Previously on Survivor the three tribes dropped their buffs ready for the dragged out, needlessly complex earn the merge episode which is essentially just a split into two tribes with a joint tribal council, but whatever. Thankfully Carson’s passion for 3D printing guaranteed he and Carolyn were safe, though tragically their bestie Yam Yam wasn’t so lucky. And given everyone was worried about Josh having an idol – despite Carolyn assuring them he doesn’t – he quickly became a target. Yam Yam in turn tried to turn things on Kane which was ultimately unnecessary as the group threw caution to the wind, banded together and sent Josh out of the game. Meaning we’ve still only lost minority players or females thus far.
Back at camp Yam Yam quickly told everyone he loves them despite copping some votes and while he was feeling the pressure now that he has had his name out there, he quickly got back to joking about and charming the hell out of everyone and well, we need to protect him and Carolyn at all costs.
The next day everyone came together to pick a tribe name and while nobody bought the fact Yam Yam was actually a Fijian word that would be perfect for the tribe, they did love his suggestion of Va Va meaning 4-4. And by coming together, it was everyone but Matt and Frannie who were on a private date being cute as shit, celebrating the fact he finally has his vote back in addition to having his idol. He then caught up with Brandon, Yam Yam and Kane, with Brandon telling everyone about the fact the cages had two idols – one real, one fake – which made Matt realise he had been played since there was only one in the bag when he snatched his. Slowly he pieced together that Danny must have the real one, offering to show the boys his fake to prove his theory.
Meanwhile Danny was busy catching up with Carson, locking in the next vote as Lauren since she has an extra one. And while Carson was quiet and non-committal, Kane outright shut him down when he approached him with the idea, since the extra vote in the hands of an ally would be super powerful for them later in the game. Begging the question, did I know they were aligned with Lauren? Kane then approached Matt and Frannie about Danny’s plan, suggesting that while Danny is fixated on getting rid of her, it may actually be the perfect time to blindside him instead. And after they pulled in Carson, he realised that he, Carolyn and Yam Yam are sitting pretty in this impending feud between Ratu and Soka.
The tribe came together with Probst where they would each stand on a beam and hold a long pole above their head and balance a ball with the last one standing securing immunity. Oh and since Jiffy Pop can’t go a week without some rando twist, they will be split up into groups of five – why did we merge again? – with a person winning immunity from each group. And the person winning the whole challenge earned immunity for their entire team too. Oh and sadly, only those eligible to be eliminated will be the only ones voting too, meaning someone is about to get screwed to rule as the King or Queen of the Jury. When they split up into groups, Carson was the odd one out, meaning he got to bet on who would win and tie his fate to theirs. Confused? Same. Oh and the winning group would also get PB&Js, because why not.
In any event, Carson locked in with Heidi, Kane, Danny, Frannie and Carolyn, which seemed like a shitty idea as Carolyn became the first to drop. She was followed out by Lauren on the other team, before the remaining people transferred to a narrower portion of the beam. Which immediately cost Kane, followed by Heidi and Danny leaving Carson’s fate in Frannie’s hands. While she continued to power on, Jamie dropped before everyone transitioned to the narrowest portion of the beam. Just like Kane, that transition cost Matt and Yam Yam leaving Frannie and Brandon to battle for their group’s safety. The duo fought valiantly for a little while longer before Brandon dropped, meaning Frannie earnt her group immunity, but left her boyfriend in danger and ugh, I have a horrible feeling this is not going to end well for my sweet angel Matt.
The winners were sent back to camp to smash their sandies as the losers were sent to a different camp to scramble. Meaning in addition to the winners not having a vote, they also don’t have sway, which is infinitely worse. Back at camp, the group joyously smashed the food before talk turned to the upcoming vote, with Frannie and Danny talking about how much nobody wants Matt to go but accepted that it is clearly either him or Yam Yam going. Which obviously scared Carolyn, as she definitely didn’t want to lose her bestie. And just to up the tension for them, there was also an ominous note sitting on the table telling them they couldn’t open it until everyone was done eating.
Before we could address the note we ventured over to the losers’ camp where Brandon was feeling bad to have let his team down, though was thrilled to still be immune in addition to having his vote. Particularly since he also has Lauren and Jamie there who will totally stay Ratu strong. Matt meanwhile knew he was screwed and asked to talk to everyone, though pulled Jamie and Brandon aside to casually mention they may have a crazy plan to get rid of Lauren but if not, he is happy to work with them to take out Yam Yam. Despite the fact Yam Yam is the only one he actually wants to work with. Sadly for Matt, Yam Yam was busy throwing his name out to Lauren, filling him in on the fact Danny and Matt have been throwing out her name because of the extra vote and as such, she was ready to bounce him ASAP.
