Australian Survivor, Season 2: Finale and Reunion

Wait, is this thing finally over?!

Australian Survivor, Season 2: Finale/Reunion

A roller-coaster season full of huge characters and Big Movez™ switches it up one last time by being the one thing it wasn’t all season: thoroughly predictable.

In an effort to get this post up quickly and turn things over to the commenters, Australian Survivor coverage will end the way it began, with a lightly edited online chat in lieu of a full recap. Joining me is Kemper Boyd.

Finale and Reunion

Note: Here’s a link to an incredibly well done infographic that charts the entire season. It may come in handy if KB and I end up discussing the season as a whole.

http://paulvaartj.es/projects/australian-survivor-2/

Kemper Boyd: So where shall we start?

Assistant Dragon Slayer: I’m a bit at a loss, TBH. Everything in the finale played out exactly as I expected.

KB: I think we should do a player by player review then. Where they went wrong or who bested them.

ASD: Before we do that, I do want to note how hard the show tried to make the finale suspenseful. I think it peaked when Jericho gave his opening statement, and he was overselling the wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing bit. They used as many negative jury reaction shots as possible and pumped up the doom music. And that was following what I have to admit was as good an opening statement as Tara could have made.

KB: He talked about the cookies way too much.

ASD: And I think the revelation that he used the cookies to form a meat shield army without them knowing about each other, offended Sarah and lost Jericho her vote. Jarrad obviously was considering voting against Jericho, and Henry agonized over his vote. That would have tipped the vote to Tara 5-4. So I think Tara came closer to winning than we realize.

KB: To me the cookie thing didn’t seem to win any votes. It put Sarah off and Luke was always voting for him, at most it swapped Henry and Sarah. I did find it interesting that he took the wrong jury member off, Tessa would have voted for him over Tara. It’s interesting it’s pre-final 4 so your decision can go wrong.

ASD: The vote-a-jury-member-off advantage is very problematic, but if they’re going to do it at all, doing it before the finalists are set is the way to do it. Tessa was the right choice if Jericho had been sitting with Peter or Michelle. I guess he could have voted out Locky given that Jericho obviously intended to sit with Tara, but Locky is just one vote and I doubt he has much influence with the jury.

Generally speaking, “I lulled you into not realizing I was a threat” was the right approach for Jericho to take at FTC, but tying it so much to the cookie thing wasn’t effective.

KB: Don’t forget that the cookie thing happened in the pre-merge, so it doesn’t have any bearing on the original-Samatau jury members.  The majority of the jury was Samatau–only Sarah, Luke, Michelle, and Henry were Asaga and he should have been able to rely on Luke, Michelle, and Sarah’s votes.

ASD: Oh that’s right! I didn’t realize that. Do you really want to go through all 23 non-winners or just a selection?

KB: How about the post-merge? Or memorable boots?

ASD: Memorable boots, otherwise we overlook AK (a subject I want to come back to).

KB: AK played too hard at the beginning, which made him enemies, and then he got screwed by the swap. How about Annaliese?

ASD: There was really nothing she could do. The various swaps left her without strong social ties and vulnerable to nonsense like being suspected of stealing the jam, and she had no way of defending against the super-idol.

Even if she had made it to the end, the fact that she got voted out by her tribe is pretty damning. I’m surprised Jericho didn’t use that fact against Tara, but I guess he didn’t need to.

KB: Anneliese was twist screwed.

ASD: Actually I’d rather talk about the post-merge boots in a holistic way. We entered the merge with 5-6 big-time players, a couple of challenge beasts, and a pack of mice. We ended up with an all-mice endgame. Was that just a coincidence or a consequence of the length of the game?

KB: I truly believe the main takeaway from Australian Survivor is that if you want to survive deep you have to go to sleep. Not Odette levels but you need to be the jovial best buddy, not the main event. The final 4 were all someone bigger’s best pal: Michelle/Sarah, Jericho/Luke, Tara/Locky, and Peter/Tessa.

ASD: I agree. Henry said as much at the reunion, which must have made the producers cringe and would surely have been edited out if he said it at FTC. But on the other hand, the worst fate on Survivor is to try to be UTR and get clipped anyway. I’m sure there’s no shortage of AKs and Lukes out there to cast in future seasons.

KB: It’s timing, isn’t it? Jericho and Michelle were both good players but they knew to hide for a while. Henry and AK blew their loads way too early. Like Nick in season 1. And our beloved Phoebe got trapped into playing big too soon.

