Survivor HHH finale

Here we are at the end of HHH. It’s down to Ryan, Chrissy, Ben, Dr Mike and Devon.
That final twist was not cool. While it was exciting to watch, I felt sorry for Devon because, traditionally he would have made it to final three.
While Ben is no means an undeserving winner, he should have gone home at four. There will be a big backlash about this move and Jeff will have to do a lot to convince everyone it was planned all along. Which it may have been, given it’s been a season of idols and advantages galore. I hope they don’t do it again.
Chrissy gave a pretty good showing, as expected, in her final speech, but her manner comes across as too smooth – her emphasis on her social game did not always ring true. You could tell Jeff was happy. It was surprising to learn the jury consensus seemed Ryan did not do much around camp, which was not reflected in the edit. Good ole Devon, casting a vote for his original ally.
We got a sneak peak of next season, Ghost Island, and some guff about old idols and bad decisions needing to be redeemed. At least it gave us a chance to again see the classic Eliza eyes pop out of her head at the “f—ing stick” idol.


The Block finale – auction time

Finally, auction time is here. The finale is listed to run from 7-8.30pm, so I reckon in tune in about 8pm and you’ll actually see some bidding.
It will be interesting to see how they go, as one of the last times The Block did houses it was a flop sales-wise. Remember in 2011, when Josh and Jenna’s house was passed in (shortly after he’d proposed to her on TV). Rod and Tania and sisters Amie and Katrina’s places were also passed in, making Polly and Waz winners by default (the Hannah and Clint of that season).
The following year the teams all walked away with decent winnings, including Dan (now Foreman Dan) and Danni and Brad and Lara.

Montage: Flashback to the houses being moved … building work .. reminder Jason is a dick … end montage.
Then they go all poor man’s Top Gear, with aerial shots of a house removal truck facing off against a security van for possession of the reserves in locked suitcases. The suitcases are old because, you know, character homes.
The contestants are called before a panel of Scotty, Shayna, Alice from Domain and some other woman.
Several minutes are spent watching the contestants trawl through old junk in the cases. Before we learn what the reserves are, we get to-camera pieces from everyone saying how high they are.
And, without telling us what they are, it’s time for auction order.
Other chick is a real estate expert with excellent diction who speaks about awk-shun clearance rates. Alice says she think Josh and Elyse should go first due to buyer interest, then Jason and Sarah.
Shayna agrees J and E should go first because the losers from it will then bid on other houses.
Shayna says Ronnie and Georgia’s House has become niche because of the pool. The editors are loving cutting to Georgia’s resting bitch face. So should go third. Sticks and Wombat fourth and Clint and Hannah last – and she reminds them last place has won before (from my memory, Steve and Chantal).
Everyone seems cool without except R & G and S & W both want third spot, under their agents’ advice.

Whatever happened to the old days of jumping into a pool to retrieve a brick which determined the pecking order? Nine must be really worried about non-sales. There is a lot of talk of getting the order right so buyers who miss out will move on and bid on the next property.

They are at an impasse so Ronnie suggests showing the reserves to add to the discussion, but S and W aren’t keen. Even Jason supports Georgia that they should show the reserves. And hell freezes over. R and G step outside for a little rant. It ends with a coin flip and Sticks and Wombat win, getting third spot.

Jason then suggests they all show reserves.
R&G $2.62m
S&W $2.52m
H&C $2.52m
J&E $2.62m
J&S $2.62m
Interesting – I expected the two end houses to be significantly higher. I’m not surprised Georgia was shocked they had reserves on par.

Cue montage of the contestants getting primped for the auction and R&G doing a spontaneous McCafe run. Oh god – how many times do we need to see Jason doing his stupid “make it rain” money mime. It is weird to see Josh with a man bun, while Elyse has grabbed her Nan’s kitchen curtains and turned it into a top. Wombat is the only one not in a suit. Josh is not wearing shoes … what the … Not even a pair of thongs? Isn’t that a safety hazard? Where’s Keith when you need him?

Bidding starts on J&E’s house and they tell Scott there has been interest of up to $3m. Buyer’s agent Frank is there in a spiffy white and navy tartan jacket and he’s bidding. There is steady bidding and Frank seems keen. It passes the $3m mark in what seems a swift fashion, but who knows with the edit.
The other contestants are watching it all from what appears to be Ronnie and Georgia’s studio office, as a pink jumpsuited Shelley narrates.
It goes for $3.067 million to that other buyer’s agent who used to do walkthrough, Greville. $447,000 profit made.

More “make it rain” from Jason. Urgh. Sarah is on trend with her dark green blouse.
Scott reveals the buyer of Josh and Elyse’s house is non other than Melbourne local Hughesy (who was involved in the food-tasting challenge some weeks back).
Shelley is trying to remind us J&S are “Aussie battlers”. J&S’s auctioneer reminds everyone there is no pool or spa, which is a bonus. Buyer’s agent Nicole, another regular, is bidding against Frank on this one. I’m wondering if whoever misses out on this one will then not bother with Sticks and Wombat’s and just hang out for Ronnie and Georgia’s. Nicole gets it for $3.007m. So Josh and Elyse are still winning.

Again, Frank and Nicole are bidding, plus some bloke at the back. They hit $130,000 profit quickly and that’s it.(Bear in mind S&W are not a couple, so it’s not as big a prize when split. Still, much better than previous years where the reserves weren’t even met.) Has Sticks had his teeth whitened or were they always that blinding? Sale price $2.65m to Nicole. I reckon Frank is waiting for R & G’s house. The boys bravely pretend to be delighted. The other contestants – and Shelley – are a bit teary.

Georgia starts in tears – she’s freaking out, What are you worried about, Georgia – you know you’re a sure thing for a future All Stars. Frank loves making the opening bid, doesn’t he? The skinny, dark-haired bloke who was bidding on Sticks and Wombat’s vote casts a bid. We stall fairly early without reaching reserve. Scott tells them to pass it in rather than scrabble for a few thousand dollars, but the agent wants to restart the auction. Scott overrules him and R&G agree. Everyone seems shocked it’s been passed it, especially Nicole and Shelley. Nicole starts arguing with the consumer affairs monitor about the way it abruptly ended but apparently it’s all above board. I’m sure it will sell for a decent price via negotiation. I do feel sorry them. Clint and Hannah must be packing death. The agent comes up to say Frank’s top negotiated offer would give them $105,000 profit. Nicole pops up to see R&G and presents a top offer of $161,000 profit. R&G are fairly pragmatic and take it. Does this mean Frank will buy Clint and Hannah’s house?

