Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race the dolls marked Ru’s big 200th with a celebratory ball. First up they were tasked with updating Ru’s famous racer suit, before throwing it back with a look inspired by their favourite ball. Given crystal is the traditional gift, the dolls were tasked with designing their final looks using a range of stones and glassware. While everyone looked good in the first category, it was really only Sasha that reinvented it by turning it into an epic gown. That was but the start of her dominance, as she served a dime bag in honour of the Bag Ball and gave a beautiful coral number, which rightly scored Sasha her second win. At the other end of the pack, Salina’s personality was beloved, but the looks, not so much, while Spice’s tied fabric together and filled Michelle with rage. Thankfully it was her final time triggering Michelle, as she trotted off into the sunset one last time.
Backstage the dolls were heartbroken to have lost Spice, though Salina admitted she was chill in the lip sync given she was clearly winning it. Sasha was thrilled to be the first queen with two wins while once again Loosey grew pressed since nobody was praising her for having three wins. Two of those being mini’s, which mean nothing, just as Art said. Though she mentioned she was completely fine, despite the fact she was pressed during untucked which elicited a tonne of giggles from Mistress. Marcia too opened up about being disappointed to not win the last challenge, with Loosey checking with Mistress whether she would yell at her too which led to Mistress once again destroying her in a fit of giggles. While Loosey shared with us that she just wanted respect for winning some of the most iconic challenges.
The next day Anetra tried to smile away her resting bitch face before Ru dropped by to announce that for this week’s challenge the dolls would be doing 1 on 1 interviews for her questionable news and current affairs show 50/50. Marcia and Sasha would kiki with the iconic Charo, Anetra, Loosey and Malaysia would suffer through Frankie Grande while Luxx, Mistress and Salina would interview Love Connie. And yeah, Sasha and Marcia got super lucky as the others are duds (by comparison only, for Love Connie). Oh and after doing their live interviews, the dolls would stomp the Night of 1000 Beyonces runway and ugh, I am living.
The teams split up to divide their interview formats with Salina focused on getting a win, while Loosey was trying to lead Team Frankie to victory by offering them a consistent approach and diverse discussion points. While Sasha and Marcia were just having fun kikiing before placing bets on who else would do well. And well, they were concerned about how team Love Connie would do. After catching them kiki, Mistress dropped by to be shady to Marcia and hot damn, I love her.
Team Love Connie were first to shoot with Salina proving that improv and interviewing are two vastly different things and while she was confident, she was a little out of her depth. Luxx meanwhile was effortlessly cute and charming as they careened around the carpark in a golf cart and while Mistress started off with a little stumble, before she relaxed and started giggling, though not really leading the interview. Sasha and Marcia were delightful from start to finish, though working with Charo makes it an easy job. They were embracing her energy and clearly having so much fun and it just translated into wonderful TV. Despite Marcia not really understanding anything she said. When it came to Team Frankie Grande, Loosey got a little bit of redemption as she knocked it out of the park, Anetra was fun and confident while Malaysia and Frankie completely botched making pizzas as Malaysia faded fast. Oh and despite all preparing to ask diverse questions, they only touched on Frankie getting married.
Elimination Day arrived with Sasha assuring them that she was the OG Sasha, implying that Beyonce may or may not have been inspired by her to invent the character of Sasha Fierce after seeing her perform. And while Mistress thinks it is a lovely fairytale, of course Bey is a Sasha stan.
It was family only on the panel as Ru, Michelle and TS took their places as Luxx opened the Night of 1000 Beyonces runway with a glamorous recreation of Beyonce at the Kennedy Centre Honours. Mistress was hilarious as Bey at the Grammys in the Destiny era, complete with puppet Michelle and Kelly on her shoulders. Salina was golden in a Grammys look, Sasha gave sexy BET awards realness and Marcia served a velvet gown from Bey at a charity event (which looked nice but is hardly an iconic look). Anerta gave her Virgin Mary On the Run tour look, Malaysia was sexy in the global citizen look while Loosey gave the VMA pregnancy reveal look. Without the baby bump.
Marcia and Anetra were sent to safety before Luxx received praise for how effortlessly she bounced off Love Connie’s energy and for looking stunning on the runway. Mistress was read for bombing the challenge, though given the puppets on her shoulders, it should save her from a lip sync. Salina was praised for looking pretty, though read for constantly cutting off Love Connie during the interview. Once again, Sasha received wall to wall praise for everything she gave this week, particularly her warmth in the interview. Malaysia’s look was universally beloved, though her interview was read for being an absolute mess. While the judges loved everything Loosey did. Despite her not asking why the witch doctor would want to kill Frankie, which to be fair, should be obvious, no?
Backstage Marcia and Anetra were happy to be safe, despite Marcia feeling like she needed to prove herself with a win while Anetra just wanted to get that momentum back. They spoke about how stressed Mistress seemed throughout the challenge, while both of them felt like they did well in the challenge, despite their initial fears. The tops and bottoms joined them, with Mistress joking about being in the top which Marcia hilariously thought was serious. She reminded them she isn’t delusional and knew she bombed, so knows she and Malaysia would be lip syncing. Loosey reminded her they said a lot more than her challenge as she told her she appreciates her trying to cheer her up, but doesn’t want to hear it. Malaysia spoke about being disappointed to finally be in the bottom, while Salina was heartbroken to once again be in the bottom. Particularly since she now can’t say she only sucked at design challenges.
Mistress started to break down about disappointing her hometown and bombing in such a major way, while Malaysia agreed she feels the same but if they lip sync, they need to slay. Mistress was sad it would be the two big girls lip syncing, though they vowed to turn the show. Luxx spoke about how shocked she was to kill the challenge before she was surprised by a video message from home and ugh, they are so sweet and I am crying right along with her. She opened up about how great it was to see them and be reminded that she has so many people rooting for her back home. TS then dropped by and gave all of the disappointed girls a hell of a pep talk, reminding them they are here because they belong here and to always believe in themselves. Oh and then she made Sasha cry, thanking her for being such a beacon for the trans community and ugh, I love them all.
Ultimately Luxx was sent to safety before Sasha took out her third win of the season, much to Loosey’s absolute rage to only be safe. While Mistress was thrilled to narrowly scrape by with that distinction, as Salina once again landed in the bottom, this time against Malaysia. To Queen Bey’s Single Ladies, no less. So you know it was a SHOW. Salina gave so much fire as she aggressively hit every lyric and move while Malaysia was all the emotion and damn, if we were getting a double shantay, now would have been the one. Sadly it wasn’t, as Salina once again saved herself and sweet Malaysia exited the competition.
Backstage Malaysia was rather disappointed to be out of the competition, though I pulled her in for a massive hug and reminded her that she consistently slayed. And as such, should be very proud of her performance. She surprised herself in a design challenge and was always solid, with her only stumble really coming at the point of the competition where there is just no room forever. Given that peptalk rivalled TS’s in power, she quickly cheered up and we got to planning her future All Stars dominance over a Malayswiss Babyroll Foxx.
White chocolate and raspberry is one of my favourite sweet combinations, and adding it into the swiss roll setting is near perfection. Spongy cake, tart raspberries and the sweet white chocolate work together perfectly to elevate even the most disappointed soul.
Malayswiss Babyroll Foxx Serves: 6-8.
Ingredients 160g white chocolate, roughly chopped 4 eggs, at room temperature 100g raw caster sugar 1 tsp almond essence 75g flour 1 tbsp baking powder 300ml double cream 1 vanilla pod, split, seeds scraped 200g fresh raspberries
Method Preheat the oven to 160C and line the base and sides of a 24cm x 35cm swiss roll tin with baking paper, leaving a few centimetres to exceed over the edges.
Pop half the white chocolate in a bowl and gently melt in a double boiler. Remove from the heat and let it cool a little. While that is happening, combine the eggs, sugar and almond essence in the bowl of a stand mixer and add the almond essence and beat on medium for about 5 minutes, or until pale and thick. Carefully fold through the cooled melted chocolate, followed by the flour and baking powder. Transfer the cake to the lined pan and pop in the oven to bake for 15 minutes, or until cooked through and spongy.
Once the cake is done, remove from the oven and flip out onto a piece of baking paper sprinkled with a little extra sugar. Remove the tin and carefully peel away the paper from the base of the sponge. Loosely roll up the sponge and sugared paper before leaving to cool completely on a wire rack.
While the cake is getting chill, slowly melt the remaining chocolate and leave to cool like you did the first batch. Lightly whip the double cream and vanilla seeds to form soft peaks before folding through the melted chocolate. Unroll the sponge and the cream mixture, leaving a 1cm border around the edges for spread Scatter over the raspberries before carefully re-rolling the sponge to form a delicious scroll.
Allow to cool completely – and set – before devouring, knowing you’re a talented icon.
Previously on Survivor 18 castaways were once again marooned in the islands of Fiji for a season of shenanigans and scheming. And while Jesse and Karla kinda dominated everyone, they were eliminated back-to-back resulting in a wild final tribal council where Cassidy was robbed and the jury awarded Gabler victory. Before he promptly gave all the money away to charity, which was lovely, but also kinda ended the season in an odd way. So basically, it happened and we were there.
But that is then and this is now, and I am obviously going to roll right past things and embrace more Probst time. We kicked things off with Carolyn learning a little bit about how to deliver confessionals and while it was all about herself, she seemed a little confused about what she was meant to do, so I love her already. We then cut to three boats speeding to a shore where we learnt young Carson has been studying for a shot to play for years and years. A lady named Claire meanwhile was hoping to translate being a venture capitalist into winning the money, while Jaime will use her yogi skills to build bonds while Yam Yam just can’t wait to shit in the ocean. Oh and Frannie loves tests, while Bruce is exploding with excitement.
But more importantly, Yam Yam is pumped for aqua dumps.
The boats arrived on a beach to meet Jeff where Jaime immediately fell in the ocean, while Matt and Frannie were shocked by how real it felt. And well, everyone was just a tad bit excited. Jeff gave us some flashbacks to past maroonings and victories, reminding them they have to both build a society and be strategic enough to make it to the end and convince people to give them money. Yam Yam was first to speak officially, saying he wants castaways to bring it and give it their all and that he is just pumped to hold their puke bags as they’re family now. Frannie agreed that they’re bonded for life while Matthew was just anxious, rather than fearful. Which is relatable AF.
After introducing Ratu in orange, Soka in green and Tika in purple, Jeff explained that their first reward challenge would see pairs from each tribe race through obstacles to collect puzzle pieces, then two people will solve said puzzle before three people would each release a ring from a pole – swoon – with the first tribe to finish getting supplies and second place getting to pick whether to do the sweat or swoon challenge back at camp, while last place would have to suffer through the other. On the second obstacle, Bruce smacked his head on a piece of wood and started flowing blood as Probst told him to let him know if they needed to pause the challenge. The other tribes continued to power ahead, as Tika pulled up the rear while Bruce was completely covered in blood.