ASD: Yeah, that push and pull between making a move to remove a big threat, only to make yourself the next big threat, is one of the central tensions of Survivor, and even more so in the 55-day version. It’s a miracle that Luke lasted as long as he did with that King of the Jungle act.

KB: Absolutely, but until Henry went people saw him as an idiot. That got Luke a long way into the game. The Tessa move killed him, though. Had he kept her I could see him closer to final 5 with a strong shot at beasting the final immunities.

ASD: That’s a very good point. One of the advantages of having Survivor on 2-3 nights in a row is that you can see someone make what seems like a great move in the moment immediately come back to bite them in the butt the next round, in a way that’s hard to see if there’s a whole week between episodes.

KB: Is there anything else we need to discuss? It’s gotten late here.

ASD: I want to talk about twists for a bit. They were more judicious with the twists than last year, but do you think any were failures in a way that they should have foreseen?

KB: I think the twists all worked how production wanted, that just doesn’t necessarily line up with what the audience wants. I think for drama they probably wanted the super idol to take out Henry not Annaliese.

ASD: Agreed, but it may be a problem when the preferred outcome is to take out the strongest player.

KB: The only other option is for someone on the bottom to have an advantage but the super-idol just doesn’t work that way.

ASD: Did you notice that they stacked the votes in the idol-out order for both Anneliese’s boot and Henry’s? That means they didn’t expect Ziggy to play the super-idol on Anneliese, and they did expect Henry to play his own idol.

KB: I didn’t notice that but it does make sense. I bet in US Survivor someone from production would take the urn and disappear for 10 minutes and come back with the votes stacked better.

ASD: There’s universal agreement that this season was a vast improvement over last. In fact, I’d put it in my top 10 even with the somewhat lackluster ending. I attribute it 70% to hitting the jackpot with the cast, 10% to JLP being more comfortable with the hosting gig, 10% to taking it easy on the twists, and 10% to banishing the word “mateship” until the last 5 minutes of the reunion show. Where is there room for improvement next season?

KB: I think in casting they could still improve–the balance wasn’t necessarily quite right yet, but was much better than last year. I could do with maybe 5 fewer days and two fewer non-eliminations. They have a lot of time so I’d like fewer purple players, Pete got to the final 3 and it was clear from the moment Tara fell in the final immunity that Jericho was winning the season because Pete just wasn’t featured enough until the last week or so.

ASD: Five fewer days with the same number of players and you wouldn’t need two non-eliminations.

KB: Exactly.

ASD: I think it’s inexcusable to purple anybody who makes the finale. Same problem with Aubry in Game Changers. It removes suspense. My suggestion for an improvement is to merge at 16. It would be unwieldy for the audience (starting tribes of 12 are already hard to keep track of), but as it is now, the merge portion of the season is the same length as in US Survivor (around 20 days), which means that all of the extra days and tribals are added to the pre-merge, the boring part of the season. And maybe I’m being results oriented, but a merge at 16 would have saved Phoebe and AK.

KB: I think they need fewer days or more people, but more people isn’t the answer.

ASD: OK, final thoughts.

KB: I really enjoyed this season. I’d like to sign off with the idea that it was Ziggy who messed it up for some of the bigger female players. If Ziggy had held her super-idol and Locky went instead of Annaliese, then she could have used it on Henry. That would give us 11 fewer days of Locky, Henry going out at the exact same spot, and Annaliese, Tessa and Sarah with more ability to do their thing. Ziggy would have won way more immunities and possibly played her idol correctly. But that’s my “ZIggy ruined everything” theory.

ASD: Anneliese, Tessa, and Sarah doesn’t seem like a particularly stable alliance, but I’ll support a theory that gets Tessa closer to the end. Ziggy and Luke ruined everything.

KB: Not as an alliance, as interesting players. Maybe they would have eaten each other but there would have been no Locky, and Tara doesn’t make it to the end.

ASD: Thanks for participating in this chat, and for recapping.

KB: You are welcome. I’ll do it next year maybe but not Survivor New Zealand.

ASD: Lol yeah. How about Survivor Greece then? 148 days, 25 people, one survivor. In Greek.

KB: NOPE!

OK, that’s it from me and KB. The power now shifts to the commenters….

