropped his statue mid-transition, leaving the Jords to fight. As Jordan was coached by Mark through his transition, Jordie was like a statue. Chrissy joined in trying to give Jordan a pep talk while poor Jordie struggled more and more before somehow saving himself from dropping. Well, for a couple of minutes at least as he eventually dropped and handed immunity to Jordan.
Back at camp the tribe were thrilled about Jordie’s impending demise, while Sam worried about him potentially running his mouth and ruining her game. Clearly unaware, somehow, just how much shit he has already spoken about her. As Josh and Mark caught up about how safe their alliance is, Jordie pulled KJ aside to quickly lock her in on the plan to vote out Sam. He then approached his toughest battle, laying out his plan with Josh to try and flip him to their side. Sam looked on angrily, and ugh, if this fully awakens paranoid Sam from her first season, I will be so grateful because she was just so damn iconic.
As Michelle and Dave went to go grab water, she awkwardly asked to go too, then backpedalled and repeated the process a couple of times. She then approached Mark, Jordan and KJ nervously asked what Jordie had planned, while Dave and Michelle discussed the best path forward. Sam joined them as she continued to bounce between every damn conversation before pulling Jordie aside to confront him about trying to rally the troops against her. While Jordie assured her he was just fighting for his life in the game, she asked why he never considered talking to her and Mark. And then when he mentioned she has crossed him multiple times, they agreed to just move on and never work together.
Oh and then Mark essentially told Sam to just calm down.
At tribal council Mark pointed out Shay was missing from the jury bench before JLP brushed him off and let Dave talk about how threatening Jordie is in challenges. As Jordan pointed out the danger lies in his ability to be good in a wide range of challenges, while Sam praised him for being a determined fighter before shading him for not trying to work with her. Jordie spoke about his belief that the majority well and truly is divided, before straight up outing Mark and Sam for each owning an idol. He went in on them, pointing out that as returning players, they already are more threatening and if the tribe continue to let them skate by, they are handing them the game. Dave grew nervous, Mark continued to whisper to Josh that it was all lies while Jesse straight up nodded and admitted the idol information as best he could from the jury bench.
For some reason, Josh was steadfast in his trust of Mark and Sam, and as such, Jordie admitted defeat and essentially told them to just vote him out because he is exhausted. With that the tribe did vote, banding together to eliminate Jordie from the game – or to join Shay on purgatory – before Joanthan offered the cheeky little surprise that they weren’t actually done for the night. As they had to vote yet another person “out of the game”. With that the tribe voted, again, Mark and Sam held firm with their idols and the majority stood firm to send KJ to purgatory. While Michelle gave Josh and Jordan deathies for being absolute idiots.
That night Shay was delighted for a little bit of company, though was stressed by the fact one of her friends was Jordie, given he has proven his ability to beat her in challenges. The next day we checked in with the active players who were busy theorising what Shay’s absence meant for their games, well, except for Sam who was busy trying to do damage control over Jordie outing her idol theft. She caught up with Michelle and assured her that Jesse never put an idol in her bag, proud of herself for coming up with a cunning lie to navigate around it. Next up, she caught up with Mark and realised that she had offered up the chance for people to go through her bag and as such, Mark distracted people while she madly transferred the idol to his bag. Which she successfully did. Though based on Josh’s continued belief that Sam doesn’t have the idol, it was probably unnecessary. Despite the fact he was debating whether he and Jordan should flip on the other couple anyway.
The tribe joined up with Jonathan for the latest immunity challenge where they would each have to race through a mud pit and then toss three rings on three separate hooks with the first three people to land them moving on to the next round where they would have to fling fireballs into a pit, with the first person to land two taking out immunity. Mark was the first to land his ring, followed closely by Jordan and Chrissy before Dave and Michelle joined them. While Mark tossed away, everyone but his wife managed to close the gap before he once again started to pull away, followed closely by Josh and Chrissy. Let’s be honest, I started to zone out so all that matters is Mark, Josh and Jordan made it through to the second round where they would toss their fiery balls into a big old hole, which Mark made quick work of, landing both of his before the cousins even got one.
Back at camp the tribe congratulated Mark on his win, none more so than Mark himself who was thrilled to also have his and his wife’s idols in his position. Despite his joy, he was nervous about Purgatory – or as Chrissy calls it, prejudice, pertreee or perjury – with everyone nervous about the ramifications of not only the people already out coming back, but whoever they send to join them tonight. Sam obviously was focused on keeping the couples tight, with them quickly locking in a split vote between Dave and Michelle. Josh and Jordan meanwhile were nervous about how powerful Mark and Sam were and as such, tried to find a way to flush their idol – note, singular in their mind – without getting their hands dirty, levelling things between them. As such, Josh pulled Michelle aside and suggested she vote Sam along with Chrissy and Dave. And while everyone appeared to be onboard, I don’t dare to dream anything will come of it.
