Previously on Survivor 18 new castaways were marooned on the islands of Fiji and immediately decided they wanted to emulate Kaôh Rōng and find out just how much can go wrong in a single season. Breaking records, poor Bruce hit his head in the marooning challenge and while he made it back to camp, he was promptly medevaced that night. Matthew then fell off a rock and dislocated his shoulder the next day before Brandon got heat exhaustion in the first immunity challenge, the latter sending Ratu to the first tribal council. And while Brandon was the obvious target, he had found the hidden immunity idol and as such, sent Maddy out the door as the first (official) boot with his single vote.
We then experienced yet another dark timeline where a string of young, iconic women went back-to-back-to-back, with Helen, Claire and Sarah rounding out an iconic pre-merge. Matthew’s lingering shoulder pain saw him quit-evaced before the tribes faked merge. This saw the demise of Josh, who had been the main target of multiple tribes for about 4 episodes.
We then saw nature heal, albeit in a heartbreaking fashion, as sweet Matt became the King of the Jury, partly due to his love Frannie winning immunity. Brandon and Kane soon followed before Frannie was felled for being too much of a threat. We then lost zaddy Danny before Jamie just missed her spot in the finale. After Lauren lost final five immunity, she was booted for her underdog story. Heidi then took out her first win of the season at the final immunity challenge however wanting a hero moment for her resume, sent Yam Yam and Carolyn through to final tribal council and faced off against young Carson for the final slot. And beat him in record breaking time to book her slot.
Despite playing a strong game and being beloved by literally everyone, Carolyn didn’t muster a vote at final tribal council – rude – while Heidi jagged one from her ally Danny, leaving Yam Yam to be crowned our King. And while I was disappointed for Carolyn, Yam Yam equally has my heart and played such a smart disarming game that he easily booked himself a spot as one of the top tier. Plus, he is fun, entertaining, silly and represents the sassy, curvy, queer men, so for that, I booked my stan card pre-season.
Most importantly, however, is the fact that for the first time since San Juan Del Sur, I picked the winner pre-season and for that alone, he is worthy of a piping hot dish of Candied Yam Yams Arocho.
While the concept of this dish always filled me with equal parts disgust and intrigue, however after trying it, I instantly fell in love. Earthy and sweet, this dish has everything. Kinda like our new King.
Candied Yam Yams Arocho Serves: 8-12.
Ingredients 2kg sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 3(ish)mm coins ½ cup pecans, roughly chopped ½ cup muscovado sugar 80g unsalted butter 1 tsp cinnamon ¼ tsp cayenne pepper a pinch of nutmeg a pinch of ground ginger kosher salt and pepper, to taste 1 tsp vanilla extract 4 cups mini marshmallows, more or less as needed
Method Preheat the oven to 180C.
Butter a large baking dish – 2.5-3L – and layer the discs of sweet potato, followed by some pecans after every layer or two, then some more sweet potato and continue the process until it is all gone.
Combine the sugar, butter, cinnamon, cayenne, nutmeg and ginger in a saucepan with a good whack of salt and pepper. Place over medium heat and cook, stirring, until it starts to boil. Once it has come together, remove from the heat and stir through the vanilla. Pour over the potato and pecan, cover with foil and pop in the oven to bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to cook uncovered for about 20 minutes, or until the potato is tender.
Remove from the oven and scatter over the marshmallows and return to the oven to cook for 15 minutes, or until the top is golden and melted. Leave to rest for about 5 minutes before slicing and serving, perhaps with a Turkey Wellington.
Previously on Survivor the final five faced off in an epic, multi-level immunity challenge which briefly reminded me of the majesty of Vanuatu. Knowing it was likely him or Lauren going home without immunity, Carson secured victory – thanks 3D printing! While he and Yam Yam were off enjoying the reward, Lauren tried to get under Carolyn’s skin and told her that Yam Yam was considering taking her out at the previous tribal council. After everyone came together, Carson desperately tried to keep his island parents together while the girls tried to woo Carolyn to their side. Thankfully though, sweet Carson proved all the more convincing, keeping Tika strong as the tribe banded together to eliminate the final Ratu, Lauren.
Forgoing any tribal council fallout, the final four arrived at the top of a mountain for their final immunity challenge, with Carolyn already in tears, shocked to have made it all the way to the end (basically). But to immunity, the also iconic simmotion challenge where, as Probst explained, with a hand tied behind their backs, they will drop balls into a shoot and catch them at the end with the last person without dropping snatching victory. Taking out immunity and the power to select one person to join them in the final three, because that, sadly, is still a thing.
The challenge got underway with everyone still in play by the time they added their second ball. This got Carolyn screaming, as Yam Yam stayed stoic and focused. Tragically Carolyn dropped her ball after a very close near miss, leaving the trio to power ahead as they added their third balls. And then a fourth, which quickly cost Yam Yam his place and then Carson, handing Heidi her first individual immunity and guaranteed her spot in the final three. Well, unless she elects to go to fire. Which she admitted she is seriously considering doing.
Back at camp the group praised each other for fighting so hard, while Heidi was thrilled to be solo but holding all the power. She asked everyone if they particularly wanted to make fire, reiterating that she is seriously considering going herself to build her resume. But first, they split up to practise. Carson knew that as the biggest threat it was highly likely he would be one of the people making fire and while he could do it at home, he was worried that his insecurities would make it hard for him to win the challenge. Yam Yam meanwhile was methodical as he practised, admitting that winning the challenge is just another notch on his belt and would almost be a hero moment.
Carolyn caught up with Yam Yam, asking if he truly thinks Heidi sees Carson as the biggest threat and as such would even send him into fire. Carolyn admitted that while she has been practising fire for years at home, she has tried to keep it secret. The duo then hilariously built fires, critiquing why theirs was superior. Yam Yam pointed out that the one guarantee they have is that Carson sucked making fire on day one and as such, pulled him aside to give him tips so he didn’t embarrass himself in front of the jury. Carson then broke down in tears over his kindness as Yam Yam continued to coach him, assuring us that even if Carson were to beat him in the challenge, it wouldn’t bother him. And ugh, give each of the Tikas a million. The tribe came together back at camp with Heidi super confident in her fire making skills, still debating whether it is a good give up immunity. Knowing that both Yam Yam and Carolyn are good, but Carson is a wildcard and as such, didn’t know whether it was a risk worth taking.
At tribal council the jury were gagged to see Heidi had immunity, though I think it had more to do with them likely about to see a Tika showdown. Heidi opened up about considering it being the best idea for her game to make fire, with her still unsure which way she is actually going to go. Yam Yam shared that he is a pyromaniac, so assured Heidi he would gladly make fire though he also would love safety. Carolyn agreed that when Heidi checked in, everyone was pretty comfortable with making fire, with Carson speaking up to share that he doesn’t feel comfortable. And as such, his pitch was for Heidi to put herself in fire and prove herself. But first, she sent Carolyn through to the final three, who was shocked to have made it to the end, given throughout school she was always called the weird outsider and now she has proven that she is enough, just as she is. And ugh, I love her.
Heidi then pivoted and told Carson that he would be making fire before admitting that she would be giving immunity to Yam Yam and facing off against him, given she knows he is the biggest competitor. And as such, wants to be the person to eliminate him. She and Carson took their places at the fire making tables and quickly got to work, with Heidi getting a flame within seconds. She tried to build it bigger and bigger before it went out, as Carolyn and Yam Yam encouraged Carson to stick at it. He finally got a flame, slowly adding kindling to keep it alight as Heidi’s began to roar and lick at the rope, burning through and booking her place in the final three. And sending Carson out of the game as a robbed goddess.
As Jeff confirmed that Heidi broke the record for the quickest fire making challenge, Carson sweetly held his head high. He opened up about spending most of the day in tears, though was grateful to have proven he can make fire and essentially, do anything he puts his mind to. As he made it back to Ponderosa, I gave him a massive hug – strongly holding back my own tears – telling him that being a fourth place robbed goddess, at least in Australia, is the highest honour. And as such, he should be very proud, as he smashed his Bacon & Cheddar Cornsonbread Garrett.
On their own, each bacon, cheddar and cornbread are perfection, but when they triumphantly come together, it is like an Avengers level majestic dish. Absolutely hulking with flavour, to continue the Marvel theme.
Bacon & Cheddar Cornsonbread Garrett Serves: 6-8.
Ingredients 1 ½ cups coarse polenta 600ml buttermilk 300g bacon streaky bacon, diced 4 shallots, thinly sliced 2 ½ cups vintage cheddar, grated 400g canned corn kernels, drained ¾ cup flour 1 ½ tsp baking powder 150g unsalted butter, melted 3 eggs kosher salt and pepper, to taste
Method Place the polenta and buttermilk in a large bowl, stirring until well combined. Cover and leave to soak for a few hours – stirring each hour – to soften.
When the polenta is almost squishy and glorious, preheat the oven to 160C.
Pop a skillet over medium heat and fry the bacon until golden and crisp. Spoon ¾ of the bacon into the polenta, along with the shallots and 2 cups of the cheese. Stir to combine before stirring through the corn, flour, baking powder, butter and eggs with a good whack of salt and pepper.
Transfer the batter to a lined 20cm cake tin, sprinkle with the remaining cheese and bacon, and pop in the oven to bake for 40 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for five minutes before transferring to a plate and devouring, with a generously slathering of butter.
Previously on All Stars the dolls starred in live sketch comedy show RDR live (and despite having three SNL cast members appearing across the season, hilariously none guest judged the episode). After rehearsal, Lala approached Heidi about forming a little bit of an alliance, making Heidi far and away the most protected person on the cast should she ever land in the bottom. One of her OG allies Jimbo absolutely slayed the challenge with light and shade – as did Heidi herself, Jessica and Jaymes – while Kahanna was one note and Naysha just got lost. Ultimately Jimbo took out victory – that runway – and faced off against UK vs. the World nemesis, Pangina, who obviously won the lip sync, leaving Naysha to be sent home by the girls.
Backstage Jimbo was well and truly feeling her oats after taking out the win – murder by lip sync, be damned – while Jessica was gutted to have lost her sister Naysha. Who reminded the dolls that she will always be prettier than them via mirror message, so she is ok to be eliminated. After sitting down to receive her flowers from the dolls, Jimbo revealed she also voted for Naysha given Kahanna just won the week before. On that note Kahanna counted the lipsticks – eventually – gagged to see three votes for her, with Jessica admitting that she just couldn’t bring herself to vote for her Puerto Rican sister. And she did not give a shit about what anyone feels about that decision. MKD then admitted to being the other one that voted for her, opening up that she reacted to Naysha’s emotional plea in Untucked and while Kahanna assured her dolls there is no bad blood, Mrs. Kasha Davis, you in danger girl. And I hate that for us.
