Previously on Australian Survivor George was playing 5D chess as he told Hayley about his secret $60K prize at the auction, not as a way to get her to take him to the end as she assumed but to act as a canary in the coal mine for her turning on him. After his attempts to work with the OG Heroes at the previous tribal council, though when he won immunity George had to pivot. Despite Shaun and Nina being on the bottom without any more idols to save them, George started to grow concerned about how close Shiz were and as such, used Hayley and Nina to blindside arguably the biggest threat to win, Shonee, instead. Breaking the heart of the nation and ruining the month of March for me.
Back at camp Simon marvelled at how great the blindside was as Liz and George immediately caught up, with him taking full credit for the move but assuring her he feels horrible about it. Though he did admit that this turn of events now makes it easier for the two of them to win, before he promised that the two of them will still be there to face off at the final challenge. He went back to Hayley and Matt to assure them that Liz is still 100% on their side, gloating to us about how well he played it all. The next morning however it was very clear how wrong he was, as George and the tribe joked around while Liz stared daggers at him. In her confessional she broke down in tears, heartbroken to have not only lost her bestie but to have been lied to by the entire tribe. And while she felt all alone at the bottom, she vowed to bide her time and take George down at the right time.
As he dressed up as Shonee and she pretended to laugh. And oh God, I am here for her Natalie Anderson revenge arc.
George caught up with Gerry and once again incorrectly assured him that nothing has changed with Liz, so now they just power ahead as a group of five rather than six. Which was also formerly seven. As such, he turned his attention back to Nina, Shaun and Simon, vowing to exacerbate tensions between them to keep them from pulling off any moves together. Speaking of Simon, he was next to chat with George, pointing out that he did what he was asked at the previous tribal council and as such, wanted to know if he would protect him at the next vote. With George assuring him that he, Hayley and Matt all see it that way, so he is good. Simon then pointed out that he has had very little agency throughout the season and as such, is unlikely to get many votes at the end before straight up floating the idea of them going to the final two together.
Sadly George then told us that when the vote changed to Shonee, the deal changed. So poor, sweet Simon is once again in danger.
The tribe reconnected with my love JLP for the reward challenge where they would use their feet to release some blocks, organise them and then stack them onto a three level tower and place a flag on top. For one of two cars and a little picnic. Matt whipped out in front from the very first moments while everyone else took a more slow and steady approach. Nina overtook him when it came to building as Simon and Liz closed the gap. Shaun meanwhile was a mess while Hayley was surprisingly almost just bad, making me feel like she is throwing it to avoid the car curse. Simon eventually took out the lead as he powered through the third level with Nina and Matt right behind. Until Nina dropped a couple, that is. In any event, it didn’t really matter as Simon continued to power through, placed his flag and guaranteed he would not be winning the game. After breaking down in tears over such an epic victory, everyone hugged him before Shaun begged to go with him on the reward. After selecting his ute, he opted to take not Shaun but Matt and Hayley. Before JLP chose to be kind and let him choose one more person. With him shockingly once again not opting for Shaun, but Nina.
The foursome disappeared to celebrate Simon’s win with their epic feast, joyfully eating everything in sight before everyone spoke about how shocked – and grateful – they were to Simon for picking them to go along. Hayley knew it was a good chance for some strat chat and given Simon is super eager to play, asked him if there was a specific reason why he chose the three of them to come. With him hilariously saying no, given he had no options anyway. He then told everyone that George told him to vote Shaun last night to save himself, while Nina opened up about her own deal with George and that they really can’t let him get anywhere near the final five. While Matt straight up told them he didn’t think he would ever turn on George. For some reason that made Hayley feel like it was the right time to get messy, telling everyone about George’s $60K win at the auction. And while she thinks it will rally everyone and help them take George down, I feel telling Matt will be the actual undoing. Tragically, hers.
The groups came back together for the latest immunity challenge where they would each have to squat against a wall to try and balance an idol on a ledge with the last person holding up their idol taking out victory. Almost instantly Matt became the first to go and followed by George, as Jonathan speculated the challenge would be over within ten minutes. Liz was next to drop, followed by Gerry at two minutes before Hayley dropped out of nowhere as Simon shook hard. Hayley tried to keep Shaun focused before Simon dropped, leaving Nina to fight it out against the athlete to be the first Twine to win individual immunity. After ten minutes both of them were struggling badly before Shaun finally dropped, taking out the win for the Twine family. And ugh, I’m as proud as Sandra would be right now!
