Previously on Survivor, the Vati, Ika and Taku’s were dismantled however like last year, Jeffrey wanted to play things a little coy and delayed the merge. Through the power of a terrible twist that was once again trying to masquerade as time travel. After Jonathan doomed his group by leading them to victory, Rocksroy went to hourglass island where he rightly opted to give himself immunity. After Tori cussed him out for stripping her of her immunity, she then went and won it back in the first individual immunity. Which doomed everyone’s plans as she was public enemy number one, meaning out of nowhere, Lydia found herself felled and just missed the jury.
The tribe returned from tribal council, grateful to have officially made the merge and to be a part of the jury. Though according to Mike, that is as far as Romeo, Chanelle, Tori and Maryanne will go since they are left right out. Chanelle caught up with Hai, heartbroken to realise she hasn’t played the killer game she thinks she has after being left out of the last vote. Drea meanwhile was ready to drop Romeo like a newborn giraffe due to his growing shiftiness, while Lindsay was assuring Maryanne that they are still aligned and she will look out for her. Despite that assurance, Maryanne was still gutted to be on the bottom of the tribe and opened up about how it reminded her of being left out in school as a weirdo.
The next day Mike was working hard to get to know his fellow tribemates, knowing that as the old guy of the tribe, he needs to make sure people like him. And given he kindly sat and learnt about religion from Omar as he prayed and instantly made him fall in love with him, I think he’s going to be ok. At the very least, he warmed my cold dead heart.
My love Probst appeared to hide a little beware advantage on the sit out bench as the Kula Kula tribe arrived for the reward challenge. After telling us he’d be disappointed if the advantage went unfound like it did last season, he explained to the tribe that in teams of two they would swim out and retrieve five buoys in an obstacle course and then shoot them into a basket. Oh and the winners get PB&J and chips. And while Drea was chosen on one of the teams, she shared that she hates PB&J and as such, she was offered to tap out with Maryanne. Obviously Drea quickly snatched another advantage while Maryanne obviously lost the reward given she went to Drea’s former team which was decidedly lacking in Jonathan’s, who quickly got his team out to a lead. While Omar quickly shot four of the five baskets in a row, he then missed while Joanthan tagged out with Rocksroy and quickly shot all of their baskets in a row.
Meaning Maryanne shoulda just sat out and at least got an advantage.
Back at camp the victors were thrilled to discover their sandwiches and quickly smashed them, while the losers bonded over how much fun they had in the challenge. And how damn close it was. The groups combined and rehashed the order they wanted to take the outsiders out before Omar shared with us that he was also keeping said outsiders happy, pretending to try and keep them safe so he always has options should the alliance break.
Drea meanwhile was going hunting for her advantage, which was five paces away from the well hidden under a coconut. And that she needed to cover her tracks or get caught red handed. Which is what happened, since the producers hid the damn advantage in a pot of red paint like icons. While she desperately tried to clean her hands, she learnt that her latest haul is the Knowledge is Power advantage, which would grant her the power to steal one of the other idols – or any old advantage – in the game. As she returned to camp, Tori was worried she was bleeding when she saw the red on her hands. And while she lied and said she was painting something, the fact that their tribe flag was yet to be touched and all the paints were sealed, she knew there was something dodgy going on.
The tribe met up with Probst for the latest immunity challenge where they would each balance on a narrow perch and hold a buoy between sticks. Well, everyone that chose to compete because Probst was willing to give them a bag of rice if enough people were willing to sit out of the challenge. The tribe offered two people, which annoyed Probst who then offered nine. Lindsay and Drea said they were happy to sit out, with Maryanne agreeing that she would also be willing to sit out, leading to Jonathan getting Probst to offer the big bag of rice if four people sit out. Which was enough to get Maryanne crying and make people feel bad about her choosing to sit out when she is on the bottom, leading to Omar agreeing to forgo the challenge too. And damn, she is going to emotionally blackmail herself to victory, isn’t she?
Turns out Hai should have been one of the people sitting out given he dropped within a second, quickly followed by Rocksroy and Mike. Romeo soon followed while the remaining trio made it to ten minutes. Tori and Jonathan started to wobble though managed to save themselves before Chanelle dropped out of nowhere. While Jonathan saved himself multiple more times, he eventually dropped and handed Tori her second immunity in as many episodes. Once again throwing the majority’s plans into chaos.
Back at camp Hai was thrilled to have jagged the rice without having to sit out and gladly started locking in the vote against Chanelle, since Tori had immunity. He and Mike went person to person while telling Chanelle that the actual plan was Romeo, in the hope she wouldn’t play her Shot in the Dark. While Mike assured him it was all a ruse, Romeo started to get nervous and checked in with Drea to find out why things changed between them since the merge. Tori told him that Rocks told her that his name was floating around, leading to him telling Rocks what she said and well, his paranoia started to drive everyone insane. As such, Hai tried to flip the vote on him and while everyone was keen, Mike was very against it and desperate to keep the target on Chanelle. Since she has been nothing but shady to him all game.
At tribal council Jonathan spoke about the fact he was very firm about the people sitting out of the challenge being off limits in the vote. Tori mentioned that while she is safe, it is always hard to not be in the majority since they want to focus on making unified choices. Romeo told everyone they need to stop deluding themselves before Hai clapped back and spoke about not wanting to align with paranoid people. Like Romeo. Drea talked about how aligning with people is dangerous given their bad moves can reflect on you too, before Chanelle and Mike spoke about being unsure who they can trust and what is the right choice to make.
Talk then turned to being in a car and well, it was wild and confusing, though I live for Maryanne talking about holding on to the little middle seat to try and stay in the game. But yeah, who cares about cars, you know they are cursed in Survivor like pizza is on this blog. In any event, the tribe put the car talk into park and voted, with Romeo narrowly avoiding the boot as Chanelle was sent out of the game to become the Queen of the Jury.
As she arrived in the empty Ponderosa, I quickly congratulated her on a game well played. I mean, sure, she tanked it a little after her trip to ship-wheel island, but she still managed to navigate to the jury and most importantly, rule over it as the Queen. With that, I toasted to her success and filled up our royal cups with a fresh batch of Trufelle Howaioli.
At this point in my life, my mantra could easily be, if there is truffle in it, it is in me. Does it make sense? Not so much. But given how good this truffle aioli is, who cares? Creamy and packing a beautiful punch of truffle, I’m in heaven.
Trufelle Howaioli Makes: 1-2 cups.
Ingredients ½ cup Shayonnaise Swain ½ cup sour cream 1 tbsp white truffle oil, plus more for drizzlin’ 3 garlic cloves, minced 1 lemon, zested salt and pepper, to taste ½ cup parsley, roughly chopped ¼ cup rosemary, finely chopped
Method Pop everything in a jug or bowl. Stir until well combined. Adjust seasoning according to taste.\
Previously on Drag Race the dolls were gagged to discover poor Kornbread had to exit the competition after her ankle went creek. Before they were immediately put the task of making a series of PSAs for the fake Save a Queen Foundation a charity to help the ever growing sea of first boot queens to achieve success. Desperate to have their breakout moment, both Bosco and Camden work their arses off and thankfully starred in the challenge. On the flipside, Jorgeous was trapped in her head and struggled throughout the shoot, while Orion just seemed stoned. Ultimately Bosco took out her first victory of the season while Jorgeous and Orion faced off in the lip sync. And well, I pity the next queen to face off against Jorgeous, as she is a damn star. And as such, Orion was sent home. Again.
Backstage the dolls were well and truly reeling from how epic Jorgeous’ performance was in the lip sync and after a stint in the bottom, she assured them that she is ready to fight. Before dropping a joke about dropping out of school for drag, so she can’t lose. The girls then sat down to kiki, congratulating Bosco and Camden for slaying the challenge while DeJa pointed out that Daya was pressed about not being in the top. With Daya cutting her off and telling her she was not disappointed and simply wanted feedback to know how to elevate and land in the top with them. And well, the dolls are getting more pressed with each passing week. Particularly our queen of safety, Daya.
The next day things were far more zen with Camden ready to keep her momentum going before talk turned to how sickening their spring runways were. Before we could learn anything more Ru dropped by to talk shit about Michelle, sharing she has been under the influence of Glambien and obsessively shopping. And well, now that she is clean and sober, Ru would like them to whip up a runway using her leftover purchases from Glamazon Prime.
Immediately, the Pit Crew dropped their boxes off before the dolls ripped anything and everything open to find something they could use for their outfits. Camden got skincare, Kerri got school supplies, Daya got oven mitts and Angeria got condoms while Maddy got a blow-up doll. And me thinks this runway could be a big mess. Poor Willow meanwhile couldn’t open the boxes because of her hands and instead focused on just going through the dregs of what was left. Daya meanwhile was desperate to make it to the top this week, going with a mad, pink baby-doll. Willow shared that she too was going to whip up a baby doll idea, leading to Daya calling her over from across the room with the threat that SHE is doing a baby doll and has claimed the concept. No discussions.
Kerri was terrified, given sewing is not her gig and instead focused on why Michelle was allegedly buying all this crap. On the Flipside, Jasmine had all the plans and was very excited to knock it out of the park. Talk turned to the last sewing challenge as the dolls realised Maddy had to lip sync and as such checked in with how she was doing. And to quote Dorinda, she was not well, bitch.
Ru brought Carson along for a walkthrough, first dropping by to praise Jorgeous for slaying her lip sync last week. She opened up and suggested she would love to do something different and dark, and most importantly, make sure it fits. Particularly in the bodice. Kerri was up next and had already pulled together a concept, opening up about how being bullied while growing up has left her so focused on always looking good and fearing rejection. Maddy too had a big gown half done, sharing she was going with a country patchwork story and well, Carson and Ru weren’t buying it. Though she did vow to give the judges what they want from her. Angeria meanwhile was going for a sculptural fashion number, though the judges already were terrified by her choice of fabrics.
Camden too came in with a strong concept and when Ru felt she needed no advice on that, instead suggested she go with a bigger lip as hers disappear on the runway. I shit you not. Jasmine meanwhile was inspired by Sex and the City 2, which is never a good style choice. Willow was up next, delighting the judges with her plan to be a long-armed glamour monster of a child’s nightmares and well, again, I love her. Daya meanwhile was very confident in her concept and skills, gloating to Ru about how she makes most of her outfits. Though did tone it down and asked the judges what they need to see from her, with Carson telling her to stop doing Crystal make-up looks and instead, encouraged her to show them who SHE is.
Oh and then Ru and Carson had a fight which was demented, camp and well, I loved it.
With the judges out of the room, the girls split up to work on their garments with Willow getting stuck in her head, as her hands worked less and less. Kerri meanwhile was teaching Angeria about a step and repeat before Jasmine rubbed salt in Daya’s wounds, asking her whether she was happy with the judges critiques. Daya then spiralled and rambled about not being stuck in Crystal’s shadow, while she struggled to get out of Crystal’s shadow. Kerri meanwhile told us that Daya’s anger was only because she was desperate and encouraged us not to worry. Which does feel strangely soothing.
Gorgeous meanwhile was busy working on a big, fluffy purple gown which shed more and more with every moment, looking like she just trimmed Grimace’s pubes. As such, she decided to give up on the outfit, grabbing some of Angeria’s scraps and starting from scratch.
Elimination Day rolled around with Jorgeous admitting that she pulled her dress together in a matter of hours before she started to beat her mug. Speaking of beating her mug, Camden was ready to give the biggest lip Ru had ever seen while Kerri, Jasmine and Angeria spoke about who they felt was going to be in the bottom. With them tragically thinking Willow will be read for filth. Bosco and Daya meanwhile were praising DeJa for her killer drag shape while Angeria jokingly wondered why no one was praising her.
As Jorgeous straight up started to dance.
