Previously on Survivor, the tribe turned up to the latest immunity challenge where Jeff gagged them with a(nother) twist. They were split into two groups of five and each group would compete for their own immunity and then vote a person out. Oh and the person that lasts the longest overall would win a reward for their group. After Erika took out immunity over Ricard, Shan, Heather and Naseer, she noped out of the challenge handing reward and immunity to Xander. The losers ventured back to Ua to strategise with Shan wanting to target Heather and Ricard planning to get rid of Naseer. And after Naseer told Heather that she would definitely be going home, it motivated Ricard to loop Erika and Heather in, with them banding together to eliminate Naseer.
The victors returned to camp and as they joyfully smashed their stew, Xander was thrilled to hold the balance of power in their group given he has immunity, an idol and an extra vote. Evvie meanwhile wasn’t overly nervous since they have a good bond with Deshawn and was formerly very tight with Xander. As such, the duo put their differences aside and decided that targeting Liana would be their best bet for moving forward. Deshawn meanwhile was floating not voting out Evvie to Danny, who obviously quickly shut things down. Danny then approached Liana to lock in the vote for Evvie while Liana was nervous about what exactly Xander would do with the idol knowing that if that happens, it may end up sending her home.
Liana then boldly approached Xander and asked him to join the Evvie vote and even had the nerve to suggest that he should hand over his idol until after tribal council to make her feel comfortable with the plan, which he wisely shut down with a hell fucking no.
Xander and Evvie then caught up with Deshawn and Danny, suggesting that Liana threw their names out there and while Deshawn was all in on aligning with them to get rid of her, Danny still looked well and truly pissed. As such he pulled Xander aside and told him that Evvie is far more threatening than Liana and if they want to work together, he thinks getting rid of them is the better idea first and then they can look at Liana.
As the group arrived at tribal they were gagged to discover Naseer had immediately joined the jury. Danny spoke about how stressful it is given Xander is the only person safe. Xander meanwhile focused on how great the stew was before Deshawn brought things back to the game, pointing out that it is a tough choice given the group is so small and he had wanted to work with the person that he thinks is getting booted. Liana spoke about the calmness of the smaller tribal, though admitted it feels so much more dangerous. Xander admitted that having immunity gave him a little extra power while Evvie admitted that everyone was being particularly cagey back at camp. Including them.
Everyone in the tribe spoke about how they are fairly confident their plan is the one that is going to succeed which made Deshawn point out that means someone is clearly lying in the situation. Evvie then likened tribal council to being on a rollercoaster and how the fun part is surviving the chaos and fighting through your fear about dying, while Deshawn pointed out that is what is about to happen to someone’s game. Which obviously meant it was time to vote, with poor Evvie realising they were the one blindsided from the game.
While it was a bit chaotic getting everything together in Ponderosa, I was thrilled to be there to support my dear friend Evvie. Well, after supporting Naseer because I have a process and like me mid-breakdown, they just need to trust the process.
I first met Evvie when she started her PHD during one of my many scams while pretending to be a college Professor. I also coached Lori Loughlin’s daughters in rowing, but that is another story for another time. In any event, as it usually does, the college soon realised I have no qualifications to be a professor and I was quickly fired, though Evvie being kind, we kept in touch and soon became the best of friends. As such, I knew the only thing that could cure her post-boot blues were a big, hot Cheevieburger Nachoda.
You know I love burgers and will find anyway to turn a dish into one and well, this little number thankfully turned out delightfully. Salty pickles, creamy cheese and the whack of onion team perfectly with the corn chips and well, just make it and find out how great it is.
Cheevieburger Nachoda Serves: 4.
Ingredients 2 tsp olive oil 500g beef mince ½ tsp Worcestershire Sauce salt and pepper, to taste 1 bag corn chips 8 slices American cheese 1 small onion, diced 1-2 tomatoes, diced 1-2 cups shredded iceberg, washed and dried 2-4 dill pickles, sliced 2 tbsp American mustard 2 tbsp ketchup
Method Heat a lug of olive in a large skillet over medium heat and cook the mince and Worcestershire, breaking it up into largish chunks – I failed at that – with the back of a wooden spoon. Season, reduce heat to low and leave warm.
