Previously on Drag Race España doce chicas nuevas y La Macarena arrived, and instantly put on a massive talent show. There was charm and shade, so struggles to find a key in live songs and some poignant piano turned Wizard of Oz hell. Most importantly, Drag Chuchi served body, though sadly not much else, Maria on the other hand lacked precision while Bestiah slayed from start to finish and jagged the first win. Landing in the bottom it was the body versus the bawdy dame, with the former winning as Chuchi sent Maria home to be the next The Macarena. Mercifully saving The Macarena from becoming the Francesca Hogi of Drag Race. Well, maybe, depending on the teased return challenge.
Backstage the dolls were all heartbroken to have lost a sister, which Chuchi was shocked to have even been in the bottom while Chanel hoped it would bring her back down to earth and force her to be a little mas humble. Talk turned to The Macarena surviving her first first episode, while Kelly admitted she was just grateful that two people did worse than her so she didn’t have to lip sync. Bestiah on the other hand was thrilled to have taken out the first win of the season, with Hornella agreeing the game is now well and truly afoot and well, all the dolls were ready to fight.
The next day the queens arrived in formation, ready to slay another week as they worried what exactly it could entail. Once again they praised Maria for being a killer queen – not to be confused with Killer Queen – before talk turned to The Macarena’s opening anus and who exactly the trade of the season is. With Kelly – and most of us – crushing on Chanel Anorex, while Pakita felt Clover was the hottest. Before the dolls could act on any of their feelings, Supremme arrived to announce that for this week’s Mini Challenge, they would be facing off in placing flags of Eurovision songs on a map held up by the zaddy Pit Crew. The first round was hit and miss with only Pakita, Pink, Clover, The Macarena, Kelly and Hornella making it through to the next round guessing an artist based solely on their songs. Which ultimately led to The Macarena taking out victory, much to literally everyone’s chagrin.
And for winning, she would get to select a rival team captain for this week’s Maxi Challenge where they would do a live dance performance. After anointing Vania a rival leader, The Macarena selected Clover, Visa, Chanel, Bestiah and Pink, while Vania enlisted Kelly, Chuchi, Hornella and Pakita, leaving Pitita to round out her team. The groups immediately split up to talk through their plans, with Bestiah concerned about The Macarena and Pink Chadora bringing them down with their complete lack of skills. While Clover was selected to lead the choreography, as The Macarena continued to annoy her sisters by pointing out she is still in charge. The other group were far more zen as they came up with a name and elected Pakita as their lead singer. Aka the low rent version of Clover, according to Kelly. They quickly pivoted to the mainstage to learn their choreography with The Macarena’s Team Glitterazo confident to slay while Las Muerta Haris looked like they were having the absolute best time. Despite Carmelo, the choreographer, not having much faith in them slaying. That being said, I would argue both teams were struggling.
Dia de eliminacion arrived with the dolls all pumped to perform, even Pink Chadora, who knows dancing is not her strong point. Although, that was mainly just an act in front of the queens, as you know she was actually nervous. Kelly meanwhile got shady with The Macarena for having so much chaos in their team, while the other team were proud of how zen they were. And how much Chuchi focused on getting them over the line. As they split up to beat their mugs, the dolls spoke about the discrimination they’ve experienced for showing their feather side, while Chuchi opened up about trying desperately to stay in the closest growing up. Meanwhile Bestiah and Vania were having a quiet moment in the corner of the room, bonding over their difficult experiences coming out to their families and while Vania’s have come around, it is heartbreaking to see them still carry around this trauma.
Supremme, Ana y los Javis were joined by Eurovision icon Soraya as the dolls stomped onto the stage for their dance battles with Team Glitterazo demolishing from start to finish as Clover absolutely owned the performance and Pink was surprisingly killer. Las Muerta Haris, meanwhile, elicited awkward faces from the judges, despite being rather cohesive and on point.
Pink opened the Spain in Eurovision runway with an iconically camp satin purple jumpsuit and robe. The Macarena looked like Diana Ross and Marilyn Monroe’s love child before Chuchi was cute in a suite of reveals to cover an entire band, however it was a little clunky, which sucks, given it was a fun concept. Vania was a camp Grecian delight, Visa was a glittering, shimmering beauty, complete with a sickening rocker reveal, Hornella was a vamp delight inspired by the same look The Macarena was as Kelly took the stage with signature roller skates revealing from a bed through to an ice skater’s gown. Pakita meanwhile was stunning in a little black dress giving all the 80s, as she did reveal after reveal. Bestiah was a vision in a gorgeous red gown before revealing a shimmering silver one underneath. Clover too gave fringed fun, shimmying her way across stage and looking perfect. Chanel was stunning as a shimmering sea witch, whether it was on theme or not, before Pitita stole the show in a stunning rainbow gown.
Before getting to the critiques, Supremme told all the dolls that the judges were concerned about their sloppiness, asking them to remember where they are and to bring some polish. And for heaven’s sake, brush. Their. Wigs. Despite this warning from the judges, Team Glitterazo took out victory with Pink Chadora taking out the ultimate win, despite the fact Clover Bish was right there, since her outfit was subpar, apparently. After they were shooed off stage Chuchi was read for lacking edit and polish on the runway, despite being good with the dancing. Vania was read for getting lost in her head and not being polished with her mug, Hornella was praised for being camp and fun, Kelly was praised for enjoying herself and looking stunning, Pakita’s looks were beloved before they read her for bombing the performance, while Pitita’s passion for highlighter was a dud, despite them judges loving everything else she served.
Backstage the victors were thrilled to have made it through another week, with The Macarena particularly excited to have crushed her episodic record. Pink meanwhile was shocked to have taken out the win, despite not being a good dancer. With Bestiah hoping it will bode well for her when she faces something she isn’t strong with. The bottom group joined them with Chuchi confident she would be lip syncing again due to serving four ugly outfits, while Vania apologised for letting her team down and landing them in the bottom.
Ultimately Pitita, Hornella and Kelly were sent to safety before Pakita narrowly joined them, leading Vania to lip sync for her life against Drag Chuchi. As La noche es para mi by Soyara kicked off Chuchi looked to have almost given up and while she turned a show, there was no denying it was Vania that was bringing all the fire. And camp comedy, which was enough to take out victory and send poor Drag Chuchi out of the competition.
As she arrived backstage, I pulled her in for a long hug, assuring her that while she didn’t get to slay the competition, she did show that she is a sickening performer. And well, she is hot, so me and the fandom will always remember her as a robbed goddess and land her a place on All Stars, kinda like Milk. Which surprisingly was enough to perk her up, even before the Drag Chumchi Pancakes were done.
Kimchi pancakes are such a glorious little snack. A little spicy, a little tart and oh so comforting, they warm the soul and delight your taste buds. Which is just how Drag Chuchi makes me feel, TBH.
Drag Chumchi Pancakes Serves: 4.
Ingredients 1 egg 1 tsp kimchi brine ¼ cup soy sauce ¼ cup water ¾ cup flour 1½ cups kimchi, roughly chopped 4 shallots, sliced grapeseed oil, for fryin’ 3 tbsp rice wine vinegar
Method Whisk the egg, brine, a tablespoon of the oil and water in a bowl, followed by the flour. Fold through the kimchi and half the shallots until just combined.
Heat a lug of the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat and add a couple of quarter-cups of batter into the pan and cook for a couple of minutes. Flip and cook for a further few minutes before removing to a wire rack and repeating the process.
Combine the remaining soy sauce and vinegar in a bowl and serve alongside the pancakes with the extra shallots sprinkled over the top. And devour while piping hot.
Previously on Australian Survivor 13 newbies were dumped on the islands of Samoa ready to do battle with 11 returnees to prove once and for all whether heroes or villains do it better. Nearly instantly Queen Jackie was violently dumped off a barrel in the first challenge, breaking her collarbone and ultimately medevaced from the game. Despite a warning at tribal council that George – who was also injured in the first challenge – may not return, they opted to continue with the vote and sent his only ally, the iconic Anjali Rao out of the game.
George ultimately did return however, with Shonee quickly pulling him into an alliance with her given she knew that as the only three time player on the beach, she needed another threat around as a buffer. Oh and she also found this season’s island bestie in Liz, and just like that Shiz was born. After losing yet another immunity challenge, Michael was felled for trying to target George. Stevie meanwhile was out for revenge against Shonee for blindsiding him on their first season, however when he was the target at the next tribal council, she redeemed herself in his eyes with a last minute flip to send Mimi out of the game.
Meanwhile over at the Heroes despite being the biggest threat as the sole winner in the cast, Hayley was feeling confident enough to throw the immunity challenge to get rid of Rogue because she was rude and abrasive. After losing the next immunity challenge, the Heroes were gagged to discover they’d be sending a mole over to the Villains tribe however when Sam said they were sending someone expendable, Gerry was less of a mole and more of a powerful tool for the Villains post swap. The Villains returned to their losing streak, running over the swing vote in Sarah before Fraser got caught in the crossfire of George and Simon’s feud in the most epic tribal council of all time.
When the Heroes returned to tribal council my love Benjamin idol-ed Queen Sharni out of the game before the swap arrived and kicked things into overdrive. Despite being outnumbered at the new Heroes, George and Shonee took control and blindsided Paige – ugh, hunting is yuck – before Jordie was felled back at the Villains despite having Shonee’s idol in his pocket. The Heroes then sent Benjamin from the game before Liz was able to mutiny to reunite Shiz before a feud between George and the girls led to Stevie tragically being booted. After the merge, the OG Villains and an assortment of friends took control, sending David from the game before Flick became our first Queen of the Jury. She was followed by her bestie Sam before queen, icon, legend Shonee was felled by George before she could get him, due to her being closer to Liz. Shaun and Hayley were the next Heroes to go, before George finally got to take out Simon and then opting to stick with the boys and take out Nina.
Jonathan threw in one final twist however with the tribe required to boot a juror with Matt and Gerry getting their way and sending Shonee out of the game due to her being a guaranteed vote for Liz. Which really should have been a warning to George that his goose was finally cooked, as they banded together with Liz to send him out of the game as our fourth place robbed goddess of the season.
At the final tribal council, Liz absolutely dominated her opponents and took ownership of the move Matt had pinned his entire argument on – getting rid of George – neutralising him in the eyes of the jury, and allowing our newest queen to take out the title unanimously, leaving Matt to finish as the co-runner-up with Gerry. As I said with Gerry, despite being shut out, Matt played a solid game and arguably did all he could to win as one of the few newbies left by the jury phase. Since George was clearly taking them to the end for an easy win. But alas, they cut him loose at the end (which was also Matt’s move, despite not having revenge attached) making Matt a lovely runner-up, with a hearty Matt Borscharp reward.
When I was little, the entire concept of borscht freaked me out, despite my passion for beetroot. I assume it had something to do with the fact I couldn’t figure out how to make cheese work with it, but that is a conversation for another time. As an adult, I finally tried borscht and fell in love with its rich, earthy perfection and the soup quickly found its place in my permanent rotation.
Matt Borscharp Serves: 8.
Ingredients ¼ cup olive oil 4 beetroot, peeled and grated 2 celery stalks, sliced 1 onion, diced 4 garlic cloves, minced ¼ cup tomato paste 8 cups chicken stock 2 cups water 3 potatoes, peeled and sliced 2 carrots, peeled and sliced 400g can cannellini beans, rinsed 2 bay leaves 2 tbsp champagne vinegar 3 tbsp dill, finely chopped kosher salt and ground pepper, to taste sour cream, for dolloping
Method Place a large stockpot over medium heat and add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Once hot, add the grated beetroot, celery, onion and garlic, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring infrequently, until they are soft and juicy.
Add the tomato paste and cook for a minute or so, before stirring in chicken stock and water, followed by the potatoes and carrots. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until cooked through. Add the beans bay leaves, vinegar and dill with a good whack of salt and pepper, and simmer for another five minutes or until cooked through.