Kerri opened up about how she was kicked out of home at 15. Her father used to ask her to leave the room due to her feminine energy and ugh, he sounds like a toxic prick. Thankfully because of the way he treated her, she learnt that he was a horrible person and was ok without her family. Jasmine shared that she was outed by one of her father’s friends, with her father trying to make him stop doing drag. Thankfully, his girlfriend wasn’t a moron and told him to stop being stupid and treat her son like a human.
Maddy then opened up about how she told her dad that she was a drag queen just before she left for the competition, with her admitting he is ok with it and proud of her for following her passions. Talk turned to her mother, who she hasn’t really seen since she was 18 and opened up that she was essentially raised by her grandmother who lived in the next door trailer. Oh and then Camden said she came out while getting dropped off at boarding school. Which Bosco clarified was ballet boarding school, so it was unlikely to be a shock for her father.
Ru, Michelle and Carson were joined by Queen Taraji P. Henson on the judges panel where Lady Camden was a pastel, fairy delight, complete with a massive lip which truly did transform her face. Jasmine meanwhile truly looked like the fifth doll in the second Sex and the City movie which honestly, is not a compliment. Daya was meanwhile the nightmare version of Kita Mean’s promo image, Maddy was super country cute complete with her boyfriend while Willow was the sexiest monster I’ve ever seen. And again, I love her. Willow is fucking fierce. Bosco was blue and horny and well, looked sexy despite some interesting fit around the hips. DeJa meanwhile improved on Jinkx’s promo look – you know the one – while Angeria was absolutely perfect, serving cocktail realness. And then Jorgeous gave a sexy, slutty mini-dress, looking like Shakira while Kerri was hot despite the fact her outfit had SO much going on.
Daya, Willow, Bosco and Kerri were sent to safety, much to Daya Betty’s absolute disgust. While Kerri too was disappointed to once again be safe, she was at least grateful for another week in the competition. Unlike Daya who scowled and stomped in, quietly sulking on the side. Bosco meanwhile was confused about where the dolls on the mainstage would place. Which led to Daya ranting about how hard she worked this week, while Jasmine just draped fabric around her perfect body. Which is clearly why she is in the bottom. As Bosco told her, reading my mind. Daya admitted that she thought she would be in the top but knew Lady Camden would likely take out a win.
Oh and then she spoke about hating listening to people bitch and moan as she proceeded to bitch and moan. Again.
Willow on the flipside was thrilled to be safe, given she was so worried she would be in the bottom. She then said she had the best concept on the mainstage, eliciting eye rolls and shadiness from Daya. Bosco opened up about being proud of her look, explaining that she was leaning into the fact the challenge was to make shit without fabric and as such, didn’t do a garment that looked like it was made from fabric.
On the mainstage, Camden was busy receiving universal praise for everything she did, and for looking like an absolute star. With Ru particularly thrilled by her massive lips. Jasmine meanwhile was read for filth, misunderstanding Carson’s request for her to take off the hat as a joke. Maddy and her blow-up doll were deemed confusing, despite it looking cute and exactly on the narrative she was going with. While Taraji loved the comedy, she wished the look was more polished. DeJa’s look was beloved, except for the messy headpiece and fan. Angeria again received universal praise for literally everything she did, charming the judges with her descriptions and is this another win for her? Jorgeous also received universal praise with the judges living for the look despite its simplicity. Being a humble queen, Jorgeous thanked Angeria for sharing her scraps with her and ugh, it is too precious.
That being said, Ru was still tempted to make her lip sync, just because she wants to see her perform.
The tops and bottoms ventured backstage to untuck with Jasmine quickly claiming the fact she was in the bottom. Jorgeous meanwhile proudly spoke about how much the judges lived for her outfit as Daya and Jasmine looked on with simmering rage. Angie too proudly spoke about being in the top before Maddy pretended the judges lived for her before admitting the judges hated it. When she said she thought she’d be lip syncing tonight against Jasmine, and then Jasmine got angry at her for saying that she was ready to fight. Shadilly saying she is not bothered at all. While DeJa non-chalantly announced Maddy is here, she’s not queer and they need to get used to it.
Jasmine continued to rant, telling Maddy she is so much better than her and well, it was not cute. Maddy meanwhile tried to apologise and again, Maddy is kind and sweet and Jasmine does not look good in this moment. But you know who does? Taraji, who dropped in to kiki with the girls, telling them not to be stressed as this is not the last drag show and they are winners for being here and as such, they need to remember they are all stars. Not to be confused with All Stars. And well, it was glorious. I want Taraji to give me a pep talk because she is GOOD.
Ultimately Angeria was deemed only safe – robbed – as was Lady Camden, handing Jorgeous her first victory of the season. Much to her own shock and delight. And Daya Betty’s simmering rage at the back of stage. When it came to the bottoms, DeJa was narrowly sent to safety, leaving Jasmine and Maddy to battle to my girl Beyonce’s Suga Mama. And while I desperately wanted Maddy to own it from start to finish, Jasmine was feeling her oats, giving Queen Bey realness as she flipped and fucked the floor while Maddy dragged her massive gown around the stage as she served perfectly demented comedy. Sadly though, that wasn’t enough and we tragically lost our fierce straight sister Maddy.
For realsies. As she too came up chocolate, with her candy bar.
As Maddy re-entered the Werk Room, she followed the sound of my wailing sobs, assuming it was still Daya crying about being safe. Thankfully she was relieved to see me, her dear friend, instead and pulled me in for a massive hug. I explained that she was such a kind, bright spark this season and after also losing Kornbread but a week earlier, I was struggling with my emotions. Turning the tables, she reminded me that she is a sickening queen and that being eliminated does not change that. Plus, she will have a hell of a run on All Stars. As such, she took me over to the grill and with a laugh, was delighted to see a very Guy Fieri inspired Maddy Mormemphosis Burger awaiting her.
A little bit smokey, with some creamy-tang thrown in by way of the slaw, this burger is the perfect, quick pick-me-up. Add in some bacon and well, I simply don’t know how this one doesn’t leave you with a smile.
Maddy Mormemphosis Burger Serves: 4.
Ingredients 500g beef mince 1 small onion, finely diced 2 garlic cloves, minced 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce ½ tsp smoke essence salt and pepper, to taste olive oil, for brushin’ 8 slices streaky bacon 4 slices American Cheese 4 Briocher Bünsbergs ¼ cup Shayonnaise Swain ¼ cup barbecue sauce 1-2 cups Benjamin Slaw
Method Place the beef mince, onion, garlic, Worcestershire and smoke essence in a bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper. Scrunch together with your hands until well combined before dividing into four patties. Place on a lined plate, cover with cling and pop in the fridge to chill for an hour or so.
When you’re ready to go, heat a skillet over medium heat and once nice and hot, cook the bacon until golden and crisp. Remove from the pan to drain on some paper towel before adding a lug of oil to just coat the base – you may not need much, given the bacon should be fatty. Add the burgers and cook for a couple of minutes before flipping and cooking for a further couple of minutes. Pop a slice of cheese on each pattie and cook for a further minute or so, or until melted.
To assemble, smear mayo on the base of the buns, followed by a patty, two slices of bacon, barbecue sauce to taste and then a heaping of slaw.
Serve immediately with a side of fries and devour.
Previously on Australian Survivor Kate was heartbroken to see Andy was booted at the first tribal council of the season before Khanh wiped it from everyone’s mind as he beasted the Water tribe to victory at the reward challenge. The Blood tribe meanwhile were growing nervous about Kate given she is Andy’s sister and could play a similarly cutthroat game, though obviously Sandra was not phased because, well, she is the threat. Despite being way behind, Blood narrowly took out the second immunity challenge. Back at camp Briana started to spiral as she searched for an idol, which was found by her closest ally leading to Khanh pushing for her to hold onto it and ultimately sending Briana home.
The next day things were far more zen at the Water tribe without Briana’s paranoia, while Chrissy was just mainly shocked to still be in the game. They hung around laughing it up, joking about Briana trying to take Jordie’s bag on her way out the door as she was so shocked by her blindside. Which is a word Chrissy just learnt, despite Briana not actually being blindsided. Chrissy and Khanh meanwhile were growing close, despite not having ever spoken of an alliance between them, Chrissy felt she could rely on him. Khanh meanwhile shared he was pretending to not care about the game as he quietly built up his resume, while cooking up a storm to charm his way through the competition. We then learnt that Khanh was ready to make a move and firm up an alliance with someone strong and as such, approached Mark to lock something in. Which Mark readily accepted, seeing the immense value Khanh offers his game.
Which ugh, I love – they started out as lovers and now they are allies!
Meanwhile over at the Blood tribe they were singing filthy freestyle ditties, living their best lives and well, making Sandra nervous since she is used to playing down and dirty. That being said, she knows that she will have to gladly blend into the background until things start to get dirty enough to take control. David was talking to Sam about his nerves for Briana while Sandra shared with us that David only played the game for his daughter and as such, he doesn’t really know what is going on which is why she will push for the tribe to vote him out if and when they go to tribal council.
Sophie, Jesse, Sam, Amy and Dave caught up by the well with them trying to figure out who they should target when they go to tribal. With David saying that Sandra needs to go ASAP to eliminate their biggest threat. While Sophie cautioned that people either want her here long term or for her to go soon, David continued his push, particularly thinking she will flourish when cracks start to form which is a perfect read on her game. While Sandra promised us she will destroy anyone that throws her name out.
And this episode is going to get very interesting soon, isn’t it?
The tribes met Jonathan by the river where David’s fears were realised as he discovered Briana became the second boot. As he tried to hold back tears he explained to Jonathan that he was surprised his baby girl was voted out and vowed that things are well and truly personal now. Sandra jumped in and agreed that the protective love of being a parent is different to all these bonds and as such, understands how he must be feeling in this moment.
But more importantly, they had a challenge to get to where one person would swim out to two pontoons and attach them to a rope, one at a time, which the rest of the tribe would pull in and then unload sandbags. Which they will use to build a tower before releasing a flare. All for the chance to visit the Survivor shop where they can select a bunch of comfort items. Jesse darted through the water and quickly got the Blood tribe out to an early lead, while Khanh valiantly stayed close enough behind despite not being a triathlete. As Jesse attached the second pontoon, Jordie tagged out at Water and despite whipping out, realised he didn’t have the rope and had to go back.
Despite their seemingly epic lead, the Water tribe quickly closed in on the Blood tribe. More importantly, Jesse looked like a dream in his speedos and well, I continue to stan him and his brother. Particularly their style choices. Both tribes slowed down as they continued through the challenge, with Water slowly starting to close the gap. Sadly though, it was too slow as Blood built their tower and ascended to the top to release the flare and snatch their first reward.
Given Jonathan is messy, he told them that only one person would be able to go and while the tribe wanted Sandra to go, Sam stepped in and told them Dave should go since he just lost his daughter. To make things messier, David was then given the chance to take someone from the Water tribe with him, ultimately settling on Khanh because he seemed trustworthy and Dave wants answers about his daughter’s boot.
As the duo arrived at the store, Khanh was trying to hide his awkwardness about leading the charge against his daughter. We learnt that Dave could select three items, or choose to take two and give one to the rival tribe, while any advantages wouldn’t count. Immediately they spotted a twin idol which are each complete on their own, but if they are combined later in the season, they will form a super idol which can be played after the votes are read. While Khanh felt bonded by the idol, Dave didn’t want to give him any items and even when Khanh offered him information, he still refused to give their tribe any comfort.
After selecting a net, jerky and some nuts, Dave asked why Briana was voted out with Khanh diplomatically explaining it was only because she immediately riffled through the tackle box after the last reward in the hunt for an idol in front of the tribe and spooked everyone. But he assured him that she went out gracefully with a smile. Before they parted ways, the duo decided that they would wear their hats to future challenges and should someone remove their hat before, that will signal that they played their idol. Oh and we learnt that Dave’s choice to not give Khanh any items was to sow paranoia on the other tribe and have them questioning his motives. Which is far smarter than I’ve been giving Dave credit for.