Back with the victors Frannie opened the note to announce a new advantage locked in the cage with keys hidden around the jungle. The catch being, you could only grab a second key once you’ve tried your key and found it didn’t work. Instantly everyone ran off to look with key after key coming up short before Heidi finally put us out of our misery, unlocking the cage and snatching it for herself. It being the new Control the Vote Advantage, meaning she can choose one player at the upcoming tribal council to force to vote the way she wants. Meaning she could be the one to save both Yam Yam and Matt, if she wants to be my best friend.
We returned to Playa de Loser where Matt was missing his boo Frannie, gifting us a heartbreaking recap of their love, instantly filling me with even more anxiety that it is soon to be ending. Matt and Yam Yam caught up as the former Ratu hung out by the well, with Yam Yam pointing out that if they can get the other group to split their vote, they will be able to force a tie, meaning they just may be able to survive. Sadly for them the trio were busy planning to load all their votes on one person, either Yam Yam as it won’t piss as many people off or Matt to weaken Soka. Wait, no, Lauren wants them to split so we may be saved!
Frannie and Heidi caught up at the winners’ beach to talk through the advantage, trying to figure out the best way to use it to take control. While everyone was onboard with telling Matt and Yam Yam to vote together, Heidi admitted to Kane that since Matt is so well liked, she is just as concerned about him getting too far as she is about breaking up Ratu.
At tribal council Jamie spoke about how wild it is to once again be in a small group and potentially screwed if your allies are on the wrong side. Almost speaking for the audience about how tired we are of the constant tribal council twists. Matt spoke about the fact he didn’t have his bags or any tricks that may be in them, and when Frannie admitted she hadn’t packed it, he pulled out a papaya to ask Jeff for mercy and to cancel tribal council. When that didn’t work, Matt lay out that it is him and Yam Yam on the block, with the latter admitting he was also very nervous. Lauren and Jamie downplayed it, talking about how one advantage could screw them out of the game, but if they do stay, they also need to think about the six people not voting.
Matt tried to remind everyone how strong of an ally he is, with Brandon admitting he would love to work with him before pointing out he even voted for Yam Yam just the week before. Yam Yam wisely pointed out he has zero allies, while Matt has options, meaning if he is kept, he is more likely to stay loyal, while Matt would flip right back. Matt then was a beautiful angel, breaking down as he talked about his anxiety and nerves before playing the game, and how proud of himself he was to overcome it and play a strong game. As sweet Frannie looked on, beaming with pride. Jeff then called out Yam Yam for deflecting with humour – why show his game, Jeff – with him too breaking down about how growing up as a queer kid in Puerto Rico, he never dreamt he could be here and he now he isn’t ready to go.
As they were about to go out to vote, Heidi stood up and snatched Lauren’s vote, instructing her to vote for Yam Yam. After clarifying whether Heidi controlled one or two of her votes, Lauren kicked off the voting, wisely holding on to her extra as the group united to break up mum and dad, sending Matt out to become the King of the Jury. Which feels so wholesome and lovely I could almost burst. But fuck am I going to miss our sweet king. As soon as her arrived at Ponderosa, I pulled him in for a massive hug and thanked him for playing such an exceptional game and for repping for all the nerds with anxiety. As is becoming a trend this season, I reiterated that due to the twist there was truly not much he could have done to save himself, but I am grateful that someone as kind as him is the one setting the tone of the jury. Which is perfectly shown with a big, fat plate of Matt Cornflakinship Brownies.
As sweet as our nerd king, angel zaddy these elevated brownies are all about balance. Crunchy and soft, sweet and salty, everything about them works together to warm your soul and keep the jury in a positive state. I assume.
Matt Cornflakinship Brownies
375g unsalted butter
150g dark chocolate
200g muscovado sugar
650g raw caster sugar
100g plain flour
50g cocoa powder
1 ½ tsp kosher salt
300ml double cream, at room temperature(ish)
Preheat the oven to 180C and line a rectangular cake tin.
Start by melted 125g of butter with the dark chocolate, either in a double boiler or using a microwave. Stir until smooth, shiny and combined, and then leave to rest.
Meanwhile using a stand mixer, beat the eggs, muscovado sugar and 150g of the raw caster sugar until light and fluffy, almost pulsating with the volume. With the mixer on low, slowly pour in the butter and chocolate, mixer until just combined. Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold through the flour, cocoa and half a teaspoon of salt until combined. Pour the batter in the pan and transfer to the oven to bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the brownies are just cooked through. Remove and leave to cool.
To make the caramel cornflakes, pop the remaining sugar in a large saucepan over medium heat and stir until it has melted. This will take a while, but is worth it for an angel like Matt. Keep cooking the sugar until it is a deep golden colour. Remove from the heat and add half of the remaining butter and mixing in. Once combined, add the remaining butter and whisk until that is combined. Followed by the cream, carefully, as this will bubble and spit. Once combined, return to the cooktop and heat for 2 minutes, or until it has thickened slightly. Remove from the heat, stir in the remaining salt, followed by the cornflakes.
Immediately pout the cornflake topping over the brownies and smooth the top. Transfer to the fridge to set for a couple of hours before slicing and devouring.
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