Serve with a dollop of sour cream and devour, like a boss.
Previously on Australian Survivor, Shonee and George were living it up at the top of the new Heroes, accepting meetings with all the plebs who were begging for mercy. Meanwhile at the Villains, Simon won over the OG Heroes with his non-idol leaving Liz and Jordie on the outs. As such, at the immunity challenge, Shonee handed her idol over to Jordie while Shaun gave Simon’s non-idol to Flick to cause chaos in the Heroes tribe. After Liz also found an idol, she and Jordie used them to bluff the Heroes into turning on their own. However they were sadly just as played, as the Heroes made a last minute switch at tribal council to tie things up between Jordie and the presumed target, mateship king Sam. And when Jordie and Liz held onto their idols, Jordie was blindsided from the game. Breaking my heart in the process.
While the Villains tribal was busy being chaotic, at the Heroes camp Stevie was looking to the stars alongside Flick and Matt, who were quietly working him to float the idea of working with the Heroes. And by that, they straight up told him that they were given information at the immunity challenge that Simon still wants to work with him and should he survive tribal council, it is a sign that they should band together to take control over here. Which is great, but can we also remember that he (and Simon) will easily be on the bottom of the Heroes when the threats are gone and as such, it is just a bad idea all round for them. Though it is Simon and Stevie, so it tracks.
The next day, Liz was feeling even worse about her situation back at camp. Despite Liz being the only person outside the alliance, it was Simon who spent the day breaking down in tears about missing Jordie, who he played a critical role in voting out. The white heterosexual males all appeared to be struggling, with Sam taking the last tribal council as a sign that the Heroes aren’t as loyal as he would like and as such, he only felt like he could trust David. Knowing Sam was feeling shitty about what happened, Nina also took it as a wake-up call and knew that she needed to bring Jordie and Liz’s energy with the idols if she wants to follow in her mother’s footsteps and take out the win.
After clearing the air with Sam and vowing to be a tight three with him and David, Nina realised they need one other person to take out the majority. And since she has an idol and some tight allies on the other side that could set them up at the merge, she set her sights on Queen Liz and ugh, I love to see it. After the girls talked shit about Simon, Liz went to catch up with Sam. Right on cue Simon asked to join the conversation with Liz being an icon, telling him to let them talk and they can have one next. Or something. While Sam straight up told her that he wants to work with her and oh my God, do I like Sam now? I guess I do and you’ll just have to accept I am fickle and love to change my mind.
Back at the Heroes, the tribe were celebrating Stevie doubling the number of days played from his first season. Flick meanwhile was more celebratory about her non-idol, as she and Matt decided to chat to Ben about how to take control. Though obviously left the existence of said idol out of the discussion, which is a problem, given he is one of the only people that knows it is not one. But no, no, Flick can’t trust Ben – who has been nothing but loyal – and would rather hold out hope that Stevie may, just may, change. As Flick and Shonee bonded in the hammock, George grew worried about her social game and as such, suggested to Gerry and Stevie that they throw the challenge to get rid of Flick and keep themselves in control of the tribe. And Flick girl, you in danger.
The tribes joined with Jonathan for the immunity challenge where Shonee was heartbroken to learn her idol exited along with her ally. While George was so ropeable that he called it a declaration of war from the OG Heroes and reminded them that he has two hostages that he is willing to get rid of. Liz and Shonee once again whispered like icons, with Liz outing Simon for ditching them and shared that Simon handed his non-idol over to Matt and Flick to use to blindside George. But back to the challenge. The tribes would transport massive blocks through a series of obstacles before using them to form a staircase and ascend a tower. So yeah, this is built for the new Villains tribe whether George was planning to throw it or not.
While the Villains clearly had the advantage, George and Shonee still obviously chose to throw it, doing the absolute bare minimum and well, I love that for them. Hayley meanwhile bitched about them throwing it as the Villains powered ahead, reminding us that this surely was a challenge the Villains were going to win anyway, so can you really get mad at the icons? Once again Liz stepped away from her tribe to chat to George and Shonee, outing Simon for working with Shaun and Hayley specifically, but assuring them that she has an idol and to not worry about her. Despite the fact the rest of their tribe were throwing it, Ben, Flick and Matt desperately tried to close the gap, somehow leading to the Villains only narrowly managing to take out immunity. As Simon desperately tried to gesture to Stevie about destiny before wishing the tribe luck at tribal council.
Back at camp Matt was ropable about the fact George and Shonee threw the challenge and as such, was even more fired up to woo Stevie to their side. He tried to downplay the rage though, pointing out that the Villains appeared to have a wild one the last night, speculating about Simon playing an idol. With George, ever the icon, telling him it didn’t happen because he gave the idol to Flick. With her awkwardly having no way to deny it, so instead pointing out that she will be happy to show George the idol tonight at tribal council.
Flick, Matt and Ben went for a walk to get water, asking Stevie if he would like to come with them and while he did, George wisely asked him to stay with them. As the Villains and Gerry tried to decide who to load their votes on, Gerry pointed out that the Heroes don’t care for Ben and as such, he is the safest bet to vote for given they will not play an idol for him. As the Heroes were by the well, Flick came clean to Ben about the idol, hoping to leverage it to convince him that now is the time to blindside George. While back at the shelter, Gerry was about to have an aneurysm trying to explain the plan to Stevie – and the fact four people can’t split six votes – as Shonee quietly told him to breathe and just keep focused.
As the two factions came back together, Stevie went for a walk with Flick, Matt and Ben to lock in the plan to blindside George due to his threat level. While George, Gerry and Shonee grew more and more frustrated that Stevie was wandering around camp and potentially outing all of their plans. After Stevie left the Heroes, they realised they needed to come up with a back-up, so if Stevie isn’t with them, they would play the idol and put their votes on the most likely to not have one in the other alliance, Gerry. But if Stevie is in, they will take the shot on George. Stevie rejoined the Spice Girls alliance and once again floated the idea of splitting the vote as each of them reminded him that there are not enough people and to do that. Unless Shonee can pull in a crab, that is.
Knowing Stevie was too much of a liability, George opted to appeal to Flick and asked her what she thinks the merge will look like when it is just the Heroes left. Which obviously led to him pointing out it may be better to work together to take control now and set up an easier path to the end. And while they agreed finding a compromise could be for the best, we didn’t learn what that compromise could be. Only if Flick proves willing to work with George, they will have a truce and if not, she will be the next one out.
At tribal council George explained that at the challenge he declared war on all the Heroes and as such, the OGs best have come prepared. Flick was obviously nervous, though admitted that given she has experience with George, she knows to take his grandiose statements in her stride. She spoke about everyone chatting with their allies at the challenge, as Shonee lol’ed about how obvious she is, while Stevie focused about just playing it straight tonight and going with the flow to make it to the merge. Ben admitted that he feels in trouble though that everyone really should be feeling that way, with George agreeing they really should, given Flick has an idol and is definitely planning to play it. Flick confirmed its existence and that if she guesses the right person to play it on, she and her allies should be sitting pretty. Though let’s just say, Matt is not feeling so confident about it.
Flick admitted she knows she could be the one going home tonight if she makes a mistake and while George shared that he fears going out due to an idol, he would just rather work with Flick and go to the end together. Again. George then straight up offered to go have a chat in the corner and cut a deal, with Shonee and Stevie agreeing it makes sense for her to play it smart. George told Flick she should burn her idol to prove loyalty which she obviously opted against, given it puts her at way too much risk and as such, no deal was reached between the rivals. With that the tribe finally voted and Flick played what she thought was an idol for Matt as Ben looked on in disgust knowing it wasn’t one. After Jonathan confirmed it, he got to tallying the votes with three votes piling up on Gerry, followed by four on Ben, which were enough to tragically send my actual hero out of the game.
Like Jordie just yesterday, Ben found his way to Loser Lodge by following my enraged screams. I mean, first we could have lost Sam yesterday and TBH we could have lost Matt today as the only straight male that wasn’t working with Shonee. Instead, we lost my gracious inspiration, who forgave my years of stalking in desperation of gaining his talent by osmosis and came to Australian Survivor ready to play with charm, kindness and a little bit of drama (RIP, Sharni). Instead, he was cast out from the alphas – let’s just take a pause to read into that however you want – and never really got his footing in the game.
I pulled him in for a massive hug and told him how heartbroken I was that he couldn’t win over Shonee and join the Villains to control the game post-merge. Because if there is one thing we can tell from watching thus far, it is that the Spice Girls are unmatched at this point and the alphas will soon be in trouble. In what I like to think is revenge for the way they treated the man that gave us the name Meat Tray alliance. Oh the other thing I am concerned about – though wisely didn’t tell Ben – is that doughnuts, like pizza, are a cursed food for reality contestants since Jordie’s were followed by a piping hot Benjamin Crullaw. So I think I may have cursed his chances, which just fucking sucks TBH.
These fancier cousins of doughnuts are the perfect way to honour my personal hero. Particularly since he kindly dropped the stalking charges to allow me to provide culinary comfort for the broader cast. Crunchy on the outside, light and fluffy on the inside, with a heavy coating of cinnamon sugar? Like any time I spend with Ben, I am in heaven.
Benjamin Crullaw Serves: 2 amazingly talented Ben’s who are destined for best friendship. Forever.
Ingredients 100g butter, cubed 250ml water 170g flour 3 eggs sunflower oil, for frying 1 cup raw caster sugar ¼ cup ground cinnamon
Method Combine butter and water in a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Once the butter has melted, add the flour and beat aggressively with a wooden spoon for a couple of minutes – this is like making profiteroles, ok? – or until it starts to come away from the sides.
Remove mixture from the heat and transfer to a stand mixture. Using a paddle attachment, beat the dough on medium, adding the eggs one at a time, waiting until the mixture has completely come together before adding the next egg. Spoon mixture into a piping bag with a 12mm star nozzle and pipe the dough into 8cm rings onto a lined baking sheet, pressing together at the ends to join.
While they rest a little, place about 10cm of oil in a large, deep saucepan and heat to 175C and combine the cinnamon and sugar in a bowl. Once at temperature, carefully add a couple of doughnuts and cook, turning a couple of times, for about 10 minutes, or until golden and browned. Remove and drain on a paper towel for a minute or so before tossing in the cinnamon sugar.
Repeat the process and then devour, like the besties you are.
Previously on Australian Survivor the tribes were delighted to get a reprieve from challenges with the arrival of the auction, only to be gagged by a tribe swap. Venturing to the Heroes tribe, Shonee was heartbroken to be split up from Liz, though grateful that she at least still had George. After jagging an epic reward at the auction, George took the girls for a little party where Shonee found a second idol, though assured them she would be ready to hand it off to Liz if and when needed. Simon was nervous about being on the bottom of the new Villains, though sucked up to the alphas to win them over. Plus, he was in possession of what he thought was an idol. After the Heroes lost immunity the OGs planned to blindside George, only for George and Shonee to school them, wooing Gerry to their side and idoling out Paige. As God wanted.
The next day Shonee was blissfully napping away the morning, thrilled to be on top with George and close friends like Stevie and Gerry. And now that Paige is gone, she can eat all the crispy rice she wants and ugh, it is what our Queen deserves. Long may she reign.
We checked in with the Villains, where Simon was talking about how normal it feels to be moist. Which doesn’t add anything, but I love it because it sounds so suss. Liz meanwhile was heartbroken to be away from Shonee, breaking down in tears to us as she spoke about how lonely she feels. Particularly since the Heroes are clearly dominating the new tribe and she, Jordie and Simon are left out. The trio caught up with Simon checking if they had had any luck making friends before he suggested he will play the idol for one of them, should it be needed. Which Liz knows is a lie, given he is clearly too selfish and he refused to play one for Stevie just last week.