It’s a noticeably smaller crowd and again it’s Nicole and Frank. Boring – I wish more people would bid. We stall at $2.5m. Cue sad music. Argh – I can’t watch Clint’s sad eyes. But then it sparks up again and we get the rising crescendo, so you know it’s going to be ok. Frank has it at $2.615m, which is $95,000 profit. Hannah stoically declares she is happy.

And that’s where my recording cuts out. So, as expected, Josh and Elyse sell for top dollar and get the $100,000 winner’s prize. Bit of an anti-climax.

So, who will be watching The Gatwick season?


Australian Survivor finale

We’re finally here! The finale screens on Ten from 7.30-9pm, followed by the precorded “live” reunion 9-10pm. At least it was only recorded a few days ago in Sydney.
I stupidly booked to have dinner out tonight but it’s an early one, so hoping to do a mini recap tonight.
Comment away and, for people who don’t want spoilers, please avoid the comments section.

We start with the usual look back over the season, which only serves to remind us poor Petey was once not a walking skeleton. Get that man some Hungry Jacks, stat!
Aha – they are doing the walk of the fallen comrades, which US Survivor ditched ages ago because the finalists struggled to talk about people they barely knew.
Remember Joan, the escape room owner, who pissed everyone off by being bad at puzzles and, even worse, declaring she’d slept like a log? Yeah, barely.
Tarzan was a bit of fun, Mark and Sam were idiots for showing their closeness but at least they found love out of it.
Jacqui, whose game was over the minute Henry jumped ship; Kent and his fabulous “dickhead strategy”; AK, the inventor of the chicken idol, who started off so annoyingly but quickly became one of my fave players to watch.
Ben, who finally managed to win some praise from JLap just before he left; Odette who, umm, yeah; Jarrad (best hair ever seen on Survivor and one of my early winner picks); and Annaliese, who got a raw deal and went home when according to “normal” Survivor rules she would have been safe.
Henry, oh Henry – what casting gold you and your flamingo shirt were; Tessa, likewise great casting and clawed her way back from a rocky start to be a power player; and Sarah, who was one of my early winner picks.
Luke, who was at times frustrating but always entertaining and I loved his cheekiness at tribal votes; Ziggy, challenge beast and waster of idols; Locky, who irritated me so much but showed some strategic chops towards the end; and Michelle, who failed to make fire and lost her spot at the last tribal council. If you are on Survivor, ALWAYS learn to light a fire.

Tara, Pete and Jericho must have been packing death when they realised the final challenge was the same as last year, which saw Lee, El and Kristie battle it out on the clifftop, their hands on the idol.
This year they have chosen to hold the challenge at sunset to add to the atmosphere and make it more dramatic when they fall off.
No way are these guys lasting as long as Lee and Kristie did last year – six-and-a-half hours and they have the added disadvantage of the water being colder at night.
Look, we all know Tara is going out first. She doesn’t have the endurance of Jericho and Pete. Tara has copped it a fair bit from the viewers throughout the season – from me mostly for her lack of strategic play – but I can’t say I’d ever be able to stand on a couple of tiny stumps while icy water gushed over me. Pete kindly tries to distract her by asking her about horses.
And she’s out – two hours and 55 minutes, which is about two hours and 30 minutes longer than I thought she’d go for.
Those poor boys are getting absolutely drenched now – the tide is much higher than last year’s daytime challenge. Production must be thrilled they decided to push it back. Poor Petey has zero body fat to keep him warm. Jericho looks solid, with his intense stare and no visible shaking, although that’s how it was with Lee last year and look how that ended.
After five-and-a-half hours, shivering Pete says: “Jonathan, can I have a hand getting down, please?” He obviously watched last year when poor Kristie crashed to the jagged rocks below and had to be carried away by her dad. JLap helps a weeping Pete while Tara helps a stoked Jericho. After a hug from JLap, Pete gets a cuddle from Jeri and they all huddle round the fire to warm up. And just as they are having a lovely bonding moment, and Jeri is giving an inspirational speech about what they’ve achieved, a massive wave comes up and dumps on them, dousing the fire in one go. And that’s Survivor for you!

It’s time for Jeri to decide if he wants to take Tara or Pete to the final two. I’m thinking he will take Pete, to try and gain the jury’s respect.
Tara tells JLap that if Jeri takes Pete to final two, that it’s an “easy ride out”. Cue wry smiles from the jury. Pete denies he’s a goat and says Tara is in fact the goat, and everyone on the jury knows it. Tara gets a bit feisty and Pete responds with reason. He tells Jeri the jury will respect him for taking a riskier option, himself, to final two, because Tara was just in Locky’s shadow.
Tara says taking Pete to the end is disrespecting the game. Well, at least she’s having a crack.
Jeri can’t wait to vote and, at the voting booth as the music pounds away, pauses with his texta in hand for dramatic effect.
JLap reads the vote: Peter.
He voted out Peter! I am shocked BUT I wonder if his thinking is that his pitch will be he wants Tara to get the runner-up prize? Presuming there is one. And Pete will vote for Jeri because he won’t vote for Tara to win half a mill. And Pete still had mates on the jury.
Pete gets a hug from JLap on his way out.

(In the break we get an ad for 7.30pm Monday, when there’s a Survivor episode of Family Feud, featuring Jeri, Luke and Locky – I missed the other players.)

DAY 55
They get the traditional final day brekkie feast. Jeri talks about wanting to provide for his parents, after their tough life in poverty in the Philippines. He talks us through his “Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing” strategy. I wonder if everyone at Ponderosa knows he is the Cookie Monster?
Tara says they are mates now but she is going to get all gangsta at tribal, listing the many near misses she has survived. I’m glad she’s obviously put a lot of thought into it.
Here we are at tribal and instantly Pete looks 10 years younger without the beard, and after a feed.
They’ve stuck with a traditional address to the jury.
Tara pitches her strategy as being a social one, surviving tribe switches and using Locky as a shield until it was time to ditch him. And she reminds them her vote was the one that gave Jeri a chance, by sending him and Michelle to the fire challenge.
Jeri tells the jury he was a cut-throat player in disguise, and reveals he used his Cookie Monster alliance to get further in the game. He says he made big, game-changing moves and takes ownership of his game.