As Khanh arrived back at camp, he immediately admitted that he wasn’t given everything but did share that he and Dave both found idols.Though held back the fact it could become a super idol if it joins with Dave’s. And while the plan was to create chaos, the tribe trusted everything Khanh said and were happy with his honesty.
Back at camp Dave was welcomed back as a hero. As he showed off the loot, Sandra waited to see if he owned up to any personal gain from his little shopping trip. He regaled them with a tale about how he dominated Khanh and refused to give him anything before pretending he thought he found an idol but instead was disappointed to discover it was soap. Without producing any soap. As such, Sandra was well and truly sketched out by him and even more ready to send him packing, just like his daughter.
The tribes reconvened with Jonathan where they would have to face off racing through a series of hurdles in a mud pit before chopping down two logs to climb over towers before unravelling enough chain to move a box to their mats before releasing blocks and using them to spell out a puzzle on a see-saw. Which is as big as it sounds.The Water tribe got out to the earliest of leads before Croc got a hold of the axe and quickly closed the gap and were neck and neck on the first one. Jonathan gave us the filthiest pun as the cousins ‘punished their logs’, before Water once again pulled away until Mark fell off the pole as he tried to climb over it. Despite the setback, Water continued to pull away while Blood madly tried to unravel their chest. Both tribes got to work on their puzzle with Sandra barking out the solution to her tribe while Chrissy screamed out the timings so her tribe would drop the letters at the same time and not tip the see-saw, which proved key as they took out their first immunity of the season.
Back at camp Sandra immediately got to work throwing people under the bus and enacting her ‘anyone but me’ strategy. Kate meanwhile was blown away that the game had finally begun, while Dave was thrilled given he has his super idol. Dave, Sam, Amy, Jordan, Jay, Sophie, Croc and Ben caught up at camp with Dave quickly pointing out they need to get rid of Sandra before she gets her foot in the game. While some of the others were nervous about an idol, Dave suggested they split the vote between Kate and Sandra given Kate has lost her pair. Which is a stupid move, given he also lost his pair.
Sandra meanwhile was busy charming Michelle, Jesse, Kate, Amy and Jay in the water, with Sandra admitting her game is always simple – she builds an alliance and works best with the alpha males and as such, she just needs to wait for one of them to approach her. Right on cue, Ben arrived in his speedo and quickly told her that Dave is throwing her name out and well, now Ben is my favourite player and I would die for him. With that Sandra fired right up and immediately decided to turn things on Dave, suggesting they divide and conquer to get enough numbers to quietly pile the votes on Dave and send him home. Ideally with his idol in his pocket.
Ben approached Michelle, Kate, Sophie, Jesse and Croc in the water, suggesting they all flip the vote on Dave given he is quite abrupt and without his daughter, and has become a loose canon. Ben shared that his strategy was to stick close to Sandra and learn from her so he can ride all the way to the end.
Jesse and Sam meanwhile caught up with Sam sharing that she does not want to see Dave go, given she feels she can trust him and he is more of a physical threat. While Jesse tried to explain to Jay that it would be better to keep the visible threat in, Sam wandered around camp telling everyone how stupid it would be to leave Sandra in, given her surviving just shows how good she is. Kate and Dave meanwhile were catching up with Kate suggesting that if you aren’t part of the plan, you are the plan. And that sadly made Dave realise that a lot of little conversations are going on around camp and as such, his name may now be on the block.
And shit, fuck – his idol is coming out, isn’t it?
At tribal council Sam spoke about how friendly and calm the tribe have been thus far, but admitted things quickly changed after the immunity challenge. Sandra agreed that things are far calmer in Australian Survivor, with everyone preferring to play it safe until they needed to worry, though cautioned Australians do love a blindwide. Jay spoke about needing to keep the tribe strong, which made Kate very nervous as she is one of the weaker people on the tribe and she wasn’t involved in any plans today.
Sam tried to downplay her paranoia, admitted there were so many plans and she ultimately heard a tonne of names which ended up making everyone nervous. Sandra admitted she only knew about two plans and as such, she is now worried given you’re only safe if you win immunity. David agreed that he was nervous, given he is only aware of one before thinking it was a good idea to say it made sense Sam heard so many names, given she flits from person to person strategising. Literally throwing the only person defending him under the bus.
This made Sandra smirk as Dave continued to dig a deeper and deeper hole before Sam stepped in and questioned why he was talking shit about her and asked everyone to confirm whether she had ever mentioned his name at camp. An irate Sam spoke about how the plan she had locked in back at camp had nothing to do with Dave but if he didn’t offer her something compelling, her plan may change. Dave continued to dig his hole saying that when trust is broken, he will turn on them, otherwise he is loyal.
As everyone stepped in to explain it didn’t make sense as she never flipped on him, he continued to pout as Sam straight up said she had only worked to get Dave’s name thrown out, while Sandra and Kate looked on with glee. Sam then got up and went person to person to whisper a new plan to get rid of Dave, while Jay shared his disappointment about Dave’s outburst given Sam truly did nothing wrong while Sandra jumped on the chaos and reminded everyone to make the decision that keeps the tribe united. Aka boot flame-out Dave.
With that the tribe voted, Dave rightly played his idol to save himself (from himself), which tragically sent poor Kate home with only a few votes to her name. Though thankfully, Sandra lived to fight another day. As soon as Kate arrived at Loser Lodge I started to quietly weep and pulled her in for a hug, heartbroken to see her go so soon. Without the idol, I feel like Kate would have been able to find her footing in the game and go far given she is such a kind, friendly person, but alas, David David-ed and now we’re down our first complete pair.
Eventually I was able to dry the tears from my eyes and was able to get to work in the kitchen, toasting what could have been with a piping hot Pokato and Tatham Casserole.
It is a fact universally acknowledged that potatoes are the ultimate form of comfort. Add in some leftover Christmas ham – side note, why are parents obsessed with buying triple the amount required – cream and cheese, and well, you have culinary happiness.
Pokato and Tatham Casserole Serves: 6-8.
Ingredients 2 tbsp butter 1 onion, diced 1 green capsicum, diced 1 tbsp flour salt and pepper, to taste 1 cup milk 1 cup vintage cheddar, grated, plus extra for topping ¼ cup Shayonnaise Swain 6 potatoes, par-cooked and diced 2 cups ham, diced
Method Preheat the oven to 180C.
Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat and saute the onion and capsicum together until soft and sweet. Add the flour and a good whack of salt and pepper and cook off for an extra minute or two.
Remove from the heat and stir in the milk before returning to the heat and bringing to a boil. Reduce heat to low and fold through the cheese and mayo and cook for a couple of minutes. Fold through the potato and ham.
Transfer to a baking dish, top with some extra cheese and pop in the oven to bake for half an hour, or until bubbling and golden.
Previously on Survivor things were starting to look up for Genie on Ua as she stumbled upon the re-hidden threesome idol. Sadly for her, she took the information to Ricard and Shan and the three agreed to leave it where it is until they knew Luvu had found theirs. Or at least, that is what they told her as they immediately went to grab it and try their luck at immunity. Thankfully for them, Naseer found the third idol, activating them all and giving everyone their votes back. Sadly for Ua, they lost yet another immunity challenge and after Shan and Liana bonded on a journey, Shan left Liana to snag an advantage and joined Ricard to boot Genie from the game. But girl, they have drama.
That night Shan and RIcard returned to a very quiet Ua, heartbroken to have just booted Genie with Ricard more shocked that she was shocked to go. Shan admitted to him that she thought the two of them were tight but shared with us that she needed someone like Ricard to keep her focused on the game, rather than a kind player like Genie who reminds her of home. The duo then spoke about the awkwardness of the extra vote, with us learning that Shan only passed the extra vote to Ricard so that he could vote out Genie should Shan not get hers back with the idol. And ugh, should they merge tomorrow, I am not confident this duo is going to stick together based on this little fight.
The next morning Shan asked for her advantage back one final time with Ricard sassing her out for asking for it back, rather than quietly giving it back like they agreed. And again, this isn’t going to end well for this duo.
We next checked in with Yase where they found treemail announcing that merge was upon them, but first there will be fun. Which, ugh, appears to be another twist. That being said, the Yase four are pretty tight and feeling their oats, ready to dominate. Except for the fact it is actually a trio with Xander left right out. Meanwhile Sydney was nervous to merge over at Luvu, given they haven’t had the opportunity to test their bonds and nothing this season has come to them easily. Which feels eerily like foreshadowing for their downfall, no?
Jeffrey arrived to loop us in on the twist of the merge, with the castaways split into two groups for an epic challenge. The winning group would then send someone away to an island where, dun, dun DUN, they would be faced with a never before seen power that could change the course of the game. So basically, just another week of Survivor 41, no?
After dropping their buffs the TBC merge tribe were gagged to learn that they would need to earn their way into the merge with two teams facing off to dig up a massive boulder and push it through a course to release keys before, you know the drill, unlocking puzzle pieces and solving it. The first team, not tribe, to win would get to enjoy a feast and earn their merge buff. AND not need to participate in the first individual immunity, given they are already immune. Oh and to make it even more complex, only ten would be competing with two people drawing grey rocks and sitting out with one of them sent on a journey and the other lucky person joining the immune merged team.
Remember how simple it was to follow in Borneo?
Ultimately it was Naseer and Erika sitting out of the challenge as Xander, Heather, Liana, Tiffany and Shan battled Deshawn, Sydney, Danny, Yvvie and Ricard. Try as Xander may, the rival blue group got out to an early lead collecting two keys before the yellow group finally joined the fray. As the yellow group fought hard to close the gap, the blue team edged closer and closer to solving their puzzle, narrowly snatching victory and guaranteeing their safety at the first tribal council. Oh and a feast. But not before they decide who to take with them out of Naseer and Erika, while the other person would go to a separate island for two nights by themselves with only a major decision for company.
Obviously they didn’t want to make a decision, so instead did rock, paper, scissors which resulted in Naseer joining them and Erika stuck by herself, as the losing group returned to Luvu in preparation for their eventual merge there. When it was just Erika and Jeff, she admitted that she always assumed she was on the bottom of the group and as such, knew that she would be the one to go to the island but kind of appreciated the fact that they feigned rock, paper, scissors as the reason she went there.
We followed the victors to the merge feast with Evvie giddy to eat and officially be immune at the first vote. The group spoke about how hard this season has been on everyone, particularly since they have been given zero food. Talk turned to how the season is progressing, with Danny admitting to us that the rock paper scissor lie was all a cover to protect a male, given the other tribes have decimated their men. The Luvus praised Erika’s survival skills and pretended like she would be fine and ugh, why do I get the feeling that this choice will doom them all?
Erika meanwhile arrived on the island to discover her meagre supplies, though quickly got to work trying to get herself sorted. She shared how her upbringing set her up to fight for what she wants, with Survivor almost like a love letter to the skills her parents gave her. Oh and she is ready to fight after this experience and will return to the game with a new attitude.
We followed the losers back to camp with Xander feeling broken after the challenge, bruised, battered and knowing his only chance to survive the next tribal council is immunity or by playing his idol. As he went off to get water with Heather, Shan asked Liana whether she got the advantage from last week, right in front of Tiffany. Much to Liana’s frustration. With that, the duo went for a walk and Liana explained her advantage to Shan, with the latter explaining she needs to steal Xander or Naseer’s idol ASAP. With that, they locked in their alliance and returned to camp to eat some rice as Tiffany realised that she is on her own in this new group. As such, she was playing everyone and trying to bond with anything.