Josh was super proud of his idea, planning to get nice and theatrical at tribal council to make Sam as nervous as possible to force Mark into playing an idol. Dave started the theatre sports nice and early, catching up with everyone but Sam to try and make her as nervous as possible. Before approaching Mark and suggesting an idol might need to be played. Like clockwork, this made Sam extremely nervous, pulling aside the women to try and figure out what was happening. As Dave walked away from camp, Sam raced off after him to stop him from finding an idol, and then confronted him for never wanting to talk strategy with her. Though given he was trying to stress her out, they never resolved anything.
At tribal council Dave continued to try and make Sam nervous, while Josh admitted that the only time any of them can truly feel safe is when they have immunity. Which Mark agreed with before praising his alliance for sticking together as a group of pairs for so long. Sam opened up about Purgatory and the fact that they need to make sure they’re making decisions that help them continue forward when someone comes back to the game. After everyone bitched about people returning to the game – producers, add two more people to the cast and/or do redemption island and call it a day – talk turned to when would be the right time for the alliance to fracture and who they should choose to break-up. Oh and how angry anyone that returns to the game will be.
With that, the tribe voted and despite Sam assuring her that she will never write down her name, Michelle was unanimously booted and sent to purgatory. Which is where we thankfully ventured to as the foursome reconnected with Michelle pointing out that they would be battling it out to return the very next day. Speaking of which, as soon as they woke up Jordie and Shay rallied the group to formulate a plan for their inevitable returns. While KJ worried about her anger when she sees the six left in the game, Jordie was looking forward to making them feel as nervous as possible with his positivity. Oh and they all agreed to pretend to hate each other so that they can work together to destroy everyone else’s games.
Everyone reconnected with Jonathan where Jordie quickly got to work making them all feel like shit with his confidence. But first, the challenge where they would each race to balance a ball on a pole, working through obstacles and extending their pole long enough to reach a gutter and land three in different buckets of water at the end. While Josh congratulated Jordie on his return to the game before they even started, he promised to send him straight back to where he came from. Everyone was neck and neck from the start, but it was in fact Jordie who landed his first ball first. Followed closely by Shay. Jordie then landed his second ball while Michelle and KJ landed their first, followed by Shay getting her second.
As predicted, Jordie was the first to earn his spot back in the game before Michelle and KJ tied things up with Shay, as they all fought for the final two slots. Just like that Shay landed her third ball and joined Jordie back in the game before Michelle went for the win, tossing her ball and missing the bucket which was enough for KJ to narrowly land hers and earn her spot back in the game officially sending Michelle from the game, after what felt like a lifetime of non-eliminations. Particularly between this and Drag Race.
When Michelle arrived at the Jury Villa I immediately pulled her into my arms, thrilled to finally have a new guest to heap in culinary comfort. Despite the fact she played a quiet game, I felt like the trio of her, Sandra and Kate had so much potential and I was heartbroken that Dave’s idol ruined it so early. But I didn’t want to focus on what could have been, instead, I ran straight to the kitchen to grab a big ol’ batch of Michelle Chiangsburger Spring Rolls to dull both of our pain.
I know, I know – enough with the hybrid dishes, already! But when they taste this good, they are hard to pass up. Packed full of all the glorious flavours of a cheeseburger, these little babies trick me into feeling they are healthy given they are bite size. Even though they are definitely not. But again, delicious.
Michelle Chiangsburger Spring Rolls Serves: 8.
Ingredients 500g beef mince 1 onion, diced 2 tbsp parsley, roughly chopped 2 tbsp American mustard 2 tbsp pickles, finely diced ½ cup grated jack cheese ⅓ cup panko breadcrumbs 2 garlic cloves, minced salt and pepper, to taste 1 egg, whisked 20-40 spring roll wrappers olive or vegetable oil, for brushin’
Method Combine the beef, onion, parsley, mustard, pickles, cheese, breadcrumbs and garlic in a large bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper. Scrunch with your hands until well combined.
Working one at a time, place 2-3 tbsp of mixture of filing in the bottom of the spring roll wrapper and form a tight sausage. Brush the rest of the pastry with egg and roll to enclose, folding in each edge followed by rolling it up to close. Repeat the process until all the filling is used, or you run out of pasty (thus the very large window).
To cook, preheat the oven to 180C. Pop the spring rolls on a lined baking sheet and brush with the oil. Transfer to the oven to cook for 20-30 minutes or until golden and crisp.