Michelle is first and she wants to know the biggest move they orchestrated in the game. Tara’s is trying to get Locky out from Day 40, so she could have 15 days to prove she could do it on her own. But we won immunity until Day 49. Jeri reiterates his Cookie Monster strategy, using Luke, Sarah and Henry as shields and making them field special. (Tara whispers: I need a drink.)
Annaliese wants Jeri to prove he wasn’t riding Luke’s coat tails. Jeri says he was Santa with the whip and Luke was his reindeer, and that he forced him to be logical. Tara says something about something.
Locky just wants to tell Tara he is proud of her for trying to get him out. And he wants to know if Jeri truly loved their day swimming in the ocean. Of course, Jeri says yes.
Ziggy does the “why should your opponent win”. Jeri says Tara evolved, making more moves as the game progressed. Tara says Jeri is tiny but a hard worker around camp and he slept at the bottom of their feet in the shelter “like a dog” because there was no room. Aww, poor Jeri!
Jarrad finally gets some air time and seems to be enjoying himself. He asks if they lose, where did they go wrong. Jeri says it could be sending home Tessa from the jury. Jarrad reminds Jeri of their pact to underline the name of the person the night that he was voted out – when Jeri cheekily underlined Jarrad’s name. He says he will be sending Jeri a message tonight with an underlined vote. Surely this can only mean he is voting FOR Jeri. Jarrad respects game play.
Next is Sarah (are they leaving Luke until last because they expect him to create chaos?).
Sarah says Jeri’s game was more panicked than he pitched, and that he needs to clarify his strategy of pretending to be a good guy. It doesn’t really go anywhere.
The rain starts and it’s Luke’s turn. He tells Tara she is a good person and moves straight on to Jeri. He tells Jeri he did not ride coat tails.
The Man Who Appears To Be Pete But Is Actually His Ten Years Younger Brother asks Tara to name a move she made while under Locky’s wing. She claims credit for trying to convince everyone to get AK out, even though it didn’t work.
Pete asks Jeri to describe his game in three words: Adaptable, flexible,under-the-radar and deadly.
Ah, they’ve saved the Yoga master for the final question. Henry is going to go hard: “Namaste, y’all. Let’s finish with a bang.” So sad he is not wearing the flamingo shirt.
Henry tells Tara he was playing the game from day one of 55 and asks when she started playing the game. She says not until Locky left the game, six days ago. Henry decides to do her pitch for her, telling her that her social game got her this far and that she was the one who decided to send Jeri to the fire challenge. He tells the jury that all the people with “big moves” were voted out, so perhaps Tara is in fact the smart one, saving her moves until the end. I get the feeling that Henry is making up for the fact that he never got to do his own final tribal speech, so he’s spent the time at jury villa writing one for the finalists.
Henry says Jeri should have shielded him and Sarah, that he lied and, yes, it was a bad move to vote Tessa out. Jeri fires up, telling Henry he had to stir up trouble between other people so that they became targets and his own name wasn’t written down. “I can confidently say that, yeah, I have your blood on my hands, and I’m fine with that.” Boom, mike drop!

Sarah votes for Tara, which is a bit of a surprise.
Luke, of course, votes for Jeri.
Henry plays up his time at the voting booth with a bit of pretend pondering and hair pulling.
JLap tells the contestants all that’s left is to read the votes and THEY DIDN’T KNOW THE FINALE WAS BEING HELD MONTHS LATER IN AUSTRALIA! Ha – that is classic. JLap is loving it.
Cut to the “live” finale (filmed in Sydney last week) and we get to see everyone’s plump-looking faces. Jeri is in a colourful bow tie and Tara has a new do and a lace dress. It’s always weird seeing them in “real clothes”.
JLap reads the votes: Jeri, Jeri, Tara (that’s Sarah’s vote with the horseshoe, I think), Tara, Tara, Jeri, Jeri, Jeri wines and it’s the underline vote from Jarrad! Yay.

Jeri’s family storms the stage. JLap has to break his way through the crowd to hand over the cheque for $500,000.
Cue montage of Jeri moments, including that classic time he scoffed cookies while his tribemates were mere metres away, lolling on the beach.

I’m so glad Ten sprang for a reunion show this year. Let’s hope they can afford to do another season of the show. JLap says he loved the Cookie Monster saga and OMG Jeri is actually wearing a Cookie Monster tie. They talk about the start of his lifelong friendship with Luke, who chimes in now that Jeri is rich he’ll start charging him rent on any visits.
Tara is gracious and philosophical about not winning. She confesses she did not even know you had to build your own shelters on Survivor. Oh, Tara.
Time for more light relief, with an AK montage. Michelle takes a dig at Ben and says he would have bought the chicken idol if he were on the same tribe as AK.
Here’s a Tarzan montage and he gets a big cheer from the crowd. The talk turns to idols and JLap basically tells Ziggy she wasted the super idol.
Tessa says it was heartbreaking to be voted off the jury but that if it was Pete in the final two she would have voted for him. Sadly, JLap does not ask if she would have voted for Jeri or Tara. And he does not ask the jury who they would have voted for in a Peter/Tara final two.
No mention of Jacqui’s health battles and they have not talked about the lovebirds yet.
Cue montage of Henry pretending to teach yoga and throwing challenges. JLap tells a shorter-haired Henry that he gave him extra time at tribal to play his idol, thinking he would definitely play it, and tells him he was a dope, but that he played a good game. I quite like JLap letting a bit of his personality show in this questioning and he seems to have been paying attention this season, now he is more comfortable in his role as host. Henry talks about losing his mum to cancer six weeks before he got the call up for Survivor. Then they move on to his alliance with Jacqui and he pulls out the idol they found together and finally hands it over.
Oh no, it’s an embarrassing montage of Sam and and Mark cuddling. Yes, they are still together. Sam reckons she knew there was a problem in the rafting challenge that Henry threw but she thought it was just Ben being rubbing. Aw, poor Ben cannot catch a break.
Now, it’s a Luke montage. Ah, I’d forgotten about that time he swam out to save Sam. Luke is wearing a T-shirt that says “King”. Luke says he was not a fan before being cast and had only watched some YouTube of the show. I’m guessing he saw a lot of Cagayan clips, because that spy shack inspiration had to come from somewhere. JLap questions Luke about all the clothing he amassed throughout the show, which he says started when Sam left her hat behind.