Back at camp the tribe quickly got to work scrambling, with George pulling Shaun aside to float the idea of getting rid of Simon. He laid it on thick, pointing out that once Simon is gone, the entire tribe opens up as everyone settles on the endgame and that he truly sees value in them working together. George then caught up with Hayley, Matt and Nina, locking them in on a solid vote for Simon. Hayley however was ready to make a(nother) move and as such, pushed hard to split the vote between Shaun and Simon so she could dictate who goes home. Liz joined them and they quickly locked in the split before George approached Shaun to let him know about it too. Though once again assured him that things will get better tomorrow. That is if he is still there, thanks to Hayley.
George returned to camp and looped Gerry in on the plan, praising it for being completely foolproof. The only potential complication to it however, was Nina, who he just isn’t sure he can trust. As such, he pulled her aside and begged her to hold firm on the plan and while she assured him she is good, he wasn’t sure. He then found Hayley and spoke to her about his fears and once again, she promised they were fine. Sadly for him, he didn’t factor in Simon and given he had spent the afternoon being ignored, he was also ready to make a move given something is clearly afoot. And since Matt has already said he will never turn on George, Simon suggested they get rid of him instead. He and Shaun locked it in before approaching Liz to see if she’d be interested in working with them. And when she was, they rallied Nina and Hayley to see if they’d be willing to take the shot.
While George was just confident he was making it to the end again, unaware that there are multiple plans on the table and without Shonee around as a shield, he is now the biggest threat. Which is wild, given a winner is there.
At tribal council George opened up how great Shonee looks, though was using her as a reminder that anything can happen at tribal council and you can never let your guard down. Otherwise you get taken out. Liz meanwhile spoke about how sad she is to be without Shonee, fairly throwing George under the bus for being the cause of her demise though admitted she had to move on, otherwise she will be cut. Shaun meanwhile was grateful to have been saved at the last couple of tribal councils, though continued to advocate for people in the majority to use him – swoon – to make a move. Before Simon spoke about how Shonee going simply transferred power from the Spice Girls, to George, Gerry and Matt, meaning he was still on the outs. And George is still in power. While George tried to laugh it off, Matt started to spook and questioned whether Simon was still the plan.
Talk turned to Nina’s victory, with her sweetly saying she will keep it as a surprise for her mum. Liz mentioned that everyone should be feeling nervous without immunity, while Hayley reminded them that they now need to turn their attention to who they face off against in the final three. With George saying if you haven’t done that yet, you may as well just go to the jury now. Simon theatrically got up to wander off – bless – before talking about George telling he has done nothing to justify the win, leading to yet another blow-up between them as Simon – again, bless – told him trying is sometimes enough. He then admitted to being nervous, unsure how to rebuild trust this late in the game. With that the tribe voted and the smile was promptly wiped off George’s face as Hayley switched her vote and sent Shaun out of the game. As George vowed to get revenge on Nina for flipping, as he praised his spot-on instincts to Hayley on their walk back to camp.
As Shaun arrived at the Jury Villa, I was inspired by Simon at the previous immunity challenge and straight up climbed him like a tree for a hug. Once again, Shaun played an exceptionally strong game, which is sometimes forgotten because he looks and is built the way he is. He has solid reads on the game, builds loyalty, is strategic and most importantly, kind and likeable, meaning people naturally gravitate to him. Add in the fact he is 9 foot and hot as hell – not to be mistaken for rotting in hell or rawting in heal, which Tom Sandavol should do – and well, you’ve got an all around strong player that will make it to the merge, but will never win given he is the target. Which more than earned him a big fat platter of regal Coronashaun Chicken Hampsondwiches.
Originated way back when at the last coronation of the British Empire, these sandwiches may not be everyone’s cup of tea (see what I did there?), but they are jam packed with flavour. Sweet and tangy, they are a decadent way to celebrate a solid run and toast the way that is king of our loins. And long may he reign (on me).
Coronashaun Chicken Hampsondwiches
¼ cup Shayonnaise Swain
2 tbsp Joe Manngo Chutney
2 tsp curry powder
1 lemon, zested and juiced
2 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp celery salt
1-2 cups roast chicken, shredded
butter, for spreading
4 slices sourdough
1 cup baby spinach leaves
Combine the mayo, chutney, curry powder, lemon zest and juice, mustard and salt in a bowl and toss through the chicken until well coated. If you want a lighter flavour hit, go with more chicken.
To assemble, butter the bread and divide the mixture between two slices. If you went with more chicken, however, you can probably get more sandwiches out of it, so build to taste. Anyway, top the mixture with some baby spinach and close with the remaining bread. For full royal flair, cut into triangles. Otherwise just devour greedily.
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