First up Tiffany pulled Liana aside to find out what the advantage is, with Liana irked by her intensity despite the fact she assured her that she won’t tell anyone. Oh and because Liana kept her advantage a secret from her, now Tiffany is out for blood. Like a Queen.
The winning group returned to camp where everyone giddily introduced themselves despite Evvie thinking they’d all be angry that they just smashed a tonne of food while they ate a tiny bit of rice. Xander meanwhile quickly caught up with Naseer, pledging his undying loyalty to him and reminding him that the men need to stick together. Danny joined the conversation and assured him that Erika will definitely be the first to go. Sydney meanwhile was catching up with Tiffany and Evvie, also floating getting rid of Erika as the best idea. Everyone looped in everyone, which ended up making Liana, Shan and Xander scared that everything sounds too good to be true.
Shan meanwhile went for a walk with Liana and quickly pulled Deshawn and Danny aside, suggesting that they form an alliance and push for another person of colour to join the winner’s circle.
We returned to poor Erika where her loneliness was interrupted by Jeffrey who dropped by to check on her set-up and have a chat. She explained that tending the fire is the only thing that has kept her sane, explaining to Jeff that otherwise she would have curled into a ball and cried, having epic FOMO while also worrying about how much catch-up she has to do when she returns to camp. But Jeff being Jeff explained that that may not actually be the case, given her stint on exile actually comes with an epic power. She can either choose to keep everything the same and return to the game tomorrow, compete in the immunity challenge and potentially be the next one voted out OR she could smash an hourglass and undo the last 24 hours and switch the result of the last challenge, meaning those that are currently immune would now be in danger while she and the losing group would be immune.
With that, Jeffrey departed and left Erika to mull over her decision. But given it guarantees she would make the top 11, we all know which decision she is making despite the potential backlash she will face. As the rain pelted down upon her later that night, she valiantly tried to keep the fire going before waking to a clear sky with the fire alight and ready to return to the game and take control with the full knowledge of what she can do.
The rest of the non-tribe arrived at the top of a mountain to meet Jeff before he brought Erika back to the game to the applause of her fellow competitors. Which quickly stopped after she spoke about feeling left behind as everyone bonded back at camp. And, you know, announced that she had the chance to reverse the outcome of the last challenge. Which she obviously opted to do, as Ricard, Sydney, Deshawn, Evvie and Danny looked on, completely enraged, while Naseer sweetly looked gagged. And obviously the five losers were thrilled to now be guaranteed a spot in the merge.
Deshawn tried to downplay his frustrations before Probst introduced the immunity challenge he would now need to compete in, where they would each have to build a block tower using only their feet before slotting a flag in the middle. First person to finish snagging immunity. Ricard calmly worked away on his tower while Sydney and Evvie took an early lead, powering through their first two levels. Evvie’s toes took her to the third level as Deshawn, Ricard and Naseer joined Sydney in nipping at their heels. After Evvie popped their final block on the tower, they tragically knocked them off with the flag leaving Sydney and Ricard to battle for the win, which the latter took out as he landed his flag seconds ahead.
Before bidding the castaways adieu, Probst reminded them that everyone would be going to tribal council and voting that night, however it is only the five losers eligible to receive votes. Oh and the Shot in the Dark scrolls have been bumped up to 12, with 2 safe scrolls, meaning everyone could potentially play it and two people get saved.
Back at camp the almost-merged tribe quickly congratulated Ricard on his victory before Erika spoke about the harsh experience of exile. Liana was grateful to be safe at the upcoming tribal council, though was more excited about potentially using her epic Knowledge is Power advantage, despite how easy it could be to misplay given she can only ask specific questions. And Shan outed it in front of Tiffany meaning everyone could easily work around it. Meanwhile Danny, Ricard, Shan, Sydney and Deshawn were catching up, with the former struggling to process how they managed to go from feasting and immune to the few eligible people to go home later tonight. Well, not Ricard or Shan, but you know what he meant.
While Deshawn understood his frustrations, he also wanted Danny to move on so they could come up with a plan. Ricard meanwhile suggested that they load all their votes on Evvie, given Naseer has an idol. Despite bonding with Evvie on their journey, Deshawn was onboard and happy to take them out if it keeps him around one more day. Danny took the plan to Liana and while she was concerned about flopping on Evvie too soon, she admitted that she is most closely aligned with Shan so caught up with her to see what she wanted to do. While she continued to push away from Evvie and downplayed them as a threat, Shan was just as strong about their need to split up Evvie and Xander.
Tiffany and Xander meanwhile were catching up assuring each other that they will protect Evvie with the idol if required. Evvie joined them and broke down over potentially going home, before they looped them in on the fact they plan to play the idol on Evvie should it be needed. The only wrinkle being Liana’s Knowledge is Power advantage, but given Tiffany looped them in on everything, they came up with a plan to protect the idol from being stolen.
Ricard meanwhile was catching up with Erika, Deshawn was looping in Naseer as Xander caught up with Danny and Sydney, letting them know that he plans to play his idol to save Evvie and as such, they need to come up with a different plan. He then opened up about Liana’s advantage and shared that she kept it from the rest of the Yase tribe, meaning she has well and truly turned on them. Danny was then very messy, going straight to Liana with the information and ugh, I love him. This freaked out Liana who went for a walk with Shan to confirm they have a clear understanding of the wording of the note and a loophole is totally blowing this for her, isn’t it?
Liana caught up with Evvie and Xander with the latter tucking the idol in his pants and talking about how the idol will be on his person all night, so Evvie will definitely be safe and they will all boot Deshawn. With that, Liana went to Danny, Deshawn and Shan to share that Deshawn is the target but it isn’t a worry, given she will be stealing Xander’s idol at tribal council. Sydney meanwhile was paranoid about the duelling plans, given she could become collateral damage. While Xander assured her that she will be safe, she ventured to see Liana and Shan who assured her the same thing and damn, why do I have the feeling we could be losing our salty icon?
At tribal council Danny spoke about how finally attending tribal council is more epic than his days in the NFL. Sydney meanwhile was thrilled to be doing something different with new faces around despite the non-merge hurdle. Liana spoke about the surreal nature of living through the pre-tribal scramble while Tiffany tried to articulate why it is such a mess. Talk turned to the Shot in the Dark among the bounty of advantages throughout the season with Shan admitting it creates chaos but ultimately, relationships are all that truly matters. With Deshawn one-upping her and agreeing that the relationships he has built are all that matters to him.
Evvie admitted to being nervous since they are the only non-Luvu eligible to be booted tonight but they were confident that Xander would have their back. With that Xander outed his idol and shared that he would definitely be playing it for them, which Liana agreed was because the Yase tribe protect their own – lol – as Evvie spoke about how they have protected Xander all game despite him not having a vote for such a long time. This made Deshawn call bullshit on their bond, sharing that Evvie told him everything about Xander’s idol on their adventure to the Advantage Island Treetop Walk. This made Xander nervous about their relationship, with Evvie desperately assuring him that they are still solid. Liana piped up to agree that the duo are tight, which is why she plans to play her Knowledge is Power advantage on Xander, requesting his idol.
With that he handed over his fake idol before we learnt that all of his advantages had been handed off to Tiffany prior to tribal council, meaning he had nothing to steal and the trio would live to fight another day. Evvie thanked Liana for showing them that she can’t be trusted and as Liana simply reminded them that the game is cutthroat, Shan started talking about how Evvie is clearly in possession of the idol and as such, they need to come up with a new plan.
This set off an epic chain of whispers with Shan rallying a group to vote Syd, Evvie and Xander meanwhile were pushing for Naseer to join them to vote out Deshawn. Just as quickly as it popped off, it all went quiet as Shan pushed for them to vote and get it over with. This frustrated Deshawn who congratulated Xander and Evvie on their move, but admitted that given his name is on the block, he isn’t so eager to vote just yet. He then started whispering with Shan and pushed to keep the vote on Evvie since Tiffany heard their plans, while Tiffany, Xander and Evvie looped Sydney in on the fact the rest of the tribe now planned to vote her out. With that, she was keen to join them in voting for Deshawn as Tiffany suggested she could play Xander’s extra vote to get things across the line.
Deshawn meanwhile spoke about the fact Tiffany outed their plan before the super-group beckoned Naseer to loop him in on the new plan to split the vote on Evvie and Sydney since they only have one idol in their possession. Eventually everyone settled down and agreed they were ready to vote, after which Sydney shared that she had played her Shot in the Dark, which tragically left her Not Safe. Tiffany then tried to play Xander’s idol until he stepped in and assured her not to play it, much to Evvie’s simmering rage. Probst then finally started counting the votes with them piling up evenly on Deshawn, Evvie and Sydney before Evvie was gagged to discover Sydney had been booted from the game.
Much to the simmering rage of Sydney, while Evvie now praised Tiffany and Xander for holding their nerve with the idol. A complete backflip from their rage moments before.
But back to Sydney, my Queen. While I am heartbroken to have lost young-Sandra way too early, I was thrilled to be on hand to cheer her up before she departed Loser Lodge before I help the crew re-merch for Ponderosa. I’m going to forego the backstory about how we met – sassy people just find their peers, ok? – but I will assure you that Syd and I are the dearest of dear friends – we even got vaccinated together when she flew home! I pulled her in for a hug and while she immediately told me to calm down and that she is glad to be free of her tribemates, I held her long enough to get her admit she was gutted to be out of the game. Though thankfully a take away jar of Sydney Segarlic Sauce was enough to keep the disappointment at bay.
Sweet, earthy and a little tart, kebab sauce is one of my favourite things for a HSP – thankfully 41 filmed before Hayley dominated Brains V Brawn, so I had some spare. I mean, garlic, lemon and the joy of creamy, white liquids? Hook it into my veins.
Sydney Segarlic Sauce Makes: 1 cup.
Ingredients 6 garlic cloves, minced ⅓ cup plain yogurt ⅓ cup Shayonnaise Swain 1 lemon, zested and juiced 1 tbsp mint, roughly chopped pinch of salt and pepper, to taste
Previously on Survivor we experienced the ultimate – not the best, that is still Micronesia or Heroes vs. Villains – battle with 20 former winners taking to the island to become the champion of champions. Or to Tony, the King to Sandra’s Queen. Then, well, Rona happened and the show was off air for a year and a half and well, let’s just say, it is a relief that Jeffrey L. Probst is back on the screen.
More specifically, back on the screen to welcome us back and share how much he missed us all. No prizes for guessing who was standing directly behind the camera when he delivered that monologue! (It was me, FYI). Anyway, after pointing out a new beware advantage we learnt that the shorter game came with smaller tribes, no food and a lot of risks to make the game even more dangerous.
With that, the three new tribes jetted their way through the ocean where we met Evvie from the Yase tribe, who was thrilled to kick off the new phase of the show. Danny meanwhile binged the show in lockdown and was ready to put his NFL past to work on the Luvu tribe. And well, Heather is my early fave, given she is an older woman and hella charming. JD meanwhile rubbed me the wrong way, given he is young and I am aging. As a frontline worker Voce was just glad to be away from the hospital, Shan was ready to give Pastors a bad name – I think – Sara was just glad to not be stuck in 2020, Deshawn was ready to leave isolation, Erica felt ready to be uncaged and Xander looks like he is going to be a wild twink. And that is a compliment. Think Shawn Mendes playing Survivor rather than being dopey and sweet?
Poor Heather was dropped as my favourite to make way for the iconic Genie, who is perfection personified. Hippy, happy and just so damn charming (I still love you too Heather). She was joined by 17 others on a ship in the middle of the ocean where Jeff officially welcomed them to the new season, with Abraham talking about how ecstatic he is to just not have to wear a mask. Erica meanwhile was grateful she wasn’t dropped from the cast due to the delay, while Naseer won my heart talking about learning English from watching Survivor when he came to America. I mean, what?! He is adorable. Heather spoke about watching the show from the start with her boyfriend, who became her husband AND now with their children. They are all just. So. Sweet.