Then devour them with some kewpie mayo or ketchup, since it is cheeseburger inspired!
Previously on Survivor 18 new castaways were dumped on the islands of Fiji where Probst assured us they were in for the same fast-paced, advantage-laden game that last season’s castaways were put through. Ika managed to win the first challenge, locking in their meagre supplies while Taku and Vati had to spend half the first day trying to solve a triangle puzzle. Come day two, Jenny, Drea and Queen Maryanne went on an inter-tribe summit where Jenny’s caution earnt Drea and Maryanne an extra vote each. Things then took a heartbreaking turn as Jeff arrived at the Taku camp to announce that Jackson had to be pulled from the game due to medical reasons.
The tribes reconvened for the first immunity challenge of the season where Ika and Vati were shocked to learn that Jackson had just been medevaced from the game. Given no time to process this tragic turn of event, they jumped straight into the challenge where they would all start out on a platform in the water before racing in a boat and collecting chests along the way. They then would push the chests and boat on a track into the dunes before opening the chests and solving a massive puzzle with the last place finisher going to tribal council and losing their flint. Oh and then Jeff looped them in on the shot in the dark situation which they could each play once, giving them a one in six shot of safety.
Once again, Taku got out to an early lead in the challenge while the others languished in a fight for second place. Well, until Rocksroy dropped Ika’s second chest in the water and they had to lift it back up. Somehow Vati started to close the gap and overtook Taku (and the very ripped Jonathan), getting an early lead on the puzzle. Though puzzles being puzzles, they all managed to work on them at the same time while Ika desperately tried to close the gap. Sadly they proved to be no match for Taku and Vati, who quickly solved their puzzles while Zach had started taking out the pieces Swati had already solved. Though the duo did get a cuddle from Rocksroy, so I say that is kind of a win.
Back at camp Zach quickly apologised for bombing the puzzle, with the tribe reminding him that they win or lose as a team and it is all good. Before they split up to start their scrambling, Tori assured everyone that she does not have an idol and as such, they don’t need to work around that. Tori first caught up with Drea who assured her, the rumour was only about her hunting for an idol not having one before they quickly pivoted to throwing out getting rid of Rocksroy, given he struggled in the challenge. Meanwhile Romeo asked whoever told Tori about the idol rumours to come clean and clear the air before Rocksroy and Swati caught up privately and locked in their votes for Zach.
Drea and Romeo were next to chat with Drea quickly floating Rocks, which annoyed Romeo given the trio are meant to be aligned. Instead, Romeo wanted to take out Tori which made Drea nervous, given she may not even have her vote at tribal after the summit. Zach and Tori were the next duo with both of them openly targeting each other, though denying it before Swati, Romeo and Rocks caught up to potentially get rid of Tori, given Romeo wants to keep Zach around as a skinny shield. Though sadly for him, neither Swati or Rocks seemed interested.
At tribal council Rocksroy spoke about how much harder it is than he ever could have imagined from watching it on the TV. Zach meanwhile was disappointed their shelter wasn’t built in a 90 second montage like you would see on TV, though he was proud of how hard he worked for the tribe. Drea meanwhile was worried about how hard this season would be, though reiterated the importance of having a solid alliance to help navigate things should the worst come to worst. Romeo and Swati agreed that they were nervous and would consider playing their Shot in the Dark if they were on the block. With Swati admitting she would happily cut off her pinky to not be at tribal council.
Zach admitted that it is straight up either him or Tori going home tonight, with Tori talking about how she was trustworthy and getting rid of her would be a bad idea for the tribe. She and Zach argued back and forth about how they went from day one allies to whatever mess they had gotten themselves into. To put an end to the bickering, Jeff sent the tribe off to vote, Zach played his shot in the dark and Drea collected her extra vote. Before Jeff read the votes, Zach revealed his shot in the dark wouldn’t protect him, as the votes piled up on him and sent him out of the game as the second boot.
While Zach was disappointed to be out of the game, he was still feeling giddy from the fact that he had even been given the chance to play. After welcoming him into Loser Lodge, I assured him that in smaller tribes there is nowhere to hide and sometimes, there is just no way to protect yourself in the game. Given I am great at pep talks, that had him feeling great! Or maybe it was the delicious Zach and Cheese Wurtenberger I served up!
I love mac and cheese. I love burgers. AND I love a monstrous hybrid meal, meaning this delight well and truly has my heart. Though given it is a fresh juicy burger with a piping hot mac and cheese puck smacked on top, how could it not.
Zach and Cheese Wurtenberger Serves: 4.
