Previously on Survivor the three tribes came together for not the merge, but the now traditional non-merge-but-earn-your-place-in-the-real-one-a-palooza. Now, thankfully, gloriously hourglass free. After Elie, Owen and Sami were left vulnerable, the Baka’s worked overtime to put the target on Cassidy or James. Though obviously told them to target Cody. Sadly as hard as they worked to get rid of anyone else, Gabler decided to air their dirty laundry at the merge feast and outed Elie for going through his bag earlier in the season (when it was in fact Jeanine). And while she valiantly kicked it into overdrive to save herself, it was all it took to unite the rest of the group against Elie and boot her from the game as the final pre-merger.
Tragically, for my drama loving heart.
We returned to camp where the Gaia Tribe were reeling from what happened at tribal council, specifically Jeanine who was ready to rise from the ashes despite being left out. Noelle pulled her aside and assured her that despite what happened to her closest ally, she is still safe and if her experience with being left out of the Justine vote is anything to go by, it may actually help things. As such Jeanine went person to person, assuring them that there are no hard feelings and she is glad to lose her partner. Though in private, she still kinda just wanted to just cry.
The next day everyone ventured down to the beach for sunrise where Owen and Dwight quietly strategised about how to proceed, with Owen admitting he just doesn’t see himself working with Gabler any more given he is too unpredictable. Speaking of Gabler, he was busy talking to Cody about how chill he feels now that Elie is gone. He explained to us that he planned to continue playing like an ali-gabler. Aka duck back under water to chill until he next needs to strike.
Owen and Dwight continued their double act, collecting treemail which they thought was for art supplies to paint the tribe flag. Instead they learnt that the tribe would need to split into pairs for the upcoming challenge. And how those pairs were formed is completely up to them. While everyone obviously was desperate to get Ryan or Cody though, nobody outright said it and instead they decided to draw rocks.
We quickly pivoted to said epic challenge where Jeffrey confirmed it was for immunity and explained that the pairs would only be pairs for the first two stages of the challenge and after that, it was everyone for themselves. In the first stage, the pairs would race through a tangled net tube before digging up planks and a flag, with the first four back to their mat moving on. For stage two, they would race up a cargo net and cross a rope bridge and race to a mat with the last two pairs moving forward to the final stage, where they would each have to hold a bucket containing 25% of their starting weight. Last one holding the bucket jagging immunity.
Ryan and James were first through their tube followed by Karla and Cassidy. After Ryan and James moved on to the final round, Owen and Gabler and Cody and Dwight joined them, while Karla and Cassidy secured their spot in the next round with the other duos making it to the end as Noelle and Sami, and Jesse and Jeanine were eliminated without even exiting the tube. Before moving on to a new round, Probst gave a speech praising how hard Noelle fought in the challenge and while she was down on herself, seeing Sami and the rest of the tribe rally around her was heartwarming.
We then did a hard pivot as Probst set the second round in motion as Dwight and Cody blitzed through the competition and secured their place in the final round before Owen and Gabler narrowly joined them as the Coco duos dropped as they tried to rush to the finish. The four men took their place holding the buckets for the final round. Almost instantly Dwight dropped out as the other trio shared what was inspiring them before Owen lost concentration and dropped his bucket. Oh and then after 37 minutes of Gabler dedicating minutes to random people – which was far sweeter than I just made it sound – Cody put us out of our misery as he dropped his bucket and handed immunity to Gabler.
Back at camp Gabler opened up how much the veteran community means to him while the rest of the tribe washed the mud of themselves. In the water everyone started scrambling with the Baka and Vesi crew looking to stick together to get rid of James or Ryan. That is until James, Dwight, Owen and Sami went to get water and found a clue in the well, telling them an advantage was hidden under the shelter. While James assured them he wouldn’t take it until after tribal council, he obviously made a beeline for it. Dwight then went and looped Noelle in, who in turn went and told everyone about the advantage, rallying the troops against James.
Jesse and Karla meanwhile were spooked by how quickly Noelle was able to get everyone on side and as such, wanted to weaken her. When Jesse approached Cody about getting rid of Noelle, Cody suggested that getting rid of Dwight would be the better option, given Dwight is better at challenges and has always been sketchy to him. James meanwhile learnt that he had found the Knowledge Is Power advantage, fresh from Geo’s pocket. And rather than keep things quiet, he thought it could help build trust with people and as such, told his potential allies. Who were immediately spooked and started trading out idols and advantages so that he couldn’t snatch them. Jeanine gave her idol to Dwight, Owen scored Noelle’s extra vote and Jesse ended up in possession of Cody’s idol. Meaning everyone was nervous and mildly confused by the end of the day.
At tribal council Karla spoke about how reflective the immunity challenge was of the game, while Jesse felt like today truly levelled up the competition. Dwight spoke about how everyone has kicked in to playing their own game while Noelle felt like they needed a steady stream of plans to make sure they and their allies survive. James spoke about how advantages are only useful when played correctly and as such, people needed to spend less time focussing on them and, instead, just play the game. Cody spoke about surfing at Probst’s request, while most people admitted they were feeling confident they were on the right side of the numbers. Except for Sami who knew that there was always a risk and as such, they just needed to all play balls to the wall. Basically.
With that the tribe voted and despite a solid 7 out of 10 he was sure he was on the right side of the numbers, Dwight was shocked to be voted out of the game. With Jeanine’s idol in his pocket, no less! Despite being crushingly blindsided as the final pre-juror, Dwight was in pretty good form and took his boot like an absolute champion. While he played a low-key game – at least in the edit, given he was on a tribe with Cody – it was clear he was a strong contender, having relationships across all the OG tribes and dare I say it, should he had survived the vote, had what it takes to go all the way. And given that was a super upbeat and nice assessment from me, he was feeling pretty happy with himself and as such, gladly drank a jug of Dwight Moorshroom Gravy to toast his success.
The earthy nuttiness of the mushroom and the punch of wine work perfectly with the cream to form a warm, soulful gravy. Pop it with chicken, steak or maybe even something coming up later this season, and you’re alway left with the same result. An empty plate and a happy belly.
Dwight Moorshroom Gravy Serves: 4-6.
Ingredients extra virgin olive oil 500g mushrooms, sliced 3 garlic cloves, minced 2 sprigs fresh thyme ½ cup white wine ⅔ cup cream salt and pepper, to taste ¼ cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
Method Pop a lug of olive oil in a large skillet over high heat and saute for five minutes or until golden, soft and the liquid has reabsorbed. Add the garlic and thyme and cook for a further couple of minutes.
Pour in the wine and leave to bubble up, cooking till it’s almost all absorbed before stirring in the cream. Leave to bubble for a couple of minutes until it slightly thickens before seasoning to taste, alongside the parsley.
Then devour, either pour onto a protein or into a glass. No judgement.
While the UK has undergone a lot of turmoil in the last few weeks, Ru, Michelle, Alan and Graham are thankfully back to provide a sense of stability. Kind of like how one Liz came into power just as one was taken from us to keep a state of equilibrium, which I’m not not saying was deliberate. Thankfully as a King has ascended, the Beeb is keeping us fed by unleashing 12 new queens on the Werk Room, starting with the iconic Danny Beard giving leather daddy realness, but make it clown. And well, I love her so. She was joined by Baby and given she gives off big Tayce energy, I LOVE her. Pixie Polite arrived adorbs, charming and old school and I live for everything about her.
If she survives the Brighton curse, obvi.
Sminty Drop arrived giving space-twink sex pot and well, maybe twinks are my thing because she is so gorgeous. More importantly, she is Gothy’s granddaughter and well, I live. Starlet arrived giving old glam and looking like Gothy and Krystal’s love child, so you KNOW she will be Ru’s fave. Jonbers Blonde arrived and stole my damn heart, giving sex AND Disney villain. And yeah, BRB, I’m drippin’. Black Peppa arrived and hot damn, while Jonbers may have my loins, Peppa has my heart. She is an icon, she is the moment, she is PERFECTION.
The world’s foremost Ginger Spice impersonator Just May – aka Alan Carr does Geri – arrived and well, I love her and how adorable she is. Or sad, if you trust Danny’s take. Dakota Schiffer arrived serving trans icon and you KNOW she is going to be the vintage fashion queen based on her Sharon Tate playboy bunny references. Copper Topp was next up and was a natural redhead, willing to teabag, so yeah, I’m into it all. Le Fil shot into the Werk Room and well, I love her; energetic, sassy and SO damn silly. And she went to school with the DDC, so you know she is going to serve it. Potentially in a silver dress and a red wig. And I DO think. Rounding out the cast though was Cheddar Gorgeous, the absolute icon and well, the dolls are quivering because this is like Bianca walking into Season 6.
I mean, everyone sat around and gushed about how she inspired them to start drag and push themselves. And well, it was glorious.
Ru finally dropped by to meet her new daughters, promptly whipping out the Brit Crew – ugh, I can’t breathe – for a Spice Girls London 2012 entrance photoshoot. Obviously Just May was up first, giving all the Geri and well, I LIVE. Particularly since Geri does Rachel Griffiths in Muriel’s Wedding. Sminty Drop was all model, Danny was perfection, Jonbers was silly and sexy in equal measure, Dakota was ethereal and beautiful while Baby looked like a drowned rat, having the best time. Copper was living her best life, Peppa looked like she was living her best life with Tyra on ANTM, Pixie was charming as all hell, Le Fil was a hairy delight, Starlet was enjoying herself despite the rains and Cheddar was 100% professional – obviously. There could only be one winner though, and that was Peppa – again, obviously – because she is a star and I love everything about her.
Before departing Ru announced that for their first Maxi Challenge, the dolls would have to serve two looks on the runway. They’d kick things off with the Keeping It 100 runway in honour of the Beeb’s 100th anniversary, while their second look – Ru Are You? – would show the judges their signature drag. In front of guest judge, my dear friend Joanna Lumley, no less! With that, Ru exited as the dolls fought to find their place in the Werk Room and unpack, with Dakota in particular scared of being in the competition with the iconic Danny and Cheddar. Peppa meanwhile was thrilled that her BBC runway is amazing and as such, she was ready for another slay. As they took off their make-up, Le Fil and Just May bonded over their insecurities and hearing how Just May can’t see how beautiful she is breaks my heart.
Because. She. Is.
Elimination Day arrived as the dolls were giddy to stomp their very first runways, though were also a little nervous about potentially being the one to go home. Copper, Starlet and Sminty caught up, talking about their BBC runway inspos which ranged from Ab Fab to Antiques Roadshow and ugh, this is going to be good. The dolls meanwhile realised Peppa was going to be serving Blobby which led to her calling out Danny for being one note and well, I live for it all.