Jeff then challenged everyone to grow and evolve and have difficult conversations, which led to him questioning his use of the phrase ‘come on in guys’. And after queer, female, icon Evvie told Jeffrey she was ok with, everyone agreed and the game was afoot. We learnt that the blue tribe would go by Luvu, the yellow tribe would be Yase while the green tribe is Ua. Jeffrey then put them to their paces in the first challenge where they would scavenge the boat for six oars for their boat before climbing in and paddling around a buoy to retrieve a key with the first ones to finish getting some meager supplies, while the rest would have nothing. While Luvu got out to an early lead, Ua was hot on their tail as Yase wandered aimlessly around the ship. Ua meanwhile dominated the rowing, pulling away and secured victory as Jeff read Yase for filth for their dodge performance.
Oh and we learnt that Luvu were so shit at paddling because they didn’t unclip the anchor which is hilarious and iconic and I love them.
We first followed Ua back to camp where we met Sara, who shared that her grandmother tragically passed away from COVID and she is out on the island for her, given she is a fellow Survivor fan. She was joined on the tribe with Queen Genie, rancher Brad – who is adorable and sweet – Ricard, JD and Shan. We learnt that Brad also lost his father a week before flying out for the game and ugh, this is going to be super rough if everyone has suffered COVID losses. On the more upbeat end of the spectrum, JD quickly put their flint to use and made fire for the camp and ugh, their joy was so pure.
The Yase tribe meanwhile were embarrassed to have bombed the challenge, though were glad to be together. In their shame. Yase was made up of Liana, Tiffany, Xander, Voce, Abraham and Queen Evvie, who discovered a challenge set up for them on the beach. They had the option to do a brain teaser counting triangles or two of them could gather enough water to fill two buckets and if they failed whichever one they chose, they wouldn’t get any supplies until after the first tribal council. Voce obviously thought it was a horrible idea to do the bucket challenge, which he and Xander were forced to do while the rest of the tribe got to work setting up camp and searching for idols.
Over on Luvu they too opted for the bucket challenge, leaving Danny and Deshawn to get it done. Before immediately snapping bambo and losing their first buckets of water. Meanwhile at Ua, Queen Genie was opening up about her wife and the support she has always had from her traditional family and ugh, why am I crying so much? Ricard meanwhile was opening up to Sara about his husband and how they met just before he was due to foster a child. But given her husband is a total babe, he was smitten, they quickly got married and had a baby. But now he is guilty about leaving his pregnant husband at home with a toddler that doesn’t understand where he went and when he is coming back.
Back at Luvu, the guys quickly gave up on the bucket challenge and instead were hunting for an idol. Sadly for them, however, Naseer went to make sure they were ok and spotted them, making him backpedal on his plan to not talk strategy until the challenge was done, pulling in the rest of the tribe for a final four.
Over at Yase the boys were struggling with the challenge, though powering along as best they could. Meanwhile Evvie and Liana were catching up, suggesting that the boys would be bonded by the challenge and as such, they should form a duo and side with them. Liana then caught up with Abraham and instead of a generic getting to know you conversation, Abraham opted to shade Tiff for diving off the boat in the opening challenge and paint a target on her back. Sadly for him, Liana pulled her aside and filled her in on everything before we learnt that she had a preemptive mastectomy which ultimately discovered that she had early-stage cancer. Which is just honestly so mind blowing to think about.
We returned to Ua where JD was trying to lay low and not talk strategy in the hope of hiding his superfan status. Obviously that didn’t go unnoticed though as Ricard, Sara and Shan caught up by the well to talk about how hard he is trying to charm everyone and as such, they suggested they should get rid of him ASAP. Well, maybe not Shan, given she was actively forming a ride or die alliance with every single member of the tribe.
Deshawn and Danny meanwhile had given up on the hunt for their idols and returned to working on the challenge while Xander and Voce trudged away on their beach and honestly, all I know is that my basement is flooded. As were all the barrels, as both tribes secured themselves supplies. As soon as it was done, Sydney pulled Deshawn and Danny aside to fill them in on Naseer dobbing them in and DON’T DO THIS TO SWEET NASEER!?
The next day Sydney was living her best life at camp before a boat arrived requesting one person jump on with absolutely zero information. Imagine if someone just stumbled upon camp and suggested this and they went with it? Chilling. Anyway, obviously nobody wanted the target that volunteering would bring, leading to Danny throwing his hand up to avoid them debating all day. Meanwhile Xander gladly took the nomination over at Yase given everyone felt he was least likely to lie to them, leaving the duo to battle or join JD from Ua, thanks to him picking a white rock.
With that, the trio joined together on a new island where they learnt they would take a nice stroll up to the top of a mountain and well, this is a movie I could watch all night. On the way up, we learnt that JD was bullied growing up and that he has worked hard to change his image, inspired by Survivor icons Ozzy and Woo. At the top of the island we learnt that the trio would tragically split up to make a private decision before returning home. Wisely, Danny suggested they come up with a consensus decision so their stories are the same. Sadly for him, the challenge was simply to choose whether to risk or protect their votes. If everyone selected protect, nothing changes. If everyone selected risk, they all lose their vote at the next tribal council. And if it is split, the people that selected risk people would get an extra vote.
Before we could learn anything, we followed Danny back to camp where he quickly filled the tribe in on the truth and surprisingly, everyone believed him. Xander too opted with the truth route, pointing out he went for the extra vote so that come swap or merge, the tribe now have something in their pocket to get ahead. JD meanwhile sat his tribe down for a very in depth story time and while he almost told the entire truth – minus his choice – he gave so much information that they felt they couldn’t trust him.
The tribes reconvened with Jeff for the first challenge of the season where Ricard gagged everyone by announcing that he had more time to process Jeff questioning ‘come on in, guys’ and requested he drop ‘guys’ which makes so much sense given his family, so don’t even try giving him hate internet. Before getting to the challenge, Jeff announced the new ‘Shot in the Dark’ twist where they would each get a die that they can play once throughout the game at tribal council when it came time to vote, where they can forfeit their vote for a one-in-six shot at a piece of parchment deeming them safe.
But enough about the twist, in the immunity challenge they obviously need to traverse a bunch of obstacles to retrieve puzzle pieces, push said puzzle pieces up and down additional obstacles before ascending a tower and solving said puzzle. Oh and the two tribes that lose will both be going to tribal council AND losing their flints until the next immunity challenge. All tribes were neck and neck before Ua took the slightest lead and Luvu dropped one of their bags, costing them valuable time and leaving them to languish at the back of the pack. Ua were first to start working on their puzzle, quickly joined by Yase while Luvu desperately tried to close the gap. Which they did, whipping through the puzzle and snatching immunity for their tribe.
Back at Yase, Evvie broke down in tears over losing the puzzle for the tribe, knowing it may paint a target on her back. Thankfully for her, Liana and Tiffany were more focused on getting rid of Abraham given he was so quick to target Tiffany on the first day. Meanwhile Abraham was trying to rally the boys to join him in getting rid of Tiff as the weakest. They then took the information to Evvie and while she sounded on board, she knew it was a bad idea for her game. As such, she pulled Voce and Xander aside to point out Abraham is more of a liability, I assume in the broadest sense of the word. She took the information back to Tiffany and while the latter’s gut told her that she would be safe at tribal, she knew not to be complacent and as such went hunting for an idol. Tragically not spotting it when it was right in front of her.
At tribal council the tribe dipped their torches in the fire before Tiffany praised the tribe for being so harmonious and loving. Abraham meanwhile turned things to strategy, suggesting the vote needs to focus on strength, given the tribe is so small. Tiffany spoke about how great Abraham is at talking without actually saying anything at all which led to him highlighting his strength again for good measure. Evvie meanwhile suggested it was a different game, but agreed that strength is still important while Voce crunched the numbers and suggested the ‘Shot in the Dark’ twist isn’t really that scary. Because, you know, maths.
Liana spoke about how nerve wracking the twist is for those that don’t roll their dice, while Xander just wanted the tribe to come together and prove themselves as assets slash challenge threats. Which Evvie reminded them is important for setting up their end game. With that the tribe voted, Xander stealthily pocket his extra vote and poor Abraham found himself becoming the first boot of the new era.
As someone that has posed as a cyber security analyst, you know I am a former best friend of Abraham’s. Who, for the record, I call by her legal name Eric. Anyway, as I spotted him in Loser Lodge, I ran into his arms and gave him a massive hug, knowing how painful it would feel to go home so soon after such a long wait. Then I learnt that by going home, the pre-juror’s were truly going home. Effective immediately and as such, I reminded him he is a sweet, charming guy, handed him a Cheddar, Erickle & Abraham Toastie and bid him adieu.
There are so many jokes I could make about how much I love the pickle, hiding said pickles etc. but at the end of the day, those tart little numbers are something I just don’t joke around about. I mean, pop them on a toastie and you take it to the next level.
Cheddar, Erickle & Abraham Toastie Serves: 2.
Ingredients 4 slices sourdough 2 tbsp Shayonnaise Swain 6-8 slices English leg ham 1 cup vintage cheddar, as sharp as you can find, grated 2 dill pickles, thinly sliced salt and pepper, to taste butter, for spreadin’
Method Lay out your bread on a chopping board and spread each with the mayo.
Top two slices with a quarter of the cheese each, followed by the ham, the pickle and the rest of the cheese. Season with a little salt and a good whack of pepper and top with the other slices of bread, mayo side down.
Spread a little butter on the top slices of bread and get a large skillet on the hob over medium heat. Once hot, place the sandies butter side down and cook for five-ten minutes, or until golden and crisp. Smear some butter on the top slices and flip over to cook for a further five-ten minutes. By which time that side should be crispy and the cheese, gooey and glorious.
Previously on Australian Survivor the tribes battled it out in a dusty immunity challenge with Simon narrowly besting his former tribemate Emmett. While Simon was supported by the rest of his tribe to get to the end and score the win, it was truly a one man show on Brains. Speaking of Emmett, he wasn’t too bothered to lose the challenge given he was leading the Brains tribe’s majority alliance. With an iron fist, if you ask the Brains trio. Speaking of them, they decided their best hope was to woo Kez to their side, given she desperately wants Cara out and Emmett isn’t listening to her. While she vowed to go to rocks to get what she wanted, she ultimately stayed with the alliance and joined them to boot Georgia from the game.
The peace of the outback was disturbed the next day as Gerald snored by the fire as George wandered around wide eyed, glad to still be in the game. Though he admitted that it isn’t luck that got him this far, it was his hard work to finally win some people over. On the outside are his remaining nemesis, Laura and Rachel. And frankly, he doesn’t care who goes next out of the pair of them.
Rachel meanwhile was collecting a tonne of wood despite being tired and on the outs. While Laura was sleeping. We then finally got an intro package for Queen Rach, who was Queenslander of the Year last year and is essentially an icon. She then took that positive attitude to the billabong, teaching Cara how to fish and damn, is this what hope feels like?
Meanwhile over at Brawn Hayley was feeling her oats, in charge and generally living the dream, forming a tight bond with the girls and generally being the boss. They were fishing, tending the fire and making friendship bracelets and honestly, I am just as jealous as Simon to be missing out on the experience. Speaking of Simon, Hayley can see how large his target is and as such, got to work finding cracks to get him out before they get to merge. While Dani and the boys bonded in the shallows – Simon in his speedos, swoon – Hayley realised building a relationship with her would be critical to her long term game and as such, got to work bonding with Dani.
The duo caught up and went fishing, while Hayley started soft, asking about the Brawns on the other tribe, she then got straight to the point, asking Dani when she thinks would be a good time to get rid of Simon. With Dani straight up spilling her entire strategy to align with the alpha and then cut them from the game. A move that she called ‘The Sandra Bullock’, which is as iconic as her asking Hayley if she’d be interested in helping to pull off the move. Which Hayley giddily responded by announcing that blindsides are even sweeter when the person thinks they’re in control.
