Previously on Australian Survivor Gerry was feeling betrayed after landing in isolation after George and Liz switched their votes from Simon, leaving him plenty of time to swap stories with Nina about their relevant final three deals with George. At the immunity challenge for four, Matt just snatched victory ahead of sweet Simon, who felt like his time would surely now be up. Back at camp George was ready to repeat the previous tribal and split the vote between Simon and Nina. Nina meanwhile was not interested in going down without a fight, trying to woo Matt and Gerry to her side to take out the king with Simon. Sadly though it was clear it didn’t work at tribal council as Gerry spoke George had been mentoring him before it finished on a tie between Nina and Simon, with our sweet, iconic bottom finally exiting the game.
The next day the final five were delighted to find a little breakfast treat with the warning that they will need all the energy they can to make it to the end of the game. While everyone smashed muffins and coffee, George appeared to be most excited by the bag of sugar. Matt meanwhile was all jacked up on caffeine and sugar, buzzing and feeling like he can finally think again. And by think, run around the camp screaming and belly flopping into the ocean. The fivesome then had a lovely moment together, bonding in the shallows and celebrating how far they have come. George and Gerry caught up privately, locking in going to the final three with Matt, while George spoke about being grateful to have found a lifelong friend in Gerry. But then ominously pointed out he would be happy to finish in fourth. Or third, or second. Meaning it is pretty clear Nina is next, right?
That afternoon the boys caught up to lock in their vote against Nina, as she hung in the hammock while Liz wandered around camp. She had finally realised that George’s relationship with the boys was becoming a massive threat to her game after the last tribal council, identifying Matt as her biggest physical threat and George as the most likely to win. Which again came infuriatingly too late. Trying to restore the jacuzzi alliance, Liz instead caught up with Nina by the shore and locked in the plan to vote out Matt should he not win immunity. Knowing that if she appeared positive it could prove a spoiler, Nina pretended to be disappointed as she caught up with her fellow former Heroes, leaving Liz to catch up with George and lock in the vote against Matt. You know, if he doesn’t win immunity.
Meaning it is very, very obvious that Matt is winning immunity.
The tribe met Jonathan by the beach for the final five immunity challenge where they would have to race to drop a ball in a shoot, race to collect it at the other end of a disc before walking over obstacles and collecting two more. Before then navigating them up an upright maze and into a hole, with the first to land them all taking out immunity. Nina and Liz took an early lead, with Liz powering ahead as Matt overtook Nina and worked to close the gap. While George and Gerry were stuck collecting their balls, with the former cursing it as a stupid challenge. Liz had a massive head start as she got to work on the maze before dropping, leaving enough time for Matt to join her. He too struggled, allowing Nina to join them followed by George as Gerry was still stuck on the first obstacle. Eventually Liz landed her first ball, followed closely by Nina. As George tried some wild tricks, Liz landed her second ball, making me realise how very wrong I was about Matt. As George magician-ed the ball to the top, Gerry joined the fray before Nina dropped her second ball as Liz powered through, landed her third and jagged herself immunity. Like a damn queen.
Back at camp the tribe quickly congratulated Liz on her victory before everyone scattered to work through plans for the upcoming tribal council. She sat by herself in the hammock, talking through all the scenarios by herself, knowing that trusting in Liz is kinda her last option and as such, she needs to be solid. Matt meanwhile checked in with George to see if he wanted to talk, with George assuring him that the only option is Nina tonight and as such, they need to load their votes on her and not worry. While Matt worried about Liz turning on them, George assured her she had no other options. Just as she and Nina caught up by the well to lock in their votes against Matt, while she worried about George’s growing closeness with Gerry. Liz caught up with George to tell him that voting out Matt is literally the only correct option moving forward, as George panicked about upsetting Gerry. Leading to Liz telling him to stop being soft and letting Gerry play into his emotions, and instead get cutthroat and play to win.
Which is energy I would have loved at any of the last four tribal councils.
Sadly for Liz, her pep talk actually triggered George, reminding him that he voted out his closest ally in fourth in his first season and that being cutthroat is what led to his loss. Which I would argue wasn’t the case, but it definitely didn’t help. Though he knew that by going to the final three with Matt and Gerry, he was essentially handing himself third. As such, he approached Nina to affirm that he would reignite the jacuzzi alliance. Matt then dropped by Nina, asking how she was feeling as Nina outlined that she, Liz and George were targeting Matt and while he knew she was trying anything to survive, he was very nervous. He then approached George and Liz to tell them what Nina said, leading to them vehemently denying it and ugh, I feel like it may be the thing that causes them to just vote her out.
Matt then approached Gerry to loop him in, with Gerry calmly telling him George knows he is playing for third with them, though he was happy to finish there. As Liz and George continued to bicker in the shelter, Liz pointed out he needs to stop being emotional and to just get rid of Matt. George then caught up with Nina, with her expertly telling him that she is voting Matt because that is the only plan anyone has given her and if he has a different one, she is willing to hear it. Sadly for her, as they spoke it became more and more clear that George will continue to be a swing vote until the very last moment.
At tribal council Nina spoke about how there is a high likelihood that she will be going home given she is literally the only person left from outside of the major alliance. While she has appealed to people to make a move, she feels like everyone is just holding on to their ticket to the finale and not letting go. Liz praised her for never giving up and always trying to find a way to survive, before talk turned to Matt’s challenge prowess, with George admitting it is a concern given he only makes it to the end if someone takes him. Liz praised him as her biggest challenge competitor, leading to Matt pointing out that Liz is also a huge physical threat, seemingly not realising she is immune so it literally doesn’t matter at this point.
George spoke to the fact he lost Brains Vs Brawn due to only focusing on strategy and not listening to his heart, though he intended to be guided by it this time to make it to the end. He then laid all ownership for building the minority alliance as Shonee looked on, enraged. Gerry tried to pretend their alliance had not had a leader with Jonathan hilariously pointing out that it completely contradicts what George just said. Gerry tried to double down, talking about everyone having a different moment to make the decisions, leading to an epic eye roll from Nina. She then spoke about how her perception is completely different and that is what matters when the power switches to the jury, as to her, Gerry has done nothing but do what he was told and tend to the fire. Essentially.
With that the tribe voted and two votes piled up on Matt and Nina before George proved to listen to his heart as Nina was tragically eliminated from the game. Meaning voting out a close ally cost him a win, as will likely keeping one. As Nina urged Liz to just not let George make it to the final tribal council.
As Nina arrived at the Jury Villa I congratulated her on becoming the first ever Twine to serve on a jury, which is literally all we’ve ever wanted from Sandra given she would give us the most iconic, sassy questions known to man. But that is all I said about her mama, as I pulled her in for a hug and praised her for playing such a strong game. While she and the Heroes may have botched it against Shonee and George – note who was put up front, for a reason – the fact that she managed to be the last one standing proves her impeccable skill at winning people over, gathering the right intel and making sure there was always someone that was a more pressing boot. So while I’m heartbroken we didn’t get the Twine Heroes Vs. Villains bookend we wanted, I am glad I could cheer her up with a Biryanina Twine.
This Indian classic – biryani – is one of those great dishes that are just as tasty as they are simple to make, meaning it quickly finds a permanent place in your rotation. Spicy and soothing, it is the perfect way to wash away the stress of the day. Or celebrate a win (or fifth place, in this case).
Biryanina Twine Serves: 4-6.
Ingredients 1 cup Greek yoghurt ¼ cup korma curry paste 600g chicken breasts, diced 2 tsp olive oil 1 onion, sliced 1 tbsp minced ginger 5 garlic cloves, minced 800g tin diced tomatoes 1 cinnamon stick 2 bay leaves 1 ½ cups basmati rice 1 ½ cups chicken stock a handful of coriander leaves, roughly chopped, plus extra to serve
Method Combine the yoghurt and korma paste in a bowl and stir through the chicken to coat. Cover with cling and pop in the fridge to marinate for a couple of hours.
Once the chicken is well and truly marinated, heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat and cook the onion for 5 minutes or until soft and golden. Add the ginger and garlic, and cook stirring for a couple of minutes before stirring in the tomatoes, cinnamon and bay, cooking for a few minutes.
Stir in the chicken and rice, followed by the stock. Bring to a boil before reducing heat to low and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes or so, or until the liquid is absorbed and rice, soft and tender. Stir through the coriander and remove from the heat. Before serving, with an extra sprinkle of coriander or a dollop of yoghurt and devouring. Greedily.
Previously on Australian Survivor George was playing 5D chess as he told Hayley about his secret $60K prize at the auction, not as a way to get her to take him to the end as she assumed but to act as a canary in the coal mine for her turning on him. After his attempts to work with the OG Heroes at the previous tribal council, though when he won immunity George had to pivot. Despite Shaun and Nina being on the bottom without any more idols to save them, George started to grow concerned about how close Shiz were and as such, used Hayley and Nina to blindside arguably the biggest threat to win, Shonee, instead. Breaking the heart of the nation and ruining the month of March for me.
Back at camp Simon marvelled at how great the blindside was as Liz and George immediately caught up, with him taking full credit for the move but assuring her he feels horrible about it. Though he did admit that this turn of events now makes it easier for the two of them to win, before he promised that the two of them will still be there to face off at the final challenge. He went back to Hayley and Matt to assure them that Liz is still 100% on their side, gloating to us about how well he played it all. The next morning however it was very clear how wrong he was, as George and the tribe joked around while Liz stared daggers at him. In her confessional she broke down in tears, heartbroken to have not only lost her bestie but to have been lied to by the entire tribe. And while she felt all alone at the bottom, she vowed to bide her time and take George down at the right time.
As he dressed up as Shonee and she pretended to laugh. And oh God, I am here for her Natalie Anderson revenge arc.
George caught up with Gerry and once again incorrectly assured him that nothing has changed with Liz, so now they just power ahead as a group of five rather than six. Which was also formerly seven. As such, he turned his attention back to Nina, Shaun and Simon, vowing to exacerbate tensions between them to keep them from pulling off any moves together. Speaking of Simon, he was next to chat with George, pointing out that he did what he was asked at the previous tribal council and as such, wanted to know if he would protect him at the next vote. With George assuring him that he, Hayley and Matt all see it that way, so he is good. Simon then pointed out that he has had very little agency throughout the season and as such, is unlikely to get many votes at the end before straight up floating the idea of them going to the final two together.
Sadly George then told us that when the vote changed to Shonee, the deal changed. So poor, sweet Simon is once again in danger.
The tribe reconnected with my love JLP for the reward challenge where they would use their feet to release some blocks, organise them and then stack them onto a three level tower and place a flag on top. For one of two cars and a little picnic. Matt whipped out in front from the very first moments while everyone else took a more slow and steady approach. Nina overtook him when it came to building as Simon and Liz closed the gap. Shaun meanwhile was a mess while Hayley was surprisingly almost just bad, making me feel like she is throwing it to avoid the car curse. Simon eventually took out the lead as he powered through the third level with Nina and Matt right behind. Until Nina dropped a couple, that is. In any event, it didn’t really matter as Simon continued to power through, placed his flag and guaranteed he would not be winning the game. After breaking down in tears over such an epic victory, everyone hugged him before Shaun begged to go with him on the reward. After selecting his ute, he opted to take not Shaun but Matt and Hayley. Before JLP chose to be kind and let him choose one more person. With him shockingly once again not opting for Shaun, but Nina.