Place the corn chips in four bowls and heat for a minute or so in the microwave, top with a couple of slices of American Cheese, followed by the mince, onion, tomatoes, lettuce, pickles, mustard and ketchup.
Previously on Survivor the tribes officially merged into the new Viakana tribe where instead of the smaller OG tribes joining forces against the dominant Luvu group, Shan whipped a mega-alliance together leaving Evvie, Xander and Tiffany alone on the bottom. Well, that, and the fact that the drama of the previous tribal council made them all targets and they were willing to throw each other under the bus to get further. At the immunity challenge Probst offered up a bag of rice for the tribe should four people step out of the challenge, which Shan, Naseer, Xander and Ricard were willing to do. As such, Evvie destroyed the remaining competition and since they were immune and the tribe feared Xander’s idol, poor Tiffany was booted from the game to become the Queen of the Jury.
Though not before Heather created chaos at the second tribal council in a row.
After tribal council Heather was trying to run damage control with Deshawn after setting things off rather than just sticking with their alliance’s plan. While Deshawn assured her that he loves her, he does need her to stop being messy given it is now causing problems between him and Shan. Deshawn then went to Danny and questioned why he didn’t speak up when Shan suggested Heather be the new target, as Shan bitched to her alliance about how Deshawn needs to stop being difficult and put the alliance first. Evvie meanwhile was just thrilled because any time chaos occurs in the game it only can benefit those on the bottom. Like say, them.
The next morning the tribe rallied together to watch the sun rise as Shan and Deshawn finally cleared the air, explaining why they had been hurting each other. And then Shan immediately brought up Erika and Heather being dangerous again and suggested they should get rid of them, making Deshawn nervous again. WIth that, he checked in with Evvie to try and rebuild their relationship so that he has options for when the alliance with Shan inevitably explodes. You know, if it hasn’t already.
We then returned to the camp where Naseer was approaching Heather to assure her that there are no hard feelings about her voting for him the night before, which she vehemently denied. Xander watched on relishing the chaos and staying mum over the fact it was in fact him who cast the vote for Naseer before Heather tried to rope Evvie in to back her up. Who immediately threw her further under the bus. And then backed it up and ran her over again.
As the drama subsided the tribe sat down to feast on their rice where Ricard shared that he is hard of hearing, while sharing with us that it is advantageous in the game, given he is used to reading lips and body language. Sadly Shan is so obvious with her moves, that anyone can see what is happening as she pulled Liana, Deshawn and Danny aside to talk strategy directly in front of Xander and Erika. Which immediately made the duo decide to try and rally the rest of the tribe to take control rather than feuding.
The tribe met Jeffrey on a beach where they were gagged to learn that for this week’s twist, they will be split into two groups with one winner from each being immune at their group’s tribal council. Oh and the person that sticks it out the longest also wins stew for their group. Yes, stew. Wait, I missed the main point – for the challenge, everyone would need to stand on a small perch and hold on to a bar behind their head, with the last one standing winning. Erika, Heather, Shan, Ricard and Naseer were set to face off against each other while the rival group consisted of Evvie, Danny, Deshawn, Liana and Xander.
Despite being the last two standing in the last immunity challenge, Evvie and Heather were the first two out after ten minutes. They were followed by Liana and Shan in quick succession, before Danny and Ricard fell out of nowhere, leaving Erika and Naseer fighting out for one immunity and Deshawn and Xander the other. Naseer suddenly dropped, handing Erika immunity, who just as quickly gave up trying for the stew, giving their rivals a feast as Deshawn and Xander continued to fight. As Liana willed the latter to drop, she bitched about hating his face, which is some passionate language for someone you’ve known for 17 days. Which made it all the more funny when Deshawn dropped after 33 minutes handing Xander victory.
Heather, Shan, Naseer, Ricard and Erika were swiftly sent to the former Ua camp to strategise prior to their tribal council with Naseer feeling firmly in the middle of the duos. Shan meanwhile was frustrated that their easy target was now immune. She approached Naseer to get him to join her and Ricard to get rid of Heather, giving she is Erika’s number two. Naseer being too kind, he approached Heather and Erika to let them know that Heather will be going home tonight and while Erika tried to float different options, he continued to give her a big old hell no. Which made Erika decide that the better plan may be to get rid of Naseer.