Assistant Dragon Slayer

Assistant Dragon Slayer

Assistant Dragon Slayer fell in love with Survivor from the very first episode he watched: the Caramoan premiere. He considers any Survivor better than the Caramoan pre-merge to be great Survivor.

Favorite seasons: Pearl Islands, China, Tocantins, Heroes vs. Villains, Philippines, Cagayan, Cambodia

Favorite players: Yul Kwon, Denise Stapley, Cirie Fields, Tony Vlachos, Judd Sergeant, Benjamin Wade (Tocantins and HvV only), Brenda Lowe (fight me!)
Assistant Dragon Slayer
  • Maritimer

    I still absolutely love that final challenge. It should be done for all of them. On the finale: I was surprised at how close Tara came, given that she was getting a massive goat edit. When that third vote came up I thought we were getting Kristie 2.0, because Jericho was awful at FTC. Worst FTC by a winner ever?

    I’ll have to come back with thoughts on season as a whole when I have more time

    • Kemper Boyd

      Kristie was better than Tara because she could articulate her game precisely in a way that the jury understood.

      • Max_Jets

        Tara winning would have been wayyyy worse than Kristie winning. Kristie was satisfying because she was likable. Tara grew on me, but was way too self righteous at certain points in the game. Also, how could she not understand that getting voted out was a negative?

        Speaking of Tara, seeing her in the final 2 made me all the more disappointed that Tessa was removed as a juror. It would’ve been satisfying to see her question Tara’s attitude towards her like Nick did with Lee.

        • Assistant Dragon Slayer

          I don’t think it’s so much Kristie being likable as Lee being un-likable. Kristie’s win is more satisfying than Tara’s would have been because a) we were rooting against Lee but not Jericho, and b) the “goat turns the tables in the last episode” story is super-satisfying.

          • Max_Jets

            The Lee thing is definitely a factor, but I do remember being very happy FOR Kristie and I get excited for her again whenever I see pictures of her smiling face at a Survivor event.

          • prettyboyprobst

            Can’t disagree, although I wasn’t super satisfied in S1’s case. But in theory that story sounds awesome, and Tara winning… I don’t even have the words.

      • Maritimer

        Yeah, this was different because they were votes against Jericho rather than for Tara, where most of Kristie’s votes were legitimately for her

        • Kemper Boyd

          Locky and Ziggy voted FOR Tara (both were with her almost the whole game), Sarah voted against Jericho.

          • Maritimer

            Didn’t Ziggy vote for Jericho? Wasn’t Peter the third Tara vote, which he said was against Jericho because of the mocking at the F4 tribal

          • Kemper Boyd

            Oh wow, I can’t read the wiki diagram. Sorry. That makes sense.

          • prettyboyprobst

            among other stupid behavior by Jericho throughout the endgame.

            And as much as I liked many of his voting confessionals, coming from him they also always rubbed me a little bit in the wrong way. He talked pre-game and/or in confessionals a lot about how he is this devout, selfless Christian, who would never do anything bad ever, but how he would enjoy to lie, cheat and steal in this game (while keeping his “angelic” image up), because here it only means that you’re playing hard and not that you’re a bad person off the island. We didn’t see him do all that much lying and cheating, but he sure made a point of twisting the knife in the voting confessionals, which couldn’t have been meant to help (or hurt) him, as of course the people he adresses in them didn’t get to see until the game was long over. So for that reason alone I was happy to hear that his “act”, which supposedly doesn’t represent at all who he is as a person, at least cost him a (couple of?) jury vote(s).

        • prettyboyprobst

          I don’t know about thaat…

          I recall it as most of the jurors were ready to begrudgingly vote for Lee, who then turned them off by not owning his game, while Kristie at least made an legitimate effort to get their votes in a way they could accept, albeit without necessarily agreeing with her (and surprised them with her sudden ability to articulate her views on the game and her version of how she got to the end).

    • prettyboyprobst

      Maybe not everytime, but there I can see no reason why that classic challenge shouldn’t be brought back every once in a while.
      Yeah, after that FTC anything seemed possible, even though I agree with ASD that apart from her opening statement, Tara was just as bad as Jericho (and apparently got more flak than what was shown), who up until his answer to Henry’s question was made to look as bad as possible, which couldn’t have been very hard, because he also didn’t help himself with most of his answers from what we’ve seen.

      I didn’t hate what he had to say in his confessional before final tribal and didn’t hear much of it when it counted, so I assume he was also very nervous in addition to not having the best ideas about how to pitch his game to the jury in the first place.