Everyone was working on their puzzles before Bruce fell to the ground as Probst finally called pause on the challenge as medical checked his vital signs. Everyone cheered as he sat up and gave them a sign and ugh, it was beautiful to see. He then called the challenge back on as the tribes powered through the puzzles, with Tika somehow first to finish theirs. The other tribes then cheated on the puzzle as Carolyn struggled to release the rings, leaving Soka to power through the rings and win their supplies. Before Ratu burnt through theirs, handing them the choice of the additional challenges while Carolyn was just exhausted and the tribe was left with the dregs. After handing out maps to their camps, Probst ominously advised Bruce that the medical team would continue to monitor him over the next day.
We followed Soka to their new camp, where the tribe were still super excited about literally everything. Matt meanwhile admitted to us that he was a little bit nervous to hit the beach, since he is fresh out of a break up and wanting to find himself. They went into the ocean to wash off the mud and make introductions with everyone vibing and having a nice time and ugh, I love it. Despite the fact Danny wished there was an asshole that would make it easier to get rid of people when the time comes. Josh, Frannie and Claire went for a walk looking for firewood as they came across a locked birdcage with an idol – or at least, something – in the middle of the jungle. They pulled everyone aside to show them and well, just the sight of it seemed to make everyone a little nervous.
At Ratu the tribe read the challenges in front of them where they would either have to work collecting 100s of coconuts at opposite ends of the beach in under 4 hours, while the savvy challenge would be to solve a puzzle in 15 minutes. Matthew pointed out the other tribe were kind of down and out already with Bruce’s injury, so sweetly suggested the brawn challenge makes the most sense for them. Matthew and Brandon got to work on the coconut challenge as the other four started sorting their camp. We bounced over to Tika where Helen was delighted to learn they jagged the puzzle with Carolyn and Yam Yam quickly dapping out. As such Carson and Helen stood up to the puzzle and straight up solved it within a matter of minutes, as the rest of the tribe wandered around and discovered their cage. And while Yam Yam knew it was an advantage, he desperately wanted it to be candy. While Carolyn wanted to break in without a key.
And I ship both of them already.
Back at Ratu Brandon and Matthew were straight up exhausted by the challenge, though continued to power ahead in the hope of getting their supplies. The rest of their tribe came across the cage, which they quickly agreed to ignore and do as much work as possible for the duo working hard for their supplies. And while they were cramping up and ready to quit, the duo managed to finalise it with a matter of minutes remaining. And well, they were just overjoyed.
Carson and Yam Yam were busy trying to make fire back at Tika, with Yam Yam proving to have done more practice as he ignited a roaring blaze. He opened up to us about how thrilled he is to be from Puerto Rico, given he is used to living in humidity, meaning he is ready to live on an island for a month. Everyone then got to know each other with the biggest takeaway being that Carson gained 30 pounds to come out here and oh god, was he a child?
Over at Soka it was Heidi that quickly got a fire going, surprising and delighting her tribe with her boss behaviour and ugh, I love her and look forward to her dominating. Ideally with Yam Yam and Carolyn. Speaking of love, Matt and Frannie were weaving palm fronds and being all cute and flirty, and ugh, I ship these nerds so hard.
That night as Tika was getting ready for bed they noticed that Bruce was very lethargic and quiet, prompting them to call medical back to camp. He told them that he had developed a massive headache, which had gotten progressively worse over the course of the afternoon, which was unfortunately a sign of concussion. Which sadly pulled him from the game as Jeff arrived at camp to talk him through the process. He was crying, the tribe were crying, I was crying and ugh, I need him to get another shot ASAP. While Yam Yam assured him that they will bring it home for him.
After getting discharged from hospital, I pulled him in for a massive but gentle hug, assuring him that we will see him get a real shot at the game into the future (which has been confirmed by Jeff even). Given I didn’t have much to go on from his 10 minutes pre-injury, I focused my attention on running through strategies for his return, so if he wins, I can take credit. That or my Briuce Sperreault Cheesecake, that is.
A little bit cheesecake, a little bit bread and butter pudding, this spicy little number is an absolute delight. The smooth cream cheese and rich brioche work perfectly to create a decadent dessert which is surprisingly easy.
Briuce Sperreault Cheesecake Serves: 8.
Ingredients 250g cream cheese, at room temperature 250g sour cream ⅓ cup raw caster sugar 1 tbsp vanilla bean paste 3 eggs ½ cup milk ½ cup hazelnuts, roughly chopped 100g chocolate, roughly chopped 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon 400g brioche, cut into thick slices 100g butter, at room temperature
Method Preheat the oven to 160C and line a square baking dish with some baking paper.
Using a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese and sour cream with half the sugar until smooth. Add the vanilla, followed by the eggs, one at a time and then the milk, in a slow steady stream, waiting until everything has come together before making the next addition.
Combine the hazelnuts, chocolate, cinnamon and remaining caster sugar in a small bowl. Butter the brioche and gently sprinkle with a little bit of the nut mixture before sandwiching together and repeating the process until you have a series of the sweetest sandwiches around. Then cut the sandwiches into triangles.
Arrange the sandwiches cut-side down in the lined dish before pouring over the cheesecake mixture. Cover with cling and leave to soak for about 15 minutes. Transfer to the oven and bake for 50 minutes or until the cheesecake is set and golden. Remove to cool in the pan for about 15 minutes before dusting with icing sugar and serving, ideally with some vanilla ice cream, before devouring.
Previously on Australian Survivor on the bottom with dwindling options, Shaun revealed his idol to Simon, anointing him his closest ally as they locked in a plan to blindside George. After Simon won immunity and climbed Shaun like we all want to, George was spooked by their growing closeness. The Vigilantes planned to split the vote on Nina and Shaun given Sam is not exactly the most strategic person. That is until Simon left the group and they agreed to load all their votes on Sam, to navigate around a Simon flip. Sadly for George, Hayley was also planning on making a move against him, telling Nina the real plan and advising her to use any idols they had on Sam given they won’t be doing a split. With Shaun’s idol in hand, Nina improved their chances further by jagging a second. Despite having three out of their four people immune, however, the Heroes and Simon botched the double idol play resulting in Sam’s exit.
The next day Shiz were busy hunting for crabs and doing best friend shit, with Shonee particularly thrilled to have all the power in the game on top of having a bestie. She spoke about how close they are before venturing to the ocean to plot who would be the smartest people to take to the end, agreeing Gerry is easiest to beat in challenges while Simon is a bit of a joke. The one person they know they can’t hang with, however, is George, given everyone will assume they rode his coattails. And they were happy to lose to each other, but not him. Oh and then Shonee wandered off and found yet another idol which honestly is just Queen shit. As is her plan to use it to have a fun little blindside.
Shaun and Nina however were feeling far less zen, bonding over how screwed they kind of are after their spectacular blunder with the idols. They agreed the smartest thing to do was keep quiet about Hayley leaking information, given it means they could still use her in the future. Simon meanwhile was explaining why he moved to Hayley – unaware she also tried to flip – while George went person to person talking about how stupid Simon is. Seeing this, Nina decided it was in her best interests to throw him under the bus, approaching the Vigilantes to work with them to get rid of Simon the instant he doesn’t have immunity. Oh and then she and Shaun decided they probably still need an idol to seal the deal, despite not having the best track records.
With the duo off hunting for idols, the Vigilantes discussed who would be the smartest to take out next and while Hayley and Matt felt Simon was easy – given that is what George wants – Shonee knew it was a bad idea, given Shaun and Nina have more friends on the jury and Simon’s gameplay has been far from winning. The Spice Girls and Hayley caught up with Shonee calmly trying to explain why they need to put Simon on the backburner, particularly since the immunities get less physical as they go along, meaning he will get less and less threatening.
Shonee and Liz then sneakily ate rice by the shelter as everyone else was away, unaware that George was lurking behind and heard them refer to themselves as Shiz rather than the Spice Girls. And well, let’s just say, he was pissed. Later that night, George woke up and paced the shoreline as he simmered in rage, before Gerry woke up and joined him. George unleashed about how hurt he was and floated making a move sooner rather than later. And oh God, please don’t break up yet, I can’t handle it!
The tribe met Jonathan for the latest epic immunity challenge which would play out across three stages. The first would see them race to land three sandbags on a disc with the first six to finish moving on. In the next stage they would have to toss sandbags to knock rungs off a ladder and then use them to build a bridge with the first three to finish going to the final round where they would be tethered to a spinning platform and have to stack 10 discs into a tower with the first to finish winning. Simon was the first to move on to the second round, followed by Gerry, Matt, Liz, Shaun and Hayley. In the second round Shaun pulled out in front as Hayley and Simon nipped at his heels, while George whispered to Nina that he just doesn’t want either of the boys to win. Sadly for him however, they made it to the final round with Hayley. Simon got out to an early lead, while Shaun continued to botch the balancing as Hayley quietly worked away. Until she dropped, giving Simon plenty of breathing room to place the final disc and secure immunity. Again.
Back at camp everyone gave Simon some half hearted congratulations before he, Nina and Shaun went for a walk to the well, leaving the Vigilantes to lock in the split vote between Nina and Shaun. The minority meanwhile focused on hunting for an idol as Simon went back to chat with the Vigilantes, with him suggesting they work together for this vote and that he will just lock in who he will vote for when the time comes. Obviously George hated that idea, given he wants control, so he agreed to work with Simon once again and not come for him until the OG Heroes are gone. But only if he votes for Shaun.
George returned to the shelter to fill Shiz in on the plan and while they were happy with things, they went into the ocean to wash off together and talk about how happy they would be if the other person won. Sadly George watched on, growing more and more jealous of their closeness until he suggested to us that Shonee is so dangerous to his game that maybe now is the time to take the shot. And ugh, I fucking hate it here.
As the tribe gathered to eat dinner, the girls fed each other as George looked on angrily. He pulled Gerry aside to float the idea of getting rid of Shonee and while he was keen on it, he cautioned that now is not the right time and told George they just need to hold firm for a few more rounds. As such, George pulled Hayley aside to get a different answer with her obviously thrilled by the idea, wanting to play a fun, messy game. Which obviously filled George with joy as he suggested to her that while Liz will be angry, he will happily beg for her forgiveness tomorrow. He went back to Gerry to fill him in, who in turn told Matt, while George went to rope in Nina. Horrifically, it all fell into place very quickly as everyone was ready to get rid of Shonee ASAP, given she is such a massive threat. While she spoke to Matt about feeling nervous, given she has been the one to blow up 3-3 votes from the minority in the past.
At tribal council – where I was ready to vom and cry all at once – Simon spoke about how immunity is the only thing that saved him tonight, meaning either Shaun or Nina are going home. Nina played coy about hearing word of people jumping ship as Shaun whispered to her asking what George had wanted to talk to her about back at camp, with her just assuring him they are fine. Liz spoke about the alliance being solid and steamrolling to the end, while Shonee was equally as confident as George spoke about sticking to a deal that was cut post immunity challenge. Matt, Simon and Shonee all mentioned they heard about the deals, while Matt and Shonee agreed George’s deals are always solid. George spoke about how they need to make moves when they have numbers, while Shonee whispered to Liz whether they should be worried. With Liz assuring her they are fine.