The foursome disappeared to celebrate Simon’s win with their epic feast, joyfully eating everything in sight before everyone spoke about how shocked – and grateful – they were to Simon for picking them to go along. Hayley knew it was a good chance for some strat chat and given Simon is super eager to play, asked him if there was a specific reason why he chose the three of them to come. With him hilariously saying no, given he had no options anyway. He then told everyone that George told him to vote Shaun last night to save himself, while Nina opened up about her own deal with George and that they really can’t let him get anywhere near the final five. While Matt straight up told them he didn’t think he would ever turn on George. For some reason that made Hayley feel like it was the right time to get messy, telling everyone about George’s $60K win at the auction. And while she thinks it will rally everyone and help them take George down, I feel telling Matt will be the actual undoing. Tragically, hers.
The groups came back together for the latest immunity challenge where they would each have to squat against a wall to try and balance an idol on a ledge with the last person holding up their idol taking out victory. Almost instantly Matt became the first to go and followed by George, as Jonathan speculated the challenge would be over within ten minutes. Liz was next to drop, followed by Gerry at two minutes before Hayley dropped out of nowhere as Simon shook hard. Hayley tried to keep Shaun focused before Simon dropped, leaving Nina to fight it out against the athlete to be the first Twine to win individual immunity. After ten minutes both of them were struggling badly before Shaun finally dropped, taking out the win for the Twine family. And ugh, I’m as proud as Sandra would be right now!
Back at camp the tribe quickly got to work scrambling, with George pulling Shaun aside to float the idea of getting rid of Simon. He laid it on thick, pointing out that once Simon is gone, the entire tribe opens up as everyone settles on the endgame and that he truly sees value in them working together. George then caught up with Hayley, Matt and Nina, locking them in on a solid vote for Simon. Hayley however was ready to make a(nother) move and as such, pushed hard to split the vote between Shaun and Simon so she could dictate who goes home. Liz joined them and they quickly locked in the split before George approached Shaun to let him know about it too. Though once again assured him that things will get better tomorrow. That is if he is still there, thanks to Hayley.
George returned to camp and looped Gerry in on the plan, praising it for being completely foolproof. The only potential complication to it however, was Nina, who he just isn’t sure he can trust. As such, he pulled her aside and begged her to hold firm on the plan and while she assured him she is good, he wasn’t sure. He then found Hayley and spoke to her about his fears and once again, she promised they were fine. Sadly for him, he didn’t factor in Simon and given he had spent the afternoon being ignored, he was also ready to make a move given something is clearly afoot. And since Matt has already said he will never turn on George, Simon suggested they get rid of him instead. He and Shaun locked it in before approaching Liz to see if she’d be interested in working with them. And when she was, they rallied Nina and Hayley to see if they’d be willing to take the shot.
While George was just confident he was making it to the end again, unaware that there are multiple plans on the table and without Shonee around as a shield, he is now the biggest threat. Which is wild, given a winner is there.
At tribal council George opened up how great Shonee looks, though was using her as a reminder that anything can happen at tribal council and you can never let your guard down. Otherwise you get taken out. Liz meanwhile spoke about how sad she is to be without Shonee, fairly throwing George under the bus for being the cause of her demise though admitted she had to move on, otherwise she will be cut. Shaun meanwhile was grateful to have been saved at the last couple of tribal councils, though continued to advocate for people in the majority to use him – swoon – to make a move. Before Simon spoke about how Shonee going simply transferred power from the Spice Girls, to George, Gerry and Matt, meaning he was still on the outs. And George is still in power. While George tried to laugh it off, Matt started to spook and questioned whether Simon was still the plan.
Talk turned to Nina’s victory, with her sweetly saying she will keep it as a surprise for her mum. Liz mentioned that everyone should be feeling nervous without immunity, while Hayley reminded them that they now need to turn their attention to who they face off against in the final three. With George saying if you haven’t done that yet, you may as well just go to the jury now. Simon theatrically got up to wander off – bless – before talking about George telling he has done nothing to justify the win, leading to yet another blow-up between them as Simon – again, bless – told him trying is sometimes enough. He then admitted to being nervous, unsure how to rebuild trust this late in the game. With that the tribe voted and the smile was promptly wiped off George’s face as Hayley switched her vote and sent Shaun out of the game. As George vowed to get revenge on Nina for flipping, as he praised his spot-on instincts to Hayley on their walk back to camp.
As Shaun arrived at the Jury Villa, I was inspired by Simon at the previous immunity challenge and straight up climbed him like a tree for a hug. Once again, Shaun played an exceptionally strong game, which is sometimes forgotten because he looks and is built the way he is. He has solid reads on the game, builds loyalty, is strategic and most importantly, kind and likeable, meaning people naturally gravitate to him. Add in the fact he is 9 foot and hot as hell – not to be mistaken for rotting in hell or rawting in heal, which Tom Sandavol should do – and well, you’ve got an all around strong player that will make it to the merge, but will never win given he is the target. Which more than earned him a big fat platter of regal Coronashaun Chicken Hampsondwiches.
Originated way back when at the last coronation of the British Empire, these sandwiches may not be everyone’s cup of tea (see what I did there?), but they are jam packed with flavour. Sweet and tangy, they are a decadent way to celebrate a solid run and toast the way that is king of our loins. And long may he reign (on me).
Coronashaun Chicken Hampsondwiches Serves: 2.
Ingredients ¼ cup Shayonnaise Swain 2 tbsp Joe Manngo Chutney 2 tsp curry powder 1 lemon, zested and juiced 2 tsp dijon mustard 1 tsp celery salt 1-2 cups roast chicken, shredded butter, for spreading 4 slices sourdough 1 cup baby spinach leaves
Method Combine the mayo, chutney, curry powder, lemon zest and juice, mustard and salt in a bowl and toss through the chicken until well coated. If you want a lighter flavour hit, go with more chicken.
To assemble, butter the bread and divide the mixture between two slices. If you went with more chicken, however, you can probably get more sandwiches out of it, so build to taste. Anyway, top the mixture with some baby spinach and close with the remaining bread. For full royal flair, cut into triangles. Otherwise just devour greedily.
Previously on Australian Survivor as the original Spice Girls decreed, two became one, as the Heroes and Villains came together to form a single tribe. With Simon once again all alone on the bottom. Flick was thrilled to reunite with her bestie Shaun and while she initially wanted to protect the Spice Girls as payback, she ultimately decided to stick Heroes strong after Shaun reminded them they have more than enough numbers to take over. Sadly for them, George roped in Hayley and his former nemesis Simon to take control. After David sketched out Liz by the well, she decided to play her idol for Shonee, though didn’t need to, as David himself was booted from the game. As Shonee whispered to George that Flick is finished and ugh, I have goosebumps.
Back at camp Matt pulled everyone together to admit that he was the one that flipped, with Hayley quickly jumping in to say that she also made the jump to make sure they both got the credit come final tribal council. As Sam and Co. tried to wrap their heads around things, they kept taking little shots at the OG Heroes with George and Shonee iconically telling him to stop undermining their decision to play for themselves. The new power alliance then opted for a trip to the hammock – since the Heroes wouldn’t let them use it the day before – where Matt giggled about being an evil vixen, while Simon was happy to finally have friends again and ugh, is nature healing? Because when Matt suggested they call their alliance the Vigilantes to steal Nina’s suggested tribe name, I almost flooded my basement.
While the four Heroes stood quietly in the dark and sulked.
The next day Shiz were talking about their disappointment that Flick broke the girl code, likening it to a messy breakup. As such, they pulled Flick aside to find out what they did to upset her and while she explained she was just trying to save herself the night before, it obviously meant nothing to them. Though while they accepted the apology, Shonee was still out for blood and if All Stars is anything to go by, Flick is in trouble. Sam, Nina and Shaun meanwhile were busy trying to figure out how to get out of the mess of their own making and while Sam suggested they need an idol, Shaun smartly mentioned they need another way. As such, they decided that Simon was their best option to flip again, so they put Flick to work on winning him back. Or somehow win four immunities for the upcoming tribal.
George, Simon and Matt caught up by the well, with George thanking Simon for putting their issues aside and working together and well, it was wholesome and I love it. Particularly since Simon finally feels like he has friends. Hang on, maybe I don’t love Simon because he still wants to work with Shaun. Given he has lingering uncertainty about whether he can trust the Spice Girls, he caught up with Sam and Flick to talk about how shocked he is to have an alliance while Sam tried to act like he was happy for him to have some power. With Simon reiterating he is ready to make moves at the right time and aligning with George proves he can bury the hatchet, which kinda gives them some hope without saying anything. And again, do I now love Simon?
The tribe joined Jonathan on a beach for the latest immunity challenge where they would each have to hold a barrel containing 40% of their body weight with the last one standing winning. After ten minutes, Shonee asked Shaun how much weight would be in his barrel before George dropped out of nowhere. While Shonee started to struggle, she managed to hold on another 25 minutes before she dropped out. As Shonee and George kikied about getting rid of Flick, the rest of the tribe clocked up an hour before JLP told everyone they had to drop down to only one hand, costing Nina, Gerry and Shaun straight away. Sam was next to go, followed by Flick as Shonee praised her allies for outlasting the Heroes. And while Liz started to celebrate, Shonee told her to cut out the funny business and focus. Matt and Simon then dropped out, leaving Hayley and Liz to face off with Hayley dropping out of nowhere after another 20 minutes, handing the Olympian immunity.
With Flick quickly jumping in to congratulate the girls on being so strong. Which will not save you babes, I’m sorry.
Back at camp George obviously called his allies aside for a pow wow as the 4 Heroes skulked off to the well to figure out if there was anything they could do. George assured the Vigilantes that the only way they don’t make it to the top seven, is if something goes catastrophically wrong. They locked Flick as the target and while Simon suggested they need to split the vote in case of an idol. Everyone explained that they don’t have the numbers to make it work, with George going on step further and pointing out he or Shonee would be the target anyway so let them take the risk. He assured us that while he still doesn’t trust Simon 100%, he will be watching him like a hawk. The Heroes went person to person trying to figure out who the target is in the hope of saving themselves with an idol, though the Vigilantes would not budge. As such, they decided to load their votes on Matt to spook him a little and not upset anyone in power, while Shaun awkwardly danced around having an idol in the hope of them finding a second one to save the group. Given he is holding on to his, to play at the right time to save himself.
While Flick spent hours hunting around the hidden idol, she gave up and decided she needed to at least talk to Simon about making a move on George. She reminded him that the Spice Girls are a solid four, meaning nine is the latest they can make a move to beat them. Shonee meanwhile was watching on, talking to Hayley about how Flick could easily convince Simon to make a move just for the sake of it. Thankfully though, he checked in with Hayley who was super reassuring, reminding him that they want to get rid of more of the alphas first before trying anything and as such, it makes sense to hold firm for now. Hayley was then pulled aside by Shaun, who tried to guilt her into sharing who the target was, with her expertly not budging or even offering assurance. Leading him to speculate to us whether it was a smart decision to actually play the idol for himself or Flick, given she is his number one.
At tribal council Sam spoke about how shocked he was after the previous tribal council, though also knew he couldn’t really do much, before throwing out that nothing that happened at the last tribal council changed anyone’s place for those that flipped. Which drew an audible gasp from George, who pointed out that they are now on the winning ship and that ship has set sail, whether the OG Heroes like it or not. Shaun tried to point out that he is just in a bit of a trough, but the game is all about peaks and valleys with Simon agreeing that his game has only been ups and downs, though he is glad to be working with George and being part of the conversation now.