As Naseer caught up with Ricard, he was puzzled why people are actually thinking of getting rid of a non-threat like Heather out when somebody threatening like Naseer is still around. This led to Ricard catching up with Heather and Erika to float the idea of working together and making Naseer feel calm enough to not play his idol and get blindsided. And while they were down with the idea, Shan was NOT happy about it given she thinks Naseer is a solid number for her and as such, wanted to keep him around. Which made Ricard grow more and more frustrated as the afternoon progressed.
At tribal council Ricard played up how tight he is with Shan and Naseer, with Heather joining in to point out that she is clearly the only option to go and as such, she knows she is going home. Erika jumped in to point out that having no advantages creates barriers to moving forward before Jeff questioned why everyone knows about all the advantages before Shan and Naseer reminded him that they had to say stupid phrases to activate everything. Ricard spoke about the madness of navigating around all those advantages while Naseer spoke about how hard it is going to be to vote out Heather given they are so close.
Heather then gave the performance of a lifetime, breaking down about not being ready to go given she has learnt more and more about herself each day, eliciting sympathy from Erika and an unwitting Naseer. With that the tribe voted and everyone held on to their idols as the votes piled up 3-3 between Heather and Naseer after Shan used her extra vote. They then revoted between the duo with poor, sweet Naseer blindsided from the game. Begging the question, what exactly inspired Shan to waste her extra vote if they were all working together to eliminate him.
In any event, after Naseer exited the jury bench he was awkwardly sent to after his boot and officially entered Ponderosa, I pulled him in for a big hug and sobbed over losing him from the game. But, you know, given he is a total sweetheart he quickly told me that he has had the best time on the show and I shouldn’t be sad. Because he is so happy. Though did admit that he would be happier if I were able to whip him up my famous Naseared Garlic Buttalif Steak.
I’ve had a long, difficult history with steak. As a kid, all I wanted in the meat-family were sausages – and look at me now! – but after a traumatic three week recovery from wisdom teeth surgery without eating (and missing the 2005 Big Day Out), all I wanted was steak. This led to me successfully having my first. I then moved out of home the following year and since my dad is the only person that can cook steak well, I never made it myself. Well until this. Buttery, crusty and packed with flavour, this is the perfect way to try cooking your own steak (if you’re still a child like me.
Naseared Garlic Buttalif Steak Serves: 2.
Ingredients 2 ribeye steaks 1 tbsp vegetable oil 75g unsalted butter salt and pepper, to taste 6 sprigs rosemary 8 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
Method Get your steaks out of the fridge a good half an hour to an hour before cooking, to come to room temperature.
Pop the oil in a heavy-based skillet and place over high heat until scorching hot. Dry each steak with paper towels, season generously (or to taste) and place in the skillet for cook for two minutes or until the seasoning forms a gorgeous crust.
Flip the steak and cook for a minute before adding the butter, garlic and rosemary. Baste the steaks with butter and cook for a further minute or two, depending on doneness.
Remove the steaks from the pan to rest for ten minutes, covered in foil before serving with mash (or your favourite sides) and with the crisp garlic, rosemary and a generous heaping of browned butter.
Previously on Survivor the three tribes converged with Jeff, not to merge, but to live through a complicated double-episode to get to merge. You see, the tribeless castaways were split into groups, competed in a challenge and exiled Erika who then had the power to flip the results of the challenge meaning she and the losing group were all immune and guaranteed passage to the merge while the former victorious six were to compete in the first immunity challenge of the season. Ricard won immunity which led to bedlam back at camp as Liana and Shan’s super majority planned to get rid of former Yase Evvie. Sadly for them, the plan went awry as Xander passed his idol to Tiffany so that Liana couldn’t steal his idol, which made everyone nervous enough to split the votes between Evvie and Sydney. And while Xander didn’t play his idol, Sydney did play her Shot in the Dark but sadly came up short as she exited the competition.
And then the remaining castaways officially merged to form the Viakana tribe.