Talk turned to timing, with Shonee reiterating that it is too early to make a move and doing it too soon often screws you out of alliances and stops you from making it to the end. Nina joked about them definitely being at the right point of the season to make a move, so to join her, while George spoke about how making moves at the right time is simply when you have the numbers. Nina whispered to Shaun that it won’t be him going home tonight, making him confident enough to speak up and tell the majority that if they don’t know how they are proceeding beyond the six, then they are likely not making it to the end. With that the tribe voted and despite our queen feeling uncomfortable about a 3-3 vote, she held firm onto her idol and was tragically blindsided from the game. As Liz looked on enraged – just like me! – while George thought winking at the jury would make them like him, rather than hate him.
While Shonee was her usual positive, delightful self as she arrived at the Jury Villa, I was an absolute mess. I was screaming, I was shaking, I had had it. Officially. I went full Laura Dern in Enlightened on poor Sam and Flick – coincidentally created by King Mike White – until Shonee arrived and pulled me, her number one cherub in for a hug. After a day or so – just ahead of the next boot, TBH – I stopped crying long enough to congratulate her on such a strong game. Despite this being her lowest placement, she absolutely dominated the game and proved she is far and away the best player of the franchise. She then got me talking about pilates, which is now my personality – I do it with David Wenham, which is a true sentence – giving me enough strength to toast her third game with a delicious Lemonee Buttell Cake. In preparation for her fourth, winning game.
Like Shonee, this cake is near perfection. Sweet, a little zesty and a hint of salt, working together to give you a joyous (viewing) experience. Oh and the lemon butter creates a glorious, gooey centre which is just perfection.
Ingredients 300g raw caster sugar 2 lemons, zested and juiced ¾ tsp sea salt 3 eggs, at room temperature, 2 separated 227g unsalted butter, melted and cooled 330g flour 2 ½ tsp baking powder 250g cream cheese, softened 225g icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
Method Preheat the oven to 170C and line a 22cm round pan with baking paper, leaving an overhang to help remove the cake later.
In a large bowl, combine the caster sugar with half the zest and ½ tsp of salt using your fingers until it is a fragrant, yellow mixture. Add the whole egg, half the lemon juice and cooled butter and whisk to combine before folding through the flour and baking powder until just combined. Transfer to the lined pan, smoothing out the top.
Using a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese and icing sugar together until it forms a smooth, soft batter. Add the egg yolks, remaining salt, lemon zest and juice, and beat until smooth. Pour on top of the cake and transfer to the oven to bake for 45 minutes, or until the edges have browned and the centre is puffed. If it is still a bit under, cover with foil and cook for another 10-15 minutes to set completely.
Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes or so before removing to cool completely. Then simply sprinkle it with some icing sugar and devour it in honour of our queen.
Previously on Australian Survivor the Spice Girls were reunited and living it up on the Heroes after Liz accepted the offer to mutiny. She quickly told George that at the tribal council she jumped ship, the Villains had actually wanted to blindside Hayley, unaware that George felt like his best shot at making it to the end was working with her again. At the next challenge, he immediately spilled the beans to Hayley that she was in trouble and that it was specifically Nina that was after her. After the Heroes lost immunity, Flick and Matt were dead men walking with the Spice Girls split on who would be best for their game come merge. George wanted to work with Matt while Shiz thought Flick would be the most helpful. Which led to fireworks as Liz threatened to play her idol to save Flick at tribal council. Ultimately though, they chose peace, agreeing to vote out Stevie instead as a compromise. Breaking the hearts of the nation.
The next day George gave us the first nude scene of the season, which was way more erotic than I expected. With that out of the way, he returned to camp as everyone reflected on the trauma of tribal council and how bad they felt for Stevie. Flick meanwhile was grateful to Shonee for saving her, whispering how come the merge, they have a lot of similar targets and as such, will easily work together moving forward. Gerry meanwhile was absolutely fuming, knowing how dangerous Flick actually is to their alliance. He caught up with George and Matt, with the trio vowing to work together all the way to the end and hoping to figure out a way to get rid of Flick ASAP without upsetting the girls. Oh and unbeknownst to George, he is totally third in this little alliance.
The tribes joined Jonathan and a massive feast in the middle of the jungle, with everyone giddy to clearly have all made it to the merge. Hugging it out before JLP even told them to drop their buffs. Shaun in particular was thrilled to see Flick and Matt still alive in the game, with Gerry and George clearly gritting their teeth about the former. Hayley got emotional talking about how shocked she is to make it this far, while Simon was glad to finally become datable as a juror on his second shot.
Everyone then took their places at the table and devoured everything in sight, before David whispered to Hayley and Shaun about how much of an advantage the OG Heroes have. Though George reminded us that he shines when in trouble and as such, got to work schmoozing with everyone. Hayley admitted was shocked that both she and George made it to merge as Flick and Liz reunited with their former OG Hero allies. And promptly locked in an alliance to take control, as Hayley watched on and asked George whether she should be concerned. And while they weren’t coming for her yet – Simon says, hey! – it spurred George into action, catching up with Liz to reiterate that they are screwed.
The tribe ventured back to the former Heroes camp where Hayley suggested they come up with the new merge tribe name, with George’s crew suggesting Fa’Amolemole while Nina instead wanted Vigilantes. And while she lost out on a vote, she didn’t really care given she and the OG Heroes have the upper hand on the votes that count. As the Spice Girls and Hayley went for a swim, Flick caught up with Shaun to let him know that she had to pledge allegiance to George, Shonee and Liz at the previous tribal council and as such, one of them needs to budge on this first vote. Sadly for Flick though, he had no interest in it being him and as such, told her they will be staying Heroes strong, though trading Gerry out for Simon. And well, given she would be closer to the top of that group, she was happy to go back on her word.
That night the alliance got together to plot about the upcoming tribal council, unaware that the Spice Girls were sitting back at camp watching them. And Flick girl, you’re in danger, because Shiz will not take it kindly if you’re really flipping on them so soon.
The next day Shiz and Flick went for an early morning walk down by the shore with Flick pretending that Simon is still the Heroes target, but she suggested she told them they need to split the vote. And then pretended it wouldn’t be on one of the Spice Girls. When it totally would. After Flick disappeared, Shonee told Liz that it was all a lie and Flick is out to get them, so pulled George aside to fill him in and tell him he was right. While he didn’t do a told-you-so dance, he got to work planning which two people would be easiest to lock in. And while George didn’t love it – and Liz sure as hell didn’t – he knew Simon was the easiest target given nobody wants to work with him, so if he offers something, surely it is a good thing.
With that, the Spice Girls and Matt pulled Simon and Hayley aside to float the idea of working together. With George promptly throwing Flick under the bus, letting Simon know that voting him out was what she told them was the priority. Hayley was all in given she knew it was better to be amongst other threats, while Simon was awkward about being the one that everyone talks about being the target. Knowing he needed to work him just a little more, George pulled Simon aside and assured him that them working together would be so unexpected that it just may work for both of them. And once they take control, they can ride it to the end and deal with their feud once their mutual enemies are gone. Essentially.
The tribe reunited with Jonathan for the first individual immunity challenge of the season where they would have to hold their breath under grates in the ocean as the tide rises until only one was left. Or in the case of Survivor 43, as the tide rose and then fell, leaving Jeffrey to hand out immunity to both Owen and Karla. So congratulations Flick or Matt, I guess, given their professions. Everyone was still holding strong at 30 minutes before a surge took out George, Sam and Shonee in a matter of minutes. The next surge cost Liz her spot, followed by a heartbroken Shaun and Simon. Gerry was next to drop, as Shonee and George started to speculate on the sidelines, with Shonee suggesting they propose everyone unites to get rid of Hayley while George suggested Shonee is actually the more likely target for the Heroes. Back to the challenge, Flick was next out, followed by Hayley and David leaving Matt and Nina to face off before Nina tapped out, handing Matt the first individual immunity of the season. As predicted, I may note.
Back at camp everyone congratulated Matt on a hard fought victory, while Sam quickly suggested one of Shiz would be the best target. So yeah, I’m back to hating Sam. Someone I am loving though is Matt, who was thrilled to be trusted by most of the tribe and as such, ready to play both sides, though assured us (or me) that he intended to side with George to take control. Sam, Shaun, David, Flick and Nina caught up by the well with Flick quickly locking in Shonee as the target while David wanted them to split the vote on Liz to also flush her idol. Hayley and Matt joined the group, quietly nodding as they agreed to split between Shiz. Like the OG Villains, they knew they had to get Simon on board to pull it off, so Shaun pulled him aside to let him know the plan. Selling it as his last shot to prove loyalty, which is a mood.
George and Shonee meanwhile were busy figuring out the best alpha to target, with George wanting to get rid of Sam given all he cares about his loyalty and is kind of holding everyone together. Specifically Simon and Matt, who are most likely to flip back to the alphas. And you know Gerry was keen on that one, given Sam was the one that pushed to send him to the Villains originally. And as was Hayley, given he was coming for her with Nina. Poor Simon however was suffering some Villains related trauma and decided to catch up with Hayley to see what she was thinking and while she tried to gently nudge him in the direction of being smart and working with the OG Villains, he admitted that he is still unsure which way to go.
Simon then wisely approached the Spice Girls to find out what the plan was once Sam was gone, with Shonee and George telling him that he can dictate who goes next should they align. Liz and David meanwhile caught up by the well with Liz pretending the Villains were still out to get Simon, while Dave warned her that she is a target and as such, she should play her idol. She was obviously spooked, so went back to the Spice Girls with her spiralling as George and Shonee tried to keep her calm. The latter, however, was also worried about Simon not being with them and instead of fracturing again, George got to work finding another number to guarantee they have eight people to work with.
Being a bold, messy icon, George pulled Shaun aside and straight up suggested he needs to jump early rather than too late, telling him to join with the Villains to get rid of Sam, given he feels like he is running the show. Shaun ran straight to Sam to fill him in and as he scowled into the jungle about being the target, George went back to spill the beans to Shiz who were irate that he gave the plan to their opponents. As such, the girls flipped the vote to Dave to navigate around a potential idol and while the trio were feeling good, it started to spook Matt that they were all over the shop until Gerry tried to calm things down. While Simon continued to question whether he can trust George enough to keep them both around until the end.
And yes, the answer is yes, given the meat heads are more likely to beat you in challenges. And I prefer the Spice Girls.
At tribal council Hayley spoke about how difficult the first post-merge tribal council is, given everyone has built different relationships, across multiple tribes and now has competing agendas. Matt meanwhile was thrilled to be immune and having the power to make a choice that will secure his future in the game without the fear of it burning him. Yet. George mentioned this tribal council is a turning point in the game, with players setting up their shot at the end with a single decision. Oh and he is super confident, which made David scoff. Liz opened up about clearly being on the bottom of the tribe with Shonee agreeing that she feels like she is in danger, specifically concerned about having to rely on new people for her own survival. David spoke about being hopeful he has built enough relationships to come out on top, as Shonee and George started to whisper about whether Liz needs to play her idol.