Ingredients 2-4 cups mac and cheese, my preference being Rohan Maclaren Cheese for all its truffle glory 1 cup flour 2 eggs, whisked 2 cups panko breadcrumbs ½ cup vegetable oil 8 rashers streaky bacon 500g beef mince salt and pepper, to taste 4 slices American cheese 4 Briocher Bunsberg ⅓ cup Chipotle Ranchel Dipnie 4-6 dill pickles, sliced
Method Start by making your mac and cheese, packet or your favourite home made recipe, no judgement. Place the final product in a lined baking sheet and pop in the fridge to chill for a couple of hours.
Pop the flour in one bowl, the egg is another and the breadcrumbs in a final one. Using a ring mould – or say, an egg ring – cut 4 discs out of the mac and cheese. Dip the pasta discs into the flour, followed by the egg and finally the breadcrumbs, until well coated.
Heat half the oil in a skillet over medium heat and once hot, fry two discs until golden brown. Repeat the process and transfer to a lined baking sheet and keep warm in a low oven. In the still hot pan, fry the bacon until golden and pop on the same baking sheet to keep warm.
Wipe out the skillet and return to the medium heat – obviously being careful not to burn yourself if it is still hot – and scrunch the beef mince in a large bowl until well combined. Form into 4 discs and season one side of each generously with salt and pepper. Pop that side down into the scorching pan and press down with a spatula to flatten before seasoning the top. Cook the patties for a couple of minutes before flipping, topping with a slice of cheese and cooking for a further couple of minutes.
To assemble, lightly toast the inside of each bun, smear with a little of the chipotle ranch and then line the base with pickles. Follow with the patties, then the bacon and finish with the mac and cheese disc. You could also add tomatoes and lettuce to the mix if you want to make it moderately more healthy, but honestly, why?
Previously on Survivor we witnessed every idea Jeff and Co. came up with for twists during their lockdowns. Due to quarantine, the season was shortened to 26 days, but due to the aforementioned twists, it proved to be an even more intense season. And since they shoot two seasons back to back, they could gag a second cast with everything they came up with (though sadly they were also unable to course correct anything that didn’t work).
But enough about last season, as three new tribes sped towards the beach in boats where we met buff as hell Jonathan, half-blind hurdling icon Drea and super cute vet Omar who wore a flamingo shirt like an icon and was totally ready to be underestimated and then strike. Just like Erika last season! Lydia is essentially Gen Z female me, hating camping, the outdoors and physical activity though loves Survivor and is willing to put herself out there for the adventure of a lifetime. Daniel meanwhile was thrilled to finally make the cast, Marya was looking to find herself, Lindsay was ready to rise to the occasion and zaddy Mike was ready to take advantage of his one shot.
Or if you’re good enough, 4-5. Amirite, Rob and Sandra?
Finally the three new tribes met Jeffey on the shore where Maryanne was thrilled to embrace the rollercoaster and ugh, she is so giddy and joyous I can’t help but stan. Maryanne opened up about her shock at having made the cast and she was just so damn happy, while Mike was just thrilled to be chatting with THE Jeff Probst. Issuing a warning that the most well-rounded will take out victory, while Zach hilariously tried to be cool by telling Jeffray that they’re about to find just what it takes to win.
Jeffrey quickly split everyone up into their starting tribes with Taku in Orange, Vati in Green and Ika wearing Blue before immediately tasking them with their first challenge where one at a time two people will run out to collect paddles from different spots in the jungle before the tribe paddle around a buoy to collect bamboo, which someone would use to form a pole to collect a flint and earn meagre supplies to await them at their camp. Jonathan, Daniel and Tori were up first to collect the paddles with Jonathan and Tori getting Taku and Ika to the earliest of leads. Though given Daniel straight up dislocated his shoulder when he tripped over, that is to be expected.
When Lindsay and Drea made it to the next paddles, they found a note announcing they had to decide whether to untie 20 knots each for an advantage or just collect their paddles and move on. When Hai joined them, the trio decided to go for the advantage but they all had to promise not to screw each other over and keep it secret. They then rubbed each other in the mud and blood supplied to prove how hard they worked to collect their paddles. When they reunited with their very confused tribemates, Taku continued to power ahead while Ika fell further and further behind despite Tori’s strong start. After Jonathan single handedly pulled his tribe’s boat into place, Marya quickly built her pole though it broke allowing Rocksroy enough time to collect the flint for Ika in a come from behind win.
After Ika and Tuku were sent off to their camps, medical were called in to fix Daniel’s LaGrossa moment as they quickly popped his shoulder back into place. And just like that, they too were on their way.