George pointed out that you should never close the door on any options, or at least, that is how the Vigilantes roll. Which annoyed the hell out of Nina that the tribe name she suggested was co-opted for the alliance working against her. Flick tried to pretend she was swap screwed with George whispering about the fact she actually had a numbers advantage, so that’s a lie. While she doubled down on the fact she was upsetting someone either way she went, which Shonee called bullshit on given she was the one leading the charge against Shiz, which makes it all the more hurtful. Particularly since Liz was willing to use her idol to save her. This clearly got Shaun thinking about doing the same as Matt pointed out he was in the same situation as Flick at the previous tribal, though clearly made the right choice. And well, now one of Flick, Nina, Sam and Shaun are drowning and they don’t have a lifesaver on their side. Which feels extra savage and I love that for him.
With that the tribe voted before Shaun proved himself a little more selfish than the Villains – or well, Liz – as he held on to his idol as his closest ally Flick was shown the door. Though hey, at least she has now been the final juror and the Queen of the Jury in her Survivor career. As she arrived at the Jury Villa, I pulled her in for a hug and reminded her that while I am firmly team Shiz, I was rooting for her and love how effortlessly she plays the social game. Plus, she is sensible and not bitter, meaning we should be lucky enough to have a fair jury on our hands with no toxicity with her as the Queen. Leaving me nothing more to do than toast her success and her new reign with a piping hot bowl of Flick Paellmateer.
While I forgo any of the seafood additions which are commonly placed in a paella, this is still a smokey, salty delight. The rich, spiced tomato bathes the al dente rice, working with the sweet meats to warm your soul and wash away any disappointment.
Flick Paellmateer Serves: 4.
Ingredients 1 tbsp olive oil 1 onion, diced 5 garlic cloves, minced 1 carrot, cut into rings ½ a bunch flat-leaf parsley, leaves and stalks roughly chopped separately 500g chicken thighs, diced 250g chorizo, cut into rings 2 tsp hot smoked paprika 1 capsicum, sliced 300g paella rice 2 tbsp tomato purée 3 cups chicken stock kosher salt and pepper, to taste 100g peas 1 lemon, for squeezin’ at the end
Method Heat the oil in a dutch oven – or paella pan, ideally – over medium heat and add the onion, garlic and carrot. Cook for a couple of minutes before stirring in the parsley stalks, chicken, chorizo and paprika. Cook for another five minutes or so before stirring in the capsicum and cooking until soft and sweet. About five minutes.
Add the rice and tomato purée to the pan and stir for a couple of minutes, until the rice is coated in all the juices. Stir in the stock and a good whack of salt and pepper, bring to the boil and reduce heat to low to simmer for about 15 minutes. Once reduced, stir in the peas and cook for a further few minutes, or until cooked through.
Adjust seasoning and serve with a good sprinkle of parsley leaves and a squeeze of lemon juice, before devouring.
Previously on Australian Survivor Simon was still blissfully under the assumption that he had an idol in his possession. And while we may not know what, if anything, he found in the cookie jar, one thing we can be certain of is that the producers are going to love however it blows up in his face. Hayley meanwhile successfully threw an immunity challenge, desperate to break the (Australian) winner’s curse. And since Rogue was on her tribe, she felt it was kind of a safe bet. Sadly Shaun got a clue to an idol from David and Sam, and while the trio of allies vowed to find and use it together, Shaun jagged it for himself – his first real one! – and decided now might be the right time to turn the tide against Hayley. Thankfully for our Queen, RogueRogued and offended her tribe one final time and got herself booted. Though not before doing a you-can’t-fire-me-I-quit plea to be booted.
The next day the Villains were enjoying the peace of a restful sleep after their first night off while Jordie and Fraser bonded over wanting to be arseholes instead of being on 24/7. And by being on, essentially they wanted to do nothing, stop helping and piss by the shelter, which speaks to my desire to retire by 40 on a deep, deep level. Simon however was not being lazy, lopping bamboo and being useful while Jordie and George joined him to help out and reinforce the shelter. Jordie opened up to us about how bossy Simon can be and while they both wanted George out, his temper is making working with Simon difficult. Right on cue, Simon yelled at George for getting distracted too easily and well, it was awkward and everyone just looked like they were embarrassed. For Simon.
Jordie realised that the boys were a tight four, while the girls and George were also bonded and as such, caught up with George to float the idea of working together to protect each other from their factions. Despite the fact Jordie knew it could come back to bite him, should they get caught.
Meanwhile over at the Heroes camp, the tribe were thrilled to be free of Rogue’s attitude and feeling well and truly zen again. Hayley was thrilled to have broken the curse, while Benjamin and Sharni were busy bonding while tidying and being super helpful and ugh, it is so damn wholesome. We then got a deep dive on Benjamin and his career, though I was across most of it given he is my hero. Being kind and crafty, he suggested the tribe whip up a fake idol together and while you would assume it was to benefit the entire tribe come swap, it made David, Flick and Sam feel like they cannot trust him. David and Sam caught up with Shaun, who was wisely keeping the fact he has the real idol a secret before the brainstrust went hunting along the shore. While Shaun giggled about outsmarting them, knowing that playing like a hero didn’t exactly serve him well during his first season.
The tribes joined up with my love JLP for the reward challenge where they would battle in pairs to knock barrels off a deck, with the first tribe to three scoring a tower of baked goods. And well, let’s just say, when I saw I snag roll I practically creamed my jeans, while Liz questioned whether the bread was ciabatta or sourdough, while Shonee was just looking for assurances it all came with a balsamic glaze. Like damn icons. First up were Stevie and Simon versus Shaun and Ben with the Heroes taking the point due to Simon not letting Stevie toss anything. Sam and Hayley then faced off against Jordie and George with George’s fire to best Hayley taking out the point for the Villains. Shonee and Fraser took on sweet Gerry and Matt with the Heroes quickly putting Shonee out of her misery before Paige and David defeated Sarah and Liz, handing the reward to Heroes.
Ideally for us to discover the pastries are actually raw when they return to camp.
Back at camp they learnt the producers had once again trolled them, this time spreading 11 treats out in front of them with the person who read the note – Sam – getting to decide who got to eat what. Hayley got a croissant, Paige got the meat pie, Sharni got a full loaf of bread, Gerry got a snag roll – lucky king – David got a choccie cake, Flick got a cupcake, Nina got a donut, Benjamin got a party pie, Matt a lamington, Shaun got a spongelog – and the realisation that Sam is out of his depth in the game – while Sam kept himself a slice of gluten free toast. Aka loyal to an absolute fault.
After smashing the food, Hayley got back to work hunting for an idol while Shaun watched on. Realising he had to do something to distract Sam and David from the fact he actually had the idol, Shaun told them he caught Hayley catching the idol and as such, they spread it like wildfire throughout camp. Hayley being the best player in the camp, pulled Shaun aside realising something was off between them and tried to find what the problem was. Which thankfully, finally made Shaun realise that it is stupid to vote out Hayley already, given she is a clear threat and as such distracts from the fact he is ten feet and looks stunning in a speedo.
The tribes caught up with Jonathan again for the immunity challenge where the tribes would race to push a heavy cart through a course to collect fire making equipment before lighting a fire to release a bag of coconuts. Aka the final four firemaking challenge on a massive scale. Despite being far weaker on paper, the Villains got out to an early lead before everyone fought over wood. With Stevie climbing it to make things hard for the Heroes like a damn icon. Deciding they had enough, the Villains powered to the end of the course while the Heroes focused on getting as many supplies as possible. The villains were first to make it to the end with Stevie getting to work on the fire as the rest of the tribe tried to figure out the best place to build the bonfire in the conditions. After lighting the torch, the Villains built a tall structure in a race against time as the Heroes closed the gap. Though way too slowly as the Villains took out the win before the Heroes even lit their fire.
Back at camp Sam was busy speculating whether they take out Ben for being shifty – which I repeat, he wasn’t – or Gerry for having an injured foot. Ben, Shaun, Flick, Sharni and Nina caught up by the well, agreeing how difficult the upcoming vote will be given they don’t have a Rogue. Nina suggested getting rid of Gerry would make sense given he is injured and while everyone felt bad about losing such a sweet man, Sharni tried to rationalise it as something that may save him from further injury in the long run. But damn does she hate the idea. After everyone disappeared, Sharni admitted she won’t be writing Gerry’s name down to Nina with her suggesting they get rid of Ben instead, for being shifty. This plan spread like wildfire and while Hayley was not a fan of the idea, given she and Ben are so close, she knew she wasn’t safe enough to make any demands.
Sadly for her laying low wasn’t keeping her safe anyway as Sam, David and Matt decided now would be a perfect time to blindside Hayley, given everyone is distracted, so got to work trying to find two more to get rid of her. While Nina gave some non-committal assurances, Shaun was not so thrilled about blindsiding his new ally and despite pretending it doesn’t bother him, it spurred him into action. First he told Flick what was happening before the duo approached Sam and David, assuring them that while Hayley needs to go before the merge, now is not the right time and as such, they need to see sense and not cause more chaos than they need to.
At tribal council David was surprised they were back at tribal council, while Flick spoke about how much more difficult tonight’s tribal council is compared to the last one, given they all get along. Ben was hopeful everyone was on the same page, though was nervous about blowing things up, given the last vote actually created some harmony. Hayley spoke about being worried that the upcoming vote won’t create the factions they think, while sweet Gerry was concerned his injury would be his undoing, given everyone is friendly. Ben felt like everyone should be nervous, while Gerry was the only one willing to cop to feeling like he will be receiving votes tonight.
Gerry spoke about being strong in challenges and at camp, with Shaun reiterating he has done so much for all of them and while he is still strong, he has an injury and anything will make you a target. After pointing out Gerry can’t vote for himself, Hayley begged him not to vote for her – lol – before Jonathan dropped the bomb that while they are voting someone out tonight, it is actually to send them to the Villains tribe. And should they survive their exile for two days – aka, through the next tribal council – they will return back to the Heroes camp with a tonne of intel. Which is a good twist (finally), as it could actually go either way for the person voted out and the tribe as a whole, meaning the way forward is murky.
This gagged the tribe with Shaun suggesting they get to whispering to figure out who to vote for, while Hayley suggested they should vote for a clearly loyal person, given they will give the Villains nothing and the Heroes everything upon their return. Ben meanwhile wanted to send someone that would cause chaos, while Gerry told them to focus on sending an asset. Nina meanwhile pointed out that while you want to send a spy that won’t be offended, there is still the risk that the person could just be voted out by the Villains next. Hayley smartly asked whether the Villains would know how it all transpired, with JLP assuring them it will only be what the Heroes tell them.
Paige meanwhile suggested she would be happy to go, while everyone else whispered to lock in the Gerry vote. As Nina jumped on the Paige bandwagon, telling the tribe it was easy, Paige continued to push to go for the star moment, while Sam suggested they vote someone that makes sense to have been voted out that they’d also be willing to lose given it isn’t a guarantee they come back. Which obviously made Gerry nervous as he asked who Sam was suggesting then. And ugh, Sam, you were so damn close to making a compelling argument, why did you have to go and tell the person you’re about to vote as a spy that they are expendable? With that the tribe voted, sending sweet Gerry over to the Villains for the weekend. And thanks to Sam’s blunder, he was taking a little bit of a bruised ego which should thankfully make things a little interesting.