Ru, Michelle and Graham were joined by an oh so perfect Joanna as Cheddar opened the BBC Keeping It 100 as the literal test card, giving black and white, with a little rainbow clown and well, I loved it all. Jonbers served Blue Peter and well, sink me Jonbers. Le Fil gave full on Pudsey Bear, but make it model, Sminty was a glamorous antique lamp in honour of the roadshow while Baby was hilarious yet sexy as Rastamouse. Dakota was the sexiest Anne Boleyn from Horrible Histories, Danny was a sexy latex Mr Blobby, Just May gave the literal bust from Eastenders, Copper gave Julie Waters in the two soups sketch, Starlet gave Patsy in FRONT of Patsy while Pixie was glorious as Del Boy, aka an extra from the Matilda movie. Oh and then Black Peppa gave sexy Mr Blobby, making it better AND more club kid. And explaining her shady banter with Danny.
Cheddar kicked off the Ru Are You runway as a sexy deity Mad Max extra, but make it mediaeval. Jonbers was perfect as a sporty leather dame, this time with GB colours, Le Fil was a sexy red delight, Sminty was all leg, with a side of Marie Antoinette, Baby was a red, street-puff delight before Dakota gave theatre curtains, but make it model. Danny was a shimmering, shiny architectural delight, Just May was the literal personification of va-va-voom, Copper was a ginger billboard with a message, Starlet went full fairy, Pixie gave rainbow over the pier while Peppa once again demolished as a literal wrapped chocolate, despite the fact her headpiece fell off mid-stomp.
Cheddar, Jonbers, Le Fil, Baby, Danny and Pixie were sent to untuck backstage before they heaped Sminty with all the praise for giving two differing, completely polished looks. Dakota was read for clearly being nervous, despite looking absolutely stunning. Just May was praised for being stupid and funny, despite not really giving much polish, just moisturiser. Copper was praised for her polish, though was read for being a little one note. Starlet was perfection from start to finish, which is what all the judges told her before Peppa received universal praise, but even better. The better Blobby and then complete chocolate fashion, literally. Oh and then she broke down about how happy she was to be sharing herself and well, crown her already, ok?
Backstage the dolls were thrilled to be safe, none more so than Pixie who finally broke the Brighton curse. While Danny was thrilled to make it through, she admitted to the girls she hides behind her confidence because she was absolutely bricking it. The tops and bottoms returned with Dakota sure it would be her lip syncing up against Copper, heartbroken to not slay when she expected herself to. Copper too was heartbroken, while Just May opened up about how she is so nervous when out of her comfort zone. Though was hopeful her personality would carry her through. While Peppa was just super proud of herself. As she should be.
Ultimately Sminty was deemed safe, followed by Starlet leaving Black Peppa to rightly take out the very first win of the season before Copper narrowly avoided the bottom thanks to her message. Which left a gagged Just May to battle it out against Dakota to Mabel’s Let Them Know. And well, Dakota was simply not willing to be the first one to go, giving all the attitude and hitting every lyric. Just May was campy, cute and so much fun, but Dakota just pulled all the attention, in all the right ways. Which was enough to keep her in the competition, tragically at the cost of sweet Just May who became the Porkchop – sorry, Gothy – of the season.
Backstage I was, how do you say, a little bit intense, pulling Just May in for a hug and holding her by the face and telling her through gritted teeth how beautiful she is and how I need her to start seeing even half of what others see. Because she is so talented, charming, funny and a little bit silly, which is everything that makes her AND Geri great. Thankfully she wasn’t too freaked out by that, as we quickly became the fastest of friends and sat down to toast her future success with a shot of Justriacha Mayo.
I love mayo and I love sriracha, so it really shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that sriracha mayo is one of my favourite condiments. Secondly only to wasabi mayo, but I digress. Sweet, creamy and packing a punch, this is perfect with pretty much everything. Even the post-boot blues.
Justriacha Mayo Makes: 1 cup.
Ingredients 1 cup Shayonnaise Swain ¼ cup sriracha 1 lemon, zested and juiced 1 garlic clove, finely grated kosher salt and pepper, to taste
Method Combine the mayo, sriracha, lemon zest and juice and garlic in a bowl, and season with salt and pepper.
Then down in shots, or with dumplings, sushi, on a sandwich, with chips. I could go on, so just use your judgement, ok?
Previously on Survivor South Africa the original Yontau members had their backs against the wall on each of the post-swap tribes. At new Yontau, Dante was busy targeting Dino who was quickly winning everyone else on the tribe over, while his only ally Phil worried about becoming collateral damage. On Masu, Toni took the chance to take control of the tribe, forming bonds with Steffi and Tejan, and pulling in Killarney to get revenge on her Yontaus. Which tragically cost Thoriso the game, despite the fact she knew being loyal to Felix would lead to her demise.
The next day things were very very awkward for Felix at Masu, given he was all alone. And while he desperately wanted to seek revenge, he knew he had to bide his time to really achieve his goals. Toni and Tejan meanwhile were locking in a vote against Killarney should they return to tribal council, with her assuring Felix that she will be protecting him. Despite the fact he is a number for Dante and Co. meaning it may not be in her best interests, given she is so well connected outside of Dante. Tejan meanwhile caught up with Felix and assured him that he will (also) be protecting him throughout the game and while he was super friendly to his face, Felix was ready to smack him and desperate to stop having to be nice to those in power.
Over at Yontau Phil and Dino were just desperately waiting for the merge, hoping it can save them from being on the wrong side of the numbers. Dante meanwhile was busy plotting how to get rid of Dino, even though he doesn’t have any numbers or power. His plan was to get Meryl to tell Dino about the (expired) idol and that he would be playing it, though given he was so strong with how he floated the plan with Meryl, Marian and Palesa, it was starting to become clear that he won’t have any allies left come merge. Oh and Marian was planning to pass off her diplomatic immunity to Steffi should Masu lose the upcoming challenge.
The tribes reassembled with Nico for the latest immunity challenge, this time played as individuals with everyone standing on a perch over the water holding a ball above their head. Last one standing winning tribal immunity, before both tribes attend tribal council and vote someone out of the losing tribe. Oh and the last one standing from each tribe will venture to the Outpost. Everyone was still standing after 15 minutes, leading to Nico upping the ante and forcing them to hold the ball over their heads, rather than balancing it on them. Almost immediately it cost Felix his place, quickly followed by Dante. They obviously started gossiping about their respective tribes and who they should target at the upcoming vote, which could be good news for Dino, given he and Felix are tight.
Shane was next to drop who suggested they vote out Dante, wait no, Dino. Palesa dropped out of nowhere and added to the Dino pile on before the pain became too much for Marian and she joined the pile on. After struggling for what felt like eternity, Killarney finally dropped leaving three per tribe to fight for immunity. Well, until Meryl dropped out of nowhere, leaving Phil and Dino to fight for their safety. While Toni started assuring Dino that he can drop and the Masu tribe will look after him and Phil, and help them take out someone. Dino eventually fell out of the challenge, handing Phil the trip to the Outpost. Marian meanwhile started floating the idea of using diplomatic immunity and guaranteeing another one of their numbers are safe. And while Dante was very against it, Meryl was all for it and suggested they band together to get rid of Palesa, given how close she is becoming with Dante. Out of nowhere, Phil dropped handing Masu immunity before Tejan, Steffi and Toni debated who should go, giving it to Toni as the only one yet to visit.
After Nico handed immunity off to Masu, Marian pulled out her Diplomatic Immunity and used it to join the Masu tribe and save herself at the vote ahead. As Toni and Phil headed off to the Outpost, Dino was feeling nervous again while Palesa admitted both tribes attending tribal council truly changes things as their fates are no longer just in their tribe’s hands.
Back at Yontau Palesa was growing more and more nervous about the vote, feeling like she had to pledge her allegiance to an alliance ASAP. She caught up with Meryl and Dino about Marian playing the Diplomatic Immunity with Dino concerned about her influencing things at Masu. Which was making Meryl super excited. Speaking of Marian and Masu, everyone was quite sombre which was confusing to Tejan given they are all likely to have made it to the merge. Steffi opened up to us about being disappointed by Marian’s arrival, wanting to have used the swap to build her resume on her own. Which is something Marian picked up on, given everyone was pretty damn frosty since she arrived.
Over at Yontau Dante and Shane were worried about two tribes reconvening at tribal council, particularly given they have no idea what is happening over at the Outpost. Shane suggested they go hunting for another idol, given Dante is unlikely to play the idol for anyone other than himself. Completely unaware Dante’s idol is dead. Felix and Marian were catching up at Masu, with Felix worried about which side to go with between his current ride or die Dino and Dante, his ride or die from their OG season. Steffi meanwhile was disappointed to have let Toni go to the Outpost, with Marian catching up with her to see if she was ok. Which put a target on Steffi’s back, just as she feared, as Felix, Tejan and Killarney speculated why Marian came over and what her agenda could be. Particularly focused on her potentially just being there to gather intel ahead of the suspected merge. With Marian just trying to assure Steffi their OG alliance is still solid, despite Steffi warning her that should there be another tribal immunity, there is no guarantee Marian will be safe.
Bouncing back to Yontau, Meryl shared her fears about Marian leaving to Dino, opening up about how difficult it is to be aligned with Dante given he is volatile and takes a lot of her energy. Thinking Dante is immune, she then floated the idea of getting rid of Palesa and while Dino was obviously keen for anyone else to be a target, he argued that Palesa is far nicer to him than Shane and would rather get rid of him. Meryl then shared that eventually, sooner rather than later, she will turn on Dante, but right now, she would rather target his potential number Palesa. Speaking of Palesa, she caught up with Dino and the duo put everything on the table, outlining their numbers on either tribe and how they can navigate the merge. With Palesa obviously doubling down on getting rid of Shane in the hope of getting in with Toni’s post merge numbers.
We finally arrived at the Outpost where Phil was desperate for a little bit of safety. Sadly for him, the advantage on offer was for two half idols should they correctly guess who will be voted out at the next tribal council. Which are huge stakes, but could screw over one of them should their alliance not last long. As such, the duo sat down to talk about the upcoming vote and spilled the tea on the rumours floating around each tribe. Their initial plan was to split the vote between Dante and Shane, while Phil suggested getting rid of Meryl to really make Dante feel isolated. Ultimately switching back to Shane at the last minute, while hyping up the hatred for Dante to make him play the idol.
Sadly for their idol chances, it was at that moment that Shane found a hidden immunity idol. Wait, no, it was Diplomatic Immunity and since Marian had already used it, it was null and void.
The mood around camp in general was very tense, with Shane sharing his Diplomatic Immunity find with Meryl and suggesting that while it is expired, he can use it to create a little chaos. Concerned about everyone being kinda safe based with their idols or the assumptions of people having one, Meryl was considering playing her tribal council pass, given it is likely going to come down between her and Palesa as the safe options.