Back at the Heroes tribe George was just as radiant as Shonee, thrilled to have taken control and ready to eliminate the original Heroes one by one (by one). He caught up with Stevie to talk through the plan before Benjamin interrupted to see if he could join the chat. Ben admitted that the only reason George copped votes the night before is because they are intimidated by him but that now he would truly like to work with him. George then caught up with Shonee as Flick took her turn to pledge her undying loyalty, one upping Ben by suggesting she could even be a double agent to sweeten the deal. Oh and then closing out the pitches, Matt pulled George aside one on one, offering up all the information about his allies and how he could be of value to help the Villains take control come the merge.
And oh god, if Matt is telling the truth, go with him as I want to see how the Meat Tray takes the betrayal. Particularly Sam, as he will be salty.
The tribes came together with Jonathan for the reward challenge with Liz delighted to see Paige booted, while the OG Heroes were gutted. But more importantly, the challenge where in groups of four each tribe would race around a course in the shallows, carrying bags and chasing each other with the first tribe to catch the other scoring a point. And the first tribe to three getting a big Aussie breakfast. First up were Matt, Shonee, Ben and Flick versus Shaun, Hayley, Liz and Simon with Ben the first to drop out of the challenge, followed by Shonee, Hayley and Liz, with Shaun and Simon pissbolting to hunt Flick and Matt down, scoring the first point for Villains. Sam, Shaun, Jordie and David made quick work of Stevie, Gerry, Ben and George, but damn were they adorable. As were the original Heroes talking through the status quo on each tribe, while Liz and Shonee bitched about hating everyone before Shonee promised to hand her an idol should she need it. Oh and then the Villains won the third round with Simon and Sam quickly catching the Heroes.
Back at camp the Villains were thrilled to find a table laden with fruit, bread, eggs, bacon, hash browns, cheese and most importantly, coffee. And ugh, I am hungry just looking at it. Simon toasted them for being so strong before they downed the coffee and went absolutely wild. Well, except for Liz who quietly watched on thinking about how bland and annoying all the men are. Which was beautifully juxtaposed with Simon screaming and celebrating as he desperately tried to win friends. Given she is invisible on the tribe, she knew she could excuse herself without anyone noticing and got to work foraging through the jungle to find an idol. And hot damn, our girl did it. And as expected, not a soul noticed. And if they did, she could just say the coffee and eggs went right through her, no?
Upon returning to camp, Liz invited Jordie for a trip to hunt for wood where she quickly filled her only ally in on her hidden immunity idol with the duo thrilled to have hope amongst the chaos. Assuming they play the situation smartly, that is. They returned to camp with Liz filling him in on Shonee’s idol and that she is willing to hand it to them at a challenge should they need it. And well, Liz is ready to call in that favour and blindside one of the Heroes. Yes, come through Spice Girls!
Shaun meanwhile was heartbroken about Paige getting voted out, taking Sam for a walk to talk through how they make the most of their numbers advantage. Sam suggested they tell Simon they will take him to the merge if he hands off his idol and while Natalie Bolton and Cirie Fields can pull it off, Sam definitely can not, given he is not it. Plus, it isn’t an idol. Sam pulled Simon aside to tell him that he spoke to the guys and while they are friends, there is a caviar – his words – in that they need Simon to give him his idol before they agree to take him to merge. Simon wisely pledged his undying loyalty and assured him that he wants to go to the very end with them, not just merge. Oh but he would only be willing to hand the idol over to Shaun. As such, Simon and Shaun caught up by the well with Shaun doing a far better job sharing the plan, telling Simon he knows it is risky but he also knows that out of the three Villains, he is the one they want to protect.
Simon then pulled Shaun and Hayley aside, doubling down on the plan and suggesting they hand the idol across to Flick on the Heroes tribe so that she can play it to blindside George. And that he wants to get a message to Stevie so that he can help them move forward. Upon showing them his idol however, Hayley questioned if there was any paperwork and when he said it came with nothing, she wisely asked how he was sure it was an idol when it could be something else, like a nullifier. But sadly – or well, not – that was where the logic ended, as they laughed about how poetic it would be for Simon to send his idol to the other side to blindside his nemesis George, which will be a huge move. And again, lol.
Almost as lol as Simon botching his quote about living long enough to become a Hero and the producers trolling him by keeping it in.
The tribes came back together for the immunity challenge where they would race through a series of obstacles before chopping wood to release coconuts and then shooting coconuts at six targets, with the first tribe to finish jagging immunity. The Villains got out to an early lead, quickly releasing their sack of nuts – this time JLP’s words – while the Heroes desperately tried to close the gap. Nina hit the first target for the Villains before Matt finally started shooting for the Heroes. More importantly, Shonee and Liz just casually walked over to each other and started discussing how to hand off the idol. Nina knocked her second target as Matt took out the lead for Heroes as he smashed three, then four and five before ultimately jagging immunity for the tribe.
After the challenge David and Flick hugged, talking through the non-idol hand off while Simon tried to talk to Stevie about trusting in Flick and to vote with her at their next tribal council. While Shonee calmly handed the idol to Jordie unnoticed before Shaun awkwardly passed the disc off to Flick. And oh god, I need the non-idol to blow up in someone’s face so badly. And now I’m not even sure who I want to be the victim.
Back at camp the tribe rallied around to process their loss, while Liz and Jordie couldn’t wipe the grins off their faces. Hayley meanwhile was confident about tribal given they have the numbers, pointing out to Simon and Shaun they should split the vote on Jordie and Liz and ultimately get rid of Jordie should no idols get played. The Heroes quickly locked in their plan, while Jordie and Liz laughed it up at the well, given they can derail whatever it is they are planning. Wanting to have more impact than a single moment, Jordie suggested they pull Hayley and Nina aside and show them the idols before making them pick which of the boys they want to send home. And then promptly not play the idols at all. Which obviously made Liz nervous, given she wasn’t sure they should trust them and instead just go the safe route of playing their idols.
They pulled Nina and Hayley aside with both of the girls shitting their pants, unable to name who they want to go before Liz narrowed it down to either Sam and Shaun. With Hayley first to lock in Sam, given he is so loyal it is hard to work with him, given if you upset him, he is done with you. Liz suggested this is the night to prove loyalty, before Jordie pointed out it isn’t a threat but if there is whispering at tribal council, he will gladly change the vote.
Backed into a corner, Hayley approached Shaun to ensure that should she and Nina have to work with the Villains, she hasn’t burnt everyone. The plan to take out Sam spread like wildfire, with everyone kind of accepting the fact Sam is screwed. David suggested they instead just vote out Simon, while Shaun reminded him he swore on his children’s life and as such, can not do that to Simon. And to be fair, Simon and Sam will both fill the same role in their alliance. Right on cue, Sam approached the group and both awkwardly and aggressively asked if something was wrong with David, Nina and Shaun just dancing around things as Mateship looked enraged.
Hayley meanwhile caught up with Simon to fill him in on the situation until she exited because he looked too shocked and to calm down. Jordie approached him and asked why he looked so rattled – lol – with Simon pretending to still be OG Villains strong and as such, all in on voting out Sam. Shaun, Nina and Hayley then caught up, with Nina cautioning that she truly believes they will play the idols and as such, if the Heroes just lock in the vote on Sam, there will be no surprises and they can make a move next time.
At tribal council Shaun spoke about how grateful he is that their new tribe is stacked, while Jordie turned the attention to the fact the OG Villains are well and truly outnumbered which Simon agreed made him nervous. Shaun wisely suggested that everyone really should be worried. Jordie spoke about how tight the Heroes tribe are known to be with Sam talking about how loyal the Heroes are, while they all looked ready to vom from the guilt. Jordie spoke about how today was an epic scramble as Nina motioned to Sam that Jordie and Liz both have idols. While Liz watched on as all the Heroes grew more and more paranoid. As Simon spoke about how nervous he now is, Liz filled Jordie in on the whispers happening while Hayley reiterated the Heroes needed to stay strong, before Sam suggested that if the Villains have an idol, they should be nervous.
As Simon spoke about being rattled, Shaun told Nina that she and Hayley should still vote Sam while he, Simon and David switch back to voting for Jordie so that should the idol be played, Sam goes home, otherwise they can get rid of Jordie on the revote. Jordie admitted it feels like it could be his last tribal council tonight, with everyone agreeing they feel just as nervous. Liz admitted she is stressed, but that you need to risk it for the biscuit while Hayley wanted people to walk away from tribal council with some clarity about who they want to work with, while Jordie wanted everyone to leave knowing this is how you play the game.
With that the tribe voted and tragically neither Jordie or Liz played their idols, resulting in a tie between Jordie and Sam. Which on the revote, led to the Heroes eliminating Jordie, leaving Liz all alone. As is often the case, Jordie found his way to Loser Lodge by following the wailing sounds of my screams when I found out he came so close to not just breaking up the Heroes but also sending Sam, the worst person to ever play Survivor in the global franchise, home. Sadly though, he took the gamble of holding onto his idol to navigate through to the merge and while it cost him his game, I am impressed with the logic behind it, given he knew he was screwed if he couldn’t leverage an alliance.
I pulled him in for a massive hug, congratulating him and Sam on their pregnancy and thanking him for being such a damn delight this season. I mean, while Jordie was balls deep in an all male alliance last year, this year he channelled Erika Jayne, ready to give the gays (and girls) what they want, working with Shiz and George while gloriously mocking the Meat Tray. I told him I was proud of how grounded and fun his energy was and assured him that when it comes to his third time, he is poised for another deep run. And until then, he always has Jordie Hansenhos de Abobora.
These Portuguese pumpkin donuts – aka Sonhos de abobora – are positively delightful. Earthy, spiced and oh so sweet, the crisp shell gives way to a pillowy little cake that will have you coming back for more and more.
Jordie Hansenhos de Abobora Serves: 6-8.
Ingredients 250g butternut pumpkin, peeled and diced 1 ½ cups raw caster sugar 80g butter, melted and cooled ¼ cup brandy 2 tbsp dried yeast 2 tsp vanilla extract 4 eggs, lightly whisked 2 ⅓ cups flour, sieved ½ tsp kosher salt 2 tbsp warm water vegetable oil, for fryin’ 2 tbsp ground cinnamon
Method Steam the pumpkin for 10 minutes or until nice and soft. Remove from the heat to cool and then blitz in a food processor until nice and smooth. Transfer to a bowl.
Whisk half a cup of sugar, the butter, brandy, yeast and vanilla into the pumpkin until well combined. Set aside for 5 minutes and leave to prove. Whisk in the egg before folding through the flour and water to form a thick dough. Cover, set aside and leave to prove for another half an hour, or until doubled in size.
Heat about 15cm of oil in a large saucepan until it hits 160C and mix the remaining sugar with the cinnamon. Cook spoonfuls of dough a few at a time for about 3 minutes, or until golden and cooked through. Transfer to a paper towel to drain for a minute before tossing through the cinnamon sugar. Repeat the process until all cooked, then devour with glee. Ideally with some Dulce de Nick Lachey.
Previously on Australian Survivor Simon was still blissfully under the assumption that he had an idol in his possession. And while we may not know what, if anything, he found in the cookie jar, one thing we can be certain of is that the producers are going to love however it blows up in his face. Hayley meanwhile successfully threw an immunity challenge, desperate to break the (Australian) winner’s curse. And since Rogue was on her tribe, she felt it was kind of a safe bet. Sadly Shaun got a clue to an idol from David and Sam, and while the trio of allies vowed to find and use it together, Shaun jagged it for himself – his first real one! – and decided now might be the right time to turn the tide against Hayley. Thankfully for our Queen, RogueRogued and offended her tribe one final time and got herself booted. Though not before doing a you-can’t-fire-me-I-quit plea to be booted.