As Gerry arrived at the Villains camp, everyone was fast asleep as he quietly crawled into the shelter to try and gently wake someone up. As he alerted Simon – who hilariously thought it was Sam – he pulled him in for a hug, while the rest of the tribe awoke to welcome him. Well except for George, who was annoyed that he scored a better spot in the shelter and after sassing him out, told us that it was critical that he makes sure he woos Gerry before Simon does. And well, who is going to tell him it may be too late already?
We checked in with the Heroes where Sharni was regalling the Meat Tray with stories of waking up and punching a crab. And while they seemed close, Sharni shared that she was just flexing her acting muscles – or chops, even – given she is so annoyed with them for risking Gerry despite Paige wanting to go to the other tribe. While Shaun tried to explain that voting for Gerry made the most sense, it didn’t make Sharni feel any less annoyed by how it all went down behind his back.
We returned to the Villains camp where Simon interrupted George and Gerry bonded, while George stared daggers at him. Fraser joined the conversation to see if he knew he was copping votes the previous night, with the sweet man proving to have a few sly tricks up his sleeve as he expertly spun a lie. And well Gerry, he was just feeling all the love from the tribe and was grateful for how friendly and kind they all are and as such, his loyalty was already wavering. Particularly since they were happy for him to be expendable. We then learnt about Gerry’s life on Fraser Island and all the hardship he has experienced and ugh, just like Sharni, I want only good things for him. As Simon continued to suck up to Gerry, George went person to person, pointing out how obvious Simon was being to try and woo him as a number. And George, maybe stop complaining and start befriending?
The tribes reunited with Jonathan for the latest reward challenge with George sassily asking the Heroes to explain why they voted out Gerry before learning that one at a time they would face off one on one to knock their opponent’s idol off a disc. With the first tribe to three getting a huge collection of supplies and a piping hot lasagne. Or not, who knows? It could be frozen. Sam and Simon were first to do battle with Simon tragically dropping his, leading to a smug little dance from Sam. Shonee was next up against Flick, with our Queen tying things up before George and Hayley faced off, with Hayley obviously putting Heroes back out in front. Jordie and Shaun were up next with Jordie wisely tossing his in the air as he slapped Shaun’s to the ground, once again tying things up leaving Simon and David to battle out for reward with Simon botching the toss strategy as the Heroes jagged the win.
But hey, at least George got some intel from Hayley that he should trust Gerry.
Back at the ever improving Heroes camp, derpy Sam was thrilled with their latest haul as he carved up one of the three lasagnes for the tribe to devour. The spirits were obviously very high, but only got higher as Matt discovered pictures from home. We met David’s girlfriend who made him break down in tears, while Matt showed off a picture of him proposing to his girlfriend – post nervous poo – Hayley showed the day she bought a house, Benjamin spoke about his high school sweetheart Scott, we met Sharni’s grandfather, Sam’s girlfriend, Sandra got a photo cameo, Megan Gale graced our screens, Flick’s boyfriend made a return before Paige sobbed talking about her grandmother who passed away a few months earlier and ugh, I’m crying too.
Meanwhile the Villains were busy working, with Stevie getting them all on firewood duty while George quickly started working on Gerry. He pulled him aside and told him that Hayley told him to trust Gerry before Geroge spilled the tea on what was going on within the tribe, before they both offered up their allies and vowed to work together. While sweet Gerry proved to also be shrewd, knowing that he now holds the power to choose between George and Simon. And without the heroes realising, he can return to them with a new tribe of allies to bring them down. And FUCK YES, rise King Gerry.
The tribes joined JLP on a beach for the next immunity challenge where the heroes announced that they got photos from home. Which made Gerry look ready to kill. But back to the challenge, where they would race out to a boat, row it into shore and drag it up the beach before crawling under a net and tying their paddles into a pole to release a key which they would use to unlock blocks which they would then use to solve a word puzzle. While the tribes were neck and neck at the start, Shaun being a man mountain let the Heroes take the lead as he propped up the net and let the tribe breeze through. The Villains desperately tried to close the gap with once again, the puzzle proving to be the great equaliser. The Villains were first to get their letters ready while the Heroes figured out the phrase. Clearly out of their depth, the Villains vowed to just copy off the Heroes as Ben straight up signed the answer to Paige to slow them down. With the Heroes solving the puzzle a fraction ahead of the Villains.
Back at camp Simon was well and truly over the losses, while the tribe tried to rally and keep morale up. As everyone split up, Simon quickly locked in the plan to vote out George with Fraser however it was all reliant on Gerry. But given he had clearly warmed to Geroge, Simon instead tried to woo Sarah to his side. She was obviously in on the plan, telling Simon she knows he is a snake and as such, wants to get rid of him as quickly as possible. Simon took the information back to Fraser with the duo celebrating how easily it came together, as George watched on, assuming they were coming for him.
George caught up with Shiz by the well with George talking about how horribly Simon treats him and as such, he is willing to get rid of him ASAP. While George was confident they had Sarah and Gerry in their corner to make a move, Shiz both cautioned him that Sarah isn’t as loyal as he thinks and as such, suggested that maybe they should consider targeting her instead. And while Geroge was happy with the plan, he was also worried that she would push him down the stairs quicker than you can say Miss Greece. As such, George approached Gerry to let him know about the plan with Gerry quickly jumping on board. Talk turned to who would be the best person to rope in as a fifth, with them settling on Stevie, given he is another old boy. Sadly Stevie was not thrilled to blindside Sarah at first, given he is very close with Simon, though knew that getting rid of her takes him one step closer to the switch.
Stevie wisely caught up with Gerry to talk through what they should do, with Gerry reminding him that things change minute by minute and he needs to go with the flow. Stevie then approached Fraser to check if they are voting for George or Sarah, with the eavesdropping Simon wondering how Sarah became an option all of a sudden and grew all the more confused as they headed out for their date with JLP.
At tribal council Gerry spoke about how welcomed he was by his fellow Villains, while George spoke about how great it was to get a new member, particularly one that slotted right into the tribe. Shonee felt like Gerry fit in with them, given they are kind of lovely despite their love for some cheeky villanousness. George reiterated how grateful he was to have Gerry in his corner, while he was focused on making sure that the person they vote out tonight is the biggest risk to flip on the tribe post swap. As hell froze over, Simon agreed that was the wisest move while Jordie implied a tribe swap was imminent which upset JLP, given he sets the rules. While George, Simon and Jordie appeared to be on the same page, Stevie spoke about being worried about just following, rather than making the move that benefits him. Jordie spoke about voting for the shiftiest while Sarah was focused on sticking with the people she trusts. As George stared at Simon and Jordie, willing them to flip and take her out.
With that the tribe voted, George held onto his idol and once again, Simon got cold feet ahead of the vote, joining with the Shiz crew to blindside Sarah. As she arrived at Loser Lodge, Sarah quickly proved how she became a champion beauty queen, acting poised and charming as I pulled her in for a hug. I congratulated her on playing a solid game, telling her that if this had been a season of just newbies, I truly believe she would have taken it all the way and well, that was enough to cheer her up before I served up a fresh batch of piping hot Chicken and Sarah Marschkroom Baos.
There is nothing I love more than a glorious steamed bun, and this lighter chicken version is truly delicious. Sweet and earthy, it warms even the coldest of villains. And could even guarantee nobody is pushed down the stairs, or anything.
Chicken and Sarah Marschkroom Baos Serves: 4.
Ingredients 7g sachet dry yeast ¾ cup warm water 2 cups flour 1 cup cornflour 5 tbsp raw caster sugar ¼ cup vegetable oil 2 ½ tsp baking powder canola oil 5 garlic cloves, minced 1 tbsp minced ginger 2 cups shiitake mushrooms, sliced salt and pepper 500g chicken mince ⅓ cup chopped chives 1 tbsp truffle oil
Method In the large bowl of an electric mixer, dissolve the yeast into the water and let it rest until it is foamy and glorious.
While that is frothing away, sift the flour, cornflour and sugar together. When the yeast is ready, add the flour and oil.
Using a dough hook, turn the mixer on to the lowest setting and leave to knead for about 5 minutes or until a small ball is formed. Place in a large oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth and allow to prove for 2 hours.
While the dough is working on proving itself to you, get to work on the meat mixture.
Heat a lug of canola oil in a large frying pan and saute garlic and ginger for a minute or so, or until nice and fragrant. Add the mushrooms and cook for five minutes or so, or until soft. Remove from heat, season and allow to cool completely. Once chill, combine the shiitakes, mince, chives, and truffle oil in a bowl and scrunch until well combined.
After the dough has made something of itself, return it to the bowl of the mixer, add the baking powder and knead it again on the lowest setting until it is smooth again, adding water a teaspoon at a time if it looks too dry. Trust your gut here people, I did. Cover with a damp cloth and leave to rest for 15 minutes.
While resting, cut out ten 10x10cm squares of baking paper and add water to the steamer and bring to the boil.
When ready, roll the dough out into a long tube and divide into ten pieces. Flatten each piece into a 12cm diameter disc, leaving more dough towards the centre, add a good chunk of the filling and bring the dough together to close the bun at the top. Place on a square of parchment and repeat the process until all done.
Steam the buns for 12 minutes over high heat, three or four at a time depending on the size of your steamer, making sure the water does not touch the buns. Then devour, gleefully, with your fave condiments.
Previously on Canada’s Drag Race vs the World the dolls recovered from Snatch Game by being immediately thrown into another large, epic challenge – the ball! This time focused on weather, since you know, Canada. Despite the group having a range of experiences with design challenges – from ball winners, to design challenge winner to ball loser, to queens sent home by designs and Ra’Jah, who is literally the best seamstress to ever grace the mainstage – they all managed to pull together decent looks. Victoria debuted a Drag King look in honour of Fabio – swoon – Silky was perfection from start to finish, while Icesis was super polished. At the other end of the pack, Anita didn’t heed Silky’s advice that less is more, landing in the bottom opposite Rita. And was tragically eliminated – farewell, Down Under – after Silky took out victory over Victoria.
Backstage Rita was glad to still have a place in the competition, though was disappointed it came at the cost of her bestie. Silky and Ra’Jah praised Anita for bringing such joyous energy to the competition, before Silky took it one step further and crowned her Miss Congeniality and offered to transfer her $500 Canadian dollars as the prize. As the survivors sat down to kiki, Ra’Jah praised her sister for getting redemption on the design challenge and Victoria for becoming an absolute icon. Rita opened up about how emotional she is to have survived, with both Silky and Victoria – who also picked Anita’s lip stick – assuring her that they made the right decision as Anita was ready to go. Oh and now that everyone has had a turn in the top, they’re all unsure whether it is time to start playing games.
Oh and Vanity somehow found a coffee enema or something and well, I need to have one based on her and Ru’s reactions.
The next day Icesis and Ra’Jah admitted they were a little shocked that one of them wasn’t in the top along with Victoria and Silky, which TBH, same. While Rita still just wanted to burn her outfit. Before she could get any matches out, Brad arrived to task the girls with a quick drag Cameo Mini Challenge. And well, Silky was Silky, Ra’Jah was a delight, Vanity came through with legit tips and Rita was horny. Icesis meanwhile couldn’t remember the national album and well Victoria was fired up and stunning. But well, it was Ra’Jah who grew more ridiculous with each round, which proved enough to give her the win.