Back at camp Xander and Evvie were thrilled by how expertly they got Liana to burn her advantage and save themselves. He was less thrilled about the fact Evvie had shared the information about his idol with Deshawn on their little adventure, making him question whether he can trust Evvie and Tiffany moving forward. Evvie meanwhile was heartbroken to have lost their relationship with Liana, given she was the one they vibed with best on OG Yase.
The next morning Evvie caught up with Deshawn as the first step of their apology tour, assuring him that there are no hard feelings between them. When they made it to Shan, she admitted that she thought Yase were a tight knit group so was shocked by how quickly Liana flipped on them. Tiffany and Liana meanwhile were catching up while Xander assured Shan that he and Liana have no connection moving forward while Evvie too was scrambling to try and make new bonds. Deshawn, Erika and Heather meanwhile went for a walk to get water with Deshawn assuring them that he isn’t buying the Yase trio apology and bonding tour and as such, he is ready to push them out of the game one after the other, after the other.
Jeffrey returned for the first post-merge reward challenge where they were promptly divided into two teams to compete. Oh and since the numbers were uneven, one person got to sit out on a bench where Jiffy had hidden an advantage. But back to the challenge, where each group would leap from a ramp before diving to retrieve puzzle pieces. They then load the pieces into a boat, row them to a pontoon and then solve the puzzle. While Erika drew the odd rock to sit out, Xander took pity on her, offering to trade out with her and forgo his chance at a sweet grilled cheese reward. Oh and he didn’t even find the poorly hidden advantage, which given he is a super fan, I find disappointing.
But anyway, the yellow team got out to an early lead thanks to Liana and Shan however it quickly was blown by poor Heather slowing things down. Proving that she only gets airtime when she is bombing a challenge. Both tribes, sorry groups, were neck and neck as they made their way to the puzzle deck and then, given Evvie had practiced the exact puzzle at home, they solved it in a matter of minutes and won reward for them, Erika, Ricard, Danny and Deshawn.
Back at camp Erika was positively giddy to see their bountiful feast and quickly packed up to eat it away from the jealous eyes of the losers. Who coincidentally all lost but a week before. Tiffany was angry, Shan and Liana were crying while Xander tried to make sure they were all ok. Making an extremely quick turn around, Shan dried her tears and was feeling galvanised in the game, focused on the fact she is here to win rather than eat toasties. Shan took a plan to Liana and Naseer before roping in Xander, who admitted that he likes missing out on winning rewards because being left with the losers, they are normally emotional and open to flipping.
Not upset by the loss was Naseer who was staying positive because he just didn’t want to ruin his day. Instead he collected a bounty of papaya and cheered up his group. That is until the winners returned and Ricard tried a piece of papaya, leading to Shan flipping out on him for daring to eat food that was meant for the losing group. And while I would be just as angry as Shan, it was a bit OTT. And well, Ricard just wasn’t very bright when he could have waited until nobody was looking to avoid pissing people off.
The tribe reconvened with Jeff for the immunity challenge where everyone would have to balance on their tippy toes to hold a block between their head and a beam above them. But to make things interesting, Jeff told them that they could sit out for a single portion of rice or they could negotiate a number of sit outs for Jeff to give them three-days worth of rice for the tribe. After settling on five people, Shan and Naseer were willing to give up their shot until nobody joined them. With that Xander asked Jeff to bring it down to four, assuring the group that he would sit out if just one other person joined him which was enough to get Ricard to step out.
As the four sit-outs joined the bench the rest of the tribe stepped up to their frame with Deshawn, Erika and Tiffany all dropping within seconds, begging the question, why didn’t they just offer to begin with. Danny soon followed, leaving Liana, Heather and Evvie to battle it out for victory. Just like that, I jinxed Liana and after three minutes, only two remained. Wait, no, make that after just four minutes, Evvie took out a much needed immunity victory.
Back at camp Evvie was overjoyed to have spoiled everyone’s plan to get rid of her, which meant that Liana was ready to pivot to force Xander to burn his idol and for the group to boot Tiffany instead. Shan, Naseer, Danny and Ricard caught up to lock in a split vote between Tiffany and Xander. Well, until Danny and Shan caught up with the former suggesting that they should instead split the vote between Tiffany and Naseer to blindside him before he realises he is on the bottom of their alliance. They were joined by Deshawn who quickly grew frustrated with Shan’s bossy demands, pushing instead to get rid of Xander first because he is more threatening. And, you know, Naseer is a good provider and completely non-threatening.