Time for a challenge montage mostly showing people crashing and falling over, reminding us what a great job the challenge design team did this year. Honestly, these guys do a better job than the US sometimes, and no doubt on a much lesser budget.
Locky and Michelle get about five seconds of air time and we hear briefly from Aimee, who refers to being dropped on the head as a baby. Hmmmm.
Time to talk Aussie mateship, but thank god we did not get another season of players dourly declaring mateship was sacred and people who tried to strategise were worthless snakes. Remember how irritating that was? Urgh.

Oooh, JLap is in the audience with winner Kristie and Phoebe from last year, who give the contestants props for their efforts. Now it’s a montage of people “lying” but it’s all of three things: Henry stealing jam, Ziggy getting the super idol and Mark neglecting to tell people about his military background. JLap has a quick chat with Annaliese about being painted as a jam thief, then he’s wrapping up without talking to Joan, Kent, Ben, Odette or that woman who was voted out second who doesn’t eat fast food. Surely Kent would have come up with a soundbyte or two?

And that’s the end! Will we get a season three? I really hope so.


Australian Survivor finale

Here we are – finally! It’s the last day of Australian Survivor.
Who do you think will win? And who do you want to win?

Tonight I’m recapping as the program goes along (SA time).
Here we are and – oh my goodness – they are doing the walk of the fallen comrades! Original Survivor hasn’t done this for yonks, because so often the final three is reminiscing about people they never met. And that’s evident tonight, with a lot of “nice girl” and “what a character”. “Ah, Sammy boy,” is all Sam gets (from Lee), who follows it up with “Ah, Matt”. Yep – that was a worthwhile few minutes, although it’s nice to hear the former contestants voices again – and be reminded who some of them were.
Leel and Kristie arrive at the final immnuity challenge and, for drama, JLap meets them atop a cliff that looks like it’s made from volcanic rock, with the odd wave pounding against it to spray them.
He also reveals their loved ones are here, and this move is actually pretty annoying, because in “real” Survivor, loved ones visits are usually held around final six to eight (although not every season). I always shed a tear when the castaways realise their loved one is here and look forward to some noses getting out of joint as, inevitably, only some people get to spend time with their loved one. Usually the challenge winner gets to pick two or three other people and their love ones to accompany them on a reward, or to spend the night back at camp, and this can expose some alliances. Or it can lead to sneaky gameplay, a la Jonny Fairplay and the Dead Grandma Incident (and if you are new to Survivor, you have to YouTube that episode of Survivor: Panama).
But this is Australian Survivor so the loved ones are being brought out at a time when it really makes no difference to the game, other than to dehydrate contestants from crying so much.
Kristie’s dad is here and we know she’s watched Survivor with him since she was a kid, and he says some lovely things and we’re reminded that Kristie won only one reward the whole season, and gave up her letter from home. Lee and El get their sisters (and you have to wonder if anyone whispered “that’s my new squeeze”). We learn Lee once had major back surgery and thought he wouldn’t run or play cricket again, but went on to play professionally. (Sorry – I missed the bit about El because my 4yo woke up briefly).
JLap lays down the immunity challenge rules, which we already know from Survivor Borneo, the season that started it all. Back then, Rudy, Richard Hatch and Wiggles stood with both feet on a stump and leant in to a central pole relatively comfortably (see a pic here), but here the Aussies have to really lean in to it and have each foot on a pole at different height (as in Survivor: Africa). First person to lift their hand from the idol pole is out. In Borneo, Rich deliberately stepped down, knowing he couldn’t outlast the others and trusting that both would pick him as their final two opponent. Wiggles won when Rudy had a brain fade and lifted his hand.
Here the waves are an additional challenge, soaking them regularly. El at least manages to change position by squatting but Lee tells JLap his knees are buggered from sport so he has to stay standing. After 90 minutes in JLap starts with the questions about the pain and Lee’s feet are starting to look a bit purple. Eventually JLap gets sick of getting soaked and goes to sit with the loved ones for a chat.
Kristie’s Dad tells JLap Survivor started at the time of his divorce, so Survivor became an example of triumph through adversity and calling on inner strength for him and his kids. The waves are getting massive as the tide comes in so the trio are drenched, freezing and accidentally swallowing gobfuls of salt water.

Six hours later …
Six hours later they are still going.
“My wrist – I can’t move my wrist. I’m going to have to step down,” says El, screaming as the waves hit again. Finally she does hop down and Doctor JLap comes over to help her to her feet and almost carries her over to hug her sister.
No matter what happens now kudos to Kristie to outlasting an army major in and endurance challenge.
“Lee, you’ve got to let me have this one,” Kristie tells Lee.
“I don’t want to go home,” he replies.
“I will take you … I promise. You ave me an opportunity in this game that I could never have gotten without you. I swear to you, I promise, I will take you. And you know what you will probably beat me … I won’t have the votes,” she cries.
His response: “Keep fighting.”
“You remind me so much of my Dad,” she tells him, thanking him for his support throughout the game, throughout the “crazy”. Now, this is likely true but it is also very good strategy on Kristie’s part, because she knows how much being a role model for his kids is. “I swear on my Dad,” she continues.
“I’m so proud of you,” he tells her. And then he falls hard off the poles.

Kristie wins immunity! Five seconds later she follows, tumbling to the jagged rocks below. “Kristie, are you ok?” JLap asks as they both lie helpless on the rocks.
“Can you get me up, please, because it’s hurting,” she sobs. Her dad picks her up and carries her off. She is both crying and laughing as she shakes on the ground with fatigue and what looks like hypothermia. Don’t they have blankets for them? And water? We do get to see El put an arm around Lee as he apologises for not lasting.
Will Kristie take Lee? I reckon she will. JLap gets dad to come over and put the immunity necklace on his now-crippled daughter, which is a cool moment for the both of them.