George cut everyone off, throwing out Survivor is about deals, rather than relationships and if everyone holds firm, someone will be walking out of here and he won’t be coming back. Which made Flick feel super confident, given she is a female. Simon spoke about the power of being on the bottom at the merge, given you’re elevated into the swing vote position and get to choose which side to work with. Well, unless you’re Sarah who was trying to play the middle pre-merge and like Julia before her, who promptly got run over by Michelle and Aubry. With that the tribe voted and Liz played her idol for Shonee as the OG Heroes looked ready to shit their pants. Dave then tried to get in her head, telling her it was a bad move, though she wisely held firm as four votes piled up on Shonee – with her offering a quiet thanks to Flick – before a single one landed on Liz followed by the alliance of seven holding firm and taking control, sending David out of the game and Flick straight to the top of the hit list.
And they looked so angry.
Despite wanting to toss his food on the table and walk out, as David arrived at Loser Lodge there was a part of my heart that felt sorry for his stumble. The stumble being, choosing not to work with Shiz instead of turning on them and trying to take control with the boring Heroes. Thankfully he felt bad for not working with our icons – particularly since it cost him a spot on the jury – so I assured him that despite being the first alpha out, he is one I would have happily seen last longer given I think he would have played things more interestingly in a few rounds. Which seemed to cheer him up. But even if it didn’t, he got a massive bowl of David Shakarakris Fries which sure as hell did the job!
Shaker fries season is my favourite time at McDonald’s, however lately they have been opting for new flavours rather than the OG – though the cheeseburger was stunning, TBH. This little copycat may not be a perfect replica of my beloved shaker fries, though it is bloody delicious. Spicy, sweet and oh so salty, this is the perfect snack while having a cold beer on a summer afternoon (or when hungover the next day).
David Shakarakris Fries Serves: 2 dear, athletic besties.
Ingredients 2 cups Jud Beerza Battered Fries 2 tsp kosher salt 1 tsp onion powder 1 tsp garlic powder 1 tsp paprika ½ tsp raw caster sugar ½ tsp beef stock powder ¼ tsp dried oregano ¼ tsp dried parsley ¼ tsp cayenne pepper ¼ tsp black pepper
Method Cook the fries as per Jud’s recipe, or if going packet because they are just as great, as per their instructions.
Meanwhile combine the rest of the ingredients together in a small bowl and sprinkle a couple of teaspoons over the fries at first, before adjusting to taste. And devouring.
Excess of the mix can be stored in an airtight container in the pantry.
Previously on Australian Survivor, Shonee and George were living it up at the top of the new Heroes, accepting meetings with all the plebs who were begging for mercy. Meanwhile at the Villains, Simon won over the OG Heroes with his non-idol leaving Liz and Jordie on the outs. As such, at the immunity challenge, Shonee handed her idol over to Jordie while Shaun gave Simon’s non-idol to Flick to cause chaos in the Heroes tribe. After Liz also found an idol, she and Jordie used them to bluff the Heroes into turning on their own. However they were sadly just as played, as the Heroes made a last minute switch at tribal council to tie things up between Jordie and the presumed target, mateship king Sam. And when Jordie and Liz held onto their idols, Jordie was blindsided from the game. Breaking my heart in the process.
While the Villains tribal was busy being chaotic, at the Heroes camp Stevie was looking to the stars alongside Flick and Matt, who were quietly working him to float the idea of working with the Heroes. And by that, they straight up told him that they were given information at the immunity challenge that Simon still wants to work with him and should he survive tribal council, it is a sign that they should band together to take control over here. Which is great, but can we also remember that he (and Simon) will easily be on the bottom of the Heroes when the threats are gone and as such, it is just a bad idea all round for them. Though it is Simon and Stevie, so it tracks.
The next day, Liz was feeling even worse about her situation back at camp. Despite Liz being the only person outside the alliance, it was Simon who spent the day breaking down in tears about missing Jordie, who he played a critical role in voting out. The white heterosexual males all appeared to be struggling, with Sam taking the last tribal council as a sign that the Heroes aren’t as loyal as he would like and as such, he only felt like he could trust David. Knowing Sam was feeling shitty about what happened, Nina also took it as a wake-up call and knew that she needed to bring Jordie and Liz’s energy with the idols if she wants to follow in her mother’s footsteps and take out the win.
After clearing the air with Sam and vowing to be a tight three with him and David, Nina realised they need one other person to take out the majority. And since she has an idol and some tight allies on the other side that could set them up at the merge, she set her sights on Queen Liz and ugh, I love to see it. After the girls talked shit about Simon, Liz went to catch up with Sam. Right on cue Simon asked to join the conversation with Liz being an icon, telling him to let them talk and they can have one next. Or something. While Sam straight up told her that he wants to work with her and oh my God, do I like Sam now? I guess I do and you’ll just have to accept I am fickle and love to change my mind.
Back at the Heroes, the tribe were celebrating Stevie doubling the number of days played from his first season. Flick meanwhile was more celebratory about her non-idol, as she and Matt decided to chat to Ben about how to take control. Though obviously left the existence of said idol out of the discussion, which is a problem, given he is one of the only people that knows it is not one. But no, no, Flick can’t trust Ben – who has been nothing but loyal – and would rather hold out hope that Stevie may, just may, change. As Flick and Shonee bonded in the hammock, George grew worried about her social game and as such, suggested to Gerry and Stevie that they throw the challenge to get rid of Flick and keep themselves in control of the tribe. And Flick girl, you in danger.
The tribes joined with Jonathan for the immunity challenge where Shonee was heartbroken to learn her idol exited along with her ally. While George was so ropeable that he called it a declaration of war from the OG Heroes and reminded them that he has two hostages that he is willing to get rid of. Liz and Shonee once again whispered like icons, with Liz outing Simon for ditching them and shared that Simon handed his non-idol over to Matt and Flick to use to blindside George. But back to the challenge. The tribes would transport massive blocks through a series of obstacles before using them to form a staircase and ascend a tower. So yeah, this is built for the new Villains tribe whether George was planning to throw it or not.
While the Villains clearly had the advantage, George and Shonee still obviously chose to throw it, doing the absolute bare minimum and well, I love that for them. Hayley meanwhile bitched about them throwing it as the Villains powered ahead, reminding us that this surely was a challenge the Villains were going to win anyway, so can you really get mad at the icons? Once again Liz stepped away from her tribe to chat to George and Shonee, outing Simon for working with Shaun and Hayley specifically, but assuring them that she has an idol and to not worry about her. Despite the fact the rest of their tribe were throwing it, Ben, Flick and Matt desperately tried to close the gap, somehow leading to the Villains only narrowly managing to take out immunity. As Simon desperately tried to gesture to Stevie about destiny before wishing the tribe luck at tribal council.
Back at camp Matt was ropable about the fact George and Shonee threw the challenge and as such, was even more fired up to woo Stevie to their side. He tried to downplay the rage though, pointing out that the Villains appeared to have a wild one the last night, speculating about Simon playing an idol. With George, ever the icon, telling him it didn’t happen because he gave the idol to Flick. With her awkwardly having no way to deny it, so instead pointing out that she will be happy to show George the idol tonight at tribal council.
Flick, Matt and Ben went for a walk to get water, asking Stevie if he would like to come with them and while he did, George wisely asked him to stay with them. As the Villains and Gerry tried to decide who to load their votes on, Gerry pointed out that the Heroes don’t care for Ben and as such, he is the safest bet to vote for given they will not play an idol for him. As the Heroes were by the well, Flick came clean to Ben about the idol, hoping to leverage it to convince him that now is the time to blindside George. While back at the shelter, Gerry was about to have an aneurysm trying to explain the plan to Stevie – and the fact four people can’t split six votes – as Shonee quietly told him to breathe and just keep focused.
As the two factions came back together, Stevie went for a walk with Flick, Matt and Ben to lock in the plan to blindside George due to his threat level. While George, Gerry and Shonee grew more and more frustrated that Stevie was wandering around camp and potentially outing all of their plans. After Stevie left the Heroes, they realised they needed to come up with a back-up, so if Stevie isn’t with them, they would play the idol and put their votes on the most likely to not have one in the other alliance, Gerry. But if Stevie is in, they will take the shot on George. Stevie rejoined the Spice Girls alliance and once again floated the idea of splitting the vote as each of them reminded him that there are not enough people and to do that. Unless Shonee can pull in a crab, that is.
Knowing Stevie was too much of a liability, George opted to appeal to Flick and asked her what she thinks the merge will look like when it is just the Heroes left. Which obviously led to him pointing out it may be better to work together to take control now and set up an easier path to the end. And while they agreed finding a compromise could be for the best, we didn’t learn what that compromise could be. Only if Flick proves willing to work with George, they will have a truce and if not, she will be the next one out.
At tribal council George explained that at the challenge he declared war on all the Heroes and as such, the OGs best have come prepared. Flick was obviously nervous, though admitted that given she has experience with George, she knows to take his grandiose statements in her stride. She spoke about everyone chatting with their allies at the challenge, as Shonee lol’ed about how obvious she is, while Stevie focused about just playing it straight tonight and going with the flow to make it to the merge. Ben admitted that he feels in trouble though that everyone really should be feeling that way, with George agreeing they really should, given Flick has an idol and is definitely planning to play it. Flick confirmed its existence and that if she guesses the right person to play it on, she and her allies should be sitting pretty. Though let’s just say, Matt is not feeling so confident about it.
Flick admitted she knows she could be the one going home tonight if she makes a mistake and while George shared that he fears going out due to an idol, he would just rather work with Flick and go to the end together. Again. George then straight up offered to go have a chat in the corner and cut a deal, with Shonee and Stevie agreeing it makes sense for her to play it smart. George told Flick she should burn her idol to prove loyalty which she obviously opted against, given it puts her at way too much risk and as such, no deal was reached between the rivals. With that the tribe finally voted and Flick played what she thought was an idol for Matt as Ben looked on in disgust knowing it wasn’t one. After Jonathan confirmed it, he got to tallying the votes with three votes piling up on Gerry, followed by four on Ben, which were enough to tragically send my actual hero out of the game.
Like Jordie just yesterday, Ben found his way to Loser Lodge by following my enraged screams. I mean, first we could have lost Sam yesterday and TBH we could have lost Matt today as the only straight male that wasn’t working with Shonee. Instead, we lost my gracious inspiration, who forgave my years of stalking in desperation of gaining his talent by osmosis and came to Australian Survivor ready to play with charm, kindness and a little bit of drama (RIP, Sharni). Instead, he was cast out from the alphas – let’s just take a pause to read into that however you want – and never really got his footing in the game.
I pulled him in for a massive hug and told him how heartbroken I was that he couldn’t win over Shonee and join the Villains to control the game post-merge. Because if there is one thing we can tell from watching thus far, it is that the Spice Girls are unmatched at this point and the alphas will soon be in trouble. In what I like to think is revenge for the way they treated the man that gave us the name Meat Tray alliance. Oh the other thing I am concerned about – though wisely didn’t tell Ben – is that doughnuts, like pizza, are a cursed food for reality contestants since Jordie’s were followed by a piping hot Benjamin Crullaw. So I think I may have cursed his chances, which just fucking sucks TBH.