The next day the dolls were excited to potentially be lip syncing for $30K this week. Well, if they win, that is. Everyone asked Jaymes about her kerchief, with her admitting it is hankie code for bondage, which made Kahanna wet. Alexis asked everyone if they had been in a swing, with her arm shooting straight up before Jaymes admitted she had, while Heidi offered that she had pushed someone in one, as she is what? A dom top. Ru dropped by to announce that for this week’s Maxi Challenge they would be throwing a little ball. Specifically the Supermarket Ball, first they would be stomping the runway in a Legen-dairy Queen look, the second would be Fruity Patootie and finally they would design and make a Supermarket Supermodel Eleganza look for the third runway. Using only supermarket supplies. Carried in by an epically large Pit Crew and hot damn, my basement is flooded. I mean, it was Spain up in here.
After aggressively rifling through the goods the dolls split up to figure out what the hell they would design, with Jimbo worried about looking messy while MKD admitted the only balls she has dabbled in are Mr Davis’. She ran her ideas by Heidi to try and lock her plan, desperate to prove herself and get out of the safe zone. Jessica meanwhile was drowning in diapers, giddy for her first go at a ball. Jaymes meanwhile was hoping her one sewing class would have her shining, while Lala was drowning in PTSD, knowing she can’t do a viral fuck-up again. And while she assured us she learnt to sew, she forgot to add thread to the machine, so yup. Kandy meanwhile was just confused about what happens in a supermarket, and therefore unsure what to serve and straight up drawing stick figures and shapes for her design.
The Miss Congenialities caught up to reconfirm their alliance and while Heidi cautioned they need to keep it quiet, they got interrupted every ten seconds and ugh, dolls, this ain’t going to work. Kandy meanwhile spiced things up, pointing out Alexis is constantly horny and ready to have the dolls come over for a chicken dinner. While MKD admitted she made out with Darienne back in the day. Ru dropped by to Kiki as Jimbo told her about her weird ideas, leaving Ru in hysterics, despite Jimbo deciding to serve high fashion instead. Darienne’s plan was to serve colour, Alexis was hoping to survive the ball this time – or at least not go blind – with a hyper fashion look while Jessica was just ready to surprise Ru. With diapers. Kahanna was going with some yellow, assuring Ru that from here on out, she will be voting based on revenge – watch out MKD. Heidi’s plan was tequila sunrise, before sobbing as she opened up to Ru about losing her grandmother and how she didn’t get to say goodbye due to COVID.
Elimination Day arrived with Kandy putting on a brave face despite her nerves, given her look is a bit of a mess. She was hopeful she could be safe however, given Darienne’s look is just a little bit messier. As Lala and Jaymes beat their mugs, Jimbo asked if Lala planned to serve something iconic again and while Kandy admitted she didn’t even notice how bad the bag look was before they took the runway, Lala obviously called shady boots. MKD showed off an image of her husband, with Alexis admitting she was desperate for a relationship while Darienne scoffed, talking about her passion for being single. With everyone talking about how important it is to be ok on your own, before Alexis encouraged them all to love themselves because Alexis. Heidi brought it back to the competition, talking about how there is usually a unanimous vote early on, with everyone dancing around the fact they came to play this season and it is very unlikely there will be one. Essentially.
Ru, Michelle and TS were joined by Lemon, sorry, Jojo Siwa as Jimbo opened the Legen-dairy Queen runway with a mod inspired milk bubble look. Kahanna had her udders out as a slutty cow, Jaymes was iconic serving milk and cookies with hands all over her body before Kandy served glam spilt milk. Alexis ate grass as she stomped the runway as a biker cow, Lala gave bondage cow, Darienne was fold after fold of satin, Jessica was the most glamorous bowl of cereal, MKD gave sour cream – my fave – while Heidi rocked sexy milk man and ugh, she looked good.
When it came to Fruity Patootie, Jumbo served queer icon Warhol, Kahanna served full banana – split me – Jaymes gave us a lemon showgirl number, Kandy popped our cherry as another showgirl, Alexis was stunning as a blueberry, Lala gave slutty caramel apple, Darienne gave messy gown before revealing her banana split bodysuit.Jessica went on a picnic of açai to day drink, MKD served banana Mame before Heidi stole the show as a gloriously plump strawberry.
In their Supermarket Supermodel Eleganza looks, Jumbo stunned in a full lettuce and artichoke gown, Kahanna was a Swedish superhero, Jaymes was stunning in a sexy housewife number, Kandy shimmered in silver – aka foil fire blankets – Alexis gave shimmer and fringe and it was alright before Lala gave Grace Jones realness in cream, getting redemption but probs not the win. Darienne was an absolute mess in strips of colour with crinkled foil trailing behind her. Jessica Wild was perfection as a pink garden nymph while MKD was worse than Darienne selling cake. And so much, too much, colour. While Heidi was a mess, but was lucky to walk after MKD.
Kahanna, Jaymes, Alexis and Heidi were sent to safety before Jimbo received universal praise for each and every look, despite the made look being lettuce glued on a bodysuit. Kandy was read for giving the same silhouette, though they lived for her confidence and the fact her made look mixed things up. Lala meanwhile received all the praise, with the judges in particular proud of her design look. Darienne on the other hand was read for messing up all the details, aside from a solid middle look. Jessica rightly received all the praise for everything she served before MKD was read for only serving sour, not sour cream and while her middle look was perfect, they all agreed her design look was an absolute mess. Completely. Ultimately it was Jessica that took out victory before Jimbo, Kandy and Lala were deemed safe, tragically leaving Darienne and MKD up for elimination.
Backstage Kahanna praised everyone for surviving the ball with them agreeing Jimbo and Kandy would be in the top, while Kahanna didn’t buy Jessica would be in there with them. They all agreed MKD would be in the bottom, though couldn’t agree whether Darienne was a mess. Alexis praised Heidi for her Legen-dairy look, which triggered Heidi, who felt she deserved to be in the top. And with the lack of sleep and stress, she had had it. Officially. Alexis then felt tipsy before borrowing Kandy’s first neckpiece to do a little impersonation. She then realised she had to go back out to the stage though, so her sisters over blushed their cheeks like Kandy to go back out in solidarity.
As the tops and bottoms joined them, they were confused by their Kandy inspired makeup while the safe girls were gagged by Jessica taking out the win. Jimbo checked in with Heidi to see if she was feeling ok, with the soft and supple queen barely containing her disappointment and ugh, I hate it. They opened up that MKD and Darienne are up for elimination, before Jessica pulled Darienne aside with Ms Lake pointing out her looks weren’t reviled like MKD’s final look and as such, she shouldn’t go. And if she stays, she will have her back. Alliance style. Heidi meanwhile was sassily reading Jimbo’s dairy look. MKD was next to talk to Jessica, admitting while she bombed on the third look, she feels like she deserves to stay – I agree – though assured Jessica she has a loving family waiting for her back at home and as such, she is happy either way. Which disappointed Jessica, given she wanted to see her fight.
Back with the dolls Kandy joked about whether anyone felt they should have been in the top, with Heidi not having her jokes, telling her the dolls will be gagged tonight as she will be quitting. While Kandy tried to assure her she is amazing and will get her time to shine, she was well and truly ready to walk as she felt she has shown enough. Jojo then dropped by backstage and while she was at an 11, I think that was just her, as she thanked the dolls for showing people their talent and for helping make it easier for queer kids. With Kandy in turn thanking her for coming out so visibly and making other kids feel ok to be queer.
With that the dolls voted before Jessica took her place on the stage before Canada vs. the World winner Ra’Jah was announced as the assassin. As soon as Kim Petras Coconuts kicked off, Jessica revealed her epic bouncing kitties under her coat, which obviously had Ru and Michelle in hysterics. While Ra’Jah was just straight up living her best life, turning a show, because that is what does. But Ru loves a bouncing titty, so you know Jessica took out victory and the epic $30K tip. Which broke our little accountant Kandy’s heart to learn she’s back down to only a $10K kitty. Darienne and MKD took their places on stage before Jessica pulled her lipstick out of her wrist, surprisingly not the titty, eliminating MKD from the competition and ugh, I hate it here.
As Mrs. Kasha Davis arrived in the Werk Room, I pulled her in for a massive hug, selfishly, to be held as I sobbed and sobbed over my loss. Well hers, but mine and ours. Through tears, I told her how sad it was to see her go so soon, particularly since I’ve been waiting years and years for what should have been a triumphant return. Given MKD is wise, however, she assured me that she knows how talented she is and as such, is ok going home. And well, I guess that should be ok with me, given she is and forever will be a camp, sweet icon who is more than worthy of a delicious Chocolate, Hazelnut & Mrspresso Eskashagot Davis or six.
I first encountered this little delight at Agnes Bakery, and knew I would have to try a copycat at home. And while, yes, they are a little more flaky than my hand rolled number, they are still delicious. Like a nutella mocha, this melts in your mouth and keeps you coming back for more.
Chocolate, Hazelnut & Mrspresso Eskashagot Davis Serves: 8.
Ingredients 1 batch David Croissant dough 1 cup dark chocolate, finely chopped 1 cup hazelnuts, half blitzed and the other half roughly chopped ¼ cup espresso ¼ cup muscovado sugar 1 tsp cinnamon
Method Prepare David’s recipe all the way through the lamination and final resting process. When that is almost complete, combine the dark chocolate, blitzed hazelnuts, coffee, muscovado sugar and cinnamon in a bowl.
Preheat the oven to 220C.
Roll the dough out until about half centimetre thick – or thicker, given it is tough and I am lazy – smear the chocolatey paste over the top to coat before rolling up from the short end to form a sausage. Cut into 2cm thick discs and pop on a lined baking sheet, before pressing some of the chopped hazelnuts into the top.
Open your oven and with a wet hand, sprinkle in a little water. Transfer the escargot to the oven, spritz with a little more water and close, immediately dropping the temperature to 180C. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden and crisp, spinning the tray halfway through cooking.
Remove and allow to cool for about 15 minutes before devouring, gleefully.
Previously on All Stars Ru kicked off the season, ominously announcing that there is a new twist. However, left the girls hanging for the rest of the episode. Not wanting to wait around to find out, Jimbo and Kandy quickly formed an alliance, looping in Heidi as they were all tour buddies. After a double-runway mini challenge, the dolls formed girl groups for their mainstage debut. While Jaymes didn’t nail the choreo, she proved herself a star, though it was Kahanna who proved to have the biggest glow up, snatching the first victory. On the flipside, Darienne couldn’t sell her lack of choreo while Monica got stuck in her nerves, leading to them landing in the bottom. Kahanna was gagged to learn that Aja was her lip sync assassin, who promptly slayed the game leaving the girls to send home poor Monica.
Though we learnt her departure also made her the first doll eligible to win the online Fame Games, where the eliminated queens compete for $50K for having the best unused look of the season.