Iconic, brutal, stunning. I love them.
Hayley then went for a cheeky little wander, lamenting about the pain of not seeing or hearing from their loved ones. And right on cue, she discovered letters from home in treemail, instantly reducing everyone to tears. We learnt about Hayley’s beautiful boyfriend Jimmy who was ready to propose when she returned home. Andrew meanwhile got a cute painting from his nephew, Wai heard about her cat, Dani’s partner roasted her for being stubborn and then Baden sobbed over missing his daughters and ugh, I’m not crying. You’re crying. I mean, one of them sees his face in the moon each night AND HOPES HE CAN SEE HERS.
It. Is. Too. Damn. Precious.
Over at the Brains, we learnt about George’s beautiful bond with his dog, Emmett missing his fiance and well Rach, she finally had her fire back. Ready to fight for her wife back at home. As such, she pulled Cara and George aside to talk. But sadly, we weren’t privy to that as Emmett, Gerald and Kez realised that losing challenges isn’t the worst thing right now and as such, they should consider throwing a challenge to get rid of another Brain or two.
My love Jonathan finally returned for the immunity challenge where the tribes would face off sliding a series of blocks to untangle ropes and releasing a key. These tribes would then traverse a series of obstacles, collect some balls, wade through a mud pit and then slide some balls down a ramp to land in a dish. Queen Wai obviously directed the Brawn tribe to quickly untangle the ropes and release the key while the Brains grew more and more confused. Even without Emmett trying to throw the challenge, the Brawns tribe powered all the way to the end of the course and landed their balls in arguably the biggest blowout of all time.
As the tribes celebrated together everyone tried to whisper to each other with Andrew telling Laura to just get to merge while Hayley encouraged Rach to throw all the mud around and make a mess. While Emmett and Kez could barely hide their excitement to be going back to tribal council. So, maybe they did throw it?
Back at camp Emmett was pumped to continue the decimation of the Brains before firing up some rice and relaxing. Despite knowing full well that the Brains still have enough people to take control of the tribe if they put their differences aside. That being a pretty bloody big if. After quickly locking in Rachel as the bigger target, with the girls loading their votes on Laura as a back-up. Emmett then shifted his focus to the next step once Cara and George left, that being to flip Laura and then take out Cara and George.
Knowing that she is screwed, Rachel opted to put her emotional feelings about George and Cara aside and instead try and work with them to make a big move against Emmett and weaken the Brawn tribe at large. Obviously Laura was on board, so wIth that, Rachel powered off to find George and pitch him the plan with him calmly agreeing that he knows what happens next if they don’t mix things up. George then shared that he wanted to split the vote the way the majority did so that he could ultimately make the decision to flip on someone like Emmett without anyone knowing it was coming. And buy him more time to figure out which option is best for his game, with or without Cara’s support.
At tribal council Gerald admitted that nothing has really changed with the power dynamics of the tribe, with Rachel agreeing that she and Laura are definitely the dead women walking. George meanwhile spoke in political speak, confusing Rachel and Laura about whether he would flip. Emmett admitted he is just wanting to get to the merge and take control, though also alluded to the fact that he is always going to put Brawns first. Rachel pointed out that Brains currently have the majority if they were merging and coming back together is better for all of them. While George agreed that Laura and Rachel made some valid points, Emmett and more so Gerald, made some very complimentary arguments to bring them together.
Laura called it out for what it is, blowing smoke up Cara and George’s arse leading to Kez needing to step in and point out that Brawn is also a fractured tribe and they actually need some Brains to help get further as they navigate their own complex dynamics come merge. Aka the Simon and Emmett faction versus her, Flick and Gerald. With that the tribe voted and despite the promise that big things were happening this week – SuE’s bIG mOvE, right? – the majority held together and Rach was tragically booted from the game.
As soon as I saw her turn the corner into Loser Lodge, I burst into tears, heartbroken to see my fellow Queenslander of the Year booted from the game. And by fellow, it happens in like a decade, remembering I invented time travel. That is not what I win for either. But anyway, Rach and I are dear friends and I was so disappointed that she couldn’t turn things around, particularly since we’re so close to the merge.
Given Rach is an absolute delight however, she took it in her stride and calmly held me until I stopped crying. After that, we did the usual laugh, cry and reconnect before I searched the fridge and found enough ingredients to whip her up a Chipotle Ranchel Dipnie.
I know ranch is often looked at as a pretty basic dip/dressing/condiment – at least by me and my paranoia, I guess – but I am basic and proud. Add in a little chipotle, however, and you elevate it into the stratosphere. Fresh and tart, but packing a good whack of heat, this delight will have you slathering it on anything. Or gulping down like water.
Chipotle Ranchel Dipnie Makes: 1 cup
Ingredients 2 chipotles in adobo, finely chopped ⅔ cup Shayonnaise Swain ¼ cup buttermilk 2 tbsp champagne vinegar 3 garlic cloves, crushed 1 tbsp chives, thinly sliced ½ tsp paprika salt and pepper, to taste
Method Now try and keep up because this is tough. Place everything in a jar.
Or refrigerate until ready to serve with something else. But, why?
Previously on Australian Survivor poor George was still left right out despite a string of hero moments in the last couple of immunity challenges. Though thankfully for him, he did manage to find a hidden immunity idol despite Baden finding the clue hidden away at camp. At the immunity challenge Benny became the bane of everyone’s existence due to moving letters – which were incorrect anyway, as an aside – and as such, Simon quickly turned everyone against him. After Big D flipped to the other side in the first round, Shannon and Queen Kez joined their rivals to boot Benny from the game.
We kicked things off at the Brawn tribe where the group were living their best lives as Gerald served his sexiest model poses. All while Simon looked on, heartbroken that he is no longer the zaddy of the tribe. While Gerald was feeling irritated that Shannon flipped the night before, he assured us that he was still loyal to his majority alliance and as such, just wanted Simon to chill out with the grumps and keep things as jovial as possible. That being said, Gerald was also committed to keeping an eye on Simon, given he is clearly on the hunt for an idol and as such, the majority can’t afford to let him get it. Sadly for Simon, as soon as he spotted the idol he was under the watchful eyes of Flick and Kez, so he couldn’t make a grab for it yet.
Though mere moments later, fate clearly intervened as they left and he returned to the tree where it was hidden, grabbed it and was buoyed by hope.
Over at camp Brains, Joey was thrilled to hit double digits though was desperate to score a reward for their tribe given he is so overwhelmed by hunger. That being said, he is sitting pretty in the tribe and doesn’t have to worry about getting the boot and as such, he assured us that he can persevere. We then learnt he works in finance, but that means nothing because he planned to go to the next challenge in drag, wearing his buff as a top and as such, my basement is flooded and I’m questioning everything I know.
The tribes met up with my love Jonathan for the reward challenge which would see them log-roll for a bountiful feast of toasties. Which immediately had the Brains dripping, but hopefully that translates to dripping back at camp as they jaff things up. First to face off were Flick and Hayley with the latter once again defeating a professional athlete in a challenge to give the Brains a lead. Sadly that was it for Brains domination as Emmett destroyed Andrew – who ended up cracking his nads on the log on the way out before Simon straight up challenged Joey to the next round and quickly destroyed him. That left Dani to defeat Cara for the win, which she did though not because she tried to scare her off the log Scooby Doo style.
Back at the Brawns camp the tribe were thrilled to see their newest loot and giddy to get down to whipping up their sandie jays. None were happier than Simon though, given he was sitting pretty with an idol AND then found a second one in their reward as he collected hessian sacks that he could use for fishing. He was confident nobody saw him and returned to camp to smugly eat the sandwich as King Gerald shared with us that he saw the entire thing play out. The rest of the tribe meanwhile fried up their toasties while Daini worried whether he should feel bad for the Brains, rather than protesting a lockdown and making the COVID situation worse.
Speaking of the Brains, George and Cara were bonding over their upbeat vibes while Baden grew tired of being hungry. And you know, the fact that he couldn’t find the idol he has a clue for since he is currently riding solo just like George. If only the duo put their differences aside, aligned and got to work taking over the game. And reading my mind, George decided now was the time to check in with Baden and as such, caught up with him by the billabong to see how he was feeling. As they cracked it out doing yoga, George shared that he had found the idol without a clue and while Baden was glad to be put out of his misery, he was more grateful that George shared intel with him and as such, he too has hope in the game.
My beloved Jonathan met up with the tribes once again where this time they had to race to release a series of balls, catch them, play skee ball, carry it through a mud pit and then land it in a suspended pyramid. And Brains, there is no puzzle, so I worry you’re in danger. That being said, Brains got out to a 5-2 advantage in the ball section of the challenge, so maybe I’m wrong again. Wait, nope. While they were first to get to the skee ball section, Brawn took the lead as George struggled to land his ball. While they eventually got to the final apparatus, they were no match for Brawn who finally snagged their second immunity challenge win with minimal competition.
Back at camp the Brains were heartbroken to have another immunity loss and while George was feeling the heat since he single handedly lost the challenge, he has the idol so was completely unbothered by things. And since the rest of the tribe are focused on taking him and only him out, this isn’t ending well for someone else. Joey meanwhile was confident in his numbers and well, Joey girl, you in danger I guess. He caught up with his allies by the water and quickly locked in the vote for George, while George decided to get politicking, quickly pulling a counter alliance together against Andrew, Joey, Georgia and Laura.
As the rest of the tribe bonded by the fire, George disappeared to go get water and then returned to camp wearing his immunity idol in an iconic, bold move. As everyone started to shit their pants. While everyone tried to act confident that he may not play the idol, he lay in the sun waiting for someone to come and talk to him. While they sat in camp mocking his move. With that, George instead pulled Cara and Wai aside to talk about voting for Joey or Laura. Cara opted to go and try woo Rachael and Hayley, while the cool kids suggested Mitch was a good option to vote out instead. Given he is so focused on being the leader, which is something they don’t want to deal with.
The four then approached Rachel to woo her on side and while Rach was keen, she was also listed as fifth at best before they got to her and that feels obvious. She then caught up with George, who quickly got the politician hat on, assuring her that this is the time to prove loyalty to each other and to show trust. While Rachel was just thrilled to be the swing vote with Hayley, as they appeared to prefer to get the vote off Laura and instead on to someone else. But I’m often wrong, so prepare for Laura to be savagely booted despite us never getting to know her.
At tribal council George was still rocking the idol with an open shirt look and was almost selling it, while Joey was still cranking up the energy to an 11 just like Kate Ceberano in a radio interview (another story for another time). He did admit that things started to get nervous at camp, while Rachel agreed that coming to tribal is a chance to see where everyone stands. Laura admitted there are personality clashes in the tribe, while Cara countered by saying the relationships are fluid and that people continue to evolve. Joey disagreed and said that there are definitely firm names assigned to the alliances, with Rach agreeing things were happening while Mitch felt that his relationships are post-alliance. Which is never a great thing to think in Survivor.
Rachel admitted that the length of time between their first vote and now has complicated things while George charmingly pretended that he didn’t have an idol before reminding everyone that the vote is about drawing a line in the sand and as such, they need to trust who they trust and just embrace it. Mitch reiterated that George is pretty much off the table, while Joey suggested that he doesn’t care about George wanting to make another tribal council about him despite feeling nervous about the power of the idol. Joey then got savage talking about how George saved five people at the first tribal but somehow ended up with no allies and as such, he wasn’t concerned about anything George tries to pull off.