Tribal council
I want to see their faces when they see Kristie has the necklace. There are gasps from Matt, Nick is open mouthed and and there’s a whispered “I can’t believe she won” from Flick. Tonight, Kristie is the only one casting a vote but Leel get to put forward lacklustre pitches.
“What you see is what you get with me. I think I’m less likely to get votes off the jury,” El laughs.
Lee says: “We all three of us have been together since day one. It’s up to her – it’s her choice. It’s the first time she can have a decision by herself without any pressure.” God, Lee, you still sound patronising.
And the 22nd person voted out is El. Yep. No surprise there.

Lee and Kristie head back to the beach for one final night and to hone their jury speeches. Kristie should kick Lee’s arse when it comes to conveying emotion and passion for the game – it will come down to whether the jury thinks she fluked it – and whether they are annoyed at Lee for distancing himself from the game for so long.

Day 55
Kristie is delirious with happiness whereas Lee is rather subdued, but he perks up with the final day breakfast arrives and they can eat bacon.
“I’m very happy with how I played the game; good people can win,” Lee tells the camera. Urgh – does this mean Kristie is not a good person by your standards, Lee? This is the girl who gave up her letter from home to someone else. Although, to be fair, I can’t see either of them doing much opponent bashing at final tribal.

Final tribal
“Looks pretty, doesn’t she?” murmurs Lee as a showered El arrives at the jury bench. JLap announces they will do opening statements (which US Survivor ditched a while back, or at the very least started cutting them from the edit).
Lee’s jury pitch is, as expected, about playing a clean and honest game. And unless there was a lot that was cut out, that’s about it from Lee.
Kristie has obviously thought long and hard about her jury speech. “All of you, you thought I was absolutely crazy,” she tells them. Her “move” was successfully gunning for Phoebe, who had flipped on her, and how, despite her name always being mentioned, she outlasted everyone.
“I have had to fight my way through 20 tribal councils. In the end, I was able to get through two whole tribes. Who in Survivor can say that? I can,” she says with conviction.
Well said, Kristie!
Time for jury questions .. El’s is a Dorothy Dixer about what his first “selfless acts” will be. Apparently, looking after his folks, his boys and some unnamed philanthropic works. El’s question is just a criticism of Kristie’s perceived lack of strategy but Kristie responds with some good examples and how her strategy of stepping back and watching them eat each other paid off.
Flick tells Kristie everyone is pissed at her for “not playing the game” and making big moves (because that worked so well for you, Flick). Kristie schools her in the difference between subtle moves and big moves. “You look at the jury and the people who made big moves were voted out straight away afterwards,” Kristie responds and she’s getting the swelling music and nods from the jury.
Brooke asks Lee an awkward question about whether he and El had a secret romance. “There is no romance going on,” he replies, stating they will be good friends. Brooke tells Kristie it seems she let Daddy Lee control her, but Kristie replies it was all part of her masterplan to make others think she could be controlled.
JL goes in hard, telling Lee he is ignorant and arrogant for thinking people who wanted to win were greedy pigs – and reminds him she is an aid worker. Go, JL! Lee does not compute. Lee apologises to her and says he made the comment at tribal councils, which were “not his forte”. (He was worked in the media, previously, though, so he should be more eloquent.)
Kylie basically just gives them a pep talk
Sam accuses Lee of taking advantage of Kristie. Lee mentions Kristie had a rough time in the early days and he supported who through that. “I didn’t force her to do anything; she probably played me as much as I played her.”
And now to Nick, and he gives Kristie a big compliment: “Tonight you have come out balls to the wall and you are literally a different person.”
Nick tells Lee he is hypocrite for playing the “morality” card, and mentions they initially got on, doing “manly things” together.
“And that is not as weird and as Brokeback Mountain as it seems,” Nick jokes. (I love that JLap starts cracking up at this.) Lee says he didn’t realise, coming into the game how impossible it would be to stick to that moral code.
“Kristie, you did my head in. You did a lot of flip flopping … and I think you now that,” Sue says. “Of course,” replies Kristie, saying she was sorry but she had to deflect heat off herself. “Well, you outsmarted me – well done,” concedes Sue.
Matt, a fellow huge Survivor fan, tells Kristie she often appeared panicked and yet at other times was friendly and supportive (is that a reference to her giving him the loved ones letter?), and wonders who is the real Kristie. She admits she had two panic attacks early in the game and didn’t realise until she arrived in Samoa she suffered from anxiety.
That’s it. Kristie has soooo got this. Sure, El will vote Lee but will anyone else? Maybe Flick?

Time to vote
Here comes the crazy loud music. Nick is first and, for dramatic effect, draws a downward stroke that could be the start of an L or a K. Matt does the same – love it. Bet they talked about it beforehand.

We see El votes for Lee – der – and Kylie for Kristie.
At this point the US show would normally cut to a studio several months later, for the big reveal in front of an audience.
JLap is set to read the votes but first announces that their families are here, and it’s lovely seeing Lee sob as he quietly hugs his boys. Asked by JLap what they think about Dad’s beard, the elder replies: “He looks like Obi Wan Kenobi.” Kristie is so happy to introduce her family to JLap.
So here come the votes.
Kristie, Lee (and we know that’s El’s vote because of the smiley face), Kristie, Kristie, Kristie and the winner is Kristie! She collapses screaming and is picked up be her family.

(I can’t be sure but I think they did and MKR and recorded two endings, which is such a shame.)
Well done, Kristie. You absolutely nailed that final tribal.
We get to see how everyone voted.
“I don’t know how you’ve done this, but it’s inspiring, it’s incredible,” says Matt.
“Good on you, but you are still a naughty little girl,” says Sue. The others congratulate her and a smiling Brooke says Kristie’s words changed her vote.