Before departing Brad announced that for their Maxi Challenge the dolls would be putting on a little comedy show, with he and husband Gary Janetti dropping by to help them work through their sets. Oh and since Ra’Jah took out victory in the mini challenge, she would obviously have the power to decide the order of the show. They sat down to kiki with everyone offering themselves up as the first performer, while Victoria was desperate to go in last place and Icesis was happy to just go wherever. To keep things fair, Ra’Jah popped herself in first place, followed by Vanity, Rita, Icesis, Victoria and then Silky. Which obviously irked Victoria, given she was the only one to request it.
With that decided, the dolls split up to work through their sets with Victoria questioning why she wasn’t put in last place to Rita. Speculating that Ra’Jah was looking out for her sister and trying to sabotage her in the process. Silky meanwhile was nervous to be doing her first comedy challenge across her three seasons, though was ready to show how damn funny she is. Ra’Jah meanwhile was terrified about writing jokes while Icesis was hoping to knock it out of the park once again and to get the chance to gloat about being the only winner.
Ra’Jah was first to meet the Goreski Janettis, laughing about how she wasn’t her mothers favourite child despite being her only one. And well, Ra’Jah was now very VERY nervous. Vanity opened up about hating public speaking, though was surprisingly brutal and charming with her jokes. Rita meanwhile was super confident given comedy is her bread and butter, leaning into bits and vowing to get naked if she wasn’t funny. Icesis was energetic and cute, but seemed to be stuck in her head while Victoria was ready to be as crude as humanly possible and well, I love it. There are cervixes, spunk and wet-wiped junk and this better not end up being a bomb. Oh and then Silky sauntered on stage and was a charming delight, talking a mile a minute and delighting everyone.
Elimination Day arrived and while Victoria and Vanity were bonding over their gameplans while beating their mugs, Icesis returned to the Werk Room and looked to be holding back tears. Silky checked in on her with Icesis not really wanting to talk, before Ra’Jah pulled her aside to see if she was ok. Icesis broke down in tears as she opened up about being absolutely exhausted and how she feels like she returned to the competition way too soon and honestly needs a break. As such, Ra’Jah and Rita assured her she will be fine if she needs to go and look after herself, reminding her that she owes nothing to anyone but herself and her health. Silky joined them and pulled her in for a hug as Icesis announced that she needs to leave the competition, as all her sisters rallied around and held her tight. And ugh, I am sobbing.
As soon as Icesis exited the Werk Room I pulled her in for a massive hug and assured her that she made the right decision. While she was perfect and delightful over the course of a second season, she has nothing to prove to anyone – I mean, she already won before – but even if she did, she did that. She oozes warmth and charm, has more talent in her pinky toe than I could ever dream of and well, we are lucky to experience any amount of time she can give us. As such, I gave her one final hug and assurance she did the right thing, while sending her on her way with a warm, comforting Peri Peri Chicken Yirocesis Couture.
Yiros are one of my favourite street foods because, duh, chips are an integral part of the equation. Add in some gloriously hot peri peri chicken and you’re in heaven. Fluffy potato, creamy sauce and the burn of charred meat? Per. Fec. Tion. Just like Icesis.
Peri Peri Chicken Yirocesis Couture Serves: 4.
Ingredients 6 small bird’s eye chillies, seeds in or out depending on how you like the heat ½ tsp chipotle chilli powder 4 cloves garlic 1 lime, zested and juiced 2 tbsp paprika 2 tbsp oregano ¼ cup olive oil ¼ cup champagne vinegar 600g chicken breast, thinly sliced 1 batch Jud Beerza Battered Fries 4 Pita Andre Breads ⅔ cup Coolaioli 2 tomatoes, sliced ½ cup cheddar cheese, grated
Method Blitz the chillies, chilli powder, garlic, lime juice and zest, paprika, oregano, olive oil and champagne vinegar in a food processor to form a paste. Transfer to large bowl with the chicken, toss to coat, cover and pop in the fridge to marinate for a good hour or two.
When you’re ready to go, cook the chips as per Jud’s recipe and pop a skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken and all the fiery juices and cook stirring for about five minutes or until they are starting to caramelise, depending on how thinly you sliced your chicken.
To assemble, heat the pitas in a dry pan – if not freshly cooked, obvi – and smear each with some aioli. Top with the tomato, cheese, chicken and then chips before rolling to enclose. Serve with some extra chips and then devour, gloriously.
Previously on Survivor the Vesi tribe finally started to turn things around with a dominating win in the reward challenge. Sick of seeing Coco win, they opted to use their reward to steal from them, setting off their downfall. At the immunity challenge Vesi continued their streak and then helped Baka solve their puzzle, sending Coco to their first tribal council. That set off a chain of events where paranoia got the best of Lindsay as she spiralled and despite the target being between Cassidy and Geo, the tribe opted for calm and booted her from the game. Thankfully earning her a place in Second Chances due to her iconic flame out.
Back at camp the tribe rallied together as Cassidy reflected on how Lindsay’s nerves alone caused her downfall. That being said, she was super disappointed to have received one vote and requested that whoever did it talk to her to explain their process. And while mastermind Ryan wanted to smooth things over, Geo owned up and went for a walk and straight up made the entire situation worse, accusing her of voting against him – despite Lindsay clearly being the one to do it – and showing no remorse. After debriefing with Karla however, the girls were galvanised and once again ready to take out Ryan or Geo.
The next day Elie and Jeanine were busy hunting for the Baka hidden immunity idol, finally finding it, covered in ants. Jeanine threw caution to the wind and grabbed the Beware Advantage, learning that she now had to go through the bead saga. While filling in Elie though, they were caught by Owen, their second option for third place in their alliance. As such, they filled him in and while he considered holding on to his bead to screw her out of her vote and take control with Gabler, he ultimately handed it over to build trust. Elie then took the information straight to Sami, pointing out that he is actually the one they trust over Owen. Sami meanwhile was feeling safe with his place in the tribe, though he was concerned for Gabler, who had no idea what was going on.
Oh and despite Gabler wanting to hang on to his special bead, he ultimately gave it over to Jeanine and powered her idol. Thankfully, Sami woke up and chose chaos this morning, pulling Gabler aside and pointing out that he just powered Jeanine’s idol and um, is Sami actually a savvy player that is going to win this?
The tribes reconnected with Jeffrey for the next immunity challenge where they would be tethered together to run through a series of obstacles carrying buckets of water to release a gate. And then, instead of the usual puzzle, they would roll three balls up a ramp and land them on a platform. Oh and the victors would get a tarp each. While Coco got out to an early, massive lead, they struggled to roll the balls, leaving Vesi and Baka plenty of time to close the gap. As the three tribes faced off, Dwight and Sami quickly got their eye in, overtaking Ryan – who knocked off his two balls – and secured immunity for Vesi, followed by Baka. Kinda proving Vesi’s strategy to weaken Coco was a good idea, given they would now be down two people by the end of the episode. Before heading out, Vesi was given the power to send people on this week’s journey, opting for Geo, Jeanine and Jesse.
Oh and we then learnt that Ryan threw the challenge to get rid of Cassidy. Back at camp however, he pretended to be disappointed in himself while locking in the vote against Cassidy with James and Karla. Sadly for him, James took that information straight back to Cassidy and assured her that they can load their votes on Geo with Karla and get rid of him without Ryan noticing. Cassidy approached him to talk things through, with each pretending that Ryan would be the next one out, with neither of them deviating from their supposed scripts. And while Ryan thought he was playing it all expertly, it was looking more and more like the group would be targeting him and Geo, just in case he gets an advantage on the journey.
Speaking of which, we caught up with Jesse, Jeanine and Geo where they discovered they had to row a boat through very rough seas until they reached an island to get their risk options. Geo used the very long row to talk about how close he was to being voted out the night before to garner sympathy and while Jeanine didn’t buy his story, the fact that Geo was confirmed to be risking his vote, makes it dangerous for them to play. Sadly for Geo, neither of his fellow journey-ers cared about him and ended up taking the risk. But turns out, he did get lucky, given he was the one that jagged the Knowledge Is Power advantage on his return to camp.
While Jesse and Jeanine sadly discovered they were now without votes at the next tribal council, Jesse reading his note in public while Jeanine learned the news in private. And then admitted what happened to the rest of the tribe, though pretended it was her first time reading it. Which annoyed Sami, given they all knew she already risked her vote the day before to secure an idol and now they know just how hard she is willing to play.
We ventured back to Coco where Geo filled the tribe in on the journey, lying to them and explaining he didn’t risk his vote. Before pulling each of his allies aside to share the truth, showing them his Knowledge Is Power advantage and while he thought it would build trust, it made Karla and James nervous enough to turn their attention to him, rather than Ryan, who had somehow become the actual target. While filling in Cassidy, she then started to get nervous about her doing a Lindsay and starting to spiral, which made them actually consider voting out one of their allies. Again.
At tribal council Cassidy spoke about the fact that while their momentum has waned, she believes they can swing it back. Ryan spoke about synergy – corporate buzzwords for the win, I guess – before opening up (in lie form) about feeling like he is the target tonight, given he bombed the challenge. Which Cassidy pointed out was noble, but kind of hard to believe. As he continued to play the aw shucks role, Karla admitted that easy votes are always tempting and given he offered himself up, it could make things good for the rest of them. Geo spoke about feeling uneasy given he missed so much potential scrambling time though was hopeful he had done enough, while James praised him for being so honest after the journey.
Probst then made Geo nervous about how to vote, while Karla – after a brief mental blank – slyly told him that he should trust in his alliance rather than being nervous. Oh and then Ryan asked everyone to say what they liked best about him as they voted, while Cassidy was just looking forward to having another chance for the tribe to prove trust by doing what they planned. With that the tribe voted before Ryan and Geo were shocked as the latter was booted from the game, with an advantage barely in his pocket.
While Geo was both surprised and disappointed to find himself booted from the game, he is such a delight that he took it all in his stride. I pulled him in for a massive hug as soon as he arrived at Loser Lodge, assuring him that he played a strong game and while I love the three tribe format, it truly is the hardest one to navigate given there is no room to hide. So between that and his personal story, I was thrilled to be able to toast his success with a big fat bowl of Geo Bustamantea Soaked Chicken.
I am normally a basic girl that lives for a good old honey chicken or something of that ilk when it comes to Chinese take away, but this little number has that trumped. Complex, spicy and sweet, it is the perfect comforting dish to eat through your feelings or finish out the week.
Geo Bustamantea Soaked Chicken Serves: 6-8.
Ingredients 3 tbsp sesame oil 2 tbsp minced ginger 4 garlic cloves, smashed 2 tbsp Szechuan peppercorns 2 star anise 3 tbsp coriander seeds 4 cups water 2 cups soy sauce ¼ cup kosher salt 8 black tea bags 1kg chicken breast or thighs, diced 2 shallots, sliced, to garnish
Method Heat a saucepan over medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of the oil. Once shimmering, add the ginger, garlic and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the peppercorns, star anise and coriander seeds and stir until fragrant, before stirring in the water, soy and salt. Bring to a boil, remove from the heat and add the tea to steep for ten minutes or so. Remove the tea bags and the brine to cool completely. Pop the chicken in the large bowl and pour over the chilled brine. Cover and pop in the fridge to marinate overnight.