      About Tara’s goat edit: I’m not even sure that’s what it was anymore. I wonder if we were supposed to root for Tara as this scrappy mom type, while it seemed most of the time like the show was fine with portraying Peter as this undeserving do-nothing goat, and I feel like that’s exactly how 80% of the non-superfan faction of the viewership looked at them.

      Sure, they left enough little tidbits in for us to see that “hey, this guy actually seems to have the right idea here” and they let Tara open her mouth enough for us to realize that she rarely knew what she was doing (she finished with the highest confessional count of the season! Something like 112 total, which,to a lesser degree among similiar edits for more interesting players, is an expression of what is probably my main compalint for this season, now that all is said and done: Editing could have been so much better.), but Locky was sold to us as the last hero standing and I think Tara was meant to be his every-woman sidekick with a massive growth arc, who will take no shit from anyone and do it all for her family.

  • Max_Jets

    Well, I have wrestled with it all season long but I think I have ultimately come to the important conclusion that Jericho is hot.

    I think one thing AUS Survivor can improve on is editing. They do a great job with explaining all the chaos (probably mostly due to episode length), but it’s sloppier than US Survivor in storytelling. I can’t imagine them editing something as well as, say, Shirin and Spencer having to turn against each other in Cambodia. Maybe that’s something the show is not as concerned with, but to me it’s a drawback. We also have episodes that go something like “here’s 8 Tara confessionals; here’s 8 Ziggy confessionals; Here’s 8 Jericho confessionals” and it’s a bit dull to watch.

    All in all though it was a very good season and I shall tentatively rank it 8th.

    • Maritimer

      Yeah…..I wrestled with that with Jericho too. I came to the same conclusion, but then at the reunion I was kind of like…wait….no he’s not. I’m calling Island Hot on Jericho, despite the sleaze-stache

      • Max_Jets

        Ah, see, reunion Jericho was a factor in my final decision. Peak Jericho though is him competing with Ziggy during the tribal immunity challenge when he was hanging from the rope.

        • Maritimer

          Yeah, he looked good then. Any challenge where he was hanging on things too. The jury boot reward challenge was also a good look on him

      • Assistant Dragon Slayer

        Did he start the season with facial hair? I was shocked at how different he looked at the finale.

        • Maritimer

          Maybe that was it. Because I did remember him being hot at the start too, but I really did not like the reunion look

    • Assistant Dragon Slayer

      I agree about the editing, but I think it may just be that the long running time doesn’t force them to be economical. I wonder, in particular, if they were capable of telling the story of the 3-2-2-2 vote in 42 minutes.

      Adam’s boot (remember way back then?), with the multiple deceptions about the idol, seemed poorly edited regardless of running time.

      On the all-important question of Island Hot, I’m actually going to give the award to Peter, but mostly because I think his whole IRL style doesn’t really work for him. He looks much better with facial hair and a less controlled hairstyle.

      I’ll award a special reverse Island Hot award to Tarzan. The whole mountain-man beard is a distraction. I’ll bet he’d be surprisingly handsome clean-shaven.

      On the ladies’ side, I was all set to give the award to Michelle, as I expected her to go way overboard glamming it up at the reunion, like a Danni or an Amanda. But she was quite tasteful, although the camera seemed intent on avoiding her for some reason.

      It’s actually difficult with the ladies. Nobody got cute-disheveled like an Erinn Lobdell or a Michelle Schubert, and nobody benefited from losing a bit of weight like a Christina Cha or Katie Collins.

      Anneliese, by default I guess, but I don’t feel strongly about it.

      • Maritimer

        If American Survivor had tried to do that 3-2-2-2 at least one of the 2 vote sets would have come with no explanation

        Yeah, none of the women really did island hot. They’re mostly just attractive generally – Michelle, Tessa, etc.

        • Assistant Dragon Slayer

          Even AUS lost track of Ziggy’s vote.

      • prettyboyprobst

        Not just the camera, JLP ignored her, too. Not one question to Michelle (and Peter)! It had a few really funny or otherewise good character moments and I enjoyed that it was less formalic or rushed than what we’ve grown accustomed to from Jeffy, but overall this reunion was a shit show.
        JLP’s boner for loud, self-regarding alpha males puts even Probt’s to shame.