That’s all folks. Well, that was actually a pretty fun end to what at times has been a lacklustre season due to the lack of tribe shakeups.
A reminder the Survivor Family Feud is on Ten, Sunday at 7.30pm (and how strange is it to see Phoebe all dolled up in the promo. A lot of people online wondered why Craig wasn’t selected to take part as he seems such a natural fit for game shows, but on Facebook he messaged fans he’s travelling overseas.
Oh, here’s a fun tweet from JLap:


The Bachelor Australia – final three

Richie has whittled them down to Mysterious Olena, Home State Girl Nikki and Smother Mother Alex. Tonight he kicks one of the trio to the kerb. Tomorrow night is the finale, screening on Ten from 7.30pm to 9pm. Richie takes the final two to Bali (perhaps he’ll catch up with former Big Brother contestant Tully there again?) and will break someone’s heart. Unless it’s Olena he’s rejecting, as she seems made of sterner stuff.
And here’s a post from the Bachie Twitter account, so you gice can discuss the use of the word “fleek” …

We start with Richie recapping the pros and cons of each girl. Pity the girls don’t get to do the same.
He’s doing some deep thinking while he does situps by the bachie pad lake, and even pretends to wipe his brow with a towel because he’s sweating from all the head hurty deep thoughts.
Richie decides to take the girls to his fave place: Indonesia. Alex has never been to Bali before. And she is calling him “Rich” (but Pooky Bear in private as she stabs voodoo dolls of Olena and Nikki).

Alex is wearing a black lace and netting playsuit which flashes her cheeks – and not the up-top kind. The producers make them ride bicycles in what is no doubt sweltering conditions and they must be the only people in Bali wearing safety helmets. Rich is so excited he’s even doing bunny hops on the bike. Time for a chat about how much her family loves him as they perch on a wall – not a couch, for once. Alex questions whether he could ever move to Melbourne (we know Richie is super close to his blonde mum – who raised him alone – and blonde sister). He avoids a straight answer but says he wouldn’t want her son to move schools as much as he did. Enough awkward talk; time for a rice paddy pash. Later on, they do find a cushion-strewn couch and she asks how his family would feel about him dating someone with a child. “They just want me to be happy,” he says. So, no answer, then.

Next up is Nikki, wearing a tropical-look playsuit and she suits the beachy Bali vibe. Straight away she grabs his head and pulls him in for a kiss. Nikki, the fellow West Aussie, has been to Bali a zillion times. They head off on some giant flying lilo thing that’s towed by a speedboat and afterwards have a pash wrapped up in beach towels. They follow up with time on the Bachie couch, surrounded by candles and Nikki again tells him she loves him. He tells her he would slot in easily to her family. Cue 2 minutes of adjectives about how awesome the other person is. “Good times, good times,” he concludes (throwing in a pash for good measure).

Now for Olena, also in a playsuit, but hers has bling. Since the hometown visit she’s started worrying about Richie living in WA while she’s in Sydney. Well, der. Richie throws out a lot of “myterious” and “intrigued” observations. They take a scooter ride to the beach and he loves surfing, so Olena must again pretend to like outdoorsy stuff. “How did your Mum feel about me?” he asks. “Umm …” she replies. Then she tells him her mum “has concerns” but doesn’t elaborate. They spend the next half hour pretending to enjoy surfing while mulling it over. Olena says her folks don’t want her to leave Sydney. Richie says he’s open to living in both cities but she’s still worried.”I see that as a huge mess for me; travelling back and forward for a relationship,” she tells the camera. Uh oh – she’s not making eye contact with him and they are playing the “something bad’s bout to happen music”. Later on, she’s in a leopard print kaftany thing and looking as fabulous as usual. Richie tries to drag some emotion out of her. She tells him her family think she’s living a fairy tale and ignoring “the real shit”. Ooh! He tells her he’s frustrated by her not acting all cray-cray for him from the get-go. “At the end of the day I’m thinking is it too much of a hassle for us to have a relationship,” she tells him. Olena lives in the real world, not Bachie la-la land.
Damn – I was sure she and Nikki would be final two but now he has no choice but to take Alex.

Rose time
They get straight into it – no cocktail party chat. The girls are all in shiny dresses and poor Osh and Rich have to swelter in suits. Nikki gets the first rose. The music builds to a crescendo and he picks Alex. Olena looks a bit nervy, like she’s trying to breathe calmly. She and Richie exchange pleasantries about how they want each other to be happy and it’s like two strangers making polite conversation at a dinner party.

Tomorrow night
Alex and Nikki get to meet his Mum, who asks questions like: “So, you’re not a basket case?” We hear Nikki tell the camera she’s confident it’s her. The finale screens tomorrow on Ten, from 7.30-9pm.


MasterChef finale – Tues, July 26 – Matt V Elena

Finally – we’ve made it! It was a hard journey but we pushed, pushed pushed to boom, boom, shake, shake the room to get here for a chance to achieve our food dream.
Tonight the final two contestants battle it out to see who will be crowned MasterChef Australia 2016 winner and take home the $250,000 prize.
Oh, and a column in the always excellent delicious. magazine (and, yes, that fullstop is part of the proper name … yes, I know!).
So it’s the finale of which we dreamed: Glowing Elena versus Intense Matt. How lovely to have two grown ups who have shown great growth in the comp and have avoided any drama.

Glowing Elena was under the radar for a long time, thanks to the edit. MasterChef 2016 started on May 1 but it wasn’t until May 22 (Nigella Week) that she made enough of an impression for me to note this in a recap:
Oh my god – Elena speaks!! She’s doing pumpkin parfait, pancetta crumb and cumin tuille. She’s a high school visual arts teacher who wants to inspire young people to grow their own produce. This is a lot of air time on Elena. Is she the winner?
Conversely, on May 8 (MPW Week), I wrote this about IM:
Intense looking dude Matt – he of the disc earrings – is doing a gnocchi and jus with crispy chicken skin. Marco tastes his jus as it’s cooking and gets the usual flick of the eyes over the bifocals … Next up is Intense Matt with his pan-fried gnocchi with lots of crunchy elements. Gaz is in heaven: “Savoury, chickeny, bacony cereal.”
MPW loves the soz: “I don’t think that you realise how clever you are … genius in your hands.” Matt says it’s better than even his recent wedding day. Oh no he didn’t!