These fancier cousins of doughnuts are the perfect way to honour my personal hero. Particularly since he kindly dropped the stalking charges to allow me to provide culinary comfort for the broader cast. Crunchy on the outside, light and fluffy on the inside, with a heavy coating of cinnamon sugar? Like any time I spend with Ben, I am in heaven.
Benjamin Crullaw Serves: 2 amazingly talented Ben’s who are destined for best friendship. Forever.
Ingredients 100g butter, cubed 250ml water 170g flour 3 eggs sunflower oil, for frying 1 cup raw caster sugar ¼ cup ground cinnamon
Method Combine butter and water in a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Once the butter has melted, add the flour and beat aggressively with a wooden spoon for a couple of minutes – this is like making profiteroles, ok? – or until it starts to come away from the sides.
Remove mixture from the heat and transfer to a stand mixture. Using a paddle attachment, beat the dough on medium, adding the eggs one at a time, waiting until the mixture has completely come together before adding the next egg. Spoon mixture into a piping bag with a 12mm star nozzle and pipe the dough into 8cm rings onto a lined baking sheet, pressing together at the ends to join.
While they rest a little, place about 10cm of oil in a large, deep saucepan and heat to 175C and combine the cinnamon and sugar in a bowl. Once at temperature, carefully add a couple of doughnuts and cook, turning a couple of times, for about 10 minutes, or until golden and browned. Remove and drain on a paper towel for a minute or so before tossing in the cinnamon sugar.
Repeat the process and then devour, like the besties you are.
Previously on Australian Survivor the tribes were delighted to get a reprieve from challenges with the arrival of the auction, only to be gagged by a tribe swap. Venturing to the Heroes tribe, Shonee was heartbroken to be split up from Liz, though grateful that she at least still had George. After jagging an epic reward at the auction, George took the girls for a little party where Shonee found a second idol, though assured them she would be ready to hand it off to Liz if and when needed. Simon was nervous about being on the bottom of the new Villains, though sucked up to the alphas to win them over. Plus, he was in possession of what he thought was an idol. After the Heroes lost immunity the OGs planned to blindside George, only for George and Shonee to school them, wooing Gerry to their side and idoling out Paige. As God wanted.
The next day Shonee was blissfully napping away the morning, thrilled to be on top with George and close friends like Stevie and Gerry. And now that Paige is gone, she can eat all the crispy rice she wants and ugh, it is what our Queen deserves. Long may she reign.
We checked in with the Villains, where Simon was talking about how normal it feels to be moist. Which doesn’t add anything, but I love it because it sounds so suss. Liz meanwhile was heartbroken to be away from Shonee, breaking down in tears to us as she spoke about how lonely she feels. Particularly since the Heroes are clearly dominating the new tribe and she, Jordie and Simon are left out. The trio caught up with Simon checking if they had had any luck making friends before he suggested he will play the idol for one of them, should it be needed. Which Liz knows is a lie, given he is clearly too selfish and he refused to play one for Stevie just last week.
Back at the Heroes tribe George was just as radiant as Shonee, thrilled to have taken control and ready to eliminate the original Heroes one by one (by one). He caught up with Stevie to talk through the plan before Benjamin interrupted to see if he could join the chat. Ben admitted that the only reason George copped votes the night before is because they are intimidated by him but that now he would truly like to work with him. George then caught up with Shonee as Flick took her turn to pledge her undying loyalty, one upping Ben by suggesting she could even be a double agent to sweeten the deal. Oh and then closing out the pitches, Matt pulled George aside one on one, offering up all the information about his allies and how he could be of value to help the Villains take control come the merge.
And oh god, if Matt is telling the truth, go with him as I want to see how the Meat Tray takes the betrayal. Particularly Sam, as he will be salty.
The tribes came together with Jonathan for the reward challenge with Liz delighted to see Paige booted, while the OG Heroes were gutted. But more importantly, the challenge where in groups of four each tribe would race around a course in the shallows, carrying bags and chasing each other with the first tribe to catch the other scoring a point. And the first tribe to three getting a big Aussie breakfast. First up were Matt, Shonee, Ben and Flick versus Shaun, Hayley, Liz and Simon with Ben the first to drop out of the challenge, followed by Shonee, Hayley and Liz, with Shaun and Simon pissbolting to hunt Flick and Matt down, scoring the first point for Villains. Sam, Shaun, Jordie and David made quick work of Stevie, Gerry, Ben and George, but damn were they adorable. As were the original Heroes talking through the status quo on each tribe, while Liz and Shonee bitched about hating everyone before Shonee promised to hand her an idol should she need it. Oh and then the Villains won the third round with Simon and Sam quickly catching the Heroes.
Back at camp the Villains were thrilled to find a table laden with fruit, bread, eggs, bacon, hash browns, cheese and most importantly, coffee. And ugh, I am hungry just looking at it. Simon toasted them for being so strong before they downed the coffee and went absolutely wild. Well, except for Liz who quietly watched on thinking about how bland and annoying all the men are. Which was beautifully juxtaposed with Simon screaming and celebrating as he desperately tried to win friends. Given she is invisible on the tribe, she knew she could excuse herself without anyone noticing and got to work foraging through the jungle to find an idol. And hot damn, our girl did it. And as expected, not a soul noticed. And if they did, she could just say the coffee and eggs went right through her, no?
Upon returning to camp, Liz invited Jordie for a trip to hunt for wood where she quickly filled her only ally in on her hidden immunity idol with the duo thrilled to have hope amongst the chaos. Assuming they play the situation smartly, that is. They returned to camp with Liz filling him in on Shonee’s idol and that she is willing to hand it to them at a challenge should they need it. And well, Liz is ready to call in that favour and blindside one of the Heroes. Yes, come through Spice Girls!
Shaun meanwhile was heartbroken about Paige getting voted out, taking Sam for a walk to talk through how they make the most of their numbers advantage. Sam suggested they tell Simon they will take him to the merge if he hands off his idol and while Natalie Bolton and Cirie Fields can pull it off, Sam definitely can not, given he is not it. Plus, it isn’t an idol. Sam pulled Simon aside to tell him that he spoke to the guys and while they are friends, there is a caviar – his words – in that they need Simon to give him his idol before they agree to take him to merge. Simon wisely pledged his undying loyalty and assured him that he wants to go to the very end with them, not just merge. Oh but he would only be willing to hand the idol over to Shaun. As such, Simon and Shaun caught up by the well with Shaun doing a far better job sharing the plan, telling Simon he knows it is risky but he also knows that out of the three Villains, he is the one they want to protect.
Simon then pulled Shaun and Hayley aside, doubling down on the plan and suggesting they hand the idol across to Flick on the Heroes tribe so that she can play it to blindside George. And that he wants to get a message to Stevie so that he can help them move forward. Upon showing them his idol however, Hayley questioned if there was any paperwork and when he said it came with nothing, she wisely asked how he was sure it was an idol when it could be something else, like a nullifier. But sadly – or well, not – that was where the logic ended, as they laughed about how poetic it would be for Simon to send his idol to the other side to blindside his nemesis George, which will be a huge move. And again, lol.
Almost as lol as Simon botching his quote about living long enough to become a Hero and the producers trolling him by keeping it in.
The tribes came back together for the immunity challenge where they would race through a series of obstacles before chopping wood to release coconuts and then shooting coconuts at six targets, with the first tribe to finish jagging immunity. The Villains got out to an early lead, quickly releasing their sack of nuts – this time JLP’s words – while the Heroes desperately tried to close the gap. Nina hit the first target for the Villains before Matt finally started shooting for the Heroes. More importantly, Shonee and Liz just casually walked over to each other and started discussing how to hand off the idol. Nina knocked her second target as Matt took out the lead for Heroes as he smashed three, then four and five before ultimately jagging immunity for the tribe.
After the challenge David and Flick hugged, talking through the non-idol hand off while Simon tried to talk to Stevie about trusting in Flick and to vote with her at their next tribal council. While Shonee calmly handed the idol to Jordie unnoticed before Shaun awkwardly passed the disc off to Flick. And oh god, I need the non-idol to blow up in someone’s face so badly. And now I’m not even sure who I want to be the victim.
Back at camp the tribe rallied around to process their loss, while Liz and Jordie couldn’t wipe the grins off their faces. Hayley meanwhile was confident about tribal given they have the numbers, pointing out to Simon and Shaun they should split the vote on Jordie and Liz and ultimately get rid of Jordie should no idols get played. The Heroes quickly locked in their plan, while Jordie and Liz laughed it up at the well, given they can derail whatever it is they are planning. Wanting to have more impact than a single moment, Jordie suggested they pull Hayley and Nina aside and show them the idols before making them pick which of the boys they want to send home. And then promptly not play the idols at all. Which obviously made Liz nervous, given she wasn’t sure they should trust them and instead just go the safe route of playing their idols.
They pulled Nina and Hayley aside with both of the girls shitting their pants, unable to name who they want to go before Liz narrowed it down to either Sam and Shaun. With Hayley first to lock in Sam, given he is so loyal it is hard to work with him, given if you upset him, he is done with you. Liz suggested this is the night to prove loyalty, before Jordie pointed out it isn’t a threat but if there is whispering at tribal council, he will gladly change the vote.
Backed into a corner, Hayley approached Shaun to ensure that should she and Nina have to work with the Villains, she hasn’t burnt everyone. The plan to take out Sam spread like wildfire, with everyone kind of accepting the fact Sam is screwed. David suggested they instead just vote out Simon, while Shaun reminded him he swore on his children’s life and as such, can not do that to Simon. And to be fair, Simon and Sam will both fill the same role in their alliance. Right on cue, Sam approached the group and both awkwardly and aggressively asked if something was wrong with David, Nina and Shaun just dancing around things as Mateship looked enraged.
Hayley meanwhile caught up with Simon to fill him in on the situation until she exited because he looked too shocked and to calm down. Jordie approached him and asked why he looked so rattled – lol – with Simon pretending to still be OG Villains strong and as such, all in on voting out Sam. Shaun, Nina and Hayley then caught up, with Nina cautioning that she truly believes they will play the idols and as such, if the Heroes just lock in the vote on Sam, there will be no surprises and they can make a move next time.
At tribal council Shaun spoke about how grateful he is that their new tribe is stacked, while Jordie turned the attention to the fact the OG Villains are well and truly outnumbered which Simon agreed made him nervous. Shaun wisely suggested that everyone really should be worried. Jordie spoke about how tight the Heroes tribe are known to be with Sam talking about how loyal the Heroes are, while they all looked ready to vom from the guilt. Jordie spoke about how today was an epic scramble as Nina motioned to Sam that Jordie and Liz both have idols. While Liz watched on as all the Heroes grew more and more paranoid. As Simon spoke about how nervous he now is, Liz filled Jordie in on the whispers happening while Hayley reiterated the Heroes needed to stay strong, before Sam suggested that if the Villains have an idol, they should be nervous.
