Previously on Australian Survivor Anita and Tegan battled it out on Exile, with Anita sent from the game and Tegan sent back to roast the people that turned on her. Meanwhile over at the Champions, everyone was loving life, Steve was giving me life and well … we don’t see much from them because they keep winning. As such the Contenders returned to tribal council where somehow, against all odds Benji managed to avoid the epic fallout from his lies, in no small part thanks to Zach just digging his grave and getting himself booted. I mean, you can tell the exact moment Benji and Robbie could tell that Zach had ruined his game.
We opened up at the Champions with my love Steve Willis, tragically doing clothed yoga while Jackie and Brian roasted him for being quiet, sexy and focused on meditating and exercising. I mean, I love Steve because he is the best … but I’m also loving Brian for the sassy commentary. Well, until it dips over to being malicious, then I choose Steve. Forever and always. Brian continued to watch Steve and Lydia doing yoga in his jocks – which yes, is kinda hot – while Jackie praised how well she was set up on her tribe. She has Brian, Monika and Sam – I think – in her pocket, with Shane so scared she’d jump to anyone, and planned to take out Mat or Steve – BACK OFF – ASAP. Mat noticed the fact that Jackie was rallying troops to get him out, so tried to get Monika on side to launch a counterattack and to take control. So I guess congratulations Contenders, you’ve won immunity.
Speaking of which, the ladies of the Contenders were rejoicing in the peace following Zach’s boot. Shonee in particular was glad to no longer have to smell him or hear about his love of protein shakes, chickens and generally being boring. The girls were interrupted from roasting Zach by a random treemail announcing treasure hidden somewhere at their camp. The tribe giddily ran around the island and discovered that they were given the pity prize of their loved items from home. Paige got photos, Benji got a random doll from his nana, Tegan got her son’s bunny – the same as Brian’s daughter and my niece’s – Shonee got a photo of her zaddy husband, Robbie got a picture of his family, Fenella got a picture of her boyf and Heath got some bracelets and a picture of his daughter, and hot damn if you’re not crying you have no soul. Thankfully it brought them all together and it finally seemed like they may be at a turning point.
With all the talk about dominating the Champions at the next challenge, Jonathan returned for said challenge to see if they could put their money where their mouth is. The reward challenge required the tribe to run and climb up a wall, jump off and grab a rope before swimming out to an A-frame and tether themselves on top, with the first tribe to complete getting to smash nachos and fresh margs like Julie Cooper-Nichol. Mat and Steve thankfully were rocking the speedos so I’m not exactly sure what was happening, though I think the Contenders were in front despite Tegan and Robbie belly-flopping. Since Monika completely axed herself. Shane went for gold to try and close the gap, however the Contenders maintained their epic lead while Monika freaked about having to attempt the dive again … while Steve served cake to the camera. Once again, Mon missed the rope while Mat and Steve willed her to finish as the Contenders ascended their A-frame as Monika smashed herself, this time successfully on the third go. Despite a late push for a comeback thanks to Heath and Robbie struggling with the ropes, the Contenders finally secured their first reward while poor Monika cried in pain.
The Contenders were sent out to enjoy their reward with an ominous note and a warning that since it is a family style nachos, they’d have to be prepared to share. Shonee however was too busy being thrilled by the incoming margs and the fact that they won the first challenge after booting Zach, despite him telling them he was the only thing keeping them together.
Back at camp the Champions praised Monika for persevering through the challenge despite continually axing herself. And while I want to mock it, the fact that she took the moment to remind herself that while she isn’t an athlete she deserves to be a champion and has a renewed fire to take out the win.
At the reward, the Contenders discovered that their share meal and drink came with the mother of all shit twists with everyone eating one at a time and forced to eat as much as they want slash see fit until everyone had a turn. Or the food was gone. With everyone jockeying to try and organise the order to suit them, Tegan outplayed Benji and assured him that the girls would eat less and as such should go first … knowing full well an idol would be hidden at the food. While she searched the entire place, she came up empty handed. Fenella and Shonee followed without looking for an idol, while Paige had a cursory glance before Benji arrived and moved the food from the bottom of the platter to discover a clue etched in the wood. He quickly deduced it was hidden on a sandbank, and just like that my heart broke as he smashed the nachos like a pig and desperately tried to hide the clue. Heath arrived and questioned the mutilated nachos, though didn’t appear to notice the clue … however Robbie did. Oh wait, no. He missed it, despite it being completely exposed. Back at camp Benji gazed out at the island, though was stuck in wait until the tide went down. And even then, he was terrified about being caught and having an even bigger target on his back.