The next day the Villains were enjoying the peace of a restful sleep after their first night off while Jordie and Fraser bonded over wanting to be arseholes instead of being on 24/7. And by being on, essentially they wanted to do nothing, stop helping and piss by the shelter, which speaks to my desire to retire by 40 on a deep, deep level. Simon however was not being lazy, lopping bamboo and being useful while Jordie and George joined him to help out and reinforce the shelter. Jordie opened up to us about how bossy Simon can be and while they both wanted George out, his temper is making working with Simon difficult. Right on cue, Simon yelled at George for getting distracted too easily and well, it was awkward and everyone just looked like they were embarrassed. For Simon.
Jordie realised that the boys were a tight four, while the girls and George were also bonded and as such, caught up with George to float the idea of working together to protect each other from their factions. Despite the fact Jordie knew it could come back to bite him, should they get caught.
Meanwhile over at the Heroes camp, the tribe were thrilled to be free of Rogue’s attitude and feeling well and truly zen again. Hayley was thrilled to have broken the curse, while Benjamin and Sharni were busy bonding while tidying and being super helpful and ugh, it is so damn wholesome. We then got a deep dive on Benjamin and his career, though I was across most of it given he is my hero. Being kind and crafty, he suggested the tribe whip up a fake idol together and while you would assume it was to benefit the entire tribe come swap, it made David, Flick and Sam feel like they cannot trust him. David and Sam caught up with Shaun, who was wisely keeping the fact he has the real idol a secret before the brainstrust went hunting along the shore. While Shaun giggled about outsmarting them, knowing that playing like a hero didn’t exactly serve him well during his first season.
The tribes joined up with my love JLP for the reward challenge where they would battle in pairs to knock barrels off a deck, with the first tribe to three scoring a tower of baked goods. And well, let’s just say, when I saw I snag roll I practically creamed my jeans, while Liz questioned whether the bread was ciabatta or sourdough, while Shonee was just looking for assurances it all came with a balsamic glaze. Like damn icons. First up were Stevie and Simon versus Shaun and Ben with the Heroes taking the point due to Simon not letting Stevie toss anything. Sam and Hayley then faced off against Jordie and George with George’s fire to best Hayley taking out the point for the Villains. Shonee and Fraser took on sweet Gerry and Matt with the Heroes quickly putting Shonee out of her misery before Paige and David defeated Sarah and Liz, handing the reward to Heroes.
Ideally for us to discover the pastries are actually raw when they return to camp.
Back at camp they learnt the producers had once again trolled them, this time spreading 11 treats out in front of them with the person who read the note – Sam – getting to decide who got to eat what. Hayley got a croissant, Paige got the meat pie, Sharni got a full loaf of bread, Gerry got a snag roll – lucky king – David got a choccie cake, Flick got a cupcake, Nina got a donut, Benjamin got a party pie, Matt a lamington, Shaun got a spongelog – and the realisation that Sam is out of his depth in the game – while Sam kept himself a slice of gluten free toast. Aka loyal to an absolute fault.
After smashing the food, Hayley got back to work hunting for an idol while Shaun watched on. Realising he had to do something to distract Sam and David from the fact he actually had the idol, Shaun told them he caught Hayley catching the idol and as such, they spread it like wildfire throughout camp. Hayley being the best player in the camp, pulled Shaun aside realising something was off between them and tried to find what the problem was. Which thankfully, finally made Shaun realise that it is stupid to vote out Hayley already, given she is a clear threat and as such distracts from the fact he is ten feet and looks stunning in a speedo.
The tribes caught up with Jonathan again for the immunity challenge where the tribes would race to push a heavy cart through a course to collect fire making equipment before lighting a fire to release a bag of coconuts. Aka the final four firemaking challenge on a massive scale. Despite being far weaker on paper, the Villains got out to an early lead before everyone fought over wood. With Stevie climbing it to make things hard for the Heroes like a damn icon. Deciding they had enough, the Villains powered to the end of the course while the Heroes focused on getting as many supplies as possible. The villains were first to make it to the end with Stevie getting to work on the fire as the rest of the tribe tried to figure out the best place to build the bonfire in the conditions. After lighting the torch, the Villains built a tall structure in a race against time as the Heroes closed the gap. Though way too slowly as the Villains took out the win before the Heroes even lit their fire.
Back at camp Sam was busy speculating whether they take out Ben for being shifty – which I repeat, he wasn’t – or Gerry for having an injured foot. Ben, Shaun, Flick, Sharni and Nina caught up by the well, agreeing how difficult the upcoming vote will be given they don’t have a Rogue. Nina suggested getting rid of Gerry would make sense given he is injured and while everyone felt bad about losing such a sweet man, Sharni tried to rationalise it as something that may save him from further injury in the long run. But damn does she hate the idea. After everyone disappeared, Sharni admitted she won’t be writing Gerry’s name down to Nina with her suggesting they get rid of Ben instead, for being shifty. This plan spread like wildfire and while Hayley was not a fan of the idea, given she and Ben are so close, she knew she wasn’t safe enough to make any demands.
Sadly for her laying low wasn’t keeping her safe anyway as Sam, David and Matt decided now would be a perfect time to blindside Hayley, given everyone is distracted, so got to work trying to find two more to get rid of her. While Nina gave some non-committal assurances, Shaun was not so thrilled about blindsiding his new ally and despite pretending it doesn’t bother him, it spurred him into action. First he told Flick what was happening before the duo approached Sam and David, assuring them that while Hayley needs to go before the merge, now is not the right time and as such, they need to see sense and not cause more chaos than they need to.
At tribal council David was surprised they were back at tribal council, while Flick spoke about how much more difficult tonight’s tribal council is compared to the last one, given they all get along. Ben was hopeful everyone was on the same page, though was nervous about blowing things up, given the last vote actually created some harmony. Hayley spoke about being worried that the upcoming vote won’t create the factions they think, while sweet Gerry was concerned his injury would be his undoing, given everyone is friendly. Ben felt like everyone should be nervous, while Gerry was the only one willing to cop to feeling like he will be receiving votes tonight.
Gerry spoke about being strong in challenges and at camp, with Shaun reiterating he has done so much for all of them and while he is still strong, he has an injury and anything will make you a target. After pointing out Gerry can’t vote for himself, Hayley begged him not to vote for her – lol – before Jonathan dropped the bomb that while they are voting someone out tonight, it is actually to send them to the Villains tribe. And should they survive their exile for two days – aka, through the next tribal council – they will return back to the Heroes camp with a tonne of intel. Which is a good twist (finally), as it could actually go either way for the person voted out and the tribe as a whole, meaning the way forward is murky.
This gagged the tribe with Shaun suggesting they get to whispering to figure out who to vote for, while Hayley suggested they should vote for a clearly loyal person, given they will give the Villains nothing and the Heroes everything upon their return. Ben meanwhile wanted to send someone that would cause chaos, while Gerry told them to focus on sending an asset. Nina meanwhile pointed out that while you want to send a spy that won’t be offended, there is still the risk that the person could just be voted out by the Villains next. Hayley smartly asked whether the Villains would know how it all transpired, with JLP assuring them it will only be what the Heroes tell them.
Paige meanwhile suggested she would be happy to go, while everyone else whispered to lock in the Gerry vote. As Nina jumped on the Paige bandwagon, telling the tribe it was easy, Paige continued to push to go for the star moment, while Sam suggested they vote someone that makes sense to have been voted out that they’d also be willing to lose given it isn’t a guarantee they come back. Which obviously made Gerry nervous as he asked who Sam was suggesting then. And ugh, Sam, you were so damn close to making a compelling argument, why did you have to go and tell the person you’re about to vote as a spy that they are expendable? With that the tribe voted, sending sweet Gerry over to the Villains for the weekend. And thanks to Sam’s blunder, he was taking a little bit of a bruised ego which should thankfully make things a little interesting.
As Gerry arrived at the Villains camp, everyone was fast asleep as he quietly crawled into the shelter to try and gently wake someone up. As he alerted Simon – who hilariously thought it was Sam – he pulled him in for a hug, while the rest of the tribe awoke to welcome him. Well except for George, who was annoyed that he scored a better spot in the shelter and after sassing him out, told us that it was critical that he makes sure he woos Gerry before Simon does. And well, who is going to tell him it may be too late already?
We checked in with the Heroes where Sharni was regalling the Meat Tray with stories of waking up and punching a crab. And while they seemed close, Sharni shared that she was just flexing her acting muscles – or chops, even – given she is so annoyed with them for risking Gerry despite Paige wanting to go to the other tribe. While Shaun tried to explain that voting for Gerry made the most sense, it didn’t make Sharni feel any less annoyed by how it all went down behind his back.
We returned to the Villains camp where Simon interrupted George and Gerry bonded, while George stared daggers at him. Fraser joined the conversation to see if he knew he was copping votes the previous night, with the sweet man proving to have a few sly tricks up his sleeve as he expertly spun a lie. And well Gerry, he was just feeling all the love from the tribe and was grateful for how friendly and kind they all are and as such, his loyalty was already wavering. Particularly since they were happy for him to be expendable. We then learnt about Gerry’s life on Fraser Island and all the hardship he has experienced and ugh, just like Sharni, I want only good things for him. As Simon continued to suck up to Gerry, George went person to person, pointing out how obvious Simon was being to try and woo him as a number. And George, maybe stop complaining and start befriending?
The tribes reunited with Jonathan for the latest reward challenge with George sassily asking the Heroes to explain why they voted out Gerry before learning that one at a time they would face off one on one to knock their opponent’s idol off a disc. With the first tribe to three getting a huge collection of supplies and a piping hot lasagne. Or not, who knows? It could be frozen. Sam and Simon were first to do battle with Simon tragically dropping his, leading to a smug little dance from Sam. Shonee was next up against Flick, with our Queen tying things up before George and Hayley faced off, with Hayley obviously putting Heroes back out in front. Jordie and Shaun were up next with Jordie wisely tossing his in the air as he slapped Shaun’s to the ground, once again tying things up leaving Simon and David to battle out for reward with Simon botching the toss strategy as the Heroes jagged the win.
But hey, at least George got some intel from Hayley that he should trust Gerry.
Back at the ever improving Heroes camp, derpy Sam was thrilled with their latest haul as he carved up one of the three lasagnes for the tribe to devour. The spirits were obviously very high, but only got higher as Matt discovered pictures from home. We met David’s girlfriend who made him break down in tears, while Matt showed off a picture of him proposing to his girlfriend – post nervous poo – Hayley showed the day she bought a house, Benjamin spoke about his high school sweetheart Scott, we met Sharni’s grandfather, Sam’s girlfriend, Sandra got a photo cameo, Megan Gale graced our screens, Flick’s boyfriend made a return before Paige sobbed talking about her grandmother who passed away a few months earlier and ugh, I’m crying too.
Meanwhile the Villains were busy working, with Stevie getting them all on firewood duty while George quickly started working on Gerry. He pulled him aside and told him that Hayley told him to trust Gerry before Geroge spilled the tea on what was going on within the tribe, before they both offered up their allies and vowed to work together. While sweet Gerry proved to also be shrewd, knowing that he now holds the power to choose between George and Simon. And without the heroes realising, he can return to them with a new tribe of allies to bring them down. And FUCK YES, rise King Gerry.
The tribes joined JLP on a beach for the next immunity challenge where the heroes announced that they got photos from home. Which made Gerry look ready to kill. But back to the challenge, where they would race out to a boat, row it into shore and drag it up the beach before crawling under a net and tying their paddles into a pole to release a key which they would use to unlock blocks which they would then use to solve a word puzzle. While the tribes were neck and neck at the start, Shaun being a man mountain let the Heroes take the lead as he propped up the net and let the tribe breeze through. The Villains desperately tried to close the gap with once again, the puzzle proving to be the great equaliser. The Villains were first to get their letters ready while the Heroes figured out the phrase. Clearly out of their depth, the Villains vowed to just copy off the Heroes as Ben straight up signed the answer to Paige to slow them down. With the Heroes solving the puzzle a fraction ahead of the Villains.