Backstage the dolls were broken hearted as they read sweet Monica’s farewell message, though TBH, Kahanna could barely contain her joy at being seen by not just the judges but her sisters. She then pulled the lip stick out of her titty to share that she also would have sent Monica home. Jimbo then suggested Darienne should count the other girls’ lip sticks, discovering three people joined Monica to vote for Darienne. Kandy immediately copped to it, saying that Monica’s story broke her heart and as such, she was compelled to save her. Quickly leading to Lala and Jaymes using that same excuse. Alexis produced the girls to talk about the Fame Games, with Kandy just glad all the eliminated girls get to show off their looks after working so hard. While Mrs. Kasha Davis was just glad to have a back-up $50K, though Jaymes assured us she only cares about the main prize.
The next day the dolls were thrilled to be back for another week within Mama Ru’s womb, which is the Werk Room, if MKD is to be believed. Speaking of Ru, she dropped by to announce that for this week’s maxi challenge the dolls would be starring in the new sketch show RDR Live. Which yes, will be performed live on the mainstage. After Mama disappeared, the dolls sat down to read through the script and fight for their rolls. Alexis and Darienne fell into playing Jersey Girl Michelle fan-girls, Jessica and Jimbo calmly snatched the gardening hookers, before Naysha, Heidi and Lala fought over the two news anchor roles, with Naysha eventually calmly taking the leftover role. And while she told the girls she could shine in any role, she was also pissed.
Everyone split up to read through their scenes with Jaymes obviously starring – we saw The Bitch who Stole Christmas, after all – while Naysha was on the struggle bus. Thankfully Jaymes was a good sister, telling her to speed up the dialogue to keep the jokes flowing. Jessica and Jimbo were living their slutty best lives, while Darienne and Alexis were just eerily Jersey and perfect. Ru returned with the iconic Bobby Moynihan with Jessica and Jimbo essentially told they were hilarious perfection, whether they had been out of the Werk Room for 13 years or just one. Kahanna, Heidi and Lala were up next, with Kahanna triggered since she was first eliminated in an episode Bobby judged, while Heidi whistled her way through the kiki, so you know that is all it will take to delight Ru.
Elimination Day arrived with Jaymes opening up about how she used to dream of being on SNL, while Lala was just hoping for some acting challenge rudemption after bombing all of them on her OG season. Jimbo checked in on Naysha to see how she felt about taking the back-up role, with Kandy covertly turning talk to how they will vote. Once again she admitted to feeling bad for Monica, though kind of regrets her vote given she was definitely the worst in the challenge, while Naysha admitted she needs to feel excited about seeing you again if she wants to keep you around. Naysha then identified Heidi, Alexis and Jimbo as her biggest threats. While Kandy, on the other hand, said it is a shame Jimbo has to go home this week, though, as Jimbo giggled. Lala meanwhile pulled Heidi aside to float the idea of forming an alliance and well, you know she was soft, supple and keen.
Ru, Michelle and Carson were joined by superstar Robin Thede as Jaymes, Naysha, Heidi and Lala kicked off the show and well, it is clear Jaymes is a star as she dominated everyone. Kandy was cute as the host while MKD owned every damn moment, but it was Jimbo and Jessica who got the most laughs. Specifically Jimbo who just plays horny bimbo so damn well. The news section was a bit of a bust – particularly Kahanna’s cat – though Heidi’s personality carried them through. While Darienne and Alexis were horrifically perfect from start to finish. As was Lala fake playing the saxophone, but only that.
On the Net Gala runway Naysha was stunning in a shimmering, black, punk netted gown, Jaymes was a bright, glam 60s delight with her hair, catch-ed in a net. Kandy served avant garde in tulle, MKD gave butterfly lady in a children’s fantasy movie, Jimbo went inter-net, as a robot influencer and ugh, it was GOOD. Jessica Wild was stun-ning as the apparatus that MKD was keeping her caught butterflies, Heidi gave rocker realness, Lala served only sex, Kahanna gave aquatic queen, in aqua, Darienne gave the sexiest basketball and Alexis was the belle of the ball in black and nude.
Kandy, MKD, Jessica, Lala, Darienne and Alexis were sent to safety before Naysha was praised for giving another stunning look, despite it being understated. While Michelle felt her timing was off in the challenge. Jaymes on the other hand was beloved for all that she did this week, then Jimbo got the same thing but just a little better. Heidi too was beloved for carrying the news section and giving such a bold fashion moment and growing from her first season, while poor Kahanna’s runway was beloved though she was read for being bland in the sketch. Ultimately it was Jimbo that took out her first win of the season while Naysha and Kahanna landed in the bottom two and were up for elimination. Which, duh, since they were the only ones with negative critiques.
Backstage the safe girls were thrilled to relax, while MKD opened up about how much fun she had in the challenge. Alexis and Kandy praised her for being such a star and radiating joy before Kandy praised our Jersey Girls for being ridiculous and fun. Talk turned to who they think will take the win with them unable to pick between Heidi and Jimbo, while they all agreed Naysha is in the bottom with Kahanna. Lala asked the dolls if they have ever considered getting bodywork done rather than padding, before Jessica changed the subject, admitting to having a little crush on Alexis. And gurl, you can do better. The tops and bottoms joined the fun, with Jimbo giddy to have taken out a win before the dolls focused on our poor bottoms. Kahanna was feeling triggered given she was eliminated in the second episode on her OG season, specifically in an acting challenge.
As she went to sob, Naysha broke down with the girls before Jimbo pulled her aside to plead her case. She assured our Canadian icon that she is not done with the competition and she knows she has more to show. While Heidi got her potato titties out. Naysha rejoined the girls where she reiterated she has so much more to show and that she needs to stay in the competition. Kahanna meanwhile told Jimbo she knows she didn’t do a good job in the challenge, though she also knows it isn’t her time. Particularly with a win under her belt. Which she doubled down on with the girls, before sweet Heidi led the dolls in a toast
With that everyone voted, Jimbo burping through her confessional, before she took her place on the mainstage as Ru gagged and scalped her to reveal this week’s assassin is her UK vs the World sister, Pangina. And do you even need me to wait to confirm what we all know, Pangina won. Though let’s just say Jimbo still turned a show, in her own way, to Cyndi Lauper’s She Bop. Since the song is horny and so is she. But did I mention Pangina? She gave comedy, she gave tricks, she gave emotion and didn’t even appear to break a sweat as Ru crowned her the winner before she sent Naysha packing into the Fame Games.
As she arrived backstage, I pulled her in for a massive hug – those sweet zaddy shoulders – assuring her that while she only managed to survive two episodes, she still managed to show her growth in that time. And that she more than deserved her Miss Continental crown. Her make-up is flawless, her looks are always perfection and girl can turn a show, it is just, tragically, she got a bad run of challenges for her skill set. Which seemed to be all it took to cheer her up – I mean, it is only episode two but we have a front runner for the Fame Games, no? – though I’d argue my Chorizo and Nayshacken Alfredopez Pizza contributed too. (After apologising for cursing her).
The spicy chorizo and the creamy-cheesiness of the alfredo just go perfectly together, so by the time you pop them on a crunchy little pizza with some sweet chicken, well, you’re in heaven.
Chorizo and Nayshacken Alfredopez Pizza Serves: 2-4.
Ingredients 1 base as per Pizsa Zsa Gabor 200g roast chicken breast, shredded 2 tbsp unsalted butter ½ cup chicken stock ½ cup thickened cream 1 ⅓ cups parmesan, grated kosher salt and pepper, to taste 1 cup mozzarella, grated 1 chorizo, cut into coins Michelle Branch Dressing and chopped parsley, to serve
Method Prep the base as per Zsa Zsa’s instructions and preheat the oven to 200°C.
Pop the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring, until melted. Whisk in the stock and cream and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes, or until it has started to thicken. Remove from the heat and whisk in the parmesan and half the mozzarella, before seasoning to taste.
Roll out the dough and spread with some of the alfredo sauce, followed by the chorizo, chicken, mozzarella and a little more alfredo. Transfer to the oven to bake for 20 minutes or so, or until golden and bubbling.
Remove from the oven and drizzle with the ranch and sprinkle with some parsley. Then serve and devour triumphantly, knowing you’ll always be a Miss Continental. Even if, like me, it is because of your passion for cuppa soup.
Previously on Survivor despite the ‘Earn the Merge’ portion of the game being behind us, the tribe arrived at the latest immunity challenge where Jeffrey gagged everyone with the information that once again half of them would be immune. The tribe were split down the middle with a person winning immunity from each team, and the person that lasted the longest from both earning immunity for their entire group. The catch being, they wouldn’t have a vote at tribal council either. After Frannie won one of the immunities, she held on against Brandon to make her entire group immune, leaving her boo Matt in jeopardy. Knowing he and Yam Yam were both in danger, they tried to get in with the Ratu majority in their collective. Sadly though it was all for nothing, even with Heidi snatching an advantage that could have saved them both, instead using it to doom Matt to the jury.
As the sweetest King of the Jury to ever exist.
Back at camp Yam Yam once again thanks the tribe for saving him, while hugging the winners and saying how much he missed them and how sad he was to lose Matt. He meanwhile was quite shocked by Heidi choosing to play her advantage to get rid of him, and while he was grateful to have survived, he questioned why she didn’t use it to make a bigger move against the Ratus. Frannie meanwhile was heartbroken to have not only lost her love, but to have watched him be so scared about the vote ahead, knowing it is now how she feels. While the OG Ratu felt to like they were now in control, given they managed to weaken not only OG Soka, but a powerful, sweet, loving duo that we all ship.
Heidi tried to do some damage control with Yam Yam, assuring him that she played her advantage the way she did because it was bleedingly obvious that Matt was going home anyway, so by doing what she did, she ruffled – or rustled, maybe – the least amount of feathers. Before floating that Tika and Soka come together – well, her and Tika at the least – to take control of the game. Which Yam Yam immediately took back to Carson, suggesting that better than locking in with one of the other tribes, they simply ride the middle and flip back and forth until they make it to the end. As Carolyn expertly hung with Ratu to keep them happy, with Kane confident in Ratu’s chances admitting if one of them doesn’t win, they really fucked it up.
The next day Carolyn continued to delight the tribe, whipping them up a nutritious breakfast as poor Carson crawled around in the background vomiting. Which is not related, given it is the PB&Js that caused his gastrointestinal distress, not our queen. As he loitered on the edge worrying about avoiding everyone, Carolyn assured him that everyone loves him and knows he is sick, so to just relax and heal. Ugh, she is the best. Proven even further when Jamie returned with treemail telling everyone to pair up for the upcoming challenge, with her offering to go with Carson so she could carry him on her back. As everyone else split up, Lauren worried about herself being a weak link that nobody wanted given she is so fatigued with Danny offering to go with her, despite gunning for her the day before.
But trust and believe, this doesn’t mean he won’t still target her next.