Phil returned from the Outpost and told a little half-truth story about the half-idol, before he pulled Dino aside and suggested they get rid of Shane. Though he didn’t give all the truth. Palesa meanwhile was concerned about working with Dino and Phil, though knew she had to make a decision and felt they were safe given they were connected with Toni. As such, they were all planning to load all their votes on Shane.
Toni returned to Masu and filled them in, kinda, on the Outpost and suggested they all vote out Dante. Marian felt she was shifty and Killarney could tell she was lying, while she disappeared to fill Steffi in on the true plan to get rid of Shane instead. Sadly for her, Steffi didn’t love the idea and as such, was planning to mix things up herself. She pulled Killarney aside and suggested they join with Marian and Shane, and along with Felix, can take control of the game.
Over at Yontau Dante was still pushing for the vote against Phil, while Meryl quietly pulled him aside and suggested they team up to get rid of Palesa without Dante knowing. Not only does it keep them both safe, it weakens whatever Dante is planning moving forward and as such, they were both on board. Phil and Dino caught up about Meryl and debated whether they can trust her, with the latter concerned about what she can do moving forward and feeling like she is the far smarter move than the already abrasive Shane. Phil took that suggestion to Palesa, agreeing that she is totally more dangerous come merge and as such, was locked in on taking out Meryl. Shane then caught up with Phil to float the idea of getting rid of Palesa and assured him that he has never lied to him. He then spoke about Dante saying he has an idol, though admitted he is yet to see it. Oh but he has one. Which pushed Phil over the edge, given so many people are claiming to have an idol now.
Back at Masu Marian caught up with Steffi and Felix, worried about the perceived abundance of advantages and suggested maybe they vote for Palesa instead. Particularly since it weakens Shane. They rejoined the rest of their tribe and suggested the idea, which annoyed Toni given she was desperate to get rid of Shane. Steffi made sure that Toni was very vocal about her plan coming out on top, in the hope it would make everyone concerned about navigating around her throughout the season.
Meryl and Dante meanwhile caught up with the latter very nervous about going home, debating who would be best to target to keep them safe, given Marian would be annoyed if Shane goes, while Meryl ws nervous about how dangerous Palesa is. Particularly since she has been playing such a social game this season.
At tribal council Palesa was nervous about preemptively playing a merge game, as Marian mouthed to Dino to play his idol for Shane. Dante was concerned about the previous relationships coming into play and muddying the waters, while Shane suggested the increased prize money would make things more complicated. Relationships be damned. Phil spoke about being a free agent coming in and glad to build new bonds to push ahead, while Dino was nervous about navigating through the future merge phase.
After everyone started whispering amongst themselves, Nico grew sick of it and suggested everyone get up to gossip. Marian rallied her former allies to join the Palesa vote, while Meryl was worried about the votes being split between her and Shane. There were whispers of Shane, Palesa and Meryl and well, it was all confusing. While everyone was just nervous, as Tejan questioned why they are now planning on turning on one of their own. He then blew things up and asked people to clarify the plan, with Shane pulling out his pouch and suggesting he has an idol, while Steffi begged for them to just damn vote already. Tejan talking about being annoyed but feeling like his hands are tied and as such, he was fine to just get it over with.
With that the tribe voted, Dante outed his idol had expired, as did Shane and his expired pass while Dino held on firm to his real one. As Nico read the votes, much to Tejan and to my horror, they piled up on Queen Palesa and tragically booted her from the game. Just before the merge, which officially went down at tribal council.
Palesa didn’t need a map to find me hiding in Loser Lodge, following the sound of my screaming tears, heartbroken she missed out on the chance to take out a well deserved victory. Despite playing a very strong game her first go, she came in and completely changed the way she played, learning from her mistakes and changing strategy to keep everyone on their toes. And without a twist, I firmly believe she would have made it through the week unscathed. But alas, twists twisted and as such, we had to drown our sorrows with a Palesar Taulad.
While I experienced a slight trauma upon the discovery on the abundance of anchovies washing through a caesar salad, I quickly moved on after realising it tastes good. Creamy, salty and oh so crunchy, this salad is a sensory delight.
Palesar Taulad Serves: 2 icons feeling the blues.
Ingredients 4 streaky bacon rashers, diced 2 eggs 20g butter 2 garlic clove, minced 3 slices sourdough, cut into a 1cm dice 1 cos lettuce, washed, dried and roughly chopped ½ cup parmesan cheese, shaved ¼ cup Caesharonne Salad Dressing
Method Pop a skillet over medium heat and get a pot of water on another hob and bring to the boil. Once the skillet is hot, add the bacon and cook, stirring, until nice and crispy. Remove from the skillet with a slotted spoon. Once the pot of water is boiling, gently add the eggs and hard boil.
Moving back to the skillet, add the butter and garlic and saute for a minute. Add the bread and cook, agitating frequently, until they become golden brown – or in my case, brown brown – and crisp.
Combine the lettuce, parmesan, bacon and croutons in a bowl with the dressing and toss to coat. Remove the eggs from the pot, peel and cut into quarters and toss over the salad. Then devour, joyously.
Previously on Canada’s Drag Race Brooke Lynn Hytes has welcomed 24 dolls into her folk over two seasons, with Priyanka and Icesis joining the winner’s circle. Hilariously a club that Brooke herself has not even managed to join. Along the way, we’ve met some icons and while Lemon was the first to go in UK vs. The World, she will forever be in my heart thanks to her killer Snatch Game. And then, well, Jimbo is Jimbo and her bologna clown was amazing. So basically, stop sleeping on Canada and get into it for this new batch of stunning queens.
First up being the iconic Bombae who describes herself as a model club kid who is super chaotic and well, I live for her already. Kimmy Couture arrived looking snatched and ready to break the Asian curse, more importantly she is a trans icon and the daughter of current reigning Icesis. So she is prepared but also terrified. Chelazon Leroux joined the gang looking like a stoned version of Willow’s entrance look and I kinda live. Jada Shada Hudson arrived and called herself a throat goat, so she instantly became my favourite because she is the moment. And has such a good damn vibe. And hopefully can teach us anything we’re doing wrong with our throat games. Miss Moço gave a wig reveal for her entry, so obviously I live for that before Giselle Lullaby arrived looking like Ozzy Ostrich but giving Fabio out of drag. So now I live for her.
Kaos arrived dressed as an owl and well, did she inspire the promo theme because that is amazing? Miss Fiercalious entered serving tall Jorgeous and am I turning into Ru, because well, I love this little twink. Vivian Vanderpuss was next giving old Kendall Gender, ironically being younger than her. But who cares, because she is camp, charming and a total nerd daddy out of drag. Lady Boom Boom arrived stripping off to a cute comic book look and I love her too. Particularly since she joked about coming to the competition to learn English. Irma Gerd entered serving full on weirdo and I live for every single thing about here before Halal Bae arrived giving chest hair to round out the cast, exposed face and well, she is sickening. And so damn hot. Oh and she is also Bombae’s mother and hooked up with Jada in the past, so this will totally get interesting!
Brooke dropped by before I could complete my erotic fan fiction of Halal Bae and Jada, with Brad and Traci in tow for the trio to officially welcome everyone to the competition. And what better way to welcome them than a quick little sidewalk chic mini fashion show mini challenge. But more importantly, we learnt Trojan is the cash sponsor this season. Which. Is. Iconic.
First on the runway was Bombae looking stunning in a black and yellow puffer jacket, with a reveal to biker gear and buns underneath. Moço was a neon business woman, Kimmy was damn stunning in full black, complete with conical bra and beret. Jada was fierce in clashing colours and prints while Chelazon was boudoir street. Wait no, they were denim shorts. Giselle went with a shiny neon tracksuit, Kaos was a clash of plaids looking like ‘80s Cyndi Lauper while Fiercalious was so cute in red and white. While Vivian was delightful walking imaginary dogs in a colour palette straight out of Scooby Doo, Halal Bae gave sexy raccoon, before Irma Gerd was weird and delightful, giving Paddington goes fishing. Finally, Lady Boom Boom gave Bimini does Paris Hilton and I live. Ultimately though there can only be one winner, which rightly was deemed Bombae.
The judges then announced that for this week’s Maxi Challenge they would have to design a couture outfit fit for their MainStage debut, using the clothes on their backs. And well, that is a damn challenge. More importantly, the dolls then de-dragged with everyone horny for Kaos and Halal Bae and well, relatable.
After everyone was giving their natural face, the dolls split up to start working on their outfits with Halal knowing her daughter would slay, given she has a tonne of fabric and is the seamstress of the family. Boom Boom meanwhile shared that she studied fashion which obviously led to everyone dropping by for advice for the rest of the episode. Kaos meanwhile was confident in her ideas, though concerned about the execution. Fiercalious was being shady about Chelazon to Jada and Halal, ready for her to be the first to go home. Irma and Vivian meanwhile were bonding over being from small towns and being weirdos, and well, I love them and want them to get married immediately because they are the absolute sweetest. Chelazon and Bombae meanwhile were bonding about coming from conserative towns.
Halal meanwhile was busy wishing they could have just started from scratch while Fiercalious realised she has one of the weakest looks. On the other side of the room Kimmy was continually starting over, much to Vivian’s delight as Jada hoped to fake her way through the challenge, given she is super shit at sewing. Moço started to get in her head, as Kimmy chose not to give her advice as she commenced her spiral. Oh and then Miss Fiercalious irritated everyone with her attitude and constant need for help.
Elimination Day arrived with the nerves well and truly kicking in as the Toronto dolls bonded over their diversity and how they all arrived in Toronto for a new start. Jada then opened up about how she fled from Barbados after being outed. Bombae shared that she only just got her permanent recesidency days before the competition, while Halal shared that Egypt and Kuwait weren’t the safest places to be queer, so she considers herself Canadian first. But she will always rock body hair and a moustache in honour of her heritage.
Brooke, Brad and Traci were joined by supermodel Monika Schnarre on the judges panel as Lady Boom Boom kicked off the Sidewalk to Catwalk runway, looking stunning in an architectural black and pink look. Kaos was stunning in spiky plaids, Jada gave Southern Belle straight out of Dynasty while Irma was perfection in an almost Vivian Westwood inspired look. Almost being the emphasis there. Kimmy was black swan beauty, Bombae wore a bouncing ballet gown, Moço was kinda a neon mess with a bunch of ruching down the sides. Chelzaon gave a black gown with cutouts and a message while Vivian served a stunning black gown. Halal turned her raccoon into a dominatrix, while Fiercalious was a wet hair babe, despite the dress being kind of a mess. Then Giselle stole the show in a shiny pink and chartreuse mod gown.