Though George gave zero Fs, given he is playing the game differently to other people and therefore doesn’t care about Joey’s shade. Wai questioned whether the idol would get played while Rachel didn’t worry whether George would play his idol. While George just wanted Jonathan to acknowledge his body-ody-ody. Before Hayley reiterated that trust is all that anyone cares about and as such, that is what it is about tonight. And Andrew just wanted everyone to get along.
With that, the tribe voted, George played his idol – needlessly, might I add – as four votes landed on Laura and the rest on Dr Mitch, sending him from the game. Much to his confusion, shock and the shady commentary about the brutal blindside from Geroge. As Mitch cussed him out as he exited tribal council, unaware that George had nothing to do with the vote.
By the time Mitch arrived in my arms at loser lodge he was a little less angry, I assume because he got to see me, his dear Brisbane friend. You see, I was pretending to lecture as medical school when Mitch was training and while I was swiftly fired in shame, Mitch saw me as the broken person that I am and as such, tried to look out for me. Which eventually developed into a friendship. Aka a tale as old as time. Anyway, I knew that Mitch would be fanging for some comfort after his brutal blindside and as such, whipped up a big batch of our traditional Mitchroom Shawiss Burgers.
I had never thought of popping a mushie on a burger – unless it was the vego star of the dish, obvi – until I experienced the magic, beauty of Five Guys. A glorious place where bags are topped with fries and you get to decide every single element you can add on a burger. And lets just say, mushies, swiss and some onions are a near perfect trio to elevate a burg.
Mitchroom Shawiss Burger Serves: 4.
Ingredients 2 tbsp olive oil 2 onions, sliced 1 cup button mushrooms, roughly chopped 500g beef mince salt and pepper, to taste 4 Briocher Bünsberg ⅓ cup Shayonnaise Swain 4-8 slices swiss cheese
Method In a small saucepan, heat a lug of olive oil over medium heat. Once hot, add the onions and sweat for about ten minutes, or until soft, sweet and caramelised. Reduce heat to low and keep warm, adding dashes of water if they start to catch.
Meanwhile, heat another lug of olive oil in another saucepan or frying pan and once hot, add the mushrooms. Cook for a couple of minutes, or until the mushrooms release all their liquid and suck it back up again.
When you’re almost ready to eat, scrunch the mince in your hands and then form into 4 hockey pucks. Brush the remaining oil in a large frying pan over high heat. Once scorching, sprinkle salt and pepper on the tops of the patties and add seasoned side down in the pan. Immediately flatten with a metal spatula until 1cm thickness and immediately season the other side of the patties. After a couple of minutes, flip the patties, top with swiss cheese and cook for another minute or so until they’re the desired doneness.
To assemble, toast the inside of the buns, spread each side with some mayo, top with the cheesy patty, some onion and the mushroom.
Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under the queens served us their down unders, covered in red lycra and full bushes as they auditioned for Baywatch with the zaddy Pit Crew member. Scarlet and Elektra charmed Ru and took out victory, making them the team leaders for two girl groups. I assume to replace Australia’s two best girl groups, Girlfriend and Bardot. Anyway, both girls shone however the latter was a bit more Beyonce than Destiny’s Child and as such, Scarlet took out victory while Elektra was shockingly (see what I did there?) put in the bottom with Coco. With Coco tragically felled by her fellow lip sync assassin.
The top seven returned to the Werk Room, gutted to have lost such a bubbly delight like Coco. Meanwhile Scarlet was growing more and more confident, thrilled to have snatched her first victory of the season and giddily shading Elektra for not bringing it on the runway. Thankfully Anita kindly suggested that maybe Elektra could become a drag window cleaner now that she is so experienced with it. Elektra shared her shock – I’m loving this gag, aren’t I? – about how the judges just aren’t loving her which led to Etcetera calling out her general taste level. Though kindly (and/or shadily) offered to look over her looks. While Scarlet pointed out you can put glitter on shit, because at the end of the day it is still shit. And just like that, the potential winners’ edit took a hit.
The next day Scarlet was still feeling her oats, while Kita and Anita were delightfully proving why they are already stars. Elektra spoke about feeling better, given she was in the bottom for being too good which Etcetera and Scarlet quickly tried to shut down, with Elektra going for the jugular with Etcetera pointing out that she has just been sliding through as safe. Karen meanwhile was watching on in pure delight as the room got shady and Elektra was refusing to back down and being a straight up icon.
The excitement was shut down as Ru and the glorious Pit Crew wheeled in all of their junk and some trash that the queens would be using to make this week’s runway from. Though not before Art Simone jumped out of the rubbish, officially returned to the competition with no real explanation as to why. But let’s just say, I don’t really mind except I probably would have preferred it be Jojo.
Barely giving us time to breathe, Ru announced that they would need to fight for their junk and exited the Werk Room as the dolls battled for enough to put together an outfit. Etcetera asked who was feeling confident, with Maxi sharing she isn’t a sewer but was smart enough to take a lesson before leaving for the competition. Karen meanwhile wasn’t feeling confident, given she is not the best at sewing. Talk turned to Art’s return, with Art assuring us she has a new attitude and is ready to fight to get to the end. And conveniently she was feeling confident about the challenge ahead, while Etcetera shadily pointed out that Art was sent home by Coco, and since she is now gone, anyone is technically good enough to send her home again. Karen meanwhile was pressed to have Art back, wanting to have her turn to redeem her shitty Snatch Game. As such, she decided to focus less about the design and more about selling the characterisation of one of her back-up characters.
And oh girl, you may be in danger.
Scarlet continued to be a difficult presence this week, as she once again gloated about the challenge ahead, which thankfully gave Elektra a steely focus to prove herself this week. And Anita, poor dear, sweet Anita spoke about how much she loves sewing, but grew more and more anxious about all of the potential designs she could possibly work on and DAMN this needs to be a fake-out. Badly.
Ru came back to catch up with the queens, explaining to Art that the judges can see how great she is and how she can just bounce off jokes and as such, proved Snatch Game was not a true reflection of her skills. With that, Art shared she was confident to serve an outfit so disappeared to do just that. Karen was up next, sharing how she would be serving Schapelle Corby on the runway and well, just give her the win right now. I don’t even care if Ru thinks it is a bad idea. Kita meanwhile was inspired by a bunch of balls and ready for a win, Elektra was thrilled to sew though was nervous about her styling. Given Ru’s reaction to her kangaroo hunter concept, I hope she pivots to a glamorous gown as Ru kindly suggested.
Maxi was up next and ready to rock her non-stretch fabric, as much as Ru and Etcetera are concerned. Speaking of Etcetera, she was planning to grace the runway in a goddess of the harvest look, desperate to get a critique and let’s just say, I hope it is a high, rather than a low as the editors are feeling messy this week. Anita was inspired by Bob Mackie using books and video tapes, with a hot glue gun rather than sewing. Oh and then we learnt she is in the NZ Navy and not just that, plays the trumpet in the navy band. I need to reiterate this, Anita must be protected at all costs. Scarlet meanwhile doesn’t need protection, given she is super confident in her design ability. But then Ru asked what advice Scarlet would give to Elektra, leading to her pointing out that doing the splits isn’t a skill.
And just like that, Scarlet needs protection. Elektra immediately defended herself with her perfect nipples on display, with Scarlet acting bored as she tried to pretend it isn’t impressive to be a back-up dancer for J-Lo and Sia. Which lol, sorry, it is. Whether you want to fight with Elektra or not.
Over in another corner Kita was having an absolute blast with her glue gun, while Maxi was delightfully fucking up the sewing machine and making jokes about the girls fighting. Anita was madly gluing her gown, which impacted the zen nature as Etcetera grew very, very nervous. She then pointed out Karen looks like Buzz Lightyear and her anxiety started to grow. Well, until Anita shared her crush on Buzz growing up. Meanwhile Art was a pure delight as she worked away on her look while joking with Elektra. Before Scarlet arrived to poke Elektra and continue to lean right into their villain role, whether she realised it or not.
Elimination Day rolled around with Karen less nervous about her concept, while Anita was happy with hers and ready to slay. Kita on the other hand was not feeling it and was scared that her bestie was far and away the worst and was about to be blindsided. Art spoke about feeling liberated to have gotten losing out of her system, but was acutely aware that she can’t afford to do it again. She then asked about whether the other queens were hurt when people are disappointed to see them out of drag before Etcetera spoke about her gender journey and how in drag everyone gets it, but out of drag it is difficult to explain being non-binary. The dolls rallied around Etcetera, with them thanking the queens for understanding as Karen pointed out that that is not something they should have to do.
Ru, Michelle and Rhys were joined on the panel by the gorgeous Elz Carrad who I had never heard of and now plan to marry in an intimate ceremony in Milford Sound. Distracting me from my burgeoning love, Art opened the show as a delightfully pink Marie Antoinette by way of that little whorehouse in Texas. Kita was a bouncing colourful delight, coated in balls. Etcetera was full glamour in a sheer lilac number, primed for a boudoir shoot. Maxi was a punk version of Divina’s bag look, Karen had Rhys delighted as she smoked up the runway as Schapelle despite kinda looking a mess and misunderstanding the assignment.
Elektra served full glamour-whore, in a gown of ties. Before Antia tragically was not great in a burnt book gown and Scarlet sadly proved her confidence was not misplaced, as she slayed in a gorgeous picnic table onesie, complete with wine and a grape headband. And as much as she hasn’t been fun this week, you can’t fault the look despite it erring on the side of simple.
Kita Mean and Elektra were sent to safety, with the latter praised for listening to the judges and growing. With them out of the way, the judges gushed about everything Art did, glad that her return was triumphant and looked forward to watching her grow. Etcetera was praised for her sewing skills, though they were unsure about her references. Maxi was praised for listening to the judges critiques and happy at how well she executed the entire look. Then Karen was read for focusing on the characterisation of Schapelle rather than constructing an outfit. Anita too was read, though for doing a look that had been done of the runway before by Naomi fucking Smalls. And well, they loved everything about Scarlet.
Backstage Elektra was on cloud nine just to be safe and thrilled with the added bonus that it gave a big fuck you to the other queens. Scarlet tried to make-up with Elektra by praising it as the second best look on the runway and girl, just stop. Karen was heartbroken to have bombed by focusing on character and for kind of just not getting the categories that she excels at yet. She was confident she and Anita would be lip syncing, with Anita agreeing but disappointed since the judges didn’t love or hate her look, were just kind of ambivalent. Oh and she was frustrated by the fact she thought Kita would be in the bottom rather than safe, which is actually what Etcetera thought given there is a split up the back of her skirt. This led to a cheeky vent about how the judges were harder on her as a fashion girl, with Elektra thrilled that Etcetera is melting down at the first sign of weakness.
Once again Scarlet took out victory, while Art and Maxi were sent to safety, leaving the bottoms to nervously await their fates. However there wasn’t much in doubt, given they had all predicted that Karen and Anita would be lip syncing, while Etcetera joined the remaining queens at the back of the stage. From the very first moment of Dannii Minogue’s I Begin to Wonder, both of the girls owned the stage. Anita rocked high camp, while Karen was charming her way through a two-step. She then added some finger drums and PCYC disco moves, while Anita rocked the robot across the stage and was totally demented. Ultimately Karen was saved while my heart broke as Anita was sent out of the competition.
And in the words of Alyssa Edwards, “buffoonery, riggery and straight up tomfoolery!”
I may be biased, given I passionately stan Anita but she well and truly won that lip sync and oy did I let her know as she walked into the Werk Room to pack-up and decompress. I screamed, I cried and tried to break into Ru’s compound on set to demand Art be re-removed from the competition and save Anita instead. But Anita being dear, sweet Anita, she held me tight and told me that it is ok, she will be ok, I will be ok – she was just glad to be there and to get the chance to compete.
Given I was still simmering with rage and fighting back tears, I didn’t have the strength to make Anita the 16-course degustation she deserved and instead sadly whipped up some Anitartare Wigl’it Sauce and called it a day. Which she brightly lied about, telling me it was all she could ever ask for.