The tribe joined up with Probst in the jungle where they learnt the pairs would race in three stages, the first being to crawl through a twisted net and dig up planks with the first four pairs moving on. Stage two would see them race up a cargo net and use the planks to cross a bridge and slide down to a mat with the first two pairs going to the end. Where they would have to balance on small footholds between two walls with the last person standing taking immunity. Frannie and Yam Yam got out to an early lead with Kane and Brandon nipping at their heels. Danny and Lauren tried to close the gap, while Heidi and Jamie were closing out the group as Carolyn got stuck, while Carson quietly tried to will her on, though no doubt was grateful to not have to participate. With the other pairs thankfully making it through before he really had to try.
In round two, Kane and Brandon got out to an early lead with Yam Yam and Frannie and Danny and Lauren close behind. With the latter duo booking their place in the final round with the boys. As the four lined up in the structure they navigated through the first and second footholds with ease before the transition to the third foothold cost Kane his shot at immunity. He was almost instantly followed by Brandon before Danny won the season with a fart. Sadly though, it wasn’t enough to win him the challenge as he dropped more than his guts after transitioning to the final foothold, handing Lauren immunity. Like. A. Boss.
Back at camp everyone rinsed off the mud as Yam Yam worried about being targeted yet again, as is tradition. The OG Ratu crew quickly locked in their votes on Frannie, roping in Carson to make sure they were still together. They then wooed Carolyn and Yam Yam to vote with them, as Brandon hoped for some reciprocation from the latter for saving him. Brandon then approached Heidi and Danny and while they both said they were keen, when alone with Danny, Heidi told him that now is the time to make a move on Ratu alongside the Tika crew. Danny assured Heidi he would gladly play his idol for Frannie, while Heidi approached Yam Yam, Carolyn and Frannie to align against Ratu and take out a massive threat in the form of Brandon.
Yam Yam then approached Carson by the well to see what he was thinking, as Heidi approached them to check in. Carson assured her that while he was very keen on her power move, he was also a little bit concerned about how they could do it without making any enemies. Heidi then told them that Danny also has the hidden immunity idol and is playing it for Frannie, hoping the information solidifies their alliance, while also helping them through the vote. Sadly for her, Yam Yam wasn’t sure whether it was best to work with Heidi, or rat her out to Ratu and take control with them. Danny meanwhile let Frannie know that he was planning to blindside Brandon and play the idol for her. He then caught up with Carson, who told him that Yam Yam knows about the idol and while Danny was stressed, Carson assured him that he will monitor Yam Yam and make sure he sticks with them.
Despite Danny spiralling in fear.
At tribal council Matt and Frannie adorably looked at each other with love in their eyes, as Kane spoke about having a jury making everyone feel like they need to play a more bold, visible game. Heidi read the previous twists, pointing out that only Lauren is safe now and as such, she’d just love people to not vote for her. Carolyn spoke about how everything can change on a dime, with Yam Yam agreeing that the key in the game is to know what is going on at all times. Heidi and Jamie spoke about being terrified every time they set foot in tribal council, while Brandon spoke about how even if you have had conversations with people, you can never trust you’ve been given the legitimate one. Lauren on the other hand spoke about it potentially being a majority vote tonight, while Danny alluded to the fact that even if you’re down and out, a comeback story is always a winner with the jury. Kane spoke about how he focuses on moving with intention, with Frannie agreeing Survivor is about finding the most number of people with shared intentions to make it through to the next round. And then lather, rinsing and repeating.
With that the tribe voted, Danny stuck firm with the plan to play his idol for Frannie and promptly negated 6 votes for her as Brandon – rather poetically, I must say – was idolled out of the game with the rest. As he arrived into the jury, I pulled Brandon in for a massive hug thanking him for bookending his game with idol plays in such an iconic way. While he pointed out the latter wasn’t really up to him, he was grateful for the praise all the same. Despite being someone that could have fallen into focusing just on brawn, after saving himself with a trick he hustled his way into power. Which had worked well until the other tribes rallied against them. Which is a sad truth which can only be worked through with a glorious batch of Brandoned Buttom.
While this is something that is generally saved for the festive period, I would argue we need to normalise this as a year-round thing! Sweet, punchy and smooth, it is the perfect addition to your festive baking or melted on a fresh batch of pancakes.
Brandoned Buttom Serves: 12.
Ingredients 175g icing sugar 175g unsalted butter, softened ½ cup brandy ½ tsp kosher salt
Method Cream the butter and icing sugar in a stand mixer on medium for about five minutes, or until white, thick and fluffy. Slowly add in the brandy a tablespoon at a time, allow it to come back together before adding more, followed by the salt.
Transfer the butter to a sheet of baking paper and wrap into a cylinder, holding firm with some tape or cling film. Pop the log in the fridge to chill for an hour or so before devouring. Festively, year round.
Previously on Survivor the three tribes dropped their buffs ready for the dragged out, needlessly complex earn the merge episode which is essentially just a split into two tribes with a joint tribal council, but whatever. Thankfully Carson’s passion for 3D printing guaranteed he and Carolyn were safe, though tragically their bestie Yam Yam wasn’t so lucky. And given everyone was worried about Josh having an idol – despite Carolyn assuring them he doesn’t – he quickly became a target. Yam Yam in turn tried to turn things on Kane which was ultimately unnecessary as the group threw caution to the wind, banded together and sent Josh out of the game. Meaning we’ve still only lost minority players or females thus far.
Back at camp Yam Yam quickly told everyone he loves them despite copping some votes and while he was feeling the pressure now that he has had his name out there, he quickly got back to joking about and charming the hell out of everyone and well, we need to protect him and Carolyn at all costs.
The next day everyone came together to pick a tribe name and while nobody bought the fact Yam Yam was actually a Fijian word that would be perfect for the tribe, they did love his suggestion of Va Va meaning 4-4. And by coming together, it was everyone but Matt and Frannie who were on a private date being cute as shit, celebrating the fact he finally has his vote back in addition to having his idol. He then caught up with Brandon, Yam Yam and Kane, with Brandon telling everyone about the fact the cages had two idols – one real, one fake – which made Matt realise he had been played since there was only one in the bag when he snatched his. Slowly he pieced together that Danny must have the real one, offering to show the boys his fake to prove his theory.
Meanwhile Danny was busy catching up with Carson, locking in the next vote as Lauren since she has an extra one. And while Carson was quiet and non-committal, Kane outright shut him down when he approached him with the idea, since the extra vote in the hands of an ally would be super powerful for them later in the game. Begging the question, did I know they were aligned with Lauren? Kane then approached Matt and Frannie about Danny’s plan, suggesting that while Danny is fixated on getting rid of her, it may actually be the perfect time to blindside him instead. And after they pulled in Carson, he realised that he, Carolyn and Yam Yam are sitting pretty in this impending feud between Ratu and Soka.
The tribe came together with Probst where they would each stand on a beam and hold a long pole above their head and balance a ball with the last one standing securing immunity. Oh and since Jiffy Pop can’t go a week without some rando twist, they will be split up into groups of five – why did we merge again? – with a person winning immunity from each group. And the person winning the whole challenge earned immunity for their entire team too. Oh and sadly, only those eligible to be eliminated will be the only ones voting too, meaning someone is about to get screwed to rule as the King or Queen of the Jury. When they split up into groups, Carson was the odd one out, meaning he got to bet on who would win and tie his fate to theirs. Confused? Same. Oh and the winning group would also get PB&Js, because why not.
In any event, Carson locked in with Heidi, Kane, Danny, Frannie and Carolyn, which seemed like a shitty idea as Carolyn became the first to drop. She was followed out by Lauren on the other team, before the remaining people transferred to a narrower portion of the beam. Which immediately cost Kane, followed by Heidi and Danny leaving Carson’s fate in Frannie’s hands. While she continued to power on, Jamie dropped before everyone transitioned to the narrowest portion of the beam. Just like Kane, that transition cost Matt and Yam Yam leaving Frannie and Brandon to battle for their group’s safety. The duo fought valiantly for a little while longer before Brandon dropped, meaning Frannie earnt her group immunity, but left her boyfriend in danger and ugh, I have a horrible feeling this is not going to end well for my sweet angel Matt.
The winners were sent back to camp to smash their sandies as the losers were sent to a different camp to scramble. Meaning in addition to the winners not having a vote, they also don’t have sway, which is infinitely worse. Back at camp, the group joyously smashed the food before talk turned to the upcoming vote, with Frannie and Danny talking about how much nobody wants Matt to go but accepted that it is clearly either him or Yam Yam going. Which obviously scared Carolyn, as she definitely didn’t want to lose her bestie. And just to up the tension for them, there was also an ominous note sitting on the table telling them they couldn’t open it until everyone was done eating.
Before we could address the note we ventured over to the losers’ camp where Brandon was feeling bad to have let his team down, though was thrilled to still be immune in addition to having his vote. Particularly since he also has Lauren and Jamie there who will totally stay Ratu strong. Matt meanwhile knew he was screwed and asked to talk to everyone, though pulled Jamie and Brandon aside to casually mention they may have a crazy plan to get rid of Lauren but if not, he is happy to work with them to take out Yam Yam. Despite the fact Yam Yam is the only one he actually wants to work with. Sadly for Matt, Yam Yam was busy throwing his name out to Lauren, filling him in on the fact Danny and Matt have been throwing out her name because of the extra vote and as such, she was ready to bounce him ASAP.
Back with the victors Frannie opened the note to announce a new advantage locked in the cage with keys hidden around the jungle. The catch being, you could only grab a second key once you’ve tried your key and found it didn’t work. Instantly everyone ran off to look with key after key coming up short before Heidi finally put us out of our misery, unlocking the cage and snatching it for herself. It being the new Control the Vote Advantage, meaning she can choose one player at the upcoming tribal council to force to vote the way she wants. Meaning she could be the one to save both Yam Yam and Matt, if she wants to be my best friend.
We returned to Playa de Loser where Matt was missing his boo Frannie, gifting us a heartbreaking recap of their love, instantly filling me with even more anxiety that it is soon to be ending. Matt and Yam Yam caught up as the former Ratu hung out by the well, with Yam Yam pointing out that if they can get the other group to split their vote, they will be able to force a tie, meaning they just may be able to survive. Sadly for them the trio were busy planning to load all their votes on one person, either Yam Yam as it won’t piss as many people off or Matt to weaken Soka. Wait, no, Lauren wants them to split so we may be saved!
Frannie and Heidi caught up at the winners’ beach to talk through the advantage, trying to figure out the best way to use it to take control. While everyone was onboard with telling Matt and Yam Yam to vote together, Heidi admitted to Kane that since Matt is so well liked, she is just as concerned about him getting too far as she is about breaking up Ratu.