  • Neutral Username

    I was somewhat underwhelmed by the ending. With all the huge personalities I had hoped that we would have an exceptional winner. I do think this is the result of everyone being willing to cut an obvious winner and no-one coasting to the end. Even Tara who was always going to have an uphill battle after getting voted out tried to appear engaged in the game. I think this is the natural result of the majority of players being in it to win it and the Big Threats not banding together.

    What I was thinking today though was whether a final 3 would have made for a better ending. With either Petey or Mich in the mix I think there might have been the opportunity for a really tight vote. Thoughts?

    • Head Architect Sylvia

      I was totally on board with Jericho winning and thought he was a solid winner… then that FTC happened and I just completely lost faith that he played well even if he actually did. Like a lot of people.

      Not necessarily a F3 but I would have liked to have seen Michelle vs Jericho, not that it would have been good for either of them to take each other, but it would be interesting to see the jury consensus on who they thought played a better game. Also I think Michelle making her case at FTC would have been fun. Not sure a F3 would have changed much if it was Peter in the mix as well.

  • Head Architect Sylvia

    Good recap! Can’t wait for the next Survivor Greece and I think the biggest takeaway from the whole season is that Ziggy is the worst and ruined everything.

    – Finale was predictable but how could it not have been, really. Overall I really enjoyed the season a lot, but I am glad it is over.

    – Not quite as good as last season, and a little more predictable but overall I think that final challenge is really amazing, one of the best and the night twist kept things interesting enough.

    – It’s been a week since I watched it, but Luke irked me a bit at FTC. I can’t remembered specifically what he said and it didn’t really matter in the end, but he was always going to be voting for Jericho and I thought he’d overemphasise how Jericho was the best and played a much better game than Tara etc. but from what I recall he basically said “I was the best, but Jericho helped me sometimes and did a decent job”. I just didn’t think it was a particularly nice given their friendship.

    – As others have said, kudos to Tara for her FTC performance and she came off as really likeable in it. I still haven’t made up my mind about whether I enjoyed her this season or not. I certainly would have preferred to see others at FTC but she was alright.

    – Tara was doing so well and then flat out said she only started playing the game for the last 7 or 9 days or something. That was a huge red flag for me. Oh dear. She had the right idea but she should have said she started from Day 1 and then really turned it on for the last week.

    – Jericho’s FTC performances not only undermined his credibility in front of the jurors but it made me second guess all the good moves he made too. Even if I saw him pull off some sneaky moves on TV earlier in the season, I was suddenly second guessing if he was the deserving winner. Why did he insist on saying the cookie jar thing was his best strategy? And to wishy-washily say he wasn’t actually a nice person and then backpedal when Sarah said she was confused. Terrible.

    — REUNION —

    OK who watched this? A few good digs at Ziggy and Ben but you didn’t miss much else if you haven’t seen it.

    – WHY WHY WHY did Jacqui and Army guy Mark get so much screen time!?!? And even Sam got quite a bit of time. It was so infuriating to watch.

    – HOW could they not speak to Peter at all? Come on. He came third and made the finale episode. Some good emotional/family stuff to ask or if not JLP could have at least congratulate him for making it so far. Come on.

    – Michelle got about 10 seconds and that was it. She had some good interjections at least but she was totally under-utilised. I watched her on Family Feud (Asanga vs. Samatau) last night and she was by far the most hilarious contestant on there!

    – Michelle’s car win wasn’t even featured in the “amazing challenge moments” montage. OK. I am a bit angry.

    – I wonder if JLP/producers hate Michelle and Peter and that’s possibly the reason. I’ve heard JLP hates Michelle and Tessa for some reason and I saw Michelle/JLP do an interview on a talk show and he wasn’t particularly courteous towards her. He was presented with an opportunity to congratulate Michelle for a good game and instead he poked fun about how he was surprised she went so long without a manicure or something like that. WHICH of course Michelle brought up in game but he seemed to say it in a sort of mean-spirited manner.

    – JLP’s dig at Ziggy was hilarious and god, the girl has no sense of humour she did not seem to take it well. The game is over, come on.

    – Ben still being the butt of all jokes was pretty hilarious.

    • Maritimer

      The Finale could have been less predictable if Peter was less purple. They could have at least made the F3 be a little uncertain.

      I took Luke as saying that he and Jericho were a fairly equal partnership, just that Luke was kind of the front facing member of the alliance so what were equal moves people were perceiving as Luke’s move and he was trying to give Jericho credit.

      • Head Architect Sylvia

        True – even one extra confessional per episode for Peter in the last 4-5 eps could have made a big difference.