Back at camp Simon was well and truly over the losses, while the tribe tried to rally and keep morale up. As everyone split up, Simon quickly locked in the plan to vote out George with Fraser however it was all reliant on Gerry. But given he had clearly warmed to Geroge, Simon instead tried to woo Sarah to his side. She was obviously in on the plan, telling Simon she knows he is a snake and as such, wants to get rid of him as quickly as possible. Simon took the information back to Fraser with the duo celebrating how easily it came together, as George watched on, assuming they were coming for him.
George caught up with Shiz by the well with George talking about how horribly Simon treats him and as such, he is willing to get rid of him ASAP. While George was confident they had Sarah and Gerry in their corner to make a move, Shiz both cautioned him that Sarah isn’t as loyal as he thinks and as such, suggested that maybe they should consider targeting her instead. And while Geroge was happy with the plan, he was also worried that she would push him down the stairs quicker than you can say Miss Greece. As such, George approached Gerry to let him know about the plan with Gerry quickly jumping on board. Talk turned to who would be the best person to rope in as a fifth, with them settling on Stevie, given he is another old boy. Sadly Stevie was not thrilled to blindside Sarah at first, given he is very close with Simon, though knew that getting rid of her takes him one step closer to the switch.
Stevie wisely caught up with Gerry to talk through what they should do, with Gerry reminding him that things change minute by minute and he needs to go with the flow. Stevie then approached Fraser to check if they are voting for George or Sarah, with the eavesdropping Simon wondering how Sarah became an option all of a sudden and grew all the more confused as they headed out for their date with JLP.
At tribal council Gerry spoke about how welcomed he was by his fellow Villains, while George spoke about how great it was to get a new member, particularly one that slotted right into the tribe. Shonee felt like Gerry fit in with them, given they are kind of lovely despite their love for some cheeky villanousness. George reiterated how grateful he was to have Gerry in his corner, while he was focused on making sure that the person they vote out tonight is the biggest risk to flip on the tribe post swap. As hell froze over, Simon agreed that was the wisest move while Jordie implied a tribe swap was imminent which upset JLP, given he sets the rules. While George, Simon and Jordie appeared to be on the same page, Stevie spoke about being worried about just following, rather than making the move that benefits him. Jordie spoke about voting for the shiftiest while Sarah was focused on sticking with the people she trusts. As George stared at Simon and Jordie, willing them to flip and take her out.
With that the tribe voted, George held onto his idol and once again, Simon got cold feet ahead of the vote, joining with the Shiz crew to blindside Sarah. As she arrived at Loser Lodge, Sarah quickly proved how she became a champion beauty queen, acting poised and charming as I pulled her in for a hug. I congratulated her on playing a solid game, telling her that if this had been a season of just newbies, I truly believe she would have taken it all the way and well, that was enough to cheer her up before I served up a fresh batch of piping hot Chicken and Sarah Marschkroom Baos.
There is nothing I love more than a glorious steamed bun, and this lighter chicken version is truly delicious. Sweet and earthy, it warms even the coldest of villains. And could even guarantee nobody is pushed down the stairs, or anything.
Chicken and Sarah Marschkroom Baos Serves: 4.
Ingredients 7g sachet dry yeast ¾ cup warm water 2 cups flour 1 cup cornflour 5 tbsp raw caster sugar ¼ cup vegetable oil 2 ½ tsp baking powder canola oil 5 garlic cloves, minced 1 tbsp minced ginger 2 cups shiitake mushrooms, sliced salt and pepper 500g chicken mince ⅓ cup chopped chives 1 tbsp truffle oil
Method In the large bowl of an electric mixer, dissolve the yeast into the water and let it rest until it is foamy and glorious.
While that is frothing away, sift the flour, cornflour and sugar together. When the yeast is ready, add the flour and oil.
Using a dough hook, turn the mixer on to the lowest setting and leave to knead for about 5 minutes or until a small ball is formed. Place in a large oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth and allow to prove for 2 hours.
While the dough is working on proving itself to you, get to work on the meat mixture.
Heat a lug of canola oil in a large frying pan and saute garlic and ginger for a minute or so, or until nice and fragrant. Add the mushrooms and cook for five minutes or so, or until soft. Remove from heat, season and allow to cool completely. Once chill, combine the shiitakes, mince, chives, and truffle oil in a bowl and scrunch until well combined.
After the dough has made something of itself, return it to the bowl of the mixer, add the baking powder and knead it again on the lowest setting until it is smooth again, adding water a teaspoon at a time if it looks too dry. Trust your gut here people, I did. Cover with a damp cloth and leave to rest for 15 minutes.
While resting, cut out ten 10x10cm squares of baking paper and add water to the steamer and bring to the boil.
When ready, roll the dough out into a long tube and divide into ten pieces. Flatten each piece into a 12cm diameter disc, leaving more dough towards the centre, add a good chunk of the filling and bring the dough together to close the bun at the top. Place on a square of parchment and repeat the process until all done.
Steam the buns for 12 minutes over high heat, three or four at a time depending on the size of your steamer, making sure the water does not touch the buns. Then devour, gleefully, with your fave condiments.
Previously on Survivor Sami was feeling nervous after being left out on the last vote, immediately trying to do damage control with Karla. And despite knowing he couldn’t be trusted, Karla was open to working with him moving forward. With the glimmer of hope, Sami got to work turning Cassidy and Karla against each other. A boat arrived announcing a new mystery clue hidden in the jungle with everyone darting off and walking directly past it multiple times before Cody finally jagged it, allowing him to bet on the next immunity challenge. After Owen and Karla literally outlasted the tide, Probst decreed they were both immune which made Cody also immune, given he bet on Owen. At tribal council Sami’s double dealing finally caught up with him and despite a late-breaking threat to play his Shot in the Dark, the tribe banded together to boot him from the game.
The next day the top six watched the sunrise together, reflecting on Sami exiting as wildly as he played. Owen meanwhile was happy that the plan came together – and that he was in on it, for once – though was annoyed that they weren’t able to embarrass Karla in the process, thanks to her late breaking flip to voting for Sami rather than Cassidy. But don’t despair, he was more than ready to find another way to splinter the girls’ relationship. He pulled Cassidy aside for a walk, talking about how glad he was that she was still in the game given Karla had almost gotten the votes to flip things on her. While she knew she couldn’t completely trust Owen, she didn’t want to be naive and as such got to work figuring out where the truth lay. Cassidy immediately approached Karla and while she assured her that she never brought her name up – when she did – she could tell Cassidy wasn’t believing her. And then straight up turned on the waterworks to guilt her and ugh, it was iconic.
I. Love. Her.
Karla approached Jesse to get him help convince Cassidy she didn’t throw out her name and while he agreed, he instead went and confirmed Karla was coming for her. And just like that, Karla and Cassidy are now gunning for each other. For realsies.
The tribe met up with Probst for a reward challenge in teams of three, where someone would be strapped in a ball to guide two blindfolded players to navigate them through a course to a table maze. And then have to direct the still blindfolded people to solve the maze, with the first trio to finish getting to smash coffee and pastries at the Sanctuary. Aka a gazebo decked out with treats. Owen directed Cody and Karla into the earliest of leads while Cassidy desperately tried to keep Jesse and Gabler hot on their heels. Despite Owen getting his team to the puzzle with a massive lead, both teams managed to be working on the puzzle at the same time and it became a race to the finish with Owen, Karla and Cody winning the reward by a matter of seconds.
We followed the victors to said Sanctuary where they joyously smashed their reward, which instantly made Cody giddy. After dancing off the sugar, talk turned to the game with Karla feeling like she has a massive target on her back. She lied to the boys that she doesn’t even have the idol everyone thinks she does before turning on the tears to help convince them, lamenting how she has had a target on her back all season long. After going for a walk, the boys conferred that they finally think Karla doesn’t have an idol though they agreed that one of Karla or Cassidy has to go. And while Cody would prefer the latter, Owen still thinks Karla is the biggest threat.
Back at camp Gabler was proposing they lock in a final three, highlighting how you can’t really split Jesse and Cody or Cassidy and Karla’s game, and as such, both of them need to axe their allies to take out the win. They started to debate the merits of getting rid of both of them before Cassidy straight up told them about Karla’s idol. The two groups came together with Gabler quickly catching Cody up on the existence of said idol and while he was feeling good about Karla on reward, he is now sure that she needs to go next to ensure he is the only person in the final five with immunity.
The tribe met up with Probst again for the latest immunity challenge where they would race through a series of obstacles to release numbers, which they would then use to release a key, which they then use to unlock puzzle pieces. And then, you guessed it, solve the puzzle! Cody got out to the earliest of leads with Cassidy nipping at his heels. While Jesse was at the end of the pack, he whipped through the numbers and darted out in front. Despite the excitement, everyone made it to the puzzle at the same time – obviously – as Cassidy started to inch out in front as Karla nipped at her heels despite the fact her hands were literally numb and cramping, which is honestly concerning. In any event, she tried to power through but it was all for nought as Cassidy slotted in the final piece just ahead of Cody and snagged herself immunity.
Back at camp Owen and Gabler lamented that Cassidy’s win was the worst case scenario for them, given the fact both Karla and Cody can be protected by their idols. Speaking of which, the duo caught up to admit they each have idols and locked in a plan to bluff about playing them to get people to flip the vote on to Gabler or Owen and then use their idol at the next tribal council. Both Gabler and Owen were fine to vote for the other as Karla locked in Cassidy. Sadly for Karla, Cody caught up with Owen to tell him it is all a ruse to get Karla to not play her idol so they can actually blindside her tonight. Which obviously worked for all the guys.
Except for Jesse, who knew that taking out Karla boosts Cody’s resume and not his.
Jesse pulled Owen aside to let him know that he is actually in possession of Cody’s idol and as such, they can actually use it on Owen to spook Karla into playing her idol, while actually taking out Cody, which essentially moves all the credit on to Jesse. That plan then whipped through camp before Cody and Karla decided to do show and tell with their idols, meaning Jesse was no longer in possession of the idol and all the plans could be thrown into disarray. But trust, Cody is still sure tonight will be the biggest blindside of the season. Which feels ominous. For him.
At tribal council Karla opened up about how her body is completely shutting down and how she is struggling with hunger and exhaustion. Cody meanwhile was bummed that he lost immunity by seconds, while Jesse pointed out that he and Karla are also safe given they have idols and they are going to be playing them tonight. Owen played up how nerve racking it is to know he could go home from just one vote, while Jesse admitted that while Cody and Karla could be bluffing, he feels he doesn’t have any power to call them on it. Cody agreed that he and Karla had spoken about the fact they planned to use their idols to keep going forward and decide who goes home, while one of the few without immunity, Gabler, was still confident he will be here tomorrow. Which lol, of course. Jesse meanwhile was worried about which plan would come together, while Owen admitted that he was just leaning into the school of Sandra and assuring everyone he will vote anyway, as long as he is safe.
Oh and Cody was confident in his plan coming together.
Sadly for him, his was not the plan that came together as the tribe voted and Jesse played Cody’s idol for Owen, which instantly spooked Karla into playing hers while Cody had no way to protect himself. With that votes came in for Owen and Karla before the rest piled up on Cody and blindsided him from the game. Brutally. But entertaining as hell for us, obviously.
While I was living for the epic late-breaking move, I kept my joy to myself and instead focused on how sad I was that poor Cody was the victim. I mean, Cody would have been like a smart, strategic version of Fabio winning which TBH, is something I would have loved to have seen. Which was obviously more than enough to cheer him up post-boot, as I pulled him in for a hug and congratulated him on a game well played with the recipe of the season, a Cody Assenmars Bar.
While I’m always Team Snickers if I have to choose, a large portion of my heart is still dedicated to the Mars Bar. Melt in your mouth, all at once light and rich, this copycat bulks up the ratio of the filling and enhances all the joy. In my not-very-humble opinion.