When you’re ready to cook, drain the chicken and heat the remaining oil in a wok over high heat. In batches stir fry the chicken until cooked through and repeat the process. Serve piping hot with a garnish of shallots and devour, regally.
Previously on Survivor, 18 new castaways were dumped on the now traditional isles of Fiji to put themselves to the test in the ultimate game. And by ultimate, we’d all far prefer it to still be 39 days, but once again, I digress. Despite having some new editing tricks – hello drones – the dramas were the same at the three tribes as everyone had varying degrees of success setting up camp and starting fire. After Baka lost the first immunity challenge, Elie quickly flipped on her plan to lead a strong, all female alliance and instead decided to target Morriah for being weak. With Gabler immune, hair-goals Owen became the target for the other side, though thankfully his locks lived to see another day, as Elie ended the chances of the women taking control of their tribe.
Back at camp – or Baka at camp, specifically – Owen pulled the tribe together to apologise for his nervous scrambling and thanked everyone for saving him and trusting in him. Leading to Elie and Gabler admitting tribal council was a trust exercise and now that they’ve been able to prove it, the five should be unbreakable. Now Gabler was solely focused on getting the tribe fed, spirits lifted and ready to win challenges. Right on cue, an epic storm rolled over the islands and while everyone didn’t look to fare well, the fact that Baka was without a flint, means they are truly at a disadvantage. Though bless, the next morning, they used it as a learning moment and quickly decided to work on getting the roof of their shelter secured. While Owen was also very concerned about Gabler’s health, given he was clearly on struggle street after three days.
Over at Vesi, Jesse and Dwight were far less concerned about repairing after the storm and instead were hunting for an idol and talking about the dynamics of their tribe. They noticed it was kinda split into three pairs, with Nneka and Cody close, Noelle and Justine closer and as such, Jesse decided that Dwight should be his island wife. We then learnt a bit more of Dwight, who was essentially a child political journo which is iconic. After that detour, Dwight suggested to Jesse that Cody is the biggest threat and that he would prefer to align with the girls, while Jesse definitely wasn’t threatened by him, giving Cody is clearly just here for a good time. And therefore, super easy to navigate around. Someone he wasn’t vibing with was Justine who was busy making eye contact with spiders and as such, also seemed a wee out of her element.
And just like that, a duo is already divided.
Over at Coco the tribe were doing a little ballet or yoga or something, followed by some back cracking from Ryan. Karla reiterated she is literally aligned with everyone in the tribe, though she would most like to take out Geo first. The only concern being about how his bestie zaddy-Ryan would react. As the duo went hunting for nuts, Geo opened up about his coming out experience and how it ended with his parents kicking him out of home. Which is absolutely fucked and I am so glad he used it to make a life for himself that he could be proud of. And well, to put it simply, fuck his parents. Ryan meanwhile was gushing about how close he and Geo were and ugh, give Ryan the win, in addition to my heart.
Back at Vesi Noelle was talking Cody through putting on her prosthesis, which he explained to Nneka and Jesse was important to him as he watched one of his friends lose their leg and then die from cancer in High School. Which goes a long way to explaining why he is so upbeat, silly and adventurous. Flipping to Baka, Owen went for a walk to get water for the tribe where he shared to us that he was trying to keep his old-grump personality under wraps. Particularly if he were to find out everyone was hunting for idols instead of helping him keep everyone alive. Right on cue, Jeanine and Elie were busy looking for said idol while trying to decide whether they should focus on adding Sami or Owen as their third. Elie likened Sami as her responsible, independent older child while Owen is her needy baby, and given the boys don’t appear tight, she was confident pulling one in would be an easy win. Which obviously meant Sami was floating the idea of an all male alliance at that very moment.
The tribes reconnected with Probst for the next immunity challenge where they would swim to a cage, climb in and release a large snake containing number tiles, use the tiles to solve a combination and then release puzzle pieces, which they would need to solve. With the winners getting immunity and a full fishing set, second getting a few fishing items and the losers getting some face time with Probst at tribal. Given the snake was ridiculously heavy, everyone struggled to get through the first phase until Elie fell off while holding on to it which gave them the lead, while Coco and Vesi were left to nip at their heels. Well, Coco at the very least, as Nneka kinda gave up on helping with the snake at Vesi, leading to them falling way behind. So far behind in fact that Jeanine and Elie secured the win for Baka with ease, just ahead of Coco. Sending Vesi to tribal council, while Noelle looked on angrily from the sit out bench.
Back at camp the tribe got a quick little pep talk from Cody, before pivoting to scrambling with Cody knowing he would have his work cut out for himself to protect his bestie Nneka after bombing the challenge. As the girls locked in their plan against Nneka, she approached Jesse and Dwight to see if they’d be open to keeping her. We dabbed out and checked in with the triumphant Baka who were riding high on their first victory, with Elie particularly thrilled to have had the hero moment in the puzzle given she struggled at school growing up due to her ADHD and dyslexia. As the tribe discussed how best to use their fishing gear, Gabler ignored everyone’s suggestion to pop a rope on the Hawaiian sling given he had never used one and immediately put a target on his back. That somehow led to Jeanine going through his bag to get confirmation whether his idol expires after the second tribal council or his second tribal council. Which ended up being the latter, meaning she, Elie and Owen needed to figure out a way to navigate around it should they actually want to take a shot.
We returned to Vesi for the more pressing scramble with Justine approaching Dwight and Jesse to figure out a split vote plan to navigate Nneka potentially playing her shot in the dark. Sadly for her, she needed Jesse to pull it off and given Justine had already made him more nervous than Nneka, Justine girl, you in danger. Jesse caught up with his island wife Dwight to see how he was feeling about the upcoming tribal council and while Dwight was more interested in aligning with the girls to weaken Cody, by way of taking out Nneka, Jesse was also aware that Dwight does not have a vote and as such, he can’t help either way. Justine approached the duo and admitted that she wasn’t sure she could trust Jesse, which made him want her gone ASAP. And Dwight? Well, he wasn’t bothered.
Jesse approached Cody and Nneka to discuss the upcoming tribal council, giving them the deets and straight up vibing. Feeling good about getting rid of Justine, Cody turned his attention to idol hunting where he quickly stumbled across the Beware Advantage. And despite the risk, took it and immediately lost his vote unless he was able to convince each person in the tribe to give him a unique bead from their bags to activate his idol bracelet. He got to work, admitting to Jesse what happened and they set to work securing the rest. Cody decided he would wear a palm frond hat at tribal council and as such, needed to bedazzle it with beads, asking everyone to give him theirs. Which worked, for everyone but Noelle, who had already made a bracelet out of hers.
At tribal council Cody admitted they were crushed to lose immunity, before gushing about his iconic hat to Probst and how the tribe all helped by gifting him their beads. Justine admitted she would like a hat, with Cody offering to make one should she survive. She opened up about knowing she is on the block given everyone is paired up in the tribe and she hasn’t talked strategy with Cody at all. Dwight opened up about the fact everyone knows he doesn’t have a vote tonight, while Jesse and Nneka admitted that it may seem silly for him to have shared that intel, in the game it makes sense. Talk turned to the potential idol, with Nneka trying to distract while Noelle was genuinely in the dark about the situation.
Cody admitted that Dwight losing his vote likely won’t impact tribal council while Noelle felt that nobody had done anything wrong and as such, tonight was a tough decision for everyone. Though she was planning to vote for strength so they don’t have to come back. With that the tribe voted – including Cody, who was able to get the last bead from Noelle in a flashback – which tragically led to her friend Justine being booted from the game. JUST LIKE I PREDICTED BY ANOINTING HER THE MODERN ERA JESSIE CAMACHO?!
Which was not something she delighted in when I gave her a hug at Loser Lodge. She was understandably super bummed to be out of the game second but I reminded her that an iconic early boot – that is gorgeous to boot – will live on in the hearts of us gays for decades to come, just like Jesse, and as such, she should be proud of herself. And while I don’t know if it was that or the Justerrine Brennan that cheered her up, all I know is that she was happy when I exited.
While this terrine gives off big turducken energy, I assure you the pork and chicken combination is damn near perfection. Sweet, succulent and packed with a juicy-earthy punch, this is the perfect thing to feast on for dinner, or have cold at a picnic. She. Is. Versatile, mama.
Justerrine Brennan Serves: 4.
Ingredients 1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to brush 1 onion, diced 12 rashers smoked streaky bacon 2 chicken breasts, diced 500g pork mince ⅓ cup pistachios, roughly chopped ⅓ cup dried cranberries ¾ tsp freshly grated nutmeg 1 tsp thyme leaves 1 tsp sage leaves, roughly chopped ½ tsp chilli flakes salt and pepper
Method Preheat the oven to 160°C. Place the oil in a large frying pan and sweat the onion over low heat for 10-15 minutes, or until soft and sweet. Transfer to a bowl.
While the onion gets chill, use 10 of the bacon rashers to line a 1kg loaf tin, leaving excess to hang over the sides. Add the chicken, pork, pistachios, cranberries, nutmeg, thyme, sage and chilli with a good whack of salt and pepper, and stir until well combined. Press the filing into the tin and fold the overhanging bacon over to seal tightly. Oil some foil – lol, rhyme – and cover the terrine. Again, tightly.
Transfer to a roasting pan and half-fill – the roasting pan, obvi – with boiling water and pop in the oven to bake for 90 minutes. Once cooked, gently remove from the water bath, uncover, drain excess fat and leave to cool.
Once cool, transfer to a baking tray and cover with foiling and pop something heavy on top – filled tin cans work best – and transfer to the fridge to chill overnight.
To serve, unmold the terrine, brush with a little oil and pop in the oven at 180°C for 20 minutes, or until golden and crisp. Then, finally, devour.
Previously on Drag Race Down Under the dolls formed girl groups and while the producers tragically opted against keeping costs down and getting the girls to talk about their tight tucks, it did work out for the best as it was absolute fire. Like the first season of UK, one team absolutely molly wopped – not whomp, which I just learnt was different and something I would love TBH – while the other team had a Cheryl trying to hold them up. While Spankie took out her third win, Hannah her second and Kween her first, Beverly was the aforementioned Cheryl on the losing group, which tragically resulted in the elimination of my fave – and total baby zaddy – Yuri.
Backstage everyone was rallying around an emotional Molly, who had been expecting to the one going home. She toasted Yuri for being such a hard worker before Spankie stepped in and gave a beautiful speech about just how great Yuri is and reiterated that she belongs, while she (and I) sobbed. And ugh, just crown Spankie this instant, you cowards!
The next day the girls were still feeling their girl group oats, though fearful that Minnie was also lingering in the rafters, ready to start a feud at any moment. Kween meanwhile apologised for bringing the room down last week, though stopped short of apologising to Beverly specifically for fighting. She felt she was most disappointed in the fact she was so frustrated that she straight up missed the chance to toast Yuri and remind her how proud she is. This led to Bev instead apologising to her and while they hugged it out, I feel like things are still tense.
Ru interrupted things to announce that for this week’s Maxi Challenge they would be filming tourism infomercials promoting their hometown. As they split up to come up with a plan, Hannah locked in Perth while Molly was going to lean into Newcastle, given it is where she and Rhys are both from. Bev meanwhile opened up about being like me, starting on the GC before moving to Brisbane while Spankie was proudly going to rep Palmerston North and smalltown life. Kween meanwhile opened up to Hannah and Spankie about how much she is struggling with her depression, while everyone rallied around and vowed to always be there for each other. And ugh, I love seeing it!