At tribal council Jamie spoke about how wild it is to once again be in a small group and potentially screwed if your allies are on the wrong side. Almost speaking for the audience about how tired we are of the constant tribal council twists. Matt spoke about the fact he didn’t have his bags or any tricks that may be in them, and when Frannie admitted she hadn’t packed it, he pulled out a papaya to ask Jeff for mercy and to cancel tribal council. When that didn’t work, Matt lay out that it is him and Yam Yam on the block, with the latter admitting he was also very nervous. Lauren and Jamie downplayed it, talking about how one advantage could screw them out of the game, but if they do stay, they also need to think about the six people not voting.
Matt tried to remind everyone how strong of an ally he is, with Brandon admitting he would love to work with him before pointing out he even voted for Yam Yam just the week before. Yam Yam wisely pointed out he has zero allies, while Matt has options, meaning if he is kept, he is more likely to stay loyal, while Matt would flip right back. Matt then was a beautiful angel, breaking down as he talked about his anxiety and nerves before playing the game, and how proud of himself he was to overcome it and play a strong game. As sweet Frannie looked on, beaming with pride. Jeff then called out Yam Yam for deflecting with humour – why show his game, Jeff – with him too breaking down about how growing up as a queer kid in Puerto Rico, he never dreamt he could be here and he now he isn’t ready to go.
As they were about to go out to vote, Heidi stood up and snatched Lauren’s vote, instructing her to vote for Yam Yam. After clarifying whether Heidi controlled one or two of her votes, Lauren kicked off the voting, wisely holding on to her extra as the group united to break up mum and dad, sending Matt out to become the King of the Jury. Which feels so wholesome and lovely I could almost burst. But fuck am I going to miss our sweet king. As soon as her arrived at Ponderosa, I pulled him in for a massive hug and thanked him for playing such an exceptional game and for repping for all the nerds with anxiety. As is becoming a trend this season, I reiterated that due to the twist there was truly not much he could have done to save himself, but I am grateful that someone as kind as him is the one setting the tone of the jury. Which is perfectly shown with a big, fat plate of Matt Cornflakinship Brownies.
As sweet as our nerd king, angel zaddy these elevated brownies are all about balance. Crunchy and soft, sweet and salty, everything about them works together to warm your soul and keep the jury in a positive state. I assume.
Matt Cornflakinship Brownies Serves: 8.
Ingredients 375g unsalted butter 150g dark chocolate 5 eggs 200g muscovado sugar 650g raw caster sugar 100g plain flour 50g cocoa powder 1 ½ tsp kosher salt 300ml double cream, at room temperature(ish) 200g cornflakes
Method Preheat the oven to 180C and line a rectangular cake tin.
Start by melted 125g of butter with the dark chocolate, either in a double boiler or using a microwave. Stir until smooth, shiny and combined, and then leave to rest.
Meanwhile using a stand mixer, beat the eggs, muscovado sugar and 150g of the raw caster sugar until light and fluffy, almost pulsating with the volume. With the mixer on low, slowly pour in the butter and chocolate, mixer until just combined. Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold through the flour, cocoa and half a teaspoon of salt until combined. Pour the batter in the pan and transfer to the oven to bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the brownies are just cooked through. Remove and leave to cool.
To make the caramel cornflakes, pop the remaining sugar in a large saucepan over medium heat and stir until it has melted. This will take a while, but is worth it for an angel like Matt. Keep cooking the sugar until it is a deep golden colour. Remove from the heat and add half of the remaining butter and mixing in. Once combined, add the remaining butter and whisk until that is combined. Followed by the cream, carefully, as this will bubble and spit. Once combined, return to the cooktop and heat for 2 minutes, or until it has thickened slightly. Remove from the heat, stir in the remaining salt, followed by the cornflakes.
Immediately pout the cornflake topping over the brownies and smooth the top. Transfer to the fridge to set for a couple of hours before slicing and devouring.
Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race the top five played a little quiz game for the power to assign teachers for this year’s makeover. Despite having to read herself for the win, Loosey paired everyone with people that made sense for each of them. Well, except for Luxx, who she decided to take revenge on for reading her for filth all season. While Loosey and her new sister looked like legit twins, the judges felt they had no chemistry on the runway. Luxx gave nothing to build their family resemblance, though her new daughter did look like Jennifer Collidge which should count for something. Ultimately Anetra was perfect from start to finish, which handed her her third win of the season while Luxx and Loosey faced off in the lip sync, with Luxx coming out on top and sending Loosey out in fifth place.
Backstage the dolls soon discovered Loosey was completely annoyed to be eliminated, while Luxx found it hilarious that Loosey was eliminated after trying to play dirty. Mistress on the other hand was just proud of Loosey for finally admitting she was playing the game, in addition to being stiff competition. Luxx admitted she was heartbroken to have been in the bottom so close to the end, while everyone was just excited to have made it to the top four. Anertra was proud of herself for being neck and neck with the one and only Ms Colby, while Sasha herself was just hoping for no last minute goopery costing her place in the competition.
The next day Ru dropped by to announce that for their final maxi challenge, the dolls would be writing and recording verses on Ru’s song Blame It On the Edit before filming the film clip with Miguel Zarate (swoon). And sitting with Ru and Michelle for a tic tac lunch, like icons. Oh and then he announced that only three of them will be going through to the finale, which obviously left them gagged. Just as Sasha feared. After Ru left, the dolls split up to listen to the song and work on their lyrics. Mistress was obviously super confident given she is shady as hell, while Sasha is glad she knows words. Anetra was planning to lean into her brand – voguing and sex – while Luxx felt like she had it in the bag, so went aside to have a nap like Pearl and Jinkx before her.
Sasha was first up to chat with Ru and Michelle, welcoming them to the meet and greet before talking about her epic career leading to this point. She admitted that she has struggled throughout the season, not wanting to do too well given she didn’t want the girls to hate her. She opened up about how her lack of support from her mother is what makes her worry about gaining people’s approval. She then went very deep, talking about how she was left everything after her father died, and how that was almost a seal of approval. And ugh, crown her.
Speaking of crowning her, Sasha’s co-winner Anetra was up next, talking through growing up Mormon and how drag is what opened her up to every colour of the rainbow. Michelle then gushed about how good her and Marcia’s lip sync was – shoulda been a double save – labelling it the greatest of all time. She spoke about how she learnt to vogue in Vegas, while Ru praised her for always bringing something to the challenges that only she can. Oh and you best believe winning would mean everything to her, and prove everything was worth it.
Mistress was next up, talking about what made her such an outspoken icon and how that got under Loosey’s skin. Who she in turn felt was different on camera to what she was like when the red light went out. She spoke about how she came to the competition wanting to prove why she deserves the crown, and that she desperately wants to make everyone proud. Particularly Mama Chavelle, winner of Season 16. Oh and you best believe she is now in her top three era. She tapped out with Luxx who spoke about how she came to the competition ready to serve looks at every moment. Oh and she opened up about going to Cicely Tyson high school and honestly, I am jealous as all hell. She spoke about how her parents taught her to be confident and proud of herself, and you know she took that and ran and now, is always ready to prove a bitch wrong.
The top four came together on set to work through the choreography and given Sasha is serving Barbwire realness, you know she is winning. Everyone admittedly looked amazing, though Mistress kinda got stuck in her head, worried about learning it all in time and ugh, it sucks to see someone so confident get so nervous. Without any time to process things, the back-up dancers were brought in and the dolls were put through their paces in front of the red light. Luxx was perfect from start to finish, while Anetra was surprisingly nervous. Most importantly, Luxx lost a nail in her outfit and ugh, she is hilarious and I am going to miss her when the season is over. They traded out with Sasha and Mistress and similar to the others, Sasha was perfect at every damn moment, while Mistress was so focused on the choreography, she didn’t give the attitude.
Elimination Day arrived with the dolls splitting up to prepare for the final runway, with everyone shocked by how quickly the challenge has gone. Luxx and Sasha were obviously thrilled to have nailed the challenge, while Mistress vowed not to let the choreo get her down. Anetra too was nervous, given it took her some time to get it down, though was confident she did enough in the end. Mistress asked everyone to talk through their first impressions, with Anetra loving Luxx from the start while the dolls were all shocked by how kind and down to earth Sasha is, given she is as sickening as her legacy. Mistress always knew Anetra would be a silent assassin, while everyone was gagged by how much she has grown as she came into her own around the dolls. Anetra meanwhile loved that while Mistress is obnoxious, she showed she also had a massive heart too.
Talk turned to all of the feuds and damn, these girls really fed us with the drama. Well, Luxx at least, who found herself at the centre of all the -gates. Before they turned their attention to the fact one of them will win, with everyone confident they deserve to make it to the top but also nervous about falling so close to the end.
It was family only on the judges panel as Ru, Michelle and Ross took their places on the panel as Anetra opened the Drag Excellence runway looking stunning in a fitted blue velvet gown in honour of her Asian heritage. Luxx meanwhile was perfect in a shimmering white gown with a huge, curly wig. Sasha meanwhile was glorious in a silver crystal gown, referencing her Hawaiin heritage in the best ways possible. Before Mistress closed the show in a fringed, crystal cheetah print gown and ugh, I love it. Particularly since she wore it in a pageant previously, meaning she is the Kate Middleton of drag. When it came to the film clip, we may be able to Blame it on the Edit because everyone was stunning. Anetra was fierce as hell and v on brand, Luxx was full chanteuse, Sasha was sexy and perfect in every moment, while Mistress rapped the house down and delivered all the attitude.
After thanking the top four for all nailing the challenge, the judges praised Anetra for combining old and new on the runway and looking beautiful. They praised her for getting stronger from week to week, and truly shine when she let them in. Oh and Ru was proud of her, no doubt for showing off her branding prowess by always walking the duck. Luxx was praised for having such impeccable taste and always looking perfect. And showing off everything she has to offer. They all spoke about Sasha’s legacy and how somehow she exceeded all expectations week after week, and constantly slayed. And more importantly, she showed her massive heart and how she is always giving back to her sisters and the community and AGAIN, crown her. While Mistress was beloved for always giving polish and charm, truly showing Houston excellence at every moment. Though also being a versatile and intelligent performer each week.
Ru pulled out a picture of 5 year old Isiah, asking Anetra what she would tell herself, asking him to hold on through the dark days, knowing that one day the world will be safe for you to shine. And it will be so much better than she can even imagine. Luxx told baby Justin that all his dreams will come true, he just needs to know that everything that comes his way is what makes him who he is. Sasha told baby Sasha that she is a stunning woman, and that trusting her instincts will be what makes her dreams come true so just hold it down and know that you are loved. While Mistress told herself that despite how confusing life will be most of the time, that fire within will be what keeps him holding on to hope and that eventually, he will find his tribe and achieve the world.