As Simon spoke about being rattled, Shaun told Nina that she and Hayley should still vote Sam while he, Simon and David switch back to voting for Jordie so that should the idol be played, Sam goes home, otherwise they can get rid of Jordie on the revote. Jordie admitted it feels like it could be his last tribal council tonight, with everyone agreeing they feel just as nervous. Liz admitted she is stressed, but that you need to risk it for the biscuit while Hayley wanted people to walk away from tribal council with some clarity about who they want to work with, while Jordie wanted everyone to leave knowing this is how you play the game.
With that the tribe voted and tragically neither Jordie or Liz played their idols, resulting in a tie between Jordie and Sam. Which on the revote, led to the Heroes eliminating Jordie, leaving Liz all alone. As is often the case, Jordie found his way to Loser Lodge by following the wailing sounds of my screams when I found out he came so close to not just breaking up the Heroes but also sending Sam, the worst person to ever play Survivor in the global franchise, home. Sadly though, he took the gamble of holding onto his idol to navigate through to the merge and while it cost him his game, I am impressed with the logic behind it, given he knew he was screwed if he couldn’t leverage an alliance.
I pulled him in for a massive hug, congratulating him and Sam on their pregnancy and thanking him for being such a damn delight this season. I mean, while Jordie was balls deep in an all male alliance last year, this year he channelled Erika Jayne, ready to give the gays (and girls) what they want, working with Shiz and George while gloriously mocking the Meat Tray. I told him I was proud of how grounded and fun his energy was and assured him that when it comes to his third time, he is poised for another deep run. And until then, he always has Jordie Hansenhos de Abobora.
These Portuguese pumpkin donuts – aka Sonhos de abobora – are positively delightful. Earthy, spiced and oh so sweet, the crisp shell gives way to a pillowy little cake that will have you coming back for more and more.
Jordie Hansenhos de Abobora Serves: 6-8.
Ingredients 250g butternut pumpkin, peeled and diced 1 ½ cups raw caster sugar 80g butter, melted and cooled ¼ cup brandy 2 tbsp dried yeast 2 tsp vanilla extract 4 eggs, lightly whisked 2 ⅓ cups flour, sieved ½ tsp kosher salt 2 tbsp warm water vegetable oil, for fryin’ 2 tbsp ground cinnamon
Method Steam the pumpkin for 10 minutes or until nice and soft. Remove from the heat to cool and then blitz in a food processor until nice and smooth. Transfer to a bowl.
Whisk half a cup of sugar, the butter, brandy, yeast and vanilla into the pumpkin until well combined. Set aside for 5 minutes and leave to prove. Whisk in the egg before folding through the flour and water to form a thick dough. Cover, set aside and leave to prove for another half an hour, or until doubled in size.
Heat about 15cm of oil in a large saucepan until it hits 160C and mix the remaining sugar with the cinnamon. Cook spoonfuls of dough a few at a time for about 3 minutes, or until golden and cooked through. Transfer to a paper towel to drain for a minute before tossing through the cinnamon sugar. Repeat the process until all cooked, then devour with glee. Ideally with some Dulce de Nick Lachey.
Previously on Australian Survivor Stevie was grateful for Shiz saving him in the most chaotic tribal council of the season, while Jordiewas left right out on the Villains. Though with Shiz secretly vowing to have his back. While Simon was Simon. Shonee meanwhile casually found herself a new piece of bling in the form of an idol, wisely keeping it a secret from even her closest of allies. At the immunity challenge George and Simon aired their dirty laundry to the Heroes before Shiz single handedly scored them immunity. Back at the Heroes, Gerry was fired up and ready to call them out for the way they handled sending him to the Villains, while Ben quickly realised it was him or Gerry going home. After finding the cookie non-idol, Ben used it as a clue to finding another idol on the Heroes beach, which he ultimately used to save himself, as he stitched up Sharni and swiftly got her booted from the game.
In no small part thanks to Paige’s lie that Sharni dropped the block, but whatevs, I’m not bitter.
Letting us know we’re in for a big episode, the tribes immediately joined with Jonathan in the middle of the jungle where they were delighted to discover an auction awaiting them. Psych, it wasn’t an auction though, as Jonathan unveiled the first covered item, new buffs, meaning they are finally switching! One by one they went up to select their new buffs with Nina going to the Villains, Ben sticking with the Heroes, Sam going to the Villains, Gerry sticking with the Heroes, alongside ally George before Liz found herself isolated on the Villains, as Shonee also landed on the Heroes. David added more beef to the Villains, alongside Shaun and Simon before Matt stuck with Heroes, Hayley went to Villains, Stevie went to Heroes and Jordie stuck with the Villains. Alongside his nemesis Simon and all his new alpha bros. While Flick and Paige were stuck on the Heroes tribe.
And while everyone laughed about the meat tray all landing together, George hilariously reminded them that meat heads normally suck at Survivor and as such, he isn’t concerned with the idiots. Basically.
But turns out, there was actually an auction too with each tribe getting $2500, with max bids set at $500. The catch being, the money would be shared amongst the tribe meaning some could win big and others end up with nothing. George quickly worked out that everyone then had $320 to spend, with Liz winning the first item, a cheeseburger and beer for $320. Ben jumped straight to $320 on a covered item which led Sam to jump to $360 for what he assumed was an advantage, but ultimately ended up being chocolate. Which honestly, I think makes more sense for him than a note. The next item was a scroll with Ben jumping straight up to $400 as Paige, shock horror, started to bitch to George about needing to vote Ben out ASAP. Oh and the scroll meant he scored an onion and while everyone laughed, Paige – again, shock – looked sour.
Paige then bid $400 on spag bol and red wine – I guess we can all go over $320 now – before Shaun bought it for $500. Flick then bought tacos and margs for $480 before Liz and Paige went into bat for Jordie and Matt bidding on a call from home, given they are both expecting children. While Jordie sweetly tried to step back and let Matt take the call for $200, Matt just as sweetly pointed out he is up to date with the scans and knows the baby is good and as such Jordie can have it to get his update as the two both burst into tears. As did I. While Paige told Matt he is such a good bloke. As Jordie spoke to Sam, he learnt they got the all clear from the doctors AND they found out they are having a boy and ugh, watching everyone cheer for him was so damn wholesome. As was him sobbing about how much he misses her.
Matt tried to assure him he was crying happy tears for him which honestly broke me even more before George spent $320 on a covered item, which turned out to be a pass as the guest of Honour at a Survivor afternoon party with two of his friends. And while Ben tried to remind him it is a social game, he was loyal and stuck with Shiz as Paige, once again, looked saltier than the dead sea. While Jordie and Simon cautioned everyone that was a dangerous reward, particularly for someone like George.
The Spice Girls arrived at their epic reward, ready to devour everything in sight – including some leftover Sharlami Vinson, FYI – before George learnt he had just won $60,000 from Set for Life. They debated whether they should be checking for an advantage, with them agreeing to just wait until the end before Shonee straight up found an idol while smashing a party pie. Making it two in two episodes. Liz turned the talk to their new tribes, with George sharing that Flick told them Ben can’t be trusted while Liz was confident in all the strength she had on the new Villains, but knew that should they lose, she will be first on the chopping black. With Shonee assuring her that she will hand off the idol if she does lose an immunity. Since she should probs keep it as new Heroes is super weak comparatively and more likely to attend all the premerge tribal councils.
Back at the Heroes camp, Paige told Stevie that everyone helps out around at their camp before reiterating to Flick how much she wants to get rid of Ben ASAP. Given he allegedly twisted her words the previous night, which he didn’t. He told Flick that while she doesn’t trust George, she feels she could at least work with him for a couple of rounds, knowing they’ve split up the chance that he and Ben could potentially align. While Ben quietly worked nearby and oh god, I hope he heard. Also, as an aside, does it feel like a lot of the hate towards Ben comes from a place of casual homophobia? Because it is starting to feel like it. Though to be fair, I am super sensitive about that and may be finding reasons why my hero keeps getting called shady.
We checked in with the new Villains tribe where Hayley was thrilled by their surroundings, while Simon was more focused on how stacked their tribe is and thrilled to finally put an end to his losing streak. Knowing he no longer is the only person carrying the tribe through every challenge. Simon caught up with Shaun to fangirl over him, before Shaun admitted that he plans to use the Jeremy Collins meat shield strategy as Simon desperately tried to get pulled in. They returned to camp with Jordie overhearing him suck up and as such, he decided the only way to survive this mess is to blend in as best as possible, talking footy and copying Shauns’s fashion choices. And ugh, I love Jordie so much as this is hilarious, knowing he is quietly mocking them. Despite how well Simon was trying, the Heroes were still focused on sticking together with Shaun, Hayley, Nina and David locking in a plan to flush Simon’s idol ASAP and then pick off the original Villains. Because yeah, they can all see how desperately Simon was trying to win their love.
The new tribes reconnected for an epic immunity challenge where they would race to transport a tribe member locked in a cage through a tunnel, then a gate, up a huge ramp and then down into a pool before they unlocked said member and two people solved a puzzle. Because duh. Shonee and Hayley took their places in the cages, with the former loving the chance to have a little R&R during the challenge. Obviously the Villains got out to an early, massive lead, unlocking Hayley before the Heroes even made it to the ramp. Hayley and Nina got to work on the puzzle as Stevie cheered his tribe on before finally getting the chance to free Shonee and starting on the puzzle with George. A full circle moment, and I love it. While Hayley and Nina calmly worked through the colours, George started to bicker with Stevie about messing up his work. While Ben looked frustrated to be shut out of the puzzle before subbing out with George. That made the challenge exciting as the Heroes closed the gap as Hayley and Nina madly finished the puzzle and just snatched immunity for the Villains.
As the tribes hugged it out, David told Paige not to trust George whatever she does – like duh, is that really the most important message to share – which made her change her mind about targeting Ben as soon as she returned to camp. Well, after yelling at Stevie for trying to debrief too early and then yelling at everyone to get to work on fire and making some rice. Thankfully George is wise and instead got to work scrambling and locking in a plan of his own. Flick tried to lock him and Shonee in on a plan to get rid of Ben, floating that afterwards, they could align with Paige and Matt to run the tribe. Once Shonee and George were left alone, they laughed about how easy her plan would be to derail, given they are not going to just do what the OG Heroes want and instead will work with Gerry to get rid of one of the originals. And after finding God, they locked in Paige as their target given life is for living.
With that George and Shonee got to locking in a new majority, first pulling in Stevie to get rid of Paige and assured him that under no circumstances are they to tell Flick, Matt, Paige or Ben. George then floated the idea with Gerry, who was also very much on board given he wanted to mix things up. And admitted Paige can be hard work.