My fellow Tweed local Samantha Harris then dialled in to advise them how to sell shit and while it didn’t add much, she is Tweed Breed 4 Lyf like me, so you all should stan.
Ru made her ru-turn to the Werk Room to kiki with the dolls, cutting down all of Spankie’s ideas and telling her to highlight the best part of Palmerston North, herself. Beverly then dropped by and well, let’s just say I’m not mad, just disappointed, that she has never watched Muriel’s Wedding. The cinematic celebration of TWEED HEADS. Is this the Tweed showcase episode?! While Ru just wanted to find out who Beverly is, Kween was told to bring the fun, Hannah was told to be less serious and well, Molly’s version of Newcastle was quote-unquote, sad.
Done dropping bombs, Ru exited stage left as they started to get ready while Beverly asked her sisters for advice on how to show more of her personality. With Hannah jumping in with suggestions before Bev even finished her sentence, while Kween joined in with more advice that Bev felt was aggressive. As such, she started to spiral leading to another epic pep talk from Spankie in the rack of costumes and again, if Spankie doesn’t win, we riot.
Kween was up first to film with Michelle Visage and down under icon Suzanne Paul and well, she was a little boring. But given the pit crew are hot, I loved it. Spankie meanwhile slayed as the drunk aunty wandering through town on her way home from a night out. Hannah arrived looking stunning and was so organised, prepared and most importantly, bonkers, that I live for her. Molly meanwhile was sexed up, demented and a little confused, but Michelle and Suzanne were having fun together and that is all that matters. Oh and then Bev was living for her concept hunting for a sugar daddy as a lesbian Irwin. And well, I love the shoot portion if nothing else, because Bev was fun.
Elimination Day arrived with Beverly opening up about the fact she has realised that she is still trying to find herself and that that, combined with her family’s drive for success has made it difficult for her to just be. Talk then turned to the girls’ families, with Kween opening up about how her oldest sister died the year she was undergoing her gender confirmation and how she is living with the regret of not getting to know her or support her on her journey. She then immediately pivoted and encouraged everyone to do what they love as it makes them happy. And that is the sweet Kween Kong that I know and love.
Michelle, Rhys and Ru took their places as Kween opened the Swimsuit Edition runway giving oceanic goddess realness. Spankie was sex on legs as Pamela Anderson’s older sister, Molly was a stunning Meter Maid – complete with high-beams – while Hannah was a confection in a bright, mod delight while Beverly gave another Meter Maid, this time with a ruveal AND coins.
When it came to the commercials, Kween’s was silly and demented though the judges wanted it to be more funny funny and less dark humour. Though they loved her runway. Oh and then Ru gave an epic monologue about internalised homophobia AND daddy issues, which was amazing. Spankie was up next with a gloriously deranged commercial that confused the shit out of everyone, meaning it was perfection. And then add in her Baywatch moment and well, it was a good week for Spankie. Molly’s ad meanwhile was classic bogan Australian and I love it and sadly, feel like I’ve lived it. Multiple times. Hannah’s ad was camp perfection, telling a story and was so damn smart. I mean, she fought a black swan AND exploded. Oh and they loved her pivoting on the runway and standing out in all the right ways. Bev meanwhile lived her Irwin fantasy, though kinda fell flat by being so polished rather than showing her messiness.
Ru opted to get messy and asked the dolls to identify who should go home with everyone opting for Bev due to her track record, while Bev instead felt Kween’s commercial was the weakest. Adding that her track record wasn’t much better than her, either.
Backstage Bev was heartbroken to be the one everyone named, despite understanding why they called her out. Hannah once again cut her off and encouraged her to stop being so in her head and instead just be. And while Hannah felt she was being encouraging and trying to push her to be better, Bev cut her off and started to sob. Once again Spankie gave her a pep talk and helped lift her back up, encouraging her to swear at Hannah all she wanted. Which she sadly opted against, instead choosing to practice the lip sync since she was totally in the bottom.
Ultimately Molly and Spankie – ROBBED – were sent to safety as Hannah joined the triple winners club with Spanks. Which obviously left Kween to face off against Beverly to Ru’s very own The Beginning. And damn, did the dolls turn a show. Like I know I say that a lot, but it was actually WILD. There was almost a collision within the first three bars, they were flipping and spinning every second line, backwards AND forwards, hitting every lyric and oftentimes in complete synchronicity. I mean, if ever there was a time for a double shantay, it was now, because this was amazing. Like a gymnastics version of Alyssa and Tatianna. Sadly though, somebody had to go – apparently – as Kween was sent to safety, sending my fellow Bris-babe Bev out of the competition.
While Bev went through a lot of emotion this week, she held her head high as she returned to the Werk Room. I pulled her in for a massive hug and tried to give her my very best Spankie impersonation, reminding her that she is a star and has all of her career to figure out who she is, so to just believe in herself and have fun. Because spoiler alert, she is already a massive success. Which thankfully got through to her, allowing us to laugh and cry, as we reminisced about the glory of the GC and Brisvegas (and I firmly explained the importance of watching Muriel’s Wedding) before smashing some glorious Baoverly Buns Kills.
It is no secret that I passionately and ardently love both a porkie – praise be, Benedict – and baos, but this little duck number is just a little bit better than the rest. Rich, sweet and a little bit fresh, the flavours dance over your palate as expertly as Bev in a lip sync.
Baoverly Buns Kills Serves: 4
Ingredients 8 buns Bret LaBao Buns ¼ tsp salt 1 tsp light soy sauce 1 tsp shaoxing wine ¼ tsp Chinese five spice 4 boneless duck breasts 1 tbsp vegetable oil ⅔ cup hoisin sauce, plus extra for drizzlin’ ¼ cup kewpie mayo 2 lebanese cucumbers, cut into lengths 2 shallots, sliced ¼ cup coriander, leaves torn
Method Prepare the baos as per Bret’s recipe. Combine the salt, light soy, shaoxing and five spice powder in a bowl and rub into the duck. Transfer to a plate, leaving the skin up to dry for an hour or so.
When you’re ready to cook, pop the oil in a heavy based skillet over medium heat and once nice and hot, pop the breasts in the pan, skin side down and cook for about 10 minutes, agitationg frequently, or until crispy and the fat had rendered out.
Drain most of the fat and flip the breasts and cook for another 10 minutes or so, or until cooked through. Remove the duck and leave to rest for a couple of minutes. Shred the duck and return to the pan with the hoisin and toss to combine.
To assemble, smear mayo on the baoss, layer with some cucumber and shallots, top with a heaping of duck, a drizzle of hoisin and some coriander. Then, devour.
Previously on Canada’s Drag Race the top six gave us a late-breaking rusical in honour of the iconic girls trip movies of the ‘10s. And while everyone was solid, given it is so close to the end, it was the back-up dancers showing their buns that stole the show. Well, the buns AND Vivian who absolutely devoured the performance and finally secured her first, very well-deserved victory of the season. Tragically while one half of my heart was shining, the other one faded as Irma landed in the bottom opposite Giselle. And in my opinion, was sent home solely for having the weaker track record. On paper.
Backstage Vivian was disappointed that her shining moment coincided with her bestie going home. Same, girl, same. As they read Irma’s farewell message, Fiercalicious grew annoyed that yet another queen was rooting for Vivian to take out the win before she departed. Which, obviously. As the dolls sat down, they praised Giselle for absolutely slaying the lip sync which led to Vivian realising she is now the only one to not have to do so in an adorable little humble brag. Oh and then Fiercalicious and Kimmy started shading each other, but thankfully it stopped before they stumbled into real feud territory again. I think, because these icons love to pop off.
The next day the top five were exhausted after the rusical, though ready to push through to make it through to the end. They spoke about how diverse they are as performers and how they have each brought something different to the competition, while Vivian worried what Fiercalicious would do once she developed pores. Brad dropped by to reward the dolls with some video messages from their family with Giselle’s boyfriend being super cute, while more importantly, their dog Vicky is absolutely gorgeous, as Giselle – and I – started to sob. Kimmy’s mum is a sweet, perfect angel who must be protected at all costs, Vivian’s dad is the most adorable, energetic, kind man and I live for him, while Jada’s bestie Baby Bel Bel gave her a delicious pep talk and Fiercalicious’ mum was so gentle and lovely that I just want to give her a hug.
With everyone’s hearts nice and full, Brad announced that this week they’d be going big with the challenge by throwing a Masquerade Ball. The first category would be Masc for Mascara, then they would stomp the Incog-she-to runway followed by walking in a designed outfit that is inspired by five masks. And since Vivian took out the last challenge, she got to give them to her sisters, this time matching them with ones that she thinks they will excel at.
Everyone split up to get to work on their outfits, with Fiercalicious very nervous about having to sew a look while Vivian and Giselle were thrilled to be the only sewers left. Team Glue Guns meanwhile were busy shading each other while Giselle tried to help out her sisters where she could. Which was 99% of the time. When focusing on herself however, she was planning to go big and dramatic in her look while Jada was just shocked that she was sewing. Brad returned to kiki with the dolls about their looks, with Fiercalicious confident in her workmanship (once she goes from the machine to the glue gun, obvi). Kimmy was sewing against type by giving a dramatic gown, rather than a bra and panty combo, Jada meanwhile was playing it safe with Brad cautioning that she needs to give them more while Vivian was struggling to edit down her look and to give it polish. While Giselle was reminded to focus on her own outfit first, like oxygen on a plane.
After Brad exited, Vivian put the advice to work and decided to whip up some statement pants, while Giselle ran into disaster as she tried to line her gown WITH SHEETS OF GLUE. And let’s just say, it did not like the steamer. Jada too was on the struggle bus as she discovered she hadn’t left a head hole in her gown, while Kimmy questioned her ruffle choice and instead tried to Kaos her gown with cardboard shards.
Elimination Day arrived as the dolls spoke about the importance of ball culture in educating and leading the way for the LGBTQIA+ community. It then took a very heavy turn towards consent when Kimmy opened up about how often she, and all trans women in general, are sexually assaulted. Which visibly shocked all of her sisters as they rallied around her and reiterated how strong and powerful she is and thanked her for being some open with them. And ugh, the dolls are just so damn loving and beautiful, despite how often they have brought the drama this season!
Brooke, Brad and Traci were joined on the panel by Lesley Hampton before Giselle opened the Masc for Mascara runway giving sexy Gaultier sailor, Kimmy was a gloriously regal king, complete with nipple tassles, Fiercalicious was PERFECTION in mint with a pink beard and wig in honour of Mathieu Anderson. Vivian was a gorgeous, androgynous camp delight, while Jada looked like Cruella de Vil’s pimp boyfriend. On the Incog-she-to runway, Giselle went from school girl to glamazon showgirl, Kimmy went from anonymous profile on Grindr to club kid clown, Fiercalicious went from glamorous villager to golden Josephine Baker, Vivian went from chef to Italian vixen while Jada went from evil queen to shimmering fairy.