Ultimately Lady Boom Boom, Kaos, Jada Shade Hudson, Moço, Halal Bae and Fiercalious were deemed the tops and bottoms, as the other dolls went to untuck. The judges lived for how Lady Boom Boom turned her tracksuit into a stunning couture gown, completely transforming and elevating Juicy. Kaos was praised for clearly keeping the spirit of the first look but creating something so perfect and different. Jada too received universal praise, for the storytelling and giving such polish in the design. She then broke down, feeling like she proved herself and looks pretty, despite not being a strong sewer. Meanwhile Miss Moço was read for ruining her killer streetwear look with such an ill-fitting runway. And for clearly knowing the look wasn’t her best, with the judges reminding her to fake it when she isn’t confident. Halal was praised for being the moustache queen, though they wished her lip was a different colour despite going for raccoon. Oh and they just didn’t live for the look. While Fiercalious was praised for being perfectly beat, though read for not bringing enough of her streetwear look to the final garment.
Backstage the safe girls were thrilled to not be the first ones going home with them all agreeing Fiercalious needed the most help to get to the runway. Right on cue, she and the rest of the tops and bottoms joined them with Fiercalious admitting she will be in the bottom, despite looking pretty while Halal felt she was definitely in the bottom two. As was Moço, who shared she was the most hated. On the flip side, Jada was thrilled to be one of the Toronto girls making it to the top, particularly since she can not sew. While it was obvious Lady Boom Boom had the skills, Kaos was proud to be in the top given she was so confused. Talk turned to who should have been in the bottom instead with Bombae saying Halal should not have been in the bottom and while she didn’t want to name anyone else, outside of Fiercalious. Kimmy took the shade to the next level and asked Fiercalious how it feels to be the first one to go home before Chelazon softened things, reminding her to have fun lip syncing.
Ultimately it was Lady Boom Boom that took out the first win of the season as Jada and Kaos were sent to safety, alongside Fiercalious who was shocked AND gave an iconic crying fake out. As Moço and Halal Bae faced off to Bieber and my girl Nicky Minaj’s Beauty and a Beat, both of the dolls were ready to prove why they should stay. Moço hiked up her dress and looked infinitely better, hitting every lyric and serving face while Halal gave sex and madness and was so much fun. Though by the time Moço was somersaulting and cartwheeling, it was clear that she was not going anywhere as zaddy Halal Bae tragically sashayed away.
Straight into my arms, as I pulled him in for a strong, lingering, almost romantic hug. As we briefly separated, I gave him my usual spiel that being the first boot is just as memorable as iconic as making it to the end, so if she wasn’t going to win, this was the best place to finish. Plus, she is so sexy that the world will rally around her as a robbed goddess as we collectively lust after her. With that, she was perked up as I toasted her performance with Halall Baetters. Before cheering her up in other ways, obviously.
Yeah, yeah, lemon, lime and bitters – or LLB, thus the hybrid LL Bitters shoe horning – is super simple and easy to make, but that doesn’t take away from how damn good it is. Sweet with a tang, it is the second best thing I tasted that day. (Oh and its easily spiked with vodka for optimal delight).
Halall Baetters Serves: 2.
Ingredients 2 cups lemonade, chilled ¼ cup fresh lime juice, plus wedges for serving ½ tsp Angostura Bitters, plus extra for serving ice, to serve
Method Combine the lemonade, lime juice and bitters in a jug and stir until a consistent colour.
Divide the ice between two glasses, divide the LLB and then top with a few drops of bitters and lime to serve.
Previously on Survivor after farewelling the last remaining other target in Swati, Tori was feeling very nervous on Ika and as such, beasted her way through the immunity challenge to guarantee her safety. Oh but not until after all of the idols were activated as Drea found Ika’s and Mike begrudgingly said his phrase. Knowing her vote was critical, Lydia didn’t bother to risk hers on her journey up the mountain with Rocksroy. Which was the right move, given she, Hai and Mike held all the power as Vati went back to tribal council and Daniel was booted from the game. Though not before Chanelle threw a random vote at Mike, making her all the more untrustworthy heading into the merge. Oh and Omar has no vote and Hai, Lindsay and Drea got an amulet advantage, in addition to the trio of idols activated last week.
Or non-merge, as the last season celebrated.
After tribal council, the Vati tribe were gagged to have pulled off the Daniel blindside, with Chanelle particularly thrilled to have bested Daniel in their feud. Though sadly for her, she threw out a vote against Mike to protect herself against any Shot in the Darks being played and thought he would be cool with it. Which he is NOT. Despite them hugging it out. Oh and while Hai would take a bullet for Lydia and Mike, Chanelle, not so much. So yeah Chanelle, you in danger girl. Meanwhile over at Ika Rocksroy was busy doing work around camp and picking fruits, while Tori tailed him like a hawk to try and find out what happened on the summit. Which annoyed the hell out of him as she wouldn’t accept his answers. Oh and as they fought, Drea and Romeo hid behind the bushes eavesdropping, agreeing that Tori is sketchy and not to be trusted. In the slightest.
We got to get a little whisper sesh from Jeff who explained that the merge twist would play out the same as last season, except for the fact they will know that the person going to exile will have a massive power and the victors are allowed to opt to go to exile instead of one of the sit outs. To further that sense of deja vu, the challenge was the same as last year too, where they will dig out a rock and then push it through obstacles to release a pair of keys and climb a wall before solving a puzzle. And the victors would get a massive Applebees feast, alongside a merge buff and immunity from the upcoming tribal council. Well, unless the exilee turns back time, that is. Lindsay and Rocksroy ultimately ended up pulling the grey rocks and landing on the sit out bench.
Jonathan, Tori, Maryanne, Hai and Lydia formed the orange team, while Chanelle, Drea, Mike, Omar and Romero were on blue. And almost immediately, Jonathan took the lead for the orange tribe, coaching them through building a ramp and getting a massive lead as they quickly released their first key. While the blue team tried to close the gap, there is no denying this was team orange’s to lose as the group literally climbed Jonathan to get up the wall before he effortlessly pulled himself up. As Rocksroy and Lindsay rightly marvelled at his prowess. Maryanne and Lydia looked very zen as they calmly sorted their puzzle pieces while Drea held up blue as she struggled to climb the ball and ugh, it was tough to watch. Thankfully Mike and Romeo literally put their bodies on the line and they worked together to get up the ball and yeah, it was heartwarming.
Obviously the headstart proved insurmountable for the blue team as the orange group took out victory and the win, which likely means one of the five will be going home tonight giving this immunity means nothing. The group then cursed Lindsay, selecting her to join them on reward while sending Rocksroy to exile for two days. With only the game changing twist which will make him immune, for comfort.
The victors were giddy as they arrived at their island Applebees, smashing their burgs and delighting in the fact they had officially made the merge. Which is a lie they are tragically unaware of, while Jonathan admitted that he had considered opting to go to Exile which would have kept everyone that won safe. But before we could think about what could have been, Tori talked a bunch of shit about Rocksroy and their OG tribe and then aired all their dirty laundry. Which may endear her to them, or piss everyone off.
Meanwhile the losers ventured to the eventual merge camp where they were thrilled to smash the pity rice they received from Jeff before Drea rightly clocked the merge twist, which is honestly, so damn iconic. Drea then caught up with Mike and suggested that maybe since they both have idols, they should work together and as such, combine their individual alliances to take control. Leaving Chanelle and Tori well and truly on the outs in the process.
We checked in with Rocksroy as he arrived at his desolate island where as predicted by Tori, he was absolutely thrilled to set up camp, whipping up a fire and shelter. And well, he was loving to have all this alone time to just live his best life and see all the vibrant colour the world has to offer (because he has a degenerative eye disease). Oh and he found the hourglass and hammer, but there were no instructions so he just moved them into his shelter.
The winners and losers reconnected at camp with Omar ready to befriend anyone and everyone to keep himself safe at the first tribal council. Lindsay meanwhile wanted to check in with Hai and Drea to discuss their amulet advantages and see whether they will stick together. And while they all said they would, Hai was nervous the women would eventually turn on him. Mike and Maryanne caught up, assuring each other they will work together before the iconic Maryanne started bonding with Romeo and assured him that the little people need to stick together. Oh and then she bonded with Tori too and while she looks well connected, I’m worried it will come back to bite her.
Mike and Jonathan meanwhile watched the sunset together on the beach, bonding over being gentle giants and agreeing to look after each other and ugh, I love them. And more importantly, how much they love each other.
The next day the tribe went hunting for food, collecting crabs and before Jonathan snatched an octopus, then almost grabbed a shark and well, it was iconic. While he is clearly a threat, Hai was still keen to work with him and use him as a meatshield. With everyone bonding around camp, Hai spoke about how he met his boyfriend which led to Romeo pulling him aside and opening up about being gay and wanting to be as open and honest as he is and ugh, I love them. Hai encouraged him to share his story and love himself as Romeo spoke about his fear of people not loving him or worse, needing to silence himself to be accepted. And ugh, once again, I’m crying.
Omar soon joined the boys and talk returned to the game, with Hai telling them both that Chanelle can not be trusted. Which confirmed to Omar that he doesn’t have a vote. And well, she doesn’t care enough for him to let him know he doesn’t have a vote and as such, he was ready for her to go too.
The next day Omar charmed Mike by telling him that he is saving himself for marriage and well, he is ready to marry his partner ASAP. Lydia and Maryanne bonded over being the younguns with the old lady gang names, while Hai officially locked in his alliance with Jonathan. They then pulled in Lydia, Omar, Drea, Mike, Lindsay and Rocksroy, and just like that, they had a majority. Oh and Chanelle or Tori are their number one targets, with Maryanne identified as the next to go from Taku. Though only because Jonathan didn’t want his new allies to think he wasn’t willing to offer someone up.
Oh and then Chanelle walked up to try and find some allies, with them all pretending they have no plans to take her out. Which made Chanelle more and more nervous as they assured her they will not take her out. As Hai, Jonathan, Drea and Omar caught up to further solidify their bond, Omar admitted that he may not have a vote at the upcoming tribal council. Though after confirming they are tight, Drea shared that she has an extra vote and would be willing to give it to him, should they need it.
We ventured back to Exile Island where Jeff arrived to announce the twist to Rocksroy, who was honestly buzzing with joy to be left on his lonesome for a couple of days. Probst then explained the twist to him and while he was nervous about potentially pissing a bunch of people off, he obviously then smashed the hourglass and earnt himself immunity. And guaranteed his place in the merge. And most importantly, left Tori in jeopardy.