Backstage the dolls were gagged by the fact one of them will still go home, with Mistress in particular nervous about struggling through the challenge given she has slayed all season long. The dolls rallied around her, agreeing she has done so well that it would suck to be in the bottom. Luxx was fairly confident she would not be in the bottom, despite Mistress reminding her she is kinda delusional. Sasha praised them all for being different and giving something unique, while they reflected on how great they have been throughout the season. Mistress’ least favourite moment was calling Marcia’s drag cheap and her favourite was proving herself in the Snatch Game. Anetra called Luxx’s highlight wearing her Ru look, while she loved saying Loosey should go home. While Sasha pointed out Mistress struggled with Love Connie, while her least favourite was the standup challenge. Everyone agreed that Anetra’s favourite moment should have been her ninja realness in the talent show, though.
Ultimately Sasha took out her fourth win of the season and booked her place in the finale, before Luxx was sent through to join her. Meaning Anetra and Mistress would have to face off for the final spot to Kelly Rowland’s – I don’t care about David Guetta – When Love Takes Over and ugh, they were stunning. Both of the dolls leant into the passion of the song, hitting every lyric, being silly when required and obviously serving tricks as Anetra walked the duck once again, as Mistress tried to swat her out of the competition. It was cute, it was fun and well, thankfully Ru went back on her word, going with a double shantay and keeping both of the girls in the running moving on to the finale.
Despite the fact all the dolls were kept in place, I had already gotten busy in the kitchen, so tapped Mistress on the shoulder and told her that I’d like to pre-emptively celebrate her run in the competition. And given the number of wins was the fairest way to decide who would be first, she was the first I’d be catching up with. While she questioned whether that meant I didn’t think she would win, I pulled her in for a massive hug to stop her questioning, instead getting her to focus on how good her run was. As despite only getting one win, there is no denying how good she has been each and every week. Which alone makes her more than worthy of a shot at the crown and a piping hot batch of Mistress Isamaple Crookies.
These cookies are the perfect little snack – Halloween decorations, or not. The delicate flavour of the maple works perfectly with the crunchy cookies to provide the ultimate all rounder snack. Perfect for celebrating a queen that is good at nearly everything.
Mistress Isamaple Crookies Serves: 8-12.
Ingredients 300g flour 1 tsp cinnamon 1 tsp baking soda 1 tsp kosher salt, plus a pinch for icing 150g unsalted butter, at room temperature 200g muscovado sugar 1 egg, at room temperature 160ml maple syrup 2 tsp vanilla extract 1 cup pecans, roughly chopped 115g icing sugar any sprinkles you feel inspired by, for decoratin’
Method Sift the flour, cinnamon and baking soda into a bowl, and add the salt. Meaning in a stand mixer, cream 120g of butter and the muscovado sugar on medium for a couple of minutes, or until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides, add the egg and mix for a further minute on low. With the mixer running, add half the maple syrup and vanilla extract, mixing until just combined. Remove from the stand mixer and fold through the dry ingredients and pecans before returning to the mixer and beating for a minute or so, until well combined. Form the dough into a disc, wrap in cling wrap and transfer to the fridge to chill for a couple of hours.
Preheat the oven to 180°C and line two baking sheets.
Once the dough is chill, using an ice cream scoop, roll out 1-2 tablespoon balls of dough and pop on a baking sheet, allowing plenty of room for spread. Once all rolled out, pop the sheets in the oven and allow to bake for about 15 minutes, or until lightly browned and cooked through. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the tray for a couple of minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
While the cookies get chill, pop the remaining butter and maple syrup in a small saucepan and whisk over a low heat until combined. Whisk in the icing sugar and a pinch of salt and stir until it has come together again. Drizzle the warm glaze over the cookies, add sprinkles for fun and allow to set for five minutes before devouring. Like a winner.
Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race the producers once again proved to be shady little icons, as the top six starred in Wigloose! The Rusical, mere moments after Anetra sent Marcia Cubed home in the lip sync of the season. After everyone kind of knocked it out of the park and slayed the runway, leaving Ru to jump on the shade train and task his dolls with identifying who should go home for him. Luxx gave an elaborate Ted Talk about how wonderful and unique everyone is except for Loosey, Loosey and Anetra said Salina, Salina returned serve and identified Loosey while Mistress wanted to put an end to Sasha’s meet and greet. Sasha on the other hand wanted to cut Luxx or Loosey for being her biggest threats. Ultimately though another emerged as Anetra took out her second victory, before Loosey defeated Salina and sent her back to WeHo.
Backstage the dolls were disappointed to have lost Salina, well mainly just Sasha, who considers her a friend and shared how proud of her she is. They discovered her mirror message was about her deserving to go home, which obviously made Loosey feel a certain way, given her name was said multiple times too. And you know she felt it just sucked. As they sat down, Mistress laughed about how she could have been mean but didn’t, so hello congeniality era, yet again. Luxx meanwhile doubled down on EVERYTHING she said, with Loosey trying to be calm as she said she will obviously disagree. She bit her tongue as best she could, with Luxx shutting it down, reminding them the end is in sight and that she will be doing nothing but focusing on making it.
The next day the tension was put aside as Mistress assured them she will be winning this week before Ru dropped by to briefly distract them with a little Spill The Tea mini challenge, complete with Norvina. Basically it is a quiz where they have to answer questions guessing who the group thinks will be the most likely answer. If that makes sense, because I really struggled to think that one through. In any event, it was a little bit shady and a whole lot of fun, with everyone kinda feeling their oats and laughing it up, with Loosey even saying she will be the next to go home just to guarantee her victory in the challenge.
After Norvina was swept away, Ru announced that for this week’s maxi challenge the dolls would makeover teachers in honour of his High School drama teacher. And as the winner of the mini challenge Loosey had the power to pair up the queens with their teachers and while she had the opportunity to be shady, she literally paired them up with their most similar person. Well everyone except Luxx, meaning she is either winning or sending Loosey home and there is no in between.
The duos split up to get to know each other with Anetra’s teacher – Mrs Mahoney – a Drag Race superfan absolutely adorable, despite being nervous to walk the stage. Loosey praised Mrs Wallace for being so smiley and happy and they are super similar, so this should be easy for Loosey. Mistress and Miss Tang were essentially twinning and I love that for them, particularly as her teacher broke down as Mistress thanked her for living proudly and vibrantly for her students. Sasha and Mrs Marchbanks – who watches Drag Race with her husband – were ready to go OTT and pad for the Gods, while Luxx just seemed a little awkward, despite Mrs Reyes giving her full control over everything. While Luxx worked on the outfits and completely forgot they needed to form a relationship too. Mistress’ daughter quickly learnt to be as shady as her mama, challenging Loosey’s daughter to a walk off. And while I’d love to say Mistress and her baby won, Loosey’s daughter kinda served. But trust, Mistress was focused on winning when it counts.
Ru dropped by to kiki with the queens with Sasha first up introducing her daughter Ferocity Colbybanks and talking through their sexy Hawaiian looks. Mistress rightly played on her daughter’s name, christening her Madame Thang, with her sharing she will also be whipping up two velvet gowns. Which will be super easy to hide a kitten heel under, just in case Madame can’t walk. Oh and Madame Thang is adorable and I love her. Anetra and her daughter were awkward and giggly, and I love them. As does Ru, so lets hope they both walk that fucking duck. Luxx and Mrs Reyes – aka Asia Azul – were very mismatched and while I want Mrs Reyes to kill it because she is adorbs, I have a bad feeling. While Lala and Loosey LaDuca were going with the vibe of rich ladies at the beach, with Ru getting shady and asking Loosey how she felt about queens saying she should go home. And what do you know, she would have Ru believe that she is completely unbothered.
Oh and before Ru departed she announced that in addition to walking the runway, the newest queens would also be lip syncing. So they have even more work to do. Loosey and Lala were first up to talk through lip syncing and Mrs Wallace is such a delight, I want only good things for her. Sasha was delighted her daughter knew who Leiomy is, Mistress went full Abby Lee on her daughter while Anetra tried to help her find her duck walk. And well, poor Luxx’s teacher was giving mum dancing and it was so sweet and she needs to win just because of that.
Elimination Day arrived with everyone split up to get their daughters in drag, wth Anetra proud hers wants a resting bitch face. They then bonded over wanting to find a place to escape reality, before Anetra asked if she believes people can unlearn bigotry and even just hearing Mrs Mahoney talk about how she definitely thinks things can always get better, I am filled with hope. Luxx’s teacher asked if she had experienced homophobia, with her opening up to Luxx that she left her church because she couldn’t stand them not accepting her children. Like a damn boss. Mistress’ daughter was nervous about walking the runway but distracted herself by getting shady, asking everyone to talk about their track records. With Loosey continuing to believe mini challenges matter. Mistress pointed out that Lala looks exactly like Loosey before they taught the dolls some slang. While poor Asia Azul looked bored and sad. While Loosey felt Mistress’ teacher looked like a Disney Villain, which is basically Mistresses vibe, so win.
Ru, Michelle and Ross were joined on the panel by Hayley Kiyoko as Sasha and Ferocity Colby walked the runway looking absolutely perfect. They were twinning, they were glam and oh so confident, and I love it. Loosey and Lala gave girls-trip realness, Mistress and Madame were full on glamazons before Luxx and Asia looked beautiful but gave zero family resemblance. And well, then Anetra and Alektra gave sexy Dr Evil and Mini Me realness and well, crown them now.
The judges gave Sasha nothing but praise for giving complete family resemblance and clearly vibing. Ferocity meanwhile loved being padded. Loosey was praised for looking alike, though Michelle felt they weren’t on the same page on the runway while Ross wished that Lala’s shoes had been stoned for the occasion. Mistress was beloved for dripping in chemistry and attitude, before Luxx was praised for making Asia look so stunning – and giving off Jennifer Coolidge – before being read for doing absolutely nothing to give resemblance. Oh and then Anetra was praised for knocking everything this week completely out of the park, particularly for inventing the arm foreskin. And by the time she praised her teacher for bringing all the queerness to the classroom, it was clear it was another win for her.
Before sending the queens backstage, Ru put the teachers through their paces in their first lip sync for their lives to Ru’s Champion and well, they were all so amazing and living their best lives. And yeah, I love them. Particularly since Mrs Reyes is basically Jennifer Coolidge when she moves too.
Backstage the dolls toasted themselves for making the top five before Luxx announced that she knows she will be lip syncing. But trust and believe, she is ready for a fight and good luck to whoever she faces. She then pointed out Loosey is likely lip syncing with her, with Loosey agreeing, though quickly pointing out that she disagrees completely with the judges opinions and thinks she doesn’t belong in the bottom. Luxx accepted all of her critiques, though pointed out her teacher was living and having star quality is clearly their family resemblance. She then asked Loosey why she was shady with the allocations, with her trying to say it was because she was competition before admitting it was also because she was rude to her, leading to some epic tension. For ages. Before Mistress turned things positive, praising Anetra and Sasha for doing so well.