At Ika Zach was thrilled to be living out his superfan dream though was nervous how this new era could influence his chances, given he is an expert on the old era of the game. The tribe quickly introduced themselves where we learnt Swati was proudly in the national guard and ready to prove her skills and buck the trend as the obvious young, female early boot. At home she was driven to succeed and as such, she was ready to bring that into the game and ugh, Maryanne or Swati for the win, I guess. She started braiding palm fronds with Tori and Zach where they realised that as the younguns, they should align. Which is the same thought Romeo was having as he and the oldies were busy building fire and quickly locking in an alliance.
Over at Vati the tribe discovered that for losing the first challenge, they had two options to win their flint, pot and machete – either do a puzzle as a tribe or one of them would be isolated from the tribe to fill a barrel with sea water. Given Mike was clearly the one that would have to fill the barrel for his tribe, he suggested they use their brains and as such got to work counting the triangles. As a designer slash genius, Jenny took control though and they quickly figured it out.
Meanwhile at Tuku, they were struggling with Jonathan straight up coming up with 30 less triangles than Omar and as such, they split in half with three working to solve the puzzle and the others starting on the shelter. Jonathan being assigned to the latter team. After getting their supplies, Mike quickly got to work building the Vati shelter and proving his worth. We learnt he was the first Puerto Rican fire captain in Hoboken and ugh, he is so sweet and I love him. Particularly seeing how joyous he was to get fire for his tribe.
Back at Ika, the younguns looped Drea in to join them in vocalising the Survivor theme song, while Rocksroy just desperately tried not to lose his shit at their noise. Instead, he channelled his skills as a stay at home dad and directed everyone to get to work so they’d have a shelter before things got dark. Thankfully though, Drea had his back and cautioned him to tone it down a little bit, lest he paints a target on his back. After making fire, Drea went for a walk to finally learn what advantage she, Hai and Lindsay scored in the first challenge, which turns out is the new Amulet Advantage. This advantage had to be played in conjunction with any that are left in the game, with three joining together to become an extra vote. If only two are left in the game, the duo would score a steal a vote and the last player standing would ultimately end up with an idol. And honestly, this sounds way more like a curse to me.
That night at Taku, Jackson rallied his tribe together to share that he is trans and this is his second time applying, but the first as a man. His tribe quickly rallied around him, essentially giving him a cool, whatevs dude, we love you! He then opened up that his family never supported him growing up, however when his mum got sick and needed care, he moved in with his parents to look after her and was able to build a relationship while he cared for her before her death and damn, why am I sobbing in episode one?
The next day Lydia was thrilled by the tribe’s progress at building the Vati camp and quickly locked in an alliance with Hai. Noticing that they were a pair and Jenny and Mike appeared to be another, Chanelle pulled Daniel aside and pledged her undying loyalty to him. And just like that, they all are pairs! Though given Daniel is totally charming everyone, I’m going to guess he will have more options than just Chanelle should things go south. He then opened up about having leukaemia as a teen and WHY AM I CRYING AGAIN?
We checked in with Ika where Zach and Romeo bonded over being super skinny, with Zach using that to try and lock in an alliance. Back at camp they started to bond with Drea while Tori disappeared to hunt for an idol under the cover of looking for taro. And while she thought she had them all fooled, they knew exactly what she was up to. She and Zach went for a walk where Zach filled her in on the speculation, though it appeared the damage was done.
The peace at Taku was interrupted by a boat instructing one of them to jump on and, they will later learn, go on the first summit of the season. Maryanne volunteered though pretended to be scared it was a curse before eventually meeting up with Jenny from Vati and Ika’s Drea. After bonding on the very long trek to the top of the mountain we learnt that Maryanne was ready to slay the game for all the other weird kids of the world and Jeffrey, stop the show – just give her the million dollars now, please and thank you! As happened last year, the trio then split up to figure out whether they should protect or risk their vote with a split decision giving the risky ones an extra vote while if the decisions were unanimous they would either all keep their votes or all lose them. Jenny chose to protect her vote assuming the others would likely – and did – risk it, guaranteeing she keeps her vote and gifting the others an extra.
The next day Jeffrey arrived at Taku where Lindsay was busy forcing Jackson to drink more water given he had been dizzy the entire day before. Which coincidentally was the reason for Jeff’s visit. After pulling Jackson aside, we learnt that Jackson had weaned himself off lithium prior to the show but he still had some in his system, which made it too dangerous for him to continue in the game. And was the exact reason for the dizziness. He opened up that he started taking lithium due to the stress of caring for his mum but didn’t want people to assume it was due to being trans and ultimately, thought it would be completely out of his system before the game began.