While it generally goes better with a Carrie Fisher’n’Chips the world’s nicest person Anita says that it is the perfect snack all by itself. Tangy, salty and a little sweet, this creamy sauce does have all the flavours necessary to cheer you up. Though I probs wouldn’t guzzle it like we did. Just saying.
Well, well, well, just went you thought I was down and out – was I ever in, though? – Ru pulls me back into the world of fame, food, fortune and glamour. And into the orbit of one of my first loves, Rhys.
While I am mixing things up in the pursuit of trying to avoid angering the internet and posting our ru-caps on a one week delay, I had to mark the exciting occasion of Ru and Michelle judging our collective maps of Tassie with a little date with Rhys.
Oh Rhys. Dear, sweet Rhys.
We met in Sydney in 2009, he had just relocated and ready to take on the comedy world while I was being chased out of town by a modern version of a mob with pitchforks. You see, I had just tried to make my drag debut in THE frill-necked lizard costume from Priscilla and was clocked at The Beresford. Because if nothing else, us gays can sleuth.
In any event, I saw Rhys when running down Oxford Street and was immediately taken. Like that, I slid into an alley, did a cheeky quick change and went and swept him off my feet.
It was a beautiful, torrid spring fling which ended horribly three months later as I was finally arrested for my frilled-neck crimes as he looked on in absolute horror. While the relationship ended, we maintained a lovely friendship as he wrote to me in priz, updating me on his blossoming relationship with Kyran.
As is oft the case, there was a brief period of turmoil when I arrived on the Down Under set and realised that Ru and Michelle opted for a younger, prettier model to join them on the judges panel but I was glad to be able to repair the friendship after returning to Oz and share in the premiere with him.
But you know, we’ve got a new spoiler policy in place, you won’t be hearing anything about that until next week. In the meantime, may I suggest getting a big, fat Rhys Nicholsonoran Hot Dog in your mouth.
There was no more fitting way to return to this little venture than by splitting a soft, pillowy bun with a big fat sausage, slathering it in a creamy, zesty sauce and adding a little bit of spice. And avocado.
Ingredients 8 sausages, basic Aussie preferred 16 rashers streaky bacon 8 hot dog rolls, subs or Hulk Hoagies would work in a pinch too because let’s be honest, I couldn’t find bolillos ¼ cup Shayonnaise Swain, or any old mayo you have laying around. But you know, in date small handful of coriander, finely chopped, plus extra to garnish 1 tbsp sriracha, plus extra to top 1 lime, zested and juiced salt and pepper, to taste 2 tomatoes, cored and diced ½ red onion, finely diced 400g can refried beans, warmed 2 avocados, diced pickled jalapenos, to serve
Method Preheat the oven to 180C.
Tightly wrap each sausage with two rashers of bacon and place, seam side/s down, on a lined baking sheet. Transfer to the oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until golden, crisp and cooked through.
While you’re getting your sausage fest nice and hot, combine the mayo, coriander, hot sauce and zest and juice of one of the limes with a good whack of salt and pepper.
In another bowl, combine the tomato, onion and zest and juice of the remaining lime with a pinch of salt, stir well and allow the citrus to take some of the sharpness form the onion.
To assemble, split the buns, schmear with some refried beans, top with the meaty sausage, drizzle with spicy, herbaceous mayo, some quick-pickled tomato and onion, avo and coriander and some hot sauce. Assuming you’re not one of the people that genetically tastes soap in place of coriander.
After making that decision, then devour, greedily and happily, grateful that I am back, back, back, back, back again, with another season of Drag Race.
Previously on Australian Survivor, David secured back-to-back wins in the reward and immunity challenges. Most importantly, he also gave us two beautiful nudes scenes which really does count for something, in my mind. The best of which occurred at the reward, where he had taken his allies Sharn, Moana and Tarzan for an overnight holiday and showered in nature like an actual God. Despite that majesty, the reward meant he left Jacqui alone back at camp with the minority alliance and boy did they work her! At tribal council, Jacqui flipped to their side and they loaded their votes on Moana, while her former alliance all voted for her. While the minority alliance was keen to go to rocks, Sharn convinced them that she would join their side if they let Jacqui go and as such, she headed out to become the queen of the jury.
Back at camp things were decidedly awkward as Sharn tried to act like she was friends with everyone, officially killing off her chances at winning the season. She buddied up to Brooke and Shonee first, the latter of which rightly pointed out that David only wants to keep people he can beat around and as such, she isn’t making it to the end. She then swung by David and Tarzan to pretend that everything that happened at tribal was simply one big act, when in actuality, Tarzan knew she was now lying to them given she mouthed at him to vote Moana in the revote. When I was about to love him, he opted not to call her out and now I am sad and need him to go.
The next day Sharn was still busy buddying up to the Vakama trio when a cow straight up wandered into camp. Obviously Shonee and Brooke approached to see if it would like any pats or better still, to join their alliance and go to the final four with them. Feeling nervous about being replaced by a bovine, Sharn sidled up to David again and reiterated that she is still definitely with him and was solely telling them everything they needed to hear. Which again, is why she lost her first game. And is why she is now the perfect person to take to the end. While David didn’t say that, he did assure her that he is still all in on taking her to the end. And coupled with Shonee’s comment about him only wanting to take people to the end he could beat, that should tell her what he thinks of her current chances.
The tribe all sunbaked by the shore and gossiped before a stewing Tarzan won back my heart, pulling Moana aside to let her know that Sharn was gunning for her at the last tribal council. And given he is so honest, Moana originally wanted to believe him but instead, she and David blindly assured him that Sharn wouldn’t have meant it and he must have misunderstood her.
With them occupied, Brooke and Shonee went hunting for an idol for a little bit before gossiping about Sharn losing five jury votes if she dicks them over. Oh and then Shonee reminded us that she is the reason Sharn lost her first season and should she fuck with her, she will gladly makes sure she comes second again. Elsewhere the erstwhile runner-up approached AK to assure him that she is all in with the alliance and while she is keen to get rid of Dave, she also wants to make sure they do it at the right time.
My love Jonathan arrived for the immunity challenge where each tribemate was required to keep themselves wedged between two frames with the last one standing winning immunity. Aka when you used to try and hold yourself up in a door frame and act super cool in the 90s. Almost instantly, AK dropped – due to an ACL injury, FYI – followed closely by Moana and Sharn, who is just as hapless at the challenge as she is in the game. When trying to transition to a higher section of the frame, we lost our Queen Shonee before Tarzan followed after 15 minutes. The remaining two fought it out for another full 30 minutes before David started to struggle, wriggling around while Brooke sat motionless in the frame until finally, after 75 minutes, David dropped and Brooke snatched yet another immunity.
Back at camp David was feeling salty as everyone congratulated Brooke on how easy she made the challenge look. With him simmering, Shonee, Brooke and AK went for a walk, hoping Sharn would follow so they could fashion a plan. She eventually followed them to the well, with AK pushing everyone to load the votes on David, offering himself as the other groups target as he would rather get idoled out than be a sitting duck. Sharn eventually disappeared to chat with her other allies, while Shonee and AK laughed about how screwed Sharn is at the end, should she flip on them. Meanwhile Sharn and Moana were locking in the vote for Shonee, with Moana pointing out how happy that would make Sharn since she wants revenge on her for losing her first season. WHAT?! I think it was your terrible performance in front of the jury. Oh and then she suggested she is playing a killer, covert game this season.
After locking in the vote, she disappeared to hang with the Vakama trio to make sure they thought she was in with them. That gave Tarzan time to remind David that he is in grave danger tonight and they really need to think about something other than trusting Sharn. With that, David filled them in on his idol and suggested that he go to Sharn and let her know about the idol and promise her that it is the two of them until the end. He then went and did just that as Sharn fangirled over him and congratulated him on a game well played, she then told us that she could see right through his plan and as such, knew it would be safe to target him tonight.
At tribal council AK admitted to regretting turning on Jacqui, as the risk of rocks was less of a risk than trusting Sharn. Shonee and Brooke joined him by explaining that they were super keen to go to rocks, until Sharn promised to work with them. Sharn then admitted to everything in front of the jury, with Shonee pointing out that should she join the jury because of Sharn, it won’t end well for her. Essentially. Sharn then said that she was happy with the decision she has made for the vote ahead before David tried to play into her ego, saying Sharn has played a great game this season and as such, he wants to face her at the end. AK started to try for the same pitch, encouraging her that now is the time to make a big move and that joining them is pretty much the only way for her to do it.
David tried to remind her that he wants to work with her, while AK and Brooke worked harder, reminding Sharn that taking out David would be best for a lot of people’s games, not just the Vakama trio. AK then started to shoot himself in the foot, talking about changing his mind about who he wants to sit with at the end after each tribal council, based on who is left and how the ones that have gone were voted out. David used this to his advantage, assuring them that he has always been solid and hasn’t swayed from who he wants to go to the final four with. A sentiment which was echoed by Sharn and then Moana.
With that they voted and once again Sharn blindly trusted the strongest man in the game to her detriment, sticking with her OG alliance to send our beloved Queen Shonee from the game. And fuck am I completely enraged! I mean, if you listen carefully during the count, you can hear my screaming expletives from the Jury Villa, vowing to ruin Sharn’s life. While I have slightly calmed down since I am now busy worrying about everyone’s life since COVID-19, I am still furious about her decision to end my queen’s game. But I am no longer planning to ruin her life which is growth. Though let’s be honest, even if I did and she sued me, I honestly don’t think I would need to worry about facing her in court. Given she crumbles in front of a jury, right?
I know, I know – it was a long journey to get ro a boring read about her sucking at final tribal council. But I digress.
As soon as I stopped crying enough to see Shonee in the Jury Villa, I pulled her in for a massive hug and muttered repeatedly about her being a precious angel and needs to win this show eventually and that she better not end up like Cirie, just coming back and never getting the win she deserves. Obviously I sounded completely unhinged but Shon being Shon, she held me tight and assured me that everything is going to be ok.
“But cherub, maybe it would be even better with a little snack, no?”
As it is written, so it shall be done and as requested, I gifted her a piping hot, delicious Shoneedi Burgfax.
I will die on a hill that Oporto’s Bondi Burger is one of the great take-away burgers. Breaded, juicy chicken, chilli that knocks your socks off and a gorgeously creamy mayo work together to create not just a delicious burg, but the perfect way to honour an icon like Shonee.
Shoneedi Burgfax Serves: 4.
Ingredients 2 dried habanero chillies, seeded and chopped 2 tsp hot paprika 6 garlic cloves, minced 2 tsp minced ginger ½ tsp raw caster sugar 2 lemons, zested and juiced ⅓ cup vegetable oil 2 chicken breasts, sliced into two fillets each 1 cup flour, for dredging 1 tsp kosher salt 4 burger buns ¼ cup Shayonnaise Swain 1 cup butter lettuce, washed and shredded 4 slices provolone cheese
Method Start by prepping the chilli sauce by combining the habanero, paprika, garlic, ginger, sugar, lemon juiced and oil in a jug and stir until well combined.
Pour half the chilli sauce into a bowl and add the chicken, tossing through until well coated. Cover and transfer to the fridge to marinate for an hour or so.
When you’re good to go, remove the chicken from the fridge and combine the flour and salt in a bowl. One at a time, remove the breast from the chilli sauce, draining off excess liquid before dredging in the flour mixture. Place on a plate and repeat the process.
Pop a large skillet over medium heat and lightly brush with some extra vegetable oil. Fry the breasts for about five minutes each side until golden, crisp and most importantly, cooked through.
To assemble, split the buns – my favourite part – and spread each side with mayo. Place the lettuce on the bottom followed by a chicken breast, cheese and a generous spoon of the reserved chilli sauce.