        Ohh really? You’re probably right, I’m just going off mental notes, and it was a week ago now. I just thought it came off as a backhanded compliment when I was watching it and thought maybe Luke wasn’t willing to share 50/50 credit because of his ego. I probably misinterpreted or misremembered it though, will have to rewatch.

        Either way, he didn’t exactly sell Jericho to the jury like I thought he would have.

        • prettyboyprobst

          Neither of them did well in selling Jericho’s game, but if anything I was more surprised that Jericho wasn’t able to do a better job at it. From Luke I was hoping for more, but not really expecting that he would be remarkably convincing.
          I read his statements in the way Maritimer did, but after Jericho threw Luke’s game under the bus by calling him his reindeer and so on, I though they also had a little bit of defending his own game to them. If that’s why he lacked a little bit of the enthusiasm I expected him to have to make a case for his buddy, than I can’t really blame him, but I think he still tried his best and brought the most important point across.

    • Assistant Dragon Slayer

      Is the Family Feud episode available online anywhere other than the Tenplay site?

      If Henry’s vote was actually in play, I think his question is where Tara lost the game. His “You’re not the best at talking” bit was kind of dick-ish, but he wasn’t wrong. Her answer was terrible and his was great.

      “I started playing on Day 49” or whatever she said was truly awful. At a minimum, she should have talked about how she had to work her way out of a deep hole after getting swapped onto the other tribe (although she would have had to quickly glide past the fact that she was voted out, which as I said should be fatal for her chances). Or she could have said that being Locky’s closest ally was strategic, and that her strategy was so successful that it protected her for 49 days.

      • Head Architect Sylvia

        Just had a look around, couldn’t find the episode anywhere else unfortunately! Will keep an eye out.

        Henry was a bit insufferable asking his questions, you knew he just HAD to tell them all that he wasn’t a yoga instructor because he seems to still think it was genius?

        I can’t even remember Henry’s question to Jericho, but I just remember he pressed Jericho a bit but in the end he seems satisfied with his answer. Was that when Tara said she started playing on Day 49 or did she say something else? Refresh me on what his question was and what Tara’s answer was. Was that when she said her biggest individual move was planting the idea that everyone should vote AK out? Because that was also a really weak response.

        I know! I’m almost ashamed to admit but I started rooting for her when she started constructing a pretty reasonable argument, but then she went and said that and it was a huge deal breaker. True, she definitely could have at least come up with a few solid strategic moves she made before 49 to prove she was playing the game from the start. Saying she was voted out could have been fatal, but she also could have also tried to spin it by saying that there are always going to be twists in the game and it was a huge wake up call to play properly etc. etc. and she knew she had to have a plan going forward and then proceed to talk about her social skills after the swap which allowed her to avoid being voted out. Maybe fatal, probably still better than the answer she gave.

        Yeah true, the Locky shield strategy could have also been her example of playing the game prior to day 49! It’s a solid strategy and she had already mentioned it prior.

        • prettyboyprobst

          I saw the line-up and I really wanna see it! I still have family feud blue balls from that Survivor special last year, and I didn’t care nearly as much about whoever played then (except for Sue) compared to the Asaga “family” of this year’s special.

          IIRC, Henry asked Jericho how voting out his shield (henry, obv.) so early could have possibly helped him (his cookie-shields were pretty much his one recurring point), to which he replied something that was mostly bullshit but sounded kind of badass (“…blood on my hands, and I’m fine with that!”), which is why we were shown Anneliese seemingly getting all excited (IN HER PANTS!) about that answer.

          Jericho had almost no say in that vote and because everyone was (rightfully) all about that Henry vote-off, Jericho’s small role in it wouldn’t have been a secret to anyone in the jury, so he could have just told him that he regretted getting rid of him so early, but that going against the plan would have isolated him from all his other relationships in the game for which it was too early. Taking a shot at a big time player like Henry, when you have it, is never too early on the other hand, wo while he was sorry it had to come to this, “you had to go, Henry”.

          I also don’t remember what exactly his question to Tara was (something wide that would offer her every opportunity to frame her game in a positive way, iirc), but she was bumbling through her answer (so not yet the day49 answer, I don’t think) and I believe at some point he just cut her off “WRONG” and proceeded to tell her what would have been about the best possible way for Tara to make a case for herself (which she took little clues from, I reckon).