Cody Assenmars Bar Serves: 12.
Ingredients 2 ¾ cup glucose syrup 3 ½ cups raw caster sugar 1 cup cream ½ cup milk 2 large egg whites 2 tsp vanilla extract ¾ cup water 1 tsp malt extract ½ cup cocoa powder, sifted 800g milk chocolate, melted
Method Kick things off by getting to work on your caramel, combining 1 cup of the glucose syrup, 1 ½ cups of raw caster sugar and the cream and milk in a saucepan over low heat, and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Increase heat to medium and heat without stirring until it reaches 119C. Pour into a lined, heatproof 8x30cm dish and place it into a cold water bath. Leave to rest.
To make the nougat, combine the egg whites, ¼ cup glucose syrup and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer, and the remaining sugar and glucose syrup in a saucepan with the water and malt extract. Pop the saucepan over low heat and cook without stirring until a candy thermometer reaches 116C. At that point, turn on the stand mixer and whip the whites on high speed. Once the saucepan hits 127C, remove from the heat and add into the whites in a slow, steady stream. Once it is gloriously thick, reduce to medium and add the cocoa powder and a quarter of the chocolate and beat until well combined. Remove and pour over the caramel and allow to cool completely before popping in the freezer to set for a few hours.
To assemble, cut the caramel and nougat into 12 equal bars. Dip each into the chocolate and place on a lined baking sheet to set for a further hour before devouring, gloriously.
Previously on Drag Race UK 12 new dolls arrived in the UK Werk Room to battle it out for Ru’s love and attention. And when they get it, in the form of four badges, promptly lose the competition for being too good. But before we get there, Ru – and for one tragic week, Michelle – had to make some cuts with Just May sadly becoming the Gothy of the season despite being so damn sweet. She was followed out the door by the fashion queen of the season Starlet.
When the dolls formed duos, poor Copper came up short – rather than say, on top – before Sminty sad-twerked her way out of the competition and straight into our hearts, the history books and likely, an All Stars season. The pressures of the competition became too much for Baby who exited the competition to look after her mental health before Le Fil was too Polite for Snatch Game.
It was at that point that Ru chucked a sickie, leaving Michelle in charge who sadly cut the iconic Dakota for being too on brand. After Peppa and Jonbers both saved themselves from elimination with a killer lip sync, the top five put on a roast where comedy queen Pixie shockingly stumbled and landed in fifth.
The top four faced off in the traditional rumix, kiki and performance combination and while the song was an absolute bop with every queen getting a moment to shine, Ru decreed that only two would be lip syncing for the crown, eliminating Jonbers and Peppa tied in third place.
With that the two four badge queens – begging the question, does the UK just require one person with four wins to lose and this is how they got around the tradition? – lip synced to the iconic Shirley Bassey’s This Is My Life. And like the aforementioned rumix, it was an absolute show. Like their runs on the show, both Cheddar and Danny were perfect from start to finish, leaning into who they are as performers and giving classic Drag Race. And while I feel this would have been the most deserving double crowning of all time, ultimately Ru settled on one, crowning Danny Beard as the UK’s Next Drag Superstar and leaving the iconic Cheddar as the runner-up.
While I would have loved to see a double crowning, that in no way means I am any less excited about Danny’s victory. From start to finish she ran a near perfect race, never really faltering and always being a front runner. Plus, she is so damn charismatic and charming, you just know she is going to take the title and run with it to build an even bigger and better career because honestly, she is a born performer. As such, join me in toasting our newest queen with a piping hot Dannaan Beard.
My favourite thing about Indian food is probably a naan and while Spinach and Cheese – dedicated to another winner, begging the question is this the anti-Pizza – is my fave, there is something so damn perfect about garlic. Soft, pillowy and lightly flavoured, it paris perfectly with any curry. Or just as a solo snack, TBH.
Dannaan Beard Serves: 4-8.
Ingredients 450g flour 1 tsp salt 1 cup lukewarm water 1 tsp raw caster sugar 7g dried yeast ⅓ cup lukewarm milk 2 tbsp yoghurt 3 tbsp vegetable oil 5 garlic cloves, minced 2 tsp nigella seeds garlic butter, to serve (optional)
Method Combine the flour and salt in a bowl and let it set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the water, sugar and yeast and leave to get all foamy and glorious for 10 minutes or so. Once it smells like a brewery, whisk in the milk, yoghurt and oil.
Using the hook attachment, fold in the flour, garlic and seeds by hand until combined. Pop the attachment into the mixer and knead for a couple of minutes, or until smooth. Remove and transfer to a greased bowl to rest for a couple of hours, or until doubled in size. Punch back the dough and divide into 8 balls. Cover with a damp tea towel and leave to rest for 10 minutes.
Pop a skillet over medium heat and once scorching, oil each ball and using a rolling pin, roll out to form a nice thin naan shape. Place in the skillet and cook for a couple of minutes before flipping and cooking for a further couple of minutes. Remove from the heat and repeat the process. Brush with a little garlic butter – optional, but advised – and then devour, victoriously!
Previously on Survivor the Vesi tribe finally started to turn things around with a dominating win in the reward challenge. Sick of seeing Coco win, they opted to use their reward to steal from them, setting off their downfall. At the immunity challenge Vesi continued their streak and then helped Baka solve their puzzle, sending Coco to their first tribal council. That set off a chain of events where paranoia got the best of Lindsay as she spiralled and despite the target being between Cassidy and Geo, the tribe opted for calm and booted her from the game. Thankfully earning her a place in Second Chances due to her iconic flame out.
Back at camp the tribe rallied together as Cassidy reflected on how Lindsay’s nerves alone caused her downfall. That being said, she was super disappointed to have received one vote and requested that whoever did it talk to her to explain their process. And while mastermind Ryan wanted to smooth things over, Geo owned up and went for a walk and straight up made the entire situation worse, accusing her of voting against him – despite Lindsay clearly being the one to do it – and showing no remorse. After debriefing with Karla however, the girls were galvanised and once again ready to take out Ryan or Geo.
The next day Elie and Jeanine were busy hunting for the Baka hidden immunity idol, finally finding it, covered in ants. Jeanine threw caution to the wind and grabbed the Beware Advantage, learning that she now had to go through the bead saga. While filling in Elie though, they were caught by Owen, their second option for third place in their alliance. As such, they filled him in and while he considered holding on to his bead to screw her out of her vote and take control with Gabler, he ultimately handed it over to build trust. Elie then took the information straight to Sami, pointing out that he is actually the one they trust over Owen. Sami meanwhile was feeling safe with his place in the tribe, though he was concerned for Gabler, who had no idea what was going on.
Oh and despite Gabler wanting to hang on to his special bead, he ultimately gave it over to Jeanine and powered her idol. Thankfully, Sami woke up and chose chaos this morning, pulling Gabler aside and pointing out that he just powered Jeanine’s idol and um, is Sami actually a savvy player that is going to win this?
The tribes reconnected with Jeffrey for the next immunity challenge where they would be tethered together to run through a series of obstacles carrying buckets of water to release a gate. And then, instead of the usual puzzle, they would roll three balls up a ramp and land them on a platform. Oh and the victors would get a tarp each. While Coco got out to an early, massive lead, they struggled to roll the balls, leaving Vesi and Baka plenty of time to close the gap. As the three tribes faced off, Dwight and Sami quickly got their eye in, overtaking Ryan – who knocked off his two balls – and secured immunity for Vesi, followed by Baka. Kinda proving Vesi’s strategy to weaken Coco was a good idea, given they would now be down two people by the end of the episode. Before heading out, Vesi was given the power to send people on this week’s journey, opting for Geo, Jeanine and Jesse.
Oh and we then learnt that Ryan threw the challenge to get rid of Cassidy. Back at camp however, he pretended to be disappointed in himself while locking in the vote against Cassidy with James and Karla. Sadly for him, James took that information straight back to Cassidy and assured her that they can load their votes on Geo with Karla and get rid of him without Ryan noticing. Cassidy approached him to talk things through, with each pretending that Ryan would be the next one out, with neither of them deviating from their supposed scripts. And while Ryan thought he was playing it all expertly, it was looking more and more like the group would be targeting him and Geo, just in case he gets an advantage on the journey.
Speaking of which, we caught up with Jesse, Jeanine and Geo where they discovered they had to row a boat through very rough seas until they reached an island to get their risk options. Geo used the very long row to talk about how close he was to being voted out the night before to garner sympathy and while Jeanine didn’t buy his story, the fact that Geo was confirmed to be risking his vote, makes it dangerous for them to play. Sadly for Geo, neither of his fellow journey-ers cared about him and ended up taking the risk. But turns out, he did get lucky, given he was the one that jagged the Knowledge Is Power advantage on his return to camp.
While Jesse and Jeanine sadly discovered they were now without votes at the next tribal council, Jesse reading his note in public while Jeanine learned the news in private. And then admitted what happened to the rest of the tribe, though pretended it was her first time reading it. Which annoyed Sami, given they all knew she already risked her vote the day before to secure an idol and now they know just how hard she is willing to play.
We ventured back to Coco where Geo filled the tribe in on the journey, lying to them and explaining he didn’t risk his vote. Before pulling each of his allies aside to share the truth, showing them his Knowledge Is Power advantage and while he thought it would build trust, it made Karla and James nervous enough to turn their attention to him, rather than Ryan, who had somehow become the actual target. While filling in Cassidy, she then started to get nervous about her doing a Lindsay and starting to spiral, which made them actually consider voting out one of their allies. Again.
At tribal council Cassidy spoke about the fact that while their momentum has waned, she believes they can swing it back. Ryan spoke about synergy – corporate buzzwords for the win, I guess – before opening up (in lie form) about feeling like he is the target tonight, given he bombed the challenge. Which Cassidy pointed out was noble, but kind of hard to believe. As he continued to play the aw shucks role, Karla admitted that easy votes are always tempting and given he offered himself up, it could make things good for the rest of them. Geo spoke about feeling uneasy given he missed so much potential scrambling time though was hopeful he had done enough, while James praised him for being so honest after the journey.
Probst then made Geo nervous about how to vote, while Karla – after a brief mental blank – slyly told him that he should trust in his alliance rather than being nervous. Oh and then Ryan asked everyone to say what they liked best about him as they voted, while Cassidy was just looking forward to having another chance for the tribe to prove trust by doing what they planned. With that the tribe voted before Ryan and Geo were shocked as the latter was booted from the game, with an advantage barely in his pocket.
While Geo was both surprised and disappointed to find himself booted from the game, he is such a delight that he took it all in his stride. I pulled him in for a massive hug as soon as he arrived at Loser Lodge, assuring him that he played a strong game and while I love the three tribe format, it truly is the hardest one to navigate given there is no room to hide. So between that and his personal story, I was thrilled to be able to toast his success with a big fat bowl of Geo Bustamantea Soaked Chicken.
I am normally a basic girl that lives for a good old honey chicken or something of that ilk when it comes to Chinese take away, but this little number has that trumped. Complex, spicy and sweet, it is the perfect comforting dish to eat through your feelings or finish out the week.
Geo Bustamantea Soaked Chicken Serves: 6-8.
Ingredients 3 tbsp sesame oil 2 tbsp minced ginger 4 garlic cloves, smashed 2 tbsp Szechuan peppercorns 2 star anise 3 tbsp coriander seeds 4 cups water 2 cups soy sauce ¼ cup kosher salt 8 black tea bags 1kg chicken breast or thighs, diced 2 shallots, sliced, to garnish
Method Heat a saucepan over medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of the oil. Once shimmering, add the ginger, garlic and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the peppercorns, star anise and coriander seeds and stir until fragrant, before stirring in the water, soy and salt. Bring to a boil, remove from the heat and add the tea to steep for ten minutes or so. Remove the tea bags and the brine to cool completely. Pop the chicken in the large bowl and pour over the chilled brine. Cover and pop in the fridge to marinate overnight.