I reckon it will be a good 15 minutes before anyone touches a saucepan. First we have to suffer through all the talking heads about the dream, the push, the “yes, George!” and who wants it most.
Why is the MasterChef trophy a giant platter? Surely it should be a gold-plated sous vide machine or a silver smoking gun?
Gary is wearing a paisley tie in his to camera piece about the intensity of Intense Matt. It’s weird.
Ooh – George is wearing a tie, too. The other contestants are dressed up aand Matt P just needs a tri-corner hat to go with his Napoleon Bonaparte frock coat.
Oh god, we’re starting with the deep and meaningfuls. IM and GE have to say what being on MC means to them? Surely they’ll make them repeat their answers at the end. The answers are pretty much “dreams”, “thankful”, “passion”.

There will be three rounds, with each round devoted to an entree, a main and a dessert – and we know the last round will be a Heston challenge that makes series one’s croquembouche look like a pancake shaker mix.

Round one: entree
There are 10 ingredients and they have to hero one: They don’t name them oil but looks like fennel (it had to happen), quail, sea urchin, fish that could be snapper, tofu, spring onions, duck eggs, marron (remember when Nev “cooked” it on MKR but didn’t know it should change colour?, oysters, pork.

IM goes straight for the quail. GE has granny smiths in her basket – more of her signature apple batons for decoration?

After last night's show.
After last night’s show.

IM is doing both roasted and confit quail, with charred corn and chorizo salsa.
GE is doing marron two ways with a ponzu dressing, a smoked veg salad and marron crackers. It’s a lot to do – she knows it and so do the judges. She’s having soz dramas with her dashi – something she has to nail given the judges said her main in the last episode was too dry.
IM is making a Pedro Ximenez reduction for his dish and the editors must have been chortling when they decided to cut in a pan to Con on the gantry – Con who used the wine in almost every dish he made in his short time on the show, causing me to believe he secretly works for PX.
GE has tried to fix her soz and Gaz comes over to give her a confidence boost. “That, is doing nothing,” he says after tasting. So blunt Gaz is back. Send George over for a “yes, George!” and she’ll be bawling on the floor in no time. “If you want any kind of complexity you have to take the panic away … making stuff is never going to be enough.”
She decides to roast the marron shells in a bid to bump up the flavour.
They’ve both done an amazing amount of work in 60 minutes.

The judges taste

And they are eating in the dishes in front of the contestants – seems cruel.

GE’s marron: Gaz was worried about the soz but he doesn’t really say if it’s any good. The marron is perfectly cooked. She’s done something she’s never tried before in the comp. “It’s a beautiful fresh dish, says Matt. He likes the saltiness of the marron cracker.

IM’s quail: They like the look. “It’s delicious; I love it,” says George. The confit legs are perfect. Woo hoo! IM must have this round.

Round one scores
GE: Gaz 7/10, George 8, Matt 8 Total: 23
IM: Gaz 8/10, George 9, Matt 9. Total: 26 Only an 8 from George and we didn’t hear one negative comment about the dish? He’s saving up for a 10 later.

Round two

They get 75 minutes to cook any style main they want. After
After a flustered start GE has her game face on. She’s doing twice-cooked lamb with a macadamia puree and pickled veg.
IM is cooking crispy skinned barra with brussels sprouts, fondant spuds and pancetta and prawn head broth. Hopefully he’ll do a fried prawn heard garnish – the judges love those.
Gaz gives him a look when he explains his broth idea and then pretty much trashes it. Please, IM, just make it and blow his bloody socks off with it.
IM forges ahead. “My gut’s telling me it’s going to be ok,” he tells the camera. He’s doing his brussies a few different ways – it’s a bit of a GE thing to do. GE is pulling out the big guns: she’s pickling beetroot (BINGO!).
GE says she wants her nut puree to have a slightly grainy texture. Really? She’s better hope the judges get it.
IM thinks his soz is a little lacking, so he chucks in some saffron. Mmmm. He does a text piece and thinks it’s done, but it’s raw inside. Fingers crossed it works with the real fillets.
GE’s lamb looks gorgeously soft, and if anyone can make a brown braise look pretty on a plate, it’s her. Again, we’re hearing from her how pushed she is for time.
IM is happy with his broth’s flavour: “It’s fully loaded.” God love him.

The judges taste
This time the contestants don’t watch the tasting.

GE’s lamb: She says cooking now is a bit like creating and artwork (remember, she’s an art teacher) and getting instant feedback on it, which is gratifying. “It looks like a little plate of jewels,” says Gaz. “I’m running out of words to express something that blows my mind,” says George. They love the soz – and George says it’s Michelin quailty. They’re all raving about it.

IM’s snapper: This whole thing of IM not listening too Gary about the soz and wondering whether his fish is cooked will turn out to be a total beat up. IM tears up when Gaz asks him how he feels about the dish. Gaz works hard to hold back the smile. You can tell they all really like him. Raised-in-a-barn George just drinks his broth straight from the jug. “I’ve been proved wrong today,” says Gaz. George says it’s a gorgeous and clever dish. “It tastes like it’s been on a great French menu for 50 years,” sys Matt.

Round two scores
IM: Gaz 10/10 (BFF Trent lets out a huge yell), George 10, Matt 10. IM can’t believe it. He’s now on a total of 56 points.
GE: Gaz 10/10, George 10, Matt 10. Total so far 53 points.
Gaz says it’s the first time in MC history there have been two perfect scores. And then they bring in their families, because they want to see floods of tears.

IM can bareley walk, he’s laugh-crying so hard at the sight of his wife and family. Up on the gantry, Charlie has to take off his hipster glasses to wipe a tear away. IM can’t believe his folks flew back from Italy for the finale but no doubt MC sprang for their tickets.

Round three
There are 40 points on offer for this last round. Gaz talks up how awesome and difficult this pressure test will be. “It takes not one but two of the nest chefs in the world to bring it to us,” says Matt. Ooh, Heston and who? Some bloke called Ashley Palmer-Watts, a top chef who is one of Heston’s proteges. Has Ashley been brought in to look interested when H can’t be bovvered. Heston says it’s harder than last year’s dessert pressure test (remember this?).
“There’s close to 100 steps,” Ashley tells them. It’s called Verjus in Egg.