          • Head Architect Sylvia

            SORRY I got over Survivor a bit as soon as Aus finished and needed a break so took myself out of most discussions for a while!

            Still couldn’t find the family feud ep, sorry! It’s still on the ten play site for probably a few more days.

            Ohh that’s right. Yeah he certainly didn’t answer that one particularly well either. He didn’t answer anything very well.

            Ohh, I don’t recall anyone cutting Tara off. I think if he did it was generally pretty well natured anyway. Oh well, she still did a good job and seemed genuinely pleased to be the runner up.

          • prettyboyprobst

            I also needed a few days after the initial excitement over the season finale and reunion went away, which is why my replies in this thread didn’t arrive before the discussion had died down 😉

            I remember Henry being (justifiably) kind of harsh. And people who were at the live event also reported that Tara got a lot more shit than what was shown in the episode. Gotta make things interesting in regards to the final vote read…

          • Head Architect Sylvia

            Oh didn’t know that re: Tara getting grilled at FTC. Would have been interesting to see that but like you said, gotta keep things juicy! Probably means some positive Jericho stuff (said by others, or by him) was left out too! Even if we saw it all it’s probably safe to presume that Tara still did better than expected and Jericho did worse than expected though.

      • prettyboyprobst

        Yesterday I took another look at the two places I considered most likely to make that episode available eventually, and while I didn’t find what I came for, I found this:
        http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x50924c

        Better than nothing, right?

        My cliff notes:
        – It’s not as laden with innuendo than what I expected from Sharc’s description (I don’t know how to @-alert him in this post, but I’ll tell him when I see him around, or you can direct him here. Maybe he’s still interested in watching this, but I assume that the time that called for a full-on recap has passed, unfortunately.) of the American version and a pretty tame family program instead, but it’s still had its funny moments.
        – Those came almost exclusively from the Vavau-family (which kind of was to be expected with a line-up of Sue, Conner, Pheobe & Rohan vs Lee, El, Sam & Brooke, but is still a shame because Saanapu hogged so much screentime):
        Pheobe was great and set up the best moment right in the first round, when the question was “name a delicacy many people would refuse to eat”. Later she made for unintentionally hilarious moments, when she gave great answers to the questions, but the ultra-casual (in all things Survivor) 100-people panel gave such bad answers, that she striked out every time.
        Conner was a star by being so awkwardly bad at this game (as well). Some (all?) of his answers were so “out of left field”, it almost seemed like he was sabotaging his team at times (like a match-game celeb that is only going for the laughs), but I think he was trying.
        Rohan was the biggest surprise for me. He came on with an overflow of dorky gameshow energy and I enjoyed him quite a bit.
        Brooke was unfortunately pretty quiet, although she seemed happy to be there.

        The game itself was quite a mess, as I thought there were a lot of rounds were the answers were confusing (me and) the contestants, with answers already on the board leading to Survivors going in different directions and striking out, when the missing answers were at times eerily similiar to those already on the board. One time I thought (and from their reactions, the Vavau family too) that Sue actually gave the right answer, but because it was a different word than what was on the board (not really sure, because sometimes that freaking Ozzy-slang was confusing as hell) they got their third X and Saanapu won the round.

    • prettyboyprobst

      I couldn’t find the rest of the reunion immediately after (watching) the episode, but a couple of days later I found a link. Ben was clearly the (unwitting) star of the show, thanks to Michelle and Sam.

      I didn’t mind Sam’s airtime so much (except for the constant cuts to El&Lee), but all the gushing over big players Locky (ugh!), Henry, Luke and AK, coupled with him mostly ignoring Sarah, Michelle and to a lesser extent Anneliese and Tessa got old really quick. And that’s just the most obvious discrepancy in airtime for big male and female players, but it was also a crime how many good characters got little attention (or none at all) from JLP.

      Basically you had to be one of his four favorite alpha males, Mark or Jacqui to get your fair share. I assume Tara also got more than she could fill, but I honestly don’t remember anything from her right now, which is probably for the better.
      ( I lost what little taste I had acquired for her when she again showed no self-awareness (and little game-awareness) when she tried to pin the goat label on Peter in episode 25. She had to fight back, but it’s problematic if she really believed what she said there, and I got the impression she did indeed.)