Talk turned to the teachers with Luxx living for how lovely Asia is as a parent, protecting her queer kids and supporting them to live their authentic lives. Loosey asked her sisters about their drag families, with Sasha pointing out they can provide all the love and support that queer people often miss out from their bio families. Sasha then got a call from the iconic Kerri Colby and ugh, I love her so much. And how much she is riding for Sasha to take out the win, which is correct. Loosey was up next with a call from her family and friends, breaking down as she got the unconditional love and support she had clearly needed. She then opened up how hard it is to be away from her family, apologising for being robotic due to being so focused on the competition.
The teachers dropped by to join their mothers who brought a lovely energy to the room, with Mistress explaining why Loosey and Luxx were rehearsing. Sasha’s teacher thanked her for making her dreams come true and then asked to stay in touch and ugh, I am so damn jealous she gets to be Sasha’s friend.
Ultimately Mistress and Sasha were sent to safety before Anetra rightly took out her third win of the season, leaving Loosey to lip sync for her life against her nemesis Luxx. And well, maybe she shouldn’t have set up Luxx, because she can turn it. That being said, you know that Loosey felt she didn’t belong in the bottom and was angry. So angry, she was ready to demolish Hayley Kiyoko’s For the Girls. As Loosey fought valiantly, giving camp and sass, Luxx was all fire, giving tricks, energy and all the sex and ugh, it was good. But sadly, once again track record took precedence as Luxx was sent to safety leaving Loosey to exit. In tears.
As she found me back in the Werk Room, I pulled her in for a massive hug and praised her for giving such a dominating performance across the season. While her sisters – and maybe the producers – kinda trolled her or didn’t give her the flowers she often deserved, there is no denying she is a killer queen. Just sadly sometimes she was a little too polished, which appears to be triggering for Ru. I assured her that she did an amazing job throughout the season and reminded her that while queens like her often get trolled in regular seasons, they are usually the ones that dominate All Stars. Which is something I definitely see in her future, like a young DeLa for instance. And with that reference of BenDeLaChrist, she was once again her happy bubbly self and ready to tackle the world with a belly full of Loosey LaDucanut Cake.
Coconut has a very special place in my heart and I’ve spent years hunting for the ultimate coconut cake recipe, with this coming the closest to perfection I personally can muster. Sweet and flavourful, with a gorgeously light icing coated in chewy coconut, it is truly glorious.
Loosey LaDucanut Cake Serves: 2 dear friends, 1 being a future All Stars winner.
Ingredients 550g unsalted butter, at room temperature 2 cups raw caster sugar 5 eggs, at room temperature 3 tsp vanilla extract 1 tsp coconut essence 3 cups flour 1 tsp baking powder ½ tsp baking soda ½ tsp kosher salt 1 cup milk 300g shredded coconut, toasted 450g cream cheese, at room temperature 1 tsp almond extract 450g icing sugar
Method Preheat the oven to 180C and grease two round 23cm cake tins.
Using a stand mixer, cream 350g of the butter and the raw caster sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. About five minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, allowing the batter to come back together before adding the next, followed by 2 teaspoons of the vanilla extract and the coconut essence. It may look curdled at this point, but keep calm and carry on.
Remove from the stand mixer and sift in the flour, baking powder and soda, followed by the salt – which probs won’t sift – before folding into the batter, slowly adding milk as you go until it is all just combined. Return to the mixer and beat on low for a minute or two to ensure it is all together. Remove again, fold through 120g of the shredded coconut until just combined.
Divide the batter between the pans and transfer to the oven to bake for 45 minutes, or until golden and an inserted skewer comes out clean. Transfer to a baking rack to cool for half an hour before turning out and cooling completely.
As the cake gets chills, cream the cream cheese and remaining butter with the remaining vanilla and almond extract for a couple of minutes. Slowly add in the icing sugar and mix until smooth and combined.
When the cakes are cold enough to not ruin your hard work, pop a cake on a serving platter and spoon some icing on top to give about ½ centimetre layer once the second cake is stacked on top. Ice the top and sides of the cake before pressing with the remaining shredded coconut (and any extra, if desired) to coat the cake. Then devour, greedily.
Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race the girls put their hosting skills to the test on Ru’s new infotainment show 50/50, where they conducted celebrity interviews. Well, two celebrities or Frankie Grande, that is. While Salina was feeling well and truly confident, she started to get into her head as she kept cutting Frankie off. Malaysia meanwhile was a total mess, Marcia had no idea what Queen Charo was saying, Sasha was perfection, Mistress was surprisingly flat, Luxx was an icon and Loosey was warm and engaging. Once again Sasha took out victory – as she deserves – while Salina once again landed in the bottom, this time sending sweet Malaysia home.
Backstage Salina was thrilled to have survived her third lip sync, while Mistress was devastated to have lost her competition bestie. Which kinda feels surprising, due to the fact they feuded regularly. Salina opened up about how this is the hardest bottom for her, given it was something she should be good at rather than just bombing design challenges. After the dolls congratulated Sasha on another win, the sisters speculated who else could have won with Loosey obviously believing she should have taken it. While Luxx too felt it was close for her, though vowed to win next week as she is the frontrunner. And when Loosey speculated she was the frontrunner, Luxx reminded her she is actually a beast.
The next day the dolls were still mocking Marcia for not wearing much make-up before everyone spoke about how much they loved their Beyonce looks. While Luxx read Loosey for filth for not giving pregnant. And while Loosey felt she gave a perfect match – she wasn’t – it was clear Luxx was under her skin and she didn’t like it. While Mistress obviously was living for it all. Ru put an end to the feud – for now – to put the girls through their paces in a little voguing mini challenge. After getting into quick drag Luxx had fun, Loosey gave old white lady, Salina was sexy and stoopid in equal measure, Marcia Cubed gave ballet and breakdancing, Sasha was obviously perfection from start to finish, Mistress gave all the comedy before Anetra, obviously, walked that fucking duck.
The Pit Crew arrived to rightly hand the win to Anetra before Ru announced that for this week’s mini challenge the dolls would be doing stand up at the Bubly Comedy Festival. Bruno then wheeled out a cooler to select pairs with Luxx and Loosey – lol – forming the first pair, Sasha and Anerta were the second while Marcia and Mistress formed the third, leaving Salina to either perform solo or steal a partner from someone. And well, she chose chaos, snatching Mistress for herself and leaving Marcia to perform by her lonesome.Oh and since Anetra won won the mini challenge, she would be deciding the run order too. Everyone got together to kiki and suck up to her before Anetra announced Marcia would open the show, followed by Luxx and Loosey, then herself and Sasha while Mistress and Salina would be closing. And while Mistress wasn’t thrilled to be last, she vowed to make the best of it.
The dolls split up to work through their sets with Luxx glad to be paired with Loosey, given they will both gladly tell the other if they suck. While Mistress was just living for the drama. Marcia was busy kiking with herself before assuring Salina there is no ill will about her snatching Mistress from her. While Marcia was just terrified about bombing, particularly since this is the challenge she is most nervous about. Anetra and Sasha meanwhile were working through their set before Anetra developed a splitting headache and couldn’t focus. Marcia Cubed ventured to set to workshop with Michelle and Ali Wong, with her jokes a little cute but not very funny. Though Ali fed her a few winners, so she should be ok. Luxx and Loosey were fairly confident, mocking each other with glee before Mistress and Salina were charming and high energy. Well, Mistress at least, though I am manifesting this as a fake-out edit for Salina because she deserves a star moment. The paracetamol kicked in and Anetra tried to push through but I am worried for the icons, so also hope this is a fake-out too.
Elimination Day arrived with the dolls splitting up to beat their mugs, with Anetra feeling more confident after starting over based on Michelle and Ali’s feedback. Sasha meanwhile was just hoping she was well enough to sell it. Loosey and Luxx were obviously confident because, duh, while Marcia was concerned about how she will go given she is performing all alone and can’t blame anyone if she bombs. Luxx then encouraged her not to get in her head, with the old lady gang all agreeing that the statement was designed to do exactly just that, as they giggled away. Salina and Mistress opened up to each other about being thicc latinas before pivoting to the serious, talking about their families with Mistress admitting she has cut off her’s, though tries to leave the door open for them. Well, until her mum was an uber bitch when Mistress broke her foot, only caring about the fact she was in drag at the hospital, rather than the injury.
Ru, Michelle, TS and Ali took their places on the judges panel and the audience were wheeled in as Marcia Cubed opened the show and while she tried her best, it was kinda boring. Though it was a rough gig for her to go solo. Loosey and Luxx on the other hand were delightful, stupid and funny from start to finish. And well, let’s just say, maybe you should always be paired with your nemesis. Sasha gave stoned Ivana Trump realness as she and Anetra started strong, but it derailed quickly based on the lack of laughs, despite the fact I was at least having fun with them. For the most part. Oh and then Salina knocked it out of the park, finally getting a star moment as she and Mistress kikied like sisters.
On the Rip Her to Shreds runway Marcia was a victorious beauty queen that was beat up by her competitors, Loosey was a glorious old vampire and Luxx was beautiful as she gave Ru Wee Wee Pole realness. Sasha meanwhile was Britney’s denim outfit that lost a fight with an insinkerator – in all the right ways – while Anetra gave neon lotus realness, Salina gave glam refugee – in a really pretty, thoughtful way – while Mistress closed the show as a broken Material Girl.
The judges praised Marcia for trying her best opening the show solo, though read for being swallowed. And doing a look that is similar to Loosey’s design look in the ball (even though it would seem she copied her, but whatever). Speaking of Loosey, she received universal praise for every moment, as did Luxx, particularly since she applied all of Michelle and Ali’s feedback. Sasha was praised for once again looking stunning on the runway, though was read for not maintaining the momentum throughout the set. Anetra meanwhile was read for being lost and fading into the background in the challenge, with them wishing she would apply the confidence she has on the runway to the challenges. Salina meanwhile got props for speeding up her story and hitting all the beats, and they loved the message behind her look. While Mistress was praised for giving a stunning runway and praised for her chemistry with Salina in the challenge.
Backstage the dolls cracked their drinks with Loosey and Luxx confident they’d be in the top, this time rightly. Mistress reminded them how much they were fighting just the day before with them downplaying things, pointing out that is just how they joke. Salina and Mistress were just as confident, glad they could nail it despite taking a risk by telling solo stories. Anetra meanwhile was disappointed her confidence isn’t showing, though wasn’t willing to say she’d be lip syncing. Before Luxx stepped in for her to point out Marcia and Anetra would totally be lip syncing. As Marcia started to break down about how scared she was of the challenge, Luxx assured her she had the toughest path in the challenge. Marcia admitted she is also terrified about lip syncing against Sasha or Anetra, and she is heartbroken to think her journey could be over in a matter of minutes.