After locking in the 4-3-1 vote – given Ben’s is irrelevant at this point – and filling me with joy, Paige decided to ruin everything and pulled Flick and Matt aside to talk about getting rid of George instead, given the meat heads are too scared of him making the merge and told her to do it. Flick wisely cautioned them that they need to decide whether it is better to stay hero strong, or to get rid of Ben. Right on cue, Ben arrived who assured them all that the OG Heroes would be so proud of them if they managed to get rid of George. While Paige once again acted like Ben has given any reason not to trust him. He then pointed out that they need to try and woo Gerry to their side if they want it to work, with Ben offering to do it while Flick wisely suggested they should all try, given he hasn’t exactly felt the love from the original Heroes tribe.
Up first, Ben pointed out that he and Gerry were both kind of on the bottom of the OG Heroes and as such, they need to make a decision that would save them in the long run. Gerry the icon told him he wasn’t willing to commit to anything yet, before all the Heroes obviously pulled him aside to take their shot. While Shonee quietly watched on as it all unfolded. Feeling confident, Paige went off to relax, while Shonee decided to act on the nervous energy; pulling George aside to warn him that something is afoot as the Heroes hung out, gleefully talking about taking out the King as Shonee assured us that while she doesn’t want to play the idol, if that is what it takes, she will.
At tribal council George and Shonee joked about being frequent flyers while Paige spoke about how it was too soon to deem any of the newbies heroic. Eyeroll. George spoke about this tribal council drawing a line in the sand and letting people know where they stand. Paige said that she doesn’t focus on goals when voting, given they all have the same – I mean, duh, but also WHAT? – while Flick spoke about how scary tribal council always is. Shonee brought some intelligent strategy to the table, telling JLP that if you have enough conversations, you can build trust and prove that you can add value to people’s games long term and meet those goals. Gerry meanwhile spoke about having loyalty to people, but he doesn’t know if he has it from others. And while trust takes forever to build, it can break just as quickly.
George felt like Gerry should be able to trust him and he hopes they are still friends, while Paige started whispering to Flick that she is sure they can get George out. Shonee meanwhile admitted she isn’t feeling as confident as George, while Matt spoke about being very nervous given the OG Heroes were whispering. Paige had a big shit eating grin talking about how confident she is that her conversations from the afternoon will hold firm. George meanwhile wanted tonight’s vote to bring a group of people together that will be able to run the game and make it to the end. Like a shared goal, even.
With that the tribe voted, Shonee wisely opted to play one of her idols on George as Paige looked ready to shit her pants, realising that her genius plan didn’t exactly account for an idol. As four votes piled up on George the cocky Heroes grew less and less confident as the rest came in on Paige, sending her out of the game in tears of rage. And ugh, it was GLORIOUS. As was Flick congratulating them as Shonee reminded her that the whispering tipped her off, given this is not her first rodeo.
Paige was still rather annoyed by the time she arrived at Loser Lodge and despite myself, I told her to hold her head high and be proud of the game she played. While her confidence and the paranoia of the game turned her quite bossy in the last few episodes, she started off strong, building a lot of trust with her allies and firmly placing her in the Heroes majority. Sadly though she was undone by two of the best at the game in George and Shonee, meaning she had to settle for some pre-merge comfort in the form of Paige Donarred Greens.
Given the off-screen drama that fueled Rogue to hate on Paige so much, it was kinda poetic that both of them ended up with vegetarian dishes. But when they taste as good and wholesome as this, it is hard to pass up. A little spicy with a hint of tang, this is the perfect side for a Sunday roast. Of ethically farmed meat, obvi.
Paige Donarred Greens Serves: 4-6.
Ingredients 3 tbsp olive oil 1 onion, diced 5 garlic cloves, minced 6 cups collard greens (aka borekale), washed and dried, removed from the main stems and bruised 2 bay leaves 1L chicken stock ¼ cup lemon juice 1 tbsp raw caster sugar 1 tsp chilli flakes salt and pepper, to taste
Method Place the oil in a large pot over medium heat and saute the onion and garlic for about ten minutes or so, or until sweet and tender. Add the bay leaves and cook for another minute or so.
Slice the greens into 3cm thick ribbons and add to the pot along with the stock, juice, sugar and chilli. Bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring infrequently, for about an hour or until the greens are gloriously soft and the liquid reduced. Season with a good whack of salt and pepper before devouring with your favourite roast.
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 Australian Survivor George returned from hospital with a brutal facial injury, which instantly endeared him to the tribe that desperately wanted him gone. The tribe christened him and despite the rebirth, Simon and Michael were still out for his now exposed blood. Simon in particular desperate to have the title of Kingslayer on his resume. The Heroes dominated yet another immunity challenge as George bombed the puzzle – justice for Stevie – sending the Villains back to tribal for a second time in a row. Back at camp, the tribe locked in a plan to get rid of George, though Queen Shonee was an icon as she turned the tide and saved our king, sending Michael from the game instead.
The next day the Spice Girls – aka Shiz and George – were busy bonding with Sarah, hoping for answers to whether she actually pushed Miss Greece down the stairs. And while she assured us that she didn’t, I live for the black humour of how she would have wanted to alongside the assurances she was only temporarily in a wheelchair, to get out of anyone thinking she is awful. We then learnt more about the iconic beauty queen, who plays rugby league in her spare time and loves it due to her passion for smashing people. Begging the question, did she actually push Miss Greece?
Stevie meanwhile was doing some tai chi as Jordie and Simon caught up about the fact George is still here, with the boys thankfully moving on and agreeing it was best to use him as a shield. For now. The tribe convened to talk through how they plan to maintain the fire while away at the upcoming challenge, while Stevie adorably tried to keep them all focused and motivated before pulling them into some tai chi. And while he isn’t great strategically, Shonee lives for his kooky ways despite him wanting her gone. And what is good for Shonee is good for me.
Jonathan made a speedy return for the reward challenge where the Heroes were gagged to see George survive, rather than the fact it was Michael that departed. For the challenge, the tribes would face off one on one to grab a sandbag in the water and score a goal, with the first tribe to three getting a giant cookie jar. More importantly, this kind of challenge generally gets us buns as the boys grapple in the water. First up were Shonee and Flick with our Queen putting in one hell of a fight before Flick scored the first point for the Heroes. Stevie once again faced off against Shaun who obviously won before Jordie scored the first point for the Villains against Matt. Sam and Simon were up – the latter in speedos, swoon – with Simon tying things up after a brutal, brutal battle. That left Mimi and Paige to battle for the win which started off a bit derpy before the duo fought hard, dragging each other back and forth before Mimi secured the cookies for the Villains. Like a damn boss.
We finally checked in with the dejected Heroes trip with Shaun sad to have missed out on the cookies, while Rogue gave them a pep talk which obviously sounded more like reprimanding them for not being strategic enough. Everyone started to speculate whether a clue would be in the cookies and how ultimately it would make the Villains more chaotic and as such, could help them in the long run. Shaun, David, Matt and Sam caught up in the water to form an alpha male alliance with Benjamin pointing out to the girls what was happening, while Ben narrated an ad for all the meat on offer and yes producers, thank you, thank you, thank you!
While Rogue was busy questioning who, other than her, was actually a hero.
Back over with the funner Villains, the tribe instantly cracked the cookies and got to work smashing them before Jordie suggested they sit by the shore to continue eating them. George meanwhile went to crack a coconut – which was obviously code for idol hunting – as the tribe were otherwise occupied. Sadly for him, it wasn’t the perfect cover as Jordie questioned where he was as everyone praised his strategy in the challenge. And while he did find the idol, it may no longer be a total secret as there is suspicion. And a giant bulge in his pocket.
That being said, it appeared that nobody had actually noticed George’s antics, as the tribe seductively ate cookie after cookie before everyone started to speculate whether they should search the jar for a clue or advantage. Despite the risk of literally getting their hand caught in the cookie jar. While Jordie cautioned Fraser against it unless he was feeling nervous, Fraser tried the same with Mimi who was less concerned about the repercussions. After night fell, she quietly got out of bed and started searching through the jar – unsuccessfully – as Liz awoke and just as quietly watched on behind her. The next day Mimi was disappointed to have not found anything while Liz got to work spreading the update to everyone in the tribe.
And just like that, Mimi was now public enemy number one.
The tribe rejoined JLP for the latest immunity challenge where the tribes would have to race a ladder over a series of obstacles before releasing a sack of coconuts and then using said coconuts to smash six tiles. The Villains got out to an early lead on the first obstacle before the Heroes’ brute strength slowly closed the gap. And then they pulled way out in front. To the point where they smashed all of their tiles before the Villains even released theirs.
Back at camp the tribe were, how do you say, very disappointed, with Stevie questioning what the hell they are doing wrong. He caught up with Simon and Jordie to suggest they focus on getting rid of dysfunction by taking out Mimi. Which the boys were obviously on board with, particularly since they know he would be loyal to them if they protect him. The Shiz too were focusing on Mimi or Stevie, with Shonee rightly pointing out that since Stevie is coming for her, it makes sense for her to get rid of him. The boys joined the girls, Sarah and George, quickly pushing them back towards getting rid of Mimi for her shiftiness.
Well, for a little bit.
George obviously hates not being in control, so approached Mimi to fill her in on what has been happening and told her to go hunting for an idol while he worked overtime on turning the tide on Stevie. He and Fraser joined up with Shiz and quickly locked them in on the Stevie plan, before they floated the plan to Sarah. Everyone eventually reconvened at the shelter where Simon stumbled upon the advantage that was hidden in the cookie jar. Wait, no, the producers crossed out the idol symbol so I am just guessing it is a random token with zero power. Or if he is lucky, an idol nullifier. Simon caught up with Jordie, filling him in on the potential idol before floating the idea of idoling George instead. And damn, things just got spicy or funny. And there will be no in between. Begging the question, do the producers have a fetish for making Simon look silly? Because if so, the idol is for real fake.
Simon got to work making sure everyone was voting for Stevie, laying it on thick with George to ensure he thought they were tight and as such make the blindside all the more sweet. Mimi meanwhile caught up with Shonee to see if they were good, with the Queen assuring her that duh, of course they were. Stevie traded out with Shonee, suggesting Mimi goes idol hunting while both of them pretended they didn’t know the other was a target. Simon and Jordie caught up with Shonee, not letting her in on the plan before she reiterated that while she doesn’t trust George, she knows she needs him for now to save herself. And after she left, Jordie rightly pointed out that they can’t afford to make a move without at least checking in with Shiz, because otherwise, they will flip on the boys and they will follow him out the door.
At tribal council Fraser tried to downplay the fact they are slowly growing more and more screwed, as the tribe snacked on cookies. Liz spoke about being sick of tribal council but knew it was the game and as such, was ready to get on with it. Simon started to whisper to Jordie about wanting to make history, before Jordie told Jonathan that he is more focused on quality over quantity and while he wants numbers, he’d like to make sure they are loyal. Simon reiterated the fact they have won a couple of challenges and as such, they at least know they can beat the Heroes, with George agreeing that the last win in particular was arguably the best he has had in both seasons.