When you’re ready to cook, drain the chicken and heat the remaining oil in a wok over high heat. In batches stir fry the chicken until cooked through and repeat the process. Serve piping hot with a garnish of shallots and devour, regally.
Previously on Survivor – as you have already heard me gush – we were graced with the presence of one of the greatest personalities to take out the game, arguably since Sandra 2.0. Or maybeTyson. Maryanne was funny, emotional and oh so charming, and watching her work her way to victory was downright delightful. Sadly though, we’ve got to drop the 2 as 43 kicked off – see what I did there, Probst – with three speedboats jetting through the water with 18 new castaways. And let’s just say, they aren’t the only things that are new – the editors have some tricks! There were drones, there were joke chyrons and even an intro for one. And it was fun.
But that isn’t what we’re here to discuss, though you know I’d gladly dedicate 2000 words to it. Survivor 43 is here and we first met Ryan, who looks like a total zaddy and I will already follow him to the ends of the earth. Nneka is cute and Morriah, for some reason, is here for RuPaul’s Best Friend Race. Sami meanwhile is my hair twin and makes up words, Lindsay is an adorable, iconic frontline hero and I stan her already, no wait, Karla is even more up my alley. Lindsay and Karla final two, please. Cody looks like a potential day 4 zaddy, Elie is going to see if she can use her psychology background better than Tori, and Owen is perfect, he is hair goals, he is THE moment.
The boats eventually made it to shore where Jeffrey proudly welcomed them to the Survivor family which immediately made Elie overwhelmed and a little shocked that it was actually happening. We first spoke with Jeanine who called Survivor a total dream for her and her immigrant father and well, I guess there needs to be more room on my stan card because I love her too. Sweet James was hoping to follow in his hero Earl’s footsteps while Gabler is the right kind of kookie to win my heart, while Paralympian Noelle spoke about how losing her leg was the best thing that ever happened to her and, gag of the season, she actually applied before she lost it. And the fact that she wants to make some leg jokes along the way makes me love her even more.
After a quick recap of the design of the game, Jeff announced they would be forming the Vesi, Baka and Coco – literally, coco – tribes. And would immediately be competing together in the first reward challenge where duos would run off one pair at a time to retrieve crates before the final duo build a cube and retrieve a key, with the first to finish earning a flint, a pot and a machete. Baka got out to the earliest of leads while Vesi nipped at the heels before they started to overtake in the water. It was then that Coco powered ahead out of nowhere, building their cube and working on retrieving their key way ahead of the others. Sadly, that proved super difficult which allowed for everyone to catch up before Dwight was given some good advice and able to jag victory for Vesi.
We first checked in with the victorious Vesi where Cody was all energy and on cloud nine about their victory. He shared that he binged Survivor during the pandemic and upon decided he had what it takes to win, was ready to live it for real. As the tribe introduced themselves, I immediately fell in love with Nneka and Justine – who is stunning – while Dwight got the clown music as he struggled to build the shelter which I hope is only the beginning of an underdog edit. Over at Baka, Gabler was nervous to already be at a disadvantage, given he is so much older than his fellow castaways, before they discovered their two options to earn their supplies, one a mental puzzle and the other to isolate two people to work hard. While Sami offered to sweat, the tribe chose to do the puzzle which required them to move two bones from a shape to create the largest number possible.
While they battled their wits, over at Coco Ryan and Geo offered to dig for four hours and while it seems like a stupid move, Ryan stripped down to his undies and as such, I’m moister than an oyster. Specifically the ones that spat on Kimmi and Monica in Second Chances. Ryan then opened up about his cerebral palsy and well, I love him even more and want him to win so bad. And that was before he even heroically dug out their reward in less than half an hour. Back at Baka the tribe continued to struggle over the puzzle, until Sami gamed the system out of nowhere and solved it for them at the exact moment I was smugly proclaiming how obvious the answer was. Which proved to be incorrect. While I sulked, Sami opened up about how proud he was to solve the puzzle despite being the youngest on the tribe and shared with us that because he is 19, he is totally planning to lie about his age to his tribe.
We returned to Vesi where Noelle was living her best life, glad to have not needed to go through another challenge to get their supplies and to have quickly aligned with Justine given they were vibing so well. Sadly for them, Nneka, Cody and Jesse noticed how tight they had become, immediately locking in their own alliance and well, Justine girl, you’re in danger. And no, please don’t make her the Jessie Camacho of the modern era because I can’t take that kind of pain again. Oh and Cody was busy targeting her for being in sales, despite being in sales himself which will totally come back to bite him, right? Right on queue, Jesse admitted he isn’t exactly sold on the alliance and as such, is willing to work with the girls, begging the question, what about Dwight?
Over at Baka as the tribe tried to build shelter, Owen was focused on building alliances. And by alliances, I mean assuring anyone in sight that he would let them know if he heard their name come up at all. Which is a great non-promise, but could still come back to bite you if people start talking. Meanwhile Elie and Morriah were bonding over their families with the former opening up about her older sister dying of an overdose during 2020 and ugh, it is heartbreaking to hear but seeing how it rallied the women together, I live. Because, duh, I always root for the all female alliances.
Coco’s shelter building meanwhile was looking to be going ok, but like Owen before her, Cassidy was more focused on building alliances. Hearing my call, those alliances were specifically with the women on her tribe and the fact that they know how difficult the game is for women, I live for it. Sadly for my love Ryan, though, they wanted to bring in James to take control over the tribe and ice out my zaddy. Baka meanwhile had changed their focus as the men started working on building a fire as Sami explained that cremating pets is not murder, but disposing of their bodies. Which I thought was obvious, but great! In any event, he made fire while Gabler wandered off to try and form a bond with Elie over heavy metal bands and do I ship this? Probably. Do I ship it as much as the two all female alliances? God no.
The next day Coco were living their best lives, getting camp set up while Karla and Geo bonded over being queer, married members of the Latinx community and fuck me dead, THIS is the final two I want now, please and thank you. Despite the fact it kinda means my love Ryan is screwed. Well, unless Karla sides with the boys, given she clearly holds all the damn power in the tribe. We pivoted to Vesi where Jesse was opening up about growing up in gangs as a teen before he turned his life around while in juvenile detention. He now had a PHD with two adorable kids and is proud to be a hope for other people and ugh, he is the sweetest. Oh and while Jesse formerly had gang tattoos, Cody had LIVIN tattooed on his butt.
After the tatt talk dissipated, Justine focused on trying to get fire started for their tribe and while she was struggling, she was happy the shelter was doing good at least. At that exact moment, the shelter collapsed before she sparked a flame. Which sadly then went out, which gives off big retrograde energy. Thankfully they were distracted by the arrival of a speedboat directing them – and the two other tribes at the same time – to select one person to get on said boat for a little adventure. While Lindsay wanted to bounce at Coco, they drew numbers with Karla winning out, Gabler won Baka’s random draw while Dwight was just allowed to go, rather than any game of chance.
The trio met up at the famed quest island – formerly the Edge of Extinction – where they were thrilled to discover they didn’t need to walk up to the top of the island, instead wading through the shallows to a large rock. Shallows that were riddled with moss and oysters, so actually more dangerous than a stroll up a hill. Eventually they made it, learning that instead of a ship wheel, they now get to openly announce whether they want to risk their votes at the first tribal council, with them each selecting their fate out of a bag corresponding with how many people chose to risk it. Ultimately Gabler and Dwight opted to risk, while Karla was wise to play it safe. And more importantly to her, avoid painting a target on her back.
Back at Vesi the tribe were still heartbroken to not have fire before Justine once again managed to get flame, and this time managed to keep it alight. As Dwight returned to camp he opted to keep things truthful, knowing that everyone knows what those journeys are all about anyway. And while he was totally honest, Cody was not buying any of it and as such started sowing seeds of doubt about him amongst the tribe. At Baka, Gabler also told the tribe the truth before going for a walk and discovering he had jagged an idol for the next two tribal councils and while everyone else celebrated with him, they seem to be ignoring the fact it means he is safe and they are not. Which is never good.
Speaking of safety, Jeffrey returned for the first immunity challenge of the season where the tribes would have to race through obstacles to release three balls, dig under a log, climb up a ramp, cross a balance beam and solve one of three table mazes. With them getting to choose which one, based on the order they arrive. Oh and sticking around from last season, the losers not only go to tribal council but have to forfeit their flint. Coco got out to an early lead while Vesi and Baka struggled to get under their logs. Specifically the latter as Jeanine got straight up stuck. As Vesi and Baka tried to close the gap, Coco landed all their balls and jagged immunity leaving the other tribes to desperately fight for the second win. Which eventually went to Vesi after they got their eye in, sending a defeated Baka to tribal council.
Back at camp the tribe quickly pivoted from disappointment to scrambling, with Sami in particular looking forward to getting their games started. Knowing he was kind of responsible, Gabler knew the target would be on his back and as such, mentioned he will not be playing his idol and instead, decided he would play his Shot in the Dark instead. Which Elie obviously thought was a terrible idea, instead telling him that they can’t afford for him to lose his vote and that he needs to pull his head in. With that out of the way, Elie, Jeanine and Owen went off and locked in the vote against Morriah, while Morriah and Sami were locking in their votes against Owen instead. Mainly because Gabler is too unpredictable to be able to trust or target. When the duo caught up with Jeanine and Elie, Elie assured us that while saying she wants to keep women strong, she wanted to focus on tribe strength. And just like that, this female alliance is already looking to be DOA.
At tribal council Sami spoke about how wonderful the vibe was at camp before losing the immunity challenge, ready to ride it out until the final 6 together. Owen agreed things were great, though suggested it instead had more to do with the fact nobody wanted to paint a target on their back. Gabler admitted that while not scrambling earlier could put them at a disadvantage, he is still glad they bonded as a tribe. Oh and then Morriah suggested they were all winners, because they tried. Sami rightly pointed out moral victories don’t keep you in the game, while Elie agreed but suggested they still need to form the right bonds too. Talk then turned to some sort of text analogies – don’t tell Teresa Giudice – before Sami reminded everyone that while they are friends, someone is about to have regrets.
Which obviously meant it was time to vote where Gabler surprisingly kept hold of his Shot in the Dark before Morriah was surprisingly chill to discover that she had become the latest member of the Sonja Christopher club. Or in Drag Race terms, the Porkchop.
As soon as she arrived at Loser Lodge, I pulled Morriah in for a massive hug and assured her that while Survivor may not be the best place to make friends, I will always be proud of the positive, kind, spirit that she brought into the game. Within a small tribe situation, it is even harder to navigate the pre-merge section of the game and when everyone is getting along and contributing like the tribe were, it almost becomes a game of lucky dip. And let’s just say, after that little peptalk and a Morriahti Young or two, she was feeling 100 again.
Despite how the kinda clunky name makes it sound, these roti – not raita – are completely delicious. Fresh, fluffy and melt in your mouth, once you’ve tried a roti from scratch, you’ll never go back to pre-bought. Particularly since they are so damn easy!
Morriahti Young Serves: 4.
Ingredients 300g flour ½ tsp kosher salt ¼ tsp black pepper, ground 250ml chilled water 30g butter, melted vegetable oil
Method Combine the flour, salt and pepper in a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Stir in the water until it all comes together, before transferring to a floured surface and kneading for about 5 minutes.
Split the dough into 8 equal portions and form into balls. Working one at a time, roll a ball to form a 20cm wide disc and brush with some melted butter. Roll into a cigar, then roll parallel to form into a small scroll, kind of like Inception of rolling or a quick laminate of croissants. Now flatten the scroll into a disc and roll back out to form a disc. Repeat the process with the remaining portions.
To cook, pop a heavy skillet over medium heat and brush with the oil. Add the roti and cook for a minute or two, before flipping and cooking for another minute or until golden on both sides and nicely puffed. Repeat with the remaining bread then, obvi, devour.