He and Jeff returned to camp where Jackson announced that he wouldn’t be able to continue in the game, with Maryanne immediately breaking down over his departure. As everyone cried and praised him for being so open, they bid him farewell and he tragically sailed off as the first boot. Technically.
As soon as he arrived at Loser Lodge, I pulled him in for a big hug and told him how proud I was of his brief stint. While Jackson was only there for a few days, his openness quickly endeared himself to me and I assured him that they would be silly not to bring him back for another season. With that, we laughed, as I continued to quietly weep, before smashing a big batch of Jacksonkatsu Fox in honour of his all too short game.
While pork chops of the ‘90s loom scary in my mind, these are the perfect way to enjoy these delights. Crunchy on the outside, juicy on the inside, they are delicious before you even start slathering them in tonkatsu sauce. Which is obviously a must.
Jacksonkatsu Fox Serves: 2 dear friends.
Ingredients 1 cup flour, for dredging 1 egg, lightly whisked 2 cups panko breadcrumbs 4 pork loins or chops, each about 1 ½ centimetres think salt and pepper, to taste ⅓ cup vegetable oil, for fryin’ ¼ cabbage, trimmed and sliced 1 lemon, cut into wedges ⅓ cup tonkatsu sauce, for drizzlin’ and dippin’
Method Pop the flour into one bowl, the egg in another and the breadcrumbs in another. Score each side of the pork – to avoid curling as the fat shrinks – and whack with a mallet until it is a smooth cutlet. Season to taste. Working one at a time, coat in the flour, followed by the egg and then in the breadcrumbs, until well covered. Transfer to a plate and repeat the process until done.
Heat a good lug of oil in a skillet over medium heat and cook the chops, two at a time, for about five minutes. Flip and cook further a further couple of minutes. Transfer to a paper towel and repeat the process with the remaining pork.
To serve, place a pile of cabbage on a plate, cut the meat across the bias and layer over the cabbage before drizzlin’ with tonkatsu sauce. Then, obvi, devouring.
Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race: UK vs the World, the remaining dolls were cast in the latest rusical, West End Wendys. Well after Jujubee took out her third reading challenge and was given the honour of casting it, before opting to just select her role and let the other girls scrap over them. Despite this fair approach, Baga was very angry about her role because she wanted Juju’s – should have won the reading challenge, no? Despite this, she honestly did a good job, while Jimbo faltered for the first time in the competition while Juju continued to struggle. At the other end of the pack, Pangina and Janey slayed and were deemed the top two of the week, with Juju assuring the latter she still has the fight and can’t go home. Which she didn’t, as Pangina won the lip sync and cut fellow front runner Jimbo.
Backstage the dolls were well and truly gagged by the loss of Jimbo, while Juju was just thrilled – and a little shocked – to have been saved once again. Pangina admitted she is probably the most hated person in Canada right now since she just can’t seem to stop eliminating their queens, while Baga was the angriest person in Britain, ropeable that her bestie was cut despite a stellar track record. When they sat down, Baga confronted Pangina about her choices and while she tried to say it was because Juju did better in the challenge, Baga told us that it was bullshit. Janey meanwhile had selected Jujubee to go, further frustrating Baga given it was the right call and therefore Pangina should just admit why she chose to eliminate Jimbo.
While Mo just questioned what black magic Juju has tapped into to stop the girls from eliminating her. Oh and Baga vowed to get her revenge on Pangina for Jimbo, which could finally make Baga interesting again. Despite my love for Pangina.
Things were far more zen the next day with Pangina proud to have two badges on her chest, though admitted it is a new week and she is nervous starting over again. Almost as a subtle reminder that she chose Jimbo because she only focuses on their last challenge. Blu admitted anyone can be in the bottom at any time with Janey assuring her she is always just safe, so there is no need for Blu to worry about having to send someone home. While Blu didn’t want that storyline, Jujubee admitted she would gladly take the role of the consistently safe queen. While Mo read Baga for wearing a velvet smock, questioning whether it was laundry day in the Chipz household.
Before we could find out why Baga was wearing a repurposed theatre curtain, Ru dropped in to announce that this week the dolls would be playing Snatch Game. This time in a Family Feud style panel instead, with three dolls partnering with Michelle while the others would get to work with Katie Price. Sadly not as Katie Price, played by Bimini Bon Boulash. And as last week’s winner, Pangina could assign everyone’s family. As they sat down to kiki, Mo asked Pangina if she was nervous about Snatch Game while Jujubee just reminded her the job is to make Ru laugh. Nothing more, nothing less. Pangina then grabbed Juju and Baga to join her on the family Price, leaving Janey to worry she left the three weaker ones together to bomb on Team Visage. Even though her plan could backfire and she get overshadowed by her strong sisters.