Chevelle Brookes then dialled in to send her love to her daughter Mistress and ugh, watching her break down in tears was just perfection. As was Chavelle telling her not to let the family down. And hell, crown Chevelle in Season 16, please. I love her. Let’s hope she’s happy with Sugar and Spice as her grandbabies. Oh and she is Sasha’s bestie too? I live. As I do for Ali Wong who was just the absolute best when she dropped by. I mean, she loves a facial, so I love it. Salina’s brother then dialled in and was oh so sweet before we heard from her parents and sister and well, it was just beautiful to see. Oh and her sister can totally bully me and I’d thank her, TBH, because she is cool.
Ultimately Mistress and Salina were sent to safety before Loosey and Luxx got the flowers they were so desperately craving, rightly taking out each of their second victories. At the other end of the pack however, Sasha narrowly the bottom as Marcia and Anetra took their places to lip sync for their lives. And while I was expecting Anetra to totally massacre to Doja Cat’s Boss Bitch, Marcia put up a hell of a fight as she hit every lyric, gave exorcist realness and oh girl, it was good. As Marcia was doing her backbend walking down the stage, Anetra flipped over her and gave all the stunts and honestly, I had my mouth agape for most of the performance as they were that good. So good in fact I was shocked when Ru didn’t call a double shantay and elected to send Marcia Marcia Marcia home. As a robbed queen, after that performance.
As Marcia cubed made her way back to the Werk Room, I pulled her in for a triumphant hug and told her that more so than anything else she did in the competition, that lip sync is what people will remember. And she will forever be a robbed iconic. Which not only guarantees her an illustrious career and a solid All Stars run, but a fresh batch of Marcia Marsia Barcia Slice to celebrate.
Mars Bar Slice is one of the most iconic Australian bake sale treats, which feels fitting it goes to someone eliminated on such an iconic lip sync. Crunchy, sweet and a little salty, it is also the perfect way to cheer you back up.
Method Pop the mars bars, butter and salt in a saucepan over low heat and cook, stirring, for a few minutes or until all melted. Pour into a large bowl and fold through the rice bubbles before transferring to a lined slice pan.
Meanwhile, melt the chocolate and oil in a bowl over a double boiler, and when glossy and combined, pour over the top of the slice. Transfer to the fridge and allow to set for an hour or so before slicing with a hot knife and devouring. Gleefully, because you know Marcia would appreciate that.
Previously on Australian Survivor on the bottom with dwindling options, Shaun revealed his idol to Simon, anointing him his closest ally as they locked in a plan to blindside George. After Simon won immunity and climbed Shaun like we all want to, George was spooked by their growing closeness. The Vigilantes planned to split the vote on Nina and Shaun given Sam is not exactly the most strategic person. That is until Simon left the group and they agreed to load all their votes on Sam, to navigate around a Simon flip. Sadly for George, Hayley was also planning on making a move against him, telling Nina the real plan and advising her to use any idols they had on Sam given they won’t be doing a split. With Shaun’s idol in hand, Nina improved their chances further by jagging a second. Despite having three out of their four people immune, however, the Heroes and Simon botched the double idol play resulting in Sam’s exit.
The next day Shiz were busy hunting for crabs and doing best friend shit, with Shonee particularly thrilled to have all the power in the game on top of having a bestie. She spoke about how close they are before venturing to the ocean to plot who would be the smartest people to take to the end, agreeing Gerry is easiest to beat in challenges while Simon is a bit of a joke. The one person they know they can’t hang with, however, is George, given everyone will assume they rode his coattails. And they were happy to lose to each other, but not him. Oh and then Shonee wandered off and found yet another idol which honestly is just Queen shit. As is her plan to use it to have a fun little blindside.
Shaun and Nina however were feeling far less zen, bonding over how screwed they kind of are after their spectacular blunder with the idols. They agreed the smartest thing to do was keep quiet about Hayley leaking information, given it means they could still use her in the future. Simon meanwhile was explaining why he moved to Hayley – unaware she also tried to flip – while George went person to person talking about how stupid Simon is. Seeing this, Nina decided it was in her best interests to throw him under the bus, approaching the Vigilantes to work with them to get rid of Simon the instant he doesn’t have immunity. Oh and then she and Shaun decided they probably still need an idol to seal the deal, despite not having the best track records.
With the duo off hunting for idols, the Vigilantes discussed who would be the smartest to take out next and while Hayley and Matt felt Simon was easy – given that is what George wants – Shonee knew it was a bad idea, given Shaun and Nina have more friends on the jury and Simon’s gameplay has been far from winning. The Spice Girls and Hayley caught up with Shonee calmly trying to explain why they need to put Simon on the backburner, particularly since the immunities get less physical as they go along, meaning he will get less and less threatening.
Shonee and Liz then sneakily ate rice by the shelter as everyone else was away, unaware that George was lurking behind and heard them refer to themselves as Shiz rather than the Spice Girls. And well, let’s just say, he was pissed. Later that night, George woke up and paced the shoreline as he simmered in rage, before Gerry woke up and joined him. George unleashed about how hurt he was and floated making a move sooner rather than later. And oh God, please don’t break up yet, I can’t handle it!
The tribe met Jonathan for the latest epic immunity challenge which would play out across three stages. The first would see them race to land three sandbags on a disc with the first six to finish moving on. In the next stage they would have to toss sandbags to knock rungs off a ladder and then use them to build a bridge with the first three to finish going to the final round where they would be tethered to a spinning platform and have to stack 10 discs into a tower with the first to finish winning. Simon was the first to move on to the second round, followed by Gerry, Matt, Liz, Shaun and Hayley. In the second round Shaun pulled out in front as Hayley and Simon nipped at his heels, while George whispered to Nina that he just doesn’t want either of the boys to win. Sadly for him however, they made it to the final round with Hayley. Simon got out to an early lead, while Shaun continued to botch the balancing as Hayley quietly worked away. Until she dropped, giving Simon plenty of breathing room to place the final disc and secure immunity. Again.
Back at camp everyone gave Simon some half hearted congratulations before he, Nina and Shaun went for a walk to the well, leaving the Vigilantes to lock in the split vote between Nina and Shaun. The minority meanwhile focused on hunting for an idol as Simon went back to chat with the Vigilantes, with him suggesting they work together for this vote and that he will just lock in who he will vote for when the time comes. Obviously George hated that idea, given he wants control, so he agreed to work with Simon once again and not come for him until the OG Heroes are gone. But only if he votes for Shaun.
George returned to the shelter to fill Shiz in on the plan and while they were happy with things, they went into the ocean to wash off together and talk about how happy they would be if the other person won. Sadly George watched on, growing more and more jealous of their closeness until he suggested to us that Shonee is so dangerous to his game that maybe now is the time to take the shot. And ugh, I fucking hate it here.
As the tribe gathered to eat dinner, the girls fed each other as George looked on angrily. He pulled Gerry aside to float the idea of getting rid of Shonee and while he was keen on it, he cautioned that now is not the right time and told George they just need to hold firm for a few more rounds. As such, George pulled Hayley aside to get a different answer with her obviously thrilled by the idea, wanting to play a fun, messy game. Which obviously filled George with joy as he suggested to her that while Liz will be angry, he will happily beg for her forgiveness tomorrow. He went back to Gerry to fill him in, who in turn told Matt, while George went to rope in Nina. Horrifically, it all fell into place very quickly as everyone was ready to get rid of Shonee ASAP, given she is such a massive threat. While she spoke to Matt about feeling nervous, given she has been the one to blow up 3-3 votes from the minority in the past.
At tribal council – where I was ready to vom and cry all at once – Simon spoke about how immunity is the only thing that saved him tonight, meaning either Shaun or Nina are going home. Nina played coy about hearing word of people jumping ship as Shaun whispered to her asking what George had wanted to talk to her about back at camp, with her just assuring him they are fine. Liz spoke about the alliance being solid and steamrolling to the end, while Shonee was equally as confident as George spoke about sticking to a deal that was cut post immunity challenge. Matt, Simon and Shonee all mentioned they heard about the deals, while Matt and Shonee agreed George’s deals are always solid. George spoke about how they need to make moves when they have numbers, while Shonee whispered to Liz whether they should be worried. With Liz assuring her they are fine.
Talk turned to timing, with Shonee reiterating that it is too early to make a move and doing it too soon often screws you out of alliances and stops you from making it to the end. Nina joked about them definitely being at the right point of the season to make a move, so to join her, while George spoke about how making moves at the right time is simply when you have the numbers. Nina whispered to Shaun that it won’t be him going home tonight, making him confident enough to speak up and tell the majority that if they don’t know how they are proceeding beyond the six, then they are likely not making it to the end. With that the tribe voted and despite our queen feeling uncomfortable about a 3-3 vote, she held firm onto her idol and was tragically blindsided from the game. As Liz looked on enraged – just like me! – while George thought winking at the jury would make them like him, rather than hate him.
While Shonee was her usual positive, delightful self as she arrived at the Jury Villa, I was an absolute mess. I was screaming, I was shaking, I had had it. Officially. I went full Laura Dern in Enlightened on poor Sam and Flick – coincidentally created by King Mike White – until Shonee arrived and pulled me, her number one cherub in for a hug. After a day or so – just ahead of the next boot, TBH – I stopped crying long enough to congratulate her on such a strong game. Despite this being her lowest placement, she absolutely dominated the game and proved she is far and away the best player of the franchise. She then got me talking about pilates, which is now my personality – I do it with David Wenham, which is a true sentence – giving me enough strength to toast her third game with a delicious Lemonee Buttell Cake. In preparation for her fourth, winning game.
Like Shonee, this cake is near perfection. Sweet, a little zesty and a hint of salt, working together to give you a joyous (viewing) experience. Oh and the lemon butter creates a glorious, gooey centre which is just perfection.
Ingredients 300g raw caster sugar 2 lemons, zested and juiced ¾ tsp sea salt 3 eggs, at room temperature, 2 separated 227g unsalted butter, melted and cooled 330g flour 2 ½ tsp baking powder 250g cream cheese, softened 225g icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
Method Preheat the oven to 170C and line a 22cm round pan with baking paper, leaving an overhang to help remove the cake later.
In a large bowl, combine the caster sugar with half the zest and ½ tsp of salt using your fingers until it is a fragrant, yellow mixture. Add the whole egg, half the lemon juice and cooled butter and whisk to combine before folding through the flour and baking powder until just combined. Transfer to the lined pan, smoothing out the top.
Using a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese and icing sugar together until it forms a smooth, soft batter. Add the egg yolks, remaining salt, lemon zest and juice, and beat until smooth. Pour on top of the cake and transfer to the oven to bake for 45 minutes, or until the edges have browned and the centre is puffed. If it is still a bit under, cover with foil and cook for another 10-15 minutes to set completely.
Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes or so before removing to cool completely. Then simply sprinkle it with some icing sugar and devour it in honour of our queen.