The castaways joined Jeff for the first individual immunity of the season where they were gagged to learn about Rocksroy’s power and the fact that the winner’s of the last challenge are now at risk and would be competing in the immunity challenge to guarantee their safety. Which obviously delighted Chanelle, Drea, Omar, Mike and Romeo. Tori on the other hand was irate and told Rocksroy that she was pissed he took away her safety after she gifted him an advantage. Which only made everyone even more weary of her.
But back to the challenge, where they would each have to balance a table using a rope and walk back and forth along a lane, spell out immunity using wooden blocks. With the first person to finish guaranteeing their place in the merge and a spot on the jury at the minimum. Fuelled by her simmering rage for Rocks, Tori got out to an early lead in the challenge alongside Jonathan, until Hai picked up the pace and took out the lead. Until he dropped and handed the lead back to the duo. Then Jonathan dropped, giving Tori plenty of time to calmly walk the course and jag immunity. Despite a late breaking pursuit from Lindsay. And then Maryanne.
Back at camp everyone congratulated Tori on taking out immunity and assured Rocksroy there are no hard feelings. Before everyone quickly split into factions to come up with a plan, with Jonathan assuring Rocksroy he already has an alliance and has nothing to worry about. After Romeo and Tori bitched about the meatheads in the game, Romeo led the charge to get rid of Jonathan. While Maryanne, Hai and Drea weren’t overly keen, Maryanne also just didn’t want to lose her place in the game. Lydia tried to pitch Jonathan to Lindsay and Chanelle, which made go into protection mode and suggested Maryanne would be a better option because she is super strategic.
Chanelle meanwhile saw through her plan to protect herself and Jonathan, which made her more focused on rallying the troops to keep the vote on Jonathan. While Omar desperately worked to protect Jonathan, which gave him a crack as Lydia admitted that she isn’t sure about this new majority alliance. And as such, he went person to person to turn the tribe against her instead. Which obviously pissed off Hai.
At tribal council Hai admitted that this vote is very defining to their season, particularly since the game has been so fluid thus far. Romeo meanwhile spoke about trusting his gut and reading the cues, with Drea countering that sometimes people are just too nervous to make a move even if they want to. While Hai wanted to take this moment to take control of the game. Lydia once again spoke about how playing Survivor has helped her accept all parts of herself. Jonathan wanted to be able to say that he did all that he could do in the game when it was over, while Omar tried to be chill despite knowing people would come for him eventually. While Rocksroy spoke about his nerves over missing two days of the game.
Maryanne said that she planned to make the decision that will help protect her long term, which Drea said is not the right way to approach the game. Maryanne then tried to get her to agree they are on the same page, which Drea, again, iconically refused to agree. Maryanne spoke about being nervous about how charming and chatty she is while Hai spoke about everyone having a different perception of the game. Oh and then a beetle landed on Rocksroy, which is important, if you ask me.
With that the tribe voted, as Lindsay, Jonathan and Maryanne all received a few votes before the rest piled up on Lydia and sent her from the game. Just missing the jury, tragically. Despite the brutal way she went out – the twist, again, is not great – Lydia was still super calm and zen, happy to have been given the opportunity to play the game. I pulled her in for a massive hug and assured her that while it sucks to go out in such an unfair twist, it does put her in the epic company of Sydney and she can always use it to justify needing a second go at the game. With that, he laughed and cried before smashing some Lydia Mered-velveth Cupcakes
I know, I know – red velvet is just chocolate, but the elegant drama they bring to the looks department always make me excited to eat them. Delicate and fluffy, these babies are the ultimate way to sweeten the bitter after-taste of getting the boot. Or a rough day, TBH.
Lydia Mered-velveth Cupcakes Serves: 12.
Ingredients 150g flour 1 ½ tbsp cocoa powder 1 tsp bicarb soda ¼ tsp kosher salt ¼ cup unsalted butter, softened 150g raw caster sugar 1 large egg 1 tbsp vanilla extract 100ml buttermilk 50ml vegetable oil 1 tsp champagne vinegar 1 tbsp red gel food colouring 100g butter, softened 225g icing sugar 100g cream cheese, softened
Method Preheat the oven to 160C and line a cupcake tin with cases.
Combine the flour, cocoa, bicarb and salt in a bowl and pop the unsalted butter and raw caster sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat the unsalted butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce to low and beat in the egg, vanilla, buttermilk, oil and vinegar until just combined. Fold the wet ingredients through the dry until just combined, before mixing through the food colouring. Again, until just combined but also a consistent colour.
Divide the batter amongst the cupcake cases and pop in the oven to bake for about 15 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
While they are chillin’, beat the butter and icing sugar on medium, or until pale and fluffy. Add in the cream cheese and beat for another minute or so, or until just combined. But for realsies, because the longer you beat cream cheese, the softer it gets.
Once the cakes are cool, piping the icing on top (or dollop with a spoon and hope for the best) before devouring.
Previously on Drag Race España we were introduced to a cast of talented queens, alongside a charming as hell host in the form of my dear friend Supremme de Luxe and two-thirds of my throuple, the Javiers. There was drama, laughs and scandalos before the iconic Carmen Farala washed the competition and took out victory. Oh and did I mention, los Javiers? But now, doce nueva queens are ready to battle for the next crown and well, I am ready.
First up was Samantha Ballentines who gave rocker vamp and well, her excitement over being the first in the room was just so damn precious. And she is also bonkers, so I love her. She was joined by Onyx who gave us the sexiest alien to ever grace any Drag Race ever. And just like that, my basement is flooded. And while the dolls shaded each other, eventually they became the best of friends by groping each others’ boobs. Venedita Von Dash was stunning in a zebra gown and given she entered ringing a cowbell, I’m confused in all the right ways. Drag Sethlas was a perfect priestess in drag and a delightful twink out of drag. And most importantly, what is with the platforms on all the Canary Islands queens. It is iconic, but my ankle hurts just looking at them because you know I’d fall off.
And my onkle would go cleek.
Estrella Extravaganza arrived as a sexy latex laden clown Carmen Dan Diego. The dolls then decided to hide from their next sister, Ariel Rec who was serving futuristic Pebbles and thrilled to be the first queen to enter. And while she was bitterly disappointed when she discovered she wasn’t, I didn’t mind because she floods my basement. They were then joined by nautical queen Marina, serving full fashion and well, I love navy and white stripes so she is currently my fave. Next up was Jota Carajota who gave flamenco Tiger Queen realness, Marisa Prisa served slutty milkmaid before Diamante Merybrown gave body-ody-ody and we learnt she had beef with not one but two queens. Juriji Der Klee arrived, giving demented, camp icon that is off tits and ugh, I love her. And am a little concerned, depending on whether this is a killer performance rather than her just being bonkers. Before we got definitive answers, Sharonne arrived showing Baga what an Oscars look should be and ugh, I love her too.
Sirens went off signalling not just the start of the competition but also the arrival of my dear Supremme and ugh, she is the best. Hopefully she isn’t screwed out of the win in Down Under vs the World! After welcoming the queens to the competition, they were immediately put through their paces in una poca classica photoshoot alongside the zaddy Pit Crew. Fully nude (illusion). As soon as Supremme exited, the dolls got to work glamming up their bodies before Ariel ventured to set serving mermaid realness in all the, well, ways. But again, the Pit Crew are hot. Sethlas swallowed a banana, Marina was legit naked like the second coming – emphasis on coming – of Raven, before Estrella gave us a hilarious mess and ugh, she is adorable.
Jota was a sexy, skanky Eve complete with a tiger eating her out. Juriji gave shimmering silver sexpot, Diamante was a demented showgirl while Onyx looked a dream as she art directed the Pit Crew to make out with her. Venedita straight up had her cakes out so earned a win in my eyes while Marisa was a mess. But oh, so charming. Samantha was a spotted, puffy camp delight, again, making the most of the Pit Crew, while Sharonne was perfection as she used her body like the wall of a public toilet, covered in marker. Ultimately though it was Estrella’s saggy tits that took out victory, much to the simmering rage of Venedita.
Before departing, Supreme announced that for their first runway they would serve two looks, one inspired by their hometowns and one that pays homage to the symbol of their hometowns. Which seems a bit same-same, but we know my Spanish is not the best.
Dia de eliminacion arrived with the queens quickly sitting down to identify the trade, surprisingly not picking the right answers of Ariel and Onyx. But whatever. As they split up to get ready, Marisa Prisa opened up about having to move home during the pandemic and seeing the growth in her town. Marina opened up about the concept of gender, sharing that she identifies as non-binary. This led to Jurihi opening up about her journey coming out as a trans girl, with her sisters thrilled that she has such a supportive family. Jota opened up about growing up in the gypsy community and shared that she is bisexual and has a girlfiriend waiting for her at home. Talk turned back to Juriji who shared that she is constantly asked whether she had had surgery yet, which obviously enraged Sharonne and her other sisters.
Supremme, Ana and my loves, the Javiers, were joined on the judging panel by the iconic Gloria Trevi. And while I had never heard of her before, I live for how delightful she is. Opening the Queen of your City runway, Venedita was a glorious golden goddess, Jota was a shimmering delight in a light-blue flapper number, Samantha was a showgirl (though would have upset Michelle by not being synched) while Ariel Rec gave likeable Daya Betty realness. Marina was a gorgeous floral dame and then straight up flashed the judges, making Javier Calvo blush. Diamante served everything in a tartan corset complete with titty canons, Juriji was stunning in a tailored red and white star bedazzled gown. Marisa Prisa was inspired by the breast cancer awareness ribbon, which was invented in her hometown, while Sharonne was a camp Montserrat delight and Estrella gave camp comedy in a puffy red gown. And even recovered from tripping on her dress. Drag Sethlas then served an icon reveal from Mask to Cats, before Onyx stole the show in an ode to Isabel II. And water.
On the Symbol of your Hometown Venedita gave the sexiest Sideshow Bob in honour of palm trees. Jota Carajota was a glamorous bullfighter despite the awkward reveal, Samantha was serving mollusk realness while Ariel Rec was inspired by Aletico Madrid, though the pants gave Cynthia Lee Fontaine realness with their fit. Marina was a gorgeous map of Barcelona while Diamante showed how to do a sports runway right in a baseball player look. Juriji served sexy mussel, complete with a sexy pussy of the seas reveal. Her words. Marisa Prisa served mediaeval quest realness and Shronne gave a glamorous silhouette, despite a sea of pigeons on her gown. Estrella was a sexy horse while serving high-fashion coat of arms before, again, Onyx stole the damn show as the fallen angel of Madrid.
Ultimately Diamante, Juriji, Venedita, Ariel, Sethlas and Estrella were deemed safe and sent backstage to untuck before Marisa was read for not getting the details or telling the judges anything about her. Jota Carajota was praised for her references through read for not selling them on the runway. Onyx rightly received universal praise for both runways, particularly for leaving everyone speechless in the second look. Samantha was read for being basic, despite being charming as hell. Sharonne received universal praise for her two distinct looks and being so damn polished while Marina too received universal praise, particularly for giving so much heart on the runway. And giving us unblurred peen in the judging. I mean, crown her now!