Ru dropped by to check in with the dolls with Pangina sharing she is going to be playing Mariah Carey and while she doesn’t see herself as a funny queen, she had made Ru laugh before so was starting to feel confident. Janey meanwhile wanted to do tanning mum, though Ru suggested she should do her back-up option James Charles, despite the controversy. After Ru read Juju for doing Liza, Juju opened up about doing Cher and while she isn’t going to be the BEST Cher, she is going to make Ru laugh. Trust and believe.
Mo was up next with Ru reminding her she doesn’t have the best track record in Snatch Game, trying to talk her out of Gordon Ramsey and her back-up option BeBe Zahara, instead pushing for her to do Billy Porter. Aka Broadway Mo. Ru was thrilled to see how Blu would follow up her filthy Mary Berry, with Blu sharing she would be playing Mike Myers as Austin Powers. Ru praised her for being filthy and hilarious, leading to her breaking down over her insecurities in the past and using that filthy humour to distract from her doubts. And well, Baga is going to be playing Kathy Bates as Annie Wilkes from Misery and you know she is going to knock it out of the park.
The dolls ventured to the set where Katie Price admitted she just wanted to make Bimini proud – icons support icons after all – while Baga had Ru in hysterics from the very first sentence. Pangina’s Mariah was great while Juju was ridiculous and nothing like Cher, though did have Ru in stitches. Which, again, is all the matters with Snatch Game. Janey started strong while Blu’s busted teeth for Austin Powers were an absolute delight while poor Mo just leant into the word pose and honestly, is Billy Porter just a heightened version of Mo?
Baga was hilariously scary as Kathy Bates, giving us a narrative from start to finish. While poor Pangina seemed bland by comparison when it got to the end, given Juju was as ridiculous as Ginger Minj doing Michelle Visage on Battle of the Seasons. And it was perfect. Poor Janey suffered a similar fate as Pangina given Blu and Mo were bouncing off each other and delighting Ru. Particularly sweet Blu who was just, well, perfection. As was Juju saying Cher was short for Cher-cuterie. But you know, Blu whipped out Dr Evil half way through and threatened that Graham was being held hostage over a hot vat of smegma, so there is no way she is losing.
Elimination Day arrived with Baga ready to claim her first victory, while Pangina gave Juju a kitty bag. I’m not sure whether it was important, but I did enjoy it. Janey asked the girls what they felt about Ru encouraging her to ignore the potential controversy of playing James Charles, which led to Blu vehemently suggesting they all need to stay safe and not piss anyone off on the internet. While Janey encouraged her to acknowledge any controversies that come her way and to power through it. Pangina opened up about being cancelled when she was a judge on Drag Race Thailand, leading to Juju questioning whether comedy has been impacted by cancel culture.
Baga admitted she rarely edits herself, though she has never made jokes that aren’t about her which makes it hard for people to get offended by her. Mo pointed out that some jokes were never funny, they’ve just been allowed to get by until people finally started calling them out while Baga just encouraged everyone to live their lives and make themselves the jokes.
Ru and Michelle were joined on the panel by Clara Amfo and Michelle Keegan as the dolls stomped the Luck be a Lady runway. Blu was up first as a stunning forest green irish leprechaun dame – complete with B Witched quote. I mean, she said THE THING – some people say I look like me dad! Janey was a sexy roulette wheel barbie, Juju was a golden lucky kitty while Mo was perfect as a completely lit up showgirl. Baga was a more literal leprechaun than Blu, while Pangina was the sexiest slot machine ever, complete with coins dripping out of her pussy.
Blu received universal praise for her Snatch Game, particularly for flipping the script in the middle and knowing when to pivot with her humour. Oh and they lived for her runway. Janey’s choice to play James Charles was read given he isn’t really even funny, though everyone agreed she looked stunning. Juju was praised for her choice to be a parody of a parody of Cher and being so fun, while her runway was read for not being clear. Despite the fact she looked stunning. Mo received praise for having fun in Snatch Game, though it was her pink flamingo showgirl that was absolutely beloved. Baga received universal praise for her Snatch Game performance and for doing a different character, though her runway was read for being dressed up for St. Paddy’s day. While poor Pangina was read for not bringing Mariah Carey in Snatch Game, despite looking just like her. Though they loved her runway. LOVED it.
Ultimately Blu and Baga were named the top two queens of the week before Ru gagged everyone by announcing that should you not be in the top, you’re now in the bottom and as such, they’re all up for elimination.