After the duo hashed out their differences, Shan looped in Erika and Ricard before Xander joined them and was fed the lie that the plan was to split between Naseer and Tiffany. Well until Shan looped in Naseer, who was annoyed to have his name out there and as such, Shan found Xander and told him that instead, they are now going to get rid of Heather. When Shan caught up with Erika and Heather to tell them the plan, Queen Heather emerged and flipped out on Shan for putting her name out there giving she is screwed should there be an idol-palooza.
Oh and Tiffany was just wandering around to anyone and everyone to find a friend.
At tribal council Shan shared that she stepped out of the challenge because she just wanted everyone to be able to eat. Xander agreed that he wanted to ensure people that are struggling without food got to enjoy something – a genius reminder that some are starving and a few people are banking up the rewards – while Naseer just wanted everyone to be happy rather than safe. Heather and Tiffany both admitted that they didn’t step down because they feel like they could be on the block tonight. Danny meanwhile was feeling like the divisions weren’t clearcut and given how wild things played out at the last tribal council, he is ready to explode with nerves.
Then Shan said that she was just waiting for a comment to drop before everyone went nuts with paranoia. Evvie admitted that they have not been approached by anyone ahead of tribal council, while Danny said that he isn’t buying that they are feeling defeated given the Yases made a huge theatrical play about loyalty at the last tribal council before running around camp the next day swearing they were out to get one another. While Evvie argued that they were left to die by Xander and Tiffany at the last tribal council, I don’t think it was enough to convince Danny they were actually against each other.
Erika admitted that things are still new for the merged tribe and as such, even when plans are set, there is uncertainty right up until the torch is snuffed. Just as Jeff was sending everyone off to vote, Heather jumped up and started whispering to anyone and everyone to push the vote on Naseer while Ricard continued to tell Xander he should play his idol. When Shan learnt that Heather was planning to flip the vote to Naseer, she instead told everyone they should band together to get rid of Heather instead. While everyone else was on board with that plan, Deshawn wasn’t happy and then was patronised by Shan while Ricard just opted to beg Xander to burn his idol.
With this week’s annoying whispers out of the way, the tribe voted and despite all the chaos and showboating of tribal council, Tiffany – the original target – found herself exiting the game to become the Queen of Ponderosa. And boy did my heart break.
As Tiffany arrived at Ponderosa, I started to sob until she pulled me in for a hug and assured me that everything will be ok. That set me off on an epic rant, as it reminded me that actually, not everything will be ok because the intended Queen of the Season has had to settle for ruling Ponderosa. I mean, sure, that is one of the best places to land but given how iconic and entertaining Tiffany has been thus far, I wanted better for her. Instead, she got rewarded with a delicious Falafel Tiffanyiros Seely.
I have a passion for any food that you can add fries into, so a yiro that includes both regular fries and halloumi fries is perfection. The salty cheese, the spicy falafel and the creamy raita go perfectly to turn a day around. And make you feel like a winner.
Falafel Tiffanyiros Seely Serves: 4.
Ingredients 1 cup Jud Beerza Battered Fries 1-2 cups Jack Falafelee 4 fresh Pita Andre Breads ½ cup Greek yoghurt 125g Greek feta cheese, crumbled 1 Lebanese cucumber, deseeded, grated and drained 1 garlic clove, minced juice and zest of a lemon salt and pepper, to taste 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 200g halloumi, cut into batons 2 tomatoes, roughly diced 1 red onion, finely chopped 1 baby cos, leaves torn and washed
Method Start by prepping the fries, falafel and pita breads as per Jud, Jack and Peter’s recipes. Or, you know, get the store bought ones prepped.
Combine the yoghurt, feta, cucumber, garlic and lemon juice and zest. Season to taste, cover and pop in the fridge to chill.
Next heat a lug of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat and once hot, fry the halloumi for a few minutes each side until crisp and golden on each side.
To make your yiro, smear some tzatziki on your pita, top with some chips, halloumi, tomato, onion and parsley, followed by some falafel and another slather of tzatziki.
Wrap tightly and devour, like the Queen of Ponderosa.