Backstage the safe girls were busy stretching out, glad to be able to battle another day before Drag suggested she would save Marina and put Venedita in the bottom instead. The tops and bottoms joined them with them sharing Marisa and Samantha would clearly be lip syncing. Jota meanwhile was terrified about lip syncing against her girl Samantha, who was worried about having inherited a first-episode lip sync curse from sister Macarena.
Ultimately Marina was sent to safety before Onyx took out a very well deserved victory. Obviously Sharonne was also safe before Jota narrowly avoided lip syncing, as Marisa and Smanatha took the stage to fight for their lives. To Gloria Trevi’s Todos Mi Moron no less, and yeah, I do love Gloria because this is a damn camp bop! While Marisa served a classically fierce lip sync, Samantha was absolutely bonkers, ripping a shell off her wig, picking her nose and flashing her knickers. Before the dolls started straight up stage fighting and well, it was wild, hilarious and ugh, I’ve missed España! Sadly though, one of them had to go – this isn’t Italia, after all – as Samantha saved herself, leaving Marisa to become the Porkchop of the season.
While it always sucks to be the first one to go – I imagine – Marisa continued to be a charming delight backstage. I obviously reminded her that she is still a supremely talented queen and while she may not have made it far, that time was enough for her to win my heart. As such, I served up an Elvisa Prisandwich each and all was right in the world.
I can never remember if the Elvis sandwich killed him or not – I mean, ham sandwiches have been known to murder – but either way, this sandwich is worth it. Creamy peanut butter, sweet bananas and the saltiness of bacon work together in harmony to create true perfection.
Elvisa Prisandwich Serves: 2.
Ingredients 6 rashers streaky bacon 4 slices bread ½ cup crunchy peanut butter 1 banana, sliced butter, for smearing
Method Cook the bacon in a frying pan over medium high heat until crispy. Remove to cool on some paper towel and wipe out the frying pan.
To assemble, smear each slice of bread with peanut butter. Layer banana on two slices, followed by the bacon and then closing up with the remaining slices of bread. Butter the top of the sandwiches.
Transfer the sandwiches to a frying pan over medium heat and cook until golden brown. Smear the tops with butter, flip and cook until browned. Then serve and devour immediately, while the peanut butter is nice and gloopy.
Previously on Australian Survivor Blood and Water pulled a Spicys as two became one, reuniting loved ones and forming the Lava tribe. Which yes, is a worse name than Fire. At the first reward challenge Khanh won $60K which came with a secondary prize of painting an even bigger target on his back. At the immunity challenge KJ proved herself an undercover challenge beast, despite being narrowly pipped at the post by young, sweet Jesse. While scrambling, Mark and Sam had a domestic about voting out either Khanh and Shay with Mark being very insufferable as he patronised his wife into turning on her ally. Ultimately it worked though, as Sam stuck with her husband and sent Khanh from the game to become the King of the Jury.
Back at camp Chrissy worried about how she would be able to pull off dinner without their resident Masterchef, while Mark and Sam took a quiet moment to apologise to each other. Though given Mark gave her more of a sorry not sorry, my alliance is better than yours and your bestie needs to go so suck it up, oh and you can thank me when we get to the end, I don’t think this is the end of their family feud.
The next day the sausage fest was hanging with KJ and Shay, with the latter two clearly just looking to get to 7th and 8th place or hoping to immunity their ways to the end. Mark was still feeling very pleased with himself and super confident that nothing will break it up, which hopefully means something is going to break them up soon. If not a blindside, potentially Chrissy’s mashed beans which look like severe gastrointestinal distress waiting to happen. While Mark was feeling confident, Chrissy and Dave caught up to gossip about the marital issues while Sam complained about losing Khanh to Mel and Michelle. Particularly since she still (rightly) thinks Shay is the biggest threat.
Sam meanwhile was worried that Mark may be as blinded by his allies as Mark felt she was by Khanh. As such, she caught up with Jordie and Dave to line up some targets, quickly locking in Shay as the most threatening. Speaking about Shay, she was growing more and more nervous about Sam coming after her and starting shadowing her in the most hilarious way possible. Talking to Jordan? Shay will give Jordan a shoulder massage! As Sam straight up walked away, Shay tried to get Jordan to see the importance of keeping some singles around otherwise all the duos will end up screwing themselves over as they’ll have no way to work out of it.
Jordie and Jesse caught up with Josh in the water, congratulating themselves on controlling the game while Jesse assured them that Sam just gets nervous and to not worry about her blowing up any of their games. Particularly since Jordie was more focused on getting rid of Mark should their alliance part ways. And the first part of his plan was to out his idol to Josh. Sadly for Jordie, however, Josh didn’t seem to worry Mark was keeping the idol a secret and was very nervous about the idea of turning on him. Particularly coming up with enough votes to split between Mark and someone else.
The tribe met up with Jonathan for the latest immunity challenge where they would each have to fill a leaky drum with water to level a table to build a puzzle on. Leave your bucket to lose too much water and the table drops and you have to start over. Which is very clever, TBH. Everyone had slightly different strategies; sorting pieces first, stockpiling extra water and just trying to stay calm and methodical. While Josh and Shay were neck and neck at the start, Josh dropped his table leaving Shay to power ahead and jag herself immunity just before Josh or Mel could catch her.
Kinda proving Mark should have listened to his wife last night, no?
Back at camp Sam thankfully was completely enraged by the fact Shay had immunity and as such, worked to try and take out who she felt was the head of the alliance, aka Josh. Not Mark. Particularly since he talks to everyone in the alliance except her, meaning she knows she is on the bottom in his eyes. While she warned Mark that Josh is the biggest threat to their game, he assured her the time isn’t right to turn on him. Meanwhile Josh was filling in his cousin Jordan on where things stand, with them agreeing that Jordie and not Mark is a threat given Jordie is clearly ready to flip.
But first, they had to get rid of some of the floaters and as such, when Jordie dropped by they locked in a split vote between Mel and Michelle.
Josh then went to the other floaters and told them they would all be splitting the vote between the twins, with people not realising they could easily take control if they stopped just doing what they were told. He then went one further and spoke to Michelle about the vote and let her know it would be split between her and Mel and while she thanked him for his honesty, she told us that Josh will regret telling her. Oh and when Mark confirmed for Mel that she was the target, both twins were ready to fight.
With that Mel and Michelle decided that they should bring all the girls together and load all their votes on Josh instead and since the boys were splitting the votes, they would take control. The twins rallied the girls to float said plan and while everyone appeared interested, Sam’s nervous face made me nervous that this won’t come together. Shay agreed that this is the right time to make a move against the men, which got Sam fired up given she doesn’t want the men to dictate the future of the game. Though was worried that getting rid of Josh, which is good for her game, would ruin Mark’s, and she may not have the numbers to get much further should it blow up.
Shay encouraged Mel to talk to Chrissy and KJ about locking in the vote on Josh and while Chrissy knew he was a threat, she still wanted a little more time to think. Meanwhile Michelle pulled Jordan aside to ask why they were targeting her and her sister, with Jordan assuring her there is no right or wrong that she did and it is all just part of the game. But he just wants her to hold her nerve and stay strong aka she is the back-up plan, not the target. While all the girls worried about when the right time would be to target the boys should they not act now.
At tribal council Khanh looked like a total snack on the Jury Bench – well said, Jordan – while Josh straight up admitted to being part of the majority which is controlling the game. Dave said the alliance is really zen and makes all decisions by committee, with Mark agreeing it makes the most sense so no one person is the target. Michelle jumped in to talk about the stupidity of targeting herself and Mel, with the latter joining in to remind people they need to build a resume if they want to win and targeting those on the bottom will never build the resume.
Josh blamed Sandra for our current predicament, reminding them she told them all the strong people would go come merge and as such, they know they have no other choice but to band together. When Jonathan asked Mel what would be the smarter decision, she told everyone that Josh is a far bigger threat and as such, they need to get rid of him. She then doubled down, pointing out he knows the game just as well as she does, plus he is strong and is playing a strong social game. While Sam tried to be non-committal, Mel continued to play to the people on the bottom of the tribe and told them they have to make a move before it is too late and as such, they need to wake up and fight. Now.
With that the tribe voted and tragically the twins plan did not come to fruition as Mel found herself booted from the game. Though lucky for her, she now gets to hang out with Khanh on the jury which would be way more fun.
As soon as Mel arrived at Jury Villa, I pulled her in for a massive hug and told her how heartbroken I was to see her go so soon. Particularly since I worried it means we’re getting the opposite of last season with a male-dominated endgame with an alliance that holds out. Maybe I’m wrong and Sam will flip everything next week, but the one thing that mattered most to Mel, was that I stop rambling and get to baking. You see, we’ve been the best of friends since I started going to her clinic, so she knew I would be packing a fresh batch of Melinzer Chiang Cookies to cheer her up.
These simple little cookies are so good (and so much fun). Buttery, spiced shortbread with a good whack of jam doing a peek-a-boo through heart cutouts? Sign me up. And now you, I advise.
Melinzer Chiang Cookies Serves: 6-8.
Ingredients 160g plain flour, plus extra for dusting 2 tsp ground cinnamon ⅛ tsp nutmeg ⅛ tsp ground clove 100g butter, at room temperature 60g almond meal 100g raw caster sugar 1 egg ⅓ cup raspberry jam icing sugar, for sprinkling
Method Combine the flour and spices in a bowl before massaging through the butter with your fingertips, like you would do damper or scones. Add the almond meal, sugar and sugar and mix together by cutting through with a knife until it comes together in large clumps. Turn the mixture onto a floured surface and knead for a couple of minutes, or until it comes together. Form into a disc, wrap in cling and pop in the fridge for half an hour or until chill.
Once chill, roll out the dough on a lightly flour surface until it is about 5mm thick. Cut out an even number of round pieces of dough, then use a small shape – ideally heart, obvi – to form a window in half the cookies. Transfer to a lined baking sheet before popping in the fridge for half an hour to chill.
Preheat the oven to 160C.
Once the biscuits are chill, transfer them to the oven to back for 12-15 minutes, or until lightly golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
When it comes time to assemble, spoon a little jam on the whole biscuits, close with the cut-outs and then dust with icing sugar. Before devouring, giddily.