Backstage Blu was thrilled to finally make it to the top, particularly in Snatch Game, despite the fact Baga was sure she did slightly better than her UK sister. Blu asked the bottoms whether they felt ok with their placements, with Janey and Juju admitting their critiques were justified. While Pangina was just straight up heartbroken.
Baga first caught up with Janey, vibing on how real she is by admitting she was one of the worst this week. Baga then asked her who she should send home, given she was unsure. Pangina admitted to Blu how sad she is to land in the bottom, while Blu told her that she loves her though she is tempted to take out her biggest competition. Baga meanwhile told Mo that she felt she did third best in the challenge and straight up won’t be eliminating her, while Juju told Blu that if the rules didn’t change, she knows she wouldn’t be in the bottom. This time. Blu asked Juju if she would save her next week, with Juju admitting she would have to judge on the challenge and as such, Blu should do it too. Which is wise.
Janey and Juju caught up, with Janey not sure about what the girls will do while Juju wanted them to vote on the smoothest balls. Since she would win each and every day. Baga and Pangina caught up next with Pangina suggesting Janey was worse in Snatch Game and wanted Baga to make the moral decision and be fair. Just like she was, which made Baga annoyed for Jimbo all over again. Mo meanwhile straight up told Blu that she will keep her in the competition if she is in the top next week, which Blu snapped up while Juju told Baga she knows she wants to compete against her in the final and as such, they should stay together. And then Baga assured her that she is safe. Janey meanwhile told Blu how much she wants to stay and feels she deserves it, with Blu admitting the season would be lacking something if she had ended up going home in the first week.
As Baga and Blu took the stage, Ru appeared to be judging Baga’s sloppy outfit while Blu was just thrilled to already have her win in the bag. And then when Let It Go by Alexandra Burke kicked off, it was a done deal. While Baga gave her brand of demented camp, Blu was intense, fierce and oh so cheeky and well, it was perfect! Even while Baga screwed up her cartwheel and rolled around the stage flashing her tuck, Blu was giving more, rocking star jumps and well, it was stupid in all the right ways. After Blu took out her rightful victory, the cluster of bottoms took the stage before they were even more gagged than last week as Blu went full Naomi Smalls and eliminated the iconic Pangina Heals.
Pangina straight up sobbed her way to exit while Janey, Mo and Juju held on to each other in absolute shock. While Blu looked like she was about to throw up, instantly regretting her choice to cut the icon as Pangina sobbed from the side of the stage. I mean, she was giving Macaulay Culkin in Home Alone by way of Scarlett Harlett, she was that damn scared.
There is no denying that Pangina was absolutely gutted by the time she reached me in the Werk Room. I immediately pulled her into my arms and tried to calm her as best I could, assuring her that she did a great job, is a star and her elimination will never, EVER, change that. With that, I finally cheered her up and reminded her that above all else, All Stars is a game and as such, this just positions her as the mostest robbed queen of all time. Which was enough to get her laughing as we smashed some celebratory Parmigiana Heals Sausage Rolls.
Like John Eastoe – bogan zaddy of Australian Survivor – before us, Pang and I have a passion for parmigiana varieties. We also live for sausage roll variants, which essentially makes this the greatest meal of all time. Cheesy and dripping in marinara sauce, these babies are near perfection.
Parmigiana Heals Sausage Rolls Serves: 8.
Ingredients 500g pork mince 500g Italian sausages, casings removed 200g ham, diced 1 onion, diced 6 garlic cloves, minced 2 cups Amber Marinara Sauce 1 ½ cups panko breadcrumbs 2 tsp dried parsley 1 tsp dried basil 1 tsp dried oregano ½ tsp dried thyme 2 eggs salt and pepper, to taste 4 sheets puff pastry, just thawed 1 cup cheddar cheese ½ cup mozzarella cheese ½ cup parmesan cheese
Method Preheat the oven to 200C and line a pair of baking sheets with paper.
Pop the meats, onion, garlic, ½ cup marinara sauce, breadcrumbs, herbs and one of the eggs in a bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper, and scrunch until well combined.
Line all the pastry out on a bench and cut in half. Divide the mixture into 8 and form into a long sausage, laying each in the middle of each rectangle of pastry and sprinkle with some cheese. Whisk the remaining egg and brush either side of the sausage. Roll the pastry to enclose the sausage and cut into 2-4 portions, depending on the size you want. Pop the portions on the baking sheet and brush with some more egg.
Place the baking sheets in the oven for 20 minutes, or until cooked through. Remove from the oven, drizzle with some marinara sauce and some cheese and return to the oven for a further 10 minutes, or until the cheese is golden and crisp. Devour immediately with more sauce, if required.