It looks like an egg atop a nest of noodles. Heston cracks the egg and it craks like a real shell. It’s filled with coconut panna cotta and a mandarin and thyme gel for the yolk. At the bottom of the egg is a coffee parfait. Parfait AND panna cotta in the same dish.
The egg shell is made of two layers of chocolate but it looks like a real chook egg. A nervy IM exchanges a glance with GE and asks Heston: “Is it possible?” Heston says it is.
They have five-and-a-half hours for the dish. IM has done quite well with desserts lately but the finicky nature of this one favours GE.
To make crystallised coffee IM has to use what looks like a jar of Nescafe Gold. As a barista, that must kill him. The mad scientist magic works for both of them. “I’ve never crystallised anything, except by accident,” says IM.
GE has stuffed up mandarin “yolk” by jumping the gun with the setting agent. She needs to do it again but she doesn’t have enough mix to do a full batch. GE is trying to keep it together as someone lamely calls out “you’ve got this”. She’s going to do a half batch instead. Luckily they have calculators.
IM takes his “yolk” over to a vacuum machine and his face watching the science of it all is hilarious. He looks around as if worried he’s broken something, but apparently it’s all good.
Oooh, they are making their ABPs with powdered gelatine, which is usually a no no in the MC kitchen. IM’s ABP mix does not look thick enough and Harry, in a bow tie, is chosen to bring it to our attention.
GE makes a mountain of honeycomb which she then laboriously stretches in nest strands. GE’s ABPs have set a treat and she can pipe in her yolk. IM’s haven’t worked and H says he has to do them again. IM doesn’t know what he did wrong – did he not wait a bit before adding the gelatine mixture to the rest? His family looks worried but BFF Trent urges “stay cool”. He will have to wait another hour for the ABP. He starts to lose it. George comes over for the pep talk. “It will be like this in the kitchen one day,” he tells IM. Yeah, but when you’re a real chef they don’t lock you in a house for six months and hardly let you speak to your family or go for a stroll to grab a coffee.
Luckily he realises it was the lack of blooming time for the ABP that is to blame. At least he can do his tempered choc for the egg while it’s setting.
GE is worried because she hasn’t done much tempering – and she’s never used a marble surface before. She does well and uses a spray gun for the first egg layer, and you can hear Elise yelling down to clean the moulds carefully.
IM is having choc dramas – he’s let the temp drop too low. He uses it anyway. IM has become the underdog now. He at least drains his moulds upside down to remove excess choc – a step GE forgot. And his ABP #2 has worked. Yay.
Oh god – more excruciating watching choc being banged out of moulds. GE’s shells look pretty good – you can still see a bit of the seam where the two halves join. IM’s shells look so delicate and he’s rushing. There’s a little gap in one and he decides to skip the final sealing step to save time. Aargh – tension!
He looks lost at the liquid nitrogen station so GE pops over to give him detailed instructions.

Good on you, GE – this is why we love both of you as final two. You’d never see that kind of camaraderie in US cooking shows.
Finally, they are done, and GE sinks to the floor in relief. And then it’s hugs all round. But IM utters a heartbreaking “Oh no!”. His egg seam hasn’t held (he missed that last step) and it’s opened up. “I’m gutted,” he says through tears. His poor wife on the gantry is trying to telepathically tell him everything will be ok. Oh dear. They finally let her come down to give him a cuddle.

So, poor IM has just lost. Aaargh. Hopefully his runner-up prize will be enough to fund his food truck. He’s gained a legion of fans and will be a huge success at whatever he does. If he wants more experience in a professional kitchen first there will be hundreds of places around the country falling over themselves to offer him a job. GE is a worthy winner but IM made himself known as a contender from the beginning.

The judges taste
IM’s egg: “It’s all good,” he bravely tells the judges. “What do you want us to remember about you as a person fro this plate of food,” asks Matt P. What the hell – who’s writing these lines? They crack the egg and it looks fine inside. “He’s shown great ability to dig deep,” says Heston. The ABP texture was perfect. The shell wasn’t tempered and the egg had split, though.
GE’s egg: The judges are impressed. The shell is a little thick but otherwise they love it. “This one just had more impact… it seems a little bit bolder to me,” says Ashley.

Final round scores

The guest chefs from throughout the season are here, too, as well as Reynold, Emma Dean, Andy and Julie Godwin. I don’t see Billie – surely they would have mentioned her if she was there.
IM: H and Ashley 7/10, Matt 7, George 7, Gaz 7. Grand total: 84. GE is going to get 9s, so it’s all over for IM.
GE: Gaz 8, George 8, Matt 8, H and Ashley 9.
GE wins by two points.

Well done to both of them – we couldn’t have asked for a better final two. GE gives a nice thank you speech and graciously says how much she’s learnt from him.
“Thank you for your friendship and support,” he tells her in return.
Matt P tells IM how wonderfully tenacious he is: “We cannot wait to get into the queue of your food truck.” IM gets $40,000 and he seems genuinely surprised. And Harry gets $10,000.

And that’s all, folks.


First Dates finale soon

She looks the shy, retiring type.
She looks the shy, retiring type.

A reminder tomorrow is the finale of Channel 7’s surprise hit. If you can’t watch live it is perfect for catch-up TV. Seven makes the episodes available for 28 days.
The series has already been renewed so expect even crazier characters next time.
Here’s the preview for the finale:


I’m a Celeb – Sun, Mar 13 FINALE

I’m sure the lovely Daisy will provide us with excellent screengrabs later, once her time zone catches up, but in the meantime this contains **********SPOILERS ****** from tonight’s show.

Who would have thought this day would ever come … it’s our last night of JMo and Chris Brown’s jungle adventure. And the last night for two footballers and a reality TV contestant/businesswoman.
The finale show runs for two hours (6.30-8.30pm in most states).

Hard to believe we started with this (well, apart from latecomer Warnie).
Hard to believe we started with this (well, apart from latecomer Warnie).


And the second runner-up is announced and it’s ……………..

Darn it – I was hoping for a non-sportperson to win this year.
It’s down to Fev and The Chief. Our TTV poll had Laurina as the clear “want” to win, followed by Chieffy and some token votes for Fev.

And the winner is …

Meh …