Previously on Drag Race, Ru got nice and meta by tasking the dolls with filming two parody super-tease commercials for their own season. Obviously madness ensued as Maddy made up that her dads cast her out for being straight, DeJa hilariously broke down over being born when she was young and Angeria continued her charming ways. At the other end of the spectrum, Kerri was read for not going ugly enough, Alyssa for being one note and Kornbread for not giving enough levels – complete with a slow-mo, mid-fake-tantrum! Ultimately Angeria rightly took out another victory for slaying the commercial and the J-Lo runway, while Kerri destroyed the lipsync in the actual green J-Lo dressing, saving herself and sending Alyssa home from the competition.
Backstage the dolls were heartbroken to see sweet Alyssa go home, while Kerri was just proud to have shown the girls what she is made of. Despite the fact she wished she was doing better in the competition, she was also glad to be able to get feedback and learn the judges wanted Scary Kerri to come back. The dolls took a seat and congratulated Angeria on her victory, while Bosco just wished she was cutting through as much Angeria with the judges. Kornbread meanwhile shared that she was heartbroken to have been in the bottom, though more than ready for her redemption. Oh and like Bosco, Camden was sick of continually being safe and was ready to star.
And YAS, we’re entering the era of Bosco and Camden, aren’t we?
The next day the queens returned to the Werk Room, with Kornbread conspicuously missing from the line-up. Before they could get answers, Ru arrived to announce that poor Kornbread’s onkle LITERALLY went cleek and that doctors advised that she would have to stay off her feet for two months and as such, was leaving the competition. In a filmed message to the girls, she praised Kerri for being the monster within, encouraged Jasmine to speak enough to the two of them and reminded Willow to look after herself. But also to throw away her damn flip flops. This got Willow ugly crying and ugh, I love them all.
While everyone was heartbroken to lose sweet Kornbread, Daya was thrilled that there was now one less front runner to contend with. Oh and Ru also announced that Kornbread didn’t have the golden ticket, so it is still in play for one of the remaining dolls.
We then did a hard pivot as the Pit Crew arrived to help split the girls into groups for the upcoming Maxi Challenge. One by one, the dolls would have to dirty dance with the hunks – oh god, am I old?! – until they pop their balloon bussies, with the confetti inside deciding which group they’re in. Bosco went first and blew green confetti, Jasmine got purple confetti all over Bryce’s back while Bruno had to power bottom to announce DeJa was on the orange team. Maddy poorly topped for the first time before landing on the purple team before Kerri effortlessly exploded to land on team orange. Daya and Camden got green while Jorgeous just couldn’t top before power-bottoming on to the orange team. While an orgy left Orion on purple and Angeria on orange.
Ru then wheeled out Tempest DeJour – complete with matching shirt to Daya – Jaymes Mansfield and Kahmora Hall before Ru announced that for this week’s Maxi Challenge, each group would be making a PSA for the Save a Queen foundation, which supports first eliminated queens. With that, Tempest went to team Orange, Purple snagged Jaymes Mansfield while Team Green got the iconic Kahmora Hall.
The groups immediately split up to get to know their first boot sisters, with Tempest quickly looking after her babies and inspiring them to go in on her age, given that is the drama that surrounded her one-episode arc in Season 7. Despite Tempest keeping them focused and motivated, poor Jorgeous was super overwhelmed and nervous as public speaking is her weakness. Meanwhile over at Team Jaymes, Maddy opted to focus the PSA on giving her a second chance while Orion was just being mean. Which is hilarious. Maddy and Willow were a dream team with the scripting however, while Willow and Jasmine were just awkwardly off to the side watching the back and forth.
Ru ru-turned to kiki with the teams with Team Kahmora talking about the importance of keeping Kahmora in on the joke and given she is delightful, I feel this will be fun. Ru told Camden to think about a serious issue close to her heart to connect with the fake emotion required, with her literally just repeating the sentence back to Ru rather than sharing an issue. Ru then popped on his shady boots, pointing out Camden, Daya and Bosco have never been in the top, so wondered how they will make this work out for them.
When Team Jaymes jumped up, Jaymes shared how great her career has been despite being a first boot. Maddy led most of the discussion, while Orion was super nervous about getting the challenge done, given PSAs usually make her sad. Which made Willow nervous about how to land their characters. Team Tempest meanwhile were confident, with Angeria glad to mock her age as Tempest assured them she wants them to go really rude. Ru reminded them they need to play it straight, given being too jokey will give it away. Jorgeous took that to mean ditsier and cutesier and girl, please get out of your head because I love you.
We then followed Team Tempest to the set where they filmed in front of Michelle, where Jorgeous ripped off the band-aid but sadly couldn’t get her rhymes in during the allotted time. DeJa meanwhile got stuck in her head and forgot all her lines and while it appeared like that was contagious, Angeria rallied and knocked it out of the park. Oh and Kerri’s version of ugly was popping on glasses. Which is offensive to my bad eyesight, despite me loving her.
When Team Kahmora took stage, Bosco immediately took charge and directed the shoot and well, it was joyous, perfect and demented. Camden leant into her accent and was completely perfect, despite being a little quiet. Bosco on the other hand, was not quiet and lent into things with full rage. And then Daya gave full newsreader realness and damn, this is the group to beat.
Wait Jaymes Mansfield looks perfect and ugh, they could challenge her. Orion was in a jumpsuit while the rest served weather girl realness, with Maddy strong and Willow perfection – as usual – while Orion was sadly a little one note and Jasmine gave us the Count from Sesame Street realness leading to an EPIC read from Maddy which was perfect.
One bad take, ugh ugh ugh. Two bad takes …
Elimination Day arrived with the dolls quickly splitting up to beat their mugs with Daya, Bosco and Camden feeling confident in their PSA, while Camden was nervous she’d once again be safe. Bosco praised them both for nailing the entire thing while Jorgeous watched on awkwardly since she was counting on them bombing to save herself. Jasmine and Maddy kikied with the latter feeling very confident while Jasmine was super nervous given filming was a struggle for her. Orion meanwhile was feeling good and glad that she tried super hard, which made Jasmine nervous for her given she was kinda flat.
Jasmine moved on to talk to Jorgeous to chat about their first time in drag, with Jorgeous sharing that she started when she was only 16 at pride. She jumped on stage, starred and then booked a weekly gig at a club where her parents had to be there as chaperones and ugh, it was GREAT. Angeria and Willow were also kikiing about their families, with Willow talking about how close she is with her mother before opening up about how her body is disintegrating due to her condition and broke down to Angeria and Kerri about how that fires everything she does. And just like that, Willow has two new protectors to replace kornbread and ugh, it’s just so wholesome.
Ru, Michelle and Ross were joined on the judges panel by Ava Max as the queens kicked off the show on the Spring has Sprung runway where Jorgeous was perfect in a cute, pastel green mini dress. Kerri was a demented, stunning alien, coral-floral delight. Angeria too went floral with a yellow bodice dripping in flowers. DeJa served slutty Easter Bunny realness, Maddy was perfection as a torrential storm, Jasmine was a sparkly green showgirl while Orion did an even sluttier version of the Easter Bunny. Willow was delightful in a pastel country house dress, complete with Help Me written in blood on the back of the house built around her head. Daya was stunningly messing in an orange number while Camden did a weaker version of the Canadian Marie Antoinette runway. Well until she spilt the macrame tea. Bosco then served a killer reveal, going from a stormy cloud to a stunning sunshine gown.
The eliminated dolls returned to the runway with Tempest messy – in a good way – in leopard while Jaymes was delightfully campy in pink while Kahmora was obviously stunning in vintage Mackie.
When it came to the PSA, Angeria starred for Team Tempest while the rest were all ok, though Jorgeous really should have edited her script as there were too many words. And only Toto can pull that off. With Team Jaymes, it was Maddy and Willow’s show while Jasmine was bored and Orion struggled. Team Kahmora meanwhile knocked it out of the park with both Bosco and Camden really standing out and finally getting their star moments.
Well out of the queens, because the Sarah McLachlan cameo calling the PSA offensive was EVERYTHING.
Ultimately Kerri, DeJa, Maddy, Willow and Daya were sent to safety, with Daya complaining about just wanting to get critiques so she knows where she needs to improve. Kerri too was feeling flat about not being in the top while Maddy was shocked that Willow wasn’t in the top once again. Willow admitted she was just glad to not be judged as a group given their commercial was the weakest. Daya shared that she felt Maddy deserves more credit for what she is given so far in the competition, while Daya couldn’t tell how her sisters would be placed. When it is obvious they’re the top two.
DeJa meanwhile felt she should be in the top but when her sisters didn’t ask, she threw a tantrum about them not loving her. Before the drama could escalate, Tempest, Jaymes and Kahmora joined the dolls to untuck with Tempest and Jaymes reading them all for filth, while Jaymes praised herself for being great. Maddy then read her for filth and ugh, I love it. Tempest stepped in to remind Maddy to ignore the haters when she gets out of the competition because people will come for him for being straight.
On the mainstage, Jorgeous was praised for her killer runway though the judges were concerned by the disconnect between her confidence on the runway and her nerves in the challenge. Once again, Angeria’s performance was universally beloved while the judges felt the runway was a little ill fitting. Jasmine’s excitement didn’t translate to the performance given she was tragically monotone, though they lived for her runway. Orion was praised for looking stunning on the runway, while her challenge performance was read for being bored and tired. Lady Camden received universal praise for her camp runway and the seriousness she brought to the PSA. While Bosco too was completely beloved, with Michelle and Ross loving her willingness to take a risk and do something different.
The tops and bottoms joined the dolls untucking with Jasmine admitting she is definitely in the bottom though felt it was unlikely she’d be the one lip syncing. Orion on the other hand knew she’d be lip syncing while not really feeling it makes sense. Once again, Angeria shared that the judges lived for her while Camden was giddy to finally become a top. Which was a feeling shared by Bosco. DeJa suggested it could be a double win, while Daya narrowly avoided crying about being safe, wanting to know what she needs to do to land in the top. While her sisters read her for being too much. Jorgeous too was sure she’d be lip syncing and when everyone praised her for being such a killer lip syncer, Orion looked ready to cry. Because yeah, Jorgeous is an assassin.
Angeria and Willow then toasted to Kornbread’s performance in the competition as they opened up about the letters she had left them all. Jasmine shared she was grateful Kornbread called her out because she can genuinely grow from it and there was no malice. Willow opened up about how heartbroken she was to lose her dearest friend, with the queens agreeing that they all knew they couldn’t cross Willow without facing the potential wrath of Kornbread. Kerri started to break down over her bond with Kornbread and how she feels like she’s now lost her lifeline. As they prepared to return to the runway, DeJa gave Jasmine and Jorgeous a pep talk and reminded them to fight with no mercy even if it was against each other.
Given Orion already had some culinary comfort, I gave her a pat on the back for a job well done and legged it over to Kornbread’s hotel to make sure she was following doctors and feeling a-ok!