      But you reminded that Michelle did get a question, or rather a shout-out from JLP when he congratulated her on winning the car “fair and square” (a little condescending), but I think a lot of it was also about Locky.
      What you describe from that talkshow sounds a lot like one of JLP’s tweets about Michelle, and people weren’t quite sure whether he was trying to be funny or actually throwing shade with that one either. But I hear Australia hates Michelle, so he might just be playing to the audience. Which would still suck. Work on your audience then, educate them and show them the light! When Locky and Tara are the public’s darlings or are perceived as such, a return to a more S1-like cast seems just around the corner for S3. Even if they try to also keep some Big-Game-types in the mix because they got such rave reviews, they won’t last very long if there are not enough of them and it’s back to mateship all around.

      So while I hated mostly all of it, I still got a huge kick out of seeing this cast together one more time and getting the reunion show that the S1 cast was denied of having. I liked the flow, the length (more players) and there were some genuinely funny moments (you mentioned the best ones). I wish we had some more quick cuts for reaction shots of the S1 cast members in the audience. Hearing from Kristie was expectedly cringe-worthy (although iirc I appreciated what she was saying, she’s just soo awkward) and Pheobe stole the show with glamorous evening attire that didn’t try to hide her feminine charms … what was her question again?

      We can agree on Ziggy is the worst and ruined everything. Except for my views on JLP after the reunion. I can’t stay mad at him when he gave us that well-timed Ziggy-burn. She salvaged that, even though she tried her darndest to convince everyone that the joke had no merit and kind of ruined it in the process, too.

      • Head Architect Sylvia

        I didn’t hate what Sam had to say but I still think she had way too much air time. Yeah Jacqui isn’t an alpha male so I’m not sure how she got all the air time. Clearly some shady backroom door with JLP. Definitely.

        I like JLP but he was VERY condescending to a lot of people at the reunion. Not cool.

        YEAH going off FB chatter, everyone absolutely despise Michelle. Like, they really hated her and I never knew why! Well I sort of do – she can come across as annoying – but overall she was hilarious and pretty strategic. So confused. I don’t think the FB people liked any of the F4 much. I think Locky was well liked because he could win challenges and that is what is relevant lol OK. Luke was the favourite by far I’m pretty sure. I don’t think Tara was particularly well liked either. Can’t remember but I don’t think she was a darling.

        Yeah hopefully producers ignore most of those people and just cast the same sort of people for S3. Thankfully I think there was enough characters before F4 for the casuals to like.

        Yeah, the reunion was nice. Kristie wasn’t too bad and I don’t recall her promoting anything so that was good. Phoebe did look good!

        Yeah, true. JLP redeemed himself with those digs at Ziggy. She totally did not salvage that! She looked so offended that he said it and just glared at him as everyone else around her was having a laugh.

  • prettyboyprobst

    I could have just said how much I’m on board with the “Ziggy ruined everything”-theory brought up by Kemper B. in the recap chat, but then ASD followed it up with this

    ASD: Anneliese, Tessa, and Sarah doesn’t seem like a particularly stable alliance, but I’ll support a theory that gets Tessa closer to the end. Ziggy and Luke ruined everything.

    and now I can’t help but put my controverchelle opinions on the table again.

    I get this argument from a Tessa-centric viewpoint, but if we are looking at the post-merge as a whole and with the benefit of hindsight, wouldn’t

    Ziggy and Michelle ruined everything.

    …be more accurate? Luke was at least dealing with a (triple-)threat (while choosing to table dealing with another theat until a later point, that would never come for him), that could have been (and from all he knew should have been) plotting against his side already, but Michelle was just being petty and it cost her dearly (and us very possibly a non-Tara, non-Jericho FTC). She probably would have been “the goat” for whoever came out on top of an endgame Asaga power struggle and could have presented herself in all her slaying glory in front of the jury at final tribal.

    It’s frustrating to admit, but she got manipulated by Locky, Tara and Ziggy of all people into giving up her cozy spot in the Asaga-Four for a “Let’s see what happens later, but I want vengeance now!”-based strategy, and that so close to the end. It’s why we love her, but it’s also a sad fact of season 2.
    Peter was there for the taking and if not for her precious feelings, we would have seen a more impressive post-merge takeover by the minority tribe (Asaga was down 8-4) than whatever Russel’s crappy, little Samoa tribe was called.

  • Something Quirky

    I spent 9 years at a Greek school, so if discussions about chairs, love, frogs, or the lyrics to Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer or Food Glorious Food (which are apparently the only things I’ve retained) come up in Greek Survivor, I think we can muddle through 😉