My boy Jonathan returned for the latest immunity challenge where two people would hold a net over a log, while the other tribe would try and shoot coconuts into their baskets with the latest person standing securing immunity for their tribe. So yeah, so Zach … the contenders could probs have used you. And I was totally wrong about Contenders snagging immunity. Both tribes focused on loading up the men, with Heath and Steve slowly getting more and more weight while Fenella and Lydia were chillaxing. Ultimately Heath dropped while Steve struggled, leaving Fenella as the only hope against Lydia. Steve continued to take nut after nut until we both dropped our loads and it became a battle of the women as Fenella struggled and Lydia looked like the challenge beast that she is. Obviously before poor Fenella couldn’t hold out much longer – dem nuts, yo – giving immunity to the Champions again on account of Lydia being invincible.
Back at camp Paige was confident in her ability to play the swing vote, instantly making me nervous about her survival. Everyone was feeling dejected about the upcoming vote, with Benji knowing he can’t snatch the idol ahead of tribal council so instead looked to throw the vote to Paige. Shonee was all in as she can’t read Paige … until Benji tried to win back some trust by admitting that he is a millionaire, which made her instantly want to target him. She then went straight back to Fenella and told her they should vote him out, leading to Fenella saying what we’re all thinking – that his accent is total bullshit. Benji and his accent approached Heath to lock him in on the Paige vote, despite neither of them trusting each other. Meanwhile Robbie and Tegan were also talking about getting rid of Paige and leaving the couples in tact for this round. Benji joined them and assured Tegan he wouldn’t screw her over again, though despite the fact she doesn’t trust him she knows she needs to keep him close for this round. And well Paige just hoped the Survivor God’s would shine on her.
At tribal council Jonathan shaded the Contenders on their losing ways, before Tegan and Fenella admitted that they had each found a close ally, as did Robbie before poor Paige tried to get in on the action despite not being meaningfully allied with anyone. Tegan admitted that she needs to put things aside and work with people, even if she doesn’t trust them. Benji tried to pretend he hasn’t been caught up in his messy web of lies, Heath planned to move past prior blindsides, Shonee reminded us that Survivor isn’t the place to hold grudges and, well, Benji just felt confident her won’t be going home. 95% sure, to be exact.
With that the tribe went off to vote and tragically, opted to run over the girl in the middle in Paige rather than knock Benji’s smug face out of the. And boy was she pissed. While she seethed like I did with Zach last night, I quickly won her over with the smell of a freshly baked Paige de Keragne.
Pain de Campagne is essentially just a fancy way of saying French sourdough, but when it tastes this good you should let me indulge in my smugness. Adapted from a couple of recipes I found because I wanted an easier option, this easier version is still delicious. And light. And gloriously sour and ready for a slathering of butter.
Paige de Keragne
1kg 00 flour
250g rye flour
2 tsp yeast, crumbled
800ml tap-cold water
15g sea salt
To make the starter, combine 100g of each of the flours in a bowl with ½ tsp of yeast and ½ cup water. Mix until well combined, cover and leave to ferment for at least 12 hours. I started making it back on day 11 when it seemed likely Zach’s anti-woman stance would take her out.
When the starter is adequately fermented, combine the remaining ingredients with the starter in the bowl of a stand mixer and knead with a dough hook on medium speed for about 10 minutes. Or by hand, if you need to work out some Zach anger. Did I mention Zach and I are feuding?
Once the dough is nice and elastic, shape into a ball, cover with a warm damp cloth and leave to prove for an hour or two.
When the dough has doubled in size, knock back, divide into two or three balls, shape and place on a lined baking sheet. Cover the shaped dough and leave to prove for a further hour or so.transfer the baking sheets to the oven and bake for
Preheat oven to 250°C.
Once adequately proven, slice the top with shallow lines feeling your Meryl-in-It’s-Complicated-making-croissants self and place a baking dish of boiling water in the bottom of the oven. Transfer loaves to the oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until golden and crisp.
Devour, freshly sliced, as the butter melts all over the bread.