Previously on Survivor South Africa the tribe battled it out in an early morning reward challenge for lunch, some family love – via Skype, thanks pandemic – and an advantage at the upcoming immunity challenge. Phil emerged as a bit of a beast, quickly taking it out before Tejan invited himself along with the advantage Meryl gave him. Phil then parlayed that advantage into his second immunity win of the season, leading to a little bit of chaos back at camp as everyone tried to make the most of the pivotal final 7 vote. Eventually it came down to a battle of Felix and Tejan, with Felix giving an impassioned performance at tribal council, leading to Shane switching his vote and sending Tejan out of the competition.
The next day Marian and Dino caught up to lament their losses, unsure who flipped and voted out Tejan. That being said, Felix felt like both of them had a hand in saving him and as such, that was probably a good thing. While Phil had told them he was in on their final four, they both agreed that there is no way he actually meant it and given he now has a hidden immunity idol, it is even more critical that they weaken him. Phil woke up and grew nervous about people exiting camp, finding Marian and Dino to recap the last tribal council. Phil tried to pretend he didn’t lead the vote against Tejan, despite Marian clearly hearing him telling Killarney to get rid of him. Phil admitted to us that he and Marian are loyal to each other above anyone else, though he didn’t plan on going to the end with her. Which is convenient, as she shared with us that she no longer wants to play the game with him. At all.
Back at camp Felix was asking Shane why the plan was to get rid of him the night before, with Shane admitting to him that he was one of the Tejan votes. And as such, he should now know that he can be trusted. Felix meanwhile only cared about the fact that his alliance with Dino and Phil was clearly done. Speaking of that duo, Phil and Dino were busy catching up solo, with Dino going in on Phil to try and get him to admit that he was the one orchestrating the vote against Tejan. Dino could tell their alliance was done, while Phil was blissfully aware as he went to catch up with Felix and make sure the trio were still tight. Though like Dino before him, Felix did not really buy that Phil was still being truthful with him.
Shane meanwhile was focused on splitting up Phil and Felix, not really caring who to take out. He then shared with us that his current plan was to take Killarney to the end, despite being confident he could beat anyone left in his ideal final four. Said group then caught up to lock in the fact they can’t trust Phil or Felix, with Killarney thrilled to be in on the plan and move ahead. Dino meanwhile was confident that Marian and Shane had his back and that Killarney saw him and her as a pair, making him feel safe about letting Shane and Killarney drive the next vote to split up Felix or Phil and keep the target off his back.
Dino and Felix caught up, with Dino admitting that he was one of the votes against him though that he always had his back and never intended to get rid of him. And while Felix said he believes him and was grateful for the honesty, I am not so sure.
The tribe joined up with Nico where they faced off in a reward challenge in duos where they would need to release sandbags, shoot them at a net, manoeuvre them over said net and then shoot them into baskets. For a full on spa reward, with lunch and drinks included. Killarney and Shane, Phil and Felix and Marian and Dino got to work on the challenge with the last pair quickly falling behind. Phil and Felix started to pull ahead of Shane and Killarney, while Dino and Marian desperately tried to close the gap. Philix made it to the final part of the challenge well ahead, landing three points before anyone even joined them. While everyone eventually made it to the end, the lead proved too much as Philix landed their final four bags and jagged themselves a massive victory.
As they arrived at their reward, they immediately started smashing the food before trying to plot a way to the end. Phil told Felix they can’t afford any more paranoia at tribal council as it just makes everyone paranoid and distrustful. They seemingly were still tight with Dino, as they debated who was the smartest to eliminate out of Shane, Marian and Killarney, ultimately settling on Shane as their number one target. Though given Felix felt something was off between him and Phil, me thinks this alliance is well and truly about to completely implode. After washing away a month of the game, Philix enjoyed their massage before assuring each other they had to stick together.
Back at camp the losing quartet were disappointed to lose out on reward, though were well and truly ready to lock in their final four. Dino pointed out that he is guaranteed a visit to the Outpost the next day, sure that it will give them something powerful to use at the upcoming vote. Killarney admitted to us that she doesn’t trust Marian and Shane, though knows that the four of them all need to work together to move forward, so trusts them for now given nobody wants mutually assured destruction. Killarney pointed out Phil is the biggest threat and while Marian agreed he is a problem, his alliance with Felix makes him another one to focus on.
At that point Marian spotted Phil’s bag and decided to rifle through it, finding the idol and sharing its existence with everyone. And pointing out that should he be aligned with Killarney, he surely would have told her. Dino then decided to go through Phil’s bag in the hope of finding a note that outlines what his idol is, putting a stop to their fears that it is an idol nullifier or something more dangerous. After the group once again reiterated their final four, Phil and Felix returned to camp and were immediately embraced so everyone could smell their abundance of cleanliness. That night Phil told Dino about his idol, with Dino making him paranoid about people going through his bag while they were out at reward. Dino then pulled Felix aside and assured him they were good, though he wasn’t so sure he could trust Phil. And while Felix also was a bit confused, he knew he could trust that Dino wanted to stay in the game. Which is helpful. To a point.
The next day Dino was sure that Philix were ready to turn on him, while Marian was looping in Phil on the fact everyone wants Felix gone. Though admitted that Dino is always nervous about going home too. Phil tried to convince her to help keep Dino calm, pointing out that Dino is due at the Outpost so should feel safe. Marian took the information back to her alliance, saying that Phil appears to be in on the plan to take out Felix, though the group were still nervous about trusting him.
We finally made it to the Outpost where Dino was gagged to find champagne and strawberries and chocolate, as he watched a video announcing he had won an epic river safari holiday. And an extra vote, meaning this final six tribal council just got even more exciting for them. Oh and he got to take a bowl of fruit back for the tribe, which is helpful to create a lie about having to choose between the extra vote and food for the tribe. But he promised that he planned to tell Marian the truth in the hope of building some trust.
Shane was waiting by the sign as Dino returned, desperate to get any and all intel from the trip to the Outpost. Though given he was kinda intense, if I was Dino I’d consider flipping the vote on Shane instead. Returning back to camp, he unveiled the fruit and nuts and said the only other thing he got was a video from home. Which Felix quickly deduced was bullshit, given they always get something at the Outpost. Phil pulled Dino aside to catch up with him, lying and telling him that he got to practice part of the upcoming immunity challenge, which he quickly bought with both of them trying to assure each other that they trust each other. We then learnt that Dino snuck some chocolates back for Marian and Killarney and while the latter wasn’t sure why Marian got a treat too, she was solid with Dino. Marian then explained that they had implemented a Boston Rob style buddy system to keep an eye on Killarney, given her penchant for flipping and as such, this little pair were going to be spending a lot of time together.
The tribe reunited with Nico for the latest immunity challenge where they would have to race to launch balls into a shoot and run through netting to the other end to catch it. Once they’d successfully caught them, they then dig under a log before taking their final balls to solve a puzzle. Felix and Dino got out to the earliest of leads, while Phil nipped at their heels. Felix was first to make it to the puzzle, with Dino and Phil quickly joining him while Shane trailed behind. As the boys worked on their puzzles, Marian and Killarney continued to stumble at the end before Phil put everyone out of their misery by taking out immunity. Meaning they now have one less option on the split vote.
Back at camp Dino was concerned about Phil and his idol, now that he can use it for someone else should he want to make a move. Dino obviously was feeling like the biggest threat, as such caught up with Shane and Killarney to loop them in on the extra vote. As Killarney went to babysit Felix, Dino floated the idea of splitting the vote between Felix and Killarney to Shane. Who was obviously thrilled by the idea, given he won’t get his hands dirty should something fail. Felix and Phil meanwhile caught up, with Phil suggesting their only hope would be to rope in Killarney. Which obviously made Felix nervous that Phil intended to take Killarney to the end before Dino joined and told them to vote for Shane.
Killarney and Marian caught up at the shelter with Killarney assuring her to just play along with any and all plans Felix and Phil pitch to her while they are desperate. Back at the boys club, they floated the idea of a 2-2-2 vote, given everyone would get rid of Killarney in a tie. Though Dino cautioned them not to approach Marian about voting out Killarney, given they appear to have grown close. I mean, haven’t they noticed the girls hanging out together?
Phil and Dino then caught up with Marian, with the former suggesting that Killarney makes the most sense at the upcoming tribal council. While Marian was obviously keen on getting rid of Felix instead. Phil and Dino caught up, with Phil ready to make a move against one of his allies and feeling like getting rid of Felix is the safer option, as Dino going would make Felix nervous. While Dino was just constantly nervous. Phil meanwhile was feeling ready to play his idol, offering to do it for Dino as a way to build trust before blindsiding him next. Sadly for him, Dino was sceptical, given he had previously floated giving him the idol outright, leading to Dino and Marian coming up with a rival plan to play a fake idol nullifier to spook Phil into sticking with them.
At tribal council Dino admitted he was very nervous about the vote again, not wanting to join the jury any time soon. Phil was glad to wear immunity once again, while Felix spoke about his own nerves and the need to figure out who you should face off at final tribal. Killarney admitted that she has a few ideas about who she would like to face – lol – while Marian spoke about keeping her options open, given her priority is still surviving long enough to plead their case. Shane reiterated it is always hard to figure out who to trust, while Dino felt that everyone feels they have a case, while some are starting to feel desperate about needing to make a big move for their resume. Marian mentioned that tonight’s the night to make a move, given all the advantages are due to expire, with Shane agreeing big moves will definitely impress the jury and tonight could get confusing.
With that, Marian pulled out her fake idol nullifier and assured everyone that she knows where the idol is and has a good idea who it will be played on. As such, she will nullify the idol of the person she votes for to guarantee they go home. With that the tribe voted before Phil played his idol on Dino before the votes rolled up three-three between Felix and Killarney. After Nico pointed out there was no such thing as an idol nullifier, the tribe revoted where Felix was unanimously eliminated from the game. While Dante mimed to Marian to get rid of Dino ASAP from the jury. While Felix was disappointed to find himself out of the game, he was thrilled to have a far superior run on his second try. And to play such a solid social game. As such, their were no tears as we laughed the night away, toasting his success over a batch of Pfefferlix Godlo.
While Christmas is still a few months away, I would gladly smash a pfeffernusse any day. Spicy and sweet, they’re the perfect little snack to add a little joy to any occasion.
Pfefferlix Godlo Serves: 8.
Ingredients 2 ¼ cups flour ½ tsp baking soda ¼ tsp kosher salt ¼ tsp white pepper 1 tbsp ground cinnamon ¾ tsp ground cloves ⅛ tsp ground allspice ⅛ tsp ground cardamom ⅛ tsp ground ginger ⅛ tsp ground star anise pinch of ground nutmeg ¼ cup almond meal ½ cup muscovado sugar ⅓ cup honey 75g unsalted butter 3 tbsp double cream 1 egg 2 ½ cups icing sugar
Method Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, pepper, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, cardamom, ginger, star anise, nutmeg and almond meal in a large bowl and set aside. Then pop the muscovado, honey, butter and double cream in a saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved and the butter melted. Remove from the heat to cool slightly.
Pour the liquid into the dry ingredients and stir until well combined before finally folding through the egg. Transfer the dough – which is wet and sticky – to a piece of cling and wrap into a disc. Transfer to the fridge to chill overnight.
When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 170C.
Remove the dough from the fridge and cut it in half. Roll each piece into a 3cm thick sausage before cutting them into 3-4cm lengths. Roll each piece into a ball and pop on a lined baking sheet. Once done, pop the biscuits in the oven to bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and after five minutes, transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
To glaze, whisk the icing sugar with a couple of tablespoons of boiling water until smooth, adding more water if you’d prefer a lighter consistency. Dip each cookie in the glaze and return to the wire rack to set. Before devouring, greedily though in a festive manner.