Talk turned to the paranoia of the cookie jar with Jordie outing someone for hunting in it for an advantage. Though stopped short of naming Mimi, despite everyone already knowing about it. Liz hilariously then admitted that she knows who it is given she was the one who saw them, before Simon and Jordie started whispering again as Jordie desperately asked him to reconsider. And when he didn’t listen, he instead asked to talk to the girls who swiftly told him they would not be on board. At all. Despite the whispering, Stevie was not concerned and assured Jonathan that if they wanted him to know what they were talking about, they would tell him. He and Mimi then argued over whether he was loyal or had trust, and while they fired up, it made Shonee and Liz keen to flip things back on to her instead of Stevie.
After Shiz got the boys on the new page, Simon decided it was a good idea to now play his non-idol for Mimi while Jordie openly declared that tonight is not the night for big moves and that instead, they needed to focus on building trust with the people they want to work with. Aka Simon, cool your jets, you can get idol redemption another day. Well, if it is legit, that is. The tribe finally voted and Simon wisely opted against any theatrics as Mimi was brutally blindsided from the game, meaning Shonee has now booted and saved Stevie. Like a merciful queen.
As Mimi pulled up at Loser Lodge, I quickly ran out to give her a massive hug, disappointed to see yet another queen exit the game too soon. I assured her that despite the stumble with the cookie jar, she had been playing a solid game and should be proud of how she always stayed true to herself. Plus, she totally dominated the reward challenge. With the formal pep talk out of the way, we gossiped about whether we thought the Villains were doomed for a Stephanie LaGrossa V Bobby Jon demise, or whether they’d be able to win immunity soon. But that goss is not something I’m willing to share just yet. Just the secret to some delicious Mimi Ricottang Cookies.
Yes, yes, it is another festive recipe, but you’ll have to accept that the show filmed last year and festive cheer commences in July in my house. Plus, you don’t necessarily need the sprinkles to make these ones a winner. Soft and melt in your mouth, the light flavour transports you to a place of calm.
Mimi Ricottang Cookies Serves: 12.
Ingredients 240g unsalted butter, softened 425g raw caster sugar 1 ¾ cups ricotta cheese 1 lemon, zested and juiced 1 tbsp vanilla extract 2 eggs 480g flour 2 tsp baking soda 1 tsp kosher salt 450g icing sugar ¼ – ½ cup milk, depending on desired consistency
Method In a stand mixer, cream all but a tablespoon of the butter and caster sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the ricotta, lemon zest and half the vanilla, and return to medium speed to beat until well combined. One by one, beat in the eggs, allowing the mixture to come back together between them. Scrape down the sides of the bowl before folding in flour, baking soda and salt. Return to the mixer one last time and beat until everything is just combined. Cover the dough and pop in the fridge to chill for a couple of hours.
Preheat the oven to 180C and line a few baking sheets.
When the dough is cold and firm, shape into tablespoon sized balls and place on the baking sheets leaving about 5cm between them to allow for spread. Pop the trays in the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until lightly baked, just before golden, before allowing to cool for five minutes on the tray after which they should be stabilised to cool completely on a wire rack.
While the cookies cool, melt the remaining butter. Sieve the icing sugar into a large bowl before slowly whisking in the melted butter, lemon juice, remaining vanilla and enough milk to form a glaze. That will depend on your own preferences.
Pour a little bit of glaze on top of each cookie, followed by the sprinkle of your choice – don’t have to be festive, but why not, I say – before smashing. Gleefully.
Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race despite (my former friend) Todrick’s show eating into half the runtime, Ru and Co. served up a double dose of Snatch. Not like in All Winners, where they had to do two characters but just splitting the dolls in two given it was so damn early. Despite two groups of queens, it was Loosey that somehow managed to own both of them with a hilarious, pitch perfect Joan Rivers. Meanwhile Sugar and Spice malfunctioned, Aura was planned and Amethyst was a delight as Tanning Mom. Obviously that meant Loosey won, while the producers pulled the trigger on the Sugar and Spice lip sync, with sweet Sugar tragically felled by her twin.
Backstage Spice was well and truly heartbroken to have lost her sister, though to their credit, her new sisters rallied around her and made sure she knew that while she was now alone, she has them as a support system and a family and ugh, why am I crying. After taking a seat, Loosey was feeling her oats and got things shady pointing out Mistress clearly took out second place, which led to the drama between her and Marcia flaring up. They pivoted to getting out of drag with Spice frustrated that some girls were still there over Sugar and while Mistress tried to get her to spill, her lips were sealed.
The next day Spice was feeling a little better until Aura asked her to share who out of the safe queens she felt should have been in the bottom with her. Which obviously was stopped by Mama Ru’s arrival, who dropped by to open the library for the speedy version of the reading challenge. Given you essentially only got one gag from each doll it appeared everyone did well, with Luxx aggressively calling out Marcia’s looks while Mistress was brutal, Spice was cute, Sasha once again proved she is hilarious and Loosey continued to shine. I mean, she joked about MH17, shooting her sisters and well, it was only right she won. Again.
Before departing Ru announced that for this week’s Maxi Challenge the dolls would form a trio of fashion houses – House of Kressley, House of Mathews and House of Visage – using homewares inspired by their leader. Oh and while it is individual, the dolls needed to create a cohesive collection. Team Mathews was made up of Malaysia, Loosey, Sasha and Marcia x 3, Team Kressley was made up of Anetra, Salina, Jax and Robin while Team Visage was Luxx, Mistress, Spice, Amethyst and Aura. After ransacking the warehouse, the dolls split up to talk through their collections, with Luxx quickly taking control while Spice was delightfully confused, making Mistress love her even more. Team Kressley were going for Willow Smith does Heathers while Team Mathews were going with palm trees. And Malaysia was just going to pretend she can sew until she gets it together.
Ru dropped by to kiki with the dolls with House of Kressley filling her with confidence given they can all sew and have a very clear plan. Oh and thankfully Ru called out Salina’s crunchy style and well, I love it. And her. When it came to House of Visage, Amethyst was relying on hot glue and a prayer, though Ru wasn’t living for their cohesive element being royalty. And that is it.
After Ru departed for the second time the dolls split up to work through their outfits with Team Visage moving away from the royalty prompt, disappointing Luxx who had an entire Marie Antoinette moment planned out. Though she eventually was keen to make pants, so there is that. Jax meanwhile was desperate to find out who Spice thought should have been in the bottom the week before and while she brushed it off, Mistress wished her new daughter would have relished the moment to be shady. Amethyst meanwhile was just busy spiralling as she got more and more confused and felt like she had no plan.
Elimination Day arrived with Jax opening up about being the only person of colour at school and how she struggled with the casual racism that comes along with it. Though she was grateful to move to NYC and see that the world could be so much more and finally be able to come into her own. Luxx and Spice meanwhile bonded over fashion and dolls, which was cute, sweet and I love them.
Ru, Michelle and Ross were joined by THE Janelle Monae as Drag Race Fashion Week commenced. Mistress opened the House of Visage runways giving sexy Jersey ball glam, Aura gave sexy CEO Tarzan, Amethyst was old Hollywood though make it unfinished, Spice gave Baby Michelle at the VMAs while Luxx was stun-ning giving African glamour, complete with cape. Robin kicked off the House of Kressley giving an architectural school girl look, Jax looked like a gothic Harley Quinn, Anetra was stunning in a sexy business bikini while Salina served drama in a very Salina look. Closing out the show were House of Mathews, where Sasha gave sexy JLo resort wear, Loosey gave Brady beach chic, Malaysia gave Southern Belle at the beach before Marcia closed the show looking like a sweet ‘60s schoolgirl.
Mistress, Aura, Spice, Anetra, Loosey and Marcia were sent to safety before the judges praised Amethyst for upping her make-up skills, though read her for such a messy look. Luxx received wall to wall praise for everything she served from the energy to the impeccable workmanship and boy did she know it. Robin was praised for giving punk in her look, Jax was read for not telling a story, Salina was read for being Salina before Sasha took us back into the positive realm for just being a smart, talented icon. And Mistress was praised for bringing the regal and tricking them into believing she could sew.
Backstage the safe dolls were thrilled to be backstage rather than being read for filth by the judges. Speaking of which, they praised Loosey for killing the reading challenge. Spice directed talk to Amethyst’s look and general lack of sewing skills in general before Mistress checked in with Spice, who opened up about how she still looks around the Werk Room looking for her sister, though was ready to stand on her own two feet. Talk turned to family with Marcia opening up about being a twin, while Anetra shared that she doesn’t talk to her family and how she misses seeing her siblings. While Mistress assured her that she is in the same position and well, it is their loss, not theirs. The latter their being Mistress and Anetra’s.
The tops and bottoms joined the frackass with Malaysia thrilled to be in the top alongside the other dolls, while Luxx was well and truly feeling her oats. Jax was a little confused given her reviews were mixed, which clearly left Salina and Amethyst as the bottoms. With the former being positively heartbroken about it. While Spice assured Amethyst that despite the critiques, she looks beautiful. While the dolls reminded her she killed Snatch Game and well, that should count for something. As the dolls kiki, Salina quietly sobbed until Sasha pulled her aside to give her a pep talk and ugh, mother is mothering and if she doesn’t win, I will riot.
Janelle then gagged the divas with a visit and well, she is an icon and I look forward to her EGOTing in the next five years because there is nothing she can not do. Including pep talks.
Ultimately Luxx took out victory as Malaysia, Sasha and Robin were sent to safety while Jax narrowly scraped through, leaving Salina to face off against Amethyst to survive. And when she said she was going to fight to stay in the competition, she meant it. As soon as Janelle’s Q.U.E.E.N. kicked off she was right in the pocket, hitting every lyric and giving all the right vibes. Amethyst gave another solid performance, but sadly for her, Salina just had it down and as such, she found her run of luck running out as she exited the competition. On the third strike, just as Spice predicted.
While Amethyst was disappointed to be out of the competition, I tried to remind her that being a bright spark in Snatch Game is what people will remember her for. Which seemed to pull her out of any funk. Sadly it wasn’t enough to get all the deets on her former romance with Robin, so I eventually stopped pushing for intel and instead toasted her killer performance with a big, boozy bowl of Rumethyst Custard.
While brandy custard is the usual festive direction people take their custard in, I find rum is an even more glorious way to take it. Though maybe that is because like Bowen Yang, I am from Queensland. Smooth with a big ol’ kick, it is a delight. Just like Amethyst.
Rumethyst Custard Serves: 8.
Ingredients 200ml double cream 700ml milk 4 egg yolks 3 tbsp cornflour 100g raw caster sugar 1 tbsp rum ¼ tsp salt pinch of fresh grated nutmeg, to garnish
Method Combine the cream and milk in a large saucepan and gently bring to a near boil. While that is on, whisk the yolks, cornflour, sugar, rum and salt in a large bowl. When the milk and cream is hot, slowly whisk into the eggs until combined.
Clean out the saucepan and wipe dry before transferring the mixture back. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until the custard is thick. Strain into a bowl, cover and chill for a couple of hours.
Or devour warm. TBH, both ways are delicious with a sprinkle of freshly grated nutmeg.