When it came to their Masquerade Eleganza, Giselle was stunning in a glamorous Cinderella gown – minus the unfinished hem – Kimmy was a carnival delight, Fiercalicious was stunning in a purple velvet gown, Vivian was a glamorous Sandy Olsen on the way to the ball while Jada was all drama is a stunning black gown with golden ruffles. Giselle was praised for giving three vastly different looks, despite a clunky reveal in the second category and the fact she didn’t hem such a perfectly designed look. Kimmy received universal praise for wearing pants in the first runway and looking stunning in the other looks (despite not making much sense, obvi). Fiercalicious received universal praise for knocking each and every look out of the park, Vivian was praised for the vibe she brought, despite Brooke wanting her to stop hiding behind the camp on the runway and to bring more drama in the designed look. While Jada gave us the Meatloaf treatment, aka two out of three were winners while her Incog-She-to was read for not bringing enough of a reveal.
Oh and then Brooke announced that this was the final elimination, as this year, they would be having a top four!
Backstage the dolls were gagged by Brooke’s pre-exit announcement that there is only one more week of the competition, while the hot glue girls were shocked that one of them is likely to win the challenge. Well, were shocked, until they started to bicker amongst themselves over who used less glue. Vivian meanwhile was well and truly in her feels given the judges felt she didn’t give them enough drama, while Kimmy was accepting of her designed look being read for filth, though was pissed about the rest. They one thing they could both agree on, is that neither wanted to lip sync against their sister.
Ultimately it was Fiercalicious that took out her second win of the season, while Giselle and Jada were sent to safety, leaving Kimmy and Vivian to battle for safety. Just as they expected. As soon as Ctrl, Alt, Dlt by Rev kicked off, the dolls were ready to fight. Kimmy was a full on showgirl, hitting every lyric and nailing everything. Vivian meanwhile was camp, high energy with a little bit of edge and well, it was perfect. Sadly, not perfect enough for her to make it through to the finale as Kimmy was saved and my love Vivian exited the competition.
And well, I was not happy about it. She followed the sound of my wailing screams and heaving tears to find me backstage cutting up Brooke’s wardrobe and wigs in an act of revenge for breaking my heart two weeks in a row. Vivian being a delightful cat-mom, she gently pulled me in for a hug and assured me that everything will be ok and she is happy with making it to the top five. Her calm soothing presence was enough to talk me off the edge, allowing me to pivot into the bargaining phase of grief by demanding she and Irma live out my dream for them to become the Canadian version of Trixie and Katya. Which she agreed to, but maybe that was because she was starving for some Taragon Chickian Vanderpuss.
Rich, creamy and packing a herbaceous punch, this comforting main is the perfect winter meal. The tarragon perfectly cuts through the creaminess to dance across your palate alongside the earthiness of the chicken. Just like our sweet Vivian in a rusical.
Tarragon Chickian Vanderpuss Serves: 2.
Ingredients 2 tsp olive oil 4 shallots, sliced 3 garlic cloves, minced ½ tsp dried tarragon 2 chicken breasts 80ml dry vermouth ½ tsp sea salt 60ml double cream pepper, to taste 1 tbsp fresh tarragon, roughly chopped
Method Place the oil in a frying pan with a lid over medium heat and cook the shallots, garlic and dried tarragon for a couple of minutes, or until the kitchen is nice and fragrant. Push it to one side and add the chicken breasts, smooth side down and cook for five minutes or so. Flip and immediately pour over the vermouth. Allow to bubble up for a minute before sprinkling over the salt. Reduce heat to low, pop on the lid and allow to cook for 10-15 minutes, or until cooked through.
Remove the chicken to a plate and cover with foil. Bring the juices to the boil, stir in the cream and add a good whack of pepper and the fresh tarragon.
Serve the chicken immediately on a bed of rice or mashed potato, followed by a generous drizzle of sauce and some fresh tarragon. Then devour, like the winner you should be.
Previously on Survivor South Africa the OG Masus continued to fight it out for power, unaware that the Yontau boys appeared to be quietly playing them off against each other. After an epic reward and immunity challenge which left Dino cursed from winning the game while taking out a car, the gloves came off as Meryl, Steffi and Marian’s alliance splintered. While the latter two had rallied the troops to get rid of Meryl, she had managed to charm enough people – or scare them due to her copious amount of advantages – as the tribe narrowly blindsided Steffi from the game.
Back at camp the mood was very tense as Marian well and truly felt left out and stupid for not taking the idol when she had the chance at the Outpost. Meryl meanwhile was busy trading off the advantage to Tejan as promised, with him thrilled to split the alliance up. As he anticipated, Marian was cussing out Phil for blindsiding her before going person to person to throw Meryl under the bus by outing all of her advantages. And while it was hardly news to Felix, it definitely was to Dino as he questioned whether he should have taken the other shot at the last tribal council.
The next day Meryl was feeling a little nervous after breaking up with her original alliance and joining with the people willing to save her. Marian caught up with Dino to find out what the vote was about and whether he would be willing to work with her, rather than Meryl. With Dino admitting that Meryl’s advantages really change things, and to us, now that Marian is isolated, he felt that they have far more to offer each other moving forward. Dino then showed her the advantage and offered to hand it over to her to build trust, before him sharing that he would be so proud to see her win the season and to be the ambassador of the game, rather than a goat floating along and sneaking out a win despite not doing anything.
Tejan and Meryl meanwhile were busy bonding over being the biggest threats, agreeing that now they only really have each other. Tejan asked how she felt about Dino, Phil and Felix, with her grateful to have been saved though that she was wary given they have been aligned from the start. We then dropped by the trio, who were catching up about the state of affairs within the tribe and to quickly prove that Meryl’s trust was misplaced as they immediately locked in a plan to get rid of her next. Knowing that everyone will be willing to join them. As such, Phil and Felix would stick to her like glue while Dino would keep things casual while rallying everyone else on the plan.
Back at the shelter Shane and Marian were catching up, with the latter trying to convince him that Dino can be trusted to get them further. While Shane was still focused on getting him out ASAP, given he is the only other truly strategic player outside of Marian. Though given he is kinda volatile, Marian girl, you’re in danger. Meryl and Phil dropped by camp, where Marian continued to give her the silent treatment which started to make Meryl upset given it is clear that their friendship is over. She approached Marian and asked what was going on and why she hadn’t looked her in the eye, which Marian denied while noticing that Meryl’s facade is starting to crack and that other people have also noticed.
Killarney was busy whispering to Dino saying that she was disappointed by the Steffi blindside, but was ready to make a move on Meryl. Which obviously puzzled him, given she is a good 18 hours late. Killarney then dropped by Tejan and Shane to tell them the plan is to get rid of Meryl and trust and believe, she is the one driving it. While Shane worried who the hell he is aligned with.
The next day Marian was still nervous about the state of all the shattered alliances. Particularly since her one consistent ally, Shane, is still focused on getting rid of Dino before Meryl. Marian tried to calmly explain that Meryl is feeling comfortable right now and as such, now is the time to blindside her, while Shane was just worried about her potential naivety in trusting Dino’s lies.
We finally got a sighting of sweet, zaddy Nico as the tribe reassembled for the latest immunity challenge where everyone would start behind a locked gate and manoeuvre a key through a peg puzzle before unlocking said gate and completing a block puzzle. Dino made quick work releasing his key and started work on his block puzzle in an instant. Felix and Phil soon joined him before Meryl and Shane broke through the gate and started on the second puzzle. After releasing her key, Marian casually sauntered through the gate before casually solving the block puzzle in no time at all and won individual immunity. While Killarney remained locked behind her gate and everyone was dumbfounded how she did it some quickly.
Back at camp Marian was giddy with her newfound safety, though was nervous about the prospect of Meryl playing her tribal council pass and ruining the blindside. Though she admitted that getting rid of Tejan wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world. Tejan meanwhile knew that he was also on the block, catching up with Felix to assure him that there are far bigger threats to worry about than him. Meryl meanwhile was floating playing the tribal council pass to Phil, who casually reminded her that they need her as a number which lead to her suggesting they send Marian back to camp without her vote instead. She quickly caught up with Phil, Dino and Tejan to talk about the genius plan, while Dino felt very awkward about being so active against her.
Killarney meanwhile was sauntering about, worried about all the whispering, while Tejan was loving being part of the plan. Sadly for him, it wasn’t the actual plan, which made Dino worry about whether they should let him be involved. Despite the fact he is a big risk of screwing up whatever the plan is. After Meryl filled Felix in on the plan, he caught up with Phil and Dino, with all of them feeling a little bit awkward about how easily things have come together for them given it makes them think something is wrong. Oh and then Phil told Marian about the tribal council pass plan and she was so excited to see it all come together, while Meryl started contemplating playing her 50/50 coin to exhaust all her little trinkets. And presumably lessen her target.
At tribal council Tejan was feeling confident in his place in the game given Marian and Meryl are now feuding. Meryl admitted that she has been a target for some time now, while Marian was sick of her pretending to be the victim when she could have just spoken to her allies if she was concerned. Marian spoke about how happy she was to save herself by winning immunity, particularly given the duo have so much tension between them now. She continued to play up being left out and having no strategic conversations today, while Meryl admitted she didn’t really talk to anyone either.
Talk turned to blending in, with Killarney hoping to slink through rather than stick out, while Dino spoke about them needing to outlast more than anything else in the motto. Though he would also like to see someone worthy take out the title this season. Meryl spoke about playing like a goat being a proven strategy, though that there is so much time left in the game that those who are deemed a goat now, could quickly make a name for themselves. Killarney brought up the fact that everyone values different things, while Meryl opened up about thinking about the jury while Marian said you should be mindful, rather than worried.
Before they headed off to vote, Meryl stood up and played the tribal council pass to send Marian back to camp. Sadly for Meryl, Marian then bequeathed individual immunity to Shane on her way out the door which is not something anyone considered. With that the tribe finally voted and despite her initial nerves before tribal council, Meryl stood firm and held on to her 50/50 coin, which sadly became a memento, as the tribe banded together to blindside her from the game.
Thankfully she took the exit on her chin, thrilled by the excitement of it all and kinda knowing her days were numbered anyway given she was far and away the biggest threat in the game. That being said, I didn’t take it with as much grace, screaming and crying that my dream final three had broken up, with two of them exiting the game back-to-back. After sweet Meryl pulled me in for a hug, she reminded me it is just a game and she holds no ill will. Which was enough to eventually dry my eyes and whip her up a victorious batch of Rice Paper Meroll Szolkeiwicz.
There is nothing better than a fresh rice paper roll. While it works essentially with any and all ingredients you want, these little Peking duck numbers are some of my faves. Sweet, spicy and packing a herbaceous punch, they are the perfect way to eliminate post-boot pain.
Rice Paper Meroll Szolkeiwicz Serves: 4-6.
Ingredients 12 rice paper rounds 80g vermicelli, soaked, drained and roughly chopped ¼ iceberg lettuce, finely shredded ¾ cup coriander, roughly chopped ¾ cup mint leaves 1 lebanese cucumber, sliced 1 carrot, peeled and grated 1 red capsicum, sliced ¾ bunch chives, sliced 2 peking duck breasts, sliced
Method Start by prepping everything you need first as you’ll need to power on once you get started. Working one at a time, dip a rice paper round in a shallow bowl of warm water until soft before transferring to a dry, clean tea towel.
Place a small amount of vermicelli in the centre, followed by lettuce, coriander, mint, cucumber, carrot, capsicum and chives, before layering a few slices of duck. Roll one edge over, fold in both of the ends and continue to roll until it is sealed. Repeat until done.
Then devour, slathered in sriracha, hoisin or soy.