Poor Kornbread was in a moonboot as I joined her to help pack up, heartbroken to go out via an injury particularly given she was expecting to be a finalist. I reminded her that she truly was one of the front-runners of the season, but should she also return next season, she will have the rest of the cast terrified before they even step foot in the Werk Room, which is kinda a blessing. With that, we laughed, we cried and she vowed to come back bigger and better next year while splitting a Kornbread “The Snack” Jeté. Because obviously!
Oh and I also think it is important to note that she Vanjied out of the Werk Room for the last time this season chanting ANKLE. And. I. LIVE.
Given Kornbread is a star on her own, I opted for a simple, traditional recipe to honour her performance. A little sweet mixed with a tinge of salt is the perfect pairing for the fluffiest side imaginable. In a word, it is perfect.
Kornbread “The Snack” Jeté Serves: 8.
Ingredients 1 cup flour 1 cup cornmeal ¼ cup muscovado sugar 1 tsp baking powder ½ tsp baking soda ½ tsp kosher salt ½ cup unsalted butter, melted and left to cool 1 cup buttermilk ¼ cup honey 2 eggs
Method Preheat the oven to 200C.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and soda, and salt and stir to combine. In a measuring jug, combine the melted butter, buttermilk, honey and eggs.
Using a wooden spoon, create a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and slowly stir in the wet ingredients until it is just combined.
Transfer the batter into a lined square cake tin and transfer to the oven to bake for 20-25 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Leave to rest for ten minutes before cutting and devouring.
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 Drag Race UK, we were once again blown away by the talent, goopery and charm of 12 Bwitish dolls. None more so than Bimini, who is well on their way to becoming the drag Oprah or Beyonce, in my not-at-all-humble opinion. While I am a ride or die Bimini stan, all the queen’s bing, bang, bonged their way into my hearts and somehow pulled off an even better season than the first. Meaning this new batch of dolls have a lot to live up to if they want to join The Vivienne and Lawrence in the iconic pantheon of UK winners.
Speaking of which, first up was our tragically fallen Season 2 queen, Veronica Green who was green around the gills but thankfully no longer COVID stricken and ready to slay in full. And even mocking her drag race for being dead boring. She was quickly joined by Kitty Scott-Claus who has the greatest drag name of all time and I absolute live for her. Kitty is lyf, Kitty is love, she is the moment – I LIVE. Just as I wondered whether she was the second coming of Chez, she goes and mentions they work together and ugh, I love the girls. River Medway arrived, apparently full of shit and I love her too. Despite not being well known which is exactly how she likes it, given she will be underestimated.
Scarlett Harlett arrived and immediately slayed my heart, calling the Werk Room a piece of shit and well, she is a power twink and I want to borrow the flanno. We also have a lot in common. And by that, a passion for being bred. Vanity Milan arrived as a technicolour delight, charming, energetic and so happy. Second best drag name, Ella Vaday, arrived in full fembot realness, a West End babe and again, I love her. Choriza May was up next with the best entry line of all time and well, shut it down and give her the damn crown. I mean, her fave part about Newcastle is her boyfriend’s dick – what more is there to love?
Our first AFAB queen arrived in the form of Victoria Scone and ugh, I love her too. She is a little nerdy, so excited and well, has a strong vagina and that alone is why you should love her. She is grabbing the opportunity by the flaps, after all. They were joined by little twink Elektra Fence who got her name from literally touching an electric fence and falling in shit. So, wait for it, again, I love her. Next up was the delightfully cartoonish Anubis who is wacky and wild and well, she is just perfect. Krystal Versace was up next and is the poster of what kids that grew up with visibility look like, she is fierce, confident and I feel proud of her, for some odd, old-man reason. And then rounding out the cast is the demented and devilish Charity Kase and well I love her, for the murdered Maria Antoinette realness she served.
The dolls were interrupted mid-kiki by Mama Ru who arrived to officially welcome them to the competition … with a game of dirty charades. And well, given Choriza has no idea what that is, she is thrilled to participate. First up were Kitty, Ella, Chorizo and Scarlett with nobody getting Kitty trying to sign ‘booty’ before Choriza gagged everyone by getting it right. She then got the next point as well and damn, I’m so proud. River, Vanity, Elektra and Veronica were up next and well, Veronica struggled but honestly, she had the hardest clue. Anubis, Charity, Krystal and Victoria rounded out the game, and well Victoria slayed it, having Ru in hysterics from start to finish.
With that out of the way, Ru tasked the queens with bringing two runways to help the judges to get to know them. One explaining why they are the queen of their hometowns and the other dedicated to something they love. As the dolls de-dragged, Ella was falling over, Kitty was getting her wet titties slapped, Anubis was checking whether Victoria was comfortable and Krystal was going through her plastic surgery. River meanwhile opened up to Vanity about her supportive mother who tragically passed away from COVID, sharing that she would be wearing one of her mother’s outfits and ugh, I’m crying. River is life.
Elimination Day arrived, with the queens quickly splitting up to beat their mugs. Veronica opened up to Kitty about not needing to prove herself this time, which has taken a weight off her shoulders. Vanity and Choriza opened up to each other about their partners, with the latter talking about how lonely she has been during the pandemic as her boyfriend works away and coming into the competition made her feel so good by simply being around others. And then all the kumbaya was shattered as my love Kitty asked who people thought would be going home, with Victoria more nervous about proving herself as the first AFAB queen.
On the Queen of Your Hometown runway, Victoria slayed as a bloomin’ sunflower. Kitty was a chocolate cheerleader, Ella was a camp, mod delight and Anubis was gorgeous as a Brighton carnival ride. River slayed as a statue with a traffic cone on her head doing the same pose, having the judges – and me – in absolute hysterics. I mean, iconic, charming – RIVER IS MY FAVE. Krystal was a gorgeous, garden delight, looking like baby Raven, Veronica was killer in cotton while Scarlett slayed dotted in pearls, Elektra served coal miner realness, Vanity slayed in a Jamaican inspired, frilly delight, Choriza looked like Kita Mean in her All Blacks look and Charity was a stunning, demented rose.
On the My Favourite Things runway, Victoria scone was an iconic high tea, complete with a dropped sandwich. Kitty served ABBA realness, Ella was a vision in a patchwork of pride, Anubis was wacky as a squid, River was a disco diva, Krsytal was the glow-up of Gothy’s 50P face-paint, Veronica was a bright, delight in honour of video games, Scarlett too was dedicated to music, this time in a cheeky mini. Elektra Fence marked her birthday, jacked up on sugar in the most demented, demonic way possible. Vanity honoured Estonia, Chorizo was a bright pop-art delight while Charity was horrifically polished in honour of freak shows.
Ultimately Kitty, Ella, Veronica, Vanity, Chorizo and Charity were sent to safety before Victoria received universal praise for everything she brought to the runway. Anubis meanwhile was praised for her hometown look, though the favourite things runway was read for filth for being basic and a little sub par. River’s statue walk was loved by the judges, despite them not understanding WHY she was being so funny. Sadly though, her second outfit was deemed underwhelming, though Ru freely admitted that had she added her now signature pose, she would have been safe. Krstal meanwhile received universal praise for both looks while Scarlett was praised for selling two vastly different looks. While poor Elektra was read for not going far enough in the hometown look, though praised for being wacky in the second runway.
Meanwhile the safe girls were glad to be safe, though Vanity was looking forward to topping soon. Apparently. Charity was a bit disappointed to not be in the top, though glad to be safe. Talk turned to the tops and bottoms, with them speculating Scarlett would be in the bottom while Victoria would definitely be in the top. Speaking of which, the girls arrived with Scarlett talking about how much the judges lived for Victoria. The girls asked Scarlett what the judges felt about her, with them gagged that she was clearly in the top. With Charity going so far as to call her basic. Elektra felt she got the worst critiques while River just wasn’t sure who would be safe out of the three of them. Poor Anubis broke down, disappointed that she couldn’t explain her sea animal look to the judges, given it was a dedication to her dad since the last time she saw him, they went to an aquarium. Which is heartbreaking and I love her.
The queens returned to the mainstage where Ru announced that the top two queens would be lip syncing for victory in addition to the bottom two lip syncing for their lives. Scarlett however was not one of them, with Victoria and Krystal first up to battle for the win to Total Eclipse of the Heart by Queen Bonnie Tyler. But more importantly, I just got the pun of Victoria’s name. It was a battle from the very first bars as Krystal served killer, sexy lip sync while Victoria was a hilarious icon, chucking sandwiches and stripping off platters before falling to her knees. Ultimately though, it was Krystal that took out the first win of the season while poor Victoria looked like she was holding back tears.
The trio of bottoms were next up with River’s charm and personality enough to save her from the lip sync, leaving Anubis and Elektra to battle it out to Little Mix’s ‘Sweet Melody’. Anubis gave camp, glamour and hit every lyric, however that was tragically not enough compared to Elektra who straight up bounced and flipped around the stage, hitting every letter and serving all the emotion in the most demented way possible. As such, she saved herself and poor Anubis found herself following in Gothy and Joe Black’s footsteps.
Thankfully Boris Johnson was compelled to let me in – blackmail, what blackmail? – so I was able to be there for my dear friend Anubis in her time of need. I first met Anubis down in Brighton – aka the kiss of death for a UK queen – and was blown away from her talent and charm. And as you know, when I sniff out talent, I immediately hitch my wagon to them and vow to be their bestest friend ever. Meaning I felt it was only appropriate to pull Anubis in for a hug, remind her how damn talented she is and give her a big batch of Choc, Malt and Pecanubiscuits to celebrate her success.
Sticky, sweet and oh so perfect, these Donna Hay inspired numbers are the perfect way to dull the first boot pain. The crunch warms your heart, the gooey chocolate soothes your soul and the milo is well, milo. So buckle in and eat up!
Choc, Malt and Pecanubiscuits Serves: 6.
Ingredients 200g unsalted butter, melted and cooled 1 cup muscovado sugar ¾ cup raw caster sugar 2 eggs, 1 separated 1 tbsp vanilla extract ¼ tsp baking powder ½ tsp bicarb soda 1 tsp water 2 cups flour ¾ cup malt powder (aka Milo) ¼ tsp kosher salt 200g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
Method Preheat the oven to 160C.
Beat butter and sugars in a stand mixer for 5-10 minutes, or until sandy. Add a whole egg plus the extra yolk with the vanilla extract and beat on high for two minutes.
Meanwhile combine baking powder, bicarb and water in a little bowl and fold through the wet ingredients with the flour, malt powder and salt. Return to the mixer and beat on low until just combined.
Remove from the mixer and fold through the chocolate and pecans.
Roll ¼ cup dollops of batter into balls and flatten on a lined baking sheet, leaving plenty of space for the inevitable spread. Transfer to the oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until golden and crisp.